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I Want You to Be Nice Until It's Time to Not Be Nice.

The Presidential Candidates Ranked By Their Usefulness In A Bar Fight: Kasich is the guy who shows up to the bar in business casual and turns out to be carrying a butterfly knife. He’s the guy who scares the piss out of everyone by wading into the deepest part of the fray while swinging double-fist thunderpunches and screaming an extemporaneous sermon. He’s the guy carving tattoos into his own arm with a broken bottle, the guy who palmed a handful of darts twenty freaking minutes before you even sensed there would be a fight, the guy who is slamming someone’s head into the bar long after the fight is over, screaming “Taste it! Taste it!” You do not want Kasich in any sort of a leadership position ever, but you definitely want him on your side in a bar fight.
posted by scaryblackdeath on Jan 30, 2016 - 90 comments

One more chance to love you

Stays at boutique hotels featuring rooftop pools, private soirees at members-only, jacket-and-tie clubs and fundraisers at the Four Seasons, the St. Regis and the Mandarin Oriental.

How Jeb Bush blew through his warchest.
posted by four panels on Jan 28, 2016 - 248 comments

Vincent "Buddy" Cianci: 1941 - 2016

Controvertial former mayor of Providence and convicted felon Vincent "Buddy" Cianci is dead at 74
posted by Slap*Happy on Jan 28, 2016 - 54 comments

"And when you let them in, you don't grimace"

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who built a barbed wire fence around his country to keep out the migrants, was also [at a Brussels summit]. He saw, and enjoyed, seeing [Angela] Merkel in a fix. He took the floor and said: "It is only a matter of time before Germany builds a fence. Then I'll have the Europe that I believe is right." Merkel said nothing at first, a person present at the meeting relates. Only later, after a couple other heads of government had their say, did Merkel turn to Orbán and say: "I lived behind a fence for too long for me to now wish for those times to return."
-The Isolated Chancellor: What Is Driving Angela Merkel? by Markus Feldenkirchen and René Pfister of Der Spiegel.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 27, 2016 - 108 comments

Think you can tell a Democrat from a Republican?

Think you can tell a Democrat from a Republican? You are presented with a bill from 2005-2014, and have to decide if that bill was sponsored by a Democrat or a Republican. Some are obvious, some are tricky, and some are really surprising! [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola on Jan 25, 2016 - 19 comments

"You have to respect the absurdity of it,"

Iowa's caucus system, explained. [YouTube] [Vox] Each US primary election season kicks off in Iowa. Learn the process behind one of the pivotal events of the general election. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jan 25, 2016 - 58 comments

Meet Ted Cruz’s Secretive $11 Million Donor

Critics warned that Citizens United would bring about a new era of corporate influence in politics, with companies and businesspeople buying elections to promote their financial interests. So far, that hasn’t happened much… Instead, a small group of billionaires has flooded races with ideologically tinged contributions. Zachary Mider profiles the enigmatic Bob Mercer, the single biggest donor of the current campaign, for Bloomberg: “What Kind of Man Spends Millions to Elect Ted Cruz?” [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Jan 24, 2016 - 62 comments

A Reader on Black Revolutionaries in the United States

A Reader on Black Revolutionaries in the United States [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Jan 24, 2016 - 5 comments

the art of our necessities is strange

"If you have a Democratic frontrunner who is opposed to capitalism and a Republican frontrunner who wants to deport 10 million immigrants, that'll make a difference."

Michael Bloomberg set to run for President.
posted by four panels on Jan 23, 2016 - 319 comments

Tory MP: Don't Ban Poppers, I Use Them

As the government debates the Psychoactive Substances Bill... A Conservative former minister has "outed" himself as a poppers user, amid warnings that a Government ban on the substance will harm the gay community and others. Crispin Blunt warned he and many gay men are "astonished" by the Government's proposals, adding respect for the law would "fly out the window" if a ban is implemented. Grauniad Article. Politics.co.uk. Legalcheek.
posted by marienbad on Jan 21, 2016 - 30 comments

In His Own Words

A Syrian Refugee's first month in Canada Vanig Garabedian, 47, was on board the first government-organized flight of Syrian refugees to Canada on Dec. 10. He came with his wife Anjilik Jaghlassian and their daughters Sylvie and Lucie, 12, and Anna-Maria, 10. The very first people to leave the plane, the family’s arrival in Toronto was widely photographed, as was their meeting with the prime minister. One month later, Garabedian, an obstetrician/gynecologist for 15 years in Aleppo, has settled into an apartment in the suburbs of Toronto.
posted by modernnomad on Jan 17, 2016 - 27 comments

Oligarchs R US

In the 2016 elections, the goal of the Koch network of contributors is to spend $889m, more than twice what they spent in 2012.
Dark Money though prominent is not confined to the political right.
How dark money affects elections.
posted by adamvasco on Jan 17, 2016 - 32 comments

One wore a shirt that extolled the virtues of waterboarding.

