Russia, Senate vacancy, working moms, Vladimir Putin, revenge, time travel, Susan Rice, cunning cancer cure, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mike Douglas and shirtless horseback riding. They all made their way into the national discourse this week. But how?

Let’s scroll!

1.) Running scared: The death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and the actions taken by Gov. Chris Christie to fill his Senate seat revealed that the most powerful person in New Jersey politics is Newark Mayor Cory Booker. By holding a special election almost three weeks before the general election, Christie doesn’t have to contend with Democratic voters swarming the polls to cast ballots for Booker who might also click the lever for his Democratic opponent.


Newark Mayor Cory Booker, left, and Gov. Chris Christie (Mel Evans/Associated Press)

2.) Dish served cold: “If you strike me down,” Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Darth Vader, “I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” As we saw this week, that “Star Wars” adage applies to politics. Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte may have succeeded in hounding Susan Rice from becoming secretary of state last year, but they failed in keeping her down. President Obama named her as his new national security adviser. The best part? The position doesn’t require Senate confirmation. Take that!


President Obama and Susan Rice (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

3.) Magic Mike: So, legendary actor Mike Douglas startled the world with a say-what-now revelation. When asked by The Guardian newspaper whether he regretted his years of booze and cigs thought to have caused his throat cancer, Douglas said, “No. Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.” But he went on to add, “And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.” I literally don’t know what to do with that. But considering HPV is now responsible for a rise in oral cancer, the conversation Douglas sparked could save lives.


Actor Mike Douglas (Alberto Pizzoli/Getty Images)

4.) Russian Standard: After watching a bit of ballet, Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged with his wife, Lyudmila, the Punxsutawney Phil of Russia because of her rare public appearances, to announce they were divorcing. “Our marriage is over, really because of the fact that we practically never see each other,” she said.


Russian President Vladimir Putin and soon-to-be-former wife Lyudmila (Getty Images)

Unfortunately, the rest of us have already seen way too much.


A shirtless Putin on horseback (Alexey Druzhinin/Getty Images)

5.) Don’t tell mama: Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant told an audience gathered Tuesday at The Post that working moms are to blame for the nation’s “mediocre” educational outcomes. “I think both parents started working,” Bryant explained. “And the mom is in the workplace.” Then, he got back in his time machine and zipped right back to 1953.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (Jeffrey MacMillan/Capital Business)
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (Jeffrey MacMillan/Capital Business)

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.
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