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A River Dies of Thirst: journals

A River Dies of Thirst: journals

By Mahmoud Darwish
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Tag: Government

Trumped by Political Failure

That anyone could seriously imagine Donald Trump as president of the United States—the actual president—must reflect something deeper and more significant than the weakness of the Republican field.

Posted on Apr 7, 2011 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

The Right’s War on Moderation

However the shutdown saga ends, the negotiating styles of the two sides ought to tell moderates that they can no longer pretend that the two ends of our politics are equally “extreme.”

Posted on Apr 6, 2011 READ MORE


Backsliding Under the Ceiling

At fancy Washington dinner parties decades ago, it was the custom for men and women to part ways after the meal.

Posted on Apr 6, 2011 READ MORE



romana klee (CC-BY-SA)

What The New York Times Doesn’t Understand About Taxes

Once again a New York Times article hinges on the numbers, and the numbers as reported are all wrong. This is becoming a disturbing pattern.

Posted on Apr 5, 2011 READ MORE



Quinn Dombrowski (CC-BY-SA)

Government Agencies Prepare for Shutdown, Pols Fight Over Pocket Change

With the prospect of a government shutdown so real the White House has ordered government agencies to batten down the hatches, it’s hard to believe all this is over a few billion dollars. House Republicans are insisting on more cuts than President Obama has agreed to, and if both sides can’t get together by Friday ... (more)

Posted on Apr 5, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Reed Saxon

This Is What Resistance Looks Like

The phrase consent of the governed has been turned into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. Civil disobedience is the only tool we have left.

Posted on Apr 4, 2011 READ MORE


The End of Progressive Government?

Put the two parts of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget together—tax cuts for the rich, program cuts for the poor—and its radically redistributionist purposes become clear. Timid Democrats would never dare embark on class warfare on this scale the other way around.

Posted on Apr 3, 2011 READ MORE



fotologic (CC-BY)

Intellectual Prostitution and the Myth of Objectivity

The news-clown jabbers on screen, says this or that is so ... and, lo, it is so. More likely it’s “All the News That’s Shit to Print.”

Posted on Apr 3, 2011 READ MORE


Why the Reckless Republicans Win

The Republican minority within a minority is getting its way because nobody else in Washington is reckless enough to promote a government shutdown.

Posted on Apr 1, 2011 READ MORE


Lessons of Libya

Launched almost exactly a quarter-century after Ronald Reagan first bombed Tripoli, America’s new war in Libya was guaranteed to be yet another fist-pumpin’, high-fivin’ remake of a big-budget 1980s action movie.

Posted on Apr 1, 2011 READ MORE


Truth About a False Choice

It’s time to retire the false choice. As a rhetorical device, particularly as a political rhetorical device, the false choice has outlived its usefulness, if it ever had any.

Posted on Mar 31, 2011 READ MORE


Obama Addresses His Third Muslim War

The president made an effort Monday evening to explain, and perhaps to sell, his Libya strategy, saying “when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act.”

Posted on Mar 29, 2011 READ MORE



Al-Jazeera English (CC-BY-ND)

The Sleeping Giants of Tiny Bahrain

Washington’s tendency to handle the Bahraini monarchy with kid gloves and to defer to the Saudis is ill serving the stability of the Persian Gulf. Risking the radicalization of Bahrain’s Shiite community may be a very bad idea.

Posted on Mar 29, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Jacques Brinon

The Collapse of Globalization

The last people who should be in charge of our food supply or our social and political life, not to mention the welfare of sick children, are corporate capitalists and Wall Street speculators.

Posted on Mar 28, 2011 READ MORE


The Surprising New Class Politics

The battle for the Midwest is transforming American politics. Issues of class inequality and union influence, long dormant, have come back to life.

Posted on Mar 27, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Muzaffar Salman

Syrian Protests Turn Deadly

At least 20 people were killed when Syrian police opened fire on anti-government protesters near the southern city of Daraa as demonstrations against the regime of Bashar al-Assad continued across the country.

