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Obama was faltering in a way his closest advisers had never witnessed.

Excerpts from the upcoming book "Double Down", Obama's tension-filled debate preparation following his poor performance in Denver [more inside]
posted by warm_planet on Nov 2, 2013 - 107 comments

Trader Lost Millions Betting on Romney

A new academic paper digging into presidential betting in the final weeks of the 2012 election finds that a single trader lost between $4 million and $7 million placing a flurry of Intrade bets on Mitt Romney—perhaps to make the Republican nominee’s chance of victory appear brighter.
[more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin on Sep 24, 2013 - 104 comments

Queen Elizabeth's nuclear war speech, and other undelivered speeches

"It would have been the Queen’s Speech to end them all. At midday on Friday 4 March 1983, the monarch was due to address the nation to announce that Britain was at war and – due to the “deadly power of abused technology” – a nuclear conflict was at hand." But it was only part of Wintex-Cimex 83, a large-scale annual NATO war game. This is just one example of speeches that were written in case of the worst, but never given. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 1, 2013 - 31 comments

DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN

Respected polling firm Gallup had a disastrous 2012, with a final presidential poll showing Romney 49-48 over Obama, some five points off of the final result. So what exactly went wrong?
posted by Chrysostom on Mar 12, 2013 - 85 comments

EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY! ...RHAOMI! ...VERSUS... RHYTHM! ...BEGIN!!!

Since it debuted on the blue in '11 // Epic Rap Battles of History preppin' // to score itself more than a billion views // and become TopDog of the pack YouTube
Made by NicePeter and EpicLloyd // (two improv comics by Maker employed) // The series pits icons of legend renowned // in a slick-wit freestyle rap throwdown
With snappier writing, and better FX // online celebs (and Google Ad checks) // The Epic Rap crew's halfway done with the brew // that is Epic Rap Battles of History Part Deux
The midseason's close? It comes out today. // In one corner: Santa Claus, fresh from his sleigh
And his prophet o' doom? "He ain't Mayan," ERBoH sez.
It's Snoop Dogg -- Snoop Lion -- as mothafuckin' Moses
[WHO WON?][WHO'S NEXT?][more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 10, 2012 - 27 comments

Romney's Technical Foul

You've heard from quite a few sources as to why and how Romney lost, including Romney himself. But technology played a role in the loss, too. According to Sean Gallagher in Ars Technica, Romney's campaign was badly outgunned when it came to its technology infrastructure, relying heavily on outsourced IT and consultants. The disastrous Project ORCA, an attempted streamlining of the age old "strike list" process for contacting those who haven't voted yet, likely did not help. [more inside]
posted by Lieber Frau on Nov 19, 2012 - 130 comments

They deserve better

The poor in America: In need of help Some 15% of Americans (around 46.2m people) live below the poverty line, as Ms Hamilton does. You have to go back to the early 1960s—before Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programmes—to find a significantly higher rate. Many more, like Ms Dunham, have incomes above the poverty line but nevertheless cannot meet their families’ basic monthly needs, and there are signs that their number is growing. Once upon a time the fates of these people weighed heavily on American politicians. Ronald Reagan boasted about helping the poor by freeing them from having to pay federal income tax. Jack Kemp, Bob Dole’s running-mate in 1996, sought to spearhead a “new war on poverty.” George W. Bush called “deep, persistent poverty…unworthy of our nation’s promise”. No longer. Budgets are tight and the safety net is expensive. Mitt Romney famously said he was not “concerned about the very poor” because they have a safety net to take care of them. Mr Obama’s second-term plan mentioned poverty once, and on the trail he spoke gingerly of “those aspiring to the middle class”. “Poor” is a four-letter word.
posted by infini on Nov 8, 2012 - 23 comments

Sasha Issenberg: the new science of winning campaigns

A Vast Left-Wing Competency: "How Democrats became the party of effective campaigning — and why the GOP isn’t catching up anytime soon." Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab, has been writing a series of posts on Slate that focus on different aspects of "the new science of winning campaigns". [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 8, 2012 - 103 comments

56% of self-described moderates voted for Obama

Exit polls for the 2012 presidential election (CNN). The most likely bottom line from AP: "Overall, 53 percent had a favorable opinion of Obama, while only 47 percent felt that way about Romney. And 53 percent felt Obama was more in touch with people like them than Romney was." Initial reactions among the disappointed.
posted by Brian B. on Nov 8, 2012 - 512 comments

An extraordinary coincidence?

