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Theweek

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Official site of The Week Magazine, offering commentary and analysis of the day's breaking news and current events as well as arts, entertainment, people and gossip, and political cartoons.





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How the coming debt-ceiling showdown could derail the recovery How the coming debt-ceiling showdown could derail the recovery

The federal government won't hit the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling until around October, but lawmakers are already fighting about it. Senate Tea Party conservatives are blocking the creation of a conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate budget proposals because they want assurances that the committee won't increase the borrowing limit as part of a broad budget deal. Why? Because that would prevent them from using the issue later as leverage to demand spending cuts and other fiscal reforms.
GOP leaders in the House, including Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and Budget Committee Chairman...
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2013-06-10 17:45:00
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The QT: Hu's on first, awe over awesome bacon ads, and more The QT: Hu's on first, awe over awesome bacon ads, and more

News Item:
"...in their first meeting since
assumed power from ex-president
Jintao..."
Who gave up power?
Yes.
No. I mean the man's name.
Hu.
Wait. Who has the power now?
Xi does.
A woman is in charge of China?
Xi is not a woman.
Who is not a woman?
Neither is Xi...
***
News Item:
"...out of respect for a tradition of bipartisan comity..."
Whenever you see the word "comity" in a news story, replace it with "comedy."
You will never go wrong.
***
News Item:
QT column arrives at
TheWeek.com
And will try to achieve comity where it can.
***
News Headline:
"Is Wall Street still untouchable...
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2013-06-10 17:45:00
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Today in history: June 10 Today in history: June 10

June 10
On this day. 1801:
Under President Jefferson's orders, the U.S. went to war against the Barbary coast states of North Africa. Pirates from what are today Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria captured merchant ships and held crews for ransom. For years, the U.S. paid. Earlier, a Muslim envoy told Jefferson that it was wrong for the U.S. not to acknowledge Muhammad — thus America had sinned, he told the president. The envoy told Jefferson that because the U.S. was a sinner nation, "it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave" it. The Muslim envoy didn't know...
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2013-06-10 13:57:00
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20 towns named for other towns but pronounced differently 20 towns named for other towns but pronounced differently

The United States of America, the great melting pot. We take music, foods, words and traditions from all over the world, shake them up and blend them into something distinctly American. We took "O Sole Mio" and made "It's Now or Never." We took pizza and put cheese inside the crust. We take names from places all over the world to give to our towns and cities, and once they're ours, we'll pronounce them how we want to, thank you very much. Usually we simply use the English version of the word for a place: we don't say Par-EE, Texas, the French way, but PARE-iss, because that's how we say Paris in...
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2013-06-10 13:13:00
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The daily gossip: Jonah Hill doesn't want you to ask him about farting, and more The daily gossip: Jonah Hill doesn't want you to ask him about farting, and more

1. Jonah Hill doesn't want you to ask him about farting
Attention, entertainment journalists: Jonah Hill is a
really serious
actor now, with an Oscar nomination and everything, so he would really prefer that you refrain from asking him about his farting habits. In an interview with
Rolling Stone
, the actor balked at a question about what kind of farter he is. "I'm not answering that dumb question! I'm not that kind of person!" said Hill. "Being in a funny movie doesn't make me have to answer dumb questions." Sounds like he's become a real gasbag to us. [
E! Online
………&hellip...
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2013-06-07 23:12:00
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4 shows from Norway's crazy, successful slow TV experiment 4 shows from Norway's crazy, successful slow TV experiment

You may have heard of the slow food movement, a philosophy of cooking and eating slowly, with full attention and enjoyment, that serves as a counterpoint to a hurried fast food culture. The slow concept has worked its way into all kinds of practices. Slow gardening, slow parenting, and slow travel, all offer alternatives to the hustle and distraction of modern life. The slow philosophy works well for any experience that can be improved by conscious savoring and appreciating. That's why for the past several years Norway has been applying the slow concept to... television? Yes, and with surprising...
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2013-06-07 12:52:00
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Vladimir Putin and 8 other world leaders who got divorced in office Vladimir Putin and 8 other world leaders who got divorced in office

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he and his wife, Lyudmila, were getting divorced after 20 years. The media has been speculating over their marriage ever since rumors surfaced in 2008 of an affair with Alina Kabaeva, an Olympic gold medal–winning gymnast half Putin's age.
"It was a joint decision: We hardly see each other, each of us has our own life," Putin said on state television after attending the ballet with his wife. The couple were married in 1983 and have two daughters, Maria and Yekaterina.
While it's relatively rare for world leaders to get divorced...
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2013-06-07 01:52:00
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Steven Seagal: Our man in Moscow? Steven Seagal: Our man in Moscow?

