Ryan’s falling political ‘stock’
Rumors circulating on Capitol Hill that Paul Ryan planned to resign as speaker set off heavy trading at PredictIt.com, a real-money political prediction market. Investors could buy a “no” share March 28 for 48 cents.
Bumpy campaign trail
Wisconsin first lady Tonette Walker says she’s supporting Leah Vukmir, aka Nurse Ratched, for U.S. Senate, because Vukmir’s opponent for the GOP nomination refused to shake her son Alex’s hand. Alex Walker is working for Vukmir’s campaign. Kevin Nicholson’s campaign says the incident never happened.
Julien’s Auction in Jersey City, New Jersey, will sell to the highest bidder the “Naked Trump” sculpture displayed in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election. The statue is the only one in “The Emperor Has No Balls” series that was not vandalized or destroyed. The auction house estimates the piece created by the anarchist collective INDECLINE will go for $20,000–$30,000.
Don’t call at all
This month’s Beijing International Film Festival film yanked the award-winning film Call Me by Your Name from its program due to the same-sex relationship at the story’s center. Few China observers were surprised. Last year, the government forced the cancellation of an LGBT conference in the western city of Chengdu and shut down the lesbian dating app Rela.
Rock, paper, scissors
Teachers in classrooms in the rural Blue Mountain School District in Pennsylvania were given 5-gallon buckets holding river stones to use as a last resort against an armed intruder. The buckets are being stored in classroom supply closets as part of a district program called ALICE, which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. We’re waiting for Donald Trump to tweet that he’d bravely throw the first stone.
Gone but not forgotten
The 2,232-page omnibus spending bill that Congress sent to Donald Trump included a provision to ban federal funding for the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN. Republicans accused the group of running a voter-fraud operation that led to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008. No evidence of fraud was found, however, and ACORN ceased to exist in 2009. But Republicans want the non-existent group to know it still can’t get federal funding.
Lollapalooza Chicago announced its lineup, and Grammy-winner Bruno Mars is this year’s big headliner. Missing from the headline roster is a single female performer. Unfortunately, that’s the norm in the music industry. Men comprised 90 percent of all Grammy nominees between 2013 and 2018, according to a University of Southern California study.
Lotto yelling going on
The New Hampshire Lottery Commission announced it would replace its “Luck Yeah!” tag with “Win-Time!” because of complaints that “Luck Yeah” intentionally rhymed with a profane phrase. The lottery’s executive director still defends “Luck Yeah.” He told the New Hampshire Union-Leader, “I would suggest to you that the four-letter word ‘luck’ is an inherent part of our business. So I apologize if it is insensitive, but certainly it’s effective.”
New body insecurity
Booty — it’s not just for women anymore. Sales of men’s underwear with various sorts of padded butt enhancements are flourishing. The best-known brand is Rounderbum, which has two enhancing polyurethane foam pieces woven into the fabric. Inventor Jonathan Diersing says, “We just want your clothes to fit as well on you as they do on a mannequin.”
Make it hurt
Donald Trump has a new nickname in Washington: “Spanky.” The moniker refers to porn star Stormy Daniel’s assertion that Trump asked her to spank him with a rolled-up magazine with his face on the cover during their alleged sexual encounter.
Smoking up social media
Authorities in North Carolina arrested a 20-year-old woman for child abuse, marijuana possession and contributing to the delinquency of a minor after a video of her 1-year-old child smoking marijuana went viral on social media. More than a million people watched the video showing an off-screen adult holding a joint to the child’s lips. The kid appears to coo and inhale before blowing a puff of smoke.
More popular than…
Emma González, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student leading her generation into a revolution against gun violence, is more popular than the NRA. She created @Emma4Change on Twitter four days after the mass shooting at her school. By March 24, she had more than a million followers. The NRA, which joined Twitter nine years ago, has 636,000 followers.