And think about it for a second: this is bizarre. If Americans are in fact divided between two extremely different political ideologies, it would be an extraordinary coincidence if each of those philosophies were to hold the allegiance of nearly equal blocs of support. [more inside]
posted by memebake on Nov 7, 2012 - 206 comments

Convince me. Convince me. Convince me.

Charlie Pierce is a longtime sportswriter and author who has, among other things, reported for Grantland, Slate, and the Boston Globe, paneled on more than a few games of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, and fished diapers out of trees as a state forest ranger. He's also made a name for himself as one of the sharpest and most incisive political columnists since Molly Ivins. The lead writer for Esquire's Politics Blog ever since a caustic article on former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell cost him his Globe job, Pierce has churned out an uninterrupted stream of clever, colorful, and challenging commentary on the 2012 election season and its implications for the nation's future, dispatches often seething with eviscerative anger but shot through with deep love of (or perhaps grief for) country. Look inside for a selection of Pierce's most vital works for some edifying Election Eve reading. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 5, 2012 - 73 comments

Mitt Romney is a liar.

The Long Con: Mail-order conservatism From The Baffler.
posted by zoo on Nov 3, 2012 - 76 comments

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

Hurricane Sandy's proximity to Election Day means that the response to it is highly politicized. [more inside]
posted by entropone on Oct 31, 2012 - 433 comments

From the same channel that brought you Big Bird

The Choice 2012 is a Frontline documentary about the background of the current candidates for President of the United States.
posted by twoleftfeet on Oct 25, 2012 - 118 comments

She The People

Democracy Distilled: A History of America's Voting Rights. Remember to vote this November. Women in America, let's rise up. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Oct 23, 2012 - 32 comments

Bob Schieffer: debate modarator as interviewer and ref

Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer continue their trend of moderating the first and last presidential debates, as they did in 2004 and 2008. Both grew up in Texas, and got their starts in journalism there, too, both covering the JFK assassination in 1963. Following Lehrer's role as moderator in this year's presidential debate, subsequent moderators have been under significant scrutiny before and after their performances, and Schieffer, who has covered all four of the major Washington beats, is ready for his role in the political process, in the middle of partisan divide, which is deeper than any time he can recall from his 43 years in Washington. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 22, 2012 - 77 comments

Obama and Romney battle it out, rap style

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will have the final debate of the US Presidential race tonight. Yawning at the thought of a formulaic back and forth, while secretly hoping for a rap battle? Then look beneath the fold for examples of explicit lyrical parodies. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 22, 2012 - 4475 comments

Thirteen essays on the 2012 US election

Looking for a break from horse-race coverage of the 2012 election? The New York Review of Books has thirteen short essays on the election and its consequences. Michael Tomasky. Elizabeth Drew. Cass Sunstein. Frank Rich. David Cole. Richard Dworkin. Russell Baker. Darryl Pinckney. David Bromwich. Kwame Anthony Appiah. Steven Weinberg. Garry Wills. Jeffrey Sachs. Plus a blog post by Christopher Benfey: The Empty Chair That Keeps Me Awake at Night.
posted by russilwvong on Oct 21, 2012 - 4 comments

Science. It works, candidates.

Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy writes SciAm, as part of their election coverage, which also includes rating two candidates' answers on particular sciencey topics (full replies here, marking sheet here), as well as inquiring about the positions of other congress critters. Use 'Print' button for single page presentation
posted by Sparx on Oct 18, 2012 - 49 comments

Branding the US Presidents: USG - The Butcher

Branding the US Presidents. [via]
posted by cashman on Oct 17, 2012 - 68 comments

On Benghazi

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 - 39 comments

Thrilla or Vanilla?

It's D-Day: Governor Mitt Romney debates President Barack Obama in Denver, Colorado. Will we see an epic game-changer or an airless, pre-orchestrated zinger-swap? [more inside]
posted by sallybrown on Oct 3, 2012 - 3068 comments

We need more bozos on this bus

Romney is perhaps best known for being a clown and a humanitarian, but long before his involvement in presidential politics, Romney was an LSD-fueled comedian. Here's a snippet. (No, not that Romney; the other one.) [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet on Sep 28, 2012 - 32 comments

I reside in the area near where your paper is published

When Rex Conte's letter to the editor -- "Why I am Voting for Mitt Romney" -- was featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and then reached top-tier status on Google News, several commenters pointed out that Rex had a similar letter published in the Chicago Sun-Times. Nothing too abnormal there, but in the Post-Dispatch letter he claimed his residence was "Chesterfield," outside of St. Louis, and in the Sun-Times letter, he claimed that his residence was "Oak Hills," outside of Chicago. So, "where does Rex live?" curious readers wanted to find out. An editor from the Post-Dispatch called Rex to find out and followed up with a note at the bottom of the letter: "Mr. Conte wrote a similar letter to the Chicago Sun-Times that said he lived in Oak Park, Ill. Comments and emails questioned how he could live in two places and whether he was a real person. I talked on the phone with Mr. Conte, who says he used to live in Chesterfield but not any more. So we've changed his hometown in this letter." So, we now know he doesn't live in Chesterfield any more but the editor doesn't go into whether he still lives in Oak Park now or if he just "used to live there." The Sun-Times hasn't added any notes to Conte's letter in their publication but critics on the web are claiming that the GOP is "planting fake Letters to Editors." [more inside]
posted by Jagz-Mario on Sep 28, 2012 - 76 comments

Mormons vs Mexican Drug Gangs

"The Mexican drug cartels are at war... with Mormons. VICE founder Shane Smith went down to Ciudad Juárez, near the US border, to investigate this story ... filled with guns, drugs, murder, and Romneys." [more inside]
posted by empath on Sep 25, 2012 - 33 comments

"Republicans stand the chance of controlling Congress for the rest of the decade if they don't screw it up."

"The Republicans’ dominance in races throughout the country in the 2010 elections eviscerated the Democrats’ farm teams in state after state." Former Bill Clinton political director Doug Sosnik offers an 8-page analysis of the U.S. election that discusses the likelihood of an Obama win, the chances of a complete Republican takeover of Congress, continued Republican dominance of governorships and state legislatures for the rest of the decade, and more. There's also a related slideshow. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Sep 17, 2012 - 85 comments

Who's More Full of Shit?

Who's More Full of Shit? Aggregates Politifact ratings and identifies which politicians, pundits and media figures lie most often. [via mefi projects]
posted by JHarris on Sep 14, 2012 - 33 comments

There's still a war going on

August was one of the deadliest months in Afghanistan, for both civilians and soldiers. The death toll was increased by so-called 'green-on-blue' attacks by members of the Afghan National Army and police forces on ISAF and US forces. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 13, 2012 - 67 comments

Obama/Romney respond regarding poverty.

