Friday, November 4, 2011

The Shrillionaire Mayor

You'd think that a guy so filthy rich that he changed the law on term limits and bought himself a third stint as mayor would feel a little more secure and sanguine over a protest movement. This is, after all, the man whom Forbes magazine has just ranked as the most powerful person in New York, surpassing Rupert Murdoch for the first time in the plutocratic heft department. But Michael Bloomberg appears to be finally losing it, big-time, over a street protest in the backyard of his fiefdom. 

His latest whine on a long list of whines: OccupyWallSt protesters are just awful people for not having called the cops about a vagrant groper who may have been dumped in Zuccotti Park by the cops themselves in their ongoing and hapless efforts to break up the camp.  Fumed Bloomberg: "Instead of calling the police, they form a circle around the perpetrator, chastise him or her and chase him or her out into the rest of the city - to do who knows what to who knows whom."

He then went on to plagiarize Daffy Duck."It's despicable! I think it is outrageous and it really allows the criminal to strike again making all of us less safe."

Bloomberg's comments came the same day that he said Occupy should blame Congress for "forcing" the poor banks to give out liar loans to greedy unqualified homebuyers.  According to Hizzoner, Wall Street had nothing to do with the economic meltdown.  They never bundled subprime mortgages into toxic investment packages and single-handedly made trillions of dollars of household wealth disappear overnight. Nah. that must have been Reagan welfare queens who had the nerve to take out mortgages they couldn't afford.

Bloomberg has always been carefully PC about Occupy's right to exist (calling it "cathartic and entertaining" for the participants). But, but, but: “My personal view is, why don’t you get out there and try to do something about the things that you don’t like, create the jobs that we are lacking, rather than just yell and scream," he uttered from both sides of his perfectly centered mouth.

According to Bloomberg, residents in the area have complained about quality of life issues. Only trouble is, there are only a few dozen residents in the immediate vicinity, which is a business district. Restaurateurs, he said, complained business was suffering because of the encampment. Then it turned out business is suffering because of the heavy police presence and their metal barricades preventing access to the establishments.  The barricades have been moved and removed any number of times in a continuous game of musical chairs.

Bloomberg's X-ray vision can apparently see rivers of urine running in the streets, and his patrician nose can smell the stench of feces from blocks miles away in his Gracie Mansion digs*. His olfaction is as sensitive as the Princess and the Pea's tush. The very thought of non-rich people getting attention in his back yard is obviously causing a major attack of oligarchic angst and a shattering blow to his sense of entitlement.

Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi has called Bloomberg's reaction to the Occupy phenomenon his "Marie Antoinette" moment. Read his latest blog post for a scathing takedown of Hizzoner. Here's a snippet recounting a typical celebrity centrist soiree that had the "No Labels" crowd liberally laughing:
And it wasn’t hard to see why. Bloomberg’s great triumph as a politician has been the way he’s been able to win over exactly the sort of crowd that was gathering at the HuffPost event that night. He is a billionaire Wall Street creature with an extreme deregulatory bent who has quietly advanced some nastily regressive police policies (most notably the notorious "stop-and-frisk" practice) but has won over upper-middle-class liberals with his stances on choice and gay marriage and other social issues.
But back to that predatory vagrant that Bloomberg insists is endangering him. According to The Daily News, the 26-year-old victim of that incident is walking around carrying a sign that says: "I was more victimized by the NYPD who handled my sexual assault case than I was by the assaulter."

Lauren di Gioia told the newspaper that police kept her waiting for hours after she reported the attack, even telling her she was to blame for sleeping outside.  The same old "you asked for it" crap that prevents a lot of sexual assault victims from ever coming forward."I'm a perfect example of somebody who went through the process. I followed all the steps of the law, and I felt victimized by it. I felt like I was a criminal, too," the paper quotes her as saying.

Correction: in my last blog post, I listed Bloomberg's net worth at $18.1 billion.  I was off a bit. According to the New York Times, he is actually worth $19.5 billion, making him the 12th richest person in America out of a nation of more than 300 million.  He is in the top one percent of the top one percent, or the top .000000001 percent. 

And he doesn't think a millionaire surtax to help save the jobs of teachers or prevent the closings of fire stations is such a fiscally prudent idea.

The Bloomberg Motto: Not One Porta-a-Potty Shall Go to Zuccotti. Let Them Wear Depends.

Update:  I just got my invitation from the White House's favorite Democratic think tank, The Center for American Progress, to listen to Bloomberg give the freaking keynote address on how to reduce the deficit at its "American Action Forum" next week.

