The Great NYC Ferry Subsidies Robbery And City Bus Austerity

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$9.75 a ride and 670 + million for that piece of shit

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”

S’chn T’gai Spock.

The NY Post reported the other day that the prime demographic that frequently uses the NYC Ferry are upper class people making six figures.

But we all knew it.

The fucking New York City Economic Development Corporation knew it.

The goddamn New York City Mayor knew it.

And both of them fucking spent every second of city time trying to hide it for two years.

The NYC Ferry is mostly used by the wealthiest commuters by the river towers that are owned and run by all of Mayor deFaustio’s developer overlord donors. Notably at the ports on the west Brooklyn coast line where it’s a leisure walk away from them (plus Hunter’s Point in Queens).

The current cost for each taxpayer for each $2.75 ride across the rivers and under the bridges is currently at $9.75. A seven dollar loss for each ride millions of people don’t take or don’t bother to take because they don’t live near the ports. And because they probably have no need and use for the boats because they are just plain inconvenient for where they are located and where they need to go.

If they are not the overvalued rental market rate rent paying tower people, it’s tourists and hipsters going to Rockaway Beach. Which is probably the most popular destination of the city gentrification yachts. Which is where some of this profligate spending on this boondoggle is located.

Because whats constantly overlooked about this obscene and overtly useless and consistently vacant aqua transit service is that there is a free shuttle bus service when you get off the ferry. Although ever since this started, you have to pay another fare to get on a city bus.

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Now above is the Rockaway port, the picture was taken in 2017 late in the summer when it first started. It should be noted that these stylish shuttle buses weren’t available until late August and the city was actually using big ass charter buses to transport upper class denizens to the beach.

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Above is the city bus stop for the Q22, now why are free ferry shuttle buses necessary when you can just set up a free transfer from the city bus to go to your desired destination, because both buses go to the same places east and west of the peninsula. Why clearly spend money irresponsibly on some private company buses when you got a long time city transit service right there in front of your face?

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Because said private company, San Francisco based Hornblower wouldn’t be able to profit from reallocated funds usurped from city buses as service continues to get worse.

And nothing illustrates this more than two recent decisions by the MTA, the worst fucking transit system in the universe, about two major routes that are being gutted and also dissected with scattershot redesigns.

Take the B46 in Brooklyn (while you still can) that goes up and down Utica Ave through three towns and circuits through another four starting at Flatlands and ending in Williamsburg; just last summer the MTA cut 8 buses assigned for the route, cutting four buses from the evening rush and another four for the weekend routes plus the Select bus service line from Mill Basin. Leaving thousands of commuters wasting more time waiting at the stops and taking forever to get back home, in addition to working people reliant on these articulated buses winding up late to work to their weekend jobs. As if paying 2.75 for truncated service was enough of a burden for the majority of them earning around 25k or less a year. All for the MTA to save a measly 2.4 million dollars this year.

Despite the MTA’s pathetic attempt at positive reinforcement propaganda by calling these cuts “enhancements” and the size bigger buses to replace just as big and more reliable buses as “articulated”, commuters in East Flatbush, Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights are not fooled to say the least. Even the “articulated” bus drivers are livid with the service cuts “enhancements”. This enhancement transit service decision actually followed recent “enhancements to the B38, B15 and B54 bus lines that didn’t get as much local media attention.

Now the (mostly) boyz and galz at the MTA are taking their enhancement ax to Queens as they tried to sneak an expansive new city bus route redesign map on the world’s borough. And it’s a doozy, as it reveals more truncated routes, bus reductions and the elimination of bus stops. The MTA even had the audacity to hold a workshop meeting in a basement rumpus room under the radar from residents of Jackson Heights in a lame attempt at obligatory transparency. Citizens still showed up in droves waiting to get in to rage at Andy Byford’s face about the “enhancements” coming to their busy route. All he could do was feebly say that they are not set in stone.

The whole reason for these cuts in service was based on dubious data claiming that people weren’t taking the buses as much. So the bright idea and solution is to make them less available. Got it. Somehow these data manipulators (datanipulators?) contracted by the MTA weren’t aware of or too stubborn to recognize the existence of working people who didn’t work in Manhattan, elderly and handicapped people, teenagers, young and middle aged adults going on leisure jaunts would consider using the bus for transit.

So where and how does this correlate to the pleasure ferries for the rich, the millions of dollars all those bus service enhancements have to wind up somewhere. Well, the budget bill for these boats for the past 2 years is $637,000,000 and even with a spending freeze order for more Hornblower boats by Comptroller Scott Stringer. While the city provided the buses with only $250,000,000 during that time. Bill de Blasio and the fucking EDC has spent 2 1/2 times more funding the gentrification ferries than on the city buses since the boats set sail.

 

It’s bad enough that the NYC ferry is constantly vacant most of the time and doesn’t even compare to the millions of riders every day that take the bus to justify the inequitable subsidy and daily service funding, but even worse is that Hornblower is making the most money from it by just existing even though the city already had two reliable ferry companies. But wouldn’t it have made a little sense to align the Q22 with the ferry instead of having a private company shuttle transferring passengers around if they weren’t going to charge anyone? So taxpayers don’t have to subsidize Hornblower’s shuttle buses too? The same with the other ferry ports around the boroughs also.

But integration of the city buses and the ferry is far from the elitist mind of defiant hypocrite Mayor de Blasio. Because going by his recent decision to blow off the MTA’s capital plan meeting with Governor Cuomo and recent arrogant declarations of his disinterest of allocating funding to the transit system he’s also accountable for, it’s obvious he still doesn’t want to do anything with the buses at all.

Despite the colossal waste of money going into the water drifting boondoggle, it actually has made a little bit of progress regarding ridership with the addition of the Soundview port in the Bronx, which has made the ferries oh so less white in the past year. But the racial and class issue could have been remediated a lot more if de Blaz and the EDC would have gave the town of Canarsie a port stop, especially since the town actually wanted it. This would have done wonders for the income and race data being that the town and nearby Flatlands and Brownsville are mostly poor, middle class, Black and Spanish. But the Mayor and the EDC saw their petition and told them to drop dead. Unfortunately for Canarsie, the area has an inequitable lack of luxury towers.

There will probably (expectedly) be more belated revelations that will anchor the NYC Ferry with more unsavory things like rigged contracting and the expected donations from Hornblower to the constantly money soliciting and grubbing de Blasio while he continues to re-allocate city transit service funding on these subsidy leaking boats as the service expands to other locations in a few years like Coney Island, which at this moment predatory developers are looking to devour. Or “enhance”

de Blasio’s and the EDC’s enhancement of the breezy water transit for the tower people has led to austerity measures for the working people, aged and handicapped on the streets when it should be the other way around. A pointed ear alien once said that the needs of the many should outweigh the needs of the few. He also was very devoted to logic. And it is clear and obvious, just like this ferry report, that Blaz and the shitty EDC have no sense and never had any use of logic for the distribution of these boats. But they had the logistics for them. And it was for the people they prefer to convenience. And for everyone else that needs the bus, it’s all illogistics.

NYC to bus commuters. Drop Dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lpocalypse Project: The Gaslighting Of And Austerity Plan For The New York City Transit System By Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio And The MTA

043And just imagine a barely functional and safe transit system and mobile daily commutes. 72nd Street Station surface upgrade by Yoko Ono Lennon. Not ADA compliant.

New York, N.Y.

2019 has and will become quite an historic year for New York City transit. But most definitely not in a good way. For the future of it looks fucking bleak despite all the optimism being expressed by elected and appointed officials about all the moolah for infrastructure improvements coming.

Now that it has been decided to keep the base fare of a subway/bus ride at 2.75 while eliminating the bonus charges and raising the cost of unlimited weekly and monthly cards, this would be a good time make a layman’s assessment about the current state of the New York City Transit System run by the MTA, the worst fucking transit system in the universe. Because recent incidents and decisions have given sunlight to the crisis below, as well as above and at ground level regarding our mass transit options, which will also have a deleterious effect on traffic on the island of Manhattan and on the streets and highways that will surely continue to deteriorate and the commutes regarding the and safety by all dependent on the buses and trains (not ferries, fucking please). And it’s also shown that no one is truly capable of being assertive, proactive and having independent or rational thoughts or ideas at MTA. It surely isn’t the board whose dithering members are appointed by the mayor and governor, despite it’s alleged independence and expertise.

But it’s clear who is and always was in charge and that’s our third go-round and self-christened progressive Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose very wrong hands and demented disruptor mind has determined the fate of the MTA transit imbroglio. Apparently, the governor is under the borderline mental delusion that he doesn’t have enough control and has divined himself the autocrat savior of the transit system. This is not even as ego driven like his overzealous order to get the 2nd avenue line finished so he can throw a new years party, this is Andy’s id taking control now with this idiotic and dangerous plan to keep the L train running on time. Even Moussilini would’ve shown more restraint and self-awareness.

But how did we get to this current lowly state of mass transit and the commuting crisis in general? It all began back in January, when the decrepit saltwater hurricane Sandy corroded Canarsie Tunnel was about to be shut down in a mere 3.2 months away. After three years of meticulous research and planning by the MTA board and recently installed transit president Andy Byford along with efforts by the D.O.T. to redesign the streets of the L’s path to remediate traffic with bike lanes and improve bus service on 14th st. (despite the haphazard designs), the Governor suddenly had an epiphany induced by a dubious recollection of being grabbed by a stranger who yelled at him, which led to a visit to the tunnel when he last looked longingly at things in there, and bemused to himself that the commute could still be saved.

So Mario’s son looked and pointed at things with an entourage of hoity-toity college academic officials with absolutely no experience assessing mass transit infrastructure, and decided to scrap the 15 month thorough renovation of the tunnel and rely on an earlier rejected plan to rearrange and restructure the infrastructure’s power supplies on top of the tunnel instead. Instead of fixing and fortifying the corrosion and cracks with good old concrete and mortar, the governor and his new egghead crew decided to go with a polymer glass coating instead. During this new surface coating, the L train will continue to run as scheduled on the weekdays while running on one track on the weekend and on nights after 8 p.m. in 20 minute intervals during the two year (or more) reconstruction.

Transit crisis averted? Not exactly, because this plan was previously and soundly rejected by Cuomo’s board because of the deadly risk of spreading and exposure of cancer causing silica dust that would be released during the construction as transit service re-opened. And the GIF NYC transit provided the public with showing how the trains will flow in one tube underwater looks scary as fuck. But Andy’s id was not going to let potential environmental hazard get in the way of slaying the Lpocalypse. This mentally ill megalomaniac decision is already causing reverberations to commutes and literally the environment along the L train’s tunnels path in the niche towns of Williamsburg and Bushwick.

Exactly a month after Andy’s L plan, the Graham Ave. Station in East Williamsburg (or Bushwick as it used to be called) had to be shut down because of an overwhelming pungent gas smell that sickened a few commuters on the train when it was stalled on the tracks and then nauseated the rest of the passengers as it was slow crawling to the ground zero station. In spite of this incident, an MTA official somehow discerned that the air was safe and the L train resume it’s schedule despite the peculiar appearance of high-powered fans laid on the gratings above the tunnel to extract the noxious fuel odors out.

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The following day after this announcement, three MTA workers got violently ill from the fumes that were alleged to be gone as other workers took the precaution of pulling their sweaters over their mouths until they received protective face masks.

The source of the fumes had become an evolving mystery but for some bizarre reason, MTA chief safety officer Pat Warren still claimed that the air at Graham Ave. was still safe to breathe. According to lifestyle and occasional actual news blog Gothamist and the NY Daily News, the MTA attributions of the source of the toxic entity changed during the first 48 hours. First it was determined that it was fuel that was accidentally spilled from diesel trains being used during weekend work construction; then it was blamed on an abandoned fuel tank underneath an abandoned gas station; and finally and absurdly, the MTA tried to pin the blame on superfund site Newtown Creek from a Greenpoint refinery spill from the 70’s. Of all those theories, the one that makes the most sense is the first one, being that weekend work has already begun. The other two theories are asinine considering that both of them were unfounded given that there was no evidence the station tank leaked, which probably led to conjuring up some ooze from Newtown Creek that suddenly migrated to the subway tunnels. It seems the MTA is coming up with these theories not to be more transparent but to obviously gaslight commuters and the press from finding out what the fuck is actually going on.

Or maybe the MTA is feigning ignorance. Because when the FDNY showed up in full Hazmat suits to determine the toxic levels of the leak, they did not bother to measure it on orders from the city and state environmental boards.

That’s not the only gaslighting by our servants of mass transit. A month following the gassing of Graham Ave., as the pungent toxicity rose from the crisis below and spread into the ether above permeating apartment buildings and stores in the area, evidence of the error of Cuomo’s Id and his crack Ivy league team’s L revival decision manifested at Bedford Avenue station in Greenpoint, as a cloud of thick dust inundated the station on another Monday morning rush hour.

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Well, guess what was the contents of the contamination that scared the shit out of commuters, it was the presence of the predicted silica dust that was prophesized. But the MTA spokesman wasn’t divulging much but did proclaim that despite evidence of the thickness and noxious odor of the particles and the sight of workers and police with protective face masks on the platform, that the air was still safe to breathe! It evidently seems that the MTA is utilizing the same spin control that Christie Todd Whitman utilized to assuage the public back in 2001 that the air was safe to breathe at Ground Zero weeks after 9/11/2001 so the traumatized city service workers could resume excavating remains at the destroyed WTC site.

 

 

 

Evidently, the MTA is clearly trying to distract their worried commuters from the fact that the weekend work that was approved by Cuomo’s id is causing the environmental hazard it was expected to cause. Which is why this plan that was revived was rejected in the first place. And the MTA’s crass denials of the air quality should cause immediate pause to anyone that what if these were attempts by terrorists to poison the tunnels instead of just causations from worker incompetence.

Another little problem with Cuomo/MTA tunnel surface remediation plan? Well, last summer on the Jersey Transit, a PATH tunnel with similar infrastructure with overhead wiring exploded causing a metal bracket to pierce through a train’s ceiling like a spear, causing 700 passengers to evacuate awaiting a rescue train and another 350 remaining stuck on a train behind it from the sharpnel and debris on the tracks . Fortunately for them, they were near Penn Station. What’s going to happen when this happens on the L train when they are done moving that wiring on the Canarsie roof and putting that polymer balm on the cracks and crevices around the walls and the floor bed?

With the frightening prospect of taking the L as construction continues for the next 20 months (but certainly more than that). Mayor de Blasio, while nowhere to be found during those two toxic transit disasters as well as four recent incidents of transit debris falling from the elevated tracks in Woodside and Richmond Hill, continues to push his stupid and expensive NYC Ferry transportation option as well as funding another study for the loathed and loathsome BQX trolley.

As was expected of anything de Blasio promotes and focusing his attention on, the NYC Ferry has turned into a disastrously expensive boondoggle. For the subsidized costs for each $2.75 ride amounts to $10.73, which went up four and change from the 6 buck estimate from last year and went up two bucks from estimates a few months ago. As the costs of the new ferries on the way is going to cost another $369 million. The timing of this report coincides de Blasio’s announcement of the ferry’s expansion of new stops in Staten Island and Coney Island, which will not be ready till 2020 and 2021 respectively and another one at the Brooklyn Navy Yard which will be ready to launch this May. The launching of the Coney Island one next year is expected to balloon the already high subsidy costs to $24.75 for every fare.

