Government and Politics

Section 1: National

  • How have national politics changed since the last election?
  • How effective has President Obama been during his term?
  • What were some of the defining political moments of the last three years and why do they matter?
  • What do the politics of the last presidential election say about our nation?

Section 2: State/Local

  • What can national politicians learn from local leaders in New York?
  • What are the key issues facing state governments as we enter future elections?

With a background in political science, and public policy and administration, politics and government are never off my radar. In a country like the United States, it is impossible to escape from the constant barrage of media coverage on political issues, especially during election years. The posts in this section seek to make sense of this onslaught of information and to provide perspective on political moves and on governmental policies and processes.

Other issues I seek to address in this section include that of public service and the role of government. With Hurricane Katrina and the earthquakes in Japan and Haiti not too far in the past, our nation’s capacity for disaster relief is one that must be evaluated and improved. In addition, the current attack on public service needs to end, as public service is imperative to a healthy and productive nation.

President Obama has often been the subject of my writings, I focused a great deal of attention on the 2012 presidential election. My posts on presidential politics increased during 2012 as I evaluated the political climate and provided analysis of important events during the campaign. These focused pieces reflected news events during the campaign,  but generally this section covers very diverse news, from national issues like the economic recession, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to local events such as the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. To provide ease of reading and comprehension, the section has two subsections: (1) National Politics and Government and (2) State/Local Politics and Government.

National Politics and Government Posts

The Beatles and the Dawn of Global Culture (April 24, 2017)

Trump’s Budget Will Harm the Planet and the Economy (March 20, 2017)

The Distracted, Dysfunctional Presidential Transition and the EPA (January 17, 2017)

Leon Billings, Tom Jorling, and the Origins of U.S. Environmental Law (November 28, 2016)

“We All Cherish Our Children’s Future. And We Are All Mortal.” (August 15, 2016)

Back to Public Service (August 1, 2016)

Miracle on the Potomac: The New Bipartisan Law Regulating Toxics (May 31, 2016)

The False Trade-Off Between Economic Growth and Environmental Protection (May 23, 2016)

The Presidency and Sustainability (March 21, 2016)

Federal Environmental Policy Can’t Find the 21st Century (February 15, 2016)

Electoral Politics and Environmental Sustainability (December 21, 2015)

Getting Sustainability on the Agenda of Our Dysfunctional Federal Government (November 2, 2015)

EPA Spilled, but Didn’t Dump, the Toxics That Ended up in Colorado’s River (August 17, 2015)

The Environment and the 2016 Elections (August 10, 2015)

Revising the Toxic Substances Out-of-Control Act (June 29, 2015)

Sustainable Shipping and EPA’s Truck Mileage Standards (June 1, 2015)

The Right Wing’s Endless War on Environmental Regulation (May 26, 2015)

Federal Dysfunction Continues to Underfund Science and Infrastructure (May 4, 2015)

Deep Sea Drilling Rules and the Transition from Fossil Fuels (April 13, 2015)

The Emergence and Importance of President Obama’s Climate Policy (March 23, 2015)

How Governmental Sustainability Policy Can Speed the Transition to a Cleaner Economy (January 20, 2015)

America’s Infrastructure Disinvestment Will Slow the Development of a Sustainable Economy (November 24, 2014)

The Importance of the U.S.-China Climate Accord (November 17, 2014)

Why We Are Working With Colleagues in China to Develop Sustainability Metrics (October 20, 2014)

It’s Time to Abandon the Delusion of a Carbon Tax (September 29, 2014)

Work, Youth, Optimism, and the Drive Toward a Safe, Sustainable Planet (August 18, 2014)

Our Dysfunctional National Government Is Incapable of Building a Sustainable Economy (August 4, 2014)

We Need to Promote Public Service in Government (April 14, 2014)

The President’s Climate Policy Should Focus on Renewable Energy R&D (February 24, 2014)

The Role of Government in the Transition to a Sustainable Economy (February 10, 2014)

The Minimum Wage, Unpaid Internships and the American Dream (December 2, 2013)

Understanding the Obamacare Rollout Fiasco (November 18, 2013)

The Shutdown and the Damage Done (October 21, 2013)

We Can’t Have Public-Private Partnerships Without A Government (September 30, 2013)

The Limit to and Importance of EPA’s Newly Proposed Climate Regulation (September 16, 2013)

Gina McCarthy: The New EPA Administrator Works to Protect the EPA (August 8, 2013)

Funding a More Climate Resilient America (May 28, 2013)

President Obama Should Abandon the All of the Above Energy Strategy (March 11, 2013)

It’s Time to End the Ideological War on Our Government (February 18, 2013)

The Importance of Immigration (January 28, 2013)

The Right to Regulate Arms (December 17, 2012)

The Dance for Disaster Dough (December 10, 2012)

We Need a Federal Disaster Superfund (December 3, 2012)

Under-Taxed Americans Face the Fiscal Cliff (November 26, 2012)

The Political Moment for a Renewable Economy (November 12, 2012)

The Truth, the Political Center and Presidential Politics (October 15, 2012)

The Presidential Politics of Climate and Energy (September 17, 2012)

President Obama’s Second Chance (September 4, 2012)

Has Obama Become Our Only Hope? (July 30, 2012)

Bain-Boating Romney: Obama Seeks to Define Mitt and Win the Independents (July 16, 2011)

Obama’s Small but Powerful Push for Immigration Reform (June 18, 2012)

The State of the Union: The View From America’s Front Porch (June 4, 2012)

Rick Santorum and the Cultural Divide (March 19, 2012)

Rick Santorum’s Populist Pandering: Education as Elitism (February 27, 2012)

