Posts tagged Politics

“Whoever put this ad together is playing Star Trek chess. And winning.”

englishprof:

(via sarahlee310 & apsies)

I’m not the best judge of political ads as a voter. I’m partisan and make my decisions on elements beyond ads, and I don’t live in a swing state market so I only see advertisements online. (I was struck when I recently visited my parents, who in an Ohio television market, by how many ads were playing during the local news, and how bad so many of them they are.)

But this ad — “Firms,” from the Obama campaign — is the type of advertisement I would show in a rhetoric course for its sheer effectiveness. It is a strange and unsettling advertisement that left a visceral pit at the bottom of my stomach in a way that political advertisements don’t. (It’s probably impossible to describe how my skin seized as it cuts from the shot of Romney plainly singing “for spacious skies” to the warped sound of “for amber waves of grain” in the empty factory).

As the directors at the above link note, it’s the sound that gets you: the empty, hollow, ghastly, off-key singing that echoes as if being performed in an empty factory, the soft ocean and the pathetic flag. It’s arresting, but of course you don’t need to know that; in the best instances of rhetoric you don’t—you just feel, and that’s the way this ad is, not unlike Reagan’s “The Bear,” G.W. Bush’s “Windsurfing,” and Obama’s own “Fundamentals.”

It’s impossible to know whether independents and swing voters will feel the same way (although recent polls have found the Obama ads are moving voters in the swing states). We all know that a week can be a year in politics, and people who analyze ads for a living are bound to sit up straight and notice when something is not like the rest. But it works—not necessarily because of its message, but the way someone feels while watching.

It’s an uncommon ad for a Democrat, to be sure, but it’s promising to know that Team Obama has ad makers of this quality. I hope they run it every week until November.

Um… what he said.

Andrea Seabrook is leaving NPR. And her next step sounds intriguing.

Washington is broken. You are not.
DecodeDC is for smart, engaged, and busy people like you. Through the podcast and blog, DecodeDC will decipher Washington’s Byzantine language and procedure, sweeping away what doesn’t matter so you can focus on what does.
DecodeDC goes live on July 27, 2012.

Andrea Seabrook is leaving NPR. And her next step sounds intriguing.

Washington is broken. You are not.

DecodeDC is for smart, engaged, and busy people like you. Through the podcast and blog, DecodeDC will decipher Washington’s Byzantine language and procedure, sweeping away what doesn’t matter so you can focus on what does.

DecodeDC goes live on July 27, 2012.

The latest Texas Observer cover. I think I get their point.

The latest Texas Observer cover. I think I get their point.

Politico: The news from Anoka

The love-hate relationship between fellow Minnesotans Michele Bachmann and “Prairie Home Companion” host Garrison Keillor is surely one of the stranger ones to develop this election cycle.

"I am on the edge of 40 and such behavior is seen as a little extreme, but we are fighting an extreme system."

motherjones:

Priscilla Grim, one of the two editors of the awesome “We Are the 99 Percent” Tumblr.

The first full interview with both of ‘em is here.

newsweek:

nervemedia:

breakfastsafari:

Occupy Sesame Street! Breaking photos from Tauntr.com

YES!

Awesome.

Frank Wolf, GOP Congressman, Goes After Grover Norquist Over 'No New Taxes' Pledge

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) launched a verbal assault on unconventional targets Tuesday, taking aim at Grover Norquist and his highly influential tax policy group, Americans for Tax Reform.

In a speech from the House floor, Wolf accused Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform of complicating the deficit-cutting process with their efforts to encourage Republican politicians to sign onto a “no new taxes” pledge, which has recently stretched far past the issue of personal taxes.

“Everything must be on the table, and I believe how the pledge is interpreted and enforced by Mr. Norquist is a roadblock to realistically reforming our tax code,” Wolf said, after first clarifying that he didn’t “support raising taxes on the American people.”

“Have we really reached the point where one person’s demand for ideological purity is paralyzing Congress to the point that even a discussion of tax reform is viewed as breaking a no-tax pledge?”

