So, there I was today, minding my own business, getting coffee while on my way to work, when I was basically assaulted by the cover of today's Daily News, which featured a picture of disgraced politician Vito Lopez and the headline "Feel My Tumor." Which, what? Gross! What did that even refer to? Oh, that was a pick-up line Lopez used when sexually harassing his employees? Apparently so! The News reports, "Vito Lopez is alleged to have demanded his female aides to rub his tumorous growths." Whyyyyy would anyone ever say that in an attempt to, like, seduce someone? I don't know! But then, I am no expert in the art of seduction. However, even I know enough to know that asking someone to TOUCH YOUR TUMOR certainly ranks as one of the worst pick-up lines of all time. But you know what? Politicians are actually full of terrible pick-up lines, so I figured why not round up the absolute worst. And these aren't all just pick-up lines. No, some of these are pick-up tactics, the subtle moves (like tweeting dick-pics) that are the mating calls of a very specific type of person. Not all terrible pick-up lines or pick-up moves are created equal, however. Some of these are part of consensual relationships and some of these are straight up sexual harassment. But all of them share one thing in common. They are totally repellent and sort of prove that politicians are absolutely the worst people on earth. Even worse than writers! Much worse.
Good, good. We've officially gotten to the point in the mayoral race where years-old comments are being dredged up and used against people, sometimes wildly out of context, sometimes not. This is when things heat up!
Sheesh, what a roller coaster these past few days have been. Last week, word got out that the MTA had scheduled maintenance shutdowns on the L during Memorial Day Weekend and our very own Northside Festival, June 15-17. Needless to say, not ideal. At all.
Noted poet James Franco was asked by venerable literary institution Yahoo News to compose a poem about Obama's inauguration. Who knew Yahoo News was such a patron of the arts? Well, apparently, Yahoo News couldn't help but wonder "what would happen if inaugural poets might be inspired to raise their games."
So, it's not a full-blown "I was wrong about everything, let's legalize it all, for everybody, immediately," but hey, legislative baby steps. In yesterday's State of the State (ha) address, Governor Cuomo acknowledged the state's wildly erratic enforcement of its marijuana laws, which regard possession of amounts under 25 grams in public view as a misdemeanor, and yet have resulted in hundreds of thousands of minor arrests over the past decade costing around $600 million dollars.
For a moment, Mitt Romney was the President-elect of the United States of America, at least on the Internet. It was a monumental one for Donald Trump, whose ego literally swelled into an actual life form and ate a human child while his wife's form-fitting cocktail dress melted into a Civil War-era hooped skirt, all in the short amount of time that Romney's transitional website went live, which, oops, actually happened.
Before being quickly wiped away forever, Taegan Goddard of Political Wire sprung into action with ninja screen-shooting skills, today posting evidence of an alterna-world where the country aims to be "smaller, simpler, smarter," there are constant reminders of the "success we were able to enjoy at the Winter Olympic Games," and the Presidential Inaugural Address is swapped from January 20 to January 21, just like Eisenhower and Reagan's.
Scroll through some more screen grabs here. It looks like Tagg spent a lot of time on the color scheme.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.
If things seem to be going well for Obama, see page 2.
If things suddenly don't seem to be going all that well for Obama, see page 3.
If it's looking as though there will be no clear winner tonight, see page 4.
For an entirely different route, go here.
Were you all as anxious and excited before the debate last night as noted policy wonk Lindsay Lohan was? Or were you totally not into it and decided to watch Hocus Pocus instead because you knew you could rely on other people to sum it up for you today? If it's the latter, I totally respect your opinion and am happy to walk you through last night's debate with the help of a variety of funny and profane people that I follow on twitter.
Honestly, I don't even know how we made it through past presidential election cycles without Twitter. It seems so barbaric, like using horses or bayonets, or the US Navy. Twitter is totally the aircraft carrier of social media.
Bay Ridge has a reputation as being pretty conservative. Do you think that's accurate?
I don't think that's true at all. I think that was true at one point, but this is a neighborhood that's changed dramatically. If you look at how the president did in 2008, just in Bay Ridge alone, he overwhelmingly won Bay Ridge. And across the entire district, he got 48.5 percent of the vote—which, 10 years ago, I don't think he gets. I don't think a president named Barack Obama gets 40 percent of the vote 10 years ago, and I don't think a Democrat named Joe Smith gets 40 percent of the vote. So it really has become more progressive, more Democratic. But there's also been a dramatic change in the face of Bay Ridge. We have a lot more younger families moving to the neighborhood who are getting priced out of other neighborhoods; we have younger professionals who are moving here, looking for a place to settle down, who can afford the rents in this neighborhood, who like that we have great restaurants and bars, a great waterfront, great park space and everything; we have a growing immigrant population. I forget where I read it—maybe I saw it on your site? But there was a link somewhere a few months ago saying that Bay Ridge and Bushwick were two of the most diverse neighborhoods in all of Brooklyn. And you wouldn't think that if you just have the stereotype of the old Bay Ridge in your mind. But if ride the buses or ride the subways or go to the restaurants, you see that Bay Ridge is very, very diverse. And there many different ethnicities here and different groups in the community. And it's going to continue to do that.
The 27-year-old has a law degree from George Washington University; he's non-practicing but has passed the bar in New York and New Jersey. He worked for Senator Bob Menendez for four years, first on his campaign in New Jersey and then at his office in D.C. "I started answering phones," he said, "and worked my way up the ladder to doing policy work."
