Succession

When the credits finally roll on this year’s blockbuster production of Democratic Governance, the names will be familiar. Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi will tick by first. Then the breakout stars: intransigent conservatives Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and Josh Gottheimer; stubborn progressives Pramila Jayapal and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush. Familiar bit players will follow: Jim Clyburn, Steny Hoyer, Kamala Harris.
Only if you wait until the theater has emptied and the lights have come on will you see the name Hakeem Jeffries.

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Cracked, &c.

The Nutcracker balloon hovers above the crowd during the 93rd Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, November 28, 2019. (Caitlin Ochs / Reuters)
On a cancellation of The Nutcracker; Russia’s threat to Ukraine; the screwiness of the Women’s March; the bravery of J.K. Rowling; and more
Now they have come for The Nutcracker. What I mean is, did you see this? The Berlin State Ballet has canceled Tchaikovsky’s ballet on grounds that the Chinese dance and the Arab dance give offense. Well, they give offense to those who are truly dying to take offense.

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The Dark Movie Exposing Jeffrey Epstein’s House of Horrors

Jeffrey Epstein was a monster, and his cursed spirit lives on in The Scary of Sixty-First, a wild indie throwback (Dec. 3 in LA; Dec. 17 in New York; Dec. 24 on VOD) that skillfully straddles the line between serious giallo homage and outlandish topical joke. Directed and co-written by Dasha Nekrasova (of Succession fame), it employs the late pedophilic financier’s crimes as a launching pad for sapphic Italian-style horror, delivering a strange blend of sincerity and silliness that marks Nekrasova as a talented filmmaker to watch.

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Harry Hamlin’s Secret Sauce: On Playing Tom Brokaw, Fighting the Paparazzi, and His Legendary Bolognese

At the moment, Harry Hamlin is unexpectedly wet.
It was a bit of a drive-by soaking. He thought it would be nice on a sunny Los Angeles afternoon to take his phone interview outside in the yard of his and wife Lisa Rinna’s Italian villa-style mansion. You know the one—the gorgeous property with the lush garden where, in the most recent season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, a dinner party left the cast drooling over Hamlin’s signature bolognese sauce, as well as to a notorious pair of “ugly leather pants.

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The Fight for Italian Reunification Inspired the International Left

On November 27, 1871, Italy’s King Vittorio Emanuele II gave an impassioned speech at the Italian parliament, finally ushering in the complete unification of his country. For centuries, the peninsula had been divided into a patchwork of regions, mostly dominated by the monarchies of Austria, France, and Spain. Napoleon had worked to change this arrangement after the French Revolution, but, after Habsburg diplomat Count Klemens von Metternich’s reversal of his reforms at the Council of Vienna in 1815, the three foreign dynasties largely regained their strongholds.

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America’s Pandemic Star Loses Some Luster

Is Vermont the envy of America no more? The state long hailed for its pandemic response is experiencing one of the most intense COVID-19 surges in the country. Cases are twice as high as they’ve been at any other point. Hospitalizations are up sharply as well, confounding hopes that Vermont’s best-in-the-nation vaccination rate would protect its people from the Delta wave.

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Allowing foreign citizens to vote in US elections is a rotten idea

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Approximately 808,000 “non-citizens” may vote in future New York City elections, if the City Council welcomes them to do so, as early as December. These potential new members of the electorate would include green card holders and those with certain work permits. 
This is a rotten idea. However, love or hate it, everyone at least should debate this concept with maximum precision. 
These 808,000 potential new voters are not non-citizens. The computer on which I write these words is a non-citizen.

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