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time.com

Obama of the Year

Joining the ranks of you, Kenneth Starr and the computer, Barack Obama has, not surprisingly, achieved the most prestigious superlative in history’s magazine of choice: Time’s “Person of the Year.”

Posted on Dec 17, 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


Premature Fretting on the Left

Oh, my: Barack Obama is still more than a month away from assuming the presidency and already there are reports about “the left” being dispirited about change it no longer believes in.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


All Bush Wants For Christmas

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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



Warren I. Cohen on China’s ‘Factory Girls’

There’s a revolution underway in Chinese culture as young women flock from villages to factory employment in the cities, leaving traditional values behind.

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


Bush the Infallible

Remember that long-ago news conference when George W. Bush couldn’t think of any mistakes he had made? Unbelievably, he still can’t.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Richard Nixon
gmu.edu

Nixon Tapes Confirm Sour Personality

The National Archives released another 200 hours of Richard Nixon’s White House recordings on Tuesday, bringing the grand total of publicly available grousing, griping and racially insensitive grumbling to more than 2,200 hours.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE



AP file photo

Confronting the Terrorist Within

The world is far more complex than our childish vision of good and evil. We as a nation and a culture have no monopoly on virtue. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when viewed from the receiving end, are state-sponsored acts of terrorism.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


bush at podium
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Bush Speaks of Legacy

Still-President Bush has discussed his legacy with his sister Dorothy Bush Koch as part of a national oral-history project, suggesting the future should remember him for his “liberation” of 50 million people and reluctance to ”sell his soul ... to accommodate the political process”—likely referring to that which is outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 READ MORE



Richard Ellis on ‘Diagnosis: Mercury’

Thinking of whipping up another tuna casserole? You may change your mind after reading this convincing expose by Jane M. Hightower, a San Francisco doctor.

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 READ MORE



filminfocus.com

Get Milk

Gus Van Sant’s “Milk” is a movie to be thankful for. Go see it, tonight if you can, and in a crowded theater. Then open up some merlot and watch the documentary “The Times of Harvey Milk,” by Robert Epstein—because these two films belong together.

Posted on Nov 26, 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



AP photo / Kiichiro Sato, file

Starving for Change

The swelling numbers waiting outside homeless shelters and food pantries around the country have grown by at least 30 percent since the summer. If Barack Obama continues to turn to the elites who created the mess, if he does not radically redirect the nation’s resources to assist the working class and the poor, we will become a third-world country.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE


Anti-Immigration Thanksgiving

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Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Regina Marler on Ted Hughes’ Letters

A new volume of the late poet’s correspondence sheds fresh light on the anguish and art of Sylvia Plath.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 READ MORE


Why Obama Can Keep Gates

If the prospect of appointing Hillary Clinton as secretary of state irritates the Obama base, what will they make of keeping the man who has executed President Bush’s policies at the Pentagon?

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


book cover

Jane Ciabattari on Toni Morrison’s ‘A Mercy’

An unabashed triumph, Morrison’s new novel is a gloriously poetic and incantatory retelling of America’s tragic and redemptive story.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE


For the Moment, Obama Seems Ridicule-Proof

Barack Obama’s election victory may have been good for the country, but it’s been awful for comedians. Just ask poor Don Rickles.

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


How Many Villages Must We Bomb Before We Find bin Laden?

Barack Obama has said that he is not against war, only against stupid wars. One might then reasonably ask if the present war in Afghanistan is not a stupid war?

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


President Obama Can Redeem the White House

The first African-American elected president of the United States recently visited his soon-to-be residence, a house built by slaves. Alice Walker told me: “Even when they were building it, you know, in chains or in desperation and in sadness, they were building it for him.”

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



AP photo / Tina Fineberg

America the Illiterate

The change from a print-based to an image-based society has transformed our nation. All the traditional tools of democracies, including dispassionate scientific and historical truth, facts, news and rational debate, are useless instruments in a world that lacks the capacity to use them.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE


Water Under the Bridge

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Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE    


America’s Relay Race

There was symbolism as well as sadness in the passing of Barack Obama’s grandmother. When we’re young, we think change is a 100-yard dash. As we get older we think it’s a marathon. Eventually we see a relay race.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


Organizer in Chief

Perhaps the job that qualified Obama most for the presidency was the one most vilified by his opponents: community organizer. Yet community organizing is inherently at crosscurrents with the massive infusion of campaign cash.

Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE


Location, Location, Location

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Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE    


New Shoes

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Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE    


Election Night Speeches

John McCain was dignified and gracious in the face of overwhelming defeat Tuesday night. Barack Obama embraced his moment in history with yet another incredible speech. It brought tears to Jesse Jackson’s eyes and to countless others around the country.

Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE


The Red Is Fading in a Virginia Bellwether

The line for early voting wound up one side of a corridor in the Loudoun County voter registration office and down the other. Those in line were, collectively, the face of change in Virginia that could tip the state into the Democratic column for the first time since the LBJ landslide of 1964.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE


A New Pride in Our Country

I know there’s a chance that the first African-American to make a serious run for the presidency will lose. But that is precisely what’s new: I’m talking about possibility, not inevitability. For African-Americans, this is nothing short of mind-blowing.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevork Djansezian

To This Minister, Prop. 8 Is Repugnant

The thousands of same-gender couples who have married in the few months since the California Supreme Court cleared the way are in fact married. The notion that a majority vote by people who are not party to these marriages of love, commitment, care and family will have the power to impose a divorce on these couples is flatly repugnant.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Only Nader Is Right on the Issues

Tomorrow I will go to a polling station in Princeton, N.J., and vote for Ralph Nader. I know the tired arguments against a Nader vote. But there is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / LM Otero

The Obama Standard

A good politician triumphs by adapting to the times and taking advantage of opportunities as they come. A great politician anticipates openings others don’t see and creates possibilities that were not there before.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



us.penguingroup.com

Nicholas von Hoffman on Kevin Phillips’ ‘Bad Money’

An insightful book discloses how a confidence game combined pride and cunning and stupidity to bring America to the brink of catastrophe.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Al Grillo

Homeland Security Pays Dividends for Alaska

When Sarah Palin brags about the self-reliance of her state, she doesn’t mention the mobile command communications vehicle, bought with federal dollars to help keep her home town of 7,028 safe from terrorism. Thanks in part to an anti-terrorism bonanza, Alaska is one of the greatest per-capita beneficiaries of federal funding among the 50 states.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 READ MORE


Mandate ‘08: Reagan vs. FDR

John McCain and Barack Obama have made the race’s final weeks an ideological proxy war between two presidential icons who still loom larger than them: Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 READ MORE


A Slave’s Daughter Votes for Obama

Amanda Jone’s father encouraged her to vote. That wasn’t always an easy feat in Texas, but she did her best, paying poll taxes to vote for FDR and others. Now the 109-year-old daughter of a former slave has voted for the man who could become the first black president and she says, “I feel good about [it].”

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


Stevens’ Corruption Was About the Little Things

For a steel sculpture of migrating salmon, amongst other goodies, Ted Stevens—one of the lions of the Senate—was willing to forfeit the kingdom.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


The Scariest Day of the Year

Have you noticed that the spookiest colors of the season are not orange and black but red and blue? As Halloween slips into Election Day, the race for the White House has scared more grown-ups than any trip to the haunted house.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE



tickertapedigest.com

What Goes Down ... Dow Up 10 Percent

The Dow shot up 889.35 points on Tuesday, a welcome respite from Wall Street’s month of plunges. Things could still get a lot worse: While some buyers snapped up what looked like bargain stocks, others said they expected a major drop before things get better.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / edited for effect

Populism Arising—but Will It Be the Killer Kind?

The old assumptions and paradigms about capitalism and free markets are dead. A new, virulent populism, still inchoate, is slowly and painfully rising to take their place. This populism will determine the future of the country. It is as likely to be right-wing as left-wing.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Karl E. Meyer on Sharon Waxman’s ‘Loot’

A new book investigates the illicit trade in antiquities and raises uneasy questions over cultural patrimony, the fevers of nationalism and the imperial ambitions of museums.

Posted on Oct 24, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Banking on a Confederacy of Dunces

Is John McCain stupid, or does he believe we are? That’s the question as he criticizes Barack Obama for allegedly trying to “redistribute the wealth” with a plan to lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the super-rich.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE


Conservatives in Crisis

A candidate is supposed to rally the base during the primaries and reach out to the middle at election time. John McCain got it backward, and it’s hurting him.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE


The Molecular Full Monty

A cohort of entrepreneurs and scientists is the cutting edge of the Personal Genome Project. In an act of altruism and/or exhibitionism, the PGP-10 have put their medical records, traits and genetic codes on the Web where all the scientists, paparazzo and peeping Toms can see them.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008 READ MORE


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