MoJo Author Feeds: Asawin Suebsaeng | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en Singer and Hardcore LGBT Rights Supporter Demi Lovato Made This Lovely Video for Marriage Equality <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Singer and actress <a href="" target="_blank">Demi Lovato</a> is a strong <a href="" target="_blank">supporter</a> of LGBT rights. She played a lesbian character on Fox's <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Glee</em></a>, served as the <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Marshal</a> of the Los Angeles Pride Parade this year, and has <a href="" target="_blank">spoken openly</a> about her grandfather's homosexuality. "I believe in gay marriage, I believe in equality," Lovato told <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Cambio</em></a> magazine. "I think there's a lot of hypocrisy with religion&hellip;I just found that you can have your own relationship with God, and I still have a lot of faith."</p> <p>Now, she's made a <a href="" target="_blank">video</a> (watch above) with the Human Rights Campaign in support of marriage equality. The video, <a href="" target="_blank">released</a> on Wednesday, is part of HRC's recently re-launched Americans for Marriage Equality campaign, which includes messages from <a href="" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Bryan Cranston</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Mo'Nique</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman</a>. Here is Lovato's message:</p> <blockquote> <p>Hey, guys, I'm Demi Lovato, and I'm an American for marriage equality. I believe that love comes in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. So whether you're LGBT or straight, your love is valid, beautiful, and an incredible gift. So let's protect love and strengthen the institution of marriage by allowing loving, caring, and committed same-sex couples to legally marry. Please join me and the <a href="" target="_blank">majority</a> of American citizens who support marriage equality.</p> </blockquote> <p>"We reached out to her [a couple months ago] knowing what a supporter of LGBT equality she is, and thought she would be great for this campaign," <a href="" target="_blank">Charles Joughin</a>, an HRC spokesman, told <em>Mother Jones</em>. He also mentioned that they have more Americans for Marriage Equality videos lined up featuring other big names, from pro-athletes and movie stars to politicians and civil rights leaders. HRC will likely be released one video a week over the coming months.</p> <p>When asked if Lovato has any further plans to work with the LGBT civil rights group, Joughin said that nothing was discussed, but that they'd be more than happy to do so. "She certainly has done a lot for the larger movement&hellip;We haven't taken it into consideration, but we're such big fans of her we'd be thrilled to work with her in the future. Whether she's doing work with HRC, or elsewhere, I am certain this is a cause she's very committed to."</p> <p>Now check out this video about Lovato sticking it to Russian president Vladimir Putin (and his <a href="" target="_blank">anti-gay policies</a>) during her New York City gay pride performance this summer. During the show, two of Lovato's male backup dancers shared a kiss; <a href="" target="_blank">one</a> of them appeared to be naked and was holding a <a href="" target="_blank">picture of Putin's face over his crotch</a>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Film and TV Gay Rights Human Rights Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:22:07 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255846 at George R.R. Martin Has 2 Words for People Scared He'll Die Before Finishing "Game Of Thrones" Series <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Game of Thrones</em></a> author George R.R. Martin is 65 years old. Because of this, some of his fans are <a href="" target="_blank">deeply worried</a> that he won't finish writing his <em>A Song of Ice And Fire</em> fantasy book series (which began in 1996, and is the basis for <a href="" target="_blank">the hit HBO show</a>) before he dies. (See: the case of fellow fantasy author <a href="" target="_blank">Robert Jordan</a>.)</p> <p>Well, he was asked about this during a recent interview with Swiss newspaper <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Tages-Anzeiger</em></a>. Here's his response:</p> <blockquote> <p>Well, I find that question, you know, pretty offensive, frankly, when people start speculating about my death and my health. So, 'fuck you' to those people. <em>[Laughs.]