Why Mitt Romney Should “Be Concerned About the Very Poor” (February 6, 2012)

The Presidential Primaries as Reality TV (January 4, 2012)

The Culture of Fiscal Irresponsibility (November 21, 2011)

Hopeless Obama (September 6, 2011)

Hurricane Irene and the Routine of Emergency Response (August 29, 2011)

The Default of Leadership (August 1, 2011)

Our Bankrupt Political Dialogue and the Human Costs of Budget Cuts (July 25, 2011)

Congress Can’t Even Change a Light Bulb (July 18, 2011)

Economic Revival Requires a Revival of Our National Community (July 11, 2011)

We Need to Respond to the Attack on Public Service (June 13, 2011)

America Needs To Remember How To Invest in the Future (May 23, 2011)

Public Service and Public Ethics (May 2, 2011)

Cutting Spending Is Not the Only Way to Cut the Deficit (April 11, 2011)

Time for the President to Demonstrate the Courage of His Convictions (April 7, 2011)

The Danger of Cutting Federal Science Funding (February 7, 2011)

Civility Is More Than Symbolism (January 24, 2011)

The Inescapable Sadness of Political Violence in America (January 10, 2011)

Predicting National Politics (December 20, 2010)

As the Presidency Turns: Obama’s Political Soap Opera (November 22, 2010)

President Obama Should Focus His Message and Administration on Rapid Green Job Growth (September 7, 2010)

We Need a Real Discussion of the Impact of Tighter Offshore Drilling Regulation (August 17, 2010)

A Mistrusted, Incompetent Federal Government Cannot Build a Green Economy (June 24, 2010)

The Gulf as President Barack Obama’s Bay of Pigs Moment (June 17, 2010)

I Wouldn’t Underestimate President Barack Obama (March 8, 2010)

We Have Reason to Be Proud of the American Response in Haiti (January 17, 2010)

Haiti Is a Critical Test for the Obama Administration (January 13, 2010)

A Successful Year For Our First Sustainability President (January 8, 2010)

State/Local Politics and Government Posts

Can State Environmental Agencies Fill in for a Failing EPA? (April 10, 2017)

A State and Local Strategy for Protecting the American Environment (March 13, 2017)

Come on Mr. Mayor, Leave the Central Park Carriage Horses Alone (February 1, 2016)

There’s Plenty of Blame for Flint, Michigan’s Water Crisis (January 19, 2016)

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Quiet Green Revolution (December 7, 2015)

Sustainability Has Entered the Political Mainstream (October 12, 2015)

A Well-Deserved Honor for Mayor David Dinkins (October 5, 2015)

California Takes the Lead on Climate Policy (September 8, 2015)

Post-Sandy Rebuilding for Resiliency: Lessons from Long Beach, NY (July 27, 2015)

Revising the Toxic Substances Out-of-Control Act (June 29, 2015)

Sustainability Planning in New York City: Let’s Build on the Path-Breaking Work of the Bloomberg Team (March 9, 2015)

The Governors Cuomo (January 5, 2015)

NYC’s de Blasio Administration and the Path to 80 Percent Greenhouse Gas Reductions (December 8, 2014)

America’s Infrastructure Disinvestment Will Slow the Development of a Sustainable Economy (November 24, 2014)

Under the Republican Congress, All Environmental Politics Will Be Local (November 11, 2014)

A Key Lesson from Superstorm Sandy: We Still Need a Rainy Day Fund (November 3, 2014)

LeBron James, Place and the Search for Sustainable Communities (July 14, 2014)

The Second Summer After Sandy: Incompetent, Mismanaged Reconstruction (June 23, 2014)

Our Aging and Dangerous Urban Infrastructure (March 17, 2014)

Bloomberg and de Blasio: Different Mayors, Different Times (December 23, 2013)

New York City Opens a Water Tunnel While Washington D.C. Shuts Down a Government (October 7, 2013)

New Yorkers Search for a User-Friendly Mayor (September 23, 2013)

Will New York City Continue to Have a Green Mayor? (September 9, 2013)

Adapting to Climate Change in New York in the Absence of Federal Climate Policy (June 17, 2013)

It’s Time to Address New York’s Growing Gridlock (June 10, 2013)

Post-Sandy Restoration Has Been Unacceptably Slow (May 6, 2013)

Ed Koch and the Heart of New York (February 4, 2013)

Sandy’s Pain and Gain (November 5, 2012)

A Job Description for the Next Mayor of New York (September 10, 2012)

NYC’s Revival Has Been Built on the Foundation of Public Safety (August 13, 2012)

The GSA Junket and the Dedication of the FDNY: Contrasting Images of Public Service (April 9, 2012)

The Political Impact of Occupy Wall Street (October 17, 2011)

The Battle Between Money and the Majority (October 3, 2011)

Compelled to Look Back at September 11th (September 12, 2011)

The Futility of American State Budget Politics (March 29, 2011)

Learning From Japan’s Catastrophe (March 14, 2011)

Wisconsin Governor Walker’s Threat to American Political Stability (March 7, 2011)

The Shameful Spectacle of Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker (February 21, 2011)

Trivializing the Attack on the World Trade Center (August 23, 2010)

New York City Government Makes Tough Budget Choices While Albany and Washington Play Political Games (June 28, 2010)

Securing New York City (May 7, 2010)

The Continued Corruption of New York’s Politics (April 27, 2010)

Why New York City Needs Immigration Reform (March 21, 2010)

The Corrupt Spectacle of New York’s State Government (March 2, 2010)

A Real Public Advocate for New York City (December 25, 2009)