Posted on Mar 25, 2011 READ MORE


A Mission Wrapped in Confusion

Is it just me? Am I the only one who’s utterly confused about the rationale, goals, tactics and strategy of the U.S.-led military intervention in Libya? Thought not.

Posted on Mar 24, 2011 READ MORE


Paradox and Principle in the New Mideast

The paradoxes of Libya merely underline the broader problem that we face in the sudden democratic turmoil of the Mideast.

Posted on Mar 24, 2011 READ MORE


A New Red Dawn

Wielding its increasing market leverage, China is now countering our First Amendment ethos with a push for what L.A. Times reporter Ben Fritz calls pervasive “self-censorship.”

Posted on Mar 24, 2011 READ MORE


Why the GOP Is Obsessed With ‘Leadership’

Leaders do not operate in a vacuum. When they make strategic adjustments, their opponents do too. President Obama has prompted just such a pivot by Republicans.

Posted on Mar 24, 2011 READ MORE


How America Doubled Its Brainpower

We are one lucky and better country to have, in a very short time, almost doubled our talent pool by opening our elite institutions and establishments to women.

Posted on Mar 23, 2011 READ MORE


Aristide’s Return to Haiti: A Long Night’s Journey Into Day

Late at night on March 17, former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide boarded a small plane with his family in Johannesburg. The following morning, he arrived in Haiti. It was just over seven years after he was kidnapped from his home in a U.S.-backed coup d’etat.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 READ MORE


The Libyan Question: Now What?

Neither Europe nor Washington has a United Nations mandate to depose and arrest Gadhafi and seek his indictment by international courts. Nor do they have a mandate to overturn the existing government in Libya, install a new one, build democracy, etc.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Akira Suemori

No Laws, No Secrets: The Anarchist Creed of Julian Assange

About the only intelligent thing the U.S. government has said to date about Julian Assange is that the man is an “anarchist.” What they don’t seem to get is that he is channeling Thomas Paine.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Cpl. Daniel J. Redding

‘Death and After in Iraq’

She and the others noticed that the Marine on the table was breathing lightly. The chest was going up and down. They frantically called their superiors to find out what to do. They were told to wait. “Just wait? Wait for what?” she cried.

Posted on Mar 21, 2011 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Inconsistent Principles

There’s a problem when world leaders announce fervid support for universal principles: There is no way to avoid having those highflying words flung back at them at another time, during some other crisis, when they will have no choice but to lie or duck and scamper for cover. (more)

Posted on Mar 20, 2011 READ MORE



Illustration by PZS based on a graphic by Cary Bass

The Latest From Fukushima

Here are the latest headlines from Japan’s struggle to prevent nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant as of early Friday morning (Japan time).

Posted on Mar 17, 2011 READ MORE



DigitalGlobe

Foreign Governments Evacuating Citizens From Tokyo

With U.S. nuclear and energy officials offering dire assessments of Japan’s nuclear disaster, the State Department expanded the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant to 50 miles, four times that ordered by the Japanese government. France, Britain, Australia and Turkey have all ordered evacuations of Tokyo or warned against travel to the region.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011 READ MORE


March of the Deficit Pandas

It’s possible to simultaneously worry about the debt and believe in an active and compassionate role for government. In fact, it’s required.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011 READ MORE


American Ignorance Keeps American Power in Check

The United States, without really realizing, is now back to where it was, an isolated nation. But unlike in the past, this isolation is not deliberate.

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 READ MORE


The Revenge of God

It was in the spring of 1966 that Time magazine shocked a lot of readers with a black cover with the white question: "Is God Dead?"

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Ben Curtis

People Power vs. Washington

The claim that George W. Bush’s war of aggression against Iraq somehow opened up the Middle East to reform is an affront to the brave crowds that have risked their lives to change the American-backed order in that part of the world.

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 READ MORE



Niall Kennedy: Some rights reserved

Whose Side Is The New York Times On?

