Newsweek September 20, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


from porn to politics

Michael Lucas’s online biography describes him as “a porn star evolved”—and over the years, he has indeed branched into unusual territory for an adult entertainer, regularly issuing political pronouncements about the Middle East that range from impassioned and inflammatory to prejudiced. Now, Lucas has found a new cause, and it’s one rooted naturally in his biography: the gay, Russian-born porn tycoon has thrown himself into the debate over the rise of homophobia in his native country. “I am the only porn star who will tell you my age,” the 41-year-old Lucas says when I interview him recently in his Hell’s Kitchen office, where large family photos, male nudes, and an antique camera collection adorn the walls. Lucas, a Russian Jew, grew up not knowing what homosexuality was, and he says he…

a tall order

Charles Wee, one of the world’s leading high-rise architects, has a confession to make: he’s bored with skyscrapers. After designing more than 30, most of which punctuate the skylines of rapidly expanding Asian cities, he has struck upon a novel concept: the first invisible skyscraper. As the tallest structure in South Korea, his Infinity Tower will loom over Seoul until somebody pushes a button and it completely disappears. When he entered a 2004 competition to design a landmark tower, the Korean-American architect rejected the notion of competing with Dubai, Toronto, and Shanghai to reach the summit of man-made summits. “I thought, let’s not jump into this stupid race to build another ‘tallest’ tower,” he says in a phone conversation. “Let’s take an opposite approach—let’s make an anti-tower.” The result will be a 150-story…

kingmaker in the making

You wouldnÕt know it by his dad jeans or the earnest manner he uses when talking about his bipartisan legislative accomplishments, but Bruce Braley is poised to become one of the more influential Democrats in the country. As the only Democrat in the race, the Iowa congressman is the presumptive heir to Tom Harkin when Harkin retires next year after serving as one of the most vocal liberals in the U.S. Senate for the past three decades. And with Republicans holding on to Iowa’s governorship and the other Senate seat, Braley could be the most powerful Democrat in Iowa come 2016—a potential kingmaker in the first-in-thenation caucus state. Braley is exceedingly proud of his state and, in an interview with Newsweek, waxed enthusiastic about Iowa’s two current senators—the liberal Harkin and conservative…

the man who broke the internet

Jimmy Kimmel both won and broke the Internet last week, depending on whom you ask, with his clever punking of the world in the viral video “Worst Twerk Fail EVER.” Kimmel won because he tricked everyone into believing a girl trying to make a twerking video for her boyfriend got knocked onto a coffee table by her roommate and subsequently caught on fire. Kimmel broke the Internet because he ruined, uh, people’s faith in the infallibility of the Internet. At least that seemed to be the takeaway from some of the more puzzling columns in the wake of the revelation that the viral video was really a prank. So was this a sinister attempt by Kimmel to wreck the Internet? “I wish there was a strategy. There really isn’t. We…

the money’s on her

On Monday Larry Summers, the economist with the larger-than-life résumé (Harvard president, Treasury secretary, White House adviser, all-around genius), publicly bowed out of the race to succeed Ben Bernanke at the helm of the Federal Reserve. With both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate announcing their opposition, Summers realized that “any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious,” as he wrote in a letter to President Obama. That seemed to clear the way for Janet Yellen to assume in a few months’ time one of the world’s most thankless jobs. Her emergence as the frontrunner is the rare Fed-related phenomenon that could please both progressives and Wall Street. Markets rallied on the news, while the 400-plus (mostly left-of-center) economists who had just penned a letter urging Obama to appoint her…

an uncensored candidate

Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan considers next month’s special election in New Jersey a referendum on Obamacare, NSA spying, IRS abuses, the Middle East —in short, the numerous failures he ascribes to the Obama presidency. And if any politician in New Jersey can claim to represent the polar opposite end of the political spectrum from Obama, it’s Steve Lonegan. Last year, before the Senate campaign began, he had this to say about Obamacare: “I have no interest in paying for your health care. I’d hate to see you get cancer, but that’s your problem, not mine.” He opposes abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. And last month, he mocked his opponent, Democrat Cory Booker, for making ambiguous statements about his own sexual orientation and for going “out at three…