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The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

By James Baldwin

The Oxford Shakespeare

The Oxford Shakespeare

By William Shakespeare

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Tag: Government

Reality and Reform for How the EU Keeps Its Peace

The European Union deliberately has chosen not to challenge the United States as a military or political superpower. This is convenient for most and saves Europe a great deal of money. It is prudent, since no one knows what the U.S. would do if the Europeans undertook a role that challenged American primacy.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010 READ MORE


Japanese flag
Wikimedia Commons

Vote Ties Japanese Parliament in a Knot

Looks like the Japanese government is headed for a frustrating, and potentially ineffectual, phase after Sunday’s election left the nation’s parliament in a “twisted” condition. That’s an actual term, not a value judgment.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick

A close reading of the new health care legislation, which will conveniently take effect in 2014 after the next presidential election, is deeply depressing.

Posted on Jul 11, 2010 READ MORE


Time Out for Recess Appointments

A recess appointment should be a last step in cases of egregious delay, not one of the first. That standard was nowhere near met in the case of President Obama’s latest appointee.

Posted on Jul 8, 2010 READ MORE



ESPN

What ESPN’s Bill Simmons Superdeluxe Media Empire Means for Facts, Fans and Sports

Going bonkers, lionizing winners and dumping on losers is fun, even if the cycle is accelerating to absurdity and beyond with modern 24/7 reportage. That’s today’s price of fame. Privileged as they are, today’s starry-eyed young athletes pursue their dream through a driving shitstorm.

Posted on Jul 7, 2010 READ MORE



Department of Defense / Staff Sgt. Phil Schmitten

Nixon Thought About Nuking North Korea

Just after a U.S. spy plane was shot down in 1969, President Nixon appears to have ordered nuclear bombers to prepare to attack targets in North Korea, but he quickly changed his mind. More extensive plans (one with the Bush-esque name of “Freedom Drop”) for nuclear strikes on as many as 16 North Korean targets were also devised.

Posted on Jul 7, 2010 READ MORE



NASA

If Only Information Flowed as Freely as Oil

“Deep Spill 2” sounds like a sequel to a Hollywood thriller. Unfortunately, it is more of a reality show. “Deep Spill 2” is the name of an ambitious series of proposed scientific experiments that should be happening right now.

Posted on Jul 6, 2010 READ MORE



Crisis of Capitalism

Today’s list features an amazing animation on the crisis of capitalism, a dispatch from a Gulf Coast media felon and a debate on the ownership of breasts.

Posted on Jul 6, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / greenforall.org (CC-BY)

Environmentalist Faces 3 Years for Hanging Banners

For the outrageous crime of hanging two banners in the Senate’s Hart Office Building, environmentalist Ted Glick could get up to three years in jail. The U.S. attorney’s office has asked for triple the normal maximum penalty, because Glick has made a habit of speaking his mind and, apparently, that’s just criminal. (continued)

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 READ MORE


Judicial Change to Believe In

Here’s when you know something momentous has happened to our struggle over the Supreme Court’s role: When Republicans largely give up talking about “judicial activism,” when liberals speak of the importance of democracy and deference to elected officials, and when judges are no longer seen as baseball umpires.

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 READ MORE


After the Recession, Belt-Tightening

This is no time for retrenchment, but the deficit projections coming out of the Congressional Budget Office are alarming and will only get worse if we dawdle.

Posted on Jul 4, 2010 READ MORE


A New Deregulatory Push in the Energy Heartland

In recent weeks, politicians from the capital to Colorado have provided ample evidence that the fossil fuel industry remains as powerful as ever in the wake of the Gulf Coast apocalypse.

Posted on Jul 1, 2010 READ MORE


Republican Worldview: It’s All Good

Judging by their response to millions of uninsured Americans, the drilling disaster in the Gulf and the economic crisis, Republicans should run on the slogan “It’s all good. Except for that Obama guy. And Nancy Pelosi.”

Posted on Jul 1, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Susan Wilt

Congress Tires of Lining Karzai’s Pockets

The House has decided not to approve some $4 billion in aid to Afghanistan after The Wall Street Journal reported that the country’s notoriously corrupt government has secretly flown billions of dollars in U.S. aid and drug money to “safe havens abroad.”

Posted on Jul 1, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

What Kind of Supreme Court?

Although we did not discover much about Elena Kagan, confirmation hearings should remind us of what has been remarkable in our constitutional and judicial history.

Posted on Jul 1, 2010 READ MORE



Facebook Fatigue

Today on the list: Teens report Facebook fatigue, Israel’s crackdown on boycotts, and where have all the protest songs gone?

