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: The White House's New Sexual Assault PSA Starring Daniel Craig and Benicio Del Toro

| Tue Apr. 29, 2014 4:55 PM EDT

On Tuesday, the White House posted their new, star-studded PSA on sexual assault and rape. The video (which features Benicio Del Toro, Steve Carell, Daniel Craig, Seth Meyers, Dulé Hill, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama) was released as part of the Obama administration's 1 is 2 Many campaign. The video's release coincides with Vice President Biden's big speech on the subject, and with the formal unveiling of the first report from the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault. (The White House is pressuring colleges and universities to improve their handling of cases of rape and sexual assault.)

"If she doesn't consent, or if she can't consent, it's rape, it's assault," Del Toro says in the video. "If saw it happening, I'd never blame her—I'd help her," Craig says.

Watch the extended 60-second PSA here:

"I'm not used to making calls to big old movie stars," Biden said. "But I called them. And every one of them said immediately, 'What can I do?'"

The PSA is set to air in select Regal Entertainment Group and Cinemark movie theaters, and in theaters on military installations starting in May. Here are statements from three of the participating actors, via the White House:

Benicio Del Toro:

This PSA is about reaching out to people and letting them know that there is an epidemic of sexual assaults. Those who commit sexual assaults will be condemned, whoever they are. The PSA also encourages any witness to such acts to speak up, do the right thing, and be a hero. It is about protecting and respecting our loved ones—our mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and girlfriends.

Dulé Hill:

One sexual assault is one too many. My desire for this PSA is that it will heighten awareness and in turn be a catalyst for more prevention.

Daniel Craig:

I am honored to be part of such an important and crucial project. The message is clear and simple; everyone has a responsibility. There are no exceptions. There are no excuses. Please watch it and pass it on.

On a related note, here's Craig in drag in a two-minute video highlighting gender inequality, sexual assault, and violence against women. The video, which coincided with 2011 International Women's Day, is narrated by Judi Dench, his James Bond co-star:

This post has been updated.

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Donald Sterling Is a Registered Republican

| Mon Apr. 28, 2014 12:48 PM EDT

Does it really matter whether racist LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a registered Democrat? Or a Republican? Or a member of the Pirate Party of Russia?

Well, according to multiple conservative media outlets, yes, it does matter. On Sunday, National Review ran a blog post originally titled, "Racist Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Is a Democrat." The post breathlessly noted a handful of contributions he made in the early 1990s to Democratic politicians, including California politician Gray Davis and Sen. Bill Bradley, who had played in the NBA. (Sterling has owned his NBA team since the early 1980s.) The headline has since been changed to "Racist Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Has Only Contributed to Democrats," with an update reading, "his official party affiliation is not known." Still, the Donald-Sterling-Is-a-Democrat meme already took hold within right-wing media:

"Report: Clippers Owner Caught In Racist Rant Is A Democratic Donor" — Fox Nation.

"NBA Sterling is a Democrat..." — Matt Drudge.

"Race Hate Spewing Clippers Owner Is Democratic Donor" — the Daily Caller.

"Media Ignoring Dem Donations of LA Clippers' Owner, Allegedly Caught on Tape in Race-Based Rant" — NewsBusters.

"LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling is a Racist Democrat" — the Tea Party News Network.

Politico piggy-backed on this flood of Sterling-triggered liberal-shaming with a softer headline: "Donald Sterling made donations to Dems."

Not that Sterling's broader political views or party affiliation have much to do with the controversy over his insanely racist comments, but here's a news flash for those conservatives eager to bring up the topic: He's a Republican.

On Sunday, Michael Hiltzik, a Los Angeles Times columnist, tweeted that local voter records show Sterling to be a registered Republican "since 1998." We followed up on that, and a search of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's website for Sterling's name, date of birth, and address confirmed that he's registered as a Republican:

Donald Sterling Republican Registration from LA County
Screenshot: lavote.net

There's little reason to get excited about Sterling's political affiliation. But if you choose to do so, you ought to get it right.

VIDEO: John Oliver Goes Off on Donald Sterling on HBO's "Last Week Tonight" Premiere

| Sun Apr. 27, 2014 10:34 PM EDT

On Sunday, former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver officially kicked off his new HBO news show, Last Week Tonight. The premiere episode airs at 11 pm ET/PT, and features the first TV interview with Gen. Keith Alexander (Ret.) since he stepped down as director of the NSA.

Below is a preview clip of the inaugural episode, in which Oliver takes aim at Cliven Bundy, and LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his racist rant.

"It turned out to be a rough week for unrepentant racists and recording devices," Oliver says.

Watch:

Michelle Obama Appears on "Parks and Recreation" To Push Her Left-Wing, Pro-Exercise Propaganda

| Fri Apr. 25, 2014 3:35 PM EDT

On Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on the season finale of NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation to meet Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler). Obama encourages Knope to take a new job at the National Park Service. Knope—a die-hard liberal—proceeds to freak the hell out over meeting one of her heroes. (She acted similarly when she met Vice President Joe Biden.)

The first lady also chats with Knope about how her "Let's Move!" program has been integrated into national parks: "Getting kids outside, rock climbing, hiking," says Obama, who previously got some help from Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon in promoting "Let's Move!" and the importance of exercise. The program was developed to address the issue of childhood obesity, and has endured plenty of mockery and attacks by conservatives who see it as an affront to individual liberty, or whatever.

The Parks and Rec scene is pretty funny (click here to watch the whole episode). Here's an abridged version of the first lady's cameo, via Politico (you can watch the full clip here):

Other politicians Parks and Rec has previously booked for cameos include Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Newt Gingrich.

A Two-Word Review of "The Other Woman" (2014)

| Fri Apr. 25, 2014 6:05 AM EDT

 

Never again.

 

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