Steven Seagal is an actor, energy-drink maker, dancehall singer, ponytail-haver, and, now, cultural ambassador to Russia.
Seagal, star of
Above the Law
Under Siege
, and
Out for Justice
, is apparently tight with President Vladimir Putin, who is also known for his excessive displays of manliness. "Putin and Seagal have long been friends, and they regularly meet each other," Putin's spokesperson said shortly after the two were seen lunching and watching a judo match together.
Seagal isn't just a tourist. In March, he helped Putin promote a physical fitness program for children called Ready for...
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2013-06-06 00:58:00
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The daily gossip: Joss Whedon says he won't make The Avengers 2 without Robert Downey Jr., and more The daily gossip: Joss Whedon says he won't make The Avengers 2 without Robert Downey Jr., and more

1. Joss Whedon says he won't make
The Avengers 2
without Robert Downey Jr.
Mega-budget superhero sequel
The Avengers 2
looms on the horizon, but franchise star Robert Downey Jr. — who has played
Iron Man
in four films — hasn't technically signed on to appear in the sequel, amid
ominous r
eports of a contract dispute. But in a recent interview with
The Daily Beast
, director Joss
Whedon
did his best to reassure fans that the actor wouldn't be scrapped for a younger, cheaper model. "I have no intention of making
Avengers 2
without him, nor do I think I'll be called upon to do that," said...
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2013-06-05 23:40:00
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Who should be madder at Chris Christie - Democrats or Republicans? Who should be madder at Chris Christie - Democrats or Republicans?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) managed to anger Republicans and Democrats at the same time on Tuesday, when he called for an Oct. 16 special election to fill the seat of Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died Monday. Democrats accused Christie of playing politics by keeping the seat off the ballot in November, when he's up for re-election. The Dems say Christie wants to be sure that he wouldn't be hurt by an expected surge in Democratic interest in the Senate vote, as Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) has made it clear he wants the seat. The GOP wanted Christie to appoint a Republican to serve...
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2013-06-05 17:42:00
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Rosie the Homemaker: Swiffer pulls an ad recasting the feminist icon Rosie the Homemaker: Swiffer pulls an ad recasting the feminist icon

Bowing to a 24-hour publicity firestorm, Swiffer, the Proctor & Gamble-owned cleaning company, on Tuesday announced it would pull an ad that had been widely condemned as offensive for recasting the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter as a sexed-up homemaker.
The ad, which shows a woman holding a steam-powered cleaner while posing in the signature red bandana and blue shirt, was first spotted and posted to Twitter Sunday afternoon.
We can do it! Because cleaning kitchens is a woman's work. #swiffer #sexist instagram.com/p/aD7wrDuJ3i/
— Heather Beschizza (@hbeschizza) June 2, 2013
...
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2013-06-05 02:37:00
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The daily gossip: Justin Bieber's 'Heartbreaker' journaling, and more The daily gossip: Justin Bieber's 'Heartbreaker' journaling, and more

1. Justin Bieber teases a new single called "Heartbreaker"
Like most broody teenagers, Justin Bieber has been keeping a journal for months — but unlike most teenagers, it's national news when he decides to post an excerpt from it. On Monday night, the Biebs took to Instagram to post an image allegedly culled from his so-called "musical journal," which features a purple crumbling heart alongside the message, "Heartbreaker #Justinbiebernewsingle." Anyone who can't wait for Bieber to post more about his heartbreak is advised to Google "Selena Gomez." [
MTV News
………&hellip...
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2013-06-04 23:03:00
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Why China is banning 'big yellow ducks' on the anniversary of Tiananmen Square Why China is banning 'big yellow ducks' on the anniversary of Tiananmen Square

The Chinese government can't stop its citizens from remembering what happened 24 years ago at Tiananmen Square, but it can try its hardest to stop them from talking about it online.
Any phrases remotely related to the 1989 protests have been banned on China's micro-blogging sites including "1989," "In today," "anniversary," and, oddly enough, "big yellow duck."
Beijing's aversion to the brightly colored water fowl can be explained in a meme that's been circulating around Sina Weibo, the country's most popular social networking site, as shown here on Twitter:
Chinese netizens 1, Chinese censors...
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2013-06-04 21:00:00
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Dispatch from Istanbul: Occupy Gezi Park digs in Dispatch from Istanbul: Occupy Gezi Park digs in

