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AP photo

Still Dreaming After All These Years

Truthdig normally celebrates Martin Luther King Day by remembering the more complex, more subversive King—the man who railed against America as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and “a society gone mad on war.” But a day before America inaugurates its first black president, we have other things on our mind.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo
AP photo / Brennan Linsley, pool

Guantanamo Hearings Begin for 9/11 Defendants

The fate of the Guantanamo Bay prison remained unclear on the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration, but all the same, pretrial hearings began Monday for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other prisoners implicated in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE


Ki-Moon
AP photo / Hussein Malla, Pool

Time for a War Crimes Tribunal?

It’s a wrap, a doddle, an Israeli cease-fire just in time for Barack Obama to have a squeaky-clean inauguration with all the world looking at the streets of Washington rather than the rubble of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE


Obama paints
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Obama Serves, Bush Works the Phones

As he prepared to enter the White House the next day, President-elect Barack Obama observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday by lending a hand at a shelter for homeless teenagers and visiting wounded vets at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE


Lopez and Anthony
AP photo / Evan Agostini

Celeb-Fest 2009 Continues in Washington

If Sunday’s concert extravaganza, featuring such boldfaced musical acts as U2 (channeling U2 from 25 years ago), Stevie Wonder and Mary J. Blige, didn’t provide enough glitz for one inaugural bash, several dozen of their celebrity peers are following the spotlight to Washington, D.C., to join in the festivities.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE


robinson

Bishop Robinson’s Invocation Cut From HBO’s Telecast

Here’s the footage of openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson’s invocation, which he delivered Sunday before the inaugural concert festivities began—and which was not included in HBO’s special broadcast of the show. But was it the network’s choice or Team Obama’s?

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE


woman with plant
AP photo / Lefteris Pitarakis

Sizing Up the Damage in Gaza

Now that the war in Gaza has ground to a halt, local and international groups are assessing the needs of tens of thousands of embattled and displaced Palestinians, some of whom have gone for many days without water or power, and are preparing to send aid as soon as possible.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Peace Is in the Eye of the Beholder

I do not like Hamas. I detest religious fundamentalism and the use of suicide bombers. I find the group’s anti-Semitism and ruthless silencing of internal Palestinian opponents repugnant. The rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are a war crime. But this does not negate the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance to the long Israeli siege and occupation of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Congress Sings the Bailout Blues

Want to know where the $350 billion banking bailout went and why it hasn’t done a bit of good? Read, and weep over, this little-noticed report from the congressional panel set up to monitor the Treasury Department’s distribution of our taxpayer funds.

Posted on Jan 18, 2009 READ MORE


‘Anything Is Possible’

The president-elect has so much speech in him he doesn’t even have to wait for his inauguration to Barack the house. A crowd at the Lincoln Memorial got treated to a little pre-inauguration magic on Sunday, after a star-studded concert celebrating “American renewal.”

Posted on Jan 18, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Eyad Baba

To Each His Own Cease-Fire

Shortly after Israel declared a unilateral cease-fire in Gaza, Hamas followed suit with its own separate announcement. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would withdraw troops “as soon as possible,” and Hamas said it would give Israel a week to do just that.

Posted on Jan 18, 2009 READ MORE


money bags
0-60mag.com

Bailout a Boon for Bankers

So, the government forks over a ton of money to flailing banks and, naturally, their customers (i.e., taxpayers) might expect to gain something from this helpful transaction as well, right? Guess again, customers.

Posted on Jan 17, 2009 READ MORE


Bush
AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Bush’s PR Blitz Fails to Move a Disapproving Public

Despite his 11th-hour bid to tilt the public approval meter slightly in his direction and put a good word in about his own legacy (see farewell address), outgoing President Bush has been slapped back by an apparently unimpressed public, as demonstrated by a recent New York Times/CBS News poll.

Posted on Jan 17, 2009 READ MORE


UN school
AP photo / Khalil Hamra)

Israel Under Fire for Gaza Killings

As Israel’s Security Cabinet prepared to vote Saturday on a possible cease-fire in Gaza, the Israeli army drew criticism for the killing of two boys who were taking cover at a United Nations school in northern Gaza, according to The New York Times.

