Welcome to Old New, New York: NYC Sees 33% Spike in Murders, Fewer Guns Seized

Police tape sections off an area around a crime scene on and around Roosevelt Avenue, Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, in the Queens borough of New York. The crime scene stretched for blocks and restricted all non-official personnel, including residents living on surrounding streets, from reaching homes and businesses. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Police tape sections off an area around a crime scene in Queens, New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Jamie Schram  writes:  As his first month as police commissioner under Mayor de Blasio winds down, Bill Bratton is already facing some sobering news — a 33 percent spike in murders across the city.

According to the latest statistics released Tuesday, there have been 28 homicides so far this year compared to 21 in the same ­period last year.

“This is the residual effect of de Blasio’s backlash against stop-and-frisk’’

That puts the city on course for at least one murder a day.

Last year, the Big Apple racked up 334 homicides in 365 days, the lowest in the city’s recorded history.

“I think Bratton needs to be concerned about the ­homicide numbers, but he’s a field commander at heart,” said a law-enforcement source. “If there’s something egregiously wrong, he will go straight to the source — the precinct or precincts that are problematic — and fix it right away.”

The source blamed de Blasio’s anti-stop-and-frisk push for the uptick in slayings.

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Sacré Bleu! De Blasio’s Doomed Imitation of French President François Hollande a Potential Nightmare for New Yorkers

A Marxist takes over Gotham: Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Newscom

A Marxist takes over Gotham: Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Newscom

Gotham’s new mayor sounds like François Hollande, and he risks similar results

Nicole Gelinas writes: In his inaugural address last Wednesday, New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, promised to “commit” the city he now leads “to a new progressive direction.” As Gotham embarks on a “dramatic new approach,” he promised, “the world will watch as we succeed.” De Blasio should be watching the world instead—particularly France. The policy prescription that brought de Blasio to office—higher income taxes on New York’s wealthy—is exactly what French president François Hollande proposed to win his own post nearly two years ago. Since then, Hollande’s approval rating has plummeted to record lows for a French leader. French citizens have grown tired of symbolic anti-rich gestures; they want real solutions to real problems.

Hollande, who won office in May 2012, was one of the first leftist Western politicians to benefit from two global trends after 2008: disillusionment with incumbent politicians and dismay at income inequality. Hollande’s opponent and predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, was well settled in office during the economic collapse of 2008—a toxic place to be for any Western leader. But Sarkozy, like former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, was also practically a cartoon embodiment of the second target of anger. Sarkozy was the “bling-bling” president who outfitted the presidential jet with a top-of-the-line oven so that he could eat gourmet food in the air, the president who traded in his (second) wife for a model-turned-singer-turned-movie-star, the president who loved hanging out with the world’s 1 percent on yachts and private beaches. In expelling a sitting head of state for the first time in three decades, the French made it clear that they wanted change.

But victory came almost too easily. Hollande didn’t have to put forward any serious policy proposals to win. France’s problems were straightforward and remain so: persistent deficits, caused not by the economic crisis but by ever-growing retirement costs; plus high unemployment, caused by high taxes and heavy social mandates on employers—including the near-impossibility of firing a permanent worker. Hollande had little to say about these issues. Instead, his plan was simple:tax the rich. He increased top-bracket income taxes from 41 percent to 45 percentand imposed a temporary two-year levy of 75 percent on income above 1 million euros. In his inauguration speech, he said that “to put France back on her feet, in a fair way,” he would “discourage exorbitant income and remuneration.” Though he acknowledged France’s intractable problems, the closest he got to a solution was to say that “Europe needs projects.”

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George Will: “There’s Nothing Better for Conservatism Than Periodic Examples of Untrammeled Liberalism”

Caleb Howe writes:  George Will, speaking on Fox News Sunday, suggests to host Chris Wallace that that resurgence of liberal ideas will ultimately benefit conservative ideals.

(Via Newsbusters)

Oh, there’s nothing better for American conservatism than periodic examples of untrammeled liberalism. Lyndon Johnson after 1964 had huge majorities in Congress, had his way. Republicans won five of the next six and seven of the next nine presidential elections. Let him have his way in New York City, and let people see what happens. There are more than 130 contracts with public employees’ unions that’ve been held in abeyance until Mayor Bloomberg got out of there, because they assumed that de Blasio and his compliant, not to say supine city council, will go along with anything they ask for. I give him three years and people will be begging for a return to something else.

You can read ‘s comments at The Right Scoop, and the full segment transcript at Newsbusters.

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Union Feeding Time at City Hall


The incoming de Blasio administration owes its public-employee allies dearly

Bob McManus writes:  So much for the progressive commitment to transparency in government. If nothing else, the bargaining to determine a successor to departing city council speaker Christine Quinn demonstrates that the backroom backslap remains a Big Apple mainstay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, necessarily. Even as an ideal, total openness in government is a recipe for paralysis, and council-level politicking in New York is about as far from the ideal as can be, east of Chicago—or south of Albany.

The candidate with the strongest claim to the speakership is Melissa Mark-Viverito, a term-limited, hard-left bomb thrower from East Harlem. She specifically names 30 of the body’s 51 members as supporters, which would seem to seal the deal. Even so, the ascension probably won’t be settled before January 8, when the newly elected council meets to organize itself.

But how will it be settled? Without any backroom dealing on his part, says mayor-elect Bill de Blasio—which, of course, means with lots of it. No disrespect to the incoming mayor, but he is a politician, and that’s what politicians do. This is why the new assembly will resemble your grandfather’s city council, its Progressive Caucus pledges to the contrary.

Reportedly, de Blasio slapped Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman Frank Seddio on the back hard enough to cause the boss to cough up enough constituent councilmembers to put Mark-Viverito over the top. This involved separating Seddio from his fellow county leaders—most notably, Queens County chairman Joe Crowley. If the deal holds, the sun will be shining on Kings County in the New Year, when they begin to divvy up the swag. Or when the new order begins practicing “progressive” democracy—probably best defined, to paraphrase the nineteenth-century essayist Ambrose Bierce, as four unions and a hedge-fund guy voting on whom to mug.

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New Yorkers should wonder how much Bill de Blasio has evolved from his Marxist past

At 26, Joe Lhota was a newly minted Harvard MBA. Bill de Blasio was playing footsie with the Sandinistas. Guess which one is going to be the next mayor of New York City?

According to polls, Democrat de Blasio is running ahead of Lhota, his Republican rival, by more than 40 points. With such a seemingly insurmountable lead, de Blasio is on the cusp of becoming mayor of the most populous city in the United States. But his glide path to Gracie Mansion suffered a downdraft this week when the New York Times reported that de Blasio spent the latter part of the 1980s working for a U.S.-based nonprofit that sent food aid and medical supplies to supporters of the Sandinistas, the socialists who ruled Nicaragua and fought a guerilla war against U.S.-backed Contra militias. In a 1990 interview with the New York Times, de Blasio, then known as Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm (though the Timescalls him “William Wilhelm”) and described as “a leader in the solidarity network,” praised the Marxist revolutionaries. “They gave a new definition to democracy,” he said.

Even in liberal, open-minded New York, these revelations raised eyebrows. The Big Apple is known as a progressive city, but New Yorkers have not elected a Democratic mayor in 20 years. Naturally, the de Blasio campaign has been eager to suggest that the candidate’s views have evolved, if not softened, since he was a young man. Though de Blasio won the Democratic nomination by running to the left of his primary opponents, he is transitioning now to a general-election strategy that he hopes will have broader appeal. Read the rest of this entry »