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AP photo / Dawn Villella

Minnesota Recount Stuck in the Mud

Minnesotans have been parodied for their politeness, but the state’s Senate race seems to get nastier and nastier. With Al Franken taking a sliver of a lead by most estimates, the bitter recount battle halted Monday as both sides made a scene in Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s office.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Craig Ruttle

Why I Am a Socialist

The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as a con game. We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE


Gaza Morgue Runs Out of Room

Shifa hospital in Gaza has struggled to keep pace with Israel’s punishing airstrikes. Bloomberg reports that the hospital’s morgue has three bodies crammed in each drawer, with dozens more lying on stretchers.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, and Lessons of History Are Ignored

We’ve got so used to the carnage of the Middle East that we don’t care anymore—providing we don’t offend the Israelis.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE


Livni Calls Gaza Airstrikes ‘an Answer’ to Hamas

Israeli Foreign Minister (and prime minister contender) Tzipi Livni responds to international criticism of the Gaza airstrikes that have killed hundreds: “The one who needs to be condemned by the international community is Hamas.”

Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE


Madoff
AP photo / Jason DeCrow

An Insanity Plea for Madoff?

It might seem a stretch, but fallen financier Bernard Madoff’s legal team may be “exploring an insanity defense,” according to the New York Daily News.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE


New Year Knows Better

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Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE


Freedom Christmas

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Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE    


Shirtless President-Elect Creates Crisis of Confidence

Global markets swooned this week in reaction to photos showing that President-elect Barack Obama had lost his shirt.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE


Rafah burning
AP photo / Eyad Baba

Who Believes There Is ‘Progress’ in the Middle East?

If reporting is, as I suspect, a record of mankind’s folly, then the end of 2008 is proving my point.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE


Waltz with Bashir
iffkv.cz

Tragedy Repeats Itself

With Gaza exploding in violence and the eyes of the world fixed once again on the Middle East, “Waltz With Bashir” may be the most important movie of the season. As an “animated documentary,” it’s also in a genre all its own.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE


Saltsman
AP photo / Jim Cole

Racial Parody Provokes RNC Controversy

The inclusion of a racially charged satirical song about President-elect Barack Obama in a holiday-themed CD compiled by one Chip Saltsman, former Mike Huckabee aide and current candidate for Republican National Committee chair, has drawn sharp criticism from within GOP ranks.

Posted on Dec 27, 2008 READ MORE


Palestinians
AP photo / Hatem Omar

Scores Killed in Israeli Air Attacks on Gaza

More than 150 people were killed and hundreds more wounded Saturday during Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, which were launched in retaliation for last week’s rocket attacks on Israel by the Palestinians, according to Israeli officials.

Posted on Dec 27, 2008 READ MORE


Obama with soldiers

The Middle East in 2009

It may seem misguidedly America-centric to link the immediate future of many parts of the Middle East to President-elect Barack Obama, but because the U.S. has inserted itself so strongly into the region, a good deal undoubtedly rides on the choices of the next American administration.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Kenyans for Obama
AP photo / Riccardo Gangale

What Will ‘Brother Barack’ Do for Africa?

As the dust settles from the feverish dances that greeted Barack Obama’s victory in the American elections, Africans wonder what “our son and brother” will be able to do for Africa in the face of daunting challenges in the United States and other parts of the world.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


pakistan border
AP photo / Musa Khan

Amid Tensions, Pakistan Moves Troops

In a rebuke to U.S. interests in the region and amid growing tensions between two nuclear powers, Pakistan is moving its forces from its border with Afghanistan—where Pakistani troops are fighting against the Taliban—and restricting soldiers from going on leave, as fears of conflict with India continue to grow.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE



guardian.co.uk

Israel Offers Tidings, Lifts Blockade

Israel has discovered the holiday spirit and decided that its blockade of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip should be lifted, allowing trucks of medicine, food and other supplies to enter the occupied territory beginning Friday.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / BohPhoto

Poll Finds Obama Is the Most Admired Man

First he wins the presidency of the U.S., then he wins Time’s Man of the Year. Now a poll shows that Barack Obama holds a sizable lead among Americans as the most admired man in the world. Coming second was George W. Bush and third was John McCain, proving once again the horrible imagination Americans have when finding inspiration outside politics.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Economic Death and Millionaire Taxes

For most of us, Benjamin Franklin’s words in 1789 still apply: “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” However, millionaires, by definition, are not most of us.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


book cover
amazon.com

Chesa Boudin on Colombia’s Civil War

A new book casts an illuminating spotlight on Colombia’s guerrilla war, fueled by cocaine profits and U.S. military aid.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Harold Pinter
redelephant.wordpress.com

British Playwright Harold Pinter Dies at 78

The theater world lost one of its brightest lights on Christmas Eve with the death of playwright Harold Pinter. The 78-year-old British Nobel Prize winner, whose best-known plays included “The Homecoming” and “The Birthday Party,” succumbed to throat cancer on Wednesday.

Posted on Dec 25, 2008 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad
AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Ahmadinejad’s Christmas Speech Raises Ruckus

Britain’s Channel 4 has a tradition of featuring an alternative Christmas message as a kind of counterpoint to Queen Elizabeth’s customary speech, and this year’s speaker—Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—is sparking outrage.

Posted on Dec 25, 2008 READ MORE


Don’t Be Fooled by Bush’s Farewell Tour

The 43rd president is going home with less remorse and fewer regrets than my grandchildren express for spilling their cereal.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Gifts Worthy of Christmas

On this consumer holiday, let us recognize those whose satisfaction comes not from accumulating material goods or political power: The relief workers and community builders lending their energy to the poorest people in villages and urban slums scattered around the globe.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


What Nixon Admitted (and Cheney Won’t)

To understand the philosophy of government that Dick Cheney brought to Washington over the past seven years, it is most instructive to see “Frost/Nixon,” with Frank Langella’s remarkable reanimation of Tricky Dick for a generation that never knew him.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Season’s Greetings From Truthdig

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Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Caracas Shopping
thewe.cc

Chavez to Mall: Váyase!

