personally, i like to savor the sadness of some of the unpleasant people that i regularly make a little fun of around here, and while it might take me a little time to get around to publishing an update these days, i don’t think that can really detract from such enjoyment, can it?
the only thing in this picture worse for your health than all those OMG GIANT SODAS is Bloomberg’s smug expression
…which is pretty much the best title this article can have, because it sort of reminds me of that episode of South Park where Cartman is gleefully tasting Scott Tenorman’s tears. granted, it’s a flaw in any analogy if it finds you taking the place of Cartman in it, but hey, here we are. anyway, i think we were actually making fun of Bloomberg or something like that?
“Yesterday New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the state’s highest court has agreed to hear an appeal of the decision that overturned his big beverage ban on separation-of-powers grounds. … The idea that his powers might be limited by law, even when he was using them in the service of what he considered a vitally important cause, left Bloomberg fuming.”
and let’s be clear: Bloomberg is not even mad that he lost a decision on this front. he’s furious that they AGREED TO HEAR THE APPEAL. technically, he could actually win this appeal… but never mind that, the notion that someone dares to disagree with him on this point –and we’re talking about his ridiculous large soda ban here, so it’s not the most cut-and-dry point to make– is the real problem. because Bloomberg knows best or something like that. then again, we’re talking about a man who ran with the argument that changing the law to give him a third mayoral term was cool for him, but not anyone else, so it should be clear what kind of person we’re talking about.
“We have a responsibility as human beings to do something, to save each other, to save the lives of ourselves, our families, our friends, and all of the rest of the people that live on God’s planet,” he said in response to Tingling’s ruling. “And so while other people will wring their hands over the problem of sugary drinks, in New York City, we’re doing something about it.”
i’m not really sure this level of melodrama actually makes his argument more compelling. but i am going to be a little flip and ask why, if he’s in the business of doing SOMETHING to save all these people, doesn’t he use his vast fortune to directly help more people? feeding the hungry or funding hospitals or something like that? granted, that’s expensive, but why is it that all these rich politicians only want to save others by either infringing on my rights or doing something to make me pay for their solution? and i say this not from a position that says the government can’t accomplish anything or that taxation is always wrong.
“Bloomberg wanted reporters to know that Tingling’s decision “was not a setback for me.” Rather, “this is a setback for the people who are dying.” He added, lest there be any misunderstanding about his paternalistic motives, “In case you hadn’t noticed, I watch my diet. This is not for me.””
there’s also a flaw in Bloomberg’s reasoning here that will never occur to someone with his paternalistic attitude: he’s declaring this law won’t affect him because he manages to watch his diet, presumably to include not guzzling giant sodas, WITHOUT the law being in place. and yet no one else can do this? or, to go further, is there no way the average New Yorker can watch their diet without a law forcing them to do so? maybe Bloomberg thinks there isn’t, but frankly, that’s the goddamn problem with Bloomberg: not agreeing with him is a flaw in your thinking, and obviously, a law or twi should be installing to correct this outrage.
“Yesterday he was slightly more restrained: Obesity is the only major public health issue we face that is getting worse, and sugary drinks are a major driver of the crisis. The related epidemics of obesity and diabetes are killing at least 5,000 New Yorkers a year and striking hardest in black and Latino communities and low-income neighborhoods. New York City’s portion cap rule would help save lives, and we are confident the Appeals Court will uphold the Board of Health’s rule.”
it’s touching of him to express all this concern about black and Latino communities when you consider the fact that he wants nothing to do with the black and Latino communities’ concerns about things like Bloomberg’s precious stop-and-frisk. or, you know, anything else that Bloomberg disagrees with. but as a side note, i thought that Bloomberg’s anti-gun noise was based on it being a “major public health issue” as well? granted, he could want to see THAT solved with draconian bans (and by “solved,” i clearly mean “not fucking solved”) whether or not it’s getting worse, mainly because he wants to argue that guns are terrible BUT that his police are perfect and stop all crime without any inappropriate behavior on their behalf. but it still seems… contradictory.
