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Sen. Arlen Specter on Switching

The Pennsylvanian is only the 21st active senator in U.S. history to switch parties. Here is what he had to say about his change of loyalties.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Sebelius at Last

Just in time for swine flu, the Senate has confirmed Barack Obama’s pick to head the massive Health and Human Services Department, Kathleen Sebelius. Democrats were able to use the health scare to shake the upper chamber out of abortion-obsessed confirmation gridlock.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Look to the Law—Not to Whether Torture ‘Works’

The calls for an independent commission to investigate torture usually argue that a congressional investigation, or a Justice Department criminal investigation, would become so politicized as to be hopelessly compromised. I am not sure this is true.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Specter Comes Full Circle

When Arlen Specter ran for Philadelphia district attorney in 1965, he proudly proclaimed himself a “Kennedy Democrat,” but said he was running as a Republican to take on what he saw as the corruption of the city’s then-legendary Democratic machine. Forty-four years later, Arlen Specter has come full circle.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Svadilfari / Senate.gov

Senate Shake-Up: Specter Goes Blue

Arlen Specter was always too moderate for this crop of Republicans, but his surprise decision to become a Democrat has more to do with the likelihood of losing a GOP primary battle than ideological differences. Specter’s move should give the Democrats the 60 votes they need in the Senate, assuming Norm Coleman ever gives up the ghost In Minnesota.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Enough With This ‘100 Days’ Nonsense

On what basis have the cable channels decided that President Obama’s first hundred days are the most important thing to happen in the history of the world? As in the case of FDR before him, much has happened in the beginning of the president’s first term—and there is much more to come.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Dog Puppy Fetish Pakistan

The New York Times gets an inside look at a Pakistani fetish factory located next door to a fundamentalist Islamic mosque. Globalization doesn’t get more entertaining than this.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Model for an Accounting

History demands an investigation into U.S. torture. We have a contemporary model for how to conduct a politically sensitive inquiry properly, without undue theatrics and with respect for classified information. It is the 9/11 commission.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


The Devils We Know

The initial response to the flu outbreak, which may have the potential to become a pandemic, illustrates first of all how sensitive and responsive the global health-monitoring system has become.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE



Boost Your Karma With a Vote for Truthdig

Help Truthdig win a 2009 Webby for politics and avoid a future life as a sea cucumber. We’re almost certain this will work. And it’s good for your posture. Hurry, voting closes soon. Just visit pv.webbyawards.com and click Truthdig from the “select a nominee” menu at the top of the screen.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


NY Post
imageshack.us

Big U.S. Papers Take a Big Hit

We’ve all been hearing this refrain for some time, but this is getting even more serious, people: According to Business Week, circulation numbers for 11 of the 25 biggest newspapers in America have taken a nosedive—the worst drop yet since the mediapocalypse in the print world commenced.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Haunch Flu

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


I’m Afraid I Have Some Bad News…

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE    


Feeling Dirty

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Zimerman
harrisonparrott.com

Polish Politics at the Piano

Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman’s debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles took a political turn on Sunday night when he took a moment before his final number to announce that he wouldn’t play in the U.S. again as long as America pursues an imperialist agenda on the world stage.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Krugman
Wikimedia Commons / Prolineserver

Krugman on Bybee and the ‘Apparatchiks’

Clearly, Paul Krugman, pictured above, is no fan of federal Judge Jay Bybee, legislative enabler of the “enhanced interrogation technique” that’s become one shameful symbol of the past eight years: waterboarding. You know it’s not good when Newt Gingrich is held up as a paragon of a bygone, and preferable, brand of Republicanism.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer

Joe Wilson Wants Dick Cheney to Let It All Hang Out

Ever the fan of cherry-picking, former Vice President Dick Cheney has called for the declassification of select intelligence he claims would polish his torture legacy. Whistle-blower extraordinaire Joe Wilson says the “most secretive individual in American politics” shouldn’t stop there—why not air all of the Bush administration’s dirty laundry once and for all?

