4360 posts tagged with Politics.
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Poor internet for poor people

Why Facebook’s Internet.org amounts to economic racism. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Apr 19, 2015 - 66 comments

Who pays for the legal battle over same-sex marriage?

As a historic constitutional showdown over gay marriage looms this month at the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys are fighting over another bitterly disputed issue: their fees. In some cases, the fee requests run well into seven figures and are submitted on behalf of powerful law firms that a Reuters examination found have outsized access to the Supreme Court. Individuals and advocacy groups that file lawsuits aimed at the high court sometimes retain big-firm lawyers who specialize in arguing in that forum and boast remarkable success rates in getting their cases heard.
posted by sciatrix on Apr 18, 2015 - 14 comments

Isaiah 11:6

"More than sixty years have passed since Israel started its nuclear venture and almost half a century has elapsed since it crossed the nuclear weapons threshold. Yet Israel's nuclear history still lacks a voice of its own: Israel has never issued an authorized and official nuclear history; no insiders have ever been authorized to tell the story from within. Unlike all seven other nuclear weapons states, Israel's nuclear policy is essentially one of non-acknowledgement. Israel believes that nuclear silence is golden, referring to its nuclear code of conduct as the policy of amimut ("opacity" in Hebrew)." A special collection of declassified documents was published by the National Security Archive this Wednesday, that sheds some light on How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program.
posted by zarq on Apr 17, 2015 - 99 comments

"History never really says goodbye. History says, 'See you later.'"

Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan chronicler of Latin American history, politics, and football, has died at the age of 74 today in his hometown, Montevideo. [more inside]
posted by maskd on Apr 13, 2015 - 20 comments

It’s time to take her out back and stick her in the ground.

From The Bitter Southerner: Dixie Is Dead
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 13, 2015 - 60 comments

Satirized for Your Consumption

"We live in an age of satirical excess. If economists were to diagnose it, they might well call it a comedy bubble. We currently have six late-night talk show hosts, all nattily clad, life-of-the-party, white-guy topical jokers—Conan, Kimmel, Fallon, James Corden, Seth Meyers, and (come September) Colbert—to sum up, and send up, our day for us. We have four comedy news-commentary shows—Maher, Larry Wilmore, John Oliver, and (for a little while longer) Stewart—and fake news from SNL’s Weekend Update, The Onion, ClickHole, and several lesser lights. Vines, viral Funny or Die clips, podcasts, Twitter: each new media platform generates stars of its own, ranging from seasoned comedians to everyday office wits—often, people who have no intention of seeking careers as professional humorists. It would be easy to sniff in condescending high-gatekeeper form and talk of the low signal-to-noise ratio of truly funny people to not, but with 280 million active users on Twitter alone, that still leaves a pretty big signal." [more inside]
posted by josher71 on Apr 12, 2015 - 70 comments

Social Reality

What Russians really think - "Many in the west see Russia as aggressive and brainwashed. But its citizens have a different view." Meanwhile,[1,2] in Moscow and Lviv...
posted by kliuless on Apr 11, 2015 - 43 comments

"I would want the dickpic program changed."

John Oliver explores the topic of government surveillance in the context of the June 1st deadline to reauthorize the Patriot Act and the ongoing Edward Snowden case.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 6, 2015 - 108 comments

“I’m not going to stop watering,”

California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth [New York Times]
A punishing drought is forcing a reconsideration of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth that has for so long been the state’s engine has run against the limits of nature.
California Water Use [New York Times] Are you affected? [New York Times] The Drought, explained. [New York Times Video] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 5, 2015 - 168 comments

Vote #1 Red-Tailed Hawk

A group of 4th graders in New Hampshire, learning about how Government works and following a long-held tradition of schools across the US, drafted and presented a bill proposing that the red-tailed hawk be named the official state raptor of New Hampshire. Their bill was solidly defeated by the Legislature, drawing ire for its mean-spirited mocking as well as a highly dubious abortion metaphor. While some have defended the Legislature's decision, others have come to the aid of the 4th graders, mostly thanks to John Oliver's declaration of the red-tailed hawk as the official mascot of Last Week Tonight. There are plans to potentially resurrect the bill.
posted by divabat on Apr 3, 2015 - 86 comments

"Look, those people are your enemies.”

