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.

BREAKING: Todd Akin To Say Something Today

| Fri Aug. 24, 2012 1:11 PM PDT

UPDATE (Friday August 24, 5:33 p.m. EDT): Rep. Todd Akin took five press questions. Nothing has changed, he is still in the race, and his family is still running his Senate campaign. That was fun, guys. Happy Friday.

On Friday afternoon, embattled Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) announced that he is holding a press conference at 5:15 p.m. EDT.

After stepping into some mess with his strange account of female reproduction, Akin missed the first deadline earlier this week to drop out of his Missouri Senate race against Democrat Claire McCaskill, and vowed to fight on—even after the GOP money machine choked off financial support to his campaign. At the moment, it appears as though this presser is designed to remind reporters of the candidate's audacity: 

In other news:

Akin has been under fire from scores of liberals and conservatives after he posited last weekend that female victims of "legitimate rape" are unlikely to become pregnant.

On Friday afternoon, shortly before his planned press conference, his campaign changed his Facebook banner to: "WE PROVED THE PARTY BOSSES WRONG":

We will update this post after his planned statements, and as new information flows in.

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Podcast: "A Movie & An Argument"—Tony Scott Memorial Edition

| Fri Aug. 24, 2012 6:05 AM PDT

This marks the second episode of our new podcast: A Movie & An Argument, With Alyssa and Swin.

Each week, I'll be sitting down to chat with ThinkProgress critic Alyssa Rosenberg (who also does killer work at The Atlantic and Slate's "Double X"). We'll talk, argue, and laugh about the latest movies, television shows, and pop-cultural nonsense—with some politics thrown in just for the hell of it.

Below, you'll find the audio for this week's episode, in which we discuss:

  • The life and work of filmmaker Tony Scott and trailblazing comedienne Phyllis Diller, both of whom died earlier this week (my joint obituary can be found here, and Alyssa's obit for Scott is here).
  • The phone-sex-related comedy For a Good Time, Call... (a film Alyssa thoroughly endorses), which stars Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Seth Rogen, Justin Long, and Nia Vardalos. It gets a limited release on August 31.
  • The monstrously awful Dax Shepard movie Hit and Run, which I say is currently running neck-and-neck with That's My Boy for title of Lousiest Film of 2012. (It also features perhaps the lamest prison-rape joke ever captured on camera.)
  • That new movie coming out in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt rides a bicycle for an hour-and-a-half.

Alyssa describes herself as being "equally devoted to the Star Wars expanded universe and Barbara Stanwyck, to Better Off Ted and Deadwood." I (everyone calls me Swin) am a devoted lover of low-brow dark humor, Yuengling, and movies with high body counts. I hope you enjoyed this episode, and tune in during the weeks to come.

We'll be featuring guests on the program, and also taking listeners' questions, so feel free to Tweet them at me here, and we'll see if we can get to them during a show.

Thanks for listening!

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

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

To hear or download more episodes of this podcast, click here.

To check out Alyssa's Bloggingheads show, click here.

23 Numbers to Know About the 2012 Republican and Democratic Conventions

| Fri Aug. 24, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

Summer is on its way out. The class of 2016 is shipping out, all the good summer movies seem a distant memory, and the NFL is only in preseason. At this point, you might even be gearing up to live-tweet and intensely hate-watch media coverage of the 2012 Republican and Democratic national conventions.

While you're waiting, here's a rundown of some numbers to know for the nominating conventions in Tampa and Charlotte: 

50,000: The number of people (media, delegates, attendees, merchants, etc.) expected to take part in the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, between August 27 and 30. (Around thirty-two percent of attendees will be journalists; 4.6 percent will be actual delegates.)

35,000: The number of people expected to take part in the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, between September 4 and 6. (Forty-three percent journalists, 16 percent delegates.)

670,000: The number of square feet that make up the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the convention site where Mitt Romney will be delivering his acceptance speech.

The Tampa Bay Times Forum WikiThe Tampa Bay Times Forum Christopher Hollis/Wdwic Pictures/Wikimedia Commons1,600,000: The number of square feet that make up Bank of America Stadium (a.k.a., "Panthers Stadium," on the night the president is speaking), where Barack Obama will be delivering his acceptance speech.

Bank of America Stadium WikiBank of America Stadium UCinternational/Wikimedia Commons

346,037: The population of Tampa.

751,087: The population of Charlotte.

$2,000,000: The amount spent by the Tampa Police Department on 60 new surveillance cameras, all of which are installed downtown.

$765,795: The amount spent by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on security software and a "command center upgrade."

15,000: The number of protesters expected to show up at the Tampa convention site.

10,000: The number of protesters expected to show up at the Charlotte convention site.

$136,000,000: The total amount of cash the two parties have received in public funding for convention security and other expenses.

$175,000,000: Amount of money projected to flow into the local Tampa economy as a result of the four-day-long Republican convention.

$150,000,000: Amount of money projected flow into the local Charlotte economy as a result of the three-day-long Democratic convention.

$55,000,000: The fundraising dollars the Republican host committee expects to haul in during the four days in Tampa.

$36,600,000: The fundraising dollars the Democratic host committee hopes to achieve in the three days in Charlotte. (They likely won't.)

$0: The convention funds Democrats have raised from corporate donors. (This isn't a #fail, per se; it's intentional.) 

33: The percentage of registered voters who identify as Republicans in Hillsborough County, where the city of Tampa is located.

45.2: The percentage of registered voters who identify as Democrats in Mecklenburg County, where the city of Charlotte is located.

Via Ruth's List FloridaVia Ruth's List Florida

49: The age of the Republican keynote speaker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, at the time of the 2012 convention.

Wikimedia CommonsDavid Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons37: The age of the Democratic keynote speaker, San Antonio mayor Julián Castro, at the time of the 2012 convention.

WikiJamesgatz/Wikimedia Commons20: The number of strip clubs in Tampa.

12: The number of strip clubs in Charlotte.
 

A CAGILLION BAGILLION: The estimated number of highly predictable stories published by various news outlets over the past three months on what the Republican and Democratic national conventions mean for their respective host town's stripper revenue.

The Consumerist/FlickrThe Consumerist/Flickr

A Movie & an Argument: Tony Scott Memorial Edition

| Thu Aug. 23, 2012 7:08 PM PDT

Length: 36:38 minutes (22.82 MB)

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