1. "Habemus Papam"
Yes, we have a pope. The long shot Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has become the 266th Pontiff. It was a shock to me, only in that I was guessing it would be someone a little younger. The 76 year old did achieve some firsts: he's the first Latin American Pope, the first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope to take the name Francis, and definitely the first Pope with only one lung. The humble Potiff is immediately likable in his desire to take the bus with the Cardinals, pay for his own hotel room, and his life-long work with the poor. Quiet by nature, the single lung shouldn't be a handicap for Pope Francis, where it would disqualify him from American politics since he could only hold half the hot air.
2. Bloomy's Big Gulp Ban goes Boom
Not sure what NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was thinking when he hatched the harebrained ban on large soda drinks, but a judge disagreed with the billionaire and struck down the ban. What struck me as odd is that Hizzoner's answer to critics was, if you want 64 ounces, buy four 16 ouncers. Good math, Mayor. Perhaps this was a just a subtle way to increase the litter in the city to provide job security for the employees at the highway and parks departments, as it will generate four times the waste while doing nothing for the waist. This was taking things a little far, even for this liberal.
3. The Anti-Bloomberg Law
While banning Big Gulps is taking it too far, leave it to Mississippi to swing the pendulum in the other direction. It's important to point out Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity in the country, with one in three Mississippians redlining the scales into the "obese" category. So, what do they do? Pass a pro-obesity law. The bill, which has already passed the state Senate and House and sits awaiting the governor's John Hancock, would, according to an NPR report, "bar counties and towns from enacting rules that require calorie counts to be posted, that cap portion sizes, or that keep toys out of kids' meals." Um... ban rules that require calorie counts to be posted, so that people can make healthy choices? Sounds like the Magnolia State wants to stay atop that Obesity List. Perhaps they should change their name to the Sugar Magnolia State.
4. And There Was Much Rejoicing
Looks like a buyer has been found for the coveted Twinkies recipe, and the buyer is committed to getting those tasty snack cakes back on the shelf by summertime. Remember the day the Twinkie died, when Hostess and the Baker's Union both lost in a game of chicken? Proactively, Mayor Bloomberg's office is probably looking for ways to ban the treat that could survive nuclear Armageddon. We hear he is going to use the NY SAFE Act because Twinkies are like bullets in the war against ourselves - and they come ten in a box.
5. Medicinal Mary Jane?
Being a NY assemblyman is no doubt a high stress position. How to relieve that stress is probably the $64,000 Question in Albany. Or in this case, the Nickel Bag Question. Republican Assemblyman Steve Katz of Mohegan Lake was pulled over Thursday morning and the officer smelt the smell that only comes from the happy herb. After further investigation, the officer found a small bag of pot. As Tom Precious noted in his blog, Katz had spoken out against the cost of Buffalo Bills stadium renovations earlier in the week - so maybe it was Bills karma that had the 59 year old Katz so stressed he needed to sneak a toke either right before or while he was driving. Good plan, Mr. Assemblyman, looking out for the safety of your constituents on the road. Wondering if Katz was heavy on the accelerator because he was out of Cheetos. Right living up there in Mohegan Lake, dude.
This gets a mention, because, well quite frankly, it's cool as hell. A kid from the audience asks Billy Joel if he can come up and play along and the Piano Man says "OK." And what do they play... "New York State of Mind." My kind of song. Watch the video.
Happy Friday... be healthy.