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Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel

Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel

By Shalom Auslander

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Tag: Election

Now Is No Time for Phony Thrift

As the government contemplates spending very large sums of money, it is reassuring to know that somebody still worries about waste. Or it would be reassuring, if only that somebody were not Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Yukking It Up at the Blago Show

I am supposed to be typing out words that articulate a highly audible and terribly alarmed tsk tsk. Instead, I am laughing with unrestrained amusement at the farce that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has engineered. Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun since New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s implosion.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Al Franken
Flickr / aflcio2008

Senator Franken, at Last?

After recounting 2.4 million ballots cast in the state’s U.S. Senate election, Minnesota officials are ready to name Al Franken the winner by a mere 225 votes. Franken’s rival, Sen. Norm Coleman, will likely fight the decision in the state Supreme Court. His campaign manager, meanwhile, is calling for a do-over. Updates after the jump.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE


Democrats Must Not Get Into Blagojevich’s Game

The governor is playing Chicago-style hardball at the highest level. His opponents need to reply in kind. 

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Believe It or Not, 2008 Was Relatively Nonviolent

Peace is not at hand, at least not as Americans define it. Yet peace has been breaking out all over.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


The 21st Century Is Finally Here, a Bit Behind Schedule

Social and political epochs rarely end precisely on schedules provided by calendars. The outcome of this year’s election means that 2009 will, finally, mark the beginning of the 21st century.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE


Blagojevich!
AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Blagojevich Gets Blagoje-Ditched

Rod Blagojevich, the most recent Illinois governor to be mired in scandal, is finding himself at odds with his own party after Democratic leaders announced Tuesday that Blagojevich’s attempt to fill Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat will be blocked, much to the disappointment of Blagojevich and his appointee, Roland Burris.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE


Connell crash

Conspiracy Alert: Web Expert’s Plane Crash Probed

In September, Republican Internet whiz Michael Connell was subpoenaed in conjunction with a case of alleged vote-tampering in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election. Last Friday, the 45-year-old IT consultant and Web designer was killed when his plane hit an empty house near Akron.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE



bradblog.com

There’s Hope for Franken Yet

BradBlog has the latest from the endless recount battle in Minnesota, where Al Franken currently is trailing by only two votes. Results are day-to-day, but the Star-Tribune is predicting Franken will win out by fewer than 100 votes.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Should She Be Sen. Kennedy?

In the culture of celebrity, the media have instantly deemed Caroline Kennedy a leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, much to the frustration of elected officials who feel they have earned a chance to win what she would merely take.

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 READ MORE


‘Daily Show’: Mac Is Back

Now that election hangovers are finally starting to wear off, it’s time to hop in the time machine and relive the very best of John McCain.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE


Crippling the Auto Union Is Just a Warm-Up

I must admit that when the danger of a global financial implosion became apparent in March, I did not understand how all those worthless Wall Street credit swaps really could be the fault of an overpaid union welder at an auto plant somewhere in Michigan.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


There May Be GOP Gold in the Blago Scandal

The troubles of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have endangered one of the Democratic Party’s safest U.S. Senate seats.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / jburwen

In Illinois, They Love Blagojevich Not

How many Illinois state House members voted Monday to begin impeachment proceedings against Gov. Rod Blagojevich? 113. How many Illinois state House members are there? 113. But in a twist, the governor retains the power to name Barack Obama’s successor, although the U.S. Senate has no intention of recognizing a Blagojevich appointee.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


Dennis Kucinich
AP photo / Kevin Wolf

Rep. Dennis Kucinich on His Battle With the Banks

Once they were as gods, but the deities of the American banking system are now in ruins, plunged from their pedestals into the maw of taxpayer largesse. There was a time when their power was real. Come with me to Cleveland 30 years ago today.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


Settlement Extremists Threaten Israel’s Moral Substance

The steady expansion of nominally illegal colonies into the Palestinian territories has gone on to the point where the political parties are now incapable of disengaging from the settlement enterprise.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE



Truthdig / Peter Scheer

Redrawing the Political Map

A little-noticed California proposition could limit the kind of partisan gerrymandering that Republicans and Democrats have used to influence elections around America for decades. But is that a good thing?

