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The worst of the worst.

Where the Death Penalty Still Lives. In the U.S., 20 states and the District of Columbia have abolished capital punishment and four others have imposed a moratorium on executions. Of the 26 states that remain, only 14 handed down death sentences last year for a total of 50 across the country — less than half the number six years before. California, which issued more than one-quarter of last year’s death sentences, hasn’t actually executed anyone since 2006. A new geography of capital punishment is taking shape, with just two percent of the nation’s counties now accounting for a majority of the people sitting on death row. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 25, 2016 - 18 comments

...a moment in history where it is almost hard to catch your breath.

Today, the Hillary Clinton campaign launched a new "With Her" podcast, chronicling her historic run for office. Clinton also released her 2015 tax returns while Sen. Tim Kaine released 10 years’ worth of his. With just 87 days until Election Day, 538's "Election Forecast" looks dire for Republican nominee Donald Trump, who continues to rely on wild, desperate claims to capture each news cycle.
posted by zarq on Aug 12, 2016 - 2661 comments

"Then it all went horribly wrong."

Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart "The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences — war and uncertainty throughout the world — are familiar to us all. Scott Anderson’s story gives the reader a visceral sense of how it all unfolded, through the eyes of six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Accompanying Anderson’s text are 10 portfolios by the photographer Paolo Pellegrin, drawn from his extensive travels across the region over the last 14 years, as well as a landmark virtual-reality experience that embeds the viewer with the Iraqi fighting forces during the battle to retake Falluja."
posted by lauranesson on Aug 11, 2016 - 10 comments

How To Vote In Every State

In order to help people get out and vote this coming election the VLogBrothers havre created How To Vote In Every State: a YouTube channel with videos detailing how to register and vote in each state (as well as military personnel, unincorporated territories and abroad, and DC residents.) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum on Aug 8, 2016 - 16 comments

Foreign Influence

President Obama:
With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.
The Intercept: A series exploring how money from abroad has entered the 2016 presidential election thanks to Citizens United. [more inside]
posted by kyp on Aug 3, 2016 - 68 comments

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Protections For LGB People

"Sexual orientation discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people can only come from the Supreme Court or Congress, the federal appeals court in Chicago rules." [sl-buzzfeed article] [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 31, 2016 - 22 comments

"You have a constitutional right to be a dumbass"

Justin Roiland - the voice of Adult Swim's Rick and Morty - reenacts a truly ridiculous court transcript from a Georgia county courtroom, as Rick and Morty. (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts on Jul 27, 2016 - 43 comments

"Liberals got out of the habit of arguing for their beliefs"

"But it goes way beyond that. Some researchers claim that liberals aren't motivated by feeling of moral disgust, but I disagree. Liberals think incidents like these are disgusting. Racism is viscerally wrong, it's unacceptable, and it needs to stop." Four years ago Mark Rosenfelder (metafilter's own) wrote The Practical Case For Liberalism (previously). He follows it up now with The Moral Case For Liberalism.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 25, 2016 - 29 comments

US Presidential Election Roundup: But If You Had to Choose

Sanders endorses Clinton. Trump rebukes Ginsberg. RNC prepares for their convention in Cleveland. Pundits debate the best VP choice for Trump.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jul 12, 2016 - 1770 comments

Happy America Day!

Enjoy thirteen versions of "The Stars And Stripes Forever", wince with self-recognition at The Oatmeal's America Explained To Non-Americans and schedule a trip to one of ten distinctive July festivals and events. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jul 4, 2016 - 44 comments

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

Most American mass shooters use legally obtained firearms.

A Mother Jones Investigation: Fully Loaded: Inside the Shadowy World of America's 10 Biggest Gunmakers. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 15, 2016 - 277 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

Police: 50 killed in Florida nightclub terror attack.

