Hochul: As Long As I Am Governor Congestion Will Be Free!

“Keep Congestion Free! Keep Congestion Free!”

The mood of the crowd was moderate but exuberant as Governor Hochul took the stage. The crowd had been hastily assembled at the last minute by the GRU’s for-profit company Angry Protesters International. It was a mixed crew. Mofst I’d seen before at anti-BLM protests – an API strength, though some were lesser protest niches, like pro-LNG and anti-the-administrative-state. The BLM protest veterans were fashion-forward, wearing gold lame Trump sneakers. – a mixture of West-Side Story extras, Trump gold-plated toilet styling and crack cocaine.

[One highlight. Most of the crowd wore gold lame Trump sneakers. They must have gone to the sale at Counter-Revolutions ‘R’, I thought to myself whimsically.]

Hochul – in her sharply angled pantsuit looked like an AI image of herself. Her speech reflected this. She discussed the importance of appearance over substance, and cautioned that we should all remember that it is the suburbs that are moderate, not cities.

The ebullient mood was somewhat tempered when an audience member shouted, “Where the fuck are the Mexicans? I’m here to fight the invasion!” and then was hastily escorted off the campus grounds.

“That’s one of the drawbacks of 21st century political theater” noted one of Hochul’s political hacks wearing Elton John glasses and an electric blue button-down shirt. “9 out of 10 know the script, but there’s always some outlier scooped up to make quota. Beat up Mexicans at a Hochul event? Give me a break. We’re all about pretending to care.”

After a stirring speech where the erstwhile Governor pretended to care about climate change, congestion and – of course – immigration, Hochul pulled out a surprise.

Her answer to congestion pricing: The expandion of Not In Service services.


After her killing congestion pricing no one expected any policy movement.

“I never expected the erstwhile Governor to deliver. More Not in Service Buses?” That’s like a dream almost come true!”

Pundit x explains, “There has been lots of talk about how congestion pricing was really about downtown Manhattan and ignored uptown and the ‘burbs. Well obviously we’re not going to actually help low frequency voters so of course we ignored Inwood and the South Bronx. But that wasn’t good enough for the erstwhile Governor. Again and again she asked, ‘how can I pretend to help the best'”

To the surprise of many, the erstwhile Governor unveiled an expansion of the ‘Not in Service’ program.

The frisson was palpable …

[Mostly its OK – a quiet background kind of protestor, but every so often there’s someone looking for a fight. The kind of for-hire protestor that may work in Mariupol in 2014, but in 2024 NY? Meh.”]

For hire exuberance aside, so questions remain unanswered:

Most pundits agreed that this was a sign of Hochul’s burgeoning political maturity. Killing congestion pricing outright was a newbie mistake. Pretending to replace it with irrelevant policies was so much more sophisticated.

And what a whopper of a policy Hochul presented!

[Include picture of Out Of Service Bus]

Out of Service service will be extended to all of the under-served boroughs. “Its the Governor’s way of saying ‘I know you’re there, that’s why I’m pretending to care.'”

Pundits were ebullient, “Pretend to care! This is a breakthrough. When was the last time a Governor gave that much attention to Inwood, the South Bronx or Bed-Sty?”

Other pundits noted the gumption and true grit the Out of Service extensions showed, “This is a very moderate platform. The definition of centrist. It shows real gumption on Hochul’s part.” said a political pundit, shuffling his deck of Talking Point cards as he spoke.

Another pundit, with a different deck of talking points added, “Dare I say grit?!”

“True Grit!” chimed in a third.

“We LOVE it!”, effuses an audience member. “Nothing says centrist like promising action on climate change and doing nothing at all!”

[Tim, a spokes-wonk for the Premier adjusts his mauve Elton John glasses and petulantly exclaims, “Wrong! Hochul’s not doing nothing on congestion. She’s being aspirational. One day those Not In Service buses may have passengers.”

“Or carry packages for Amazon!” notes the svelte Yale graduate responsible for Hochul’s social-media campaigns.


Moderate: despite appearance of “middling” tends to be applied to policies / politicians which / who support upper middle class suburbs that are car dependent.

Supporters of public transportation cannot be moderate, by definition, unless the transport they favor is fueled by coal or LNG.

e.g. “moderate democrat Joe Manchin lobbied hard to secure exemptions for fossil fuel polluters.”