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Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan

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Tag: Election

Ted Kennedy in Pictures

There’s a lot missing in this hastily constructed array of Ted Kennedy’s life. His run for the presidency, for instance, and the scandal that never quite left him. We also leave out his many legislative accomplishments to focus on his family and the extraordinary swan song that might have been.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons / The White House

Karzai Is the Winner, According to Key Karzai Cabinet Member

Afghan Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said Monday that President Hamid Karzai is the clear winner of last week’s presidential election, citing empirical evidence to back up his claims.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE

State Department / Michael Gross

Honduras Headache Won’t Go Away

The Honduran Supreme Court just stuck its tongue out at the rest of the world, which has been waiting patiently for the country’s coup leaders to restore lawfully elected and promptly ousted Manuel Zalaya to the presidency. A carefully negotiated deal would have hit the reset button and called for early elections, but the court wasn’t interested. It doesn’t help that the U.S. has softened its position.

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Invisible Achievement

If governments had not acted aggressively, the economic situation would have become a cataclysm. But because the cataclysm was avoided, this is an invisible achievement.

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan election
AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Afghan Election Dogged by Fraud Claims

Corruption rumors and threats of violence preceded last week’s Afghan presidential election, so it’s not surprising that similar concerns are cropping up after the fact.

Posted on Aug 22, 2009 READ MORE

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Afghan Election, Blackwater’s Role

Was Thursday’s election in Afghanistan a step forward for representative democracy in the South Asian nation? What exactly does President Obama aim to accomplish in Afghanistan anyhow? This week’s lineup of commentators explores the possible connections between the CIA and Blackwater and considers the current status of the health care debate.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE

Missing: Democrats’ Passion

Here’s the least surprising news of the week: Americans are souring on the Democratic Party. The wonder is that it’s taken so long for public opinion to curdle.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE

USMC / Lance Cpl. Phillip Elgie

Reality Is Its Own Caricature for U.S. in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The problem with U.S.-sponsored elections in the non-Western world, as in Afghanistan on Thursday, is that they seek to legitimize America’s presence in the country, where it is typically not wanted.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE

Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Chris Hedges on Health Care, War and the New Racism

Chris Hedges talks about the illusion of health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, and what he calls the “new racism” in the age of Obama.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


Ridge: Bushies Manipulated Terror Threat System

One sinister li’l tidbit from former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge’s upcoming tell-all won’t do much to change the Bush administration’s reputation for string-pulling on as many governmental fronts as possible: According to teasers released by his publisher, Ridge was pushed by Bush & Co. to raise the terrorist threat level on the eve of W.’s second electoral victory in 2004.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan women
AP / Kevin Frayer

Polls Close in Afghanistan

Threats of violence kept large numbers of voters away from the polls in various parts of Afghanistan, and by closing time it was hard to say whether some officials’ declarations about the day’s success were warranted. But, thankfully, earlier warnings from the Taliban didn’t seem to materialize in the form of any major tragedies on Thursday.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Enforcer: Not Really Tough Enough

Every mistake made by the Obama White House in the pursuit of health care reform can be traced to the political style and ideological prejudices of Rahm Emanuel, who has repeatedly sought to intimidate progressives and empower conservatives.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE

Bomb in Kabul
AP / Kevin Frayer

Afghan News Outlets to Be Censored on Election Day

Tensions continue to build before Thursday’s presidential election in Afghanistan. After a spate of violence in the capital city of Kabul on Tuesday, including a suicide car bombing that killed at least eight people and wounded 53, the government banned local news outlets from reporting any similar incidents on election day.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE

Phantom of the Health Care Soap Opera

Red-faced people are now hurling the same falsehoods at the nonexistent Obama plan that they hurled at Clinton’s plan—and Harry Truman’s national health insurance proposal, and Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan election
AP / Rahmat Gul

Report: Pre-Election Corruption Crops Up in Afghanistan

This week’s presidential election in Afghanistan may not be the cleanest polling event, if the BBC’s findings about corruption and voting fraud are indicative of larger trends. The British news outlet reported Tuesday that bribery and bids to buy voting cards, combined with threats of violence from militant groups, could muck up the works come Thursday.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE

USMC / Cpl. Kristofer Atkinson

Only Time Can Heal Some Iraqi Wounds

Don’t let the bombings fool you: The American military withdrawal stabilizes Iraq to a degree never admitted by protagonists of the original invasion.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan candidate poster
AP / Saurabh Das

Taliban Issues Threat Before Afghan Election

With just a few days remaining before the presidential election in Afghanistan, Taliban operatives are trying to thwart voting by threatening to cut off the ink-stained fingers of those who go to the polls, according to Al Jazeera English. In Afghanistan, a finger marked with ink is a sign that one has voted.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / ProComKelly

Gay Rights Group Puts Marriage Fight on Hold

Equality California, possibly the biggest gay rights group in California, will wait until the 2012 election to attempt to overturn the state’s gay marriage ban. The organization’s director says “we think we have one shot” and that it will take time to marshal the necessary forces. Other groups have their sights set on 2010. Update

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE

What Are the Birthers Really After?

Why this obsession over Obama’s birthplace persists is a question that evokes disturbing answers.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / Hamed Saber

Iran Opposition Alleges Torture

More than 100 of the protesters and opposition leaders swept up and arrested after Iran’s controversial election are now on trial. The leading opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, has said that the “teeth of the torturers and confession-extorters have reached to the bones of the people.”

Posted on Aug 2, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Navy

It’s Time for the U.S. to Declare Victory and Go Home

As the old saying goes, “guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Since the signing of the 2009 Security Agreement, we are guests in Iraq, and after six years in Iraq, we now smell bad to the Iraqi nose.

Posted on Jul 30, 2009 READ MORE

‘Colorful’ Leaders Could Learn From Boring Brown

It sometimes pays to be a nondescript politician, like Gordon Brown of Britain. Flamboyance of the Latin kind gets you into the newspapers, but for bad reasons as well as good.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / jonrawlinson

The Attack of the 1-Percenters

The wealthiest 1 percent’s share of America’s total income is the highest it’s been since 1929, their tax rates are the lowest they’ve faced in two decades and they’ve bought unprecedented protection for themselves on the most pressing issues.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Foreign Wars Not Going According to Plan

For all America’s trouble, Iraq has turned out to be a sectarian, authoritarian ally of Iran with no interest in working with the U.S. The “new Vietnam” of Afghanistan, meanwhile, is turning out to be worse than Vietnam.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE

Support Iran Protesters Without Meddling

In reality, the U.S. has very little ability to impact what has become a massive, spontaneous movement for change in Iran. And it shouldn’t.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Office of the Supreme Leader

Iranians Still Split Over Election

Although Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, aka Iran’s supreme leader, has called the recent protests over the contested election evidence of foreign powers meddling in his country’s affairs, his words didn’t seem to sway Iranian opponents, who on Monday proposed a referendum to sort out the issue.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE

Roland Burris

So Long, Roland Burris?

Looks like the Roland Burris show isn’t going to be picked up for a second season. Washington strategists have taken a good look at the Illinois senator’s fundraising numbers (such as they are) and deduced that a 2010 re-election bid is unlikely.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE

Iran protest
AP photo

Protesters Venture Out in Tehran

The crowds that emerged in Tehran on Thursday to once again contest the recent national election numbered only in the low thousands, but the first mass protest in 11 days demonstrated that the postelection unrest has yet to be resolved in Iran.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE

Party of Franken, Party of Palin

Al Franken left showbiz to prove himself a serious policy wonk as well as a devoted family man; Sarah Palin transformed herself and her family into a reality television show. Their long, odd trips reflect the journeys of their respective parties.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE

Thomas Paine
Portrait by Auguste Millière

The Age of Paine

“That filthy little atheist,” as Thomas Paine was called by Theodore Roosevelt, has few monuments dedicated to his memory. Building a bronze and marble monument to Paine will never revive the republic, but his words still carry an electric current of freedom. His intellectual and political energy is always available for rediscovery.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 READ MORE

Iraq Has Another One of Its Famous Turning Points

As the media trumpets sound for the pullback of American troops from urban areas in Iraq, the essential lesson of our involvement must be recalled: Nothing about our entanglement in Iraq has ever been as it seemed.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE

Journalism in the Twitter Era

Journalism is famously described as “the first rough draft of history.” But the history of this Iranian moment is a first, rough hailstorm of bits and bytes, tweets and texts. In the tweet of Mousavil388: “One Person=One Broadcaster.”

