An Open Letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Liberals Who Love Him "I was once a Coates fan", writes Cedric Johnson in Jacobin. Johnson criticizes Coates for his black nationalism at the expense of class based identification.
Amidst an increasingly unpredictable political season, tonight the Iowa caucuses will finally cast the first votes of the 2016 presidential campaign. It's an outsider vs. establishment war in both parties, as Republican leaders struggle to dislodge Donald Trump and Ted Cruz from the top while Hillary Clinton marshalls her endorsements and long résumé against the populist zeal of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. The best guesses of FiveThirtyEight, BetFair, and Ann Selzer's gold-standard Des Moines Register poll all favor Trump and Clinton, but the race remains very close, and turnout in the demanding and complicated caucus events will be key. Vox provides a helpful video explainer on the process [previously]. Pass the time with FiveThirtyEight's 40-minute elections podcast, and keep an eye on the New York Times live blog of the caucuses for real-time updates once voting starts at 8:00 PM Eastern -- and don't forget to leave your two cents in the MeFi election prediction contest!
On an American road trip, Stephen Marche enters the fray with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in Iowa and gets a view of the campaign trail from the perspective of his whiteness. (SLGuardian)
Thursday was a banner day for Bernie Sanders, whose campaign reached two million donations and won two key endorsements. So it came as a shock Friday when Sanders was hamstrung by, of all things, a Clinton data scandal. NGP VAN, the Democratic Party's main vendor for data services, mistakenly lowered the firewalls isolating each campaign's voter info -- and one Sanders staffer peeked. While the (now-fired) staffer claims they were just trying to gauge the scope of the exposure, the Clinton camp accused their rival of downloading valuable data. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz agreed, barring the entire campaign from NGP VAN in response -- potentially crippling their sprint to Iowa. Already dinged for shielding Clinton with favorable debate schedules, the DNC dropped the ban following outcry and a Sanders lawsuit (which Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said might expose collusion). Crisis averted, though not without adding some potential fireworks to tonight's Democratic debate on ABC.
Bernie Sanders (comedian James Adomian) joins Dr. Ben Carson (Jerry Minor), Lincoln Chafee (Seth Morris, previously), Hillary Clinton (Heather Campbell), and others for Decision Election 2016 All-Star Clusterfuck, a bi-partisan debate, live at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. [SLYT, NSFW]
His superPAC is selling a poster of a ripped, tattooed Ted Cruz; the candidate says that the only thing was wrong with the picture is that he doesn't smoke. If Trump smells like victory to you, you may be interested in "Empire" (not an actual campaign site offering). Maybe you'd prefer Rand Paul's head on a stick. Dems may opt for a Hillary pantsuit tee shirt. Or, if you like Bernie Sanders and puns, you can go for this mug.
You don't get any of those things by staying quiet. On the contrary, the best way to get politicians to listen, and to force them to deal with an agenda, is to frighten them. So BlackLivesMatter came to Netroots Nation, and it showed that its activists have a lot of energy, a lot of passion, and a lot of support. They forced Sanders and O'Malley to address their issues.Noah Berlatsky: Why I'm Glad Bernie Got Interrupted.
"Thanks to enzymes, humans are solar-powered." 24th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony & Lectures. [more inside]
Lilo & Stitch is an odd movie to come from Disney for a number of reasons: a rare work based on an original story, set in a realistic version of the "island paradise" of Hawaii, focusing on strong female characters who have a realistic/varied bodyshapes. For more insight into the making of the "affordable" Disney film, here's Lilo & Stitch revisited, Part I, interviewing the creators Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, and Part II, featuring master animator Andreas Deja. For a taste of the animation, here are four teaser clips of Stitch invading other Disney films, the official full version of the Lion King interrupted trailer, and making of Lilo & Stitch short docu-clip.
Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts was a literary magazine founded in 1962 by Ed Sanders, a poet later co-founded The Fugs. Its credo was "I'll print anything", and Sanders produced thirteen issues on a mimeograph machine from 1962 to 1965. Issues included works by Tuli Kupferberg, Charles Olson, Peter Orlovsky, Philip Whalen, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, Julian Beck, Herbert Huncke, Norman Mailer, Gary Snyder, Diane DiPrima, William S. Burroughs, Leroi Jones, Gregory Corso, Robert Creeley, Michael McClure, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, and Andy Warhol. - wikipedia. With a helpful index. [more inside]
Previously on Metafilter, a lively discussion followed news that Attorney General Mukasey collapsed during his speech last week to the Federalist Society in which he was defending the Bush administration against "the casual assumption among many in media, political, and legal circles that the Administration’s counterterrorism policies have come at the expense of the rule of law." Just before his collapse, however, an unknown heckler yelled "tyrant!" at him. After some speculation, that person has been identified. [more inside]
Laura Sanders paints realistic portraits of people swimming with their heads above the water. [more inside]
The Mayor of San Diego has a change of heart. GOP Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego comes out in support of gay marriage.
Four Amendments & a Funeral Rolling Stone accompanies Bernie Sanders (I-VT) before the Rules Committee. It ain't pretty. The aide laughed and explained that the best time for me to go would be just before the summer recess, a period when Congress rushes to pass a number of appropriations bills. "It's like orgy season," he said. "You won't want to miss that." ... Now, if Tom DeLay & Co. were going to disallow Sanders' amendment, they were going to have to openly defy a majority vote of the U.S. Congress to do so. Which, it turns out, isn't much of a stumbling block. ... In essence, the U.S. was giving $5 billion to a state-subsidized British utility to build up the infrastructure of our biggest trade competitor, along the way sharing advanced nuclear technology with a Chinese conglomerate that had, in the past, shared nuclear know-how with Iran and Pakistan. WARNING: Will not make you feel better about the Republican party leadership. Previous Bernie Sanders, and his battle with the PATRIOT Act