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The Files Will Get Out

Mitt Romney's damning '47 Percent' video and the new politics of privacy
posted by Artw on Mar 14, 2013 - 112 comments

The Pinky Show: Our Goal is to always be learning new information...

Pinky & Bunny are cute little kitties who live in the Mojave Desert. Their friends are Mimi & Kim (and sometimes grumpy old Daisy). They like to make videos about contemporary issues with a progressive view. Bunny died on Jan 25, 2013. [more inside]
posted by ovvl on Mar 12, 2013 - 11 comments

A very Pyrrhic victory

9 years and 364 days ago, the then MEP (and later cabinet minister), Chris Huhne caught a flight back from Brussels to London Stansted, landing at 10.27pm. He picked up his car, with the distinctive number plate H11HNE, and sped back to his home in Clapham, South London, setting in motion a chain of events that would ultimately see him and his wife, economist Vicky Pryce, each sentenced to 8 months in jail. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Mar 11, 2013 - 83 comments

The Priority of Democracy

Dissent Is the Health of the Democratic State - "We live in big, complex societies, which means we are thoroughly interdependent on each other, and that we will naturally have different ideas about how our life in common should go, and will have divergent interests. This means that politics we shall always have with us. It also means that political problems are largely ones about designing and reforming the institutions which shape how we interact with each other..." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 6, 2013 - 9 comments

Farewell to the "schoolmarm who drinks and smokes."

Dawn Clark Netsch dies at 86. Dawn Clark Netsch was a woman of many firsts: she integrated the dorms of Northwestern University in 1949, graduated first in her class from Northwestern's School of Law (as the only female graduate), joined the Law School faculty in 1965 as the first woman law professor in the United States, elected Comptroller as the first woman to a state-wide office in Illinois in 1972, and was the first woman to run for governor in Illinois. [more inside]
posted by zooropa on Mar 5, 2013 - 11 comments

BUTT banned, BUTTS somehow okay

DC has banned over 26,000 vanity licence plate letterings. Can you out-smut the DC DMV?
posted by troika on Mar 4, 2013 - 99 comments

Finding info on your state lawmakers has never been easier

Open States, the latest project of the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, is an easy to navigate comprehensive database of activities from all state capitols that makes it easy to find your state lawmaker, review their votes, search for legislation, track bills and much more.
posted by joedan on Mar 2, 2013 - 7 comments

You've Come a Long Way, Baby...?

Makers: Women Who Make America is a sweeping 3-hour documentary of the movement for women's equality in the last half of the twentieth century. Airing this month on US public television, it's accompanied by an online archive of videos of interviews with individual women in leadership across a variety of fields. Leaders and activists, celebrities and pioneers, and everyday women retell the story of their awakening, organizing, and world-changing efforts.
posted by Miko on Feb 28, 2013 - 5 comments

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.”

The Turn Against Nabokov [newyorker.com]
"The author, whose novels thrum with ironic recurrences, might have been perversely pleased with this: thirty-six years after his death and twenty-two years after the fall of the Soviet Union with all its khudsovets, Vladimir Nabokov is, once again, controversial."

posted by Fizz on Feb 28, 2013 - 44 comments

TINY LINCOLNS FOR ALL

The original point of the sequester was that it would be terrible and “inflexible,” which would force Congress to choose a less terrible path, but obviously trusting Congress to not pick the most terrible of all available options was something of a gamble. So yes, sure, “flexibility,” but also maybe just “let’s not do this.” Unfortunately, “let’s just not do this” never comes up as an option on any of the shows, which all presented the argument as, on one side, “flexibility,” and on the other side, “a balanced approach,” which means a shitload of unnecessary cuts plus a bit more tax revenue, which sound nice but is still pointless contractionary policy.
Alex Pareene watched the sunday morning shows so you don't have to.
posted by crayz on Feb 25, 2013 - 189 comments

Left 3.0

The left side of the American political spectrum has undergone an extraordinary transformation over the past dozen years. Perhaps because it remains a work in progress, the extent of this transformation has gone largely unremarked and seems underappreciated even among those who have been carrying it out....Left 3.0 is not only an ideological movement, but also effectively controls (or rather guides) a political party fully competitive at the national level.
posted by shivohum on Feb 23, 2013 - 86 comments

What's It Like to Wake Up From a Tea Party Binge?

