Mayor Friendly
June 08, 2012

Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s star has been rising for what seems like an eternity. His fame rests largely upon a number of almost absurdly heroic acts, which have varied from harrowing to Hollywood-esque: saving a resident from a burning building, cradling a twelve-year-old dying from gunshot wounds, hunger-striking for better police protection in the projects, sleeping in a trailer for five months to halt open-air drug markets. Along with Booker’s media-friendly persona, these superhero moves have ensured a steady stream of adulation.

So Which Is It, Politico?
May 25, 2012

Politico went big with one of its conventional wisdom-setting 30,000-foot pieces today: “Obama Stumbles Out of The Gate.” As typical for this form, the piece is full of sniping quotes from anonymous consultants. The piece also manages to turn a smattering of voices speaking out against Obama’s anti-Bain Capital attacks—most notably Cory Booker, mayor of the 68th biggest city in the country—into a “Democratic blowback” against Obama. But what struck me most about it was its glaring internal contradiction. First, the article gives us this: Bain has turned into pain this week.

The Book On Cory Booker
May 21, 2012

In further evidence that this city knows what to do with molehills (suggested Trenton-style motto: “what Washington makes, the world re-tweets”), much has already been said and written about Newark superman (and mayor) Cory Booker’s unhelpful criticism of Team Obama’s attacks on Bain Capital, the private equity firm that made Mitt Romney a quarter-billionaire and taught him “how jobs come and how they go.” For those who missed it, Booker declared on Meet The Press: “I have to just say from a very personal level I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity,” he said.

If X, Then Why?
March 29, 2012

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention By Manning Marable (Viking Press, 594 pp., $30) I. When Malcolm X died in a hail of assassin’s gunfire at the Audubon Ballroom in February 1965, the mainstream media in the United States was quick to suggest that he reaped the harvest of bloodshed he had brazenly sown.

Broken Promises: How Obama’s Immigration Failures Have Put a New Jersey Community on Edge
March 02, 2012

Saul Timisela was supposed to report for deportation at seven o’clock Thursday morning, but he didn’t show up. Instead, he went to the Reformed Church of Highland Park, New Jersey, where, as of this writing, he is still seeking sanctuary. An immigrant who arrived in the U.S. from Indonesia in 1998 after fleeing religious violence, Timisela suffers from hypertension, heart disease, and liver disease. He does not have a criminal record, say advocates speaking on his behalf.

New Jersey Journey
January 11, 2012

Spent two hours at the end of December on the Garden State Highway In the ancient Ford’s trunk nothing but my heart grown heavier year by year A protracted catastrophe: the constant river of traffic the endless business of overtaking vicious eye-contact with total strangers in the adjacent lane  Driven by yearning for its prehistoric brothers a Jumbo climbs out of Newark airport over marshes and lagoons a giant smoking mountain of rubbish and the countless lights of the refineries Mile after mile of stunted trees telegraph poles fields of blueberries a Siberian countryside colonized then run t

Apple’s Form and Function Meets Location Efficiency
June 24, 2011

with Louis Liss When it comes to design, there’s no question that Apple knows how to impress. Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently addressed the Cupertino, CA city council to pitch a new corporate campus to accommodate the company’s burgeoning workforce. The new facility will be a circular architectural wonder. It will triple green space, add needed office area, and produce its own energy. Critics have cited the new campus as a model for better architecture in Silicon Valley as well as a green marvel. But just as important as how the building is built is where it is built.

Maintenance on Silver’s Transit Line
May 23, 2011

Late last week, our recent report Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metro America came in for some bumps and bruises on Nate Silver’s thoughtful and well-known political blog FiveThirtyEight. Silver is an analytical heavyweight, and he had several good points to make about how best to measure the effectiveness of transit systems. But Silver’s post also betrays some misconceptions regarding our report. There are some fundamental differences between what Silver seems to think we studied, and what we actually did study. He’s not the first to have those misconceptions, but he is the first to

March 18, 2011

Updates and curiosities from around the web. As first mentioned last week, plans for a major coal exporting terminal on the Columbia River are getting reconsidered. Environmentalists had opposed the Longview, Wash. development that would export millions of tons of Powder River Basin coal to China. If you want to get hyperlocal, why not partner with America’s most prolific snowstorm tweeting mayor, Newark’s Cory Booker?

Gangster Paradise? Not Quite.
January 25, 2011

Some cities have all the fun. Last week, the FBI arrested 125 suspected Mafia members across the Northeast—the largest mob bust in history. New York was, as usual, well-represented in the Mafia round-up, with no less than 34 made guys from the city’s five crime families dragged off to jail. Also getting in on the action were Providence (83-year-old Luigi Mannochio, accused of shaking down local strip clubs) and Newark (various union officials charged with extorting longshoremen). But, once again, Washington, D.C., wasn’t in the mix. No mobsters here. So what gives?