Traffic is the new sex.
Stick with me. Sen. David Vitter, who recently announced that he is running for governor of Louisiana in 2015, is ahead in a recent poll. You may recall Vitter's apology in 2007 after his phone number surfaced during an investigation of the prostitution ring run by the notorious "D.C. Madam," Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who later committed suicide. The details of his dalliances involved infant wear. He said he committed "a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible."
His lead in the polls is in keeping with other comebacks by officials caught in sexual scandals. After his own prostitution scandal, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer got a television show and ran a creditable race for New York City comptroller.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford survived trying to cover up his infidelity with a tall tale about hiking the Appalachian Trail and returned to Congress. Bill Clinton, who was impeached for his transgressions, left office with a 68 percent approval rating, and his wife is the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Compare that with the fate of politicians involved in traffic scandals. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the subject of multiple investigations for the epic gridlock on the George Washington Bridge. His non-best friend from high school, David Wildstein, whom he appointed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is singing like a bird. Kentucky Sen. Paul Rand is pursuing questions about how federal funds for Superstorm Sandy were spent, and several mayors are anxious to tell him. Even Christie's idol, Bruce Springsteen, mocked him on late-night television. Just 35 percent of Americans see the governor favorably, down from 52 percent in a Gallup poll in June. He's gone from a 32 point net positive rating last summer to a 5 point net negative now. Before Bridgegate, he topped many of the polls about potential Republican presidential candidates. A Washington Post/ABC poll puts him in third place now, with the support ojust 13 percent of Republicans, behind Rep. Paul Ryan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Republican Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia also has seen voters tap the brakes over his traffic record. Deal was a shoo- in for re-election in his Republican-leaning state until "Snowjam '14" (it's never good for a catastrophe to get a name) created a crushing traffic jam on the interstate. Deal was missing in action as the snow began to pile up, and he initially blamed poor weather forecasting for the failure to clear roads or stagger closings so that everyone wasn't hitting the freeway at the same time.
The overnight crisis - a baby was born on the interstate, people were trapped overnight in their cars while their children slept at school - attracted national attention. On NBC, Al Roker scolded Deal for calling the storm a surprise when all he needed to do was turn on the TV to find out it was headed his way. Late-night host Jay Leno joked, "Drivers were stranded, traffic was at a standstill for 12 hours, and everyone was asking the same question: 'What did we do to piss off Chris Christie?'"
Now it's the people of Georgia who are ticked off at Deal, who was lunching with the mayor of Atlanta when both should have been glued to the Weather Channel. A survey showed 1 out of 3 people blamed Deal, not Mother Nature, for the traffic nightmare. In a statewide poll, 57 percent of Republicans rated Deal poor to fair.
According to Public Policy Polling, while Deal still holds a lead over his likely opponents who haven't yet begun to advertise, including State Sen. Jason Carter (yes, grandson of), only 36 percent of voters approve of Deal and 41 percent disapprove, a terrible place for an incumbent to be.
He would have been better off having lunch with a hooker. Just ask Senator Vitter.
Traffic is the new sex.
How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement
A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.Continued ...
Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish
Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.Continued ...
But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.
Don't judge mothers with messy homes
I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."Continued ...
Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year
Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3Continued ...
Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)
Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos.Continued ...
Facebook continues moneymaking trend
Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.Continued ...
- Has the ipad lost its swag?
- Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese
The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.Continued ...
Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates
On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.Continued ...
- Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town
A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.Continued ...
An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells
Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.Continued ...
VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid
A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.Continued ...
What we get wrong about millennials living at home
If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.Continued ...
- Monday, July 21, 2014
Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push
Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.Continued ...
Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits
Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.Continued ...
Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds
A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.Continued ...
- Friday, July 18, 2014
Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet
It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.Continued ...
For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.
A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities
College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.Continued ...
Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive
For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.Continued ...
- Thursday, July 17, 2014
Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website
Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.Continued ...
The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky
What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.Continued ...
We're raising a generation of timid kids
A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?Continued ...
Starbucks sees more Apple-like stores after Colombia debut
This week Starbucks opened its first location in Colombia — a 2,700-square-foot store with a heated patio, concrete columns, mirrors on the ceiling and walls of colorful plants.Continued ...
- Wednesday, July 16, 2014
VIDEO: New story emerges about Texas children locked in hot car
After footage showed Texas shoppers breaking the windows of a hot car to rescue children trapped inside, additional witnesses have come forward to correct the story behind what has become a viral video.Continued ...
Gunshots narrowly miss TV reporter
A reporter for a West Virginia television station narrowly escaped injury or worse Monday while covering a fatal weekend shooting in Beckley.Continued ...
- How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement