9 Republicans Who Can Give Modern Liberals Hope

Published: mic (June 28, 2013)

While most liberals remember the exact moment when Barack Obama became a national figure — i.e., his delivery of the Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention — few recall that one of the central messages of that brilliant speech was giving the other side its due. To use his own words:

“There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America.”

It says a great deal about American progressives that this was one of the central themes of the speech responsible for the meteoric political rise of their subsequent champion. Indeed, in keeping with this spirit of ideological tolerance, I thus offer the following alphabetical list of the top nine Republicans who offer hope to liberals. read more

Paula Deen and John Galliano Have More in Common Than You Think

Published: mic (June 25, 2013)co-author Tillie Adelson

As the culinary world continues to be rocked by the scandal over Paula Deen’s racist remarks, the fashion world is being revisited by a similar specter from its past — i.e., the ghost of John Galliano.

The ghost has broken his silence. He’s been torn down to his simplest form or “Galliano in the Wilderness,” as Vanity Fair is choosing to call it.

It’s been about two and a half years since Galliano went on a hateful diatribe in Paris. Now he has broken his silence and has chosen to speak to the public who once relished in his genius. This is the man who brought the fantastical feathers to his work and the chiffon cut on the bias. The man who ended each runway show with a costume: he was the definition of camp and brought glamour and drama to each piece of work. This kind of artistry can never be taken away from him. read more

3 Ways Police Screw Up Science When Investigating Rape

Published: mic (June 24, 2013)

Anyone with a passing interest in the politics of 2012 will recall the drivel spewed by the likes of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock on so-called “scientific” facts about rape. Ironically, though, there IS recent scientific work that has provided us with valuable information on rape, most notably in the areas of ascertaining the credibility of victim reports and tracking down the actual perpetrators of sexual assaults. Unfortunately, that science is being woefully underutilized, as outlined in the three points listed below. read more

3 Ways PRISM and Edward Snowden Have Exposed Obama As a Hypocrite

Published: mic (June 23, 2013)

As Edward Snowden continues his flight from the grasping arms of the federal government, President Obama finds himself in the most unenviable position that can face an ostensibly idealistic politician.

He looks like a hypocrite.

When I made this observation in a panel discussion last week on HuffPost Live, moderator Josh Zepps correctly pointed out that I was in danger of begging the question. “You’re presupposing that his position [on PRISM] is inherently hypocritical,” he explained. “It may be that he’s had a legitimate change of heart and that the boundary of where he thinks individual liberties should lie in a world where terrorists can get their hands on nukes has actually shifted more towards the security state model.” read more

The Sad Reason Edward Snowden is Our Generation’s Biggest Symbol

Published: mic (June 19, 2013)

Is Edward Snowden a hero?

There is an anecdote, perhaps apocryphal, that best answers that question. It comes from the early years of the Franklin Roosevelt administration, back when the newly-elected president was meeting with labor leaders to address their concerns about the plight of the working class. After pleading their case and sensing that their one-man audience was sympathetic, they asked whether he would take the initiative to fight for their rights. His response: read more

Prop 200 Ruling: Voter Suppression Is Just 21st Century Racism

Published: mic (June 17, 2013)

First the good news: Champions of civil liberties should celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday overturning an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to vote.

By empowering county registrars to “reject any application for registration that is not accompanied by satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship,” the “proof of citizenship” provision of Proposition 200 resulted in a disproportionately high number of voter registration rejections for Latino, other minority, and poor applicants, thereby discriminating against (to say nothing of discouraging) potential low income and/or non-white voters. Even worse, the purported goal of the statute — to curtail voting by illegal immigrants — was belied by the fact that “Arizona failed to identify a single instance in which an undocumented immigrant registered or voted in the state.” read more

Why Philanthropic Ozwald Boateng is the Angelina Jolie Of Fashion Designers

Published: mic (June 16, 2013)
co-author Tillie Adelson

There is a phenomenon about celebrities that we have decided to dub the “Bono effect” or more currently the “Angelina Jolie effect.” In summary, it refers to the tendency of the rich and famous to engage in conspicuous charitable and/or philanthropic endeavors for reasons that smack more of self-aggrandizement than genuine nobility of spirit. While few would be inclined to fault those who are motivated by a sincere desire to give back to a world that has elevated them to success (often as much through sheer good luck as through the tried-and-true verities of hard work and talent), there is still the unshakable sense that some celebrities are, for lack of a better way of putting it, showing off. It’s why the television show South Park was able to mine such comedy gold off of Bono’s endeavors … and why, on the other end of the spectrum, projects that deserve more time and attention fail to receive it. read more

Dear Obama: Stop Acting Like Dick Cheney — Sincerely, Liberals Everywhere

Published: mic (June 18, 2013), Live Interview with Huffington Post (June 19, 2013)

Our commander-in-chief had a lot to say during Monday night’s interview with Charlie Rose, but CNN aptly summed it up in four words:

“I’m no Dick Cheney.”

If I may, Mr. President, I’d like to respond to that claim with a question I bet all of your supporters (many of them now erstwhile supporters) are asking:

“Yes, but why the hell aren’t you Barack Obama?”

I’m not sure if he’d like to be reminded of this, but once upon a time, he was an inspiring figure. His supporters respected him for his willingness to articulate politically risky truths with a boldness usually reserved for rabid ideologues … and his detractors feared him for the very same reason. Although some of his critics today still insist that he’s a closet radical (a statement born far more out of conservative and/or libertarian hyperpartisanship than a rational assessment of his record), the reality is that the Obama who won 69.5 million votes in 2008 bore only the faintest resemblance to the one whining to the pundits yesterday. read more