</em></p> </blockquote> <p>You can watch the "fuck you"&mdash;and Martin's accompanying flipped middle finger&mdash;<a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>This isn't the first time Martin has addressed this concern among his readers. In 2012, he wrote a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a> trolling his fans who are so obsessed with the series that they routinely <a href="" target="_blank">berate</a> him for working on other projects. It <a href="" target="_blank">reads</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Reading. I just finished THE KING'S BLOOD, the second volume of Daniel Abraham's "Dagger and Coin" series. Books like this remind me why I love epic fantasy. Yes, I'm prejudiced, Daniel is a friend and sometime collaborator... but damn, that was a good book. Great world, great characters, thoroughly engrossing story. The only problem was, it ended too soon. I want more. I want to know what happens to Cithrin, and Marcus, and Geder, and Clara. And I want to know NOW. God damn you, Daniel Abraham. I know for a fact that you are writing more Expanse books with Ty, and more urban fantasies as M.L.N. Hanover, and doing short stories for some hack anthologist, and scripting some goddamn COMIC BOOK, and even sleeping with your wife and playing with your daughter. STOP ALL THAT AT ONCE, and get to writing on the next Dagger and Coin. I refuse to wait.</p> </blockquote> <p>"Fuck you" is more succinct.</p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">(</span><em style="line-height: 2em;">h/t </em><a href=";utm_source=gawker_twitter&amp;utm_medium=socialflow" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank">Gawker</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">)</span></p></body></html> Mixed Media Books Film and TV Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:38:37 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255751 at Emma Watson Crashes United Nations Website With Her Goodwill Ambassador Announcement <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Emma Watson&mdash;the <a href="" target="_blank">humanitarian</a> and staunch <a href="" target="_blank">feminist</a> who you may recognize from such films as <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Bling Ring</em></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Noah</em></a>, and the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Harry Potter </em></a>movies&mdash;is now <a href="" target="_blank">working</a> with the United Nations on gender equality and female empowerment.</p> <p>On Monday, UN Women and Watson <a href="" target="_blank">announced</a> that she had been appointed as a celebrity <a href="" target="_blank">Goodwill Ambassador</a>. The 24-year-old British actress will work on the "empowerment of young women and will serve as an advocate for UN Women's <a href="" target="_blank">HeForShe</a> campaign," according to the UN Women's press release. (The HeForShe campaign enlists men and boys to stand up for gender equality.) In 2012, Watson became an <a href="" target="_blank">ambassador</a> for the Campaign for Female Education.</p> <p>The announcement drew enough web traffic to <a href="" target="_blank">crash</a> the UN Women website. "We apologize &amp; hope to be back up soon," the UN entity <a href="" target="_blank">tweeted</a>. The site experienced problems for roughly 12 hours following the announcement. "This is the power of [Watson]; she has such global appeal," UN Women's <a href="" target="_blank">Elizabeth Nyamayaro</a> told <em>Mother Jones</em>.</p> <p>"Ms. Emma Watson is someone who is not only smart, but someone who is very passionate about girls' issues," Nyamayaro said, explaining why the UN reached out to the actress in the first place. According to&nbsp;Nyamayaro, Watson is particularly excited about working with HeForShe, and will also support the work of young women across UN Women's strategic pillars, <a href="" target="_blank">including</a> economic empowerment, ending violence against women, political participation, and peace and security.</p> <p>Here is Watson's full <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a> on her new gig:</p> <blockquote> <p>Being asked to serve as UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador is truly humbling. The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly. Women's rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can't imagine an opportunity more exciting. I still have so much to learn, but as I progress I hope to bring more of my individual knowledge, experience, and awareness to this role.</p> </blockquote> <p>(Watson expressed her excitement on Twitter with a <a href="" target="_blank">blushing emoticon</a>.)</p> <p>Other celebrity Goodwill Ambassadors for the UN include <a href="" target="_blank">Liam Neeson</a>, "<a href="" target="_blank">Twitter Nazi hunter</a>" Mia Farrow, and <a href="" target="_blank">Orlando Bloom</a>.</p> <p>Below is video of Watson visiting slum homes and a <a href="" target="_blank">fair trade</a> group in <a href="" target="_blank">Bangladesh</a>: "I still find it hard to convey what fair trade means to those producing our fashion&mdash;it's just so impressive to see how the women have used fair trade clothing to escape poverty and empower themselves and their children," Watson <a href="" target="_blank">said</a>. "I was moved and inspired."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><em>This post has been updated.