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The tune will come to you at last.

At the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors on December 2nd, the Kennedy Center honored Led Zeppelin, with an introduction by Jack Black, a nod from President Obama, and a tribute from the Foo Fighters. But the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Heart, a choir and a small orchestra covering Stairway to Heaven while Led Zeppelin watched from the front row.
posted by Lutoslawski on Dec 28, 2012 - 138 comments

 

Secretkerry, for short.

As of this afternoon, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) has been nominated as the next Secretary of State. [more inside]
posted by troika on Dec 21, 2012 - 130 comments

Memorable Photojournalism

Time magazine has selected its best wire photojournalist. (Warning: many very disturbing photos.) He is Marco Longari, whose vivid photos of telling moments are almost all from the Middle East. Bonus: Time has also posted Pete Souza's "Portrait of a Presidency."
posted by bearwife on Dec 20, 2012 - 10 comments

Obama Again

"For finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union, Barack Obama is TIME’s 2012 Person of the Year." Runners-up included Malala Yousafzai, Tim Cook, Mohamed Morsi, and Fabiola Gianotti.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Dec 19, 2012 - 53 comments

'Homeland,' Obama’s Show.

'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 - 84 comments

EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY! ...RHAOMI! ...VERSUS... RHYTHM! ...BEGIN!!!

Since it debuted on the blue in '11 // Epic Rap Battles of History preppin' // to score itself more than a billion views // and become TopDog of the pack YouTube
Made by NicePeter and EpicLloyd // (two improv comics by Maker employed) // The series pits icons of legend renowned // in a slick-wit freestyle rap throwdown
With snappier writing, and better FX // online celebs (and Google Ad checks) // The Epic Rap crew's halfway done with the brew // that is Epic Rap Battles of History Part Deux
The midseason's close? It comes out today. // In one corner: Santa Claus, fresh from his sleigh
And his prophet o' doom? "He ain't Mayan," ERBoH sez.
It's Snoop Dogg -- Snoop Lion -- as mothafuckin' Moses
[WHO WON?][WHO'S NEXT?][more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 10, 2012 - 27 comments

When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie

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 - 16 comments

The New York Times - Complaints Aside, Most Face Lower Tax Burden Than in 1980

The New York Times examines how American taxes have changed since 1980
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 30, 2012 - 105 comments

Hey

"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 - 44 comments

Measure 4 times, cut once.

"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 - 30 comments

They deserve better

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 - 23 comments

Sasha Issenberg: the new science of winning campaigns

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 - 103 comments

56% of self-described moderates voted for Obama

Exit polls for the 2012 presidential election (CNN). The most likely bottom line from AP: "Overall, 53 percent had a favorable opinion of Obama, while only 47 percent felt that way about Romney. And 53 percent felt Obama was more in touch with people like them than Romney was." Initial reactions among the disappointed.
posted by Brian B. on Nov 8, 2012 - 512 comments

"In this country, I can marry ANYONE I WANT! Because there's CHANGE in this country now!"

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 - 60 comments

An extraordinary coincidence?

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 - 206 comments

¿Sí Se Puede?

The November 6th elections saw a lot of historic decisions made in the United States -- the first black president re-elected, marijuana legalized for the first time in two states, gay marriage affirmed by the voters in four, and even the first openly gay senator. But perhaps the most underreported result yesterday came from outside the country altogether: in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a solid majority voted to reject the island's current status and join America as the long-fabled 51st state. How the bid might fare in Congress is an open question, but both President Obama and Republican leaders have vowed support for the statehood movement if it proves successful at the ballot box (while D.C. officials ponder a two-fer gambit to grease the wheels). Though it would be the poorest state, joining the Union might bring economic benefits to both sides [PDF]. And politically, some argue the island might prove to be a reliably red state, despite the Hispanic population, although arch-conservative governor and Romney ally Luis Fortuño appears headed toward a narrow loss. But the most important question here, as always, is: how to redesign the flag? (Puerto Rican statehood discussed previously.)
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 7, 2012 - 108 comments

Convince me. Convince me. Convince me.

