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"Shiny Happy Voters"

Why R.E.M.’s Out of Time Is the Most Politically Significant Album in U.S. History (Hint: It's not the music).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 28, 2014 - 98 comments

An ounce of prevention is an administrative violation

Relieving poverty is charitable, but preventing it is not. Oxfam Canada, while renewing its charitable status, got into an argument with the Canadian Revenue Agency over its purpose. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Jul 25, 2014 - 39 comments

Reason magazine and racism

Last week, Pando.com's Mark Ames posted an article on the efforts of the GOP to recruit in Silicon Valley using libertarianism as a wedge and the history of libertarian links, particularly through Reason magazine, to racism. Reason responded, calling Ames a "conspiracy theorist". Ames, who has a history of digging into the seedy history of libertarianism, has responded by posting a copy of Reason's holocaust denial and revisionist history issue, along with profiles of its contributors and their involvement with Reason and late 20th century libertarianism.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jul 25, 2014 - 179 comments

Geraldine Ferraro, first woman nominated as a major party VP, in 1984

There were a number of notable firsts for women elected to office as early as the late 1800s, and there is a significant history of women running for president and vice president in the United States, but until 1984, no woman had been nominated to as vice president in one of the major parties. 30 years ago, the Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale announced Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, and she accepted the nomination to resounding roar of excitement (another version, on YouTube; transcript). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 23, 2014 - 15 comments

The only IDs I have: Philippine passport and my pocketbook Consitution

Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas has been detained attempting to leave McAllen Airport in Texas. As Mr. Vargas wrote in Politico on July 11, he had traveled to Texas to document the crisis of undocumented immigrants before realizing that he might, in fact, be stuck there. His film, Documented, which just began airing on CNN last month, "chronicles his journey to America from the Philippines as a child; his journey through America as an immigration reform activist; and his journey inward as he re-connects with his mother, whom he hasn't seen in person in over 20 years."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 15, 2014 - 95 comments

“We want to make the rules, the theory”

In 1968, Agnès Varda was living in Los Angeles with her husband, director Jacques Demy, who was there to begin filming his first Hollywood film, Model Shop (1969). Although initially hesitant about living in the United States, the couple quickly became caught up in the wave of dissent sweeping the country in the late 1960s. Indeed, amid the finger pointing in France about the perceived failure of the events of May ’68 to bring about revolution, many members of the French intelligentsia looked across the Atlantic for alternative models for political change. Varda became part of a growing contingent of French artists and intellectuals, including sociologists Edgar Morin and Jean-François Revel, and writer Jean Genet, who were attracted to the ways in which cultural revolt, social criticism and political contestation were intertwined in the United States. These French thinkers were attracted to the expansiveness and creativity of the American counterculture as opposed to the political deadlock that many believed was the undoing of the events surrounding May ’68. A revolt against American hegemony was taking place within the United States itself, and many leftist French thinkers were enthralled. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 13, 2014 - 5 comments

When it comes to China stories, people will believe almost anything.

Westerners are so convinced China is a dystopian hellscape they’ll share anything that confirms it. [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit on Jul 9, 2014 - 44 comments

18 and Life

How Birth Year Influences Political Views A new model of presidential voting suggests President Obama’s approval rating — currently in the low 40s — will inform not only the 2016 election, but also the election in 2076. Events at age 18 are about three times as powerful as those at age 40, according to the model. The Upshot: Why Teenagers Today May Grow Up Conservative [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jul 9, 2014 - 69 comments

www.pranksters.gop

The Republican Party began selling new web domains ending in .gop today at www.join.gop. Public interest has definitely been sparked, but perhaps not for the reasons Republicans have hoped. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 8, 2014 - 212 comments

I get all steamed up

I love your poise
Of perfect thighs
When they hold me
in paradise ...
If I had you today, I’d kiss and
fondle you into my arms and
hold you there until you said
‘Warren, oh, Warren’

Warren G. Harding, perhaps the worst chief executive in U.S. history, was a poet to longtime mistress and possible German spy Carrie Fulton Phillips.
posted by four panels on Jul 7, 2014 - 48 comments

Utility, welfare, and efficiency

  1. Welfare economics: an introduction
  2. The perils of Potential Pareto
  3. Inequality, production, and technology
  4. Welfare theorems, distribution priority, and market clearing
  5. Normative is performative, not positive

posted by kliuless on Jul 7, 2014 - 7 comments

#peakedinhighschool

In March, Lawrenceville School Student Body President Maya Peterson, the first Black woman to be elected to that position, posted a photo to her Instagram account where she depicted what she described to be a “Lawrenceville boi”: white, Republican, and cockily holding a hockey stick. She used the hashtags “#romney2016,” “#confederate,” and “#peakedinhighschool." In response to the backlash from the photo, Maya, who is headed to Wesleyan in the fall, chose to step down. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 7, 2014 - 314 comments

Mine is the beige house. No, the other one. No, the one next to that.

