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Tag: Politics (71-80 of 135)

InvisibleObama account takes Twitter by storm, despite brief disappearance

Shortly after 10 p.m. Eastern last night, Clint Eastwood took the stage at the Republican National Convention and began arguing with an empty chair meant to represent President Obama. Moments later, an enterprising Twitter user created a novelty account based on the incident: @ClintsChair. That handle didn’t really catch on — but rival account @InvisibleObama did. When I retweeted the account’s first message around 10:21, it had fewer than 100 followers. An hour later, it had amassed tens of thousands — by 10 a.m. this morning, the count was up to 40,000. See, transparency works!

Sometime after 9 a.m. today, Invisible Obama was temporarily suspended; we’re working on finding out why. (It reappeared around 9:40 a.m. with this message: “I’m back. Sorry about that. @Twitter took the invisible thing a little too literally. Now where were we…”) Thankfully, retweets and screenshots mean that this masterpiece’s best jokes were never truly lost. Here are some of my favorites:

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Do Facebook political rants make you want to UnFriend?

This Nov. 17 is National UnFriend Day, the third annual holiday that encourages Facebook users to prune their roster of “Friends” of people they haven’t spoken to in 11 years, but nevertheless grant access to their online vacation photos. But with the Republican National Convention in full swing and the presidential campaign kicking in to high gear, it wouldn’t surprise me if many Facebook users are jumping the gun on the cleansing holiday.

Surely you’ve checked your Facebook account in the past two days to discover posts, links, and status updates related to the convention in Tampa, where Ann Romney, Chris Christie, and Paul Ryan have set the table for Mitt Romney to accept his party’s nomination for president tonight. Facebook is a forum that inspires great personal proclamations, sentiments we might be more reluctant to express in a real, face-to-face conversation. Looking at some of my Friends comments, I can’t decide if Facebook acts as an X-ray machine or a warping funhouse mirror. Some of the comments are so belligerent and obnoxious (and in many cases, misinformed) that one can’t help but feel to urge to… Unfriend. READ FULL STORY

Who should be the mystery GOP convention speaker? Clint Eastwood? Tim Tebow? Hologram of Reagan?

The success of any tightly scripted, live event is certainly measured in ratings, ticket sales, buzz, and — with regard to quadrennial political nominating conventions — voting returns. But the real yardstick for any major pop-culture event comes down to one simple element: The surprise celebrity cameo. Recent examples include James Bond and Queen Elizabeth skydiving into the London Olympics Opening Ceremonies; Tupac Shakur’s hologram at Coachella; and when Jon Hamm popped up to say goodbye to Kristen Wiig on SNL.

Hoping to add itself to that storied list, apparently, is the 2012 Republican National Convention. The latest RNC schedule, released on Monday, notes that before presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, the convention will hear remarks from someone — or something — “To Be Announced.” That tantalizing clue lead FoxNews.com today to report via a single unnamed source that actor, filmmaker, and all-around American icon Clint Eastwood is indeed the surprise guest.

Unless it’s football player Tim Tebow.  READ FULL STORY

Republican National Convention: Tuesday's winners, and who'd play Ann Romney in a movie?

I can’t believe I watched it either! I’d like to thank the following five forces of nature for making my first prime time RNC viewing experience such a pleasure.

1. Mitt’s Body Man: This is the genius name of Mitt Romney’s personal aide’s Twitter account. The guy keeps posting pic after pic of Romney doing human-like activities like watching TV, and of the happy Happy Days couple settling down in their sexy hotel room. But I’m mostly excited by the name.

2. Erin Burnett: The third Deschanel sister is a complete delight, able to voice everything CNN viewers are feeling with just her face! I like how she’s constantly tweeting on her smartphone and can barely be bothered to look up. (Along with Wolf.) READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Planner: 'True Blood' season ends, but the political season kicks off. Plus: Alanis, 'Lawless', and more!

We’re nearing the end of the dog days of summer, which means it’s time for summer finales, fall TV on the horizon, the political conventions getting underway, and (soon) a coveted Labor Day off. This week has True Blood wrapping up in all its gore, Alanis putting out a new jam, and Doctor Who kicking off its seventh BBC America season (but actually its 50th year on TV – wow). Have a great week!