This ought to be good.  The gazillionaire who just blamed Congress for the biggest banking fraud in American history will now proceed to advise Congress how to make amends and slash Medicare, Medicare and Social Security.
As the work of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, comes to a head, the prospect for an agreement remains uncertain. On Tuesday, November 8 in an event co-hosted by the Center for American Progress and the American Action Forum, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will present his views on how Congress should address the pressing issues facing the committee, the economic implications that are at stake, and his ideas on how a pragmatic, growth-oriented consensus can be forged.
For any Occupiers in the D.C. area who would like to attend this event, here is the lowdown. (Don't forget to RSVP and get there early for your free coffee):

November 8, 2011, 10:00am – 11:00am
Space is extremely limited. RSVP required.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and not guaranteed.
Coffee will be served at 9:30 a.m.
Center for American Progress1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Map & Directions
Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center.
For more information, call 202-682-1611.

* Correction: Bloomberg has never lived in the official mayoral residence. He has, however, graced Gracie Mansion with his presence on occasion. For example, when he performed some of the first same sex marriages in the state. Thanks, Purple Girl, for providing his correct address (see comments).


traynorjf said...

Bloomberg must have seen those videos on Democracy Now (Nov.3) that Me Again! referred to in your blog before this, and that I've seen in the past hour. No wonder he's scared, I'm scared. Think I'll go fishing.

Will said...

Speaking of Daffy Duck, he just remixed a tune and dedicated it to Bloomberg:

P.S. If you haven't checked him out yet, another writer on our side is Charlie Pierce at Esquire. Great stuff on his blog every day:

DreamsAMel said...

A pity the letters "B" and "M" just don't emphasize enough the difference between Millions and Billions, lest we yellers and screamers be unable to fathom just how staggeringly wealthy Mr. 12 Billion is. Yet we can smell BM and BS all the way from NY, what fresh Bloomies cannot contain --Not even OWS is a potent enough air freshener, when the plutocrats pump out fresh lies daily...

Some of us screamers and yellers (Screllers?), if we had as much disposable wealth as Bloomberg, might plow a billion or 3 into creating a first of its kind sustainable living community with walkable designs, geothermal and solar energy, made completely with recycled materials. Yet Bloomie and Brooks' less visionary idea of job-creating involves risky gambles like hydrofracking--Great comment on that today, Karen--Yet of all the comments that rightly note that as Texas fries in drought, water may trump gas as a resource, no one noted that hydrofracking had been temporarily halted in the Arkansas due to a rash of earthquakes--The industry admits the process can cause up to level 3 earthquakes-- my first thought when a magnitude 5/6(?)earthquake hit 1/3 of the U.S. this summer was--"This is what the hydrofracking industry ISN'T telling us"--If they admit to magnitude 3 quakes, count on the reality being worse by a factor of 10 to 1000. Just like the BP "spill" at first was only a "few gallons"... Fukushima "under control" get the picture.

Shame if Bloomie and the plutocrats never learn to straighten up and fly right before global warming and fracking disasters literally swallow the earth whole. The OWS is offering them a free shot at redemption: free lessons in how to live with integrity and share prosperity broadly in a just society. Yet since the plutocrats think the only important things in life can be purchased, not learned, don't expect them to show up at OWS unless the Zucotti volunteers start charging $20,000 a plate for dinner.

Valerie said...

Thanks Amelia for the heads up on Karen's comment. I only go to the Times to hunt down the good reader comments that someone recommends and always appreciate it when one of you (Kat you are great about this)lets us know one of Karen's is out there.

And James, Me Again! is me! Valerie! I had just made so many comments in that thread that I was being humorous saying, "It’s me again." Glad you found the interview as important as I did. I have been reading what else is written about the Greek debt crisis and the little tid bit that the American investment banks have made a series of risky bets putting our entire economy in danger (again) over the Greek debt is mysteriously left out. As is the fact that Obama is over there forcing the EU to be extra hard on Greece so the investment banks can make the optimum profit. Those creeps really trade in human misery don't they? No doubt they have bet against Spain and Italy defaulting as well. Who needs to worry about betting against entire countries failing when you have the American president over there as your personal pit bull to do your bidding?

As for Bloomberg . . . what scum. So glad the Occupy Movement started in his city and is running so incredibly well. It is the flagship of Occupy Movements everywhere! It clearly frustrates him to no end to have a bunch of kids/hippies making him look so out of control.

Kat said...

