Culture

CNN’s Carol Costello is Sorry She Laughed at Bristol Palin (Sort Of)

By on 10.27.14 | 6:09PM

Okay, I admit it. When I first heard about the Palin Family Brawl, as it were, I was pretty enthusiastic. After all, is there any other public figure in history - aside from possibly Andrew Jackson - who could land herself in an all-out drunken wildnerss melee and come out relatively unscathed after (allegedly) beating the crap out of her neighbors, all while wearing platform American flag shoes? No. No, there isn't. Sarah Palin is the only modern politico that I can picture taking a right hook to a lumberjack and living to tell about it.

And to that end, the whole thing was pretty funny. And it would have continued to be funny except that last week, the police who took the call released an audio tape of Bristol Palin, Sarah's daughter, who described being beaten, dragged and sworn at. Which is decidedly not funny, particularly when you consider that Bristol sustained injuries in the altercation. In this war-on-women world, Bristol Palin actually has a story from the front lines. And, like other recent female victims of violence, you'd expect luminary CNN hosts to come to her defense. 

NYC Hipster Doc Probably Gave Everyone Ebola

By on 10.24.14 | 1:33PM

Until yesterday, the biggest danger hipsters posed to our quiet culture was the possibility that they'd bring back farmer overalls and fanny packs and keep Pabst Blue Ribbon in business. While many of us understood the cultural havoc that people with organic cheese fetishes and New Wave record collections were to the society at large, we were fairly certain that, while industrial modern would become a much more pervasive trend than anticipated, it would hardly lead to a gruesome and painful death (unless, of course, you are one of the chosen few who actually attempt to install edison bulbs in your household fixtures).

And then, we come to find out, that a New York doc, who recently returned from overseas where he treated Ebola patients, somehow managed to skip through the extensive CDC screening process of self-reporting, misunderstood the parameters of self-quarantine, and might have infected half of Williamsburg with the the deadly virus (provided Williamsburg residents are licking street vomit, I guess). 

Madeleine Albright Owns Conan on Twitter

By on 10.24.14 | 1:16PM

If you were considering Tweeting Queen Elizabeth today, on her first day on Twitter, you may want to rethink your social media strategy. As late night talk show host Conan O'Brien found out yesterday when he tweeted at former Secretary of State Madeleine Albreight (that saucy minx!), you can't always be sure that elderly stateswomen are tasking their staff with their accounts

Please apply cold water to the burned area.

Special Report

The Gift Shop of the Dead

By From the Sept/Oct 2014 issue

For the past twelve years I’ve volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center serving mainly low-income women in the District of Columbia, and I’ve noticed something about how our clients talk: Nobody ever says “prison.” Boyfriends, husbands, fathers, sons were never “locked up,” “in jail,” or “serving time”; they were always “incarcerated.”

There is an unexpected poignancy to the bureaucratic term—a lacy Latinate word suffused with so much pain, as if standardization and abstraction could dissolve shame. Hesitation first, and then that careful, strictly-speaking “incarcerated,” like the set phrases we use in the confessional.

Nothing could be further from these women’s delicacy than the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, a giant KFC bucket of suffering. I spent about four hours in this glitzy memorial-without-memory, accompanied by at least two school field trips. Admission is $23.21 and, you know, your self-respect.

DHS Wants Your KC Royals Panties

By on 10.23.14 | 5:10PM

Everyone wants to show their support for their home team in their own way. For some of us, who live in the same city as the Cubs, we prefer to simply wear paper bag headwear during the post-season. For others, like the racy ladies of Kansas City, a pair of lovely blue panties emblazoned with a hand-drawn Royals logo is just the thing. After all, this is America, and if you want to wear your team pride on your ladyparts, you have a God-given right to do so.

Unless the Department of Homeland Security thinks you shouldn't. And then, they'll conduct an armed panty raid (literally) at the direction of Major League Baseball. Because if there's anything we need the Department of Homeland Security focusing on right now, it's what it says on your ass under your pants.

Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.

The Ebola Scare Has Been Awesome for Ebola Lobbyists

By on 10.23.14 | 4:26PM

You might be terrified to leave your house lest you catch the Ebola from a male stripper or two, but there are a few health care lobbyists in Washington who couldn't be more pleased that Americans are shivering at the thought of a disease that has killed less people than have been married to Kim Kardashian. 

According to a recent study by the Center for Responsive Politics, health-related lobbying has, in some cases, doubled in just the last few weeks, especially for companies that have Ebola-related treatments in the experimental phases (as if you thought only the government was responsible for developing an emergency Ebola vaccine) and who specialize in infectious disease response.

One such company who doubled the amount they spent on lobbying is Sarepta Therapeutics. Sarepta Therapeutics has been pushing its experimental Ebola treatment AVI-7537 for some time now. In the past, the group has never spent more than $40,000 annually on their lobbying tab. Now,in the third quarter alone, the company has poured $80,000 into lobbying efforts.

Politics

Republicans and Democrats Both Patronize Young Voters

By 10.23.14

Midterm elections are all about turnout: empowering those random demographics who have little else to do all day besides take in '80s sitcom reruns and consult with telemarketers. Numbers count, and numbers don't show up to polls between presidential elections, when the most important decision on the ballot is whether the local library can repair its water fountains with public funds.

To add to the expected crowds of old people at the polling booths in two weeks, both the Republican and Democratic parties are attempting to "empower" the "disaffected youth," by which they seem to mean people my age who don't earn enough money to be day drunk and might be counted on to reliably vote. To no one's surprise, these efforts are laughably terrible. On the right, you have the noted arbiters of campus cool, College Republicans, with a "Say Yes to the Dress" ad that's insulting even for TLC, a cable channel that airs a show about nudists trying to find their dream home.

Democratic Lead Among Women Evaporates

By on 10.22.14 | 3:37PM

According to a new AP-GfK poll, the Democratic lead among women has almost completely evaporated. Turns out, a couple of years to think about their vote, and probably fewer commercials berating Republicans for their systemic oppression of American women by forcing them to purchase generic birth control pills at Wal-Mart will greatly alter the split between parties among female voters.

Women have moved in the GOP's direction since September. In last month's AP-GfK poll, 47 percent of female likely voters said they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In the new poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats.

Alison Lundergan Grimes’ Family Runs a Joint Called “Hugh Jass Burgers.”

By on 10.21.14 | 5:07PM

If there really is a #waronwomen, Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes might just come from one of its founding families. Ms. Grimes is the heir to the Hugh Jass burger fortune, at least in theory, and a legacy that stems from her family's Kentucky burger joint, whose menu celebrates the finer things in life, like giant, juicy female booty. 

 Hugh Jass Burgers -- say it out loud to get the joke -- has menu items like "Charlotte's Rack, sure to be voted biggest rack" named after Grimes' mom and "Abby's Hugh Jass," a burger named after her sister. They also sell souvenirs like an apron with "Check Out My Buns" emblazoned across it.

The restaurant's approach has raised eyebrows, especially since Grimes' camp accused the GOP of sexism.

"I am the Kentucky woman who my Republican colleagues in this state so gentlemanly refer to as an empty dress," Grimes said.

When we tried to ask Grimes about her family's use of double entendre, she refused to answer, letting her security detail lead her away from reporters.

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