Posted on Jan 17, 2009 READ MORE


Livni and Rice
AP photo / Luis M. Alvarez

Israel Considering Gaza Cease-Fire

Israel’s Security Cabinet will hold a vote Saturday that could halt Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, at least temporarily stopping the assault after three weeks of punishing violence.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Bye-Bye Bush; Bailout Mania

Ready or not, here comes Barack Obama—let’s hope he’s ready, considering the nature of the action items topping his presidential to-do list.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza protest
AP photo / Roberto Pfeil

Leave World War II Out of Gaza

I have long raged against any comparisons with the Second World War—whether of the Arafat-is-Hitler variety once deployed by Menachem Begin or of the anti-war- demonstrators-are- 1930s-appeasers, most recently used by George Bush and Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


Holder
inquisitr.com

Holder States the Obvious

Attorney general nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. has announced a groundbreaking hypothesis on waterboarding: It’s torture. The position, which contradicts piles of Bush-era law literature defending the practice, is just one step in an avowed process to fix many of the problems riddling current Justice Department policy.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


Citibank
pattisonsign.com

Citigroup Does the Splits

After receiving $45 billion from U.S. taxpayers just two months ago, Citibank’s much-maligned parent Citigroup will be no longer, as the financial giant announced in Solomon-style manner Friday that it will split itself into two, dividing the company’s traditional banking business— becoming Citicorp—and its riskier investment department—Citi Holdings.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


White Phosphorus
guardian.co.uk

Israel’s Chemical Warfare?

Following previous accusations by aid agencies, a video has surfaced amid Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip that shows images “consistent with the use of white phosphorus shells”—i.e. chemical weaponry. The Israeli military has denied use of the chemical agent, which can burn skin to the bone.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Christian Appy on ‘Mekong Diaries’

Sherry Buchanan, previously the author of “Vietnam Zippos,”  gathers together drawings, poems, letters and oral histories by 10 Viet Cong artists and offers a radically different view of the fighters whom Americans branded as Reds, gooks and fanatical killers.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Betsssssy

Bank of America, Literally

The taxpayers’ bank opened a new branch on Thursday: Uncle Sam just threw $20 billion Bank of America’s way. The government is also on the hook for $118 billion more in crap assets. Bank of America chief Ken Lewis calls it the “deal of a lifetime.” No kidding.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


Fool Me Once

Somehow, immediately releasing more bailout funds is being portrayed as a self-evident necessity. Amid Barack Obama’s paeans to “new politics,” we’re watching old-school paybacks from a politician who raised more Wall Street dough than any other.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


The District of Pandemonium

Our nation’s capital will survive the financial meltdown, the deepening recession and the plethora of foreign crises from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Whether Washington will survive Tuesday’s inauguration, however, is an open question.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


moore
johnmurneysblog.blogspot.com

Moore May Face Lawsuit Over Iraq Photo

A photograph of an American soldier cradling a mortally wounded Iraqi girl in his arms has become the source of potential trouble for Michael Moore. Apparently without photographer Michael Yon’s permission to use the picture, the filmmaker featured the image on his Web site in a way that Yon found objectionable.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Mekong Diaries

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Bush farewell address

President Bush Signs Off

George W. Bush gave his last presidential speech to the American public in a farewell address Thursday night that offered him a platform to have the (first) last word on his time in office. True to form, Bush stayed the course, giving little if any ground when it came to defending even the most contested aspects of his legacy.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Ferrell

Ferrell Channels Bush in Farewell Spoof

With George W. Bush’s departure from the White House also comes a loss for the comedians who’ve enjoyed an eight-year field day at Bush’s expense, such as Will Ferrell here, who takes one last crack at W. while he’s still president in this mock(ing) farewell address.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Lawsuit Says Church Used Alaska as a Dumping Ground for Pedophiles

A new lawsuit alleges that the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church sent problem priests to remote Alaskan villages, where their crimes would have a reduced chance of discovery. A former monk and advocate for sex abuse victims told the Anchorage Daily News, “They were specifically targeting the Athabascan and the Yup’ik cultures, because they wouldn’t talk.”

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / jphilipg

What Does $825 Billion of Stimulation Feel Like?

There will be negotiation, revision and capitulation, but the basic guts of the Democrats’ $825 billion stimulus package are out in the open. There’s billions for infrastructure, billions for schools and billions for you and me. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) responded by saying “Oh. My. God,” which we’ll take to mean, “Praise Jesus! The Democrats have done it again.”

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Who’s in Charge—Obama, the Pentagon or Israel?

The military is far too accustomed to getting its way, so it was refreshing to see Barack Obama reject the Pentagon’s sluggish withdrawal plan. But will he stand up to Israel, whose Prime Minister Olmert recently bragged about pulling the American president’s puppet strings?

