Conor Knighton is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. During the course of 2016, he visited all 59 U.S. national parks in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. At every park, he stopped and recorded himself singing “America The Beautiful,” and made this compilation video in which you can get a glimpse of them. (Instagram) [h/t Miss Cellania]
In seven days, Donald J. Trump is due to be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. What happens next? [more inside]
A day after the release of the declassified report on Russian hacking during the 2016 election, the New York Times is reporting this morning on the business deals of Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. In Washington, Congressional Republicans seem to be supporting Trump's campaign promise to build a border wall between the US and Mexico, even though it seems that American taxpayers will be the ones fronting the money to pay for it. Mr. Trump, with 13 days to go before he assumes the presidency, is tweeting about the "stupid" people, or fools, would think that [having a good relationship with Russia] is bad! He will purportedly give a press conference this week, on January 11, following President Obama's Farewell Address, on January 10. A number of confirmation hearings will also take place on the 11th. [more inside]
On August 21st this year, a solar eclipse will sweep across continental USA for the first time in decades. Between 10:15am in Oregon and 2:49pm in South Carolina, the sun will be blotted out in parts of 14 states to greatly varying degrees, with all of the contiguous United States seeing at least a partial eclipse. This iteration belongs to Saros 145; the longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes 41.6 seconds just south of Carbondale, Illinois and the greatest extent will be between Hopkinsville and Princeton, Kentucky. The best place to view? Depends, even as towns vie for viewers and predict the masses. While astronomers are excited, prophets are worried. Also, a google map, resource bibliography and an alien invasion.
As Rogue One plays, the US Electoral College, despite possible rebellions and protests, votes: 304 for Donald Trump, 227 for Hillary Clinton, 3 for Colin Powell, and 1 each for Faith Spotted Eagle, Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul and John Kasich. On the squawk mortar, the former obsessive green ink letter writer tussles with POTUS #42 and gets nuclear (more), while the current POTUS restricts offshore drilling and stays a figure of hope. With the inauguration and ball less than a month away, the stage is being built while performers are still being negotiated. Retrospections and speculations on what the wounded Democratic Party and liberals do next, and who leads, abounds. Meanwhile, liberals are arming, Pence is interpreting, Estonians are worried, North Carolina is undemocratic and funding signs are ominous. [more inside]
In yet another week of "surely this...", Russia is accused of helping him win the US election to a Senator's dismay and possible retaliation, Mitt loses out to Tillerson, Rick Perry is nominated for can't remember oops, other people are nominated, and librarians and science come under attack, with net neutrality possibly next. The Electoral College is but a few days away, with lobbying, labels, opinions and angry celebrities. However, the chances of a shock are low. Elsewhere, the public vote gives Hillary a large lead with comparisons to previous elections, Louisiana voted, the 2018 midterms are underway, Barack is interviewed, contemporary capitalism, Putin's revenge, un-democracy in North Carolina, latest odds, and piñata. [more inside]
With six weeks to the inauguration of the current President-elect, the son of a Hebridean continues to make the press. Across a smorgasbord of controversy, Boeing and China and a union leader are tweet-called out, Taiwan are on the phone, Ben Carson has (awkward) a top job, Flynn jnr is out but Flynn snr stays in while Goldman Sachs is further in, Mr Coal is given the EPA, Coulter wavers, his wall may not be built after all, and conflicts of interests (one picked at random). Problems with the recent election such as interference and voter suppression (post title) (also, game) continue to be discussed while Jill et al continue with their recount battle. Elsewhere, think pieces about the Democratic party abound, and Hillary continues to stack up the votes. Also California, Biden for 2020, a large bipartisan bill heads Obama's way, some Federal bureaucrats are waiting to see what happens and a prophecy. [more inside]
Whoever he’d been before, whoever he still was inside, to the world around him, he was now a human riddle, a blank slate on which to write a thousand possible names and stories. He needed a name for the forms and the charts and the billing, and so he was assigned one — a strange name whose origins have been lost in the nearly 17 years since the accident. It might have come from an auto shop to which the truck was taken or near where the accident occurred; some people heard it came from the truck’s route, or it was simply random. However it happened, legally he became Sixty-Six Garage.
