The Color Of His Presidency
A few weeks ago, the liberal comedian Bill Maher and conservative strategist and pundit Bill Kristol had a brief spat on Maher’s HBO show, putatively over what instigated the tea party but ultimately over the psychic wound that has divided red America and blue America in the Obama years. The rise of the tea party, explained Maher in a let’s-get-real moment, closing his eyes for a second the way one does when saying something everybody knows but nobody wants to say, “was about a black president.” Both Maher and Kristol carry themselves with a weary cynicism that allows them to jovially spar with ideological rivals, but all of a sudden they both grew earnest and angry. Kristol interjected, shouting, “That’s bullshit! That is total bullshit!” After momentarily sputtering, Kristol recovered his calm, but his rare indignation remained, and there was no trace of the smirk he usually wears to distance himself slightly from his talking points. He almost pleaded to Maher, “Even you don’t believe that!”
“I totally believe that,” Maher responded, which is no doubt true, because every Obama supporter believes deep down, or sometimes right on the surface, that the furious opposition marshaled against the first black president is a reaction to his race. Likewise, every Obama opponent believes with equal fervor that this is not only false but a smear concocted willfully to silence them. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 15, 2014 -
John Hibbing and his colleagues are pioneering research on the physiological underpinnings of political ideology. They also eat worms. - via Mother Jones
posted by jim in austin
on Apr 9, 2014 -
Pour out a little Chinaco
The godfather of liberal bloggers, Terry R. Coppage, aka Bartcop, passed away
Bartcop was a snarky, no-holds barred, riotous – at times mean-spirited, but never untruthful – oasis of hilarity and vitriol, where politicians and a compliant media were called out for their bullshit. Along with Media Whores Online (‘The Horse”), no journalist was ever again safe from having their stories fact-checked online and then held up to ridicule.
Bartcop was the brainchild of Terry R. Coppage, based out of his beloved and sometimes mocked Tulsa, Oklahoma home. Terry was fearless in a way that other media critics couldn’t be for a simple reason: he wasn’t angling to move up the fawning beltway food chain with a guest spot at The Washington Post. He didn’t pull punches and he called bullshit for what it was: “bullshit.”
The site was crude, the graphics sometimes even cruder (I have a special place in my heart for his animated gif of Tim Russert repeating “Clinton’s cock” over and over and over again), but most importantly it dispensed with the niceties with a wicked grin with a well-placed deflating shiv between the ribs.
posted by sensate
on Mar 10, 2014 -
The defense of the illiberal activities of the actually-existing state cuts across superficial partisan lines, and the dominant political philosophy of both American parties is a venerable ideology of realpolitik imperial supremacy that deploys the rhetoric of liberalism as pacifying propaganda and recasts the completely mundane application of basic liberal-democratic principles–the kind at work in the activities of Wikileaks and Snowden–as irresponsibly adolescent, anarchical, and even libertarian (eww!) challenges to the very idea of the liberal state. “Liberal” apologists for the actually-existing criminal state spook actual liberals from the practice of actual liberalism by insinuating darkly that any doubts about the liberal legitimacy of the security state probably makes you a loathsome, possibly racist Paultard. Wil Wilkinson on why liberal critics of the "liberal" state seem "libertarian." [more inside]
posted by grobstein
on Jan 21, 2014 -
Kevin Rudd has visited Yarralumla and has asked the Governor General to issue the writs for an election to be held on September the 7th.
The ABC's coverage starts the coverage with Vote Compass
- Where do you stand (as if you already didn't know)?
Faifax has offered this handy ready reckoner
News Corp Australia? Well they are calling on the services of Col Pot
to ensure that Voting compasses and ready reckoners point in only the right direction, and to ensure that News' editors - rely on their instincts
posted by mattoxic
on Aug 4, 2013 -
One Nation Under Elvis
My own conversion to country music came all of a sudden in 1990, around another campfire, also in Nevada. The great Western Shoshone anti-nuclear and land-rights activist Bill Rosse, a decorated World War II vet and former farm manager, unpacked his guitar and sang Hank Williams and traditional songs for hours. I was enchanted as much by the irreverent rancor of some of the songs as by the pure blue yearning of others. I’d had no idea such coolness, wit, and poetry was lurking in this stuff I was taught to scorn before I’d met it. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jul 28, 2013 -
While L. Frank Baum never specifically mentioned where Dorothy lived in Kansas, he did leave some vague and/or misleading hints
. They don't quite point anywhere, but two home inspectors did some digging and claim Dorothy's house was near Troy, Kansas
, but they're not the first to claim a home for Dorothy. That credit goes to Max Zimmerman, an insurance agent from Liberal, Kansas, who thought of capitalizing on this lack of location
. Oliver Brown, another resident of Liberal, knew of a house that resembled Dorothy's
, and this was the start of Dorothy's House Museum & Land of Oz
. But over 300 miles away
, Wamego, Kansas has its own little land of Oz
, where you can attend the annual OZtoberfest
, or check out the Oz Museum
, with its collection of Oz memorabilia
on permanent loan from Friar Johnpaul Cafiero
. And then there's the abandoned Land of Oz theme park
in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina
, about a thousand miles from Wamega.
