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Frenemies R Us, Workplace Edition

I'm currently working with, for the first time in my life, someone who I can truly classify as a frenemy. 50% of the time, all smiles and sweetness; 50% of the time, undermining, secretive, backstabby, and manipulative. This is someone I actually *have* to work with-- we're on a number of teams together. Lately she's been telling others that a project I created, developed, and sold to a client was actually "a fluke" and that my contributions were minimal. How to deal with this in the most productive way? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 27, 2014 - 16 answers

The Case for Welfare

Can someone help me find well-researched academic or think tank articles that challenge the position that current US welfare spending is a disincentive to work? I am specifically asking about debate over actual real levels of benefits in various states in the USA, not other countries or welfare as an abstract ideal. I'm looking something that engages with the basic argument of this CATO whitepaper. [more inside]
posted by Wretch729 on Jun 23, 2014 - 9 answers

How to most effectively communicate with elected representatives?

In the wake of recent events (left out as this isn't a partisan question, but yes, you all know what I'm referring to), I'd like to contact my elected representatives to urge them to enact and support specific changes to current US laws & policies. I've casually contacted representatives before, usually through canned twitter or emails through various petitions & other party-line websites, but I've never engaged more because I was never sure just how effective it would be - particularly when I am contacting an official who has the opposite viewpoint from mine. So my question is: what is the most effective way to use my time in contacting local and state officials to communicate my views on certain issues? [more inside]
posted by AthenaPolias on Jun 10, 2014 - 16 answers

Seat swapping: a solution to vote splitting in Canadian politics?

The Canadian Conservative Party is currently at 30.2% in nationwide polls but, due to factors such as vote splitting and regionalized support, is currently projected to form a minority government with 131 out of 308 seats in Parliament. That's undemocratic. Idea: what if opposition parties agreed not to run candidates in specific ridings so as to create two party races (Conservative-Liberal in some ridings, Conservative-NDP in others). Would that be lawful? [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow on Jun 6, 2014 - 4 answers

Media company took a sharp right turn

I work for a small media network (tv, radio, web). The programming centers around finance and business. Recently, popular hosts have come onboard under the understanding that they would talk business, but who instead have gone full-bore political. Management seems to be fine with this. It's driving the rest of us up a wall. [more inside]
posted by Josephine Macaulay on May 27, 2014 - 6 answers

How can I be a well-informed UK voter?

I'm a new UK citizen, and I'd like to stay informed so that I can vote wisely (not just this week but in all elections to come.) Unfortunately, a lot of political coverage seems to focus on "Will talking about this policy help the party win?" while I'm more interested in "Will implementing this policy be good for the country?" So, what podcasts, Twitter feeds, or other resources tend to offer thoughtful, in-depth analysis of different party's positions on various issues? (I'm a big fan of the BBC's "Analysis" podcast, to give an idea of what I'm looking for.") [more inside]
posted by yankeefog on May 20, 2014 - 9 answers

How do countries sue each other?

I sometimes hear on the news that one country is suing another. How does this work and what court hears the case? I googled my question and came up empty-handed. TIA
posted by harrietthespy on May 19, 2014 - 9 answers

Promoted

I recently accepted a promotion. Awesome. The problem is, my old boss has subsequently put a moratorium on people leaving my current department for 3 months. We are desperately short on resources, so I am sympathetic to his predicament, but at the same time, I am very bothered by a few things: 1) Since I accepted the offer, he has piled more work on my plate that he expects me to finish regardless of how long it takes. This would include projects that spill over the 3 month moratorium. 2) I spoke to him about applying for this new position before he announced this policy and he never mentioned a thing. He always mentioned we would do a 'transition plan', which if you read point 1, doesn't sound like any type of transition plan. He announced this policy 1 day after I was extended an offer. 3) The promotion is a $15k jump in compensation. I will be seeing none of that for 3 months because of this policy. [more inside]
posted by jasondigitized on May 19, 2014 - 38 answers

Was/am professional activist organizer. Giving it up. Need help.

For the last 7 years or so (since graduating from college), I've been a professional political organizer, essentially, working for progressive movement organizations doing primarily new media/online media/digital work, but also spending time on fundraising, action planning, communications, and a few other things as needed. After a lot of thought and consideration, I'm starting to suspect that I can no longer work as part of the left (or at least, my corner of the US left) and still be emotionally healthy with the stress I deal with all the time. I don't know what to do next. [more inside]
posted by Ash3000 on Apr 28, 2014 - 17 answers

Cultural Literacy 101

For a friend: Say someone wants to develop a working sense of modern-day cultural literacy in the United States. This person has very limited knowledge of current events, and has limited himself to only a very narrow scope of popular entertainment. He now wishes to be able to converse about these topics with reasonably savvy adults (such as in dating scenarios and social gatherings). Can you provide sources of information for the following? [more inside]
posted by justonegirl on Apr 13, 2014 - 26 answers

Tell me about these "local communities"

So, frequently I will read people (eg on this very website) talking about local communities, how great they are, and the various things which are apparently destroying them. I tend to be "what are these things? Why do people like them so much? I don't get it.". So, where can I read about these things? [more inside]
posted by curious_yellow on Apr 7, 2014 - 14 answers

UK/Euro Equivalent of Harper's Magazine or the New Yorker?

