4697 posts tagged with politics.
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Hello, this is Lenny

Phone bot keeps Canadian campaign volunteer on line for eleven minutes Lenny is a bit hard of hearing, has some meddlesome daughters (and ornery ducks), and is also not actually human. But perhaps he'd still take a Conservative campaign sign for his lawn?
posted by MACTdaddy on Sep 1, 2015 - 49 comments

NSA Mass Phone Surveillance Possibly Constitutional After All

On December 13, 2013, the US district court for the District of Columbia ruled that the NSA's bulk collection of American citizens' telephone records was "likely" to violate the Fourth Amendment (previously on MeFi). Today, DC's federal court of appeals overturned that ruling. The rationale is that the plaintiffs did not prove "that they were affected by the metadata-gathering program," so they did not have standing to challenge it in court. [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Aug 28, 2015 - 25 comments

Weekend at Bernie’s

Weekend at Bernie’s by jurassic marx (Jake Verso) Bernie Sanders has frequently identified himself in interviews speeches etc. as a “socialist.” When pressed as to what this means, he usually mentions something about Sweden and/or sticks the “democratic” moniker in front of it, presumably to be less scary. Yet Sanders is deliberately appealing to something bigger and more powerful than what is normally found within the bounds of typical political rhetoric. ...I’m going to examine and critique some of the assumptions underlying his appeal and then briefly look at just how meaningless Sanders conception of socialism really is.
posted by Golden Eternity on Aug 24, 2015 - 95 comments

There is no "migrant" crisis in the Mediterranean

Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean 'migrants'. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Aug 23, 2015 - 46 comments

“His death certificate should say: Hurricane Katrina.”

"Billy McDonald rose to political power in a little Mississippi beach town on the strength of his resilience and colorful personality. But when Hurricane Katrina hit Pass Christian, it took everything from him and his city."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 23, 2015 - 2 comments

Your Sex is Not Radical

Your Sex is Not Radical In queer radical circles and in much of the left, the worlds in which I operate, there’s a widely held idea that one’s political radicalism can be attached to one’s sexual practices. This is why those who practice BDSM and are variously “sex positive” are often equated with left politics. But the sad truth that many of us learn after years in sexual playing fields (literally and figuratively) is that how many people you fuck has nothing to do with the extent to which you fuck up capitalism.
posted by modernnomad on Aug 19, 2015 - 52 comments

U.S. Trans Survey

The U.S. Trans Survey, currently being conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, "will give researchers, policymakers, and advocates the ability to see the experiences of trans people over time, how things are changing, and what can be done to improve the lives of trans people."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 19, 2015 - 19 comments

“I have not met a single human being who’s motivated by bad news,”

The Weight of the World: Can Christiana Figueres persuade humanity to save itself? by Elizabeth Kolbert [New Yorker]
Of all the jobs in the world, Figueres’s may possess the very highest ratio of responsibility (preventing global collapse) to authority (practically none). The role entails convincing a hundred and ninety-five countries—many of which rely on selling fossil fuels for their national income and almost all of which depend on burning them for the bulk of their energy—that giving up such fuels is a good idea. When Figueres took over the Secretariat, in 2010, there were lots of people who thought the job so thankless that it ought to be abolished. This was in the aftermath of the fifteenth COP, held in Copenhagen, which had been expected to yield a historic agreement but ended in anger and recrimination.
posted by Fizz on Aug 19, 2015 - 33 comments

When BLM met HRC.

Video of Hillary Clinton's meeting with Black Lives Matter has been released. (YouTube playlist) Surprisingly intelligent, unscripted, and revealing.
posted by markkraft on Aug 18, 2015 - 264 comments

The Closing of the Canadian Mind

Americans have traditionally looked to Canada as a liberal haven, with gun control, universal health care and good public education. But the nine and half years of Mr. Harper’s tenure have seen the slow-motion erosion of that reputation for open, responsible government. His stance has been a know-nothing conservatism, applied broadly and effectively. He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.
posted by standardasparagus on Aug 14, 2015 - 78 comments

A War Of All Against All

Why Turkey is bombing the Kurds more than Islamic State - "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bombing campaign — capitalizing on the nationalist, anti-Kurd sentiment that has been steadily growing inside Turkey — could help him regain his AKP party's absolute majority in parliament now that coalition talks have failed and snap elections are likely." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 14, 2015 - 16 comments

Cuckservative is an amalgamation of the word cuckold and conservative.

