Not that any of you watch cable television, but there's been a small epidemic of female-driven primetime dramas about what it's like inside the office of the Secretary of State. In pretty much every iteration, a plucky, courageous and outspoken, if somewhat inexperienced low-level CIA or State Department staffer, has their brillance recognized when they're shoved into the Secretary of State position. These blonde, pantsuited heroines, whose profiles are clearly based on no one in particular, are forced to navigate the torrid waters of foreign policy, while holding down their positions as Mama Bear to unruly children and an inattentive husband at home. To accomplish this, they wear dark-rimmed glasses to look smarter and say Very Serious Things while standing in rooms with lots of computers with maps on them.
The Spectacle Blog
While the media has been busily raking Elizabeth Lauten over the coals for her critique of the Obama daughters' fashion sense (the horror!), a former Democratic staff director for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee pleaded guilty to " third-degree sexual abuse, two misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse and one count of misdemeanor threats."
Apparently, Donny Ray Williams, charming as he is, wrangled a female colleage to his apartment by promising that he could introduce her to important Senate people, then spiked her drink with Ambien, waited until she was asleep and then raped her. And as if this wasn't #WaronWomen, #RapeCulture-y enough for you, Donny felt he was so successul at assaulting his female colleagues, he tried it again.
"Ash Carter" is far too close to "Ashton Kutcher" for my tastes, and I'm going to stand by that as the reason I'm not fully supporting his nomination. Well, that, and I'm pretty sure that he's the Obama Administration's only choice that would effectively rubber stamp any administration decision on handling foreign policy matters, even if the decision is blindingly stupid. He's certainly not my first choice, and I've only had 24 hours to review his record, which is scant, to say the least.
The good news for me, I guess, is that he's not the Obama Administration's first choice, either. According to a CNN story about Chuck Hagel's rather sudden departure as Secretary of Defense, even as the White House was drying the ink on Ash Carter's press release, the President's staff was still scouring the Internet for a slightly better defense secretary.
Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau died last night. He was 83.
Beliveau is arguably the best player to wear a Habs uniform. No NHL player has ever won more Stanley Cups. He was a part of 10 Stanley Cup teams in a career that spanned nearly two decades. Beliveau retired in 1971 and would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame the following year when it waived its usual three year waiting period. Beliveau's name would appear on seven additional Stanley Cups as an executive for the Canadiens; the last being in 1993. It was the last time a Canadian NHL team won the Stanley Cup.
I did not know that Beliveau was offered a seat in the Senate by Tory Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in the 1980's nor was I aware that he was also offered the position of Governor General by Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien in 1994. However, Beliveau declined both appointments.
Outfielder Torii Hunter will finish his big league career where it started. Hunter has reportedly signed a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Minnesota Twins.
Hunter was a first round draft pick of the Twins in 1993. He made his big league debut with the club late in 1997 and soon became a fixture in centerfield winning 7 of his 9 career Gold Gloves over parts of 11 seasons. Hunter signed with the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent prior to 2008 and spent four seasons with them before moving on to Detroit where he spent the last two seasons with the Tigers. Hunter has played in the post-season on eight occasions in his career (four times with the Twins and twice each with the Angels and Tigers), but has never played in the World Series.
The White House had trouble today explaining why the former producer of The Bold and the Beautiful, Colleen Bell, is our new ambassador to Hungary. ABC's John Karl, asking questions of Josh Earnest wonders does she have any qualifications to be named ambassador to a major European nation, apparently missing the memo that the only major qualification you need in this or any administration to named as ambassador to a major European nation is a fairly fat pocketbook (or, in this case, the ability to get others to open their fairly fat pocketbooks).
The brief government shutdown was so much fun last year that it looks like we're going to try it again. This time, instead of having to listen to Ted Cruz read Dr. Seuss into the Congressional record, however, we'll have to listen to the White House explain why the Postal Service can't deliver your Christmas catalogs and coupon books efficiently. Having apparently taken a page out of Sen. Cruz's playbook, the Obama Administration, through Josh Earnest, has noted that if the Republicans try to pass a budget bill that deliberately excludes funding for the President's executive amnesty, we'll the President is just going to shut this whole thing down, take his ball and pout in a corner.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that President Barack Obama will block a government budget bill if the GOP denies him the funds needed to provide amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
“Yes,” Earnest said when asked by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl if Obama would veto a government-wide budget that defunded the amnesty program.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has fired two of his top cabinet ministers and rivals to force early elections. Netanyahu sacked both Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. Both Lapid and Livni lead secular liberal parties which were part of Netanyahu's coalition government. Both Livni and Lapid have been openly critical of Netanyahu for months, but the final straw revolved the so-called Jewish State Bill which would formally declare Israel a Jewish state. After Israel's cabinet approved the bill, both Livni and Lapid vowed that their parties would vote against it. Lapid likened the bill to the imposition of Sharia law.
Russell Brand is a British comedian who recently named himself the voice of the oppressed and the leader of the coming proletariat revolution against the super-rich despite having a net worth of an estimated $15 million, some of which came from his recent book's, Revolution, banner sales. The book describes, in detail, how Brand would reformat the world economy to benefit the people who, I suspect, purchased his book, but fails to mention whether he'd also donate the exceptional profits he's made telling them how to run their lives.
Mary Landrieu has to take what she can get as far as organizations willing to pay for airtime. After a disasterous final debate last night and a depressing lack of funds left in the bank as she faces a runoff against a Republican for her Louisiana Senate seat, Mary Landrieu must turn to her only friends among her Louisiana constituents. And, apparently, her only friends among her Louisiana constituents are...the Humane Society. And it's spending around $100K on television ads.
Beware, Louisiana. If you do not vote for Mary Landrieu for Senate, that beloved pet of yours will die a horrible, painful death, probably at the hands of Mary Landrieu's Republican opponent.