It was, in some sense, intended to be a memorial. People filtered into the stadium under giant waving flags on the stadium’s external jumbotrons. But once inside, they were greeted with the giant floating head of John Krasinski, better known as Jim from The Office, who plays the movie’s protagonist, a security contractor named Jack Da Silva.

When [Krasinski] was interviewed on the stadium’s immense on-field red carpet, as part of the pre-show, he spoke about working with the real-life Da Silva to develop his character. A man in front of me groaned. “Oh, so now we know that character doesn’t die,” he said. “Great spoiler, dude.” Yes: Jim from The Office spoiled Benghazi.
I Watched Michael Bay's Benghazi Movie at Cowboys Stadium With 30,000 Pissed-Off Patriots
posted by Atom Eyes on Jan 15, 2016 - 196 comments

By Wambui Mwangi

Silence Is a Woman
posted by infini on Jan 15, 2016 - 4 comments

Deal from strength or get crushed every time

The Official Donald Trump Jam (SLYT)
posted by OverlappingElvis on Jan 14, 2016 - 184 comments

Rebel Without A Pause

Killer Mike and the return of the politically engaged rapper.
posted by ellieBOA on Jan 13, 2016 - 19 comments

I refer of course to investigations of the so-called Metafilter affair

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET President Obama will give his final State of the Union address. (Barring unexpected developments.) He is expected to reflect on his legacy in office and also look towards the future with the same optimistic viewpoint which has always been a signature of his political identity. [more inside]
posted by Drinky Die on Jan 12, 2016 - 480 comments

Does free speech protect free riders?

Oral arguments were heard on Monday in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a Supreme Court case in which the plaintiffs are attempting to invoke their First Amendment right to free speech to avoid being compelled to pay their share of the costs of union representation. Summarizing the oral arguments for SCOTUSblog, Amy Howe notes that "public-employee unions are likely very nervous, as the Court’s more conservative Justices appeared ready to overrule the Court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and strike down the fees." [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Jan 12, 2016 - 112 comments

UBI in NYT

It's Payback Time for Women - "Society is getting a free ride on our unrewarded contributions to the perpetuation of the human race." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 11, 2016 - 79 comments

The White Man Pathology

On an American road trip, Stephen Marche enters the fray with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in Iowa and gets a view of the campaign trail from the perspective of his whiteness. (SLGuardian)
posted by josher71 on Jan 10, 2016 - 98 comments

Politics now more divisive than Race

"When defined in terms of social identity and affect toward copartisans and opposing partisans, the polarization of the American electorate has dramatically increased...Our evidence demonstrates that hostile feelings for the opposing party are ingrained or automatic in voters’ minds, and that affective polarization based on party is just as strong as polarization based on race. We further show that party cues exert powerful effects on nonpolitical judgments and behaviors. Partisans discriminate against opposing partisans, doing so to a degree that exceeds discrimination based on race. " (PDF). [more inside]
posted by d. z. wang on Jan 9, 2016 - 114 comments

The dark shadow of Mordor creeping into the Ukraine

The occupiers from Mordor and their sad little horse - I mean Russians from the Russian Federation and their Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov - such is Google translate. Probably not an intentional Google bomb, but just how the Ukrainians have actually been describing their occupiers in online documents which feed Google's translation algorithm.
posted by caddis on Jan 7, 2016 - 2 comments

His grotesquely swollen jaw had healed by this point.

Jon Bois (Breaking Madden [previously], The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles [previously], Pretty Good) recounts the oral history of the successful 1996 presidential campaign of Ken Griffey, Jr. [more inside]
posted by Rock Steady on Jan 7, 2016 - 12 comments

"When Your Fat Pic Goes Viral as a Feminist Cautionary Tale"

Writer Hale Goetz had just finished Christmas dinner with her family when she got the call: “A picture of you is on the front page of r/funny,” my friend told me. I’m not a regular Reddit user, but I know about r/funny—it’s a popular subpage, a place with a lot of cat pictures. Funny? Had I been funny? I traced back through the past week, wondering if I had finally made one of my 119 Twitter followers laugh, but then my stomach clenched as my friend explained my stardom wasn’t because I had been funny. It was because I had gotten fat.
posted by Room 641-A on Jan 6, 2016 - 72 comments

