On the TV in the corner of the Village Café, a roadside bar here, President Obama was in the midst of his second inaugural address, but Trish wanted to show off her penis cup. The cup is really a mug with a plastic penis standing erect on the inside. It was a gift to Trish, the daytime bartender, from a patron.
"When I drink from it, my nose touches the tip," Trish said. "And it's great."
I had arrived at the Village Café at the end of a reporting trip. Hungry for a place to watch the inauguration—an event I take seriously and look forward to—with other people, I [...]
Does the modest increase in gun regulation proposed by the White House today seem too crazy to comprehend? Here is how quickly big things can change: In the not so long ago era of Bill Clinton's second term and "Friends," when the Drudge Report was what the old people already had as their home page, you could still smoke almost anywhere in California. Restaurants, bars, concert venues, the beach, outside elementary schools. And then the No Smoking laws came to pass, and despite threats of violence by rednecks, within a few months it was all over. Short-lived protests like the "private clubs" that some Central Valley truck stops [...]
Watergate, The Night Stalker, the Church Committee, Rod Serling's "Night Gallery," the Pascagoula Abduction and the Jonestown Massacre: this was my 1970s youth. My mom, who recalls taking pro-communist flyers from Lee Harvey Oswald outside the downtown New Orleans building where she worked as a secretary, once lifted a tobacco pipe left behind by Jim Garrison at a cocktail party, and kept it in a place of honor. My dad would occasionally reference the mysterious classified part of his job at NASA in Texas, on the team that prepared the Eagle [...]
"In virtually every instance, the idea that the Republican Party is 'too white' is dropped with almost no discussion of what exactly that means. The phrase is being pinned like a scarlet 'W' on anyone who didn't vote for the Democrats' nominee. It's a you-know-what-we-mean denunciation. Its only meaning is racial…. The Democrats' insistence on pandering to political categories is a dead end for the country. Rather than spinning their own Rubik's Cube of race, gender and ethnicity, Republicans should start growing their share of the electorate by doing a better job of telling people how to succeed in the American melting pot, a wonderful organizing idea now mocked [...]
Alleged 2016 GOP hopeful Marco Rubio was interviewed by his favorite magazine, GQ. And now Twitter is all abuzz because the Republican senator from Florida claimed that the Earth's age is one of the Great Mysteries. In the Q&A, Rubio says: "Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries."
Barack Obama said more about climate change in his inauguration speech—and expressed it more forcefully—than he did at any point in the 2012 election campaign and during much of his first term [...] He made a carefully calibrated appeal to Republicans, situating a transition from fossil fuels to clean energy in a religious and conservative framework of God and constitution.
The Earth and its many forms of life were thrilled to hear the American president mark his second inauguration with a long overdue promise to save the planet from human ruination. Since the Frankenstorm made it okay for centrist Democrats (and a handful of moderate Republicans) to acknowledge that [...]
Remember the hope and joy of the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, the historic first Hawiian to become president of the mainland United States? People were so excited—especially black people, who seemed to see something special about the Harvard law school graduate's move to national politics. (White conservatives were, in turn, very suspicious about African-Americans managing to travel to D.C. for the 2009 ceremony, while other blacks trapped in flooded New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina only managed to lose their homes, drown or get shot down by white cops.)
Anyway, things will be a lot smoother this year, in Washington. For one thing, hardly anybody wants to go [...]
We received our first "_____ for President, 2016" spam today, which is great. (We've also unsubscribed from all the political emails, now that Obama has successfully been anointed president for life, so it's possible that some other 2016 bumper stickers are already out there.) Anyway, go Ron Rand Paul! He will stop whatever's happening, and give you Liberty, if you can afford it. Support whatever Super PAC is doing this,for freedom. Also, Rand Paul is a talking snake?
We are not going to mince words here: Elect a talking snake in 2016:
Carrie: So Ken, I understand that you recently purchased a Prius and are pleased with your purchase! And I bought one several years ago, and am likewise very happy with it. So my first question would be: What do you think the plural of Prius is: Prius-us? Pri-i?
Ken: Well, did you know that Toyota asked Prius owners to vote for the plural form of Prius, because the actual Latin plural (priora) was already taken by a crappy Lada? I just read this on Wikipedia, so I am pretty much an "automotive journalist" now. Anyway, the plural is officially and legally prii.
"A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law. [Senator Pat] Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies—including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission—to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant." —Maybe we're all better off without the Senate protecting our Internet privacy. UPDATE: Tech industry people get angry, Leahy kills the warrantless part, for now.
If you're thinking of starting a We The People online petition to force the White House to respond to some nonsense like "building a Death Star" or "declaring the Sasquatch a threatened species" or "bringing our barbarian gun laws maybe halfway up to the basic standards of 21st Century civilization," you will need more online friends to share your dream. As of now, White House petitions require 100,000 electronic signatures, which is a fourfold increase from the 25,000 required to make the Obama Administration do a cute response to the Death Star thing, even as the Obama Administration rains death from imperial robots upon the rebels (and [...]
Aren't there any other black presidents who win historic elections against old white rich guys? No? Well then, Barack Obama is the Person of the Year, according to TIME, which is not even trying anymore now that Newsweek is gone. Obama was chosen because, let's see, "We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Barack Obama is both the symbol and in some ways the architect of this new America. In 2012, he found and forged a new majority, turned weakness into opportunity and sought, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union."
If taking our guns away and taxing the Koch Brothers at [...]
"Gone are the minute-by-minute schedules and the swarm of Secret Service agents. There’s no aide to make his peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches. Romney hangs around the house, sometimes alone, pecking away at his iPad and e-mailing his CEO buddies who have been swooping in and out of La Jolla to visit. He wrote to one who’s having a liver transplant soon: 'I’ll change your bedpan, take you back and forth to treatment.'" —"A detached Romney tends wounds in seclusion after failed White House bid," Washington Post
No one at the homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles recognized the man serving them soup on a post-Thanksgiving weekend. Disheveled and dressed down, [...]
The House of Soviets in Kaliningrad. Photo by Frédéric Chaubin, from "CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed."
The architecture of the Eastern Bloc—a conundrum of impossible complexity, or at least that's what it looks like judging from the daily view of my collection of coffee table books. Yes, that's right, coffee table books. The recent glut of art volumes devoted to Soviet architecture may be surprising to anyone who previously thought "Soviet architecture" had about as much to do with "art" as "Soviet leaders" had to do with "glamour." Yet here is a whole bookshelf to contradict that view. There's Taschen's CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed, Hatje Cantz's [...]
For many Americans who thought it was okay to stop "following the political news" for at least a few weeks after the election, the controversy over "Susan Rice" has been very confusing. Didn't we just have a lady named "Secretary of State Rice," as secretary of state? Then what's the big deal? That particular glass ceiling is shattered, right? Why does John McCain keep trying to turn back the clock, to when he was young?
Throughout modern history, the popular consciousness has been regularly baffled and confused by stars who share the same surname. The 1990s, for example, are perhaps best remembered as a time of great confusion for [...]
"In elections past, the sort of stuff reporters joke about—Joe Biden telling a Virginia rally it could win North Carolina; Mitt Romney admiring clouds—might have ended up in pool reports, seen and appreciated only by other journalists. The Internet gives the campaign press ways to publicize the weird details that otherwise might not make it into print. The behind-the-curtain material that makes The Boys on the Bus and Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72 so readable is now more often than not shared with the world in real time. But in those books, weird details generally served a better understanding of a candidate’s character; on Twitter, they [...]