As if de Blasio’s prioritizing of the ferry over the dilapidated condition of the subway and roads and the snails pace speed of the city buses wasn’t crass enough, somehow he couldn’t placate residents of the town of Canarsie with a ferry stop of their own, even though they compiled 6,000 signatures and actually have a dock ready for renovation. Which unsurprisingly validates the fact this ferry are basically ersatz yachts and is only beneficial and necessary for the wealthy and tourists and not meant for the commuting needs of the proletariat masses. Which the ready made stop at hipster frequented Brooklyn Navy yard as well as all the luxury development stops on the East River in Manhattan proves the inequitable treatment against the more frequented subway and bus services in spades (or anchors?). Besides, Canarsie didn’t have a chance because those real estate gentrification enabling porch monkeys at the city’s Economic Development Corporation didn’t put the town on the feasibility list, even though the Bronx town of Soundview never even had a pier before and they were declared feasible by the EDC. Amazing what becoming a real estate speculative hot bed with looming parasitic tower hyperdevelopment can do for an selective area. But despite being a reverse revenue generator, de Blasio’s inducement of the NYC ferry is a city taxpayer funded investment now even though the only benefit to come from this seasonal leisure  service will go straight into the bank account of EDC board member Mark Patricof who has a conflicted invested interest he holds in Hornblower from previously working in  private equity firm with holdings in the transit yacht provider.

But these are not the only transit offenses against the citizenry he swore to serve these last 6 long years, especially the poor he pandered to get elected in 2013. After much cajoling by house speaker Corey Johnson, Da Mayor relented and implemented the Fair Fares program to begin at the start of 2019 to be available to 700,000 struggling citizens. And what came naturally from the notoriously tardy and slow mayor, the program took nearly a month to send the discounts out and limited the distribution to 30,000 applicants. Expectedly from the two-faced liar, it was nothing but a half-measure because the cards were sent out as unlimited weekly or monthly cards instead of day to day purchases which these commuters usually spend, being that they don’t have 20 or 60 dollars to plunk down right away or even have the cash at all if they are without a job. The expected diminished result is barely over hundred people are using these Fair Fares. Why couldn’t the city tell the MTA to arrange the card like its done with the school and senior citizen reduced cards. But being helpful to the most financially burdened has never been much of concern for the notorious Mayor Big Slow.

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Andy Byford 

Of course, forgotten in this whole MTA mess is the man who was assigned to save it while stressing transparency and credibility for the agency, Transit President Andy Byford who arrived last year with such great fanfare and who was recently featured on 60 minutes last autumn, whose nfluence, authority and plans now been undermined and virtually eliminated by Andy’s id . His absence from the L train aborted shutdown announcement and his lack of input of the decision to sugarcoat the cracked tunnel walls and floorboards with polymer, which the initial contractor rightfully thought was a stupid and dangerous idea 2 years ago, was majorly conspicuous. Compounded with Gov. Stugots autocratic decision to junk Andy’s proven idea to upgrade the anachronistic signal system with a computer based CBTC that has been used successfully when he ran the tube in London and the subway in Toronto and has been effective since it’s been applied to the L line (figures) with some ultraband radio wave bullshit idea that Andy’s id got from Elon Musk, while Byford’s thoroughly detailed Fast Foward plan has not gotten one penny for its funding to this day since it was announced with great fanfare and widespread media coverage.

And it was looking very certain that he and FF will never get it, and recent and current history validates that horrendous fact according to NYS Comptroller Thomas de Napoli’s report as surmounting debts are going to interfere with all other moderation and renovations of the subways infrastructure. The Fast Forward plan as devolved into the Flying Fuck, meaning that Governor Stugots doesn’t give one about it at all. These two have not been in the same photo op together since I don’t know fuck when.

And Byford’s plan to make 50 stations handicap accessible was about to get chopped to 36 because of these looming debts, which derived from the blowback of the underfunding for the accessibility retrofits over a decade ago when just 1.8% was allocated for it and with the funding about to dry up as the final days of the current five year transit plan is about to end this year  If this wasn’t horrendous enough consider that 6 stations were shut down for months for surface and aesthetic modernizations like self-indulgent art and led screens flashing MTA bulletins and maps. The 72nd St B/C Station and the 23rd Street Station comes to mind.

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With these dubious upgrades, Andy’s id’s MTA proves that the only subway improvements are designed for tourists to navigate through the city and niche parts of Brooklyn and Queens (and even the Bronx) on nice screens like the theme park this city has turned into. And all this art being installed is just there for the Instagram addicted. Supposedly the funding is only a morsel of budgetary spending, that morsel could have been allocated for initial funding on an elevator that could have been installed at a station where a mother killed herself falling down the steps while carrying a full stroller and her toddler daughter.

Too bad and too little too late that a federal judge recently decided that the MTA had to require all station renovations must be ADA compliant. The problem of course is where to get the funding again to honor the judge’s decision, because Mario’s son’s MTA burned through all the money that was to upgrade other stations, which would have also went into art that nobody asked for instead of signal and infrastructure upgrades, unsightly dilapidation of the ceilings, walls and stairs and of course elevators for the disabled as well for the elderly and children’s strollers. The latter which recently got tragic attention when a woman died trying to carry her stroller with child down along with shopping bags as she fell down the stairs when there was no escalator available in the city’s 7th avenue station.

But all is not lost for these looming and practically insurmountable expenses, for Governor Stugots budget passed with the ratification of congestion pricing to supposedly fix the MTA once and for all. Expected to accrue funding for the subway, a tolling system will be put in place to charge regular car drivers $11 and commercial truck drivers $25 to enter Manhattan below 60th street to downtown. Because that’s the way to derive funding for mass transit and levy it on people who choose to own a vehicle so they never use it and also to people that are just in town to do their jobs.

The thing is this tax levy on car owning commuters and delivery workers (a glut of them who don’t make a living wage) won’t be implemented until 2020, conveniently after the next election for Albany’s assembly and senate.

The only saving grace for car owners is that the congestion fees/taxes for driving in Manhattan will not be implemented until December 2020 (conveniently after the next election) and won’t go into effect in another two years, or maybe more being that there will have to be a system to take all the congestion tolls. Probably something like those ugly ass LINKNYC data succubi kiosks.

Of course there were more reliable and faster ways to come up with the billions to fix the crisis below; like the long overdue, sensible and fiscally responsible legalization of marijuana. But the arguments among all officials (mostly paranoid) about how it will be distributed and who should profit from it first and also expected resistance from rigid Republican elected officials and the upper echelons of law enforcement. But it got nixed from consideration in the budget hearings, so New York is going to continue to lag behind other states like Colorado, Massachusettes, California and the nation of Canada and lose billions in tax dollars from the manufacturing and selling of it.

And the big dirty obscene open secret of the minuscule taxes oligarchs pay for pied-e-terres in supertall dark luxury towers. But that immediately got crushed when REBNY sent their wormtongue minions to inundate news sites with developer agitprop and to Albany and persuaded the Assembly that these investor citizens ossified personal wealth absolutely can’t be sacrificed for the transit needs and safety of daily commuters. Despite recent heinous news of a billionaire hedge fund owner who paid $238 million for a sky high home on Central Park South and Jeff Bezos looking to purchase another multi-million dollar abode in the same building along with the four other ones he owns nearby on Central Park West. Hundreds of millions of dollars that would have been extracted from these welfare oligarchs and also from other American and foreign billion and hundred millionaire sloths who purchased these tax shelters in various luxury monoliths that have sprouted in Manhattan as well as the East River coasts of towns in Brooklyn and Queens are now gone. Gone with all the money that was never accounted for prior to this proposal.

You think the feckless Albany cowards would have debunked whatever bullshit REBNY’s wormtongues were spewing when all they had to do is look at Hudson Yards, where a train station built there before the gilded age girder and glass beanstalks were planted. While the developers, city and state were gerrymandering districts (and including Central Park) to pilfer billions from areas that needed it for affordable housing to fund it’s manifestation, the station flooded every time it rained and the escalators consistently break down even to this day. In a way, it looks like having people walk up almost 3 flights from the subway is a good way to train for the useless shawarma art staircase that you first see coming out of the station.

Which leads to the obvious conclusion that our elected leaders, appointed officials and the fucking MTA are relying on the neoliberal doctrine of using austerity measures to rebuild and improve mass transit. What usually happens with cutting costs for government projects and the abject refusal from officials to accrue funding from the wealthiest individuals, austerity always devastates the livelihoods of the lower tiers of the income ladder. Because with congestion pricing, the needs of the few (or the one) outweigh the needs of the many.

Like the taxi drivers, who currently contribute $2.50 to add on to the base fare while  tech corporations like Uber and Lyft only charge an extra quarter even though there are five times more of those app-hail cars on the streets that’s actually is at fault for all the congestion. Because of cab and livery drivers taking their own lives in the past year, this has been dubbed as the “suicide surcharge” by taxi veterans and representatives.

And everyone else will also be levied with this tax when you go to any store that sells goods, from supermarkets to department stores, because those costs are going to be added right to your purchases, adding to the prices that are already rising because of onerous state and city taxes and rent ossification. Even all you pious non-driving, bike, scooter and skateboard riding dependent on your butler apps for Amazon to deliver shit to your shiftless asses, you will be seeing costs escalate for your online consuming too and y’all know Bezos is not above gouging his customers as you’re transit commutes get more chaotic.

As for the #LpocalypseProject’s schedule, Northeast Brooklyn’s millenial urban professionals (hey, Muppies!) who will not tolerate waiting for 20 minutes or more or even the risk of getting poisoned from silica wafting in the air, they will predictably press their little apps and take pricey trips in those Ubers, Lyfts and all their imitators (and certainly more to come) to the city. While the added fees will get accrued for MTA funding it will predictably cause more congestion. No wonder Uber spent 2 million dollars lobbying to get this austerity measure ratified. They are going to make huge bank in the next year and no wonder the city rushed to get the suicide surcharge approved for just the cabs and apphails. That actually makes fiscal sense despite the levies it’s placing on their customers. But if they can afford 1700 to live in an SRO or 2200 for an “affordable” studio, the Muppies can deal with this hardship. But it still going to be a pain in the ass commute for everyone from the not yet gentrified towns of East New York, Brownsville and the ferry-less Canarsie.

As for the Canarsie Tunnel, that also is an austerity measure with inequitable results between the affluent and the working class grinders. Because this polymer coating  is just a half-measured temporary fix that is going to have disastrous consequences when the next hurricane hits this city (remember that bitch Sandy was just a cat. 1, what’s going to happen when it’s a cat. 3 or even 2?), and this infrastructure donut glaze coating of the walls and floorboards is just as cheap and effective as treating a wall with mold and grime on it by painting over it, which the MTA actually did at Union Square last winter.

 

 

 

 

 

Or covering it up with a nice poster

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While service will continue to lag behind in the borough’s towns without niche, the city provided frequent bus transfers for L project sufferers so they can get to the J/M and G trains across town. Which will certainly be busier on the evenings and weekends than the rest of the borough’s long bus routes that are still suffering from slow speeds and late arrivals caused by…traffic congestion.

The appalling inequities that are present with the Lpocalypse Project I base on the fact that the MTA should have fixed this and shut down this tunnel immediately after the flood waters emptied out back in 2011. But that would have thrown a wrench on the over-luxury-hyper-development and fabrication-speculation market rate values of Williamsburg and then onward to neighboring Bushwick and Greenpoint and the Gentrification Industrial Complex of real estate, venture capital, private equity and the government they bought and now own were not going to let something like the safety of millions of commuters get in the way of the demographic  they want that are willing to spend frivolously and mindlessly to live in proximity of the dreaded L line.

The coddling of the moneyed hipster demo that overspends and resides along the L train line fearing that they won’t make any readjustments to their morning and evening commutes or routines. More essential to the Guvner and the Hotel and Hospitality overlords is that this L train fakeout will keep service still convenient for tourists residing in high end flophouse hotels and airbnbs in the Meatpacking district, Chelsea, LES, East Village and Williamsburg to continue frequenting all those theme bars, beer gardens, restaurants and cache take out joints in those areas being that they only need to travel a few stops in Manhattan and Brooklyn

And even the MTA is cognizant of this, because they are going head on to phase out the metrocard and replace it with a stylish but lamely named access card called OMNY, which operates as a worker I.D. card which will be used to tap a screen to pay instead of swiping. And it also will be app-accessible so you can use your cellphone to pay. Even though the brainiacs behind this stupid tech bullshit method refuse to reveal how this will effect people who pay cash (and people that will still prefer to pay cash). These type of transactions have proved to be discriminatory and the prospects for unwanted data extraction will be (hopefully) met with universal anger from commuters. Of course, the officials pushing this pay method (including Byford) responded with the tone-deaf default excuse that everyone already is distributing their data with their cellphone social media and app purchasing habits, so what does the right to privacy and individuality matter when convenience takes precedence over constitutional rights.

But like Moussilli, Andy’s Id still kept the trains running (assuming on time is pure conjecture at this point) despite all the ominous toxic signs from the two incidents in February in March. Further evidence of Governor Stugots austerity measures for the MTA is assigning his Ivy league team who convinced him to keep the L running during the tunnel reconstruction for every other remediation and renovation projects, which includes the upgrading of the signals thus superseding and undermining Andy Byford in the same manner that former Mayor Giuliani projected his seething jealousy on former Commissioner Bratton for his accomplishments in bringing down crime.

Cuomo’s adamant megalomania and de Blasio’s spineless indifference will add to the risks and dangers of the continued exacerbation of the subway. In the midst of this MTA manic depression breakdown, at least one of their board members reassured the reality of their transit surroundings by admitting and actually apologizing for the existential lousiness of the subway.

Now it’s day two of the Lpocalypse Project and as expected shit went wrong on the L with delays lasting up to 40 minutes. It looks like the folks at NYC Transit thought the GIF they provided of the trains navigating the single tube passage looked easier than they thought. But at least they deployed MTA workers to act as commuting ushers to help the critical masses of people to get on board the trains.

But tomorrow is Monday and that’s when shit gets real. Because there is still the menacing prospect of particle pollution that will surely appear again on Bedford Ave if the MTA doesn’t contain it, some of the workers moving commuters were already wearing masks as a precaution. And the shit’s gonna hit the fan now that it’s May and it’s almost summer. Will Governor Stugots Cuomo whoosh down from Albany to look at the results of his manic change of mind when the crisis below exacerbates?

Wait with abated breath. Which actually would prudent to do if you still are taking the L all the way through.

Good luck L commuters. You’re gonna really need it. But you’re gonna need a chemical mask even more.

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There Is A Delay At Lefferts Blvd. Station Renovation Ahead Because Of State And City Government Indifference And Negligence, Stupid Bickering From The Governor And Mayor, Tardy Contractors, Selective And Overdue Renovations At Other Stations, And Stupid Priorities Focusing On Optics And Social Interaction.

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Lefferts Blvd. Station, November 2017. Ain’t a damn thing changed.

Richmond Hill, Queens, N.F’n.Y.

The renovation and modernization of the Lefferts Blvd. Station remains incomplete and nearly 2 years behind schedule. This was supposed to be finished on September 2016.

When I last wrote about this, it was with great relief that the staircase was repaired and accessible again. Also the encrusted vile, unsanitary and health hazardous pigeon shit that piled up on the turnstiles and the partition walls was finally scoured somewhat.  I attribute this to an actual televised report way back in late May by CBS New York’s Reena Roy.