On stage that day, Iglesias declared that Podemos would take back power from self-serving elites and hand it over to the people. To do that, the new party needs votes. If that means arousing emotions and being accused of populism, so be it. And, as the party’s founders have already shown, if they have to renounce some of their ideas in order to broaden their appeal, or risk upsetting some in their grassroots movement by tightening central control, they are ready to do that, too. The aim, after all, is to win. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Apr 1, 2015 - 8 comments

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.

Incumbent President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan today conceded defeat in last weekend's election, and called President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari to congratulate him. The election has generally appeared to be the fairest in Nigeria's history and mostly free of the bloodshed of Jonathan's 2011 defeat of Buhari; this transition will mark Nigeria's first transfer of power to an opposition party after an election. Buhari's presidency will be his second administration as leader of Nigeria after acting as the head of a military junta from 1983 to 1985. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Mar 31, 2015 - 28 comments

Yemen on Brink of Civil War

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has fled the country as Saudi Arabia initiates a bombing campaign against the Houthi rebels. A ground invasion by Egypt and other members of Saudi Arabia's 10-country coalition is apparently to follow the bombing. The United States has withdrawn its special operations forces from Yemeni territory with a potential civil war looming. [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles on Mar 26, 2015 - 123 comments

The 2016 campaign’s most interesting long shot

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Ben Carson?
What If Sarah Palin Were a Brain Surgeon?
Taking Ben Carson Seriously
posted by andoatnp on Mar 25, 2015 - 51 comments

Our Complicity With Excess

"[In] the face of a culture that would deny them, it becomes necessary for an artist of color in the west to defiantly announce to the world: I am a fact." In April 2014, at the first ever Yale Asian Alumni Reunion, Vijay Iyer delivered a powerful speech "on two intertwined issues: the role of Asian Americans as upwardly mobile minorities and the role of the artist as a potential transgressor within elite institutions."
posted by Errant on Mar 23, 2015 - 3 comments

Oh, Lord, won't you buy me..?

92 lottery winners appointed to UK Parliament. [more inside]
posted by Jakey on Mar 22, 2015 - 31 comments

Too Many Crooks

Amid a historically crowded pool of candidates exploring bids in the 2016 presidential elections, one might say that there are..... Too Many Cooks.
posted by schmod on Mar 20, 2015 - 41 comments

How Google Skewed Search Results

The Wall Street Journal reports on how Google favored its own shopping, travel services over rivals, and the U.S. antitrust probe of Google:
The 160-page critique, which was supposed to remain private but was inadvertently disclosed in an open-records request, concluded that Google’s “conduct has resulted—and will result—in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.”
Is Google an unelected superpower? A truly sinister social networking platform could manipulate public opinion even more effectively. (Previously)
posted by Little Dawn on Mar 19, 2015 - 68 comments

Malcolm Fraser, 1931-2015

Malcolm Fraser, former Australian Prime Minister, has died aged 84. [more inside]
posted by acb on Mar 19, 2015 - 30 comments

The Case Against Credentialism

The connection between education and occupation is now so firmly ingrained as to seem almost a fact of nature. To get a good job, you get a diploma: at once time a high school diploma stuffed, and then a B.A., but now you're better off with a J.D. or an M.B.A...Yet this familiar system, far from evolving “naturally” or “unconsciously,” is the product of distinct cultural changes in American history. The process that left it in our landscape is less like the slow raising of a mountain range or the growth of oxbows on the Mississippi, and more like the construction of a dam. Three changes, which took place in the past hundred years, produced the system that is now producing M.B.A.s. They were the conversion of jobs into “professions,” the scientific measurement of intelligence, and the use of government power to “channel” people toward certain occupations. James Fallows explains in a 1985 article in The Atlantic. (See also William James 80 years prior on The Ph.D. Octopus).
posted by shivohum on Mar 15, 2015 - 19 comments

"This isn't funny anymore."

