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.

GOP Rep. Paul Broun Says Obama Upholds the Soviet Constitution, Doesn't Specify Which One

| Wed Jan. 23, 2013 4:54 PM EST
Official White House photo.

According to a guy who's questioned Barack Obama's citizenship, thinks America is headed for a Leninist dictatorship, and has called evolution and other science "lies straight from the pit of Hell," the president and his congressional allies are taking their marching orders from the Constitution...just not the American one.

"I don't know what Constitution that other members of Congress uphold, but it's not this one," Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) said on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jim Galloway. "I think the only Constitution that Barack Obama upholds is the Soviet constitution, not this one. He has no concept of this one, though he claimed to be a constitutional lawyer.”

The Soviet Union was dissolved in December 1991. For all his years in the public eye, Barack Obama has only ever had mean things to say about the former Communist stateIt's pretty clear that there's nothing to suggest that President Obama adheres to the "Soviet constitution." What isn't clear is which Soviet constitution Broun was referring to.

During the seven-decade existence of the Soviet Union, the government approved three separate constitutions. There is the one approved in 1924, which defines the "camp of capitalism" as "national hate and inquality, colonial slavery and chauvinism, national oppression and massacres, brutalities and imperialistic wars." The one adopted in 1936 (also called "Stalin's Constitution") actually pays a lot of lip service to universal suffrage, individual rights, health care, and the like. And the constitution adopted in 1977 (also called the "Brezhnev Constitution") praises the Soviet people, their army, and Vladimir Lenin for winning the Russian Civil War and therefore starting the "epoch-making turn of mankind from capitalism to socialism."

I reached out to the congressman's Washington office to ask which of these three he meant. Perhaps Broun was referring to all of them. I will update this post if I get a response.

h/t Pema Levy

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Poll: Record High Support For Legal Abortion in the US

| Tue Jan. 22, 2013 1:39 PM EST

A record-high 70 percent of Americans now oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that affirmed a limited consitutional right to abortion, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. And for the first time since the Journal and NBC started asking this question in 2003, a majority of the country believes abortion should be legal in all or most cases:

A simple explanation:

The shift is mostly the result of more Democrats backing the decision—particularly Hispanics and African-Americans—and a slight uptick in support from Republicans.

But the poll showed a consistent tension in Americans' attitudes toward the decision. Almost seven in 10 respondents say there are at least some circumstances in which they don't support abortion.

The news of Roe's newfound support comes on a big day—the milestone abortion-rights ruling had its 40th anniversary on Tuesday. The decision last saw its highest levels of support during the early '90s—around the same time the Supreme Court issued the 1992 ruling Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which affirmed the constitutionality of certain restrictions on abortion access.

MoJo editor Mike Mechanic has a good round-up of handy infographics from the Guttmacher Institute. Here's one that demonstrates the challenges women still face in trying to gain access to safe, legal abortion in the US:

guttmacher infographic barriers abortion us

And here's one on how abortions in this country have become concentrated primarily among the poor:

guttmacher infographic abortion concentrated among poor women

For more, click here and here.

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

| Mon Jan. 21, 2013 3:54 PM EST

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

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

| Fri Jan. 18, 2013 9:07 PM EST

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.

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