The Unseen Threat of Capital Mobility

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions -"The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 4, 2016 - 31 comments

"The leak accounts for 25 percent of daily greenhouse gas emissions"

Two months in, Porter Ranch [California] gas leak compared to BP Gulf oil spill: More than 1,800 families have been relocated by the gas company and more than 1,000 remain on a waiting list. Some say they can’t remember a displacement of residents this large since the Northridge earthquake in 1994, when 20,000 people were left homeless. Two local elementary schools have been impacted, with nearly 2,000 schoolchildren and staff slated to be moved to other schools in January. Enough methane gas is being released to fill the Empire State building each day, state officials have said, and the concern has even reached the Federal Aviation Administration, which issued temporary flight restrictions over the area for small aircraft and helicopters. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jan 2, 2016 - 51 comments

The center

In the 1960s, riots and the Black Power movement sparked a furious white backlash. In April 1965, 28% of non-Southern whites thought President Lyndon Johnson was pushing civil rights “too fast.”

By September 1966, after riots in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Cleveland, and the S.N.C.C.'s turn from racial integration toward Black Power, that figure had reached 52%.

This time, however, the opposite is happening.
posted by four panels on Dec 29, 2015 - 90 comments

Apparently, Presidential Slashfic Is A Thing

With the discovery of a bit of Ted Cruz holiday erotica (NSFW, NSFB, NSFA) put out as a form of revenge fiction, Slate writer Christina Cauterucci delves into the history of Presidential erotica - both that written by others and written by the politicians themselves.
posted by NoxAeternum on Dec 28, 2015 - 40 comments

Jerry Springer: 'This might seem strange'

Yes, that Jerry Springer: Host of the world’s least classy TV show, former mayor of Cincinnati and one-time newscaster. He tapes The Jerry Springer TV show every Monday and Tuesday in Connecticut, then on alternate Tuesdays takes his Gulfstream jet to Cincinnati, where his old friend Jene Galvin picks him up. They go over to Ludlow to record a podcast called "Tales, Tunes and Tomfoolery." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Dec 27, 2015 - 10 comments

“I told them I would not change a word,”

French journalist accuses China of intimidating foreign press. by Tom Phillips [The Guardian]
China is facing accusations of attempting to muzzle and intimidate foreign press after it said it would expel a French journalist who refused to apologise for an article criticising government policy. Lu Kang, a spokesperson for China’s ministry of foreign affairs, claimed Ursula Gauthier, the Beijing correspondent for French magazine L’Obs, had offended the Chinese people with a recent column about terrorism and the violence-hit region of Xinjiang. “Gauthier failed to apologise to the Chinese people for her wrong words and it is no longer suitable for her to work in China,” Lu said in a statement, according to Xinhua, Beijing’s official news agency.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Dec 27, 2015 - 21 comments

"The FBI remained on the Seeger beat"

Folk musician Pete Seeger was under investigation by the FBI for decades from his time as a soldier during World War II until the 1970s. David Corn of Mother Jones magazine got over 1700 pages of surveillance reports, which have been released online. Seeger first came to the attention of the FBI because he wrote a letter protesting calls to strip all Japanese-Americans of citizenship and deport them. [via RÚV]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 26, 2015 - 36 comments

A new way of hearing Palestine

"Palestinian culture — notably the writings of Mahmoud Darwish — have inspired non-Palestinian artists, such as the elegant, sparse album The Astounding Eyes of Rita by Tunisian jazz master Anouar Brahem. But all of these belong to very “grown-up” genres, appealing to audiences used to classical, jazz and “world” music. Checkpoint 303's "The Iqrit Files" offers something very different. Palestinian songs, poetry, history and landscapes provide the starting point for an album which combines them with the much more youthful sounds of drum and bass, minimal techno and ambient electronic." (The Electronic Intifada) [more inside]
posted by sapagan on Dec 22, 2015 - 6 comments

The Empire Strikes Back

Thursday was a banner day for Bernie Sanders, whose campaign reached two million donations and won two key endorsements. So it came as a shock Friday when Sanders was hamstrung by, of all things, a Clinton data scandal. NGP VAN, the Democratic Party's main vendor for data services, mistakenly lowered the firewalls isolating each campaign's voter info -- and one Sanders staffer peeked. While the (now-fired) staffer claims they were just trying to gauge the scope of the exposure, the Clinton camp accused their rival of downloading valuable data. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz agreed, barring the entire campaign from NGP VAN in response -- potentially crippling their sprint to Iowa. Already dinged for shielding Clinton with favorable debate schedules, the DNC dropped the ban following outcry and a Sanders lawsuit (which Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said might expose collusion). Crisis averted, though not without adding some potential fireworks to tonight's Democratic debate on ABC.
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 19, 2015 - 401 comments

