Hillary Clinton Shouldn’t Have to Answer for Bill’s Affairs

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If you’re running for president these days, you have to expect your dirtiest of laundry to be put on display. As John Edwards and Herman Cain learned the hard way, mistresses make for better headlines than tax reform proposals — and whether it’s fair or not, the morally superior country that brought you Dating Naked still has a Puritan itch to scratch.

But if you’re a woman running for public office? A squeaky-clean personal life simply isn’t enough. Expect to have your husband’s affairs used against you as well.

In an interview with the New York Times, Donald Trump revealed how he plans to discredit Hillary Clinton this fall. Front and center? Attacks on her character stemming from Bill Clinton‘s extramarital affairs.

Trump’s certainly not the first to attempt to use this against her. For almost two decades now, Hillary’s been carrying Bill’s baggage and fielding side-eye from both parties. Classic lines include (but are not limited to):  Read more »

Justin Bieber Went to Johnny Brenda’s and Things Are Different Now

Most relationships have a breaking point.

In a healthy relationship, you see it coming far enough in advance to prepare a short list of grievances before going your separate ways.

Volatile relationships are harder to predict, but when the time comes, it’s nothing special — simply business-as-usual-chaos, a last straw waiting to happen.

It’s the neglected relationships you have to watch out for, those fragile unions running on the fumes of nostalgia and commitment, of long-dead in-jokes and stale scripts. Those are the ones that take a grand gesture to end, something big enough to shock all parties back into the reality they’ve been ignoring.

Something like Justin Bieber hanging out at Johnny Brenda’sRead more »

Sorry, Donald Trump, But the “Woman Card” Doesn’t Exist

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Almost immediately after all but securing the Republican nomination Tuesday night, Donald Trump attempted to explain Hillary Clinton’s impressive four-state win.

“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card,” he said after handily winning five states that will never rid themselves of his dayglow stink.

Just in case he wasn’t clear, Trump followed up yesterday on CNN. “She is a woman,” he told New Day co-host Chris Cuomo. “She is playing the woman card left and right. She didn’t play it last time with Obama. But she’s playing it much harder this time and she will be called on it. If she were a man and she was the way she is, she would get virtually no votes.”

Come again?  Read more »

What Spring Sounds Like in Windows-Open South Philly

Dickinson Square Park | M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Dickinson Square Park | M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

There are a lot of ways to measure the arrival of spring in Philly.

Technically, it began March 20th, before the last snow of the year, weeks after that deadbeat groundhog waddled out of bed. Easter isn’t usually a bad benchmark—although that, too, was followed by snow this time around. I used to welcome it the first time my cat delivered a dead baby animal to the doorstep, but ever since Saffron retired, I go by a more optimistic milestone: the first weekend that the windows stay open.

Which is to say, finally, happy spring.

Did it feel good? In true Philly fashion, it was almost too warm. Did it look good? Let’s just say there were a lot of jean shorts and tube socks walking down my block Saturday afternoon. Did it smell good? “Sweet” and “breeze” very rarely go in the same sentence around these parts.

But damn, did it sound good. From Friday night through Sunday evening, last weekend was a pitch-perfect snapshot of the finest season in the finest city. (Brief disclaimer: I’m from here and can’t distinguish the rolling tide of the ocean from the rolling tide of I-95.)

This is what spring sounds like in windows-open South Philly:  Read more »

Center City Doesn’t Need Another Wawa

Photo credit: Lauren Siegert via Flickr.

Photo credit: Lauren Siegert via Flickr.

Thursday morning, Wawa will unveil renderings for its new Center City location. If history is any indication, the plans will, to put it mildly, be well received.

When the chain’s mothership opened at Broad and Walnut last fall, Mayor Michael Nutter was on hand to give his blessing, even inviting the Pope to drop by for a hoagie. Eagles cheerleaders warmed up the crowd, while none other than the Philadelphia Orchestra played the national anthem and “Amazing Grace.” (As much as this reads like a Parks and Recreation episode, it all really happened.)

As someone who grew up here, there’s a part of me that understands this. You simply don’t escape Northeast Philly without a deep, abiding respect for Wawa, without basking in the glow of its iced tea case, without understanding the beauty of a 3 a.m. parking lot breakfast sandwich.

