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Danger is my surname

After gossip site The Dirty posted explicit Facebook chats between NYC Mayoral frontrunner Anthony Weiner (previously) and a young Democratic organizer who initially wrote to castigate him for his original scandal, he was forced to acknowledge that "his habit of sending racy messages to women had persisted long after his resignation." The New York Times has called for him to drop out. So has the Wall Street Journal. So have his opponents, somewhat predictably, for obcuring the issues with "a never-ending sideshow." His support is dwindling, but a lingering question is: will (and should) voters even care?
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jul 24, 2013 - 232 comments

postmodern attack ads don't always shoot where you point 'em

What rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes? [more inside]
posted by threeants on Jul 24, 2013 - 106 comments

"superior in their natural gifts on the average to the mass[es]"

"In Victorian England, getting a job was all about who you knew, [but] Charles Trevelyan, the permanent secretary to the Treasury 1840-59, was horrified by the Barnacle types in the civil service, once describing a colleague, as a "gentleman who really could neither read nor write, he was almost an idiot"."
posted by marienbad on Jul 23, 2013 - 20 comments

The Dean of the White House Press Corp

Helen Thomas (Previously and Previously and Previously), who covered ten different administrations in her 49 years in the White House Press Corps (and maintained her rabble rouser image with both Republican and Democratic administrations), has died at age 92.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 20, 2013 - 161 comments

A Fieldguide for Female Interrogators

"10. Mild Non-Injurous Physical Contact: (i.e.,“a little bit of smacky face“) Unlike other forms of contact that lead to physical injury, sexual contact is unlikely to leave scars and is more likely to induce guilt that can be taken advantage of by a good interrogator." (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on Jul 18, 2013 - 15 comments

...never believing the people who think they have you figured out.

"It's his charm. It's his gift. It's his political liability, and it's part of an American conundrum. We beg for authenticity, and then when we get it, oh man, it's hilarious. [Vice President Joe] Biden can be fantastic when he's on his game. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, his speech got higher Nielsen ratings than either Bill Clinton's or Obama's. He killed the debate against Ryan, pumped air back into a campaign deflated after Obama's miserable first performance against Romney. Watching those performances, it's almost impossible to see him as a person once crippled by speech."
posted by zarq on Jul 18, 2013 - 75 comments

He listens to people a lot and uses his brain

I'm here today to help prevent Egypt from becoming a commodity owned by one person. A 12-year-old Egyptian comments on the political situation in his country. (SLYT)
posted by shivohum on Jul 16, 2013 - 9 comments

"Government was created in this equal footing for men and women."

"The country has cheaper medical care, smarter children, happier moms, better working conditions, less-anxious unemployed people, and lower student loan rates than we do. And that probably will never change." In The Atlantic, a comparison of some of the socio-economic aspects of Finland and the USA. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jul 11, 2013 - 55 comments

"These are good people! Strong people! Part of my family is a Mexican!"

The Republican Party is in a bind on immigration; after being saddled last year with a presidential nominee who notoriously suggested "self-deportation" as a solution to the issue and earning a mere 27% of the Latino vote, it was widely expected that the Republicans would find a way to appeal to that important—and growing—voting bloc. They may well yet, but it currently appears that the bill recently passed by the Senate is most likely dead on arrival in the House, to the satisfaction of certain voices on the right. But compare the rhetoric of 2013 with the remarks made by then-candidates Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush at a forum in 1980 and consider how far the Republican Party has shifted...
posted by Bromius on Jul 10, 2013 - 53 comments

The Decline of North Carolina

The New York Times' lead editorial on the Moral Monday arrests (Previously on Metafilter), ending federal unemployment benefits, failing education programs, racial discrimination, and new abortion laws.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 10, 2013 - 174 comments

A Plant, a Perch, and a Prophylactic

Charlie LeDuff Canoes the Rouge River through Detroit. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Jul 7, 2013 - 18 comments

Oilberta

Canada has lost its famous politeness. With oil and gas now accounting for approximately a quarter of its export revenue, over the last decade Canada has not so quietly become an international mining center and a rogue petrostate.
posted by four panels on Jul 1, 2013 - 73 comments

Why Fear Always Wins

Imagine two politicians: One preaches fear and excessive "security," while the other says terrorism is a negligible risk. They hold, like me, that risk is part of life, and that while some security is necessary, we should mostly just refuse to be terrorized and get on with our lives. Fast-forward 10 years. If I'm right and there have been no more terrorist attacks, the preacher of fear takes credit for keeping us safe. But if a terrorist attack has occurred, my government career is over.
posted by blankdawn on Jun 28, 2013 - 40 comments

Free Nelson Mandela

The point being, an angry song about a political prisoner in South Africa, held captive for 21 years (at the time of writing), and written and performed by a bunch of chippy former pop stars who appeared hellbent on throwing their success back in the faces of their fans, has no business being this happy, this celebratory, and this powerful.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 27, 2013 - 47 comments

Julia Gillard, Australia's first female Prime Minister, is done.