 

Now when I wrote that I would write back in a month, being July, was around the time when Mario’s Son, Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed commuting on your city’s subway was in the midst of a summer of hell and ordered a fast tracking of repairs all over our lousy transit system. An encouraging sign appeared at this station promising the station’s completion, including the monstrous elevator which hogs half the sidewalk on the corner by September 16 or the end of the 3rd quarter.

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Look how they creatively fixed the date on the sign with the sophistication of a little scamp changing D-‘s to A+’s on a report card.

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To assure the way overdue task for completion, the MTA decided that it was best to lock down the stairway in August in order to hasten work on the elevator. At least that was the impression it gave. Respecting the governors demands for swift repair and the repressed frustrations of the commuting public, the station drew up a new sign for the reopening of the stairs. September 15, 2017!

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Some obstacles got in the way during this supposed fast track. For the staircase remained shut down until a few weeks ago on October 22nd.

Making egress from the station a lethargic, condensed human being imitation of a cow to burger death march exit.

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As for the elevator, alas the promising scheduled finalization has not come to be, for it being November, a third of the month over and officially in the 2nd month of the 4 quarter of the year. Betraying the promise made by the bollard obscured sign in the above photo.

This is where this station is now:

Alas, the promising scheduled finalization has not come to be. Another expected failure of the worst fucking transit system in the fucking universe.

All one can ask, equally philosophically and vulgarly is, fucking why is this being delayed like it’s been, what’s the reason for it and what else is so important that priorities have been so skewed that prevented this from even being done this year.

The Lefferts Blvd. station isn’t the only thing the MTA is, for lack of a better term, not fucking bothering with. The MTA is still living up to their model of consistent shitty service all over the boroughs.

One moment in the waning days of the MTA’s Summer Of Hell, Andy Cuomo made an provocatively asinine remark telling and challenging his downstate constituents of alleged improvements if you look a little harder at them.  I felt it was prudent not to respond immediately to his bullshit, easy to do when you don’t have accounts with billion dollar worth social media platforms, and waited till more incidents naturally piled up so there could be some rationale for the awful delay of the Lefferts station makeover. And it did not disappoint despite it’s natural inclination to.

Like the recent IBO study that determined the costs of commuters livelihoods of millions of dollars from loss of work hours in addition to missed appointments from constant daily delays. Delays that have went up 50,000 in 5 years totaling 15,000 hours. Exacerbated by the irresponsible city planning enabling hyper-development and over-speculation of rental market rates, leading to more people moving into the new towers and shacking up with each other in small newly expensive dwellings. Also the pressing fact of the systems aging cars, rotted infrastructure, and disgraceful antiquated signal system.

Steady reports from the commuters of terminated news and culture blog Gothamist and their dead sister newsite DNAinfo revealed real time shittiness like malfunctioning Metrocard machines ripping off commuters, Monday morning city wide delays, rerouting in a span of two weeks, more mechanical breakdowns on the unjustifiably overdue repairing of the Canarsie Tunnel on the L line and another case of hazardous debris left on the tracks.

The obvious obliviousness and of the Governor, pissing hundreds of millions of dollars on light shows, dangerous cashless toll booths, and state sealed useless objectiles by all bridges.

Somehow lost when he gave his advice to suffering commuters, he didn’t look hard enough after he threw his subway New Year’s Day suarez on the 86th Street station Second Avenue line when a sprinkler malfunction shorted the escalators back in May revealed that the line’s emergency service safety system was still being tested, faulty with thousand of defects and incomplete. So if there is somehow a fire, commuters will be too busy panicking and running in mobs to check out all the modern art on the walls.

Appointed interim commissioner Joe Lotha laid out the state’s plan, 4 weeks late of course and after promising completion of a 60 day study that was never released for the reason that the city won’t contribute, of how to accomplish improving service and infrastructure at the gargantuan amount of $15.5 billion dollars, adding more to the amount of money spent and squandered compared to other subway systems around the world and I am obliged to say, the worst fucking transit system in the universe. (I don’t give a shit what that glossy and fancy corporate commissioned study says.

As for other stations in the MTA boards fix included in the 30 station surface improvement plan, renovations like in Astoria will probably meet the same fate as the monument of futility of the Lefferts station and it won’t even have an elevator for the handicap and elderly. Although the stations by Sunset Park and Bay Ridge got done in 6 months and on time, mostly with cosmetic improvements, if you would call those benches that.

So far what has manifested on the city’s trains, stations and even personnel borders on the ludicrous. Like the already decided removal of seats on the cars of a few lines and the replacement of them with fold-up seats on the L line which already have been damaged, presumably by very pissed off citizens. Just to cram more sardines in a crushed tin box.

Also idiotic ideas that rifle straight from underpaying big box retail stores, like taking former MTA booth clerks and turning them into smiling greeters or the slightly more dignifying term ambassadors. And having subway announcements be more honest and informative and less identity oriented by no longer addressing commuters as “ladies and gentlemen” Funny, I thought announcements were supposed to be those things. This devotion to transparency compares to Domino’s Pizza’s recent decision to use actual ingredients for their bland peasant food. Anyway, even though they don’t have an appealing alternative for the universal pleasant greeting of both genders, whatever will replace it will be diligently watched by a crack team of supervisors at the start of the demented program, so any replacing of old tracks and subway car maintanance will have to wait.

Speaking of alienating people, this time unwarranted, the MTA has decided to upgrade how you pay to get on the trains and buses of this perpetual shitshow transit system, by eliminating the metrocard and switching to a tap or swipe system by using a credit card and a cellphone. Opening up new avenues and opportunities for identity stealing hackers and the common skell to snatch your wallet or iphone. The latter being the number one target of thievery. This will also be a major pain to older commuters who don’t have cards or phones and are not tech savvy and all those sensible people who don’t want or refuse to use such items for payment.

Recently re-elected mayor and lucky bastard Bill de Blasio is also being quite a dick about this and comes off like a worse jerk than his foolish nemesis in Albany. For he refuses to contribute to the actually sensible rescue plan that was aborted because of the fact that the state spent the city’s money before prioritizing the highways and bridges instead of the subway.

Although de Faustio and everyone else with a functioning brain and motor skills knows that Cuomo and the state are responsible for the upkeep and spending of your city’s mass transit system and considering the diversion of funding to the idiotic programs and surface improvements aforementioned including one involving a shady crew to cover up bus accidents, Mayor Big Slow doesn’t seem or want to realize that a lot of constituency still relies on driving as well as city businesses. There’s also his insistence on keeping the REBNY developer welfare boondoggle BQX line still afloat and his jackass funding of the disappointing under-serving ferry boats as the subway continued to implode. Even the street belching fire and smoke in the station by (21st century Tammany) city hall is not enough to convince him. So there again goes his credibility on matters concerning the citizens and their finances and daily routines and what an amazing money pissing hypocrite he is.

There is also the fact that he his holding a shitty hand and really cannot challenge the state and Cuomo’s mediocre genius board members by denying the share of the funding in the rescue plan. Despite how they are actually blackmailing the city now that threats of a fare hike is being considered recently. Sometimes you gotta know when to fold ’em like Kenny Rogers reminded us and just suck it up.

With this snafu FUBAR rigmarole going on with the transit system, still overlooked is the last stop on the east bound A train, Lefferts, which service is also being undermined by more trains going to the Rockaways, and it’s station still in a purgatory state of stagnant development. Compared to all the activity that has occurred in the past 4 years of renovation, it’s like it’s frozen in time. That elevator is practically the Frozen Caveman of the MTA.

This should not be in the 21st century. Lefferts is one of the biggest transportation and transfer hubs in NYC and this should have been finished already, yet the elevator remains dormant despite looking complete. The fast track either missed it or more likely the MTA is holding out. It’s an insult to the community, the customers and a crime of social neglect. And a hideous blight on the intersection and massive obstruction to boot.

This elevator has got to get done stat. It’s stupid and unfair that other stations are getting upgraded, especially the one in Brooklyn that got done on time (figures) and retrofitted with lousy wifi that only works at the stations and not in the tunnels or between elevated tracks and a fucking elevator can’t start. It’s one goddamn elevator. The Empire State Building and The World Trade Center (the one that wasn’t named Freedom) got built 3 years faster than this station’s makeover. And those buildings have and had dozens of elevators. This one just goes about 3 stories for fuck’s sake.

Finish this goddamn station already. No more excuses and no more fucking sharpie pen overwritten rescheduling.

Since we are now being so honest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Tale Of Two Brooklyn Park Houses: One Getting Renovated, The Other One Going Away

https://impunitycity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/12208-tennishouse.jpgThe Tennis House In Prospect Park
 
The Park House In Bensonhurst Park (Geoffery Croft photo)

Park Slope and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, N.Y.

DNAinfo: 107-Year-Old Prospect Park Tennis House to Get $5.1 Million Makeover

The long-shuttered Prospect Park Tennis House is getting a $5.1 million facelift to revamp the dilapidated architectural gem. “It’s a much loved building that needs a lot of work,” said Christian Zimmerman, the vice president of capital and landscape management at the Prospect Park Alliance. “We would like it to be open to the public again, so the idea is to do a complete renovation.”

Today, the building is used as an office for park landscape management workers, and although run down, still maintains its architectural charms, including a vaulted ceiling, a colonnaded pavilion, and mosaic tile.

Borough President Eric Adams also kicked in $1 million from his office to restore the green’s Parkside Avenue perimeter, including reconstructing the sidewalk, new lighting, street furniture and planting new trees.

A Walk In The Park: City Closes “House of Horrors” Park House In Brooklyn

Apparently this is the city’s definition of “equality,” in the park system.A dangerous and decrepit park house in a Brooklyn park was finally closed by the city over the weekend after park employees complained and a media inquiry was made about the deplorable conditions,  NYC Park Advocates has learned.

On Friday a dead rat greeted visitors at the entrance to the men’s room where users are forced to pass under a severely eroded ceiling on their way into in a putrid smelling bathroom room where an abundance of flies await  as well as broken windows. On the outside rotten wood and nest make up the crumbling facade.

The charred remains of a fire were evident throughout the building.  A burnt and partially melted fire EXIT sign hangs on the inside above the building’s entrance.

 For years the city has been forcing its employees to work in  a rat invested, crumbling park house building in Bensonhurst Park located Cropsey Avenue and Bay Parkway. 

Its uncertain how many codes, safety and health violations exist in the building but apparently no one from the parks department management thought it was a concern. 

In the public “rec room,” rodent feces were everywhere. Two air conditioning units were mounted above window treatments stuffed with garbage.  

 The city’s initial response – the Park’s Department’s press office chastised a reporter for sending an inquiry at the end on a Friday.

The press office also represented that the section of the building where employees work out of was now was closed as multiple workers were seen entering the exiting the building.

“Its disgusting, It’s unbelievable,” said a park worker speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution. 

“It’s a house of horrors in there, It’s scary,” another worker said. 

This is a interesting way of preserving parkland and green space in an era of hieghtened proactive environmental awareness, especially in a mostly progressive thinking and enlightened borough like Brooklyn. Especially since the borough, and in niche areas in the other boroughs, have seen the appearance of green spaces and plazas and rooftop gardens and farming.

So why the monetary concern and treatment and the abandonment of them for these two park houses? Yet again, it’s all about location. Prospect Park is surrounded by luxury towers completed and currently developed, overvalued speculative property rates and two way bike lanes, Bensonhurst Park is surrounded by Bensonhurst, a town that is populated with working class families and individuals that doesn’t seem to be on the real estate industry radar or even of interest of leisure and style sections of the elite newspapers and fashion magazines (and the citizenry there probably don’t give a shit not to be included in such focus features). Also apparently, not on the parks department or borough president Eric Adams radar either.

Bensonhurst Park is also not near any major subway stops. Or inundated with hipsters for now.

It’s not the least bit or even at all cynical why or where city tax dollars are going to the tennis house by Park Slope, second hometown of Mayor De Faustio, and the Bensonhurst Park house gets put to pasture after years of criminal neglect and turning into a rat litter box. To think that a facility meant for humans, the city and the park’s dept. let it devolve to an environment suitable for rodents. To think that park workers were subjected to do their job there and citizens had to use those toilets. Where is the supposed concern about the environment in southeast Brooklyn?

It’s a real insult to the citizens of Bensonhurst that visit the park and an massive insult to taxpayers in general to let a facility decay, and an utter colossal failure of the parks dept and city hall, the former doing absolutely nothing and blatantly ignoring the blight and the latter who can’t see beyond the giant towers and corporate sponsors hogging territory when they have events in public spaces and parks. So much effort goes into the promoting of parks to encourage the citizenry to enjoy these free spaces but all it is just shallow marketing. Especially now that the existence of parks has been reduced to jack up the market rental rate by the Gentrification Industrial Complex by describing them as another “amenity”.

Well, the powers that be of this city should be happy they have one less abomination to deal with. Why should they since they didn’t even spend a penny to equip Bensonhurst park with a shit shovel, cleaning supplies or even a broom.

This should be a signifying cause of alarm concerning any other parks under gradual dilapidation or ones under construction. Or even any program that’s suppose to better the lives of everyone in this unfair city.

Super Mario’s Son’s MARVELous Fund Hemorrhaging Tax Credit To Comic Book Empire

Image result for andrew cuomo superhero

NY Daily News: Netflix & Disney bring Marvel superheroes to New York City to film online shows

Gov. Cuomo and Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger will announce Wednesday that four different live-action series featuring Marvel comic superheroes will film in New York and be streamed on Netflix, sources said Tuesday night.

The four series will take “Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York,” an announcement last fall said. At the time, no filming location had been selected. Sources say Disney will benefit from New York’s lucrative $420 million annual film and television production tax credit program.

What the goddamn hell, Andy? The subway is in a state of emergency that you declared, which was universally assumed that it would get prioritized. There are thousands statewide addicted to opioids varying from illegally prescribed prescriptions and fentanyl-laced heroin aka 21st century crack. The amount of people homeless is at record breaking high levels not seen since the great depression and the photos of Jacob Riis from a close to a century ago, which is suffering from a chronic lack of available genuine affordable housing . The city’s infrastructure is collapsing from the weight of over/hyper development and overpopulation, the latter exacerbated by the overwhelming amount of tourism coming here.

And this is what you and your administration are busy vying the attention of and withholding millions of dollars for? For another tax credit for the dumbed down and frivolous spending entertainment industry?

What Disney and Netflix, billion dollar industries, don’t have enough money? What, the past 2 decades of prior filming welfare handouts weren’t sufficient? The only infrastructure this is going to create is the presence of space hogging trailers, food catering tents and cables enveloping the curbs. And more irritation for commuters and residents of the unnamed locations where these awful, childish programs will be filmed.

The city that never sleeps has now become, thanks to Cuomo and De Faustio’s even more irresponsible and power abusive rubber stamping filming permit office, the city that’s a free for all for celebrities and manufacturing entertainment defecations. This is a city where people who pay taxes have to live, commute, and work in, raise a family in, not a fucking goddamn borough spanning film studio. This isn’t Universal or Paramount. And most of all, there is no room in this town anymore for this bullshit.

There is no guarantee that these shows will do well, considering the costs of just 26 episodes for an online series, which relies a lot on binge watching and the oversaturation of these comic book films. It’s only a short matter of time when even the most dedicated of geeks will tire of it.

The governor and his cronies can brag that it brings billions of dollars to the city, but as I mentioned, what has 2 decades worth of tax credits to the entertainment industry accounted for? The worst fucking transit system in the universe and a never ending and rising homeless epidemic.

