Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Aug 24, 2011
August 24, 2011
He's dead, Jim:
Philly cheesesteak legend JOEY VENTO of Geno's Steaks died last night of a massive heart attack at age 71. Joey was the guy who demanded customers "speak English" when they order, not because he disliked immigrants, but because he moved a ton of cheesesteaks and it was faster if everybody spoke the same language because the line kept moving. He also had a longstanding feud with the guys across the street at 9th and Passyunk, Pat's King of Steaks, which claims to have invented the cheesesteak back in 1933. Joey began with a food cart and then opened his place in 1966.
Also pushing up daisies:
"Uncle" FRANK POTENZA passed away yesterday morning at the age of 77. The ex-cop was well known for his work on his nephew, JIMMY KIMMEL's, late night chat fest. The show released a statement to TMZ.com saying his "kindness and humor" will be missed. (Lee)
Along the Primary trail:
MICHELE BACHMANN may have won the Iowa straw poll but there's a new frontrunner in town: RICK PERRY.
In a new Public Policy Polling survey of Iowa of Republican voters, Perry edges out Bachmann and MITT ROMNEY. Perry gets 22 percent of the vote, just ahead of Romney at 19 percent, Bachmann at 18 percent, and RON PAUL at 16 percent.
SARAH PALIN pulled in 10 percent, only beating the bottom tier of the race that includes HERMAN CAIN, RICK SANTORUM and JON HUNSTMAN.
Only 33 percent of Iowa Republicans call themselves Tea Partiers, but Perry dominates among that bloc, taking 32 percent to Romney's 6 percent.
In other news, only 35 percent of Iowa Republicans believe in evolution, and 32 percent still believe PRESIDENT OBAMA was not born in the United States.
Editor's note: Just let Perry keep talking for another year and then we'll see what the polls say then. (Maiman)
People are still talking about the unusual East Coast earthquake that struck central Virginia yesterday, about 90 miles southwest of Washington, D-C.
The 5.8 rumbler produced tremors felt from the Carolinas to Canada (Toronto and Ottawa), and inland to Pittsburgh and Detroit. In New York, City Hall was evacuated, the press conference for the DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN dismissal of charges was cut short, and authorities closed the Holland Tunnel, forcing drivers to back out into Manhattan. (The website Gizmodo has assembled a gallery of videos taken during the quake.)
In Washington, numerous public buildings were evacuated, including the Pentagon, the Capitol and the Homeland Security Department, as well as all monuments and malls. A sea of suits flooded the streets. Some facilities, like the Smithsonian Institute, closed for the day. Others reopened with 60-90 minutes.
And it appears --as reported with most earthquakes-- that various animals gave the first indication that something was about to happen. The Washington Post reports that several animals at the National Zoo started acting-up right before the quake hit.
Reporter JOEL ACHENBACH writes, "The red ruffed lemurs began 'alarm calling' a full 15 minutes before the quake hit... In the Great Ape House, Iris, an orangutan, let out a guttural holler 10 seconds before keepers felt the quake. The flamingos huddled together in the water seconds before people felt the rumbling... And the hooded mergansers (ducks) dashed for the safety of the water." (Pacelli)
Trolling for publicity:
SEAN "Diddy" COMBS may have an All-American in the family. The NY Post's Page Six gossip column reports his 17-year-old son, JUSTIN, is a gifted football player and just received a lucrative scholarship offer from UCLA! Dad and his chip off the old block popped by the campus last week, the cornback has also been lobbied by schools in Iowa, Illinois, West Virginia and Virginia. (Lee)
REBECCA BLACK says she chose to be homeschooled. According to Us Weekly, the "Friday" singer says that although she was mocked in her high school after she became famous online, she actually chose to be homeschooled because her career was taking off and she couldn't physically be at school. (Myers)
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