The interval between the 2016 US election and inauguration of POTUS #45 continues. Donald likes an avid reader, but claims many bogus votes were cast and others believe it. Romney (previous, post title, transcript) emerges full of chocolate cake and glowing praise. The "swamp" continues to be filled, and despite 'leaving business' there are conflicts (multiple, many) of interest. There's recount news in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin. Amongst voter suppression news (more, more, again), recent tactics arguably worked (more), Michigan is trying to pass tougher ID laws, legal issues continue in North Carolina, and the fight will be a hard and an unavoidable one. [more inside]
While book-reading president-elect Donald continues to tweet and finally speaks with the New York Times, he also generates news: property in Argentina, conflict of interests and the foreign Emoluments Clause, Foundation tax returns, NASA funding, New York protection costs and disruption, flip-flopping, the Climate Accord, a musical, ending the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and not attempting to prosecute Hillary. New appointments include DeVos as education secretary and Haley as U.N. ambassador, with Michael Flynn tapped as national security advisor. Beyond Trump Tower, the results in three states may be challengeable or challenged, and in the ongoing count, Hillary's popular vote lead exceeds two million (live spreadsheet). [more inside]
Federal Judge halts Obama's overtime rule. Due to go into effect December 1st, the rule would increase the minimum salary an employee would have to make to be considered overtime exempt.The future of the law under a Trump presidency is unclear.
“Fascism cannot be explained only in terms of fanaticism, the history of the places where it gains a lodging must be taken into account.” — Northwest author Robert Cantwell, 1939Starting in late 2015, Knute Berger of Seattle's Crosscut magazine began a lengthy series on the historical roots of fascism in the Pacific Northwest. [more inside]
I’ve had to wonder if there was some sort of Johnny Appleseed of porn who traveled the country distributing perverse periodicals for the most inquisitive children to find on their explorations. Some have speculated about nasty gnomes or porn-faeries littering the woodlands with titillating treats.
After Brexit, Tolerant Britons Adopted a Simple Symbol of Solidarity.
In response to the open environment of hatred, people across the U.K. are now wearing safety pins — and tweeting pictures of themselves wearing them — in an act of solidarity with immigrants.Via Jason Kottke [more inside]
The 2016 US election is over and most of the results are in. Barring incident, Barack Obama (#44) will hand over to Donald Trump (#45) at noon on January 20th 2017; transition activities are underway. Following a relentless campaign, Hillary Clinton conceded and called for unity. The Republican Party has also secured the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as electing more governors. Voter suppression during the election continues to be an issue. Reaction to Trump's victory has ranged from protests to shock, and there are many questions about what he will do in office regarding issues such as Obamacare. Some are drawing parallels between the election result and Brexit. The press is also contemplating the future of the Democratic Party and their road ahead. [more inside]
Today, the United States of America will - hopefully - determine its 45th President and 48th Vice President. Going into election day, Hillary Clinton holds a poll lead [YouGov][Time] over Donald Trump. Early voting has been busy, and voting has concluded in three New Hampshire towns. In addition to the presidency, there are elections for the Senate and the House and lots of local ballots - discuss in the "Senators, Representatives, and Referenda" thread. Polling stations close at various times, subject to queues and court orders. It is unclear when a result is likely; blanket coverage includes TV networks, the New York Times, Guardian, BuzzFeed on Twitter, YouTube and the BBC, though many say Pantsuit Nation is where it's at. [more inside]
While the USA's reputation has taken a hit lately, it's good to remember that many living there are just decent human beings going about their job. Themed "Keep Walking America," this particular road trip is powered by a heartfelt spoken-word rendition of "This Land Is Your Land," Woody Guthrie's iconic 1940 celebration of social justice and inclusion. Voiceover artist Rommel Molina provides the narration, including some phrases in Spanish, during the 90-second spot below. His lightly accented recitation, plainly stated yet intense and yearning, speaks volumes about the American experience. [more inside]
574 days since Hillary declared she would run, and 2 days left for the frontrunner and all of us till election day. While the world watches e.g. [Guardian] [RTE] [Denmark] [Russia] [Sweden (lonely)] and [France], analyses, reacts, or organizes election parties [Australia] [New Zealand], the polls bounce around but generally favor Hillary, the UK bookies, other odds and an increasingly angry Nate also still favor Hillary, and Politico only sees three narrow paths to victory for Donald. Meanwhile, the Democrats get the vote out, it's not been the best of years for Trump's New Jersey chum (also November 10th 2015), there are fears of an election "cyber attack", political phrases are becoming fatigued, celebrity social media remains divided, Mr Kaine duets with Mr Bongiovi, and Hillary and Donald (in Reno) near the end. [more inside]
Eleven days to go. Since last time, Donald announced his first 100 days of actions, but still dislikes Jeb and John, while Hillary considers Texas and (post-birthday) speaks with Michelle (post title from speech) in North Carolina, early voting is happening, and Barack has nice approval ratings (though not everywhere). In the polls, 538 reckons Donald needs a sweep of swing states, GOP "insiders" think there are secret Trump voters, another release shows ties in Georgia and Iowa, and in perhaps less reliable data, Donald has a huge lead. While social media rages and schools have concerns about being polling stations, Wikileaks continues to drip-feed mundane emails, the FBI writes a vague letter about other emails (rebuttal), Colin Powell declares for Hillary, a 'Victory Bus' tours (gallery), Evan and Mindy continue to draw support across Utah, and therapists and patients describe election stress. [more inside]
"Progressive societies cared for their children by emphasising play and schooling; parents were expected to shelter and protect their children’s innocence by keeping them from paid work and the wrong kinds of knowledge ... adolescence soon became a vision of normal development that was applicable to all youth – its bridging character (connecting childhood and adulthood) giving young Americans a structured way to prepare for mating and work. In the 21st century, the bridge is sagging at both ends as the innocence of childhood has become more difficult to protect, and adulthood is long delayed." [more inside]
"Putin" is a new song and video by Randy Newman, from an as-yet untitled album due next spring. A review in Pitchfork by Greil Marcus. A Washington Post interview about the song. A Telegraph interview from last year. His last album of new material was 2008's Harps and Angels (not counting five film scores and two volumes of his Songbook series). His last music video was 2012's "I'm Dreaming" (prev).