Waterlooing Trump

"Despite Trump’s apparent strength in national polls, Cruz’s targeting of Iowa focuses on the most logical schwerpunkt for defeating Trump (puncturing his air of being a winner) by using the sequential nature of primaries to hand him a defeat in the first state to actually vote." Applying the theories of military strategist John Boyd to explain why Donald Trump has proven so successful in the primary so far, and why he will fail. Also, schwerpunkt! [more inside]
posted by macross city flaneur on Dec 19, 2015 - 106 comments

“Perhaps the next time you hear from me I’ll be dead,”

Dead Air: The Philippines is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, especially if you’re in talk radio. [The California Sunday Magazine] By Saul Elbein Photographs by Jes Aznar
When Elgin Damasco’s radio talk show was over, his bodyguards would hustle him out of his fortified studio and into his car. They would drive him through the leafy streets of Puerto Princesa, capital of the western Philippine province of Palawan, and bring him home. There he would hunker down until morning. Police had warned him that men had been casing his house. “I don’t even have the freedom to go to the mall,” Damasco told me. Inside the cinder-block walls of his studio, the cherubic 32-year-old felt safe. His sonorous voice was hooked into the most powerful transmitter on Palawan island. He was charging forth, as his station ID went, “to defend the weak and criticize the corrupt.” From 4:00 to 5:30 weekday afternoons, no one could shut him up.
posted by Fizz on Dec 18, 2015 - 3 comments

And the nominees are:

TPM's Ninth Annual Golden Dukes. The awards are named in honor of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who epitomizes the iconic modern scandal. Each year we single out those practitioners of scandal who through their own unmatched bumbling, shameless behavior, criminality or mere derp have set new standards for public corruption, betrayal of the public trust and general ridiculousness.
posted by maggieb on Dec 15, 2015 - 29 comments

"I need my community to understand your message directly impacts them"

Killer Mike interviews Senator Bernie Sanders at The SWAG Shop for about an hour, in six parts:
  1. Economic Freedom
  2. Social Justice
  3. Rigged
  4. Free Health Care: It Ain’t A Big Deal
  5. This Country Was Started AS An Act Of Political Protest
  6. Democrats Win When People Vote

posted by Going To Maine on Dec 15, 2015 - 112 comments

1.5C

By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster. - A historic deal has been struck in Paris to reduce carbon emissions and reduce global warming, with a ceiling of 2 degrees centigrade and a goal of 1.5C. 2015 has been the hottest year on record.
posted by Artw on Dec 12, 2015 - 80 comments

the tenuous blue wall

"There’s no question that recent demographic trends have aided Democrats enormously. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won 56 percent of all white voters and won election in a 44-state landslide. In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney carried 59 percent of all white voters yet lost decisively. What happened? African-Americans, Latinos, Asians and other non-whites — all overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning groups — rose from 12 percent of voters in 1980 to 28 percent in 2012.

It’s true that if every demographic group were to carry its 2012 levels of turnout and party support into 2016, Democrats’ lead in the national popular vote would expand from 3.9 percentage points to 5.1 points based on population trends alone. But, as FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver and others have argued, Democrats’ advantage in the Electoral College is much more tenuous than it’s often portrayed
." Run your own simulation with 538's Swing Tracker.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 4, 2015 - 34 comments

Jeb! as Marilyn in the Style of Warhol

This week is Art Basel Miami Beach -- the United States' leg of the three-city Art Basel art fair, at which "267 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa show significant work from the masters of Modern and contemporary art, as well the new generation of emerging stars." Also in attendance will be scores or hundreds of exceptionally well-heeled art collectors, plus three US presidential apsirants. [more inside]
posted by notyou on Nov 30, 2015 - 7 comments

“....if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!”

