Gay marriage equals incest and pedophilia. Abortion equals the Holocaust. Or so thinks "America's Pastor Rick "Saddleback" Warren, bestselling author of The Purpose-Driven Life, vocal supporter of Proposition 8, and the spiritual leader chosen by President-elect Obama to give the invocation at his inauguration. But hey -- don't call him a homophobe: He even eats dinner with gays.
NYT: "The White House has turned down a request from the family of President-elect Barack Obama to move into Blair House in early January so that his daughters can start school on Jan. 5." [more inside]
An Open Letter to Barack Obama [PDF]. The hard right are starting to play hardball now in their accusations of Obama of being ineligible to hold office with conservative blog WorldNetDaily leading the charge in recent months. Now the fight has been taken to the Supreme Court and has been rejected already but that's not stopping some people from trying.
The governor of Illinois, the guy who gets to pick who gets Obama's senate seat, gets arrested for corruption. [more inside]
Is history repeating itself? Note quite 2000 years ago, the Roman hegemony got its first black leader - a former senator whose father was African and mother was white. Septimius Severus inherited a failed military campaign in Iraq and an ailing economy. He first resolves the situation in Iraq, undertakes a number of new building projects, stamps out governmental corruption, raises taxes to pay for wage increases (and kicks British arse a few times). Ultimately though, it all might have only hastened the Empire's decline.
He collects Spider-Man comics. He video chats on his MacBook. He name-drops Jor-El of Krypton. He gave the Vulcan salute to Spock and jokes about "lithium crystals" (surely a misquote). He's got his own high-definition vlog on YouTube. Now, the Geek-in-Chief and his Team of Nerds are using their powers for good. Change.gov has been under a Creative Commons license for a while now, but yesterday, they took transparency a step further by announcing that "all policy documents from official meetings with outside organizations will be publicly available for review and discussion." What's next: revision control?
America has come a long way. There is the official version of history or the peoples' version. There are artifacts and rankings. They had some quirks and were occasionally men of their time. If you prefer audio or visual references those are available as well. Common knowledge has it that one GW was our first President but the title of first is under dispute. 230 years later another GW is making a run for worst. That is also under dispute by the nations best brains. For better and worse, the story of the Presidency is the story of America.
"The thing that kills me about education is that it's so touchy-feely...if the children don't know how to read, I don't care how creative you are. You're not doing your job". Michelle Rhee is polarizing, inexperienced, abrasive, and young - and with urban school systems all over the country watching, she is trying to rebuild DC's famously troubled public school system (link to full series). [more inside]
NYRB-filter: The Truth About The Election by Elizabeth Drew
In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.
The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
A 1926 Brazilian sci-fi novel predicts a U.S. election determined by race and gender. O Presidente Negro envisions the 2228 U.S. presidential election. In that race, the white male incumbent, President Kerlog, finds himself running against Evelyn Astor, a white feminist, and James Roy Wilde, the cultivated and brilliant leader of the Black Association, "a man who is more than just a single man ... what we call a leader of the masses."
APIC is dedicated to promoting the collection, preservation and study of materials relating to political campaigns and the U.S. presidency. While this site's appearance may not be, some people's collections and knowledge are impressive. [more inside]
Obama's win is a racial milestone in world history, but beneath the surface a white backlash is festering in the US, spurring hate crimes around the country and an uptick in recruitment among white supremacists, according to the The Southern Poverty Law Center.
Guantanamo Bay, or Gitmo as it has often been called, has a long and sordid history of human rights abuses and those that have spent some time there have more than their fair share of stories to tell. But it looks as thought it's all coming to a close as in a major interview with 60 Minutes, Obama has vowed to shut down Guantanamo Bay and rebuild "America's moral stature in the world." [more inside]
The fashion world scrambles to stay ahead. Michelle Obama emerges as an American fashion icon. She may appear in Vogue. Can she recover from her election night fashion faux pas? This is history in the making.
U.S. Presidents have had an uneven relationship with technology. The Clinton Presidential Library has more than 40 million White House emails on record (but only two are from the man himself). The Bush Administration, on the other hand, junked the Clinton archival process and replaced it with a comically inept alternative that has lost more than five million messages, many concerning official government business. (President Bush, for his part, gave up his longtime address -- G94b@aol.com -- just before his inauguration). Even the Reagan White House had its share of problems with the digital age. Now, as tech-savvy Barack Obama prepares to implement his technology plans, does he have a shot at dragging the Oval Office into the 21st century? Or will he have to surrender his laptop, his email account, and his beloved Blackberry?
[An Important SLYT from President-elect Barack Obama] President-elect Obama releases his first Weekly Radio Address over Youtube. This marks the first time the weekly address has ever been released on web video, and the first of his promised web addresses that will be broadcasted throughout his administration.
Is there no end to the shady associations of Barack Obama? Crack journalist Dave Barry has published photographic proof that the president-elect is a Lawn Ranger. What's a Lawn Ranger? Glad you asked. Dave Barry has written about this nefarious organization not once, but twice and their strange and eldritch rites have been profiled on WILL public television of Central Illinois, where the organization has its headquarters, in the town of Arcola, where they parade every year.
