The Rolling Stone scribe has christened Tuesday’s mayor-on-mayor action, during which former New York boss Ed Koch and current Mayor Michael Bloomberg mixed it up over the financial crisis and Occupy Wall Street, Bloomberg’s “Marie Antoinette moment.”

Koch played the role of sensible populist (or maybe just someone who reads?) with lines like, “There’s something wrong with a kid who steals a bike going to jail and someone who steals millions paying a fine” and “What do you think they got fined for—schmutz on the sidewalk? … They got fined because they abused their relationship with their clientele. And I want to see somebody—I want to see one of them, of a major corporation, punished criminally.”

Bloomberg, who has worked extremely hard to present himself as an independent politician rather than another billionaire opportunist hatched by the parasitic hive queen of Wall Street, showed his true colors by parroting last season’s Republican talking points. “It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. … It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and to give mortgages to people who were on the cusp” and who “pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent; they were the ones that pushed the banks to loan to everybody.”

This statement is beyond ridiculous, as Taibbi explains:

In order for this vision of history to be true, one would have to imagine that all of these banks were dragged, kicking and screaming, to the altar of home lending, forced against their will to create huge volumes of home loans for unqualified borrowers.

In fact, just the opposite was true. This was an orgiastic stampede of lending, undertaken with something very like bloodlust. Far from being dragged into poor neighborhoods and forced to give out home loans to jobless black folk, companies like Countrywide and New Century charged into suburbs and exurbs from coast to coast with the enthusiasm of Rwandan machete mobs, looking to create as many loans as they could.

Bloomberg went further to align himself with the 1 percent Tuesday night. Like former Sen. Phil Gramm, who spearheaded in Congress the deregulation of the financial sector and who, as co-chair of John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign dismissed Americans concerned with the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression as “a nation of whiners,” Bloomberg told Occupy Wall Streeters to quit complaining. Better to “be out there trying to change the world and make it better,” says the mayor, who probably wonders why the indebted, homeless masses camping out around the country don’t apply themselves and attend some banquet dinners.

It’s enough to make Taibbi throw up his hands: “Well, you know what, Mike Bloomberg? FUCK YOU. People are not protesting for their own entertainment, you asshole. They’re protesting because millions of people were robbed, by your best friends incidentally, and they want their money back.”

— Peter Z. Scheer

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