This governor has got to go. He has no concept of priorities at all and like when he ran HUD in the late 90’s (with de Blasio under him by the way), spends and reallocates money that doesn’t belong to him like an idiot asshole.

And he is doing this for a show with lame spinoff characters from Spiderman.

 

Governor Mario’s Son Andy’s Deranged Designer Proposal For Staten Island-Another Prick With A Wall

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to the press on the FDR Boardwalk behind The Vanderbilt Tuesday after announcing a plan to widen the promenade atop a buried seawall. (Staten Island Advance/Rachel Shapiro)Governor Andrew Cuomo speculatively measuring his plans coming to fruition.

The East Shore, Staten Island, N.Y.

To protect the shores of the beachfront to defend against future hurricanes certain to come and threatening rising sea levels, the State of New York and the Federal government has granted the coast lines of Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach with a  buried seawall and levee to be constructed, with a boardwalk for pedestrian and possibly bicycle usage on top. The project will start construction in 2018 and set to be completed in 3 years (better hurry up.)

Although it’s supposed to function as a security apparatus, our visionary artiste and event planner governor deems it unsatisfactory and not ostentatious. Oh, no, for it to be truly worth the costs it has to have the usual superfluous additions and attract travelers yearning for new destinations.

Lo and behold!

Why don’t we really think about this as an attraction rather than just as a functional device,” said Cuomo. “Let’s build something that enhances the island and enhances all the homes that are looking at the promenade.”

“We don’t want just a walkway for seven miles that frankly is going to be a wasted opportunity,” said Cuomo.

DNA info

You see, it can’t be just a regular boardwalk. So in spite of the drab and dull plans of the Army Core Of Engineers, Andy wants to widen the boardwalk beyond the original plan so it could hold events, marathons and those overpriced food concession stands this generation raves about and takes photos of. And stands to sell those rancid craft brews Mario’s son loves so much.

When the Advance asked Cuomo, who gave few details in his presentation at The Vanderbilt, how his proposal would differ from what the plan already includes, he said, “We don’t think it’s enough, I think it’s too narrow. We’re talking about a 30 or 40 foot promenade, we’re talking about amenities along the promenade. A promenade is a tourism destination, it has amenities, there are food kiosks, there are benches, there are lookouts. There’s all sorts of ideas that you can do.”

He added, “It could be a tour of all the different cuisine that New York has to offer, it could be a tour of all the craft beers that New York has to offer. It could be a walking museum. It could be a lot of things. We don’t want just a walkway for 7 miles, that frankly, is going to be a wasted opportunity.”

A spokeswoman later told the Advance the multi-use promenade “can support a range of recreational activities, including outdoor concerts, beer and food tastings, cultural festivals, nature walks, seaside carnivals, bike races, marathons and other running competitions, environmental education, and other events and community gatherings.”

The cost of the project, expected to be completed in late 2022 — originally 2021 — has steadily increased from an estimated $579 million to the most recent $615 million estimate, making the federal government’s share about $400 million; the state’s share about $154 million; and the city’s share about $62 million.

SI Live

Of course such inspired lunacy leads to sacrifices, like the amount of state taxes extracted from your paycheck. And because of Andy’s proclivity for wasting money that’s not his own, the project already is behind schedule. Which totally goes against protecting the homes and citizenry from the next Sandy like devastation.

Which makes the following proclamation from Andy Andy’s mouth so perplexing

“This isn’t just a wall,” Cuomo said. “We should think of it more as a promenade with a boardwalk and concessions. Let’s build something that enhances the island. Let’s increase real estate values and improve quality of life.”

NY Daily News

It shows once again that people elected to wield great power and responsibility still are too dumb and easily forget past history when they are overwhelmed with blind ambition and even unsatiated greed. The latter that can cynically refer more to the interests of REBNY than the homeowners on the borough, who will certainly lose everything if a massive category 3 storm comes in a year’s or maybe a month’s time.

Most importantly, Andy exposes himself for the brazen ignorant hypocrite he is by putting superficiality and frivolity first with his irresponsible grand redesign of the seawall in spite of his grandstanding of his belief in the extreme effects of climate change after chastising Figurehead Trump for pulling out of the Paris Accord.

No wonder this jerk thinks he can be president.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fare Beaten: Mayor Big Slow De Blasio’s Big Ass Budget Denies Discount Metrocards For Poor And Rent Burdened Commuters

IMG_20160921_191503488This station is very far away from the city and it’s location lacks hip cache and luxury towers.

The mayor and city council’s recently approved and bloated $85 billion dollar budget couldn’t spare 50 mil for discounted fares for the poor, which in the face of city wide prosperity, still exists. Mayor De Faustio nevertheless stated repeatedly to the remaining stunned bloc of betrayed voters and the press that he would not allocate funding to the needy he once pandered to, and deferred responsibility to his archrival Mario’s son Governor Andy and also to a rare declaration of fiscal restraint. This would have some credence if he actually show restraint in doling out gunny sacks of plums to the preferred interest groups of the mayor and his lady ogre speaker that received millions of dollars.

Interesting as he was saying he was going to deny much needed aid to the citizens barely getting by with the growth in property taxes, energy and cellphone bills, and rapidly rising inflation in the cost of food who also have to deal with the lousy service of the worst fucking transit system in the universe, which can now add threats to employment on the list as innocent commuters have to explain daily of their tardiness. For he has still not given up on his and his REBNY donor overlord’s demented plan to build the absurd BQX light rail line, despite a strict feasibility report stating it’s impossibilities, from obvious expenses and overhauling critical infrastructure, and also the fact that the rail will travel in a level one hurricane flood zone.

But a month after the report, the Queens Courier’s The Sun paper edition published a sponsored 10 page pullout on the BQX with various adverts and cheesy photo manipulations of the tram on the streets. Yet again, facts, common sense and general safety get thrown in the garbage when it comes to the unrealistic wants of the Gentrification Industrial Complex. And obviously, the plans to build this idiotic trolley unwanted by the citizenry and the small businesses is still a go.

Now what’s truly absurd and offensive about this hoarding of tax dollars is that the city agreed to allocate 2.5 billion to improve the subway in a state accord with the state a few years ago. The kicker is that the BQX initial cost happens to be 2.5 billion dollars. It’s a possibility that Mayor De Faustio is denying the poor people he once deigned to and feigned to be concerned about is shelving the money that could have easily went to serve the poorer communities.

It kind of evokes wonder if the city’s share in investing the subway is even being used at all. Going by the recent historic lousy service that has occurred this spring alone.

For now that less fortunate commuters have to continue to pay lavish fares for abominable service, it’s high time that the damned MTA get their collective shit together and also stop minimizing the severity of the reasons for delays. As for the cheap ass mayor (except to his incompetent non-profit groups donors), instead of passing the buck to the equally despised governor, delve into the city’s deposit box and make the subway service less shittier and borderline dangerous.

 

 

 

 

MTA Misbehavin’

The Lefferts Blvd. Stairway in 24/7 still life.

It’s almost the middle of May, about 6 weeks into the 2nd quarter of 2017, and the notorious tardiness renovating the Lefferts Blvd. station continues unabated and sadly unconcerned by the higher administrative brass and even the thousands of commuters who rely on this heavily populated hub. The stairway and the handicap accessible elevator looks complete but is still surrounded by machinery, giant orange thimbles and partition fencing obstructing the majority of the sidewalk. And it’s still causing massive bottlenecks of people exiting and entering the station.

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But during my last visit, I happened to meet the curators of the year long fecal art exhibition at the turnstiles.

Apparently, in spite of recent attempts to clean the area, the pigeon populace has settled quite nicely and comfortably during this essential and glacial upgrade.

In fact, it looks like the MTA’s hired contractors built a coop

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But, for the sake of empathy and pretension, I might doth protest too much. For this is just standard procedure.

The Worst Transit System In The Fucking Universe has been giving their customers a wild ride for the last couple of weeks, for there has been a plethora of coverage of the MTA’s atrocious construction and daily service delays that are verging on the tragicomic, frustrating, nerve-rattling, and surreal and a true test on human collective sanity.

For starters, an event, and it seems you can’t go a second without hearing one these days, was held for the 100th anniversary of the 7 line in Queens that was followed by an alarming report of the horrid condition of the elevated structure which hasn’t been painted for 3 decades that was shedding chunks and chips of old lead paint over the densely populated Roosevelt Avenue.

There was the grand unheralded opening of the elevator at Briarwood/Van Wyck on Queens Blvd, an achievement that would have got some praise if Mario’s son threw a craft brew festival surrounding it but it turns out that it took 3 years to build because of the need for super special mechanical parts. I surmise that it took a worldwide expedition to find these vaunted materials and the hiring of an adventuring Indiana Jones type for the amount of time expended.

The timing of it’s opening is quite impeccable considering a recent report on a massive percentage of inoperative elevators and escalators for the handicapped and elderly commuters, most recently spotlighted by the perpetually malfunctioning people mover by Court Square in Long Island City and the masking tape decorated paperweight collecting dust that is the subject of this posting.

These necessities being denied the state tax paying commuters barely competes with delays occurring almost daily from signal and electrical breakdowns, homeless spillover occupying cars, sick passengers, decaying infrastructure and ambiguous investigations throwing the city into chaos. The timing of these mass transit travesties mostly happening during the peak rush hours.

There was the day when a mysterious blackout at the 7th avenue station in Manhattan which serves the B, D & E that caused hours of delays and rerouting of almost every line. A similar incident happened recently at 36th street station in Brooklyn, causing reroutes of over 8 lines. One day the Q train had to be shut down for an investigation because a swastika was drawn on a seat. A big slab of concrete fell on an train that pulled into the Franklin Ave station on the 3 line in Crown Heights. Yesterday, a sick passenger shut down the city bound A and C lines.

There are the now weekly breakdowns and delays at Penn Station, notably the feces spewing ceiling geyser. And the 4 billion dollar luxury shopping mall atrocity Oculus couldn’t even hold the force of nature’s fluids during last weeks downpour, which had the semblance of the skies vomiting water. It should not be a surprise of that hub’s vulnerability since it’s designed like a dish rack.

https://i2.wp.com/rew-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/oculus-world-trade-center-1-938x535.jpghttps://www.giftswithstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Black-Blum-High-Dry-Grey-Dish-Rack-1.jpg

What can be done to stem this inexcusable, disgusting and just plain shitty service that the people of this city are paying for day after day, fare increase after fare increase.  Maybe 65 million dollars might be enough to keep the trains coming on time and make the essential upgrades for the systems antiquated signal system, perilous underground infrastructure and aging rails and tracks. But remember, Mario’s son Governor Cuomo inexplicably reallocated that funding to the city he so anecdotally talked about when he christened the Kosciusko Bridge with that cheesy Window Media Player 9 light show. That’s why it boggles the collective frustrated mind of the citizenry that Andy allocated some funding to redesigning 3 stations by Sunset Park and fitting it with free wifi, and the only improvements the transit system has seen is just cosmetic and goddamn wifi. It’s also bewildering with the amount of space sold to advertisers, even fully covering train cars to turnstiles and the billions of tourists that would populate Jupiter and Saturn that the money generated is still not enough to finance our transit system city and state wide. Where does all the fucking money go????

So it’s time to adapt then die to the further malaise of commuting on The Worst Fucking Transit System In The Universe. If there is a proper analogy for this, it’s like what commuters are experiencing is the Kübler-Ross theory, the 5 stages approaching death every early morning and evening in the past few weeks, but skipping grief and went straight to anger and is holding steady there. Let’s make sure Mario’s Son feels the wrath breathing down his wrinkled neck by remaining pissed and not bargain and succumb to fear and acceptance. And not to take any more shit.

Especially and specifically this shit.

Whose trains? OUR TRAINS!!!

 

Update: I profanely asked where does the money go from all the space that are sold to advertisements, and it seems to go into overtime for some certain dedicated workers. From an audit by a conservative think tank, the Empire Center of Public Policy, overtime pay cost the taxpayers close to a billion dollars. The most ludicrous was a track worker who actually earned more than the MTA commissioner at the time. Supposedly, these massive earnings, for technically a few hours of work, are justified because of the alleged efficiency it brings to the transit system with workers on the job. Somehow it might be more cost effective to hire people work those hours into later shifts and it would probably save a few hundred grand.

The Expendable American Health Care Act

https://d3i6fh83elv35t.cloudfront.net/newshour/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/RTS157NO-1024x659.jpgScum of the nation, having a hearty laugh at everyone’s expense, whose healthcare is covered by tax paying constituents.

Washington D.C., America

880 billion dollars. Take a look at that number and think about it. 880 fucking billion dollars these sadistic greedy huer dubiously pious motherfuckers want to cut from Medicaid. This on the heels of the monstrous and dystopian society producing tax cut for corporations hoarding money in other nations, on islands and in hotels and luxury condos. This on the prospect of the massive cuts, already having deleterious effects, on various fields of scientific research, caring for the elderly, schools and housing.

Is there no end to stem their bottomless satiety for personal wealth? These elected subhumans and their wealthy donors are basically financial cannibals.

This is the real death tax. The new final solution. The cost is your money then your life. This is the Expendable American Health Care Act. Affordability has now become a luxury item. Especially when it comes to the health and well being of you, the people. For these 217 fiends who voted yes to repeal and destroy the health care of millions, and actually held a big keg frat party to celebrate it, the aged, the less healthy and less earning of their constituents just has to pass away to keep the economy solvent for those who need an extra beach house, private plane or vast swaths of trendy city real estate for those impatient to wait for government exemptions.

Some or most of the 217 stupid morons who passed this death warrant did not even read the contents of the bill, akin to the passing of the unpatriotic Patriot Act passed months after 9/11, supposedly to stop terrorists from attacking on our soil again when all it has done was stifle protests and enabled the NSA to mine every citizen’s phone and digital communications for info. While the Patriot Act took a majority of our liberty away, the EAHCA act will take away your life if you are middle class, poor, disabled or old.

According to the demonic inside trader HHS chairman Tom Price, this cut will free up the individual states to control the costs and dispense the care. But with what money? And mostly what hospitals, since a lot of them are already going belly up and being replaced with ugly glass behemoth towers.

Executive Producer and Figurehead Trump yet again breaks another of his promises to his voters during his monkey hustle campaign last year. The mook from Queens actually turned around to those greedy sociopaths and pleaded for reaffirmation of his position.

“Can you believe it, I’m the President” and they all just laughed with him instead of at him. These excuses for people have no shame, no integrity and no intelligence. Just lots of money, power and influence.

And government funded and private health insurance. And nice palaces to dwell in when they retire.

And if this passes the Senate (signs are pointing that it won’t, but don’t get your hopes up, because hope is a luxury too), there won’t be any places for seniors to go in their late years except a nameless grave in some field. A field that will eventually be grounds for a new luxury tower with a 20 story banner of Ivanka Trump pasted on the side and occupied with the money of the progeny of the 217 elected gangsters in Congress.

 

Executive Carnage, 2 months in: Figurehead Trump’s Petulant Inanities, Budgetary Pestilence, And The Betrayal Of Justice In His Home State Of New York.

Caricature of the Caricature In Chief, Photo by New York Shitty

“I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.”

                The recent quote by President Donald J. Trump that spewed from his rusty diarrhetic spigot pipehole in the latest issue of TIME

Washington D.C., The United States Of America

The Trump presidency and the GOP majority House and Senate, now at 64, is for all intents, purposes and hysterical, fattening irony, is now embroiled in precarious dread and utter chaos. The same kind experienced by all those impacted by the Figurehead’s best words and stupid ass executive decisions and policy making.

