It’s a sad day for political commentators around the world. In this “slow-news” day right before the Independence Day holiday, Governor Sarah Palin has announced she will step down before her term expires in 2010, turning over the governor’s duty to lieutenant governor Sean Pernell. Watch her remarks here:
Now, this is sad news! Since George Bush has been gone, and Dick Cheney along with him, there has been a lack of politicians to make fun of.
Yes, Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina dutifully filled that gap with the announcement that he’d cheated on his wife with an Argentinian woman. That kept pundits and Jon Stewart going for a good few days – but for the long term, that’s not enough! And now, with the loss of Sarah Palin, who will be left to joke about? I am considering re-joining the Facebook group “I have more foreign policy experience than Sarah Palin,” just for old times’ sake.
But friends, don’t fret: There are rumors Palin might seek the Republican nomination for President in 2012. Hurray and a happy Fourth of July, everyone!
One of the greatest dangers facing American democracy today is extreme partisanship. The division of public and politics along party lines hinders political discourse and halts social progress at great costs to society. If little else, Americans can agree on that. But, as soon as you ask who is responsible for political bipolarity, people are divided: Fox News or the liberal media, fundamentalist evangelicals or the eastcoast elite, rich republicans or wealthy democrats, SUV drivers or treehuggers.
“Split: A Divided America” is a documentary that shines a light on the roots and consequences of this political divide. While it can’t solve all the problems and leaves the viewer with open questions, there are still some insights to be drawn from it.
The US Presidential elections 2008 are historic in many ways – A black man had to beat a woman to claim the nomination of his party, the campaigns already spent more than a billion dollar to persuade voters, the final month of the election coincides with the collapse of the credit markets and the global economic system is threatened in its entirety.
Also, this election is increasingly fought out not on the TV screen or in newspaper editorials and op-eds, but on the Internet – which adds another historic element. German journalist Tobias Moorstedt has travelled the US to find out more about this development and the changes, challenges and criticisms digital campaigns evoke. He touches on all of these questions in his new book and in the following interview with tapmag (you can also read the interview in German on my private blog).
Liberal college-towns favorite filmmaker Michael Moore will make his newest movie “Slacker Uprising” available online for free. The documentary – it’s Michael Moore, what else would it be – follows him on a 62-city tour of the swing states during the 2004 Presidential election and showcases all the excitement and insanity a US Presidential election brings about.
Here are the words which John McCain and Barack Obama used most frequently in their acceptance speeches they delivered at their party’s conventions. Draw your own conclusions (but be so nice and tell us about them in the comments).
The wordclouds were created with the help of wordle.net.
At eleven forty the crowd slowly becomes bored and people start to entertain themselves. They rythmically shout, “Yes, we can! Yes, we can!” An interpreter for the hearing-impaired is still on stage, who raptly joins in. She clenches her right fist to nod with it, brings it to her chest with her index finger out, then clenches both fists and stems them toward the ground – Yes, we can! Back and forth, the crowd and the little woman in a summer dress are firing each other up; all just to lure him, the Democratic Presidential Nominee, savior and general hopeful on to the stage. To no avail. Barack Obama sets his own timetable.