Rick Perry, a doofus, became the first Republican presidential candidate to drop out of the 2016 race on Friday. After failing to raise enough money to pay his campaign staffers, and faced with the prospect of spending his second nationally televised debate at the equivalent of kids’ table, the former governor of Texas had little choice but to bow out.
With just a couple weeks left in December, it's looking like 2012 is going to go down as the hottest year on record here in New York City (average temperature 57.2 degrees—balmy!). Coincidentally, it looks like 2012 will also be the hottest year on record in Dallas. And in Houston, and in the rest of Texas. And in Detroit. And in Cleveland. And in Missouri. And, fuck it, in the entire United States of America.
Today, Google released its "Zeitgeist 2012," which tracks the year's top searches in several categories. It was accompanied by this moving video showing the year's biggest people and stories — as told from the point of view of our search engines. What could make you prouder of humanity, than a video like this? Google and human events: one and the same thing.
Last week, voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington state voted for marriage equality and the gays rejoiced! After all, this was the first time that gay marriage had been approved by popular vote. But just like at the end of The Avengers, there's another villan hiding in a distant galaxy, in this case, it's Europe.
Last week Murray Waas reported in the Boston Globe that as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney refused to change the state's birth certificate to acknowledge legal births to same-sex parents. Gay couples with children were to cross out "mother" or "father" on the forms and write themselves in, leaving their children's official documents permanently altered. Romney later explained the thinking behind the decision this way: "Some gays are actually having children born to them. It's not right on paper. It's not right in fact." Here's the video.
One of the many little thrills of being a part of the Obama campaign four years ago was a deep and abiding sense that, finally, a political leader had come along who could live up to our highest aspirations. Yes, Obama was cool and played basketball and was conversant in ironical youth culture, but when it came down to it, he was overwhelmingly serious. The other guys were hauling unlicensed plumbers onstage and suspending their campaign at the drop of a hat, but Obama kept his eyes on the prize and played the grown-up. Now he's talking about "Romnesia."
Time's Mark Halperin has made himself useful for once by obtaining, and publishing, a copy of the 21-page memorandum of understanding that the Obama and Romney campaigns negotiated with the Commission on Presidential Debates establishing the rules governing this month's presidential and vice presidential face-offs. The upshot: Both campaigns are terrified at anything even remotely spontaneous happening.
First off—there is no such thing as "the media." The people and entities who shape our political coverage represent a fractured, disaggregated, chaotic mass of divergent agendas and interests. While they often display pack behavior, they do not operate as a coordinated monolith. But that doesn't mean they're being fair to Mitt Romney. They're not.
In an Associated Press article from earlier this month, national affairs writer Jesse Washington posed the question, "Does racial bias fuel Obama foes?" "The question of whether race fuels opposition to President Barack Obama has become one of the most divisive topics of the election," Washington continued. "It is sowing anger and frustration among conservatives who are labeled racist simply for opposing Obama's policies and liberals who see no other explanation for such deep dislike of the president."
Mitt Romney's 2011 tax returns, which were finally released today, show that Romney's family trust invested in two Chinese companies, a bank and a state-owned oil company. Then, as Romney's presidential campaign gained momentum, the trust sold the shares. This might not a big deal if Romney hadn't spent much of the past two years criticizing China for using unfair trade practices, and then faulting Obama for not being tougher on China's policies. For instance, Romney has said a lot of things like this:
How do you like the view from the cheap seats? We are sitting next to the gentleman from the Daily Caller, which ought to give you a sense of where Gawker sits in the Democratic Party hierarchy. Hamilton Nolan and I are here at the Time Warner Cable Arena, watching history (in the form of pro forma theatrics) happening before our eyes. It's raining outside, and a sad graveyard of discarded umbrellas (you can't bring them inside) sits outside the front entrance. Someone just said, "I'm Jewish, I'm gay, I'm a father, and I'm an entrepreneur." Let's liveblog!