There's been little discussion about the problem of poverty in the current Presidential election, the conventions pretty much ignored it. "The Circle of Protection, composed of Christian leaders from across the religious spectrum, released President Barack Obama's and GOP nominee Mitt Romney's video responses today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C." Both candidates responded.
posted by HuronBob on Sep 13, 2012 - 52 comments

Romney in a Brave New World

On September 4, 2012, the first ever Bitcoin extortion attempt was made public. The target? Mitt Romney and his tax returns.
posted by Clementines4ever on Sep 12, 2012 - 112 comments

Handicapping the election

Now that we're in the homestretch toward the November Presidential election, it's time to choose your favorite electoral-vote projection oracle. All of these are sites that monitor individual state polls and voter sentiment trendlines. Here are some options: — Electoral-vote.com has been at it since 2004 and is a bonanza for polling stats junkies. Currently it's calling the electoral vote at 332 for Obama, 206 for Romney, with no toss-ups. (It takes 270 to win.) The site is run from The Netherlands by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, who prepares daily commentary and news analysis. His leanings are Democratic; for those who are bothered by that, he suggests a Republican-leaning alternative: [more inside]
posted by beagle on Sep 4, 2012 - 88 comments

"...the 2012 campaign still looks like a titanic collision between the economy and demography."

In 2008, the National Journal released The Hidden History of the American Electorate, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
posted by zarq on Sep 3, 2012 - 54 comments

Eastwood-Chair 2016

Perhaps you missed Mitt Romney's speech tonight, where he accepted the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Maybe you were too busy trying to understand the special appearance of Clint Eastwood, who spent most of the time talking to a chair. Or maybe you just couldn't listen to Mitt because you were too busy making memes about his scolding of "Invisible Obama." If this last statement describes you, you might just be The Internet.
posted by foxywombat on Aug 30, 2012 - 696 comments

The New American Industry

If you haven't heard much about how takeover deals like Dunkin' and KB Toys work, that's because Mitt Romney and his private equity brethren don't want you to. The new owners of American industry are the polar opposites of the Milton Hersheys and Andrew Carnegies who built this country, commercial titans who longed to leave visible legacies of their accomplishments, erecting hospitals and schools and libraries, sometimes leaving behind thriving towns that bore their names. The men of the private equity generation want no such thing.
Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital
posted by hwyengr on Aug 29, 2012 - 124 comments

Sher Valenzuela, First State Manufacturing, received millions in government business loans

Small business owner and candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Delaware Sher Valenzuela is slated to speak at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday as part of a platform meant to suggest business owners build businesses on their own with no assistance from government. The problem is that Valenzuela received millions of dollars in taxpayer funds as business loans from the US government, along with other government assistance. One Reddit user noticed the url for the full name of Valenzuela's First State Manufacturing business was unregistered, and remedied that with full details. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Aug 27, 2012 - 84 comments

The Definitive Guide to the Medicare Debate

Jonathan Cohn compares the effects on Medicare from the Affordable Care Act with the proposals being promoted by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
posted by reenum on Aug 23, 2012 - 27 comments

The Bain Files

"Gawker has obtained a large cache of confidential internal financial documents from more than 20 secretive hedge funds and other investment vehicles in which Mitt Romney has stashed his considerable wealth." Ongoing attempts to digest and analyze the dense contents are here.
posted by mkultra on Aug 23, 2012 - 153 comments

Paul Ryan as Romney's running-mate

Paul Ryan. Seven-term congressman for Wisconsin's 1st District. Chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. Architect of the controversial Ryan Budget -- a "Path to Prosperity" [PDF - video - CBO] that would slash trillions from the federal budget, sharply curtail taxes on the wealthy, and transform Medicare into a private voucher system. Proponent (vid) -- and renouncer -- of Ayn Rand 's Objectivism. Social Security beneficiary. Hunter. Weinermobile driver. And as of this morning, the 2012 Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States of America. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 11, 2012 - 1550 comments

Our country has never solved anything with less democracy

With the U.S. Presidential election about 3 months away, and voter ID laws headed to court this Wednesday in Pennsylvania and in other states like Texas and Minnesota, Propublica tells you Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws. A solution to a nonproblem. [Previously] [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jul 23, 2012 - 96 comments

