"It's his charm. It's his gift. It's his political liability, and it's part of an American conundrum. We beg for authenticity, and then when we get it, oh man, it's hilarious. [Vice President Joe] Biden can be fantastic when he's on his game. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, his speech got higher Nielsen ratings than either Bill Clinton's or Obama's. He killed the debate against Ryan, pumped air back into a campaign deflated after Obama's miserable first performance against Romney. Watching those performances, it's almost impossible to see him as a person once crippled by speech."
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]
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..."
It is a strange, dubious and totally unaccepted moral purpose which holds the whole of the world to ransom.
On 1 March 1985, New Zealand Prime Minister Rt Hon David Lange
) addressed the Oxford Union
in support of the proposition that "Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible
". That speech is online at publicaddress.net
) and still resonates today. [more inside]
Next Tuesday, Sept. 8, speaking at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va. President Obama will address the youth of America during a live television broadcast urging them to stay in school. Some school districts
, bowing to parent pressure
, have decided not to show the speech during school. [more inside]
"Of great concern to me
, during those same four days in Denver, they rarely mentioned
the attacks of September 11, 2001."
I think its time that we joined a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern pluralistic society. Obama on religion and politics
We Are Not Freaks
--from Silber's Power of Narrative
--and applicable to all who fall outside the norms.
If last night's speech
didn't satisfy your thirst
for politicians in front of audiences, head over the the Kennedy School's Institute of Politics
, where the video archives
of every taped JFK Jr. Forum
are now available for free. Hours of fun reflecting on past mistakes with Robert McNamara
, worrying about WMDs with William Perry
, thinking about peace with Shimon Peres
or giggling with Jon Stewart
. Delve into the past, watching John Perry Barlow
talking about the internet and elections in 1996, or compare Bill Clinton before
. George W. Bush hasn't spoken there, but both
have, as well as a 2008 hopeful
. (all embedded realvideo).
Internets: Serious Business!
These last few months have seen an increase in the attacks on the participatory culture of the web. The mainstream establishments, both political and corporate, have been looking with a cautious eye towards this new developing place.
So far we've established that blogs can get you fired
, keep you from getting a job
, give pedophiles a place to ruminate on snatching your children,
threaten journalistic integrity *snicker*, endanger the marketing
, product planning
, and product life cycles
for automobile manufacturers, can infect your computer with virii
, and have all sorts of negative consequences
. The internets (both of them) can cause your children to be charmed, seduced, and addicted by readily available porn,
and can also provide access to extremist radical and fundamentalist groups, prompting Congress to discuss more restrictive legislation
), but only for the porn. It has even been claimed that the web has given "Al Qaeda wings"
. P2P is blamed as causing record loses by the music industry, despite their investments in
local station marketing
payola. The FEC has held public hearings attended by both hemispheres of the blogosphere
(amazingly in near-agreement) discussing the regulation of political speech online
. The figureheads of a certain political party fear that their affiliated slice of the blogosphere may be too far-left.
Newspapers and TV are leading the charge, with the internet standing in for pharmaceutical scares, yo-yo diets, and missing white women.
The question is, how will the libertarian-minded digerati respond to this very real attack on the essence of web culture?
Address by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin on Gay Marriage.
Taking the bull by the horns, Mr. Martin speaks to the House of Commons regarding Bill C-38
, The Civil Marriage Act:
"This question does not demand rhetoric. It demands clarity. There are only two legitimate answers – yes or no. Not the demagoguery we have heard, not the dodging, the flawed reasoning, the false options. Just yes or no."
One of the finest speeches from a Canadian politician in memory, and an important read for Canadians and Americans alike.
Q: Is George Bush being quietly coached while he's speaking in public?
There's a weird moment during the debate (one of many) when George Bush says "let me finish" but wasn't being interrrupted. Indymedia has a post on it too, including an mp3 of the moment.
So, is Bush being coached, even during the debates, and more to the point, how did he lose when he was being fed what to say?
Remarks by Al Gore.
Long, but worth it.
Dean is out of cash.
Somehow he blew through $40 million and still managed to leave the first Super Tuesday without a first or second place finish, anywhere.
No mistake about his Meet the Press interview
, though, which was felt as an incredibly strong and persuasive performance. It's obvious that Dean overestimated his grass-roots support, which has currently dried up, but the amount of publicity he has generated is surely a huge advantage. Two options come to mind: blow out the Washington Insiders (as he alluded to in his latest interview), or become more of a traditional candidate.
White House Reprimands Bill Maher...
Remarking on Bill Maher's recent (and ill-timed) comments, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said "Americans ... need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that; there never is.''
Mr Fleischer: there's never a time for a comment like that from the White House.