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Tag: Politics (1-10 of 145)

Clay Aiken announces he's running for Congress

Musician Clay Aiken announced his plan to run for Congress in a video posted on his campaign website Tuesday.

Aiken, a Democrat, takes viewers through a tour of his early life in his childhood home in North Carolina. He talks about how his mom had to seek refuge in this home, a friend’s, to protect them from Aiken’s violent father. The former American Idol star uses that anecdote to discuss how he wants to help struggling families as a member of Congress. “I’m not a politician,” Aiken says with a chuckle. “I don’t ever want to be one. But I do want to help bring back, at least to my corner of North Carolina, the idea that someone can go to Washington to represent all the people, whether they voted for you or not.”

Watch the video below: READ FULL STORY

Senators slam Golden Globes for 'glamorization' of e-cigarettes

Four congressmen didn’t find the humor in one of the funniest bits from Sunday night’s Golden Globes. A group of Democratic senators — Dick Durbin, Richard Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown, and Edward Markey — wrote a letter to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC Universal taking issue with Julia Louis-Dreyfus smoking an e-cigarette during the telecast.

“The Golden Globes celebrates entertainers who are an influence on young fans,” they wrote. “We ask the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC Universal to take actions to ensure that future broadcasts of the Golden Globes do not intentionally feature images of e-cigarettes. Such action would help to avoid the glamorization of smoking and protect the health of young fans.”

The e-cigarette moment happened during hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s monologue, when they mentioned that Louis-Dreyfus was nominated for both TV (Veep) and movies (Enough Said) but chose to sit with the more glamorous film crowd. Cut to Louis-Dreyfus wearing shades, puffing on an e-cig, and refusing to take a selfie with Reese Witherspoon. Check out the GIF below:
READ FULL STORY

Ian McKellen, others pen open letter to Putin over Russia's anti-gay law

Actor Ian McKellen and 27 Nobel laureates have written an open letter urging Russia’s president to repeal an anti-gay law and expressing their solidarity with critics of the legislation.

The letter — published Tuesday by the Independent newspaper — comes in the run-up to the Sochi Olympics, which have been the focus of a backlash in the West regarding the law.

Passed last year, Russia’s law bans promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” to minors and has prompted calls by gay activists and others for a boycott of the games, which begin Feb. 7.

McKellan — known to millions as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films — wrote the letter with his friend, chemist Harold Kroto.

They said the letter was written to show the scientific community’s “solidarity” with politicians, artists, athletes and others who have already “expressed their abhorrence” over Russia’s actions toward its gay citizens.
READ FULL STORY

Shots fired outside U.S. Capitol, networks break in to cover -- UPDATED

A woman driving a black Infiniti with a young child inside tried to ram through a White House barricade Thursday, then led police on a chase that ended in gunfire outside the Capitol, witnesses and officials said. CBS, NBC, and ABC all broke into their regular programming to cover the breaking news.

Tourists watched the shooting unfold on Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol as lawmakers inside debated how to end a government shutdown. Police quickly locked down the entire complex temporarily, and both houses of Congress went into recess.

The driver’s condition was not clear after police fired at the car. Authorities performed several minutes of CPR on someone near the driver’s side of the car, then carried that person away.

Police described it as an isolated event and saw no indications of terrorism.

The pursuit began when a car with Connecticut plates sped onto the driveway leading to the White House, over a set of lowered barricades. When she couldn’t get through a second barrier, she spun the car in the opposite direction, flipping a Secret Service officer over the hood of the car as she sped away, said B.J. Campbell, a visiting tourist from Portland, Ore.
READ FULL STORY

'Ender's Game' author Orson Scott Card compares Obama to Hitler in inflammatory essay

Bestselling sci-fi author Orson Scott Card is no stranger to controversy. The man behind Ender’s Game is also a passionately outspoken opponent of gay rights; his views have led LGBT readers and allies to call for boycotts of his work and to urge entertainment companies to sever ties with Card. Lionsgate, which will release a film based on Ender’s Game this fall, has also distanced itself from Card, assuring the public that the company does not agree with his personal views and promising to host an LGBT benefit premiere for the film.

But Card isn’t just an anti-same-sex-marriage activist; he’s also a vocal critic of the U.S.’s current administration who predicts that Barack Obama’s presidency will lead to the end of American democracy.

READ FULL STORY

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act, dismisses Prop 8 appeal; celebs tweet responses

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has struck down a federal provision denying benefits to legally married gay couples, the Associated Press reports. The Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons protected by the Fifth Amendment: “DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty,” the Court’s 26-page opinion, written by Justice Kennedy, states in part. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia wrote dissenting opinions.

In another 5-4 decision, the Court has also dismissed an appeal regarding California’s Proposition 8, which ruled that only marriages between one man and one woman would be valid or recognized in the state. As a result of the dismissal, same-sex couples can now legally marry in California — though as CNN notes, the decision does not say whether same-sex marriage is a constitutionally-protected right in every state.

Check out celebrities’ (and the president’s) tweets about the decisions below: READ FULL STORY

NPR hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

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NPR announced that its website and some of its Twitter accounts were hacked yesterday by the group known as the Syrian Electronic army. According to a statement released by NPR, “Several stories on the NPR website were defaced with headlines and text that said ‘Syrian Electronic Army Was Here’…Similar statements were posted on several NPR Twitter accounts. Those Twitter accounts have been addressed. We are closely monitoring the situation.” The Twitter page which allegedly belongs to the SEA tweeted: “We will not say why we attacked @NPR … They know the reason and that enough.” NPR recently won a Peabody Award in part for its coverage of the Syrian conflict.

Read More:
Beyonce, Donald Trump among celebs targeted by hackers with Russian ties
Sony’s PlayStation Network hacked again

Sean Penn on the death of Hugo Chavez: 'I lost a friend'

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died yesterday at age 58, Venezuela lost a polarizing political leader, but Sean Penn lost a friend, the actor said.

Penn has voiced his support for Chávez in the past, describing him as “one of the most important forces we’ve had on this planet” and condemning American media outlets for calling Chávez a dictator.

Here is Penn’s statement about Chávez’s death that the actor’s reps released to EW: READ FULL STORY

Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, the man who became a meme, dies at 85

Robert H. Bork, legal scholar and former nominee for the Supreme Court, died on Wednesday at 85. His son said he succumbed to complications from a heart ailment.

Ronald Reagan nominated Bork in 1987 to fill the seat vacated by Justice Lewis F. Powell, but a national political and lobbying effort to block his nomination — the first of its kind for a US Supreme Court nominee — which included television ads and pointed televised speeches from prominent members of the Senate, was ultimately successful and led to a 58-42 vote against him. READ FULL STORY

Obama, Romney poke fun at one another at charity dinner

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney poked gentle but sharp fun at one another Thursday night during an esteemed New York Catholic charity dinner that has long been a required stop for presidential candidates. Romney mocked his own wealth while taking aim at the president for running up the federal debt while Obama noted the “nice long nap” he had taken during the first presidential debate.

The two rivals donned tuxedos and white ties to share the dais at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, an annual gala that has drawn political leaders and other notables since the end of World War II.

The event was a comedic pause in a contest that has drawn increasingly nasty and close with less than three weeks left before the Nov. 6 election. On Tuesday, Obama and Romney sparred in a nationally televised debate in which each questioned the other’s character and truthfulness. READ FULL STORY

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