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The Tyranny of Dead Ideas

The Tyranny of Dead Ideas

By Matt Miller
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Republican Economic Policies Don’t Add Up

Many Americans believe, despite the current financial crisis, that Republicans are generally better at managing the economy. History tells a very different story.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


Weapons of Mass Distraction

John McCain and Sarah Palin are going to try their best to make us talk about anything but the big issues facing our country, because most Americans think Barack Obama’s solutions are better.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Resorts to Atwater’s Dirty Tricks

To understand where the presidential campaign is heading in the four weeks still ahead of us, look back 20 years. The remarkable transformation John McCain has undergone since 2000 is itself an unsettling tribute to the lasting poison Lee Atwater poured into the political waters.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


Begala on 'Meet the Press'

Begala: McCain Had Ties to ‘Extremist, Racist’ Group

Former Clinton consultant (Bill Clinton, in this case) and political commentator Paul Begala appeared on “Meet the Press” on Oct. 5, during which he criticized the McCain campaign’s ramped-up attacks on Barack Obama’s ties to former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers, while, according to Begala, John McCain should be concerned about one of his own past associations.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
wikimedia commons / Samuel Blanc

One-Fourth of Mammals Face Extinction

According to a new report, roughly a quarter of the world’s mammal species are at risk of extinction. Deforestation, loss of habitat and hunting are to blame for declining mammal populations around the world.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain and Palin
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Bill Boyarsky on McCain’s Low Blows

Truthdig’s chief political correspondent weighs in on the week in politics. From “pallin’ around with terrorists” to Tuesday’s debate, Team McCain is “going for the gut,” but will it work?

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


Vetting Sarah Palin

Vetting Sarah Palin

Truthdig is excited to collaborate with Capzles.com on a unique new way of telling a story – in this case, about VP hopeful (and, yes, possible president) Sarah Palin – using video, audio and text “moments” along an interactive timeline.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


Richard Fuld Jr.
World Economic Forum / Remy Steinegger

Lehman Bros. Paid Execs Millions as Company Tanked

On Monday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee took a look into the collapse of Lehman Brothers as part of a larger review of the factors leading to the current economic crisis, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Judging by the committee’s account, leaders at Lehman Bros. disregarded key warnings of impending trouble and cut hefty checks for their fellow executives even as the firm teetered on the brink of disaster.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Timeline: The Global Credit Crisis

To help all those still reeling from sudden onset econo-tastrophe syndrome, the BBC has put together a handy timeline, which connects the dots between events over the last couple years but doesn’t quite take the long view, thus leaving out a few key moments and players from, say, the 1990s (paging Phil Gramm).

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Dennis Kucinich on the Democrats’ Bailout Betrayal

The passing of the $850-billion bailout pulled the plug on the New Deal. The Great Society is now gasping for air, mortally wounded, coughing up blood. It will not recover. It was murdered by the Democratic Party.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / Michael L. Casteel

British Commander Calls Taliban Unbeatable

Victory in Afghanistan? That’s “neither feasible nor supportable,” according to the outgoing commander of British forces there, who tells The Times of London that the Taliban “seems relatively impervious to losses.” The Afghan government must instead reach some political settlement with more moderate insurgents, concluded Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE



news.bbc.co.uk

Europe Catches Bailout Fever

European leaders decided against a joint bailout of the Continent’s financial system, but that hasn’t stopped individual governments from trying to save failing and financially shaky institutions. The German government, which has been highly critical of U.S. economic mismanagement, just backed a $68-billion deal to save one of its biggest banks.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE


Palin Perfect

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Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE    


Drill, Baby, Drill!

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Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / buddhakiwi

McCain Sticks With Terrorist Claim Despite Media Criticism

“Americans need to ask themselves if they’ve ever befriended an unrepentant terrorist,” says McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. The AP called similar remarks by running mate Sarah Palin “racially tinged” and Time said the claim was “simply wrong,” but the McCain campaign shows no signs of backing down from its new strategy.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE


Fey plays Palin

‘SNL’ Spoofs the VP Debate

Parody is the best policy, as evidenced by the boost that “Saturday Night Live” has recently enjoyed, thanks to Sarah Palin lookalike (and sometime comedy star) Tina Fey. We kid, but so do Fey, Queen Latifah and Jason Sudeikis—playing Republican VP candidate Palin, PBS’ Gwen Ifill and Democratic VP pick Joe Biden, respectively—in this clip from the show’s Oct. 4 episode.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: The Bailout Deal and the VP Debate

In the latest edition of “Left, Right & Center,” co-commentators Matt Miller, Robert Scheer and Tony Blankley (Arianna Huffington is still at large) give their expert analyses of Thursday’s vice presidential debate, inspecting Sarah Palin’s and Joe Biden’s arguments and self-presentation styles down to the smallest detail.