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 28, 2013 -
Matt Welch, Reason
: The Death of Contrarianism
Klein, then at The American Prospect, a progressive D.C. opinion magazine founded in 1990, wanted Peters, founder (in 1969) of The Washington Monthly, to answer for the way neoliberalism had degenerated into lefty-on-lefty contrarianism. “What has happened, at least to some younger folks like me,” Klein said, “is that at times this appears to have become not an honest critique, but a positioning device. The idea that it’s not about the quality of the argument, but the display: You show honesty by attacking Democrats, you show independence by attacking liberals. At times I think that has been a damaging impulse on our side.” [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 22, 2013 -
Or, why is there still socialism in the United States?
Why, then, would we look for evidence of socialism only where a state seized by radicals of the Left inaugurates a dictatorship of the proletariat? Or, to lower the rhetorical volume and evidentiary stakes, why would we expect to find socialism only where avowed socialists or labor parties contend for state power? We should instead assume that socialism, like capitalism, is a cross-class cultural construction, to which even the bourgeoisie has already made significant contributions – just as the proletariat has long made significant contributions to the cross-class construction we know as capitalism. What follows?
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Feb 13, 2013 -
False memories of fabricated political events [ABSTRACT]
. In the largest false memory study to date, 5,269 participants were asked about their memories for three true and one of five fabricated political events. Each fabricated event was accompanied by a photographic image purportedly depicting that event. Approximately half the participants falsely remembered that the false event happened, with 27% remembering that they saw the events happen on the news. Political orientation appeared to influence the formation of false memories, with conservatives more likely to falsely remember seeing Barack Obama shaking hands with the president of Iran, and liberals more likely to remember George W. Bush vacationing with a baseball celebrity during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. A follow-up study supported the explanation that events are more easily implanted in memory when they are congruent with a person's preexisting attitudes and evaluations, in part because attitude-congruent false events promote feelings of recognition and familiarity, which in turn interfere with source attributions. [FULL TEXT PDF AVAILABLE HERE] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Feb 13, 2013 -
Why Won't They Listen? Haidt diverges from other psychologists who have analyzed the left’s electoral failures. The usual argument of these psycho-pundits is that conservative politicians manipulate voters’ neural roots — playing on our craving for authority, for example — to trick people into voting against their interests. But Haidt treats electoral success as a kind of evolutionary fitness test. He figures that if voters like Republican messages, there’s something in Republican messages worth liking. He chides psychologists who try to “explain away” conservatism, treating it as a pathology. Conservatism thrives because it fits how people think, and that’s what validates it. Workers who vote Republican aren’t fools. In Haidt’s words, they’re “voting for their moral interests.”
posted by shivohum
on Mar 26, 2012 -
Some Social Scientists Claim Pervasive Bias in the Academe
Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities. But the most talked-about speech at this year’s meeting, which ended Jan. 30, involved a new “outgroup.”
posted by modernnomad
on Feb 9, 2011 -
You can tell if a person is liberal or conservative by how a person responds to your "gaze cues
". Look away at something while you're talking and a liberal will tend to look at it, too. Conservatives are "completely immune" to this effect. [more inside]
posted by MuadDib
on Dec 9, 2010 -
“There’s a tremendous amount of anxiety among religious traditionalists that when you take one step toward egalitarianism, the floodgates are open and everything that seemed self-evident will no longer be. Men go to work, and women raise children. If you undermine that, you have lost your whole universe.”
The Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism have been ordaining women as rabbis for decades, but the religion's most traditional sect, the Orthodox, remains a lone, minority holdout against egalitarianism. Last year, Orthodox Rabbi Avraham "Avi" Weiss (political activist
and founder of the controversial
, liberal, "Open Orthodox" Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Yeshiva in New York) tried to shake things up by ordaining the first female American Orthodox rabbi
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 31, 2010 -
are increasing that there will be a merger between the two left-leaning political parties in Canada, the hapless Liberals under the wooden Michael Ignatieff, and the perennial almost-show New Democrats under the magnificently mustached
Jack Layton. Denials all 'round, of course, but as separate parties they have not managed to take down Stephen Harper and his wiley Conservatives.