The last few weeks, Trump has struck out on his campaign promises to curb terrorism via the arbitrary Muslim ban, shot down by federal district court judges yet again, this time from Maryland and Hawaii. And his promise to end the affordable care act, familiarly known as Obamacare, named after the first African American neoliberal President of the United States, collapsed as if by assisted suicide in Congress Friday afternoon.

And he may have truly fucked himself by accusing the prior executive in chief of wiretapping his tacky ass namesake tower on 57th and 5th, especially after going on social media the day of FBI chief Comey’s testimony about ongoing investigations into collusion between allies of the Figurehead and their and his ties to Russia intelligence operatives and oligarchs. Although not strictly tied to Don Worthless, two recent cases involving financial and tech crimes cannot bode well for his current stature and lend credence to his repeated denials, considering the preferred machinations and tactics that were employed ensuring his election victory. Also the lavishly paid work his campaign manager for 5 months last year, Paul “Mumbles” Manafort, in the Ukraine and his eccentric billionaire pal Roger Stone’s correspondence with Glucifer 2.0 might jolt his selective memory and probably inspire the feds to some subpoenas and warrants ready.

The aborted plan, the Crippled American Health Care act, was nasty from the start. And clearly assembled so poorly, except in obvious places where it seem most cruel and sadistic and spiteful. Like how it would throw out 24 million citizens off the rolls, raise premiums and costs for the elderly and indigent, make enrolling more expensive for those not on it and how tanning salons would get a break in fees, so as to remind those who make fun of his unnatural comical orange complexion. Fortunately, everyone involved in crafting this clusterfuck legislation, did so in haste and seemingly all those tasked to the plan are dumb as rocks, mostly the leader and muse of this colossal waste of time and tax expenditure, Speaker Paul Ryan, who might have signed his own political death warrant thanks to Figurehead Trump’s haughty demands. But mostly it’s due to the people all over the nation, confronting their elected representatives, at least those that didn’t try to flee out the back door, with assured absolutism regarding their needs for the health care they signed up for to keep the ACA intact.

For the brief bit of hope from the abysmal failure to overturn ACA is temporary now that the budgetary plans are in place, shoring up the military and homeland security complexes at the expense of practically everything that protects and maintains life liberty and the pursuit of happiness for every American. Their security too.

The greatest and biggest armed forces on the planet is about to get 54 billion dollars. The only reason for this is that Figurehead Trump is going to lead this nation into wars. And by ourselves without coalitions. Because in the past, poll numbers go up for leaders during wartime. And this estimate, probably low ball, if we are going to fight and terminate ISIS and the war on terror, a war on an idea, a war on faith, these massive costs of taxpayer largesse and eventually the lives of soldiers are going to set up camps in Syria to defend and shore up murderous dictator Bashir Al-Assad, who is a cross between Adolf Hitler and Latka Gravas.

 

The other reasons for justifying these new expenditures to the M.I.C. is our nation’s continuing presence in Iraq and in the never-ending yet mild war and occupation in Afghanistan. For the only reason in my opinion is to wrest control from the Taliban, who are practically a entrenched established political party and government apparatus there and to protect all that natural gas and heroin from getting in the wrong hands. (Speaking of smack, Trump actually added funding to heroin treatment and prevention in the HHS)

The only other two areas that are getting infusions are 2.6 billion for the border wall, the wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for, and is definitely a low ball estimate in addition to being an imaginary goal. This wall may cost trillions if implemented, considering the engineering, labor and materials. As for materials, will they be made in the U.S.A.?
And of course there are the deployments of ICE agents in towns, roaming around like bounty hunters searching for illegal immigrants, getting the bad guys, but also getting the poor hard working law abiding guys. And the database that collects the info of their whereabouts via the Palantir corporation.

As is the other allocation of 1.4 billion for “school choice”, which could only mean that Betsy “Destroyer” Devos is going to be very busy at her appointed position, counting her personal filthy lucre from her corrupt charter school industries that will certainly accrue when or if this gets implemented. Vulture equity firms investing in these schools will also get off big. There is also the looming threat to the civil rights and the separation of church and state with the adamant use of christian doctrine imposed on the schools in her home state in Michigan and the selective use of funding of those schools that teach the good book.

As for the rest of the departments, they are as fucked as the state of normal:

The EPA, at 31% got the biggest cuts of all, no doubt influenced by the presence of that humanoid mass of methane Secretary Scott Pruitt. So expect the water and air to get a tad more decorative with pollutants.

The State Department, got a 29% cut, making Rex Tillerson’s job easier, although distributing aid to starving nations like Kenya and Sudan is going to get a lost riskier for those in need after suffering elongated drought. It’s going to be also a little harder to avoid getting into messy violent conflicts, but why should it matter because a lot of positions in the state haven’t been filled and probably never will.

Agriculture’s cut, at 21 %, is most recently noted for the SNAP program, so more kids and moms will be getting their nutrition from the 99 cent stores. And the elderly will be joining them as they painstakingly make the long trek to the Dollar Tree for vienna sausages and ramen noodles, as Meals On Wheels is also in jeopardy.

Labor’s cut will ruin the chances for the poor and vulnerable elderly to maintain work or get new jobs, it also will deny employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth.

Department of Health and Human Services cuts at 18% will fuck up Medicaid and Medicare. So don’t get sick or injured if you’re poor or old. Unless you have ACA. And cures and remedies to cancer and heart disease will have to wait too. Research, Smeaserch.

Commerce Department cut at 16% will deny funding to protect the coasts from future storms, which is a shock considering a lot of recent luxury tower development have occurred on coastal areas on the Pacific and Atlantic. But in places like Coney Island, where there are still poor project housing by the beaches, maybe this is almost like insurance for Trump’s developer peers. Speaking of housing-

HUD’s cut, seemingly sparse at 13 %, will cut funding for new development, leaving the projects at the mercies of private developers and gentrification. Making matters worse is the reminder that this will be run by the brain dead brain surgeon Ben Carson. A man who survived a stabbing thanks to his belt buckle.

The Education Department, cut at 14%, in the most bizarre redistribution of funding in all these heinous cuts, impacts the actual training of new teachers, summer school programming and aid programs to poor and first generation students at a cost of 3.7 billion in grants. So why does Betsy need 1.4 billion to encourage school choice, when the Trump administration is making it easier to choose charters to let public schools rot.

Transportation Department got a 13% cut, for all the talk of improving road infrastructure and airline security and safety. In the spirit of Reagan, this has a deleterious effect on air traffic control.

Interior Department cuts will affect the nation’s parks. That’s a lot of untapped real estate and energy mining for certain interests. The Energy Department’s cuts will impact the nuclear plants and stockpiles positively and studies on climate change negatively. The latter being that debates on the issue have to continue, perhaps indefinitely. The slight cut to NASA also will deny climate studies. It also cuts funding on the cost saving Energy Star program, because we need more coal resourced refrigerators and microwave ovens. Maybe we can use coal to charge all our Iphones now that we got Obamacare back.

Treasury Department at -4% also seems ineffectual. The major exception with this is that most impactful and pervasive crime being committed, and by the most avaricious perpetrators, is money laundering. A lot of this is being done with the aforementioned Russian oligarchs, as well as domestic and other international billionaires. The timing of this can’t be worse in light of the confirmed fact of the hierarchy of Saudi Arabia giving financial aid to Al Queda for decades, even during the monstrous slaughter of 9/11.

And the Big Kahuna of cuts. To fucking 100 percent to nothing funding to National Endowments to the Arts and Humanities, Museum and Library Services, and Public Broadcasting, PBS and NPR. If this stupid and sadistic budget passes, this will be the last year for public access to information, history and creativity. The last year to enjoy plays and musical performances in the park and on TV and radio. The last year to see art exhibitions. The last year to get unfiltered and untainted reports on the nation, world and on politics left and right. The last year to get free help for filling out tax returns and getting employment.

These budgetary decisions are going to instill more cynicism and frustration into a populace already tired of the Figurehead’s bullshit. Even among the people he promised to make America First and Great Again. It’s going to break towns and cities with combined urban blight, rising crime and economic environmental devastation. It’s going to lead to decimation in law and order despite all the new money being disbursed to maintain it.

Especially in Donald’s hometown in Queens and the other boroughs in New York.

Which he already did with his chair bashing sneak attack firing of Southern District D.A. Preet Bharara. Right at the end throes of his investigation into the (once) illegal fundraising of Mayor De Blasio and his doling of services favorable to big money clients of various public relation and lobby firms that worked on his mayoral campaign and his city hall slush fund 501 (c) (4) he ran inside his office with the presence of said groups, dubbed agents of the city to foolishly avoid illegalities. And right at the start of investigations in to HHS secretary Tom Price shady insider trading investments and the misappropriation of funds by the Fox News Network to settle sexual harassment cases.

With that move, Figurehead Trump made Pay To Play and Honest Graft legal in NYC. For the time being all can hope.

But with these recent policy making gaffes, it does give a faint glimmer of hope that this budget will go down the crapper as with his travel ban and his shitty health care plan. And maybe he will refrain from saying stupid shit on twitter with lame attempts to distract news media, corporate and independent, our elected officials and the people of this nation.

Yet this afternoon…

“ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry,”

 
He still persists.
170323-trump-truck-white-house-636p_0010a810c277423f29fba2c33b773261.nbcnews-fp-1200-800

What a fucking disgrace.

Breaking News: The Governor Does Notice Things

Governor Andy Cuomo, activating the pressure point for his observational ability.

The consternation by some, which consists of the 40% who view him unfavorably including the author of this site, might have to acknowledge the recent acts by Governor “Mario’s Son” Cuomo as evidence of his ability to take proactive responses and action to address the distressing demands of his constituents.

Even if it is motivated by being confronted by the irrepressible Marcia Kramer and his pathetic reoccurring and costly to the citizenry feud with Mayor “Big Slow” de Blasio.

Take a recent report covering a complaint of a Metro-North commuter and the unsanitary conditions of the train cars seats:

Needless to say, it was a bit encouraging. Too bad following this terribly brief report, the MTA reverted back to their daily routines of futility and neglect, as witnessed by thousands of commuters as bus stops still contained snow piles and elevated platforms in the outer boroughs were covered with sheets of ice and frozen snow, conditions more preferably to polar bears if they currently had it.

And since the Governor, who is wholly responsible for the MTA and the upkeep and running of it, as shown that he can wield his authority when he has to, maybe he can tell the contractor hired to renovated and rebuild the Lefferts Blvd. A line station to do some thorough cleaning also. Because as repeatedly documented here, it has been a feathered rat outhouse for the past year and half and possibly poses a bigger health risk than the grimy cushioned seats on the metro-north. Here’s a compilation of from autumn and early winter last and this year:

And this is from a few days ago:

As Ms. Kramer attests, it seems that the only way this gets any attention is to guilt Andy to submission in person. Of course after hearing a response coated with feigned concern and condescension and a lame statement by an MTA spokesperson. But what’s been going on in this station in Southeast Queens is utter bullshit and unacceptable. And should be rectified pronto and cleaning up this eyesore and obvious health hazard shouldn’t have to wait for this modernization to be complete. Which is late again, being that the first quarter of the year is almost up in a few weeks.

The Governor, in the proverbial zone, also noticed something striking, that there is still poverty and a dearth of crucial services in the borough of Brooklyn

The Brookyn Eagle: Cuomo’s $1.4B ‘Vital Brooklyn’ plan would invest heavily in Central Brooklyn

Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a $1.4 billion initiative on Thursday that aims to transform Central Brooklyn, long one of the most troubled areas in the city.

Central Brooklyn includes Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick and Crown Heights, neighborhoods that struggle chronically with poverty, crime, poor health and low educational achievement.

The initiative, dubbed “Vital Brooklyn” would target and invest in eight areas in an integrated manner, Cuomo said. The largest chunks of the $1.4 billion would be spent on improving community health services ($700 million) and affordable housing ($563 million).

The remaining $166 million would be spent on increasing access to open spaces and recreation, assuring access to healthy food, resiliency, economic development and job creation, youth education and development and community violence prevention.

Cuomo said that the state’s former piecemeal approach to Central Brooklyn had proven ineffective.

(No shit Sherlock, emphasis mine)

“We are going to employ a new holistic plan that will bring health and wellness to one of the most disadvantaged parts of the state,” Cuomo told the approving crowd that included Central Brooklyn officials and union members from TWU and 1199SEIU health care workers. 

“Every New Yorker deserves to live in a safe neighborhood with access to jobs, health care, affordable housing, green spaces and healthy food, but you can’t address one of these without addressing them all,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo told elected officials that while the state would provide the funding, they would have to provide the leadership and bring in the community, spread over ten Assembly districts. Districts would choose from a menu of options.

 “You can’t impose anything on the community,” he said.

Cuomo also warned officials that it would not be easy to convince Albany, which will deal with the budget on April 1, to invest in the plan.

“Be ready for war when we go back” to Albany, he said.

Times Union: Cuomo touts $1.4B budget package for Brooklyn

In outlining his “Vital Brooklyn” plans at Medgar Evers College, Cuomo said Brooklyn lawmakers should prepare for a war in Albany as they try to shepherd the funding past colleagues from other regions of the state who might try to poke holes in the plan. But, the governor contends that $1.4 billion in spending now is money better spent than on dysfunction down the road.

“You want to talk about expensive: $50,000 a year to keep a person in prison, that is expensive,” Cuomo said, noting that tuition at Harvard University is cheaper. “Drug abuse is expensive. New York Police Department of 50,000 policemen, that’s expensive to keep people safe. Murder is expensive. It is dysfunction that is expensive.”

“I would much rather invest early on, prevent the problem in the first place, than pay for the manifestation of it later on,” he added.

The plan covers key themes state officials believe can make struggling communities more vibrant, including the creation and improvement of open green spaces, construction of affordable housing, promotion of violence prevention initiatives like midnight basketball, promotion of healthy food programs and improvement of connections between upstate food growers and downstate consumers.

So now the state recognizes the persistent and perennial blight and plight of the residency of this massive enclave. Which going by the towns targeted is actually larger in capacity and density than the recent tony and former affordable areas in the western coastal areas of the borough.

And you bet that the long suffering citizenry of these towns are skeptical at the intent of Governor 2020, with justified concerns of fear and anger of the obvious prospect of gentrification. Government sponsored gentrification.

New York Times: Cuomo’s $1.4 Billion Plan for Brooklyn Stirs Fears of Gentrification

Residents in central Brooklyn met the announcement with a mix of elation and skepticism. Parents who keep their children mostly inside for safety warily embraced it. Others worried about the potential for gentrification, leading to the displacement of the area’s mostly black and Latino residents.

“Why now? You had all these times to make these changes, now Brooklyn is a hot spot — everyone wants a piece of it,” Ms. Vieira said. “If you want to make it better for the community, why 2017? The community has been the way it has been since the ’70’s

In East New York, Dayon Hopkins, 28, walked with his cousin, Troy Millhouse, 7, along Fountain Avenue, scooping wet snow off the hood of parked cars and slinging snowballs at each other.

Mr. Hopkins, who used to live in Bedford-Stuyvesant until rising rents forced him to move farther east, said Mr. Cuomo’s initiative, known as Vital Brooklyn, sounded like a prelude to more gentrification and a forced exodus of current residents.

