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Biden and Obama
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Obama Gives Labor Unions a Boost

Putting a point on how his administration’s labor policies differ from his predecessor’s, President Barack Obama on Friday signed three executive orders designed to support organized labor. Vice President Joe Biden followed up by saying “Welcome back to the White House” to labor representatives at the signing ceremony.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE


Soldiers
news.sky.com

Army Suicide Rate Highest in Decades

Adding to the solemn string of record-breaking statistics, new figures show that the suicide rate among U.S. Army members has hit its highest level in three decades. Last year, over 128 soldiers took their own lives, a telling sign of our military and political climate.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE


Tsvangirai Beaten
dailymail.co.uk

Mugabe Learns How to Share ... Maybe

The ever-unfolding democratic drama in Zimbabwe has revealed a new, potentially less contentious chapter. Opposition leader and once-exiled politician Morgan Tsvangirai has said he will join a government as prime minister with President Robert Mugabe in a power-sharing agreement between the two rival parties.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE


Exxon Mobil
abcnews.com

Exxon Ignoble

Resilient and ultimately morally bankrupt, international oil darling Exxon Mobil has managed to take the 2008 medal for most profitable American corporation, despite a 33 percent fall in fourth-quarter earnings.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE



Mark Fischer on Copyright in the Digital Age

A new book by Lawrence Lessig asks what constitutes copyright infringement in the era of “sampling” and point-and-click downloading.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE


Making Him Do It

Intragovernmental squabbling probably makes the conflict-averse Obama uncomfortable. But the “make him do it” dynamic could finally bring the center of Washington’s political debate closer to the progressive center of American public opinion.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


The GOP’s Soundproof Room

Unbeknown to the House Republicans who voted unanimously against President Obama’s stimulus package, we are in the midst of a rare fundamental shift in American politics.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Let the Limbaughs Whine

How fortunate for Barack Obama that Rush Limbaugh, big radio personality and leader of the instinctual far right, has yet to retire to a sunny island with his bottles of pills.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Jewish Council Splits With Vatican Over Holocaust Denials

The Central Council of Jews in Germany has come to an impasse with the Roman Catholic Church after Pope Benedict XVI reintegrated four bishops into the Vatican’s fold, including British cleric Richard Williamson, who has taken a revisionist stance on the Holocaust in recent public statements.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama sort of
Illustration. Original: Flickr / ivanatm

Dear Mr. Ahmadinejad

Nearly three months after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent then-President-elect Obama a congratulatory note, the State Department is still working on a response. Snail mail, indeed. The Guardian reports that the letter will be “aimed at unfreezing US-Iranian relations and opening the way for face-to-face talks.”

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE



obamaicon.me

No They Can’t

Three Iraqi candidates and two campaign workers were killed Thursday as the country prepared for local elections in 14 out of 18 provinces. That’s something to keep in mind with all the talk of improved security. Relative to the hell-on-Earth of recent years, “improvement” amounts to only five people murdered for showing an interest in politics.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama

Obama Blasts ‘Shameful’ Bonuses

The president is famous for his even disposition, but he appears to be flat-out pissed at the news that Wall Street bankers showered themselves with bonuses while helping drive the economy into a ditch.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama signs Ledbetter bill
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Lilly Ledbetter Has Her Day

On Thursday, President Barack Obama signed his first bill into law—the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—with the lofty aim of ensuring equal pay for equal work and eradicating workplace discrimination. The bill’s namesake, a former Goodyear employee, was on hand, as was first lady Michelle Obama, who at a reception after the signing ceremony called Ledbetter “one of my favorite people.”

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo tower
U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Guantanamo Judge, Obama at Odds Over Trial Delay

Army Col. James Pohl, a military judge at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has gone against President Barack Obama’s call to suspend the hearing of the alleged orchestrator of the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Yemen.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich

Blagojevich Pleads His Case

It was just politics as usual, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Thursday of the corruption allegations that seem all but certain to upend his political career.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Bill O'Reilly

Colbert Turns O’Reilly Against Himself

Bill O’Reilly must be some kind of highly dedicated comedian who has managed to fool the country with a series of elaborate Andy Kaufman-esque stunts. How else to explain moments like this, exquisitely captured by Stephen Colbert, when the “Factor” host unintentionally ridicules himself ad absurdum?

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Economic Policy That Might Actually Work? Who Knew?

