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All the Politicians Making Crazy Sounds, And All the Dead Bodies Piled Up in Mounds

[ 162 ] October 30, 2013 |

The anguish of (largely non-NYC) wingers who think that the city won’t survive without a Republican daddy will be a major source of entertainment for a while.

Of course, the overlap between conservatives arguing that New Yorkers will horribly miss the Giuliani/Bloomberg style of governance and those freaking out over the idea that government policy might sometimes be paternalistic presumably approaches 100%.

Comments (162)

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  1. To be fair, a lot of rich people in NYC are terribly afraid that without their bestie in Gracie Mansion, this awful man might take their money from them.

    • Anonymous says:

      We’re not talking about a generic lib like Quinn. This man supported the likes of the Sandinistas and Hugo Chavez. Revolutionary Communism is coming to the Big Apple.

      • sharculese says:

        And if Quinn had won your tantrum would be about how the “homosexualists” are going to bring New York down in flames.

        The one constant is that whatever happens, you will be consumed by resentment.

      • DocAmazing says:

        Revolutionary Communism is coming to the Big Apple.

        Promises, promises.

      • JMP says:

        What’s a Sandinista, grandpa?

      • TrexPushups says:

        For context:
        This is what the Contras were doing.
        targeting health care clinics and health care workers for assassination[84]
        kidnapping civilians[85]
        torturing civilians[86]
        executing civilians, including children, who were captured in combat[87]
        raping women[84]
        indiscriminately attacking civilians and civilian houses[85]
        seizing civilian property[84]
        burning civilian houses in captured towns.[84]

        The contras also carried out a systematic campaign to disrupt the social reform programs of the government. This campaign included attacks on schools, health centers and the majority of the rural population that was sympathetic to the Sandinistas. Widespread murder, rape, and torture were also used as tools to destabilize the government and to “terrorize” the population into collaborating with the Contras. Throughout this campaign, the contras received military and financial support from the CIA and the Reagan Administration.[49] This campaign has been condemned internationally for its many human rights violations. Contra supporters have often tried to downplay these violations, or countered that the Sandinista government carried out much more. In particular, the Reagan administration engaged in a campaign to alter public opinion on the contras that has been termed “white propaganda”.[50] In 1984, the International Court of Justice judged that the United States Government had been in violation of International law when it supported the contras.[51]
        After the U.S. Congress prohibited federal funding of the Contras through the Boland Amendment in 1983, the Reagan administration continued to back the Contras by raising money from foreign allies and covertly selling arms to Iran (then engaged in a vicious war with Iraq), and channelling the proceeds to the Contras (see the Iran-Contra Affair).[52] When this scheme was revealed, Reagan admitted that he knew about Iranian “arms for hostages” dealings but professed ignorance about the proceeds funding the Contras; for this, National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Oliver North took much of the blame.
        Senator John Kerry’s 1988 U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report on links between the Contras and drug imports to the US concluded that “senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras’ funding problems.”[53] According to the National Security Archive, Oliver North had been in contact with Manuel Noriega, the US-backed president of Panama. The Reagan administration’s support for the Contras continued to stir controversy well into the 1990s. In August 1996, San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb published a series titled Dark Alliance,[54] linking the origins of crack cocaine in California to the CIA-Contra alliance. Freedom of Information Act inquiries by the National Security Archive and other investigators unearthed a number of documents showing that White House officials, including Oliver North, knew about and supported using money raised via drug trafficking to fund the Contras. Sen. John Kerry’s report in 1988 led to the same conclusions. However, the Justice Department denied the allegations.
        The Contra war unfolded differently in the northern and southern zones of Nicaragua. Contras based in Costa Rica operated on Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast, which is sparsely populated by indigenous groups including the Miskito, Sumo, Rama, Garifuna, and Mestizo. Unlike Spanish-speaking western Nicaragua, the Atlantic Coast is predominantly English-speaking and was largely ignored by the Somoza regime. The costeños did not participate in the uprising against Somoza and viewed Sandinismo with suspicion from the outset.

      • Jerry Vinokurov says:

        God, I wish.

