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Reckless Endangerment

Reckless Endangerment

By Gretchen Morgenson, Joshua Rosner
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Tag: Barack Obama

America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or establish permanent NATO bases there, or are we searching for Osama bin Laden? It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Aaron Escobar

Coping With Corporate Media

The Truthdig Podcast is back and better than ever. This week the panel tackles our obsession with imperfect athletes, the first days of the Obama administration and the decline of media. Special guest Megan Tady, campaign coordinator for Free Press, joins James Harris and Josh Scheer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / Sgt. Zach Otto, U.S. Army

Obama Throws 17,000 Troops at Afghanistan Mess

President Obama’s desire to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a sore spot for the progressives and anti-war folk who helped elect him, took a major step forward Tuesday when the White House announced plans to raise troop levels in Afghanistan by 50 percent over the next few months.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Burris
senate.gov

Burris Did More for Blagojevich Than He Let On

Surprise! Roland Burris has no credibility. The man who condemned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat—until he was appointed to it—has revealed that, contrary to what he told the United States Congress in sworn testimony, he tried to raise money, as requested, for the governor-turned-auctioneer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
AP pool photo / Alexei Druzhinin

Avoiding Another Cold War

Relations with Russia haven’t been this frosty since there was an East Berlin. President Obama may be distracted by other priorities, but getting reacquainted with Vladimir Putin and his nuclear arsenal should be at the top of the list.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Carmaker, Banker, Broker ...

Obama must deal with a new presidential role that he did not seek but cannot avoid: managing big chunks of the private-sector economy.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Hope mural
flickr/jetheriot

And Now for the Disillusionment Phase

His presidency is not yet a month old, but there already are some who are wondering aloud whether Barack Obama is going to make good on his pre-election pledges. What’s this—he’s a politician?

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Denver
flickr/jeffrey beall

Obama to Take Stimulus-Signing Act to Denver

It’s finally happening: President Barack Obama is about to sign the stimulus bill. Get ready, people of Denver—he’s going to do the honors at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, of course—where else?

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Bad News From America’s Top Spy

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. Just ask the new director of national intelligence, who warned that the deepening economic crisis could trigger a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


A Hand on History

President Obama senses that fate has handed him opportunities few presidents ever get, and that his test will be whether he makes good use of his chance to bend history at one of its “inflection points.”

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Jeffrey Beall

Pols Sink or Swim With the Stimulus

President Obama on Tuesday will sign the stimulus bill, which passed without the support of a single House Republican and with only three votes from the GOP in the Senate. With battle lines that stark, lawmakers have tied their fates to that of the bill.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: The Stimulus, the Bailout and Judd Gregg

How stimulating is the stimulus, really? Did Obama bite off more than he could chew? Who wears the pants at the Treasury Department? Answers to these questions and more in this week’s episode.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Mr. Inside

The treasury secretary will get much better at making his case. I’m confident in that prediction because after watching his debut this week, I don’t see how he could get much worse.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


Israel’s Lose-Lose Election

Of the possible political combinations that have emerged from the Israeli parliamentary election, none will bring the region closer to peace. Israel will continue to persecute the Palestinians, whose hatred will only grow.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Another Nominee Bites the Dust

Apparently nobody wants to be President Obama’s commerce secretary. The second candidate for the post, Sen. Judd Gregg, has dropped out. The Republican senator cited “irresolvable conflicts,” including the stimulus package and the census. That’s what you get for trying to make nice with those fussy Republicans.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


Abraham Obama
Flickr/Lord Jim

Obama Salutes Lincoln Yet Again

In case you didn’t know already, Barack Obama is a big fan of Abraham Lincoln. The current president (No. 44) made his admiration apparent once again on Thursday, during a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda marking his predecessor’s (No. 16) 200th birthday.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


‘Daily Show’: ‘You Had Me at We’re F$%#ed’

Jon Stewart applies his usual comic talents to Barack Obama’s first news conference, complete with a showdown between Bill O’Reilly and Chris Matthews.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


The High Cost of Centrism

The Obama administration keeps having to learn that bland centrism is not pragmatic, it’s not helpful in resolving a big crisis, and it certainly doesn’t buy you any love.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Where’s the Top Gun?

Well, that didn’t work out. In pushing for a new financial industry bailout, Treasury Secretary Geithner came across like a banker trying to do a politician’s job. Obama owes us some hands-on involvement.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Stronger, Please, Mr. President

Having allowed his Republican opponents to dominate the economic debate, Obama used his first news conference to rebut them—coolly and civilly, yet without leaving any doubt that he can strike back harder if necessary.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Club Gitmo
rushlimbaugh.com

Limbaugh Selling ‘Club Gitmo’ Gear

Leave it to the proto-fascists to find a way to make money off torture, human rights abuses and the degradation of America’s image abroad. Rush Limbaugh has found it acceptable to sell “Club Gitmo” shirts on his Web site, complete with the image of a diving board and swimming pool (water + board, get it?).

