is best known for providing the voice of Mr Burns in The Simpsons and as Derek Smalls in spoof rock band Spinal Tap. His next role sees him take on former US president Richard Nixon in a series based on the disgraced politician behind closed doors... To borrow from Sir David's opening line - the following conversation was recorded by the BBC and these are the words actually spoken by Shearer and edited only for time." - The Beeb interviews Harry Shearer on his new role as Nixon.
posted by marienbad
on Jan 30, 2014 -
The defense of the illiberal activities of the actually-existing state cuts across superficial partisan lines, and the dominant political philosophy of both American parties is a venerable ideology of realpolitik imperial supremacy that deploys the rhetoric of liberalism as pacifying propaganda and recasts the completely mundane application of basic liberal-democratic principles–the kind at work in the activities of Wikileaks and Snowden–as irresponsibly adolescent, anarchical, and even libertarian (eww!) challenges to the very idea of the liberal state. “Liberal” apologists for the actually-existing criminal state spook actual liberals from the practice of actual liberalism by insinuating darkly that any doubts about the liberal legitimacy of the security state probably makes you a loathsome, possibly racist Paultard. Wil Wilkinson on why liberal critics of the "liberal" state seem "libertarian." [more inside]
posted by grobstein
on Jan 21, 2014 -
MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki
has been collaborating with NJ journalist Brian Murphy
on some investigative journalism about the Chris Christie administration's alleged withholding of Sandy Relief funds until the Mayor of Hoboken agrees to fast-track a real-estate development. Hoboken was one of the hardest-hit communities and has so far received $6 per resident. Christie became governor after leading a US Attorney investigation which convicted NJ politicians of crooked real-estate deals.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94
on Jan 18, 2014 -
In China, there are certain "bad notes" that frighten people and are refused as legal tender. Why?
posted by reenum
on Jan 16, 2014 -
Hard right Conservative
South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi
, who in 2012 year was removed as parliamentary secretary and opposition whip to Tony Abbott as a result of arguing that same-sex marriages would lead to legalised polygamy and bestiality
, is no stranger to controversy.
A noted climate change sceptic
, and critic of both Islam
and publicly-funded broadcasting
, Bernardi has just published his manifesto -- The Conservative Revolution
-- calling for "a reversal back to sanity and reason"
Reviews on Amazon have been less than favourable
, but his book has put contentious issues such as abortion
, the structure
of the modern family and WorkChoices
firmly at centrestage as the unpopular conservative government seeks to reconnect with voters
who so comprehensively removed the Labor Party from Government in September 2013.
that the danger in Bernardi's comments is that they shift the goalposts on what is considered outrageous
, and re-ignite
the culture wars
. Or is it too late
The Prime Minister has again been forced to distance himself from Bernardi's views
, and Warren Entch has criticised him for his "gay obsession
In 2012 the Global Mail called him Australia's Sarah Palin
, but he also shares the Six Fs philosophy
of Rick Santorum
: Faith, Family, Flag, Free enterprise, Federation and Freedom
posted by Mezentian
on Jan 7, 2014 -
Labour has accused the government of using the centenary of the start of the first world war to "sow political division" after the education secretary, Michael Gove, tore into "leftwing academics" for peddling unpatriotic "myths" about the role of British soldiers and generals in the conflict. Gove's original article in the Daily Mail.
posted by marienbad
on Jan 4, 2014 -
Newly released cabinet papers from 1984
reveal mineworkers' union leader Arthur Scargill may have been right to claim there was a "secret hit-list" of more than 70 pits marked for closure.
The government and National Coal Board said at the time they wanted to close 20. But the documents reveal a plan to shut 75 mines over three years.
A key adviser to then-PM Margaret Thatcher denies any cover-up claims.
The miners' strike began in March 1984 and did not end until the next year. [more inside]
posted by marienbad
on Jan 3, 2014 -
About the only place this book hasn't been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that's about to change. Because I'm going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that's how long it takes for a batch of my mother's Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I'm going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more. And I think it's fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote.
- Dan Savage reviews Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.
posted by Artw
on Dec 22, 2013 -
And if a series of well-timed massacres by the regime would provoke outrage in the West, Assad also knew that images of carnage would cause Gulf states to arm the Islamist opposition and escalate the sectarian warfare. This was his strategy: to make intervention so unpalatable that the international community would take no steps to alter the course of the conflict. “These jihadists who have come in, largely courtesy of private Gulf money, these are his enemies of choice,” says Frederic C. Hof, the Obama administration’s former envoy to the Syrian opposition and currently a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “I call it a coalition of co-dependency.”
- An in-depth piece in The New Republic Examines Bashar Al Assad
posted by beisny
on Dec 20, 2013 -
There is another bubble.
