Asawin Suebsaeng

Asawin Suebsaeng

Reporter

Asawin Suebsaeng is a reporter at the Washington, DC, bureau of Mother Jones. He has also written for The American Prospect, the Bangkok Post, and Shoecomics.com.

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A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn., Asawin came back to DC with hopes of putting his flimsy Creative Writing major, student newspaper tenure, and interest in human rights and political chicanery to some use. He started cutting his teeth at F&M's student-run weekly, The College Reporter, serving as editor in chief. He has interned at The American Prospect, been a reporter for the Bangkok Post, and scribbled for ShoeComics.com. His favorite movie is either Apocalypse Now or Pirahna 3D, depending on the day or mood.

WATCH: Beyoncé Sings The National Anthem at President Obama's Second Inauguration

| Mon Jan. 21, 2013 12:54 PM PST

In which Barack Obama opens for Beyoncé Knowles:

Joe Biden enjoyed her performance:

Recently, the White House removed a petition from their "We the People" website that called for Beyoncé to be barred from performing at Monday's inauguration ceremony due to her business relationship with Pepsi:

Along with having raised millions of dollars for the president's reelection campaign and having performed at other Obama-related events, Beyoncé also sang Etta James' "At Last" during Michelle and Barack Obama's first slow dance as First Couple:

On a related note, here's Beyoncé playing Etta James in the 2008 film Cadillac Records:

beyonce jay-z barack obama
Scout Tufankjian/Obama for America

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A One-Sentence Review of Arnold Schwarzenegger's "The Last Stand"

| Fri Jan. 18, 2013 6:07 PM PST

If you do not go see the new Arnold Schwarzenegger movie now, you are failing your country, your family, and your own personal god.

 

The Last Stand gets a wide release on Friday, January 18. The film is rated R for strong bloody Ahnold throughout. Click here for local showtimes and tickets.

Click here for more movie and TV coverage from Mother Jones.

To read more of Asawin's reviews, click here.

To listen to the weekly movie and pop-culture podcast that Asawin co-hosts with ThinkProgress critic Alyssa Rosenberg, click here.

Are the Congressional Chaplains Attending an Anti-Obama Prayer Breakfast?

| Thu Jan. 17, 2013 2:52 PM PST

Just before President Barack Obama's swearing in on Monday, a group of religious conservatives plans to hold a prayer breakfast featuring a number of anti-Obama conspiracy theorists. The Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast—billed as offering "prayer, worship, and reconciliation of the nation"—will feature the editor of the birther site WorldNetDaily and minister and media mogul Pat Robertson, according its website. The organizers of the prayer breakfast also claim the House and Senate chaplains will speak at their event—appearances that may conflict with the non-partisan nature of the chaplain job.

House Chaplain Rev. Patrick Conroy and Senate Chaplain Barry Black (who has been in the news recently for his prayers during the fiscal cliff negotiations asking God to "save us from self-inflicted wounds") are listed under the "Prayer for the Nation" portion of Monday's event, just ahead of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). But featured speaker Joseph Farah, the WorldNetDaily editor, has drawn the most attention, given his website's regular assertions that President Obama was actually born in Kenya and allegations that he is "the first Muslim president." The event also features "messianic rabbi-pastor and author" Jonathan Cahn, who believes that there are signs of the apocalypse encrypted in Obama's communications.

The group Faithful America started a petition on Thursday asking the chaplains to skip this "anti-Obama" event, which gathered more than 5,000 signatures in less than a day. But it got weird when Mother Jones asked the chaplains if they were actually attending the event. "Chaplain Black has NOT agreed to attend," Senate Chaplain Black's office responded via email. "We are working with the organizers planning the event to get his name taken off any promotional materials associated with this."

A spokeswoman for the prayer breakfast who declined to give her name told Mother Jones that Black is scheduled to deliver a prayer at the event. "He spoke directly with us and said he was," she said, adding that they will have to "clear up" any confusion.

We also reached out to House Chaplain Conroy's office, but he was traveling and had not responded to a request for comment at press time.

The breakfast organizers seem to be having a hard time figuring out who is actually speaking at the event. On Wednesday, Media Matters detailed a rather bizarre exchange with organizer Rev. Merrie Turner as to whether or not Farah is an official speaker at the event.

UPDATE: Elizabeth Flock at US News reported on Friday that Senate Chaplain Black will not be attending the inaugural prayer breakfast. However, House Chaplain Conroy's office said that Conroy will be in attendance and will recite a quick prayer. (Conroy's office stated that he will not "stay too long," though.)

As of 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday, the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast website continues to list the Senate Chaplain as a featured guest for their "Prayer for the Nation."

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