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE



NASA

Methane Hints at Life on Mars

NASA scientists have discovered regularly replenished supplies of methane gas on the Red Planet. That raises two possibilities: The gas could be formed by geologic activity or, as anyone who has spent time around cows can tell you, it could be a sign of life.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza UN fire
AP photo / Ashraf Amra

Hamas Official Killed, U.N. Compound Hit in Gaza

Another high-ranking Hamas official, Interior Minister Said Siyam, was killed on Thursday near Gaza City, according to Israeli and Hamas sources. Israeli leaders faced international criticism after their forces also struck both the United Nations compound and a high-rise in Gaza City where several media organizations are based.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza UN building
AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Getting the Story on Gaza

In this installment of BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen’s diary about the Israeli-Palestinian war, Bowen describes how, thanks in part to technology, the word on Gaza is getting out despite the Israeli ban on foreign journalists.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Foreclosure
Flickr/respres

Nationwide Foreclosure Rate Shoots Up 81% in 2008

We knew this news was bound to be bad, but we didn’t think it would be quite this grim: The number of American homeowners who faced foreclosure proceedings in 2008 passed the 2.3 million mark, an 81 percent increase over the previous year.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


British Foreign Secretary Criticizes ‘War on Terror’

David Miliband has written a sour review of the “war on terror,” challenging the worldview pushed by George W. Bush and Miliband’s former boss, Tony Blair. War is not the answer, Miliband warns. Instead, “We must respond to terrorism by championing the rule of law, not subordinating it. ... We must uphold our commitments to human rights and civil liberties at home and abroad.”

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney in Retirement

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Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Whitney Houston

Obama Will End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Here’s what Robert Gibbs, Barack Obama’s top talker, had to say about whether the next president would work to end the military’s policy of discrimination against gay service members: “You don’t hear politicians give a one-word answer much. But it’s ‘Yes.’ ”

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / exfordy

The Party of No Ideas

Would it be rude to ask whether the Republicans have any new proposals to save the country from this worsening recession? If not, they should halt their reactionary opposition to Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


The Shame Beneath Inaugural Hoopla

Sorry to rain on the inaugural parade, but we need to find a better way to pay for these things. The financing of President-elect Barack Obama’s big day is just as much of an embarrassment to the country as the financing of inaugurations past.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


So, Just Who Is the Guy Taking the Oath?

Obama has made it hard for anyone to pin him down philosophically. So when he raises his hand on Tuesday, exactly what can the American people expect?

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


A Huge Opportunity for the Mom in Chief

What will happen if Michelle Obama makes the personal her political issue? What would a serious work-and-family policy look like?

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


‘Daily Show’ on Sarah Palin, AKA ‘Blamey Whinehouse’

Jon Stewart takes Sarah Palin to task for her postelection face-saving: “Is it really fair to ask a vice presidential candidate what things they read?”

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE



marcelinopena.files.wordpress.com

Geithner’s Record of Failure

Forget that business with the maid whose work papers expired. The real scandal with Timothy Geithner, Barack Obama’s choice to head the Treasury Department, is his history of lax regulation—at least where his friends at Citigroup were concerned. ProPublica did some digging and found that Geithner’s New York Fed “eased the reins as the company blew billions. ...”

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Shanghai Scape
Flickr.com / PMorgan

China Takes the Bronze in GDP

After reconfiguring its output figures, China has finally found itself on the medal podium for gross domestic product, ousting Germany from its role as third largest economy in the world. China’s economy has grown tenfold in the past 30 years, and its development, while marveled at, worries many environmental, human rights and labor activists.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

U.S. Fails in Human Rights Role

It is unsurprising that a group like Human Rights Watch has condemned the Bush government for jettisoning the U.S. role as a defender of global human rights: Numerous examples—Guantanamo, gay marriage, Iraq, etc.—accentuate this failure.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Buildings Destroyed in Gaza
Maan Images / Wissam Nassar

Next Stop: Tensiontown, Israel

As the death toll of Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip moves past 1,000, tensions between Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis are growing. Some of the country’s Arab population is increasingly vocal in denouncing the bombings, while some Israeli politicians are trying to ban the re-election of Arabs to parliament on the grounds of alleged national disloyalty.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Last Press Conference

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Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Exit Strategy

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Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Glenn Beck Cites ‘24’ to Defend Torture

It’s amazing what happens when powerful minds get together. Take this episode of “Fox and Friends,” during which conservative luminary Glenn Beck quotes Jack Bauer, an imaginary person from the land of TV make-believe, to prove the righteousness of torture. Genius.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


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