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Becoming Abigail

Becoming Abigail

By Chris Abani

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Tag: Barack Obama

Delusions of Omnipotence

American foreign policy is based not on what we can do, but what Washington wants to do, hence the blunders of Korea, Vietnam and even the Cold War, which the Soviets were kind enough to lose. Even now, the new president is extending the “Long War” on a still more ambitious scale.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Olbermann

Olbermann’s Tea-Hee Party

Yes, Keith Olbermann and other pundits (paging Anderson Cooper) had a field day with the right wing’s adoption of “tea bagging” as the driving metaphor behind their Tax Day protests. But no, the double entendres didn’t start “on the blogs,” as Bill O’Reilly’s “nice lady” guest Amanda Carpenter suggested on his show.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Armey’s Tea Party Army

At the apex of the tea party movement is FreedomWorks, headed by former Rep. Dick Armey. His past career should be instructive to any starry-eyed citizens who believe that they have at last found the true right-wing revolutionary path.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Tea and Ignorance

There is little anyone can do about the tax-protest rants except worry they will be believed by a wider public. So, on the theory that the truth will set us free, it is worth examining exactly what we’re all paying, and what for.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


The Obama Doctrine

The president insists that the U.S. can’t achieve great objectives on its own. This may break with George W. Bush’s style, but it is in keeping with the traditions of Roosevelt, Truman and George H.W. Bush.
 

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Kani Ronningen

They Don’t Build Democracies Like They Used To

America promised to bring democracy to Iraq, but more than two months after provisional elections, things have gone from photo-op to fiasco. The New York Times reports on the “threats, intrigue, back-room deal-making, protests, political paralysis and, increasingly, popular discontent” that have come to characterize the Iraqi political process.

Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Tax Speech
Associated Press

Obama Talks Taxes

As “tea parties” tepidly brew in cities across the country to protest government spending and budget deficits, President Obama is on the offensive, maintaining that the tax relief of his administration’s nascent months is helping resurrect our fallen economy.

Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE


Press Corps Scrambles to Keep Up With First Dog

The first family showed off new puppy Bo on Tuesday. He’s a Portuguese water dog, which appears to be a kind of mutant poodle with webbed feet. President Obama claims they are used to herd fish, though we’ll believe that when we see it.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Megan E. Sindelar

The Pirates Might Prefer Fish to Guns

Obama’s promise that the U.S. and its allies will put an end to Indian Ocean piracy had the forceful ring to it that good American citizens like to hear, but half the NATO navies aren’t going to change the desperate circumstances that turned Somalia’s fisherman into pirates.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE



Library of Congress

Castro Hails Obama Actions, Wants More

Barack Obama is so good at making friends. First Iran, of axis-of-evil fame, embraced the president’s flirtations, and now Cuba’s revolutionary in chief has warmed to El Diablo del Norte. Fidel Castro on Tuesday praised Obama’s recent overtures, but said many other U.S. policy changes are needed. His brother and president, Raul, is open to negotiations.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich
vowelmovers.files.wordpress.com

Blagojevich Pleads Not Guilty

Riffing on a Teddy Roosevelt quotation, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich maintained his defiant (or delusional?) stance to reporters outside Chicago’s U.S. District Courthouse after pleading not guilty to 16 federal criminal charges on Tuesday.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Wrong Road to Recovery

Once again we may be fooling ourselves into thinking that the buying and selling of paper assets is the same as the buying and selling of tangible goods made by real workers.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Castro’s Racial-Paradise Myth

In 10 trips to Cuba, I have met Afro-Cubans who told me with conviction of their opportunities under the Castro regime. But I’ve also heard bitter complaints about deep-seated racism that many black Cubans believe is getting worse.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

Obama Resolves to ‘Halt the Rise of Privacy’ [sic]

Well, he actually meant piracy, but we get the picture: President Obama followed up on this weekend’s Somali pirate showdown with a salute to the crew of the Maersk Alabama and a pledge to crack down on the problem in the future. Looks like the pirate contingent is planning to take a similar tack toward American sailors.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
.everythingcuba.com

U.S. Opening More Commerce Channels With Cuba

The Obama administration is relaxing some of the restrictions on travel to and business with Cuba, launching a new initiative that will allow American telecom companies to set up cell phone and other services on the island nation.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


American Pi

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Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / dogonthesidewalk

Uncle Sam Forces GM to Stop and Ask for Directions to Bankruptcy

GM has until June 1 to cut a deal with its workers and bondholders, but the Treasury Department is requiring the automaker to prepare for bankruptcy just in case, according to The New York Times. Newly installed GM chief Fritz Henderson is more receptive to the possibility than his predecessor, but warns, “If we need to resort to bankruptcy, we have to do it quickly.”

