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Jon Hamm Reflects on ‘Mad Men’ and Don Draper at New Yorker Festival 

Sonia Saraiya writes: Navigating success after years as a working actor was a difficult part of the “Mad Men” experience for star Jon Hamm.

The actor reflected on the landmark 2007-2015 series and his performance as Don Draper in a wide-ranging Q&A Saturday night held as part of the New Yorker Festival.

Hamm told New Yorker articles editor Susan Morrison that the AMC drama was a transformational experience, personally and professionally.

“To have that kind of omnibus experience is once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky,” he said during the session held at SIR Stage37. “Navigating the success, what the show became. that was the trickiest part,” Hamm added.

Now that the series has ended, Hamm told Morrison, he’s looking to branch out.

“The fun of being an actor is getting to different things” after playing Don Draper for seven seasons. “It wasn’t that I wanted to react against and play the opposite, but I definitely wanted to do different things,” he said.

Morrison asked Hamm about his comedy chops, showing clips from “Bridesmaids,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “30 Rock.” A self-described comedy geek, Hamm credited his creative journey from losing his mother at the age of 10 and eventually finding a nurturing environment in his “wildly progressive” St. Louis high school, John Burroughs School.

[Read the full story here, at Variety]

“We didn’t have cable TV,” he said. “You had to like, read books and listen to albums and cassette tapes.” Hamm cited Spy magazine, Monty Python, and comedians including Bob Newhart, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor as inspirations. He even liked Cheech and Chong, adding ruefully, “My grandmother did not like that one. It literally had a car-sized joint on it.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Cory Booker: The Arc of the Moral Universe isn’t Bendy Enough!

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What Donald Trump Should Have Tweeted

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It would have A. driven his opponents, haters, and enemies crazy. What did he mean? Is that all? What will Meryl Streep say now?  Better still, it would have neutralized the controversy, tempered the division, honored her contribution to entertainment, confirmed that both of them are winners, while demonstrating non-newsworthy, off-the-rack, standard-issue presidential courtesy.

Win-win.

 


Top IRS Official For Obamacare Implementation Placed On Administrative Leave

Sources say a key official in charge of overseeing health reform implementation, as well as another staffer, have been put on leave for accepting more than $1,000 in free meals and other items at a 2010 conference.

Image by Susan Walsh, File / AP

John Stanton

WASHINGTON — The IRS has put a top official in charge of implementing Obamacare on administrative leave after it was discovered he had accepted $1,162 in free food and other items during a 2010 conference.

In a statement, the IRS confirmed that two employees have been placed on administrative leave — which is paid — and have begun the process of removing them.

“[Acting IRS Director] Danny Werfel learned of the situation last night and immediately asked his leadership team to take action. He has also been in contact with key congressional committees about the situation,” the service said in the statement.

“When I came to IRS, part of my job was to hold people accountable,” Werfel said. “There was clearly inappropriate behavior involved in this situation, and immediate action is needed.”

The IRS informed congressional staff investigating the agency that Fred Schindler had been put on leave for accepting the gifts. A second unnamed staffer in the division was also put on leave for accepting the gifts, the aides said.

According to congressional sources, the food was provided by an event planner organizing the conference during an “after hours” party. One source says the incident was referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution but it was not acted upon.

An IRS spokesman declined to comment on whether the issue was sent to DOJ.

Schindler is the deputy for Sarah Hall Ingram, who is heading up implementation of the Affordable Care Act for the IRS. Ingram has come under scrutiny recently because she oversaw the division of the IRS which targeted conservative organizations seeking nonprofit status.

According to congressional sources, the suspensions appear to be the first examples of employees being punished as part of a separate scandal over the service’s spending on conferences. One congressional source said it also appears the free meals and gifts were accepted at the same 2010 conference during which participants filmed a Star Trek spoof video.

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa is scheduled to hold a hearing on conference spending by the IRS Thursday.

via BuzzFeed