Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.

Dolman: Armed guards in Staten Island schools won't work, let's move on

How bad is the recent recommendation to put armed guards in Staten Island’s schools? It’s so bad that even professional right-wing shock merchant Ann Coulter has her doubts about the underlying principles.  In an otherwise scathing attack on liberals and the notion of gun control, she allowed in a conversation with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the NRA's call for an armed guard in each school...

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McKinstry: New York's high cigarette taxes fire up the smuggling

A man smokes a cigarette at a coffee

(Credit: Getty Images)

When I was a kid, my parents would pack my two sisters and me into our 1977 Chevy Caprice and schlep us off to New Jersey for a day of clothes shopping. I hated it.  Despite having a perfectly good mall up the street from our home in Yonkers, my folks thought it was a good use of their time to cross the George Washington Bridge into Jersey. Years later they explained there were no sales taxes...

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Bessent: Stop and think about stop and frisk

The NYPD demonstrated training scenarios where they use,

(Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York City police need to find a way to combat guns and crime without treading on the constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of people to do it.

Indiscriminately stopping and frisking mostly black and Hispanic young men in the streets isn’t it, according to Federal District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin. She ruled Tuesday that officers violated the constitutional rights of people...

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Filler: Andrew Cuomo delivers state of the state address to the nation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his third

(Credit: AP)

It was the most ambitious speech of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s life, in every imaginable way.

Sure, there was the obvious stuff: making New York the jobs capital of the Milky Way galaxy, turning around the 60-year decline of the upstate region, not raising taxes under any circumstances ever, seriously, and making school longer and better.

There was the tough stuff, like raising the minimum...

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Cartoon: Automatic response to an assault weapons ban

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo focused on gun control during the heart of his State of the State address Wednesday, calling on the state to pass the country's toughest assault weapons ban.

"We must stop the madness my friends," he said. "We need a gun policy in this state that is reasonable . . . We respect hunters and sportsmen . . . I've hunted. I've shot. That's not what this is about."

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Mark Wilson is a New York political cartoonist and illustrator who lives in the Adirondacks. He publishes under the pen name Marquil.

MORE CARTOONS: Mark Wilson's cartoon gallery

Bessent: Ban EBT cards in strip clubs, but don't expect it to make a difference

An Albany strip club has argued that its

(Credit: Getty Images)

People on welfare shouldn’t spend the dollars from taxpayers in strip clubs, bars or casinos. The meager benefit should be used to feed and clothe their families. That goes without saying.

So should support for a move in Albany to ban using Electronic Benefit Transfer cards to get cash from ATMs located in those sin dens. Failure to pass the ban Congress called for in a law it enacted in February,...

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Filler: Bank of America mortgage settlement doesn’t bode well

A Bank of America has announced that it

(Credit: Getty Images, 2008)

So exactly what are we to think of the $8.5 billion settlement of the mortgage mess between the United States government and 10 big banks announced this week? That is, if we can bring ourselves to think about it at all.

The whole story has gone so far beyond the comprehension of normal people that it’s impossible to know whether that’s a lot of money or a little, a fair settlement or an unfair...

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Bessent: Controversy should not disqualify Chuck Hagel or William Brennan

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference

(Credit: Getty Images)

The sniping over Chuck Hagel for defense secretary started even before he was picked for the job earlier today. Now that his nomination is official, the Senate, which will weigh whether to confirm him for the job, should stop the incessant nit-picking.

Any president should get the top staffers he wants and trusts. That includes William O. Brennan, the former CIA agent and Obama’s chief counterterroism...

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Dolman: 'Fiscal cliff' bonus -- a mass-transit tax benefit

A train leaves the Long Island Rail Road

(Credit: Chris Ware)

Chalk up a victory for mass transit riders.

A few years ago, red-state congressional Republicans sliced a hefty chunk out of the monthly mass-transit tax benefit for commuters on the Long Island Rail Road and other forms of public transportation. But they retained a significantly higher benefit for commuters who drive to work and rack up monthly parking fees.

Not only was the move unfair....

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Dolman: The congressional circus act is getting old

Why do Americans hate Congress? The question is a bit too obvious, I know, and the reasons may be far too numerous.

There's its penchant for extreme wrestling at the edge of the fiscal abyss with nothing more at stake than, say, the future of the world's economy.

There's the way the House of Representatives arbitrarily stuck a thumb in the eye of states like New York and New Jersey earlier...

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