FDL Book Salon Welcomes Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes

By: Sunday June 22, 2014 1:59 pm

Anand Gopal’s No Good Men Among the Living is a deconstruction of the American “War on Terror” as it pertained to Afghanistan. It is an argument that the US military allowed itself to fall into chasing phantoms, put up to search and destroy missions by tribal allies mainly interested in using the Americans to settle feuds and deflect rivals. They got drawn into what anthropologists call the segmentary lineage political system of rural Afghanistan.

In short, as Gopal tells the story, there was no Taliban activity in Afghanistan to speak of by 2002, but the US military machine required an enemy.

 

When Is a Rose Not a Rose?

By: Tuesday June 10, 2014 5:50 pm

You may be noticing the slightly confused expression on Obama’s face when he talks about the foreign affairs these days: he almost seems to be apologizing for contradictions that are obvious to even the most casual observers.

Late Night: Why Millennials Don’t Vote and What To Do About It

By: Monday June 9, 2014 8:00 pm

More than half of respondents in this survey, released by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, said they think elected officials don’t share their priorities, and almost two-thirds said elected officials seem motivated by selfish reasons. Less than a quarter of the millennials polled said they will definitely be voting in November

Who Facebook Indicates Will Control the Senate

By: Tuesday January 21, 2014 10:10 am

This is an interesting article on using Facebook to try to predict elections. Apparently in 2012 higher Facebook fan engagement was correlated with winning close elections, so political scientists are looking what this might mean for 2014.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Richard A. Baker, The American Senate: An Insider’s History

By: Saturday January 11, 2014 2:00 pm

A book this broad-ranging is valuable for a variety of purposes. Political junkies will find many great anecdotes that they have never encountered before. There are many well-drawn sketches of important senators of the past, from Dirksen to Mansfield to Conkling to Sumner. People interested in understanding how contemporary Senate practices in various areas evolved can turn to the relevant chapters. History, political science, and civics teachers will find useful examples to give students entree into previous eras. Anyone who reads the book will have a better, more multi-faceted understanding of the Senate and its role in American politics.

Late Night: The Virginia AG Race

By: Sunday November 10, 2013 8:00 pm

The results of last week’s Virginia election are still being tallied five days later. The position of state Attorney General, the person who draws the redistricting maps and governs how elections are carried out, is still undecided.

Ivory Tower supported by the Koch Brothers

By: Monday September 23, 2013 1:30 am

The Roberts’ Court, yet to meet a dollar they did not love more than humanity.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Robert W. McChesney, John Nichols, Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America

By: Saturday July 13, 2013 1:59 pm

The word “corruption” does not appear in the title or subtitle of the latest book by John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney, which is called Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America. But the word resonates on every page. American democracy has been profoundly corrupted by the – usually legal – infusion of billions of dollars into the political process, and this jeremiad against corruption comes at a critical historical moment.

Paid Sick Leave Pays for Itself: So Why Is NYC’s Mayoral Hopeful Blocking It?

By: Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:50 am

Rosa* lost her mother just a few weeks ago.

Her elderly parents lived at home in New York. A home health-care aide helped Rosa’s father with the burden of caring for her mother, who had Parkinson’s disease and had suffered a major stroke just over two years ago.

“We didn’t want to keep her in a nursing home, for financial reasons, for germs. They basically told us to take her home,” Rosa told RH Reality Check.

The home health-care aide didn’t have paid sick days, so she came to work sick one day, and Rosa’s parents both wound up with the flu. Her 88-year-old father recovered; her mother did not.

“My dad lives with guilt that he allowed the person to stay,” Rosa said. “I’m living with guilt because I came to work that day to make a few pennies.”

Facebook Likes Chris Christie

By: Friday January 25, 2013 11:05 am

Now Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg is not just giving a prominent Republican (and likely 2016 presidential candidate) a platform to speak with employees and be associated with a major brand – he’s helping fill the campaign war chest.

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