“They’ll take this right here,” said Mr. Hopkins, pointing to a building facade across the street, “And put a glass door, a brick wall on one side of the hallway, and now it’s a loft” he said. “And now it costs way more than people are making around these parts.”

He continued: “And I understand: It does get nicer. But where’s everybody else going to go? Down south? Where are we going to go?”

(I am always wondering about that too, my theory is that the predator developers and our spineless sellout elected’s want to push the rent-burdened as far east to the Atlantic Ocean off Montauk Point)

Andy’s big presentation happens to jibe with actual and disturbing development that is happening right now in East New York by the Broadway Junction and elevated train stations, as it seen rents rise and reviled hipster sightings, thanks to and enabled by Mayor de Faustio’s  target genesis AQZ plan for the district, . Granted it expands more, but it needs a bigger push from the Assembly upstate. So possibly this plan and project will not manifest and it’s just another superficial presentation by our bloviating governor. But he has been on a roll lately with his fast tracking of the Tappan Zee and Kociosko Bridge replacements and the grand opening and craft brew cocktail new year’s eve party on the 2nd avenue subway line. A result of his slightly dictatorial style of legislating upstate.

One cannot argue about the allocations and programs in this proposal. Targeting affordable housing, healthy food access, park spaces (confusing since there are many parks in the area, and recent stats show that green spaces don’t guarantee safety and security), resiliency focusing on renewable energy, education, violence prevention (night basketball, a fave but slightly effective program by his dad), and health care. It’s just if the same perennially suffering residents will still be around to use and enjoy them. And if anything, it’s a crass insult to even name this superficial business conference posing as a sincere government proposal Vital. Like it’s a barren wasteland without signs of life or viable businesses, like the small businesses our elected officials like to praise so much. Like the people that already lived there now don’t matter enough to get prior attention. It’s like how developers and electeds like to constantly refer to vibrancy to bolster or even impose projects on towns they are targeting.

It’s still a real shame and a coincidence that improvements and necessities only come when someplace gets sudden cachet. Especially the case of Vital Brooklyn, or soon to be known as Brooklynland presented by Spectrum/ Citibank/ WeWork , for it’s been blessed and plagued with this label of coolness for at least a decade at the expense of thousands, possibly a bulk of the 60,000 currently homeless.

It’s like the Governor got inspired by this tax payer funded philanthropy by the lack of hipster sightings, pretentious restaurants and bars, superfluous cafes, and last but not least, luxury towers in places like Brownsville and Canarsie.

But mostly this could be just another undermining of his nemesis in City Hall. Which is getting old by the second and seems as genuine as feud between professional wrestlers.

All the surviving citizenry, the true residents of this part of Brooklyn, have to do is stay informed, organize and remain vigilant. Take a cue from the residents of Crown Heights, who are getting bombarded with combined gentrification and homeless placements from oblivious city planners. For any plan, no matter how progressive, is to be thoroughly scrutinized and vetted, for there are jackals that still have to profit immensely no matter the cause. And Andy should know from recent prior experience with the Buffalo Billion mess. And as shown, criminal embarrassments like that will not deter him at all.

Which confirms his continuing inability and even unwillingness to notice things, mostly the obvious.

Executive Carnage Proceeds: Figurehead Trump’s Congressional Address Involving Expensive, Expansive Police State And Military Budget Spending Impresses Corporate News Conglomerates. WWWBD? (What Would Wayne Barrett Do?)

Image result for Trump congress speechThe President Of The United States in dickface mode as those next in command, Fric And Frac behind him dutifully applaud

Washington, D.C., U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

What an uncomfortable and yet unpleasant sight it still is to see the words President Trump together, as well as the everyday reality of accepting that fact and of the bedlam he is causing in his position. Which made it even worse when the day arrived of his first address to Congress. To see him walk down the aisle in the role given to him by a desperate, disillusioned and disgusted with the status quo and elitism in government, it still looks unnatural and it gives the impression that his election victory and current occupation is just a spin-off from his rotten reality genre NBC program.

But before he addressed congress he acknowledged the First Lady Melania Trump and it may have been the first time that raucous wolf whistling and guttural whoos ever greeted a woman of such a dignitary position.

The contents of his speech he gave mostly was another rerun of all his shallow campaign promises, ludicrous budget spending proposals and pandering jingoistic bromides. More billions for the fucking wall on the Mexican border which is based on speculative profits and theories about returning jobs but for now WE THE PEOPLE are going to pay for. Something called VOICE, which looks like his crack(ed) team aides struggled to come up with a mnemonic for asinine program, which a special victims unit for those subjected to crimes by alleged illegal immigrants. More billions for the Military and Surveillance Industrial Complex. To pay for all this government expansion, which for some reason all the supposed conservatives in the house and senate based their campaigns and tenures rallying and fights against wasteful government spending and overreach, there will be drastic cuts to arts and education, and inevitably on the abolishment of the taxpaying citizens health care apparatus of Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA, along with the de-funding of social security.

These plans, although little detailed and devoid of any substance or sustenance as effective policies, anticipates that international wars are on the horizon. As shown by Figurehead Trump’s bonehead attack on a village and Al Qaeda base in Yemen, resulting in the deaths of not only enemy fighters but civilians including children and the destruction of multi-million dollar fighter chopper and the death of Navy Seal, Chief Petty Officer William Ryan Owens . This was the result of Trump leaving all his war making decisions on Defense Secretary Mad Dog Mattis, whose prior experience supervising quagmires in Iraq should have gave this attack some slight hesitation. But it’s horrible results just made a soldier’s wife a widow and an excuse for the Figurehead to pass the buck and blame the generals (after all, it was their decision). If there is a lesson here, it’s shown that despite Trump’s repeated assertions, not warning about an attack on the enemy like his predecessor did, doesn’t yield success or even intel, no matter how many times he invokes it and how his press secretary over-enthusiastically yells it.

And nothing will be questioned by the sycophantic lobotomized monkey Republican  majorities in the House and Senate for his mystery war plans, especially after the elongated standing ovation, deservedly so, to sad sight of the widow Carryn Owens, praying and weeping to the heavens. Despite the sick, make that SICK, comment of the ovation breaking a record, any mission Figurehead Trump will assign will get partisan majority support in homage to yet another fallen fighter on a misguided and poorly planned attack. Despite the call of a thorough investigation by the Navy Seal’s father William Owens

Which brings this to the crux of this post, the mainstream news media of print, digital and broadcasting.

Prior to the address, former Daily Show and actual Fake News Anchorman, Jon Stewart, made a plea to the fourth estate to be aggressive with their collective reporting on the daily diarrhetoric bullshit, brazen incompetence and policy bedlam results coming from the Trump Administration, in addition to Trump’s libelous, slanderous accusations of their networks, newspapers, and news websites reporting. Jon, still funny and current but very rusty, implored them with a very old and kinda lame popcult reference to “get their groove back”.

Which apparently fell on deaf ears, because the general and collective response after the speech was numb and neutered. For the reason that he spoke his best words about his best plans in a somber tone. Stunningly overlooking all the shit he spewed about the news media in the past month as President Figurehead. Stephen Colbert, comeback player of the year, aptly remarked as if the media was impressed that the unhinged president had become hinged. After all the twitter vomit the Figurehead spewed from his stubby vienna sausage fingertips, the news conglomerates resumed normalizing him.

In denial of the omniscient fact that…

 

 

Well, since they won’t get their groove back, and they never had any groove in the first place, I like to also offer some proactive motivation. In the hopes of inspiring the insipid throngs that are actually paid to inform the masses. And to use a legend’s recent passing to guilt them into it.

WWWBD?

What Would Wayne Barrett Do?

Wayne Barrett was a stalwart, tenacious, muckraking award winning journalist for the Village Voice. And the most persistent chronicler on the wheeling, dealing and stealing tactics of Figurehead Donald J. Trump when he was a real estate scion wonderboy developer in NYC in the late 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. While Donnie was making a name and local celebrity of himself with his grand ventures in redeveloping hotels, sweeping up prime Manhattan real estate, and starting his idiotic ruinous conquest of casino franchises in Atlantic City, Wayne Barrett was dissecting his deal-making by diligently and thoroughly and uncompromisingly reporting on the corrupt machinations within them. Wayne got under Donald’s skin and broke his brain to the point when the few times they ever met or were acquainted, Donald actually offered to buy tried to bribe him with a luxury apartment when he learned he resided in Brownsville and an incident that got him arrested pursuing Trump on his birthday.

The dogged determination and persistence of Wayne Barrett to inform the public about the habitual cheating and sociopathy of Trump, before he became the brand and the leader of the free world and the mess he inherited, may be the inherent reason why the Figurehead has such a vehement imagined distrust and the modus operandi for controlling them and the narrative around his deranged directives.

Wayne Barrett was the under-heralded seer regarding Don Worthless. For he saw and wrote how unmerited his earnings and status were, by ripping off many contractors and exploiting migrant workers. Associating with a nod and a wink with mobsters and gangsters, characters he can easily identify with their similar achievements of dishonest wealth. By frivolous litigation at the expense of city taxpayers to get zoning permits and tax abatements, which he would eventually get with the aid of spineless elected majority democratic officials. He had fucking perditious subhuman traitor to Americans, Roy Cohn for a lawyer. And through his biography of his subject, which was unfortunately renamed to make Trump look like a fucking hero, confirmed and set in stone his documenting of the trust fund baby and predatory developer he was. Which subsequently led to his temporary diminishing of his personal wealth and investor and bank support, forcing him to regain his celebrity and wealth with creative tax evasion and becoming a charlatan on TV by becoming a recurring character on WWE shows and his own culture killing show The Apprentice, parlaying that to his transformation from human to brand, slapping his names on towers around the world without lifting his stubby vienna sausage finger or losing a hair, or in his case without mussing his weave. And still dealing with mobsters and gangsters.

Which as this nation now knows, did not deter him the least.

For if it wasn’t for the news conglomerates obsession with celebrity, no matter how lame, the elevation of Trumpy would probably never happened. If they would have did what Wayne Barrett did and reminded the nation and him personally of all the shit he pulled, the strife he caused, and the lives he ruined and the weakening of government he opportunistically took advantage of, maybe he would not be goddamn fucking president.

Now there are some out there carrying on the spirit of indefatigable intrepid reporting, but like Wayne Barrett, in a limited setting, despite the omniscience of the internet. The Young Turks, The Intercept, Reason, Democracy Now, Propublica  come to mind. But they are not big enough like the whales that are the major networks of CNN, FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC and their cable and local affiliates or the corporate owned establishment papers like the Washington Post and The New York Times. And the only anchorman that approaches the zeal of Ed Murrow, Walter Chronkike, and Bill Moyers, is Keith Olbermann, who is limited in 5 to 10 minute snippets via GQ magazine. So the majors and the celebrity anchors, editors producers and writers, if they truly give a million shits and flying fucks about this country, the environment, it’s laws and the need to inform the masses, who are getting massively pissed off on both sides of the ideological aisles, better start doing their jobs that they are getting paid billions of dollars from advertising and ratings to do.

If anything there is no excuse to avoid the uncomfortable facts to show a celebrity’s appearances, spending habits and palatial dwellings. Because the biggest and dumbest celebrity is signing the orders and directing the laws right fucking now and for the next 3 and 3/4 years.

So all of you professionals in the news industry and even you executives, (especially you Les Moonvees) and especially those attending the White House Correspondents dinner next month…

What Would Wayne Barrett Do?

Wayne Barrett, 1982

“There’s No Check on Trump Except Reality”

Required reading and further inspiration:

Bill Moyers Journal: The Donald Trump Story Your Not Reading About

Democracy Now: A Shocking Threat To The World

Village Voice: Wayne Barrett: How Donald Trump Managed To Turn Triumph Into Disaster

Persist.

Peace.

 

Executive Carnage 31 Days Later: Figurehead Trump, Through Self-Incrimination And Self-Parody, Exposed As Failure, Autocrat, Traitor, Deadbeat, Imbecile And A Pussy Ass Snowflake Useful Idiot.

Washington, D.C., America.

This has to stop. Now. For Liberty and Justice For All, And Country and even God or whatever deity you may prefer. This is serious like a heart attack

Now that the shark jump being the Greatest Diversion that was Don Worthless’s improv comic press conference.

Figurehead Donald J. Trump and the one party rule in the Congress and Senate is blatantly fucking with you, the people, the nation over and over. Their psychotic and infinite satiety for personal wealth among themselves and the confederacy of overseer oligarchs is rapidly becoming instituted national policy as the dissemination of his executive order failures and pathetically obvious bullshit excreted by the commander in chief and his staff of lobotomized primates.

For this human paraquat the nation elected thinks that spending 75 minutes childishly disrespecting the free press, the fourth estate, using the best words consisting of lame insults, redundant and irrelevant answers, irresponsibly insinuating threats against nations (did anyone catch when he told the press that they will never know if he has plans for North Korea and Iran regarding Russian acts of aggression), admonishing them to shut up and sit down and to end it with latent racism and blatant condescension towards an hasidic and african-american reporter is going to erase the most malevolent and disastrous month of shaping and running the government by this arrogant 6 foot gunny bag of shit and dead dicks topped with golden straw.

The quick destruction of his clusterfuck sadistic and unconstitutional travel/Muslim ban by 3 judges. Which basically is the first betrayal and broken promise to all his supporters and to the voters that cast his ballot.

The validation of Senator “Next President” Elizabeth Warren even after getting barred from the confirmation process of Jefferson Sessions for Attorney General on a flimsy rule dredged up by Senator Mitch “Bitch” McConnell, who yet again became a joke on the internet from his lame proclamation “nevertheless, she persisted“. Turning that dismissal into another universal protest quote for female empowerment and giving the next commander in chief more exposure and familiarity.

The mind-blowing exposure of a national security conference meeting in Trump’s Miami Palace Hotel stupidly being conducted in the outdoor dining area. Being illuminated by insecure smartphone flashlights and being documented a stupid rich asshole platinum club member Richard “Dickhead” DeAgazo and friend of the Figurehead on his facebook page.

https://i2.wp.com/static6.businessinsider.com/image/58a1e1726e09a81c008b6b26-1190-625/a-paying-mar-a-lago-member-took-photos-of-trump-being-briefed-on-north-korea--and-posted-them-to-facebook.jpgThe Situation Patio.

The declining of the Labor Secretary position by odious subhuman owner and chairman of Carl’s Jr and Hardees, Andrew Pudzer. This was technically a huge victory for minimum wage and living wage salaried workers across the land. And most importantly a victory for human beings, for this guy desires robots to flip his burgers than to give his employees raises. Reportedly, he was rejected for being an brutally abusive bastard, beating and molesting his wife and an executive and fostering a perverted neanderthal working environment and rampant wage theft in his restaurant chains. And he also hired illegal immigrants to clean his mansion. With these wretched prior offenses to society, it’s a pleasant surprise that Trump let him go without protest and maybe a sign that he has evolved from his own sordid past with similar behavior he had towards his first wife and mother of his first lady daughter and his quasi-envoy sons.

