At the Buzzer: The Skill of Winning or the Failure of Losing in the Chaos of the Endgame. Who Will Find Dirk? Or, Are We Fated to Endure Le Bron?

 Chess players call it endgame. In football, the quarterback two-minute drill, the “golden goal” in soccer, the last second play in basketball. As fans we regale the players and the coaches who are masterful in winning the game in the closing moments. We dun Le Bron and admire Dirk.

 Cuomo fils, Silver and Skelos maneuver for advantage as the legislative session moves from last days to last hours. The Good Government folks bemoan the secrecy and call for openness, for transparency so that the entire state can view the machinations of their leaders.
 
Let’s not forget that the fifty-five men who gathered in Philadelphia in May of 1787 met in secrecy with no official minutes. The only record, James Madison’s journal remained closed for fifty years. We teach our students about the conflicts between large states and small states, the powers of the executive, one house versus two houses and the length of terms of office.
 
What we don’t teach our students is James Madison’s view of the delegates,
 
[they} always conceived that the difference of interest in the U. States lay not between the large & small, but the N. & Southn States …. it was pretty well understood that the institution of slavery & it’ s consequences formed the line of discrimination.”
 
For a century or so historians have mused over “whether the founding fathers were guided by philosophy and political theory, with a nod to practical exigencies or one of hardheaded practicality where self-interest was justified by lofty argument.”
 
Little has changed.
 
Marriage equality, rent control and a property tax cap may have been resolved as you read this blog. For some their votes are guided by ethical and moral values, for other “self-interest … justified by lofty argument.”
 
In New York City the endgame inches closer
 
The Mayor steadfastly holds that his budget is fixed and no additional dollars are available. The teacher union, Bill Di Blasio and a host of school advocates hammered away at the Mayor, without any visible success.
 
A joint union-mayor controlled health fund, hundreds of millions of dollars, was suggested as a source of the 275 million needed to avert layoffs. The Municipal Labor Coalition responded cooly. What’s in it for them? For each individual union? Self-interest over union solidality.
 
Chris Quinn, the Speaker of the Council, and a probable 2013 mayoral candidate is the obvious deal-maker. Can the Mayor, the Union and the Council share the pain and avert teacher layoffs and fire house closings?
 
The Mayor has seen his approval ratings plummet to all-time lows. Memory tells us that a fellow Republican Mayor, John Lindsay, saw his run for president sidelined by his mishandling of the 1968 teacher strike.
 
Would layoffs doom Bloomberg to a similar fate?
 
Would standing by his principles and allowing teacher layoffs cement his reputation among the tea party and libertarian voters?
 
Governor Cuomo will be standing at a microphone with Silver and Skelos touting his achievements, planting seeds for his 2016 run for presidency from the left; for Silver keeping together his democratic base, and, Skelos, holding off reapportioment.
 
Who will “hit the last second jumper” in New York City?  Will Quinn or Mulgrew or De Blasio solve the rubrik cube?, or a la Le Bron fail with that long range jumper at the buzzer?
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3 responses to “At the Buzzer: The Skill of Winning or the Failure of Losing in the Chaos of the Endgame. Who Will Find Dirk? Or, Are We Fated to Endure Le Bron?

  1. Bloomberg “standing by his principles” to cause layoffs? what principles are those? Putting children last?

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  2. I think it is important to consider some of the broader issues here and to work for changes that will improve the situation as much as possible.

    The Bush administration converted a major 3-year surplus when they took office in 2001 into a major deficit when they left office, largely through major tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and by getting us into what is turning out to be two very expensive wars. The Republicans in Congress are holding the nation hostage in effect in order to continue these major tax breaks for the wealthiest and for highly profitable corporations, and this has created major deficits and attempts to make major cuts in education and many other areas.

    Martin Luther King once stated that the bombs that were falling in Vietnam were exploding at home, in American cities, since huge military expenditures were causing budgetary shortfalls that were making it difficult to meet domestic needs.

    I think it is essential that we get many more people involved in the political process and elect people who are more concerned with average Americas rather than the wealthy and corporations.

    I think it is also essential that we start rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure — graded D by the American society of Civil Engineers –and invest in education, research, renewable energy sources, etc., thereby creating jobs, increasing tax revenues, decreasing the need for unemployment benefits, and improving our economy, creating a far better future for everyone.

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