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Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel

Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel

By Shalom Auslander

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U.S. Navy / MC2 Clay Weis

Cheney Plays to His Crowd

Dick Cheney represents a significant number of conservatives who still believe that the United States can bomb, invade, occupy and torture its way to security.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Prayer Book for Spouses
dailymail.co.uk

A Bedroom Benediction for Married Catholics

Ever wonder what the Roman Catholic Church might have to say about the proper way to prepare for the friskier side of holy matrimony? Well, here it is anyway: A Catholic organization in Britain has come up with a bedroom benediction for officially recognized (read: heterosexual) married couples to consult prior to consummation in its handy “Prayer Book for Spouses.”

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Madoff
AP / Louis Lanzano

SEC Missed Multiple Opportunities to Bust Madoff

It was a sad case of too little, too late when it came to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s readings of Bernie Madoff’s now-collapsed house of cards. On Wednesday, the SEC released a report about Madoff’s massive financial boondoggle, detailing the many moments in which chances were missed to stop the damage from spreading as far as it did.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Brown

British PM: ‘No Double-Dealing’ in Lockerbie Bomber’s Release

The Scottish government may not be united with respect to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s decision to release the so-called Lockerbie bomber, Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, last month, but for his part, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants to make it clear that any conspiracy theorists working on this case should hang it up already. Hmmm.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Eric Kilby

Red Sox’s Schilling Pitches for Kennedy’s Seat

Curt Schilling helped power the Boston Red Sox to two World Series victories and George W. Bush to a second term in office (thanks, Curt). Schilling’s next project? Provided he can juggle his video game studio (what, you don’t have one of those?) and his family, the former ace has “some interest in the possibility” of replacing Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. God help us.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Iraq violence
AP / Khalid Mohammed

Iraqi Death Toll Hits 13-Month High in August

Perhaps it was to be expected after the mass exodus of American forces in late June, but August was a cruel month in terms of the Iraqi death toll caused by insurgent violence—the worst in 13 months. Unfortunately, the trend might continue as Iraqis navigate the aftermath of U.S. troop withdrawal and anticipate their national elections early next year.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE



ABC

‘Death With Dignity’ for the Public Option?

The White House is about to relaunch its health reform campaign and some, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are hopeful that the president will “more aggressively fight for a strong health reform bill with a strong public option.” Behind the scenes, however, his staff may be looking for the best way to kill it.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Camp Sullivan parties
cbsnews.com

State Department Probes Embassy Guards’ Parties in Afghanistan

There’s yet more egg on the faces of hired contractors paid to guard U.S. officials in the Middle East—this time in Afghanistan, where ArmorGroup guards are under scrutiny by the State Department for their allegedly undiplomatic antics at their private quarters near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Sawyer
abcnews.go.com

ABC’s ‘World News’ to Swap Gibson for Sawyer

Not so long ago, it seemed like big news that a woman—CBS’ Katie Couric—would be chosen to anchor the nightly news at a major network. Now Couric’s got some competition in Diane Sawyer, who’ll replace Charlie Gibson at ABC’s “World News” starting in January.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan mourners
AP / Rahmat Gul

Afghan Intelligence Chief Among 23 Killed in Taliban Suicide Attack

The violence just hasn’t let up in Afghanistan in the nearly two weeks that have passed since the nation’s presidential election. The latest deadly episode came in the form of a Taliban suicide attack east of Kabul on Wednesday that killed 23 people, including Afghanistan’s deputy head of intelligence, Abdullah Langhmani.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Palin and Johnston
vanityfair.com

Levi Johnston Talks (and Talks) About the Palins

Although the world at large has yet to find out exactly what spurred Sarah Palin to vacate her post as Alaska’s governor this summer, her almost-son-in-law Levi Johnston pipes up (surprise!) in the latest edition of Vanity Fair, helpfully offering that Palin’s plan had something to do with money. This kid is on a tear.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


troops in Afghanistan
AP / David Guttenfelder

Obama’s Meaningless War

True, he doesn’t seem a bit like Lyndon Johnson, but the way he’s headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his presidency. LBJ also had a progressive agenda in mind, but it was soon overwhelmed by the cost and divisiveness engendered by a meaningless, and seemingly endless, war in Vietnam.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / respres

Not Really a Lifeline for Homeowners?

John Dunbar of the Center for Public Integrity has analyzed the Obama administration’s home loan modification program, which aims to keep troubled borrowers in their homes, and finds it “highly problematic.”

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / respres

A Lifeline for Homeowners? Not Really

John Dunbar of the Center for Public Integrity has analyzed the Obama administration’s home loan modification program, which aims to keep troubled borrowers in their homes, and finds it “highly problematic.”

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC3 Joshua Cassatt

Will Japan’s New Leader Maintain His Country’s Fealty to Washington?

