This Andy Warhol Unemployment Chart Could Rake in $30,000
Warhol, who challenged the fine-arts tradition by using popular culture in his work, created a nearly 2-by-3-foot chart of the U.S. unemployment rate in 1984. The piece, pictured above, shows the spike in unemployment during the recession in the early 1980s. It goes on sale at Christie’s next month and is expected to bring in $20,000 to $30,000.
This year gave us a host of top-notch and subpar examples from whom to draw lessons. Below is our roster of the most consequential candidates—not the best, not the worst, but the candidates who proved that politics is more than a science, it’s an art.
From the big (historic elections, pivotal Supreme Court decisions, massive protests overseas, once-in-a-generation storms, the London Olympics) to the small (an empty chair, a tarmac argument, political rhetoric, endless political rhetoric) 2012 was a year replete with interesting moments. Check out some of the best stories captured on camera here.
"Don’t stigmatize in a rush to explain inexplicable evil. Autism didn't cause this tragedy."
By Ron Fournier
My son cradled the iPad and scanned The New York Times article I had downloaded: “A Gunman, Recalled as Intelligent and Shy, Who Left Few Footprints in Life.” It said mass murderer Adam Lanza may have had Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.
Tyler is an Aspie. He shrugged. “If you meet somebody with Asperger’s,” he said, “you’ve only met one person with Asperger’s.”
The NRA is a mighty thing. But as mighty as it is, it is no match for the political power of the “parent lobby” in this country. If we parents ever decided to take a stand between our children and the gun lobby, we would perhaps be shielding thousands of our kids from the deadly bullets yet to come.
Naked People Visit Boehner’s Office, Protest Sequester Cuts
By Elahe Izadi
As if House Speaker John Boehner needed more motivation to avert sequestration, a group of protestors showed up at his Longworth office today and took off their clothes to really drive home the message.
The protestors reportedly stormed his Longworth office to protest medical research cuts that would come under sequestration.
There were at least seven protestors, including a few who are clearly men, according to reporters on the scene who tweeted photos. A U.S. Capitol Police spokesperson tells the Alley that three naked women were arrested for being naked (the charge being “lewd and indecent acts”) and that the demonstration broke up shortly after the arrests.
We’re still waiting for word on why the men weren’t also arrested.
Sahil Kapur of Talking Points Memo, who was on the scene, tweeted that the naked people were protesting cuts to HIV/AIDS research under sequestration.
Could you imagine if all interest groups employed a similar tactic? Given the vast and deep cuts that sequestration would bring, from defense to education, there would be a whole lotta naked up on the Hill.
In their second straight day of floor debate on potential rules changes, Senate leaders raised the prospect of direct talks that would avert Democrats’ proposal to change Senate rules in January by a simple majority.
Such talks could avert what Republicans are calling the nuclear option of changing filibuster rules without a 67-vote supermajority, and would probably result in more modest reforms than the sweeping changing many liberals eager to undo filibusters hope for. That would track results 2005, when Republicans’ threat to use “the nuclear option” of a majority vote to bar filibusters of judges drew Democratic concessions.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., during a floor debate Tuesday morning said he “would be happy to work with” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., about rules changes. “I’ve made clear what we seek. I await his suggestions,” Reid said.
Reid offered to come to McConnell’s office to negotiate and to participate in public of private talks. Earlier in the exchange, McConnell said he and Reid “ought to be negotiating” rules changes that could win enough GOP support to receive 67 votes.
Despite Happy Talk, Slow Progress in Fiscal Cliff Talks
By Nancy Cook
The Kumbaya rhetoric and photo-ops between President Obama and congressional leaders surrounding the so-called fiscal cliff are starting to wear thin.
Congress returned to Washington this week, confronted with a calendar that leaves roughly one month to strike a deal on a wide range of more than $500 billion in tax and spending issues. For all of the optimism surrounding the initial meetings between leaders, very little progress has been made, according to congressional staffers and lobbyists familiar with the negotiations.
“I think we are still trying to come together on something to present to the leaders and build around a framework that we can then fill in the details on,” says a senior House Republican aide.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s harshest critics in the Senate said they are more troubled now about her response to the attack in Benghazi than they were before their meeting with her on Tuesday morning.
“Bottom line, I’m more disturbed now than I was before,” Lindsey Graham said. “The 16 September explanation about how four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya, by Ambassador Rice, I think, does not do justice to the reality at the time and in hindsight clearly was completely wrong,” he said.
