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The Era of Big Metafilter is Over

Tonight, President Barack Obama will deliver his 2014 State of the Union address. A stream will be available via the White House and from many other outlets. [more inside]
posted by Drinky Die on Jan 28, 2014 - 449 comments

Occupy Godwin Street

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins took to the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal to compare progressive angst over income inequality to the sentiment that led to the Nazi Kristallnacht. Citing the recent kerfuffle over Google buses in San Francisco (previously) and accusations of snobbery by San Francisco resident, bestselling author, and Perkins' own ex-wife Danielle Steel (who he describes as "our number-one celebrity"), Perkins asks "Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?" [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Jan 25, 2014 - 254 comments

Plus ca change?

President Obama unveils new policy directives for the NSA. Full text of the speech. And for lols, here are some photos also from Slate.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Jan 17, 2014 - 142 comments

AUMF

60 Words And A War Without End: The Untold Story Of The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History. "Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here’s how it came to be, and what it’s since come to mean." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 17, 2014 - 23 comments

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2013 - 66 comments

Common Arabic female name; said by an amnesiac sun god? (5)

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Arthur Wynne's creation of the crossword puzzle, Google's homepage hosts a (not terribly difficult) example of the form today.
posted by JHarris on Dec 21, 2013 - 26 comments

Such outcries overlook the close quarters in which [they] work

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 - 103 comments

Obama was faltering in a way his closest advisers had never witnessed.

Excerpts from the upcoming book "Double Down", Obama's tension-filled debate preparation following his poor performance in Denver [more inside]
posted by warm_planet on Nov 2, 2013 - 107 comments

Politics as usual

Did Race Play a Role in the Shutdown? Republicans from the House districts that have the highest levels of racial resentment were about 60 percentage points less likely to vote for the deal to end the shutdown than Republicans from districts with low levels of racial resentment.
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Oct 22, 2013 - 92 comments

"October is a fine and dangerous season in America"

Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)! In one corner: the first federal government shutdown since 1996, 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). "Continuing resolutions" 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 - 2207 comments

American Gothic

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 - 53 comments

Trader Lost Millions Betting on Romney

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 - 104 comments

"It is a sad story, but there is a joy that came out of it."

Fifty years ago this morning, Addie Mae Collins (age 14), Denise McNair (age 11), Carole Robertson (age 14), and Cynthia Wesley (age 14) lost their lives when a bomb set by the KKK went off in the basement of their church in Montgomery, Alabama. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 15, 2013 - 22 comments

By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN Published: September 11, 2013

A Plea for Caution From Russia (SLNYT) 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 - 316 comments

Post-Windsor

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 - 110 comments

Fried Twinkies With a Side of Obamacare

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 - 63 comments

Bruce Sterling on Manning and the blast shack.

"This scene is straight outta Nikolai Gogol." Chairman Bruce reflects on Manning, surveillance, the history of computing, the character of cypherpunks, the Russian and American states, and more.
posted by doctornemo on Aug 4, 2013 - 51 comments

52 photos of Obama, 52

The President turns 52 on Sunday, and the White House has compiled 52 photos to celebrate (slideshow). There's a good combination of serious, familial, and funny. My favourite: Obama and gymnast McKayla Maroney not being impressed.
posted by anothermug on Aug 2, 2013 - 80 comments

Amazon’s practices are detrimental to the nation’s economy

President Obama visited an Amazon facility in Tennessee today giving a speech proposing a "grand bargain for middle-class jobs" that would cut the U.S. corporate tax rate and use billions of dollars in revenues generated by a business tax overhaul to fund projects aimed at creating jobs. The American Booksellers Association is not happy about the visit and called him out on it.
posted by dukes909 on Jul 30, 2013 - 233 comments

...never believing the people who think they have you figured out.

"It's his charm. It's his gift. It's his political liability, and it's part of an American conundrum. We beg for authenticity, and then when we get it, oh man, it's hilarious. [Vice President Joe] Biden can be fantastic when he's on his game. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, his speech got higher Nielsen ratings than either Bill Clinton's or Obama's. He killed the debate against Ryan, pumped air back into a campaign deflated after Obama's miserable first performance against Romney. Watching those performances, it's almost impossible to see him as a person once crippled by speech."
posted by zarq on Jul 18, 2013 - 75 comments

Obama takes action on climate change

President of the United States Barack Obama unveils his Climate Action Plan
While no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, we have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted and damaged. Through steady, responsible action to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our children’s health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so that we leave behind a cleaner, more stable environment.
[more inside] posted by No Robots on Jun 25, 2013 - 108 comments

Why I Heckled Michelle Obama

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 - 184 comments

The FBI, the NSA and your phone records in 2013.

Glenn Greenwald has produced a secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over to the NSA "telephony metadata" of all local and international calls either originating or terminating in the United States on an "ongoing, daily basis," and further barring Verizon from disclosing to the public the fulfillment of this request or the existence of the court order itself. The ACLU refers to the practice as "beyond Orwellian." Direct link to the court order available here. [more inside]
posted by phaedon on Jun 6, 2013 - 488 comments

This Act may be cited as the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act

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 - 99 comments

Crossing the "Red Line"?

