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White House / Ollie Atkins

Still Trying to Clear Nixon’s Name

Two Truthdig contributors are under siege by an “independent historian” and The New York Times. If that sounds preposterous, just wait until you see what made it onto the front page. Last Sunday, the paper of record cited an unpublished article contending that historian Stanley Kutler deliberately altered transcripts of Nixon’s secret tapes in order to protect John Dean.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


Smiling Chu
SF Chroncile / Lance Iversen

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

The key word being had: The new secretary of energy, Nobel Prize-winning Steven Chu, is making waves in the policy community with his daunting comments about climate change. Chu warns that the farms of California, the nation’s leading agricultural producer, could vanish by the end of this century if steps to slow global warming are not taken.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


Davos Walk-Off
AP photo / Alessandro Della Bella

Erdogan, Peres and the Soufflés of Davos

Dear Mr. Prime Minister: I write with grave concern over your impertinent remarks to the president of Israel at the World Economic Forum last week, which threatened to delay dinner for hundreds of extremely important global thinkers.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


Kenneth Lewis
bloomberg.com

Slapping the Pay Cuffs on Execs

Amending current TARP rules and regulations, President Obama is expected to put a $500,000 cap on executive salaries at companies that receive large amounts of bailout funds. It would mean major pay cuts for the likes of Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis, who took home more than $20 million in 2007.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


Holocaust Bishop
youtube.com

‘Holocaust Bishop’ Ordered to Recant

With a media-dubbed moniker that doesn’t look good for either party, the “Holocaust Bishop”—a British bishop recently un-excommunicated by the pope—is being told by the Vatican to recant his views after news broke that he “believe[s] there were no gas chambers [during World War II].”

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


Bonus

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Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


geithner
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Runaway Wall Street

It is instructional that only one of the three tax-challenged Obama appointees has survived public scorn to claim a high position in the new administration. Oddly enough, it is Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the man who will collect our taxes, whose career has not been stunted by his failure to pay them.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


R.I.P. Phil

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Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


Bail Fail

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Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE    


Barack Obama

Obama: ‘I Screwed Up’

“I’m frustrated with myself, with our team,” the president said Tuesday as he worked the cameras to try to limit the fallout from his appointee implosion.

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Obama-Biden Transition Project

Obama Takes Responsibility for Nominee Mess

President Obama blitzed the networks Tuesday to say “I screwed up.” Three of Obama’s high-profile nominees had failed to pay all the taxes they owed. Two were forced to withdraw from consideration earlier Tuesday. The president said he wanted to “send a message that there aren’t two sets of rules—you know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes.”

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE


America’s ‘Strong Commitment to Error’

John Kenneth Galbraith once warned that U.S. foreign policy suffers from institutional rigidity with a “strong commitment to error.” What better proof than the planned surge in Afghanistan?

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / respres

Produce the Note

Rep. Marcy Kaptur has a solution for beleaguered homeowners facing foreclosure: Dare Wall Street to produce the loan note that was bundled, securitized, sold and resold.

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE


And Now for the Stimulus Tug of War

President Barack Obama has made it a point to reach across the aisle in trying to gain Republicans’ support for his stimulus plan, but judging by the results of Tuesday’s Senate vote, partisanship is still afoot in the halls of Congress.

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert

Just Be Glad You’re Not in Iceland

Poor Iceland. The country’s broke, its currency looks goofy, and now Stephen Colbert is taking pot shots from across the pond to make us feel better about our own economic situation. “If you’re looking for a good time in Iceland, get on the first plane to Norway,” says big meanie Colbert.

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE


showgirls
entertainoz.com.au

Bailed-Out Bank Execs to Live It Up in Vegas

What’s a bunch of Wells Fargo bigwigs to do now that their struggling bank has gotten a whopping $25 billion from the federal government? Two words: Vegas, baby. Update

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE


Daschle
latimes.com

Daschle Drops Out

Memo to anyone still angling for a top position in the Obama administration: Pay your taxes. Tom Daschle is the latest political player to find himself out of the running—in his case, to head the Department of Health and Human Services—after tax issues came to light.

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Mark H. Overstreet

Iraq Watchdog Looks Back on Years of Reconstruction Waste

He’s back: Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, has released a new volume in his series of blood-boiling reports. Looking back on his five years as a watchdog, Bowen laments the widespread waste of taxpayer funds in Iraq, and warns that the same mistakes are being made in Afghanistan.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Marie Antoinette
Lie Louis Périn-Salbreux

Who Knew Bankers Were This Stupid?