It may seem ironic that two retiring GOP senators are the first in their party to introduce a Senate immigration bill after an election where 71 percent of Hispanics voted for President Obama, but they may be the only ones who can. Other Republicans, like Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have expressed interest in discussing the issue but still shy away from putting their names next to any legislative ink. You never know when that signature will come back to bite you with the party base.
Two More Enter Race to Replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
By Julie Sobel
Two more Democrats entered the special election to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill.: State Sen.-elect Napoleon Harris and Alderman Anthony Beale.
The brand new state senator and former NFL player told the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday that he’s in.
"I’m running," Harris told the Sun-Times. “The primary reason I chose to run for the state Senate is the heartbeat and the pulse of my constituents. But over the last few months, we’ve gotten overwhelming support to put my name in the ring for the congressional seat.”
House Republicans are planning to launch a “fiscal cliff” public relations campaign this week to depict Democrats as wanting to raise tax rates on small businesses as an alternative to cutting spending.
The effort is described by a Republican source as a “communications plan” that includes events and visits by House Republicans to local small businesses to “to emphasize the threat to jobs posed by Congressional Democrats’ small business tax hike.”
Rank-and-file House Republicans will be presented the plan later this week; the effort will be aided by a coalition representing American small businesses.
Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Tuesday that “Republicans understand that we must avert the fiscal cliff and have laid out a framework to do so that is consistent with the ‘balanced’ approach the president says he wants.”
“In contrast, Democrats in Congress have downplayed the danger of going over the cliff and continue to rule out sensible spending cuts that must be part of any significant agreement to reduce the deficit. The target of the president’s rallies should be the congressional Democrats who want to raise tax rates on small businesses rather than cut spending.”
On Monday, we began a list of Republicans distancing themselves from or saying they would violate Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge in the lead . The initial list included Sens. Saxby Chambliss, Lindsey Graham, and Bob Corker, as well as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. Peter King (see the rundown here).
One more for the list: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who won reelection in 2010 as a write-in candidate after losing the GOP primary to a tea party-favored candidate. A Murkowski aide said the senator feels no attachment to the pledge, and thinks everything should be on the table.
As the fiscal cliff nears, we’ll keep updating if and when we hear from more Republicans.
As negotiators work behind the scenes in Washington, President Obama is lobbying the public this week to build support for his argument that Congress must raise taxes on the richest Americans as part of any deal to avoid the looming fiscal cliff.
Obama will meet small-business owners on Tuesday, and on Wednesday he will meet with middle-class Americans and business leaders in separate events, the White House said. During debt ceiling negotiations last year, Obama held similar events.
The president then goes to Pennsylvania on Friday where he will use a speech at a manufacturing plan to call again for higher tax rates on the wealthiest.
With Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's, R-W.V., decision to run for Senate, her current House seat becomes the first open one in the 2014 election. We'll take a look at the early buzz on potential contenders on both sides of the field.
Though Democrats haven’t been competitive against Capito in the past few cycles, with her out of the picture they plan to contest the seat. Subscribers can check out Monday’s House Race Hotline spotlight for why Democrats need to be able to compete in the district to entertain the notion of winning back the House, even though the district is favorable to Republicans.
The open seat is expected to attract a large number of candidates, though if Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller decides to retire some Democrats could take a look at the Senate race instead. Capito noted Monday that one of her reasons for declaring a Senate bid so early was to allow candidates to begin jockeying for position in the contest to replace her. While no one has declared their candidacies yet, several are openly expressing interest and a slew of other names are being tossed around.
Schapiro Departure Could Slow Dodd-Frank Implementation
By Catherine Hollander
Mary Schapiro’s departure from the Securities and Exchange Commission will leave the agency’s rule makers evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, which could slow progress on many Dodd-Frank rules the agency still has to write.
Schapiro is stepping down from her post as SEC chairman on Dec. 14. President Obama plans to designate current commissioner Elisse Walter as chairman. But the five-member commission will be down to four: Walter and Luis Aguilar, who are both Democrats, and Troy Paredes and Daniel Gallagher, who are Republicans.
Experts expect Obama to name a replacement for Schapiro as soon as early 2013 but any pick would need Senate confirmation, which could take months. That means it could be up to a year before the SEC is back up to full strength.
The Obama’s are definitely the cutest first family. If their body language isn’t a dead giveaway for how close they are, then this clip should. Daddy Obama is about to accept his re-election when Sasha tugs at his jacket and says, “Turn around. Turn around.”