Posted on Oct 4, 2008 READ MORE


Palin in Colorado
AP Photo / R.J. Sangosti

Palin Goes On the Attack

Sarah Palin went into negative campaigning mode on Saturday during a speech in Colorado, apparently attempting to forge associations in voters’ minds between the name Barack Obama and the word terrorist, thus indicating that the McCain campaign is ready to hit the mat—or the muck—during the last four weeks before the election.

Posted on Oct 4, 2008 READ MORE


presidential pins
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Economy Changing the Game for Obama, McCain

With just a month to go before the presidential election, the Obama and McCain campaigns are making some strategy changes in reaction to the seismic shifts that shook the economy over recent weeks. The forecast currently looks better, to some analysts, for Obama than McCain, but McCain’s supporters don’t see it that way.

Posted on Oct 4, 2008 READ MORE


Maher on Palin

Palin Gets De-Witched

It’s no secret that Bill Maher is suspicious of organized religion (or any other variety of religion, for that matter), but something about Sarah Palin’s videotaped encounter with witch-wary Pastor Thomas Muthee of the Wasilla Assembly of God Church gets Maher especially wound up in this clip from his Oct. 3 show.

Posted on Oct 4, 2008 READ MORE


VP debate

‘Middle East 101’ for Biden and Palin

“Mosaic Intelligence Report” host Jamal Dajani is distinctly unimpressed with the level of knowledge about the Middle East displayed by Sarah Palin and Joe Biden during Thursday night’s vice presidential debate.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton

Clinton Chats With Seacrest About VP Debate

All right, now this is getting ridiculous. None other than Ryan Seacrest has managed to insert himself into the political mix by scoring a phone interview with Hillary Clinton on his radio show Friday. What’ll it be next, the Obamas and the Bidens sit down with the preternaturally perky Mary Hart on “Entertainment Tonight?” Oh, wait ... never mind.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE


Pelosi Happy, With Pen
The New York Times / Doug Mills

The Bailout: Take Two

On Friday the House approved, after initially rejecting, the $700-billion bailout package for the financial industry in what is likely to be the most expensive government intervention in the nation’s history. This, of course, only slightly surpasses another notable “government intervention”—the nearly $600 billion spent in the war in Iraq.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE


Schwarzenegger Economy
California Governor's Office

Economic Crisis Goes to California

Tight credit has put California’s state budget into a bit of a pickle, with funding for the government’s day-to-day operations drying up faster than Sarah Palin’s popularity. A sign of trouble is a letter—leaked Friday—from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that warned of a potential emergency request for a $7-billion loan within the coming weeks.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE


Unemployment Rate
bls.gov

How Can These Fundamentals Be Called Strong?

A government report released Friday morning leaves little room for any defense of the failed policies of the Bush administration or any belief in the economic wisdom of John McCain, whose erroneous assertion that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong” failed to mention a 6.1 percent unemployment rate, up nearly two percentage points since 2007.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

John Holmes on ‘The Lost Spy’

Former Time correspondent Andrew Meier presents a riveting exhumation of the previously unknown story of Cy Oggins, an early American-Jewish communist who spied for the Soviets and was killed by them in 1947.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE


With Palin, McCain Is Gambling With the Country

The key to understanding how John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate was provided by The New York Times last weekend when it described an episode in which he “tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table.”

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Saying ‘No Deal’ to This New Deal

The marriage of American capitalism and democracy has always been a Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee affair—stormy and erratic since its hasty wedding. But during the debate over a Wall Street bailout this week, we watched that matrimonial knot unwind into a tangled tale of terror.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


A Welcome Pause Before the Bailing Starts

We all owe a debt of thanks to the skeptics who refused to be steamrollered by the Bush administration’s $700-billion financial bailout plan until we at least had some understanding of what we were doing and why.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


VP debate

The Big Question After the VP Tussle

Did they deliver? That was the question coming from the Democratic and Republican camps after Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin did battle at the vice presidential debate in St. Louis on Thursday night. Here’s the full debate in video—tell us what you think about how the candidates handled themselves and represented their respective tickets.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Palin and Biden
AP photo / Don Emmert, pool