ISTANBUL, TURKEY — The occupation of Taksim Square and Gezi Park have hit the one-week mark, and the anti-government movement has fully taken hold in other big cities around the the country, including the capital, Ankara, and the southern city of Antakya, where heavy violence broke out last night between police and protesters.
Nobody knows where the movement goes from here, though things are clearly escalating all around Turkey. But let's focus on the people at the heart of the protest. I spent a few hours last night talking with protesters who have come to Taksim to be with this movement...
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2013-06-04 17:05:00
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The daily gossip: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are having a girl, and more The daily gossip: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are having a girl, and more

1. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are having a girl
You can stop holding your breath, America: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have confirmed that they're having a girl. And if you doubted that Kim Kardashian could find the grossest way possible to convey that information, do we have a surprise for you! "I don't see any peepees," said the couple's doctor, using the preferred medical terminology, prompting Kardashian to reply, "It definitely would take after his father, so you
would
see it." Good luck scrubbing that image from your memory.
…………………&hellip...
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2013-06-03 21:37:00
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Why Michele Bachmann's Democratic challenger quit, too Why Michele Bachmann's Democratic challenger quit, too

Jim Graves nearly unseated Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) when he challenged her in the 2012 election, and the Democratic underdog was determined to try again next year. But now that Bachmann has announced she won't run for a fifth term after all, Graves — a St. Cloud hotelier — is dropping out, too. Why did he change his mind?
Graves says he was only in it to get rid of Bachmann, who is a favorite target of Democrats nationwide. Once she was out, there was no reason for him to stay in. Here's how he put it to
MinnPost
Basically, after all that's gone on, and with Michele Bachmann...
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2013-05-31 23:25:00
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Using child porn to catch child porn collectors

It's hard not to sympathize with the FBI. It's impossible to go after purveyors of child pornography one by one, and the bureau doesn't have the time or resources to full enforce the law. Where it can, it focuses on big traffickers — the owners and operators of private websites who cater to the (mostly) men who view the images and videos for sexual gratification. From there, it uses service records, including credit cards, IP addresses, and other content obtained from its seizure of a site's hard drives to identify the people who trade the porn.
Recently, some enterprising FBI agents took...
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2013-05-31 02:30:00
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Is Obama finally getting serious about climate change? Is Obama finally getting serious about climate change?

Environmentalists have long accused President Obama of moving slower than a glacier when it comes to dealing with climate change. They say that despite repeated calls for forceful government action, Obama has never truly delivered, instead allowing the issue to quietly fade from view.
Close watchers of Obama's presidency have speculated that he'd use his second term to push for legacy-cementing policies, including ones that would seriously address climate change. On Wednesday, he touched on the subject, saying at a fundraiser that he didn't "
have much patience for people who deny climate change...
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2013-05-31 01:56:00
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The daily gossip: Kim Kardashian had a 'Marilyn Monroe' moment, and more The daily gossip: Kim Kardashian had a 'Marilyn Monroe' moment, and more

1. Kim Kardashian had a "Marilyn Monroe moment"
Today, in stories that give a whole new meaning to "keeping up with the Kardashians": During a walk through Beverly Hills on Wednesday, noted famous person Kim Kardashian's dress was blown up by the breeze, in what reporters immediately dubbed a "Marilyn Monroe moment" — thereby marking the first and last time anyone will compare Marilyn Monroe to Kim
Kardashian
…………………………………………………………&hellip...
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2013-05-30 23:57:00
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The daily gossip: Daniel Radcliffe says he would play Harry Potter's dad, and more The daily gossip: Daniel Radcliffe says he would play Harry Potter's dad, and more

1. Daniel Radcliffe says he'd be willing to play Harry Potter's dad someday
For anyone hoping that Daniel Radcliffe might one day pick up his wand for another year at Hogwarts, we have some bad news for you. "No more schoolboy stuff," said Radcliffe in an interview with
Time Out
— which seems like a wise choice, given that he's 23. But hope is not lost: "A cameo as Harry's dad? That would be perfect!" Radcliffe continued, somehow failing to add "for my bank account."
………………………………………&hellip...
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2013-05-28 22:42:00
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