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Joe Biden is officially not running for President.

This closes the door on one of the biggest potential challenges to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s second attempt at capturing the Democratic nomination. Back in August, Mr. Biden was already running for president in the invisible primary. Like most candidates who test the waters, he didn’t find enough support to justify entering the race.
posted by Sleeper on Oct 21, 2015 - 213 comments

Most people have an inaccurate assessment of who is "on welfare."

The mayor of Lewiston, Maine recently made headlines when he called for the state to publish the name and address of anyone receiving welfare benefits. The idea of publicly shaming people for receiving government assistance is not new. But when these stories do arise, we rarely stop to think about what we mean when we say someone is "on welfare." In 1983, Mimi Abramovitz tackled that question head-on in a paper provocatively titled "Everyone is on Welfare." Almost 20 years later, she updated the paper for the new millennium. (Also available on Researchgate). [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 20, 2015 - 73 comments

The Democratic Party is in deep trouble

At all levels of government, (except the presidency) the republican party is arguably in a stronger position. than it has been since the reconstruction. Matt Yeglesias argues that the democratic party is in deep trouble.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Oct 19, 2015 - 120 comments

“...illustrate exactly why people of colour need safe spaces,”

Closure of POC Yoga due to hate, death threats a tragedy for all people of color.
For the past 5 years Teresa has been involved in a beloved community collective called POC Yoga. The collective offered monthly to weekly yoga classes for people of color. It was also a safe space for lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, and trans friendly, and open to people of all ages, body sizes, abilities, genders, and experience. But not anymore. Due to an unauthorized September post advertising their class on the online social network Nextdoor that was then critiqued by conservative talk show host Dori Monson, POC Yoga and Teresa were suddenly met with angry white protest that escalated into national ire and multiple death threats.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Oct 19, 2015 - 172 comments

Inside Corporate America’s Campaign to Ditch Workers’ Comp

One Texas lawyer is helping companies opt out of workers’ compensation and write their own rules. What does it mean for injured workers? [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Oct 18, 2015 - 100 comments

The Confessions of @dick_nixon

“I understood that Nixon couldn't be frozen in the world of the tapes — he belonged ‘in the arena.’ And that made him a natural for Twitter.” Justin Sherin analyzes how and why he imitates Richard Nixon on Twitter as @dick_nixon.
posted by Rangi on Oct 17, 2015 - 15 comments

The Families Funding the 2016 Presidential Election

The Families Funding the 2016 Presidential ElectionThey are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Oct 11, 2015 - 41 comments

Your Network at Play

The Washington Post has a puzzle to see how well you understand social networks. The day’s political issue: whether baseball caps are fashionable. More explanation and the solution below the jump. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Oct 10, 2015 - 20 comments

In Case You Aren't Paranoid Enough About Social Media & Privacy

"One broader implication of this is that no one should take the NSA seriously when they say they are only collecting “metadata” on whom someone contacts, rather than the content of the communication. Social network metadata is incredibly powerful." How to tell whether a Twitter user is pro-choice or pro-life without reading any of their tweets
posted by COD on Oct 9, 2015 - 47 comments

The Columbine effect

Mother Jones: How the Media Inspires Mass Shooters, and what it can do to prevent copycat attacks
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 6, 2015 - 125 comments

Good women seldom make history.

This is Professor Wangari Maathai. The first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The first Kenyan woman to earn a doctoral degree. An icon of Kenya’s democratic movement who repeatedly put not just her mind but also her body on the line in order to secure a better future for Kenyans and their natural environment. But Maathai’s standing in Kenya is definitely ambiguous. She is beloved by feminists and environmentalists, and tolerated by everyone else... Women are expected to look backwards on guidance on what it means to be “good” – where “good” is primarily defined by men – but not too good because that makes women less interesting to men. This was not Wangari Maathai.
posted by ChuraChura on Oct 6, 2015 - 5 comments

Hail to the Pencil Pusher

Hail to the Pencil Pusher — American Bureaucracy's Long and Useful History [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Oct 5, 2015 - 25 comments

CORBYN CRONY'S LUST FOR BLOOD

Can You Survive A Week As Jeremy Corbyn? The press hates you, lots of your party hates you – can you make it through a week without resigning? (NSFW, Buzzfeed, Choose Your Own Adventure format)
posted by Wordshore on Oct 3, 2015 - 33 comments

Swiss suffragettes were still fighting for the right to vote in 1971

It was not until 1971, 65 years after Finland became the first European country to grant women the vote, that Switzerland became the last, not only in Europe but in much of the world.
posted by infini on Oct 3, 2015 - 14 comments

웃 i am not here and this is not really happening.