Charlie Pierce is a longtime sportswriter and author who has, among other things, reported for Grantland, Slate, and the Boston Globe, paneled on more than a few games of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, and fished diapers out of trees as a state forest ranger. He's also made a name for himself as one of the sharpest and most incisive political columnists since Molly Ivins. The lead writer for Esquire's Politics Blog ever since a caustic article on former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell cost him his Globe job, Pierce has churned out an uninterrupted stream of clever, colorful, and challenging commentary on the 2012 election season and its implications for the nation's future, dispatches often seething with eviscerative anger but shot through with deep love of (or perhaps grief for) country. Look inside for a selection of Pierce's most vital works for some edifying Election Eve reading. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 5, 2012 - 73 comments

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

Hurricane Sandy's proximity to Election Day means that the response to it is highly politicized. [more inside]
posted by entropone on Oct 31, 2012 - 433 comments

The progressive case against Obama

"A few days ago, I participated in a debate with the legendary Daniel Ellsberg on the merits of the Obama administration, and what progressives should do on Election Day. Ellsberg had written a blog post arguing that, though Obama deserves tremendous criticism, voters in swing states ought to vote for him, lest they operate as dupes for a far more malevolent Republican Party. This attitude is relatively pervasive among Democrats, and it deserves a genuine response."
Matt Stoller lays out a progressive case for why one should not vote for Barack Obama for reelection, even if you are in a swing state.
posted by ennui.bz on Oct 27, 2012 - 447 comments

From the same channel that brought you Big Bird

The Choice 2012 is a Frontline documentary about the background of the current candidates for President of the United States.
posted by twoleftfeet on Oct 25, 2012 - 118 comments

She The People

Democracy Distilled: A History of America's Voting Rights. Remember to vote this November. Women in America, let's rise up. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Oct 23, 2012 - 32 comments

Bob Schieffer: debate modarator as interviewer and ref

Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer continue their trend of moderating the first and last presidential debates, as they did in 2004 and 2008. Both grew up in Texas, and got their starts in journalism there, too, both covering the JFK assassination in 1963. Following Lehrer's role as moderator in this year's presidential debate, subsequent moderators have been under significant scrutiny before and after their performances, and Schieffer, who has covered all four of the major Washington beats, is ready for his role in the political process, in the middle of partisan divide, which is deeper than any time he can recall from his 43 years in Washington. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 22, 2012 - 77 comments

Obama and Romney battle it out, rap style

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will have the final debate of the US Presidential race tonight. Yawning at the thought of a formulaic back and forth, while secretly hoping for a rap battle? Then look beneath the fold for examples of explicit lyrical parodies. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 22, 2012 - 4475 comments

Thirteen essays on the 2012 US election

Looking for a break from horse-race coverage of the 2012 election? The New York Review of Books has thirteen short essays on the election and its consequences. Michael Tomasky. Elizabeth Drew. Cass Sunstein. Frank Rich. David Cole. Richard Dworkin. Russell Baker. Darryl Pinckney. David Bromwich. Kwame Anthony Appiah. Steven Weinberg. Garry Wills. Jeffrey Sachs. Plus a blog post by Christopher Benfey: The Empty Chair That Keeps Me Awake at Night.
posted by russilwvong on Oct 21, 2012 - 4 comments

Science. It works, candidates.

Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy writes SciAm, as part of their election coverage, which also includes rating two candidates' answers on particular sciencey topics (full replies here, marking sheet here), as well as inquiring about the positions of other congress critters. Use 'Print' button for single page presentation
posted by Sparx on Oct 18, 2012 - 49 comments

I don’t know what direction America is headed in, but whichever way it is, I need him elected.

The Audacity Of Louis Ortiz is a kickstarter funded documentary that chronicles the life and times an unemployed Puerto Rican man from the Bronx, whose life completely changed when he was told that he resembles Barack Obama. The story of Ortiz has been featured on This American Life, NY Times, and DRS 3. Ortiz as Obama has been featured in a few TV spots including an episode of Flight of the Concords and a Korean satellite TV commercial.
posted by wcfields on Oct 18, 2012 - 19 comments

Branding the US Presidents: USG - The Butcher

Branding the US Presidents. [via]
posted by cashman on Oct 17, 2012 - 68 comments

On Benghazi

Our leaders -- of both parties -- have systematically infantilized Americans to believe that perfect security is attainable. This is one reason the White House reacts so defensively to any intimation that its conduct of the war on al-Qaeda is less than perfect. It’s one reason Republicans cynically argue that the administration is incompetent in its prosecution of the war, and in its mission to keep U.S. personnel alive. So long as both parties react so small-mindedly and opportunistically to the terrorist threat, we won’t be able to have a rational, adult conversation about the best ways to wage this war. - Jeffrey Goldberg, Benghazi Attack Brings Infantilizing Response
posted by beisny on Oct 16, 2012 - 39 comments

So who are you voting for in the erection?