Earth to Wall Street: It’s over, people. You had a terrific run, better than you deserved, but now you’d be wise to pay attention to those citizens outside, the ones with the pitchforks and the torches.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Ethical Malpractice

No need to fumble for words that sum up the stew of hypocrisy, arrogance and insiderism that is the unfolding saga of Tom Daschle. This is the audacity of audacity.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Daschle

Obama Backs Embattled Daschle

Will tax problems sink former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle’s chances of becoming the next U.S. health secretary? President Obama apparently hopes that this won’t be the case.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Superbowl trophy
nflheadline.com

Cable Provider Apologizes for Porn Invasion of Super Bowl

Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction was nothing compared to this: Super Bowl viewers in the Tucson, Ariz., region were treated to an unexpected 30-second pornographic interlude on Sunday, for which the Comcast cable company was obliged to apologize on Monday.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Holder
en.afrik.com

Holder on Board as New Attorney General

On Monday, the U.S. Senate gave the nod to Eric Holder, President Barack Obama’s pick for attorney general, making Holder the first African-American put in charge of the Justice Department.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE



original image from Wikimedia Commons

Is Texas a Closeted Blue State?

Hold on to your 10-gallon: Gallup’s polling data from the last election show that more Texans identify as Democrats than Republicans. That hasn’t translated into a political earthquake just yet, but it may only be a matter of time. Changing demographics make the Lone Star State and its 34 electoral votes a tempting target for Democrats.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Nikolas Giakoumidis

It’s Not Going to Be OK

The daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. Our empire is dying. How will we cope with our decline? Will we cling to the absurd dreams of a superpower and a glorious tomorrow or will we responsibly face our stark new limitations?

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Stampede

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Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


The Peace Bus

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Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE    


What’s Your Rush?

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Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama

Obama Says He’ll Bring Many Troops Home for Next Super Bowl

Speaking before the big game, the president pledged to bring a substantial number of troops home in time for the next Super Bowl. On the economic front, he warned that “It’s going to take a number of months before we stop falling ... .” He also managed to predict the outcome of the game.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


What Cease-Fire?

Both Israel and Hamas vowed to stop fighting two weeks ago, but since then attacks have continued. Before his country launched airstrikes on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had warned Hamas of a “disproportionate Israeli response” to Hamas rocket and mortar attacks. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, is headed to Cairo, though his influence is surely weakened by the recent fighting.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Kitten of the Sea

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently announced that they’ve gone insane. Of course, that isn’t exactly how they worded it. What they say on their Web site, www.peta.org, is that from now on we should all refer to fish as “sea kittens.”

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

President Obama’s outreach to Republicans is popular, but the coming week will test his resolve. Eventually, he’ll have to say “no” to the GOP, or lose what he’s fighting for.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE



And the Winner Is ... Iceland

Hats off to the Scandinavians, who continue to make the world’s progressives green with envy. Even as Iceland faces economic catastrophe, the volcanic island nation has made history by naming the world’s first (for the most part) openly gay national leader. Johanna Sigurdardottir will become prime minister. (The New York Daily News says Norway briefly had an openly gay man as prime minister.)

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE


America Faces the Music in Davos

The American participants in this year’s World Economic Forum have been the first to confront the full international blowback to the U.S.-created world economic crisis, which has devastated the nation’s reputation for competence, along with the justification for its six-decade role as world leader.

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Unhindered by Talent

Obama Keeps Renditions In the Toolbox

President Obama may be trying to shut down Guantanamo and CIA black sites, but he’s decided to make renditions a part of his regime. In case you’ve repressed it along with other Bush-era nightmares, extraordinary rendition is what the U.S. calls kidnapping someone and sending him to a nasty place to be tortured.

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza rubble
AP photo / Fadi Adwan

When Did We Stop Caring About Civilian Deaths During Wartime?

I wonder if we are “normalizing” war. It’s not just that Israel has yet again gotten away with the killing of hundreds of children in Gaza.

Posted on Jan 31, 2009 READ MORE


Gov. Douglas
climatelawupdate.com

Republican Governors Press for Passage of Stimulus Package

Despite the lack of support for President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan among Republican Congress members last week, several GOP governors are supporting the package, although some, like South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, are still putting up a fight.

Posted on Jan 31, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Socialism or Protectionism?

Will President Obama’s stimulus plan be a help or a hindrance to America’s economic future? The “Left, Right, & Center” panelists have their opinions, of course, on the subject, and they’re ready to go to battle—and sometimes even agree—on this week’s show.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE


Steele
bet.com

Black Politician Named as GOP Chairman

Could this be the Republican Party’s attempted answer to Barack Obama? Or is that too cynical a read on the new appointment of the GOP’s first African-American party chairman, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele?

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE


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


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