Being President Means Sleeping in Sad, Windowless Hotel Rooms Across the Globe

Being the president of the United States often sounds like a pretty sucky job. At least half of the country is nearly always going to dislike you; you have to spend the majority of your days making stressful decisions; and whenever you try to take a break, everyone yells at you. Unlike the pope, you can go grab a slice of pizza every once in a while, but dozens of people are going to try to take selfies with you while you do it. 

And, as Yahoo News tells us today, you might be able to travel all around the world while you're leader of the free world, but it's going to involve smelling a lot of garbage and staying in sad hotel rooms that look like basement apartments. 

An aide told reporter Olivier Knox, “The president never has a view from his hotel room." Even when the window opens out on the most boring view possible — like a wall — the blinds have to stay closed. 


Republicans So Giddy That 2016 Election Is Finally Starting That They Throw $1 Million at Ted Cruz in a Single Day

Senator Ted Cruz announced that he was running for president on Monday morning, and by 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, his campaign had already raised $1 million, according to the Washington Post. By Thursday, the campaign had raised $2 million. Ninety-six percent of the donations received online were in increments of less than $250, and most came from Texas. You best not waste all your excitement now, though, potential Republican donors, since April is shaping up to be the Oprah’s Favorite Things of election announcements. 

You get a presidential candidate! »

Senator Harry Reid to Retire in 2016

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced in an online video on Friday that he will not run for reelection in 2016. He insists that the decision has nothing to do with the serious facial injury he got in January, his position as minority leader, or his chances of being reelected. In 2010, Reid's election was massively expensive — in fact, he has a history of stressfully close elections

“I want to be able to go out at the top of my game," the 75-year-old said. "I don’t want to be a 42-year-old trying to become a designated hitter.”



How Hard Would It Be to Change the Face on the $20?

On paper, it doesn’t look like it would be difficult to change the faces that greet us on dollar bills whenever we pull out our wallets. The Treasury Secretary has unilateral authority to banish Franklin from the $100 or Lincoln from the five spot whenever he wants; Congress also has the power to change the portraits used on U.S. currency. The possibilities for new monetary muses are nearly limitless — the only requirement is that they be dead, just like the luminaries chosen for stamps. There’s also an expectation that the portraits will be familiar faces from history.

However, the process must be harder than it looks, because the Treasury hasn’t retired a portrait since 1929, when Andrew Jackson replaced Grover Cleveland — which has everyone wondering what will happen with a new campaign to get a woman on the $20.


Top-Secret Agents Battling Drugs Allegedly Host Cartel-Funded Sex Parties [Updated]

The Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General recently released a report focusing on how the department's various agencies respond to sexual-harassment and misconduct allegations. The Drug Enforcement Administration seems to have had several problems in these areas, according to the Huffington Post. Seven agents serving in Colombia were allegedly hosting "sex parties" with prostitutes paid with drug-cartel money. The DOJ was "particularly troubled" by these parties, which involved agents with top-secret clearances and took place "over a period of several years." 


John Boehner Reads Mean Tweets, Does Not Cry

Having celebrities read mean tweets about themselves is probably Jimmy Kimmel's greatest contribution to late-night TV, but does the format still work when the readers are only stars in the world of politics? For the most part, yes. In a video for the 2015 Radio & Television Correspondents' Association Dinner, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Speaker John Boehner, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Kevin McCarthy read some moderately nasty things people have written about them online. Boehner and Pelosi are accustomed to being insulted, but Sanders seems a bit frazzled, and McCarthy ... well, at the end of the video, you might feel the urge to mock him in 140 characters or less.

Tucker Carlson Argues That ‘LabiaFace’ Is a Compliment in D.C.

Amy Spitalnick, Mayor Bill de Blasio's spokesperson, reached out to the Daily Caller for a story correction on Wednesday. After reading an email from Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson that called her "whiny and annoying" and reminded her that "[o]utside of New York City, adults generally write polite, cheerful emails to one another, even when asking for corrections," Spitalnick was then treated to what appears to be an accidental reply-all response from Carlson's brother Buckley. 

"Spoogeneck? I don’t think so. More like LabiaFace." »

Supreme Court Brings Pregnancy Discrimination Case Against UPS Back to Life

The Supreme Court sent a case back to the lower courts on Wednesday, giving Peggy Young, who says that UPS discriminated against her while she was pregnant, another chance to argue her side. The 6–3 majority said that a lower court, which sided with UPS, used the wrong standard to reach its decision. Since the case was filed, UPS changed their policy so that pregnant women receive better accommodations. Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas dissented, seeing no "animus or hostility to pregnant women" — although they conceded that "the difficulties pregnant women face in the workplace are and do remain an issue of national importance."

These 2016 Candidates Are Definitely Not Experts

Jeb Bush is not an expert. Last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the former Florida governor even confessed that he wasn't an expert in Washington politics — though he sure seems eager to take part in them. 

Bush is not alone in not being an expert. As you can see below, other 2016 presidential possibilities have invoked this necessary caveat when seeking to comment on things they have no business talking about — or when trying to avoid subjects they'd rather not comment on. 

A guide to things that presidential candidates definitely know nothing about. »

Presidential Candidates No Longer Making Millionaires Feel Like a Million Bucks

It’s hard out there for a rich person who’s not quite as rich as his or her friends. First one percenters had to wash their own dishes, then there was the rush on bargain castles, and now millionaires are feeling completely left out of presidential politics, according to the Washington Post. Terry Neese, who raised more than $1 million for George W. Bush, says that 2016 candidates “are only going to people who are multi-multi-millionaires and billionaires and raising big money first. Most of the people I talk to are kind of rolling their eyes and saying, ‘You know, we just don’t count anymore.’”


Video of the day

Charlie Rangel Opens Debate With Fake Phone Call

Congressman Joe Garcia Picks Ear, Eats It on Live TV

Sarah Palin Thinks Chelsea’s Baby May Make Hillary ‘Open Her Eyes’ About Abortion


In The Mag

Back on the Trail

When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.

By Jason Zengerle

Reading List

Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013

The Case for Deficit Optimism

For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.

By Ezra Klein
Salon Jan. 15, 2012

The NRA's Democratic Helpers

Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.

By Steve Kornacki

From the Archives

New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010

Boehner's Army

After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009

With Friends Like These

Obama drew progressive ire from day one.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008

Hiding In Plain Sight

How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.

By Jeff Coplon