Putin Has Vanished, but Rumors Are Popping Up Everywhere.
“I have enough trouble keeping track of the whereabouts of one world leader,” said Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman. “I would refer you to the Russians for questions on theirs. I’m sure they’ll be very responsive.”
This is, in large part, a crisis of the Kremlin’s making. (Previously)
posted by Little Dawn on Mar 15, 2015 - 201 comments

Karzai's life is split between Baltimore and his native Afghanistan

Last September, Hamid Karzai, the outgoing president of Afghanistan, made a number of disparaging remarks about U.S. involvement in that country. “America did not want peace for Afghanistan because it had its own agendas and goals here,” he said after pointedly leaving the U.S. out of the group of countries he thanked for helping during the course of his largely U.S.-backed administration. John Oliver, the former “Daily Show” correspondent, responded on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” by reading a series of negative Yelp reviews of The Helmand, one of the four Baltimore restaurants owned by Qayum Karzai, the president’s older brother. “It was a funny joke,” Qayum says, pulling up in front of the restaurant in what he calls his “mujahideen Jeep—because you can only jump in and jump out.” “They did not do their due diligence,” he adds. “It is known to everybody that my politics is not the same as my brother. I’m sorry that [Oliver] is thinking about collective guilt. My brother is a different person.”
posted by josher71 on Mar 10, 2015 - 24 comments

Peace as an existential threat.

The recent Republican letter to Iran has received an impressive, diplomatically amusing response on Twitter from Iran's Foreign Minister, in which he schools the Republican Party on the intricacies of international law and the US Constitution. The letter, penned by a freshman senator who recently advocated regime change and an end to talks with Iran, appears to have violated the Logan Act, but probably can't be prosecuted. President Obama's response was short and classic.
posted by markkraft on Mar 10, 2015 - 534 comments

New scrutiny on re-homing of adopted kids

"Re-homing" is the largely unregulated practice by which parents of adopted children in the U.S. hand over those children to new families, with little or no government oversight. While some states started cracking down last year, the issue has gained new attention with the story of Arkansas Representative Justin Harris and his wife. They adopted a pair of girls, 3 and 6, who proved more troublesome than they seemed. Harris and his wife gave the girls to a worker in the religious school he owned, who subsequently raped the 6-year-old. The girls' previous foster family has now raised questions about Harris' story. [Previously, a 2013 Reuters investigation: The Child Exchange - Inside America's underground market for adopted children] [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Mar 9, 2015 - 61 comments

Game of Cards

Game of Cards
posted by univac on Mar 4, 2015 - 9 comments

55,000 pages of emails

The New York Times reports today that as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton used her personal e-mail address to conduct all business. In response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 3, 2015 - 191 comments

If you’ve never needed the welfare system, consider yourself lucky

A View from Inside the Welfare System.
posted by cashman on Mar 2, 2015 - 33 comments

The Death of a Missouri Politician

Tom Schweich, Missouri's state auditor and a candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary, died in an apparent suicide on Feb. 26. [more inside]
posted by nangar on Mar 2, 2015 - 38 comments

Wonders of Destruction in Arabic Fiction

Historians of war and society would like to believe that military conflicts have fixed beginnings and ends. Conventional depictions of the Lebanese civil war are no exception and typically confine that conflict within the notional temporal parameters of 1975–90. But the key aggravating features generally identified with the events of the Lebanese civil war—class resentments, echoes of the Arab-Israeli conflict on a regional scale, domestic geographical inequalities, sectarian rancor, and political infighting across the Lebanese scene—had been accumulating since 1948, and even earlier. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Mar 1, 2015 - 6 comments