also, i just have to quote Sullum on this point:
“Notably absent from Bloomberg’s comments about the setbacks suffered by his pint-sized pop prescription: any explanation of why he has the authority to do what he wants to do. As with the NYPD stop-and-frisk program, he seems to think calling a policy effective or important is tantamount to showing it is legal.”
anyway, de Blasio is making it seem like the city’s not going to be pushing hard for this under his tenure as mayor, which probably infuriates Bloomberg all the more, so while i doubt i’ll be a big fan of de Blasio, i’ll give him credit for this maneuver. and speaking of policemen operating under Bloomberg:
not pictured: Raymond Kelly’s request for a six-man detail to protect him from these post-9/11 photographers!
Outgoing Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly wants to take half a dozen detectives to protect him and his family after he leaves the NYPD, DNAinfo New York has learned. Citing the fact that he will remain a “high profile target” after he leaves office, Kelly informed insiders at Police Headquarters that he will request the contingent of detectives — each will remain on the city payroll making about $120,000 a year — to shepherd him around town and protect him and his family during their travels, sources told “On the Inside.”
i know it’s the default pro-gun guy thing to point out how guys who can rely on government-approved, armed security are often mysteriously unable to understand why an average citizen would want to keep a gun for self-defense (and why they wouldn’t want that gun to be restricted by laws that attack magazine capacity or “assault weapons” or whatever), but come on, i think we can all see what’s going on here. and i’m pretty sure that in New York, Kelly’s immune to many of those laws that affect the average man –you know, the ones that clearly don’t hurt anyone’s self-defense, right?– so he should be even better off than the average guy. and yet he needs this level of protection?
“Meanwhile, over at City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided to take virtually his entire contingent of officers with him — about 17. But that crew — a lieutenant and the rest detectives — will all file for immediate retirement, collect their pensions and head off to work for the billionaire ex-mayor, who will be paying each of them $150,000 a year.”
now while i think it smacks of double-dipping to retire and grab a pension while working a $150000-a-year job, that’s at least something allowed by the current situation, and the $150000-a-year cost is being paid by Bloomberg. but since Kelly’s not a billionaire, he’d like to afford the perks of being one on the state’s ticket because… uh…
“He maintains he needs the taxpayer-funded, round-the-clock protection because he has served for 12 years in a post-9/11 New York and made himself the face of fighting crime and terrorism in the Big Apple.”
so he served in the highest-ranking, highest-paid police position in NYC in “post-9/11 New York” (and i really don’t understand how that makes a difference) and presumably lives in a nice, safe neighborhood with plenty of non-detailed police protection and can’t list any specific threats or plots or even vague notions of them. look, i’m sure that the man DOES have enemies and all, but i’m also sure that every police officer who’s help prosecute criminals does, and they don’t all get six-man detective details. also:
“In 1994, after Kelly served as police commissioner for 18 months under Mayor David Dinkins and was in charge during the 1993 World Trade Center terrorist bombing, he kept one detective to chauffeur and escort him around town. After four months, the detective was restored to regular police duties.”
so to be clear, in PRE-9/11 NEW YORK, he also requesting continuing protection, got one detective, and the city found that was unnecessary after four months. so what exactly has changed. the article also notes the last other commissioner to take taxpayer-funded police protection:
“In August 2000, Howard Safir, who was commissioner for four years, took a 12-member contingent to protect him around the clock. He said the security was necessary because of vague threats against him. After seven months, the detail was pared down to a sergeant and seven detectives. At the time, the size of his detail was sharply criticized by NYPD observers and good government groups. “Any ex-commissioner who can afford his own security or can have someone else pay for it should not foster the cost on the public,” one former commissioner said.”
pretty much, former commissioner, pretty much. frankly, i would think that if Kelly needed a six-man detail, he’d be able to clearly state a) why he wasn’t able to afford his own security (or, i suppose, admit what level he COULD afford) and b) why the fuck he needs this level of security, or any security at all. but hey, what do i know, i’m just a lowly prole and all that.
okay, i realize this is going to be VERY New York-themed (a city/state i don’t live in, no less), but one final one:
this picture is awkward enough that i don’t think i really need to make jokes about it, but come on, Anthony, raise the tray up!
