The perennial call for higher salaries in the New York legislature was heard again this week, although it's probably more of a whisper at this point.
On November 22, 2011, Rikers Island guards put Kevin Phillip into a segregation housing unit. It was punishment for something he did. Phillip spent 36 days there. On two Fridays over that stretch, Phillip asked the guards if he could attend a Muslim prayer service at the jail. The guards said that h ... More >>
Oh thank God, something interesting happened during the State of the Union. We'd thought the highlight of the evening might be watching House Speaker John Boehner stubbornly refusing to crack a smile, glowering over the president's shoulder, while next to him, Joe Biden beamed maniacally and method ... More >>
For 28 years, Glen George has served as Town Justice for Middletown, a small town in upstate New York. It is an elected position and doesn't require law degree -- George was a state trooper for two decades before taking the bench. He was set to retire from public service this month. But he will le ... More >>
Where Mahjong meets Dreidel
The taxpayer-funded tab to sweep allegations of sexual harassment by disgraced Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez under the rug is even bigger than originally anticipated, according to records released yesterday.In addition to the $103,000 Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver -- et al -- agreed to pay Lopez ... More >>
Powerful Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver continues to catch heat for his coverup of sexual harassment allegations against his former pal, disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and now New York Republicans are circulating a petition calling for his resignation.Granted, it's only a petition -- ... More >>
Isn't there an old saying about how it's seldom the crime but "always the coverup" that lands politicians in the hottest of water?Well, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver may want to revisit that adage, because it's his "coverup" of sexual harassment allegations against his old pal/current Assemblyman ... More >>
Despite being old as dirt, having been censured...and being old as dirt, ancient Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel likely will be heading back to Congress for a 22nd term after it appears he'll survive a recount in this year's Democratic primary.As of this writing, Rangel's lead over former Democrat ... More >>
Things are looking up for longtime Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel, whose lead in a recount of last week's primary vote continues to grow.As of this writing, Rangel's lead over former state Senator Adriano Espaillat's is 1,158, which is up from the 802-margin the 82-year-old congressman boasted b ... More >>
Longtime Manhattan Congressman Charlie Rangel can breathe a sigh of relief -- the 82-year-old Democrat has survived what was expected to be the fight of his political life.Rangel, who fought in the Korean War before getting elected to Congress (42 years ago), came out on top in yesterday's five-pers ... More >>
State Supreme Court Judge Gustin L. Reichbach outed himself as a pot-smoker in a New York Times op-ed today. Reichbach, you see, has battled pancreatic cancer for three and a half years. His current treatment includes high doses of chemotherapy, which leads to constant pain, nausea, insomnia, and ... More >>
Remember the "Ground Zero mosque" that wasn't just a mosque but actually a community center but still had people enraged back in 2010 because they thought it would be a victory monument to terrorism? We hadn't really thought about it much recently, either -- until today, when we heard that Imam Fei ... More >>
Rick Santorum, who earlier this week told Puerto Ricans to speak English if they wanted to become a state, has continued his tradition of saying wacky shit. Now, not-so-slick Rick is calling for a war on pornography! Apparently, vids of naked, consenting adults threaten the very fabric of America ... More >>
In 1960, during his Democratic campaign against Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy made his views on the First Amendment's establishment clause known to a group of Texas ministers by saying he supported an "America where the separation between church and state are absolute." That tidbit of jurisprudence ... More >>
When Barack Obama changed his polemic policy that employers cover contraception -- so that insurance companies, not businesses, have to provide free birth control coverage -- it didn't do much to appease conservative White House opponents. Instead of celebrating the compromise -- meant to p ... More >>
New York's Catholic organizations have found themselves at the forefront of church news recently, as a controversial healthcare provision is fought over in heated public debate with the president. In January, President Obama signed into law a federal regulation which would require employers to cov ... More >>
The rain didn't stop a group of religious leaders and elected officials from rallying outside Morris High School in the Bronx today before the mayor's State of the City speech. Around 100 protestors were fenced in a block away from the school chanting under a sea of umbrellas. They had trekked to th ... More >>
Like Big Love, except theatrical
Our man Randy CohenIt's been six months since the New York Times Magazine replaced Randy Cohen, the four-time Emmy Award winner who wrote the Ethicist column for 12 years and made the rounds as a congenial moral-principle purveyor everywhere from NPR to Oprah. Since his winter departure, the ... More >>
Various news outlets are reporting that House of Representatives members have voted to censure an active member "for the first time in nearly 30 years" -- New York City's own Rep. Charles Rangel -- for the slew of ethics violations he was convicted of last month. The House, which voted 333-79 ... More >>
The House vote on Charlie Rangel could come today now that the ethics panel has released its final report. Rangel is still pushing hard to get his censure resolution knocked down to a milder reprimand. It's a long shot despite support yesterday from House Dem James Clyburn of South Carolina w ... More >>
Do you dare to watch a Peach?
Joe BrunoBy Adam Schwartzman Five prominent New York politicians have dipped into their campaign funds to pay for nearly $3 million in legal expenses associated with investigations of their possible misconduct, a Voice examination of campaign disclosure reports has revealed. While it's unclear if t ... More >>
The emerging new political credo shaping up around the downtown mosque is "No, We Shouldn't," and it has strong bi-partisan support. On the left, Governor David Paterson was on WNYC radio's "The Takeaway" this morning complaining that the situation is "getting more and more out of hand every ... More >>
Channel your inner pilgrim . . . or turkey vulture
This had to happen! The Universal Free Church is calling for a national petition drive to allow gay marriage and to ban Mormon marriage! (That should even things out. Otherwise, the chapels will be way overbooked.) Like so many people out there, they feel the Mormons have a right to say whatever the ... More >>
Two of these guys are not going on the no-sideburns tour For an awful long time, every John Darnielle tour was a solo tour. Excepting an early stretch with Rachel Ware, Darnielle's Mountain Goats were a purely one man entity, if a bit a of joke on the whole singer-songwriter phenomenon. The arrange ... More >>
At a Hunter College forum last night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney talked about women and politics. Perhaps inevitably, much of the discussion focused on Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. Pelosi, who had struggled to maintain neutral duri ... More >>
In another bit of judicial activism that should re-invigorate conservative charges of gay-on-straight violence, a Jersey lawsuit in which a gay man charged that eHarmony had discriminated against him by not offering same-sex matching has been settled, and eHarmony will begin offering "male seeking m ... More >>
Note to good-guy governor-elect: 10 reasons to stay Hevesis execution
As an adult home deteriorated, a veteran jurist and a lawyer shared cocktails and dinner
In final debate, Big John goes big easy on question-dodging Bush
By the Power Vested in Us: Civil Unions for AllGay or Straight. Blessings Optional.
Does God Need Tax Money to Teach?
Will God Set the Curriculum?
An Anti-Deconstructionists Delight
Grown-Up Green Is Poised to Run the City
Docs Find Ill in Chinese Organ Trade, and in Bill to Stop It