Uncle Obama's Banana by Sister Deborah
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 14, 2012 - 50 comments

Why Obama Now

Why Obama Now - from Simpsons/Family Guy animator Lucas Gray [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Oct 11, 2012 - 61 comments

Thrilla or Vanilla?

It's D-Day: Governor Mitt Romney debates President Barack Obama in Denver, Colorado. Will we see an epic game-changer or an airless, pre-orchestrated zinger-swap? [more inside]
posted by sallybrown on Oct 3, 2012 - 3068 comments

Obama Works It

Obama Works It
posted by Evernix on Sep 29, 2012 - 118 comments

I reside in the area near where your paper is published

When Rex Conte's letter to the editor -- "Why I am Voting for Mitt Romney" -- was featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and then reached top-tier status on Google News, several commenters pointed out that Rex had a similar letter published in the Chicago Sun-Times. Nothing too abnormal there, but in the Post-Dispatch letter he claimed his residence was "Chesterfield," outside of St. Louis, and in the Sun-Times letter, he claimed that his residence was "Oak Hills," outside of Chicago. So, "where does Rex live?" curious readers wanted to find out. An editor from the Post-Dispatch called Rex to find out and followed up with a note at the bottom of the letter: "Mr. Conte wrote a similar letter to the Chicago Sun-Times that said he lived in Oak Park, Ill. Comments and emails questioned how he could live in two places and whether he was a real person. I talked on the phone with Mr. Conte, who says he used to live in Chesterfield but not any more. So we've changed his hometown in this letter." So, we now know he doesn't live in Chesterfield any more but the editor doesn't go into whether he still lives in Oak Park now or if he just "used to live there." The Sun-Times hasn't added any notes to Conte's letter in their publication but critics on the web are claiming that the GOP is "planting fake Letters to Editors." [more inside]
posted by Jagz-Mario on Sep 28, 2012 - 76 comments

veterans and rookies, superstars and nobodies

14 Black Male Comedians Talk Television, Tokenism, and not being Post-Racial
posted by psoas on Sep 27, 2012 - 28 comments

"Republicans stand the chance of controlling Congress for the rest of the decade if they don't screw it up."

"The Republicans’ dominance in races throughout the country in the 2010 elections eviscerated the Democrats’ farm teams in state after state." Former Bill Clinton political director Doug Sosnik offers an 8-page analysis of the U.S. election that discusses the likelihood of an Obama win, the chances of a complete Republican takeover of Congress, continued Republican dominance of governorships and state legislatures for the rest of the decade, and more. There's also a related slideshow. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Sep 17, 2012 - 85 comments

Who's More Full of Shit?

Who's More Full of Shit? Aggregates Politifact ratings and identifies which politicians, pundits and media figures lie most often. [via mefi projects]
posted by JHarris on Sep 14, 2012 - 33 comments

There's still a war going on

August was one of the deadliest months in Afghanistan, for both civilians and soldiers. The death toll was increased by so-called 'green-on-blue' attacks by members of the Afghan National Army and police forces on ISAF and US forces. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 13, 2012 - 67 comments

Obama/Romney respond regarding poverty.