After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 2, 2015 - 63 comments

BOE Governor Carney joins Xi, Pope and Musk to fight global warming

Breaking the Tragedy of the Horizon – climate change and financial stability: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warns investors face 'huge' climate change losses - "The Financial Stability Board, an international body monitoring the global financial system that Mr Carney chairs, may recommend G20 countries make it easier for investors to compare the 'carbon intensity' of different assets." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 30, 2015 - 9 comments

Confused about who to vote for in the upcoming presidential election?

Isidewith.com is the website for you! (USA edition)
posted by bluesky43 on Sep 29, 2015 - 127 comments

The Darkness Before The Right

As the twenty-first century gets darker, politics are likely to follow suit, and for all it’s apparent weirdness, neoreaction may be an early warning system for what a future anti-democratic right looks like. (Previously.)
posted by StopMakingSense on Sep 29, 2015 - 106 comments

This is The Daily Show

Trevor Noah has delivered his first episode as host of The Daily Show. Reviews are mixed but mostly positive. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Sep 29, 2015 - 49 comments

I'm not crazy. You're the one who's crazy.

What the American people are angry about is they understand that they did not cause this recession. Teachers did not cause this recession. Firefighters and police officers who are being attacked daily by governors all over this country did not cause this recession. Construction workers did not cause this recession. This recession was caused by a few so-called punk and hardcore bands who charged obscene door cover and priced their merch like it was goddamned Prada—Bernie Sanders (I–VT).
Bernie is hardcore. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on Sep 29, 2015 - 39 comments

I gave this bone monster a million dollars

Donald Trump Reviews Pokemon
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 28, 2015 - 12 comments

Trumpton Riots

One of the strangest months in British politics is capped by a anti-gentrification anarchist march through the streets of Shoreditch culminating in an attack on the Cereal Killer Cafe. Take it away, Nigel.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 28, 2015 - 77 comments

Boehner out

House Speaker John Boehner will give up his House seat and resign from Congress at the end of October. Boehner has been Speaker since January 2011, and has been a member of the House since January 1991. Boehner made the announcement this morning in an emotional meeting with fellow Republicans, according to the New York Times, which says that his resignation throws Congress and the federal government "into chaos" as Congress faces an imminent government shutdown, the first since 2013.
posted by blucevalo on Sep 25, 2015 - 507 comments

Is the Prevent strategy demonising Muslim schoolchildren?

'You worry they could take your kids' Teachers [in the UK] now have a statutory duty to spot signs of 'non-violent extremism', with children as young as three being referred for anti-radicalisation. Does the policy safeguard vulnerable pupils – or discriminate against Muslims?
posted by jack_mo on Sep 24, 2015 - 36 comments

The only thing I don't want to do is to raise the white flag.

What can we do about the privacy threat posed by online ad networks? And how much trust should we place in Silicon Valley to design the future of our society? What Happens Next Will Amaze You: Slides from a recent talk by (Mefi's own) Maciej Cegłowski.
It's no accident how much the ad racket resembles high-frequency trading. A small number of sophisticated players are making a killing at the expense of everybody else. [...] I don't believe there's a technology bubble, but there is absolutely an advertising bubble. When it bursts, companies are going to be more desperate and will unload all the personal data they have on us to absolutely any willing buyer. And then we'll see if all these dire warnings about the dangers of surveillance were right.
[more inside] posted by teraflop on Sep 22, 2015 - 103 comments

Nuu-chah-nulth Territory

In 2014, flagging tape was discovered in the old-growth forest of the central Walbran Valley that concerned citizens feared were marking out proposed cutblocks - but the logging company, Teal Jones, denied having any logging plans in the area. Then in 2015, Wilderness Committee Vancouver Island Campaigner Torrance Coste obtained maps from the company showing that they were indeed planning to log eight cutblocks of ancient forest surrounding the iconic Castle Grove. Now the fight is on to save the Walbran Valley's remaining ancient forests. Meanwhile on the nearby Sunshine Coast, protesters have blocked roads into old-growth cutblocks, prompting speculation of a War in the Woods part 2.
posted by mannequito on Sep 21, 2015 - 21 comments

Bae of Pigs

Sources can be tricky things. The Daily Mail doesn't have the greatest reputation. Lord Ashcroft is a Tory billionaire with a grudge against David Cameron. And so far they are the only sources for this one. That said, judge for yourself:

Prime Minister David Cameron ‘put a private part of his anatomy’ into a dead pig’s mouth .

(Over on Twitter, as you might have guessed, it's Christmas.)
posted by bonaldi on Sep 20, 2015 - 382 comments

"It’s almost like a parallel government structure has been created."