Fifty people were killed and at least fifty-three more were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. According to ABC news, "The shooter has been identified by officials as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, an American-born citizen with Afghani parents." Mateen had previously been considered a person of interest by the FBI in 2013 and 2014. Mateen was shot and killed by police. [more inside]
posted by Drinky Die on Jun 12, 2016 - 1239 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

bang bang

Our Well-Regulated Milita, Alexander Chee
The Gun Control We Deserve, Patrick Blanchfield
Should We Just Get Used To Mass Shootings?, Michael Paterniti
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 5, 2016 - 498 comments

I guess it's good to have a brick house

Rod Reeves, 42, turns on the spigot and shows how his garden hose, punctured by bullets, now leaks. In last week's three day Memorial Day weekend, 64 people were shot in Chicago, a city of 2.7 million. 6 died from their wounds. Prior to that, there had been 1,177 shootings this year, and some 28,000 citizen phone calls reporting gunfire.
posted by stillmoving on Jun 4, 2016 - 34 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

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

Citizen Khan

Behind a Muslim community in northern Wyoming lies one enterprising man—and countless tamales.
posted by Joe in Australia on May 31, 2016 - 16 comments

Duty, Honor, Country

As 2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache stood at attention during his West Point commencement on Saturday, he was overwhelmed with emotion. [more inside]
posted by sallybrown on May 26, 2016 - 7 comments

A quarter of this generation of young adults might never marry

Millennials’ Roommates Now More Likely to Be Parents Than Partners. "Millennials, who have been slower than previous generations to marry and set up their own households, reached that milestone in 2014, when 32.1 percent lived in a parent’s home, compared with 31.6 percent who lived with a spouse or a partner, the report found." [more inside]
posted by crazy with stars on May 25, 2016 - 105 comments

Remaking 'Roots'

Remaking 'Roots' In this version, accuracy is at the forefront, Mr. Wolper said one day last fall, in his production office in New Orleans, where the walls were covered with images of slave ships, plantation houses and African beads. “I’m not being modest here,” he said. “We have to make it better than the first ‘Roots.’ Otherwise, why bother?”
posted by modernnomad on May 18, 2016 - 31 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

What variety of cheese would Donald be? The 2016 US election continues.

With only six months left in the all-too-brief election campaign, three candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties remain. In the red corner, Donald has vanquished Ben, Bobby, Carly, Chris, George, Jeb, Jim, John, Lindsey, Marco, Mike, Rand, Rick, the other Rick, Scott, and Ted. In the blue corner, Bernie and Hillary have vanquished Jim, Lawrence, Lincoln and Martin. However, there is pessimism about whether Donald can win the general, with bookmaker odds stabilizing and keeping Hillary as the clear favorite. Elsewhere, Sarah doesn't like Paul, Lindsey is glad he isn't in Area 51, Gary Johnson "could" become POTUS, and Jeb sort-of returns. Meanwhile, Bernie collects more delegates in Washington state, while Hillary wins the Guam caucus. And, on the island of his mother's birth, war has broken out between rival facebook groups for and against Donald. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on May 9, 2016 - 2567 comments

Maybe we need to find more non-edible uses for it

Consumerist: The U.S. has a giant cheese surplus and unfortunately, this is a bad thing. Bloomberg graph: Welcome to Cheese Mountain. (n.b. not a real, visitable, place) nymag: "Our great nation apparently had an inventory of 1.2 billion pounds at the end of March, the highest in 30 years." FoodDive: "Startups may see an opportunity to create marketable products out of inexpensive ingredients, and more cheese-based product startups could pop up and generate interest from investors and major manufacturers." Mashable: "Do your part. Eat more cheese."
posted by Wordshore on May 2, 2016 - 140 comments

Boom.

