1. “Going the Distance.” On and off the road with Barack Obama.
“The question is whether Obama will satisfy the standard he set for himself. His biggest early disappointment as President was being forced to recognize that his romantic vision of a post-partisan era, in which there are no red states or blue states, only the United States, was, in practical terms, a fantasy. It was a difficult fantasy to relinquish. The spirit of national conciliation was more than the rhetorical pixie dust of Obama’s 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention, in Boston, which had brought him to delirious national attention. It was also an elemental component of his self-conception, his sense that he was uniquely suited to transcend ideology and the grubby battles of the day. Obama is defensive about this now. ’My speech in Boston was an aspirational speech,’ he said. ’It was not a description of our politics. It was a description of what I saw in the American people.’”
2. “Kanye West.” Director Steve McQueen wonders if there’s anything left to say about the rapper.
“Yeezus, West says, marks the beginning of a new period in his life as an artist, though the events of the last year—North’s birth, his engagement to Kardashian—would seem to indicate that it marks the beginning of a new period in his life in general. 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen, in the midst of a life-changing year of his own, recently caught up by phone with the 36-year-old West in Los Angeles, where he was camped out briefly between Yeezus tour stops. They spoke not long after the unveiling of the oft-discussed video for “Bound 2,” which was directed by Nick Knight and features West and a topless Kardashian writhing on the back of a motorcycle against a backdrop of orange-y purple-hued karaoke-video-style landscapes.”
3. “SAG Awards: The Winners.” American Hustle takes outstanding film ensemble while Breaking Bad wins top TV drama honors.
“The 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards have handed out its top honors. American Hustle took outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, while Breaking Bad won for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series. Matthew McConaughey was feted for his leading role in Dallas Buyers Club, while costar Jared Leto won supporting honors. Cate Blanchett won leading role honors for Blue Jasmine, while 12 Years a Slave Lupita Nyong’o newcomer took supporting honors. On the television side, Bryan Cranston won lead actor in a drama series for Breaking Bad and Maggie Smith won for Downton Abbey.”
4. “Two Winners at PGA – Gravity and 12 Years a Slave.” First tie in PGA history.
“Gravity and 12 Years a Slave have wound up in a dead heat as both won the Producers Guild of America’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for top feature film—the first tie in the PGA’s 25-year history for the trophy. Ben Affleck announced the awards Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton back-to-back—first to Gravity producers Alfonso Cuaron and David Heyman and then to 12 Years a Slave producers Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner. The PGA, which has 6,000 members, does not reveal its vote totals. The guild uses the preferential balloting system employed for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Oscars.”
5. “Trans woman dares Bible-quoting Louisiana city councilman to stone her to death.” Pamela Raintree vs. right-wing councilman Ron Webb.
“A meeting of the Shreveport, Louisiana city council got heated when a transgender woman offered a Bible-quoting Christian councilman the first stone with which to stone her to death. According to the Advocate, the conservative council-member was calling for a repeal of the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. On December 10, 2013, the Shreveport city council passed the non-discrimination ordinance by a 6-to-1 vote. The lone dissenting vote came from right-wing councilman Ron Webb, who said that he opposes the non-discrimination law because ’The Bible tells you homosexuals are an abomination.’ Less than two weeks after the fairness ordinance passed, Webb drafted a resolution to repeal it. This week, dozens of people signed up to make public comment at the city council’s meeting to discuss the repeal measure.”
Video of the Day: A sneak peek at Hannibal’s second season:
Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org and to converse in the comments section.