If Ted Cruz can pick a running mate, why can’t I?

Ted Cruz is not going to be president of the United States.

And this isn’t a desperate plea from someone who is in denial — it’s a fact. It is mathematically impossible for Ted Cruz to obtain the prerequisite number of delegates needed prior to this summer’s Republican National Convention.

Amazingly, this incontrovertible truth did not stop him from becoming the first presidential nominee to choose a running mate in Carly Fiorina on Tuesday.

Never mind Fiorina’s clear incompetence to be second-in-command of our country when you consider her track record as a failed business executive and perennial liar regarding a fabricated video that brought unfair controversy upon Planned Parenthood late last year.

Cruz Fiorina.jpgNever mind that Cruz is the first presidential candidate in 40 years to name a running mate before earning his party’s nomination.

Ted Cruz picking his vice president is as meaningful as if I declared myself eligible for the NFL Draft. It’s as meaningful as if I decided I have the ability breathe underwater.

And it’s as meaningful as if I picked my own running mate for the presidential nomination.

Heck, if Ted Cruz is doing it, why don’t we all do it? It could be a fun little Internet game. Choose your running mate. People could play it right after “Choose Which Disney Princess Best Represents You.” And if you can’t think of one, then I’m sure there’s someone in the world with way too much time on their hands that can create a Running Mate Generator.

It’s purely hypothetical and unrealistic, but hey, Ted Cruz just set the precedent. (And no, Ted, that’s precedent with a “c”, not an “s”.)

My decision was an easy one. I select Taylor Swift. And just like that, she’s officially off the board and ineligible to be any one else’s running mate.

How perfect of a choice is she? She’s perfectly amiable, smart, she’s an economic Taylor Swift USA.jpgpowerhouse unto herself, is adored by people of all religions, ethnicities and skin colors, and I don’t care how much you deny it, there is at least one Taylor Swift song for everybody. She’d be the ideal diplomat and representative.

Plus, as a political tandem, you’d get to spend every day of your life alongside Taylor Swift. How cool is that?

I dare the unbound delegates to resist the pull of T-Swizzle. I dare you.

We already know she could handle the pressure. Just watch this recently video filmed by Vogue where she answers 73 highly personal questions in rapid succession. Not once during the unconventional interview does she waver. She answers each question with poise and confidence — which includes one shockingly honest moment when Taylor acknowledges that she became “a lightning rod for slut shaming.”

That’s the type of aplomb and veracity that this country needs. And yes I used a thesaurus to come up with those two words.

Most of all, Taylor is a unifier. She doesn’t degrade immigrants. She doesn’t race bait or mock disabled people.

Taylor, let’s make America great again.

Because we are never, ever, ever … losing an election together.

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This Rachael Ray-Beyonce controversy was so predictably American

Since most of my friends know I have an interest in politics, one of the most common questions I receive nowadays is, “Why are people voting for Trump? What are they thinking?”

Even as I write this, Trump has won not one, not two, but five primaries tonight — in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Maryland.

Well, here’s the answer: most people aren’t thinking. They just don’t flat out understand the dire consequences of electing Trump the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. They don’t realize that people in other countries already view the U.S. as a laughingstock because we’re voting for him.

I try so hard to believe that, in the end, Americans will come to their senses. That they’re really smarter than we give them credit for.

I want to believe it so bad.

And then something happens that makes me realize that, yeah, Americans just aren’t that smart. Look no further than what happened immediately following the release of Beyonce’s new album, “Lemonade,” on Saturday.

Beyonce Lemonade

The album, which contains the single “Formation” that got people all riled up a couple months ago, is apparently imbued with dark intimations of the singer’s marital struggles with her husband, Jay-Z.

But what’s really the talk of the town is the alleged mistress Jay-Z has apparently had an extramarital affair with, who Beyonce indirectly targets in the album. Her name is Rachel Roy, a fashion designer.

Now it’s only natural that this combative album would motivate Beyonce’s fan base — which has the cringe-inducing nickname of the Bey Hive — to defend their favorite musician .

So they did what any angry person would do in 2016. They went after Rachel Roy’s Instagram. Except for one small problem.

Many of them got the wrong Rachel.

Instead of Rachel Roy, an Internet tirade was launched against Rachael Ray, the celebrity Rachael Ray.jpgchef.

Never mind that the two have absolutely nothing to do with each other, besides having similarly sounding names. Never mind the fact that a woman who spends most of her life in a studio kitchen baking a quiche for housewives’ entertainment probably would never be involved in an illicit love affair with the world’s most renowned rapper. Never mind that Rachael Ray spells her name RACHAEL.