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Reid
The New York Times / Susan Etheridge

Reid Announces Stimulus Agreement

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Wednesday afternoon that congressional leaders have finally agreed on a $789 billion economic stimulus package, pushing the plan to a final House and Senate vote by Friday at the earliest.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Afghan Trap

Have we learned nothing from the Iraq war? The Obama regime is gunning for more fighting in Afghanistan at a time when the U.S. should be seeking more talk.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner
AP photo / Lawrence Jackson

No Tough Love for Wall Street

What an insipid anticlimax! Rising to “a challenge more complex than our financial system has ever faced,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner promised on Tuesday to give trillions more to the very folks who profited from that malignant complexity.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad
observer.com

Ahmadinejad to U.S.: Let’s Talk (Maybe)

On Tuesday, the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in his country, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad extended a tentative offer to open a dialogue between the U.S. and Iran—provided that the Obama administration makes good on its “change” slogan.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 READ MORE


offshore drilling
Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Department of Energy

Salazar Shelves Bush’s Offshore Drilling Plans

Just before he skedaddled out of the White House, President Bush worked out a scheme to make millions of acres of the American coast available for offshore drilling, but on Tuesday, President Obama’s interior secretary, Ken Salazar, brought those plans to a halt, at least for the next six months.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Slam the Door on Compromise

Bipartisanship is a cute idea, but with 600,000 Americans losing their jobs in one month, there simply isn’t time to be nice.

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 READ MORE


Supreme Sexism

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s renewed struggle with cancer is both a demonstration of courage and a dismaying reminder that she represents a quota of one.

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Obama Pushes to Sell an Effective Stimulus

He has his opponents in Congress, but President Barack Obama is stressing the need to settle the stimulus issue—and fast. On Monday, in his first major news conference since assuming office, Obama warned of economic troubles ahead and presented the stimulus package as a possible way out.

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 READ MORE


Krugman
bloomberg.com

Krugman: Down With Centrist Senators

Note to all the senators who trotted out their best horse-trading tactics to create the latest, pared-down version of the stimulus bill: Paul Krugman does not approve of your centrist ways.

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / AtomicPope

What Price Hollywood?

I visited the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles a few days ago. It is advertised as “the final resting place to more of Hollywood’s founders and stars than anywhere else on Earth.” We all have gods, Martin Luther said, it is just a question of which ones. And in American society, our gods are often celebrities.

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 READ MORE


The Real Obama

It took less than three weeks for the real Barack Obama to come into view. He turns out to be both a conciliator and a fighter. Update

Posted on Feb 8, 2009 READ MORE


SCHIP

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Posted on Feb 8, 2009 READ MORE


Napolitano
AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Obama’s Immigration Conundrum

One of the worst messes facing the Obama administration is the disgraceful state of the federal government’s immigration detention centers.

Posted on Feb 7, 2009 READ MORE


Kremlin
exploitz.com

Biden Cautious, Conciliatory in Message to Russia

Will the Obama administration take a different tack than the Bush team did when it comes to relations with the Kremlin? It’s hard to say at this stage, but Vice President Joe Biden has suggested that it’s “time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.” He made the comment Saturday in a speech at a security conference in Germany.

Posted on Feb 7, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Are We Stimulated Enough Yet?

Everyone’s a Captol Hill critic these days. Here we have a handful who might just know what they’re talking about when it comes to the stimulus debate: Arianna Huffington, Tony Blankley, Robert Scheer and Matt Miller do their darndest to sort out where the money should go.

Posted on Feb 7, 2009 READ MORE


Job Loss
nytimes.com

U.S. Unemployment Hits 7.6 Percent

With little surprise but incredible effect, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in January, hitting its highest level since 1992. President Obama used the report to prod Congress to pass his economic stimulus package.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Guantanamo’s Last Terror Trial

The legacy of terror trials at Guantanamo Bay has potentially come to an end, as a judge has dropped the charges for the last case at the naval base in accord with President Obama’s executive order to halt all court proceedings there.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE


A Team of Zombies

Only weeks ago, the political world was buzzing about a “team of rivals,” but instead President Obama has populated his administration with Bush yes-men and Wall Street kleptocrats whose discredited theologies cannot be killed.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE


Another Nominee With Tax Problems

What exactly was the point of that endless questionnaire Team Obama famously had prospective worker bees fill out? A fifth Obama nominee has run into some controversy, the fourth due to a failure to pay taxes, although in the case of Labor Secretary-designate Hilda Solis, her husband is to blame.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


In Washington, Public Policy and Private Wealth Are Hopelessly Tangled

Barack Obama in Washington reminds one of Diogenes in Athens, with his lantern in search of an honest man.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE



windowssecrets.com

The Most Trusted Name in News Just Stole Your Computer

Visitors to CNN’s Web site looking to watch streaming video of the inauguration on Jan. 20 got this message: “For faster, better video, click ‘yes’ here.” Doing so installed a peer-to-peer plug-in that transferred the bandwidth responsibility of streaming the video from CNN to the users, taking over visitors’ computers in the process.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


Capitol dawn
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Senators Hammering Out Workable Stimulus

At long last, it looks like something resembling an agreement might happen soon among members of the Senate who had been previously having trouble finding any middle ground when it came to the proposed stimulus plan.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


Spare Change

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Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE    


Barack Obama and Howard Dean
AP photo / Alex Brandon

Howard Dean Should Have Been Obama’s Pick All Along

Now that Tom Daschle has withdrawn his name from the running to be health and human services secretary, President Obama should revisit the idea of nominating former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean for the position, an idea he abandoned last November for all the wrong reasons.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


GOP Revs Up the Spin on Stimulus

Republicans have been winning the media wars over Obama’s central initiative. They have done so largely by defining the proposal by its least significant parts.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


Stimulus Skeptics Wrong (Again)

Mythology is overshadowing history in the debate over Obama’s plan to stimulate the depressed economy. Excessive airtime is devoted to the prejudices of cable hosts and radio personalities who regurgitate ideas they barely understand.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


D.C. Radicalism

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Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE    


Nominee Confirmed or Your Money Back

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Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE



POTUS Executive Office

Cheney Claims ‘High Probability’ of WMD Attack

The former vice president tells Politico that there is a “high probability” of a terrorist attack involving “a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind” and that the current administration is “more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States. ...”

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


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