Politics

10 Irresistible Books About Juicy Scandals

A scandal is a thrilling topic for a book. It is the story of people with goals, grasping for something just out of their reach — and whether they get it or not, when the story reaches the public eye, they’re judged and put under glass. Whether they’re about politicians wheeling and dealing or gory looks into the end of the affair, books about scandal, fueled by gossip, keep us entertained and hungry for more. Here are ten such books that Olivia Pope herself might keep on her bedside… Read More

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Monica Lewinsky’s Comeback Shows We’re as Confused About Her as Ever

Sixteen years ago, I spent every morning eating Cheerios with no milk and reading the newspaper, like every kid who wanted to know what was going on in the world. But on a September day in 1998, my copy of The Boston Globe had a special section about The Starr Report, an exhaustive, R-rated tale of how then-President Bill Clinton had an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. Blue dresses. Linda Tripp. A description of the President’s sexual proclivities. The cigar was included, in excruciating detail. … Read More

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Feminism and “The Left” Need Ellen Willis’ Ideas More Than Ever

Between the wars and the economic meltdowns and the national security scandals, the past decade has seen progress for liberal causes: Barack Obama’s historic two-term presidency (which still holds some symbolic value despite the President’s complicity in the aforementioned horrors); a national healthcare plan that, if deeply flawed, is still more comprehensive than any before; a rapidly accelerating LGBT rights movement, etc. But still, liberal politics is in trouble. In the few years since Occupy Wall Street came and went, attracting plenty of news coverage but effecting little lasting change, a commitment to liberal politics feels increasingly futile — not to mention dreary as fuck. … Read More

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The Enduring Legacy of ‘Election’s’ Tracy Flick and “Who the Fuck Does She Think She Is?” Women

In the 2008 Democratic Primary race, the roles were just as clear as they were in Alexander Payne’s excellent 1999 satire Election: charismatic newcomer Barack Obama was Paul Metzler, and Hillary Clinton was the perky yet terrifying Tracy Flick. There was no doubt that the latter had put in the years necessary for the role, but something about her down-to-business ways did not sit right with the voters. They opted for change instead of experience, for the ex-quarterback with new ideas and a disregard for how things have been done in the past because, well, he hadn’t been adhering to the rules for very long before he was in the position to break them. … Read More

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Political Satires That Came Uncomfortably Close to the Truth

Everyone sleep easy. Earlier this week, the New Yorker let us know that the outrageous events in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 satire Dr. Strangelove aren’t terribly far from the truth, and the “risk of an accidental or unauthorized nuclear detonation hasn’t been completely eliminated.” Decades after its release, Roger Ebert noted that the black comedy is still “clear-eyed, irreverent, dangerous satire” — and it’s not alone. We’ve highlighted ten other political spoofs that came uncomfortably close to the truth. Many remain relevant today. … Read More

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The Half-Assed Liberal Politics of Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Elysium’

The problem with the new film Elysium is very simple: it doesn’t tell any story worth hearing. It’s written like a child’s paint-by-numbers set. And though it bears some superficial resemblance to District 9, Neill Blomkamp’s much more complex first feature, it’s the kind of thing that could just as easily have been directed by Michael Bay or McG or, for that matter, Chris Columbus. The person at the helm is irrelevant; the parameters were predetermined. In fact, if you listen real hard, you can almost still see the suits in the background saying to the screenwriters: “Hey, can we involve a cute child with cancer, somehow? That’s big on the Internet.” … Read More

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Flavorwire Interview: Armando Iannucci Says ‘Veep’ Gets Personal in Season 2

Armando Iannucci’s characters, whether on his HBO series Veep, his BBC show The Thick of It, or that show’s film spin-off In the Loop, all share one common trait: a gift for inventive, ingenious insults and profanity. So while it’s not exactly a shock that Mr. Iannucci is such a cheerful, soft-spoken, and friendly chap, it is a bit of a relief; what’s surprising is that he insists, “I don’t swear myself!” In the worlds he’s writing about, “there is a fair amount of profanity but profanity can be quite dull.” With his characters, though, “we try and make it as interesting as possible so it’s not so much the swear words, it’s more the phrases around the swear words that make it more interesting.” … Read More

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50 of the Greatest Jon Stewart Quotes

Everyone’s favorite silver fox with the rapier wit and passion for political puns turns 50 today. Happy birthday, Jon Stewart! The Daily Show satirist has brilliantly conquered “bullsh*t mountain” with his insightful and hilarious commentary on the media, American pop culture, politicians, and more. The boy from New Jersey — who later studied chemistry and psychology at William & Mary, rose through the ranks in New York City’s comedy clubs, and found a home as a writer and host for Comedy Central — has delivered some of the best, no-holds-barred commentary of our generation. We’ve gathered 50 of his greatest quotes after the break. Feel free to celebrate along with us by adding your favorites, below. … Read More

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10 Surprisingly Conservative Musicians

We hear a lot about liberal musicians rallying for Obama or Occupying Wall Street. But with the exception of country music and Kid Rock, we don’t see too many long-haired, leather-clad rockers teeing off at the country club to fight for the status quo. As far as the GOP is concerned, popular music, from protest songs to punk rock, may simply seem to be another arm of the massive global liberal media conspiracy. While we appreciate this common-sense takedown of the bafflingly literal manner in which the media has interpreted Nicki Minaj’s recent lyrical endorsement of Mitt Romney, here’s a list of ten musicians who you may be surprised to learn have at some point actually embraced a conservative political stance. … Read More

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Listen to “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro,” Devo’s Song About Mitt Romney’s Dog

Remember “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro (Seamus Unleashed),” that Devo song about the cruel, stupid thing Mitt Romney did to his family dog in 1983 we told you about earlier this month? It’s here! The track is streaming in advance of its iTunes release this coming Sunday, scheduled to coincide with National Dog Day. Written by frontman (and animal lover) Gerald Casale, it’s got that same boing-y, geeky New Wave feel Devo have spent so many years cultivating, with the kind of arena anthem shout-along chorus that, as far as we’re concerned, should earn it a spot on the Obama campaign trail playlist. Listen to “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro” after the jump — and visit Casale’s website RememberSeamus.com to buy merch that will partially benefit no-kill animal shelters. … Read More

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