The Internet created Rachel vs. Rachael, the world’s shittiest sequel to Kramer vs. Kramer.

You see? This is America. These are the people who we so curiously wonder why they are voting for Donald Trump.

We may be the most powerful and influential country in the world. But our electorate doesn’t necessarily reflect that.

Take this as a lesson. If you wonder why Americans think the way they do, remember the tale of two Rachels.

None of which, sadly, involved Rachel from Friends.

Now that is a chick Jay-Z would go for.

Puerto Rico’s debt crisis: A blogger’s plea to save his homeland

Ideally, I’d like you all to believe that I am some type of mythical being. That I landed on Earth one day from a distant planet to fulfill my destiny of enlightening you all with the written word.

Sometimes I even wear a Superman shirt when I blog just to get into character.

OK, that’s not true. I did it one time, and it was because I wore it out the night before and didn’t change for like 36 hours. But that’s neither here nor there.

In truth, I’m a normal human just like you. Except I can probably spell better.

And while I have on a few occasions embraced my Jewish side here, I haven’t really tapped into the nationality I inherited from my mother, who was born outside the mainland United States in the great land of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico.jpg

Not many people talk about Puerto Rico. Lots may not even know it’s an overseas territory of the United States. Puerto Ricans are Americans. They don’t vote for president, for some weird reason, but they’re American.

And the country is also mired in a massive debt crisis.

That debt equals equals more than $72 billion. Almost half its citizens are living in poverty. Schools are closing. Doctors are leaving. 80,000 jobs have been lost, and people are migrating to the states in massive numbers.

While Puerto Rico’s problems have been compounded by extremely poor fiscal decisions by their own officials, plenty of blame also falls on our own government.

In short, we used to offer hefty tax breaks for American businesses to relocate to Puerto Rico. And they did. But in 1996, inexplicably, we lifted those tax breaks. Companies left, and the economy slowed. The late 2000s global recession only worsened it. And here we are.

Weird quirks in U.S. laws and tax codes, including the inability for government institutions in Puerto Rico to file for bankruptcy — like those in the 50 states can — are making it increasingly difficult to solve this problem. Even worse, hedge funds and bond owners who invested in Puerto Rico’s debt are lobbying Congress to not change bankruptcy laws that would otherwise help the overseas territory.

I personally think this is a watershed moment for America. This presidential election hasLin-Manuel Miranda.jpg highlighted how many of our residents distrust outsiders. It’s also instilled a zealous sense of patriotism in many.

Well, this is 3.5 million people who are different than the typical American — about 95 percent of Puerto Ricans speak Spanish — and yet, they are American.

Helping Puerto Rico is not only a national obligation, but it’s the right thing to do. These are people who need our help. And if we want to live up to the principles and ideologies that our country was built on, then Congress will find a way.

Color me skeptical.

And if you don’t want to listen to me, then listen to Puerto Rico’s second most famous son, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Pulitzer Prize winning creator of Hamilton, who was recruited by John Oliver on Sunday night to lyricize about this issue (skip to 19:00 to see it).

In a way, I think this forever intertwines the Weinblog and Hamilton. The two of us are now historically linked for the rest of time.

One of them is sold out until 2017, and the other is … well, my mom tells me she enjoys reading it.

Us Puerto Ricans gotta stick together.

Goodnight, sweet Prince

It’s amazing how sometimes it takes death to ground us.

At least in my lifetime, I can safely say that there has been no more divisive, polarizing event than the 2016 presidential election. And it’s totally backwards for that to be the case when you consider that democracy, and participation in government, is supposed to be a uniting cause.

It’s been sad to see what it’s done to people. It’s created lines into how see one another.

But then someone dies and the world kind of stands still for a minute. And that’s what happened this early afternoon, when rock icon and musical innovator Prince died suddenly. A cause of death is still unknown.

Prince

Even if you didn’t know Prince’s music, you knew him for his style. His swagger. His Superbowl halftime performance. And the way he could leave even the most famous people in the world starstruck.

When you’re known in life by a single name, you know you’ve made it. Unless you’re Solange. She’s just the worst.

Like all major celebrity deaths, it’s another reminder of our mortality. Life spares no one. Not even the legends.

It’s a reminder we’ve received all too often in 2016. We’re not even through April, and yet, there’s a laundry list of famous people who have died, bookended (as of now) by the most significant in David Bowie and Prince.

Death is always sad. And Prince died way too young, at 57. But he left a major impact on this world that will outlive us all. And that should serve as reminder to all of us to make our own impact.

It’s not too late.

Find your purple rain. And yes, this is the first — and last time — I will pen a blog post in another color, in tribute to the Artist Formerly Known as … you get it. 