SUNDAY
True Blood season 5 finale, 9 p.m., HBO

True Blood’s fifth season has been gory, creepy, and intense – with more sups, more death, and loads of flashbacks. Will we find out what the deal is finally with Lafayette and all those spirits? Will the Vampire wars come to a head? Will Bill and Eric emerge as friends or mortal (er, immortal) enemies? True Blood season 5 wraps Sunday, so get your mind reading skills in shape.

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Obama opens up about Clooney friendship: 'George is a wonderful guy'

Don’t get Barack Obama wrong: While he regularly rubs elbows with the likes of Catwoman and Sarah Jessica Parker at fundraisers, he’s not constantly palling around with Hollywood’s elite. No, sir. Not one bit. Well, except for George Clooney, who is legitimately one of the president’s close buddies. “George is a wonderful guy,” Obama tells Entertainment Tonight during a segment that will air this evening.

“And he’s cute, too!” his wife Michelle chimes in.

That’s right: Obama and Clooney are tight, and apparently have been since the commander-in-chief’s pre-White House days. As Obama explains, “The truth is we got to know each other because of a substantive issue. He is a terrific advocate on behalf of the people of Darfur and to the people of Sudan who’ve been brutalized for a long time. And so when I was a senator — this was well before I was president — that was an issue that I was working together on a bipartisan basis, and George, who had traveled there, done documentaries there, and was very well-informed, came to testify in Congress. And so we got to know each other, and he is a good man and a good friend.”

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Presidential PopWatch round-up on Joe Biden: 'Chariots of Fire,' Michael Connelly, and whichever football team his current audience likes

When Joe Biden shakes hands with Paul Ryan before the vice-presidential debate on Oct. 11, many observers will focus on the contrasts. Notably, their ages: Ryan is only 42 while Biden is now 69. But the vice-president may feel for a moment as if he’s looking in the mirror. After all, he was one of youngest men to ever join the U.S. Senate when he was sworn in at the age of 29 in 1973 (when Ryan was only 2 years old.) Both men are favorite Irish sons from their respective states, Roman Catholic, and famously more handsome and charismatic than most of their Washington peers. Ryan is happy to discuss his workout regimens, but Biden is an ex-football player who maintains that he still pumps some iron now and again. It will be interesting to see whose hand is whitest when they finally release their killer grips.

One of the reasons we’re interested in politicians pop-cultural preferences is because their selections sometimes give us a clue about who they really are, in a way that 1,000 stump speeches cannot. Biden’s not exactly an open book, but his favorites do tell you quite a bit about who he is and where he came from. First off, he embraces his Irishness, and all that it entails. READ FULL STORY

President Obama reveals the 'weird superpower' he'd most like to have

Barack Obama is a wizard. But even sorcerers covet the sort of powers that come only from radioactive spider bites, exposure to gamma rays, and accidentally drinking “super-plastic fluid.” So, which unusual ability does the president want to add to his repertoire? Let’s go to the audio tape:

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Presidential PopWatch round-up on Barack Obama: Kardashian hater, SpongeBob lover, and stealth Cool Dad

In the halcyon days of pre-election 2008, Barack Obama wasn’t just a presidential hopeful — he was a bona fide phenomenon. But Obama’s cultural caché came from an unlikely place, at least for a politician. From his exotic background to his youthful, energetic campaign to those shirtless bodysurfing pictures, the Democratic nominee just seemed, well, cool. He took Michelle to see Do the Right Thing on their very first date! He wouldn’t shut up about how much he loved The Wire! He even smoked — which, yes, is bad and gross, but nevertheless is something that a lot of cool people do. No wonder John McCain’s campaign once called Obama “the biggest celebrity in the world.” They meant it as a slight, but like any number of Hollywood hotshots, Obama seemed to simply ooze awesome.

Four years later, the bloom is off the rose. The American people are now better acquainted with the real Barack Obama — and it turns out that he’s not actually the political equivalent of Arthur Fonzarelli. (Or whoever the kids are into these days.) Instead, Obama is a textbook example of an archetype on the rise: the Cool Dad.

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Julian Assange granted asylum by Ecuador

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up in London’s Ecuadorean Embassy since June, waiting for the South American nation to respond to his request for asylum. Today, Ecuador came through: It granted Assange asylum, guaranteeing him protection from arrest as long as he’s on Ecuadorean territory, writes the New York Times.

Of course, in order to get to Ecuador, Assange will have to leave the embassy — and Britain has no intention of letting him. Britain’s highest court ruled last year that Assange must be extradited back to Sweden, where he will be questioned about an alleged rape and an alleged molestation.

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