"Silvio Berlusconi’s private disco featured women dressed not just as sexy nuns and nurses but also as President Barack Obama and a prominent Milan prosecutor the former Italian premier has accused of persecuting him."
Rogue ophthalmologist Rand Paul has been a disheveled weirdo for the entirety of his political career, because the apple does not fall far from the tree of liberty, but last night he won the hearts of many people on Twitter because he was up most of the night reading blogs aloud as part of a filibuster against Barack Obama's pick for the new CIA chief. (The last CIA chief resigned over sexting.)
The moral issue of drone assassins is very important, and there are obvious constitutional and police-state issues both domestically and internationally, but this is less a political shift than a technological evolution. Remotely controlled flying war machines [...]
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, fellow Americans, and even you, Mr. President:
On this fortuitous evening, we come together in a highly ritualized, deeply esoteric sacred performance within the inner sanctum of our nation's high temple. The president's words will be parsed by an inverse pyramid of humanity, from a mass of dimwitted Politico commenters bobbing like frantic ill-informed ducks upon the surface to the industrial sludge filters at the bottleneck bottom, monstrous catfish like Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzer, slurping up and then expelling the reactions to the president's prepared text, which have already become worn out punchlines on Twitter.
At home, the citizens [...]
Only a decade ago, it seemed horrifyingly certain that the United States was the exclusive realm of screeching old white people who defined themselves by their consumption of guns, gasoline and corn-syrup anusburgers. The president was a blue-blooded Yale (and Harvard!) man who successfully acted like a moronic Texan suburban cowboy who was always either giggling over his ability to execute retarded people or crying about Jesus. A once smart nation seemed to be operated entirely from shoddily constructed stucco megachurches on the exurban fringe of the world's ugliest sunbelt sprawl. It was depressing, but it was also probably the peak of all that awful bullshit. The "Nones"—[...]
If you're thinking of starting a We The People online petition to force the White House to respond to some nonsense like "building a Death Star" or "declaring the Sasquatch a threatened species" or "bringing our barbarian gun laws maybe halfway up to the basic standards of 21st Century civilization," you will need more online friends to share your dream. As of now, White House petitions require 100,000 electronic signatures, which is a fourfold increase from the 25,000 required to make the Obama Administration do a cute response to the Death Star thing, even as the Obama Administration rains death from imperial robots upon the rebels (and [...]
Politics apparently continued over the winter holidays. What did that crafty Barack Obama do while the rest of us were worshiping the Baby Jesus or whatever? He is suggesting that America allow Chuck Hagel to be the Secretary of Defense, that's what! Who would let Chuck Hagel do something as important as overseeing the continued American defeat in Afghanistan, when he has controversial opinions about The Gays and Israel?
But, like all cabinet battles, the controversy around Chuck Hagel is both a) limited to Politico reporters/editors and the people who actually read the Politico, and b) not really about the Defense Department but actually about right-wing Christians who hate gays [...]
A horrible-looking lizard that died out 65 million years ago has been named Obamadon gracilis for President Barack Obama. Paleontologist Nicholas Longrich told the Boston Globe that scientists from Harvard and Yale decided on the name just before November's election. Longrich notes that "if the election had gone the other way, I would have yanked it."
• "Contrary to assurances it has deployed U.S. drones only against known senior leaders of al Qaida and allied groups, the Obama administration has targeted and killed hundreds of suspected lower-level Afghan, Pakistani and unidentified “other” militants in scores of strikes in Pakistan’s rugged tribal area, classified U.S. intelligence reports show."
• "A number of small banks used $2.1 billion in government cash intended to boost small-business lending to repay bailout funds from the financial crisis, a government watchdog said Tuesday in a report that also concluded the banks lent less money than firms that didn't take bailout aid."
It might seem like the self-destructive mob known as the Tea Party was a brief living nightmare from 2010 that was handily smacked back into its grave by Barack Obama's epic 2012 re-election win, which also saw Democrats again winning the Senate with a two-seat gain and the House GOP majority losing eight seats. Democrats actually won 1.4 million votes more than Republicans in the House, the first time since 1996 that the GOP held the House while losing the vote count.
But this is the kind of talk that has long distanced liberal media elitists from the Tea Party faithful. While the straggling and embarrassing remains of the Tea [...]
President Obama has been in a little bit of trouble lately for not having enough women and minorities in his cabinet. It's too bad he doesn't just point to himself and say, "Did you notice I'm a minority? Presidents used to own people who looked like me, until very recently, in geologic time." But instead, Obama is diligently trying to find women and minorities in their various habitats, such as corporate boardrooms.
Sally Jewell, a former oil company official and corporate banker, seems like the perfect candidate to protect our public lands from the greed and destruction of oil companies and Wall Street. But her business experience is not [...]
What happens when a candidate wins the presidential race and gets that first top-level security briefing in the Oval Office? The comedian Bill Hicks had a pretty good idea, which he explained not long after Bill Clinton was inaugurated.
