The Doomed Bromance of Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his daughter, Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has become the national hero of America’s coronavirus crisis. For the last three days, increasing numbers of Americans have tuned in to Cuomo’s morning press conference to get facts on the pandemic. More importantly, Cuomo is providing reassurance at a time when people feel their entire world has become unpredictable and very, very frightening.

“For me, it reminded me of 9/11, where one moment, which was inconceivable, just changed everything,” he said at one press conference. “Nobody can tell you if this is going…


Would you go to Donald Trump’s Christmas party? Seven Democratic congresspeople just answered yes. One is my representative, Antonio Delgado. Delgado is an interesting case: a Harvard Law graduate and Rhodes scholar who did a brief stint as a rapper in LA before becoming a corporate lobbyist. Nevada’s Susie Lee is another newbie legislator from a hotly contested purple district, someone whose seat is expected to be in play in 2020. Lee told reporters she was attending because “she’s committed to being a bipartisan problem solver through and through.” She’s not sure yet how she’ll vote on impeachment. …


The Politics of Gun Control Are Changing

First, let me make one thing clear. I have no interest in guns. They scare me: the cold, unyielding metal, the kick when you shoot them. More than anything else, that infernal splitting noise. The shock of it, so fast, so lethal. Something that can’t be taken back.

A shrink once told me that people with intrusive parents tend to screen out things they can’t influence. As I’ve lived through a truly astounding number of crappy things happening in America, that list has grown. Guns were always on the list.

Working as a…


But it needs to be more than a campaign slogan

South Boston in the ‘60s

The first story I ever worked on as a reporter — OK, intern — was about busing in South Boston. I don’t remember much, only the faces of angry white people shouting in the streets. I doubt if I connected those contorted faces to my own experience as a public school kid on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where black and Puerto Rican kids were bused in from East Harlem. I remember the names of two of those girls: Ruby and Cheryl. They were my deskmates and they came to my fifth-grade birthday party. …


Nancy Pelosi after a sleepless night spent watching Barr’s testimony “over and over.”

Usually trés chic and unflappable, Nancy Pelosi showed up for a press conference this morning looking haggard. Attorney General Bill Barr’s testimony had clearly been a watershed for Pelosi, who is not only a two-time Speaker of the House of Representatives, but the daughter of a Baltimore mayor, someone for whom American politics is bred in the bone.

Not long ago, progressives in the freshman class mounted an insurgency against Pelosi. Today, Pelosi sounded like one of the insurgents herself, telling reporters she was “connecting the dots,” and warning of an assault on the constitution by the nation’s top officials.


I left the gluten-free cafe at the same time as the women who had been sitting at a nearby table. “You’re not from around here,” I’d thought with a mental twang, taking note of their smoothed but not quite invisible wrinkles, the truncated features that bespoke plastic surgery, the chunky but tasteful (read: expensive) gold jewelry. The town was gentrifying but not that fast.

Outside the cafe, a Subaru with Rhinebeck plates sported a Pete Buttigieg bumper sticker. I stopped to take a picture; one of the women looked back at me.

“He’s too young,” I said, as if to…


Lisa Murkowski deluged by reporters after her groundbreaking vote

I left the house Friday morning because I knew how the vote would go and I didn’t want to hear it.

Being a white woman of a certain age — deal with it — I walked down the street to a Pilates studio that’s one of the few viable businesses in my funky, constantly-on-the-verge-of-gentrification upstate New York mill town.

Can anyone get the Republicans’ war on women out of their heads?

When April the Pilates instructor called us “ladies,” I couldn’t help myself. I said something. “Women,” I muttered. “Especially today.”

“We’re all ladies here!” April shot back. “It means…


New York Times

The Pundit occupies an odd place in the shifting world of American journalism. We expect pundits to have a point of view, but we either love them or hate them because of their sensibilities. We want them to be original, but we also want our perceptions validated. In short, columnists are like politicians. We take what they say personally, and they wield influence that is usually out of proportion to their actual qualifications.

Unlike politicians, they don’t have to go anywhere, even to places in their own country that don’t deliver Thai food. Andrew Sullivan, whose British schoolboy pontificating on…


Let’s talk for a minute about Roy Cohn. Roy Cohn was Donald Trump’s lawyer, and earlier this year, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself on the Mueller investigation, Trump issued the plaint: “Where is my Roy Cohn?”

Dead, Donald. Long dead. If people remember Cohn at all, they think of the eager assistant to Sen. Joe McCarthy, chairman of the committee that brought the term “witch hunt” into popular parlance long before Donald Trump splashed it all over Twitter. In the 1950s, brandishing a list of supposed Communist infiltrators, McCarthy ruined the lives of dozens of talented people including…

Susan Zakin

Writer for GQ, Salon, The New York Times. Author, Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement. www.susanzakin.com

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