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Presidential Candidates Explained Through Dungeons and Dragons Character Sheets

Presidential Candidates Explained Through Dungeons and Dragons Character Sheets. That is all.
posted by LarryC on Nov 9, 2011 - 39 comments

More Lessons in the Practical Science of Political Extortion

The other political hostage crisis in Washington: "The government is likely to lose more than $1 billion in airline ticket taxes because lawmakers have left town for a month without resolving a partisan standoff over a bill to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration." The standoff has resulted in a partial shutdown of FAA operations, leaving 4,000 airport safety workers out of work and forcing airport safety inspectors to work without pay. The dispute hinges on Republican legislative proposals designed to make it more difficult for FAA workers to organize into labor unions.
posted by saulgoodman on Aug 3, 2011 - 102 comments

No more seafood? So what? It was all lousy with mercury anyway.

"Ocean Life on the Brink of Mass Extinctions," warns a new comprehensive study from "a 2011 workshop of ocean experts staged by [International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO)] and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at Oxford University." The most likely culprits in the unfolding, large-scale disaster? Pollution and climate change, say the experts. What else is new, you say? Well, the schedule's been changed up: "Marine life facing mass extinction 'within one human generation,'... says global panel of scientists." [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Jun 22, 2011 - 116 comments

"Kill the economy. Blame the Democrats. It's the perfect crime."

"When a Nobel Prize Isn't Enough." With a sharply-worded rebuke of the congressional GOP, Nobel Prize-winning economist Peter Diamond has announced he is withdrawing as a candidate for the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors due to GOP obstructionism. Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, a leading critic of Diamond's appointment, welcomes the announcement and raises a predictable call for a candidate "capable of garnering bipartisan support in the Senate."
posted by saulgoodman on Jun 6, 2011 - 86 comments

Defend It Yourself

Obama Justice Department Finds DOMA Unconstitutional, Will Not Defend in Court The Justice Department just today sent a letter to John Boehner and other house leaders informing them of the decision. Here is the DOJ's official statement on the decision.
posted by saulgoodman on Feb 23, 2011 - 340 comments

You win some, you still lose some

A Federal Judge in Virginia has ruled the mandate in the recently passed Affordable Health Care Act unconstitutional. This unlikely result means that the Supreme Court will be in the position to decide whether or not all or part of the health care reform remains intact. Some argue this development may reflect the success of broad-reaching Republican efforts in recent years to tilt the political alignment of the Federal judiciary. Others, naturally, disagree.
posted by saulgoodman on Dec 13, 2010 - 205 comments

Lies, Damn Lies, and Andew Breitbart

Breitbart strikes again. Conservative media activist and propagandist Andrew Breitbart made news again this week, bringing to light apparent video evidence of racism among the NAACP's ranks, in the form of USDA official Shirley Sherrod, who was allegedly caught on tape in a speech to the NAACP, admitting that race had influenced her decisions not to provide assistance to white farm workers. But despite the fact that Sherrod was summarily dismissed from her USDA post as a result of Breitbart's accusations, the complete, unedited footage of the speech reportedly confirms Sherrod's claims that "her comments were taken out of context... that the anecdote was part of a larger story, one in which she explains how she overcame her initial prejudice" and that in fact, the reported incidents took place before Sherrod worked for the USDA, when she worked for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund. The white farmers described in the story have since confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, in fact, Sherrod saved them from bankruptcy. [Via] [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Jul 20, 2010 - 291 comments

Business as Usual for BP

BP admits lobbying to get convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi released in order to protect a $900,000,000 deal to drill off the coast of Libya. In the future, we'll probably be hearing a lot more about the controversy over BP's admitted role (acknowledged long ago by officials in the UK) in negotiating for al-Megrahi's release on compassionate grounds that have since been called into question (as previously discussed here). At the time of al-Megrahi's release by a Scottish Judge, US officials were sharply critical of the decision to release al-Megrahi. Investigations into the arrangement are currently underway in the US congress.
posted by saulgoodman on Jul 16, 2010 - 80 comments

How's that Cheap Oil Working out for Ya?

BP agrees to set aside $20 billion for spill claims. In a much anticipated deal brokered with the heads of the disgraced oil industry giant following on the heels of last night's speech from the Oval Office, President Obama has received a commitment from BP to establish a $20 billion dollar escrow account to pay for economic damages related to the Deepwater Horizon's now estimated 35,000 to 60,000 barrel a day oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico (also previously here, here, and here on the blue). Does this development render moot the politically perilous issue of retroactively lifting the $75 million dollar cap on oil company liabilities, which the DOJ recently declared legal? Some are asking for more details. NY Times asks: How much will BP really pay? Darling of the far-right fringe Michelle Balkin cautions BP: "Don't be chumps! This is redistribution of wealth." And fellow right-of-centrist Sarah Palin wants to call in the Dutch.
posted by saulgoodman on Jun 16, 2010 - 213 comments

