Friday, June 1, 2012

Does Obama or Romney Have the Most Ironic T-Shirt at Urban Outfitters?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Now that it’s officially official that Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate against Barack Obama in November, we can finally start talking about what matters—Urban Outfitters t-shirts. Never one to let something that could be ironic go by without becoming ironic, Urban Outfitters has stocked its on-line store with shirts featuring both Romney and Obama (and Ron Paul, but haha). But which one is more ironic?

Let’s take a look.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Putin's Baroque Palace Already Haunted

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM


Almost perfectly coincident with Vladimir Putin's recently renewed pledges of allegiance as Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Rigged Elections President of Russia is news that he has been constructing, allegedly of course, "Project South," a massive private palace on the Black Sea.

Since his reiterated swearing-in was met with mass protests, which were then met with a heavy police crackdown, which then elicited US statements of disapproval—which have more recently been followed by by Putin saying he would not attend the forthcoming G8 meeting at Camp David, which was nonetheless followed by bilateral statements of continued commitment to a "reset of relations" via "sustained high-level dialogue"—it is possible that news related to "Project South" lost some degree of newsworthy thunder.

And that's fine, but the story is full of good intrigue. Even a major art buyer plays a part.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

10 Uncomfortable Versions of the Internationale (Happy May Day!)

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2012 at 12:29 PM

When millenery mattered.
  • When millenery mattered.

I am not on strike. In protest of my own non-striking, here's a picture of the 1926 general strike in Britain, for which my grandfather marched down from Glasgow (7th from the left, 6 back).

Happy May Day. We'll have oodles of Occupy coverage coming down the pike, until then, please enjoy these many versions of The Internationale.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

New York Republicans Back Romney

Posted By on Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Mitt Romney has more than a two-to-one lead among New York Republicans over his primary challengers, according to the most recent polling, the Times reports. The state's primary is on April 24; the relatively late date usually means that New York has little bearing on the nominating process, but this year an upstart is still nipping at the heels of the front-runner. "New York Republican leaders are excited that... the primary will most likely be meaningful," the Times reports. "They announced Wednesday that Mr. Santorum and Mr. Gingrich would attend the state party’s annual dinner in Midtown Manhattan on April 19, and a spokesman for Mr. Romney said he was planning a trip to New York in the near future as well." Start coloring your protest-signs now!

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Friday, March 30, 2012

To Oppose Health-Care Reform is to Wish Me Dead

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM

The author at 125 pounds, sick without health insurance
  • The author at 125 pounds, sick without health insurance
In the fall of 2009, a doctor told me I had diabetes. The doctor worked at a clinic that used a sliding-scale payment system, which I'd visited because I didn't have health insurance. In fact, even though I ended every work day barely able to trudge to the subway; and couldn't sleep a night through because of piercing leg cramps; and was pissing the bed; and had lost 60 pounds, I waited nine months before I made a doctor's appointment. It just didn't seem like something I could do, uninsured as I was. And it's amazing how quickly you can convince yourself that being sick is normal.

I was working two part-time jobs that barely kept me in my apartment. How could I afford to treat a chronic illness? The doctor at the clinic prescribed me a mid-cost insulin—not the best treatment, he said, but the best in my price range. It was about $55 a bottle, and would last roughly a month; a box of syringes cost another $25. I had to buy a blood-sugar testing machine (a one-time expense), plus a supply of testing strips (a chronic expense), plus the lancets used to prick your finger, plus alcohol swabs to keep me from catching an infection. I have to resupply these things regularly, for the rest of my life. Diabetes isn't cheap.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eat More Lawsuits, or Maim More Artists?

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Note the orthographic entirety of the words displayed.
  • Note the orthographic entirety of the words displayed.

It might seem an oversimplification of convenience, for instance, or perhaps an unjustifiable banalization of issues to conflate a few recent 'news' items related to copyright infringement (maybe) with a recent report of the violent repression of artists in Syria, but I hope not. Or at any rate, I should elect to prefer to side with hoping not, for neither do I hope to present a true argument. I'm not sure I have the right to do so.

Do I? Don't I? Might I?

It might not matter, really. I'm not quite sure there's need to.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why the Supreme Court's Vote This Week on Obamacare Matters

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Well, one of the many reasons, anyway. (We've "reclaimed" the name Obamacare, by the way, didja hear?) Kate Sheppard, over at Mother Jones, makes it pretty clear with their chart of the day:


Women make less, pay more, and have to put with infinite bullshit to get access to basic healthcare.

