Columbia Law School Lets Students Take Exams Late Because of Ferguson

By on 12.8.14 | 5:39PM

My first year of law school, it snowed so much on the morning of my Contracts exam, that I had to have my dad drive me to school and wait for hours in the library while I finished my test because the school refused to cancel or move the test even though basically everyone was snowed into their respective apartments. And there was no reason they should have moved the test. Aside from general concerns about safety and welfare, that are almost always secondary to a legal education, causing mental anguish seems to be the goal of most first year legal programs, and no one gives actual lawyers the day off of work because they didn't have the requisite foresight to buy Hunter boots on clearance sale. At least, so I've heard. I got all that education and barely practiced.

Barack and Michelle Obama’s Romance May Be Headed to the Big Screen

By on 12.5.14 | 2:43PM

These days, the only people who seem remotely satisfied with Barack Obama's job performance are people living in beachfront mansions on the California coast. Even actual Communists and socialists have taken to things like social media to express their deep regret that the guy who promised to even the playing field has, in fact, been more inept on the subject of income inequality than Scrooge McDuck. They may as well have run Paul Krugman, if they could pry him away from his cats.

But, as I noted, Hollywood is still deeply in love with their President. Gwyneth Paltrow probably has an autographed photo of Barack hanging above her bed, so that it's the first thing she sees when she awakens from slumber in her bed that costs more than you'll make in a decade. George Clooney likely considers Barack the third person in his marriage, and while everyone has long forgotten Barack and Michelle's fairytale romance, as loosely-source campaign propaganda, Hollywood is, apparently, greenlighting movie about their Chicago courtship that will begin filming in July.

Everything is Terrible, So Here’s Barack Obama Awkwardly Dancing with Santa

By on 12.5.14 | 2:26PM

Is it just me, or has this been the longest week in history? Literally, everything is terrible. I don't even know why. 

Anywayyyy, since I have not yet figured out how to click my heels together and dramatically change the entire political landscape, thus rendering me your benevolent dictator, here's a video I found of Barack Obama dancing awkwardly with Santa Claus at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony that took place last night. Pay special attention to the 'thumbs up, overbite move" he does.

Oh, and you're welcome, America.

And if you're wondering, the Obama daughters did look like they enjoyed this cheesy holiday tradition, at least.

Have a happy Friday, everyone!

Tony Blair’s Awkward Family Photo

By on 12.4.14 | 2:29PM

Is it just me, or does former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair look terrified to be in his own Christmas card photo?

His wife looks a bit like she's trying to hold him back. 

Nothing says "Happy Christmas!" like a terrified former Prime Minister in a slightly-too-open dress shirt, I suppose. At least it's not a "Get Well" card.

Guy Who Filmed Eric Garner Death Gets Indicted

By on 12.4.14 | 1:00PM

The Eric Garner case is hitting home with people on both sides of the aisle, and for good reason. It's hard to imagine a more terrifying scenario: stopped by the police for a minor infraction based on a ridiculous tax law, dead in seconds after repeatedly begging for mercy from authorities, who stood by almost completely uninterested. The video of Garner being choked by an officer isn't just about an overreaching authority at every level, from legislative to on-the-street enforcement, it is, as Matt Lewis notes in his piece at The Week, a horrifying example of utter callousness at the value and dignity of human life. 

CIA Thinks “State of Affairs” is Terrible

By on 12.3.14 | 5:00PM

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.

Former Dem Staffer Won’t Do Time for Sexual Assault

By on 12.3.14 | 3:18PM

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. 

Media Matters

The Sins of Elizabeth Lauten

By 12.3.14

Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for a GOP congressman, committed a cardinal sin in politics last weekend: posting on Facebook about a couple of aggravated teenagers forced to endure their dad’s turkey-pardoning ceremony, during a space of time where little to nothing of note was happening on the national scene. Thankfully, our esteemed fourth estate immediately seized on her transgression against the cult of personality inhabiting the White House, and badgered her and her under-the-radar Republican boss until she was forced to publicly apologize, resign, and pack up her things from her Hill apartment and return to that segment of flyover country from whence she came. The media may not know how to handle more pressing matters facing their industry, like whether they should report accurately on a Missouri grand jury investigation so as not to further inflame community tensions, but they sure know how to make a girl cry.

Russell Brand Does Not Want to Talk About How Rich He Is

By on 12.2.14 | 3:08PM

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.

Lacking a Sense of Irony, Planned Parenthood Joins #BlackLivesMatter

By on 12.2.14 | 11:45AM

In 2012, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Vital Statistics more abortions were performed on black women in New York City than black children were born. As of 2008, according to Planned Parenthood's statistical arm, The Guttmacher Institute, only 36% of all abortions were performed on non-Hispanic white women. According to the pro-life group Live Action, in 2010, Planned Parenthood began the process of accepting donations from undercover investigators posting as willing funders, who requested the money specifically be directed to programs that followed Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger's original intent in providing family planning services: eliminating minority populations.