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.

Anonymous Threatens Westboro Baptist Church

| Tue Apr. 16, 2013 11:17 PM EDT

In the wake of yesterday's bombing at the Boston Marathon, the Westboro Baptist Church—the small yet noisy bunch who gained national attention for picketing the funerals of American soldiers in the name of hating gay people—did what they do: It announced its plans to yell at people attending funerals of Boston Marathon victims for not being godly enough.

The hacker group Anonymous wasn't a fan of this, so today it threatened the Topeka, Kansas-based church with unspecified retaliation. Earlier today, Anonymous members apparently hacked WBC's Facebook account, rewriting bio information and plastering its wall with an assortment of meme-heavy images. Update (1:37 a.m. April 17) Earlier today, people on Twitter reported that Anonymous members had apparently hacked WBC's Facebook account, rewriting bio information and plastering its wall with an assortment of meme-heavy images. Well, it turns out that they, and I, were a little too excited at the possibility. It looks like Anonymous members have been engaged in the brandjacking (read: squatting) of the (bogus) Westboro Baptist Church page for the past four months.

But that doesn't mean they're not serving up some amusing posts:

1. In which the church founders include beloved cereal box character "Captain Crunch":
westboro baptist church anonymous hacking boston marathon

2. For all the Star Trek fans:

Star Trek Westboro Baptist Church hack

3. Self-explanatory:

Dark Knight Westboro Baptist Church hack

4. Dr. King:

Martin Luther King Jr. Westboro Baptist Church Anonymous

5. #YOLO:

yolo westboro baptist church

6. Here's some Obama:

Obama westboro baptist church hacking

7. Now have some Condi:

Condoleezza Rice Westboro Facebook hack

8. And the obligatory cat:

Cat Westboro Baptist Church Anonymous

9. "POKEMON ABUSE":

Pokemon abuse Westboro Baptist Church facebook hack

10. And finally some Austin Powers:

Austin Powers Westboro Baptist Church

This isn't the only time Anonymous has targeted the Westboro Baptist Church. In mid-December, after WBC announced that they would crash the Newtown funerals, the online collective apparently hacked the church's website (the predictably titled godhatesfags.com) and the Twitter feed of Westboro-er Shirley Phelps-Roper. It also posted church members' personal information online.

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A One-Word Review Of "Scary Movie 5"

| Fri Apr. 12, 2013 10:46 AM EDT

 

No.

 

"Veep," Season 2: Douchey and Mean-Spirited Like DC—But Way Wittier

| Thu Apr. 11, 2013 12:48 PM EDT

"You know, you're about as annoying as a condom filled with fire ants. How's that for a fucking metaphor?" Ohio congressman and gubernatorial candidate Roger Furlong snaps at his aide.

"It's a simile, sir," the sheepish, twentysomething male aide replies.

"Shut your mouth, you fat girl," the congressman rejoins, as he fiddles with his smartphone while lumbering out of the vice president's office.

If you tuned in to any of Season 1, this exchange from the new season should sound thankfully familiar. Season 2 of Armando Iannucci's political satire Veep (premiering Sunday, April 14 at 10 p.m. EDT on HBO) is all the things that made the first eight episodes so worthwhile: It's a roaringly funny, mean-spirited burlesque that plays out like a good episode of The West Wing—if The West Wing were a slur-filled, punk-rock fantasy.

The passionately petty Selina Meyer (played by a pitch-perfect Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is still the American VP who can't get any love from the press or administration, and can't get any face time with POTUS. "I'm about to enter a national ass-kicking competition, with no legs... and a massive ass," Selina remarks. Her staff (played by the series regular Matt Walsh, Sufe Bradshaw, Reid Scott, Anna Chlumsky, and Arrested Development alum Tony Hale) help her pencil-push an agenda while clumsily pursuing their own professional self-interest. Veep has a fairly simple vision of American government: All of them (middle-age senators, cynical data crunchers, aloof operatives) are douchey incompetents—vain, power-hungry, self-loathing, foul-mouthed, back-stabbing, and perpetually upset. In this sense, Veep nails down the tone of Washington in the same way that Scrubs painted an honest portrait of medical professionals: It's an exaggerated, ridiculous depiction that veers on hitting too close to home.

"I May Be a Republican. I'm Not an Idiot."

| Tue Apr. 9, 2013 4:14 PM EDT

Lancaster, California is the state's 30th largest city, with a population of more than 150,000. Its Republican mayor, class-action attorney and alleged "unstoppable control freak" R. Rex Parris, has big plans for solar and clean energy. Lancaster requires virtually all new homes to either install solar panels or be built in subdivisions that generate a kilowatt of solar energy per house. The mandate is the first of its kind in the United States.

When asked by New York Times reporter Felicity Barringer if he views global warming as an imminent threat, Parris replied "absolutely." He continued: "I may be a Republican. I'm not an idiot."

Parris may be going out on a political limb, but science is on his side. Only about 0.17 percent of peer-reviewed papers on the subject actually question the science behind global warming or whether carbon emissions are causing it.

Parris has been on the solar-energy warpath for a while. In a ClimateWire story published last month, he is quoted as describing climate change as the biggest threat to the planet: "There isn't any greater crisis facing the world today. We're going to see the displacement of millions and millions of people. Whether we can survive the wars that that's going to cause is an open question."

"[Our mandate] serves as a model," he later told E&E News. "Here I am in an extremely conservative area, and there was almost no push-back."

h/t Taegan Goddard

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