We live in the UK, London: currently we subscribe to Harper's but are increasingly feeling like we just don't care about all the USA based content. And should be more interested in whats happening in the UK and Europe. Is there a good UK/Eurocentric equivalent that we could subscribe to? [more inside]
posted by mary8nne on Apr 3, 2014 - 8 answers

Starting a PAC.

What information is there about how to form a political action committee? What restrictions are there as far as advertising, focus, where the funds wind up, overhead costs, salary for PAC employees, etc? What is allowed federally, and what is allowed on a per-state basis? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Mar 21, 2014 - 4 answers

I need some interesting, relatively non-partisan books on politics

I'd like to brush up on my understanding of American politics today. Could anyone point me in the direction of an accessible, well-regarded book that approaches an interesting political phenomenon, or American politics in general, in a relatively non-partisan way? I'd prefer to stay away from highly ideological works about how either conservatives or liberals are leading America to its doom.
posted by Chuck Barris on Mar 20, 2014 - 10 answers

What should I expect when voting in a Dutch municipal election?

I'm an American who has lived in Groningen for over 5 years. I am voting in the municipal elections this Wednesday, but I have no idea what to expect when I go to the voting location. My Dutch is not that great. If someone could fill me in on what I should expect when I go to vote, that would be great!
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike on Mar 15, 2014 - 5 answers

calling all progressives! where's the next Russ Feingold?

I'm an extremely liberal Democrat who comes from a long line of extremely liberal Democrats, but I've become increasingly disillusioned with the national party apparatus over the past handful of years. Can you help me put together a list of progressive Democrat office-holders and up-and-coming candidates to buoy and inspire an otherwise devoted liberal's flagging enthusiasm? [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Mar 13, 2014 - 24 answers

Good forums for civil political discussion

Are there any good forums for civil political discussion? Obviously flamewars and shouting matches are bad and can ruin a forum. If half the comments are jokes (like in /r/politics) that isn't good either. Then there is the issue with posters who are strongly ideological and talk past everyone else, instead of engaging their arguments. So maintaining a forum free from all of these scourges is no easy task, but do there exist any forums that have solved this problem? Basically the only one I know of is, /r/changemyview and that's because the top-level comments are only allowed to argue against the OPs post
posted by casebash on Mar 12, 2014 - 8 answers

Demokratie Jetzt!

I'm a US transplant to Germany. I listen to a lot of lefty podcasts from the US: Democracy Now!, The Young Turks, Majority Report, Best of the Left, Citizen Radio, etc. My German is getting pretty good after two years, and I'd like to listen to similar issues discussed auf Deutsch. Suggestions? Vielen Dank!
posted by dmvs on Mar 6, 2014 - 1 answer

Are the Ukraine protestors really right wing?

I'm looking for some in depth analysis of the Ukraine protest movement. Specifically, the degree to which the nationalist right wing are involved and where they fit into the new government. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Mar 3, 2014 - 5 answers

Civil unrest news source without any fluff, bias, or distraction

I'm looking for any website that provides up to date unbiased news, reports and footage of political upheaval and civil unrest. For example (applicable to today), like many other news websites it would have up to date material on what's happening in the Ukraine - but (unlike many news websites) also what is happening in Venezuela right now, plus Syria (as some media news outlets have stopped their coverage and moved onto other situations). [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 17, 2014 - 5 answers

Un-Christlike behavior by U.S. conservatives?

I'm looking to collect as many specific examples as I can, of instances in which specific Republican/conservative behaviors and/or political moves have directly contradicted the teachings of Christ. Some specific examples within. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Feb 16, 2014 - 21 answers

Help me not fall apart.

I need to get out of this dysfunctional work place but I'm stuck and feel myself breaking down. [more inside]
posted by peasncarrots on Feb 9, 2014 - 16 answers

So what are the rules around PACs and labor unions?

What are the rules that govern disclosure and contributions to Political Action Committees? Are there any disclosure rules related to labor unions transferring funds from their own budget into a separate PAC that they control (fees, disclosure, etc)? [more inside]
posted by kensington314 on Feb 1, 2014 - 5 answers

On the care and feeding of feces-flinging primates

This is a question for the zookeepers of MetaFilter. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Feb 1, 2014 - 2 answers

Afraid of being fired: how do I keep the fear from crippling me?