So what are they going to do? Dahlia Lithwick at Slate has a much more politically intelligent read of things than I do.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

4 Ways To Combat the GOP's War On Women

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM

  • msn.com
Not going to lie—things felt bleak after compiling that list of the 10 most ridiculous things old white men are proposing about women and vaginas. Having sorted through an even larger pile of anti-woman idiocy pending in a number of states in order to finalize that list, comments like "slit my wrists" from you, dear readers, put us over the edge. But there is a positive (sort of) to all this nonsense, and it's the fact that people are taking on innovative ways to voice their dissent. Here's a look at a few.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

The 10 Most Ridiculous Things Old White Men Have Proposed About Women And Vaginas

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 11:54 AM

  • doubleadoublek.com
Whether it’s Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett telling women seeking abortions they can just close their eyes to deal with mandatory ultrasounds, or a Georgia House rep regaling his colleagues with stories about delivering dead cow and chicken fetuses in order to justify women carrying dead human fetuses to term, the past few months have been rife with shockingly inept, old white men proposing shockingly inept things about women, vaginas and female health. We figured it would be a good time to look back. Oh, and in the spirit of sex positivity, we will try to use the word "vagina" as many times as possible throughout this retrospective. Vagina.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

No President Has Ever Been from Brooklyn

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Presidents none.
  • Presidents none.
Walk down the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Celebrity Path, and you'll find the names of ballplayers, entertainers, writers and politicians who were all born in Kings County. But you won't find the name of any American president. Only one POTUS was a born New Yorker—Teddy Roosevelt came into the world in a Gramercy townhouse, and lived with his family there on E. 20th Street until he was 14, and they moved uptown.

As the birthplace of presidents, New York State is tied with Massachusetts for producing the third most; only Ohio (?!) and Virginia have made more commanders in chief. Franklin Roosevelt and Martin van Buren were born in the Hudson Valley; Millard Fillmore was born in the Finger Lakes region.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Presidential Election Year! Are You Actually Registered to Vote Where You Live?

Posted By on Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Welcome back to work. It's 2012—you know, a presidential election year! Jesus H. Christ, already. So in between your busy schedule of having tiresome, emotionally fraught conversations about whether or not the current administration's vulnerability is entirely or only partly its own damn fault, please do ensure that your voter registration information is up-to-date. Do so now; shit sneaks up on you.

Also, if I may: resolve, in 2012, to become a more educated voter, and not one of those people who self-identifies as a liberal based on the fact that you love gawking in a can-you-believe-this-shit way at whatever some wingnut said at the Iowa state fair trail. Reading Nate Silver on the horse race and Roy Edroso on the far-right crazies, though fun, is not the same as understanding policy; being an adult means knowing at least as much about your own elected officials at the state and local level as about national-narrative stuff.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kim Jong-il, DJ

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Kim Jong-il, DJ.
  • Kim Jong-il, DJ.

Unlike Mark's considered examination of recently-deceased North Korean dictator (and sex symbol?) Kim Jong-il's cinephilia, the funny new Tumblr Kim Jong-il Dropping the Bass simply features images of the curious tyrant photoshopped into sweaty clubs, often spinning alongside some of the world's most famous DJs. (BoingBoing)

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Mayor's Girlfriend, a Sotheby's Boardmember, Dismisses Locked-Out Art Handlers' Demands

Posted By on Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 10:34 AM

(Courtesy Sothebys)
  • (Courtesy Sotheby's)

Remember the lock-out of Upper East Side art auction house Sotheby's unionized art handlers that began all the way back on August 1st? Well, it's still happening. Last week two of the 43 locked-out art handlers confronted Sotheby's boardmember Diana Taylor—girlfriend of New York City general mayor Mike Bloomberg—during a public meeting, and things didn't go so well (video below!).

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

The NYPD, Bloomberg's "My Own Army," Bars Journalists from Occupy Protest

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Occupants in midtown last night (NYT photo)
  • Occupants in midtown last night (NYT photo)
"I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world," New York's mayor and richest citizen, Michael Bloomberg, said at an appearance at MIT yesterday. You may protest: Wait, our city's police force is not an army, nor does it belong to the mayor. Yeah, well.

Last night, Capital NY's Joe Pompeo reports, a number of reporters were barred from access to last night's Occupy protest in Midtown, opposite the president's fundraiser at the Sheraton.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reporter Wins Freedom of Information Suit Against Bloomberg Over Cathie Black Emails

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 1:02 PM

This spring, Sergio Hernandez, a former reporting intern at the Village Voice by then affiliated with ProPublica, filed suit against the Bloomberg administration after they denied a Freedom of Information Law request for emails between the Mayor's office and publishing executive Cathleen Black, prior to her brief, wondrous tenure as our Completely Unqualified Schools Chancellor.