    • Manju says:

      To be fair, a lot of rich people in NYC are terribly afraid that without their bestie in Gracie Mansion, this awful man might take their money from them.

      Puh-leeze. Bloomie wouldn’t be found dead slumming it in Gracie Mansion.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bill deBlasio supported the Sandinistas which makes him a revolutionary Communist if not a least a fellow traveler.

    New York will descend back into the Socialism and Marxist policies that led to its ruin before the 90s, and then some.

  3. Matthew Stevens says:

    Of course, the overlap between conservatives arguing that New Yorkers will horribly miss the Giuliani/Bloomberg style of governance and those freaking out over the idea that government policy might sometimes be paternalistic presumably approaches 100%.

    Not to mention that Stop & Frisk would be meaningless without NYC’s draconian gun laws.

    But yes, it’s instructive how conservatives see Bloomberg as a liberal boogeyman when he regulates soda, and a conservative stalwart when he orders the cops to routinely harass young black men.

    • And yet, the article implies that even if he is a liberal boogeyman, he’s too much their liberal boogeyman to give up:

      Losing access to 16-ounce cups of soda is insufficient reason for what is likely to happen to New York.

      • Malaclypse says:

        Also, as Roy points out, di Blasio supports the ban.

        • I’m a little more ambivalent on that part – not that I disbelieve him, but I can see where people might think he’s not going to come up with more cockamamie policy along those lines and support him on that basis, but then again I don’t live in NYC.

          And really, when that ban was first announced, all the radio coverage I heard here (six hours northwest of NYC) was full of comments about how people were just going to sneak two-liter bottles into the movies, since the poors didn’t know what was good for them.

          Classists gotta have no class, I guess.

  4. And of course the WSJ thinks that people just want their 16 ounces back. Like that policy might not be indicative of a larger mindset in the mayor who pushed for it, but only for the little people.

    • DocAmazing says:

      New Yorkers are practical people. They’ll just get a refill on their 12-ounce cups.

      • Murc says:

        While I know you’re joking, the hell of it is… no, they won’t.

        The whole point of the cup size thing is that most people won’t actually go get a refill on their 12-ounce cups. They’ll drink the “large soda” and be perfectly happy.

        It’s still a stupid policy, but it is at least grounded in science.

    • Hogan says:

      And don’t get them started on bicycles.

      • Malaclypse says:

        Also, via Making Light, too.

      • DrS says:

        Bikes are popular in China and therefore already Communist, even without the backing of that Marxist/Leninist institution “Citibank”

        • sharculese says:

          Um, but Jennfier once bragged that the Chinese will never give up their cars and will keep filling the air with fumes because literally all he has going on in his life is trying to piss us off.

        • mds says:

          that Marxist/Leninist institution “Citibank”

          Eh, it might have started out that way, but it quickly descended into state capitalism. Not to mention that a many of their top workers are moral degenerates.

      • anthrofred says:

        Oh God, that was my favorite WSJ video ever. It’s past self-parody in its crankiness and entitlement.

  5. Joshua says:

    Joe Lhota’s standings in the polls and favorability has gotten killed since he started airing those ads that say DiBlasio will bring back motorcycle gangs and tough-looking blahs in the subway. I know I lost any and all respect I had for him.

    At this stage, it’s not even about Lhota winning. He knows he has no chance. If anything he is setting himself up for some sweet wingnut welfare and sniping on the sidelines.

    • efgoldman says:

      If anything he is setting himself up for some sweet wingnut welfare and sniping on the sidelines.

      Riddle me this: Isn’t there a limit to wingnut welfare “jobs”? I mean, can they just keep creating new “think” tanks for these Yohos? I know the Kochs are billionaires, but even their resources are finite.

      • burritoboy says:

        Not really. I mean, yes, there’s some theoretical limit out there somewhere, but there’s way more demand for people to work in right wing think tanks than there are right wingers who should even plausibly be working in anything called a “think ——” no matter how much you stretch the definition of thinking.

      • mds says:

        I mean, can they just keep creating new “think” tanks for these Yohos?

        +Harrumph.