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Human Rights International Sex and Gender Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:16:58 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255646 at Gitmo Detainees Cite Hobby Lobby in New Court Filing. Read It Here. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>In a new court filing, attorneys for two Guantanamo Bay detainees have invoked the Supreme Court's controversial <a href="" target="_blank">decision</a> in <em>Burwell v. Hobby Lobby</em>, which allowed certain corporations to ignore the Obamacare <a href="" target="_blank">contraception</a> <a href="" target="_blank">mandate</a> if their owners object to it on religious grounds. The motions, <a href="" target="_blank">filed</a> with a Washington, DC, district court on behalf of&nbsp;Ahmed Rabbani of Pakistan and Emad Hassan of Yemen, ask the court to bar military officials from preventing Gitmo inmates from participating in communal prayer during Ramadan.</p> <p>"Hobby Lobby makes clear that <em>all</em> persons&mdash;human and corporate, citizen and foreigner, resident and alien&mdash;enjoy the special religious free exercise protections of the [<a href="" target="_blank">Religious Freedom Restoration Act</a>]," the lawyers argue.</p> <p>A spokesman for the Department of Defense <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Al Jazeera America</em></a> on Friday that the "Defense Department is aware of the filing," and that the "government will respond through the legal system."</p> <p>Read the emergency <a href="" target="_blank">motion</a> for a temporary restraining order below:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1212883-gitmo-hobby-lobby-filing">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//"></script><script> DV.load("//", { width: 630, height: 820, sidebar: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1212883-gitmo-hobby-lobby-filing" }); </script><noscript> <a href="">Gitmo Hobby Lobby Filing (PDF)</a> <br><a href="">Gitmo Hobby Lobby Filing (Text)</a> </noscript></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Religion Reproductive Rights Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:27:33 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255526 at There's a Satirical, Naughty Musical About the Clinton White House Opening in New York. Listen to One of the Songs. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>If the musical-theater community could find it in itself to create a <a href="" target="_blank">cantata telling the story of a Twitter war between Paul Krugman and the president of Estonia</a>, then surely a musical about the Clinton administration couldn't have been that far behind.</p> <p>On July 18, <a href=";utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=See_Clinton_the_Musical_for_only_%2425_at_NYMF" target="_blank"><em>Clinton: The Musical</em></a> will premiere at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. (The festival has previously hosted such successful productions as <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Next to Normal</em></a> and <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Altar Boyz</em></a>, prior to their respective Broadway runs.) The book for <em>Clinton</em> was written by Australian writing duo and brothers Paul and Michael Hodge, and music and lyrics were penned by Paul Hodge. An earlier, shorter version was nominated for best new musical at the <a href="" target="_blank">2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe</a>, and a subsequent incarnation was mounted at London's King's Head Theatre the following year.</p> <p>The idea for the musical emerged out of a Hodge family outing. "My family and I went to go and see a musical in Australia about an Australian politician, back in 2006 or 2007," Paul Hodge tells <em>Mother Jones</em>. "And after the show, my dad said, 'Oh, it was good, but politicians don't make good subjects for musicals. The only politician who would make a good subject for that would be Bill Clinton.' And I said, 'Of course!'"</p> <p><em>Clinton</em>, a two-act musical satire, covers the eight years of <a href="" target="_blank">Bill Clinton's presidency</a>. According to Paul, the music ranges from more traditional American musical styles to burlesque to 1990s pop. As for comedic influences, Paul cites&nbsp;<em><a href="" target="_blank">Arrested</a> <a href="" target="_blank">Development</a></em>, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Simpsons</em></a>, and <a href="" target="_blank"><em>30 Rock</em></a>.