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Christmas Bills









Posted on Dec 17, 2011 ENLARGE


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Square, Category Page

Newt Still Ahead









Posted on Dec 17, 2011 ENLARGE


Mud Wrestling









Posted on Dec 17, 2011 ENLARGE


Santa Goes Shopping









Posted on Dec 17, 2011 ENLARGE



BlaisOne (CC-BY)

The Making of the American 99% and the Collapse of the Middle Class

Until a few months ago, the 99% was hardly a group capable of articulating “the identity of their interests.” It contained, and still contains, most “ordinary” rich people, along with middle-class professionals, factory workers, truck drivers, and miners, as well as the much poorer people who clean the houses, manicure the fingernails, and maintain the lawns of the affluent.

Posted on Dec 17, 2011 READ MORE



ShardsOfBlue (CC-BY)

House Hits the Pause Button on SOPA

The House Judiciary Committee, reviewing a proposal for a new law aimed at combating online piracy, suspended discussions Friday without setting a date to reconvene. The move pleased top Internet companies and others who warn that the bill could lead to a new age of censorship on the Web.

Posted on Dec 17, 2011 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

For Christopher Hitchens

It was like meeting a clown outside of his makeup, away from the hysteria of his profession, who appears lovely and handsome and noble, if only because he isn’t trapped in a spotlight at the center of a ludicrous pie fight. 

Posted on Dec 17, 2011 READ MORE    


‘Left, Right & Center’: Leaving Iraq, for Better or Worse

What’s America’s legacy in Iraq going to be? Can we read it accurately from this moment, now that the war is “officially” over? Also on this week’s rundown of topics for “Left, Right & Center” panelists Robert Scheer, Matt Miller, Chrystia Freeland and Mark Tapscott are Fannie and Freddie vs. the SEC and a farewell to Christopher Hitchens.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 WATCH & LISTEN



Flickr / futureatlas.com (CC-BY)

SEC Slaps Former Fannie, Freddie Execs With Fraud Charges

It’s a start, but let’s hope Friday’s fraud charges against six former higher-ups at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac don’t represent the only attempts that the Securities and Exchange Commission will make to hold financial executives responsible for the disastrous economic mess that’s still upon us.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE


Hedges on Hitchens

Though he gives credit to Christopher Hitchens’ exceptional talent, Chris Hedges remembers the newly departed writer differently from the way others might in this clip from CBC Radio. In an unflinching appraisal, Hedges recalls what Hitchens got wrong about religion, his biggest intellectual failing and what it was like to engage him in a debate.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 WATCH & LISTEN


‘Democracy Now!’: The Costs of the Iraq War

This week’s official end to the Iraq War brought a good deal of back-patting among the leaders responsible for its origin and duration, but “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman delivers a grim reality check in this clip from Friday’s broadcast featuring analysis and commentary from Brown University professor Catherine Lutz.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 WATCH & LISTEN



AP via YouTube

Bradley Manning’s Pretrial Hearing Begins

Friday marked the first day of Pvt. Bradley Manning’s hearing at Fort Meade, Md., and it wasn’t without some courtroom commotion. Lawyer David Coombs, who is representing the accused WikiLeaks informer, came out swinging by requesting that the investigating officer in charge of Manning’s case recuse himself.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Truthdiggers of the Week: NDAA Dissenters in Congress

Though they couldn’t stop the freedom-crushing National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 from becoming law, Truthdig salutes the efforts of the members of the U.S. Congress who took a stand against the NDAA in the final round of voting this week.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Rich Pedroncelli

Bernie Sanders Explains Why Congress Fears Citizens United

Senator Bernie Sanders has a much more sophisticated take on political corruption than the conventional view of campaign reformers.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE



Illustration from an AP photo by Chad Rachman

Christopher Hitchens: Reason in Revolt

What zeal this man had to eviscerate the conceits of the powerful, whether their authority derived from wealth, the state or a claim to the ear of the divine.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Been There, Thought That

Can we please bury the notion that Newt Gingrich is some kind of deep thinker? His intellect may be as broad as the sea, but it’s about as deep as a birdbath.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE



So, About That Severed Ear …

A marvelous new biography of Vincent Van Gogh asks what if it was untreatable epilepsy that drove him mad, he didn’t cut off his lobe for a woman and he was killed by delinquents rather than committing suicide?

