When Christie was fourteen years old, he heard [now former NJ Governor Thomas] Kean, who was then a member of the state legislature, speak at his junior high school. He told his mother that he wanted to become a politician; she drove him to Kean’s house and told him to knock on the legislator’s door. “Sir, I heard you speak,” he told Kean. “I think I want to get into politics. How do I do it?”
Writing for The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza provides an account
of Chris Christie's political history from start to Bridgegate.
How Reader's Digest Became a Chinese Stooge
Larkin was delighted when Reader's Digest said it would take her work for one of its anthologies of condensed novels. Thirst would reach a global audience and – who knows? – take off. Reader's Digest promised "to ensure that neither the purpose nor the opinion of the author is distorted or misrepresented", and all seemed well. [more inside]
What's the link between household income during childhood and job choice during adulthood? Stats and pretty graphs ahoy
Last week, a publication based in New York
that is called “New York,” asked the question, “Is San Francisco New York?
A publication based in San Francisco answered
, quite resolutely, “No.
Britain will betray the United States and Ukraine to keep laundering dirty Russian money.
"The city has changed. The buses are still dirty, the people are still passive-aggressive, but something about London has changed. You can see signs of it everywhere. The townhouses in the capital’s poshest
districts are empty; they have been sold to Russian oligarchs
and Qatari princes."
Last Day for Last Abortion Clinic in the Rio Grande.
“Honestly, I think they’ll go south of the border, if they have to
,” said a 23-year-old woman who was one of the last patients to be seen at the clinic
and who traveled to San Antonio for her abortion
last month. “It’s cheaper and it’s closer. To go to San Antonio is so much more of a hassle and costs a lot more.”
As Gawker has done for a couple years now, they sent letters to all the U.S. death row inmates who have execution dates in the upcoming year. Texas inmate Ray Jasper, who is set to be executed later this month, responded with an incredible letter
on his thoughts about the US justice system, race, Christianity, and society as a whole.
The Very Merry Un-Gangs of Disneyland These social clubs are a new generation of hardcore Disney fans, powered by Instagram and Facebook and made up of grandparents in their 60s, as well as teens and toddlers plodding along beside their parents. Only 10 years ago, their style—tattooed and plugged—would have banned them from the parks and made them outcasts among Disney fans. But now, with tolerance, if not approval, from the Mouse, the social clubs have found a playground to call their own.
"In the mid-20th century, in response to the United States’ rapidly expanding telephone network, executives at the Bell System introduced a new way
of dialing the phone. Until then, for the most part, it was human operators — mostly women — who had directed calls to their destinations." The new system, which eliminated letters from phone numbers and set the stage for an automated national (and eventually international) dialing system
. was met with a minor rebellion
against "creeping numeralism
." The Atlantic examines "Our Numbered Days: The Evolution of the Area Code
." [more inside]
Michael Dunn was convicted on three counts of attempted murder
, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the charge of the first degree murder of Jordan Davis. Davis and friends were sitting in an SUV listening to music outside a convenience store, when Dunn initiated an argument with them that ended in Dunn firing 10 rounds into their vehicle, including several as they drove away. Dunn fled the scene and then remained silent for many hours before eventually claiming self-defense. Ta-Nehisi Coates interviewed Davis's mother
in the days before the verdict, and in response to the verdict, he writes a sweeping indictment of America's treatment of young black men
Queen's 1982 dance funk single "Body Language" represented a rare move away from their glam stadium anthems into a more spare, disco-driven beat inter-cut with a moaning Freddie Mercury. The accompanying video, full of exposed flesh and suggestive lyrics, was deemed inappropriate for US TV and was one of the first music videos barred from MTV.
In 2002 Henry Louis Gates jr. published The Bondwoman's Narrative
. It was the first publication of a novel written in the 1850s by a former slave who wrote under the name Hannah Crafts. The original manuscript has been digitized by Yale's Beinecke Library
. The book caused a splash at the time, sold well and was reviewed widely, including an essay by Hilary Mantel in the London Review of Books
. The identity of Hannah Crafts was uncertain, which cast a slight shadow on its provenance, but Prof. Gregg Hecimovich discovered the writer's true identity
. Her name was Hannah Bond and after escaping slavery she became a teacher in New Jersey. Journalist Paul Berman further fills in the story of Colonel Wheeler
, the slaveowner whose family was depicted in The Bondwoman's Narrative.
Wheeler was the US ambassador to Nicaragua in the 1850s and played a major part in the administration of General Walker, the American who became a short-lived dictator of Nicaragua and tried to set it up as a slave state.
The “Government by the People Act”, proposed by N. Pelosi and J. Sarbanes in a WP op-ed,
is presented as one of the first concrete steps towards the removal of the influence of quasi-unlimited money in US politics.