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


The Other White Meat [A Cartoon From France]

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Too Old

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE    


Take It From Bert

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE    



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Has Missed His Moment

The president had a fleeting moment to challenge the casino capitalism and financial recklessness of our economic and political elite. He could have orchestrated a state socialism that would have provided a safety net for tens of millions of Americans faced with dislocation and misery.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


What to Make of the Ironic Mr. Obama

How many ironies can a single presidency engender? A cool man who has aroused both warm feelings of affection and a fiery opposition, Obama is seen as too moderate by parts of the left, but the right thinks he has a radical statist agenda.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / be_khe

U.S. Declares Swine Flu Emergency

The administration is taking the threat of swine flu seriously, as congressional Republicans’ main interest in the health arena seems to be roping the president’s nominee to head Health and Human Services into an abortion fight. The Centers for Disease Control and the Homeland Security Department issued an emergency declaration Sunday, while the World Health Organization and governments around the globe scrambled to confront the potential crisis.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE


Bill Maher on GOP Drama

The “Real Time” host marvels at Republican rage in the era of Obama: “The conservative base these days is absolutely apoplectic because ... well, nobody knows.”

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Stuck Between a Turk and an Armenian, So to Speak

President Obama over the weekend commemorated the 1915 murder of over a million Armenians without using the word genocide, a term he had used during the presidential campaign in speaking of the slaughter. The word from the lips of the U.S. president would have angered Turkey at a time when relations between Washington and Ankara are going so well. In the end, Obama’s rhetorical gifts were not enough to keep outraged Armenian-Americans from taking to the streets.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE


Clinton
AP photo / Marko Drobnjakovic

Clinton Signals Support for Iraq During Baghdad Visit

Arriving soon after the deadliest suicide bombings in the last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her first visit to Iraq in her new position, assuring Iraqis in Baghdad that they have the United States’ continued support despite the Obama administration’s focus on Afghanistan and talk of troop withdrawal.

Posted on Apr 25, 2009 READ MORE


Bea Arthur
insidesocal.com

Goodbye to a Golden Girl

She had already enjoyed success on the stage by the time she became an even bigger star in midlife, thanks to ground-breaking television roles in “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.” Following the news of her death on Saturday, Bea Arthur was remembered for her distinctive style, her talent and her game-changing performances on stage and screen.

Posted on Apr 25, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Torture, Credit Cards and Chrysler

Even Fox News’ Shep Smith said it: America doesn’t torture ... although the recently released set of torture memos belies that declaration. Meanwhile, President Obama’s none too pleased with credit card companies, and Chrysler has hit the skids. Was there any good news this week? Tony Blankley thinks so.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


pig
Flickr/The Pug Father

Swine Flu Comes to the U.S.

After infecting perhaps hundreds of people and killing scores in Mexico, eight cases of swine flu have been diagnosed in the U.S.—six in California and two in Texas.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Hannity

Olbermann Offers Hannity $1K per Second to Be Waterboarded

So, Sean Hannity told Charles Grodin on Wednesday night that he would agree to be waterboarded “for charity”—and you’d better believe that that sort of talk wasn’t lost on Keith Olbermann. On Thursday’s “Countdown,” Olbermann upped the ante for Hannity’s date with “enhanced interrogation techniques” by offering to open his own pocketbook for the cause.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Abu Gharib
smh.com.au

U.S. to Release More Torture Photos

After a series of denials by the Bush administration, the Obama administration has decided it will give in to demands by human rights groups and release up to 2,000 pictures of “prisoner abuse” (torture) to the public by May 28.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Was Used to Try to Link Saddam With 9/11

In order to justify George W. Bush’s illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq, Bush administration officials put heavy pressure on Pentagon interrogators to get Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah to say there was a link between Iraq and the 9/11 hijackers. That link was never established.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Zuma Zuma
ning.com

ANC Celebrates Early in South Africa

With official results expected Saturday, South Africa’s presidency and a two-thirds majority in parliament will go to Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress, making Zuma the third president in the country’s short democratic history.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Eve Pell on America’s Culture of Punishment

“Cruel and Unusual” by Anne-Marie Cusac reveals a startling reality: Since 1973, America’s imprisonment rate has jumped more than five times and is now the highest in the world. Why?