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

The Republican Closet That Won’t Stay Closed

If these are the last weeks of Rick Perry’s ridiculous presidential campaign, his desperation is turning him into a nasty clown indeed.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE


Banana Republicans’ Assault on Democracy

In a speech last week to the Heritage Foundation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell used that war on terror-flavored jeremiad about an existential “threat” to describe a grassroots effort aimed at electing presidents via a national popular vote.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE



Paul D / Some Rights Reserved

Rest in Peace, Comrade

Christopher Hitchens died Thursday of esophageal cancer. He was, in the words of The Washington Post, “master of the contrarian essay” and, as his home publication Vanity Fair describes him, “a wit, a charmer and a troublemaker.” (more)

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

The New Newt

Despite living most of his adult life in Washington, D.C., Newt Gingrich does not have many friends among his neighbors.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 READ MORE



The Huffington Post

Baron Cohen Rides Again in ‘The Dictator’

Is it too soon? It never seems to be for British prankophile Sacha Baron Cohen, whose summer 2012 cinematic effort, “The Dictator,” goofs on certain global leaders who may or may not still be with us. Judging from the film’s newly released trailer, it remains to be seen whether Baron Cohen has another “Borat”-sized hit on his hands, but he hasn’t lost his edge.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 READ MORE


wounded boy
AP / Karim Kadim

A Day Late and $3 Trillion Short

The New York Times ran a story Wednesday, the day before U.S. and Iraqi leaders marked the official end of the Iraq War, about a shocking find in an Iraqi junkyard: secret interviews from U.S. soldiers talking about the 2005 massacre of civilians in Haditha. But this kind of account, as The Washington Spectator’s Hamilton Fish noted Thursday, has been passed over by the mainstream press for years.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

DOJ: Arizona Sheriff Arpaio Discriminated Against Latinos

Accounts of race-based biases and prejudiced policies have made Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio notorious in his home state of Arizona, but as of Thursday, Arpaio’s antics have earned him the wrong kind of attention from the Justice Department.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 READ MORE


‘Daily Show’: Lowe’s Balls of the Week

In this lively snippet from Wednesday’s “Daily Show,” Jon Stewart takes stock of the ballsiness—at times to the point of complete delusion—on display this week from the likes of Herman Cain (remember him?), who made Barbara Walters lose her cool, Mitt Romney and President Obama. Well, maybe not that last one.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 WATCH & LISTEN



AP / Khalid Mohammed

The Iraq War Is Officially Over

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Baghdad on Thursday to preside over a ceremony in which the U.S. Forces-Iraq flag was retired, which means that America’s nine-year occupation of Iraq has ended—at least on paper.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 READ MORE


Shackles









Posted on Dec 15, 2011 ENLARGE


Go Away Trump









Posted on Dec 15, 2011 ENLARGE


Speech at Fort Bragg









Posted on Dec 15, 2011 ENLARGE



Flickr / Eric__I_E (CC-BY)

Census Shows Nearly Half of Americans Are Struggling Financially

The general gist of findings from the 2010 census may not be shocking, but the actual numbers detailing the growing problem of the shrinking middle class in America are: Nearly half of all Americans qualify for the poor or low-income categories, making income inequality an issue that now splits the nation down the middle.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 READ MORE


1 in 5 American Women Has Been Raped

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concludes from a nationwide study that 18.3 percent of American women have been raped and, of that group, more than half were victimized by an intimate partner.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

There Goes the Republic

What’s alarming is the ease with which an otherwise deadlocked Congress that can’t manage minimal funding for job creation passes a bill that threatens the foundations of our republican form of government.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Human Rights Watch Says Obama Will Go Down in History—and Not in a Good Way

President Obama’s decision to not veto the defense authorization bill, which “would codify indefinite detention without trial into U.S. law for the first time since the McCarthy era,” is a “historic tragedy,” Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE


Welcome Home









Posted on Dec 14, 2011 ENLARGE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

A Huntsman Moment?