Who's Funding Kevin Johnson's Secret Government? — Deadspin's detailed report on a developing scandal involving Sacramento, California mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson's alleged misuse of the power of his office to benefit for-profit charter schools. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Sep 19, 2015 - 53 comments

A Progressive Defense of Respectability Politics

Lifting as We Climb by Harvard Law's Randall L. Kennedy argues for, and covers the history of, respectability politics. From this month's Harper's.
posted by sp160n on Sep 15, 2015 - 52 comments

Perry seemed like a serious candidate to our nation’s political experts

How Bespectacled Doofus Rick Perry Fooled Every Dumb Pundit in America
So why is it that after Perry’s embarrassing 2012 campaign, and before his embarrassing 2016 campaign, it became hip, in the political press, to declare that Rick Perry was now a serious man with a legitimate shot at the presidency?
posted by davidstandaford on Sep 14, 2015 - 108 comments

♫ Ah, look at all the Corbyn people! Ah, look at all the Corbyn people!♪

Jeremy Corbyn, socialist token once chosen to broaden debate... wins Labour race!
Look at his rivals -- Burnham and Cooper and Kendall all grumble, deplore. Who are they for?
All the Corbyn people -- where do they all come from? All the Corbyn people -- where do they all belong?

Jez's agenda: Nato and Trident and railways and people's QE. Experts agree!
Chuka Umunna, right-leaning leader (and one-time Barack wannabe), pleads unity!
All the Corbyn people -- what will they all become? All the Corbyn people -- will Labour play along? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 12, 2015 - 443 comments

naturally, it’s slated for demolition

This legion of bureaucrats enables a world of pitiless surveillance; no segment of campus life, no matter how small, does not have some administrator who worries about it. Piece by piece, every corner of the average campus is being slowly made congruent with a single, totalizing vision. Why We Should Fear University, Inc.
posted by gerryblog on Sep 10, 2015 - 56 comments

“Nature,” wrote Hitler, “knows no political boundaries.”

Hitler's World by Timothy Snyder [New York Review of Books]
In Hitler’s world, the law of the jungle was the only law. People were to suppress any inclination to be merciful and were to be as rapacious as they could. Hitler thus broke with the traditions of political thought that presented human beings as distinct from nature in their capacity to imagine and create new forms of association. Beginning from that assumption, political thinkers tried to describe not only the possible but the most just forms of society. For Hitler, however, nature was the singular, brutal, and overwhelming truth, and the whole history of attempting to think otherwise was an illusion. Carl Schmitt, a leading Nazi legal theorist, explained that politics arose not from history or concepts but from our sense of enmity. Our racial enemies were chosen by nature, and our task was to struggle and kill and die.
posted by Fizz on Sep 5, 2015 - 50 comments

Basic Income: How to Fix a Broken Monetary Transmission Mechanism

FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 4, 2015 - 24 comments

How to Survive a Footnote: AIDS activism in the "after years"

"When protease inhibitors arrived, one era of the AIDS crisis was over. Many stories of the plague years in America end with this victory. Sometimes a coda is appended to acknowledge that the crisis itself isn’t over, referencing ongoing epidemics in Africa and, less often, in black and brown populations in America. What’s often missing from these analyses is an era that I’ve come to think of as the “footnote years” of AIDS activism: a sliver of about five years, from 1996 to 2001, in which a specific urban, queer-identified American activism played a role in changing the global response to HIV, and sought, less successfully, to use this work as a jumping-off point for a broader quest for justice."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 2, 2015 - 3 comments

Hello, this is Lenny

Phone bot keeps Canadian campaign volunteer on line for eleven minutes Lenny is a bit hard of hearing, has some meddlesome daughters (and ornery ducks), and is also not actually human. But perhaps he'd still take a Conservative campaign sign for his lawn?
posted by MACTdaddy on Sep 1, 2015 - 49 comments

NSA Mass Phone Surveillance Possibly Constitutional After All

On December 13, 2013, the US district court for the District of Columbia ruled that the NSA's bulk collection of American citizens' telephone records was "likely" to violate the Fourth Amendment (previously on MeFi). Today, DC's federal court of appeals overturned that ruling. The rationale is that the plaintiffs did not prove "that they were affected by the metadata-gathering program," so they did not have standing to challenge it in court. [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Aug 28, 2015 - 25 comments

Weekend at Bernie’s

Weekend at Bernie’s by jurassic marx (Jake Verso) Bernie Sanders has frequently identified himself in interviews speeches etc. as a “socialist.” When pressed as to what this means, he usually mentions something about Sweden and/or sticks the “democratic” moniker in front of it, presumably to be less scary. Yet Sanders is deliberately appealing to something bigger and more powerful than what is normally found within the bounds of typical political rhetoric. ...I’m going to examine and critique some of the assumptions underlying his appeal and then briefly look at just how meaningless Sanders conception of socialism really is.
posted by Golden Eternity on Aug 24, 2015 - 95 comments

There is no "migrant" crisis in the Mediterranean

Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean 'migrants'. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Aug 23, 2015 - 46 comments

“His death certificate should say: Hurricane Katrina.”