Mother Jones reports on the damage done to Florida by two years of tea party governance, and on the difficulty of repairing it.
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 21, 2013 - 75 comments

How the Bush administration sold the Iraq war

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Zinni, sitting right next to Cheney’s lectern, says he “literally bolted” when he heard the vice president’s comments. “In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD [weapons of mass destruction], through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.” Rachel Maddow hosts Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War, a documentary special, based on the eponymous book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, that will air Monday, February 18 on MSNBC at 9 p.m.
posted by shivohum on Feb 18, 2013 - 218 comments

Study Predicts Political Beliefs With 83 Percent Accuracy

New research, published yesterday in the journal PLOS ONE, suggests what mom and dad think isn’t the endgame when it comes to shaping a person’s political identity. Ideological differences between partisans may reflect distinct neural processes, and they can predict who’s right and who’s left of center with 82.9 percent accuracy.
posted by nevercalm on Feb 16, 2013 - 65 comments

"It’s even worse than I thought."

Can the Republicans Be Saved From Obsolescence? (NYT)
How to Save the Republican Party (Commentary Magazine)
posted by lalex on Feb 16, 2013 - 201 comments

The Resurrection of Kevin Rudd

The plot is thickening in the lead-up to the Australian national elections. "'I said a week or so ago everyone should take a long cold shower,' Mr Rudd told Channel Seven on Friday morning. 'What I'd say to Malcolm and you Joe (Hockey) is it's time to jump in the ice bath'." [more inside]
posted by rhombus on Feb 16, 2013 - 56 comments

We don't have teleology in this country, but we do have television.

In 2003 blogger Billmon (previously) exhaustively outlined a dialectical history of U.S. politics [gif] in two parts. Now, he asks whether the Obama presidency represents the beginning of a new political cycle:
My analysis starts with the observation that there are some striking similarities between the current political cycle (the Age of Reagan) and the previous one (the Age of Roosevelt). I realize that probably doesn’t go down well with the Obama fans out there, so let me add immediately that it isn’t meant to be taken literally. Nixon really was a sociopath, if not a psychopath—a criminal of monstrous dimensions (See: Hanoi, 1972 Christmas bombing of). And that’s not even bringing Watergate into the discussion. Unless Michelle Bachmann’s paranoid fantasies about Solyndra are actually true, or the drone program is much worse than we now know, Obama isn’t even close to being in Nixon’s league. He actually seems to be a pretty good guy, for an Emperor. But in the current political cycle, Obama sits right there in Tricky Dick’s spot—after the Democratic Eisenhower (Clinton) but before the Democratic Reagan, i.e. the one who will free the Matrix and bring balance to the force.

posted by ennui.bz on Feb 14, 2013 - 40 comments

Happy Birthday Hurricane Hazel

Hazel McCallion, one of history's longest serving elected leaders, turns 92 years old today. McCallion is current mayor of Missisauga, Canada's 6th largest city, where she has served for 34 years, winning 12 consecutive elections. Her political clout and public persona show no sign of slowing.
posted by 256 on Feb 14, 2013 - 18 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

Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship

Representative democracy is what's happening. Unfortunately, democracy is broken. There's a hidden failure mode, we've landed in it, and we probably won't be able to vote ourselves out of it. (via cstross)
posted by j03 on Feb 8, 2013 - 91 comments

The British Parliament are debating same-sex marriage

The Guardian is liveblogging the debate. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Feb 5, 2013 - 102 comments

Academic freedom under attack in NYC

The Political Science Department at Brooklyn College is co-sponsoring a panel discussion about the BDS Movement (boycott, divestment, sanctions) against Israel this Thursday Feburary 7th. The event features Omar Barghouti, BDS co-founder and Judith Butler, prominent philosopher. The college has come under widespread attack for its hosting of the event, with a coalition of New York City councillors threatening to defund the school. [more inside]
posted by mek on Feb 3, 2013 - 142 comments

If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a ...

