Getting to Mayor Bloomberg’s money troubles in a bit — but first, we’re gonna run with the wild and unsubstantiated rumor that Jenna Bush is in the family way.
A staffer who works (worked?) for “Karl Ro-buh” (go see Tracy Jordan deliver the line here) just got engaged to Jenna Bush, and Wonkette has been running photos of how she’s gone with the max-coverage fashion choices lately.
So on the off chance they announce that they just can’t wait, may we recommend Ecobaby for washable cloth diapers. In lieu of gifts, you can simply make a donation toward offsetting the little rascal’s entire existence. Considering the little guy will get Secret Service transportation as well as lots of training in the Lincoln Town Car school of personal taste, we should all start planting extra trees now.
Meanwhile, Mike Bloomberg is having one of those world-not-make-sense moments — he’s low on cash for his ambitious plan to green up New York City. The US DOT (spiritual home of the very first orange cone) cut Mike a check for $350M for his traffic plan — a couple hundred mill short of the suggested donation. Thoughtfully, they did stamp the envelope, saving NYC the business-reply charge.
Bloomberg was upbeat; it’s free money, after all. The big hurdle still to come is his punch-in-the-gut commuter tax on everyone driving into or out of Manhattan during business hours. Will it reduce commuters? Yeah, but it will also create a mad rush to get across the bridges by whenever they start taking the toll in the mornings. The idea behind the federal grant was that it would make dollar signs flash in the eyes of city and state officials, who would then be more receptive to Bloomberg’s controversial congestion tax.
It’s gotta pass votes in both the city and in Albany by March 31. This is a big deal — if this goes through, and works, it’ll be a foundation from which activists can push other cities to be agressive in attacking their own commuter cultures. That said, can anyone really see a congestion tax happening anywhere else (besides San Francisco, and then later, L.A.)? So this isn’t going to be a blueprint for the Phoenix/Indy/Jackson type of low-density city.