Brother From Another Planet

“I’m always surprised to see what I do,” Jean-Luc Godard admits at the beginning of a talk delivered, nearly four decades ago, at Concordia University in Montreal. Could the single most influential filmmaker of his generation, who is still a provocateur at age 84, possibly be as baffled as we? [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Feb 28, 2015 - 7 comments

dreams of being in The West Wing and in the West Wing have blended

Beyond Josh Lyman Politics: How The West Wing Miseducated My Political Generation
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 28, 2015 - 63 comments

While the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must

Putin's Russia: Like a gangster running a crime syndicate, Putin muscles opponents and assassinates critics. Nonetheless, his bid in Ukraine may be reactionary to NATO edging closer to Russia's borders. As Dan Carlin notes, it's as if Russia began training Mexican soldiers. Meanwhile, everyone needs a hero.
posted by four panels on Feb 27, 2015 - 155 comments

From Grad School to The Atlantic: Public Discourse & Comment Sections

Anyone who writes articles on the web knows the maxim: "Don’t read the comments." Fortunately for Yoni Appelbaum, a recent Ph.D. in history from Brandeis University, the well-known writer Ta-Nehisi Coates routinely ignores that rule.
How a history Ph.D. who was on the tenure-track market ended up in with a pretty good gig in journalism, primarily because of the quality of his comments.
posted by Toekneesan on Feb 27, 2015 - 8 comments

FCC votes for Net Neutrality

When President Obama appointed Tom Wheeler (a former top telecom lobbyist) as chairman of the FCC, he got a lot of grief for selling out his '07 pledge to protect Net Neutrality -- the founding principle long prized by open web activists that ISPs cannot privilege certain data over others, without which dire visions of a tiered and pay-for-play internet loomed. Earlier, weaker attempts at net neutrality had failed in court, and the new chairman looked set to fold. But after an unprecedented outcry following last year's trial balloon for ISP "fast lanes" -- including a viral appeal by John Oliver, a public urging by the president, and perhaps Wheeler's own history with the pre-web NABU Network -- the FCC yesterday voted along party lines to enact the toughest net neutrality rules in history, classifying ISPs as common carriers and clearing the way for municipal broadband. ISPs reacted with (Morse) venom, while congressional Republicans are divided over what they called "Obamacare for the internet."
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 27, 2015 - 127 comments

“Humans are the dominant race of Thedas,”

Dragon Age's Post-Racial (High) Fantasy
posted by Fizz on Feb 27, 2015 - 47 comments

Stop calling for a Muslim Enlightenment

After every terror attack the call rings out for the Muslim world to become modern. Whenever jihadi groups carry out an atrocity, or – as is happening a lot these days, western foreign policy failures lead to large areas of the world coming under the sway of oafs who claim to be acting for God – the call goes up for a Muslim Enlightenment. The imputation of Védrine, the French schoolteachers, and thousands of other commentators is that various internal deficiencies have excluded Islam from this indispensable cultural and intellectual event, without which no culture can be considered modern. Such views cut across political borders; they would find sympathy at the BBC as well as in the editorial offices of the Sun. Islam needs to get with the programme. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Feb 25, 2015 - 71 comments

The grim nightmare of successfully banning booze

Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald recently did an AMA on Citizenfour, their Oscar winning documentary about Snowden and the NSA scandal. Among the highlights is Snowden discussing the relationship between people and their governments and how enforcing the law too well actually can have severe drawbacks.
posted by Drinky Die on Feb 24, 2015 - 24 comments

A daring plan to rebuild Syria — no matter who wins the war

In terms of sheer devastation, Syria today is worse off than Germany at the end of World War II. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Feb 22, 2015 - 23 comments

Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher

For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Feb 21, 2015 - 39 comments

Feral Gardens

Danny Cooke’s Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl summons a lost history of familiar and alien dreams. The drone-mounted camera glides deliberately through the spaces within and above the empty city. The soundtrack is haunting, or “haunting.” We think of drones moving relentlessly forward: into the hidden terrain of surveillance, into the kill zone, into the future. Yet many of the shots point the lens in reverse, effectively pulling back to show first a figure and only then its surroundings. A diving platform with paint peeled away, then the empty pool. A circular emblem, large and sculptural, then the great apartment block on whose roof it sits, visible for miles. Not all shots follow this rule, and not all are taken by drone, but this is the general approach of Danny Cooke’s Postcards From Pripyat, Chernobyl, a three-minute video from last year. It’s quite beautiful. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Feb 20, 2015 - 9 comments

It’s like living your life as a job interview. Forever.