Jon Huntsman could pull off a Granite State miracle if Republicans see him as a winner (and a real conservative), and independents view him as the sane guy in a preposterous crowd (and a moderate).

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE



AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Obama Drops Veto Threat, House Passes Defense Bill

The House passed the controversial National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday night, scarcely hours after President Obama caved to pressure from various factions in Congress and withdrew his veto threat. Let’s consider some of the scary tactics that would be permitted if the measure is signed into law.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Federal Government

Richard Nixon’s Rosebud: Defrocked President Went Wild for Horses

Dec. 15 marks the 40th anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, a landmark piece of legislation signed into law by Richard Nixon.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE



Jeffrey Beall (CC-BY-SA)

NFL Charges Broadcasters $20 for Every American

After negotiating various new agreements, Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN and DirecTV will altogether pay close to $6 billion a year to broadcast NFL games to a football-addicted America.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE



ell brown (CC-BY)

Scandal Leaves Alabama Poor High and Dry

Residents of Jefferson County in Alabama are victims of a scandal involving banks and county officials that has rocketed sewage costs and forced the poorest among them to purchase outdoor toilets in the absence of running water.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE


‘Colbert Report’: Trump Dumps Debate

The Donald has managed to stir up a sideshow for himself again, having briefly flirted (and hinted anew) about running for the nation’s highest office, but yet again he’s backed out by calling off the debate that all but a couple of GOP candidates had withdrawn from themselves.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 WATCH & LISTEN



Jessierocks (CC-BY)

Time’s Person of the Year: The Protester

For “once again becoming a maker of history” two sleepy decades after political soothsayer Francis Fukuyama declared Western liberalism the end point in the evolution of human society, Time magazine named “The Protester” 2011’s Person of the Year.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE



michael baird (CC-BY)

Making Repression Our Business: The Pentagon’s Secret Training Missions in the Middle East

As the Arab Spring blossomed and President Obama hesitated about whether to speak out in favor of protesters seeking democratic change in the Greater Middle East, the Pentagon forged ever deeper ties with some of the region’s most repressive regimes.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE



Fanghong (CC-BY-SA)

Occupy Guangdong

Villagers in Southern China have accused authorities of seizing their land and killing a village representative in custody. The BBC reports that residents of Wukan in Guangdong province, one of China’s red-hot economic zones, are in a standoff with police.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE



DOJ

The Attorney General Has a Great Idea

During a speech in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, Eric Holder provided an exhaustive summary of the mostly bigoted and partisan efforts to disenfranchise voters across the country, and somewhere buried toward the end he came out with a brilliant idea. (more)

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE


Climate Apartheid

The “American way of life” can be measured in per capita emissions of carbon. In the United States, on average, about 20 metric tons of CO2 is released into the atmosphere annually, four times as much as in China.

Posted on Dec 13, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Germany Dominates Europe Once Again

Germany, as we all know, is a problem—especially a disproportionately powerful and united Germany. (Update)

Posted on Dec 13, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Brett Weinstein (CC-BY-SA)

Russell Simmons v. Lowe’s in ‘All-American Muslim’ Ad Battle

Hip-hop impresario and yogaphile Russell Simmons is publicly shaming Lowe’s with some help from his amassed fortune after the home-improvement megastore pulled its ads from the “All-American Muslim” reality show.

Posted on Dec 13, 2011 READ MORE



America the Battlefield

John McCain and several other senators are trying to pass a measure to include the United States as part of the battlefield in the “war on terror,” allowing the U.S. military to jail American citizens without a trial; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated to an enemy of public education; meanwhile, David Cameron was trying to blackmail the rest of Europe. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Dec 13, 2011 READ MORE


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