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The campaign lurches into the summer

Based on findings from experiments in political science, BuzzFeed News has designed what should be a powerful get-out-the-vote message. With less than a month before the Democrats get their convention started in Philadelphia, speculation on Secretary Clinton's running mate is rampant, and "Bernie Sanders [said] he is prepared for a floor fight at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia if the party doesn’t take more progressive stances on trade, the minimum wage, climate change and other issues in its platform." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 29, 2016 - 2237 comments

UK Goes To Polls In EU Referendum

The day is finally here, the UK decides. BBC: "Britain is set to go to the polls in an historic referendum on whether the country should remain a member of the European Union or leave. Polling stations are open between 07:00 BST and 22:00 BST. An estimated 46,499,537 people are entitled to take part in the vote - a record number for a UK election. It is only the third nationwide referendum in UK history and comes after a four-month battle for votes between the Leave and Remain campaigns. In common with other broadcasters, the BBC is limited in what it can report while polls are open but you can follow the results as they come in across the BBC after polls close on Thursday evening." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jun 22, 2016 - 2812 comments

No bill, no break

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and more than 40 Democrats are staging a sit-in on the US house floor. Occupiers are demanding a vote on gun control measures. In response, Speaker Paul Ryan has turned off the cameras.
posted by galaxy rise on Jun 22, 2016 - 385 comments

Trekonomics

The Economic Lessons of Star Trek's Money-Free Society - "[Manu Saadia] points to technologies like GPS and the internet as models for how we can set ourselves on the path to a Star Trek future. 'If we decide as a society to make more of these crucial things available to all as public goods, we're probably going to be well on our way to improving the condition of everybody on Earth', he says. But he also warns that technology alone won't create a post-scarcity future... 'This is something that has to be dealt with on a political level, and we have to face that.' " (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 21, 2016 - 102 comments

Welcome to Congress! Here's your cubicle, telephone and script.

What's a day in the life of a typical elected U.S. congressperson like? Do you imagine various committee meetings, constituent handshaking and House floor voting sessions? Well think again. Members of congress are increasingly expected to spend the majority of their working day holed up in a tiny cubicle in a call center down the street outfitted with a phone, a list of numbers and a telemarketing script. On April 24, CBS's 60 Minutes aired an exposé on the real business of congress: dialing for dollars. [more inside]
posted by bologna on wry on Jun 16, 2016 - 83 comments

rest in power

British Labour MP Jo Cox, 41, was shot and murdered this afternoon during a constituency meeting in Leeds. Cox was a committed humanitarian and campaigner for Syrian refugees and previously worked on the 2008 Obama campaign. She is the first MP to be killed in 26 years.
posted by fight or flight on Jun 16, 2016 - 306 comments

Like it or not, all of our rights are intertwined.

Maybe there’s some woman who has had four abortions and maybe that feels really wrong to you. But my rights are wrapped up with hers, so I have to fight like fuck for her to have as many as she wants—not just for her sake, but for mine, too. If I ever have a daughter, the way things are currently going, she’s going to be fucked if she ever goes through this.
From "Interview With a Woman Who Recently Had an Abortion at 32 Weeks"
posted by AceRock on Jun 15, 2016 - 57 comments

The last primary

Tomorrow's primary in Washington, D.C. will mark the final presidential primary of 2016. Then, Secretary Clinton and Sen. Sanders are set to meet Tuesday night. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 13, 2016 - 3199 comments

McDonald's: it's the glue that holds communities together

When many lower-income Americans feel isolated and empty, they yearn for physical social networks. All across US, this happens organically at McDonald’s.
posted by standardasparagus on Jun 9, 2016 - 79 comments

We are on the brink of a historic moment...

With 694 delegates up for grabs between five primaries and a caucus, it has been widely predicted that Secretary Clinton would surpass the 2383 delegate threshold needed to clinch the democratic presidential nomination today. Jumping the gun, The Associated Press is reporting that, by their count, Clinton has already reached this number. Senator Sanders' campaign has condemned the media for its "rush to judgement" and the Clinton campaign has simply said "we still have work to do". [more inside]
posted by peeedro on Jun 7, 2016 - 2844 comments

The Result Won't Matter

BBC: "Pro-Remain MPs are considering using their Commons majority to keep Britain inside the EU single market if there is a vote for Brexit, the BBC has learned. The MPs fear a post-Brexit government might negotiate a limited free trade deal with the EU, which they say would damage the UK's economy. There is a pro-Remain majority in the House of Commons of 454 MPs to 147. A Vote Leave campaign spokesman said MPs will not be able to "defy the will of the electorate" on key issues."
posted by marienbad on Jun 6, 2016 - 227 comments

