Countries like to give President Barack Obama gifts. The Washington Post catalogued and ranked them for us:
It's really a funny collection of presents, for which, were you asked To what sort of person was this gift given?, you'd likely have a wide variety of responses. Argentina gave Obama a silver dagger in a display box in 2012, perhaps confusing the president with their 13-year-old nephew. Britain gave the family a shawl and some kids clothes in 2009, playing the role of America's eccentric aunt.
posted by quadrilaterals
on Aug 5, 2014 -
Today is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the civil rights act, and to commemorate, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library hosted in April a Civil Rights Summit
, featuring dozens of civil rights luminaries as well as Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and President Barack Obama. [more inside]
posted by Ndwright
on Jul 2, 2014 -
I have lived many of the questions that have become central to our national discourse since 1998. How far should we allow the government into our bedrooms? How do we reconcile the right to privacy with the need to expose sexual indiscretion? How do we guard against an overzealous government demanding our private data and information? And, most important to me personally, how do we cope with the shame game as it’s played in the Internet Age?
- Monica Lewinsky for Vanity Fair
posted by porn in the woods
on May 28, 2014 -
Flying on Air Force One the day Kennedy died: "In the small aft cabin, behind the bedroom, Sergeant Ayres is removing two rows of seats to make room for a casket. ... Johnson then asks [Robert] Kennedy where he should take the oath of office and what its exact words are. The questions are met with silence before Kennedy replies that he will find out and call back. He hangs up." Esquire [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee
on Nov 3, 2013 -
In May 16, 1961, Park Chung-hee
ended the Second Republic of South Korea by military coup. On December 18, 2012, his daughter, Park Geun-hye
, became South Korea's president by democratic election under the Saenuri
party against human rights lawyer Moon Jae-in, of the DUP
. [more inside]
posted by curuinor
on Dec 19, 2012 -
The poor in America: In need of help Some 15% of Americans (around 46.2m people) live below the poverty line, as Ms Hamilton does. You have to go back to the early 1960s—before Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programmes—to find a significantly higher rate. Many more, like Ms Dunham, have incomes above the poverty line but nevertheless cannot meet their families’ basic monthly needs, and there are signs that their number is growing.
Once upon a time the fates of these people weighed heavily on American politicians. Ronald Reagan boasted about helping the poor by freeing them from having to pay federal income tax. Jack Kemp, Bob Dole’s running-mate in 1996, sought to spearhead a “new war on poverty.” George W. Bush called “deep, persistent poverty…unworthy of our nation’s promise”.
No longer. Budgets are tight and the safety net is expensive. Mitt Romney famously said he was not “concerned about the very poor” because they have a safety net to take care of them. Mr Obama’s second-term plan mentioned poverty once, and on the trail he spoke gingerly of “those aspiring to the middle class”. “Poor” is a four-letter word.
posted by infini
on Nov 8, 2012 -
President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will have the final debate
of the US Presidential race tonight. Yawning at the thought of a formulaic back and forth, while secretly hoping for a rap battle? Then look beneath the fold for examples of explicit lyrical parodies. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Oct 22, 2012 -
Romney is perhaps best known for being a clown and a humanitarian, but long before his involvement in presidential politics, Romney was an LSD-fueled comedian. Here's a snippet
(No, not that Romney; the other one.) [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet
on Sep 28, 2012 -
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report
) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis
with a pdf
of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 17, 2012 -
Just as the 19th Annual International AIDS Conference
is set to convene in Washington DC (the first IAC in the United States since 1987, when a travel ban
was instituted and not lifted until 2009), President Obama has announced that his administration has invested
$80 million in new grants for HIV/AIDS services, essentially eliminating the AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists
, which currently hold the names of 2,030 Americans waiting for access to HIV-related health care.
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Jul 19, 2012 -
A perceptive audio interview with biographer David Maraniss
on the life of Barack Obama, including detailed research on his friends and relatives.
Pulitzer-prize winning biographer and associate editor of the Washington Post David Maraniss ...collected so much detailed information about the life of Barack Obama and his forbears that when he submitted his introduction and chapter titles to the White House to request an interview, the President himself was intrigued and surprised.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium
on Jun 29, 2012 -
– as visualized by national broadcasting company, click Sivakoikaa! (Ski!). (About the candidates
). First round of Finland's presidential elections has finished with Sauli Niinistö (conservative) and Pekka Haavisto (green) winning 36.7% and 18.7% of votes. If no-one wins over 50% in the first round, the second round will be held amongst the top two candidates two weeks later. Haavisto has steadily doubled his share in polls, where Niinistö has halved his share from his best polls. Among his other achievements in international peace and being green
, Haavisto could be the first openly gay elected head of the state.
posted by Free word order!
on Jan 22, 2012 -
Anatomy of a Stump Speech.
The NY Times has been killing it of late with interactive features. This one is particularly good -- an annotated breakdown of the text and video of Republican stump speeches by four candidates. "Revisionist history alert: Mr. Gingrich is recasting his tempestuous tenure as House speaker..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell
on Jan 3, 2012 -
On the 6th of December
2011, as has been traditional for the past 9 decades since Finland's Independence, the President, Tarja Halonen and her spouse, Dr Pentti Arajarvi host what is known
as the Linnan juhlat
or Castle Ball, an extremely popular televised reception for the notables of the nation
. Along with the usual dignitaries, the President is also permitted to select invitees based on merit - entertainers, athletes, individuals - whom she feels have been in the news in the past year.
This year Peter and Teija Vesterbacka also were invited due to Peter Vesterbacka's work as the CMO of Rovio. Teija Vesterbacka wore a red dress for the evening that had design concepts from one of the birds in the mobile game Angry Birds.
Highlighted in the Finnish news
by the very select group of photographers permitted entry to this exclusive event, it was when the photograph of this dress went viral among global MSM that the angry birds began to fly
posted by infini
on Dec 8, 2011 -
If we trace liberal disappointment with President Obama to its origins, to try to pinpoint the moment when his crestfallen supporters realized that this was Not Change They Could Believe In, the souring probably began on December 17, 2008, when Obama announced that conservative Evangelical pastor Rick Warren would speak at his inauguration. “Abominable,” fumed John Aravosis on AmericaBlog. “Obama’s ‘inclusiveness’ mantra always seems to head only in one direction—an excuse to scorn progressives and embrace the Right,” seethed Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow rode the story almost nightly: “I think the problem is getting larger for Barack Obama.” Negative 34 days into the start of the Obama presidency, the honeymoon was over.
Jonathan Chait asks in New York
magazine, When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable? [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus
on Nov 23, 2011 -
You would be hard pressed to find an article about Obama that didn't mention approval ratings. Ditto during Bush's presidency. This interactive graph
lets you compare approval ratings over time for presidents since Truman (article itself is dated but the chart is current). This graph
offers less interactivity but adds some historical points of context.
posted by Defenestrator
on Oct 8, 2011 -