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Role in the Pirate Affair

Jimmy Carter was ultimately undone by a hostage crisis and the word Somalia still haunts Bill Clinton’s legacy. While the weekend rescue of a hostage held by Somali pirates was of a much smaller scale and under totally different circumstances than those events, President Obama must be relieved that it is behind him, a success. And now that it’s over, it seems the president was more involved than he initially let on.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


Running on Fumes

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Posted on Apr 12, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

ObamaTube: Passover/Easter Edition

President Barack Obama draws upon the traditions and meanings behind “two very different holidays”—Passover and Easter—as his jumping-off point for his weekly address about the state of the country and the world ... and about his time rubbing elbows with other world leaders during the past week.

Posted on Apr 11, 2009 READ MORE


Getting to Zero Starts With One Man

If Obama is successful in reducing our nuclear stockpile, it could make a monumental difference to the world’s security. Nuclear arms proliferation will never be stopped so long as the U.S. insists on maintaining a privileged position of global nuclear domination.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: A Glimmer of Hope for the Economy?

The economy’s not the only thing that “Left, Right & Center” co-conspirators Matt Miller, Tony Blankley and Robert Scheer are thinking about this week, but it’s a biggie again, as are the Obama administration’s announcement about defense spending and the changes under way in American foreign policy. Also: Somali pirates!

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Morry Gash

Obama Flick Coming to a Theater Near You

Quick—someone buy Rush Limbaugh advance tickets: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (otherwise known as SPWAG) has bought limited rights to the documentary “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama,” produced by Edward Norton’s Class 5 Films. HBO Documentary Films will be releasing the movie in U.S. theaters.

Posted on Apr 9, 2009 READ MORE


Protesters Confront Summers

Two protesters storm the stage during a talk by Lawrence Summers, who tries to laugh off the incident. If only there were something funny about President Obama’s top economic adviser making $8 million last year from some of the financial firms that have benefited from his economic policies.

Posted on Apr 9, 2009 READ MORE



global-warming.accuweather.com

Obama Considering Radical Solutions to Climate Crisis

The president’s new science adviser tells ABC News, “We don’t have the luxury ... of ruling any approach off the table” in the fight against global climate change. Geoengineering, once the province of science fiction and climate eccentrics, may now be necessary. One approach involves blasting sulfur into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays.

Posted on Apr 9, 2009 READ MORE


Taliban, the Sequel

Ever since the Afghan war began, we assured ourselves that whatever else, we had one moral victory. We’d freed the women from Taliban rule. Now we know something very different to be true.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


Obama: The Extremists’ Nightmare

In the struggle against the extremists and terrorists, the new president understands how to divide the enemy and neutralize their base—and is uniquely suited to accomplish the mission. He got elected in the United States of America, after all.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Father of Guantanamo

Indefinite and secret detention at the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, was a fundamental breach of justice and morality when the Bush administration did it. It is made worse by the stench of hypocrisy when the Obama administration does it.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi’s Balancing Act

By comparison with her recent predecessors, she’s a strong speaker of the House. She has far more control than the previous Democratic speaker had, despite having to contend with a more conservative GOP and an ideologically diverse pack of Democrats.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Daniella Zalcman

Iran Warms to Obama Overtures

“The Iranian people would welcome a hand extended to it if the hand is truly based on honesty,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday. The “hand” has so far come in the form of a New Year’s message from President Obama, a surprise direct diplomatic contact and a commitment from the U.S. to re-engage in multilateral talks.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


Shovel Ready [A Cartoon From Mexico]

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Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Muslims Still Under Siege

It turns out that people can still be arrested and deported based on the same charges they’ve been acquitted of in court. The U.S. Constitution protects people from “double jeopardy,” being charged twice with the same offense. But in the murky world of immigrant detention, double jeopardy is perfectly legal.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / Lee Craker

Obama Shows the Troops Some Love

The president on Tuesday made a surprise visit to Baghdad, where he expressed his gratitude to a raucous group of troops: “We have not forgotten what you have already done, we are grateful for what you will do, and as long as I am in the White House, you are going to get the support that you need and the thanks that you deserve from a grateful nation.”

