The Wednesday Curator – 5/25/2016

Crain’s New York Business is a really fine newspaper. Aaron Elstein, for Crain’s, wrote Trump Qualified for a Tax Break for New Yorkers Making $500K or Less last week. Mr. Elstein reported on the intersection of Donald Trump and the New York State School Tax Relief Program. Mr. Trump is, well, you know who he is. The tax relief program—STAR is its acronym—offers a $300 tax break for married couples making less than $500,000. Well, guess which “I try and pay as little tax as possible, because I hate what they do with my tax money” candidate claimed the $300… Continue reading

Will Democracy End If Trump Wins?

Can it happen here? Can our democracy end if we elect Donald Trump?

Many Most people will say no, if they have even considered the issue. For many, that’s because we got through eight years of George W. Bush and, as a friend noted recently, “GOP voters survived Obama.” For more, perhaps, it’s about American Exceptionalism, the notion that we’re special, somehow. We may be failing on education, health care, income and wealth inequality, etc., but we are simply better because, well, just because! (Make no mistake about it, Donald Trump thinks America is the best country, past, present, and… Continue reading

Guest Blogger Steve Caine: The Democrats’ Challenge

Part 1 – Clinton v. Sanders

Friends tell me the Democratic nomination process is a carbon copy of 2008 and all will be well in the Fall. Or they tell me Donald Trump is a disaster for the Republican Party, he will be on the wrong end of a landslide Democratic victory, and he may have an impact on down-ballot races. Or both. Both sets of thoughts are wrong: The challenges faced by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are daunting. Unless they are addressed the outcome may be very, very bad.

First let’s look at the myth that this… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 5/18/2016

The Mind of Donald Trump by Dan McAdams for The Atlantic is a must read. Truly! But if you’re busy and only have time for the Curator, here’s the money quote about Mr. Trump in the piece, borrowed from New Yorker writer Mark Singer: “An existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.”

New Yorker columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman wrote It Takes a Policy for the New York Times this week. Mr. Krugman focuses on our very poor national record of providing for young children. What the Curator got from the piece was the very small amount… Continue reading

Sunday Pizza

I defrosted pizza dough and Saturday evening plans went awry. I could have left the dough for another day or so—it’s sturdy stuff, bread dough—but I decided to try the Spicy Spring from Prince St. Pizza in lower Manhattan. (The link takes you to An 11-Stop Tour of Chinatown and Little Italy for Under $15 a Head by J. Kenji Lopéz-Alt for

Anyway, Mr. Lopéz-Alt put together How to Make New York’s Finest Sicilian Pizza at Home for The Food Lab at So I figured I’d use the dough and try to recreate the masterpiece, seen below, which… Continue reading

Trump and Those Tax Returns

Timothy L. O’Brien wrote I Saw Trump’s Tax Returns. You Should, Too for Bloomberg News on May 12. Mr. O’Brien knows something about the Donald and his tax returns. He called Mr. Trump a millionaire in his book, TrumpNation, which prompted Mr. Trump to sue him for libeling him by understating his wealth.* Details are in What Really Gets under Trump’s Skin? A Reporter Questioning His Net Worth, written by Paul Farhi for the Washington Post. (The case was dismissed, but not before Mr. O’Brien got to see returns, subject to a confidentiality order.)

Mr. O’Brien does provide… Continue reading

Trump and the Id

I read Dear Liberals, Stop Panicking over Trump, written by Michael A. Cohen for the Boston Globe, this morning. Then I read Congress to America: Drop Dead, Nicholas Kristof’s piece for the New York Times. Still panicked,a nd it’s all about the Id for me.

I think it’s unlikely that Donald Trump will ever be the President of the United States of America. Truly, and Mr. Cohen provides a decent amount of assurance! But what we have here—I’m going back almost 30 years to experiences in the world of risk management—is a low frequency / high severity event.… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 5/11/2016

I recall, months and months ago, reading about The Huffington Post’s decision to ignore Donald Trump. I don’t think it mattered one whit—he’s a phenomenon we will suffer with for at least another six months. So, from the Trump desk:

Think Donald Trump can never be elected? Read The Quiet American by Franklin Foer for Slate, about Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s new Big Dog.

Norm Ornstein from the American Enterprise Institute, who with his Brookings Institution colleague, Thomas Mann, wrote It’s Even Worse than It Looks (updated in 2012 and retitled It’s Even Worse than It Looks Was) was way… Continue reading

Max A. Finch Update

I’m Max A. Finch. I was banned from this site soon after I posted my first piece, Max A. Finch, Guest Blogger, on November 28, 2015. There was something about a destroyed Booda animal—I’m an effing dog, for crying out loud; we tear up stuff—and some shoes coming in contact with whatever it is that comes out of my backside. (Details are here.) Anyway, after having lived with my person for 169 totally glorious, blissful days and nights—my person is one special guy, let me tell you—he decided to restore my writing privileges and let me provide an… Continue reading

Oy Ve Iz Mir, Donald Trump

Oy ve iz mir, it looks like the Republican Party has selected Donald Trump as its nominee for President of the United States of America. Unbelievable, truly, but only if we can ignore the fact that we have been watching this train wreck in slow-motion for month after endless month.

There is so, so, so much material when you want to write about Donald Trump. I had some of my piece written last night, and worked on it again this morning. And what part of what I wrote are you seeing? Just the first paragraph, unchanged.

Binyamin Appelbaum’s story… Continue reading

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