Today in politics and punditry
"I'm actively exploring some lunch plans right now," jokingly tweets Politico's Blake Hounshell, poking fun at the language used in the trending "Note from Jeb Bush," a Facebook post announcing Bush's first steps toward running in 2016 (7,800+ shares and counting). The wording was a tad peculiar: "Whoa Jeb Bush, who said he was looking at running for president, will continue to explore that possibility!" Business Insider's Colin Campbell tweets, dripping with sarcasm. Plus, BBC's Mark Frankel couldn't help but note, "'Launching' a campaign on Facebook (#JebBush2016) is modern politics but needs 24/7 staff for rebuttal on comments." Also, there seemed something a bit "off" about the formatting ... "The first plank in Jeb Bush's presidential platform: sequestering the use of spaces between words. Bold!" teases Philip Bump with The Fix. Clearly this is a step to put the lockdown on donors, however, and if so, 2016 is already proving to be a long year.
But right now we're still howling with laughter over the best TV we've seen all year--which somehow happened on CSPAN? You know, that hero mom who called into CSPAN to berate her arguing pundit sons (which has collected a whopping 24,000 shares, by the way). At Bloomberg Businessweek, Jim Aley summarizes it, "'You're an idiot,' said the liberal 'No, you're an idiot,' said the conservative 'Grow up, you two' said their mom." Washington Post's Wesley Lowery concludes, "this is the best thing that happened in American politics in 2014." Cathleen Decker with the LA Times adds, "Waiting for the Joy Woodhouse presidential boomlet in 3...2...1..."
Bowing to pressure both political and otherwise, theatre chains are pulling "The Interview” as press appearances are canceled amid threats (4,400+ shares). Not a moment too late, either, as the latest Sony emails indicate the State Department gave its blessing to depict Kim Jong-Un's assassination in the film. "This should definitely tamp down North Korea’s paranoia about The Interview," remarks Matt Duss. "So what are the prevailing theories on the type of dirt the hackers have on Franco and Rogen?" asks Foreign Policy's John Hudson.
In even bigger news, Cuba has just released American Alan Gross in a prisoner swap (3,300 shares). At noon today, President Obama is scheduled to announce a "major overhaul in U.S. policy" toward Cuba. Speaking of Obama, he and First Lady Michelle recently spoke to People about how they deal with their own racist experiences. "The times POTUS was confused for a waiter at a black-tie gala and FLOTUS for a Target clerk. Great PEOPLE sitdown," comes the nod from Will Lee there.
Meanwhile, the "frat life" enjoyed by Democrat roomies Sen. Charles Schumer, Sen. Richard Durbin and Rep. George Miller is finally coming to an end (1,200+ shares). New York Times' Nick Corasaniti calls it, "the end of the Alpha House, featuring a nostalgic, comforter-clutching Schumer."
Hilariously, a disgruntled Royal Bank of Scotland worker penned a hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry (17,000+ shares!). AFP photojournalist Leon Neal praises, "Banker nails that absolute numpty Russell Brand for ruining his lunch. Top marks." And while we're on the topic of Britain, bookies just suspended betting on the Queen announcing her abdication in her next Christmas broadcast. Kevin Clark with the Wall Street Journal speculates, "Royal Family has some serious leaks? Aaron Kromer can't be blamed for this. I don't think."