Carter/Khomeini

BBC: "Two Weeks in January: America's secret engagement with Khomeini: On 27 January, 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - founder of Iran's Islamic Republic, the man who called the United States "the Great Satan" - sent a secret message to Washington. From his home in exile outside Paris, the defiant leader of the Iranian revolution effectively offered the Carter administration a deal: Iranian military leaders listen to you, he said, but the Iranian people follow my orders. If President Jimmy Carter could use his influence on the military to clear the way for his takeover, Khomeini suggested, he would calm the nation. Stability could be restored, America's interests and citizens in Iran would be protected."
posted by marienbad on Jun 3, 2016 - 7 comments

All those without one

For the first time in history, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is fielding a small team of refugees – between five and 10 athletes who will represent not a country, but all those without one. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 1, 2016 - 16 comments

159 days to go. Stay strong

Who Is David French and Is He Running for President? Conservative writer Bill Kristol floats a third party alternative for the US presidential race.
posted by lalex on Jun 1, 2016 - 1661 comments

“Its been the same ol’ thang, I swear the game don’t change”

“Safe”- MC Dumbfounded [NSFW Lyrics] [YouTube] Rapper Dumbfoundead Tackles Hollywood Racism in Amazing New Video [via: New York Magazine]
posted by Fizz on May 27, 2016 - 9 comments

Sapiens 2.0: Homo Deus?

In his follow-up to Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari envisions what a 'useless class' of humans might look like as AI advances and spreads - "I'm aware that these kinds of forecasts have been around for at least 200 years, from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and they never came true so far. It's basically the boy who cried wolf, but in the original story of the boy who cried wolf, in the end, the wolf actually comes, and I think that is true this time." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 24, 2016 - 23 comments

The country is never as bad as conservatives think it is

"You probably haven’t heard of the Constitution Party. They have no seats in the House or the Senate, and probably never will. They don’t have any spokespeople telegenic enough for Fox News. They’ve only been around since 1991, and they’ve only been called the Constitution Party since 1999. (They were the Taxpayers’ Party before that.) Basically, it’s a party for conservatives who think Republicans are too secular." - GOD AND COUNTRY, Kaleb Horton spends 36 hours with the dying embers of The Consitution Party
posted by The Whelk on May 23, 2016 - 20 comments

"The Watergate burglars look good compared to these guys"

James O'Keefe accidentally stings himself
posted by Artw on May 23, 2016 - 42 comments

Two energy sources with Oklahoman subsidies battle each other

Oil blames wind for Oklahoma's budget woes This story does a good job digging into the specifics of oil's access to powerful people in Oklahoma, the budget troubles there and the larger political fight around renewables on the Great Plains.
posted by BradyDale on May 23, 2016 - 10 comments

Wide Awakes in America

Election season, 1860: "Stumping for the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln, [a] strange movement electrified the presidential election. Young men from Bangor to San Francisco and from huge Philadelphia clubs to tiny Iowa troupes donned uniforms, lit torches, and “fell in” to pseudomilitary marching companies." The Wide Awakes, as they were known, began as escorts for Republican speakers, but as the campaign season continued, these "political police" became an intimidating presence throughout much of the nation--young, fervent brawlers and unapologetic supporters of an aggressive style of American political combat. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on May 21, 2016 - 17 comments

Nothing is certain, except death and taxes and a US election campaign.

Though we've come a long way since Bernie, Donald and Hillary formally launched their campaigns, there's still a while to go before polling stations open. Recently, Barack enjoyed a Nordic State Dinner , delivered a commencement speech of our time, and pushed through rules including extending overtime pay to more than four million Americans. On the campaign trail, Hillary takes Kentucky while Bernie takes Oregon. Meanwhile, Donald clarifies that there's no VP for Marco with him, but Marco wants people to leave him alone anyway, people make wild speculations about Bernie's possible VP pick, Ted pretends Donald does not exist, Reince pleads "come together", and in coal country Hillary mentions a Bill role as a potential running mate is a bit coy. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on May 19, 2016 - 3019 comments

The Queen's Speech - BBC at-a-glance Summary

"The Queen has announced the government's legislation for the year ahead, at the state opening of Parliament. Here is a bill-by-bill guide to what is in the 2016 Queen's Speech."
posted by marienbad on May 18, 2016 - 15 comments

Koch Brothers, where art thou?

In case you were wondering about [a conspicuous lack of] the Koch Brothers' involvement in the 2016 US political elections, here is the inside scoop. [more inside]
posted by Johann Georg Faust on May 17, 2016 - 40 comments

“I have three children & a husband who is prime minister. I need help.”