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Mark Avery

U.S. Citizens Detained and Deported by Immigration

In its zeal to crack down on illegal immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is detaining and deporting American citizens. The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Andrew Becker talks about his investigation into this disturbing trend.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Mark Avery

U.S. Citizens Detained and Deported by Immigration

In its zeal to crack down on illegal immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is detaining and deporting American citizens. The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Andrew Becker talks about his investigation into this disturbing trend.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Is a Crime, and Crimes Demand Prosecution

Obama wants to avoid a long, wrenching legal drama that almost certainly would be partisan and divisive. But I’m not sure it’s possible to skirt the criminal implications of what we already know.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


News Flash: Populism Is Popular

Both parties are suddenly listening to “the people” instead of the Establishment. They know the political class, however offended, can no longer stop a voter backlash.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Iraqi Death Toll Tops 87,000 Since 2005

Citing data obtained from an Iraqi government official, the Associated Press reported Thursday that 87,215 Iraqis have died due to violence since 2005—and that could even be a conservative figure.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Europe Needs No Part in Doomed Afghan War

If Obama had wanted to give the NATO allies prudent advice about how to avoid terrorist attacks, he should have told them to have nothing to do with the American war on terror, even if it is now under Obama management.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
theblacksentinel.wordpress.com

Holder Says He Will Pursue Torture Wrongdoing

What to make of the administration’s policy on holding torturers accountable? Attorney General Eric Holder says he “will not permit the criminalization of policy differences,” but will pursue wrongdoing “to the full extent of the law.” The problem here is that when it comes to torture, policy differences just might be criminal.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Dr. Keats

Chrysler Heads for the Chop Shop

The Treasury Department has cut a deal with the United Auto Workers to send Chrysler into bankruptcy while protecting retiree benefits, The New York Times reports. Fiat would be in a more favorable position to take a cut of the company once it’s in bankruptcy. Chrysler’s equity stakeholders are shaping up as the big losers in all of this.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Baghdad bombing
AP photo / Karim Kadim

Deadliest Bomb Strikes in Months Kill 78 in Iraq

Two suicide bomb explosions—one in central Baghdad and the other in Diyala province—killed at least 78 people on Thursday, according to the Associated Press, marking the worst day of violence in over a year.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney

Cheney, Rove Struck by ‘Balzheimer’s Disease’

What has emboldened Dick Cheney and Karl Rove to so brazenly criticize the new administration? Has Cheney lost his trademark sneer since he left the White House? All this and more in this clip from Wednesday’s “Daily Show” episode.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Prejean
AP photo / Eric Jamison

Alabama House Backs Miss California

There must be more pressing priorities on their plate, but on Thursday members of Alabama’s House of Representatives officially signaled their support for Carrie Prejean, California’s representative in Sunday’s Miss USA pageant, by passing a resolution praising Prejean for saying that marriage should be only between a man and a woman.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


‘Reform’ With No Reform

The defenders of the health care status quo have been frantically arguing these past few weeks that any coming reform of the health insurance system cannot include a public insurance plan, even if that’s the whole point.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Stop Thinking About Yesterday’s Health Care Debate

Because of the defeat of health care reform in 1994, there will be a temptation to treat every dispute as the first step toward the collapse of the process, ignoring the fact that times and minds change.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Sexting—and Common Sense

Vermont, Ohio and Utah are among the first states trying to back away from laws that treat a teenager with a cell phone as if he or she were a child pornographer. They know there’s a difference between truly dreadful judgment and a felony.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / National Archives

Reagan and Nixon Greeted Despots, Too

Few aspects of American politics are as ridiculous and dangerous as the right-wing urge to substitute macho posturing for foreign policy.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

John McCain for Anti-Torture Czar?

If the president is so worried that prosecutions of America’s torturers and torture-enablers could feel like a partisan witch hunt, why not turn to a Republican with firsthand experience in being tortured?

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


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