Nothing says full of yourself like ordering a Venezuelan mayor to halt construction of a near-complete shopping mall after passing by it in a car. Obviously, President Hugo Chavez has a bit of a ego, though his suggestion to use the facility as a university or hospital, not as a monument to consumption and capitalism, does seem a bit more just.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Generic Unemployment
connectedmichigan.com

Unemployment Filings at 26-Year High

With American jobs being steadily peeled away, hundreds of thousands of people are being forced to seek unemployment benefits for the first time. The number of first-time claims rose 5.4 percent last week, to their highest level in more than a quarter-century.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Michael B. Keller

The Road Out of Iraq Begins in Vietnam

Iraq is not Vietnam, yet there are parallels between the two wars. The American military dominated the battlefield in both conflicts, and yet America the nation emerged the loser in each. A “decent interval” is now needed for American troops to withdraw.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Tahoe
lasplash.com

End of a Supersized Era

Gas prices and fiscal concerns are causing the demise of the American-made sport utility vehicle, a welcome development in the eyes of many fellow drivers but one that also spells the end for thousands of American jobs.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



mexicanpictures.com

Back to the Future: U.S. to Arm Afghan Militias

Because it worked out so well the last time, the U.S. plans to arm Afghan militias in an effort to police the country. The Pentagon is presenting this plan—and the media are reporting it—as a spinoff of a successful strategy in Iraq, not a revival of the secret war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Madoff Investor Found Dead in N.Y.

The co-founder of one of Bernard Madoff’s biggest corporate clients, Access International Advisers, was found dead of an apparent suicide on Tuesday morning in his New York office.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


One Man’s Bid to Aid the Environment

A Utah student’s disruption of a federal auction has temporarily blocked a Bush-enabled land grab by the oil and gas industries.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Botox
canada.com

Botox Withstands Effects of Age, Recession

When the global economy takes a serious plunge (i.e., like right now), one would think that such frivolities as facial fillers and Botox would be the first to go from the regimens of even the most image-conscious among us.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Cheney and Bush
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Cheney’s Legacy of Deception

In the end, the shame of Vice President Dick Cheney was total: unmitigated by any notion of a graceful departure, let alone the slightest obligation of honest accounting.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Pastor Rick Loves Gays

Or so he says in a series of videos on his megachurch’s Web site. Among other highlights, Warren blames bloggers and talk radio for stirring up the controversy around his forthcoming inauguration prayer.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Brave New Films

Wal-Mart’s $640 Million Sneeze

Wal-Mart will pay as much as $640 million to settle 63 lawsuits around the country alleging that the retailer had exploited its workers. The payout could add up to less than 0.1 percent of the company’s revenues this year.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / marcn

Team Obama Clears Itself In Blagojevich Affair

An internal review of Barack Obama’s staff by Barack Obama’s staff found “no indication of inappropriate discussions” with embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to auction the president-elect’s Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


One Wise Man

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Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Warren Is Worth the Headache

By inviting Pastor Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation, President-elect Barack Obama has alienated some of his friends on the left, but the choice also enrages conservatives who fear the breakup of right-wing dominance in the white evangelical community.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

From ‘Mission Accomplished’ to ‘So What?’

The history-be-my-judge interviews that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been giving recently help me understand their choices—but also reinforce my confident belief, and my fervent hope, that history will throw the book at them.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Regulator Gave Blessing to IndyMac Shenanigans

The Treasury Department’s inspector general has been looking into the failure of IndyMac, which set the taxpayers back $8.9 billion, and what he found isn’t pretty. It seems a certain regulator let the bank present itself as “well-capitalized” when the truth was something entirely different.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Joe Shlabotnik

N.Y. Times Gets Punk’d

On Monday, the paper of record published an e-mail from the mayor of Paris slamming Caroline Kennedy’s political maneuvering as “appalling.” Unfortunately, the Times failed to check whether the message was authentic—it wasn’t. Guess that explains all those articles by Nigerian princes.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


Jackson

Top 10 Feuds of the Year

You know it’s the end of the year when all those predictable fun lists start coming out. This one is among the more creative: Gawker has put together a memorable pastiche of the year’s top feuds, starting with an unexpected ambush on NYT columnist Thomas Friedman.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


Toyota logo
businessweek.com

Toyota to Post First Loss in 70 Years

Here’s yet another sign of the econo-polcalypse: Toyota Motor Corp., which has been profitable for decades thanks to steady sales and shrewd leadership, has predicted a loss for the first time in 70 years.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


Connell crash

Conspiracy Alert: Web Expert’s Plane Crash Probed

In September, Republican Internet whiz Michael Connell was subpoenaed in conjunction with a case of alleged vote-tampering in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election. Last Friday, the 45-year-old IT consultant and Web designer was killed when his plane hit an empty house near Akron.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Stuti ~

India: Gunman Asks For Pakistan’s Help

India has presented Pakistan with a letter it says comes from the lone surviving gunman from last month’s terror attacks in Mumbai. Indian authorities say the attackers were from Pakistan and the gunman in custody has asked for help from Islamabad.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


For Howard Dean, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The outgoing chairman of the Democratic National Committee fought to expand his party’s reach to the red states that Barack Obama won. His pioneering Internet fundraisers became Obama’s pioneering Internet fundraisers. He refused to budge on Florida and Michigan. So why is Howard Dean out in the cold?

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


WMD

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Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE    


Blago

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Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE    


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