Sunday, May 22, 2011

Out of Touch Mayor

Steve Cuozzo in the NY Post makes the case that Mike Bloomberg is becoming increasingly delusional as his unethical third term meanders along at much too slow a pace for most of us disgruntled souls. Cuozzo, who has in the past effectively ridiculed the actions of the Mad Commissioner Sadik-Khan for her rigorous studies of bike lane and pedestrian mall traffic impacts, now takes on the mayor's wacky out of touch observations about panhandlers in the subways:

"Learn the subways, Mike! There’s only one way to make sense of Mayor Bloomberg’s off-the-wall statement that “there aren’t very many panhandlers left, c’mon,” on the subways: He mistook all those bongo players, “disabled veterans” and toothless women grubbing change for undercover transit cops, a few of whom actually resemble derelicts of the sort riders dread. Hint: The cops don’t usually smell like a backed-up toilet."

Cuozzo goes on to point out that Bloomberg's lack of real down to earth experience or awareness should make us all question his competence:

"If Bloomberg is so ignorant of a public disgrace apparent to every MetroCard user, what does it say about his qualifications to manage the block-by-block minutiae of a nearly $50 billion annual budget? (Layoffs because he gave away the store to unions? Blame the state!)

Or to run the schools? (Cathie Black was such a great commissioner!)

Or to maintain the streets? (Those proliferating impassable washboard stretches and potholes large enough to swallow a bus mustn’t be the fault of his bike-mad Transportation Department, but of Japan earthquake aftershocks."

But the mayor is really on a roll-and his comments about ignorant parents of school children made us chuckle:

"Mayor Michael Bloomberg put his foot in his mouth Friday when he said that parents who oppose his plan to shut down poorly-performing schools lack "formal education."On his weekly radio show, Bloomberg appeared to insult parents who are fighting to keep their children's schools, including several in Harlem, from being shut down."They never had a formal education and they don't understand the value of education," he said. The billionaire mayor showed his tone-deaf side when he continued to discuss the opposition to closing the schools, at which many students come from poor, homeless or immigrant families."

Now it wasn't us ignoramuses who claimed that we should be judged by how well the schools were running. And it wasn't us who ran for a second and third term falsely claiming that the school test scores showed how well the Bloomberg miracle was going. Now, however, as the miracle loses its luster we see the frustrated mayor lashing out to scapegoat-parents of the kids who have been shortchanged.

Everyone else takes the blame except for the actual man supposed to be in charge. With Bloomberg the buck stops in his pocket but not in his sphere of responsibility-and what we are witnessing here is the revelation of the man's actual perspectives and character-not a really pretty sight.

What's amazing to us is how long he has been able to keep this charade going-and much of the sleight-of-hand's success can be attributed to the lack of any real checks and balances in NYC government-with a speaker who has been the perfect yes-man. As things continual to unravel we can expect more of these gaffes from Mayor Mike-someone who doesn't suffer fools, and who puts all of us without his bankroll into the fools category.