Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Here's a shock: No evidence that NYC snowplow drivers did anything wrong

There's an old saying, "s**t flows downhill," and it couldn't be more true than in New York City. At the top of the Big Apple's hill are the Wall Street fraudsters who caused the Great Recession. Also at the top: New York's mayor, a multi-billionaire who made his money at Salomon Brothers (now the bailed-out Citigroup) and Bloomberg News. At the bottom of the hill are the government workers who get blamed for -- well, you name it.

Here's how it works: Wall Street's recklessness, corporate mismanagement and regulators' failures caused the economic meltdown. The meltdown caused the recession. The recession caused New York's tax revenues to shrink. The shrinking tax revenues caused the mayor to lay off 400 snowplow drivers. Then it snowed and the billionaire mayor didn't declare a snow emergency quickly enough from his waterfront home in Bermuda. But somehow it ended up being the snowplow drivers' fault that Wall Street wasn't plowed quickly enough! 

FreeRepublic, a hideous blog that you should never read, took aim at the unions:
Various news outlets have reported that leaders of the Service Employees-affiliated Sanitation Officers Association ordered their Teamsters-affiliated work crews to slack off as a protest against recent City Department of Sanitation budget cuts and demotions.
It was obvious that these shameful attacks on New York's sanitation workers were part and parcel of the shameful attacks on unions throughout the country. But it gets better. The attacks on the snowplow drivers started with a crackpot city councilman, Daniel Halloran, who claimed that five city workers told him personally of a deliberate slowdown. His accusation inspired a grand jury investigation (we're still waiting for a grand jury investigation on Wall Street fraud, btw) . And now Halloran, about to face the grand jury, is changing his story. At first he said the workers were told to take off routes and plow major roads slowly. Now he's saying they were "subtly informed there was no need to rush."

According to the New York Times,
Mr. Halloran said he had been visited by two supervisors in the Transportation Department and three workers in the Sanitation Department. But the two transportation supervisors did not back up his story in interviews with investigators, according to two people briefed on the inquiries. And Mr. Halloran has steadfastly refused to reveal the names of the sanitation workers.
We'll settle for a public apology, thank you, from the media outlets that reported flimsy allegations as fact, the mayor who should have been man enough to take the blame and the government officials who wasted taxpayer money on investigating snowplow drivers when they could be investigating crooks on Wall Street.