Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

What I’m reading:

  • David Hume Kennerly’s photo essay about the final days of Vietnam. (Politico)
  • ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ 15 Years On: How Eminem’s Stark, Violent Portrait Of American Life Shook the Mainstream. (NME)
  • Far From Home: A brief history of Central American immigration to the U.S. (Global Post) Full Disclosure: I am a graduate of the USC Annenberg School, which contributed to this project. 
  • Stephen Curry’s next stage: MVP has Warriors closing in on the NBA Finals. (Sports Illustrated)
  • 60,000 Irish expats traveled home to vote on same sex marriage ballot initiative. (Vox)

A comparative case study involving two bestselling authors…  First, Jon Krakauer, with video:

After the interview, a man who introduced himself as Thomas Dove took the mic and began giving his background. Krakauer requested the man ask his question.

The man persisted in a lengthy presentation about documents the author had acquired, and the audience booed him. Eventually, Krakauer took away the man’s microphone, and the audience was invited to leave.

To Mr. Dove’s credit, he publicly identified himself by name and profession, and chose to address his criticisms of Mr. Krakauer to him in person, rather than hide behind the veil of online anonymity.  But that still didn’t give him the right to hijack the event or to treat it like his own personal deposition of Krakauer.

On the other hand, we have J.K. Rowling (some NSFW language here)

Shot (screenshot via Huffington Post):


Game, set and match for Rowling.

Monday: The Washington Post reveals his congressional office’s Downton Abbey-themed makeover:

The Rayburn House Office Building is a labyrinth of beige offices.

And then, there’s . . . Rep. Aaron Schock’s new digs.

Bright red walls. A gold-colored wall sconce with black candles. A Federal-style bull’s-eye mirror with an eagle perched on top. And this is just the Illinois Republican’s outer office.

“It’s actually based off of the red room in ‘Downton Abbey,’ ” said the woman behind the front desk, comparing it to the luxurious set piece at the heart of the British period drama.

Thursday: Schock communications aide Benjamin Cole resigns after a series of racist Facebook posts he wrote were discovered by Buzzfeed and ThinkProgress:

A top adviser to Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock has resigned after controversial posts were found on his Facebook page.

Benjamin Cole, a senior adviser to Schock, told POLITICO he resigned and that Schock, a Republican, accepted his resignation.

The posts had Cole likening black people to animals and said a mosque should be built on the White House grounds for President Barack Obama.

It caps quite a strange week for Schock’s office. The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Schock had decorated his office in the manner of the British show “Downton Abbey.” Cole had interacted with the reporter and tried to tamp down the story. His back and forth with the Post reporter was detailed in the story.

Friday: Blue Nation Review reports Schock sold his Peoria, Illinois home to a wealthy donor for a nearly $797,000 profit:

Now there’s this: the month before the 2012 elections, Congressman Schock sold his house to a major Republican donor who was also one of his campaign supporters for a price that appears to far exceed the market value at the time.

If Schock had some sort of quid pro quo real estate deal with the donor, this is the exact same thing that brought down Duke Cunningham ten years ago.

  • The Big Kahuna: This guy may well have pulled off the greatest surfing trick of all time.
  • The New Pravda: Buzzfeed has an excellent look at the propaganda editorial standards and management practices at Russia Today.
    On a related note, see this Twitter flame war between former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul and RT staffers over the network’s coverage of the events in Ukraine.
  • Your Next Vacation Spot: I’ve added Navagio to my bucket list based on the photos at this Huffington Post article alone. I still hate myself for the fact that I lived in Italy for four years and never went to Greece in all that time.
  • It Was Twenty Years Ago Today: One of my favorite albums of all time, NIN’s The Downward Spiral, turned 20 last week! They grow up so fast… One more year and TDS will be able to drink legally.
  • Game of Bieber: It turns out the two most insufferable people in popular culture have a lot in common… E! compares Justin Bieber to Joffrey.
    On a related note [SPOILER ALERT], somebody at Buzzfeed compiled the 14 most brutal deaths on Game of Thrones as animated 8-bit GIFs. Take a wild guess which is number one.

In a single frame, cartoonist Milt Priggee manages to describe the situation over Syria:

Reminds me of this scene from a John Woo movie. I nominate John Travolta for the role of Assad.

