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AP photo / Jeff Chiu

McCain Adviser Deep in Georgia’s Pocket ... book

It’s just too bad that the only Americans apparently qualified to advise John McCain on how to deal with the world are those hopelessly corrupted by hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent payments from foreign countries, such as beleaguered Georgia. Good thing that guys like Randy Scheunemann (above, left), whose two-man lobbying firm took in a cool million from Georgia since 2004, have a superhuman ability to separate their analysis from any financial considerations.

Posted on Aug 13, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Wikipedia Commons

Russia: They’re Baaaaaaaaack

They aren’t as big, and their iconography is nowhere near Soviet-grade, but according to columnist Anne Penketh of London’s The Independent, the Russians’ Georgia invasion can only be seen as a rank humiliation of the West by a triumphant Vladimir Putin.

Posted on Aug 13, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Wikimedia Commons

Michael Moore’s Blueprint for an Obama Loss

He’s been rather quiet recently, but Flint’s finest is always a lively voice. His latest missive is a six-point plan for how the Democrats can still blow the easiest election they’ve faced in decades. Summary? Don’t be so darn nice!

Posted on Aug 13, 2008 READ MORE


U.S. Flying Aid, Condi to Georgia

Upping the ante in Moscow-Washington tension over the border war between Russia and its former satellite state, Bush announced Wednesday that the U.S. military is flying humanitarian aid to Georgia, with his secretary of state to follow. Georgia’s president, however, is spinning this as the first step in a U.S. military intervention.

Posted on Aug 13, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

A No-No in Europe Is Just Ducky in the Mideast

John Stewart says it’s the “geopolitical equivalent of the fortune cookie [plus] ‘in bed’ ”: U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalizad (above) trashing Russia’s aggression but limiting comparison to the Iraq invasion by adding a qualifier that tells us we’re talking about someplace that matters to civilized people. Follow-up questions for extra credit: Is Georgia really in Europe? And how many Americans are worried right now the Russians will take Atlanta?

Posted on Aug 13, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Chris Greenberg

Mukasey Gives Scandalistas a Pass

Attorney General Michael Mukasey has said he will not prosecute his predecessor’s aides for politicizing the Justice Department. Mukasey said the officials’ violations were “disturbing,” but not crimes.

Posted on Aug 13, 2008 READ MORE


McCain and Saakashvili
AP photo, Mary Altaffer / Irakli Gedeniedze, pool

Georgia War a Neocon Election Ploy?

Is it possible that this time the October surprise was tried in August, and that the garbage issue of brave little Georgia struggling for its survival from the grasp of the Russian bear was stoked to influence the U.S. presidential election?

Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE



NASA

The Endangered Species Act Is Endangered

The agencies responsible for the welfare of endangered species are proposing rule changes that would cut through all the red tape keeping animals such as the bald eagle alive. True to the administration’s tradition of considering the fox before the hen house, officials hope the changes will assist frustrated developers.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE


Sarkozy and Saakashvili
AP photo / Georgy Abdaladze

Russia, Georgia Reach Tentative Peace Agreement

Early Wednesday morning, Russian President Dmitri A. Medvedev and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili agreed to a plan to stop the fighting that flared up Friday. However, the crisis isn’t over and the terms of the agreement aren’t all clear.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE


Jorge Ramos: the Anti-Lou Dobbs

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos isn’t just the host of L.A. and New York’s No. 1 news broadcast (in any language), he’s also a leading booster for the energy that Latin American immigrants bring to the U.S.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and Wright
blogs.chron.com

The Rev. Wright’s Auspiciously Timed Book Tour

In case there was any residual doubt as to the current status of the relationship between the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama, New York Magazine should dispel that once and for all with the news, somewhat buried in this week’s cover story on race and the presidential election, that Wright will embark on a book tour in October.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE


Putin’s Sole

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Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE


NATO, Georgia and the Ready-Made War

British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery was the man who said the first three rules of warfare are “Do not invade Russia,” repeated three times. A footnote to that rule would be that while the disputed Georgian districts of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are not parts of Russia today, they were yesterday, and probably will again be tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / smellyknee

Sheehan Qualifies for Pelosi Challenge

As the most powerful woman in government, Nancy Pelosi is used to confronting political rivals, but the House speaker has trouble on her flank. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan (above), displeased with the Democrats’ lack of progress against the war, has gathered enough signatures to challenge Pelosi as an independent.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / law_keven

Meaty Danger Strikes Whole Foods

Whole Foods customers expect more for their money, but shoppers in two states got more than they bargained for when they came home with E. coli-tainted beef. The granola-chic grocer has since taken steps to restore faith in the chain and its preposterous prices.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer

Pelosi Wavers on Drilling Vote

Once again, the Republicans have managed to take a nonsense issue and make rain. Nancy Pelosi wants to save the planet, and she knows offshore drilling is a “hoax,” but the House speaker is under fire and she’s starting to budge.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

McCain Sounds the Alarm on Georgia

John McCain comes off as the tough-talking hard-liner in this Financial Times story about the Russia-Georgia conflict. Even more of a hard-liner than President Bush, who ever-so-reluctantly came around to agreeing with McCain on Monday after initially taking “a much more diluted stance” (just like Barack Obama), as John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, put it in the FT article’s completely unsurprising conclusion.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


The New Republican Mascot

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Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


oprah
freshdames.com

Oprah’s Support = 1 Million Votes

The power of Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement is clearly quantifiable when it comes to her “favorite things” (e.g. book sales), but how about her favorite people (e.g. Barack Obama)? Well, a scholarly duo from the University of Maryland came up with 1 million votes as the impressive, if somewhat strangely derived, number that represents the boost Oprah has given Obama since she gave him her official stamp of approval.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Bullit Marquez

“Where Are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?”

Dave continued pacing back and forth in front of Mohammed. “My president,” he said, “is in trouble. Can you help him?” Mohammed was taken aback by the question. “Excuse me?” he asked. “Could you repeat yourself?” Dave sat down next to the Iraqi. “George Bush is in trouble. Our people did not find any WMD in Iraq. Can you help us?”

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


A Family Fight Among Democrats: Health Care

Before the energy-price crisis, before the mortgage crisis, before the credit crisis and the banking crisis, there was the crisis in health insurance that is in reality a crisis in care.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


India’s Role in the Afghan Drama

When large and powerful countries intervene in the affairs of smaller countries, they take for granted that they are, or should be—and certainly could be—in control. The reverse is often true.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


Pravda Online Perfects Art of Messianic Headline Composition

Right, so Vladimir Putin’s criticism about the Western media’s coverage of the ongoing clash between Russia and Georgia is certainly not completely unfounded, but media bias isn’t confined to the West. Consider this recent story from Russian news source Pravda.ru, headlined “Russia: Again Savior of Peace and Life.”

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE



amazon.com

Obama to Release New Book in September

Book browsers will get plenty of face time with the Democratic candidate this fall when “Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama’s Plan to Renew America’s Promise” arrives in stores. It’s a collection of speeches, policy papers and a foreword from the man himself. Proceeds will go to an unspecified charity.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


Robert Mugabe
USAF / Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lock

Mugabe Meets With Opposition Leader for Crisis Talks

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, pictured, was still ensconced in a Harare hotel with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday in an attempt to work out some kind of power-sharing arrangement with his rival for the presidency in this year’s protracted and controversial election process. But after a weekend of intense talks, nobody had signed on any dotted lines.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


obama ad

Celebrity Ad Wars: Obama Edition

Celebrities have become mere pawns in the tussle between John McCain and Barack Obama, both of whom have now released campaign ads accusing the other of being a celebrity and snuggling up to celebrities. Celebrities = bad!

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


putin
martinfrost.ws

Putin Slams U.S., Georgia’s Western Allies

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made his position vis-à-vis his country’s ongoing conflict with Georgia eminently clear on Monday, lamenting how, as he put it, the “aggressor” has been painted as the “victim” in the Western press (hint: said “aggressor” ain’t Russia).

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


Bush

Bush Talks Politics at Olympics

In case you missed it, here’s part of President Bush’s sit-down with NBC’s Olympic host Bob Costas on Sunday, during which a somewhat squirmy Bush talked about what he said to Vladimir Putin during the opening festivities, lamenting how the fighting in Georgia was conflicting with the spirit of the Olympics.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Musa Sadulayev

Georgia Conflict Primer

For those who never heard of South Ossetia before fighting between Russians and Georgians erupted there, the BBC’s Paul Reynolds provides some needed background and analysis, including this pearl of wisdom: “Do not punch a bear on the nose unless it is tied down.”

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


BBC Crew Survives Russian Rockets

A BBC team in Georgia was busy reporting on the conflict there when a Russian plane turned toward the journalists and opened fire.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Bush Meets World

If you’ve been watching the Olympics this year, chances are you’ve had your share of George W. Bush sightings. The president isn’t exactly known for his worldliness, but he found the spirit of international understanding and friendship to be a pleasant surprise—a “very uplifting experience,” as he put it. Imagine that.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Capitalizes on Obama Fatigue

The core strategy of John McCain’s campaign is to turn Barack Obama into the incumbent, the man who is too familiar yet still mysterious.

Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE


Landing Fee

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Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE


Effigy

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Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE    


City of Walls

Americans seem to have bought into the idea that the “surge” is working, but this Baghdad journalist returned home to a city of walls and bloodshed.

Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE


The Two John Edwardses

Maybe Slippery John somehow convinced Earnest John that this moment would never come. In fact, it was inevitable—and if Edwards had somehow won the Democratic nomination, the party would be in the midst of a historic meltdown.

Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Are Dems Doomed? Also: China’s Close-Up

In the latest “Left, Right & Center,” Tony Blankley, Robert Scheer, Arianna Huffington and Matt Miller give their takes on the latest events from the campaign trail, the Beijing Olympic Games and who’s getting it right (if anyone) about the mounting energy crisis and how to handle it.

Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE


aftermath in Georgia
AP photo / George Abdaladze

Crisis Mounts in Georgia as Russian Bombing Intensifies

Despite calls from international officials late in the week urging Russia to hold its fire against neighboring Georgia, Russian forces showed no sign of backing off over the weekend, nor had the United Nations managed to make headway in curbing the conflict. Update

Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE


bin laden driver sketch

Driving Mr. bin Laden

The end of the Bush presidency steadily approaches, and yet Osama bin Laden is still at large. Whatever is an outgoing administration to do? Well, how about a little legal sideshow starring bin Laden’s former chauffeur?

Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE


invisibility cloak
shinyshiny.tv

The Power of Invisibility, Brought to You by the U.S. Military

The infiltration of American universities by the military is nothing new, but this is: Scientists at UC Berkeley are zeroing in on a way to render people and inanimate objects—which could include weapons and combat vehicles—invisible.

Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE


Edwards
AP photo / Steven Senne

What’s Sex Got to Do With It?

If I had to choose between George W. Bush, naked and neighing on all fours while being ridden around the Oval Office by a spurred cowgirl Condoleezza Rice, or enduring his shredding of domestic and international law to wage an illegal war and bilking of the country on behalf of his corporate backers, I could learn to stomach a wide array of sexual escapades.

Posted on Aug 9, 2008 READ MORE


The War on Terror’s Underlings

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Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


Edwards
todbrilliant.com

Edwards Admits Affair, Denies Having Love Child

If John Edwards hoped to keep the lid on his extramarital affair with fledgling filmmaker Rielle Hunter, his alleged recent chase scene at a Beverly Hills hotel, co-starring spies from the National Enquirer, probably didn’t help matters much. The former presidential candidate has finally owned up to the affair, although he still denies that he fathered Hunter’s newborn. Updated

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


Olympic opening ceremony

Olympic Openers: Camp and Circumstance

Wow, there’ve really been some cheesy opening numbers in Summer Olympics past. Check out this amusing montage of clips from bygone ceremonies and see if you can tell, from the music, the outfits, and the cuts to shady-looking heads of state, when each awe-inspiring spectacle happened.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


Beijing ceremony
AP photo / Robert F. Bukaty

The Games Begin in Beijing

With plenty of pomp and pageantry (not to mention some serious pyrotechnics)—and with auspicious figures like President Bush and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in attendance—the Olympic Summer Games kicked off in Beijing on Friday.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


David McKiernan
arcent.army.mil

‘Surge’ Rhetoric Not Universal

Despite criticisms of the efficacy of the “surge” in Iraq, a U.S. commander in Afghanistan has dared to say that a planned “surge” in Afghanistan would in fact not help U.S. interests in the country. The commander did make sure not to completely deweaponize the Bush administration’s rhetoric, suggesting instead that a different type of surge is needed.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


Georgian Soldiers South Ossetia
guardian.co.uk

Georgia and Russia Get Their War On

Georgia bombed separatists in the country’s South Ossetia region Tuesday evening, killing 25; Russia rolled an estimated 150 tanks into Georgia in retaliation, ostensibly to defend the region’s high Russian immigrant population. Georgia pleads its case as a “freedom-loving” nation to garner U.S. support; any semblance of logic retreats.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


Musharraf
AP Photo / Ivan Sekretarev

Impeachment Threat Looms for Musharraf

For several months, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s political fate has hung in the balance, as last year’s state-of-emergency ordeal made all too clear. Now, the situation in Pakistan is becoming critical, with Musharraf’s opponents calling for his impeachment.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Zachary Karabell on the Middle East

What is it about the region that provokes intense sectarian passions, prompting seemingly endless vendettas? “Kingmakers,” by Karl Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac, tells the story of British and American entanglement and how the modern Middle East was invented. It also offers an exemplary history of hubris.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


China’s Sins in the Spotlight

World attention, in addition to fixing on the spectacle of the Olympics and the Chinese economic miracle, will be cast on a record of human rights abuse and environmental degradation.

Posted on Aug 7, 2008 READ MORE


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