Grapevine: Detroit puts life and death on hold

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Stayin' Alive

An unintended casualty of Detroit's bankruptcy -- for a period of time, no one was allowed to be born or die in the Motor City. At least, not officially.  

The Detroit News reports several funeral directors received this message from one of their colleagues. "FYI, city of Detroit can't process death certificates because they have no paper and they don't have money to buy any."

It turns out, the city had been buying paper on credit, and when it filed for bankruptcy, the paper vendor demanded cash, which the vital records department did not have, so no birth or death certificates could be issued.

City officials say the problem has since been laid to rest.

Staying Covered

There will be a noticeable absence at the Miss World pageant later this month -- the swimsuit competition.

Pageant officials are dropping the bikini contest for this year out of respect for the culturally-conservative Muslim-majority Indonesia. The competition will be held on the island of Bali in a city near Jakarta.

Instead, contestants will participate in a "beach fashion show"-- they will be covered up with sarongs.

But Indonesian Muslim clerics say that is not good enough. They say the pageant goes against Muslim teachings by putting women's bodies on display.

High Holy Daze

Embattled New York mayoral candidate Anthony wiener celebrated the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah today by getting into a shouting match with a Jewish voter.

Witnesses say it happened as Weiner was leaving a Brooklyn bakery with a mouthful of pastry. The other man apparently took issue with Weiner's indiscretions, calling him a "scum bag."


ANTHONY WEINER, NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: What's that? You wait 'til I walk out 'til you say anything? That's courage. That's courage.

You know who judges me? Not you, buddy. Not you. You don't get to judge me because you have shown no sign you are superior to me and you are not my God. How do you have the moral authority to judge me, then? Ask your rabbi who gets to judge me.


The Weiner campaign pointed out later the man also said in the exchange that Weiner is "married to an Arab."

Weiner later responded to someone who tweeted that he had a meltdown. "If by melt down you mean stood up to a heckler. Yep. Did that. That's what Mayors have to do sometimes."