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Shade It Black: Death and After in Iraq

Shade It Black: Death and After in Iraq

By Jessica Goodell, John Hearn

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news.bbc.co.uk

U.K. Cracking Down on Net Piracy

The British government is planning to “significantly reduce” the country’s online file-sharing of copyrighted content, by at least 50 percent, in the next three years through a sequence of warning letters, Internet account suspensions and ultimate expulsion from Internet access.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nikki Keddie on Iran

In “Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies,” Barbara Slavin, a leading Middle East reporter for USA Today, offers a refreshingly nuanced and revelatory taxonomy of power within theocratic Iran that sheds light on its leaders and their ambitions.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


The Dream Campaign Goes to Berlin

While John McCain pouted in obscurity, Barack Obama capped off a whirlwind tour with a commanding performance on the world stage.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Six Little Words

History books teem with six-word phrases, from the comforting (“Nothing to fear but fear itself”) to the inspiring (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”) to the embarrassing (“Read my lips, no new taxes”). But the six words “on the basis of union membership” could be more momentous than any of those.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Turn On, Tune In, Change the World

The conventional wisdom on certain subjects is so deeply rooted that no amount of evidence disturbs its hold. That’s how it is with those dreary predictions that young Americans just won’t vote.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE



hotflick.net

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Don’t Work

Congress is investigating the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for the first time in the rule’s 15-year life. Critics of the famously troubled compromise would like to take advantage of a troop-starved military to scrap the policy, but the opposition argues that openly gay soldiers would frighten away new recruits.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


On Vacation

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Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


We’re Winning

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Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE    


Obama in front of a crowd

‘People of Berlin’

It’s not clear whether those were Germans or backpackers chanting “yes we can” in Berlin, but Barack Obama’s speech was a big hit with the crowd, which responded warmly to his call for global unity. The candidate himself cracked up after a line about his father herding goats got a huge cheer.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


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AP

Justice Torture Memos Say ‘Good Faith’ Is Legal Defense

Ah, good intentions, with which that famous path was paved: According to Justice Department documents   obtained and released by the ACLU on Thursday—albeit heavily redacted—CIA interrogators were authorized to use waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” that they believed “in good faith” would not “have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering.”

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


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AP / Jens Meyer

Just Another Stump Speech, or Historic Moment?

While fans deemed it “soaring” and Barack Obama himself tried to play down its importance, the senator’s speech Thursday in Berlin certainly had the visuals and big crowd to support comparisons to JFK’s famous appearance in the iconic Cold War capital.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


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Wiki Commons

Iraq Won’t Be Going to Beijing

Sectarian battles for control of Iraq’s national team between Shiites and Sunnis have led the International Olympic Committee to block Iraq from participating in the Summer Games in Beijing. The ban was upheld Thursday after the Iraqis failed to meet a deadline to appeal the decision, thereby losing a chance to generate considerable PR and/or pride for the wounded country.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE



westminster.gov.uk

AIDS and the Myth of the Oversexed Negro

Why do so many in the global health establishment insist on viewing the AIDS crisis in Africa through the lens of a 19th century stereotype?

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Super Mega Housing Bill on Bush’s Desk

There’s a lot the president doesn’t like about the new housing bill, just passed by the House, but he’ll hold his nose and sign it. The package includes huge guarantees for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae—the national debt ceiling had to be lifted by about $800 billion, just in case—but also rescue for hundreds of thousands of homeowners at risk of foreclosure.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain
Flickr / marcn

Fortune Frowns on McCain

John McCain had hoped for a photo op atop an oil rig, but he got a hurricane and an oil spill instead. The senator is known for his superstitions, but lately his lucky charms don’t seem to be doing the trick. The Washington Post takes a closer look at McCain’s week of bad luck and finds there’s more to frown about on the horizon.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Refighting the Vietnam War

For a long time, John McCain has believed that Vietnam should have, could have had a different ending. So, too, his attention on Iraq has been less on the war’s origin than on some undefined victorious conclusion.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Washington’s Overrated ‘Old Hands’

The strongest argument for Obama is the weak performance of the Republican regime’s vaunted “grown-ups,” including McCain and his advisers. They have gone far in proving that experience can be overrated.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Starbucks logo
Flickr / M@rcopako