One last thing before I go. I felt inspired earlier today to craft up a little poem in dedication to all those celebrities who have passed on this year. I’ll share it with y’all, because, well, that’s what this blog is for. Sharing is caring. 

I promise the rhymes are a little more sophisticated than that in the poem.

Enjoy. 

2016 started like it was any other year,
The confetti rained down amid champagne and beer.
Not yet did we know how many celebrities would leave us,
Leaving a void so empty and a feeling so grievous

Barely one week into January with the weather still snowy,
We said goodbye to the Spaceman David Bowie.
Just like that; we lost a transcendent musical commodity,
As he drifted above to form one last space oddity.

Not one week later while we were still agape,
Life took another – the one and only Severus Snape.
Playing the villain is where Alan Rickman shined;
A generation of Harry Potter fans he’s now left behind.

Shortly after that we said sayonara
To the rock genius who penned Hotel California
Eagles songs flow through the ears so light and breezy,
Thank you Glenn Frey, and please, take it easy.

But the Grim Reaper still hadn’t played his final coda,
And now The Godfather won’t be the same without Abe Vigoda.
Dave Mirra brought cycling to a much larger audience,
And Harper Lee taught us the meaning of tolerance.

The producer of the Beatles, George Martin, met his end,
But we’ll always get by with a little help from his friends.
After that it was Keith Emerson’s time to depart,
Come inside, his next show’s about to start.

On Thursday nights we couldn’t wait to come home,
To watch our favorite TV mom, Marie Barone.
Doris Roberts, thank you for making us laugh,
And tell Peter Boyle hi on our behalf.

And yet, all of this sadness could never leave us prepared,
For the death of an innovator to whom nobody compared.
So for Prince, let’s for a minute forget about this world full of strife
And say “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”

Meet the new face of the $20 bill. Hint: it’s a woman.

What makes the Weinblog extra special is that we don’t just talk about interesting topics in the news and never return to them again. The last thing I’d ever want to do is leave you hanging.

It’s one thing to hear about something and become informed, but at the end of the day, we want the resolution, damn it. There’s nothing worse than unresolved drama. Nothing.

Well, maybe chlamydia.

Speaking of which …Johnny Depp. Last time his name popped up here was in May 2015, when I couldn’t help but voice my amazement when the Australian government made him extradite his dogs from their country because he flew them in without declaring them.

Depp HeardAustralia is apparently very careful about preventing disease. So careful that they actually threatened to kill his dogs if he didn’t remove them from the Land Down Under. Facing that prospect, Depp promptly had his dogs flown back home, probably in a much more luxurious way than any of us would ever travel from Australia to the U.S.

Well, 11 months later, Depp and his extremely hot wife, Amber Heard, issued an apology. And it’s just awkward.

Upon watching it, two thoughts came to my mind. First, this initially struck me as a possible case of Stockholm Syndrome. Somehow they were brainwashed by Australian officials and were led to believe that biosecurity was truly the most important thing in the world. The emotionless way they delivered this message was just eerie. I’m half expecting a sequel tomorrow where the couple will convince me to join the Church of Scientology.

But then it dawned on me that they were clearly ordered by Australia to do this to avoid being charged for criminal activity. And as a result, you have the most insincere apology in the history of the world.

This apology means even less than the instinctive “sorry” we mumble after we bump shoulders with someone on a crowded sidewalk.

Nonetheless, as Justin Bieber has taught us, it’s never to late to say you’re sorry.

And let’s wrap up today with another news update that will allow us to carry women around in our pocket.

Remember the movement last year to put a woman on the $20? Well — it’s finally Harriet Tubmanhappening! We did it! Change happened!

Seriously, when we’re on the cusp of electing our country’s first female president, this feels like the smallest victory in the history of activism.

But at least they made a solid choice in Harriet Tubman, a former slave and abolitionist, who was also a Union spy during the Civil War.

What I found most amusing was the incredible backlash the U.S. Treasury received when they first announced that a woman will be put on the $10 rather than the $20, replacing Alexander Hamilton, who was not only the first Secretary of Treasury, but who has become an increasingly popular figure more than 200 years after his death thanks to the outrageous success of a Broadway show that bears his name.

The Treasury made the right choice in the end, though, sacking Andrew Jackson from the $20, who was not only a slave owner, but was not too kind to Native Americans, either.

And in an age where paper money is being phased out by credit cards, that Harriet Tubman-labeled bill will mostly surface during the most common cash-only transactions, like ransoms, drug deals and to be slipped into the g-string of a pole-dancing stripper.

In other words, it will get plenty of use.

 

The New York primary — finally, the attention we’ve desperately wanted

With New York being so late in the primary calendar, it’s pretty rare that both parties’ races have yet to determined by the time we head to the polls.

