Researchers have named a newly discovered, prehistoric lizard "Obamadon gracilis" in honor of the 44th president's toothy grin. The small, insect-eating lizard was first discovered in eastern Montana in 1974, but a recent re-examination showed the fossil had been wrongly classified as a Leptochamops denticulatus and was in fact a new species, researchers told Reuters on Tuesday. Obamadon gracilis was one of nine newly discovered species reported on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In naming the new species, scientists from Yale and Harvard universities combined the Latin "Obamadon" for "Obama's teeth" and "gracilis," which means...
Tag Archives | President Obama
A year into his presidency, Barack Obama began to plan his reelection bid. Having assessed the lessons of 2008, it was clear that grass roots mobilizations would be essential to assuring a turnout the next time around.
I made a film, on that political campaign, , exploring how local organizers built networks based in part on their candidates’ community organizing experience. While most of the media framed the issue as Obama versus McCain, I was more interested in how he planned to win, than regurgitating the campaign’s rituals and rhetoric.
From the beginning, the Obamanauts backed the idea of the “ground game” as essential to victory but it was soon enhanced with the latest new media applications—including blogs, facebooking, texting and tweeting.
The field director of that 2008 campaign David Plouffe became the campaign’s organizer in chief in 2012. He ran that ground game, the Democrat’s antidote to the TV commercial-driven “air war” blitz engineered by Karl Rove and his large list of wealthy right-wing benefactors.… Read the rest
Barack Obama may consider introducing a tax on carbon emissions to help cut the U.S. budget deficit after winning a second term as president, according to HSBC Holdings Plc. A carbon tax starting at $20 a ton of carbon dioxide equivalent and rising at about 6 percent a year could raise $154 billion by 2021, Nick Robins, an analyst at the bank in London, said today in an e-mailed research note, citing Congressional Research Service estimates...
Rolling Stone‘s new cover story is a lengthy interview with President Obama. Among the election-changing questions posed by Douglas Brinkley:
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RS: Have you ever read Ayn Rand?
What do you think Paul Ryan’s obsession with her work would mean if he were vice president?
Well, you’d have to ask Paul Ryan what that means to him. Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we’re only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we’re considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that’s a pretty narrow vision. It’s not one that, I think, describes what’s best in America.
As Americans prepare to go to the polls, the airwaves are littered with paid advertising of the crassest and most manipulative kind. Political issues packaged by ad agencies are flooding the arena of politics with nasty negative ads.
So far, the two parties and their backers have spent a half billion dollars on political advertising with much of the placements still to come in the next few weeks. CBS reports the “spend” will top a billion dollars — just on ads.
AP warns: “Get ready, presidential swing states. Now the campaign ad crush — and TV spending spree — really begins.”
This is occurring even as the economy and unemployment remain major issues. Millions of Americans are broke and hurting as poverty grows, but there seems to be no shortage of money to grease politics.
It’s being called a “deluge,” leading many Americans, according to USA Today, to wish the election was already over.… Read the rest
The election is now just weeks away, and I want to urge those whose values are generally in line with mine — progressives, especially activists — to make this goal one of your priorities during this period.
An activist colleague recently said to me: “I hear you’re supporting Obama.”
I was startled, and took offense. “Supporting Obama? Me?!”
“I lose no opportunity publicly,” I told him angrily, to identify Obama as a tool of Wall Street, a man who’s decriminalized torture and is still complicit in it, a drone assassin, someone who’s launched an unconstitutional war, supports kidnapping and indefinite detention without trial, and has prosecuted more whistleblowers like myself than all previous presidents put together. “Would you call that support?”
My friend said, “But on Democracy Now you urged people in swing states to vote for him! How could you say that? I don’t live in a swing state, but I will not and could not vote for Obama under any circumstances.”
My answer was: a Romney/Ryan administration would be no better — no different — on any of the serious offenses I just mentioned or anything else, and it would be much worse, even catastrophically worse, on a number of other important issues: attacking Iran, Supreme Court appointments, the economy, women’s reproductive rights, health coverage, safety net, climate change, green energy, the environment.… Read the rest
Michael “Moneyball” Lewis has penned a long, long profile of Barack Obama’s approach to being president of the United States after spending six months trailing him, for Vanity Fair:
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…At nine o’clock one Saturday morning I made my way to the Diplomatic Reception Room, on the ground floor of the White House. I’d asked to play in the president’s regular basketball game, in part because I wondered how and why a 50-year-old still played a game designed for a 25-year-old body, in part because a good way to get to know someone is to do something with him. I hadn’t the slightest idea what kind of a game it was. The first hint came when a valet passed through bearing, as if they were sacred objects, a pair of slick red-white-and-blue Under Armour high-tops with the president’s number (44) on the side. Then came the president, looking like a boxer before a fight, in sweats and slightly incongruous black rubber shower shoes.
It's rare that a low-budget documentary becomes a genuine blockbuster, but conservative firebrand Dinesh D'Souza's controversial new film, "2016: Obama's America," is one of the hottest tickets at the box office right now. "I'm overwhelmed," D'Souza said. "This is my first venture into film territory." The film is now showing in more than 1,000 theaters, and that number is expected to double by Friday, which would put the movie's release on par with a major Hollywood blockbuster. Last weekend, "2016" was already earning more money per screen than "The Bourne Legacy" and "The Expendables 2" -- combined...