Monday, December 9, 2019

Kirsten Gillibrand used to have moderate positions on immigration and guns....

During a Tuesday night CNN town hall, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tried to tackle her biggest campaign problem — name recognition. Gillibrand, who is running as a resistance candidate, is trailing far behind the frontrunners in national polls of the 2020 Democratic field. She took direct aim at President Donald Trump on Tuesday, even calling him “weak and a coward.” But voters wanted Gillibrand to talk more about her own record. The senator from New York spent a lot of time saying she was wrong for taking moderate-to-conservative stances on issues like guns and immigration earlier in her political career,...

American layoffs and firings are at a 20-year low

About 30,000 Toys R Us employees got pink slips last year. Media companies fired more than 2,400 workers in the past three months. And Elon Musk is planning to let go of 3,000 employees at Tesla. Though mass layoffs always make headlines, they actually say very little about the US economy. Even recent stock market volatility and slowing economic growth don’t tell the entire story. The surprising truth is, jobs are incredibly secure. Workers are less likely to get laid off today than at nearly any other time in modern US history. In 2018, US businesses laid off 21.9 million workers....

Vox Sentences: “Always under audit”

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. Democrats may take President Trump to court over his tax returns; the US pulls troops from Libya as the country edges to the brink of civil war. The legal battle for Trump’s tax returns Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images The fight over releasing President Trump’s tax returns will likely end up in...

The unsuccessful history of product placement in books, from Bulgari to...

For much of the past decade, the characters of The CW’s nighttime soap operas, supernatural and otherwise, have been forced into an unusual predicament: They are all forced to use Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. Moreover, they are forced to use the word “Bing” as a verb. On The CW, Bing is the solution to all life’s problems. Stepmom got fake cancer from her ex-husband? Bing it. Searching for your niece’s secret birth mother? You Bing that shit. You’re a frazzled Upper East Side fashion designer/mother trying to track down a last-minute venue for a society wedding? Two words for you:...

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigns as Trump rage continues

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen submitted her resignation to President Donald Trump Sunday night, in an unexpected move that appears related to the president’s ongoing rage over the number of Central American families and asylum seekers coming into the United States. Kevin McAleenan, the head of Customs and Border Protection, will serve as acting DHS secretary. It’s not yet clear whether Trump will formally nominate a successor to Nielsen in the near future. Nielsen, the sixth head of the Department of Homeland Security and Trump’s second appointee (she was confirmed in December 2017 after John Kelly left to become White House...

You’re the Worst’s finale was the perfect — and perfectly ambitious...

Every week, we pick a new episode of the week. It could be good. It could be bad. It will always be interesting. You can read the archives here. The episode of the week for March 31 through April 6 is “Pancakes,” the series finale of FXX’s You’re the Worst. The romantic comedy is always trying to run out the clock, at least on some level. The lovers meet and fall for each other. They kiss. They fall apart. Maybe they find their way back to each other by the end. It’s a time-worn, time-honored formula, one that gets harder...

Barack Obama warns against a “circular firing squad” over ideological purity...

Former president Barack Obama touched on growing divisions within his own party, warning against pushes for ideological purity that can result in a “circular firing squad” in a town hall organized by The Obama Foundation in Berlin on Saturday. While taking audience questions about the frustration that comes with lack of change, Obama expressed concern about a lack of compromise in Washington, and said he specifically worries progressive politicians could be alienating potential allies. “One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States — maybe it’s true here as well — is a certain kind...

A pro-gun activist lobbied for “constitutional carry” by showing up at...

A Texas bill allowing gun owners to carry concealed firearms without a permit is now indefinitely stalled after a pro-gun activist advocated for the legislation by stalking state lawmakers — even appearing at their homes. On Friday, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced plans to abandon the “constitutional carry” bill after the activist, Chris McNutt, showed up at his doorstep and at the homes of two other lawmakers. McNutt, executive director of the nonprofit Texas Gun Rights, was reportedly outraged the bill failed to advance quickly through the legislature. He posted a series of rants to his group’s Facebook page complaining...

Why Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s series finale was so, so satisfying

Four years ago, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend sang and danced its way to West Covina and into our hearts. As played by series co-creator Rachel Bloom, heroine Rebecca Bunch was a mess, a toxic wreck of a human being who was actively stalking someone — but the show surrounding her was so sparkling, so simultaneously joyous and acerbic, that it was nearly impossible not to love it, and to love Rebecca too. (Actually, it was apparently not impossible for most viewers, because Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was consistently one of the lowest-rated shows on television. But I couldn’t help but love it — and...

Mark Halperin says his conduct has changed. His commentary is the...

Mark Halperin swears he’s changed his personal conduct since he was accused of sexually harassing or assaulting a dozen women, and I certainly hope that is true. But his public conduct as a political pundit, which is also important, has not changed. On Thursday, Halperin appeared on Sirius XM radio with host Michael Smerconish, a prominent #MeToo critic, and said he’s sorry for how he’s hurt women. Halperin is accused of masturbating in front of young women while he was the political director of ABC news and slamming a woman into a wall, among other things. He said he...