      • njorl says:

        I theorize that the turnover on those jobs is higher than we comprehend. When they become too ludicrous to acknowledge, and lose their ability to offend, they fade out of our universe along with any evidence that they had ever existed.

    • WeWantPie says:

      The motorcycle gangs have been back for a while – there was that horrendous incident on 9/29, on the West Side Highway. I remember noticing at the time that Mike Bloomberg was still mayor, too.

    • Lhota’s polls were doomed the moment he, on live TV, said that he supports the death of kittens.

      I’m astonished his campaign manager didn’t physically throw themselves at the camera in a desperate attempt to prevent the moment from being immortalized.

  6. kindness says:

    Good timing on the Lou Reed quote.

    Too bad about that.

  7. Victory In VA! says:

    I can’t wait to see the hemming and hawing on this site when Cuccinelli wins next week.

    VICTORY!

    It’s in the bag. You can take that to the bank.

    It’s. In. The. F*cking. Bag!

  8. NewishLawyer says:

    As a Brooklynite who decamped to San Francisco for academic reasons and can probably only afford SF because of rent control and good timing (moved into my apartment during the housing crisis of Summer 08), I would find it interesting and potentially ironic if De Blasio makes NY more affordable than SF.

    I might be able to move back.

  9. brad says:

    While I like “Billy the commie” and welcome my new former lesbian communist overlords (overmistresses?), back in reality the sad truth is he’ll end up being somewhere between Obama and Dean in terms of doing a decent if technocratic job that keeps the JenBobs sputtering while disappointing the more naive or inexperienced or firebaggy on the left in part because the hype has always been really about the staff behind him, and office he’s coming from, and not the man himself. Not to speak ill, but he’s far more conventional than anyone seems to speak of him as, really.

    • N__B says:

      Yeah. Of course, even. But he’s, IMO, infinitely better than Quinn, Lhota, or the other choices we’ve been offered.

      • brad says:

        No question there, just the change in tone at the top will go a long way in subtle ways.
        But Mayor Mike’s legacy won’t, unfortunately, be easily wiped away.

        • Aimai says:

          Well, if he could just make the police and the public schools work for everyone that would be such a massive improvement in people’s lives that it would be incredible. But the school system alone is so gigantic and so overwhelmed and underfunded its hard to know how to begin. My cousin is a principal in a small public highschool, one of the ones that was carved out of bigger highschools so three schools are in the same building and the sheer numbers of kids and issues they face are just mind boggling. When I begin to talk to her about the issues I get the feeling you get when the camera zooms in on something like a person, or a house and then pulls back and back and back until you are hovering over an enormous megalopolis and the particular dissolves into the general– you realize that this manageable thing that you are familiar with is just one of billions of near identical things which all need care and attention but which can’t be dealt with because the numbers overwhelm your abilities.

          • NewishLawyer says:

            I think the NYC public school system is really too big to be reformed or tamed by anyone. Though you do get a lot of good teachers and admins because of the sheer size of the system.

            This leads to fallacies though. I read a rah-rah article by a New York actor* about the greatness of New York. One of his reasons was that his son transferred to a new school (of 1400 students) and was having a hard time with the transition. He said that he called the office and the principal got on the line and the teacher got involved directly and he now takes such stuff for granted.

            My thought was that he was largely lucky in getting a good principal and good teacher.

            *The article was a retort to some thought catalog piece about why you should never live in NYC.

    • NewishLawyer says:

      I agree that he is probably not as radical as he is being painted but I think he is a true liberal and like that he has run as an unrepentent cultural liberal. He is sort of taking whatever Palin and crew rant against as an imagined foe and saying “Yeah this is me.”

      The issue with NYC and some other cities* is that economic populism as a weird skew. I have a lot of friends that would do very well anywhere else in the country but are middle class by NYC standards. There are a lot of people who can sort of afford to live in NYC but cannot spend money on private education of the NYC pre-school rat race. These people are part of the De Blasio coalition along with everyone else and sympathize and like that De Blasio sends his kids to public school and that he needed to borrow a friend’s kitchen/house to shoot the famous ad with his son.**

      *My bet is the San Francisco will be the next city to feature a Quinn v. De Blasio type of primary race. The Quinn/Blomberg type won with Ed Lee but we are now seeing even a split between tech and other upper-middle class professionals. This seems to be a mirror of New York where you had the kind of wealthy feeling isolated and priced out by the really wealthy. This is the strange populism I referred to above.

