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Palimpsest: A Memoir

Palimpsest: A Memoir

By Gore Vidal

more items


Tag: Election

Hope in the Deep Freeze

There are many reasons why Barack Obama’s spending freeze, which appears to be nothing more than pandering to the angry right, will not work as policy or politics.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE


Square, Category Page

White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s First State of the Union—Full Remarks

It was his third address to a joint session of Congress in less than a year, and it had all the usual gestures toward bipartisanship, but Barack Obama’s big speech was not without sizzle. The president shamed Republicans for obstructing, Democrats for giving up and the Supreme Court for auctioning off our democracy.

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 READ MORE

A Duped President’s Wasted Foreign Policy Year

President Obama’s failures in Israel and elsewhere abroad have astonished the international public and left in despair those Americans who can scarcely believe that a whole year has been irresponsibly wasted.

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 READ MORE

Pre-State of the Union Edition

Petraeus says there’s plenty more Afghan war where that came from, Saudi Arabia gets to buy an election or two and Social Security goes on the chopping block. These stories and more on today’s list.

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Fighting Words, Winning Actions

It’s not enough to use variations of the word “fight” more than 20 times in the course of relatively brief remarks, as the president did Friday in Ohio. At some point, he needs to—metaphorically, of course—actually slug somebody.

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Mat Packer

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Apologizes for Comparing the Poor to ‘Stray Animals’

South Carolina’s Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has apologized for comparing poor people to “stray animals” that are encouraged by gifts of food to breed uncontrollably. Bauer, who is running in the state’s gubernatorial election, told CNN while apologizing that he is “not against animals.”

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 READ MORE

The Supreme Court’s Shoddy Scholarship

In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty.

Posted on Jan 24, 2010 READ MORE

Life After Massachusetts Edition

After the jump: A comprehensive roundup of why the Democrats suck, the all-white basketball league and how classical music can be used as punishment for schoolchildren.

Posted on Jan 22, 2010 READ MORE

Original: Reagan Library

Democratic Corporatism Brings Reagan Back From the Grave

In a state where Democrats outnumber the GOP by a 3-to-1 margin, little-known Republican Scott Brown defeated his rival by demonizing the government and taxes.

Posted on Jan 21, 2010 READ MORE

No Obama Obituaries, Please

If scored strictly by his legislative attainments, Obama is a highly effective president. In fact, the scrupulously nonpartisan Congressional Quarterly rated him the most effective president of the past five decades, as measured by congressional votes on which he took a position.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 READ MORE

The Contradictions of Obamaism

It turns out there were core contradictions in the promises Barack Obama made to the country in 2008. They caught up with his party on Tuesday in Massachusetts.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 READ MORE

Scott Brown centerfold

Democrats Lose Ted Kennedy’s Seat

Well, the Democrats really made a donkey out of this one. The Commonwealth of Taxachusetts, as it’s known among tea-partiers, will now have a Republican senator. That means the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority—which only amounted to doing Joe Lieberman’s bidding, anyway—is over. (continued)

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 READ MORE

Newsflash: Right Is Not Center

On economic issues, we are often told that right is center, center is left, and left is fringe. For a year, national reporters (with help from conservative talk-radio goons) have depicted the center-right Obama administration and its corporatist policies as quasi-Marxist.

Posted on Jan 14, 2010 READ MORE

Chairman Mike Turns the Tables

Republican Party grandees were all set to use Michael Steele in the most cynical way. Now it’s becoming clear that Steele has been using the users all along.

Posted on Jan 14, 2010 READ MORE

Sweat Time for Hill Democrats

It’s not time for presidential panic, but lawmakers up for re-election could be in a different boat if Obama’s ratings stay in this slump.

Posted on Jan 14, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Arnulfo Franco

From Coup-Lite to Truth-Lite: 10 Ways the U.S. Fought Democracy in Honduras

Andrés Thomas Conteris, reporting from within the besieged embassy where ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has taken shelter, outlines 10 ways the United States has supported the coup and undermined democracy in Honduras.

