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Nomination

ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2014 | By Randee Dawn
Alexander Payne is a born director. Not just thanks to his six feature film credits (including "Election," "About Schmidt" and the current Oscar nominee "Nebraska") but because even in a brief meeting he finds ways to assert control - over old misquotes, article angles and declining to put certain topics on the record that are off-message. He's probably smarter than you are and speaks with a thoughtful eloquence that doesn't quite hide that he knows it. Yet he wins Oscars for his scripts ("Sideways," "The Descendants")
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OPINION
February 11, 2014 | Jonah Goldberg
Of course it's too early to talk about 2016. Now that we've gotten that out of the way.... The most interesting dynamic so far is that the Democrats are behaving like Republicans - and vice versa. Since 1940, with the arguable exception of Barry Goldwater, Republicans have nominated the guy next in line. Thomas Dewey almost beat Wendell Willkie for the nomination in 1940, so in 1944 - and 1948 - it was his turn. Dwight Eisenhower, whom both parties wanted as their nominee, was a special case, given that whole invading-Europe-and-defeating-Hitler thing.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Having failed in its initial effort to buy Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications now wants to take over the company's board of directors. On Tuesday Charter announced a slate of directors it will nominate to Time Warner Cable's board at its annual meeting later this year. The 13 nominees include James Chiddix, a former chief technology officer for Time Warner Cable and Lisa Gersh, former president of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Oxygen Media. The hostile move comes about a month after Time Warner Cable rejected Charter's unsolicited offer of $132.50 a share and sets up a proxy fight for the company.
NATIONAL
February 7, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON -- Robert O. Work, a retired Marine and former Navy official, was nominated Friday to be deputy Defense secretary, a key job as the Pentagon faces budget cuts and ethics troubles. If confirmed by the Senate, Work would focus on day-to-day budget and policy decisions, leaving to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel the pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and other high-profile problems, officials said. Hagel called Work a highly respected expert on the budget, technology and military affairs, and told a news conference that Work would be returning to the Pentagon “at a very, very challenging time.” Work was known as a careful analyst on budget and weapons acquisition issues when he served as undersecretary of the Navy from 2009 to 2013.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2014 | By Michael Ordoña
In "Nebraska," 84-year-old June Squibb's Kate Grant is plain-spoken to a fault. Which is a nice way of saying she has reached an age at which she simply doesn't care what anyone thinks. Her brazen negativity can be off-putting at first. "At the beginning, you're not sure if you like her or not. In fact, you don't like her. She's a bitch," says the Oscar-nominated Squibb with appropriate directness. "But as you get to know her more, you understand why she is the way she is. We do a lot of question-and-answers after screenings, and so many people say, 'Boy, I hated you in the beginning.
OPINION
February 6, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Debo Adegbile, President Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, is an experienced litigator and specialist in civil rights law. In a rational world, he would receive unanimous confirmation. But as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to vote on his nomination, Adegbile faces opposition from conservatives who don't like his legal philosophy and a law enforcement group that won't forgive him for participating in the appeal of a man convicted of killing a police officer.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2014 | By Lisa Rosen
Hollywood loves a Cinderella story, and few have ever fit that shoe better than Barkhad Abdi. The actor, who played Somali pirate leader Muse in the Paul Greengrass film "Captain Phillips" to great acclaim, was born in Mogadishu. He recalls an idyllic childhood there, making and flying kites and playing marbles, until the age of 7, when civil war broke out in Somalia. He and his family fled to Yemen, where his father was already working as a teacher. Seven years later, they immigrated to the U.S., joining a vibrant Somali community in Minneapolis.
NATIONAL
February 6, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
On a straight party-line vote Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved civil rights lawyer Debo Adegbile's nomination to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Adegbile, a longtime voting-rights specialist for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, had drawn opposition, in particular from Philadelphia officials, because of his representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a convicted cop-killer there. The Fraternal Order of Police called the nomination “a thumb in the eye of our nation's law enforcement officers.” Other law enforcement groups, the police officer's widow and, most recently, Philadelphia Dist.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 1, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The 15 short films nominated for Oscars each year, five in each category - live action, animation and documentary - usually feel completely untethered to their longer siblings. But this year, the shorts, like the longs, are a serious, substantial bunch, with a great many international contenders among them. Oh, a little cheek slips in here and there. In "Get a Horse," director Lauren MacMullan takes a satirical swipe at the animation form itself by waging a 3-D-versus-2-D, color-versus-black-and-white debate with a little help from Mickey Mouse.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 1, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
The Writers Guild of America honored Spike Jonze for his future-set love story "Her" with its award for original screenplay and Billy Ray for "Captain Phillips," the true story of a hijacking at sea, for adapted screenplay on Saturday night. The awards were announced during simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York. The original screenplay category matched up five-for-five in nominations with the Academy Awards, perhaps tipping the hand of what awards-watchers may expect to see at the Oscars in a few weeks.
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