I have crippling, perhaps justified fear of being fired. My fear is making my performance suffer, causing me misery and probably making firing more likely. How do I stop thinking like this? [more inside]
posted by Marered on Jan 20, 2014 - 21 answers

What type of sophistry is this?

Frequently in the climate debates the disbelievers claim that the real objective of global warming believers is to implement socialism, world government, or some variation thereof. Two questions: Is there a name or brief descriptive phrase for this category of sophistry wherein ulterior motives are imputed above and beyond the issue being discussed? Are there notable examples from history (say, soviet era and earlier) where this method was used? Thanks.
posted by Kevin S on Jan 19, 2014 - 6 answers

I want to be accurately informed. How?

I recently came upon the work of Noam Chomsky and it opened up a whole new world of information and ways of seeing the world. How can I become more informed about our world's recent history and be accurate about it? [more inside]
posted by drd on Jan 3, 2014 - 28 answers

Where should I put my Oregon Political Contribution Credit?

I'm a relatively new transplant to Oregon, so I didn't find out about the Oregon Political Contribution Credit until last April. And then I promptly forgot about it until I heard a fairly annoying ad on the radio reminding people today is the last day to make a contribution. Should I donate my 50 bucks to any particular cause? [more inside]
posted by pwnguin on Dec 31, 2013 - 3 answers

Am I being undermined at work?

Something upsetting happened at work that makes me feel totally undermined, but I'm not sure how to handle it. Can I get some help from the office politics gurus of MeFi? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 28, 2013 - 16 answers

Cost of a New York City misdemeanor prosecution?

An activist performance artist is currently facing a year in jail for a 15 minute protest in a New York bank; the Manhattan District Attorney’s is charging him and his choir director with “riot in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, unlawful assembly, and two counts of disorderly conduct”. The case is well publicized and has first amendment issues; I’m curious about its economic implications. How much money will New York City spend bringing this case to trial? What if the trial goes past the one hearing? How much does it cost to jail someone for a year? Courtroom use; judge and prosecutor time; trials for other crimes having to start later, appeals: added up, what do these parts of a misdemeanor prosecution cost NYC in cash money?
posted by Haere on Dec 8, 2013 - 6 answers

Who or what was David Miliband referring to in PMQs?

During Prime Minister's Questions on the 20th November, David Miliband launched into a tirade about certain people who have funded the Conservatives. After listing a bunch of dodgy dealers, he says "and they're just the people I can talk about in this house". What did he mean? [more inside]
posted by derbs on Dec 1, 2013 - 8 answers

How to stay sane spending the holidays with my bigoted parents

How to stay sane spending the holidays with my bigoted parents [more inside]
posted by GorgeousPorridge on Nov 29, 2013 - 35 answers

What, if any, is the in-group term for "SJW"?

Is there an in-group term for "Social Justice Warrior (SJW)"? That is, I definitely think there is a signified there, the strain of progressives focused on privilege, intersectionality, and oppressor/oppressed group identities, so I think it's a term with useful meaning, but it is also an out-group term with mildly negative/mocking connotation so not the best for writing seriously. Plenty SJWs here, what do you call yourselves? The closest I've heard is "intersectional feminist" which I don't even see all that often & also many SJWs are more focused on another area like race. [more inside]
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth on Nov 10, 2013 - 17 answers

Good reads about Canadian politics.

What are some good reads about Canadian political history? [more inside]
posted by futureisunwritten on Oct 31, 2013 - 5 answers

difference between an Ambassador Extraordinary and an Ambassador?

I noticed that sometimes instead of an ambassador embassies have what they call an 'Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.' (I came across this in german: 'Außerordentlicher und Bevollmächtigter Botschafter' — I hope I didn't mangle the english translation.) [more inside]
posted by krautland on Oct 28, 2013 - 2 answers

Similiar books like "The first 90 days"

Are there books such as this to help with gaining traction in your career? [more inside]
posted by ladoo on Oct 26, 2013 - 2 answers

Understanding political party accomplishments without spin

I live in Canada. Every now and again I try to understand what's happening in federal or provincial politics. Every time I look I only seem to find information on the current scandals or vote-grabbing hot-button issues. Is there somewhere I can understand more without the rhetoric and spin? [more inside]
posted by Naib on Oct 25, 2013 - 10 answers

Gerrymandering: having it both ways?

