FROM Seth Stevenson
When Political Ads Go Wrong Ads are usually part of any respectable campaign of dirty tricks. But sometimes, the ads play dirty tricks on the candidates. For instance, early this year, Marco Rubio was running an ad with a very America-specific message, but the skyline featured in it is actually in Vancouver, Canada. This is a prime example of the dangers of using stock footage in a campaign ad. What else has gone wrong?
How do our Superheroes define us? Kids and delayed adolescents aren’t the only Americans drawn to Superheroes in comic books and multiplex theaters. Serious scholars are studying the mythological archetypes that get contemporary audiences to spend so much money. Out of all the available archetypes, which ones are going out of style—and who’s most likely to make a comeback? Students of cultural archetypes say that superheroes rise and fall in popularity according to the needs of their times. Batman’s been very big since September 11th—the angry avenger who’s willing to bend the rules in order to get things done. Is it time for a change? Options include the empowered underdog, like Spiderman. Or the Trickster represented by Iron Man. Is Superman just two squeaky clean for a comeback? What mythology will most appeal to American audiences in an era of economic uncertainty and political polarization?
Michael Flynn ensnared in foreign payments scandal Congressman Elijah Cummings has released documents showing that President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned not to accept foreign government payments in 2014. Flynn still took a $45,000 speaking fee in 2015 from the Kremlin-backed news network RT.
Lead poisoning hits LA County It’s been three years since the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan began. Flint residents are still drinking bottled water. In LA County, there are areas with even higher rates of lead contamination, and in places you wouldn’t expect, like wealthy San Marino.
Scathing audit finds UC President's office hid $175 million A state audit says the Office of the President at the University of California has kept secret more than $175 million. The report says salaries are a lot a higher in that office than in comparable offices. The audit comes just months after the UC system won approval for its first tuition hike in six years.