The Starbucks Economy

In its own way, Starbucks has a lot in common with SUVs, hot tubs and television screens wide enough to fill a wall. That is, it represents the bit-by-bit extravagances that helped get us into the tight economic jam we find ourselves in today.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Savage
portland.indymedia.org

Outcry on Savage’s Savage Comment About Autism

Shock jock Michael Savage clearly has an overblown sense of the extent of his “expertise” on a wide range of topics, but he overstepped his bounds by attempting armchair psychology about a sensitive subject last week—autism—and drew fire from angry parents and supporters.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


‘Daily Show’ and Colbert on ‘Obama Quest’

Jon Stewart takes a whimsical look at Barack Obama’s excellent adventure while Stephen Colbert notes that, with the entire news establishment chasing the senator, “I am the Edward R. Murrow of who’s left.”

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


New McCain Gaffes on Iraq

Sen. John McCain didn’t just get his cause-and-effect order wrong on the so-called surge strategy in Iraq, he also claimed in a CBS interview that the increased troop deployment and associated change in tactics protected a key Sunni sheik who helped lead the “Anbar Awakening.” Problem? Said sheik was actually assassinated during the surge. Meanwhile, CBS is under fire for editing out these gaffes in its on-air presentation of the interview.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Sarkozy’s List of Successes

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy is often dismissed for his flamboyance, but he has quite remarkable accomplishments, including some reforms long sought by the left.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Who’s Paying for the Conventions?

The nominating conventions have become elaborate, expensive marketing events, but most people don’t know the extent to which major corporations fund them, pouring tens of millions of dollars into a little-known loophole in the campaign-finance system.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


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Wiki Commons

NBA Ballers Responding to Strong Euro

Last week it was Budweiser that was sold to the Europeans, this week it is the NBA that fell victim to a global economic shift that’s seen the dollar nose-dive vis-à-vis the euro. Respected young forward Josh Childress accepted a fatter offer from a Greek club than the one his U.S. team reportedly was making. He may not be the last.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Maliki
commons.wikimedia.org

Der Spiegel or ‘Der Lying’?

Remember how Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki endorsed Obama’s plan for U.S. withdrawal from the country? And then remember how the endorsement suddenly became a question of “translation”? Well, it ends up that it wasn’t a botched translation at all, and that Maliki’s office personally reviewed the final interview before it was published.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Nam Theun 2 Dam
namtheun2.com

World Bank Finds Itself Wanting

The World Bank is being criticized for a persistent lack of environmental focus in an internal review of its lending activities. The new report rails against the environmental degradation caused by many bank-funded projects in poor countries that harm local communities in the name of “development.”

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Chinese Police
AP photo / Ng Han Guan

China to Allow ‘Protest Lite’

Taking cues from past Olympic protests and the U.S.‘s notoriously ironic “free speech zones,” the Chinese government has declared its openness to dissidents criticizing the state—so long as dissent is contained in one of three areas, does not threaten vague notions of national unity, and is submitted five days beforehand to the local security bureau.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Promise

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Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE    


Karadzic Captured

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Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


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McCain Ad Blames Obama for Gas Prices

“Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?” asks an ominous narrator as a distant crowd chants “Obama! Obama! Obama!” and a gas pump is juxtaposed with Sen. Barack Obama’s picture. Onion parody? YouTube mash-up? No, this is the latest television ad from the McCain campaign, and it has host and guest on “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” cracking up.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
commons.wikimedia.org

Still Secret After All These Years

A federal judge has ruled that the testimony of David Greenglass, who helped convict his sister in one of the most famous trials in American history, shall remain secret. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed 55 years ago for conspiracy to commit espionage. Greenglass has since recanted parts of his testimony.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Ziv Koren, Pool

Obama on the Brink

Barack Obama is betraying his promise of change and is in danger of becoming just another political hack. Yes, just like former maverick John McCain, who has refashioned himself as a mindless rubber stamp for the most inane policies of the miserably failed Bush administration.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE



John Dean on ?Pure Goldwater?