Posted on Jan 13, 2010 READ MORE

Larry’s List: Mark Halperin’s Trash Edition

Mark Halperin’s sleazy new book (the one that snared Harry Reid and beats up on John and Elizabeth Edwards) is proof, writes Glenn Greenwald, that our media aspire to trash and gossip. This story, plus Nixon, Sinatra, Limbaugh, drugs and more after the jump.

Posted on Jan 13, 2010 READ MORE

Harry Reid’s Poor Choice of Words

The Senate majority leader acted like an idiot when he commented on Barack Obama’s race, but he was also right.

Posted on Jan 10, 2010 READ MORE

Tea Party protest
Flickr / Street Protest TV

The Tea Party Movement Is Here to Stay (for Now)

Get ready for a lot more tea-bagging jokes and riled-up right-wingers hoisting fanciful posterboard creations and marching on Washington. That’s right, the so-called tea party movement is here, evidently not queer, and while those opposed to its members’ politics may not “get used to it” as such, they’d better have some smart comebacks at the ready during upcoming election seasons ... (continued)

Posted on Jan 7, 2010 READ MORE

The Byron Dorgan Thunderclap

The North Dakota senator’s retirement after three decades is an unfortunate twist for Democrats already looking at a difficult election year.

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 READ MORE


Steele: GOP Embracing Tea Party Movement

With an eye on this year’s midterm elections and a look back at where the Republican Party might have misstepped in recent months, RNC Chairman Michael Steele dropped in at “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday to discuss the so-called tea party movement. He said the movement’s rise is “a revelatory moment for us” and that the GOP can “crystallize that new foundational support for our principles” in 2010.

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN

U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison

Al-Qaida Uses U.S., U.S. Plays Along

It is not widely understood that the policy objective of al-Qaida is not to attack Western countries, but to bring about an upheaval in the Islamic world in which Islam can be rescued from corrupted governments and degenerate practices.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE

Why 2010 Doesn’t Have to Be 1994

Democrats can avoid a midterm rout if they get progressives excited without turning off independent voters. Here’s how.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE

Fighting Over the Squandered Decade

I’m afraid that the past 10 years will be seen as a time when the United States badly lost its way by using our military power carelessly and pursuing domestic policies that constrained our options for the future.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE

Iran, Yemen Posing Challenges to American Intelligence

Iran appears to be in the throes of popular uprising, yet the U.S. and Israel continue to flirt with military intervention for dubious reasons.

Posted on Dec 29, 2009 READ MORE


Tension Simmers in Iran

The immense crowds gathering in Iran identify either a pre-revolutionary situation or political decadence suggesting that the end may be near, but might also be very bad.

Posted on Dec 22, 2009 READ MORE


Alabama Congressman Changes Parties Over Health Care

Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman congressman who formerly figured among the famous “Blue Dog” Democrats in Congress, has reportedly decided to defect to the GOP after breaking with his party over health care reform. This shift in the Democratic ranks could spell trouble for the 2010 election, especially if Rep. Griffith’s switchover inspires others to follow suit.

Posted on Dec 22, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

The Candidate-vs.-President Canard

Every now and then, an insider inadvertently exposes the hideous rationalizations that run the American political grotesquerie. Such is the case with the president’s flip-flop on drug imports.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Fox News Draws Record Ratings in 2009

This doesn’t bode well for next year, but it looks as if leaning ever to the right helped Fox News in 2009. The cable news channel, home to a host of conservative pundits (Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, etc.) pulled in its highest ratings ever, which was definitely not the case for CNN and MSNBC.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

The Democrats Blinked

By bowing to Sen. Lieberman and his obstructive pals in both parties on health care reform, Obama has confirmed what Republicans always say about Democrats: They simply aren’t strong enough to govern.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE

George W. Bush
White House Archives / Eric Draper

The Democrats’ Bush Nostalgia

Here’s what Democrats need to ponder: Can they prosper in the absence of George W. Bush?

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE

Larry’s List: All-You-Can-Eat Weekend Wrap-Up

What have you been doing all weekend? If the answer isn’t reading about Fox’s goofy polls, the man who hid 44 lizards in his pants and great moments in Orwellandia, hop on past the jump for the weekend list and catch up.