Posted on Jul 1, 2010 READ MORE



World Economic Forum / Remy Steinegger

The Passionless Party

You know the Democrats have a problem when party insiders think John Kerry is too intense.

Posted on Jun 30, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Gerald Herbert

When Rolling Stone Calls the Shots, It’s Time to Negotiate

It is amazing how little commentary there has been on the key issue raised by the McChrystal Affair: Should U.S. war policy be made by Rolling Stone?

Posted on Jun 30, 2010 READ MORE



Book Claims Monogamy Goes Against Our Nature

Today on the list: The Supreme Court-bound argument for gay marriage aims to win over every justice, why one author says monogamy is unnatural (just in case), the sound of sadness as identified by scientists, and more.

Posted on Jun 30, 2010 READ MORE



Photo illustration from White House photo by Pete Souza

Regulators Made Sure Goldman Sachs Got All of Its Bailout Money

A devastating report in The New York Times documents how Timothy Geithner’s New York Fed worked tirelessly to make sure that AIG was forced to pay banks such as Goldman Sachs 100 percent on dubious contracts that might otherwise have been slashed or subjected to lawsuits. (continued)

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 READ MORE


Unhinged on the Right

To hijack the horrors of the Holocaust and slavery in the service of a political campaign demeans the candidate and, worse, dishonors the victims. Decency demands that some comparisons be off-limits.

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Alfredo V. Ferrer

We Can’t Afford War

The U.S. will eventually negotiate its withdrawal from Afghanistan. The only difference between now and then will be the number of dead, on all sides, and the amount of (borrowed) money that will be spent.

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Ted Green

When the ‘Right War’ Goes Wrong

The Afghanistan situation is worth analysis at two levels, that of the war itself and the domestic political effect of Obama’s misguided decision to replace “Bush’s war” in Iraq with his own in Afghanistan.

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Anonymous9000 (CC-BY)

Accused Russian Spies Rekindle Cold War Passions

Russian authorities are up in arms over the arrest of 11 Russians accused of spying on the U.S. The FBI announced the arrests Monday, “in the spirit of the spy novel intrigues of the Cold War era,” as the Russian Foreign Ministry put it.

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 READ MORE



Noam Chomsky on Iran

It’s a short one this morning, class, so pay close attention: Noam Chomsky sounds off on the Iranian threat, Fox makes stuff up about the oil spill, some nutty professor is claiming Jesus was never crucified and trouble in Israeli academia.

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 READ MORE



Jose Ibanez / "South of the Border"

Oliver Stone Responds to New York Times Attack

“Larry Rohter attacks our film, ‘South of the Border,’ for ‘mistakes, misstatements and missing details.’ But a close examination of the details reveals that the mistakes, misstatements, and missing details are his own.”

Posted on Jun 28, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Francisco V. Govea II

The Land Where Theories of Warfare Go to Die

Afghanistan is the place where theories of warfare go to die, and if the COIN theory isn’t dead yet, it’s utterly failed so far to prove itself.

Posted on Jun 28, 2010 READ MORE



Best Vacation Ever

Secret FCC meetings, what it’s like to be a Canadian doctor, why modern art is in your head, and what science has to say about the best vacation ever—all after the jump.

Posted on Jun 27, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Whose Supreme Court Is It?

This week’s hearings over Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court will mark a sea change in the way liberals argue about the judiciary.

Posted on Jun 27, 2010 READ MORE


Leave the Nation-Building to Afghans

The good news? Nobody has to pretend anymore that Gen. Stanley McChrystal knew how to fix Afghanistan within a year. The bad news? Now we’re supposed to pretend that Gen. David Petraeus does.

Posted on Jun 25, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Spc. De'Yonte Mosley

Troops React to McChrystal Article

Global Post’s Ben Gilbert reports that the Rolling Stone story “was the subject of gossip, concern, disbelief, surprise and shock from enlisted men and officers deployed in Kandahar Province.”

Posted on Jun 24, 2010 READ MORE


Arbitrary and Capricious, Indeed

If you’re worried about judicial activism, take a look at the Ronald Reagan-appointed federal judge in New Orleans who just lifted the Obama administration’s moratorium on deep-water drilling.

Posted on Jun 24, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. JoAnn S. Makinano

5 Million Iraqis Killed, Maimed, Tortured, Displaced—Think That Bothers War Boosters?

The immensity of Iraqi civilian suffering is incomprehensible. How can war’s cheerleaders like Christopher Hitchens claim to fight on behalf of the people whose lives they helped destroy?