Syria Options Go From Bad To Worse
As reports have surfaced of possible use of sarin gas in the Syrian civil war, calls by long-time proponents of U.S. intervention on behalf of the anti-Assad rebels have grown to a fever pitch. These same voices, both at home and abroad, have evoked the administration’s previously stated “red line” on use of chemical weapons. But even assuming that reports of WMD usage in Syria turn out to be true, the Obama Administration’s position may be far more nuanced than previously thought.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on May 2, 2013 - 289 comments

Coming soon to a theatre near you... OBAMA.

Daniel Day-Lewis in the role of a lifetime...
posted by modernnomad on Apr 28, 2013 - 123 comments

Sunshine on my shoulder gets me sunburned.

Did you know that this is the last day of Sunshine Week? What is Sunshine Week? An attempt to get a nationwide discussion going about the importance of access to public information and what it means for you and your community. (from 2005 a Blue note was sung with This little light of mine here on the Blue) [more inside]
posted by rough ashlar on Mar 16, 2013 - 4 comments

DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN

Respected polling firm Gallup had a disastrous 2012, with a final presidential poll showing Romney 49-48 over Obama, some five points off of the final result. So what exactly went wrong?
posted by Chrysostom on Mar 12, 2013 - 85 comments

Obama officially against Prop. 8

President Obama will file a brief today urging the Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8.
posted by klangklangston on Feb 28, 2013 - 236 comments

The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg on How to Report From Guantanamo Bay

The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg has reported from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay since the first detainee arrived in 2002. Last month, President Obama scuttled the office responsible for closing the center, which means Gitmo’s “media tent city” will be a permanent press encampment for the foreseeable future. Petra Bartosiewicz spoke with the veteran correspondent by phone from Gitmo’s Camp Justice, where Rosenberg has been covering pretrial hearings this month of the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
posted by Elementary Penguin on Feb 26, 2013 - 19 comments

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 - 55 comments

"Now, watch this drive."

Obama, DC Press Corps Locked In Mutual Loathing Pact. Mike Allen, of Politico, in his article Obama, The Puppet Master, said that Obama " has shut down interviews with many of the White House reporters who know the most and ask the toughest questions." John Cook (Gawker) replies: I will now tweet every question Politico's Mike Allen asked President George W. Bush during a May 2008 interview" (Screenshot) [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 21, 2013 - 89 comments

People full of shit, both liberal and conservative, most of the time.

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 - 78 comments

The State of our Metafilter is Strong

President Barack Obama will tonight give the first State of the Union address of his second term in office. The address will again focus strongly on the issues of jobs and the economy. The Republican response will be delivered by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and will focus on traditional Republican messages of lower taxes and spending. The bilingual Senator plans to give his remarks in both English and Spanish in an attempt to reach out to the Latino community which has proven difficult for Republican politicians to connect with. There will also be a Tea Party response delivered by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Senator Paul will call for reduced spending and debt and for the Republican party to be more welcoming of immigrants. Jill Stein of the Green Party will also give a response. [more inside]
posted by Drinky Die on Feb 12, 2013 - 264 comments

"the political soap opera that is today's Republican Party"

"Why Obama Is Giving Up on Right-Leaning Whites: For decades, Democrats shaped their policies around fears of the culturally conservative white voters to the GOP. But Obama’s winning coalition has altered that calculus."
"Original Sin: Why the GOP is and will continue to be the party of white people"
"The Future Of The Republican Party Is By The Pool At The Biltmore: The talk at the Miami hotel where Jeb Bush works, and Marco Rubio works out, is of the next president. But can the young senator get out from under Jeb’s shadow?"
posted by andoatnp on Feb 12, 2013 - 191 comments

Yearning to Breathe Free

President Obama called on Congress, in a speech today in Las Vegas, to advance an immigration overhaul that includes a plan “that finally deals with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in this country right now.” [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Jan 29, 2013 - 135 comments

The untouchables

Wall Street's leaders have utterly escaped jail. "There have been no arrests of senior Wall Street executives." Frontline examines why the United States federal government didn't go after the financial titans. (via)
posted by doctornemo on Jan 23, 2013 - 159 comments

the impossible vocabulary of sorrow

Richard Blanco, a poet, teacher, and engineer, was chosen to be the nation's fifth inaugural poet. He 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/analysis)
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 22, 2013 - 28 comments

"You don't play with Martin Luther King Jr."

When Barack Obama is sworn in to office for a second term today, he will use two bibles: One owned by Abraham Lincoln, and second bible, used by Martin Luther King Jr.
Cornel West explains why Obama taking the oath with Martin Luther King Jr's Bible bothers him.
posted by dunkadunc on Jan 20, 2013 - 225 comments

Platinum coin idea preemptively shut down

The Treasury Department will not mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin to get around the debt ceiling. If they did, the Federal Reserve would not accept it.
posted by bookman117 on Jan 12, 2013 - 144 comments

This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For

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 - 66 comments

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

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