The press conference with Prime Minister Natenyahu and his pussyfooting response concerning the two state solution for peaceful coexistence. And how Bibi stoically stood there smirking when Trump told him to ease up on building settlements on Palestinian territory, which he already did in spades and with bulldozers, secure in the knowledge of the support of Trump’s boy wonder advisor Jared Kushner, and blew off his meaningless request by derisively saying that “it’s the art of the deal right?”  Despite the unofficial foreign policy permission for a potential apartheid state, Trump still looked like a stunned fool.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef017d3c5d1c8f970c-piPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Then there is former NSA Advisor General Michael Flynn. Professing loyalty to the Trump campaign in the earliest stages.  RNC convention MC, when maligning Manifest Hillary getting the crowd to yell “lock her up” and remarking that if he did half the stuff she did with her separate server during her tenure as Secretary Of State, he would be in prison, will now get his ironic just desserts, thanks to his creepy wheeling and dealing and reassurances of sanction lifts with a crooked Russian official before Trump got elected and before he got his position in the NSA. And subsequently lying about these exchanges to Trump’s media and press team, Conway and Spicer and idiotically or intentionally (or intentionally and idiotically) misleading Vice President Pence before his interview on Face The Nation about these confirmed rumors of treason. The good news coming out of this scary breach of corrupt diplomacy is that it may have ruined Kellyanne Conway’s career as a professional lying douchehag representing the White House and from being a future pundit.

What is sick about Flynn’s fuckup is that Trump may have given him these orders so he can be the fall guy when it got exposed and might be the reason that Steve Bannon to a principal position in the NSA. Flynn and maybe from those pics that evening in Miami may be also contributing to the disturbing fact that all of the intelligence agencies are committing mutiny by refusing to share pertinent intel with the Figurehead, citing total mistrust in their commander. And a palpable sense of disrespect judging by the almost daily leaks about the Figurehead’s scattershot policy plans, no doubt caused by Trump’s plausible deniability responses about the dismissal or resignation of Gen. Flynn., because as is well documented by the tremendous mind of the Figurehead and his conviction of the use of extreme vetting that inspired his massive failure ban, he knows he must look bad since he picked this reckless jerk.

It’s quite unfunny that, considering all these leaks and being that they are basically and arbitrarily illegal, that after the brutal treatment of Chelsea Manning and the unjustified pursuit of Edward Snowden, that this rebellious behavior and irreverence towards the presidency is now being tolerated by the Deep State. It’s alarming if this is the case, and shocking that Figurehead Trump has not used this for his latest excuse (oh he did?) to again deflect from his utter incompetence and autocrat tendencies as the leader of the free world. Which he reminds us, is a mess.

And so is the country and government that he inherited, no thanks to the biggest electoral margin in his mind, which he repetitively responded to whichever fake news monger he called on.

As for the grand national airing dissemination of best words that he shared in front of piss lemon embroidered curtains with the fourth estate, this may have been decided by the Figurehead himself. For he felt that Kellyanne and Spicey couldn’t deflect questions or spread the bullshit good enough and might even incriminate themselves or him even further by getting stumped about our new ally and dominant superpower yearning nation, Russia.

The thing is, he did a very shitty job himself. All of his answers were nonsense, non sequiturs, mockeries and mimicries. There were times, and Trump has displayed this before, where he resembles the antics of Larry David, the one on Curb Your Enthusiam, especially in his mannerisms, crude self-righteousness when he answers pertinent questions and engages in frustrating banter with the fake news mongers in the room, now officially the enemies of the state. He’s even still feuding with Rosie O’Donnell for crying out loud, just like Larry. If there needs to be action taken against Figurehead Autocrat Trump, CNN should hire comedian Susie Essman, equip her with credentials and send her in character as Susie Greene and put her in the next press conference that this, as she would say to Larry, bald asshole decides to cobble together and bombard him with questions about his pandering to Putin with profanities, demeaning insults and rebut his demands to shut up and sit down by yelling louder and going to the podium and chest bump him like Charles Oakley. (If you use this SNL, remember to cut me some cheddar and a writing credit, and also acknowledgement of this struggling digital publication.)

Please CNN, make it happen.

Unfortunately, Figurehead Trump got what he wanted, since this oratory debacle stayed on cable news all weekend long and got mocked on the late night shows. And in a twisted kizmet way, improved viewer ratings for their shows and networks. In the meantime, a career climate change refuser contrarian and greedy fucking fuck named Scott Pruitt got confirmed to head the EPA, a government branch that he spent the majority of his late career trying to destroy in court, and the most essential stipulations of the Dodd-Frank act is in the first stage of being dismantled.

And all these jokes and depictions about his press conference didn’t do a dent on Trump and his ego and id,  because it’s impossible to affect a borderline sociopath who has no sense of shame or decency. And to prove his demented point, he held a 2020 campaign rally on an airplane hangar in Florida. Where he put his harrowed wife on stage to recite the lord’s prayer. The bizarre thing is either that he used her and that to introduce him or if he thinks as the President he can ordain ministers. Also a collective of African Americans holding Blacks for 2020 signs(!!!) And then in an impromptu, man of the people moment he brought a supporter onstage for the reason that he saw being interviewed on TV (Trump likes watching television), and liked what he said. Well this guy came up all excited (Trump remarked that he was worried he was going to kiss him once he saw him, not seeing the irony in that) said some inane shit and giving unmerited praise to the President Figurehead, but the choice of this attire might have got him a free pass from the secret service, he was wearing a concert t-shirt of Trump’s inauguration.170218_vod_trump_campaign_12x5_1600

Usually, the majority of these shirts commemorating events have cheap materials and cheesy printing. But that shirt is vividly immaculate. It looks like a prototype about to go on the assembly line. Someone (cough, Trump, cough) is looking to make some cheddar marketing the only successful thing that the President has actually achieved so far, the day he got the job and the crowd size in his deluded mind.

But you know what, the permeating stench of big league impropriety still hangs on the elected one, in the recent article about all the money he owes to an scandal ridden international bank and the interlocking links between him, his kin and his favorite country.

If you measure President Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest by the amount of money at stake, or the variety of dicey interactions with government regulators, one dwarfs any other: his relationship with Deutsche Bank.

In recent weeks, Deutsche Bank has scrambled to reach agreements with American regulators over a host of alleged misdeeds. But because the president has not sold his company, the bank remains a central arena for potential conflicts between his family’s business interests and the actions of officials in his administration.

Deutsche is Trump’s major creditor, having lent billions to the president since the late 1990s even as other American banks abandoned Trump, who frequently bankrupted his businesses. While the president hasn’t released his tax returns, he has made public some information about his debts. According to these incomplete disclosures and reports, the Trump Organization has roughly $300 million in loans outstanding from the bank. Trump continues to own the business, although he has turned over day-to-day management to his sons.

At the same time that it is Trump’s biggest known creditor, Deutsche is in frequent contact with multiple federal regulators. While the bank agreed last week to pay $630 million to settle charges by New York state’s top financial regulator as well as the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority that it had aided Russian money-laundering, it’s still undergoing a related federal investigation into those activities, which it is also trying to settle. That will be an early big test of the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Justice Department also has an ongoing probe of foreign exchange manipulation by several banks, including Deutsche Bank.

                                                                      Propublica

For years, Donald Trump has used a powerful tool when dealing with bankers: his personal guarantee.

Now that guarantee — employed to extract better terms on hundreds of millions of dollars of loans to the Trump Organization — is at the center of a delicate loan-restructuring discussion at Deutsche Bank AG, which is under investigation on several fronts by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The bank is trying to restructure some of Trump’s roughly $300 million debt as part of an attempt to reduce any conflict of interest between the loan and his presidency, according to a person familiar with the matter. Normally, the removal of a personal pledge might lead to more-stringent terms. But there is little normal about this interaction. Trump’s attorney general will inherit an investigation of Deutsche Bank related to stock trades for rich clients in Russia — where Trump says he plans to improve relations — and may have to deal with a possible multibillion-dollar penalty to the bank related to mortgage-bond investigations.

“When you have political appointees making decisions about banks that the president owes a lot of money to, it looks terrible,” said Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who was the chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush. “The U.S. government is dealing with regulatory and criminal issues with the big banks all the time, and if he owes them a lot of money, there might be an incentive to favor less regulation and less enforcement for the banks.”

The scramble to restructure is the latest chapter in Trump’s fraught relationship with Deutsche Bank, one of the few financial institutions on Wall Street that still does deals with a man long known as a publicity-seeking and unconventional real-estate developer who didn’t hesitate to sue his lender eight years ago. 

Deutsche Bank also lends to Trump’s extended family, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Weeks before the election, the bank refinanced most of the $370 million of debt against retail spaces Kushner’s company owns in midtown Manhattan.

Bloomberg

Herein lies the true motive for Figurehead Trump and Russia’s mutual interest to win the election and run the nation for the next 4 years, or long enough for Trump to sit in the oval office if impeachment hearings eventually start, is to bail out Trump’s empire, big oil companies and Russia’s struggling economy.

Now it makes sense of the obvious vetting of the likes of oiligarch Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson, and all those jackals from Goldman Sachs.

It’s going to be the biggest bankruptcy hearing in world history. With Attorney General Jefferson Sessions III presiding over it.

That’s if this snowflake doesn’t fuck it up.

Governor “Mario’s Son” Cuomo To NYC Commuters: Fuck You!

The governor of New York and overseer of mass transit. In the flesh and being an obstruction.

NY Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Cuomo’s executive budget includes hidden $65M cut in MTA funds

The suffering subway, bus and rail system may have less money to move New Yorkers.

A line tucked deep in Gov. Cuomo’s executive budget from last month calls for a $65 million cut to a chunk of money the state gives to the MTA — down to $244 million from $309 million last year. The 21% cut, if it survives the budget process, would hit the MTA at a time when commuters are fuming over frequent delays, spotty service, overcrowding and constant fare hikes.

“If Gov. Cuomo wants to take credit for opening the Second Ave. subway, he also has to take responsibility of the day-to-day operations in the rest of the subway system,” said John Raskin, director of the Riders Alliance.

The money from the state’s general fund is supposed to keep the MTA whole after the state in 2011 slashed a politically unpopular payroll tax on businesses in the region served by the transit network. “This funding is based only on a promise,” Raskin said. “We had a fear that a moment like this would come to pass, where the governor is proposing to break that promise.”

The Riders Alliance and about 20 commuters will rally with lawmakers at the capitol Monday to get the legislature to reverse the cut.“We want more service and better transit options. The MTA always says they don’t have the money for it,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Queens), who will be at the rally.

The Dirty Southeast, Richmond Hill, Queens, N.Y.

What a nasty surprise Mario’s son Governor Andrew Cuomo has gave us after his vainglorious grand opening of the most expensive and massively delayed minor subway expansion in recent memory.

Never mind that the worst transit system in the fucking universe has seen daily preposterous delays and scattershot line changes every weekend. The impending and irresponsibly overdue suspension of the L line to Manhattan. And the rise of habitation of indigent and mentally ill homeless people and criminal trends like petty larceny, deviant sexual exposure and harassment, and track deaths via suicide and pushing commuters into oncoming trains.

Never mind hour long delays caused by recent incidents of flooding after storms or even a few days after a modest snowfall or even during an extraordinary windy day.

Never mind the painfully obvious fact of overpopulation and overcrowding, no thanks to greedy developers and the groveling pandering spineless whores being our corrupt mayor and city council taking their filthy donor lucre, leading to hyper-development near the transit lines. Suffocating the cars and platforms as one gets closer to the city.

And mostly never mind the fact that the subway is still being guided by a century old signal system. Consisting of little bulbs, faucet levers, rusty boxes and dangling wires and tags.

For you, the transit customer, will just have to remain tolerant and accept these hapless yet preventable inconveniences, for our governor somehow needs the monies for other pressing matters, or maybe just squandered it for his gilded age new year’s eve party in the 86th street gallery station.

Of course, when in light of the aforementioned 2nd avenue celebratory debut that Andy hosted, a lot of lesser structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing stations that are devoid of modern art are going to have to wait a little longer for crucial repairs and updates.

For example. The 2 year modernization of the Lefferts Blvd. A Line Station for which this digital publication has documented previously. Apparently those posts have not made the impact I initially hoped for, despite the highest viewer count I got for my screed against our oblivious governor. By happenstance, I wound up at the end of the workday by the 2nd Ave  72nd street station Q line and took some snapshots on what selective proactive and diligent government action can do.

From left to right, then left to right. The entrance at 69th street, the awning gives the impression of going into space mountain. The deep, well illuminated escalator from top to bottom. The stupid art, notably the popsicle wielding cop. The pointless latin inscripture. And, last but not least, a bland jazz cover band consisting of hipster stereotypes for vibrancy. The enormity of this station will not be immune to inevitable homeless habitation that will certainly consume all this unnecessary space and the lame unprotected art will surely be defaced with graffiti by more crude creative hooligans. Since millions are going to reallocated, ensuring the station’s vulnerability to blight.

The Lefferts stalled stairway entrance on the other hand:

lefferts-station-2017-001lefferts-station-2017-002lefferts-station-2017-005lefferts-station-2017-006

lefferts-station-2017-008

There has been some mild progress, there are more orange buoys surrounding the area awaiting the long anticipated stairway. They somewhat scrubbed most of the pigeon shit off by the turnstiles, although quarter-assed, because apparently they left it there so long that it has now become a permanent stain. Which is as close to art as you can get. They removed some of the tarp off the elevator. And they finally updated the duct taped completion date sheet for reassurance and long overdue acknowledgement of the inconvenience this pathetic elongated neglect has caused for the masses. So instead of being completed on January 2016 2017 it will be done whenever the end of the first quarter is. I’m not fluent in Albany or MTA front office bureaucrat-speak but I am going to guesstimate that this daily eyesore will finally be of use in June.

Now with this nasty surprise by Mario’s son, I think this is going to remain dormant for a long time, as well as other stops in towns with less cache, glass towers, marked up studios, wine bars and cupcake shops. And with the recent decision to keep the fare at 2.75, this blatant indifference will continue still, for now the agency has warped justification to keep the status quo of shiftless and lousy service.

All Of The Mayor’s Legal Aid Consiglieries.

https://i1.wp.com/www.theyeshivaworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/deb.jpgThis is going to come back to haunt him

New York, New York, New York

NY Daily News: Mayor de Blasio proposes $84.67B budget with more money for streets, schools, homelessness

Mayor de Blasio proposed a $84.67 billion city budget Tuesday, pumping more money into streets, schools, and homelessness amid fears about federal funding cuts under President Trump. De Blasio said his spending plan does not factor in reductions in federal money, which are still widely unknown. Instead, the city has socked away more cash in reserves to prepare for the worst.

The financial plan contained few flashy new initiatives, but funded new projects to bolster street safety, education and the NYPD. There’s $317 million for projects in the Vision Zero push to cut traffic deaths — including street redesigns, new lighting, and traffic signal retiming — as well as another $12 million to repaint crosswalks. Meanwhile, spending on homelessness has surged — up $70 million in the current fiscal year and $150 million for next year as record numbers of homeless New Yorkers continue to pack shelters.

The city is also spending another $6 million more on outside lawyers, including to represent de Blasio’s administration in several corruption probes, on top of $6.5 million in legal costs added to the budget in November.

The NYPD is installing bullet-resistant window inserts in 3,813 cop cars — paying for the plan with $10.4 million in asset forfeiture funds. There’s $16.4 million to provide faster internet at city public schools, on top of plans for more school seats and summer classes. As the Daily News first reported, the city is also pledging $1 billion over 10 years to replace roofs at hundreds of NYCHA buildings.