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mixed-media/2014/07/bill-hillary-clinton-musical-new-york-exclusive-audio-photos"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Mixed Media Hillary Clinton Music Top Stories Thu, 03 Jul 2014 19:37:26 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255356 at "Snowpiercer": The Best Post-Apocalyptic Film About Class Warfare You'll See All Summer <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><em>Snowpiercer</em>, directed by <a href="" target="_blank">Bong Joon-ho</a> and starring <a href="" target="_blank">Chris Evans</a>, is an ambitious, <a href="" target="_blank">critically acclaimed</a> new thriller. "While <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Transformers</em></a> mucks up cineplexes with its ugly bombast, here, as an alternative, is something truly special, a unique and bracing science-fiction film that stirs both heart and mind," <a href="" target="_blank">raves</a> <em>Vanity Fair</em>.</p> <p>Like so many action films that came before it (both the <a href="" target="_blank">smart</a> and the <a href="" target="_blank">monumentally silly</a>), <em>Snowpiercer </em>has political relevance pumping through its veins. In the future, a corporate attempt to reverse the devastating effects of global warming goes horrifically wrong: The experiment ends up murdering most of the planet. Survivors live aboard the Snowpiercer, a train&mdash;equipped with a perpetual-motion engine&mdash;where the rich and pampered live at the front and the poor and unwashed at the rear. Bloody class warfare <a href="" target="_blank">ensues</a>.</p> <p>You get the message.</p> <p>Here's Bong discussing the corporate critique and climate-change angle of his film, in an interview with&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">CraveOnline</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>In <em>Snowpiercer</em>, it's more about how big business tries to both use and control nature. And how it backfires on them. Nature takes its revenge and sends them back to the ice age. This is an aspect that is different from the <a href=";client=firefox-a&amp;hs=0qm&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;channel=fflb&amp;tbm=isch&amp;tbo=u&amp;source=univ&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=ZiqzU6nJH-Xt8AG3xoDYDg&amp;ved=0CDkQsAQ&amp;biw=1440&amp;bih=729" target="_blank">graphic novel [source material]</a> (by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette). I wanted to make a story change because I felt that climate change is more current of an issue and will continue to be, because it's not in the interest of big business to change, but to control.</p> </blockquote> <p>Basically, it's an action movie in which corporate power takes extreme measures to attack the climate, instead of overhauling the way they do business for the sake of the world. They screw over human civilization, and the rest of the film goes the class-division route. "The poor are in the back and the rich are in the front," Bong <a href="" target="_blank">told</a> CraveOnline. "So this created an opportunity to talk about the political ideas involved and really examine human nature and why those systems exist. What would we actually discover if they were taken on? We don't know because it's so large and affects billions of people. Having a few survivors is a sci-fi element [that] makes it easier to explore these ideas."</p> <p>On that note, here's a trailer for <em>Snowpiercer</em>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Climate Change Corporations Film and TV Wed, 02 Jul 2014 16:29:10 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255301 at Michael Bay: Hollywood's Conservative Hero? <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Director <a href="" target="_blank">Michael Bay</a> is one of the most successful&mdash;if critically <a href="" target="_blank">detested</a>&mdash;filmmakers of the past 30 years. He is worth $400 million.&nbsp;He lives the life of a consummate <a href="" target="_blank">playboy</a>. His <a href="" target="_blank">explosion-heavy</a> action films (<a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Rock</em></a>, <a href=";feature=kp" target="_blank"><em>Armageddon</em></a>,&nbsp;the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Bad Boys</em></a> movies, the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Transformers</em></a> flicks, etc.) have grossed over $4.5 billion worldwide. His new movie, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Transformers:</em></a> <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Age of Extinction</em></a> (released on Friday), is also expected to make <a href="" target="_blank">all the money</a>.</p> <p>But what about his politics?</p> <p dir="ltr">When I talked to the 49-year-old director <a href="" target="_blank">last year</a>, he demurred on the question of whether he leans right or left: "Yes, I am a political person, and I have my views about America," Bay <a href="" target="_blank">told me</a>. "I'm very proud of my country; obviously it's going through a lot of turmoil, and we have a very ineffectual government&hellip; It doesn't matter at all [whether I'm liberal or conservative]&mdash;it's not a part of what I do. I don't feel the need to go out and tell people what to believe politically."