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President Obama Will Hold Twitter Town Hall, Without Twitter

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It is the middle of a Wednesday, so our President wants to hang out on Twitter and connect with the Youths, who used to look to him, wide-eyed and full of that thing called “Hope.” Now that Hope has been murdered and buried at sea with bin Laden, it is important that Barack Obama remind everyone that he is the president of the Rebecca Black meme generation, because he can use a phone to write things, about how he is acool dad or whatever. Today he is going to prove his Interwebz skillz to the next level, by holding a town hall meeting, on Twitter! Only he will not actually touch Twitter, because not so fast, America!


Barack Obama wants to answer your questions on Twitter, but he’s not going to, because that could be “dangerous.” When politicians use Twitter they are almost always ridiculed or forced to resign, because at any point, Twitter could just take a picture of your genitals, and you will never see it coming.

The White House and Twitter, which is co-hosting the Tweet-up, is taking measures to ensure there's no chance Obama will fall prey to some of the Twitter mishaps that have ensnared the likes of Sarah Palin (who memorably and quite unintentionally coined the new word "refudiate" in one tweet) and former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) who showed just how easily Twitter can get you into trouble by a simple slip of the mouse or misdirected twitpic.

In fact, the President won't be actually tweeting at all so he won't have to worry about those 140 character limits on his soundbites or knowing the right kind of hipster lingo and hashtags to thrown in. No, Obama will be responding verbally on a White House live video stream to questions sent in by Twitter users. Twitter will be responsible for vetting the questions and filtering inappropriate topics, as well as trying to keep the questions focused on the jobs and the economy.

How boring! A real Twitter town hall would include all the inappropriate things, and questions from cartoon characters and whoever else lives on Twitter. We will liveblog it anyway, if we can find enough alcohol in the middle of the afternoon. [TPMDC]

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Some of our favorite people to follow on Twitter are the wonderful folks who watch Fox News every night and tweet screenshots and videos, so that we never ever EVER have to watch it. (They all work for Media Matters, so presumably they are being forced to do this by David Brock.)

We had a feeling after Pete Buttigieg did that Fox News town hall, and after we watched the MENSA trust at "Fox & Friends" just lose it all morning about Buttigieg's open criticism of Fox News on Fox News, that the evening hosts would really deliver on Monday night, and boy was our feeling correct.

Let's go to the tape, provided by Media Matters deputy director of rapid response Andrew Lawrence.

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Today it was announced that Dress Barn would be closing all 650 of its stores and its business in general. This has been happening a lot lately, as people have begun to do most of their shopping online rather than in stores. Shopko, a department store chain, recently announced it would be closing all of its stores as well.

Then there's the mall store Charlotte Russe, which closed all of its stores in March. I actually worked there in high school, and at Contempo Casuals, which later became Wet Seal, and which closed all of its stores last January (though it's still online). Many other "mall stores" are also either closing entirely or closing a huge chunk of their stores.

Dress Barn was a terrible and oddly insulting-sounding name for a store. The fact that it survived for as long as it did with marketing that bad actually speaks very well for the store itself. If it were not doing an incredibly good job providing many women with what they wanted, clothing-wise, I do not think they would have survived this long. While I can't speak to that personally, since the last time I lived in an area that had one I was 14 years old (though I did get a very nice purple crushed velvet baby-doll dress there for my grandparent's anniversary when I was in 8th grade), a lot of people today are talking about how much they appreciated that they could get nice work clothes there for a reasonable price -- and also in a wide range of sizes. That's awesome. There should be more of that, not less.

But the real problem isn't just people losing a store they like. It's the fact that all of the people working at those 650 stores no longer have jobs–about 6,800 people in total. (And 18,000 employees are losing their jobs at Shopko, which often served towns of 3,000 to 5,000 people, too small for any other store where you could buy, say, socks and a toaster.) And the way things are going, it's going to be pretty hard for them to find jobs in the same line of work. The vast majority of these people, also, are women.

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