The incredibly wealthy Eliot Spitzer, who lives in his dad's building at 985 Fifth Avenue, up the street from his dad's building at 800 Fifth Avenue, was one of the very few people hollering about the out-of-control Wall Street corporate culture before the recession. As pushy as he was, he didn't do enough. As A.G., he sued the stock exchange's Dick Grasso for his golden-parachute money-grabbing. He nearly took down AIG back in 2005, before AIG nearly took down New York City. He did not, and he should have. Before that, he crusaded against fake anti-abortion "family crisis center" facilities. Good! Eventually for some reason he ran for governor, which [...]
"I plan to spend time in high school and college classrooms in the next few weeks to explore whether millennials can reverse a generation-long decline in U.S. politics. Will they rejuvenate comity, compromise and a viable political center? Will they pull together, or will they become Generation X-treme? Most important: Will the best and brightest of the largest generation even bother with politics or government?" —Hey millennials, I know you're busy trying to find a job and a way to move out of Mom and Dad's, but we also need you to save the democracy that has failed you so badly. And you'd better do it, or else [...]
"Across America," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg writes in today's Washington Post, "creative, hardworking people in coffee shops, dorm rooms and garages are creating the next era of growth."
But they don't always have good programming degrees, especially if they're Americans, so Zuckerberg hopes to change the nation's immigration laws so that his company can more easily hire cheaper programmers from other countries. It's a win-win situation, for Zuckerburg and his billionaire pals in Silicon Valley.
Ha ha it is really more complicated than all of that, certainly! But this is the great political movement launched by the Web Billionaire generation: something that directly affects the hiring practices and profits [...]
Oh look, there's a new attraction in Manhattan for the downtown art crowd:
The husband-and-wife pair stepped out alongside Morgado on Tuesday night for the opening-night gala for "The Bible Experience," an exhibit in downtown Manhattan featuring photography from the mini-series as well as biblical artifacts by way of the Vatican and a giant, two-ton crown of thorns hanging from the ceiling. A spooky Old World ambiance was enhanced by dim lighting, a fog machine and Hans Zimmer's musical score in the background as guests wandered through a cavernous space built to seem centuries-old with earthy walls and barely any heat circulating. "This is a gift to [...]
So this fiscal cliff thing, whatever it is, seems pretty bad. Or maybe it's not that big a deal? Will it last forever? Is it "in the Constitution" or just a Politico scam? Is it Obama's fault, or are liberals to blame? The problem is that sequester is jargon garbage that means nothing to anyone outside of newsrooms and the U.S. Capitol, which should just have iron bars put in all the windows and doorways and be renamed Ronald Reagan Federal Penitentiary.
What's happening is nothing less than a partial-birth shutdown of the United States. It is the fault of Tea Party Kochbats in Congress who are, if I'm reading [...]
Website proprietor Andrew Sullivan continues to have trouble with New York's service industries. He trusted Yelp with barber shop recommendations, and then the barber (allegedly) broke his iPad and trimmed his beard incorrectly!
My starter was a Yelp-recommended, first come, first served joint. I put my name down and was told to come back in 30 minutes. Ok. Back 25 minutes later, I was told it could be done in ten minutes. A further half hour of Angry birds later, I asked when I could get my beard trimmed. 20 minutes. Half an hour later, when they started hedging again when I asked, I left. New York City: wait [...]
As a Catholic, I'm not buying this. Popes don't just quit because they're tired. What's going on here??
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 11, 2013
When the most trusted man in America says something like "What's going on here?", then something is most certainly going on here. Popes, after all, do not "quit" like some deluded star of a network situation comedy. Popes "quit" in the way the mythological first pope, Saint Peter, gave up the duties of his office: by upside-down crucifixion. Or, more generally, death. As Joseph Ratzinger is not technically dead, he is the pope until death, unless he believes he is mightier than God [...]
This is amazing. I wish it was sponsored by the Kochs though.
