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The Red Hot Rubble of East New York: How Brooklyn’s Gentrification Profiteers Are Expanding Their Boundaries

One drizzly December day, real-estate broker Keith McLaurin was driving a silver minivan down Arlington Avenue in Brooklyn, a few blocks from the East New York station on the Long Island Rail Road. He pulled over in front of an aluminum-sided house with a battered brown awning and called out to the young man on the stoop, whose sweatshirt read IN MEMORY OF WHEN I GAVE A SHIT.

“What’s up?” McLaurin shouted. “Is Ice home?”

McLaurin, an electrician who lives in Brooklyn, moonlights at a firm called Exit All Seasons Realty. He specializes in situations of distress. Before making the house call, he had told me that he works to match homeowners facing foreclosure with private investors who are searching for deals. “They hire me to come in and find these properties,” McLaurin said. “And they’re willing to pay me handsomely to do this.” He said three different prospective buyers were interested in this house. He bounded up its front stairs and through an entryway decorated with faded pictures of the Virgin Mary.

“This is the last chance for the city to get it right.” »

If Hillary Is Elected, We Can Call Bill ‘Adam’

And brace ourselves for lots more dad humor, apparently. In an interview with Rachel Ray that airs Thursday, Bill Clinton offered a terrible suggestion for what to call him if he becomes the male equivalent of a first lady. "Let’s say, if a woman became president, we could, I could be called 'Adam.' I don’t know," Clinton said. This is the first and last time we'll ever say this, but "First Dude" Todd Palin's idea is far better than President Clinton's.

‘Trashy’ Women at Fox News Offend Mike Huckabee’s Delicate Sensibilites

Ladies, if you're anything like us, you're always wondering what Mike Huckabee thinks of the things you say, the clothes you wear, and the choices you make about your body. Therefore, you'll be interested to know that the former Arkansas governor may disapprove of your lifestyle even if you haven't dropped an album that focuses heavily on your passion for feminism and banging your husband in limousines. In a Friday radio interview highlighted by Think Progress, the potential 2016 candidate said that while filming his Fox News show, he was shocked to hear his coworkers cursing – even the ladies! "In a business meeting that you might have in the South or in the Midwest there in Iowa, you would not have people who would just throw the F-bomb and use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting," Huckabee told host Jan Mickelson. "In New York, not only do the men do it, but the women do it.


The Case Against Rick Perry Moves Forward, Threatening His 2016 Chances

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has a lot of work to do if he wants to make it to the top of the presidential candidate heap, and while he did well in Iowa last week, a Texas court might have just squashed his 2016 hopes entirely. On Tuesday a state judge refused to dismiss the criminal charges against Perry, saying he doesn't have the authority throw out the abuse-of-power case on constitutional grounds. (Though he said that claim is "compelling and may be relevant at a later time.") Perry's attorneys have already filed a notice of appeal, but the ruling significantly increased the chances that the case will drag on through the end of 2015, when the primary race begins in earnest.

Even Perry's potential rivals came to his defense. »

Jimmy McMillan Faces Eviction Because His Rent Is Too Damn Low

In a cruel and ironic twist of fate, Jimmy McMillan, perpetual mayoral candidate and founder of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, claims he may lose his home because his landlord feels his rent is too low. McMillan received an eviction notice ordering him to vacate his rent-stabilized East Village apartment by February 5. He's filed court papers seeking a stay, and claims landlord Lisco Holdings LLC is trying to push him out because they could charge far more than the $872 per month he's currently paying (or attempting to – he says a judge refused to let him simply write a check for the amount due). 

The landlord says he actually lives in Brooklyn. »

Sheldon Silver’s Epic Fall Ushers in a New Era in Albany

Sheldon Silver is out as speaker of the New York State Assembly. Probably. Definitely by Monday. It appears.

A stunning six-day political drama concluded in Albany tonight. Democratic members of the Assembly have hashed out a deal to make one of Silver's allies, majority leader Joe Morelle of Rochester, interim speaker until the election of a new, permanent speaker on February 10. What promises to be a wild two-week campaign is already underway, with high stakes for the governor, Mayor Bill de Blasio, labor unions, and county leaders.

The particulars of Silver's exit are still somewhat vague–he will supposedly resign by Monday or be voted out then, during the Assembly's next session. But the weirdness of the ending, and the way Silver's ouster unfolded, with him trying desperately to cling to power, speaks to how epic his fall is, and how state government is starting a messily uncertain–and in some ways hopeful–new era.


5 Foreigners Dead in Deadliest Libyan Attack Since Benghazi

Four or five gunmen allied with the terrorist group ISIS stormed the Corinthia Hotel in the Tripoli, Libya, on Tuesday, shooting indiscriminately and killing five foreign guests. The BBC reports that the State Department has confirmed that one of the foreigners killed in the attack — the deadliest since Benghazi — was an American citizen, possibly a security contractor.


Mayor de Blasio Performed a Dramatic Reading of That Onion Blizzard Story

In an apparent attempt to lighten the mood after today's total blizzard bust, Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to reward the City Hall press corps with a special treat. “I’m going to do a dramatic reading from The Onion,” de Blasio told the reporters gathered in Room 9. He then whipped out a print-out of yesterday's Onion story "NYC Mayor: Reconcile Yourselves With Your God, for All Will Perish in the Tempest," and did just that.


How New York City Over- and Under-Prepared for 6 Other Big Storms

At around 11 p.m. on Monday, anyone with access to a window was starting to realize that the "historic" Blizzard of 2015 was actually just a regular storm. And, by the time Tuesday morning press conference rolled around, New Yorkers had plenty of questions about why, exactly, the whole city had been shut down over 12 inches or so of snow. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have defended their actions with various permutations of "better safe than sorry," if only because they have no other choice. While history gets to work on judging them, here's a look at how New York's over- and under-preparation for six big storms played out.

Hurricanes Isabel, Frances, Sandy, Irene, and a couple huge snow storms. »

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