Former Labor leader and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd defeated her in a Labor Party leadership spill, 57-45, on Wednesday. The result has triggered a wave of cabinet resignations, including that of the erstwhile Midnight Oiler and Minister for School Education, Minister for Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett. Previously.
posted by rhombus on Jun 26, 2013 - 152 comments

India vs Pakistan in Afghanistan

A Deadly Triangle - the proxy war in Afghanistan
posted by Gyan on Jun 26, 2013 - 8 comments

The ZXX typeface: Zalgo meets Captcha to prevent OCR

During my service in the Korean military, I worked for two years as special intelligence personnel for the NSA, learning first-hand how to extract information from defense targets. Now, as a designer, I am influenced by these experiences and I have become dedicated to researching ways to “articulate our unfreedom” and to continue the evolution of my own thinking about censorship, surveillance, and a free society.
ZXX is a disruptive typeface designed by an ex-Korean intelligence officer to prevent automated text processing. ZXX Type Specimen Video. Project site offers a free download (.zip, 77 KB).
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jun 22, 2013 - 43 comments

Occupy Westminster In Reverse?

Conservative MPs have drawn up an “Alternative Queen’s Speech” with radical policies - "The 42 bills also include legislation to scrap wind farm subsidies, end the ringfence for foreign aid spending and rename the late August Bank Holiday “Margaret Thatcher Day”. Britain’s relationship with Europe features prominently in the action plan, with draft laws setting out how the UK would leave the European Union and a Bill to prevent Bulgarians and Romanians winning new rights to work, live and claim benefits here from next year. All of the proposals were laid before the House of Commons last night after the Tory backbenchers hijacked an obscure Parliamentary procedure by camping out in Westminster for four successive nights." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jun 21, 2013 - 63 comments

McProvocateur

In 1985, McDonalds sued left-wing activists in the UK for libel over a pamphlet accusing the multinational food giant of environmental destruction, abuses of workers' rights and selling junk food. The ensuing trial became the longest-running civil trial in English history, ending in 1997 in a Pyrrhic victory for McDonalds, who had lost millions of pounds in pursuing the case, and won £40,000 for their trouble. (The judgment was later overturned in the European Court of Human Rights.) Now, it has been revealed that the leaflet in question had been co-written by an undercover police officer assigned to infiltrate Greenpeace. The officer in question, Bob Lambert, had previously spent years infiltrating environmental groups, even fathering children with activists before disappearing. [more inside]
posted by acb on Jun 21, 2013 - 61 comments

The fiscal choices at UK Spending Review 2013 and beyond

"The government’s plans for deficit reduction have increasingly stark implications for public spending as their deadline draws nearer, according to new Resolution Foundation analysis. While overall expenditure is set to remain relatively flat in 2015-16 (the period covered by the latest Spending Review) the pace of reduction in total government spending is due to increase significantly in the two subsequent year"
posted by marienbad on Jun 20, 2013 - 3 comments

Eat the meat you are Fed: It's good, we guarantee it!

The last mystery of the financial crisis. It's long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it. by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone.
posted by lalochezia on Jun 19, 2013 - 34 comments

The politics of empathy

Having Daughters Rather Than Sons Makes You More Liberal In remarkable research, the sociologist Rebecca Warner and the economist Ebonya Washington have shown that the gender of a person's children seems to influence the attitudes and actions of the parent.
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jun 19, 2013 - 100 comments

In global politics, playing by the rules doesn’t always help.

Western Sahara: Why Africa’s last colony can’t break free
posted by infini on Jun 19, 2013 - 20 comments

Making the Weather: Six Politicians who shaped our age

Vernon Bogdanor has recently completed a series of lectures on politicians who have played a crucial role in shaping the postwar political agenda in the UK [more inside]
posted by banal evil on Jun 14, 2013 - 2 comments

The Silence of Animals

The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths. Simon Critchley gives both an overview of philosopher John Gray's thought and reviews Gray's new book.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks on Jun 13, 2013 - 36 comments

“Are you saying I’ve committed the unpardonable sin?”

Inside The Meltdown At America’s Most Conservative, Most Christian Political Consulting Firm
Rex Elsass built a Republican empire on his faith. But he found himself battling his closest allies over his immortal soul.
posted by andoatnp on Jun 13, 2013 - 39 comments

Seriously, What's The Matter With Kansas?

