Tag Archives: Anthony Weiner

12 years after 9/11, and where did the time go? Spitzer and Weiner go down in NYC, and a twist in the mayor’s race. And Arsenio’s back!

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Time is a funny thing; it never stops, just keeps marching on, but somehow its passing can still sneak up on you.

I have to be honest: I didn’t realize 9/11 was coming this year. Usually, I start to think about it on Sept. 4, or 5th, as it gets closer and closer and I realize that yet another anniversary of the most awful day of our lives is coming closer.
But this year, it kinda snuck up on me. I didn’t realize this was 9/11 week until Sunday.

And I feel guilty about that. The date deserves and demands to be paid attention to, to be commemorated, and to never, ever be forgotten.

I can’t believe it’s been 12 years. At once it seems like so long ago, and just yesterday, that I was riding a Long Island Rail Road train into NYC that morning, on my way to work, when I heard on my Walkman radio (seriously, I still had a Walkman then) that a second plane had crashed into the Twin Towers.

The memories are awful. But I’m glad they’re still there. I hope they always will be.

My usual 9/11 recommendation: Check out this incredible 9/11 memorial slide show and song by Jason Powers.

Twelve years. Never, ever forget.

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**Tuesday was a big day in New York City politics. First of all, looks like we’ve finally gotten rid of the stench of Anthony Weiner, who finished with a miserable 5 percent of the vote in the mayoral election. (Somewhat surprisingly, Eliot Spitzer, Weiner’s partner in sleaze, also got beat in his race for city comptroller. Not sure Spitzer is dead politically yet, though.)
Second, I actually voted for the winning candidate in the Democratic primary, which rarely happens. Bill de Blasio won, with it appears to be 40 percent of the vote, which means he won’t have to compete in a run-off.
I like De Blasio the more I see and hear of him; he’s a true progressive who will, I hope, end some of the racial profiling practices of the NYPD, and try to rein in the income inequality which is rampant in my city.

It was a good day in NYC politics; a couple of bums were shown the door, and a new, progressive voice should be on his way to City Hall.

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**Finally today, this may not mean much to most of you, but Arsenio Hall is back on late-night TV, and I am very excited.
Arsenio was a big part of my childhood; I loved that finally there was a young, hip, funny guy on TV instead of old and stodgy Johnny Carson. Arsenio was a breath of fresh air, he was hilarious, he had different guests (way cooler musical acts than Leno or Letterman did), and he could also do serious, groundbreaking television, like he did when Magic Johnson appeared after telling the world he was retiring because of the HIV virus. (It was truly an extraordinary TV moment; if you don’t remember it, click here for their emotional interview.)

Arsenio dressed different, and acted different, from anyone else on TV back then, and this suburban white kid from Long Island dug him, always trying to stay up a little later to see who was on.

Anyway, Arsenio went away for a while after his show got cancelled in 1994, did some reality TV lately, and now is back with a new late-night show.

I caught the premiere on Monday, and yeah, it was a little cheesy, and yeah, it looked like the exact same kind of show he did in 1994, but you know what? I still dug it. And I’ll still watch occasionally.

He was a happy memory from my childhood, and I’m glad to have him back. Now let’s get busy.

The Clintons criticizing Weiner: The ultimate in chutzpah. Scott Simon and a tribute to his mother. And Mike Francesa, a buffoon again

I’m rarely left speechless. But Bill Clinton, take a bow. I have nothing to say.

There is gall, there is chutzpah, and then, my friends, there is Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary criticizing the behavior of Anthony Weiner.

That takes the cake. I mean, BILL CLINTON taking another man to task for sexual behavior that was 1/100th of what he did as President of the United States, and for most of his life! Bill and Hillary, actually tsk-tsking the Weiners for staying in the mayoral race, when Bill and Hillary sat on a couch on “60 Minutes” in 1992 and lied, outright lied, to Steve Kroft about Jennifer Flowers!

Amazing. The great Andrew Sullivan says it all right here in a brilliant post today on the Clintons:

Money quote: “The Weiner affair is a trivial non-event compared with the Clintons’ reckless, mutual self-destruction.”