Democrats: A necessary but insufficient condition | David Atkins

[FOR] the anti-institutionalists, realizing one simple point is crucial: as long as Republicans are in power, no amount of protest will move them. Over a million people could camp out on the National Mall for months at a time, and nothing would change. Speaker Boehner and his caucus of Tea Party nutcases simply will not be moved except by one action and one alone: booting them out of office. The chances of their addressing the grievances of the majority of the American People are less than nil, regardless of the public pressure placed upon them.

And yet, for the institutionalists, it’s also critical to recognize just how damaging the last 30 years of Democratic acquiescence to conservative ideology has been for not only the Democratic brand, but for the nation’s belief in the power of electoral politics to create change.

It is quite literally impossible to say with a straight face that working to elect more or even better Democrats will actually create the change necessary to address the grievances being expressed in Zuccotti Park. It’s laughable. That ship has been sailing away for decades, and disappeared completely over the horizon with the disappointment of January 2009 through November 2010 and beyond. It is painfully obvious that electoral politics alone are utterly inadequate to deal with the nation’s problems.

The reality is that putting Democrats in power is a necessary but insufficient condition to creating real change in this country.

Republicans are ideologically opposed to creating the necessary changes, and are more afraid of being primaried by an even more crazy conservative, than of even the biggest protest movements from the left. Democrats, meanwhile, are ideologically compatible with most of the changes, but are variously stymied by the system, blinkered by a desire for “compromise,” fearful of conservative anger, or corrupted by the influence of big money.

In order for change to take place, good Democrats do need to be in power. But only an angry and motivated populace angry with both Parties and strongly intent on holding Democrats accountable will scare and motivate Democrats enough to do what they were elected to do.

austinstatesman:

Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign pushed back quickly and  forcefully Sunday against a Washington Post story that linked Perry to a  hunting camp known to some by a racially insensitive name.
The campaign said claims in the story were incorrect and pointed to the newspaper’s heavy reliance on unnamed sources.
READ MORE

austinstatesman:

Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign pushed back quickly and forcefully Sunday against a Washington Post story that linked Perry to a hunting camp known to some by a racially insensitive name.

The campaign said claims in the story were incorrect and pointed to the newspaper’s heavy reliance on unnamed sources.

READ MORE

elizs:

tpmmedia:

“Something strange is happening in the 2012 campaign. Conservative pundits are increasingly accusing Rick Perry — that’s the Rick Perry who shoots coyotes with a laser-sighted .380 handgun on his morning jogs — of being a closet liberal.”

reblogged because of the wonderful graphic.

Oh, honey. Come to Texas and tell me he’s a liberal. You’ll be laughed out of the state.

elizs:

tpmmedia:

“Something strange is happening in the 2012 campaign. Conservative pundits are increasingly accusing Rick Perry — that’s the Rick Perry who shoots coyotes with a laser-sighted .380 handgun on his morning jogs — of being a closet liberal.”

reblogged because of the wonderful graphic.

Oh, honey. Come to Texas and tell me he’s a liberal. You’ll be laughed out of the state.

thepoliticalnotebook:

Could you live on $8 or $9 dollars an hour? A new computer game made by the Urban Ministries of Durham in North Carolina and an advertising firm called McKinney lets you play out life with a low-wage job as a single mom. The objective is to make it a month, juggling getting a job, rent, a place to live, food and coping with the costs of repairs, things for your child, insurance, etc.. Actually a very hard game to play and full of reminders of the difficulties of life on that kind of salary.
Play the game.

thepoliticalnotebook:

Could you live on $8 or $9 dollars an hour? A new computer game made by the Urban Ministries of Durham in North Carolina and an advertising firm called McKinney lets you play out life with a low-wage job as a single mom. The objective is to make it a month, juggling getting a job, rent, a place to live, food and coping with the costs of repairs, things for your child, insurance, etc.. Actually a very hard game to play and full of reminders of the difficulties of life on that kind of salary.

Play the game.

Mother Jones magazine on Tumblr: We've noticed a trend.

At the Reagan Library debate in California, attendees memorably broke into a spontaneous round of applause in support of Rick Perry’s record on the death penalty. At last week’s debate in Tampa, a handful of audience members cheered the prospect of a man without health insurance being left to…

It’s almost refreshing that these people are being so openly vile.

I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.’ No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.

You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.

Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

- Elizabeth Warren

I like her.