Rogue State: How Far-Right Fanatics Hijacked Kansas
posted by reenum on Jun 12, 2013 - 40 comments

Did I say "Recession? What Recession?" Oh right, this recession

Recession prompted 'unprecedented' fall in wages - Wages have fallen more in real terms in the current economic downturn than ever before, according to a report. On top of the rising cost of living, a third of workers who stayed in the same job saw a wage cut or freeze between 2010 and 2011, said the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). "The falls in nominal wages... during this recession are unprecedented," said Claire Crawford from the IFS. Labour said the figures showed there was a "living-standards crisis".
posted by marienbad on Jun 12, 2013 - 62 comments

"You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment."

The recent Netflix House of Cards series starring Kevin Spacey was a remake of a very popular British political thriller of the same name that aired during the 90's. The show begins by tracking the dark political machinations and skullduggery of an urbane Chief Whip of the Conservative Party, who is conspiring to become Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher's resignation. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 11, 2013 - 91 comments

From Birmingham to The Daily Show

John Oliver, a standup comedian from Birmingham in England, takes over from Jon Stewart as host of the Daily Show for the summer from tomorrow. The Guardian profiles him. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jun 9, 2013 - 91 comments

Textiles and Politics

Throughout human history and across the globe, whether as intimate artifacts of interpersonal relations or state-level monumental works, textiles have been imbued with political importance. Textiles can communicate and construct status, ethnicity, gender, power, taste, and wealth, and have functioned at the nexus of artistic, economic, and political achievement in human culture. As trade goods, creative medium, and social artifact, textiles have been instrumental in generating, supporting, and challenging political power.
The Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium (2012) will explore the crossroads of Textiles & Politics.
posted by infini on Jun 9, 2013 - 12 comments

France's symbolic fight over same-sex marriage

The French Right Marches against Gay Marriage. Last month, France became the thirteenth nation to recognize same-sex marriage. A large religious and political movement continues to protest loudly against the Socialist government's "Mariage Pour Tous" (Marriage For All) law. [more inside]
posted by mbrubeck on Jun 7, 2013 - 44 comments

All The Ladies in the (White) House

First Ladies: Influence and Image is a C-Span series covering the entire history of the US through the eyes of the First Ladies that have occupied the White House.
posted by empath on Jun 5, 2013 - 1 comment

Prizes Trump Biases

If you pay them money, partisans will tell you the truth. (via Marginal Revolution)
posted by shivohum on Jun 4, 2013 - 32 comments

Roger Ebert on Kindness: The Cartoon

'Kindness' covers all of my political beliefs. A new cartoon from Gavin Aung Than's Zen Pencils inspired by the late, great Roger Ebert. (Zen Pencils previously)
posted by NoMich on Jun 4, 2013 - 21 comments

This Look Has Always Fascinated Me

Fashion blog Ivy-Style.com posted an article today hypothesizing that four-term Republican North Carolina State Representative Bryan R. Holloway is the anonymous blogger, known as Richard, responsible for the much criticized WASP 101 fashion blog, widely excoriated around the internet for its frequent racist, sexist, and classist overtones (and for having bad fashion sense, too). [more inside]
posted by something something on May 31, 2013 - 221 comments

Germany in 2013, a political sketch

"[Peer Steinbrück, the chancellor-candidate] is a good man, with quite a bold programme for ‘social justice’. Tax increases for the better-off, a proper minimum wage, dual citizenship for immigrants, less elbowing individualism and more solidarity in a society where das Wir entscheidet – ‘it’s the we that counts.’ The German public, surprisingly, mostly agree that increasing taxes is a sound idea. What they resent is that the idea comes from the SPD. In the same way, the Augsburg programme is widely thought to make sense, but the voters don’t fancy Peer Steinbrück. They are pissed off with Angela Merkel’s governing coalition, but reluctant to let go of Mutti’s hand. In short, the public are in one of those sullen, unreasonable moods which make politicians despair." The LRB reports from Germany. [via]
posted by rollick on May 31, 2013 - 20 comments

Producers know what's acceptable. Everyone fears a call from Roger Ailes

"I was a liberal mole at Fox News": Joe Muto explains how Fox News works on the inside and outlines how a day on The O'Reilly Factor works.
posted by Pope Guilty on May 29, 2013 - 39 comments

The rise of the far-right in Hungary

"Jobbik is one of the most politically successful far-righ parties in Europe. The Hungarian party is anti-EU, anti-semitic and anti-roma,
and have thrived since the financial crisis."
SLYT (Channel 4 report from Budapest, Hungary.)

Also on Vice: My Week with Hungary's Far Right

Previously about Hungary:
Roma in Hungary: A Hard Life
The Frightening Hungarian Crackdown
Hungarian Democracy Under Threat
posted by bdz on May 28, 2013 - 24 comments

"We are not toys. We are not going down without a fight."