**I’m pretty sure I’ve written here that without question, the biggest schmuck in sports media today is Mike Francesa. Loud, arrogant, completely dismissive of anyone else’s opinion and as terrible an interviewer as has ever held a mike, Francesa’s insufferability on WFAN radio just gets worse every year.

I don’t listen to him at all, but he still occasionally shows up on my radar thanks to the joy I get reading Phil Mushnick in the N.Y. Post pointing out his latest awful behavior on air, and other media sites chiming in as well.

The latest example? Here’s Moe, a caller from Queens, who is a big Francesa fan and has decided to propose to his girlfriend (a fellow fan) live on the air.

And as he gets started, well, this happens…

I mean, just repulsive. Here’s a nervous dude trying to do something different and unique, and Francesa hangs up on him.
Why anyone listens to him anymore is beyond me.

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**Finally, a few words about something amazing going on on Twitter the last few days.
You might know who Scott Simon is; he’s been an NPR radio host for decades. He’s got a beautifully smooth voice and he often does little “essays” for various NPR shows, and hosts his own show, too.
Anyway, Simon is in a terrible place right now, at his mother’s bedside as she lay dying (note: She passed away Monday night). It sounds like Patricia was a wonderful woman, and in just 140 characters or less, Simon has been giving us a beautiful, heartbreaking look at what it’s like to watch a loved one slip away.

Here are a few sample Tweets from the last few days:

“I know end might be near as this is only day of my adulthood I’ve seen my mother and she hasn’t asked, “Why that shirt?”

“Mother cries Help Me at 2;30. Been holding her like a baby since. She’s asleep now. All I can do is hold on to her.”

“I love holding my mother’s hand. Haven’t held it like this since I was 9. Why did I stop? I thought it unmanly? What crap.”

“I just realized: she once had to let me go into the big wide world. Now I have to let her go the same way.”

There are many, many more beautiful words from Scott Simon found here.

The 99-year-old who works for minimum wage. Vanilla Ice, sung by the movies. And Anthony Weiner, please go away now

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I can’t decide if this magnificent story is heartbreaking, or wonderful.

Lane DeGregory, a fantastic newspaper journalist in Florida, last week brought the world the story of 99-year-old Newton Murray, who has worked for decades as a custodian at a company called Bama Sea Products in St. Petersburg. Seems Newton has worked for minimum wage forever, and never asked for a raise.

“Life can’t always be easy, but you do your best and be grateful,” Newton says.
“I am lucky,” he says. “God bless America!”
“I know here I am never alone,” he also says.
So yes, there are parts of his story I find wonderful: Here’s a man who only wants the simple joy of getting up and going to work every morning. So what if it takes him eight hours to clean two parking lots? Here’s a fella who never complains and seems so happy to be needed.

Then there’s the heartbreaking part. He’s almost 100 years old, and he’s making minimum wage! In more than 30 years at the company, he’s never gotten a raise. He takes the bus to and from work, and makes about $10,000 a year (he only works three days a week now).

It saddens me that a man could earn so little and work so hard. It also saddens me that Newton feels like he has to work, as he intimates in the story, it’s what keeps him going, keeps him feeling alive.

Read the story (it’s really excellent) and let me know what you think; is this a triumphant piece, or a sad one?

I love it when people with way too much time on their hands do stuff like this. Someone on YouTube has taken the initiative and translated Vanilla Ice’s classic “Ice Ice Baby” into movie lines, word for word.

Maybe only if you’re a Gen X’er like myself you’ll enjoy this; nah, it’s great for everyone.
Ah, Vanilla. How we miss you.

**And now a story that blew up in New York and on social media Tuesday, but hopefully the subject of the story will now go away.

Anthony Weiner, who of course you remember decided it’d be a good idea to send pictures of his penis, along with other sexual messages, to a woman in Vegas he was having a virtual affair with, then lied about it for a while before coming clean, has been doing shockingly well  in the New York City mayoral race. Some polls even have him leading.
But now we’ve learned that Weiner was even stupider and more reckless than we thought. Turns out that even after he resigned from Congress, he was sending crotch pics, other sexually explicit photos and messages to a different woman, as recently as last summer.

