Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Team Obama's Questlove Endorsement

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 16 2012

In a video, Questlove, the drummer and joint frontman of the The Roots, the in-house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, endorsed Barack Obama's reelection as part of the campaign's African Americans for Obama effort.

"When I started supporting Barack Obama in 2008 he promised to bring real change and hope to our country and community as a whole," he says in the video. "This is not a quick fix. It's not like you can take a wand, 'BING,' and just make magic overnight. He needs eight years to finish the mission and we need to have his back."

Questlove drops the URL for an "African-Americans for Barack" website, as well as a hashtag.

The video is a reflection of the Obama Campaign's continuing effort to reach out to specific groups of voters, particularly with the help of celebrities. It is a continuation of the trend that began in 2008, when will.i.am created his Yes We Can music video featuring himself and other stars. While he said he produced it independently, the campaign was soon using it as part of its own outreach.

It's not the first time that Questlove has inserted himself into the political conversation. In November, he and the band were criticized after they played the song "Lyin’ Ass B—-” when Michele Bachmann came on the Jimmy Fallon show. Before the show, he posted to Twitter: "“aight late night walkon song devotees: you love it when we snark: this next one takes the cake. ask around cause i aint tweeting title.” But later he tweeted, "I’m honored that @michelebachmann was on our show yesterday and I’m so sorry about the intro mess. I really hope she comes back.”

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

GO

wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

GO

The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

GO

tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

GO

Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

GO

monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

GO

More