Today we have three ads featuring three candidates' wives, and it's impossible not to notice they're all blondes. As a member of this misunderstood community, it's sad to say the blonder the wife, the less effective she is at selling her husband.
As the Republican primary heats up, that can only mean more ads. Which ones succeed? Which fail? We'll be reviewing them as they come out. Today we have three ads featuring three candidates' wives, and it's impossible not to notice they're all blondes. As a member of this misunderstood community, it's sad to say the blonder the wife, the less effective she is at selling her husband.
The Issues: When there's an unexpected crisis, you want someone in the White House who you can count on to make moral decisions.
The Message: The ad flips through the Romney family album to remind you that Mitt Romney has had only one wife -- unlike some other candidates -- through good times and bad, skinny ties and chunky cable knit sweaters. Ann says, "And if you really want to know how a persona will operate, look at how they've lived their life. And i think that's why it's so important to look at the character of a person. To me it makes a huge difference. Maybe to some voters it doesn't. But for me it makes a huge difference." Translation: past behavior predicts future behavior. Once a cheater, always a cheater, right, ladies?
Who It's For: Women, conservatives concerned about the personal lives of their candidates.
What Everyone Else Thinks: Wow, they Romneys wore matching sweaters.
The Effect: Ann Romney seems warm and sincere. Plus, she's the only one chill enough to let you see her tiny eye wrinkles up close. Mitt Romney must be a human if he's married to this nice lady. A-
The Message: Rick Perry has had only one wife -- unlike some other candidates -- who waited patiently for him while he was serving the country -- unlike some other candidates -- in the Air Force. "We grew up in small towns with Christian values, values we still believe in," Anita says.
Who It's For: Women, people who don't want to vote for Mitt Romney but don't like Gingrich's personal history.
What Everyone Who Grew Up in Small Towns Thinks: Small towns can have just as many creeps per capita as big towns. The only difference is the creeps know your name when they see you in line at the grocery store.
What Everyone Else Thinks: Did Rick Perry just photobomb his own wife's ad?
The Effect: If the campaign wants to show Perry's personal story -- and his lifelong commitment to his wife and community -- the ad should show pictures of them in church, not boring B-roll of a random church. And it doesn't look like Anita Perry wants to be on TV. She doesn't really smile until her husband is on camera, though when he shows up her smile looks real. She should seem like she believes in her man so much she can't stop smiling through every campaign humiliation. Poor Hillary Clinton let herself be photographed in a swimsuit to help her husband. Come on! B
The Issues: Americans show their civic pride with Christmas lights this time of year.
The Message: Newt is a wholesome member of a family who does normal things like look at Christmas lights at Christmastime. Callista is a nice, warm person and not a husband-stealer. She does things you can relate to, like love Christmas.
Who It's For: Women voters, people who don't want to vote for Mitt Romney but are nervous about Gingrich's personal history.
What Everyone Else Thinks: The script sounds like something you'd read on a cheap holiday card: "Is there anything more inspiring than American towns and neighborhoods brightly lit for the holidays? We take it as a sign of great optimism. It reminds us of the fire of freedom that burns bright in the America we love. And a prayer that the goodness of our nation will be rewarded with peace and brotherhood." That doesn't mean anything! Even by dumb political boilerplate standards.
The Effect: It seems weird to just hint that Gingrich is a family man. No point in being subtle. Callista needs to offer her personal testimony that her husband is not mean to women -- he helps old ladies bring in their groceries, buys girl scout cookies, sends her flowers, whatever. C
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
Why is President Trump badmouthing his attorney general, why doesn’t he just fire him, and what does he hope to accomplish by pushing him out?
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has spent much of his career making enemies. The Alabaman’s strident views have won him plenty of detractors, from civil-rights activists to fellow members of the Senate. But in Donald Trump, Sessions believed he had finally found a champion and fellow traveler. Instead, it seems Sessions has found his most formidable enemy yet.
Trump is now on his second consecutive day of publicly humiliating the attorney general on Twitter, following an interview with The New York Times last week in which he said he wished he’d never appointed Sessions. The attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from investigation into Russian interference in the election infuriated Trump, who has repeatedly tried to end the investigation, including by firing FBI Director James Comey. Instead, Comey’s firing resulted in the appointment of a special counsel to take the case. Here’s Trump’s latest broadside against Sessions:
The Arizona senator delivered an impassioned critique of partisanship, haste, and win-at-all-costs legislation, just moments after casting a vote to debate a bill that exemplifies all three.
It was a day of contradictions for John McCain: Returning from his own sickbed, he flew into Washington to vote to open debate on a bill that could strip others of their coverage. Met with a standing ovation on the Senate floor, he was also denounced fiercely for his vote in favor of debate, which allowed the bill to move forward after Vice President Pence broke a 50-50 tie.
And then there was the speech he delivered immediately after the vote. It was a surreal moment: a stemwinder denouncing fight-for-every-inch gamesmanship, hasty procedures, closed-door wrangling, and legislation that puts partisan gain over helping citizens, delivered moments after McCain cast the deciding vote to forward a bill that embodied every one of those tendencies.
“I hope that my story will help you understand the methods of Russian operatives in Washington and how they use U.S. enablers to achieve major foreign policy goals without disclosing those interests,” Browder writes.
The financier Bill Browder has emerged as an unlikely central player in the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Sergei Magnitsky, an attorney Browder hired to investigate official corruption, died in Russian custody in 2009. Congress subsequently imposed sanctions on the officials it held responsible for his death, passing the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government retaliated, among other ways, by suspending American adoptions of Russian children.
Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who secured a meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, was engaged in a campaign for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act, and raised the subject of adoptions in that meeting. That’s put the spotlight back on Browder’s long campaign for Kremlin accountability, and against corruption—a campaign whose success has irritated Putin and those around him.
The president addressed the quadrennial gathering like a campaign rally—talking to a group devoted to service as if it valued self-interest.
Donald Trump continued his ongoing tour of cherished American institutions on Monday night, delivering yet another jarringly partisan speech to an apolitical audience—this one, comprising tens of thousands still too young to vote.
During the campaign, his performance at the Al Smith dinner—where presidential candidates roast their rivals and themselves every four years—devolved into overt attacks on his opponent. Shortly after his election, he stunned CIA employees by delivering a campaign-style stump speech before the agency’s Memorial Wall. On Saturday, he surprised the crowd of uniformed personnel at the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford by imploring them to lobby Congress in support of his agenda.
The internet’s favorite fact-checkers are caught in a messy dispute.
On Monday, the editorial staff of Snopes.com wrote a short plea for help. The post said that the site needed money to fund its operations because another company that Snopes had contracted with “continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage.”
“Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile,” the note continued.
It was a shocking message from a website that’s been around for more than 20 years—and that’s become a vital part of internet infrastructure in the #fakenews era. The site’s readers have responded. Already, more than $92,000 has been donated to a GoFundMe with a goal of $500,000.
Ask yourself, is all that wasted time really rewarding? And other tips from Charles Duhigg, who wrote the book on productivity.
Why is it that the more work I have to do, the more the internet beckons me into its endless maw of distraction? Oh Lord, I will say, appealing both to myself and to whatever blog-god might be listening, I have an hour to finish this article.
But first, isn’t this Tasty video fascinating? I’ve never thought about making buffalo-fried cheese nuggets before, but now that I’ve watched a pair of disembodied hands prepare them so expertly, I should definitely head over to Amazon and Prime me some buffalo sauce.
This is how I found myself, exhausted after leaving work at 8 p.m. one day recently, flopping onto my bed, still in my pencil skirt, and clicking open a horrific, traffic-mongering slideshow linked from the bottom of an article I was reading. It was about Stars Without Makeup or What Child Stars Look Like Now or some other rancid meat for my hungry lizard brain.
There is plenty of reason to be confident that if ISIS could reliably and easily make a dirty bomb, they would do so.
In the last three years, I have not spent much time wondering whether ISIS has access to radioactive material. I know they have had access, because I had a hand in getting it to them.
In 2005, while working for an air cargo company in Mosul, I delivered a large wooden box, marked for consignment to the University of Mosul. To fly it in, we needed a special plane, an Antonov-12, whose cargo hold was cavernous compared to our usual 727s and DC-8s. The box contained, according to its air waybill, radiological imaging equipment for the university’s teaching hospital. The next day, workers from the hospital met me at my office, and I gently forklifted the crate into their truck. The load seemed off-balance, and I winced when I heard a corner of the box splinter as we strapped it down. But they drove away, and unless that million-dollar piece of medical equipment fell off the back of the truck and ended up strewn across the road, it probably made it safely to the hospital, where it was captured by ISIS nine years later.
Partly, it’s simple rage. Mueller threatens Trump. And when Trump sees someone as a threat, he tries to discredit and destroy them—conventional norms of propriety, decency and legality be damned.
But there’s another, more calculated, reason. Trump and his advisors may genuinely believe that firing Mueller is a smart move. And if you put morality aside, and see the question in nakedly political terms, they may be right.
The chances that Mueller will uncover something damning seem very high. Trump has already admitted to firing former FBI Director James Comey over the Russia investigation. Donald Trump Jr. has already admitted to welcoming the opportunity to get dirt on Hillary Clinton from people he believed were representatives of the Russian government. Even if Mueller doesn’t accuse anyone of a crime, he’s likely to paint a brutal picture. And that’s just on the question of election collusion and obstruction of justice. If Mueller uses Russia to segue into Trump’s business dealings, who knows what he might find. An all-star team of legal and financial sleuths, with unlimited time and money, and the ability to subpoena documents and people, have been let loose on the affairs of a man whose own autobiographer called him a “sociopath.” No wonder Trump is scared.
Surprise eggs and slime are at the center of an online realm that’s changing the way the experts think about human development.
Toddlers crave power. Too bad for them, they have none. Hence the tantrums and absurd demands. (No, I want this banana, not that one, which looks identical in every way but which you just started peeling and is therefore worthless to me now.)
They just want to be in charge! This desire for autonomy clarifies so much about the behavior of a very small human. It also begins to explain the popularity of YouTube among toddlers and preschoolers, several developmental psychologists told me.
If you don’t have a 3-year-old in your life, you may not be aware of YouTube Kids, an app that’s essentially a stripped-down version of the original video blogging site, with videos filtered by the target audience’s age. And because the mobile app is designed for use on a phone or tablet, kids can tap their way across a digital ecosystem populated by countless videos—all conceived with them in mind.
The GOP voted to begin debate on repealing Obamacare, as several holdouts fell in line. What—if anything—the party can pass remains uncertain.
Updated on July 25 at 10:08 p.m. Eastern
Senate Republicans have voted to begin debate on legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, clearing a key procedural hurdle even as it remains unclear what—if any—legislation the party might ultimately pass.
The vote was as narrow as it gets: With two Republicans out of their slim majority of 52 opposing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s motion to proceed on Tuesday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 tie to formally launch deliberations that had taken place almost entirely in private for two months. The vote was briefly delayed as Senate officials removed protesters shouting “Kill the Bill! Kill the Bill!” from the balcony of the chamber.