There's been little discussion about the problem of poverty in the current Presidential election, the conventions pretty much ignored it. "The Circle of Protection, composed of Christian leaders from across the religious spectrum, released President Barack Obama's and GOP nominee Mitt Romney's video responses today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C." Both candidates responded.
posted by HuronBob on Sep 13, 2012 - 52 comments

Rationality and the Mob

Good Fighter, Can’t Cheerlead Worth A Damn. The War Nerd writes an insightful piece on why Obama doesn't get much credit for military successes.
posted by jaduncan on Sep 13, 2012 - 117 comments

Obama’s Way

"To understand how air-force navigator Tyler Stark ended up in a thornbush in the Libyan desert in March 2011, one must understand what it’s like to be president of the United States—and this president in particular. Hanging around Barack Obama for six months, in the White House, aboard Air Force One, and on the basketball court, Michael Lewis learns the reality of the Nobel Peace Prize winner who sent Stark into combat."
posted by vidur on Sep 11, 2012 - 55 comments

Handicapping the election

Now that we're in the homestretch toward the November Presidential election, it's time to choose your favorite electoral-vote projection oracle. All of these are sites that monitor individual state polls and voter sentiment trendlines. Here are some options: — Electoral-vote.com has been at it since 2004 and is a bonanza for polling stats junkies. Currently it's calling the electoral vote at 332 for Obama, 206 for Romney, with no toss-ups. (It takes 270 to win.) The site is run from The Netherlands by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, who prepares daily commentary and news analysis. His leanings are Democratic; for those who are bothered by that, he suggests a Republican-leaning alternative: [more inside]
posted by beagle on Sep 4, 2012 - 88 comments

"...the 2012 campaign still looks like a titanic collision between the economy and demography."

In 2008, the National Journal released The Hidden History of the American Electorate, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
posted by zarq on Sep 3, 2012 - 54 comments

"resistance and fighting for life is meaningful"

Chris Hedges interviewed by Bill Moyers is profound, insightful and inspiring. In one of the most pointed, sweeping and personal public conversations about Chris Hedges' life and work yet, Bill Moyers speaks with the journalist after the release of "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt," the book Hedges co-authored with fellow reporter and artist Joe Sacco. The 50-minute conversation is followed by a segment on Sacco, who talks about the thinking and experiences that moved him to become a "comics journalist." Previously and previously.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 2, 2012 - 20 comments

"There's nothing more aggravating in the world than the midnight sniffling of the person you've decided to hate." ― Shannon Hale, Book of a Thousand Days

The DoJ drops all remaining investigation and prosecution of US War on Terror deaths/murders through harsh tactics/torture: "No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the C.I.A." [NYT] Glenn Greenwald reacts and describes the cases that just got dropped. [Guardian] Second link is arguably a violence trigger, but is better and bothers to do things like talk to the ALCU.
posted by jaduncan on Sep 2, 2012 - 209 comments

Ale to the Chief

After much online fervor, speculation, and FOIA requests, the White House has released the recipe for its home-brewed honey ale and honey porter.
posted by T.D. Strange on Sep 1, 2012 - 67 comments

IAmA President

Starting around 1:30 p.m. Pacific time yesterday— and announced less than 30 minutes before — Barack Obama answered redditors’ questions about war, taxes, basketball, and beer. In Reddit jargon, the chat was an “AMA” (“Ask Me Anything”) in the “IAmA” subreddit (as in “I am a chef,” “I am a plumber,” “I am a President of the United States”). (SLWired) [more inside]
posted by Roger_Mexico on Aug 30, 2012 - 140 comments

A Wanker Whipping Up Fear

In May of 2010, Michael D. Higgins (now President of Ireland) had an exchange on an Irish radio station with Tea Party supporter Michael Graham, about the state of politics in the United States. [more inside]
posted by gman on Aug 26, 2012 - 40 comments

One Term More

Les Mis + political parody = One term more Soon Election Day will dawn, We were meant to hold this seat! At the ballot box of freedom, Unemployment's in retreat! Now the battle lines are drawn, And Detroit's back on its feet! Will you take your place with me! The time is NOW the vote is NEAR! One Term More!
posted by badego on Aug 23, 2012 - 14 comments

"Baruch, what's it like to be the first Jewish president?"

"It's true that my background is a bit convoluted, but let me try my luck at clarifying these matters once and for all. I was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker and part-time ice-fisherman."
Between Barack and a Hard Place: My First Hundred Days by Baroque Yo' Mama

A parody written by a young Barack Obama for the satirical Harvard Law Revue.
posted by Atom Eyes on Aug 23, 2012 - 60 comments

Fear of a Black President

Fear of a Black President. 'As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,” Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.' An article by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
posted by Spinneret on Aug 23, 2012 - 134 comments

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