It seems to me that there are two different things you can accomplish with gerrymandering that are not mutually compatible: 1) make "your" districts safer by concentrating your side's voters in them, or 2) win more districts by inducing relatively narrow victories in as many districts as you can. But the references to gerrymandering in the US House of Representatives seem to imply both things are happening. Which is it? [more inside]
posted by dfan on Oct 20, 2013 - 13 answers

Songs about the early years of HIV/AIDS

What are some songs about the early years of HIV/AIDS in the US and the politics surrounding it? Think musical equivalent of something like Angels in America. [more inside]
posted by ActionPopulated on Oct 17, 2013 - 34 answers

Research on the decline of voter engagement and participation

Calling political science people: I want to read solid, evidence-based work that tries to explain why voters are voting less and less in Western democracies over the last few decades. Which writers and what works do you recommend? [more inside]
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen on Oct 13, 2013 - 2 answers

Activist filter: What is the cause with the most leverage/greatest need?

One day I googled "what is the most effective way to help the world" and found a link that told me to "identify a cause with lots of leverage".
posted by defmute on Oct 2, 2013 - 10 answers

As a resident alien, where can I donate against the Tea Party?

I think the far right House representatives causing the current shutdown deserve political consequences, which I would like to take the form of losing their seats. As a non-US citizen, I cannot give money directly to any politician or campaign or related group (right?). So what's the next best option? [more inside]
posted by jacalata on Oct 2, 2013 - 16 answers

How often do votes in the Senate or House fall along party lines?

That is to say, how often will Republicans overwhelmingly vote one way and Democrats vote the opposite way, and how often do majorities within both parties vote the same way? Do Democrats and Republicans agree on most things, but the news outlets only report on the disagreements? Or do they indeed disagree on everything? Where might I go to get such numbers?
posted by jwhite1979 on Oct 2, 2013 - 9 answers

I Need a New Job

I need a new job, and I have no idea what job I might be good at and enjoy. Please give me ideas for some jobs that I haven't thought of. I'm in my late 20s and working as a research analyst for a large firm, and I can't take the feeling that I'm not doing anything worthwhile (or even enjoyable) with my life. I'm not sure what to do. Do you know of any unconventional careers that might be a good fit? Please give me an idea of where to get started. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 25, 2013 - 13 answers

Reputable, informative sources regarding South Sudan

I'm looking for news sources, reports written by reputable NGOs, detailed maps, long-form magazine articles regarding newsworthy events and other general info on the current state of politics, economics, stability and other issues of geopolitical interest related to South Sudan. I would like to dedicate approximately one or two full working days to informing myself about the past 10-15 years of history and the current state of the country.
posted by thewalrus on Sep 25, 2013 - 5 answers

Is any pro-Obamacare action going on in DC?

I imagine a lot of people are angry about what the House is trying to do in de-funding Obamacare. This combined with other recent actions seem likely to lead to some kind of protest, but I can't find information about any event like this. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 21, 2013 - 11 answers

Help me find a Junot Diaz quotation about writing and politics.

I'm looking for a Junot Diaz quotation about writing and politics, and google is failing me. I saw it in the last year or two in the form of a tumblr-type image, though it was not this one about Elvish. It went something like this:
Interview question: How do you make sure your writing has good politics?
Diaz: When you grow up in a society that is as repressive as ours, that bad politics is going to come out in your writing no matter what. I have to struggle constantly to examine my writing and make sure I agree with the politics and get misogynistic or otherwise reactionary political content scrubbed out of it.
The interview question may or may not have been present. I of course can't phrase Diaz's response as eloquently as he did.
posted by HeroZero on Sep 15, 2013 - 2 answers

Hospital Confidential?

I'm looking for a book like Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential that can explain to me the politics between workers in a hospital setting and how it affects decision making. [more inside]
posted by Hennimore on Sep 1, 2013 - 13 answers

Recommend books or textbooks on political communication?

I'm going to be teaching a second-year journalism-school course in political writing. I'd like to expand the curriculum a bit to build in elements of the study of political communication: The rhetoric, the language, the semiotic warfare of politics and persuasion. But I'm a working journalist, not an academic, and my understanding of such things is largely self-taught. So I need a book or textbook to formalize my own understanding and develop course materials from. Any suggestions? (Bonus: Suggestions for Canadians, which we happen to be?) [more inside]
posted by bicyclefish on Aug 15, 2013 - 2 answers

Looking for American politics and news podcasts, radio programs or blogs

Now that NPR's It's All Politics is ending, I need a new podcast that focuses on American politics and national news. I love podcasts like PRI's The World and BBC Newshour, but I want something that only focuses on American stories. I already listen to Slate's Political Gabfest. Does anyone here have any other suggestions? I'm also looking for high quality blogs that are frequently updated. Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by shoreline on Aug 11, 2013 - 8 answers

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