The most important political question faced by a Japan led by the Democratic Party concerns the Japanese-American security relationship, which is both humiliating and exploitative.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


New Light on Copenhagen Climate Talks

The 2009 Copenhagen climate conference will be critical to the success or failure of establishing a practical, binding global plan of action before human-caused climate change reaches the point of no return, creating a cascade of catastrophes.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Elmo

Fighting Swine Flu With Elmo, Obama

As American schoolkids clamber back onto buses and funnel into classrooms, the federal government is working on ways to squelch the swine flu virus, which may not be as ferocious as health officials first feared but is proving to be pretty tenacious. President Obama, as well as a familiar red fuzzy friend, are on the case in this clip from The Associated Press.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Cambodian flag
Wikimedia Commons / Open Clip Art Library

American ‘Twisted Travelers’ Charged for Child Sex in Cambodia

The U.S. government is cracking down on American sex tourists who take trips to Cambodia to molest minors, an unfortunately common phenomenon in that country, with the new “Twisted Traveler” international law-enforcement initiative—and three U.S. citizens just became the first to find out what the changes mean for those who get caught.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Ollie Crafoord

Good News and Bad News About Swine Flu

Researchers at the University of Maryland say not to worry about the dreaded swine flu mutating into an even more dreaded super bug. That’s the good news. The bad news: Swine flu doesn’t mutate, based on their tests, because it doesn’t have to. It’s stronger than other flu strains and spreads like wildfire. At least among ferrets.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Hubby Hubby
benjerry.com/hubbyhubby/

Ben & Jerry’s Rolls Out Gay Marriage-Themed Ice Cream

Left-leaning ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is temporarily changing the name of its popular “Chubby Hubby” ice cream to “Hubby Hubby” to serve up support for same-sex couples, who as of Sept. 1 can marry in the company’s home state of Vermont.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


auto industry
fordnewsblog.wordpress.com

‘Cash for Clunkers’ Gives Auto Industry a Lift

Those dangerous socialists in our federal government have really done it this time. Why, they’ve ... engineered a way to give the American auto industry a much-needed boost with their successful “Cash for Clunkers” program.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Back to Normal

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Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE    


Spitzer
Center for American Progress

3 Reasons Eliot Spitzer Should Run Again

This is coming from the New York Post, so take it with a metric ton of salt, but the rag says former New York governor and “Client 9” Eliot Spitzer is thinking about getting back into politics, possibly challenging conservative Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Spitzer has repeatedly denied any interest in running again, but if the polling pans out he should. Here’s why…

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Waiting

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Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


National Security

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Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE    


Putin
kremlin.ru

Putin Scores Points With the Poles

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has attempted to improve relations between his country and Poland by addressing some wrongs committed by the Soviet Union—and later Russia—against its Baltic neighbor in recent decades. He offered an apology in an article he penned for the Polish paper Gazeta Wyborcza that ran Tuesday.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



Julien Bryan

World War II: 70 Years and We’re Still Fighting

The Germans invaded Poland on this day 70 years ago, and so began what many consider the greatest conflict in human history. An estimated 60 million people would die, including 27 million Soviets and 12 million Jews, Gypsies, gays and other victims of the Nazi holocaust. Most of the dead were civilians.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Why We Must Stay in Afghanistan

A slim majority now says the Afghanistan war isn’t worth fighting. This is alarming, and inexplicable.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / mbtrama

A Good Idea, Up in Flames

Los Angeles seemed like a good idea at the time. So did New Orleans. Will we ever learn?

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


David Bowie
hotpot.se

Study: Girlie Girls Prefer Girlie Boys

Here’s an oddball out of the empire: A new British study suggests that a girl’s “visual diet” affects attraction. Girls who attended same-sex schools were found to prefer more-feminine boys. (For boys in all-male schools, there was little or no indication they preferred more-masculine girls.) Maybe it’s a British thing?

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney
White House / David Bohrer / Archive

WSJ Columnist: Cheney in 2012

In a move that might spur some anti-Bushie types to nervously consult the Mayan calendar, The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto has offered up none other than Dick Cheney as his pick for president in 2012—under the condition that the former veep is right about how to deal with the threat of terrorism.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Khamenei and Ahmadinejad
bbc.co.uk

Report: Authorities Admit Abuse at Iranian Prison

Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported Monday that local authorities have admitted that a 25-year-old detainee who was arrested in the wave of protests following June’s presidential election in Iran died from abuse at the hands of prison officials, according to The New York Times.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Gibbs

Gibbs: Cheney’s Wrong on Interrogation

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs fielded a question about former Vice President Dick Cheney’s ongoing Enhanced Interrogation Press Tour with restrained disdain Monday, calling Cheney’s comments “the same song and dance we’ve heard since literally the first day of our administration,” as well as “wrong.”

