Tag Archives: Politico

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Eliza Brooke, Aaron Cantú, Michael Kruse, Lucinda Chambers, and Lucas Reilly.

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Cookie Tasting with Trump’s Billionaire Backer

Star shaped cookies with red, white, and blue icing

At Politico, Sara Dickerman samples Trump mega-donor Rebekah Mercer’s cookies. That’s not a metaphor — Mercer owns the bakery Ruby et Violette and “is viewed as the major player in her family’s political patronage, which includes ownership stakes in Breitbart News and data mining service company Cambridge Analytica.”

I have rarely come across so many white chocolate confections in a bakery (see their Instagram celebration of the substance here). It’s tempting to take a big haymaker at white supremacist politics amid all these white chunks: Just imagine Jeff Sessions nibbling at an all-white chocolate assortment of cookies as he tells big-city police departments to stop worrying about racial bias. The truth is, however, that there is a place for white chocolate in baking, which is to sweeten and offset other flavors when they get to be too intense. The problem is that most of the cookies I tasted are far from intense. In fact, they merge on meekness, like the Lemon White, a fine-in-theory lemon cookie studded with grainy white chocolate chunks. The best lemon desserts toy with you on the edge of astringency, but the lemon flavor here is just an echo of the actual fruit: more like the soft yellow sweetness of lemon Jell-O.

What’s the culinary equivalent of TL:DR, too long, didn’t read? Is it TL:DE? Tastes lousy, didn’t eat?

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The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories by Elizabeth Weil, Michael Hobbes, J. Oliver Conroy, Bob Shacochis, and Ben Schreckinger.

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Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Pushups Are Inspiring

What can you tell about a Supreme Court Justice by their workout ethic? At Politico Magazine, Ben Schreckinger meets Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer and tries to emulate her routine. If you’re a RBG fan, you won’t be surprised to learn that she’s as kickass on a weight bench as she is on that other bench. if you’re not a RBG fan (who are you?), you’ll at least aspire to be as fit as her in your 80s.

From there, we went to the floor. Johnson said Ginsburg takes great pride in progressing from horizontal pushups against a wall when he first began working with her, to pushups with her knees down on the ground, to full pushups.

“Justice Ginsburg does 10 pushups and she does not do the so-called ‘girl pushups,’” explained Georgetown Law Professor Mary Hartnett during an appearance with the justice earlier this month at the Virginia Military Institute. “She does not use her knees. And then she stretches back for a very brief pause and she does 10 more.”

I was able to match Ginsburg’s pushups feat with only a little grunting, though Ginsburg never grunts, as Johnson felt compelled to tell me at one point. He also let me know, as I peppered him with questions, that unlike me, Ginsburg barely rests between sets.

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How to Drop Out of a Presidential Race

This is not an idle consideration. Dropping out of the presidential race can be more important—and can have a more lasting impact—than entering it. Departing the right way can help a candidate built a lasting “brand” and set him or her up for speaking fees, TV contracts, a book deal and, who knows, maybe another run for the top prize one day.

Of course, some candidates go out with more grace and style than others. One of history’s best dropout lines came from Democrat Adlai Stevenson, who, after losing to Dwight Eisenhower, confessed, “It hurts too much to laugh, but I’m too old to cry.” Richard Nixon, after he lost his race for governor of California in 1962, chose a different tack, famously proclaiming he’d quit politics forever and snapping to reporters, in words that would haunt him the rest of his life, “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore.” Ronald Reagan fought Gerald Ford all the way to the convention in 1976, and spent the next four years giving speeches and addresses that set up his frontrunner status in 1980. In 2008, when Hillary Clinton left the presidential campaign after a long, bitter struggle against Barack Obama she proclaimed herself a “glass ceiling” breaker—and made it pretty clear she’d be back to try to shatter the glass again.

—Matt Larimer, writing for Politico. Larimer’s piece offers an excellent guide for the losers of Iowa and New Hampshire and armchair analysts alike.

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Brussels Playbook: Meet the Mike Allen of Europe

A 35-year-old Australian, [Ryan] Heath rises every morning at 4.30 to finish off the day’s Brussels Playbook, which in only a month and a half already goes out to almost 40,000 people. (The site itself received, in May, about 1.7m page views, from just over 700,000 unique visitors. The original Politico receives 7m monthly uniques, though they claim their relevance not by aggregate traffic but by the quality of their audience.) If Budoff Brown and Palmeri think a lot about their audience in Washington, and Kaminski and the tech reporters keep Europe more broadly in mind, Playbook speaks directly to Brussels. It promises to create Politico as the trusted house organ for a community of the displaced.

Though Heath’s Playbook roughly follows the original Mike Allen model from Washington, Heath has made it his own. He is aware that it is forging something new and, rather than fear the threat of absurdity, he allows it to revel in its own surrealism. Heath writes like he speaks, in flirtatious, conspiratorial tones about serious, substantive things. A recent item: “FINLAND – WELCOME TO THE LAND OF SOLUTIONS: That’s the official name of the Finnish government’s programme. Take that, all you Lands of Problems! Many journalists weren’t able to digest the new programme at the government’s regular sauna briefing Wednesday night (yes, people from outside Brussels, this is a real, proud tradition) because they were camped out waiting for Juncker and Tsipras to finish dining. So we bring them, and you, the full programme of the new government.” Another item seemed built around the basic desire to simply delight in the phrase, “Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, chair of the IMCO working group on the DSM.”

Gideon Lewis-Kraus writing for The Guardian about Politico‘s new Brussels outfit. The brash, oft-gossipy has website transformed Washington D.C. journalism, but it remains to be seen whether even they can make E.U. politics sexy.
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See Also: “Politico’s Mike Allen, the Man the White House Wakes Up To” (Mark Leibovich, New York Times, April 2010)

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox.

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The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox.

* * *

Read more…

Five Stories About Addiction

Stories of drug addiction take many forms; every story is different and intensely personal. This week, read an excerpt from a journalist’s memoir, a profile of a lead singer, a mother’s reflection and more.

1. “My Rehab: Coming of Age in Purgatory.” (Kevin Heldman, The Big Roundtable, September 2013)

Naively, I expected a cut-and-dry story of teenage years spent in and out of rehab. Instead, I read about Kevin Heldman’s experiences in “therapy” centers that used disturbing, humiliating “treatments.” In spite of the staff’s best efforts, Heldman made friends—many whose futures were tainted by their time in the Therapeutic Community. Read more…

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox.

* * *

Read more…