Posts Tagged ‘politics’

How to criticize Obama as a terrible negotiator

January 1, 2013

If Obama’s opening position is too close to the expected split-the-difference middle, point out that he is caving and that the deal will be too far to the right.

If Obama’s opening position is much further to the left (including, say, a public option or a permanent solution to the debt-ceiling b.s.), say that he caved and sold us out when he gives in on that sweetener to get to a deal.

Voila, either way, he sucks!

Meg Whitman is a biter

January 26, 2010

You can't copyright a title

Tipped off by my old buddy and collaborator Levi Asher, I learned that Meg Whitman and her as-told-to coauthor do in fact favor recycling, at least when it comes to book titles:

hey, i was here first!

Since I own the domain called, I’m thinking about redirecting it somewhere interesting at least through election day. Any suggestions?

via (Twitter / Levi Asher)

What was the Watergate scandal?

May 27, 2009

Another in my new series of longwinded Aardvark answers made public, in this case answering a question about U.S. history from a 19 year-old in New York State: “What was the watergate scandal?”

Here’s my answer. (How’d I do?*):


Watergate is the name of a famous hotel in Washington, D.C. where a lot of political organizations (and individuals) kept offices and apartments. In the 1972 presidential election the Democratic Party, or the campaign of Democrat George McGovern, had an office in the Watergate. This office was robbed in a burglary that turned out to have been planned by undercover operatives working for the campaign of Republican Richard Nixon. This story leaked out bit by bit, mostly in the Washington Post (the movie “All the President’s Men” and the book it was based on, by Post reporters Woodward & Bernstein, tells this story pretty well if you’re interested, btw) and eventually turned out to be a scandal that reached up to the president himself. As with nearly all such poltiical scandals, it was the coverup where the worst crimes were committed. In the end, Nixon resigned (in 1974) rather than face an impeachment hearing. Hope this helps!

(image found using Creative Commons image search at Yahoo! and used with permission)

*I know the comment system seems to be churning here. I’m hacking on the blog so I’ll try to fix that. Reply to me @mediajunkie on twitter to comment.

Too risky!

October 14, 2008

Looks like Jay Smooth has decoded the McCain ad strategy:
(via Vivirlatino via Jenternational)

Get Your War On says time for us to come together

September 26, 2008

to kill all the bankers and steal their money:

A message to you, Rudy

December 5, 2007

duce.jpgSince Rudy Giuliani is running for president of 9/11, WFMU is running a remix contest encouraging people to put together tracks using his incessant invocation of that day (when his command center proved to be so ill-placed):
> Here’s over two minutes of wall to wall September Eleventh’s, courtesy of America’s mayor. Your mission: turn some or all of them into music, to be reposted here.
There are already a bunch of submissions up on the blog.
One of my favorites is Gary Lambert’s Revolution #9/11.

Set the terms of the debate

October 18, 2007

TechPresident, a project of Personal Democracy Forum (which I used to write for), in cooperation with the New York Times and MSNBC, has launched a site called 10 Questions where anyone can suggest a question for the presidential candidates and anyone can vote the suggested questions up or down.
It’s a kind of more open version of the YouTube debate concept or the recent mashup Yahoo! did.
In round one, you ask a video question, you vote on the best questions, the top ten questions get selected.
In round two, the top ten questions are presented to the candidates, candidates post their video answers, and (here’s the beauty part) you decide if they actually answered the questions.
(via Zephyr Teachout, who’s always up to something cool.)

Strategery at the New School?

October 7, 2007

kerrey image nicked from the ObserverSo I’m standing outside of the Parsons (I always knew it as the Parsons School of Design but at some point it got rebranded Parsons The New School for Design in line with all the other New School for… subschools), where we were putting on the IDEA 2007 conference this past week (which is why I haven’t been getting much blogging done although I have been taking a lot of pictures which I’ve been slowly posting to Flickr if you’re interested), trying to get some AT&T reception on my jPhone to return a call when two guys in suits with their arms literally around each other’s shoulders, laughing and schmoozing like the bunch of dyed-in-the-wool politicians I realize they are, as my brain sorts out the distinctions between these are people I recognize from my own personal life and these are people I recognize because the television has emblazoned them on my mind’s eye over the years, come bursting out of the front door.

It’s Chuck Schumer, I notice, the not-Hillary senator from New York and Bob Kerrey, the former senator from Nebraska or was it Kanasas, who is – I suddenly recall – president of the New School and someone about whom I’d recently heard rumors that he might be considering making another go of it in the Senate, despite his admissions of war crimes in Vietnam and his hawkishness on Iraq and Iran.
And I also find myself reflecting on how he used to comb his long receding bangs over his bulgy forehead but that somehow his time in New York had updated his fashion sense so that now he wears his gray hair (or toupe, who can tell?) in a modified Caesar cut, very short bangs brushed forward and it honestly looks much better. He is a handsome man after all.

By now it’s too late to snap a photo of the men, as Kerrey has slipped into a limo and Schumer has hightailed it down toward Sixth Ave and I’m talking on the phone anyway, so it would be kind of rude to put the call on hold just to take photos, but it occurs to me that maybe these guys were talking about said rumored Senate bid and if so was this supposed to be a sort of out-of-the-ways meeting, given that while this is the New School being Parsons and all, it probably isn’t the location of the office of the president of the New School but if so then wouldn’t they be more sneaky and less boisterous and buddy-buddy on their way out the front door?

Oakland for Obama?

September 28, 2007

Obama logoJust got a call from an organizer named Barbara with the local Barack Obama for President campaign, telling me they are opening a new Northern California campaign office in downtown Oakland, and inviting me to a grand opening party for the office on 4136 14th Street (near Broadway) this Sunday, September 30, from 1 to 5 pm.
I’m thinking of going. I haven’t gotten involved in a campaign yet, nor have I picked a candidate, but I do like what I’ve seen of Obama so far, even as I wish he would take a harder line on ending the war in Iraq.
They say the party will have music and they expect the media there so they’re hoping to get the word out, so consider this my first volunteer effort for the campaign, trying to get the word out about this party just a little bit more.

Shining a spotlight on money in politics

September 19, 2007

I’ve written about MAPlight before but from time to time I feel the need to post an update about the amazing work it’s doing. (Disclosure: I am an advisor to this nonprofit, although my direct involvement is limited.)
Since the last time I mentioned MAPlight it’s gone from just documenting donations to California politicians to covering the Federal level as well, at a new site that launched back in May, called Our Congress (“Our Congress tracks every vote and campaign contribution for all U.S. Senators and Representatives”).
That alone is a huge addition to the service it provides. If you’re interested in what Congress is up to, also check out OpenCongress, another project that has received support from the Sunlight Foundation (as has MAPlight).
Then in May, MAPlight won the NetSquared innovation award for “social impact, sustainability, and technical innovation,” taking first prize in a contest based on open voting online, and earning a $25,000 prize grant.
More recently, MAPlight announced a set of customizable widgets “that allow anyone to track presidential fundraising on their own blogs, social media sites, and personal Web sites.”