Criticism leveled at Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of prime minister Justin Trudeau, dismissed as ‘sexist and spiteful’ after she says she needs more staff. [The Guardian] The wife of Canada’s prime minister has sparked a fierce national debate after saying she needs more help to expand her official role and take on more public duties. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau last week told a French-language newspaper that she wanted to do more, but struggled with just one staff member. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 16, 2016 - 238 comments

how could you have not seen this coming?

As new revelations come to light that claim that not only was there widespread and elaborate cheating at the Sochi Olympics, but that Olympic officials may have been involved as well, Russia's Sports Minister says that they are very sorry "that athletes who tried to deceive us, and the world, were not caught sooner", and hoped that they would be cleared of wrongdoing in time for this summer's Games in Rio. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 16, 2016 - 82 comments

“City squares seem to be waiting for a crowd to fill them up—”

How Public Squares Disrupt City Life and Why That’s a Good Thing by George Packer [The Daily Beast] They can break up the monotony of the grid, provide the backdrop for social protest and change, spook you and mystify you—hard to define, city squares are indispensable. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 15, 2016 - 14 comments

I can't possibly pick just one pullquote

David Axelrod talks to Jon Stewart [full transcript, 50 minute audio] (surfacing for the first time in quite a while) at the University Of Chicago Institute Of Politics about everything you might hope. Don't expect it to go where you want it to go. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on May 11, 2016 - 43 comments

Redefining Wealth and Prosperity in the 21st Century

Kennedy was right - "Much that is valuable is neither tangible nor tradable... Gross domestic product (GDP) is increasingly a poor measure of prosperity. It is not even a reliable gauge of production."* [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 11, 2016 - 10 comments

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

Facebook workers say 'trending news' section is manipulated The revelations undermine any presumption of Facebook as a neutral pipeline for news, or the trending news module as an algorithmically-driven list of what people are actually talking about.
posted by modernnomad on May 9, 2016 - 113 comments

A People's History of the Cultural Revolution, 1962–1976

A New Look At China's Cultural Revolution - "Historian Frank Dikötter says newly opened archives offer fresh details about the chaos China experienced in the 1960s, when Chairman Mao urged students to take to the streets." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 9, 2016 - 19 comments

“My name is Sadiq Khan and I’m the mayor of London!”

Sadiq Khan, “a Labour Party leader, a former human rights lawyer and a son of a bus driver from Pakistan” has been elected Mayor of London with “the largest personal mandate of any politician in UK history.”
Acceptance Speech. A March profile in The New Statesman.
His rival, Zac Goldsmith, “accused Khan of ‘pandering to extremists’.” In an op-ed in The Guardian on lessons learned during the campaign, Khan has referred to the Tories as ‘using tactics “straight out of the Donald Trump playbook.” They were also decried by the Tory-affiliated Conservative Muslim Forum.
posted by Going To Maine on May 7, 2016 - 68 comments

WORLD OF TOMORROW

World After Capital by Albert Wenger [Work in Progress; GitHub; GitBook; PDF; FAQ] - "Technological progress has shifted scarcity for humanity. When we were foragers, food was scarce. During the agrarian age, it was land. Following the industrial revolution, capital became scarce. With digital technologies scarcity is shifting from capital to attention. World After Capital suggests ways to expand economic, informational and psychological freedom to go from an industrial to a knowledge society." (previously)
posted by kliuless on May 7, 2016 - 23 comments

Trump will be the Republican standard-bearer

Ted Cruz ends his campaign, handing the nomination to Donald Trump
posted by Jacob Knitig on May 3, 2016 - 2390 comments

The Increasing Problem With the Misinformed

“The rise of the misinformed is now the largest obstacle for success for journalists today (outside the concerns that relate to publishing). If people don't trust the news, you don't have a news business.” Thomas Baekdal writes a strategic analysis for media companies to earn their readers’ trust, looking at data from PolitiFact to understand how misinformation spreads and what journalists can do to stop it.
posted by Rangi on May 1, 2016 - 54 comments

Obama Out

Obama gives his final, hilarious remarks to the 2016 White House Correspondant's Dinner (SLYT)
posted by rebent on May 1, 2016 - 90 comments

Dance around a flowery pole, or topple the capitalist war machine!

"May Day: America's Traditional, Radical, Complicated Holiday," from the Smithsonian NMAH blog. Part One, Part Two.
posted by Miko on May 1, 2016 - 16 comments

Can't we all just get along?

