There is nothing more depressing than realizing you weren't being cynical enough about politicians.
I confess. I thought that at the absolute final minute, the New York State Senate would get its act together at least long enough to pass the minimal number of bills needed to keep the local governments' tax revenues coming in and protect the city's schools from falling into total chaos.
Or at least I thought they'd do what Albany always does in these situations and pass some kind of half-baked extension law that would keep things operating more or less normally while they continued to dither.
But it turns out that I was a cock-eyed optimist. Even the Democratic half of the bifurcated Senate wasn't willing to even make a pretense of trying to keep the city intact. When the 31 Democrats met Tuesday (they hold alternating sessions with the 31 Republicans, like a divorcing couple sharing custody of the family poodle) they couldn't even summon the political will to give their votes of support to continued mayoral control of the schools or the sales tax hike the city needs to keep its budget intact.
It turns out that a number of Democrats wanted to recreate themselves as fiscally conservative anti-taxers (you could have fooled me) and that they wanted to have a say in refashioning the schools law to give Mayor Michael Bloomberg a little less control. That was a perfectly rational thought a month or two ago. But you'd think that failing to do anything until the deadline meant relinquishing the option to tinker.
Do you remember what the school system was like before Bloomberg took control? The worst part was that power was divided among so many places. Not only did nothing get done, the beleaguered city could never figure out who to blame since all the concerned parties devoted the bulk of their time to finger-pointing.
Remind you of anybody?
We have some great blogs today. Jarrett Murphy talks about the high cost of New York City's low crime rate. And there's a veritable harvest of food blogs. Ed Levine has a breakfast gem. Kathy Freston proves it's possible to eat healthy food in grand style in New York. On a more serious note, Jilly Stephens of City Harvest talks about improving the food our children eat at school for years to come.