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Tag: Politics (11-20 of 136)

Hillary Clinton is Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating Person of 2013 (and the past 20 years)

When Barbara Walters’ “Most Fascinating People” TV special first aired in 1993 (with a producer-mandated 12 nominees, rather than 10, Babs noted in a cheerfully bitter tone), its No. 1 spot went to a the newest first lady on the scene, Hillary Clinton. And apparently, Clinton has lost none of that luster, as she was once again named Walters’ Most Fascinating Person of 2013 — and of the last 20 years — on Wednesday night’s ABC special.

Most of the conversation focused on whether the former secretary of state could confirm the growing speculation that she’ll be running for president in 2016. But Clinton bobbed and weaved, telling Walters, “I haven’t made up my mind…I will look carefully at what I think I can do, and make that decision sometime next year.” Clinton did say that, were she to be elected president, husband Bill could possibly go by the title “first mate.”

Clinton shared some lovely sentiments about leaving a legacy “of integrity and service,” and it was all a (very) slight hint at the 2016 election, but it was also almost exactly what she said when she made 2012’s Most Fascinating list…but without all the snarky hair stuff. Barbara made sure to note that, this year at least, she did not ask Clinton about her personal grooming habits.
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Sarah Palin continues to love the First Amendment, alludes to it in 'Duck Dynasty' defense

If Fox News ever enters the original movie game, I’ve got the perfect premise for its first film: Sarah Palin and Free Speech: A Love Story.

The former Alaska governor just can’t stop bringing up her favorite constitutional amendment — especially when complaining about all the folks using their right to free speech to criticize conservatives for exercising their right to free speech. Or something. (She uses “free speech” and “First Amendment rights” pretty interchangeably, so I’m going to as well. That’s my right as an American.)

Take yesterday, for example, when she wrote a blistering defense of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson — who was suspended by A&E after making anti-gay comments in a new GQ interview. “Free speech is an endangered species,” Palin wrote on Facebook beneath a photo of her posing with the Duck Dynasty gang. “Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”

And this, of course, is far from the only time Palin’s gone to that same “free speech” well. Her affair with the First Amendment has been long, torrid, and undoubtedly frustrating for constitutional scholars. Come, let’s take a walk down memory lane:
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Toronto mayor Rob Ford defends himself on 'Today': 'I was very, very inebriated' -- VIDEO

Toronto mayor Rob Ford must be in a drunken stupor to still be using his “drunken stupor” excuse.

In a Today show interview that aired Tuesday morning, Matt Lauer crossed the border to speak with the embattled politician, who was joined by his councilman brother, Doug Ford. But the Toronto mayor, red-faced and whiny, spun a familiar tale of drunken reasoning and utter refusal to admit that his drug and alcohol issues make him grossly unfit to serve his city.

“You have brought disgrace to this office, and you know that’s true,” Lauer said.

“I’m embarrassed,” Ford admitted. “Not just myself, my family, my friends, my supporters, the whole city. I take full responsibility for that. We’ve all made mistakes, Matt. I’m not perfect. Maybe you are, maybe other people are. I’ve made mistakes. I admitted to my mistakes.” But admission to Ford apparently is repeating the same “drunken stupor” excuse for smoking crack cocaine. Lauer called it “a game of semantics.”

“The best excuse I heard you give for using that crack cocaine,” Lauer said, “was ‘I was in a drunken stupor.’ And I’m wondering, is that supposed to make anybody feel better?”
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Jimmy Kimmel's 'Kill Everyone in China' skit to get White House response

ABC and Jimmy Kimmel have already apologized for airing a segment on Kimmel’s late night show that had a child suggest “Kill everyone in China” as a way to lower U.S. debt. (You can check out video of the segment here.)

Unsurprisingly, immediately tons of people were upset with the supposed-to-be-humorous suggestion, so much so that a WhiteHouse.gov petition asking the White House to shut down Jimmy Kimmel Live! has reached over 100,000 signatures since it was formed Oct. 19. READ FULL STORY

'Gattaca' fan Rand Paul copies Wikipedia in abortion speech -- VIDEO

In a world… where copy/paste functionality has made plagiarism easier than ever… one woman… will discover that plagiarism… and gleefully point it out on national TV, making a senator from Kentucky look awfully silly.

Ladies and gentlemen, that world… is our world. The senator: Rand Paul, who recently delivered a speech about abortion rights and eugenics that uses the 1997 movie Gattaca as an example of the dark direction he believes our country could be headed. The woman: Rachel Maddow, who revealed Monday night that large swaths of the speech had been lifted directly from Gattaca‘s Wikipedia page.

“In the movie Gattaca — in the not too distant future — eugenics is common,” Paul said in his speech. “And DNA plays a primary role in determining your social class.”

