In response to my previous post wherein I helpfully suggested to my mayor that he have “BLACK LIVES MATTER” painted on the streets in giant yellow letters outside of all 77 police precincts in New York City, a much beloved commenter expressed concern about the cost of all that paint.

I’ve been thinking that the facts I mentioned in my reply are worth highlighting here, because they speak volumes about our priorities as a city, and as a society – and bring the call to #defundthepolice into crystal clear focus:

Oh, I’d say the paint fund definitely won’t be a problem. According to my #1 girlcrush AOC via an email she sent me a week ago, New York City’s police budget is $6,000,000,000.00. SIX BILLION DOLLARS. The city could do all the Black Lives Matter lettering in fucking gold leaf, and it would barely put a dent in that.

For perspective, my BFF AOC also helpfully informed me that amount is more than NYC spends on housing, youth, hospitals, and homelessness services – combined.

Almost anyone can see what is fundamentally wrong with this picture, except of course police unions, the mayor (and previous mayors), a majority of the City Council and of course your garden variety conservatives in both parties.

Fortunately, it appears that very few of those people live in AOC’s district. She just crushed it in the primary so fucking hard, garnering 75% of the vote. At one point this cycle she had like 12 primary opponents or something, although I am not sure how many remained on the ballot in NY-14 by Tuesday.

But her closest rival was on that ballot: Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, some former CNBC anchor I never heard of, came in second place with less than 20% of the vote. For our amusement if nothing else, let’s check out Caruso-Cabrera’s highlight reel:

  • she’s a “former Republican.” LOL.
  • she’s also a former 20 year resident of Manhattan, before moving to AOC’s district late last year. Hmmm. Curious, no?
  • guess where she lived in Manhattan before she moved. C’MON, GUESS!

If you guessed “Trump International Hotel and Tower,” you win
aaaaall the internetz!!!

  • Ms. Caruso-Cabrera is the author of a 2010 book entitled You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government. You will be unsurprised to learn that in this book she:
    • argues for “small government.”
    • advocates “fiscal conservatism.”
    • calls for the elimination of Social Security AND Medicare, calling them “pyramid schemes.” She favors instead privatizing them via “vouchers” and “incentives.” She probably wants to kill Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, public housing, Section 8 etc., but I am not going to read this piece of shit to find out. #sorrynotsorry.
    • champions tax cuts and deregulation and eliminating entire federal agencies like the Labor Department and all the other usual boring and wrong shit conservatives say. You know: policies that, by design, only benefit the very wealthiest of white men.
  • her campaign was financed almost entirely by the Big Willies of Wall Street: dozens of private equity executives, investment bankers, hedge funders, financiers and heads of big corporations all made early donations. (Here’s a partial list.)
  • she was endorsed by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the influential (read: extremely well-funded) right-wing business lobby that typically backs buys “business friendly” congressional Republicans, although obviously not exclusively! When they find a “Democrat” like Caruso-Cabrera taking on their worst nightmare – an actual lefty – for them it’s a twofer.
  • she told CNN “I am a real Democrat,” in contrast to AOC whom she calls a “Democratic socialist.” She added that the people of NY-14 “don’t want revolution.” LOL 4EVAH at that big, hearty 75% Bronx cheer: “FUCK YOU Michelle.”
  • she is married to Stephen Dizard, an investment banker and [SPOILER ALERT!] Republican Party donor.

Now normally, I try not to hold the views of one’s partner against anyone. Unless of course either partner is particularly evil, particularly mockworthy, and/or particularly relevant to some point I am trying to make. Here we hit the trifecta, so yeah, the gloves are off.

For the record:

I predict that this Stephen Dizard d00d is an epic doucheweasel, just like his wife.
-Iris Vander Pluym
June 26, 2020



  1. lochaber says

    I’ve been fanboying AOC pretty hard, I think she’s done an incredible job and it’s really impressive how much stuff she’s gotten involved in as a first-termer.

    And she fucking handles her critics/detractors on social media.

    I just hope she’s the first of a wave of many more to come…

  2. says

    I did not originally interpret chigau as saying that there might not be enough MONEY for paint.

    I interpreted chigau as saying that there literally might not be enough paint in the world for all the painting necessary to drive the message through cops’ barricades of willful ignorance. And I agreed with chigau at the time.

    But having now considered it from a fiscal perspective, I find myself again in agreement: if we have to pay for any of this, tumbrels, gallows & guillotines are simply more cost effective.

    Fortunately for all concerned, we don’t have to pay for this. The best answer is simply to STOP paying for this: no more money paid to people who inflict violence on the citizenry. No more money for weapons. No more money for weapons training.

    After the cascading series of ragequits from all the hateful fanatics who can’t imagine doing their job without beating people up, breaking their bones, crushing their throats, holding them by the neck, or just plain shooting them to death, we can start fresh with people who actually want to live in a community with less violence, and are willing to serve as role models for it. We can always train some small percentage of cops with weapons for the rare scenario in which an armed response is appropriate. The rest of the time send them out with really good training, really good support systems, and no weapons. We’ll save money and everyone but the violent fascists will be much happier.

    And I don’t really care about making violent fascists happy.

  3. says

    Cosigning Crip Dyke, 100%. AS USUAL…

    And I should have been more precise: I was also riffing on blf’s comment responding chigau’s, about the budget for all that paint. But now that I think about it, if there weren’t enough yellow paint in the world, the city could build its own yellow paint plant, and eventually turn out enough of the stuff to paint BLACK LIVES MATTER on every street in all five boroughs, and still not put a dent in the police budget.

    When I was writing my original post, I thought about suggesting painting it in front of every officer’s home, too. But it’s difficult to envision doing so without that paint factory. 77 precincts seems perfectly feasible, paintwise.

  4. chigau (違う) says

    You are both correct. Quantity of paint and money.
    I just realised that I am a “beloved commenter”.
    I’m leaking out my eyes.