New York, NY
“Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them. And these can rarely be distinctly defined.”
“Let us become servants in order to be leaders.”
Prince Mishkin, The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“I don’t care, my friend”
Bill de Blasio, Mayor Of New York City
Mayor De Blasio has been quite the character since his somewhat celebrated yet constituent sparsely voted electoral victory almost 4 years ago. Especially since his declaration and promise of his mission to end the proverbial “tale of two cities”. Well, since that inaugural portent, the landscape of the boroughs has become virtually alien as is the residential citizenry. The cost of living has become next to impossible for all the long suffering natives thanks to growth of tower pestilence, nurtured in the guise and ruse of implementing affordable housing. The infrastructure and transit services have reached their breaking points from population overcrowding and street reshaping. And the local government offices are more entrenched with corruption and glad-handing.
This was not supposed to be this way considering the ideological bent of our once seemingly caring mayor, who ran on a campaign of encompassing equity and progressive policies to benefit and to provide security for all.
Today, alas, the remnants of these promises from the current mayor have been nothing but utter lies and have manifested into great spoils for his donors, his gilded base, and himself.
There has been a lot of invective towards De Blasio for the way he betrayed the constituents and citizens of the city he runs. Names like The Dope From Park Slope, De Bozo, De Bigassio, De Sastero, The Mayor Of Simpleton, and of course this site’s repeated referrals Mayor Big Slow and De Faustio, the latter in my biased opinion probably the best and most apt of his character (and lack of) being that he sold his soul to the proverbial devil(s) for his lofty position and current standing as a dominant unopposed favorite to be re-elected.
But there is also another one, and it cannot be more well deserved for a person who is walking around like he owns the joint and behaving with unabashed arrogance and thoughtlessness and displaying an imperial hubris.
Considering his progressive ideology, it brings to mind that poor unfortunate soul in Fyodor Dotoyevsky’s classic and confounding novel, The Idiot, Prince Mishkin, an epileptic man of an exalted position who possessed a compassionate soul and inherent concern for the less fortunate. A Christ figure who eventually suffered when he thought he could influence his avaricious peers to change their ways after they took advantage of his charity and naivete. Well, in Bill’s case, his similar kowtowing to his peers, advisors and betters (city council, public relations, real estate and bankers) has reduced him to a shell of a man with a powerful position.
Mayor Bill de Balsio has become The Stupid Fucking Idiot.
There is one small difference, Mayor De Blasio has enthusiastically accepted his fate and has become even more powerful despite being as vulnerable and weak as Prince Mishkin, who wound up suffering from his affliction. Only because of a legion of real estate overlords, maggot marketers and promoters and a recalcitrant and weakened press. But mostly emboldened by a ton of fucking luck by having his corruption cases dismissed when Figurehead Trump fired Southern District Attorney Preet Bharara as the case was about to head for trial and the gruesome McDonnell decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which officially legalized buying influence and dispensing political and legislative favors in government.
Vitriolic, yes (clickbaiting, obviously). But how can there be other ways to describe this shell of a person without vulgarly simplifying it? Especially with the behavior he has exhibited in this year since being fortunately cleared of charges of pay to play governing and running a shadow government in City Hall.
Consider the promise he made in the two cities tale. The plight of the working poor and middle classes (the latter which he has yet to acknowledge) have got worse. All the while his advisors and donors have devoured all the spoils of the city, and his staffers have gotten massive raises for the same positions they hold or for promotions of dubious stature. Also, his and his staffers lawyers have benefited sweetly from representing them in their criminal trials as well as representing the developers that they lobbied to get sweet zoning permits for.
Under this one city he promised, scumlords of all stripes have took advantage of the cities utter lack of enforcement and continued oversight of the criminal shenanigans and tactics, from environmentally hazardous gut renovations, tenant intimidation by hiring goons to harass them, letting newcoming tenants use airbnb with strangers coming and going every week.
His affordable housing is joke and also fraudulent and parts of it were already implemented in his proposed 10 year plan, some buildings were already being planned and built since 2012, so basically he has turned getting equitable housing for working poor people into a 14 year plan. The amount of affordable apts. allotted from every tower built with market rate apts. is miniscule. The lottery also benefits more for newcomers to the neighborhood where they are built instead of people that have been here longer and would like a change of scenery or to move to safer location.
Of course his answer to the needs of people struggling to make rent as the majority of them have seen wages remain stagnant, is to build more shelters or transfer former cluster buildings into full-time shelters. 90 of them. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the real affordable housing plan. Putting people into shelters, because with lousy wages you can’t pay rent, and the costs of housing singles and families cost about $3,000*, which is actually the speculative/fabricated market rate for dwellings in the hot and determined to be hot towns. It’s a income disparity, economic inequity win/win.
*Update: It is actually $5,000.-ed.
If you break it down, the affordable housing plan that purports to build and maintain 200,000 apts. relies on the building of around 500,000 market rate apts. and also luxury studios and one bedrooms worth around 1 to 2 million. Idiotic.
Property taxes also went up but mostly in poorer neighborhoods. A big inequity issue arose when it was found that wealthier enclaves, including the mayor’s beloved Park Slope home paid less taxes despite the homes higher worth for being in market rich areas, this inequity also spilled over to apartment buildings, as landlords in poorer neighborhoods have bigger tax burdens than in luxury tower dominant hip areas.