The Revolution Will Not be Tweeted

Remember all the enthusiastic press coverage about the all-important role Twitter played in helping to organize Iranian activists on the ground during the protests that sparked the Green Movement after the last Iranian elections? (Discussed previously here, here and here on the blue.) Some in the press even dubbed this period "Iran's Twitter Revolution". Think again, Golnaz Esfandiari argues in Foreign Policy's latest installment in its "Misreading Tehran" series, because "Simply put: There was no Twitter Revolution inside Iran."
posted by saulgoodman on Jun 10, 2010 - 31 comments

Supreme Court: Maybe Free Speech Really Isn't Free (Or: "You Get What You Pay For")

Supreme Court Blocks Arizona Campaign Finance System. After it's recent highly controversial ruling in Citizens United Vs. Federal Election Commission, which struck down longstanding Federal limits on corporate political spending (discussed previously here and here on the blue), the court now seems poised to strike the last nail in the coffin of the possibility of public campaign finance reform by considering arguments over the constitutionality of public financing of political campaigns. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Jun 8, 2010 - 51 comments

How to Win Votes and Manipulate People

"Watch out! The Big Banks Support the Financial Reform in Congress, So It Must Be Stopped!" This public service message brought to you by... the Big Banks? Robert Reich elaborates.
posted by saulgoodman on May 6, 2010 - 13 comments

Eat your heart out, Tom Delay

For serious Poli Sci junkies only: the Swing State Project is holding a contest for best redistricting of New York, using the nerdtastic Dave's Redistricting App. (Requires Silverlight, reading instructions highly recommended.) [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 27, 2009 - 14 comments

HCR: Naughty or Nice?

Landmark health care reform legislation passes senate on a Christmas-eve party line vote. So after a turbulent and contentious legislative process with many sudden reversals and last minute surprises, what's actually in the bill? NPR offers a "Consumer's Guide" to the form the final, reconciled legislation now seems likeliest to take. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Dec 24, 2009 - 111 comments

Threat Level Elevated

US News reports that in a new tell-all book, Tom Ridge admits manipulating terror threat levels for political motives. In the forthcoming book, Ridge reportedly acknowledges for the first time that he was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he "saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over." But as The Atlantic points out, Ridge apparently gave in to the White House demands anyway, resigning only after the election. Huffington Post also provides additional discussion on this developing story.
posted by saulgoodman on Aug 20, 2009 - 139 comments

You Break It, You Bought It, America

In his latest national security speech, President Obama unequivocally reaffirms his commitment to closing GITMO. President Obama's strong statements reaffirming his administration's commitment to cleaning up the legal and ethical mess the Bush administration left behind comes just after congressional Democrats recently saw fit to capitulate to the Republican minority by defunding President Obama's efforts to close GITMO, ostensibly to ensure that President Obama proceeds prudently and avoids setting the terrorists loose on America's strip malls. But others interpret these latest maneuvers from the "weak-kneed" congressional Dems as reflecting a sudden acute case of the political jitters, pointing out that, despite all the fearful talk of the imminent dangers of possible terrorists being held and tried on American soil, it's not as though we haven't done it before. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on May 21, 2009 - 176 comments

Hurrah! We're all Free Now!

New Allegations Have Surfaced that the US Is Effectively Holding Iraq's Oil Revenues Hostage to Force through a Proposed Long-Term Strategic Alliance, Raising New Questions about the US' Committment to an Independent, Self-Governing Iraq. The Deal, Which in its Current Form is Said to Provide for an Indefinite American Military Presence and Blanket Immunity from Iraqi Law for All American Troops and Civilian Contractors, Is Understandably Not All That Popular with Many Iraqi Citizens. Iraqi Lawmakers Have Also Expressed Doubts about the Deal. (IRAQ WAR/POLITICS FILTER.)
posted by saulgoodman on Jun 6, 2008 - 79 comments

The Dangling Conversation

"People are talking, but no one is really listening. For all the fun and fantasy that can be had following this election on the internet, the overriding impression it gives after a while is of tuning into thousands of people as they sit in their cars and complain about the traffic." David Runciman on "The Cattle-Prod Election."
posted by nasreddin on May 30, 2008 - 52 comments

What does John Solomon have against Harry Reid?

Harry Reid accepted free boxing tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission says John Solomon of the AP. Solomon implies that Reid might have gotten himself into an ethical dilemma as the NAC opposes the creation of a federal boxing commission, something the Senate was considering at the time. The article also tosses in some digs at Reid by repeating the claim that Reid is involved in the Abramoff scandal.

However, Media Matters points out that Reid did not act in the NAC's favor and instead allowed the passage of legislation that would create a federal commission, in opposition to the giftgiver's wishes. This is not the first time Solomon has attacked Reid. Politics/News-filter
posted by papakwanz on May 31, 2006 - 34 comments

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