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Politics

Clay Aiken Works the New York Room

ClayAikenCampaignLogoAmerican Idol alum Clay Aiken is currently trailing North Carolina 2nd District Congressional opponent Renee Ellmers in an area that matters most: money available to burn.

Per Vocativ’s Mike Spies, a campaign fundraiser was held Monday at the Manhattan home of banker Donald Dye. The best part of Spies’ write-up are the various strands of seen-and-heard:

The guests are uniformly attractive and svelte, almost a parody of chic. I step out onto a porch and encounter Guto Bittencourt, a young Brazilian opera singer wearing thick-framed glasses, a skinny tie and a gray blazer. He’s talking to a blond woman who looks like Ivanka Trump.

“We were at this castle last week,” Bittencourt says. “It was amazing.”

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A Leap of Columbia University Logic

Normally, we wouldn’t highlight a blog post that ends with this type of disclaimer:

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

However, Wayne Root‘s latest channel contribution –  ”Do We Have a Sociopath in the White House?” – is simply too nutty to ignore.

WayneRootAuthorTag

Early on, the author sets up his argument with the notion that a sociopath’s tendencies are firmly established by the time that person has graduated from high school:

By college, a person’s personality, attitude and behavior is fairly well set. That’s why Obama’s Columbia days tell us so much about his behavior as President today.

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Reporter Dials Wrong Number, Gets Great Wrong-Number Story

DemocratChronicleLogoOn Twitter, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reporter David Andreatta presents himself as a “writer of wrongs.” Never more so than in the case of his article “Wrong Number: This Joe Isn’t Your Assemblyman.”

This assignment began when, like so many before him, Andreatta accidentally dialed the home number of 73-year-old retiree Joe Bulman‘s rather than, as intended, the mobile number of New York State Assembly Democratic leader Joe Morelle. (The two numbers are just one, imperceptible prefix digit apart.) Recognizing a good, nay perfect local-interest story, the reporter went with it:

Over the years — the Bulmans can’t recall how many because time seems to blend into one never-ending call for “the other Joe” — they have learned to detect Morelle seekers.

The callers are typically all business and speak in a hurried cadence, bordering on exasperation. A journalist on deadline. A grousing constituent. Anyone from Albany.

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Alexis Grenell: Lis Smith Latest Victim of ‘Slut-Shaming’

In the world of news, it’s never the man who is the “bimbo.” So argues political strategist and columnist Alexis Grenell in today’s New York Daily News.

DailyNewsFront_12_24On Sunday, incoming mayor Bill de Blasio‘s communications chief Lis Smith was revealed to be dating Eliot Spitzer. The ensuing coverage, suggests Grenell, has been all too familiar:

Regardless of her taste in men, Smith has the right to make her own decisions. Her relationship with Spitzer is entirely irrelevant to her qualifications as de Blasio’s spokeswoman.

Yet in news reports, Smith has been transformed from an accomplished adult into a “leggy” sexpot and her professional future called into question because her choice of romantic partner raises eyebrows.

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Weiner Dodges WaPo ‘Worst Campaign of 2013′

TheFixLogoThe choice by Chris Cillizza today of Chris Quinn over Anthony Weiner for the worst political campaign of 2013 has baffled a number of WaPo readers. We share the commenters’ befuddlement.

Then again, per an exclusive MAD magazine preview  today on The Huffington Post, even when Weiner is comically paired with former would-be Comptroller Eliot Spitzer for a Wangs of New York poster (complete with bulging NYC skyline), it’s still not good enough for top spot on “20 Dumbest Things of 2013.” So maybe Cillizza isn’t entirely off the off-base.

Expect to see plenty more Weiner roasts between now and the waning hours of New Year’s Eve. Elsewhere today for example, USA TODAY Network’s Ashley M. Williams leads off her rhetorical rundown of dingbats with Weiner, followed by Lance Armstrong, Alex Rodriguez, Alec Baldwin and others.