Posted on Dec 13, 2009 READ MORE / David Ortez

Houston Elects Gay Mayor

Thanks to Annise Parker’s victory in a runoff election Saturday, Houston will become the largest U.S. city to have an openly gay mayor. Parker was the target of anti-gay rhetoric but mobilized gay rights groups in her defense.

Posted on Dec 13, 2009 READ MORE

Political Moral Hazard

Without consequences—or worse, with rewards—for wrongdoing, there is an incentive to do wrong. One need look no further than Wall Street and Washington, D.C.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Scott Reed

Our Murderers in the Sky

Key to Barack Obama’s surge is his expansion of targeted assassinations taking place under the guise of unmanned aerial drones operating in the Af-Pak region.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

The Health Care Race to Christmas

President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan and his subsequent jobs summit underscored why it’s essential to get a health care bill done quickly.

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama’s Surge in Afghanistan Hardly a Surprise

There was much disappointment on Tuesday night about Barack Obama’s decision to widen the war in Afghanistan, but there can have been no real surprise.

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE

Obama’s Goldilocks Strategy

Obama’s surge in Afghanistan is a political loser, but in the short term he’ll get what he wants.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Charles Dharapak

Here We Go Again

After 30 years of failure, and thanks to the political opportunism of the current commander in chief, the Afghanistan war is still without end or logical purpose.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE

Fighting Extremism With Civility

Jim Leach spent 30 years as a member of Congress. Now he’s an Obama Republican who wants America to return to civility.

Posted on Nov 29, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / Holly Van Voast

Bloomberg Dug Deep Into His Own Pockets to Win Third Term

This is just the kind of news that doesn’t bode well for the state of democracy in America: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg shelled out $102 million of his own money in his recent successful (albeit close) run for re-election. That shakes out to about $183 per vote, and the final tally may still rise.

Posted on Nov 27, 2009 READ MORE

Understanding Our Hollow ‘Centrists’

The puzzling thing about politicians of either party who claim to be “centrist” or “moderate” is how much they sometimes sound like party-line right-wing Republicans.

Posted on Nov 25, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Oded Balilty

Refuse Allegiance to Coal

There are some 614 coal-fired power plants in the United States, and it is up to us to shut them down. No one in the White House will do it. No one in Congress will do it. And no one at the coming U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen will do it.

Posted on Nov 23, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Chuck Kennedy

The Afghanistan Speech Obama Should Give (but Won’t)

President Obama will undoubtedly address the American people on whatever decision he makes about the war in Afghanistan. Every sign indicates that it will not sound like this.

Posted on Nov 19, 2009 READ MORE

Our Rogue Evita

No force on earth can stop Sarah Palin from becoming our very own “lite” version of Eva Peron—a glamorous and tragic legend, minus the tragedy.

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 READ MORE

Hashim Thaci

Kudos for Kosovo Elections

A year after declaring independence from Serbia, Kosovo has received good marks from European monitors for its first round of local elections, which could lead to wider recognition and acceptance of its newly established status in the international community.

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / geerlingguy

Palin Plays It Coy About 2012 Plans

Could she be a contender? In the eyes of the voting public, that remains to be seen. For her part, Sarah Palin isn’t giving any clear signals that she plans to make a play for the White House in 2012, but in her customary fashion, she’s not exactly answering that question directly and completely either.

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 READ MORE

Testing Next Year’s Lies Today

Republicans have made it clear they aren’t going to let honesty become an obstacle in the midterm elections.

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

A Disappointing Year With Obama

Who would have thought a year ago that most of the issues of conflict in America’s foreign relations would be made worse during the first year following Barack Obama’s election as U.S. president?

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 READ MORE

When Voters Disrupt the Tea Party

Here’s a story you may have missed because it flies in the face of the dreary conventional wisdom: When advocates of public programs take on the right-wing anti-government crowd directly, the government-haters lose.

Posted on Nov 8, 2009 READ MORE

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