Liveblogging the State of the City, If We Can Stand It


We’ll give it a shot, anyway. The Mayor is going to give this annual speech today at Brooklyn College. Let’s begin:

1:21 p.m. Brooklyn borough president/buffoon Marty Markowitz tells a few jokes. He has “declared Brooklyn a Republic,” but collegially tells Queens beep Helen Marshall that “whatever Brooklyn doesn’t have, Queens has, right Helen! And whatever they don’t have, Brooklyn has!”

He lards it on Bloomberg, praising him for making the city “smoke-free, trans-fat free and, God willing,” he will also make it “gun-free.” Refers to Bloomberg’s job creation program as his “re-election campaign.” Whatta kidder!

Now some Brooklyn kids are singing some Communist anthem. Other developments, if we don’t pass out, below the fold.

1:28 p.m. Markowitz again, lauds Bloomberg as a “great mayor” and introduces someone named Tony Mackenzie, the “Mayor of Midwood.” (I thought Danny Dory was still serving.) Turns out she’s a high school senior. She wants to be an obstetrician, says she’ll practice (after graduation we mean) right here in New York because “I Love New York.” Is it too early to start drinking?

1:30 p.m. Now a film (which we can’t see on our radio feed), with some alte kockers talking about the Great Depression. (Audio feed goes down, restored.) Then Ed Koch comes on talking about how great he handled the 1980 transit strike. Then it’s 9/11! Then it’s the blackout! Citizens direct traffic, some guy falls in love in the dark. “Rhapsody in Blue” swells. Boy, this city’s been through some hard times. But we all came together, and led by our billionaire boss we’re gonna do the same! “The city is like a great heart.” Yeah, swollen and filled with fatty deposits.

1:38 p.m. Mackenzie, “from one mayor to another,” introduces Bloomberg. Music, vamping. NY1 hosts are talking. What’s Bloomberg doing, throwing twenties to the crowd? Oh, he’s “shaking the hands of the crowd… he’s a much better politician” than he used to be.

1:41 p.m. Mayor Bloomberg tells Mayor Mackenzie Johns Hopkins “will be lucky to have you.” Congratulates the retiring Brooklyn College president, presumably on getting out while the getting’s good. He says there’s a YouTube channel! No time to look! Says it may not be getting the same traffic as the Backstreet Boys. We beg to differ. “Where else” but BC “would Brooklyn’s greatest champion go to school?” Refers to “Dem Bums, the Brooklyn Dodgers… trust me, their spirit lives on.” Oh no! Is that the Sym-Phony? Please don’t stop playing!

“Generations of New Yorkers…” Someone had a wedding anniversary. Christ, this guy is vamping like mad. Keeps fluffing Brooklyn College, then segues to the New Deal. Recently “the bank panics returned,” people are worried about losing their homes again. “Whether in the 1970s or after 9/11… the future of our city has been in doubt.” But we pulled together. We cleaned up crime and rebuilt the World Trade… well, we came back! Life expectancy is “longer than the country’s for the first time since World War II!” Because we all quit smoking and eating Fatburgers. We are “strong, fuerte,” then gets into the Spanish and the crowd applauds.

Back when he starts saying something. Maybe.

1:45 p.m. Says Ronald Reagan was “partially right” that government is the problem. His City Journal blowjob is assured. Says other governments in the past haven’t governed well. Now we face tough problems, “the hungry eyes of those who cannot feed their families,” and have to do it without new funding, so we have to “repurpose budgets.” That ought to do it.

His plan has three goals: “Spurring job growth,” “strengthening quality of life,” and “stretching every dollar further and holding every agency accountable.” Says disagreements should never get in the way of getting his goals met.

Re job growth: tells us “dwelling on the bad news won’t make it any better…”

Oops, audio feed dropped. Back in a minute.

1:58 p.m. Okay, we missed the rest of #1 and all of #2. (You can read the speech here.) Now he’s onto #3. Artists create art, artists get applause. Now he says he he has four: there’s also “broad-based revenue-neutral tax reform,” on which he will work with the State Legislature. “It’s time to align our tax laws with those of other states” — like Alabama! He’s going to cut taxes for 17,000 small businesses. He tells Malcolm Smith, “your job now.”

“We can’t take our competitive advantage for granted,” so he has a website allowing “one-stop shopping” for city permits. And there’s “accountability.” But we’ll also have “environmental protection,” because the idea that this conflicts with economic growth “is so 1990s.” (He describes this as the “sixth” part of his plan. Whoops.)

We’re going to invest $900 million for green jobs and reducing our carbon footprint. Ronald Reagan would be proud! And we’re looking at wind power and solar power. We can become “the Silicon Valley of sustainability.”

We’re “increasing, yes, increasing” job placement services by 20,000 jobs. We hear dead Reagan complaining.

Now we’re on the eighth point, or whatever. We will provide “more work, more cash, but if you have kids you gotta pay your child support.” And more cash for kids “if they stay in school.” Dead Reagan has left the room.

Jobs plus program — and the ninth and final piece of job program is the help laid-off workers in the financial sector. Fancy Joe Broker going to a city office or “entrepreneurial boot camp”! But “we’ll keep them here in New York and that’s our goal.” We’ll look for “angels,” that is investors, to help start-ups.

This won’t do it all, but wait for the “second leg of our strategy” — oh, so those were sub-points! — improving public safety and quality of life. “We remain the safest big city in the country… thanks to the brave men and women of the NYPD.” And “we won’t cede an inch to the squeegee man!” “Dirty Dozen” plan will be a Most Wanted Quality of Life Offender list in each borough. If you commit six Q of L crimes, the next time you pee in the street, you’ll be prosecuted for a felony. They’ll love you in the Big House, pee-boy!

Also he wants more cameras watching our every public move. And action on illegal gun sales. And microstamping technology. And background checks on dealers. And anti-terrorist technology. (“We felt the anguish” of Mumbai.) And affordable housing. (Dead Reagan came back and made horrible retching sounds.) “Brooklyn may have lost the Dodgerrs, but we’ll make sure its neighborhoods never lose their character!” The Sym-Phony plays, but somebody stops them, alas.

And — you know what? We quit. The text is here, and we may refer to it later. There are a lot of press releases piling up.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 15, 2009


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