It’s copied nearly word-for-word from the first sentence of Wikipedia’s Gattaca plot summary: “In the not-too-distant future, liberal eugenics is common and DNA plays the primary role in determining social class.”
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Government shutdown: The best late-night and celeb reactions

Faster than you can say “meme,” the Internet was aflutter with commentary on today’s government shutdown. Ranging from the angry to the silly to the tweetable, here are the best reactions:

The best late-night government roasting (in addition to Stewart and Colbert’s “Rockin’ Government Shutdown Eve“): “Our government may be shutting down in a few hours. So folks, get ready for absolutely no noticeable difference,” Conan O’Brien said on Monday’s Conan. “All this drama is very confusing to all the hookers in D.C. They don’t know whether they have to go to work tomorrow either,” Arsenio Hall said on The Arsenio Hall Show.
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Stewart and Colbert celebrate 'Rockin' Government Shutdown Eve' -- VIDEO

“For those just joining the story in progress, our government is going to shut down in 57 of your Earth minutes,” Jon Stewart declared around 11:03 p.m. ET last night. To mark the occasion, both he and his networkmate Stephen Colbert kicked off their shows with segments celebrating “Rockin’ Government Shutdown Eve” — though naturally, each comedian put his own spin on the material.

Stewart indulged in his trademark righteous indignation, sniping at Republican explanations for the shutdown – “‘it’s an unconstitutional takings of God-given American–‘ it sounds like ‘a bullsh—ing of random patriotic buzzwordies'” — and comparing the GOP to a losing football team that threatens to shut down the NFL if they’re not awarded more points. (“What I’m saying,” Stewart continued, “is, wouldn’t it be nice if the united states congress aspired to the maturity and problem-solving capacity of football players?”) The Daily Show host ended the bit with his very favorite Willy Wonka clip — words that Republicans should heed, since they’re coming from “a small business owner.”

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It's always 'Sunny' in the White House: Meet the Obamas' new dog -- VIDEO

Looks like there’s a second First Dog! The Obamas announced Monday that Sunny has joined fellow Portuguese Water Dog Bo at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

According to the White House website, “Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo — full of energy and very affectionate — and the First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality.”

See a video of Sunny and big bro Bo in action below:
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Obama talks al Qaeda, Trayvon Martin, Edward Snowden on 'Leno' -- VIDEO

President Obama’s sixth appearance on The Tonight Show yesterday saw the Commander-in-Chief covering a variety of topics, from goofy stuff like his bromance with John McCain — “That’s how a classic romantic comedy goes; initially, you’re not getting along, and then you keep bumping into each other…” — to a trifecta of heavy topical issues: a recent spate of embassy closures across the Middle East and North Africa, the NSA and Edward Snowden, and Trayvon Martin.

The conversation began lightheartedly enough, with Jay Leno asking Obama about his recent birthday party and whether Michelle teases his graying hair. Leno then seamlessly steered the conversation toward this weekend’s embassy closures, which came in the wake of a terrorist threat that seems to have originated from al Qaeda. The threat was “significant enough that we’re taking every precaution,” Obama noted, adding that though progress has been made, “this radical, violent extremism is still out there, and we’ve got to stay on top of it.”

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'The Wire' creator David Simon takes on Koch brothers over newspaper sale

David Simon, the former Baltimore Sun police reporter who co-created The Wire and Treme for HBO, has witnessed the demise of the American newspaper industry up close. He took a buyout from the Sun in 1995 when he concluded the downsized paper was heading in the wrong direction, and he spent an entire season of The Wire dramatizing the paper’s missteps after corporate out-of-towners took charge.

Toss in his self-described “left of the Democratic Party” political views, and it shouldn’t be any surprise that he’s not fond of the idea of the Sun and the rest of Tribune Company’s newspapers being sold to Koch Industries, the billion-dollar conglomerate run by conservative businessmen Charles and David Koch.

In a new web video, Simon urges people to sign a Working Families petition protesting the potential sale, which has been rumored for several months. “When I heard that the Koch brothers — bless their hearts — were interested in purchasing newspapers, and the Baltimore Sun, my alma mater, in particular, I thought, well, that’s kind of the last nail in the coffin,” Simon says in the video. “It’s not enough for [the Kochs] to lobby government. It’s not enough for [the Kochs] to influence elections. There’s an awful lot of capital that’s already introduced into our electoral process. Newspapers, the Fourth Estate, are supposed to be outside of that. … Ultimately, the only chance that democracy has, if you ask me, is that somebody stands on the outside of some of the excess and the fraud and basically calls foul. That doesn’t happen if the newspapers represent a particular ideology.”

Watch the entire video below:
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