After eight years of trickle-down tax cuts that pushed the prosperous up and left most everyday Americans sliding further down, the stimulus bill now moving swiftly through Congress is more than a reversal of political course. Let’s hope it’s not too late.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Stimulus Brings on a Family Feud

President Obama’s visit with House and Senate Republicans this week was useful for setting a new tone and a refreshing break from the Bush administration’s habit of consulting almost no one. But it was a sideshow to the main battle over how to improve the economy, which is among Democrats.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Stuck Playing the Same Lame Game

The president took his swing in the 25-year-old game of ideological pingpong known as the global gag rule, but he also made it clear he’d like everyone to put their paddles down.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


pigs
Flickr / treehouse1977

Bankers Took Home Billions While Wall Street Burned

If you’re in a good mood, you may just want to skip this bit of news from The New York Times: “Despite crippling losses, multibillion-dollar bailouts and the passing of some of the most prominent names in the business, employees at financial companies in New York ... collected an estimated $18.4 billion in bonuses for the year.” Update

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE



cachefly.net

Gore Lectures Congress, but Is It Too Late?

Al Gore went back to his old stomping grounds Wednesday to present the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a mini version of his famous climate lecture. But even if those politicians somehow get their act together, the damage we’ve already caused will be with us until the year 3000 or later, according to a new report.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE


Ben Roethlisberger
AP photo / Chris Gardner

NFL Players Risk More Than Broken Bones

Scientists have made new discoveries about the traumatic head injuries sustained by football players, including Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who will play in the Super Bowl this Sunday. Just one concussion can lead to dementia-like symptoms years later and multiple incidents can bring about severe brain damage and perhaps even drug addiction or suicide.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE


Conservatives Have Their Own Plan

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Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE


What’s Left

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Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE    


Food Safety

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Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE


Gates
flapsblog.com

Gates Changes Afghanistan Tune

Turning away from the nation-building exercises that defined Bush-era policies but maintaining the dubious “war on terror” frame, Defense Secretary Gates indicated Tuesday that he has changed his mind on the goals for Afghanistan. Gates declared that the U.S., instead of seeking democracy, should set more limited goals in the long war and occupation.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE


Aid-in-waiting
The New York Times / Shawn Baldwin

Israel Blocks Aid Supplies

A crossing point on the Egypt-Israel border has turned into a parking lot for supplies since Israel virtually halted the transport of aid and equipment for Gaza. Medical items are being allowed to pass, but well-drilling equipment, blankets and food are being blocked.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE


Angry!
tumblr.com

World Economic Growth Slowest Since WWII

The world economy this year is likely to grow at a rate of only 0.5 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund, which re-evaluated its figures after the U.K. officially entered into recession last week. The growth rate, as projected, is the lowest in more than 60 years.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE



abc.go.com

Protecting the Homeland From Homeland Security

As previously reported on Truthdig, there’s a lot going on in Homeland Security that doesn’t make it onto the reality show of the same name. The Center for Investigative Reporting’s G.W. Schulz continues to dig into the department’s unsavory bits, including an immigration officer who was arrested for allegedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl in Rio while there on official business.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Economic Policy Could Scuttle Obama’s Good Start

He is making trillion-dollar decisions that will cast the die for the rest of his promising agenda. Unfortunately, while he has already proved to be a brilliant agent of change in so many ways, in economic policy he has relied on the financial “experts” who helped get America into this mess.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Blago Tapes Played at Impeachment Trial

Previously unreleased audio recordings of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich talking gambling legislation and campaign contributions were played in all their ignominy during his impeachment trial Tuesday. There’s a lot more going on here than a vacant Senate seat.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Foreclosure
Flickr / respres

Fed Takes a Swing at Foreclosures

After pumping hundreds of billions into the banking system with not much to show for it, Fed chief Ben Bernanke says he will try to reduce the number of foreclosures. As he put it to Rep. Barney Frank: “The goal of the policy is to avoid preventable foreclosures on residential mortgage assets that are held, owned or controlled by a Federal Reserve Bank.”

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail

Millions have served time in U.S. prisons for crimes that fall far short of those attributed to the Bush administration. Some criminals, it seems, are like banks judged too big to fail: too big to jail, too powerful to prosecute.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Carter and Stewart

Jimmy Carter on Peace in the Middle East

What’s that you say, Jimmy Carter? Peace in the Middle East is possible? The former president paid a visit to “The Daily Show” Monday night to advance this bold thesis—and to describe what it was like to mingle with Bill Clinton, two Bushes and Obama at the White House. How ’bout that Oval Office rug, gents?