At the time, Hernandez was working on a piece about the obvious cronyism that passed for the administration's "public search" for the best candidate, and figured that conversations between Black and the Mayor's office would be illuminating. (Emails sent from government addresses generally constitute official government business and are, with few exceptions, fair game for FOIL requests.) The Mayor's office denied the request under an exemption for "communications that, if disclosed, would result in an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Charles Barron Running for Congress on the "Robert Mugabe Is My Hero" Party Line

Posted By on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM

When we last saw Charles Barron, the fiery City Councilman was eulogizing Muammar Qaddafi at a Black Nationalist tribute in Bed-Stuy. Now, he's announced his candidacy for Congress, in New York's 10th District, currently held by venerable, potentially vulnerable Ed Towns.

Assembleyman Hakeem Jeffries also seems set to run in the 2012 Democratic primary, after redistricting; Barron previously ran for the seat in 2006, taking 35% of the vote in a three-way race (Towns won with 45%, as sleazy Atlantic Yards opportunist Roger Green, whose state Assembly seat is now held by Jeffries, took 15%).

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Occupy Wall Street's Mobile Unit Reaches D.C. Today After 231 Miles On Foot

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 11:22 AM


This is a moment for the history books. On Nov. 9, a small group of protesters quietly left Zuccotti Park and started a 231 mile march down the highways to Washington D.C. Arriving today, they will have traveled nearly all of the distance on foot, and tomorrow they will hold a day of action in protest of the failure of the congressional "super committee" to end Bush era tax cuts. At the time this is published, at 11:30 a.m., "Occupy the Highway" will be arriving at D.C.'s McPherson Square.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Aw, Kevin Powell Isn't Running for Congress Anymore

Posted By on Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Dave Chapelle was actually a no-show at this fundraiser.
  • Dave Chapelle was actually a no-show at this fundraiser.
One of the really nice things about living in New York's 10th congressional district (Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene-Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, Canarsie) has been the opportunity, every two years, to vote against Season One Real World cast member Kevin Powell in the Democratic primary—in 2006, 2008, and 2010, he mounted unsuccessful campaigns to unseat 15-term congressman Edolphus Towns.

Last year, you may recall, he lost handily, shortly after Brooklyn Paper revealed that he owed more than $600,000 in unpaid taxes. Given the two-year election cycle, he's been running for Congress more or less continuously for longer than I've lived in the neighborhood (before the 2008 general election, his people were already leaving spam comments about his 2010 candidacy. That was fun).

But this glorious age of Kevin Powell's permanent unsuccessful candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives has come to a close, the Patch reveals, quoting a letter Powell sent to his supporters in which he announced his intention not to run for Congress in 2012. Farewell, Kevin: we'll always have the frank discussions about race you facilitated on MTV in the early 1990s.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ok, Fine, a Point-By-Point Refutation of David Brooks's Hateful and Idiotic Occupy Wall Street Column

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 1:05 PM

This morning I received an email: "You by any chance have time for/interest in a point-by-point refutation of this infuriating, intellectually dishonest David Brooks column from yesterday?" I didn't, really, but I wrote one anyway because this column—"The Milquetoast Radicals," the Times columnist's pooh-poohing of Occupy Wall Street—is infuriating and intellectually dishonest, for reasons we'll discover as we read on together:

The U.S. economy is probably going to stink for a few more years...

Well, sure, probably.

It is beset by short-term problems (low consumer demand, uncertain housing prices, too much debt) and long-term problems (wage stagnation, rising health care costs, eroding human capital). Realistically, not much is going to be done to address the short-term problems...

Does David Brooks's version of Microsoft Word not flag the passive voice? Let's reword. "Realistically, congressional Republicans will maintain a unified opposition to any prescriptive economic policy, an electorally motivated stance given the vaguest ideological cover with word-cloud callbacks to economic principles that are inexplicably fondly recalled despite their deep anti-populism and documented ineffectiveness." See, now the sentence has a subject and an object.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Brooklyn Nets Have Perfect Job for Post-Presidency Marty Markowitz

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Marty Markowitz is very sad that he missed the first audition to be the Brooklyn Nets announcer.
  • Marty Markowitz is very sad that he missed the first audition to be the Brooklyn Nets' announcer.

Last we heard it sounded pretty likely—though not completely certain—that current Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz will be retiring from politics when his current term ends in 2013. But just because he's (probably) leaving public office doesn't mean he has to cease being Brooklyn's most boisterous spokesman: the Brooklyn Nets need an announcer, and we think Marty'd be perfect for the job.

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