"No matter what you promise on the campaign trail," Hicks said in a 1993 routine, "when you win, you go into this smoke-filled room with the 12 industrialist capitalist scum-fucks who got you in there. And you're in this smoky room, and this little film screen comes down, and a big guy with a cigar goes, 'Roll the film.' And it's a shot of the Kennedy assassination from an angle [...]
Does the modest increase in gun regulation proposed by the White House today seem too crazy to comprehend? Here is how quickly big things can change: In the not so long ago era of Bill Clinton's second term and "Friends," when the Drudge Report was what the old people already had as their home page, you could still smoke almost anywhere in California. Restaurants, bars, concert venues, the beach, outside elementary schools. And then the No Smoking laws came to pass, and despite threats of violence by rednecks, within a few months it was all over. Short-lived protests like the "private clubs" that some Central Valley truck stops [...]
Aren't there any other black presidents who win historic elections against old white rich guys? No? Well then, Barack Obama is the Person of the Year, according to TIME, which is not even trying anymore now that Newsweek is gone. Obama was chosen because, let's see, "We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Barack Obama is both the symbol and in some ways the architect of this new America. In 2012, he found and forged a new majority, turned weakness into opportunity and sought, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union."
If taking our guns away and taxing the Koch Brothers at [...]
With the election over, here are The Guardian's Ana Marie Cox and Huffington Post political reporter Jason Linkins to sift through the latest photos from the White House's Flickr feed and help us anticipate what the Obama second term might have in store (spoiler: great jackets, Joe Biden hugs).
Jason: I was gonna start by pointing out that if there's one picture that encapsulates why we have gotten four more years of scrutinizing the Obama/Biden/Souza administration, it's this one.
Ana Marie: Oh. My. God.
Jason: This is like, the purest distillation of the Romney campaign.
Ana Marie: Mitt waving at people through a chain-link [...]
Oh look, there's a new attraction in Manhattan for the downtown art crowd:
The husband-and-wife pair stepped out alongside Morgado on Tuesday night for the opening-night gala for "The Bible Experience," an exhibit in downtown Manhattan featuring photography from the mini-series as well as biblical artifacts by way of the Vatican and a giant, two-ton crown of thorns hanging from the ceiling. A spooky Old World ambiance was enhanced by dim lighting, a fog machine and Hans Zimmer's musical score in the background as guests wandered through a cavernous space built to seem centuries-old with earthy walls and barely any heat circulating. "This is a gift to [...]
So this fiscal cliff thing, whatever it is, seems pretty bad. Or maybe it's not that big a deal? Will it last forever? Is it "in the Constitution" or just a Politico scam? Is it Obama's fault, or are liberals to blame? The problem is that sequester is jargon garbage that means nothing to anyone outside of newsrooms and the U.S. Capitol, which should just have iron bars put in all the windows and doorways and be renamed Ronald Reagan Federal Penitentiary.
What's happening is nothing less than a partial-birth shutdown of the United States. It is the fault of Tea Party Kochbats in Congress who are, if I'm reading [...]
While the Republicans in Congress were distracted by Benghazi and tax cuts and being crazy old men, Barack Obama stealthily created a new national park in California. Is this the beginning of the Obama Administration's bold action on the environment and climate change, which until now hasn't been bold at all? Maybe.
Pinnacles National Park was also signed into existence over the lines of an existing national monument dating back to 1908, when Republicans were the environmentalists. The ragged volcanic landscape and habitat for the humongous (and critically endangered) California Condor runs along the San Andreas Fault, 80 miles southeast of San Francisco. But because [...]
Barack Obama said more about climate change in his inauguration speech—and expressed it more forcefully—than he did at any point in the 2012 election campaign and during much of his first term [...] He made a carefully calibrated appeal to Republicans, situating a transition from fossil fuels to clean energy in a religious and conservative framework of God and constitution.
The Earth and its many forms of life were thrilled to hear the American president mark his second inauguration with a long overdue promise to save the planet from human ruination. Since the Frankenstorm made it okay for centrist Democrats (and a handful of moderate Republicans) to acknowledge that [...]
Remember the hope and joy of the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, the historic first Hawiian to become president of the mainland United States? People were so excited—especially black people, who seemed to see something special about the Harvard law school graduate's move to national politics. (White conservatives were, in turn, very suspicious about African-Americans managing to travel to D.C. for the 2009 ceremony, while other blacks trapped in flooded New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina only managed to lose their homes, drown or get shot down by white cops.)
Anyway, things will be a lot smoother this year, in Washington. For one thing, hardly anybody wants to go [...]
Good news from the current "former marijuana smoker" in the White House: Barack Obama has finally (and vaguely) said that his administration will not make it a "priority" to prosecute people who legally use marijuana in the western states of Colorado and Washington. Voters there approved recreational weed in the November election, and since then the U.S. Justice Department has continued its weird, threatening rumblings. (States with legal medicinal pot have seen increased prosecution of legal growers and dispensaries during Obama's first term.)
"It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said [...]