The heat goes on

Could global warming become an election issue? After the extreme weather last year and the likelihood that 2012 will reach a record high global temperature (which it almost has), it's possible that hot weather could become politically noticeable. Most Americans say they believe temperatures around the world are going up and that weather patterns have become more unstable in the past few years, according to this poll (and this other poll and this other poll.) Obama has said that climate change and the money being thrown into the denial of science is one of the most important issues in the coming campaign discussion. but Romney doesn't know.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jul 15, 2012 - 59 comments

The Bain of his existence

Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. The Obama campaign has been running ads attacking him for outsourcing while at Bain. Mr. Romney claims this unfair, he says "he left the firm in February 1999, but a review of public records shows that his authority lingered for three more years as Bain repeatedly listed him on government filings as the man in charge". [more inside]
posted by dig_duggler on Jul 13, 2012 - 1590 comments

Whitey on the moon

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney just took his case to the NAACP. This satirical look at Mitt's prep session.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 11, 2012 - 447 comments

Tie game. Bottom of the 9th. Bases loaded. Two outs. Three balls. Two strikes. And the pitch...

In less than an hour, the Supreme Court will hand down its final judgment in what has become one of the most crucial legal battles of our time: the constitutionality of President Obama's landmark health care reform law. The product of a strict party line vote following a year century of debate, disinformation, and tense legislative wrangling, the Affordable Care Act would (among other popular reforms) require all Americans to buy insurance coverage by 2014, broadening the risk pool for the benefit of those with pre-existing conditions. The fate of this "individual mandate," bitterly opposed by Republicans despite its similarity to past plans touted by conservatives (including presidential contender Mitt Romney) is the central question facing the justices today. If the conservative majority takes the dramatic step of striking down the mandate, the law will be toothless, and in danger of wholesale reversal, rendering millions uninsured, dealing a crippling blow to the president's re-election hopes, and possibly endangering the federal regulatory state. But despite the pessimism of bettors, some believe the Court will demur, wary of damaging its already-fragile reputation with another partisan 5-4 decision. But those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know. Watch the SCOTUSblog liveblog for updates, Q&A, and analysis as the truth finally comes out shortly after 10 a.m. EST.
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 28, 2012 - 1173 comments

Bork is Back

Bork is Back. He is currently writing a book titled "1973." Now he will devote his time to Romney'sJustice Advisory Committee.” The move is a clear signal as to who Romney will nominate to the Supreme Court if he is elected. This will be a key issue in the 2012 elections. Any or all of the four current Justices up for retirement: Ginsburg, 79: Scalia, 76; Kennedy, 75; Breyer 73, would swing the court depending on who is elected.
posted by snaparapans on Jun 7, 2012 - 54 comments

The Re-Election of Cool

President Obama is cool. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on May 2, 2012 - 134 comments

Off The Rails

"Let's just say it. The Republicans are the problem." [more inside]
posted by cashman on Apr 28, 2012 - 119 comments

Santorum drops out.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum abruptly suspended his campaign in a news conference this afternoon, marking the unofficial end to a lengthy, often-combative primary. By suspending his campaign rather than ending it, Santorum can continue to raise money to retire any remaining debt he might have. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Apr 10, 2012 - 164 comments

LOVE ME

Artist Bas Van Oerle presents a series of propaganda posters for the 2012 Republican presidential contenders. Ron Paul For The Youth Vote. Fields of Santorum. Love Me Romney. Join The Cosmonewts.
posted by furiousxgeorge on Mar 25, 2012 - 36 comments

The dog is on the roof

Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up? (SLYT, but incredible)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 20, 2012 - 133 comments

Is there a Joseph Welch moment underway?

Has Rush Limbaugh misjudged how far he can push things? Efforts are underway at Twitter and Reddit to hit Limbaugh where it hurts, with some degree of early success. While the President called Sandra Fluke to express solidarity, GOP front runner Mitt Romney seemed to think the main problem with Limbaugh's attack on Fluke was one of vocabulary, and Rick Santorum fell back on the "he's just an entertainer" defense.
posted by Ipsifendus on Mar 2, 2012 - 759 comments

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