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Morning Spew

In 2023, Rise Above the Hateration and Take the Oath of Office

New year, another new you.

(Hell Gate)

The first day back to work from a long, end-of-year holiday break can be a little disorienting. You rushed around to meet social obligations, cooked and baked and entertained, and you also had to be utterly humiliated on FOX News for fabricating nearly every facet of your existence. Obscuring the source of the sudden wealth that propelled you to an electoral victory is exhausting! Wasn't this supposed to be vacation?

But all of the stress of the holiday season feels worth it today, because you're starting the year fresh (not that you ever really need a new year to justify creating a new you). It's 2023, no one cares if you're Catholic, or Jewish, or if one of your parents died because of 9/11, or if your relatives died in the Holocaust, or if you own a bunch of mansions on Long Island, or if you worked at Citigroup, or if you worked at Goldman Sachs, or if you attended Baruch College, or if you cut a check to the January 6 legal defense fund, or if you go by George instead of Anthony, or if you had a brain tumor, or if you said you were part Black.

None of that matters! Because later today, you'll be sworn in as a member of the 118th Congress. That's right, we're talking about the alleged New Yorker who is currently being identified in news stories as "George Santos." Congratulations on taking your oath of office! And don't worry about the state, federal, and international investigations that have been set up in the previous weeks to tear you down. They'll probably amount to nothing.

Wow there's a lot of stuff to pay attention to today huh?

  • At least 14 Democrats in the State Senate now say that they will not vote for Governor Kathy Hochul's choice of top judge in New York State, Hector LaSalle, after progressives began pointing to some of the center-right jurist's questionable decisions. Hochul continues to stand by her nominee, even as opposition to LaSalle has expanded to some of the state's largest labor unions. A group calling itself Latinos for LaSalle that includes former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Lin Manuel-Miranda's powerful lobbyist father, Luis, have called the progressive scrutiny of LaSalle's record a "misinformation campaign." What do Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins think? It's unclear. But...
  • Governor Hochul signed the legislature's pay raise that was passed last month. Lawmakers will now earn $142,000, up from $110,000.
  • Hochul was sworn in as the first female governor of the state of New York on Sunday. You can read her full speech here.
  • Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed during the first quarter of the team's game against the Bengals in Cincinnati on Monday night, and is in critical condition. The NFL wanted to play the game even after Hamlin was transported to the hospital, according to announcer Joe Buck, but the coaches for the teams intervened. (An NFL executive later denied this report.)
  • At least 39 people died during the massive snowstorm that hit the Buffalo region over the holidays. A team at NYU is trying to dissect what went wrong.
  • Traffic deaths in New York City are still higher than they were before the pandemic.
  • Mayor Eric Adams took an unannounced, two-day trip to the Virgin Islands while parts of the city were flooded right before Christmas. Reasons Adams gave for not simply informing the public that he was leaving the country: stress, the loss of his mother last year, his staff, the media.
  • Why did the NYPD allow a group of Proud Boys protesting Drag Story Hour to enter the subway without paying?
  • Donald Trump's tax returns were finally released, which will no doubt prompt all of his supporters to renounce him in the coming days and weeks.
  • Hell Gate comrade Molly Osberg's story about the great Boy Scout land sell-off was one of Curbed's most popular stories of 2022. We are extremely proud.
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