Posts Tagged: Politics

The Politics of Hurricane Sandy

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In our earlier roundup about Hurricane Sandy, we linked to this piece from The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta which quotes Governor Mitt Romney in 2011 at a Republican debate. He was talking about government spending in the context of a concern that FEMA was running out of money for dealing with national emergencies.

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A Rep. Todd Akins Roundup

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Before yesterday, I suspect most people outside Missouri had never heard of Representative Todd Akin. I barely recognized the name myself, even though I consider myself a bit of a political junkie and I currently live in the neighboring state. All I really knew is that he was beating Senator Claire McCaskill pretty handily in her re-election bid, and that the Democrats were likely to lose that seat come November.

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Russian Punk Band Pussy Riot Sentenced to Two Years for ‘Hooliganism’

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Today in a Russian court, three members (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alekhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30)  of the all-female Russian punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism.”

(For those unfamiliar with the story, here is a round-up of links that we published last week.)

The trio had been facing up to seven years, but, after much deliberation, was sentenced to two years in prison for an anti-Putin song they performed in a church.

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Pussy Riot Link Round-Up

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Three women of the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot are on trial in Russia for hooliganism, which carries a charge up to seven years in prison, following their arrest in March after a performance of what they’ve called a ‘punk prayer’ critical of Vladmir Putin in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, one of the most famous Orthodox cathedrals in Moscow.

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Steve Almond on Comedy and Politics

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“Why take to the streets when Stewart and Colbert are on the case? It’s a lot easier, and more fun, to experience the war as a passive form of entertainment than as a source of moral distress requiring citizen activism.”

At The Baffler, Rumpus columnist Steve Almond takes on comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, arguing that the comedians serve, largely, to mollify the public by staunching desire for active action against unjust power structures by engaging in acts of essentially harmless ridicule.

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The Language of American Politics

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At The American Interest, David Green issues “A Call To Linguistic Disobedience.”

In his essay, Green argues that some of the most basic linguistic techniques used to describe the state of American politics (or, to “define the situation”) – such as the use of a binary of left versus right, liberal versus conservative – create a system in which any substantive explanation or exploration of events becomes impossible, as actual dialog becomes shrouded behind and ultimately replaced by competitions over the definitions of fundamentally subjective labels:

“With no mutually acceptable vocabulary, communication between contending parties has all but been replaced by efforts to bypass opponents and communicate directly with two key constituencies: independent or swing voters, and the respective bases each side wishes to mobilize.”

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Longing for Peace

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“On Sept. 11, 1948, my father, Khalilullah Nuristani, was born under the same burden of greatness. In retrospect, he must have believed that he could fulfill what had been his father’s unfulfilled destiny. My father became a tireless fighter for a free Afghanistan.”

Afghan writer Kakail Nuristani compiled photos, letters and documents from his father’s life, working with Adam Klein to tell a fascinating story that spans three-generations.

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Straw Man

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“Just as women don’t hate Samantha Brick for being beautiful, and feminism hasn’t ruined anyone’s chances to be married, and no one thinks mothers don’t work, and there is no argument between working and stay-at-home mothers, there is no contradiction between the sexual imagination of some and sexual politics for all.”

At The Guardian, Hadley Freeman skewers the strategy–at play in both politics and media–that seeks to inspire in-fighting amongst women thereby distracting from actual policies or content.

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Politics in the Exam Room

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In the fall of 2008 I was chatting with a woman I know about the upcoming presidential election. She was in her 60s, single, a funky dresser, world traveler, and amateur artist—what my mom would have called a “free-spirited Auntie Mame type”— so I was surprised by what she had to say: She was voting Republican.

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