Categories as fundamental as fact and fiction, news and entertainment, gender and sexuality, have eroded away. In literature and architecture, in cuisine, in music, in fashion and furnishings, everywhere, everything—it’s fusion and mix.
Barack Obama emerged as a literal embodiment of this age. To educated people, especially younger people with generally progressive views, other candidates suddenly looked parochial by comparison—or simply outdated. In his ethnicity and biography and in his personality and politics, Obama, the conciliator, was above all a combiner. Because he was from virtually everywhere—Kenya, Indonesia, Honolulu, Harvard, Chicago’s South Side—he was also from nowhere. The pastiche of his persona made him “his own man” in a new sense of the term.
On the Politics of Pastiche and Depthless Intensities: The Case of Barack Obama
posted by Rumple
on Aug 25, 2011 -
With the conclusion of the debt ceiling debate ending in another defeat for liberals, the emerging narrative is that Obama is weak, a poor negotiator who was out-maneuvered by Republicans and forced into the agreement because of strategic errors. But Glenn Greenwald tells a different story
: [more inside]
posted by AlsoMike
on Aug 5, 2011 -
"History Changes". LG Telecom
is Korea's perennial also-ran in the mobile telephone market. Their latest attempt at coming from behind includes another revision to their brand identity: "U+", replacing 2009's "Oz" rebranding effort
. With operating profit down by half since last year
, they are anxious to prove that they are as good as, if not better than, their competitors Korea Telecom (KT) and SK Telecom. Now that they are offering 4G service almost as soon as KT, LG sees itself as making history in the same way Barack Obama did when he demonstrated the equality of everyone in the
Korean telecom market
Text overlay on images of Jim Crow-era American South: "It was utterly impossible for a black person to become the President of the United States."
Voiceover: "History Changes! Beginning with 4G service".
posted by holterbarbour
on Aug 1, 2011 -
The talks between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner "collapsed"
Friday with little more than a week to go before the United States may effectively default on its debt. The two parties have been in ongoing negotiations for months over GOP refusal to raise the legal limit on national debt unless tied to a significant package of spending cuts - with some members and activists opposed to any increase whatsoever [more inside]
posted by crayz
on Jul 24, 2011 -
In a 32 page report to Congress [pdf]
President Obama concludes:
...the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent
with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require
further congressional authorization, because U.S. military
operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities”
contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision.
Now, the New York Times reports
that this legal opinion was reached by rejecting the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department. It is instructive to compare President Obama's actions
with those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz
on Jun 20, 2011 -
While not being an outright example of a clash of civilizations in the Huntingtonian sense, elements of cultural misunderstanding and fears about the system-challenging tendencies of Iran do aﬀect Western perceptions and inﬂuence Western behavior toward Iran. Furthermore, these kinds of reciprocal identity-based fears and projections of the other side’s presumed malevolent intentions tend to be mutually reinforcing. The risk is that they eventually become self-fulﬁlling prophecies.
Iran and the West - Regional Interests and Global Controversies
[PDF]. [more inside]
posted by klue
on May 23, 2011 -
A wave of powerful storm cells
swept the southeastern United States this week, spawning hundreds of tornadoes
that wreaked havoc from Texas to Virginia. While damage was widespread throughout the region, the most terrible toll was seen in Alabama, which has accounted for two-thirds of the more than 300 reported deaths
-- the deadliest since the Great Depression -- and where many small towns
were simply wiped from the map. Especially hard-hit was the university town of Tuscaloosa, the state's fifth-largest, where a monstrous F5 tornado (seen in this terrifying firsthand video
) tore a vicious track
through entire neighborhoods and business districts -- narrowly missing the region's primary hospital -- and continuing a path that rained debris as far as Birmingham, over sixty miles away. The disaster prompted a visit from President Obama today
, who declared "I've never seen devastation like this"
after surveying the area with Governor Robert Bentley, Senator Richard Shelby, and Mayor Walter Maddox
. More: photos from In Focus
and The Big Picture
, aerial footage of the aftermath
, "before and after" sliders
, the path of the Tuscaloosa twister on Google Maps
, People Locator
, local aid information
, MetaTalk check-in thread
posted by Rhaomi
on Apr 29, 2011 -
Handwritten 1961 memo in father's immigration file notes Obama born in Hawaii.
"Documents obtained from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service through a Freedom of Information Act request offer evidence that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. A memo dated Aug. 31, 1961 from William Wood of Immigration and Naturalization Services indicates that Barack Obama, Sr., was attending the University of Hawaii on a student visa and that a son, Barack Obama, II, was born in Honolulu on Aug, 8, 1961." [Image of Memo]
posted by Fizz
on Apr 27, 2011 -
Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas,
spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously)
: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,"
and that the Jews "can go home"
to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else,"
sparked media outrage,
prompted her to issue an apology and retire
. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine
. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq
on Mar 22, 2011 -
George Bush cancels a trip
to Switzerland citing “threat of demonstrations” . However
two victims of torture in U.S. detention have prepared a criminal complaint against Bush backed by a coalition of international human rights groups, two former United Nations rapporteurs, and two Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
His legacy continues
with the death in Guantanamo of Abdul Gul held without trial for 9 years.
The official cause of Mr Gul's death is "Heart attack during exercise"
The Obama administration has decided to continue to imprison
without trial nearly 50 detainees at Guantanamo.
posted by adamvasco
on Feb 7, 2011 -
, premier of China, is in the middle of his first state visit to the US, whose pomp and circumstance reflects China's growing economic stature and role in world affairs. Due to the linguistic and political differences between the US and China, few Americans know very much about Hu. Many of them will have had their first real look at him during an extended and surprisngly candid joint press conference
held with President Obama and lasting well over an hour - something which never happens in China. Fears (or possibly hopes) of a trade war between the US and China a year ago
have faded, and instead a trade deal involving $45 billion of American exports was announced, to mixed reactions
. He was received less kindly
by Congress, whose members expressed disquiet about everything from trade deficits to human rights and whose leaders declined
to discuss matters over dinner - perhaps because they did not wish to be lost in the high-powered crowd of attendees. [more inside]
posted by anigbrowl
on Jan 20, 2011 -
During his campaign, skeptics warned that Barack Obama was nothing but a "beautiful loser," a progressive purist whose uncompromising idealism would derail his program for change. But as president, Obama has proved to be just the opposite — an ugly winner. Over and over, he has shown himself willing to strike unpalatable political bargains to secure progress, even at the cost of alienating his core supporters. This bloodless, if effective, approach to governance has created a perilous disconnect: By any rational measure, Obama is the most accomplished and progressive president in decades, yet the only Americans fired up by the changes he has delivered are Republicans and Tea Partiers hellbent on reversing them. Heading into the November elections, Obama's approval ratings are mired in the mid-40s, and polls reflect a stark enthusiasm gap: Half of all Republicans are "very" excited about voting this fall, compared to just a quarter of Democrats. But if the passions of Obama's base have been deflated by the compromises he made to secure historic gains like the Recovery Act, health care reform and Wall Street regulation, that gloom cannot obscure the essential point: This president has delivered more sweeping, progressive change in 20 months than the previous two Democratic administrations did in 12 years.
The Rolling Stone
's Tim Dickinson argues The Case for Obama
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 15, 2010 -