49 degrees latitude, 360 degrees attitude!

18th August 2013


One of the worst things about Michael Bloomberg being the mayor is that because he was so rich, he didn’t have to appeal to what he kept calling the “special interest groups” — which, you know, I would call the “citizens.”

I don’t think public school teachers are a special interest group; I don’t think cops are a special interest group; I don’t think tenants are a special interest group. Billionaires are a special interest group. So when he says that anyone who is running for mayor is going to have to make concessions to these special interest groups — that is what democracy is. Not issuing bans and demands.

He thinks of himself as the public health mayor. How many hospitals closed under Bloomberg? Hospitals: that’s public health. Smoking, soda, salt? That’s private health. And what could be more minute? I mean, I’ve never heard anyone say, “ ‘Do you like New York?’ ‘Mmm, not really, too salty.’ ”

When he announced this soda thing, someone showed me the size soda that you couldn’t have. I didn’t know those existed. My first apartment was smaller than that. I think maybe in Abu Ghraib they make you drink that soda. It seems like a crazy amount of soda; it doesn’t mean I think it should be against the law.

Also, he’s the “green mayor”? He’s the green mayor who travels by private jet. There is nothing more polluting than jet fuel. One of his little trips on his private jet, to wherever he goes on the weekend — he doesn’t tell us, that’s his private life — that is every cigarette ever smoked in the history of New York City.

I don’t know how many of these bikes there are, but it seems like there are 80 million of them. I do not want to see 80 million ads for Citibank. When they first put them in, Bloomberg said, “Wasn’t that nice of Citibank? They gave us these bicycles.” Really? Let me put it this way: I would rather see Citibank give us back our money, and then I would buy them a bicycle. And also maybe a skateboard, if they’re really good.

The overturning of the term limits — when this happens in another country, we call this a coup. We, the citizens, voted — twice! — to have term limits, and then he overturned them. I saw him give some press conference about guns. He said something like, “I believe in democracy,” and I thought, No, you don’t. No, you certainly do not. Vladimir Putin has the same belief in democracy you do.

I really felt that during the election of the pope, Bloomberg was in a state of contained hysteria, trying to figure out, “How can I get this gig?” If I was in charge of electing the pope, I would elect him, because anything that would get him out of New York would be fine with me.

Ms. Lebowitz’s remarks, to Michael M. Grynbaum, were lig

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