With the final debate behind us (MetaFilter), many people registered and many states now voting, we're into the last few weeks of this increasingly globally watched 2016 US election. These are unhappy days for Donald, with that debate not going well for him and launching a hundred t-shirt designs, the map shrinking, likely voters not helping, and being booed at a charity dinner; sad! Hillary, at increasingly shorter odds to win, seems to be having a better time, while Joe has a hot car (MetaFilter) and Evan McMullin (who) (twitter) continues to make the presidential vote in Utah more interesting. But it's not just the presidency up for election; there's the Senate (538 forecast), House, and various measures such as the minimum wage, and 17 propositions in California (also on MetaFilter), plus a crucial vote in Westport. [more inside]
Many sites including Twitter, Shopify and Spotify suffering outage. USA Today and Fortune Magazine offer additional details. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Department of Homeland Security was “monitoring the situation" but that “at this point [we] don’t have any information about who may be responsible for this malicious activity.”
Three years ago, the Republican-led House was close to reaching a compromise on immigration. This is the inside story of what went wrong. - Alec MacGillis, ProPublica [more inside]
Fifteen months ago, Donald declared and we commented; two months earlier, Hillary did likewise. And now, here we are near the end of an divisive and damaging election. As Donald's campaign struggles under many allegations [BBC] [NBC News] [Guardian] [New York Times] and increased conversation on abuse, Hillary pulls out a 7 point lead in a Fox poll, a gap in the Real Clear Politics poll average and a large victory chance in 538 (though, cautionary words about poll bounces). Michelle Obama spoke about the language of this election (FPP title from her speech) [BBC] [New Yorker] [Washington Post] and in The Guardian: "She lent her extraordinary ability to say what people are feeling to every English-speaking woman in the world". Elsewhere, Trump-stooge Chris Christie is facing a criminal summons and Utah could be a three-way race which leads to a small possibility of President Evan. [more inside]
It's that time of the year, when the high desert starts to cool down and the conditions are just right for ballooning. It's the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! Nine days of hot air balloon-related events, from dawn patrol's lift-off to test conditions to Mass Ascension when hundreds of hot air balloons take flight, to the evening special shape Glowdeo and fireworks for good measure. And if conditions are right, there's America's Challenge, the long distance gas balloon race, and if you need to cool down from all this excitement, enjoy a little splash and dash. [more inside]
The states that Americans sing about. Some data to back up those bar bets?
"If, in SOCOM’s accounting, the United States has engaged in relatively few actual wars, don’t credit “deterrence.” Instead, the command has done its best to simply redefine war out of existence, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, in favor of those “gray zone challenges.” If one accepts that quasi-wars are actually war, then the Defense Department has done little to deter conflict. The United States has, in fact, been involved in some kind of military action — by SOCOM’s definition — in every year since 1980." How's successful has the US been in achieving those aims, reducing conflict, and actually succeeding in it's objectives? Face it, America doesn't win a lot of wars. [more inside]
Famous and Infamous Census Records — Find out where they lived from 1790 to 1940: presidents; celebrities; authors; human rights activists and social reformers; industrialists and inventors; politicians and public servants (including U.S. Census Bureau luminaries); American Indians, Alaska natives, and native Hawaiians; military personnel; scientists; artists, cartoonists, and animators; adventurers; musicians; other notable Americans; sports stars; and of course, the truly infamous.
“These people performed a critique of a brutal capitalistic enslavement system, and they rejected it completely. They risked everything to live in a more just and equitable way, and they were successful for ten generations."The Great Dismal Swamp straddles the Virginia-North Carolina border. From the 1600s to about the American Civil War it was a place of refuge, largely for escaped African and African-American slaves, and an important link in the underground railway. [more inside]
At midnight on Friday, Long Island University Brooklyn's campus locked out 400 fulltime and adjunct faculty. [more inside]
(SLGQ) “There's no telling how many guns we have in America—and when one gets used in a crime, no way for the cops to connect it to its owner. The only place the police can turn for help is a Kafkaesque agency in West Virginia, where, thanks to the gun lobby, computers are illegal and detective work is absurdly antiquated. On purpose. Thing is, the geniuses who work there are quietly inventing ways to do the impossible.”