Third-grader Asean Johnson schools Rahm Emmanuel on the mayor's plan for Chicago's public schools. (YT) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 25, 2013 - 37 comments

The memorial that no one wanted built except the veterans

Although ranked tenth in "America's Favorite Architecture," compiled by the American Institute of Architects, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial - sometimes referred to as simply 'The Wall' - was the at the center of political and artistic controversy and opposition from the time of its announcement in 1981. The Wall, situated in Constitution Gardens adjacent to the National Mall, is "...often referred to as the veterans 3rd battle. The 1st being survival in Vietnam. The 2nd, was dealing with the rejection experienced upon returning home from war. And, the 3rd, building the Wall." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on May 24, 2013 - 59 comments

The Cartography of Bullshit

On the 15 May, Max Fisher of the Washington Post penned an article titled A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries. Fisher surmised that Anglo and Latin American countries are the most tolerant, linking racism to economic freedom based off of a study by two Swedish economists. Siddhartha Mitter responds, who, in The Cartography of Bullshit writes, "Although the results don’t pass the sniff test in the first place, I took a look at the data as well, in an effort to identify the exact problems at play..." [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on May 18, 2013 - 32 comments

A vast, sunny intellectual gulag

Why Australia hates thinkers, an essay on anti-intellectualism in today's Australia and the populist hostility to “intellectual elites”, by Alecia Simmonds.
posted by acb on May 17, 2013 - 60 comments

"as serious as rigging Libor"

Retail prices 'rigged for a decade': The European offices of BP and Shell were raided by European officials earlier this week in the beginning of an investigation into allegations of illegal market collusion and price fixing dating back to at least 2002. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on May 16, 2013 - 60 comments

"A serious interference with AP's constitutional rights..."

"The U.S. Department of Justice notified The Associated Press on Friday, May 10, that it had secretly obtained telephone records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP journalists and offices, including cell and home phone lines." [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on May 13, 2013 - 291 comments

Who Audits The Auditors?

On Friday afternoon, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) apologized to conservative non-profit 501(c)4 groups for singling them out for heightened scrutiny during the 2012 campaign season. While the abuses were initially blamed on "low-level" workers in the agency's Cincinnati office, new questions were raised Saturday with a report that senior IRS officials were aware of the practice as early as 2011. That senior IRS officials knew of the politically-selective practices "seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner." [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on May 11, 2013 - 366 comments

Crazy like an Arctic Fox

Scientific American reports: "An isolated population of Arctic foxes that dines only on marine animals seems to be slowly succumbing to mercury poisoning." Though a definitive causal link is difficult to establish, an isolated population of arctic foxes on Russia's Mednyi Island is believed to be collapsing due to mercury contamination as a result of its seafood-heavy diet. Where does all that mercury in the environment come from anyway? Why, it's another biproduct of burning fossil fuels, of course, and predictably, rates of mercury pollution are only expected to increase. In some places in the US, even rainwater is showing high levels of contamination. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on May 10, 2013 - 25 comments

WSJ's Middle East Real Time blog

Since the end of March, the Wall Street Journal's new Middle East Real Time blog has written about Turkey's "unstoppable" export boom in soap operas, Saudi Arabia's "life after jihad" rehab program, the persistence of obviously fraudulent bomb detectors across Iraq, YouTube branding discussions among Syrian rebel factions, a rising media star Sunni cleric in Lebanon, a post-revolutionary Cairo arts festival, and attempts to overcome conservative objections and change the Saudi Thursday-Friday weekend to match the rest of the business world. Previous non-paywalled WSJ Real Time blogs include Korea, China, Canada, India, Brussels, Emerging Europe, Japan.
posted by mediareport on May 9, 2013 - 16 comments

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Ordinary special elections rarely merit wide attention, but tonight features no ordinary special. Republican Mark Sanford and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch face off in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District tonight. Sanford, famous for resigning in disgrace after abandoning his state in search of an Argentine mistress while claiming to hike the Appalachian Trail, faces Colbert Busch, sister of Stephen Colbert. Latest polling shows the race within 1 point, with Green Party candidate Eugene Platt potentially playing spoiler. Stretching along five counties on South Carolina's Atlantic coast (PDF), the district is primarily in the mustard-based barbecue sauce region, one of four in the state.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College on May 7, 2013 - 42 comments

"If people were more concerned, I wouldn’t have to be there."

Her encampment is 'an old patio umbrella draped in a white plastic sheet secured with binder clips. It is flanked by two large boards with messages in capital letters: BAN ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS OR HAVE A NICE DOOMSDAY and LIVE BY THE BOMB, DIE BY THE BOMB. This rudimentary shelter has been positioned outside the White House for more than three decades. It is a monument itself now, widely considered the longest-running act of political protest in the United States, and this woman, Concepcion Picciotto — Connie, as she’s known to many — is its longest-running caretaker.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 6, 2013 - 7 comments

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