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


NATO: Dead Man Walking

NATO has no coherent overall purpose and has not had one since the end of the Cold War. Any number of redefinitions and reorganizations have been proposed or tried and have proved unsatisfactory because no one can explain what it is that NATO really does or is for, other than to clean up behind the United States.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, file photo

Israel Sends Tanks Back to Gaza

Israel launched an airstrike and ground assault into Gaza after a bomb on the Israeli side of the border killed a soldier. The troops pulled back into Israel soon afterward, according to the BBC. The raid was of a smaller scale than the fighting that ended just 10 days ago, but shows the difficult work ahead for George Mitchell, the new U.S. envoy, who is headed to the region.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Andrew Cuomo
thecrimson.com

New York’s A.G. Subpoenas Bank Execs Over Bonuses

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sent out subpoenas to Bank of America’s Chief Administrative Officer J. Steele Alphin and recently ousted Merrill Lynch Chief Executive John Thain on Tuesday to look into hefty bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch higher-ups late last year—even as the company was bleeding billions in losses.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Obama Pitches Stimulus Plan to GOP

President Barack Obama visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday to angle for support for his proposed stimulus plan ... from Republicans. Though he wasn’t likely to win them all over, Obama huddled with members of the House and Senate. He emerged in one piece and “optimistic” after the exchanges.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Image Is Everything

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Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE    


Released

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Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE



NARA / White House

Carter: Israel Will Face ‘Catastrophe’ Without a Palestinian State

Former President Jimmy Carter tells the Associated Press, “If we look toward a one-state solution, which seems to be the trend—I hope not inexorable—it would be a catastrophe for Israel. ...”

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Maybe the Only Crime Was by Blago’s Barber

Is Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about to be impeached on grounds of loopiness, obnoxiousness and a bad haircut? It is unclear to me what else Blagojevich has done that a duly constituted jury would find illegal.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Civilian Courts Can Deal With Terrorism Cases

There is absolutely no reason to create some newfangled and untested system to charge and try those few terrorism suspects whose legal fates present President Obama with an excruciating political decision.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

House Democrats Subpoena Karl Rove

The Bush administration may have exited the proverbial building, but that isn’t stopping certain House Democrats, such as House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, from taking Bush sidekick Karl Rove to task for his potential role in the Justice Department’s pink-slipping of several U.S. attorneys in 2006.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE



Writers Pressure Obama Over Afghanistan

Truthdig columnists Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer are among the notable writers who have signed this appeal urging President Obama to rethink Afghanistan. The ad, appearing in The Nation and The New York Review of Books, warns that “a new beginning will not be possible as long as we continue to spill the blood of the men, women, and children of Afghanistan.”

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Timothy Geithner
Wikimedia Commons / Presidencia de la Nación Argentina

Senate Sends Geithner to Treasury

Timothy Geithner may be a tax dodger who helped funnel taxpayer funds to his banking buddies, but we need that kind of cunning right now. That’s the thinking on Capitol Hill, anyway. The Senate confirmed President Obama’s pick to head Treasury on Monday, over the grumbles of 34 senators.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


stoplight
Flickr/takomabibelot

Obama Zeroes In on Auto Industry

President Barack Obama called for tougher regulations on auto emissions on Monday, promising not to let a sour economy stand in the way of progress. “I want to be clear from the beginning of this administration that we have made our choice: America will not be held hostage to dwindling resources, hostile regimes and a warming planet,” he said during a meeting with environmentalists in the White House’s East Room.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Skateistan

Introducing ... Skateistan

Oliver Percovich, a 34-year-old Australian skateboarding enthusiast, has found willing pupils among the youths of Kabul, Afghanistan, who are learning some new tricks in borrowed and donated spaces, making a play for a bit of adolescent normalcy amid the signs of war. Updated

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE



Gaza Ad Stirs Controversy Across the Pond

Two of Britain’s biggest networks, Sky and the BBC, have refused to air a two-minute fundraising appeal on behalf of Gaza. The decision not to broadcast the spot, produced by a committee made up of Britain’s biggest aid agencies, has triggered public outcry, condemnation from politicians and a formal investigation by the BBC Trust.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


First Dance After the Inaugural Ball

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Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


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