politics

Celebrity Politicians Are Nothing New in America

Angelo Franco

Part of running a campaign is also acting the part, and actors can be pretty good at that. Celebrities can have more talent in front of audiences, generally; and they may be more apt to deal with scandals more deftly, in part because the public assumes that scandals are simply part of their lives. Reagan himself was a skilled performer who used a combination of theatrics and performance in radio and television pseudo-events to basically play the part of a president. Yet, these same useful assets may prove to be a double-edged sword because celebrity, inevitably, brings scrutiny.

Hillary Clinton Channels Her Inner Sixties

Leonard Steinhorn

Hearing her biography over and over during the Democratic convention confirmed one undisputed fact about her: she’s not only “from the Sixties,” as she said at a Democratic debate last year, but she’s of the Sixties. And she’s of a very specific side of the Sixties, the earnest activists who wanted to transform the world by digging deep into policy and challenging outdated norms and practices. For these activists, the popular phrase “question authority” had both a political and personal meaning.

Why Americans Still Don’t Understand Net Neutrality

Emily Smith

On Facebook, Cruz wrote that net neutrality is equivalent to Obamacare for the Internet, and that the Internet shouldn’t operate at the speed of government – probably no one is arguing with that last point, but Cruz’s argument that net neutrality is the “biggest threat to the Internet” is the perfect example of the issue’s branding, or lack thereof, and the cloud of confusion that surrounds it. For Republicans, Cruz’s argument has defined net neutrality as an antagonist of the free market – a staple of the conservative diet – instead of its true identity as a proponent.

How Dynasties Shaped American Politics

Hal Gordon

For a nation founded on the principle that all men are created equal, this country has produced a remarkable number of political dynasties. John Quincy Adams, our sixth president, was the son of second president John Adams. Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president, was the grandson of ninth president William Henry Harrison. And, of course, President George W. Bush, our 43rd president, is the son of George H.W. Bush, our 41st president.

The Political Crisis That Will Determine Thailand’s Future

Andrew Lam

Ever since the military coup of 2006 that ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand had been sailing in uncharted waters. Though a divisive figure in Thai politics, Thaksin was democratically elected in 2001. He won re-election by a landslide with the highest voter turnout in Thai history, in 2005. A populist and a multibillionaire, he’d done more for the rural population than all his predecessors combined, introducing effective policies to alleviate rural poverty by half in only four years, and, equally enticing, implementing universal health care. 

The 2014 Vote: Do You Stand With Obama?

Rep. Steve Israel

This country has come too far since the Voting Rights Act's initial passage in 1965 to move backward. House Democrats will continue to fight to ensure that participation in our democracy remains unfettered and that all votes will be properly counted. During President Obama's first term, Republicans made their top priority loud and clear: to make President Obama a one-term president. We’re all glad they failed. But if Republicans maintain or build on their majority after November, President Obama’s legacy—and the nation’s economic recovery—will be in jeopardy.

Will Chris Christie Emerge a Winner?

Jim Jaffe

The echo chamber created by Washington’s Beltway wonders how seriously New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential plans have been harmed by revelations that his henchmen took revenge on Democrats by causing traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge. It is far too early to tell, but based on current information it is fairly easy to shift perspective and see how this could accelerate rather than impede his political career.

The Government Shutdown Ended. What Now?

Bob Neuman

The shutdown has ended…and now for the showdown. Recent polls show the great majority of Americans are unrepresented in the Congress. And it is time for them to exercise their muscle. The problem is that the hard right and the hard left have an advantage because of unfettered campaign funding in controlling the purchase of advocacy advertising and lavish funding given to candidates of their likemindedness, left and right, far extreme from the center.

The Tragedy of Self-Immolation: An Act of Protest No Longer Noticed

Andrew Lam

With the exception of Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself on fire and thus sparked what became known as the Arab Spring, self-immolation has by all accounts become a failed form of protest as an agent of change. Since Bouazizi, in fact, 150 more Tunisians have set themselves on fire in protest against the new government that took over after the downfall of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali's secular dictatorship. 

Henry Rollins Discusses ‘Dark Prophet,’ Clint Eastwood, and Musicians Today

Sam Chapin

Henry Rollins wears many hats. He has his musician hat (that he no longer wears), which he earned from singing with State Of Alert, Black Flag and the Rollins Band.  He has his acting hat (which still uses) that he’s worn on two dozen film sets and several television shows, including Sons of Anarchy and the forthcoming Dark Prophet. And finally, he wears his activist hat (which he never takes off). Highbrow Magazine writer Sam Chapin recently had the chance to ask Rollins a few questions about the broad spectrum of his interests and endeavors. 

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