No Labels is an American political organization based in the United States, composed of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, whose mission is to "usher in a new era of focused problem solving in American politics." As the election draws nearer they have begun promoting their National Strategic Agenda; based on a nationwide survey conducted in the fall of 2013, it's billed as "A Policy Playbook For America's Next President." (Wikipedia)
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Apr 29, 2016 - 90 comments

Ken does it again

Ken Livingstone suspended (again) by the British Labour Party Never a stranger to controversy, Ken Livingstone - former scourge of Margaret Thatcher, erstwhile London Mayor and close friend of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - was yesterday suspended by the Party. In a continuation of an ongoing issue over alleged Anti-Semitism in the Party (and the British Left in general) he defended MP Naz Shah for remarks she had made (on Facebook in 2014) suggesting: 'Relocate Israel into United States'. [more inside]
posted by Myeral on Apr 29, 2016 - 250 comments

“...the public anger about the economy is not without empirical basis.”

President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy by Andrew Ross Sorkin [The New York Times] Eight years after the financial crisis, unemployment is at 5 percent, deficits are down and G.D.P. is growing. Why do so many voters feel left behind? The president has a theory. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 28, 2016 - 88 comments

Country of the future; always the future

Perry Anderson - Crisis in Brazil
Long read but probably the most comprehensive account I have read about how this enormous country got to the more chaotic state than usual that it is in today.
(Via LRB and previous).
posted by adamvasco on Apr 27, 2016 - 41 comments

Puppies All the Way Down

The 2016 Hugo Award finalists have been announced. As is probably to be expected given the problems of the last two years slates have yet again had an outsized influence on the nominations. Though various fixes have been proposed the future of the award may be in doubt.
posted by Artw on Apr 26, 2016 - 420 comments

A riot unfolding

An extraordinary piece (MarylandMorning) on the detailed unfolding of the Baltimore riots from one year ago, with police radio interspersed with interviews of students.
posted by spbmp on Apr 22, 2016 - 4 comments

The Great Firewall of China has blocked The Economist

After leading with a cover story criticizing Xi Jinping (otoh) The Economist has been censored in China; Time too and now Medium. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 20, 2016 - 24 comments

The alt-right explained

The alt-right is more than warmed-over white supremacy. It’s that, but way way weirder.
posted by brundlefly on Apr 19, 2016 - 153 comments

Twirling towards freedom: the US election - New York primaries

In the endurance test that is the 2016 US presidential election, we finally come to New York State where all of the polling stations are now open. The state consists of not only the city famed for fine dining but also the mainly rural upstate region. There's a lot of delegates here; Ballotpedia has information about the Democratic and Republican allocations. Since last time, Paul said "Nope", GOP leaders said "Meh" followed by "Rules?", Washington Democrats had their own local endurance test, Virgin Islands Republicans had an unpleasant meeting, Bernie visited the Vatican, Hillary visited Staten Island (as did Donald), the Democratic candidates debated, Donald is figuring out West Virginia, Ted appears very conservative, and a grumpy John is aiming for second. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Apr 19, 2016 - 1042 comments

'Talking makes you weak, and weakness makes you vulnerable.'

Why do some progressives of older generations react with such violence and horror to the new way of doing politics, online and in the streets, to the radical sharing, the intensity of emotion, the insistence that trauma and hurt are political? Why does this matter so very, very much to them? Laurie Penny writes about what she realised in the aftermath of Stephen Fry's remarks about trigger warnings. [more inside]
posted by Panthalassa on Apr 17, 2016 - 205 comments

A New Map for America

Rethinking the Map: How the lower 48 could be realigned into seven mega-regions.
posted by standardasparagus on Apr 16, 2016 - 96 comments

Order! Ordaaaar!

The northern UK Member of Parliament, Dennis Skinner, attacked David Cameron in Prime Minister's Questions this week, and was thrown out of the chamber for refusing to take back the blistering epithet - Dodgy Dave. [more inside]
posted by Stark on Apr 15, 2016 - 28 comments

Canada's Greatest Living Orator

Over the weekend, the federal NDP voted to oust leader Tom Mulcair. But this dramatic turn of events was nearly overshadowed by another event at the NDP convention: The delivery of one of the most powerful political speeches in recent Canadian memory by former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis. CBC's Neil MacDonald calls Lewis "probably Canada's greatest living orator."
posted by 256 on Apr 11, 2016 - 128 comments

So, *that's* why we have 4-H.

Fetishizing Family Farms Broken families, underground vice, and sexual variance - not stability - characterized the American family farm for most of its history, argues historian Gabriel Rosenberg. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Apr 10, 2016 - 88 comments

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