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Patrick
Flickr / Tomf688

Mass. Governor Looking to Tap Interim Successor for Kennedy

According to Massachusetts law, the state will have to wait until a special election—set for Jan. 19—to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, but Gov. Deval Patrick is hoping to appoint a placeholder to fill Kennedy’s seat before then.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and McChrystal
White House / Pete Souza

Top U.S. General Calls for Strategy Change in Afghanistan

General Stanley McChrystal, the top-ranking U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, on Monday issued his highly anticipated report about the status of the conflict on that troubled front, and his assessment of the situation doesn’t fully help President Obama’s cause in ramping up America’s Afghan war effort since he took office.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Palestinians Love Obama, but Won’t Budge on Settlements

Dashing the president’s hopes to restart the peace process, Palestinian leaders said they would not talk to Israel until there is a “total settlement freeze.” Obama has been pushing for just that, but recently indicated a willingness to compromise. In the words of one Fatah leader: “I would say, Mr. Obama, we love you ... but I am sorry, this is not enough. ...”

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE



Left: Loren Javier / flickr; right: seattepli.com

Disney Grabs Marvel: Can Mickey and Wolverine Get Along?

Oh, what a tangled web Spider-Man weaves. Thanks largely to the multibillion-dollar success of Marvel’s characters on the big screen, Disney is buying the fabled comic book company for $4 billion in cash and stock. The Mouse House says Marvel characters will soon be appearing at its theme parks, but that isn’t the half of it.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


D
AP / Jack Dempsey

Go to Pittsburgh, Young Man, and Defy Your Empire

Voices of change, who speak in powerful and yet unfamiliar words, are on their way to Pittsburgh. They will cry out to defy the heads of state, bankers and finance ministers meeting there for the G-20.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

How Obama Can Win on Health Care

President Obama can still secure major health care legislation this year if he learns from his mistakes in recent months and spends more time reminding Americans why they were once eager for fundamental change.

Posted on Aug 30, 2009 READ MORE


Hatoyama
AP / Itsuo Inouye

Election ‘Revolution’ Swings Japan to the Left

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party has ruled for all but 11 months since 1955, but a stunning electoral defeat cut its representation in the Diet by perhaps hundreds of seats. The victor in all this, Yukio Hatoyama, called it a revolution and promised to take Japan from a corporate state to a welfare state.

Posted on Aug 30, 2009 READ MORE


I’m Your Puppet

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Posted on Aug 30, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

President Obama: Eulogy for a Lion

These are the president’s full remarks from the funeral of his friend Ted Kennedy, “a champion for those who had none.”

Posted on Aug 30, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Zach Otto

Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough

After an initial bulk-up in the number of troops in Afghanistan earlier this year, the commander of NATO forces in that country is preparing to ask for 20,000 more international troops as part of the ongoing war against the perpetually resurgent Taliban.

Posted on Aug 30, 2009 READ MORE


Kennedy funeral
abcnews.com

Kennedy Remembered by Family, Friends and the President at Funeral

Just over a year ago, Sen. Ted Kennedy took to the podium at the Democratic National Convention to give Barack Obama a major boost as he began his final push to become president. On Saturday, it was Obama’s turn to pay tribute to his former fellow senator as the president delivered the eulogy at Kennedy’s funeral in Boston.

Posted on Aug 29, 2009 READ MORE


Organic Produce
treehugger.com

Behind the Label

An industry group of organic and natural food producers is attempting to develop a standard for non-genetically modified and organic food. Existing labels declaring food “organic” are based as marketing devices, not on an actual standard of rigorous testing.

Posted on Aug 29, 2009 READ MORE


Mullen
swamppolitics.com

Losing the War of Ideas

When it comes to the war of ideas, Adm. Mike Mullen believes the U.S. is losing. In a critique of U.S. strategic communication in the pages of everyone’s favorite publication, Joint Force Quarterly, Mullen mulls over the chasm between Washington’s words and its actions in the Muslim world.

Posted on Aug 29, 2009 READ MORE


MIR Israel graphic

Settlement Freeze: Been There, Done That

The Obama administration hopes to announce a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But Israel’s ever-expanding network of settlements seems to stand in the way. Will a new push for “settlement freeze” succeed? Or will Netanyahu’s delay tactics prevail?

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Berlusconi
Wikimedia Commons/Agência Brasil

Berlusconi Suing European Media Outlets for Libel

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is aiming to do some serious image rehab after taking a beating in the European press this summer for his alleged sexual indiscretions. To that end, Berlusconi is pulling out the legal big guns and going after publications in France, Italy, Spain and Britain for besmirching his reputation.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Lockerbie bomber
AP / Scott Heppell

Britain Under Fire From U.S. for Breaking Lockerbie Bomber Pledge

Earlier this month, the Scottish government released convicted “Lockerbie bomber” Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, afflicted with terminal prostate cancer, to live out the rest of his days in his native Libya—a move that reportedly went against a decade-old agreement with the U.S. that those found guilty of causing the 1988 airline tragedy would stay put in Scotland to serve their time.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

Afghan Investigation, Kennedy Consideration, Health Care Prognostication

Not surprisingly, “Left, Right & Center” co-hosts Arianna Huffington, Robert Scheer and Tony Blankley harbor some differing viewpoints when it comes to Sen. Ted Kennedy’s legacy, as well as whether Congress should push through a health care reform plan to “win one for Ted.”

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


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