NATO-Russia Tensions Rise After Turkey Downs Jet [The New York Times]
Two big powers supporting different factions in the Syrian civil war clashed with each other on Tuesday when Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane that Turkey said had strayed into its airspace. The tensions immediately took on Cold War overtones when Russia rejected Turkey’s claim and Ankara responded by asking for an emergency NATO meeting, eliciting more Russian anger and ridicule. After the meeting, the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, called for “calm and de-escalation” and said the allies “stand in solidarity with Turkey.”
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Nov 25, 2015 - 136 comments

"Looking forward, the models see red"

25 years of climate talk history in one comic: Richard Monastersky & Nick Sousanis explore the history of climate treaty negotiations in Nature's special Paris Climate Talks issue. The goal of the Paris Talks is to limit emissions so that Earth won't warm by more than 2°C, and there are many reasons to be optimistic about the prospects for an agreement - but what will it really take to limit warming to 2°C??
posted by dialetheia on Nov 24, 2015 - 18 comments

Winning the residential race

When it comes to housing, Australia and Berlin are worlds apart. In Australia, as in much of the English-speaking world, housing is treated as primarily a vehicle for investment and wealth creation, a state of affairs which began with the privately-financed speculative building of colonial times, and is firmly entrenched in the culture; 70% of Australians own their own homes, and the “Australian Dream” is still widely held to be home ownership, though these days the home may well be a trendy inner-city apartment rather than the traditional bungalow on a quarter-acre block. In Berlin, however, the vast majority of residents are renters, and they have considerable political clout, as they have had for decades. [more inside]
posted by acb on Nov 23, 2015 - 22 comments

The Hatemonger

Donald Trump isn't funny anymore. Currently leading the polls in part due to a reaction to the Paris attacks that saw him inciting hatred against Muslim Americans with defamatory lies, Trump has eased off calls for a database of Muslims in favor of a new target, Black Americans, retweeting fake crime statistics provided by neo-nazis and supporting the beating of black protestors at his rallies. Let’s be clear, millions of Americans love Trump and are perfectly fine with him advancing racist lies. writes activist Shaun King, It’s ugly, but this, ladies and gentlemen, is America. 2015.
posted by Artw on Nov 23, 2015 - 789 comments

"Lately, the Sea of Polls is deeper than ever before, and darker."

Politics and the New Machine, Jill Lepore, New Yorker-"What the turn from polls to data science means for democracy." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 22, 2015 - 10 comments

Inside the Clinton Donor Network

2 Clintons * 42 years * $3 Billion: A Washington Post investigation reveals how Bill and Hillary Clinton have methodically cultivated donors over 40 years, from Little Rock to Washington and then across the globe. Their fundraising methods have created a new blueprint for politicians and their donors.
posted by growabrain on Nov 20, 2015 - 68 comments

And ain’t I a wo­man?

"Young women could now do more than read about feminist issues and discuss them in class; they could find communities of women on Twitter or Tumblr whose experiences they could relate to—or who could open up new vistas for them on what other women’s lives are like. They could participate in the creation of a new feminism—one that would be a far cry from Friedan’s. By 2011, the writer Flavia Dzodan was famously declaring on her blog: “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.” Her words became a rallying cry."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 18, 2015 - 30 comments

Taser, body cameras, money and politics

Whichever cameras are used, it’s increasingly clear police will control the footage. In a recent survey of 25 departments with body camera programs, only two made the footage available to individuals filing complaints against the department, and only four had systems to prevent tampering or unauthorized access. - Who controls the cop cam?
posted by Artw on Nov 16, 2015 - 43 comments

Divided We Fall

Kentucky counties with highest Medicaid rates backed Matt Bevin, who plans to cut Medicaid
Owsley County, one of the nation's poorest places [prev], neatly fit the trend. Nearly 1,000 of its 4,508 residents got health insurance after Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear established Kynect two years ago and expanded Medicaid to include people up to 138 percent of the poverty level, which is $16,105 a year for an individual. Newly insured people started to visit the Owsley County Medical Clinic on the outskirts of Booneville. They desperately needed medical care. Even by Kentucky's lax standards, Owsley has high rates of obesity, smoking and poor nutrition, and as a result, greater than normal incidences of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Some patients wept with relief as longtime ailments finally were treated, clinic officials said. [...] The community's largest-circulation newspaper, the Three Forks Tradition in Beattyville, did not say much about Kynect ahead of the election. Instead, its editorials roasted Obama and Hillary Clinton, gay marriage, Islam, "liberal race peddlers," "liberal media," black criminals and "the radical Black Lives Matter movement."
Owsley County voted for Bevin, a Tea Party businessman who vowed to dismantle Kynect, by a 70-25 margin. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 15, 2015 - 91 comments

Democratic Debate at Drake University

Tonight at 9 EST Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley will come together for a debate in Iowa at Drake University. [more inside]
posted by Drinky Die on Nov 14, 2015 - 169 comments

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