And there is all those people who he felt comfortable around with, once and still, and office machinations that he feigns ignorance of or was allegedly too stupid to notice.
Like those criminal donors at the beginning of his campaign run and the first years of holding office, two festering boils Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Riechberg, who with their donations/bribes were able to run roughshod and use the NYPD for their own personal escort service and get their properties violations overlooked by the Department of Buildings. More favors and oversights were doled when Jona contributed mightily for de Blasio’s pathetic and failed attempt to steer state senate elections to Democrat candidates.
There was also the Rivington House medical care center plunder with the deed flip arranged by his deputy mayor Anthony Shorris. Resulting in a near 100 million dollar profit for the predatory equity seller.
And just recently, a lobbying firm was able to steer donations worth over $60,000 to the Blaz through a convenient loophole.
And of course there is the Campaign For One New York, a slush fund raising 501 (c) (4) that was established to get his pre-K and affordable/luxury housing programs started. Around a couple of million of dollars were donated to this false charity by the usual suspects from real estate, LLC’s and public relations and promotional groups. He topped off the ending of this fund by reading a creepy book to children in a pre-K class about a kleptomaniac raccoon called the Secret Pizza Party, whose fable was not so coincidentally similar to the mayor’s illicit fundraising effort.
So obsessed with his pre-k and slush fund raising mission, he overlooked the security of newborns in the Hasidic community who continue the practice of metizitzah b’peh which entails the mohel putting his mouth on the infants penis to suck the blood out, all because of his debt to that community that supported his primary, which subsequently led to report of babies contracting herpes from the disgusting custom. And the children of his public schools and NYCHA buildings in potential danger of consuming water containing Flint level lead contamination.
There is also his handling of the prisons which he left in the road tripping and shiftless hands of the recently resigned Joe Ponte and his other tax payer funded car traveling underlings. While security at Rikers deteriorates and violent crime and gang activity escalates.
There is also his moronic and indifferent concept of transparency. By refusing to release his emails in full, doing government business on personal servers including his farm team of staffers and aides. Redacting everything on every message. His administrations persistent refusals to respond to FOIL requests ranging from police brutality, lead levels in water, official meetings with unelected and unappointed people of interest to the actual qualifications for affordable housing apartments.
Lobbyists, for a brief time the agents of the city, has raked in close to 200 million dollars in the last 2 years. The most to De Blasio’s pal and protest placard holding James Capalino who was the top earning lobbyist in the past 2 years making 26 million representing the overlords of real estate, which has resulted in the shutting down of hospitals and the pillaging of waterfront properties for luxury glass behemoth towers. His other fave firm Berlin/Rosen, the latter of which had unfettered access to City Hall during city planning meetings, also made millions in the short time of de Blasio’s term and has expanded to other major cities.
And to confirm and compound his aggrandizing fucking stupidity, he has the most staffers working for him than any mayor in city history. 300 people are working for Mr. Bill at 6 figure salaries. How many little brains does it take to shape policy and run government efficiently? Or is this more like a neoliberal cult. Or maybe an imitation of a WeWork building. (A “startup” by the way, is another large contributor to his campaigns and CONY, and has offices in every part of town below 59th street.)
But the probably the most offensive and egregious thing he has done, was his hosting of a street renaming in the honor of Daily News Legendary Reporter Jimmy Breslin. When he mentioned that Breslin focused more on everyday people than the famous and the powerful, there was an underlying sneer to that statement considering his position and his total contempt for the local press. Especially what he thought Jimmy meant to hold leaders accountable to the citizenry. He really couldn’t help stressing that Jimmy did his best reporting on everyday people, as if Jimmy was soft and less diligent on the elected and appointed officials abusing their positions to enrich and empower themselves. De Blasio obviously was referring to the junket there at the renaming when he stated the/his problems with the media today was focusing on the boldface names instead of the regular folk. But when 3 men producing a documentary for Jimmy there tried to oblige the blaz and try to interview the guy putting up the street sign, a DOT staffer obstructed them because they weren’t approved (By whom? the worker or the mayor?)
His contempt for the press and his idiotic demands to stay on topic is as if he was the executive producer for the news team questioning him.
There are just infinitely more reasons how stupid this man is and how unqualified he is for this elected position. His recent blog post on his rejected donor list is not even a revelation being that it was factually untrue but more like it was expected of him. The guy steadfastly doubles back and passes the buck whenever any incompetence or intransigence is laid upon him, for which he is truly responsible and arrogantly in his 4 years refuses to acknowledge and accept.
Bill de Blasio has to primaried out. He is clearly too stupid to work in government (but apparently quite adept at raising money by any means necessary, which shows in abundance by his prior job as campaign manager for Manifest Hillary’s senate campaign). He also cannot be trusted. Ever. His plans for the poorest residents in this city requires years to decades for it to manifest as he basically admitted in the last debate. That is not enough time. And it apparently also has to come after his donor’s demands for more riverfront luxury buildings, high end flophouse hotels and that equally stupid idiotic BQX trolley everybody in those districts don’t want.
Let’s get this bum out of office before he does anymore damage and ruins more lives with his cowardice, beggary and willful ignorance.
Because this city doesn’t need a stupid fucking idiot running it who will always conveniently don’t know or didn’t read about things like impropriety in his cabinet and in the unscrupulous decisions and choices he will surely make in the future.