Harry and Liz are flicking through some pictures from the Invictus Games when Harry gets a call from Michelle. You'll never guess what happens next... [In tweet]
posted by Wordshore on Apr 30, 2016 - 31 comments

"I stop talking, realizing that everyone at the table is looking at me"

Patrick Blanchfield writes for The Revealer: God And Guns
Setting aside both its lyrical merits and ideological upshot, of all responses to Obama’s remarks, Skynyrd’s song had the distinction of being perhaps the most honest – and, as a matter of simple description, the most analytically accurate. For the bare fact of the matter is that whatever you may think of God, or of guns, American history would be unrecognizable without the influence of both. God and machine, ever-in-tandem, producing a nation “strong” not just in the narrow sense of being powerful, but also in the etymological sense of resolute violence, of an abiding legacy of wreckage unparalleled by any other nation on Earth.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 30, 2016 - 6 comments

TV & Class

TV's Dwindling Middle Class [SLNYT] Now on TV, no matter your actual job, almost everybody belongs to the same generic, vaguely upper-class class. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Apr 28, 2016 - 91 comments

The myth of the "Irish slave"

How the Myth of the "Irish slaves" Became a Favorite Meme of Racists Online [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Apr 26, 2016 - 96 comments

Crossing the Delaware: five primaries in the US election

With less than 200 days before deciding who will be POTUS #45, five states hold primaries today: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Following the problems with voting in New York, hopefully there won't be so many this week, although location limitations do not bode well. Since the New York primaries, Ted has cut a deal with John but thinks the convention will be contested, people are eyeing Bernie's email address book, Donald buys a ticket to Seattle but gets his historical election facts wrong while encouraging an academic discipline, John corners the astronaut demographic, Hillary rejects a non-endorsement, Joe is focusing on the Senate, and the new first rule of Abe Club is that there is no more Abe Club. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Apr 26, 2016 - 1341 comments

Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20

Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew announced that Harriet Tubman, a black woman who helped to free slaves via the Underground Railroad, will replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the US $20 bill. This is a change from earlier plans to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 with a woman. The new bill designs “should be ready by 2020.”
posted by Rangi on Apr 20, 2016 - 245 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

It's still only April: the US election drags ever onwards

As we enter the last 30 weeks of the election campaign, delegate talk becomes more prevalent. On the Republican side, current Donald (future Donald) did not have a good Saturday in Colorado and South Carolina, with Cruz picking up delegates, and Kasich seeing a path despite lacking delegates. On the Democratic side, Bernie's recent good run has added to his count, although he remains behind Hillary. Voter suppression continues to be a strong issue, while Wikipedia has some interesting data on historical voter turnout. Meanwhile, Paul Ryan may or may not be running, while Kevin Spacey, who plays Frank Underwood in House of Cards series, says some real-life presidential candidates ‘appear to be fictional’. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Apr 11, 2016 - 1208 comments

"We don't know why it came to this."

White women between 25 and 55 have been dying at accelerating rates over the past decade, a spike in mortality not seen since the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. Why?
posted by Shepherd on Apr 11, 2016 - 142 comments

After this it's the midterms: April's US election primaries

And then there were five. On the Democratic party side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders remain. On the Republican party side, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump remain. But there's also the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and lots of other parties. The dates for candidate debates are fluid; for example there may be a Democratic debate on April 14th. In other election news, the New York Times thinks that Candidate Trump would be "Wildly unpopular", while the Washington Post thinks that Republicans are gaming the voting system in their favor. Cruz and Sanders lead in Wisconsin polls, Kasich enjoys a beer, and the BBC describes five ways the Republican bloodbath could end. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Apr 3, 2016 - 1581 comments

My cellie is dead. I killed him.

The Deadly Consequences of Solitary With a Cellmate. "The 4'8"-by-10'8" space was originally built for one, but as Menard became increasingly overcrowded and guards sent more people to solitary, the prison bolted in a second bunk. The two men would have to eat, sleep, and defecate inches from one another for nearly 24 hours a day in a space smaller than a parking spot, if a parking spot had walls made of cement and steel on all sides. With a toilet, sink, shelf, and beds, the men were left with a sliver of space about a foot-and-a-half wide to maneuver around each other. If one stood, the other had to sit."
posted by Rumple on Mar 30, 2016 - 57 comments

Come on out and dance, If you get the chance

Nine years ago, when she was 27 and unhappily selling real estate, Gina Locklear went to her parents with a proposition.