</p> <p>Bay is obviously more private about his politics than, say, mega-producer <a href="" target="_blank">Jerry Bruckheimer</a>, who worked with Bay on some of his biggest hits and is one of liberal Hollywood's <a href="" target="_blank">top conservatives</a>. You won't find much at all about Bay's politics online or in his past statements, and a search of <a href=";cycle=All&amp;sort=R&amp;state=&amp;zip=&amp;employ=&amp;cand=&amp;submit=Submit+Query" target="_blank">public campaign</a> <a href=";from_form=1" target="_blank">finance records databases</a> <a href="" target="_blank">turned up</a> <a href="" target="_blank">nothing</a>.</p> <p>However, Bay did tell me that, though he doesn't receive a writing credit, he works closely with his screenwriters and will <a href="" target="_blank">tweak</a> the scripts as he sees fit. And there just so happen to be many hints of political conservatism in his <a href="" target="_blank">movies</a>. Out of the 11 movies Bay has directed, the one truly left-wing outlier is <em>The Rock</em> (1996), starring&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Nicolas Cage</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Sean Connery</a>. The action film depicts the <a href="" target="_blank">blowback</a> from illegal American covert operations overseas, and is critical of gun-toting "patriotism"; it was also co-written by <em>West Wing </em>creator (and diehard liberal) <a href="" target="_blank">Aaron Sorkin</a>, so there's that.</p> <p>But much of Bay's filmography is loaded with political content and attitudes that your average (stereotypical?) American conservative can totally get behind. In&nbsp;<em>Armageddon </em>(1998), a NASA-recruited team of blue-collar oil-drillers agree to embark on a dangerous mission to <a href="" target="_blank">blow up an asteroid</a> and save mankind&mdash;on the condition that they <a href="" target="_blank">never have to pay taxes</a> again.</p> <p>In <em>Bad Boys II </em>(2003), the film's rowdy-cop heroes <a href=";;t=6m56s" target="_blank">illegally invade (and destroy large chunks of) communist Cuba</a>, in the name of fighting the international drug war. The subsequent car chase concludes in front of the <a href="" target="_blank">Guantanamo Bay detention camp</a>, where a conveniently placed mine tears apart the body of the psychotic Cuban drug lord:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>And <em>Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen </em>(2009), starring <a href="" target="_blank">Shia LaBeouf</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Megan Fox</a>, easily doubles as a critique of the Obama administration's foreign policy. Seriously. In this fictional <em>Transformers </em>universe, Barack Obama is identified as the president of the United States.&nbsp;(George W. Bush appears briefly in the first <em>Transformers</em>, where he orders some Ding Dongs on Air Force One.) President Obama <a href="" target="_blank">orders</a> the American armed forces to try to engage in <a href="" target="_blank">diplomacy</a> with the Decepticons (the bad-guy alien robots) and to suspend cooperation with the Autobots (the good-guy alien robots). The Obama administration also agrees to hand Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) over to the Decepticons&mdash;the kind of act of shameful <a href="" target="_blank">appeasement</a> that the president's real-life conservative critics so often accuse him of perpetrating.</p> <p>Fortunately, brave members of the US military disobey these orders (<a href="" target="_blank">a mutiny</a>, essentially), and the day is saved! (Bay <a href="" target="_blank">loves</a> <a href="" target="_blank">the</a> <a href="" target="_blank">US military</a>, and also <a href="" target="_blank">patriotism</a>, very much so.)</p> <p>"<a href="" target="_blank">Optimus [Prime]</a> truly cares about the future of the human race, unlike the Obama administration, which Bay represents as so prissy and antiwar it just wants the alien robots off the planet,"&nbsp;Mary Pols <a href=",8599,1906689,00.html" target="_blank">wrote</a> for <em>Time </em>in 2009. "Bay's Obama would probably drive his Prius over Optimus if he had the chance." According to Bay, the reason Obama is in the film is because he once bumped into him&mdash;back when he was 2008 presidential candidate Obama&mdash;in a Las Vegas airport. Upon meeting, Bay said a couple of nice things to the future president, and Obama in turn complimented Bay by calling him a "<a href="" target="_blank">big-ass director</a>."</p> <p>This exchange was apparently enough to make the director want to turn the Democratic politician into a movie character. Here's video of Bay recalling their encounter:&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>And in the new <em>Transformers </em>installment, <a href="" target="_blank">Mark </a><a href="" target="_blank">Wahlberg</a>'s tough-talking character, whose family property is cluttered with bold American flags, warns despotic, anti-Autobot government agents about "<a href="" target="_blank">messing with people from Texas</a>." To be fair, the film can also be interpreted as a shallow <a href="" target="_blank">pro-immigration-reform</a> robot movie.