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE

Iran’s Regime Reveals Its Brutality

The truly significant result of the suppressed Iranian revolt is that the most important Islamist radical movement in the contemporary world has demonstrated that it has become a brutally repressive dictatorship whose leaders rig elections and beat down clear popular demands.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE

Obama ‘Strongly Condemns’ Iran Crackdown

The president opened his Tuesday press conference by saying, “The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days. I strongly condemn these unjust actions… .”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE

Baracks Obama
White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Comes Closer to Meddling

The president reiterated Tuesday that he has no intention of “interfering with Iran’s affairs,” but he also dialed up his criticism of the regime’s crackdown from “it is of concern to me” to “I strongly condemn these unjust actions.”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / @@:@@

Iran Election Watchdog Stands by Results

Iran’s Guardian Council has found “no major fraud or breach in the election” and will not annul the vote, a spokesman announced Tuesday. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, jumped into the fray, calling on the Iranian government to “respect fundamental civil and political rights.”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / STR

Symbols Are Not Enough to Win This Battle

You don’t overthrow Islamic revolutions with car headlights. And definitely not with candles. Peaceful protest might have served Gandhi well, but the supreme leader’s Iran is not going to worry about a few thousand demonstrators on the streets, even if they do cry “Allahu Akbar” from their rooftops every night.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

Supreme Court Surprises With Civil Rights Decision

The Supreme Court has spared the 1965 Voting Rights Act, agreeing by an 8-1 margin to leave a ruling on its more controversial parts for another day—and perhaps another court. The near-unanimous narrow decision came as a surprise, with justices apparently retreating from earlier divisions that led some court watchers to predict the legislation’s demise.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Ali Zare

Iran Had a Democracy Before We Took It Away

Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / .faramarz

Iran Arrests Hundreds, Admits Vote Errors

Iranian election officials announced over the weekend that in 50 districts, there were more votes cast than voters. It’s a glimmer of hope for protesters, who stayed home Sunday as the government flooded the streets of Tehran with security personnel. State media reported the arrest of 457 people following Saturday’s violence.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE

Friendly Advice

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE

Obama’s Iran Dilemma

The president’s initial caution served the interests of freedom by making clear that the revolt against Iran’s flawed election is homegrown. As the struggle continues, we cannot pretend that we are indifferent to its outcome.

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / .faramarz

10 Reported Killed in Streets of Tehran

Protesters defied the supreme leader’s threat of a crackdown and marched Saturday in the streets of Tehran, where they were reportedly met with tear gas and gunfire. Foreign media were unable to verify state television reports that 10 people were killed in Saturday’s confrontation between police and “terrorists.”

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE


And the Ayatollah Says ...

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said Friday there was no fraud in last week’s presidential election and demanded an end to massive street protests. He warned that political leaders supporting such protests—words aimed directly at losing candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi—would be responsible for any violence.

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE

More Than the Sum of 140 Characters

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE

Without an Ass

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE    

Twitter and Iran

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Won’t ‘Meddle’ in Iran

President Obama says he is concerned about violence directed at protesters, but does not want “to be seen as meddling in Iranian elections.” He also warns that the “difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised.”

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Ben Curtis

Learning to Live With the Devil We Know

The protests in Iran have captured the imagination of Western media, but the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should come as no surprise. The world needs to move past the controversy of the Iranian elections and, like him or not, find a way to deal with President Ahmadinejad and his nuclear ambitions.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Ben Curtis

Iran to Recount Disputed Votes

Iran’s Guardian Council has announced a recount of disputed votes from last week’s election as massive protests continued in the streets of Tehran. It’s not clear how extensive the recount will be or whether it could threaten to upset the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who flew to Russia on Tuesday for a meeting there.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE

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