From the Right, a New Slur for G.O.P. Candidates [NY Times]
Cuckservative is an amalgamation of the word cuckold and conservative. [Salon]
Conservatives Are Holding a Conversation About Race [The New Republic]
‘Cuckservative’ — the conservative insult of the month, explained [Washington Post]
‘Cuckservative’ Is A Gloriously Effective Insult That Should Not Be Slurred, Demonised, Or Ridiculed [Breitbart]
“Cuckservative” is a Racist Slur and an Attack on Evangelical Christians [Red State]
posted by andoatnp on Aug 13, 2015 - 212 comments

Warren Harding's Legacy Further Tarnished, if That Is Even Possible

Warren G. Harding is known for many things. Teapot Dome, dying in office (or maybe not), having the middle name "Gamaliel", and consistently being ranked one of the worst Presidents ever. His personal life was little better than his presidential one, with allegations of multiple affairs and even one claim of an illegitimate child born just a couple of years before he was elected to the White House. Which, according to DNA testing, is totally true. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Aug 13, 2015 - 43 comments

How Claire McCaskill Helped Todd Akin Win the Republican Nomination

As it turned out, we spent more money for Todd Akin in the last two weeks of the primary than he spent on his whole primary campaign - how Claire McCaskill got her opponent nominated, in order to beat him. [more inside]
posted by hepta on Aug 13, 2015 - 52 comments

You can believe me because I never lie, and I'm always right.

My name is Wyatt Scott and I'm running for parliament as an independent candidate for Mission Matsqui Fraser Canyon. We all know politics are corrupt so lets do something about it. Put an independent in the house.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Aug 12, 2015 - 13 comments

ASO Right To Know

Spreading awareness of Artificially Selected Organisms. They have a Facebook page full of images sure to go viral, and even a White House petition. [This is satire.]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Aug 12, 2015 - 56 comments

Lessig Running for "Referendum" President

Lawrence Lessig is (probably) running for President of the United States. But he only wants to be President long enough to pass the Citizen Equality Act, which includes publicly funded elections, an end to gerrymandering, online voter registration, and making election day a national holiday. After that, he'll resign. [more inside]
posted by scottreynen on Aug 11, 2015 - 102 comments

10 truths about Europe’s migrant crisis

When you’re facing the world’s biggest refugee crisis since the second world war, it helps to have a sober debate about how to respond.
posted by standardasparagus on Aug 11, 2015 - 36 comments

How a Fringe Theocratic Movement Helped Shape the Religious Right

"Julie Ingersoll‘s new book, Building God’s Kingdom, is a meticulous account of this movement’s history and its aims. Founded by Rousas John Rushdoony in the early 1970s, Reconstructionism asserts the primacy of the Bible from the home to local government to national political life. While Rushdoony’s views were as alienating to the right as to the left in some aspects, many of his ideas did find traction among Christian conservatives. I began my conversation with Ingersoll last week by asking her to elaborate on the history of that influence."
posted by sciatrix on Aug 10, 2015 - 38 comments

Ferguson Remembers

One year later:
posted by Artw on Aug 9, 2015 - 159 comments

A 'constant chorus of skepticism' about the"establishment."

"They Don’t Give a Damn about Governing... Once allied with but now increasingly hostile to the Republican hierarchy, conservative media is shaping the party’s agenda in ways that are impeding Republicans’ ability to govern and to win presidential elections."
posted by zarq on Aug 8, 2015 - 81 comments

I'm angry, lah.

Malaysian cartoonist Kazimir Lee documents the oppression faced by trans women in Malaysia, particularly touching on the 17 women arrested at a wedding last year as well as the landmark victory for the declaration of the 'cross-dressing' ban as unconstitutional, the first time Syariah law was challenged and defeated in civil court.
posted by divabat on Aug 7, 2015 - 6 comments

There's a problem with electronic voting machines in the USA

My statistical analysis shows patterns indicative of vote manipulation in machines. The manipulation is relatively small, compared with the inherent variability of election results, but it is consistent. [...W]e have a serious pervasive and systematic problem with electronic voting machines. [more inside]
posted by andrewcooke on Aug 7, 2015 - 74 comments

“It’s not quite what it was... it’s more sophisticated now.”

A Dream Undone: Inside the 50-year campaign to roll back the Voting Rights Act.
posted by zarq on Aug 4, 2015 - 17 comments

What Kind of Person Would Vote For Donald Trump? These People.

Inside Donald Trump's Surging GOP Campaign (SLGQ), by Drew Magary. [more inside]
posted by The Card Cheat on Aug 4, 2015 - 377 comments

Biden 2016?

