Sunday, January 02, 2011

Since we don't have a royal family, we have to make do with the likes of Mayor "Moneybags Mike" and Gov. Chris "Tub of Dreck" Christie


The photo from this set used on the New Year's Eve Graham Norton Show captured the prince looking notably less enthusaistic even than this one, indeed looking quite dubiously at his princess-to-be, as guest Alan Davies (you remember Jonathan Creek?) noted.

"The day of the wedding we're all going to get a day off work. So we can all get some idea of what it's like to be a member of the royal family."
-- Graham Norton, talking about the Royal Engagement on
Saturday's show (taped two weeks before New Year's, he owned)

by Ken

Because George Washington was such a priss that he wouldn't allow himself to be crowned king of the new United States of America, despite serious entreaties, we aren't so fortunate as to have our own royalty. So we make do with our wonderful celebrities, and of course with our mythical political leaders.

Here in New York we're blessed with such luminaries as our long-time mayor, "Moneybags Mike" Bloomberg, and our new governor, Andrew Cuomo. Howie had some deservedly harsh things to say about the new governor in his post this morning, "U.S. Still Richly Rewarding Banksters -- Demonizing Schoolteachers"). I watched the calculatedly modest inauguration, and I have to say, I didn't take much away from it, including the governor's inaugural address, except that these are really, really serious challenges we face. It was good to see my former state senator, Eric Schneiderman, sworn in as attorney general. Otherwise the only positive attraction was seeing the new governor's parents, former Gov. Mario Cuomo and First Lady Matilda Cuomo, both looking really well.

At the swearing-in ceremony, it was good to see Governor Cuomo's parents looking so well.

Unfortunately, as the new governor's campaign made clear, he's not his father, or any reasonable facsimile thereof. He made it pretty clear that if he gets to do what he wants as governor, we could be fooled into thinking we had elected a Republican, though not of course the particular Republican he had the great good fortune to be running against, "Crazy Carl" Paladino. Meanwhile across the river in New Jersey have they got a governor! Rounding out his first year on the job is unaccountably rising star, Karl Rove-propelled thug Chris "Wide Load" Christie, who not only didn't feel compelled to try to get back to the state from his family's Disney World vacation to help cope with last week's crippling snowstorm, but actually extended his stay.

Oh, Governor Chris professes himself unconcerned about his MIA (non)performance, assuring us that his people did a splendid job coping with the storm, and that he wouldn't have done anything different. “I would have been doing the same thing here as I was there. I would not have been out driving a plow. I would be in a room somewhere on a telephone. That's exactly the same thing I was doing in Florida.” Curiously he assigned state and county government "an A for the effort we put in," but "a B for results." I don't get that, but perhaps it makes more sense when your philosophy of government is that it can't do anything (except of course preserve the money-making opportunities of the white-collar grfiters who are Chris's base) and why would you expect it to?

Ironically, it's a Republican, and one for whom I have almost nothing but limitless contempt who in modern times best understood the symbolic importance of being visible in times of crisis, the unspeakable Rudy Giuliani. Rudy grasped the value, both to public confidence and to his personal popularity, of planting his puss in front of the TV cameras as early as humanly possible in times of stress.

His successor, Mayor Mike, isn't cut from the same cloth. You'll recall that he was last seen accepting responsibility for the city's poor level of preparedness. It was actually a shrewd way of defusing the issue. Especially as the weather warmed up and the Sanitation Dept. slowly caught up with its retarded cleanup efforts, he stopped being asked about the debacle.

Mayor Mike managed to find yet another schools chancellor untainted by any experience in the education field.

And what might have been on Hizzoner's mind instead of such matters as the city's preparedness for a storm that was, after all, pretty well forecast? Perhaps wangling, over stiffer opposition than expected, a state waiver to allow his otherwise-illegal of his second consecutive city schools chancellor who has no background whatsoever in education. The appointment of magazine publishing executive Catherine Black was prompted by the departure of the mayor's first non-education-skilled chancellor, Joel Klein, to become a high-level exec in a new Rupert Murdoch undertaking to show that education can be made to pay big bucks for the private sector. (The right-wing assault on education was a major theme of that morning post of Howie's -- see the link above.)

