Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:59 pm
Before President Obama canceled his Asia trip, some of us wondered how he could possibly leave the U.S., especially for the exotic resort island of Bali, during the federal government shutdown.
Forget the logistical complications caused by having so many staffers unable to work the trip. What about the optics of having the president at a lush tourist destination while hundreds of thousands of government workers were furloughed and worried about missing paychecks?
Obama solved that potential problem by canceling his overseas trip, which would have started Saturday evening.
Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 9:12 am
Until recently, if you wanted to find out the rules for raising goats in Hollywood, bees in Bel Air or squash in a community garden in South Central Los Angeles, it would have been pretty tough β like standing in various lines at the DMV.
The eye-popping new movie Gravity will make you very grateful you're planted on terra firma. It's a thriller directed by Alfonso Cuaron, in which shuttle astronauts on a spacewalk are stranded after a collision with a vast cloud of space debris.
And one of those astronauts β played by Sandra Bullock β is left on her own, hundreds of miles above Earth. She's running out of oxygen and tumbling untethered through the void of space.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:42 pm
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told Congress this week that the partial federal government shutdown has forced the furlough of some 70 percent of employees throughout the intelligence community.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Clapper, a 50-year veteran of intelligence work.
So what impact is all this having on the spy world?
In a season in which we're all talking about AMC's phenomenal Breaking Bad and Netflix's elating Orange Is the New Black, Hollywood needs you, your kids and everyone in Europe and China to get out from behind those TV monitors and into theaters. Movie studios are falling behind on compelling narratives. But they can give you what TV can't: absolute, total bombardment.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:07 am
It must be draining to do eight interviews in a row, but Benjamin Netanyahu seemed energized by it. The Israeli prime minister walked into our meeting in a New York hotel room bantering and smiling. He commented on the shades (pulled down to avoid a backlit photo) and noticed a novel that our engineer had brought along. Netanyahu picked it up and looked it over β a novel by Joe Hill, the pen name for the son of Stephen King.