Life in Pictures: Samantha Power

For the latest edition of “Life in Pictures,” 43-year-old Samantha Power, United States ambassador to the United Nations, allowed photographer Stephanie Sinclair to follow her around Midtown East on March 13. Click through the gallery ahead for a day filled with baseball talk, kid-ferrying, and Ukraine-crisis management.

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Kansas Parents Worried That Michelle Obama Will Upstage Their High Schoolers

A few days ago, Michelle Obama accepted Topeka, Kansas's invitation to speak at a fivehigh school graduation ceremony taking place in an 8,000-seat arena there next month. The speech will be tied to the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision on Brown v. the Board of Education — a case that began as a class action lawsuit in Topeka and eventually led to the abolition of segregated schools in the United States. However, the Associated Press reports that some parents — and teenagers — would rather do without all that gravitas and star power, lest the First Lady upstage the city's graduating seniors on their big day. Plus, they're worried about how she would affect "the tight limit on the number of seats allotted to each graduate."

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The White House Fox Is a Star

Reports first surfaced that the "elusive creature" was picking through Michelle Obama's garden during the government shutdown, but months later, a fox is still outsmarting the Secret Service and White House groundskeepers. Today, it made the front page of The Wall Street Journal — signature stipple portrait and all — with tales of its covert snacking, peeing, and setting off alarms. We're rooting, as all Americans should, for the fox, and maybe for a potential Pixar movie.

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Snowden Says He Asked Putin About Spying to Catch Him in a Lie

The decision by fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden to appear on TV with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a softball Q&A session was all part of the larger plan, says Snowden. Responding to critics who were skeptical of his participation in a propaganda event, Snowden writes in the the Guardian today, “I was surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticize the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive.” The idea was to get Putin lying on the record, which is in itself a noble accomplishment, according to Snowden.

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Chris Christie Says GOP Should Be ‘Pro-life After They Get Out of the Womb Too’

Criminal justice reform is becoming a hot issue on the right, as some Republican governors, particularly in the South, have been earning praise for successfully implementing programs that encourage drug rehabilitation and cut prison costs. Since many likely 2016 candidates – including Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and Rick Perry – have been speaking up about the issue lately, Chris Christie is trying to highlight his own accomplishments in New Jersey. On Thursday, Governor Christie signed a bill that would improve drug treatment programs in New Jersey correctional facilities, then swung by a conference in Jersey City on helping drug offenders re-enter society. "I’m pro-life and I believe strongly in the sanctity of life as do many of my conservative, fellow conservative governors," Christie said. "And I say to them, you know, it’s great to be pro-life but you need to be pro-life after they get out of the womb too."

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Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant!

America's version of a royal baby cometh. Former and potentially future first daughter Chelsea Clinton announced today that she is expecting with husband Marc Mezvinsky.

"Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year and I certainly feel all the better, whether it's a girl or a boy, that she or he will grow up in a world full of so many strong young female leaders. So thank you for inspiring me and inspiring future generations, including the one that we'll be lucky enough to welcome into our family later this year," she said at "No Ceilings," a women's forum at the Lower East Side Girls Club in New York City. "I just hope that I will be as good a mom to my child, and hopefully children, as my mom was to me."

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Everything We Know So Far About the Flyers in Ukraine Demanding Jews ‘Register’ Their Families and Property

Much of the world, including the U.S. State Department, understandably reacted with horror today when Jewish residents of Donestk, Ukraine, reported being given flyers outside of a synagogue requiring them to "register" their citizenship and declare their property. According to reports first circulated by Israeli news site Ynet and USA Today, the pamphlets were delivered by masked men holding the Russian Federation flag and directed Jews to a government building currently occupied by pro-Russian forces.

But Denis Pushilin, the Russian separatist whose name is on the flyers, claims he has nothing to do with them, and that the documents were spread to make his side look bad.

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Texas Bro Figured ‘Boats ’N Hoes’ Was a Good Name for a PAC

Now that Democrat and woman Wendy Davis is running for governor in Texas, you'd think that the Republicans down there would be extra careful to avoid using misogynistic language while going about their political activities. Not Shaun Nowacki! Nowacki is the bookkeeper for Blackmore & Associates, a GOP consulting firm that listed Davis's opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, as a client from 1991 to 2004. Earlier this month, he established a PAC called "Boats 'N Hoes," which is almost definitely a reference to the very vulgar song featured in Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly's 2008 movie Step Brothers.

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Why the New Data Journalism Really Is Partisan

Four years ago, President Obama gathered leaders from both parties in a cavernous room in Blair House to undertake a televised debate-cum-negotiation over health-care policy. The reason for this unusual political theater was that political fervor had overwhelmed what was supposed to be a fundamentally technocratic process of designing programmatic changes to fulfill agreed-upon goals. This was the last, best attempt to redeem a basic promise of his candidacy — that the irrational elements of politics were unnecessary vestiges, that reason could drive out passion. In his opening remarks, one can see Obama’s once-certain conviction reduced to a wan hope:

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Video of the day

Kevin Spacey: House of Cards Story Lines Are ‘Not That Crazy’

Sexual Harassment: ‘Illegal or Just Sleazy?’

Rand Paul’s Wikipedia Plagiarism Defense: I Never Said I Wrote Gattaca

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In The Mag

Back on the Trail

When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.

By Jason Zengerle

Reading List

Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013

The Case for Deficit Optimism

For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.

By Ezra Klein
Salon Jan. 15, 2012

The NRA's Democratic Helpers

Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.

By Steve Kornacki

From the Archives

New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010

Boehner's Army

After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009

With Friends Like These

Obama drew progressive ire from day one.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008

Hiding In Plain Sight

How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.

By Jeff Coplon