Now 36, she's leading the latest million selling trend. Meet the Sock Queen of Alabama.
posted by four panels on Mar 30, 2016 - 67 comments

USA Football/Soccer :(

ESPN estimates nearly a third of young Americans play soccer, so why can’t a sports powerhouse of 320m people produce a Messi – or even a João Moutinho?
posted by josher71 on Mar 16, 2016 - 81 comments

Open

A Trip Through Amazon’s First Physical Store
posted by four panels on Mar 10, 2016 - 18 comments

"Four."

“Can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?” asked the lawyer, Douglas E. Mirell.

“If they were a child,” Mr. Daulerio replied.

“Under what age?” the lawyer pressed.

Gawker founder Nick Denton and former editor Albert J. Daulerio take the stand.
posted by four panels on Mar 9, 2016 - 69 comments

Someone buying this property will obtain a piece of cultural history

Maya Angelou's Harlem home is up for sale - and it can be yours for about $5 million.
posted by divabat on Mar 9, 2016 - 11 comments

Where ships go to die

Drone flyover of the Arthur Kill ship graveyard, Staten Island, NY (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 6, 2016 - 25 comments

Scott Kelly wasn't up there alone, you know

Meet Mikhail Kornienko, the other guy who just spent a year in space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 5, 2016 - 3 comments

He Loves To Eat Hair

Bad Lip Reading - Ted Cruz
posted by The Whelk on Mar 2, 2016 - 959 comments

Super Tuesday: it's going to be huge

The March 1st round of voting in US primaries and caucuses is today. Since 1988, no candidate has won his party’s nomination without winning Super Tuesday. With early voting and absentee voting already happening, the people of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia will turn out for both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans in Alaska will hold caucuses, as will Democrats in Colorado. Democrats in American Samoa also nominate. On the Republican side, with 661 delegates to be allocated today, Donald Trump currently holds the delegate lead. On the Democrat side, with 865 delegates to be delegated today, Hillary Clinton currently holds the delegate lead. (A more visual delegate tracker) The actual POTUS election odds continue to make Hillary the favorite, from Donald with the rest at long odds. Politico has more information on today, as does the Wall Street Journal and 538. With variable weather for voters, Nate Silver being cautious about assumptions and Obama's surprise endorsement of Trump, it's all to play for.
posted by Wordshore on Mar 1, 2016 - 2708 comments

The Bidding War

Matthieu Aikins on Hikmatullah Shadman, a young military contractor who amassed a fortune. But was it profit or profiteering? (slNewYorker)
posted by crazy with stars on Feb 29, 2016 - 21 comments

bullet points

An entrepreneur tries to start a company and raise venture capital in Silicon Valley — and then finds out she is pregnant.
posted by four panels on Feb 27, 2016 - 10 comments

Every society has to answer for its morgue

CSI: Dixie — a digital history project of coroners' inquests from South Carolina during the 1800s. [more inside]
posted by metaquarry on Feb 21, 2016 - 3 comments

The Patronage and Cronyism of the "Hillary Clinton Victory Fund"

Blogger suggests that a win For Hillary Clinton's methods on the way to the White House is a loss for participatory democracy. Alongside the quiet rollback of Obama's ban on contributions from federal lobbyists within the DNC comes what appears to be a novel tactic to maintain control of the nomination process by the Democratic establishment or HRC: the formation of fundraising agreements between HRC and state Democratic parties. The implications for participatory democracy do not seem good given that state parties with their success financially tied to HRC's success must oversee very narrow caucuses and primaries.
posted by auggy on Feb 16, 2016 - 222 comments

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