Which is why I’m hesitant to say this: We don’t need another Wawa in the city. Read more »

Four Tips for Philadelphians Traveling Abroad During the “Trump Spring”

Photo Cory Doctorow via Creative Commons.

Donald Eres un Pendejo, sidewalk stencil, Sunset Junction, Los Angeles, California, USA. Photo | Cory Doctorow via Creative Commons.

At this point, when Donald Trump’s face appears on a screen, I tend to feel nothing.

Sometimes it’s the “Been there, done that” variety of nothing, an unavoidable side effect of a 24-hour election news cycle. Other times, it’s the crushingly cold, “I’m so dead inside” brand of nothing that happens when Donald Trump makes a serious run for the White House. Once, it was almost a peaceful nothing, the kind that sets in right before you walk down the tunnel toward the light.

Either way: sweet, sweet nothing.

Unless, of course, I’m in Mexico when Trump makes his appearance. In that case, I panic a bit. Read more »

St. Patrick’s Day Plea: The Irish Potato Must Go

As someone who grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, I have a certain respect for St. Patrick’s Day. I’m questionably Irish and even more questionably Catholic, but I’m dutifully wearing my green today, and I couldn’t help but be proud when Philly ranked fourth in a recent survey on stateside St. Paddy’s celebrations.

But there comes a time when we must examine even our most beloved traditions and ask ourselves, “Is this really how we want the world to see us? At what cost are we cheapening our ancestors’ heritage and compromising our city’s legacy?”

I’m speaking, of course, about Irish potatoes. (Say what you will about the Erin Express — it’s actually a pretty good time, although in truth, I was always more of a Shamrock Shuttle girl myself.)

An unholy combination of confectioners sugar, coconut and cream cheese rolled around in cinnamon, Irish potatoes trace their roots to the Philadelphia area, where more than 100 years ago, a couple people got dangerously stoned and had the following conversation:

“Hmm…what goes with coconut?”

“Cheese!”

“You’re right. Amazing.” Read more »

Signs of the Apocalypse: The Peeple App Launches

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I’m approaching that age where it’s time to decide if I want to bring children into this world.

Most days, the answer is yes. I love kids, and for whatever reason — blind optimism, naïveté, Ambien — I believe that the human race is a good one and that we’ll eventually wake up from this fever dream we call election season.

But on other days, the Peeple app launches. Read more »

My Last Call for Drinking in Philly

Illustration by Tim Parker.

Illustration by Tim Parker.

I tend to begin a lot of stories with, “I was listening to a radio program, and … ”

Ideally, you assume this anonymous program is Fresh Air or This American Life. Perhaps a great new podcast you’ve never heard of. I’d settle for Radio Lab or All Things Considered.

We’re about to get pretty personal here, however, so I’ll come clean with you up front: I was listening to Preston & Steve. It’s pretty much always Preston & Steve. I’m 31 years old, and I think fart sound effects are funnier than ever. There you have it. Read more »

How to Talk About Hillary Clinton Without Sounding Like a Jerk

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Texas Southern University Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Houston.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Texas Southern University Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Houston.

Maybe you love Hillary. Maybe you can’t stand her. Maybe you want to stick a series of tiny pins into her effigy until you feel sweet, sweet release.

It doesn’t really matter. After comfortably winning Saturday’s Nevada caucus, it looks like she’s sticking around, and if you’re the type who talks politics, you’ll be talking about Hillary for the foreseeable future.

And that, well, that’s a bit of a problem. Because even though Hillary has been running for political office for 16 years now, we have no idea how to talk about her. From Team Trump to the Bernie Bros, from 2008 to 2016, the misogyny buffet that’s being served up is impressive: Blatant. Grossly blatant. Yawn. Is it or isn’t it? Girl on girl. This guy. NOPE. Good Christ, really?

Ideally, you want to speak about Hillary respectfully because she’s a human being. But it also pays to remember that every time you say something sexist about Hillary, a feminist HuffPost writer gets her wings and pens a new column about how the patriarchy is holding down her cat.

Do you want more cat lady columns? Of course you don’t. With that in mind, here’s what not to say over the next few months. Read more »

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