A recent great pull
from White House
photographer Pete Souza shows Bush and Obama seeming to not just tolerate but actually enjoy each other's company. This is nothing new, however. Not only have Presidents always still been just as human as anyone else,
but they occasionally cross the aisle to have close relationships
that can be not only shocking, but endearing - including Barbara Bush referring to Bill Clinton as their "adopted son." Ridiculous
conspiracy theories abound, but a simpler explanation may serve: that even the most partisan of politicans have more in common with each other than they would like us to believe - a common background
, and often, common professions
posted by corb
on Dec 12, 2013 -
Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)
In one corner: the first federal government shutdown
, born of the House GOP/Tea Party faction's
crusade to delay, defund, and destroy Obamacare (and the Democratic Senate and President's resolve to not do that
have ping-ponged between the two houses, fighting over language to cancel healthcare reform (plus a few other items, such as the implementation of Mitt Romney's entire economic agenda
). National parks are closed
, contractors are hamstrung
, and 800,000 federal workers furloughed
until Speaker Boehner drops the "Hastert Rule"
and passes a bill the other branches can agree to.
In the other corner, heedless of the chaos
(though not without glitches
of its own): the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its state insurance exchanges
. The portal at Healthcare.gov
is your one-stop shop for browsing, comparing, and purchasing standardized, regulated insurance coverage
with premium rebates
, guaranteed coverage
, and expanded Medicaid for the poor (in some states)
. A crazy day, overall -- but peanuts compared to what might happen if the debt ceiling is breached in 16 days
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 1, 2013 -
The Elvis Impersonator, the Karate Instructor, the Fridge full of Severed Heads, and the Plot to Kill the President.
In March, Kevin Curtis of Tupelo, Mississippi, was arrested for mailing ricin-laced letters to a local judge, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, and the President - only to be released a week later when another man was arrested for the crime. In the latest issue of GQ, Wells Tower sets out to get to the bottom of the tale and finds himself falling down the rabbit hole into a whole other universe of lost American weirdness.
(Know that Moo Cow the dog is okay.)
posted by Naberius
on Oct 1, 2013 -
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 -
A Plea for Caution From Russia
My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.
posted by philip-random
on Sep 11, 2013 -
The Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service announced
today that it will recognize same-sex marriages for the purpose of filing federal taxes, even if the couple lives in a state that does not recognize their marriage. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Aug 29, 2013 -
A middle-aged man in a red golf shirt shuffles up to a small folding table with gold trim, in a booth adorned with a flotilla of helium balloons, where government workers at the Kentucky State Fair are hawking the virtues of Kynect, the state’s health benefit exchange established by Obamacare.
The man is impressed. "This beats Obamacare I hope," he mutters to one of the workers.
“Do I burst his bubble?” wonders Reina Diaz-Dempsey, overseeing the operation. She doesn't. If he signs up, it's a win-win, whether he knows he's been ensnared by Obamacare or not.
posted by reenum
on Aug 26, 2013 -
During a speech at a $10,000 per plate DNC fundraiser on June 4, Michelle Obama was heckled
by gay rights advocate and GetEQUAL
member Ellen Sturtz, calling on President Obama to sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from LGBT workplace discrimination. The first lady responded by telling Sturtz and the 200 attendees, "[L]isten to me or you can take the mic, but I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Jun 8, 2013 -
Today is the last day in session for the Illinois House before the summer break, and LGBT advocates are hoping that when they convene at 10:30am, they will address and vote on SB10
, legislation already passed by the state Senate to enact marriage equality in the state of Illinois. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on May 31, 2013 -
Evolution of Mom Dancing [SLYT]
In honor of the First Lady's "Let's Move" campaign, and to encourage parents everywhere to get up and get moving with their kids, Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama present the "Evolution of Mom Dancing."
posted by Fizz
on Feb 23, 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 -
, a poet, teacher,
, was chosen
to be the nation's fifth inaugural poet
is the author of the collections of poetry
"City of a Hundred Fires
," "Directions to the Beach of the Dead
," "Place of Mind
," and "Looking for the Gulf Motel
." He is the first immigrant, first Latino, the first openly gay person and the youngest to be the U.S. inaugural poet.
The poem he read
was "One Today" (full text
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Jan 22, 2013 -
US citizens petitioned
the White House to "secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016" (previously
The White House (or, more specifically, Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget) responded
posted by capricorn
on Jan 11, 2013 -
'Homeland,' Obama’s Show.
The award winning TV show does little to alleviate the myths and misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims, writes Joseph Massad
, a scholar
at Columbia University. "The racist representation of Arabs is so exponential, even for American television [..] that one does not know where to begin." [more inside]
posted by kiskar
on Dec 12, 2012 -
My Dearest Barack
: A collection of letters that student Dylan Hansen-Fliedner wrote back to the Obama campaign, in response to donation requests.
posted by growabrain
on Dec 1, 2012 -
"The bottom line:
Obama’s e-mail fundraising team tested hundreds of grabby subject lines. The most successful—“Hey”— brought in millions of dollars."
Inside Obama's chatty e-mail fundraising campaign.
posted by OmieWise
on Nov 29, 2012 -
"We worked through every possible disaster situation," Reed said. "We did three actual all-day sessions of destroying everything we had built
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Nov 16, 2012 -
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 -
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 -
However long it takes for a real victory to be certified—no matter what happens on Election Day, it will be too early to unfurl a "Mission Accomplished" banner—the once ragtag march of lovers has acquired an air of inevitability. Edith Eyde's prophecy is almost fulfilled: gays are more or less regular folk. All the same, many who came out during the Stonewall era are wondering what will be lost as the community sheds its pariah status. They are baffled by the latter-day cult of marriage and the military—emblems of Eisenhower's America that the Stonewall generation joyfully rejected. The gay world is confronting a question with which Jews, African-Americans, and other marginalized groups have long been familiar: the price of assimilation.
—Love on the March
by Alex Ross. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 7, 2012 -
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 -