Two weeks out from Election Day, ballots are still being counted and President Obama continues to expand his lead in the popular vote.

Mitt Romney on the other hand? His share of the popular vote has dropped to 47 percent territory.

Yup, 47 percent.

Karl Rove during an interview with NPR in October 2006:

SIEGEL: But you’ve seen the DeWine race and the Santorum race – I don’t want to have you call races.

Mr. ROVE: Yeah, I’m looking at all these, Robert, and adding them up, and I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math, but you’re entitled to your math, I’m entitled to the math.

Final outcome? Democrats took control of the House and Senate.

Karl Rove on Fox News during Election Night 2012

Final outcome? President Obama won Ohio, and the presidency, as other news organizations made the same call.

Naturally, Jon Stewart had a field day with this.

Update: The Sunlight Foundation crunched the numbers and found that American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS – Karl Rove’s two super PACs – spent a combined $175 million in this election and not a single one of their supported candidates won.

12:02 am – CNN projecting that the marijuana legalization amendment on the ballot in Colorado has passed. #rockymountainhigh
12:06 am – From the Washington Post’s Felicia Sonmez: Crowd here at Romney HQ has noticeably thinned out over the last ten mins
12:10 am – Fox News calls Colorado for Obama.
AP calls Arizona Senate race for Republican Jeff Flake
12:18 am – From Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith: This is the broadest re-election mandate since Reagan in 1984.

11:00 pm – Polls about to close on the West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington State), Hawaii and Alaska. No swing states here, Obama will take everything but Alaska.
11:03 pm – CNN calls Wisconsin for Obama, North Carolina for Romney.
John King just pointed out that all of the Romney campaign’s backup plans for Ohio (PA, MI, WI) have failed. “What’s Plan E?”
From Jonathan Martin: A longtime FL GOP operative sez: “Not good. I-4 way off.”
11:15 pm – CNN calls Iowa and New Mexico for Obama. Romney is running out of options fast.
CNN calls Oregon for Obama. Current Electoral College count is Obama 256 Romney 191.
11:17 pm – NBC News has called the race for Obama.
CNN calls Missouri for Romney.
11:18 pm – BREAKING: CNN projects Barack Obama has won re-election, after calling Ohio for the president.
11:21 pm – From Barack Obama: Four more years.
11:27 pm – Fox News reporting that Romney campaign is disputing the networks calling Ohio.
11:38 pm – CBS News calls Nevada for Obama.
11:46 pm – From Michael Scherer: Obama staff leaving Chicago HQ chanting “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts … CAN’T LOSE!” after victory declared, per witness.
Charles Krauthammer on Fox offers to write prescriptions for anybody feeling depressed.
CNN calls Nevada for Obama, up to 280 votes in the Electoral College.
11:53 pm – From Dave Weigel: Nobody tell Rove, but the Ohio GOP has conceded and gone home.
CBS News calls Colorado for Obama.

10:00 pm – Polls in Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nevada and Utah about to close. Key state to watch here is Nevada, which Obama campaign feels very good about. Iowa also another one to watch.
10:05 pm – CNN calls New Hampshire for Obama.
From The Atlantic: Romney health care advisor: ‘Congrats to my Dem friends. Best wishes for the new administration’
49 percent of the vote in Ohio, Obama leads 51-47.
10:09 pm – NBC calls Missouri Senate race for incumbent Claire McCaskill. Another lost opportunity for the Republicans.
10:16 pm – According to CNN’s Dana Bash, it is now mathematically impossible for Republicans to take control of the Senate.
On CNN just now – James Carville: “It looks like President Obama’s going to carry Florida.” Alex Castellanos: “I hate it when he’s right.”
10:26 pm – From Blake Hounshell: Karl Rove sounding like Baghdad Bob right about now.
There are going to be a lot of pissed off GOP billionaires right now who bankrolled super PACs and have nothing to show for it.
10:45 pm – NBC calls Minnesota for Obama.
From Al Gore: I am confident in saying that President Obama is going to carry the state of Florida tonight. #Current2012
10:54 pm – AP calls North Carolina for Romney.
Polls closing at the top of the hour… Switching to a new thread.