i know the standing narrative, at least from the right, is that conservatives are for personal responsibility and liberals are not, but whether or not that’s REALLY true, it definitely seems to be what Weiner’s operating under at this point:
“Anthony Weiner has found another person to blame for the implosion of his mayoral campaign: the profile writer who never explicitly asked him whether he had kept sexting internet strangers after resigning from Congress. Weiner launched the trial balloon for his mayoral bid with an 8000 word profile in the New York Times Magazine – a largely flattering look at his relationship with wife Huma Abedin and his redemption after being forced to resign over his online sexual behavior. Left unmentioned was that Weiner had carried on at least three raunchy online relationships after his resignation, including one with Indiana woman Sydney Leathers – whose revelations ultimately tanked his campaign.
Now, Weiner claims the flattering profile wasn’t what he wanted after all.”
now, i think it’s pretty clear in light of all past events that the reason Weiner sat for that profile WAS to prepare for the failed mayoral bid he just staggered through. granted, he PROBABLY didn’t think he’d get flayed for those “at least three raunchy online relationships” because that’s the kind of self-delusional prick that he is at the time… but since that’s what absolutely torpedoed his campaign, he’s decided to retroactively claim that’s what he wanted all along:
“The problem was that the story was completely different from what we thought would be written,” he told GQ magazine. “I thought there’d be thousands of questions about the sexting. But there wasn’t a lot of conversation about that. We had a guy who wasn’t tough enough. We needed someone to just tear away at me. And not someone who would do something sympathetic. He wrote an aftermath story, about two interesting people. Later, I thought, ‘We didn’t get this done. Of the hundred things we wanted to do, the one thing we wanted to accomplish was to get that out there!'” he said.”
now, there’s a couple of issues here:
01. if he wanted the sexting discussed… why wouldn’t he have just brought it up himself? either during the interview, or post-interview, when he had this “we didn’t get this done” moment? is a reporter NOT going to write about Anthony Weiner’s sexting if Anthony Weiner calls him up before publication and says, “wait, we should have chatted about my sexting?” but we’ll come back to this.
02. furthermore, if the issue was the UNKNOWN, post-congressional sexting, how would the author have covered it if Weiner himself hadn’t brought it up? no one really know about it at the time. and frankly, the fact that it was unknown AND that Weiner brought his family to this piece really implies that he wasn’t prepared to talk about it if it HAD been sprung on him. so this is all highly disingenuous.
03. look, if you have “one thing you want to accomplish,” you don’t really have a “hundred things you want to do.” you have one thing to do.
“Asked why he didn’t offer up the information in the many hours of interviews for the piece, Weiner said, “I should have!…That’s on the list of the hundred mistakes you make in a campaign.”
note that Weiner says this EVEN THOUGH he claimed a) he went into the interview wanting to talk about the sexting (“the one thing we wanted to accomplish was to get that out there”) and b) realized after the interview he didn’t talk about it even thought he TOTALLY wanted to! look, the new revelations torpedoed his campaign. i don’t care if it should or shouldn’t have (okay, it should have), but the fact is, this is NOT something he wanted to talk about, or he would have. but it IS something that he wants to claim after the fact to make himself look like less of a flagrant dumbass who took this level of secrets into an election.
“The profile writer, Jonathan Van Meter, bristled at Weiner’s comments, speaking publicly about Weiner for the first time. “Somehow Anthony is blaming me and my 8,000-word story for the fact that everything turned to s— for him. I wish I knew if there was a word for all this. There’s probably a German word for it,” Van Meter told GQ, saying he was told by sources close to Weiner and Abedin that the former Congressman deliberately decided to hide his sexting relapse.”
oh, there’s a German word for EVERYTHING. but in the end, this is telling about guys like Weiner: it’s not about whether or not their personal failings make them unfit for office, it’s about them feeling they DESERVE the office so badly that they don’t let their personal failings come into the equation. and if they fuck it all up somehow, it’s not actually their fault for that development somehow. and people wonder why i have a low opinion of politicians…
alright, that’ll do it for this time!