So ole’ Mr. Horndog and his wife held a press conference and, yeah, he admitted once again that he’d been a bad boy, and he apologized, yada yada yada.

Look, as I said when the first Weiner scandal hit, I don’t give a damn that he was stupidly sending pics of his junk to women. It doesn’t affect his ability to be a great politician, or mayor, or whatever.

But it’s the lying, the complete disregard for the American public having any kind of a brain whatsoever, that galls me about guys like Weiner and Eliot Spitzer.

I wrote about Weiner’s NYT mea culpa a few months back; I was willing to give the guy another chance. But clearly, he didn’t learn anything from his own stupidity.

The NRA undefeated streak continues, disgustingly. A man flies through mountains. And Anthony Weiner, maybe back again

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There’s an old saying in sports that “Sometimes you’ve just got to tip your cap to the other guy and admit he’s better.”

Well, I’m here today to bow down and say it. The NRA is some kind of freaking powerhouse.

I mean, it’s not easy to keep winning these gun battles in Congress. Do you realize what they were up against in the background check vote that they “won” on Wednesday, when 46 senators stood up in Congress and decided not enough kids have died, not enough adults have died, not enough PEOPLE have died yet to make any kind of change in America’s background check laws on gun purchases?

I mean, 90 percent of Americans were for this bill. You know how hard it is to get 90 percent of Americans to agree on anything? We couldn’t get that many people to agree the sky is blue, grass is green, or that Washington was our first President.

But who needs public opinion when you’ve got Senators in your pocket? Who cares that more people will die this year because of the cowardly actions of some in the Senate (I’m looking at you Mark Begich of Alaska, Max Baucus of Montana) who don’t think our gun laws need to be any stronger.

Really, I can’t even muster up any more outrage tonight. I’m just so goddamn discouraged at how broken our Congress has become, and how even tiny steps like this in the fight against guns are doomed to failure.

This was the scene the NRA wrought Wednesday, as reported by Sahil Kapur, a writer for the politics blog TPM: Newtown parents crying over the gun vote as Democratic senators hug and console them.

If you read only one thing today, read Gabby Giffords’ passionate appeal in the Times. You know, she has a little credibility on this issue, having been shot in the head by a man who may not have been able to buy the guns he used if his history of mental illness had come up in a (wait for it) background check.

Yep, you’ve gotta admire the NRA. No matter what, they always come out on top.
Unbelievable.

**And now on a lighter note, meet Alexander Polli, the craziest dude I’ve seen. He flies through caves with a “Batsuit” contraption on his back; I’ve seen people do this before (I think HBO Real Sports profiled one of these daredevils) but it still looks incredibly dangerous and nuts.

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**Finally today, there was a fascinating story in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about Anthony Weiner, the disgraced ex-New York congressman who sent dirty pictures of his crotch, and had X-rated online conversations, with a half-dozen women over a few years of his marriage.

I thought the story would be a puff piece or simply Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, spouting political platitudes about a comeback and how they’re sticking together.
But actually, it dug a lot deeper than that. Weiner truly seems like he was a broken man over the scandal, and Abedin certainly didn’t take him back easily.
It’s really an interesting portrait of two people who were living life at warp speed, were laid low, and now are slowly getting on with their life.

I admire the honesty Weiner shows here in recognizing his faults (even his brother said pre-scandal Weiner had a high amount of “douchiness” which is an awesome word), but I think he’s crazy if he thinks he can win the mayor’s race in New York City this year. People aren’t quite ready to forget all the “Weiner” jokes and headlines (this Bill Maher-Jane Lynch sketch cracked me up big-time).

Still, it’s good to see someone who at least gets who big they screwed up, and used the fall from grace to better themselves.

Anthony Weiner and the rule politicians always ignore. A stunning hockey game. And Jon Stewart shreds Trump, defends NY pizza hilariously.