</p> <p>Regardless of how Michael Bay views Obama, or Bush, or the Democratic Party, or the Republican Party, or the tea party, his patriotic views may have been best captured in a line <a href="" target="_blank">delivered by Wahlberg</a> in Bay's 2013 crime film <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Pain &amp; Gain</em></a>: "When it started, America was just a handful of scrawny colonies. Now, it's the most buff, pumped-up country on the planet. That's pretty rad."</p> <p>As for making public political statements, again, don't hold your breath. If Bay is going to make a stand, he is <em>way</em> more likely to do so out of his love for animals than any political conviction. In late 2010, Bay offered a $<a href="" target="_blank">50,000 reward</a> for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of a woman who threw puppies into a river. Bay is a dog lover who lives with two gigantic English mastiffs named Grace (after actress Liv Tyler's <em>Armageddon</em> character) and Bonecrusher (after a Decepticon).</p> <p>Looking out for puppies. That enjoys bipartisan support, right?</p></body></html> Media Film and TV Foreign Policy Military Top Stories Fri, 27 Jun 2014 16:26:56 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 254816 at The Coach of the US Soccer Team Wrote You a Note To Get Out of Work <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>This should come in handy today.</p> <p>J&uuml;rgen Klinsmann, the US men's national soccer team coach, signed the following tongue-in-cheek letter excusing American employees from work on Thursday. The US is <a href="" target="_blank">playing</a> Germany in a <a href="" target="_blank">highly anticipated</a> World Cup match.</p> <p>Here's the get-out-of-work letter, via the <a href="" target="_blank">US Soccer</a> Twitter feed:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="US Soccer excuse note world cup" class="image" height="473" src="/files/BrAmejCCcAAXf4q.png_large.png" width="631"><div class="caption"><em><a href="" target="_blank">@ussoccer</a>/Twitter</em></div> </div> <p>If you tried to use this on your boss, please do tell us how it went in the comments below. Go USA!</p></body></html> Mixed Media Media Sports Thu, 26 Jun 2014 15:05:01 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 254916 at Watch Two US Congressmen Battle Each Other With Prince Songs <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Wednesday marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Prince and The Revolution's album <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Purple Rain</em></a>, the soundtrack to the 1984 film of the same name. So, obviously, at least a couple lawmakers were going to mark the occasion by singing and strumming Prince music.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)</a>, a congressman from Prince's <a href="" target="_blank">home state</a>, picked up an acoustic guitar and sang a cover of "Purple Rain" (he <a href="" target="_blank">got the lyrics wrong</a>, but still). Here's a Vine of his Prince tribute:</p> <p><iframe class="vine-embed" frameborder="0" height="600" src="" width="600"></iframe><script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY)</a> responded with his own acoustic Prince cover of "Raspberry Beret"&mdash;which <a href="" target="_blank">isn't</a> from <em>Purple Rain</em>, but whatever:</p> <p><iframe class="vine-embed" frameborder="0" height="600" src="" width="600"></iframe><script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>The two Democrats later expressed a desire to jam, <a href="" target="_blank">possibly</a> to Bruce Springsteen. Perhaps <a href="" target="_blank">Rep. Michele</a> <a href="" target="_blank">Bachmann (R-Minn.)</a> can weigh in next with "<a href="" target="_blank">Let's Go Crazy</a>."</p> <p>Prince did not respond to <em>Mother Jones</em>' request for comment on what he thought about the elected representatives doing battle with his songs as glorious weaponry.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Music Wed, 25 Jun 2014 21:23:22 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 254861 at Read the Supreme Court's Unanimous Decision Telling Cops They Need a Warrant to Search Your Cellphone <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><em>Read our explainer of the decision <a href="" target="_blank">here</a></em>.</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1208240-supreme-court-cell-phone-search-decision">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//"></script><script> DV.load("//", { width: 630, height: 820, sidebar: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1208240-supreme-court-cell-phone-search-decision" }); </script><noscript> <a href="">Supreme Court Cell Phone Search Decision (PDF)</a> <br><a href="">Supreme Court Cell Phone Search Decision (Text)</a> </noscript></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Supreme Court Wed, 25 Jun 2014 14:56:34 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 254796 at