He and I met at Pegasus diner on Third Avenue on October 12; he ordered a cup of cream of turkey and a Greek salad with chicken. We talked for an hour about Golden's record, state politics, fair pay, mass transit, and the ways Bay Ridge has changed and is changing—including its growing LGBT community. (The order of some questions-and-answers has been changed.) This is part one of that conversation. Part two—in which I ask him about the neighborhood's hot-button issues (hipsters, bike lanes,Brooklyn 11223, the food truck wars) as well as whether he's avoiding Bagel Boy because they have a Marty Golden poster in the window—will appear tomorrow.
In an angst-ridden post entitled "New York Shitty," Sullivan bemoaned everything from the pace to the prices to problems with the Daily Beast's (very fancy and enviable) Chelsea offices. "Just to walk a few blocks requires barging your way through a melee of noise and rudeness and madness," he wrote, embedding a sad Alicia Keys song for emphasis. Terrible.
Sensible readers immediately advised him to get the fuck out and move to Brooklyn, and we couldn't agree more. In fact, we agreed so much that we came up with a helpful list of incentives for Sullivan to cross the bridge and turn his life around. You can do it, Andrew! People here aren't square like in D.C., and illegal sublets happen all the time, so no need to worry about your current lease. Jump ship and nestle into our borough's warm, beer-battered embrace.
Mercifully, it's almost over. With just one month left til local and national election day, we're officially in the home stretch, but are you ready? Really ready? Think of all the intellectual, emotional, social, and maybe even physical exhaustion that lies ahead in the next 30 days. Then take our advice on exactly how to get through it, with everything from snacks to etiquette to, of course, candidate info and voter registration. You can do this! We can do this! USA! Brooklyn! Et cetera!
In case you missed the Internet's recent fascination with blinking, Joseph Tecce, a Boston College psychophysiologist who's spent decades dissecting the body language of presidential hopefuls, has concluded that the candidate who blinks least during the debates is most likely to win the election. In fact, there's only been one exception to Tecce's theory since 1980, and that's when George Bush batted his eyes more than Al Gore and and still landed in the White House. George Bush lost the popular vote, though, you remember that mishap?
Tecce links his findings to how stress and being in an "unpleasant emotional state" manifests in our eye movement. When we're stressed, we tend to blink more. When someone's blinking a lot, we subconsciously recognize that they're under stress and apparently feel less inclined to vote in their favor.
You know how every four years, you can't WAIT for the first Presidential debate because you haven't yet made up your mind about who you're going to vote for in just five more weeks? It's like, no, the conventions weren't enough to help you decide. And, no, you don't already have a deep antipathy toward one party or another and a solid conviction that, even though your party isn't perfect, the party that you hate will take America straight to hell. And then you'd have to move to Canada and that would be really difficult. Let's face it. Canada doesn't want you.
Well, last night, you were finally in luck! It was the night of the big debate. Romney versus Obama versus my capacity to ever have any faith in government again! Who was the winner? Well, the loser was definitely "my capacity to ever have any faith in government ever again." Also, Obama. At least, that's what 100% of people are saying today. If you didn't watch the debate—and I completely understand if you didn't!—here are some tweets for you to look at, so that you can talk with all your friends about what a boring hour and a half that was. Eh. Your friends will probably have something else they want to talk about. You have cool friends. Good for you.
Last night, viewers of Fox News could see a twinkle in Sean Hannity’s eye. A political bombshell, he informed his audience, was about to be dropped on the presidential race. Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller had obtained a previously undisclosed video of Barack Obama speaking to an audience at Hampton University. After four years in office, this was finally going to be the moment the smokescreen would be taken away and viewers of Fox could see the real Barack Obama. Great anticipation circulated on the Internet. According to the Drudge Report, the video revealed Obama inciting racial animosity, especially when he used words like “we” and “our” to refer to black communities. The angst, the passion, even the accent: these things are simply intolerable in our times of post-racial politics.
But shortly after going on air, Sean Hannity did a belly flop.
Bad Lip Reading, who have been providing vital election coverage this year in spite of suspect comprehension skills, just released their newest video ahead of tonight's pivotal presidential debate. In it, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan tells America about his awesome new band Steak Baby, which is only the best band he's ever been in. (They might be called something else the next time they play Madison).
Though obviously a joke, it successfully spoofs the smugly braggy, slightly lunkheaded version of heartland aw-shucksiness that makes Ryan kind of unsettling. The "video diary" gimmick that the footage is taken from is an attempt to project the general air of a relatable, young-at-heart head-banger, just trying to make his big, drunk on Atlas Shrugged teenage bedroom dreams come true for all of his countrymen (except the parasites). It's a lame attempt. That Nickelback poster on the wall was not photoshopped in. THAT IS PAUL RYAN'S NICKELBACK POSTER. He famously stated in his RNC acceptance speech that his iPod went from AC/DC to Zeppelin (which, lets not even get started on the alphabetization cheat there), but pointedly skipped over the more-damning N section, apparently.
Also, be honest, if you heard the closing 80s-pop version of Steak Baby's lead single, "Quench Your Heartbeat", on Stereogum or something, and it was presented as the debut of some new neighborhood buzz band, you would totally believe it. (It starts at 1:52 on the video.)
In July, the Post editorial page cited a Penn State study suggesting the benefits of fracking outweigh its costs, but failed to mention that the research had been funded by an industry lobbying group. “Just the Fracks,” the headline read. But the fracks can be deceiving.
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