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Joe Crimmings Photography

A Nation Turns Its Desperate Eyes to Obama

Seventy-three percent of adult Americans think Barack Obama is off to a good start, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. An even larger number think Obama’s trials will test him more than other recent presidents. Folks are scared, and whether they voted for Obama, John McCain or Snoopy, they’re pulling for the president-elect.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


Mugabe
U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lock

Mugabe’s Last Stand?

The U.S. has finally decided that it is “well past time” for Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe to be shown the door. This after he stole an election in June, subverted a power-sharing arrangement and run his once-prosperous nation into the ground.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Those Other Elections

A month after Barack Obama’s triumphant victory, we are still celebrating America’s only authentic national religion, and it isn’t Christianity—it’s presidentialism.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Joe Crimmings Photography

The High Cost of Hope

Was it his charisma? His rhetorical gifts? His policy ideas? There’s a more cynical and perhaps realistic explanation for Barack Obama’s historic electoral victory over John McCain: When all was said and done, the Democrat had about $400 million more to spend than his rival.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



Collage: US Census / the-isb.com

Minnesota Race Continues to Perplex

In case you haven’t been following Al Franken’s fortunes in Minnesota’s ongoing recount, here’s a brief recap: He was down, but not by much, then down by less and, a little later, even less, then he claimed to be up, but now it looks like he’s down again, but not by much. Confused? You’re not alone.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE


Saxby Chambliss
Flickr / Savannah Grandfather

Saxby Succeeds in Georgia

Saxby “Big Daddy” Chambliss has successfully defended his U.S. Senate seat against rival and fraternity brother Jim Martin. After a close contest in the general election, the two were forced into a runoff Tuesday, which Chambliss won handily.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
Flickr / sskennel

Palin Milks Georgia Runoff

As Sen. Saxby Chambliss squares off Tuesday against challenger Jim Martin in Georgia’s runoff election, a certain Alaska governor has managed to work her way back into the spotlight. Stumping for Chambliss, Sarah Palin continues to draw throngs of Republicans while others wish she would simply go away.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Chambliss ad

Saxby Chambliss Needs New PR Team

In this age of YouTube and ever-diminishing privacy, those who choose to position themselves—and, by extension, their families—in the public eye ought to know not to let a potentially creepy moment like this make it to video.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Peril and Promise of Interesting Times

If things get much more “interesting,” we might have a collective nervous breakdown. But along with the anxiety, there’s also a sense of rare opportunity—a chance to emerge better than we were economically, politically and socially.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE


Mark Halperin Labels Election Coverage ‘Disgusting’

Time’s veteran political reporter calls coverage of the 2008 election, during both the primary and general election, “the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war” because of “extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s E-Team

Obama’s selection of a team of highly skilled pragmatists has already been described as a move to the political center, but Obama advisers and longtime acquaintances say that this is a misreading of the incoming president and his approach.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE


Obamas' fist bump
Flickr / chad davis

This Just In: Historic ‘08 Election Didn’t Squelch Racism

The Associated Press delivered the sobering but inescapable news on Monday that the election of the nation’s first black president didn’t completely eradicate racism in America. Thanks, AP!

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy

In the first two weeks after the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the last eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / openDemocracy

Chavez Celebrates Sweeping Victory

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has survived an electoral challenge with flying colors. His party swept 17 of 22 state elections, although the opposition was victorious in several key skirmishes, including the capital state, the mayoralty of Caracas and even Venezuela’s biggest slum, traditionally a Chavez stronghold.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE


Tuning Out the Braindead Megaphone

If you’re having trouble remembering what the recent election was all about, rest easy: You’re probably not going senile – you’re likely experiencing the momentary effects of brainwashing.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


The New Longevity

Sen. Robert Byrd, 91, announced that he will give up the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee to Sen. Daniel Inouye, 84. The torch has passed to a new generation.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008 READ MORE


Bracing for a Major Disappointment

The Americans who voted for Barack Obama as president were promised change they could count on, but it rather looks as if they may actually be asked to make do with a mildly refurbished Clinton administration, with many of the same officials and nearly all of the same policies.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo

No More Torture

We will look back on the Bush years and find it incredible, and disgraceful, that individuals were “purchased” from tribal warlords, tortured at Abu Ghraib, abducted to secret CIA prisons, whisked to Guantanamo and held for years without charges.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


Ad-ing It All Up

Scores of independent groups went into hyperdrive for this election, reaching millions of people with some of the most vicious attack ads of the year. But figuring out what impact the groups actually had on the campaigns is a tricky proposition.