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his associates have begun to actively explore a possible presidential campaign. Mr. Biden’s advisers have started to reach out to Democratic leaders and donors who have not yet committed to Mrs. Clinton or who have grown concerned about what they see as her increasingly visible vulnerabilities as a candidate.
posted by wondrous strange snow on Aug 3, 2015 - 108 comments

Warren Buffet wants to give you an IUD

Warren Buffett’s Family Secretly Funded a Birth Control Revolution
Quietly, steadily, the Buffett family is funding the biggest shift in birth control in a generation. “For Warren, it’s economic. He thinks that unless women can control their fertility—and that it’s basically their right to control their fertility—that you are sort of wasting more than half of the brainpower in the United States,” DeSarno said about Buffett’s funding of reproductive health in the 2008 interview. “Well, not just the United States. Worldwide.”
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 31, 2015 - 79 comments

Stars in His Pocket Like Grains of Sand

Science Fiction grandmaster Samuel R. Delaney interviewed by SF Signal, with a very long answer in part 2, and by The New Yorker where he talks about race, recent Hugo controversies being nothing new, and the past and future of science fiction.
posted by Artw on Jul 30, 2015 - 26 comments

“The Germans were not there; the Lithuanians did it themselves.”

Double Genocide: Lithuania wants to erase its ugly history of Nazi collaboration - by accusing Jewish partisans who fought the Germans of war crimes.
"After Lithuanians got independence,” he told me, “we hoped that Lithuania would give us help.” But it was not to be. In one of its very first independent actions, before even fully breaking free of Moscow, Lithuania’s parliament formally exonerated several Lithuanian nationalists who had collaborated in the Holocaust and had been convicted by Soviet military courts after the war. The right-wing paramilitaries who had carried out the mass murder of Lithuania’s Jews were now hailed as national heroes on account of their anti-Soviet bona fides.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 30, 2015 - 52 comments

"If measured on the U.S. political spectrum, he’d be 'left of center.'"

The Making of Leopoldo López: A closer look at the democratic bona fides of the rock star of Venezuela's opposition. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 29, 2015 - 3 comments

“...the Canada you once knew and were so proud of, is no longer Canada.”

“My name is Donald Sutherland. My wife’s name is Francine Racette. We are Canadians....” [The Globe and Mail]
“Did you know that? If you don’t live here all the time you can’t vote. Americans who live abroad can vote. They can vote because they’re citizens! Citizens! But I can’t. Because why? Because I’m not a citizen? Because what happens to Canada doesn’t matter to me? Ask any journalist that’s ever interviewed me what nationality I proudly proclaim to have. Ask them. They’ll tell you. I am a Canadian. But I’m an expatriate and the Harper government won’t let expatriates participate in Canadian elections.”
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Jul 29, 2015 - 137 comments


Man in Blue Suit Thanks Firefighters
For a second straight day, firefighting efforts at the Westside Road fire were the backdrop for political photo ops. Today, several federal politicians stood around waiting, occasionally wiping dirt from their clothing while sweaty, ash-covered, exhausted-looking firefighters surrounded them for the tightly controlled photo opportunity. Helicopters carrying empty buckets buzzed overhead and a steady stream of wildfire fighting aircraft circled prior to the event.
via: HuffPoCanada
posted by Fizz on Jul 27, 2015 - 39 comments

Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer

The election of a new leader of the Labour Party looked like being a rather uninteresting affair with three candidates from the moderate to right wing of the party. A token leftie was added to open up the debate but he stood now chance... However against all expectation, that leftie, Jeremy Corbyn, is surging ahead in popularity and may actually win. Perhaps because unlike the other candidates Corbyn speaks like a human being and has anti-austerity policies that the public like. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 27, 2015 - 131 comments

Surely it can't happen here.....can it?

How the Nordic far-right has stolen the left’s ground on welfare
posted by lalochezia on Jul 26, 2015 - 23 comments

How 'The New York Times' Bungled the Hillary Clinton Emails Story

"Democracy is not a game. It is not a means of getting our names on the front page or setting the world abuzz about our latest scoop."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Jul 26, 2015 - 46 comments

Draw up 40% cuts plans, George Osborne tells Whitehall departments

BBC: George Osborne has launched his spending review with a call for £20bn cuts to Whitehall budgets. Each unprotected department has been asked to come up with savings plans of 25% and 40% of their budget. The chancellor said departments had also been asked to help meet a target of 150,000 new homes on public sector land by 2020. The NHS and per-pupil schools budgets will be protected in the review, which will be published on 25 November. Mr Osborne, who is currently giving evidence to MPs, said that "with careful management of public money, we can get more for less".
posted by marienbad on Jul 21, 2015 - 44 comments

Al Gore's Satellite

In 1998, Vice President Al Gore had a vision for "Triana," an imaging satellite that would continuously transmit a live "big blue marble" Earthview for the nascent World Wide Web. Designed, built, and scheduled for launch in 2001, the $150 million "GoreSat" became a victim of politics during the W. Bush administration, and was relegated to a closet at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Friendlier heads revived the satellite in 2009 as the NOAA's DISCOVR - the Deep Space Climate Observatory - and launched her on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last year. Today, NASA published her first "epic" view of Earth.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jul 20, 2015 - 27 comments

"[T]he flaw at the heart of our country is not just geological."

