Let's say you are a basketball fan (and also not a career attorney working for a large law firm engaged in litigation with Madison Square Garden Entertainment), and you are interested in seeing the New York Knickerbockers take on the Brooklyn Nets at MSG later this month. How much will two tickets cost you?
The Knicks have generously offered you two nosebleed aisle seats for $170 apiece, but wait, what's this? Nearly $60 in "fees"?
Fine, fine. OK, maybe that's a little steep. Since we are New Yorkers of a certain age, how about we save our pennies and go see The Smile at Forest Hills Stadium? C'mon, we'll take the LIRR, and we'll sit behind someone wearing a stupid floppy leather cowboy hat (in June!) and the hard seltzers will be $8 and it will be fantastic.
And the fees, the fees will "only" be $45! (But the lumbar support? That'll run us an extra $25 apiece.)
Railing against these kinds of "junk fees" took up a significant portion of President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. The president urged Congress to pass his Junk Fee Prevention Act (put together in part by Columbia Law professor and former long shot lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wu), which would stop data companies from charging you money to switch providers; cap fees at sporting events and concerts; and, in the president's words, "prohibit airlines from charging up to $50 roundtrip for families just to sit together."
"Americans are tired of being played for suckers," the most powerful man in the world said to applause. (The cheering was one-sided, as Republicans apparently enjoy paying these kinds of fees.)
Now, what does it say about the State of the Union, that one of the main thrusts of public policy put forth by the president of the United States in 2023 is to try and convince our elected officials to pass a law that would barely chip away at the oligopoly enjoyed by a handful of staggeringly powerful corporations who—hey look! Mitt Romney just said some catty shit to George Santos on the floor of the House of Representatives! Ha ha, give that charlatan hell, Mitt!
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The CITY's George Joseph has some more reporting on what the hell is going on over at the Manhattan DA's Office, after a career prosecutor apparently botched the case against an allegedly corrupt former NYPD detective. It's still not clear what happened, other than a "pattern" of what appears to be garden-variety sloppiness on the DA's part. "At this time, we don't believe the materials were exculpatory," the DA's office said.
More than 11,000 people have died in the earthquake that rocked Syria and Turkey. Here're some links on how you can help.
A 26-year-old asylum seeker reportedly attempted suicide at the makeshift shelter set up at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
The NYPD now has a hotline to call in order to assess whether to involuntarily commit someone they encounter on the street.
Some members of the FDNY got pissy and booed their commissioner Laura Kavanagh at a public appearance, which does not help change the perception that the fire department is a giant white fraternity in dire need of modernization.
You'll never guess who's on Substack with an especially spicy story.
Come onnnnnnnnnn, Subsidies! COME ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN, SUBSIDIES!
And finally, this is true, we see it every day, and it's a problem: