Contrary to the legend, Benjamin Franklin probably didn’t say that “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” But somebody said it and the thought is so delicious that it deserves a modern companion.
To wit: Politicians are proof that God has a sense of humor and wants us to laugh.
Take Mayor Putz, whose entire mayoralty is a joke. He is so “disappointed” in Con Ed’s handling of blackouts and the lack of “accountability” that, mounting the political high horse, he is demanding a probe.
Fair enough, but under the same theory, gumshoes should probe why some Brooklyn streets were knee-deep in water after Monday’s storm. That’s de Blasio’s responsibility, and somebody on his payroll screwed up.
Does he demand an investigation? Is he holding anyone accountable?
Surely, you jest!
The gumshoes should also look at why de Blasio is failing the residents of the Housing Authority. A federal monitor, appointed by a judge to do the job de Blasio didn’t, found that a sludge leak in a laundry room went on for two months — two months! — because workers didn’t have a ladder.
Con Ed has lots of ladders and its workers fix more complex and important problems in hours and days, not months. The Housing Authority should hire them.
The list of de Blasio’s failures is so long — from the child-welfare agency to schools to sanitation to traffic to the Finance Department — that his outrage at the utility is more fake news than real concern. Recall that he stayed in Iowa and Chicago for hours during the first blackout.
The mayor, having barely escaped an indictment, obviously believes no one will hold him accountable for anything. He’s so cocky he wants to win the White House so he can sleep late and still get to the gym without leaving the building. That way, nobody will know he’s loafing.
Gov. Cuomo is another laughing matter. He, too, is furious at Con Ed and even talks of taking away its license. And then what?
Maybe Cuomo will replace the utility with his MTA leaders, the people who spend other people’s money by the billions, then complain they’re broke. Cuomo’s response: a congestion tax that has nothing to do with congestion and everything to do with paying for scams and outrageous union rules.
Con Ed, a public company owned by shareholders and held to strict rules by regulators, apologizes when it fails customers. Did you ever hear Cuomo apologize to riders and taxpayers for the MTA’s failures?
Barack Obama said government is the name we give things we do together. Actually, government is the name we give things that aren’t done well.
Good-enough-for-government means something of below-average quality. The problem is that politicians are an elite ruling class without any idea how the real world works. Take Bernie Sanders.
A career socialist who admired the Soviet Union and Cuba, he thunders about rapacious employers and demands a $15-an-hour minimum wage for all workers. But when his campaign workers demand that same $15 an hour, he is furious. How dare they!
The unionized staff says those on flat salaries are working so much that their effective hourly rate is $13. When the campaign’s response was inadequate, Bernie’s workers did what many in the private sector do: They leaked their demand for a raise to the media.
Sanders, a millionaire who owns three houses, went through the roof. “It does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media,” he griped. “That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it’s improper.”
So the pay he wants to impose on private employers is not one he will impose on himself. And when his workers note his hypocrisy, they are guilty of “improper” behavior.
Now that’s funny!
Sanders is far from alone in thinking he should be exempt from things he demands from others. In fact, “Rules for thee, but not for me” should be the motto of Big Government.
Consider the case of Equifax. The giant credit-reporting company is close to settling with the feds and 48 states for a whopping fine of $700 million for a data breach that exposed the personal information of 150 million Americans.
No doubt the company was negligent and too slow to notify customers, but how to explain the numerous data breaches of the government? The Pentagon, the White House and Congress all had personal information hacked in recent years.
In 2015, for example, the US Office of Personnel Management said Chinese hackers got information on 4.2 million people who applied for national-security positions. A report said the information includes responses to questions about applicants’ “drug and alcohol use, mental illness, bankruptcy and arrests” and included lists of contacts and relatives, meaning those people might also have had their privacy violated.
Were any officials held accountable? Was compensation paid to those Americans who suffered losses or embarrassment because their government was negligent?
Of course not. What do you expect from government?
But don’t despair. Smile and remember: God gives us politicians because he wants us to laugh.
Rep. Jerry Nadler will be President Trump’s chief tormenter at a Robert Mueller hearing in Congress today. Remarkably, it is a continuation of a Trump-Nadler feud that goes back four decades.
An early dispute even figured into the October 1980 meeting between New York’s Democratic Mayor Ed Koch and Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan. In response to my report on the meeting, a top aide to Koch at the time writes to say he was there and that the mayor “made a strong case for $100 million for the Westway project, which would have buried the unsightly West Side Highway underground and provided a new park and development. Reagan agreed to the proposal after he became president.”
But Westway was never built, thanks in large part to Nadler, then an assemblyman. “Nadler killed the appropriation, mostly because he thought it was part of Trump’s plan to develop housing along the Hudson River, which he opposed,” the Koch aide says. “Trump eventually built his buildings anyway, made a lot of money, and New Yorkers lost a park.”
Primary Dems’ early ‘final’ four
Despite all the ballyhoo about the 20-plus field of Democrats running for president, recent polls done for CBS News show that just four have significant support in three early state contests. Moreover, the order in each state is identical.
In Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Joe Biden leads, Bernie Sanders is second, Elizabeth Warren is third and Kamala Harris is fourth.
Absent a shake-up, all the others might want to start planning a vacation.
In the drenches
Headline: New Baltimore deputy police commissioner robbed at gunpoint.
New York cops are lucky. Jerks just throw water at them. So far.
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