House of Cards is a new original "TV" series that is not destined for any TV distribution channel. Instead, it was developed by, and is only available through, Netflix. Netflix posted the entire first "season," 13 1-hour episodes, on Friday. (Is this the new thing?) Some of us, cough, watched the whole thing. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Feb 3, 2013 - 106 comments

Batteries not included

André Cassagnes, the inventor of Etch A Sketch, has died aged 86. [Telegraph] [Guardian] [Washington Post] [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 2, 2013 - 25 comments

TIE Fighter: A Post 9/11 Parable

TIE Fighter: A Post 9/11 Parable
posted by Drinky Die on Jan 31, 2013 - 36 comments

Madam Would-Be Mayor

An early look at Christine Quinn's bid to become the first woman (and lesbian) mayor of New York,
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 29, 2013 - 22 comments

X-Mensch

Magneto the Jew
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2013 - 60 comments

The Cyber-Ombudsman

TruthTeller is an ambitious new automated application built by the Washington Post, which fact checks political speeches, ads and interviews "in as close to real time as possible." The prototype is intended to be a complement to the paper's Fact Checker Blog. More on the project from TechCrunch and Poynter.
posted by zarq on Jan 29, 2013 - 13 comments

Abortion in America

The Geography of Abortion Access - Forty years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court ushered in legal abortion for American women when it decided in Roe v. Wade. Today, states—particularly in the South and Midwest—are eroding that right by legislating hundreds of provisions intended to impede access with burdensome obstacles. To understand more fully the complex state of access to abortion services in America, The Daily Beast identified and confirmed the location of the country’s remaining 724 clinics and calculated the distance from every part of the country to its closest clinic. (more)
posted by Artw on Jan 24, 2013 - 26 comments

Keen need to think again about quinoa

The costs of importing non-native foodstuffs: Despite the call to vegans in the headline, this is an issue that effects all eaters as international lands are stripped to feed the appetites of more wealthy nations. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken.
posted by weeyin on Jan 17, 2013 - 77 comments

Freedom from....

The New York Times asks seven 'experts': Does makeup ultimately damage a woman’s self-esteem, or elevate it? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 16, 2013 - 260 comments

The Frightening Hungarian Crackdown

"The new constitution 'recognizes the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood,' and art that is deemed blasphemous or 'anti-national' is now the target of a full-blown campaign of suppression."
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jan 10, 2013 - 137 comments

An uncivil discussion on gun control

Piers Morgan stares his chief critic in the face. Alex Jones [previously] is a controversial radio DJ responsible for, amongst other things, starting a petition to have CNN's Piers Morgan deported for comments critical of the Second Amendment. Jones was invited by Morgan to debate gun rights on Morgan's primetime show. This is what happened.
posted by LondonYank on Jan 8, 2013 - 171 comments

Secret and Lies of the Bailout

Secret and Lies of the Bailout. "The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 7, 2013 - 77 comments

"Victory as recorded on those screens made them feel like Masters of the Universe."

Eunuchs of the Universe: Tom Wolfe on Wall Street Today: [Daily Beast]
"As America teeters on a cliff, Tom Wolfe draws up a sterling indictment of our unscrupulous financial culture. Twenty-five years after Bonfire of the Vanities, the author returns to Wall Street to see what happened to the Masters of the Universe."

posted by Fizz on Jan 4, 2013 - 35 comments

Undue Burden

Jennie Linn McCormack "isn’t the only woman in recent years to be prosecuted for ending her own pregnancy. But her case could change the trajectory of abortion law in the United States": The Rise of DIY Abortions. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 3, 2013 - 66 comments

So I voted for an axe-murderer

A new MP, Gloria De Piero was taken aback by how many people despised her because of her new profession. So she took to the streets to find out why. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Jan 2, 2013 - 20 comments

