You’ll no doubt recall the hue and cry when Barack Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his stand on nuclear non-proliferation and his attempts to engage the Muslim world. Both the right and left in this country had great sport at this — and here I’ll agree — premature awarding of a prize to a man with few signal accomplishments in foreign policy, apart from being “not Bush”.
Six years later and I think it’s time to give him the Prize for real this time. Think about this past year: for a man who started his administration hoping to hit singles and doubles in foreign policy (consumed as he had to be by the domestic economic crisis), he’s kind of knocked a couple out of the park, provoking admiration from aboard and from mainstream Americans, and consternation from the idiot fringe that will sit on perches and poop all day, parroting “Obama bad, BRAWK!” Continue reading
In the history of the United States, only three Presidents have ever been elected to the office of President of the United States directly out of the US Senate.
Of those, only Barack Obama failed to complete his first term (ironically, the other two, Warren Harding and John Kennedy, were elected as their first term in the Senate was ending.)
In case you haven’t heard, MSNBC — which has always had some pretty shaky ratings but can usually point to one or two juicy plums in their book — has been suffering miserably since their most recent prime time shakeup:
Amid the cable news network’s declining ratings, insiders tell TheWrap changes are coming soon and “everything is on the table”
When President Obama was reelected in 2012, MSNBC was “leaning forward” and smiling wide as Obama 2.0 propelled it to record ratings and a firm grasp on the No. 2 spot in cable news.
Over two years later, the network has fallen backwards. January ratings revealed double-digit declines compared with January, 2014 in all ratings measurements. During the day, MSNBC was down 20 percent in viewers and 37 percent in the advertising-coveted 25-54 demo. In primetime, it fell 23 percent in viewers and 39 percent in demo.
The primary exhibit for this is the most excellent offering of Chris Hayes, “All In”. His conversational interview style is well suited to deep exploration of a topic and when he has the bit between his teeth, he will uncover nuances and twists others might miss. Continue reading
Poor Jon Chait.
He had the audacity to question whether the right of free speech comes with a responsibility on the part of both the speaker and the listener, and got hammered for it. In other words, he took on “political correctness” and in what may be one of the grandest moments of self-reinforcing demonstration, got spanked by the very movement he sought to critique. Continue reading
The radical Islam movement shares some things in common with the radical Reactionaries in America. Among them is the promotion of fear as a way to both unify and discipline those who would nominally identify superficially with their cause.
To-wit, let me bring in Juan Cole:
A couple of studies floated to the surface last year in the debate about ammosexuality that I found interesting, not so much for what they concluded — we all sort of knew this stuff instinctually — but for the implicit underlying meaning when you put two and two together
This past year has been one of so many developments in American culture that it would be hard to pick any one thing as a signal event in the course of our nation.
From the full implementation of the surprisingly effective Obamacare to the grand jury decisions in New York and Ferguson, MO, with stopovers at the broad expansion of marriage equality and Ebola outbreaks both in Africa and here, there’s a lot to mull over, a lot that will move forward with us into the new year and beyond.
You work for the only business of any substance in town. You make a nice income.
As you may know, one of the responses on social media like Twitter and Facebook to the tragic grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, as well as to the countless stories of police abuse of power specifically against black men and boys, is for white people to contrast the treatment by cops.
The theme is for a white person to post their worst crime that they got away with, then attach the hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite.
For blacks and Latinos, a similar trope of #AliveWhileBlack calls for a person to post the most dangerous encounter with either the cops or a white person that they survived.
I love Bernie Sanders. I want to have his babby.
However, I think he needs to step back from this. His agenda is too easily co-opted by moderates and conservatives. It’s a nice counterculture statement of values, to be sure, but in the current environment completely unworkable.
I’ve been thinking about Ferguson and the rioting and protests across the country.
And then I found this quote from MLK, Jr:
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride towards freedom is not the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than justice
When people riot for politics, when people organize for politics, they inevitably have either been subdued (Occupy) or placated (the Rodney King outrage) by some sop tossed towards them to make it a little less painful to be subdued.
And then I remember that the Boston Tea Party was not regarded highly by colonial Americans. Indeed, until we achieved independence, the entire Revolution dangled on a thread in terms of public support. But it succeeded because it was outrageous to think it would.
I love Bernie Sanders. I don’t think he’s right on this, at least with this current nation.
I know, I’ve been one poor correspondent, and I’ve been too too hard to find, but that doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind…
2014 was a tough year for everyone. I feel grateful and fortunate that I skated past a lot of crap but what I did endure was enough for two years.
The preliminary numbers are in, and voter turnout was at a record low nationwide.
Conventional wisdom says that each party, Republican and Democrat, can count on roughly 45% of the vote, no matter what. The last ten percent is what you need to win an election.
A couple of points to be made about last night’s midterm elections.
Let’s look at some facts.
WARNING: Below, you will be exposed to toxic thinking and noxious conclusions from right-wing partisans. A Level Four HazMat suit is recommended. The CDC will NOT be available for protection. You have been warned. Proceed with caution. Should you experience nausea, vomiting, tearing eyes, a rise in blood pressure SHUT DOWN YOUR BROWSER IMMEDIATELY and seek expert medical attention from Doctors Jack Daniels or Jim Beam.
The Ebola crisis is, in point of fact, a manufactured crisis. Media outlets, tired of covering insipid and meaningless political horse races found a sexy and dangerous news item and not only ran with it, but decided to tie it into the politics of the day.
The prevailing wisdom, of course, is this crisis reflects badly on the CDC. I suppose when you push a false narrative, it has to. After all, the CDC is supposed to be on top of “crises” like these, and handle them with aplomb.