Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!
All around the limbo world
Nassau County Republican chairman Joe Mondello is traveling and unreachable for a few days, according to a spokesman for the party leader. Could he be visiting a few Caribbean islands?
Reliable sources confirm for The Point that Mondello is under serious consideration for an ambassadorship and is being vetted by the FBI. While the rumors swirling on Long Island say he’s off to the sunny isles of Trinidad and Tobago, places which gave us the limbo and calypso, our sources say the exact destination could change.
Mondello has tightly controlled the Nassau GOP for 33 years but itchy insiders wanting to take the reins have been trying to get him to move on. Some of those local Republicans have strong connections to President Donald Trump. Their lobbying, combined with Mondello’s early and strong support for the president, our sources say, have Mondello in a good spot for resume enhancement.
However, those who want him out of town before the November election are likely to be disappointed. A public announcement, our sources say, is at least a month away and the actual confirmation would not take place until the end of the year.
That’s enough time to dust off those Chubby Checker 45s and get out ye olde limbo stick. It takes a lot of practice, as the song says, to see “how low can you go.”
Well, that settles it
For a week, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been cagey about whether he’d commit to a debate in this lackluster Democratic primary to run the center of the universe. There was the possibility he wouldn’t be required to, if none of his opponents raised and spent the required $174,225 to get into the first official debate. But Thursday morning, he tweeted that he’d appear in “a primary debate.”
So who would be in that debate? Who would moderate it? Why commit to a debate on Thursday, the same day when the city’s Campaign Finance Board, which administers official debates, is due to decide on extra public campaign money the mayor is seeking? These were questions that remain “TBD,” according to his campaign spokesman.
But de Blasio’s grand commitment may not have been so brave, as former City Council member Sal Albanese says he’s “reasonably comfortable” that his own campaign is over the funding threshold and would have triggered a debate by the filing deadline next Friday. To that end, he launched a “de-Blah-meter” digital campaign on Thursday.
And who would watch? The Democratic primary, where the occupant of Gracie Mansion is usually decided, looks much less exciting than in 2013, when seven mostly heavyweight candidates, including then-City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and soon-to-be-even-more-disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, gathered in Manhattan’s historic Town Hall for a 90-minute live bash.
The only holdovers from that event? De Blasio, but also Albanese, who squeaked into the first debate and missed the second. This year, maybe they’ll both have more time to talk.
This will bring a brief smile to your face
For a laugh, read this amicus brief filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia on Monday in support of comedy.
The brief argues for the dismissal of a lawsuit against comedian John Oliver, the host of “Last Week Tonight.” The brief is a hot item on the internet. Oliver is being sued by Robert E. Murray, chief executive of an Ohio-based coal mining company, over a segment on an Oliver show about coal. Murray argues that Oliver’s broadcast was political and biased.
The ACLU’s response: So what?
Among the highlights from the filing:
- Section headers including “Courts Can’t Tell Media Companies How to Report, Bob” and “You Can’t Get a Court Order Telling the Press How to Cover Stories, Bob.”
- “It is apt that one of Plaintiffs’ objections to the show is about a human-sized squirrel named Mr. Nutterbutter, because this case is nuts.”
- “The fact that Plaintiffs filed this case is ridiculous enough; but, to pour gasoline on the fire, plaintiffs’ counsel has also filed a motion asking the court to make John Oliver not say mean things about him anymore.”
If the law business gets tough, the lawyer behind the brief might have a future writing comedy.