The act doesn’t limit the amount of money that corporations, PACs, etc can pay but rather takes the opposite approach, by encouraging and subsidizing citizen participation.
The influence of money on American politics has exploded since the Citizens United ruling
… resulting in often disturbing bias
. [more inside]
As a result of new coverage under the ACA, many previously uninsured people in eastern Kentucky are giving the nation a glimpse of life under the new health care law.
During their Freedom Hosting
investigation and malware attack last year, the FBI unintentionally obtained the entire e-mail database of popular anonymous webmail service Tor Mail. And now, they've used it in an unrelated investigation to bust a Florida man accused of stealing credit card numbers
. [more inside]
The secretive business havens of Cyprus and the Cayman Islands face a potent rival: Cheyenne, Wyoming. At a single address in this sleepy city of 60,000 people, more than 2,000 companies are registered. The building, 2710 Thomes Avenue, isn't a shimmering skyscraper filled with A-list corporations. It's a 1,700-square-foot brick house with a manicured lawn, a few blocks from the State Capitol. [more inside]
MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki
has been collaborating with NJ journalist Brian Murphy
on some investigative journalism about the Chris Christie administration's alleged withholding of Sandy Relief funds until the Mayor of Hoboken agrees to fast-track a real-estate development. Hoboken was one of the hardest-hit communities and has so far received $6 per resident. Christie became governor after leading a US Attorney investigation which convicted NJ politicians of crooked real-estate deals.
Jesse A. Myerson described five economic reforms millenials should be fighting for in Rolling Stone.
Conservatives were generally aghast at the suggestions. Dylan Matthews at Wonkblog wrote a response, "Five conservative reforms millenials should be fighting for".
Liberals disapproved. Both articles argued for I. Employer of Last Resort II. Basic Income III. Land Value Tax IV. Sovereign Wealth Fund V. Public Bank. Ezra Klein discusses the trolling.
The successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)
, the NASA/JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement
) spacecraft is preparing for launch at the Japanese Tanegashima Space Center
. GPM will be the newest international Precipitation Measurement Mission and will be the core observatory of the GPM Constellation.
The two sensors
on-board GPM are the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI)
and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR)
. The GPM/DPR team has produced a fantastic anime about the DPR instrument
. [more inside]
"Obamacare horror stories"
where innocent citizens are losing their insurance
and being forced to pay astronomical costs
for new plans on the exchanges are being reported by some media outlets. The problem
is that most
of these stories
. [more inside]
About the only place this book hasn't been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that's about to change. Because I'm going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that's how long it takes for a batch of my mother's Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I'm going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more. And I think it's fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote.
- Dan Savage reviews Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.
Esquire's Chris Jones looks at the old techniques
used to make the new US $100 bill.
The Tumblr blog People of Color in European Art History
, or medievalpoc for short, has a simple mission
: to showcase works of art from European history that feature People of Color. All too often, these works go unseen in museums, Art History classes, online galleries, and other venues because of retroactive whitewashing of Medieval Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia. [more inside]
The Fed Up
project has collected over 7000 student-submitted photos of school lunches from across the US. They'll be used to create a map and report to make a case for better school lunches. [more inside]
"The American homeland is the planet"
Not content with a militarized southern border, the U.S. is now militarizing borders around the world (slsa)
takes aim at the American criminal justice system in three articles from their latest edition: An opinion piece
on mandatory life sentences without parole, a more in-depth view
of some specific instances and of the data, and a look at the practice of charging fees
to those convicted, or even just accused.
In a week which also marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, the Gettysburg Address was delivered by Abraham Lincoln, 16th President, 150 years ago today. Mitch Rapoport narrates an animated version
. [more inside]
across the country run "hell houses"
on Halloween. These attractions show how "sinful" activities
can ruin young lives
. Some churches are trying to be more positive
in their messaging. For those who are interested, you can now buy your own "hell house" outreach kit
. [more inside]
"If you are poor, why do you spend money on useless status symbols
like handbags and belts and clothes and shoes and televisions and cars? One thing I’ve learned is that one person’s illogical belief is another person’s survival skill."
Where a journalist tries to identify TheIneffableSwede
, an online commenter
on the Guardian website and elsewhere online. A journalist from the Guardian adds more context
Scrapple, Half-smokes, Marionberry Pie, Cowboy Cookies and Akutaq: Deadspin responds to Slate's wonderful state-by-state sports map (previously
) with a map of regional foods
, complete with highly opinionated rankings and commentary.
"We are under the impression you have more ties with more countries we are not on friendly terms with than your own. We decided to bring you back to the Canadian border."
Dutch writer and animator Niels Gerson Lohman: Why I Will Never Return to the USA (nederlandse versie)