Not that many Dutch people care what you call the country

Thinking of Holland you think of windmills and tulips, but the former is originally a Persian invention (as far as we know) while the latter came from Turkey. Worse, Holland is not even the name of the country you're thinking of. Luckily, there's a handy youtube video to explain the difference between Holland and the Netherlands. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 28, 2012 - 98 comments

Wonky graphs of 2012

2012: The year in graphs - as picked by the Washington Post Wonkblog's favorite economists, political scientist, politicians and other wonkys.
posted by Artw on Dec 28, 2012 - 17 comments

Japan

What's Going On In Japan? "Really Japan is quite a remarkable case, since neither fiscal nor monetary policy seems to be working to achieve the anticipated results. This year Japan will have a fiscal deficit of around 10% of GDP and gross government debt will hit 235% of GDP, yet the country is still struggling to find growth. Instead of reiterating old dogmas (whether they come from Keynes or from Hayek) more people should be asking themselves what is happening here. This is not a simple repetition of something which was first time tragedy and is now second time tragedy, it is something new, and could well be a harbinger for more that is to come, elsewhere. Oh, why oh why are economists not more curious?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 27, 2012 - 82 comments

Scuds on Steroids

Unha-3, Pyongyang's first successful orbital launch vehicle, dropped her first stage into the Yellow Sea after December 12's launch. Analysis of debris salvaged by the South Korean Navy suggests the scud-derived, crudely assembled rocket is actually an ICBM with enough range to theoretically reach the U.S. (should North Korea somehow manage to miniaturize their nuclear weapon technology and develop re-entry ability).
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Dec 27, 2012 - 55 comments

Voyage of the Damned Old Party.

"This is all out of Lord of the Flies and Karl Rove is Piggy and we’re supposed to all chase him around with spikes and throw him on a fire?" An assortment of popular conservative pundits are trapped on a luxury cruise with well-heeled members of their audience, right after losing the election. One question hangs in the air: who is responsible for this loss?! Hilarity ensues.
posted by markkraft on Dec 25, 2012 - 108 comments

The candidate that "cares about people like me."

The story behind Mitt Romney’s loss in the presidential campaign to President Obama
posted by facehugger on Dec 23, 2012 - 291 comments

Robert Bork's America

Robert Bork, the conservative jurist at the heart of two political firestorms--in 1973 he carried out the "Saturday Night Massacre" by firing Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and in 1987 had his nomination for the Supreme Court rejected by the Senate after a combative confirmation hearing--died yesterday. A perennially divisive figure, Bork's passing drew encomiums from the right and condemnation from the left.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 20, 2012 - 88 comments

Nonvoters in America

In 2012, 40 percent of Americans didn’t vote. The research on this website is an attempt to determine why so many citizens opt out of this fundamental civic duty, using extensive survey research as well as interviews with nonvoters to give a voice to those who are often ignored or marginalized by politicians and the news media. [via this phys.org article that provides a nice summary]
posted by cthuljew on Dec 18, 2012 - 63 comments

Where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars. I don't see any flying cars!

Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 11, 2012 - 21 comments

A vast array of vaguely interesting stuff

Vaguely Interesting stuff. Here's two to get you started:
Calling from the grave - If you ever felt slightly claustrophobic using a traditional BT telephone kiosk, this might be down to its unique architectural history – the design of the UK’s world famous red telephone boxes was inspired by a nineteenth century tomb.
Mass trespass - The Duke of Devonshire’s gamekeepers were on high alert. A left-wing group had been agitating in the Derbyshire village of Hayfield, threatening to “take action to open up the fine country at present denied us.” Their target was Kinder Scout, part of the Duke’s extensive moorland estate in the Peak District. But if they wanted to trespass on His Grace’s land, they would have to get past the gamekeepers.

posted by unliteral on Dec 5, 2012 - 6 comments

"I'm very tired of not standing up for what I believe in."

The Last Ounce of Courage. [more inside]
posted by anewnadir on Dec 5, 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

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