Confronting New Madrid (Part 1): In the winter of 1811-12, the New Madrid fault in southern Missouri triggered a series of earthquakes in so powerful they altered the course of the Mississippi River and rang church bells as far away as Philadelphia... and we still don't fully understand why. A similar quake today is estimated to be the costliest disaster in US History.
Confronting New Madrid (Part 2): As dangerous as the threat of "the big one" might be, however, the real disaster is us. [more inside]
posted by absalom on Jul 16, 2015 - 39 comments

Where Is The Power?

A conversation with Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz
This is significant because in Europe all political thought is imperialist. This means that politics as we know it today, implemented by countries small, middle-sized or large, incorporates the experience of imperial politics from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. That was when the foundations of what we call "the political" were forged, which always entails a balance between power and weakness, and must be the result of an analysis of your strengths and vulnerabilities against the strengths and vulnerabilities of your opponent. To risk banality: politics without political realism is not politics. You see, all European politics is founded on political realism produced by imperial politics. And this experience is completely alien to Poles.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 15, 2015 - 11 comments

Signposts or weathercocks

After the recent rout of the Labour Party by the Scottish National Party (SNP), at the age of 20, Mhairi Black became the UK's youngest MP since the Reform Act of 1832. Her maiden speech to the House of Commons is a witty, sharp, unsparing account of how Labour failed Scotland and the UK, generally.
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jul 14, 2015 - 57 comments

Trickle-up debt

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley has a plan for providing debt-free access to a college degree for all students within five years. [more inside]
posted by Dashy on Jul 9, 2015 - 36 comments

Ghost Schools

"Over and over, the United States has touted education — for which it has spent more than $1 billion — as one of its premier successes in Afghanistan, a signature achievement that helped win over ordinary Afghans and dissuade a future generation of Taliban recruits.... ut a BuzzFeed News investigation — the first comprehensive journalistic reckoning, based on visits to schools across the country, internal U.S. and Afghan databases and documents, and more than 150 interviews — has found those claims to be massively exaggerated, riddled with ghost schools, teachers, and students that exist only on paper. The American effort to educate Afghanistan’s children was hollowed out by corruption and by short-term political and military goals that, time and again, took precedence over building a viable school system. And the U.S. government has known for years that it has been peddling hype."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 9, 2015 - 49 comments

Nonpartisan Redistricting

Supreme Court rules against gerrymandering - "Ginsburg's opinion is now the law, and I suspect that, in a few decades, this case will be considered one of the most important of the term. Thus far, only California has copied Arizona and created an independent redistricting commission. But with the court's blessing, more states are likely to follow suit. These commissions have been hugely successful thus far, a real boost for representative democracy and a cure for the notoriously stubborn problem of gerrymandering. Had Justice Anthony Kennedy swung away from Ginsburg and aligned with his fellow conservatives, America would be facing down a distressingly undemocratic future."
posted by kliuless on Jul 7, 2015 - 62 comments

The end of open records in Wisconsin

Nearly all records created by state and local government officials, including bill drafts and communications with staff, would not be subject to the Wisconsin open records law under a sweeping surprise change Republicans introduced in committee Thursday as an amendment to the state budget. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Jul 2, 2015 - 43 comments

After Capitalism, Humanism

Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 2, 2015 - 7 comments

Demography is Destiny?

Suzy Khimm, The New Republic: The Obama Gap - "Favorable demographics and a charismatic leader aren’t enough to make a majority party. A case study in electoral failure from Florida." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 26, 2015 - 3 comments


Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 26, 2015 - 1258 comments

Tiger Beat On The Senne

Can Politico make Brussels sexy?
In other words, the appetite for Politico in DC existed before Politico did. The audience for a digital-first gossip-mongering Brussels-based Anglophone pan-European publication does not yet exist, and each one of those constitutive elements presents its own problem. Continental Europeans are not used to a headlong online media culture of breaking news. They remain much more committed than Americans to a separation of serious reportage and entertainment, and they are more inclined to doubt the journalistic value of moral scandal. They view Brussels as, at best, a grey backwater of minor trade quarrels and, at worst, an abscess of smug antidemocratic technocrats bloated with regulatory power. And, finally, there’s the question of whether a “pan-European” outlook can even be said to exist.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 25, 2015 - 16 comments

Action Man: Battlefield Casualties

Action Man: Battlefield Casualties is a disturbing spoof toy commercial in a campaign by Veterans for Peace UK to raise the military recruitment age from 16 to 18. Warning: autoplaying video with graphic violence.
posted by TheophileEscargot on Jun 24, 2015 - 18 comments

Espionnage Elysée

François Hollande calls emergency meeting after WikiLeaks claims US spied on three French presidents. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Jun 23, 2015 - 61 comments

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