Posted on Nov 17, 2008 READ MORE


Palin
Flickr/sskennel

Palin Poised to Make Millions on Publishing Deal

Huh! So Sarah Palin’s White House bid didn’t pan out, but the story of her two-month sprint to Election Day with John McCain will likely translate into big bucks from an eager publishing house. But what should Palin’s tome be called?

Posted on Nov 17, 2008 READ MORE


Moroni
Flickr/treasurethouhast

NYT: Mormons Made the Difference in Passage of Prop. 8

Many of us living in California definitely took notice when the battle over Proposition 8 suddenly heated up and became more contentious in the days before it passed. The New York Times has the story on what happened in that final stretch before the election.

Posted on Nov 15, 2008 READ MORE


O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly Braves ‘The Daily Show’

Is America really a “center-right” nation? Is “The Daily Show” secretly a left-wing commune? These questions and more are answered in these clips from “Fox News” superstar Bill O’Reilly’s visit to Jon Stewart’s studio Thursday.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE


Knowing When to Walk Away

Bush reportedly suggested to Obama he might support an economic stimulus package and aid to struggling automakers if Democrats drop their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia. Strange behavior? Yes and no.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE


Abortion Is the Right Issue for Starting the Healing

Obama’s most urgent task is to repair an ailing economy. But one of his most important promises was to end the cultural and religious wars that have disfigured politics for four decades.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE



senate.gov and Flickr / aflcio2008

Minnesota Is the New Florida

While Minnesota gets ready for a recount, it looks like one way or another the state’s U.S. Senate race will be decided in court. With bad memories of Florida, Al Franken and Norm Coleman’s campaigns are already arguing about whose vote should count and why.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE



One More Dem in the Senate?

As Alaska election officials continue to count ballots, Democrat Mark Begich has gone from roughly 3,000 votes down to a lead of about 800. His rival, convicted felon and “series of tubes” prophet Sen. Ted Stevens, will likely be expelled from the U.S. Senate if he somehow wins.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


This Is What He’s Sorry About?

It was nothing Bush did—no decision he made, no policy he pursued, no faith that he placed in ideological dogma—that he finds regrettable. Bush told a cable network, “I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said” over the course of eight tumultuous years.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


From Barracuda to Scapegoat

Have you ever seen a transformation this fast? Think of it as evolution on steroids. But don’t think Sarah Palin will go quietly into that good Arctic night.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


Who’s Afraid of a Filibuster?

Is there enough muscle behind the GOP filibuster threat to block Obama’s mandate? The short answer is no—and the new president’s own political arsenal should enable him to call the Republican bluff.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Tells Leno About the Woodshed

John McCain showed off his sense of humor during his first postelection interview, and a few of his scars. As McCain put it, “Our party has a lot of work to do. We just got back from the woodshed.”

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE



Archive / White House Press Office / Cecil Stoughton

From LBJ to BHO

The 36th president of the United States seems strangely absent in the current celebrations. Perhaps Lyndon B. Johnson is not fondly remembered, but his triumphs paved the long road to Barack Obama’s historic presidency.

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE


'Left, Right & Center' Live

‘Left, Right & Center’: Postelection Live Show

Just in time for the (post-)election, KCRW’s “Left, Right & Center” panelists Matt Miller, Tony Blankley, Arianna Huffington and Robert Scheer appeared together for a live show at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica on Sunday, braving a packed house as they took stock of the state of the union and discussed what might come next.

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE


The Danger in Timidity

If Reagan had the voters’ permission to move away from strategies associated with liberalism, Obama has sanction to move away from conservative policies. And Reagan offers another lesson: His first moves were bold, and Obama should not fear following his example.

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE


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