Magazine | January 27, 2014, Issue

News from 2014

From the Washington Post, February 14, 2014:

“Clintons to Renew Marriage Vows on Valentine’s Day”

Citing a renewed and deeply felt commitment and joy in their long — and, some say, turbulent — marriage, former president Bill Clinton and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton plan to renew their wedding vows.

“It was just time,” longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal said. “Both of them have been so busy for the past few years, traveling the globe with a message of peace and progress, that when they finally got home and caught their breath they were, like, Hey, I love you.”

Although conservative media stalwarts such as Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have questioned both the sincerity and the timing of this announcement — Mrs. Clinton has frequently been mentioned as a front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential ticket — friends and colleagues of both Clintons say that the two of them seem like newlyweds. “Why else would they do this on Valentine’s Day,” Blumenthal asked, “unless it’s because they really really love each other and are totally into it?”

The renewal ceremony will occur in a place “special to them,” a family friend said. “The First Baptist Church of Ames, Iowa.” The reception has yet to be arranged, but sources close to the couple speculate that it will take place the day after the ceremony in Manchester, N.H.

From Variety, March 23, 2014:

“A&E Networks Announce New Series Spinoff: Duck Dynasty on Broadway

After the record-breaking debut of Season Five of the boffo cable series, A&E Networks has announced a new project under the Duck Dynasty brand.

“We believe the wonderful, colorful world of the Robertson family belongs on the musical stage,” A&E president Nancy Dubuc said at the announcement. “The whole family is working together with the top musical-theater talents on Broadway to bring their life and lifestyle to audiences on the Great White Way. It’s a terrific and no-brainer kind of brand extension.”

While the Robertsons will not be performing in the production — only two of the clan have any experience dancing on the stage — they will be closely involved, supervising the book, music, lyrics, and choreography of the show.

“This is going to be . . . interesting,” a source close to both the family and A&E have said. “I just don’t know how . . . well, I mean, let’s just see how it goes.”

Auditions begin next month. So far, only one role has been cast. Multiple–Tony Award–winner Nathan Lane is set to play the patriarch of the family, Phil Robertson. Others eyeing key roles include former American Idol star Clay Aiken and members of the Fox television hit Glee.

#page#From Parade magazine, Sunday, June 1, 2014:

“MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry: ‘I’m Just a Homebody!’”

A rare and intimate look into the world of MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, and the historic Brooklyn brownstone she has recently renovated.

“We wanted the renovations to have an integrity — to be respectful of the time and the place where this building was created,” said the television personality, guiding a tour of her new home in a casual dashiki.

“I wanted it to be a place where friends can hang out, but also a place that’s built for a family,” she continued. As if on cue, Tyler, her recently adopted white baby, stirred in his crib.

“White babies are so fussy,” she laughed, as she went to pick him up. “I’ve been trying to Ferberize him, but how can you resist those chubby pink cheeks?”

From the New York Times, November 17, 2014:

“Colorado Now Nation’s Fattest”

The state of Colorado, once one of the nation’s fittest and most active states, site of world-famous ski resorts and whitewater rafting, is now facing an epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Experts point to the recent legalization of marijuana — the sale and consumption of which became legal statewide on January 1 of this year — which in turn fueled the most unprecedented consumption of complex carbohydrates ever recorded.

“The law has adversely affected indigenous peoples and other ethnic minorities,” said Dr. Theresa Jones-Henderson, a public-health expert based in Boulder, Colo. “We’re currently looking at ways to apply the legalization law to a smaller population. Affluent white teenagers, specifically.”

From Variety, December 20, 2014:

Duck Dynasty Musical Shelved: A&E President”

Citing difficulties in auditions and friction between family patriarch Phil Robertson and the choreographer of the production, A&E Networks president Nancy Dubuc announced today that the project has been suspended indefinitely.

“There was a disconnect,” Dubuc said.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Which Gender Gap?

Just over a century ago, a small number of states, led by Massachusetts, established minimum wages, a policy experiment that reverberates to this day. What is striking about these early ...


Politics & Policy

Green Drought

San Joaquin Valley, Calif. — “We have the greatest factory anywhere on earth,” Harris Farms’ executive vice president, William Bourdeau, tells me, as our car bumps rapidly along the dirty, ...
Politics & Policy

A New Health Safety Net

Are conservatives ready to think about health care independently of Obamacare? Because even if the Affordable Care Act achieves its goals, American health care will remain extraordinarily expensive, incomprehensibly complex, ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Generation of a Voice

In Her, the fourth film from the self-consciously idiosyncratic director Spike Jonze, the artificial-intelligence revolution finally arrives — and instead of rapturing humanity into a Singularity or wiping us out ...


Politics & Policy


The Vanishing Appalachians My only beef with Kevin Williamson’s moving Appalachian elegy (“Left Behind,” December 16) is the treatment of the coal industry, which he just briefly describes as a “bulwark ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The de Blasio administration is just aiming for a zero net impact on the city’s quantity of horse****. ‐ The revelations in the new Robert Gates memoir, Duty, may be ...

Economics for Dummies

Perfectly timed for the first week of legal pot sales in Colorado, Rolling Stone published a manifesto called “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For.” You could take it ...
The Long View

News from 2014

From the Washington Post, February 14, 2014: “Clintons to Renew Marriage Vows on Valentine’s Day” Citing a renewed and deeply felt commitment and joy in their long — and, some say, turbulent ...
Politics & Policy


A PASSING BREEZE Boats on the lake sang hymns of distant hum; Homage to warm winds, as the radiant fall Raised up its descant, muted, almost dumb, But yet precise. A melancholy call In minor key, ...
Happy Warrior

In to Win

America is a land of acronyms, and, useful as they are, acronyms can quickly curdle into jargon. SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation” — i.e., using legal action ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Ten Questions for the ‘Squad’

Democratic infighting reached a fever pitch last week with bickering and personal attacks between members of the “Squad” and other House Democrats. During that period, Squad members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley mostly avoided doing interviews. However, that all ... Read More

Who Is Boris Johnson?

By next week at this time, Boris Johnson will be prime minister of the United Kingdom. Not since Margaret Thatcher has such an outsized personality resided in Number 10 Downing Street. Not since Winston Churchill has such a wit presided over Her Majesty’s Government. Wit is actually the chief reason for ... Read More

The Rise of the Chinese-American Right

On June 13, during a nasty storm, a group of Chinese New Yorkers gathered in front of the gates of Gracie Mansion, the New York mayor’s residence on the Upper East Side, to protest. Inside, Mayor Bill de Blasio was meeting with two dozen or so representatives of the Asian-American community to discuss his ... Read More