Carlos Danger & IOKIYAR

Because everyone’s a puritan busybody, everyone will call on serial sexter Carlos Danger (aka Anthony Weiner) to pull out of the New York City mayoral race in the wake of new evidence of his horny behavior. Lost in this is that the only thing he’s known to have done is text dick pics to women who were willing participants in the sexting. I’m not condoning or condemning what he did any more than I condone or condemn whatever you want to do sexually. 

To the holy rollers who are all a-shocked and a-stunned, consider why Louisiana congressman David Vitter is still happily in congress and spouting off about “family values” despite being caught up in a prostitution scandal – involving actual sexual intercourse – and diapers. Why should that creep still be in office and Weiner be treated any differently? 

Yesterday, Howard Stern interviewed Alec Baldwin, and the two talked about Bloomberg, Weiner, and Spitzer. While Stern is a fan of Bloomberg’s, Baldwin is not, and expressed that he thinks the billionaire three-term mayor has made New York City a worse place to live for everyone except the ultra-rich. They then turned to Spitzer and Weiner, and rhetorically asked, “do you really think Spitzer wants to be New York City comptroller?” Baldwin suggested that they’re both so incredibly ego-driven that Weiner saw this race as his political comeback, and Spitzer – not to be outdone – thought, “why not me?” and entered his race at the 11th hour.  The argument was that both of them were in it for their own egos than for any desire to serve the public (and both Baldwin and Stern would be exquisitely in tune with that motivation). 

I’m not saying Spitzer and Danger should get a pass. On the contrary, I think their behavior calls their sincerity, maturity, and seriousness into question. But Weiner committed no crime, although Larry Craig may have. Spitzer did, but so did Vitter. Chris Lee’s shirtless Craigslist trolling was one notable exception of a Republican screwing up and getting the hell out of dodge, mostly because his white, elderly, conservative constituency would never go for that sort of thing. Why is there a double standard here whereby it’s ok if you’re a Republican

I don’t think that’s necessarily the way it works, and Lee proves it. What this does is harken back to the way in which the Supreme Court had treated broadcast indecency and obscenity cases – the law leaves it up to “community standards” to dictate what language is and isn’t acceptable. 

It therefore follows that community standards in New York City – a place where 8 million people are constantly in each other’s faces and privacy is at a premium – is going to have a different tolerance for nonsense than, say, East Amherst. Louisiana has a weird, permissive culture all its own – unique for the South – that Vitter can get away with diaper whoring. 

In the end, Weiner said there’d be more, and now there’s more. Don’t act so shocked. 

Spitzer’s Sorry, Silver’s Moving, Food Truck Drama

1. Disgraced former Governor of the State of New York, Eliot Spitzer, famously began running for New York City Comptroller just a few days before nominating petitions were due. As one might expect, Spitzer’s attempt at a comeback is made difficult by his hypocritical whoring. Here is his “apology” commercial, which I think is rather effective. 

2. Alien wizard Nate Silver took his work analyzing baseball statistics into the political arena with his blog Five Thirty Eight, and got picked up by the New York Times. That contract expired, and former Buffalo News editor Margaret Sullivan – now the Times’ Public Editor – explained that Silver simply didn’t “fit in” to the Times’ “culture”, and that some of the Times’ writers simply didn’t like him. Sullivan explained that Silver was “disruptive”; i.e., he disrupted the old model of covering politics. 

In Buffalo, we’re all-too familiar with the way politics have been covered for the past few decades, and its lazy, unsubstantive focus on fundraising and the never-ending horserace. Now, admittedly, Silver’s specialty was the horserace, but the way in which he analyzed and wrote about it was based on mathematical and scientific probability informed by trends, polling, and past performance. Silver had a knack for taking some extremely complicated and convoluted data and making it digestible for average readers, and his record is really quite striking. But in Buffalo, we have political columnists who simply dismiss and ignore candidates who do not fit the 40 year-old mold of a credible machine candidate. We’re all worse off for it. 

3. The City of Tonawanda is contemplating a food truck ordinance to regulate how these mobile entrepreneurs might be able to do business within the municipal boundaries. Unlike Buffalo and Amherst, the CoT is poised to introduce fantastically restrictive regulations – so ridiculous that they effectively amount to a ban on food trucks. $1,000 for an initial license and application, and trucks are forbidden from setting up within 1,000 feet of an open kitchen – farther than three football fields away. (The Buffalo and Amherst rules require operation at least 100′ from any open kitchen). The exercise underscores how stupid it is that all these ultimately pointless municipal entities can regulate business to this extent, and how much better it would be if the trucks could just pay a single regional fee and operate throughout the county under uniform rules. Hell, that’s how the US and EU work, but we can’t (genuinely cannot) do that within Erie County.