In his new book Ciphers, German photographer Christopher Gielen (previously) reveals haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development through aerial views of American urban sprawl. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 5, 2014 - 50 comments

The Princess Effect

"It is often said that “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people,” but the adage is only half true. Women are not allowed to be ugly people because women—and nowhere more than in such women’s magazines that reduce female political leaders to their supposed fashion and lifestyle choices—are not really allowed to be people at all."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 4, 2014 - 41 comments

The Passing of the Vast Right-Wing Conspirator

The New York Times reports the death of Richard Mellon Scaife, the Mellon heir and noted financial backer of conservative organizations and publications such as the Heritage Foundation, The American Spectator, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy, following his battle with cancer. Scaife is perhaps best known for funding a staggering number of anti-Clinton projects in the 1990s that set the stage for the Whitewater investigation, efforts which won him derision from some quarters and approbation from others. [more inside]
posted by kewb on Jul 4, 2014 - 42 comments

Toronto Needs More Shirtless Joggers

Toronto Needs More Shirtless Joggers [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jul 3, 2014 - 98 comments

Hey, dummy!

Retail Therapy: What Mannequins Say About Us
Like the larger fashion industry, mannequin design echoes seasonal styles that come and go, both in regard to technological improvements and the way we view our bodies. “It’s often the body attitudes and facial expressions that reflect what’s going on socially,” says Hale. Accordingly, the stiff, unnatural bodies of early mannequins were well-matched for the Victorian Era‘s restrictive ideas about women’s rights and fashions, which dictated they wear many layers of heavy fabric over tight-fitting corsets.
[more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 1, 2014 - 14 comments

Isis declares caliphate in Iraq and Syria

The militant Sunni group Isis has said it is establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, in the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria. This is not the first border we will break, we will break other borders," its spokesman warns. Standing on a border sign he threatens to "break the borders" of Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jun 30, 2014 - 160 comments

"A debilitating brain drain has actually been under way in Congress"

The Big Lobotomy: How Republicans Made Congress Stupid
A quick refresher: In 1995, after winning a majority in the House for the first time in forty years, one of the first things the new Republican House leadership did was gut Congress’s workforce. They cut the “professional staff” (the lawyers, economists, and investigators who work for committees rather than individual members) by a third. They reduced the “legislative support staff” (the auditors, analysts, and subject-matter experts at the Government Accountability Office [GAO], the Congressional Research Service [CRS], and so on) by a third, too, and killed off the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) entirely. And they fundamentally dismantled the old committee structure, centralizing power in the House speaker’s office and discouraging members and their staff from performing their own policy research. (The Republicans who took over the Senate in 1995 were less draconian, cutting committee staff by about 16 percent and leaving the committee system largely in place.) Today, the GAO and the CRS, which serve both House and Senate, are each operating at about 80 percent of their 1979 capacity. While Senate committee staffs have rebounded somewhat under Democratic control, every single House standing committee had fewer staffers in 2009 than in 1994. Since 2011, with a Tea Party-radicalized GOP back in control of the House, Congress has cut its budget by a whopping 20 percent, a far higher ratio than any other federal agency, leading, predictably, to staff layoffs, hiring and salary freezes, and drooping morale.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 27, 2014 - 27 comments

This is a presidential election, not a trust fall.

A Woman Should Run for President Against Hillary Clinton. Or Many Women. (Rebecca Traister for the New Republic)
posted by box on Jun 27, 2014 - 179 comments

“TCCNCCPCC pawn momma run,”

The Absolutist: [The New Yorker] Jeffrey Toobin profiles the current state of Ted Cruz.
posted by Fizz on Jun 26, 2014 - 32 comments

Some are red. Some are blue. All are green.

Greenhouse is a browser app for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari that allows you to mouse over any Congressperson's name in your browser to reveal where their campaign money comes from. [more inside]
posted by sockermom on Jun 24, 2014 - 23 comments

Risky Business

The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States (PDF); prospectus (PDF); press coverage (YT) - "The signature effects of human-induced climate change—rising seas, increased damage from storm surge, more frequent bouts of extreme heat—all have specific, measurable impacts on our nation's current assets and ongoing economic activity. [The report] uses a standard risk-assessment approach to determine the range of potential consequences for each region of the U.S.—as well as for selected sectors of the economy—if we continue on our current path..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 24, 2014 - 34 comments

You're way off.