Posted on Jun 23, 2010 READ MORE


The Wound McChrystal Opened

Gen. Stanley McChrystal put President Barack Obama in an impossible position. That is why McChrystal had to go.

Posted on Jun 23, 2010 READ MORE


Runaway Defense Spending Not Winning Any Wars

In Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, the major places of military interest to the United States today, there are indications that things are coming apart.

Posted on Jun 22, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Budget Director Calls It Quits

Peter Orszag is resigning his Cabinet-level position and possibly heading to the relative calm of a think tank. Orszag decided to leave before work on the next budget starts in earnest. A successor is likely to be promoted from within the administration.

Posted on Jun 22, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Prakash Hatvalne

From Bhopal to BP

The “massacre” sentences were far too light, but at least India put executives on trial. Let’s hope the U.S. has the will to fully investigate and, if warranted, try BP executives.

Posted on Jun 21, 2010 READ MORE


How Obama Changed the Right

Barack Obama’s campaign promise of change did not include a pledge to transform American conservatism. But one of his presidency’s major legacies may be a revolution on the American right in which older, more secular forms of politics displace religious activism.

Posted on Jun 20, 2010 READ MORE


War for Resources: From Slander to Clarion Call

Reading this week’s New York Times headline—“U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan”—many probably wondered how this information was being presented as “news” in 2010.

Posted on Jun 18, 2010 READ MORE


Stick to the Deadline in Afghanistan

When he ordered his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, President Obama pledged that U.S. troops “will begin to come home” in the summer of 2011. Discouraging reports from the war zone should make him more determined to keep his promise—and Americans more insistent on holding him to it.

Posted on Jun 18, 2010 READ MORE


A Different Kind of Malaise

President Obama gave a good and sensible speech that was not a home run. What’s odd is that Obama was seen as needing a home run. This is where the Democratic malaise comes in. Democrats should feel a lot better than they do.

Posted on Jun 16, 2010 READ MORE


A Green ‘New Deal’ Now

Clearly the president understands what is at stake. And he apparently senses renewed opportunity in the wake of the Gulf catastrophe, which illustrates the problems of oil dependency with harrowing urgency.

Posted on Jun 16, 2010 READ MORE


Broken Promises, Broken Laws, Broken Lives

Federal authorities are investigating whether officials of the government south of the border participated in a citizen’s kidnapping and torture—Canadian authorities, that is, investigating the possible role of U.S. officials in the “extraordinary rendition” of Canadian citizen Maher Arar.

Posted on Jun 16, 2010 READ MORE


Gulf War Syndrome

It’s great that President Obama and his advisers finally seem to understand the atmospherics of responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Now if they’d only get the policy right.

Posted on Jun 14, 2010 READ MORE



Ari Mintz

A ‘Prophecy’ Worth Watching

Theater, which at its best makes us more human and humane, has become increasingly mediocre, produced as spectacle or driven by the presence of Hollywood celebrities.

Posted on Jun 13, 2010 READ MORE


Spend Now, Save Later

Do Democrats honestly think that nickel-and-diming on stimulus now will either have a substantial impact on the long-term deficit or be of greater help to them in this fall’s elections than more robust growth?

Posted on Jun 13, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. William Tremblay

They Just Found $1 Trillion in Afghanistan

Afghanistan was thought to be a hardscrabble wasteland good for producing little more than opium—that is until a gang of American geologists working from old Soviet maps uncovered a variety of mineral deposits thought to be rich enough to radically alter our whole concept of Afghanistan and the war to control it.

Posted on Jun 13, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / MichalFoto (CC-BY-ND)

Stealth Superpower: How Turkey Is Chasing China in Bid to Become the Next Big Thing

Turkey has ambitions beyond the Middle East and the means to get there.

Posted on Jun 13, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / frozenchipmunk (CC-BY)

Obama Wants $50 Billion For Teachers, Cops and Firefighters

With a relative drop in the bailout bucket, the president thinks he can save 300,000 teachers who would otherwise be kept by economic calamity from annoying America’s children. The money would go to state and local governments struggling to make ends meet.

Posted on Jun 13, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / DonkeyHotey (CC-BY-ND)

Israel’s Flotilla Inquiry ‘Farce’

Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, Haaretz, condemns the Netanyahu government’s “farce” of an inquiry into the deadly flotilla raid: “The conclusions of an ostensible probe are intended to justify retroactively the decision to blockade Gaza ... and to use deadly force on the deck of the Mavi Marmara.”

Posted on Jun 13, 2010 READ MORE


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