"America's largest open-air mental hospital," that's how Oceanside police spokesman Bob George described this run-down coastal city between Camp Pendleton and the surfer towns of North San Diego County. I called it the Slum by the Sea. Despite the miles of beach and the beautiful old Spanish mission and the Southern California weather, Oceanside was a honky tonk Marine Corps town on the west side of Interstate 5 and a sprawling mess of trailer parks and starter-home suburbs to the east.
I spent a lot of time at Bob's desk in the back of the OPD headquarters. Sometimes it was as a police beat reporter, sometimes it was as the [...]
It might seem like the self-destructive mob known as the Tea Party was a brief living nightmare from 2010 that was handily smacked back into its grave by Barack Obama's epic 2012 re-election win, which also saw Democrats again winning the Senate with a two-seat gain and the House GOP majority losing eight seats. Democrats actually won 1.4 million votes more than Republicans in the House, the first time since 1996 that the GOP held the House while losing the vote count.
But this is the kind of talk that has long distanced liberal media elitists from the Tea Party faithful. While the straggling and embarrassing remains of the Tea [...]
"I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim."
When Fox News got rid of Sarah Palin by offering her a very tiny contract renewal, people who follow these things said, "Oh, Fox News has been forced to scale back the crazy a little bit, because the old white lunatics are quickly dying off and America's population now consists solely of multi-ethnic transgender metrosexuals." But these people were wrong, because Fox News just hired Herman Cain as a paid on-air personality.
Herman Cain was the 2012 GOP presidential frontrunner at some point—everybody was a GOP frontrunner at some point, except for Sarah Palin. Imagine being such a washed-up dingbat that you couldn't even compete with the likes [...]
While the Republicans in Congress were distracted by Benghazi and tax cuts and being crazy old men, Barack Obama stealthily created a new national park in California. Is this the beginning of the Obama Administration's bold action on the environment and climate change, which until now hasn't been bold at all? Maybe.
Pinnacles National Park was also signed into existence over the lines of an existing national monument dating back to 1908, when Republicans were the environmentalists. The ragged volcanic landscape and habitat for the humongous (and critically endangered) California Condor runs along the San Andreas Fault, 80 miles southeast of San Francisco. But because [...]
My office was the living room closet in a huge one-bedroom in a 1920s East Hollywood apartment court, across the street from the big blue Scientology headquarters in the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. There were built-in bookshelves and just enough space for a chair and a laptop and an ashtray. The neighbor lady's rescued pit bulls romped outside in the overgrown garden, and that electric L.A. sunlight came filtered through the grimy old French windows to the hardwood floors. It was a very pleasant place to work, my friends lived within walking distance in other cheap apartments in Los Feliz, and I had a bad case of being in [...]
You know how something happens and you look at Twitter (or learn about it from Twitter) and people are going insane within seconds of finding out about this news that probably doesn't even have anything to do with their lives or industry? How do people get wildly upset about something they just heard about? Isn't that the job of bloggers?
This is now a proven aspect of Twitter. The Pew Research Center studied Twitter users and found "the reaction on Twitter to major political events and policy decisions often differs a great deal from public opinion as measured by surveys." And they're not just excitable and wrong, they're also [...]
"The bankrupt city of San Bernardino has hired a new city manager who, according to court filings, has twice declared personal bankruptcy and was recently ousted from the board of a small community's water company after being sued by shareholders." —The comically corrupt inland cities of Southern California continue to provide inspiration for new generations of aspirational local crooks.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, fellow Americans, and even you, Mr. President:
On this fortuitous evening, we come together in a highly ritualized, deeply esoteric sacred performance within the inner sanctum of our nation's high temple. The president's words will be parsed by an inverse pyramid of humanity, from a mass of dimwitted Politico commenters bobbing like frantic ill-informed ducks upon the surface to the industrial sludge filters at the bottleneck bottom, monstrous catfish like Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzer, slurping up and then expelling the reactions to the president's prepared text, which have already become worn out punchlines on Twitter.
At home, the citizens [...]