Thanks for the invite, Karen. I'll see if I can fit it into my calendar. Should be hacktacular!
Bloomberg appeals to the special breed of NYT reading liberals who secretly (or not so secretly) believe that all the troubles of the poors would go away if they adopted a diet of rice and lentils and quit smoking. You know the sort-- the ones that write "Obesity, not hunger is the real problem for food stamp recipients".
Direct descendents of The Women's Christian Temperance Union, if you ask me.

"Cat" will do said...

Karen -- really appropriate photo composite. Thinker? Oh, the irony. Thought you'd enjoy my recent rant re John and Condi, sittin in a tree... kissss,, etc.

Sometimes it seems as though things won't get much better until we deal with the past and send the real criminals to jail. Or we could just ship them off to Paraguay with their like brethren. Did you hear they were importing mental patients to Zucotti, the old "outside agitator" gambit. Plus ca change....

Regards, Cat]

Anne Lavoie said...

I have a One Demand idea for OWS.

Since justice has been given a permanent holiday for the rich in our country thanks to the three branches of government they now own, we need to apply a little creative 'rough justice' ourselves, as in The People's Court.

Our one demand? A campaign to 'Banish the Banksters' or 'Banish Billionaires'- to Siberia, or anywhere NOT in the USA. Think of it as a kinder and gentler form of extraordinary rendition. If they don't take the hint and go willingly, we will increase the pressure.

It's not really even much of a punishment since they have multiple mansions in multiple countries to choose from. It's not like they'll be HOMELESS or anything. Hmmm. We could use their empty mansions for all kinds of worthy causes. Maybe deluxe homeless shelters!

Their crime? Buying democracy, rigging the system for themselves, unleashing financial weapons of mass destruction, treachery, treason, for starters. The evidence of their assault on our country is everywhere.

Who needs charges or trials? That is so passe when it comes to national security. We all KNOW for certain that they are on track to repeat their crimes and worse. Their servants in government definitely will not stop them. If anything, they will enable them. (They're next in line for creative rough justice).

Disaster Capitalism has the entire world on the fast track to Hell. People from all over the world should take up a collection and rent the Russian space shuttle to ship those crooks into space on a one-way ticket.

Anne Lavoie said...

If we claimed to be a Religion or a Church, such as the Westboro Baptist Church does, the courts would uphold our RIGHT to endlessly harass the billionaire banksters with our First Amendment right. I think Will was referring to that discrepancy a while back, between Westboro and Occupiers.

I wonder if we even need ministers or if we could all self-ordain millions of us, OR we could simply CO-OPT CHRISTIANITY from the commercialized power and money hungry institutions that most of them have become. We could form a new sect. Church of the ....? Occupiers?

I wonder if any established religion would adopt us? Doubtful. They'd lose their tax exempt status and they wouldn't want that, God forbid.

Wasn't Jesus talking about stuff like this? Overturning tables of money changers? Let's Occupy Christianity, exercise our religious rights, and drive the banksters out of our Temple!

Karen Garcia said...

Last spring in NYC a group of clergy performed a mock exorcism at JP Morgan Chase. They called it "chasing the devil out of Chase". I blogged about at the time, even included a pic of Jamie Dimon (Demon) with horns. This is the same group of ministers that paraded the golden calf down Wall Street a few weeks ago.
Chris Hedges is a product of Yale Divinity himself. Of course, historical Jesus was a radical. Talk about the ultimate co-optation!

Valerie said...

A truly inspiring speech by Bill Moyers -

I remember a while back, early in the Obama administration, the investment banks got all huffy about something and threatened to take their headquarters elsewhere. I remember thinking, "Let me show you to the door! Don't let it hit you on the bum on your way out!" Of course, that didn't happen. It was one of the first betrayals by Obama.

Valerie said...

@Anne and anyone else interested. Click on the link and scroll down to Occupy Temple for a great cartoon! I swear this guy should sell t-shirts with these cartoons! I would send them to all my leftist pinko liberal friends for Christmas - and the shirts he uses are made in the good ole US of A.

Anne Lavoie said...


I got a hearty laugh from that cartoon. Thanks!

I made two new signs for our weekly Occupy gathering. Both were Christian messages and bordered with crosses to help identify them as Christian (Disclaimer: I am Buddhist, but what the heck).