As for Governor Chris, the only question now seems to be whether he's going to run for president in 2012 or wait till 2016, or maybe seek the vice presidency in 2012. Buried in his Newark Star-Ledger report ("N.J. Gov. Chris Christie has work to do before a White House run — in 2016"), reporter Tom Moran finally got around to looking beyond "the adoring national media attention."
He’s a remarkably effective speaker who has crafted a compelling story line for them — a no-nonsense conservative who managed to clean up a mess left behind by Democrats. But will that story stand up to the scrutiny of a national campaign?

On “60 Minutes” a few weeks ago, Steve Kroft gushed that Christie cut the state budget by 26 percent. In reality, the cut was less than 10 percent.

On Don Imus’ show, Christie made this claim: “It was an $11 billion budget deficit on a $29 billion budget my buddy Jon Corzine left me, and we fixed it.”

The reality is that he cut the budget by less than $3 billion, mostly with familiar one-shots such as skipping pension payments and property tax rebates. And the budget is far from “fixed.” The next fiscal year’s structural gap is expected to be almost as bad as this year’s.

So the big question is whether Christie will succeed as governor, or at least come close enough to spin it during a national campaign.

At this point, New Jersey voters are not convinced. They are evenly split on his performance in the latest poll.
But they are overwhelmingly opposed to his running for president now. In November, a Quinnipiac poll found that 61 percent of registered voters said he would not be a good president, while just 25 percent said he would. Two-thirds said he won’t even try.
On a personal note, I'm sickened by this reminder of the level to which the once-proud 60 Minutes has sunk -- to just another appendage of the "In Our Hearts We Know We're (Far) Right" Village Propaganda

As for the lying pantload Fatso Chris, of course he's a fat fraud, a two-bit crook and seventh-rate political hack. In his shameful tenure as U.S. attorney, he showed himself a dedicated right-wing stooge and white-collar-criminal coddler who, with Karl Rove's strategic (and illegal) help, mismanaged his position into bigger and better things. Now he's undertaken to take advantage of New Jersey's economic woes to turn it into an ideologically whacked-out paradise for white-collar crooks and a breeding ground for future right-wing ignoramuses, the right-wing hack's best friends.

I know many people will recoil at mention of Fatso Chris's blimplike carcass as an unfair personal slur, the expression of unthinking prejudice against the thinness-challenged. The thing is, in my bigoted way I find it all but impossible to believe that Fatso Chris's bloated figure isn't a direct manifestation of his fundamental philosophy of self-entitlement: Anything you can stuff in your maw, you've earned it. It's entitlement at its truest and purest.

And by the way, the governor's approach to "fiscal responsibility was on display in this AP report:
Governor's office payroll goes up $2 million under Chris Christie; governor's spokesman disputes the findings

By BETH DeFALCO Associated Press Writer

TRENTON - There are nearly twice as many people making $100,000 or more per year in Gov. Chris Christie's administration than under his predecessor, according to an analysis by The Associated Press, which the governor's office disputed Monday.
The AP analysis found that while Christie, a Republican, is proposing laying off 1,300 state workers, he is spending nearly $2 million more on annual salaries than his predecessor, former Gov. Jon S. Corzine, a Democrat.
According to an Asbury Park Press online database of 2009 public payroll records, 18 people made $100,000 or more in 2009 under Corzine. According to payroll records posted on Christie's website on April 8, 34 people in his administration make six figures - including the governor himself, who makes $175,000 by law. . . .

But then, Chris is a Republican, which means he has a license to lie.

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At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived here in NYC my whole life, and have to say that Bloomberg has done the best job of any mayor in decades. I wasn't happy with what he did during the RNC, and he didn't give a flawless performance during this storm, but he's done a fairly good job overall.

Bloomberg may not be perfect, but he hardly deserves the scorn he's getting here.

Also, why not wait until Cuomo has actually served before lobbing brickbats?

Until then, maybe just stick to beating up on zombie Paladino. At least he deserves it.

At 6:22 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

(1) True, we've had some dreadful mayors, and my friend Peter suggests that Mayor Mike is about the best we can hope for these days in an elected official, but that's as much bad news as good. He has been a mayor primarily for the well-to-do (with, as I noted, the trickledown and "noblesse oblige" exceptions), lacking any vision for the rest of us.

(2) As for the governor, are we really not supposed to pay any attention to the detailed agenda he laid out in his campaign of a union-busting, Republican-style cost-cutter? He calls it "not partisan," but everything he lays out is precisely the Republican philosophy of governance? Especially when you look at who bankrolled his campaign, is there any reason not to take him at his word?



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