Rats! It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

Featured image The controversy about rat-infested cities provokes a strong sense of deja vu, as a proposed federal rat eradication program was perhaps the turning point against LBJ’s “Great Society” back in 1967. A little background and the climax to this story from the first volume of my Age of Reagan: Many poor urban neighborhoods have yet to recover [from the rise in crime], for it was precisely the poor, and largely »

Re-Learning the Lessons of the Past

Featured image There was a time in my early adulthood when many believed that American cities would soon become uninhabitable. New York City was the prototype: crime and social decay had made the city a dystopia. Many expected New York to collapse, and other cities to follow. It didn’t happen, because New York’s officials–most notably Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner William Bratton, although others were involved–adopted the philosophy of Broken Windows »

Leftism’s dire consequences, Chicago edition

Featured image Earlier today, I wrote about how Philadelphia’s sanctuary city policy caused a child to be raped. Philadelphia authorities refused ICE’s request to detain a previously deported illegal immigrant. Instead, they released the man, who then committed rape. This was clear case of the left’s agenda trumping concerns for public safety. The consequences were dire for the illegal immigrant’s victim. But leftism is also producing dire consequences for entire communities. Areas »

Death by Dems

Detroit is a case study in the wreck of liberal governance and the politics of racial grievance. Michael Barone is from Detroit originally and has occasionally written about its decline, as in his CRB review “The unheavenly city” (on Charles LeDuff’s Detroit: An American Autopsy). The review opens: “When people ask me why I moved from liberal to conservative, I have a one-word answer: Detroit.” In his current column, Barone »

Chicago held hostage

Featured image The Washington Post features a story about Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago woes. The headline is “In Chicago, distrust toward mayor has turned ‘personal.’” I can’t think of any reason why it shouldn’t have. There are two key passages in the Post’s story. Here’s the first, which appears early on: On the streets of Chicago, the list of grievances is long — especially in the city’s black wards, where Emanuel won strong »

The larger meaning of Rahm Emanuel’s woes

Featured image One of the underreported stories of 2015, it seems to, was Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago crisis. Elected to a second term as mayor just last spring, it’s now unclear whether he will be able to cling to office following the police shootings that are roiling Chi-town. The Wall Street Journal reports: Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut short a holiday break in Cuba amid a wave of criticism at home that isn’t letting »