What was the average American college graduate's college-related debt in 2013? What state has the highest rate of poverty in the United States? Answer these and other depressing questions (or submit your own) at How Wrong You Are.
posted by desjardins on Jun 24, 2014 - 40 comments

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth

“But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?” Virilio replies: “We’ll dream of being blind."
posted by 0bvious on Jun 24, 2014 - 5 comments

Today in Geographic Microdata

Clarity Campaign Labs invites you to use TargetSmart U.S. voter data to discover, via seven yes/no/don't care questions, What town matches my politics? Business Insider uses it to determine the most liberal and conservative towns in each state.
posted by psoas on Jun 19, 2014 - 87 comments

School chaplaincy program deemed unconstitutional

Today the High Court of Australia ruled (Williams v Commonwealth of Australia [2014] HCA 23) for the second time that Commonwealth funding of school chaplains was unconstitutional. This is in direct contradiction of the Abbott government's recent budget moves to totally defund secular counsellors in favour of a $244M school chaplaincy program[me]. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Jun 18, 2014 - 48 comments

Dear Marc Andreessen

"Hi, Marc... You seem to think everyone's worried about robots. But what everyone's worried about is you, Marc. Not just you, but people like you. Robots aren't at the levers of financial and political influence today, but folks like you sure are. People are scared of so much wealth and control being in so few hands... Unless we collectively choose to pay for a safety net, technology alone isn't going to make it happen." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 18, 2014 - 50 comments

“bordering on a sense of alarm” toward the opposite party

This PewResearch animation graphically shows the growing polarization among US voters during the past 15 years. Part of a 121 page pdf. Pew doesn't address why polarization is happening, but the pundits will try: "Voters are becoming angrier because living standards are falling and the middle class is shriveling." Democrats blame corporations, Republicans blame the government and the Dallas Fed blames robots. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 16, 2014 - 213 comments

National Greatness

Francis Fukuyama on 'The End of History?' twenty-five years later: "liberal democracy still doesn't have any real competitors," but to get there... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 15, 2014 - 29 comments

MegaTrendy

Two weeks ago, a group of Serbian expat academics in the UK posted a scathing and detailed critique of the Ph.D. dissertation of Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs, Nebojša Stefanović, alleging plagiarism and academic fraud. The authors claimed that the "procurement of dubious academic degrees ... is a serious problem in the Serbian system of higher education" and promised to "to continue to examine suspicious doctoral and masters dissertations belonging to other public figures in Serbia." The reaction has not been uneventful: [more inside]
posted by pjenks on Jun 14, 2014 - 56 comments

Accusata, Scusata.

How relevant is Machiavelli's manual The Prince in contemporary Politics ? This Documentary finds out.
posted by sgt.serenity on Jun 14, 2014 - 21 comments

Ontario Voted

Between 9am and 9pm yesterday, the people of (the province of, not the city) Ontario took to the polls to elect a new government and (possibly) a new premier. Things did not turn out exactly as predicted. [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Jun 13, 2014 - 128 comments

The Honey Makers

F.D.R 's New Deal explained to the public via cartoons, shorts, and newsreels
posted by The Whelk on Jun 12, 2014 - 7 comments

Once upon a time when the US was a marijuana friendly country

There was a time when the US was a marijuana friendly country but the Roosevelt administration thought it was killing America's youth and future so in 1937 pot was banned. By an ironic twist of fate, five years later the Department of Agriculture encouraged farmers to grow hemp to help the country defeat the nazis. Of course, the mirage didn't last long. Cannabis was banned and rebanned. The US pushed forward the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Drugs and 9 years later President Nixon signed the Controlled Substance Act. War on Drugs was at full throttle. Now, after six months of Colorado's green experiment, money is flowing and crime is decreasing. Please, let me try to predict the future: Ironically, curiosly and logically, the US will be marijuana friendly again and a bunch of countries will follow its path... again.
posted by LetsKa on Jun 12, 2014 - 24 comments

Majority Leader Eric Cantor defeated by Tea Party challenger Dave Brat

United States Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, has lost the Republican primary election in Virginia's 7th Congressional District to Dave Brat, a political newcomer and economics professor at Randolph-Macon College. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Jun 10, 2014 - 346 comments

Not Alone.