Usually, at least one party — if not both — have a runaway candidate at this point. And it means that by the time the New York primary hits, our votes are more symbolic than consequential.

Not this year, baby.

Screw Iowa. Forget New Hampshire. And don’t even dare put us in the same breath as Michigan.

For once, New York is in the spotlight. We get the attention we have desperately sought for so long. People are forced to care about New York. And it’s about damn time.

NY Primary.jpg

Hmm, maybe Ted Cruz wasn’t wrong when he was talking about “New York values” all those weeks ago.

But it is true that New York’s vote is more magnified than usual. As I write this, polls close in two minutes, and news networks have already declared Donald Trump a victor, while claiming the Democratic race is too early to call. Although, pre-primary polls had shown Hillary to be way ahead.

Being a blue state with double the amount of Democratic voters than Republican, New York will almost certainly vote for whomever the Democratic candidate is in November. But it brings me such joy that we get to go down in history as yet another state whose Republican voters overwhelmingly selected Donald Trump.

The same dude who held a campaign rally last week to tout his xenophobic, anti-Mexican views on the same street in Long Island where a Latino man was murdered in a hate crime in 2008.

In all seriousness though, New York Republicans are pretty nuts. They voted for Carl Paladino as a gubernatorial candidate in 2010, and that guy might be crazier than Trump.

What people do tend to forget about New York, though, is it’s a pretty big freaking state. New York City makes up just five of the state’s 62 counties.

But let’s be real. Just like how New York receives a disproportionate amount of attention compared to other U.S. states, New York City is basically considered the epicenter of the state.

So much so that most of the candidates have basically been competing over who is more “New York” — to embarrassing results.

Hillary Clinton can’t swipe a MetroCard; Bernie Sanders still thinks you pay for the Subway with tokens; and nothing represents the average New Yorker’s plight of living in a minuscule, rodent-infested, overpriced studio apartment than Donald Trump’s $4 billion net worth.

And you may be wondering who I am endorsing. After all, this is a prominent New York-based publication, and I am a very vocal figure here in this great state.

Oh, you’re not wondering at all?

In fact, you stopped reading after the first paragraph?

Cool.

Celebrities want us to know they are having a good time at Coachella

With fear of terrorism continuing to rise across the globe, let’s not forget another powerful force that has the ability to cause causalities in devastating numbers.

The Earth.

Our planet can cause catastrophes like no other. And that was evidenced in tragic fashion in Ecuador on Saturday, when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake ravaged the western South American country, killing more than 400 and injuring thousands.

Ecuador earthquake 2.jpg

I’m certainly not trying to make any type of statement that diminishes the threat of terrorism, but more so aiming to remind people about the amazing strength of nature.

The Huffington Post has compiled a list of ways you can help Ecuador victims.

But anyway, let’s move to a topic that, while completely different from the Ecuador earthquake, has a name that sounds just as scary — Coachella.

It’s the mother of all music festivals. And even as someone who is a music festival junkie, it’s one I’ve never been to. Part of that is because it’s on the opposite end of the country as me, but the other deterrent is that it’s one of the more crowded music festivals in the world.

And being a plain simpleton with no VIP standing, it’s just not enticing for me to make the trip only to stand amid a sea of tens of thousands of people when I can attend festivals that are much closer to home with less people in attendance.

Alessandra Ambrosio Coachella.jpgThat being said, going to Coachella is still on my bucket list. Right next to beating a penguin in tobogganing race down the side of a glacier.

But, it being a festival located in California, Coachella is a natural breeding ground for celebrities. And why wouldn’t it be? If you’re wealthy, have the time to spare, then why not head to one of the nation’s warmest places for some music?

I know this because I follow many celebrities on Instagram. Mostly of the female variety. And these past few days, my feed has been littered with Coachella pics.

You know how when we do cool things, and we want the rest of the world to know about it? Well, apparently famous people do the same exact thing.

If I happened to be at Coachella this year, I’d start taking selfies with everybody I stumbled across. Because odds are they’re probably famous. And if they’re not famous, they’re probably on acid, and you’ll be glad you stopped to talk to them. Trust me.

Also, apparently it’s mandatory to only wear hippy attire at Coachella. That’s not cliche in the slightest.

Who am I kidding. I’ve probably never written a more jealous post in my life. I would gladly switch lives with any of these famous people this week. Because Coachella Round 2 begins on Friday.

And meanwhile, here in new York, the only exciting thing we have going on is a primary election on Tuesday.

I think I’ll dress like a hippie to the polling station.

That’s sort of like going to Coachella, right?

… right?