Good morning and welcome to Fresh Intelligence, our roundup of the stories, ideas, and memes you’ll be talking about today. In this edition, the boroughs may get a streetcar someday, we lose a few more GOP candidates, and Mark Zuckerberg updates the world on the state of his bank account. Here’s the rundown for Thursday, February 4.
Meteorologists are abuzz about the coming snows. A changing weather pattern means wintery weather might soon return to the Northeast and South. Until then, New Yorkers can expect high temperatures into the mid-50s, but bring an umbrella. [Weather.com]
Our Children’s Children Might Take a Streetcar From Brooklyn to Queens
New York mayor Bill de Blasio will announce plans to build a streetcar line along the East River between Brooklyn and Queens as part of a larger vision to revitalize the waterfront. The mayor is set to announce the details of his plan in his State of the City speech today. Construction would start in 2019, and service probably wouldn’t start until 2024, at which point we’ll be doing all of our traveling via hoverboard anyway. [NYT]
EARLY AND OFTEN
Trump Files for Election Bankruptcy
A good old fashioned do-over, that’s Donald Trump’s plan for the Iowa caucus. The presidential hopeful backtracked from being a gracious loser yesterday and, momentarily forgetting how politics works, accused Ted Cruz of lying and generally being shady. He then called the whole process illegal and demanded a redo.
Rand Paul Admits He’s Been Out-Trolled by Trump, Exits Race
In one of the most grimly existential concession speeches of our time, Rand Paul announced yesterday that he is backing out of the presidential race. “Today, I will end where I began,” said the Kentucky senator, who will now patiently wait for death. [Politico]
Santorum Hates Trump and Cruz More Than We Realized
Rick Santorum suspended his campaign as well, and directed his very small number of supporters to vote for Rubio.
President of Nearly 3 Million Muslims Visits One Mosque Once
President Obama dropped by the Islamic Society of Baltimore for a community roundtable yesterday in a bid to reassure Muslims that discrimination against an entire faith will not be tolerated in this country. There’s still a lot of evidence to the contrary, like the fact that Marco Rubio was upset about the visit.
Democrats Prepare for Televised Debate With Televised Debate
The two remaining Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, politely butted heads yesterday at a town-hall meeting in New Hampshire. Aside from a heated debate over who is more progressive, the confrontation held few surprises, meaning that the debate tomorrow night will hold absolutely none.
THE STREET, THE VALLEY
Despised Wealthy Jerk Now Just Despised Jerk
Martin Shkreli, everyone’s favorite example of everything that’s wrong with humans, is not doing so hot. It was revealed in court yesterday that his E*Trade account — somehow we don’t think Warren Buffett has an E*Trade account — had dropped from $45 million to $4 million. Shkreli’s last communication with the public was a ten-hour video he uploaded to YouTube that shows him hanging out, talking on the phone, playing video games, and checking his Twitter. It’s actually kind of humanizing. [CNN]
Mark Zuckerberg Is Our Generation’s Jeff Bezos
Thanks to his disturbingly well-performing picture-sharing site, Mark Zuckerberg leapfrogged both Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Mexican telecom-mogul Carlos Slim to become the fourth richest man in the world. Zuckerberg now has $50 billion.
You Still Won’t Find Anyone to Help You
Home Depot, a.k.a. a great way to ruin a Sunday, announced it will be hiring an additional 80,000 sales associates in preparation for the expected seasonal rush. Home Depot’s busiest season is spring because everyone needs to refinish their deck or something. [USA Today]
A.I. Head Sounds Ominous – Is That Just Us?
Google veteran Amit Singhal is stepping down as the company’s chief of internet search business and will be replaced by John Giannandrea, the head of its artificial-intelligence wing. This move is just one of a string of recent announcements that show Silicon Valley is more focused than ever on A.I., and it makes us very uncomfortable. [Reuters]
Company Going Off Cliff in Flames Would Make a Great Video
As it turns out, the thrill of sticking a camera on your head wears off after a while. Global causer of motion sickness GoPro is in trouble. Shares of the company dropped 9 percent yesterday mostly because everyone who wants a GoPro already has one. [Bloomberg]
Why Does It Take So Many People to Make 2 Broke Girls?
Bear with us. Leslie Moonves is now the chairman of CBS and also the CEO and the president of CBS. He is replacing Sumner Redstone, who is the executive chairman of Viacom, but who will now also be the chairman emeritus of CBS. The maneuver is apparently part of a secret deal Redstone’s daughter worked out with Moonves. That makes sense. [Variety]
Time Tells Women What They Want
In a bid to get a slice of that tasty online-revenue pie, Time Inc. is launching a new website aimed at young women. Specifically, Motto is for young women looking for advice. Managing editor of Time Digital Edward Felsenthal said — and this is serious — that increasingly people are looking for media that tells them what to do. [WSJ]
Flint Now Actually Waterworld
Democratic congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham rocked a skull-and-bones eye patch while questioning witnesses at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint, perfectly capturing the mood of the nation.
Today’s morning meme is actually two memes. Could you choose between this cat in a fly choker/broken vase:
And an adorable polar-bear cub? Didn’t think so.
OTHER LOCAL NEWS
Silenced Hero Spoke Truth to Children
A 19-year-old Arizona day-care worker was somehow caught off guard when she was fired from her job after posting images of her flipping off the children she was supposed to be looking after. She captioned her photos “I swear I love kids!” which is great and actually kind of a pun. [Fox]
Palm Beach Lawyer Convention
The annual blacktip-shark winter migration is on, with thousands of sharks just going nuts off the coast of Palm Beach as they head for warmer waters and a richer food supply. That explains why flights are so cheap. [Sun Sentinel]
Oh Good, Another Debate!
The Democratic New Hampshire debate will take place on Thursday night after Bernie Sanders agreed to attend at the last minute. If New Hampshire voters have somehow managed to tune out the race until now, this is their last chance to make up their minds before Tuesday’s primary.
L.A. Unites in Mass Dumpster Dive
A lottery ticket worth $63 million is going to expire tomorrow if the owner doesn’t claim it. The ticket was sold in a Los Angeles–area 7-Eleven in August. Whether the ticket is claimed or not the owner of the store will still receive $315,000. If you’re one of those drunk lottery-ticket-buying types, maybe go check your pockets. [LAT]
Jeb Bush Gives In, Calls His Mom
Jeb Bush is planning to deploy his secret weapon today: his mom, Barbara. The former First Lady is a beloved — and slightly feared — figure on both sides of the aisle, and Jeb clearly hopes she will bolster his reputation with women and get people to take him a bit more seriously in general. [NYT]