"Not Alone" is the title of the first report of The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. This report comes after a number of incidents of sexual assault were under-investigated or ignored at numerous college campus' in the US. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jun 10, 2014 - 128 comments

or maybe it was the spam filter

Study finds strong evidence for discriminatory intent behind voter ID laws State legislators who support voter ID laws are motivated in no small part by racial bias, according to a new study from the University of Southern California. The study finds strong evidence that "discriminatory intent underlies legislative support for voter identification laws." [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jun 5, 2014 - 53 comments

Why the Zapatistas are stronger than ever

Marcos stepping down demonstrates the strength of this autonomous community. On May 2, 2014, José Luis Solís López, better known as Galeano was murdered in the community of La Realidad in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Galeano was murdered by three gunshots after he, unarmed, was surrounded by paramilitary troops and refused to surrender. The attack took place on the eve of a meeting that the Zapatistas had planned to hold with other indigenous organizations and indigenous people of Mexico during which spokesperson Subcomandante Marcos had planned possibly to reappear after a public absence of nearly six years. During the attack, a number of people were injured, and a Zapatista school and health clinic in La Realidad, both of which were symbols of the movement’s autonomy, were destroyed. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jun 4, 2014 - 14 comments

'Hunger Games' salute banned in Thailand

"We know it comes from the movie... If it is an obvious form of resistance, then we have to control it."
posted by colie on Jun 3, 2014 - 60 comments

The Two Electorates

How the Democrats Can Avoid Going Down This November: The new science of Democratic survival
"Accordingly, field operations have been transformed from busywork for volunteers into the most rigorously scientized corner of the trade."
posted by davidstandaford on Jun 2, 2014 - 64 comments

they speak of themselves as leading a “conservative reform project”

Are Reform Conservatives Serious?
A crop of young thinkers trying to steer the right toward the future needs to both vanquish the Tea Party and show it has more than just a marketing campaign.
posted by davidstandaford on May 31, 2014 - 40 comments

" V.A. has a systemic, totally unacceptable lack of integrity"

This morning, the Veterans Affairs Chief Eric Shinseki tendered his resignation, following the release of an independent review detailing corruption in the reporting of wait times and scheduling practices, along with alleged patient deaths in the Phoenix Health Care system. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 30, 2014 - 115 comments

Beyond samba, sex and soccer: The World Cup riots in Brazil

Brazil has spared no expense for the upcoming World Cup. The month-long competition will feature 64 matches in 12 cities across the country. Refurbishing old stadiums and building new ones has cost Brazil $3.6bn. Several of the new stadiums will seldom be used after the World Cup, and Brasilia's World Cup stadium is estimated to have cost taxpayers $900m. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on May 28, 2014 - 54 comments

The Dennis Miller Ratio

Frank Rich takes a look at conservative comedians and the late-night comedy landscape.
posted by Room 641-A on May 27, 2014 - 189 comments

“Where do left and right meet? At the truth.”

Politically Incorrect was an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002, first on Comedy Central and then on ABC. Four guests (usually including at least one comedian) would debate topics across the political spectrum in what Maher once described as “The McLaughlin Group on acid.” Of the 1300+ episodes produced, 190 can be viewed on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 23, 2014 - 66 comments

There is one argument for doing a thing; the rest are for doing nothing.

“The Principle of Sound Learning is that the noise of vulgar fame should never trouble the cloistered calm of academic existence. Hence, learning is called sound when no one has ever heard of it… If you should write a book (you had better not), be sure that it is unreadable; otherwise you will be called ‘brilliant’ and forfeit all respect.” - The Microcosmographia Academica (pdf), FM Cornford’s cynical 1908 guide to the academic life, including detailed instructions on obstructing progress. (via the excellent Alex Reinhart, previously)
posted by anotherpanacea on May 20, 2014 - 6 comments

so unless you're a rich Indon army guy in the mines, you're screwed.

Australia's 2014-2015 budget was just released. Amongst the casualties: television, young people (and the organisations that help them) and old people, tech startups, postgraduate students, people with disabilities and anyone seeking medical care, foreign aid, Indigenous people, the arts, renewable energy, and the environment. However, if you are in defence, mining, or Indonesian immigration, you should be fine.
posted by divabat on May 13, 2014 - 118 comments

The eyes of Texas are upon you

The Gold Standard in Executions.
For two years now, Texas has used a single drug, the barbiturate pentobarbital, instead of the three-drug regimen used in neighboring Oklahoma. Prison administrators from other states often travel to Texas to learn how it performs lethal injections and to observe executions. Texas officials have provided guidance and, on at least a few occasions, carried out executions for other states.
posted by four panels on May 12, 2014 - 101 comments

Acrylic on Magazine

Ofelia Cleaning. Ramiro Gomez (Facebook page) (Gallery page) is an artist whose paintings at the blog Happy Hills "document[] the predominantly Hispanic workforce who work tirelessly behind the scenes to maintain the beautiful imagery of these affluent areas." He also places painted cut-outs of workers on the lawns in pricey neighborhoods. [more inside]
posted by crush-onastick on May 7, 2014 - 6 comments

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