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer interviews John Dean about “Pure Goldwater,” his new collaboration with the late senator’s son. The book is a reminder that American conservatism has drifted far from its original heading.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

No Easy Out for Obama

The adoring media coverage of Barack Obama’s international tour is masking the reality that, whether he wins or loses, we’re almost certain to be stuck in Iraq for a long time, thanks to the legacy of George Bush.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain
Flickr / soggydan

McCain’s Ink Envy

John McCain has often been described as a media darling, but that was before Mr. Straight Talk had to run against a political phenomenon. The Arizona senator was already frustrated by his drooping media prestige, but the wall-to-wall coverage of Barack Obama’s international tour, which was kind of McCain’s idea, has him seeing red.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama the Peacemaker

Before leaving Jordan for neighboring Israel, Barack Obama promised to pursue peace between Israelis and Palestinians “starting from the minute I’m sworn into office,” and to “be concerned and recognize the legitimate difficulties that the Palestinian people are experiencing right now.” His deference to impartiality comes a month after the candidate seemed to cede the city of Jerusalem, whether accidentally or not, to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


‘Baruch Obama’

The “Daily Show” investigates Barack Obama’s alleged problem with Jews in Florida, where at least one crafty senior is on to the mock reporter’s funny business.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


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Bush Tours America to Survey Damage Caused by His Disastrous Presidency

In breaking satirical news coverage, visibly moved broadcasters report on what may be the president’s finest moment.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


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Wiki Commons

Blackwater Plans to Back Away From Security Biz

Stung by lawsuits, protests, government audits, criminal charges and negative media attention, executives from the mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide say providing security in Iraq and elsewhere has become a drain on the company’s future and will be gradually all but phased out. However, there are no immediate plans to end the contract with the State Department which became so controversial after the company’s agents went on a deadly shooting spree in Baghdad last year.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Early Estimates of Bailout Range to $100 Billion

The independent Congressional Budget Office has announced the expected federal taxpayer bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will appear as a $25 billion budget expense, but that the real bill could be anywhere from zero to $100 billion. This, even though the once-governmental agencies were formally privatized in 1968.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE



John Dean on ‘Pure Goldwater’

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer interviews John Dean about “Pure Goldwater,” his new collaboration with the late senator’s son. The book is a reminder that American conservatism has drifted far from its original heading.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


There’s More to the Economy Than Taxes

Using taxes as the centerpiece of—or as a substitute for—a more comprehensive economic policy is the idea that has dominated Washington since the rise of Reaganism nearly three decades ago, but the global forces shaping the U.S. economy are more powerful than a mere tax cut, or tax hike.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Audition

To win the presidency, Barack Obama needs only to battle John McCain to a tie on foreign policy and national security. That means Obama has no need for a great triumph during his trip this week to the Middle East and Europe. His goal is to look safe, sound and competent, and that’s how he’s playing things.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Semantic Withdrawal

It’s not a “timetable” for extricating U.S troops from Iraq that George W. Bush is suddenly talking about, and heaven help anyone who accuses him of proposing a “timeline.” No, the Decider says he is now amenable to a “time horizon,” which apparently is a whole different kind of time thing.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


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Wiki Commons

Serb War Crimes Suspect Arrested

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the murder of civilians in Sarajevo and Srebrenica during the Bosnian war, has been arrested in Serbia after being underground since 1997. Seems the lure of EU membership is getting the government there to turn up some old stones.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Did Bush Put a Hit Out on Fannie, Freddy?

From madcap marketeer Jim Cramer to wired alt-blogger Scott Thill, there are more than a few braniacs who believe the Bush White House did not just watch the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac but actually engineered it as yet another sortie in the long GOP war against the New Deal. Never fear, though, as The Onion has already written a satirical report on efforts to build a better bubble.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Save Me

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Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE    


Pope Rejects Consumer Culture

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Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Struggling Economy Deters Working Women

The percentage of women in their prime earning years who work has gone down, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers cut across demographics, and have more to do with a sluggish economy and a lack of opportunity than a rekindled interest in child rearing. As one congressional economist told The New York Times, “A woman gets laid off and she stays home for six months with her kids. ... She doesn’t admit that she is staying home because she could not get another acceptable job.”

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE



DoD photo / SSG Lorie Jewell, U.S. Army

Petraeus Shows Obama the Sights

Gen. David Petraeus gave his potential boss, Barack Obama, a helicopter tour of Baghdad on Monday. It’s a technique the general has used in the past to show normal life in Baghdad—from a safe distance. John McCain suggested recently that Petraeus would change Obama’s mind and his plan about withdrawing from Iraq, but that plan has newfound momentum and it could easily be Gen. Petraeus who is asked to carry it out.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


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