As if dealing with the many known enemies of government workers is not enough, state employees in New York now also have to contend with the old gray lady herself, The New York Times. (more)

Posted on Mar 14, 2011 READ MORE


The High Cost of a Broken Metaphor

“We’re broke.” You can practically break a search engine if you start looking around the Internet for those words. Just one problem: We’re not broke.

Posted on Mar 13, 2011 READ MORE


How Not to Fight Terrorism

Stigmatizing Muslims and their faith may win airtime for Rep. Peter King and draw cameras to his committee, but it does nothing to advance the security of the United States.

Posted on Mar 11, 2011 READ MORE


What Wisconsin Can Teach Washington

Consider the contrast between two groups of Democrats, in Wisconsin and in the nation’s capital, and the reaction of voters.

Posted on Mar 10, 2011 READ MORE


Don’t Ice Out Public Media

When we are discussing war, we need a media not brought to us by weapons manufacturers. When discussing health care reform, we need a media not sponsored by insurance companies or Big Pharma.

Posted on Mar 9, 2011 READ MORE


Western Intervention in Libya Should Not Fly

Although it may seem heartless to say this, the Arab uprising is not our affair, and we should stay away from it.

Posted on Mar 8, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Mahesh Kumar A.

This Time We’re Taking the Whole Planet With Us

We seem condemned as a species to drive ourselves and our societies toward extinction, although this moment appears be the denouement to the whole sad show of settled, civilized life that began some 5,000 years ago.

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 READ MORE


The GOP’s Ingenious Madman Strategy

Richard Nixon espoused what he called “the madman theory.” It’s a negotiating approach that induces the other side to believe you are capable of dangerously irrational actions and leads it to back down to avoid the wreckage your rage might let loose.

Posted on Mar 6, 2011 READ MORE


For Governors: Responsibility Equals Invisibility

If you want to get national attention as a governor these days, don’t try to be innovative about solving the problems you were elected to deal with.

Posted on Mar 3, 2011 READ MORE


Arab Revolutions Need Not Be Americanized

A new Middle East, indeed! But not the one that American policymakers expected when the George W. Bush administration launched the “Great War on Terror,” which the last few days have made irrelevant.

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 READ MORE


Why the Wisconsin Fight Matters

This is not the first time that Wisconsin has been at the center of national agitation over the role of unions.

Posted on Feb 28, 2011 READ MORE



DoD / Cherie A. Thurlby

Down With Democracy, Let’s Have a King

With a 10 percent rate of unemployment among his subjects and fear of the unrest that this could unleash, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia decreed an increase in aid to the unemployed, an increase in the salaries of government employees, an increase in aid to students, an increase in funds ... (more)

Posted on Feb 25, 2011 READ MORE


Two Public Pay Standards, One Statement of Values

Decisions by bought-off elected officials highlight a larger corporatist ideology—one that says attracting the best and brightest to the “greed is good” financial industry is more important than attracting that work force to common-good endeavors.

Posted on Feb 25, 2011 READ MORE


Lifting the Heavy Thumb

Mike Huckabee made a great argument for gay marriage. The once and perhaps future Republican presidential candidate didn’t mean it that way, of course.

Posted on Feb 24, 2011 READ MORE



Illustration from Mr. T in DC

The FCC, Net Neutrality and the Future Enrons of the Internet

Apparently having learned nothing from its failure to rein in Enron, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and the rest, Congress is pushing to deregulate Internet service providers.

Posted on Feb 24, 2011 READ MORE


The Mayor Rahm Mystery

Mayor Rahm. It will be a hoot. It could even be good for Chicago. And in a way he has never had to do before, Rahm Emanuel will finally reveal who he really is.

Posted on Feb 23, 2011 READ MORE


How I Passed My U.S. Citizenship Test: By Keeping the Right Answers to Myself

I passed, and, my fellow Americans, you could too—if you don’t mind providing answers that you know are wrong.

Posted on Feb 23, 2011 READ MORE


Unintended Consequences

House Republicans voted to increase the number of abortions, raise federal health care costs and swell the welfare rolls.

Posted on Feb 23, 2011 READ MORE


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