Since I’m sure you or someone you know is talking about it today, some thoughts I had on the Anthony Weiner texting dirty pictures scandal:

— I don’t know why politicians (or celebrities in general) never, ever, ever learn from other people’s experience. The absolute No. 1 rule, as any PR person or anyone with a brain in their head can tell you, is that when a scandal breaks, never lie. Once the news is out there, tell the truth, as much truth as you can.
Because just like in Watergate and so many other controversies, this Anthony Weiner thing got worse because he lied.
Speak up with the facts immediately once you’re caught, and you’ll take some lumps for a few days. But do something incredibly stupid like lie and obfuscate and stammer and THEN, a week or so later, finally admit what we knew all along, just makes you look like a pompous jackass.
Weiner’s political career is probably cooked (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun). And it’s as it should be. The man was a rising star in the Democratic party, but he’s clearly shown he’s too stupid to lead. Again, the act itself, (basically sending a dirty email) isn’t that offensive.
It’s the cover-up, the lying and the sheer recklessness that bothers me the most.

– I pictured headline writers at the New York tabloids giddy with excitement Monday night, as thousands of weiner-related headlines ran through their heads.

— So much of political sex scandals are about ego. Bill Clinton, certainly. Gary Hart, no doubt. But a small-time Congressman from New York, how big of an ego could you possibly have when you’re just a Congressman?

— Finally, this question remains above all others: Did he think Twitter was somehow private? Even if he thought he was sending a personal “direct message” on the site, doesn’t he know how often Twitter feeds get hacked? Again, stupidity reigns. I swear, some of these guys are such morons with their careless behavior (see Spitzer, Eliot) that I think subconsciously they want to get caught.

**Insane hockey game in the Stanley Cup Finals Monday night. After scoring two goals in two games and losing both of ’em, the Boston Bruins erupted for an 8-1 win over Vancouver. Now we’ve got a series.

There was great hitting, some fighting, some dirty play, and all kinds of interesting stuff going on last night.
But for my money, this was the play of the game (above), Bruins goalie Tim Thomas throwing a body-check. Love it when goalies act like skaters…

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I love Jon Stewart, as you know if you come here often. And his rants are almost always funny.
But this one, this one had tears coming out of my eyes, I was laughing so hard. I think I may have woken up the neighbors, my chuckling was so loud.
It’s from last week, when Mr. Stewart heard about Sarah Palin and Donald Trump having pizza together in NY.
On behalf of all NY’ers, Jon, thank you for defending the honor of one of our civic treasures:

Bill Clinton, wedding officiant. And pondering Angelina Jolie’s latest gesture

**A light-hearted blog for a lazy summer Sunday afternoon while I’m on vacation:

I can’t believe I missed this last week; I mean, I know I don’t pay as much attention to the news when I’m on vacation and everything, but this story was so far up my alley, it should’ve jumped up into my lap.

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, a pretty good liberal in my book,  got married to a former Hillary Clinton aide named Huma Abedin on Long Island (at a place that my wife and I actually looked into holding our wedding).

And the officiant at the event? Bill Clinton. That’s right boys and girls, our 42nd President, a man who had his fly open more than Dirk Diggler in the 1970s, was up there preaching to the wedding guests and the happy couple about love, honor, and obeying your spouse. About staying loyal and faithful and all that good stuff.

Somewhere, Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones are wondering where their invitations were.

Bill Clinton, officiating a wedding. So many jokes here I don’t even know where to start. Wouldn’t this be like Al Capone be named head of the police department in Chicago? Or Dick Cheney taking over as head of the EPA?

Good luck to Congressman Weiner and his bride. And please, for the love of the Arkansas state troopers, please ignore everything President Clinton told you last weekend.

**So I saw Saturday that Angelina Jolie, who I honestly truly never found all that attractive (and yes, I realize I may be the only heterosexual male who doesn’t think she’s hot) has invited real-life Russian spy Anna Chapman to the opening of Jolie’s new movie, in which she plays a real-life Russian spy.

So I got to wondering: When Jolie stars in a film playing a character who steals another woman’s husband in the same profession and then has lots of kids with him, will she be inviting Jennifer Aniston to the premiere?