Before it's burned, Coal, Oil and Gas sit for years on the balance sheets of private (and national) resource companies, as "known reserve" assets. Assets that, someday, will become revenues. Or will they?
And if they won't, what will the balance sheets of ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Petrochina, and Gazprom actually look like? [more inside]
posted by anthill
on Dec 19, 2013 -
An Evening with Private Eye.
"Ian Hislop takes a satirical look back at the people and events of 2013 with special guests Craig Brown, Harry Enfield, Lewis Macleod, Jan Ravens and John Sessions. This is a recording of a live (National Theatre) Platform event from December 2013." [SLYT]
posted by feelinglistless
on Dec 14, 2013 -
We were left wondering why a man who served 16 terms in Congress and who bravely came out as gay all the way back in 1987 felt the need to hide his atheism until he was out of office. Was it really harder to come out as an atheist politician in 2013 than as a gay one 25 years ago? Incredibly, the answer might be yes. For starters, consider that there is not a single self-described atheist in Congress today. Not one.
posted by Chrysostom
on Dec 10, 2013 -
In case you were starting to miss the daily insanity that is Rob Ford, Toronto's admitted crack-smoking, tax-cutting, drunken stupor of a Mayor, your wait is over. Newly-unredacted wiretaps
from the police investigation into attempts to retrieve the infamous video of Rob Ford
smocking crack, calling his football team "a bunch of fucking minorities", and Justin Trudeau a "fa**ot", have re-ignited the inquiry into the Mayor's actions. [more inside]
posted by dry white toast
on Dec 4, 2013 -
on a study published by Psychology Today that claims the reason the OWS movement has not gained more traction within the Democratic Party (as compared to the rapid growth of the Tea Party on the other side) is that liberally-minded people see themselves more as a unique collection of beliefs that happen to be joining with other individuals, where conservatives see themselves more as part of a homogenous group of people with similar beliefs.
posted by softlord
on Dec 3, 2013 -
The NFL's Modern Man: How Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin — a bike-riding, socially conscious, Animal Collective–loving hipster — is redefining what it means to be a football player.
posted by Drinky Die
on Nov 20, 2013 -
Peter Hartcher, political editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, tells the story of the self-immolation of the Australian Labor party and the political destruction of two prime ministers, in a five part series: Meltdown
. [more inside]
posted by kithrater
on Nov 20, 2013 -
The robots are here.
George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen predicts that the trend towards automation will squeeze the middle class further still, and compares its effects on American politics to a too-overlooked 1955 short story
by Isaac Asimov.
posted by Jacob Knitig
on Nov 14, 2013 -
The Myth of the Visionary Leader.
"But just knowing that great leadership is not always going to look great, or even make us feel inspired, could help gird us against the power of big personality and encourage us to make more sober choices."
posted by Sticherbeast
on Nov 11, 2013 -
According to researchers who analyzed all 729 constitutions adopted between 1946 and 2006, the U.S. Constitution is rarely used as a model. What's more, "the American example is being rejected to an even greater extent by America's allies than by the global community at large"...
"There are about 30 countries, mostly in Latin America, that have adopted American-style systems. All of them, without exception, have succumbed to...constitutional crisis[es]—your full range of political violence, revolution, coup, and worse. But well short of war, you can end up in a state of "crisis governance," he writes. "President and house may merely indulge a taste for endless backbiting, mutual recrimination, and partisan deadlock. Worse yet, the contending powers may use the constitutional tools at their disposal to make life miserable for each other: The house will harass the executive, and the president will engage in unilateral action whenever he can get away with it." [Juan Linz] wrote that almost a decade and a half ago, long before anyone had heard of Barack Obama, let alone the Tea Party.
's Alex Seitz-Wald makes a case against the U.S. Constitution:
The U.S. Needs a New Constitution—Here's How to Write It
posted by zardoz
on Nov 5, 2013 -
"Unspeak is language that deliberately loads the dice. War on Terror. Weapons of mass destruction. Climate change. Failed asylum seekers. File sharing. Austerity measures. Oil spill. Erectile dysfunction. Once we tune in to unspeak we start seeing and hearing it everywhere
" -- UK journalist Steve Poole's book Unspeak
has been turned into a six part interactive documentary series
by Dutch new media group Submarine Channel
, narrated by Poole himself. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Oct 31, 2013 -
After a trade dispute, Grangemouth plant
will remain open. Just another case of a greedy union almost driving a company out of business? Perhaps not. Robin McAlpine argues
that this case underlines the broken nature of British industry and its relationship with the unions, as well as the media's ability to report on stories outside of London
posted by Cannon Fodder
on Oct 25, 2013 -