The End of Black Respectability Politics (SL TPM)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 20, 2015 - 27 comments

Kanye West vs. white mediocrity

Kanye takes more heat than anyone. Post-Grammys and "SNL" 40, we're finally seeing his critics for what they are. Social media has changed the game a lot in the past six years. There’s a lot of voices–lumped under names like “Black Twitter”–who have begun to consistently speak out to fill in the missing pieces from stories like the Kanye West Saga, to poke holes in pat narratives like “Kanye West is an egotist” or “Kanye West is a maniac.” [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Feb 17, 2015 - 229 comments

Inside the Koch Brothers' Toxic Empire

On the day before Danielle Smalley was to leave for college, she and her friend Jason Stone were hanging out in her family's mobile home. Seventeen years old, with long chestnut hair, Danielle began to feel nauseated. "Dad," she said, "we smell gas." It was 3:45 in the afternoon on August 24th, 1996, near Lively, Texas, some 50 miles southeast of Dallas. The Smalleys were too poor to own a telephone. So the teens jumped into her dad's 1964 Chevy pickup to alert the authorities. As they drove away, the truck stalled where the driveway crossed a dry creek bed. Danielle cranked the ignition, and a fireball engulfed the truck. "You see two children burned to death in front of you – you never forget that," Danielle's father, Danny, would later tell reporters. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Feb 16, 2015 - 84 comments

What the Sharing Economy Takes

Uber and Airbnb monetize the desperation of people in the post-crisis economy while sounding generous—and evoke a fantasy of community in an atomized population. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Feb 13, 2015 - 86 comments

John Kitzhaber resigns

Less than 2 days after releasing a statement that he had no intention to resign, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has announced that he will step down on February 18th. Over the last four months, a number of ethical issues have come to light surrounding Kitzhaber's fiancé Cylvia Hayes, culminating in a criminal investigation, currently underway.

Secretary of State Kate Brown will be sworn in as Governor at 10am on the 18th, making her the first out LGBT Governor in the US.

(Kitzhaber previously)
posted by polymath on Feb 13, 2015 - 34 comments

The Color Line Murders

The Equal Justice Initiative has released a report (pdf) on the history of lynchings in the United States, the result of five years of research. The authors compiled an inventory of 3,959 victims of “racial terror lynchings” in 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950 -- documenting more than 700 additional victims, which places the number of murders more than 20 percent higher than previously reported. "The process is intended... to force people to reckon with the narrative through-line of the country’s vicious racial history, rather than thinking of that history in a short-range, piecemeal way." Map. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 11, 2015 - 58 comments

"Email kept me connected to Floridians" - Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush has published all of the (unredacted) emails he sent and received as Governor.
posted by Going To Maine on Feb 10, 2015 - 99 comments

How YouTube Changed the World

How YouTube changed the world.
posted by chunking express on Feb 10, 2015 - 55 comments

Fiction influences reality: Quincy M.E.'s role in the Orphan Drug Act

How Quincy M.E. Changed American Law and Saved Lives discusses the serendipitous way that a young man's need for medication for Tourette's syndrome came to the attention of a family member of actor Jack Klugman and resulted in the Orphan Drug Act of 1983. (main article by MeFi's own Garius) [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Feb 8, 2015 - 16 comments

Women of the Islamic State: A Manifesto

Women of the Islamic State: A manifesto on women by the Al-Khanssaa Brigade is a manifesto by women, for women "that aims to clarify the realities of life and the hallowed existence of women in the Islamic State, in Iraq and in al- Sham, and to refute the rumours that detractors advance against it." [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Feb 8, 2015 - 58 comments

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