NY Times: Contracts to Defend de Blasio and Aides May Cost City $11.6 Million

The bill for defending Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials in state and federal criminal investigations into fund-raising practices has grown, with six city contracts for outside law firms now totaling more than $11.6 million. Taken together, the contracts contain a constellation of white-collar criminal defense and trial lawyers from law firms big and small, as well as the maximum they can bill the city: Debevoise & Plimpton, $10 million; Carter Ledyard & Millburn, $750,000; Walden Macht & Haran, $350,000; Lankler Siffert & Wohl, $250,000; Cunningham Levy Muse, $200,000; and Paul B. Bergman, P.C., $99,000.

NY Post: De Blasio defends spending $11.7M on city’s legal bills

Anything related to city employees — and I’m not talking about myself, I’m talking about all the other city employees who have been a part of this process — they need representation. It’s an American right,” Hizzoner said on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. “Obviously they shouldn’t have to pay for it out of their own pockets in regards to their city responsibilities.”

The mayor also insisted the probes are a huge waste of time and money because everything his administration has done has been above board. The mayor raised $4.3 million for a political non-profit that backed his agenda — including six-figure donations from entities with business interests before the city — but he has maintained that no one got special treatment for their financial support. “A lot of money is going to end up being spent here and I wish it wasn’t because I’ve said 100 percent consistently, no one did anything wrong,” de Blasio said.

At one point in the 30-minute interview, de Blasio grew irritated when Lehrer suggested city funds were being used to defend the mayor’s political campaign work — which is also under law enforcement scrutiny. “That’s entirely inaccurate,” de Blasio shot back. “That’s just crazy.”

Is it now?

Crazy is precisely what this pay for play scheme was. And under the guise of a superficial progressive  fauxgressive agenda.

So in order for the constituency to get services due to the people, Mayor de Faustio and his confederacy of neoliberal dunces, through government and taxpayer largesse for their upscale defense teams, whom specialize in vast white collar criminal cases, insist that they remain in city hall. Apparently, the germane logic behind this is that because of loopholes in campaign fundraising along with the heinous Citizens United supreme court decision and the jolly good intentions of their programs justifies their unscrupulous actions. They think with all the cheap whoring they’ve done for the predatory developer cabal/pogrom of REBNY and even from strict conservative types, it would be prudent to just let them ride it out to a second term.

Never mind the gross and arrogant misallocation of funding of the city’s budget for their eventual day in court. Actually do mind it. It’s hard to overlook the hubris of Team Big Slow when the cost to defend these cretins is going to be more than the amount this year going to crucial fixes and improvements to NYCHA buildings suffering from persistent mold and rodent infestations, and mostly from their dilapidated and perilous roofs. And the sudden yet selective frugality in denying money for those struggling to keep pace with affordability with denying fare breaks for poor commuters, free school lunches (how Milton Friedman), and modest raises for younger and newer cops.

But maybe 11.5 million may not even be enough to properly defend this shitshow. For this has been going on since day one. And even though he won decisively in a low electoral turnout, he kept his campaign office open and moved it from Park Slope to Park Row. From the campaign for the mayoralty to the Campaign for One New York. Taking his prior experience campaign managing for Manifest Hillary’s initial senate run to consume his time neglecting his duties being elected to run the city.

And it started with Universal Pre-K. Mayor De Faustio and CONY spent a year fundraising for the implementation of that, even though it got the funding approved by his vindictive glory hogging rival Mario’s son Governor Andrew anyway. After that long slog, Mayor Big Slow decided to get affordable housing done (why he didn’t do that first seemed a mystery, considering the rise and now record high of the homeless population…or maybe isn’t much of a mystery at all now). There had to be a key to make it easier, to get state senate seats upstate to swing the ideological pendulum leftward, and get a majority rule in getting more money downstate from Albany for his plan to build and preserve 200,000 affordable units. So to assure victory and leverage in Albany under the guise to help the poor get proper shelter, the mayor, his aides and his crack farm team continued to use CONY to raise money through nefarious means like accepting donations over the limit caps of $4950 and from straw donors, and the recent revelations about the use of money laundering.

As is the way of the world, life and karma, the diminished returns of high expectations, and just plain skullduggery / douchebaggery from fucking amateurs, all of these efforts went to naught. Those senate candidates lost. Pre-K is an abysmal failure. And affordable housing is still unachievable for the majority of citizens in need of it. The ugly obvious irony about both of those programs is that they are detrimental to the poor and they are being staffed on the cheap. Universal Pre-K pays it’s teachers low salaries, is centers are located in richer areas which leaves poor working families to rely on unregistered day care centers,    and the labor for the 80-20 buildings are non-union, which has led to a disturbing uptick in worker injuries and deaths and as previously mentioned the amount of units reserved is not commensurate with the consensus amount of lower and even middle class people that populate the areas they are built in.

Of course there are the deed flips and plunder of medical centers, Rivington House on the lower east side and the LICH in Brooklyn (otherwise known as Crooklyn). This where the deputy mayors and a certain wormtongue lobbyist come in. A combination of brazen obfuscation and deceit and willful defiant ignorance made these deals possible, done with the morals of a mobster and the deftness of an oaf. The Rivington plunder was so obvious that even Alicia “The Fixer” Glen realized it was a huge mistake and pathetically attempted to undo it by giving the seller, the Allure Group, it’s money back for the original deed, which was officially and legislatively dead. Both predatory developer deals were arranged by James Capalino, a fundraiser and long-time friend to our corrupt mayor.

 

 

       James Capalino, Super Lobbyist from his humbler activist times.

Needless to say, Capalino, has seen a lot of good fortune along with his peers like Berlin/Rosen, assisting in the stratospheric and super dense hyper-development of this city and enriching himself in the process. And why wouldn’t our Mayor and his minions trust him, considering his prior dalliance of turning the St. Vincent’s Hospital into a luxury multi-million dollar condo/ pied a terre off shore bank deposit box complex. That’s some progress made there since a certain historic tragic and somber day of our nation.

This progress has also seen the expansion of the city’s skylines, continued unabated from the prior Mayor “fun size” Bloomberg’s blitzkreig signing of rezoning and upzoning permits, the out of scale suffocating tower development in northeast Brooklyn and Queens, the odious rise of app driven business ventures like Airbnb, Uber and the cult-like We Work and the bland and marked up costs of cultural outputs of designer fast food, faux speakeasies and beer gardens. All of which contributed to this slush fund farce monikered for and have made the cost of living grossly overblown for the majority of residents of this fraudulently proclaimed One New York. And has led to the plain sight integration of the real estate market and government depicted here as the Gentrification Industrial Complex.

So now they are going to have to convince the federal courts of their persistent claims of innocence and not the most craven and insidious abuse of the use of government office since the city for sale days of Donald Manes and Stanley Friedman, and probably an equal to the days of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall a century ago. It’s a bit of a disappointment and discouraging that the Blaz is meeting with D.A. Bharara without being frogmarched out of city hall in plasticuffs like he did for the vote pandering show at the hospital he sold out the medics, nurses and the future sick and injured for (hmmm, that’s were that 11.5 million can go to also, funding non-invested hospitals), but here’s hoping these are just formalities like when Lenny Briscoe and Rey Curtis from Law And Order confronts a skel for info.

Other than that, it will be either the establishment, a temporary halt to or the end of Honest Graft.

 

 

Mario’s Sons’ Holiday Dick Moves

Andrew Cuomo. Governor of the state of New York, colossal prick.

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of sudden proactivity from the son of Mario, Governor Andrew Cuomo. Although it truly cannot cloak the sorry desperation inspiring it. This is following the recent indictments of all his long-time cronies consisting of his honorary brother, Joseph Percoco and his favorite visionary guru,  Alain Kaloyeros (“He has economic visions that other mere mortals can’t actually see”  not long ago remarked, Andy) in the ambitious and now squandered Buffalo Billion solar power venture upstate.

After Mario’s son somehow escaped unscathed from the thievery committed by those idiot assholes, who have ties that go back when his dad in the 90’s, Andy somehow had an epiphany that a lot of services and other programs he has jurisdiction, make that lord over, were way behind schedule.

So he deigns to come down to the city and demands that the century long dormant 2nd avenue line must get done, stat. Suddenly, what was a dark and hazardous 40 block gauntlet for a year got fast-tracked and will make it’s new year’s day opening. How this happened was miraculous, as there were 5 times more contractors than before and the streets were clear a week after Mario’s son made his walk through underground. Stupidly sans helmet of course. The stations, for some reason, contains wall to wall modern art displays by the top artists of today which includes Chuck Close. Some of them look like Banksy rip-offs. Which may be the reason why there were so many delays and costs getting higher trying to complete this on schedule, in addition to the cars unable to fit through the tunnels. Andy was so agog he came off like an auctioneer trainee at Sotheby’s when he was describing it, or an unscrupulous realtor trying to swindle some hipsters at an overpriced 5 story walk-up studio apartment with graffiti on the side of the building. But more like Ralphie’s dad from A Christmas Story when he got his major award.

From Curbed:

“The Second Avenue subway provides New Yorkers with a museum underground and honors our legacy of building engineering marvels that elevate the human experience,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Public works projects are not just about function—they’re an expression of who we are and what we believe. Any child who has never walked into a museum or an art gallery can walk the streets of New York and be exposed to art and education simply by being a New Yorker. That is where we came from and that is what makes New York special.”

The last time expression like this was used on our trains was a thing called graffiti, an art form while reviled, despised and persecuted, was representative of the blighted and broke although way more creative times of that era, and is a certainly an influence on the artists contributions to these stations. That will inevitably will be defaced by other expressionist types or by the effects of continuing income inequality with people looking for a place to sleep and place their shopping cart of recyclables and personal belongings. And piss and vomit too. One installation actually shows the effect of papers being blown from the subway, so when real newspaper detritus is thrown away on the platform or from the streets it will blend in seamlessly.

The last time the governor got really needy for efficiency of our transit system was when the 7 extension to the hudson got done, subsequently and immediately there were leaks and escalator breakdowns. This rush job is already getting complaints without even running, since all those workers were so busy getting the roads done they forgot to cut a block long curb.

Now that it’s done after a century of misfortunes and fiscal neglect, well not really done,  the original plan was to get to 125st, but they broke it in phases, and I have to wonder if Mario’s son, Governor Andy, will take his new found proactive helmetless casual Friday style down to the Dirty Southeast Of Queens and get a look at the Lefferts Blvd. station. Where it takes longer to build a pair of stairs than it is to stuff big trains into little tunnels and have big time artists take months making portraits of themselves.

    

This was supposed to be completed by Thanksgiving, it should be noted that the other staircase was supposed to be finished last year too and got done in fucking June. I don’t have much hope for the MTA, the worst fucking transit system in the universe, to get it done, even if they have the technology for time travel. Look at that sign taped indelicately to the partition wall.083

That’s right, January 2016. That is just awfully discouraging. If only the governor makes the time to assemble a garrison of contractors down to Richmond Hill to fix this miscue.

But that’s a long shot, because these images were taken today, and Mario’s son had to go back to Albany to deal with his new assembly leaders for a new salary. The recently frugal and diligent governor did some flexing and refused to give these officials the raise they actually don’t deserve, even though these positions have not had a substantial pay increase in 40 years. Being the amount of corruption that has gone on and the recent busts of Skelos and Silver and dozens of others, Andy gets to be a hero here with the optics of his decision because these electeds aren’t actually fighting for $15. Unfortunately this has led to a legislative lockdown coming at the expense of startup business and the slight chance to alleviate the monumental homeless crisis in the 5 boroughs.

Andy, apparently still in the zone and a sudden awareness for ethics and accountability, will appoint a special pseudo independent prosecutor answering only to him to overlook any profligate spending by the assembly. This from the guy who terminated the last independent investigative body of his adminstration, the Moreland Commission, which did it’s job too well and got to close to Andy. Something of this nature is akin to being unconstitutional.

With the new year and state of the state address coming, he has embraced populism and wants to engage with the norms (that’s citizens, or people to us, the norms) for 6 individual speeches in different locales. Keeping up his unconstitutional and hubristic theme and taking an American custom as addressing the status of the state and reducing it to going on the lam. Is he trying to avoid being in Albany?

Well, I hope one of his stops is this slow crawl renovation. Because this station is in a heavily and densely populated town. And it gets really cramped and intolerable going up and down those stairs when the train arrives. So get down here and bring your contractor battalion and build these stairs and have them clean that pigeon shit-sty by the turnstiles, Governor. If you really are the governor.

Mayor Airdope

Mayor Big Slow de Blasio

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Mayor Bill de Blasio has been taking flight.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported exclusively, documents obtained by CBS2 show the mayor has dramatically increased helicopter travel around the city.

On Oct. 14 near dinnertime, an NYPD helicopter landed near the baseball field in Prospect Park. At the time, police were coy, saying they were transporting “a dignitary.”

That dignitary turned out to be Mayor de Blasio, who after hanging around his old Park Slope neighborhood, wanted to avoid traffic on a seven-mile trip to Queens.

Suddenly, there were questions. What was the man who bragged that riding helicopters was “not my thing” doing? And he had apparently suddenly decided that avoiding the city’s epic traffic jams was the way to go.

CBS2 filed a Freedom of Information of Act request, discovering that yes, Mayor de Blasio is now subscribing to the joys of flying.

NYPD records show that in 2014, his first year in office, de Blasio flew in a helicopter twice. In 2015, there were also two flights. So far in 2016, there are records of 18 flights – though several are on the same day.

Why the dramatic increase? The mayor blames it on the NYPD.

“NYPD decides how to transport the mayor from event to event,” said press secretary Eric Phillips.

Phillips was the same man who in January announced a reduction in tourist helicopter flights because they make too much noise.

If there is any definitive way to summarily describe the character of this political hustler, for the sake of brevity because there are lots more, than this display of blatant defiant hypocrisy should do it for the time being.

It seems that our baseball fields in our public parks across the boroughs have become defacto landing pads for our ridiculously tardy mayor, even resorting to interrupting a little league game in Harlem. Mayor Big Slow, who the NYPD has to mollify the curious citizenry from disgust at such egregious wasting of tax dollars and enforcement by referring to hizzoner as a “dignitary”,  seems to be in beast mode as the multitude of investigations mount up about his shadow government being scripted by BerlinRosen, basically an intruder that’s been loitering in City Hall since Big Slow’s inauguration and declaration to end this seemingly infinite tale of two cities.

Hopefully, since he’s such a swell guy who cares for the struggling proletariat, he will change his sleeping habits or maybe take less calls soliciting big money donations and break his chopper commute. But it’s hard to find the good in people like him as half the populations in each district in the 5 boros can’t afford to live in the city he governs anymore. That and his recent crass comment about metrocard discounts for poor commuters:

NY Daily News

“On the surface, obviously it’s a very impressive idea,” de Blasio said. But he added the price tag was a bit rich — especially when the city already contributes so much to the MTA’s bottom line.

“An additional $200 million is going to be hard to find in the city’s budget,” the mayor said, citing the figure the transportation groups said is needed to fund the initiative.

“That doesn’t mean the MTA can’t consider it as a priority, but for the city it’s going to be tough,” he said, calling it a “noble, commendable” idea. “We’re going to look at it in the budget process, but it’s a tough one.”

You can see shit coming out of his mouth there. Suddenly he’s concerned about wasteful expenditures. It’s suddenly tough to divert funds to help people that need it the most, the people he courted and pandered to get elected. A lot of these people are a week’s salary away from becoming homeless. And this dope from park slope has been flying around like a rock star or some hack rapper probably at a cost of millions of fuel and personnel.

That extra quarter the MTA wants is going to deny people one week’s worth of Top Ramen.