The one I carried read:
Tax the Rich
End the War$
Feed the Children
Help the Poor
(Jesus Approved This Message)

The other said:
Throw The Bank$ters
Out Of Our Temple - USA
(Jesus Approved This Message)

I also waved an American flag. How's that for covering the bases? I couldn't bring myself to wearing teabags so I brought a small flag. We got tons of enthusiastic honking and waving, as usual. The discussion with other participants was inspiring, as usual. More young people are showing up. Yay!

Was your Occupy Adelaide today?

PurpleGirl said...

...his patrician nose can smell the stench of feces from blocks away in his Gracie Mansion digs.

Well, he might, just might. smell the encampment at City Hall. But his house on East 79 St. (I believe) is a good mile or more from the encampment. That would make his bose better than a dogs, and I could suggest a third career for him joining with the dogs as a drug finder at either a border or an airport.

Karen Garcia said...

@Purple Gal,
Thanks. I will fix that error straightaway. Now I remember that Bloomberg never actually lived at Gracie.

Valerie said...


Your signs sound great! Yes, by all means point out to the Christians that defending the bankers isn't something that Jesus would do. These so called Christians get caught up in the "moral" issues of homosexuality and abortion and somehow are OK with the REAL moral issues (that Jesus even talked about in the bible!) of human suffering, poverty and injustice - talk about missing the boat! What I don't get is the fundamentalists all read the bible. But they seem to gloss over the Jesus stuff and focus on Paul, a judgemental, homophobic, misogynistic, Pharisee. OK - I am starting to get on my soapbox! Being raised a Southern Baptist, Republican will do that to a person!

Well, I bought my poster board for my signs and recruited my ten year old daughter for the protest - and they changed the day from last Saturday to next Saturday. Unfortunately, I have friends staying with us from Germany over the weekend so I can't attend. - Clearly, with our socialised medicine, strong safety net, and pretty strict banking laws, the Australians have less to protest about than the Americans or Greeks – not feeling a lot of immediacy if they can just put the protest off to another day! In all fairness, I didn't double check on the date - it didn't occur to me they would change it - so part of the fault is my own. But we have the signage ready for the next date. My daughter is even thinking of selling lemonade (it is already hot here) to raise money for Scott Olsen!

I think our signs are going to focus on GMO crops which the corporations are trying to force on the South Australians. I feel so sorry for the Australians farmers. They are really under attack and the apathetic Australians - so reminiscent of Americans before the crash - are oblivious to the problems of importing food from China and allowing GMO seed into Australia. They also are fracking here in Australia but not in our state. My daughter is going to carry a sign that says, “Please, keep food safe for future generations. No GMOs in South Australia.”

Neil said...

OWS should take a page out of the corporate playbook and negotiate deals with the neighbors. Since they have over $500,000 in donations (and counting) why not contract with a few local businesses for restroom and food services? Quality of life is important to the locals, so be a good neighbor. The more people on board, the better, and what better reference than the locals?

That would give Ebenezer Scrooge Bloomberg one less thing to complain about, and help OWS get out the message, instead of getting bogged down with unnecessary distractions and bad publicity.

Valerie said...

I know most of the readers here know about the wonderful organisation, Public Citizen. But here is the link to some great progressive (inspiring) speeches at the 40th Anniversary Gala - Bill Moyers and Ralph Nader are among the speakers -

Valerie said...


I thought the same thing! I even wondered if the organisers could issue tokens that protesters could give the businesses for the use of the bathrooms - to help pay for the maintenance, water and wear and tear - and then the businesses could redeem them later for cash from OWS. I agree wholeheartedly with you. It is important to be a good neighbor if you want to gain friends and influence people. Most decent people will work with you if it is clear you are trying to be fair about and issue and even if they won't, you end up looking like the good guy for trying.

Me Again! said...

Nice interview with Noam Chomsky on Australian TV in case anyone is interested. He is in Australia to accept the Sydney Peace Prize.

Here also is the transcript of his lecture

Fred Drumlevitch said...

@(all): great comments here by many people, unfortunately I don't have the time to address them all.

@Valerie: thanks for alerting us to the Bill Moyers piece, it was great writing, and extremely relevant.

@Anne Lavoie: Re your suggestion of "a campaign to 'Banish the Banksters' or 'Banish Billionaires'- to Siberia, or anywhere NOT in the USA:

Back in 2004 when George W. Bush was proposing a moon base, and then manned missions to Mars, I suggested in letters to the New York Times and at least one other publication that the proposal deserved support, because we needed a modern-day escape-proof Elba for our then-current president, as well as any future ones who might similarly violate the ideals for which our nation supposedly stands.

Needless to say, they didn't publish my suggestion.