"Billy McDonald rose to political power in a little Mississippi beach town on the strength of his resilience and colorful personality. But when Hurricane Katrina hit Pass Christian, it took everything from him and his city."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 23, 2015 - 2 comments

Your Sex is Not Radical

Your Sex is Not Radical In queer radical circles and in much of the left, the worlds in which I operate, there’s a widely held idea that one’s political radicalism can be attached to one’s sexual practices. This is why those who practice BDSM and are variously “sex positive” are often equated with left politics. But the sad truth that many of us learn after years in sexual playing fields (literally and figuratively) is that how many people you fuck has nothing to do with the extent to which you fuck up capitalism.
posted by modernnomad on Aug 19, 2015 - 52 comments

U.S. Trans Survey

The U.S. Trans Survey, currently being conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, "will give researchers, policymakers, and advocates the ability to see the experiences of trans people over time, how things are changing, and what can be done to improve the lives of trans people."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 19, 2015 - 19 comments

“I have not met a single human being who’s motivated by bad news,”

The Weight of the World: Can Christiana Figueres persuade humanity to save itself? by Elizabeth Kolbert [New Yorker]
Of all the jobs in the world, Figueres’s may possess the very highest ratio of responsibility (preventing global collapse) to authority (practically none). The role entails convincing a hundred and ninety-five countries—many of which rely on selling fossil fuels for their national income and almost all of which depend on burning them for the bulk of their energy—that giving up such fuels is a good idea. When Figueres took over the Secretariat, in 2010, there were lots of people who thought the job so thankless that it ought to be abolished. This was in the aftermath of the fifteenth COP, held in Copenhagen, which had been expected to yield a historic agreement but ended in anger and recrimination.
posted by Fizz on Aug 19, 2015 - 33 comments

When BLM met HRC.

Video of Hillary Clinton's meeting with Black Lives Matter has been released. (YouTube playlist) Surprisingly intelligent, unscripted, and revealing.
posted by markkraft on Aug 18, 2015 - 264 comments

The Closing of the Canadian Mind

Americans have traditionally looked to Canada as a liberal haven, with gun control, universal health care and good public education. But the nine and half years of Mr. Harper’s tenure have seen the slow-motion erosion of that reputation for open, responsible government. His stance has been a know-nothing conservatism, applied broadly and effectively. He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.
posted by standardasparagus on Aug 14, 2015 - 78 comments

A War Of All Against All

Why Turkey is bombing the Kurds more than Islamic State - "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bombing campaign — capitalizing on the nationalist, anti-Kurd sentiment that has been steadily growing inside Turkey — could help him regain his AKP party's absolute majority in parliament now that coalition talks have failed and snap elections are likely." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 14, 2015 - 16 comments

Cuckservative is an amalgamation of the word cuckold and conservative.

From the Right, a New Slur for G.O.P. Candidates [NY Times]
Cuckservative is an amalgamation of the word cuckold and conservative. [Salon]
Conservatives Are Holding a Conversation About Race [The New Republic]
‘Cuckservative’ — the conservative insult of the month, explained [Washington Post]
‘Cuckservative’ Is A Gloriously Effective Insult That Should Not Be Slurred, Demonised, Or Ridiculed [Breitbart]
“Cuckservative” is a Racist Slur and an Attack on Evangelical Christians [Red State]
posted by andoatnp on Aug 13, 2015 - 212 comments

Warren Harding's Legacy Further Tarnished, if That Is Even Possible

Warren G. Harding is known for many things. Teapot Dome, dying in office (or maybe not), having the middle name "Gamaliel", and consistently being ranked one of the worst Presidents ever. His personal life was little better than his presidential one, with allegations of multiple affairs and even one claim of an illegitimate child born just a couple of years before he was elected to the White House. Which, according to DNA testing, is totally true. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Aug 13, 2015 - 43 comments

How Claire McCaskill Helped Todd Akin Win the Republican Nomination

As it turned out, we spent more money for Todd Akin in the last two weeks of the primary than he spent on his whole primary campaign - how Claire McCaskill got her opponent nominated, in order to beat him. [more inside]
posted by hepta on Aug 13, 2015 - 52 comments

You can believe me because I never lie, and I'm always right.

My name is Wyatt Scott and I'm running for parliament as an independent candidate for Mission Matsqui Fraser Canyon. We all know politics are corrupt so lets do something about it. Put an independent in the house.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Aug 12, 2015 - 13 comments

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