Boners (Rounds One and Two) for April 13th, 2018

Round One

Boner Candidate #1: MayoChup?!

Mayo-chup. That’s right, Heinz, the ketchup people they’re ready to put something called Mayo-Chup in stores. A combination of Mayonaise and Ketchup.

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Boner Candidate #2: LESS E.P.A.! MORE PRUITT!

When Scott Pruitt wanted to refashion the Environmental Protection Agency’s “challenge coin” — a type of souvenir medallion with military origins that has become a status symbol among civilians — he proposed an unusual design: Make it bigger, and delete the E.P.A. logo. Mr. Pruitt instead wanted the coin to feature some combination of symbols more reflective of himself and the Trump administration. Among the possibilities: a buffalo, to evoke Mr. Pruitt’s native Oklahoma, and a Bible verse to reflect his faith. Other ideas included using the Great Seal of the United States — a design similar to the presidential seal — and putting Mr. Pruitt’s name around the rim in large letters, according to Ronald Slotkin, a career E.P.A. employee who retired this year, and two people familiar with the proposals who asked to remain anonymous because they said they feared retribution. Many agencies have challenge coins to hand out as gifts to employees or guests. The name comes from a military tradition of carrying a coin stamped with an insignia to prove one’s affiliation, if challenged. Mr. Pruitt’s numismatic preferences, laid out last year during his first few months at the agency, raised concerns among senior agency officials, according to Mr. Slotkin and the others. Over the course of several months of discussions, they said, staff members expressed worries that his proposals would cost too much, and that dropping the agency’s seal — a stylized flower — would be a breach of protocol. They urged Mr. Pruitt to consider more modest designs and to drop his objection to the seal. Mr. Slotkin said the proposals appeared to refashion the coin into a keepsake embodying Mr. Pruitt, as opposed to the E.P.A.

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A Pennsylvania school district made headlines last month when it said it was arming teachers and students with buckets of rocks as a last resort to fight off shooters. Now another district in the state has another wacky idea: Arm teachers with mini baseball bats. The Millcreek Township School District, near Erie, gave 16-inch bats to 500 teachers, according to Erie News Now. District officials told the media outlet they spent $1,800 on the bats, saying they were mostly symbolic — but could be used if needed. As Millcreek schools Superintendent William Hall put it: “It is the last resort. But it is an option and something we want people to be aware of.” That plan seems a little less crazy than the buckets of rocks at the Blue Mountain School District, about 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The superintendent there told state lawmakers, “If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance to any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks. And they will be stoned.” After receiving a lot of media attention and flak for that plan, the district announced it was adding more armed security to its schools.

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Round Two

Boner Candidate #1: PROBLEM? SOLUTION. NOPE.

An absent-minded science teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — who volunteered to be trained to pack a pistol after the mass shooting there — was busted for leaving his loaded gun in a public bathroom, according to reports. Sean Simpson, 43, forgot his Glock 9mm in a bathroom stall during a beach outing at Deerfield Beach Pier on Sunday, the Sun-Sentinel reported. When he ran back to grab it, he heard a gunshot and then saw a drunk homeless man — identified as 69-year-old Joseph Spataro — holding the gun, and snatched it back from him. The bullet was later found inside the concrete bathroom wall. “There was a reasonable likelihood that the firearm could have ended up in the hands of a child or the discharge of the firearm could have wounded another person or child,” a deputy wrote in Simpson’s arrest report, obtained by ABC 10.

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A Florida police chief who dropped by a pool party last summer and took a photo with bikini-clad subordinates is in hot water with city officials, despite an independent probe that found no wrongdoing. Coral Gables Police Chief Edward Hudak attended a pool party in July at the home of public information officer Kelly Denham in Homestead after getting an invite from someone there. Hudak was then asked to take a picture, which he did after clearing it with the female cops, the Miami Herald reports. The photo – which depicts a total of 14 officers alongside Hudak, including several in revealing bikinis – was later posted to Instagram, where user dmannow25 said Hudak could be seen spending some “quality time” with his employees. “As you can see, he is in full uniform at a female only party in which sex toy (female in front of chief) are being handed out to party goers,” the Aug. 3 post read. “As brand new female officers we had no idea he was going to show up. In videos that are to follow, you will hear the disgust and embarrassment from people at the party as we are being visually raped by our boss.” City officials launched an investigation into the photo after receiving an anonymous letter alleging the female officers were harassed during the party. That probe by an independent investigator recently concluded and found no formal violations by Hudak, according to the Miami Herald.

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The lead spokesperson for the Interior Department labeled a CNN reporter with a vulgar insult after being pressed to answer questions about Secretary Ryan Zinke’s travel, emails released as part of a public records request show. “Rene is a fucking idiot,” agency spokeswoman Heather Swift wrote to one of her colleagues, referring to CNN correspondent René Marsh. “She sounds like one,” responded deputy director of communications Russell Newell. The insult stemmed from an Oct. 3 inquiry in which Marsh asked the agency’s press team several follow-up questions about Zinke’s trip in June to Las Vegas, where he met with the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team, and other taxpayer-funded flights. Swift promptly replied to say that she was “checking into this.”  The following day, Marsh emailed again to ask when she could expect a response. Swift didn’t answer, prompting Marsh to follow up again on Oct. 5. Swift told her that she was “working on it” but that “the person who handles the Secretary’s travel is currently out of the office so it’s taking a little longer than usual.” On Oct. 6, Marsh sent two more emails to the agency’s press team. In the second she wrote: “We have repeatedly asked the press office for answers to the below questions and for 4 days now we have been told you are working on it and today we’ve received no response at all. We are asking questions that the public has every right to know as these are their tax dollars and for Interior not answer any of the below questions is really hard to understand. Is the DOI issuing a no comment on all of the below questions?”

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