Where the Death Penalty Still Lives. In the U.S., 20 states and the District of Columbia have abolished capital punishment and four others have imposed a moratorium on executions. Of the 26 states that remain, only 14 handed down death sentences last year for a total of 50 across the country — less than half the number six years before. California, which issued more than one-quarter of last year’s death sentences, hasn’t actually executed anyone since 2006. A new geography of capital punishment is taking shape, with just two percent of the nation’s counties now accounting for a majority of the people sitting on death row. [more inside]
Today, the Hillary Clinton campaign launched a new "With Her" podcast, chronicling her historic run for office. Clinton also released her 2015 tax returns while Sen. Tim Kaine released 10 years’ worth of his. With just 87 days until Election Day, 538's "Election Forecast" looks dire for Republican nominee Donald Trump, who continues to rely on wild, desperate claims to capture each news cycle.
Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart "The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences — war and uncertainty throughout the world — are familiar to us all. Scott Anderson’s story gives the reader a visceral sense of how it all unfolded, through the eyes of six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Accompanying Anderson’s text are 10 portfolios by the photographer Paolo Pellegrin, drawn from his extensive travels across the region over the last 14 years, as well as a landmark virtual-reality experience that embeds the viewer with the Iraqi fighting forces during the battle to retake Falluja."
In order to help people get out and vote this coming election the VLogBrothers havre created How To Vote In Every State: a YouTube channel with videos detailing how to register and vote in each state (as well as military personnel, unincorporated territories and abroad, and DC residents.) [more inside]
With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.The Intercept: A series exploring how money from abroad has entered the 2016 presidential election thanks to Citizens United. [more inside]
"Sexual orientation discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people can only come from the Supreme Court or Congress, the federal appeals court in Chicago rules." [sl-buzzfeed article] [more inside]
Justin Roiland - the voice of Adult Swim's Rick and Morty - reenacts a truly ridiculous court transcript from a Georgia county courtroom, as Rick and Morty. (NSFW) [more inside]
"But it goes way beyond that. Some researchers claim that liberals aren't motivated by feeling of moral disgust, but I disagree. Liberals think incidents like these are disgusting. Racism is viscerally wrong, it's unacceptable, and it needs to stop." Four years ago Mark Rosenfelder (metafilter's own) wrote The Practical Case For Liberalism (previously). He follows it up now with The Moral Case For Liberalism.
Sanders endorses Clinton. Trump rebukes Ginsberg. RNC prepares for their convention in Cleveland. Pundits debate the best VP choice for Trump.
Enjoy thirteen versions of "The Stars And Stripes Forever", wince with self-recognition at The Oatmeal's America Explained To Non-Americans and schedule a trip to one of ten distinctive July festivals and events. [more inside]
Based on findings from experiments in political science, BuzzFeed News has designed what should be a powerful get-out-the-vote message. With less than a month before the Democrats get their convention started in Philadelphia, speculation on Secretary Clinton's running mate is rampant, and "Bernie Sanders [said] he is prepared for a floor fight at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia if the party doesn’t take more progressive stances on trade, the minimum wage, climate change and other issues in its platform." [more inside]
A Mother Jones Investigation: Fully Loaded: Inside the Shadowy World of America's 10 Biggest Gunmakers. [more inside]
Tomorrow's primary in Washington, D.C. will mark the final presidential primary of 2016. Then, Secretary Clinton and Sen. Sanders are set to meet Tuesday night. [more inside]
Fifty people were killed and at least fifty-three more were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. According to ABC news, "The shooter has been identified by officials as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, an American-born citizen with Afghani parents." Mateen had previously been considered a person of interest by the FBI in 2013 and 2014. Mateen was shot and killed by police. [more inside]
With 694 delegates up for grabs between five primaries and a caucus, it has been widely predicted that Secretary Clinton would surpass the 2383 delegate threshold needed to clinch the democratic presidential nomination today. Jumping the gun, The Associated Press is reporting that, by their count, Clinton has already reached this number. Senator Sanders' campaign has condemned the media for its "rush to judgement" and the Clinton campaign has simply said "we still have work to do". [more inside]
Our Well-Regulated Milita, Alexander Chee
The Gun Control We Deserve, Patrick Blanchfield
Should We Just Get Used To Mass Shootings?, Michael Paterniti
The Gun Control We Deserve, Patrick Blanchfield
Should We Just Get Used To Mass Shootings?, Michael Paterniti