You’re No Harry Truman, Governor

Gov. Sarah Palin survived Thursday night’s debate, much to the disappointment of Democrats who hoped she would crumble as she did in her interview with Katie Couric. But she ducked tough questions, gave canned answers, tried to smile her way out of tough spots and cheerfully distorted Sen. Barack Obama’s record.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Nicolas Sarkozy
Newsday

European Leaders Prepare for Economic Meetings

Leaders from France, Italy, Great Britain and Germany are planning to meet on Saturday in preparation for a European finance summit to be held in Washington next week. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who shot down reports on Thursday that France was proposing a hefty European bailout package, invited the other three heads of state to the pre-summit huddle in Paris.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Bailout Gains More Support in the House

The Bloomberg news service counts 10 lawmakers who may be ready to switch their votes when the bailout proposal takes another run at the House of Representatives. The original measure failed by only 23 votes and has since been substantially fattened by the Senate.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Will the Pentagon Be the Next U.S. Institution to Crash?

Less apparent to most people than the economic crisis, but just as real, are the signs of an impending crash of an American military system in which, since the end of the Cold War, Pentagon dysfunction has metastasized so uncontrollably as to scandalize the men who have overseen it.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Homer votes

Homer Simpson Backs Obama

In this apparently leaked clip from the slated Nov. 2 episode of “The Simpsons,” the original “Joe Sixpack,” Homer Simpson, tangles with a voting machine as he attempts to cast his vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Who will prevail?

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE



collage: realclearpolitics.com / destination360.com

Florida Republicans Hold Secret Meeting

With several new polls showing Florida breaking for Barack Obama, the state’s GOP leadership convened a secret meeting of top party and campaign officials. Florida GOP Chair Jim Greer, who organized the powwow, said, “It was just to ensure the ship is on its proper course. ...”

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Team McCain Pulls Out of Michigan

Looks like John McCain and his camp have decided to cut bait in Michigan after their efforts to win over voters in the Midwestern state didn’t quite pan out as they’d hoped. Instead, as Politico reports, McCain’s team is focusing on other important states like Florida and Ohio.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Who Cares

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Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE    


Palin’s Biggest Fans

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Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Broke

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Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE



npr.org

Evangelical Leader Goes All In For McCain

And to think that anyone thought James Dobson would sit out this presidential race. The Christian right leader and his advocacy group, Focus on the Family Action, are planning a multistate strategy to help elect McCain, and to prevent Democratic gains in Congress while they’re at it.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Cmdr. Michael Junge

Fighting Pirates in the 21st Century

Piracy has gotten so bad off the coast of Somalia that the European Union is prepared to form an anti-piracy force to police the region. The unresolved seizure of a freighter loaded with Russian tanks is the most recent in a spate of incidents involving more than 60 vessels and $30 million in ransom so far this year.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Making the Bailout Less Toxic

The initial failure to pass bailout legislation reflected a political system as bereft of confidence as the financial markets.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Next President’s Supreme Legacy

The 44th president could replace as many as three of the four moderate and liberal justices of the Supreme Court. You do the math. If Obama is elected, the court will stay pretty much the way it is. If McCain is elected, Katie bar the door.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


Sarah Palin the Sideshow

There is something about Sarah Palin that gnaws at me, and it isn’t that the Republican vice presidential nominee has wilted under the soft light shone upon her by CBS’ Katie Couric.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


Debate Preview: Biden and Palin Answer ‘Vice Presidential Questions’

CBS asked the two VP candidates (roughly) the same questions about Roe v. Wade and the separation of church and state. As you might imagine, their answers differ, both in content and coherence. Palin’s apparent unfamiliarity with the Supreme Court had the rumor mill buzzing for days prior to the release of this interview.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Qfamily

Bailout Bill Skates Through Senate

Well, that was easy: While the House had to contend with round-the-clock negotiations and a last-minute revolt, the Senate just threw more money at the problem. That was enough for 74 lawmakers to say yes to the $810-billion package. The House will take another crack at it on Friday.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Susan Sterner

Senate Fattens Up Bailout Package

The House couldn’t swallow the $700-billion bailout proposal, so the Senate added about $100 billion of incentives—mostly in the form of tax cuts. The Senate will vote on the proposal tonight and the House could decide as early as Friday whether $700 billion is too much, but $800 billion is just about right.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Steals Another Obama Cliché

First John McCain hopped on the change bandwagon, and now he sounds like he gave the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. The money quote in this new ad is better in the original Barack Obama.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


Invasion of the Sea-Smurfs

If the economy does collapse, if people can’t go down to the bank to withdraw their savings, or get cash from an ATM, there may be serious “civil unrest,” and the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team may be called upon sooner than we imagine to assist with “crowd control.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


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