      **I admit that having a too small kitchen in a Park Slope townhouse is the very definition of a first world problem.

    • JL says:

      He did solidarity work with the Sandinistas, got arrested protesting hospital closures, sent out pro-Occupy tweets on its second anniversary. None of that means that he’ll actually govern like a lefty in the end, of course – I also suspect that his administration will be pretty conventional. But it’s not an average background for a pol.

      I expect he’ll do an okay job, but to me the part that’s really great is that NYC is in a place politically where people are willing to elect someone who has run with the sort of lefty background and rhetoric that he has. Especially so soon after having elected Bloomberg yet again.

  10. LeeEsq says:

    I actually think that Bloomberg was a relatively decent mayor. He handled two natural disasters about as well as possible and most if his policies usually kind of made sense. He was horrible on housing and stop and frisk. On education he was meh but the New York City school system has been a mess for such a long time thats the best you can reasonably hope for. Bloomberg had some good ideas on transportation but implementation needed work.

    People who are worried about a paternalistic but are going to miss Bloomberg are deeply confused people. Any functioning society, especially one with a lot of people, is going to require at least some state paternalism to hopefully prevent people from indulging in some of their more counter-productive behavior.

    • JL says:

      As well as possible? Hurricane Sandy? Are you kidding me? His response was a fucking disaster in its own right. Any respect that I still had for the guy died when I went to NYC to do Sandy relief in the projects in Far Rockaway and Coney Island. People stranded in their buildings for two or more weeks without heat, without running water. Dangerous methane buildups in bathrooms (and no warning or explanation given to residents). Hallways that stank so much that I retched as soon as I stepped into them, because of the overfull trash chutes. People with disabilities trapped without their meds. Fire alarms that started going off when the batteries ran low and hadn’t stopped for two weeks. People getting carbon monoxide poisoning trying to stay warm. City workers who wouldn’t enter the projects to do repairs without police guards, while piles of police stood around protecting fast food from nonexistent looters or patrolling free food lines. People wondering why in two weeks they hadn’t seen a single government relief worker. Black mold growing in the dark wet stairwells and hallways. Shelters that split up families by only allowing two people from the same family. And then there was Bloomberg’s whole plan to run the marathon right after the hurricane, apparently not seeing anything wrong with running it through Staten Island while the people who lived there didn’t even have enough lumber to board up their windows.

      Nearly two weeks after the hurricane, Bloomberg triumphantly announced that the city would start doing medical canvassing (going door to door checking on people’s medical needs, which is what I was doing there) in projects and high-rises. Occupy/People’s Relief was doing medical canvassing from the start. I consider it a great victory that we shamed the city into what it should have been doing all along, but you know, it should have been doing it all along. How many people died waiting for the city to do anything useful for its own tenants? And why has it been Occupy that’s taken the lead on mold remediation, even in the projects where the city is landlord and the city’s negligence allowed the problem to happen? How many people will get sick from all that mold?

      And of course Bloomberg is being a cheapskate with homeless Sandy refugees.

  11. JL says:

    Funny, maybe people got tired of Bloomberg because of his racist stop-and-frisk policies that did harm to young blacks and Latinos, his police department’s profiling of trans women of color as sex workers, his police department’s spying on innocent Muslims, his shitty handling of Hurricane Sandy (see my above response to LeeEsq), his police department’s constantly beating and illegally arresting and sometimes sexually assaulting political protesters and giving a bunch of them PTSD, his many failures and foot-in-mouth moments on homelessness, or the ever-increasing unaffordability of NYC.

    The movement faded, but if the opinion polls are right, New York voters are about to elect the Occupy movement to run America’s largest city.

    The Wall Street Journal has no idea how happy they made me with that quote. If we helped to usher in the end of the Giuliani/Bloomberg era of horribleness I consider that a hell of an accomplishment.

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