posted by anothermug
on Jun 8, 2010 -
Among American Jews today, there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel. And there are a great many liberals, especially in the secular Jewish world, people deeply devoted to human rights for all people, Palestinians included. But the two groups are increasingly distinct. Particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists; fewer and fewer American Jewish Zionists are liberal. One reason is that the leading institutions of American Jewry have refused to foster—indeed, have actively opposed—a Zionism that challenges Israel’s behavior in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and toward its own Arab citizens.The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment
posted by y2karl
on May 18, 2010 -
Intense debate about weighty issues like racism, abortion, and immigration... between animals in funny hats! This is the silly punditry of Scenario: Dog v. Cat
: Round 1
, round 2
, round 3
posted by hjo3
on May 28, 2008 -
History is a Weapon
-- Featuring Propaganda
by the inventor of modern PR, Edward Bernays
, essays by Bill Clinton
, Eugene Debs
, Frederick Douglass
, Sojourner Truth
, Mark Twain
, the entirety of A People's History of the United States
by Howard Zinn, and much, much more
posted by empath
on May 26, 2008 -
Are Liberals and Conservatives Different Species?
Get this: Everyone in our sample was an American, a teenager, and belonged to the same major religious tradition of Protestantism. In these respects they were culturally uniform. But some belonged to conservative denominations such as Pentecostal and others to liberal denominations such as Episcopalian. As Ingrid combed through the data
, which involved tedious hours in front of the computer, the differences that began to emerge were astounding. It was as if these conservative and liberal religious youth were--different species. [via 3quarksdaily
] [more inside]
posted by sisquoc15
on Feb 29, 2008 -
In an experiment
reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience
, scientists at NYU and UCLA demonstrate that political orientation is related to basic differences in cognition - how the brain processes information. Psychological studies in the past found conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments while liberals are more "open to new experiences." The latest study finds these traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions. [more inside]
posted by uaudio
on Sep 11, 2007 -
My Right Wing Dad
is a new-ish and rather informal blog that aims to provide "a chance for folks to examine the unrestrained rhetoric that is quietly passed from in-box to in-box in America," by hosting a collection of the emails that form an often untraceable and unacknowledged part of public discourse in the U.S., especially on the Right. Tagged by category (for example: God
, and World War II
), the amateur archive presents a range of colorful opinion, not all of it strikingly accurate, and some of it offensive. In efforts to understand liberal and conservative habits of communication
, it may be worth considering the role of forwarded email in the electoral process, and the reasons that the forwarding of email is popular among some people
, and whether this behavior tends to correlate with particular political opinions. The emails hosted on MyRightWingDad may in any case be enlightening, unless you're already on the forward list of someone in the know.
posted by washburn
on Aug 15, 2007 -
Results of tonight's election in Quebec are in.
The Quebec Liberal Party has managed just barely to hold onto power in that province, winning a minority government--the first time this has happened in la belle province
since...well...since the year the phonograph was first patented. But there's an even bigger story. And that's the apparent collapse of the separatist Parti Québécois
vote, in favour of the centre-right Action Démocratique Party
, surprising just about everybody other than those who actually live in the province.
Here's the breakdown in the vote as of 11:00PM:
Liberal (32.50%) - ADQ (31.19%) - PQ (28.48%).
What these results mean for Canada's federal parliament---also in a minority situation---is anyone's guess at this point. The smart money is on Prime Minister Harper calling an early summer election. These results tonight would certainly give him reason to think that Quebec voters are in the mood for change. But like spring weather in these parts, things are quite changeable these days.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism
on Mar 26, 2007 -
On December 3rd, 2006 Canada's next Prime Minister will be decided by a few thousand delegates
at the Liberal party convention in Montreal (join for ~$10)
. Don't believe me? In the last 110 years of Liberal party history
only one leader has failed to become Prime Minister. No fewer than sixteen candidates met in Edmonton
last week. On the surface the candidates are making nice.
Ignatieff: "None of us, none of us are going to run against each other. All of us are running against Stephen Harper's vision of Canada."
It is even said that Bob Rae and Ignatieff are life long close friends
. That didn't stop the Ignatieff campaign co-chair.
David Peterson: "[Rae's] got some terrible burdens to overcome. One is his record and one is his loyalty."
Emphasis mine, and <more inside>
posted by Chuckles
on Apr 9, 2006 -
the candidate parachuted into Etobicoke by supporters who would see him as the next leader of the federal Liberal Party
of Canada, has just given a speech
outlining his vision for Canada, which is probably the forerunner to an official announcement about his candidacy. (Previously, on MeFi
.) If he runs, he will be up against Martha Hall Findlay
, John Godfrey
, and Maurizio Bevilacqua
who have all declared. Other contenders might well include Stéphane Dion
, Joe Volpe
, and hockey legend Ken Dryden
. Finally, the race appears to be hotting up.
posted by Zinger
on Mar 30, 2006 -