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Now a ‘Soft War’ in Afghanistan, but It’s Still a Disaster

President Obama appears to have fallen for the oldest false dichotomy in the Pentagon repertoire, and the easiest one to sell to the American public. It goes like this: The world is divided between the Evil Folks and the Good. The Good Folks, being what they are, are naturally pro-American, once they get to know us.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


The Dream

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Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE    


Crazy Like a Fox?

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if the Republican Party wants to get back into the game, it should start by paying more attention to its new chairman, the all-too-quotable Michael Steele.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


glass window
sheridangp.com

White House Adds to Faith-Based Advisory Group

The bad rap that “faith-based initiatives” got during the last administration hasn’t kept the new management at the White House from treating its Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships seriously. It has fleshed out the lineup of advisers to a total of 25 with two new recruits.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE


Dylan
thelineofbestfit.com

Dylan: Obama’s ‘Like a Fictional Character, but He’s Real’

Bob Dylan, seasoned troubadour and chronicler of a-changin’ times, recognizes a story-worthy character when he sees one, and he certainly sees one in Barack Obama, judging by his description of the president in an interview with the U.K.’s Times Online.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Gul
AP photo / Burhan Ozbilici

Will Obama Say the ‘G’ Word?

If the issue doesn’t trip Obama up on his visit to Turkey, he is going to have to walk into a far worse minefield on April 24 when he has to honor a campaign promise to call the 1915 massacre of 1.5 million Armenian Christians by Ottoman Turkey a “genocide.”

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE


Veteran Regulator Calls Geithner a Failure

William K. Black made a name for himself busting bad bankers and the lawmakers who loved them during the savings and loan scandal. His book, “The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One,” says it all. Here he tells Bill Moyers that the treasury secretary is a failed regulator engaged in the cover-up of a massive fraud.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Resist or Become Serfs

If we do not immediately halt our elite’s rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / World Economic Forum

Wall Street Showered Obama’s Top Economic Adviser With Riches

Lawrence Summers is the man President Obama turns to for insight into the economy, so it’s more than a little disturbing that the very financial institutions the taxpayers are now rescuing—to the tune of nearly $3 trillion—paid Summers almost $8 million last year. Goldman Sachs & Co., a major beneficiary of the government’s largesse, paid him $135,000 for one speech.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care Reform at Last

Yes, this is the year Congress will finally give every American access to health insurance. For the first time since the passage of Medicare in the 1960s, the forces favoring action on health care reform are stronger than the forces of cynicism and obstruction.

Posted on Apr 5, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Wants a Nuke-Free World

The U.S. led a round of chest-thumping following North Korea’s alleged missile test Sunday, but President Obama also acknowledged that the United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons against others and, as such, has a “moral responsibility” to lead the world toward a nuclear stockpile of zero.

Posted on Apr 5, 2009 READ MORE


Suckers

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Posted on Apr 5, 2009 READ MORE    


Obama at NATO

Obama Pitches Afghanistan Plan at NATO Huddle

President Obama’s NATO allies may have responded favorably to his call to ramp up the war effort in Afghanistan, but anti-war demonstrators near the French-German border made their opinions known with protests following the photo ops in Strasbourg, France, on Saturday.

Posted on Apr 4, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Obama’s Big G-20 Debut, Bigger Budget

Did President Barack Obama achieve anything at the G-20 summit besides showing up and pressing the flesh with other international political players? Tony Blankley isn’t so sure, but Robert Scheer and guest moderator Lawrence O’Donnell are ready with their rebuttals. And how about that ginormous budget plan?

Posted on Apr 3, 2009 READ MORE


Generic Unemployment
connectedmichigan.com

National Unemployment Hits 8.5%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has put March’s unemployment rate at 8.5 percent, the highest in a quarter-century. After 15 consecutive months of job loss, more than one in 12 people (who are looking for work) are unemployed.

Posted on Apr 3, 2009 READ MORE


The Irrelevance of Race

Not even three months have passed since Obama’s historic inauguration, and already it tends to slip the nation’s collective mind that the first black president is, in fact, black. There may be hope for us after all.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


This Is the Truth on Drugs ... Any Questions?

Finally, after America has frittered away billions of taxpayer dollars arming Latin American death squads and incarcerating more of its own citizens on nonviolent drug charges than any other industrialized nation, the government is starting to re-evaluate federal narcotics policy.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


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