Our leaders -- of both parties -- have systematically infantilized Americans to believe that perfect security is attainable. This is one reason the White House reacts so defensively to any intimation that its conduct of the war on al-Qaeda is less than perfect. It’s one reason Republicans cynically argue that the administration is incompetent in its prosecution of the war, and in its mission to keep U.S. personnel alive. So long as both parties react so small-mindedly and opportunistically to the terrorist threat, we won’t be able to have a rational, adult conversation about the best ways to wage this war.
- Jeffrey Goldberg, Benghazi Attack Brings Infantilizing Response
posted by beisny
on Oct 16, 2012 -
Revelations From Running For Congress
Steve Packard writes a blog called "Depleted Cranium," which debunks bad science in the media. Last spring he decided to run for Congress on a "Science-based" platform. It was ultimately a heartbreaking experience for him and he had to quit, as he'd run out of money for food. He has a pretty great post up summing up his experiences now. And at this point probably wouldn't mind if you donated a couple of cans of beans.
posted by proscriptus
on Oct 15, 2012 -
Tired of the Presidential race? The battle for 33 Class I
seats in the 100-member United States Senate, once commonly known as the "World's Greatest Deliberative Body", now known for stifling torpor with record-breaking numbers of filibusters
and a total logjam of pending confirmations
, is also taking place on the same day. With many key Senate races happening in states where the Presidential outcome will be lopsided, all eyes are on split-ticket voters
. 53 Democrats (2 of them independents) and 47 Republicans make up the current chamber. Who will control the second Senate ivory gavel
, the first of which was shattered in 1954? [more inside]
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College
on Oct 13, 2012 -
In February, PBS and AOL launched Makers
, a video archive containing personal stories and anecdotes told in the first person by women, many of whom have sparked groundbreaking changes in American culture. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 4, 2012 -
In the two years building up to the government’s NHS reform bill, the BBC appears to have categorically failed to uphold its remit of impartiality, parroting government spin as uncontested fact, whilst reporting only a narrow, shallow view of opposition to the bill. In addition, key news appears to have been censored. The following in-depth investigation provides a shocking testimony of the extent to which the BBC abandoned the NHS.
posted by infini
on Oct 2, 2012 -
"Liberals have not always been very good at communicating why liberalism works. There’s many reasons for this, but part of it is that it can be hard to defend the obvious from an absurd and deceptive attack. For half a century you had to be a crank to oppose what Roosevelt accomplished; liberals got out of the habit of arguing for their beliefs.
I hope this page will help. Liberals don’t need to apologize for their vision of how American society should work. Liberalism saved American capitalism and democracy, defeated Naziism, created a prosperous middle class, and benefited every sector of society, from the back streets to Wall Street. " Mefi's own Zompist (previously
) on Why Liberalism Works.
posted by The Whelk
on Sep 30, 2012 -
US calls Assange 'enemy of state'.
The US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency.
Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.
posted by jaduncan
on Sep 26, 2012 -
When Satire Conquered Iran: [NYR Blog]
Molla Nasreddin, an early twentieth-century Azerbaijani magazine that “attacked the hypocrisy of the Muslim clergy, the colonial policies of the US and the venal corruption of the local elite, while arguing repeatedly for Westernization, educational reform, and equal rights for women.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz
on Sep 22, 2012 -
As internal leaks from the Romney camp suggest a campaign in serious disarray,
and poll-of-polls meta-analyses show him with little time to recover his position before November, Mother Jones has acquired video from a private Romney fundraiser
at which the candidate said of Obama supporters: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.
Ezra Klein puts aside the political ramifications
and crunches the numbers
about who does and doesn't pay income tax in America. The Romney camp responds to the leak.
posted by gerryblog
on Sep 17, 2012 -
According to Adorno, in psychoanalysis only the exaggerations are true.
If you wished to characterize the Democrats and the Republicans in terms of true exaggerations, you might say that the Republicans have become the Party of Psychosis while the Democrats have become the Party of Neurosis. The Republicans are psychotic because they have lost contact with reality, and orient their behavior not toward realities but toward fantasies. The Democrats are neurotic because they are aim-inhibited, as an old-fashioned shrink might say: their anxieties, hang-ups, and insecurities mean that they can’t attain satisfaction, since in a basic way they won’t even allow themselves to know what they want.
posted by j03
on Sep 12, 2012 -
Les Mis + political parody = One term more
Soon Election Day will dawn,
We were meant to hold this seat!
At the ballot box of freedom,
Unemployment's in retreat!
Now the battle lines are drawn,
And Detroit's back on its feet!
Will you take your place with me!
The time is NOW the vote is NEAR!
One Term More!
posted by badego
on Aug 23, 2012 -
"America may well be in a fateful decline. But given that the country has survived a civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression, 9/11, and the quagmires of Vietnam and Iraq, is our current crisis proportionate to the doomsday hysteria—or have we lost perspective?"
Frank Rich, columnist for New York Magazine
, explores the recurring phenomenon of declinist panic and our national tendency to burnish the past in "Mayberry R.I.P."
posted by shiu mai baby
on Aug 22, 2012 -