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Ben Fractenberg
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Blog Entries by Ben Fractenberg

John Liu Fundraiser Arrested For Campaign Fraud

12 Comments | Posted November 16, 2011 | 15:19:40 (EST)

MANHATTAN -- A fundraiser who allegedly funneled $16,000 in illegal campaign contributions into John Liu's mayoral campaign war chest was arrested by federal authorities Wednesday, according to reports.

Xing Wu Pan, 46, of New Jersey, was arrested on charges he set up "straw donors" for an unnamed candidate in order...

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Harry Potter Fans Line Up For Lincoln Center Premiere

Posted July 11, 2011 | 18:25:51 (EST)

UPPER WEST SIDE -- Hundreds of Harry Potter fans filled Dante Park across from Lincoln Center on Monday for the premiere of the final installment in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2."

But after close to a week of waiting, some fans cursed their fate after...

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Police Among Worst Offenders Blocking Manhattan's Bike Lanes

Posted June 14, 2011 | 10:42:29 (EST)

MANHATTAN -- Manhattan bike riders face a host of obstacles using the borough's bike lanes, from double-parked livery cabs and delivery trucks, to oblivious pedestrians, to NYPD vehicles using them as parking spaces, a recent survey by DNAinfo found.

DNAinfo reporter Ben Fractenberg rode many of the city's bike lanes...

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Woman Murdered In LES Apt As Frantic Neighbors Tried To Save Her

Posted April 11, 2011 | 10:16:13 (EST)

LOWER EAST SIDE -- A 23-year-old woman was hacked to death in her Lower East Side apartment early Sunday morning in what police said was a domestic dispute.

Sarah Coit's blood-curdling screams and pleas for help filled the building, but would-be rescuers couldn't find her apartment in time to save...

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Harry Reid: Holding the Senate Majority Leader Accountable

Posted January 13, 2010 | 15:22:12 (EST)

A number of political leaders have come to Sen. Harry Reid's (D-Nevada) defense amidst the imbroglio over his ill-chosen words referring to President Obama during the 2008 campaign. In case you haven't turned on your TV, radio, or computer lately, Reid was quoted in the recently released book

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Twittering Through American History

Posted June 9, 2009 | 08:13:46 (EST)

"The British are coming! OMG! Wake up the militia! Sound the church bells! Update your Facebook status!"

Amid the flutter over Twitter, it's a reasonable question: What if people had been Tweeting for the past 300 years? How differently might we have experienced American history? What could be said about...

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We're Going To The Moon...Again

Posted May 29, 2009 | 17:07:30 (EST)

The screen goes dark. Rousing orchestral music fills the room. Text appears out of the blackness:

We Took A Giant Leap...

Then the image of a pockmarked grey surface emerges.

It's Time To Take Another Giant Leap

A spacecraft zooms past the earth....

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There is an "I" in Team

Posted December 9, 2008 | 16:11:03 (EST)

I received a text message the night of Obama's historic victory thanking me for my involvement in the campaign. "This victory is all because of you," it said.

One of the big stories about the Obama campaign is how he organized people through the Internet and reinvigorated a sense...

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Will The Real America Please Stand Up?

Posted October 30, 2008 | 11:40:00 (EST)

"Latte-drinking Northeastern liberal elites" is a cliché you hear endlessly from people like Sarah Palin. It is used to show how out of touch us East Coasters are with "the real America". The heartland, where everyone is a straight talker and free from the evils of moral relativism. The...

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The Irony of Irony

Posted October 13, 2008 | 17:05:45 (EST)

Advertising has a knack of co-opting all that stands in opposition to it. This is no different with ironic skewering of Madison Avenue. Urban Outfitters sells ersatz retro t-shirts with slogans like "getting lucky in Kentucky". What was once satire of slogans is now ironic slogan for consumerism.

Where does...

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Generation What?

Posted November 2, 2007 | 17:08:00 (EST)

A lot has been said recently about my generation: we are cynical apathetic, privileged, irrationally optimistic, ironically detached, isolated, connected in new ways through the Internet. We like to volunteer but not to protest, we like to protest but not to do grassroots organizing, and on and on. How can...

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Speak English Correctly, Pilgrim

Posted October 9, 2007 | 16:27:00 (EST)

As a Jewish New Yorker there are few rituals as satisfactory for me as going out for a late-morning bagel. Recently, however, the enjoyment of my routine was disrupted when I noticed the shirt of a fellow customer. It had the iconic picture of Uncle Sam pointing authoritatively, with the...

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USA! USA! USA!

Posted July 3, 2007 | 01:51:16 (EST)

I was recently in steamy Atlanta visiting a friend. While sipping mint juleps at a pool party, I heard a women's voice loudly declare, "America is number one!" She was recalling an argument she had with a German man who was on a short visit to the States. He made...

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