Want one of the roughly 7,000 jobs in Obama's administration? Hope you've got a pencil and some time to spare. Obama wants any internet "handles" you've used, too, presumably for vetting past snark. But lengthly questionnaires aren't anything new... [more inside]
Nanobliss "Nanobliss is a gallery of visualizations of small-scale structures of carbon nanotubes and silicon, created by John Hart." I came for the awesome Nanobamas [Flickr set here], but was impressed enough with the rest to share the whole. Enjoy---particularly the informative techniques page. At the very least, have a look at some of the pretty nano pictures.
According to political scientist Wayne Parent, “The South has moved from being the center of the political universe to being an outside player in presidential politics.” Are we finally seeing the end of Nixon's infamous Southern Strategy? For years Republicans have depended on the region to win elections. Some now argue that the G.O.P. has "transformed itself from the Party of Lincoln into the Party of the Old Confederacy." In any case, playing to racism and resentment [PDF] isn't as effective as it used to be. Furthermore, many Republicans have publicly disowned such tactics.
GOP 2.0 There's no doubt that the internet operation of President-Elect Obama was a key part of his success. While it appears that he is attempting to turn that success into an engine for keeping citizens and supporters engaged with the revolutionary Change.gov,(Previously), the other side also is looking to harness the wave of internet electioneering. [more inside]
After the Imperial Presidency. "Will the new president and Congress undo the executive-power plays of the Bush era?"
Global Headlines. Yes, we've made history. Here is what it looked like, via the headlines of the newspapers around the world.
Change.gov, office of the president-elect went live today. Submit your story. Share your vision. Get a non-career job in the administration, or get ready to get involved.
from 52 to 48 with love : Ze Frank collects post-election messages of unity and reconciliation. [more inside]
The day after a senator from Illinois, is elected president, the Pick 3 lottery in Illinois comes up 666. It's happened before, notably in Pennsylvania (12 times, including one time as part of a scam and once earlier this year, in Maryland. Some are jokingly (I hope) calling him the antichrist as a result. Others, namely numbers geeks like me, are spending their lunch hours looking up the history of lotteries drawing triple numbers and sharing it with MetaFilter.
Fred Kaplan gives President Obama suggestions on foreign policy repair.
How Obama Did It: an in-depth look behind the scenes of the campaign, assembled by a special team of reporters who were granted year-long access on the condition that none of their findings appear until after Election Day.
This thing ain't over yet! Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia has failed to reach 50% of the vote, thereby triggering an automatic runoff election on December 2nd, between him and Democratic challenger Jim Martin, who received 47% of the vote. This gives the Democrats a rare opportunity to concentrate all their efforts over the next month on a state in the heart of the South. Can we expect President-elect Obama and Jim Martin to launch a concentrated campaign across the state of Georgia, hoping to do what they did in Indiana, and turn a traditionally Republican state blue again? Yes, I suspect, we can!
People took to the streets to celebrate Obama's victory in New York, Seattle, Austin, San Francisco, Boulder, New Brunswick, Oakland, Philadelphia, Gainesville, Los Angeles, Boston, Portland, Atlanta, Cambridge, Madison, Richmond, Baltimore, Santa Cruz, and Washinton, D.C. [more inside]
It's morning in America again -- but for the thousands of committed gay couples who got married in California [warning: Dan Fogelberg music, sweet visuals], the long nightmare of intolerance and hate is not yet over with the probable victory of Proposition 8. Supported by the anti-equality stances of Sarah Palin and "divinely" inspired others, and paid for by members of the Mormon Church and the mother of Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, many of the ads for Prop. 8 featured the faces of Obama and Joe Biden, who declared their opposition to the initiative but refused to support equal marriage rights for all, preferring to talk about "civil unions." Even excellent Democratic-leaning politics sites like Talking Points Memo were saturated with the deceptive ads, which overwhelmed those comparing the proposition to other forms of discrimination in California's history.
At 12:00am EST, in the Ballot Room of the Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, the 2008 Presidential Election began.* The vote was 15-6 Obama -- the first time a Democrat has carried the village since 1968. Despite their "first in the nation" status, though, they have only picked the winner 50% of the time. [more inside]
Obama's grandmother, the woman who raised him, dies one day before the election. Madelyn Lee Payne "Toot" Dunham, 86, died of cancer, Obama and his sister say. The timing is ridiculous. He saw her last last week, knowing she was failing. [more inside]
The fierce urgency of now and then. On May 24, 1963, concerned about the potential for race-related riots nationwide after Birmingham, Attorney General Robert Kennedy met with group of prominent black intellectuals and artists, such as Kenneth Clark, Clarence B. Jones, and Harry Belafonte, in a meeting organized by James Baldwin (YouTube 7:07... and also 6:27 and 6:28, if you're interested.) The tone of this emotionally wrenching meeting, however, would be greatly influenced by the presence of fifteen-year-old Jerome Smith, a nonviolent CORE volunteer who was being treated in New York for jaw and head injuries sustained after a brutal beating by segregationists in Mississippi. [more inside]
This f*cking election. A babble tower.
Wilco perform "The Wilco Song" on The Colbert Report... and Tweedy even manages to work Colbert's name into the lyrics. Apparently, the band are tight with a certain candidate.
Fringe Friday: Obama is a hypnotic and entrancing public speaker. No, really, he's hypnotic and entrancing. [PDF] via