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Marveling at a Sarah Palin Run-on Sentence

We’re talking 105 words. YouTube host David Pakman dubs Sarah Palin the “queen of the word salad, a sous-chef of sorts…” before taking a deep breath and 32 seconds to read one sentence from her recent speech and conversation event with Jerry Falwell Jr. at Liberty University.

Here, according to Pakman, is the sentence:

“If you lose that foundation John Adams was implicitly warning us, then we will not follow our constitution, there will be no reason to follow our constitution, because it is a moral and religious people who understand that there is something greater than self, we are to live selflessly and we are to be held accountable by our creator so that is what our constitution is based on, so those revisionists, those in the lame-stream media especially who would want to ignore what our founders actually thought, felt and wrote about in our charters of liberty, well that’s why I call them the lame-stream media.”

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Republicans Give Up, Seek Donald Trump for Governor Run

Great idea!

Things are so bad for New York Republicans that they want Donald Trump to run for governor against Andrew Cuomo next year. The New York Post reports that Rochester assemblyman Bill Nojay is circulating a memo about how, exactly, Trump could beat Cuomo. Below are two actual sentences from Nojay’s note:

In many respects, Trump is not considered a Republican — he is his own brand, an almost iconic figure of Rockefellerian proportions. This will benefit him because many people who could never bring themselves to vote for a Republican would vote for Trump as Trump.

Here are — in no particular order — some more things that Trump is considered: 1) An idiot 2) An attention whore 3) A blowhard. But hey, that does make him like a lot of current politicians.

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Glenn Greenwald on the Source of NSA Stories

Glenn Greenwald opens up to the New York Times on his back-to-back stories in the Guardian about two (formerly) top-secret NSA programs.

Greenwald, a former practicing attorney, started a blog in 2005 following the news of warrantless surveillance in the administration of George W. Bush. Greenwald took his blog to Salon in 2007, where he had full editorial independence. He moved to the Guardian last year, keeping his gaze trained on issues of perceived government overreach. As for how this story came to him:

The leak, he said, came from “a reader of mine” who was comfortable working with him. The source, Mr. Greenwald said, “knew the views that I had and had an expectation of how I would display them.”

So how does someone who is writing about top-secret government programs protect himself — and his sources — from being monitored by the agencies he’s exposing. Greenwald’s got it all figured out:

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NY Times Prints Op-Ed By Gitmo Prisoner

Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel is an 11-year inmate at Guantanamo Bay. Now, he is also a New York Times op-ed contributor.

Wikimedia Commons

The inmate at the military’s most infamous prison described the daily despair and degradation he and other hunger strikers suffer in an op-ed titled, “Gitmo Is Killing Me.

“I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds,” he wrote. “I will not eat until they restore my dignity.”

The article, published late Sunday night online, drew swift criticisms from both poles of the political spectrum.

On one side, the ever-pugnacious Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian (and formerly Slate) columnist and an ardent human rights crusader, offered rare praise.

“Kudos to the NYT for publishing one of the most powerful Op-Eds ever,” he tweeted.

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Hillary Clinton Signs Book Deal with Simon & Schuster

It has been a busy week for Simon & Schuster. On Monday, the publishing house gave Cat Marnell $500,000 to write a book, and now it has a deal with Hillary Clinton to pen a memoir.

According to the company, Clinton’s book will focus on how she’s going to win the 2016 election. Kidding! It will focus on “sharing key decisions and experiences as Secretary of State and her ideas for how the United States can address the challenges of a dramatically changing world in the 21st century.”

“Hillary Clinton’s extraordinary public service has given her a unique perspective on recent history and the challenges we face,”  said Jonathan Karp, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster, in a statement. “This will be the ultimate book for people who are interested in world affairs and America’s place in the world today.”

The book will publish in 2014, two years before Clinton becomes president.

By the way, Mediabistro editors will be at tomorrow’s Women in the World conference where Clinton keynotes in the morning. Look for coverage on FishbowlNY tomorrow.

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