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Obama Lays Out Stimulus Plan

What’s it going to take to jump-start the economy? How does almost a trillion dollars sound? That’s the amount that President Barack Obama is considering for his American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, which he introduced to the public in his weekly address on Saturday.

Posted on Jan 24, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Obamarama; Bad Bankers; a Kennedy Is KO’d

Well, here he is, our new Mr. President. How did Barack Obama fare in his first few days in office? Meanwhile, Wall Street flounders, and Caroline Kennedy’s Senate bid falls short at the 11th hour. The “Left, Right & Center” team takes a crack at this week’s news. Audio fixed

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and the Middle East

‘Mosaic’: The Inauguration, as Seen From the Middle East

How did the changing of the U.S. presidential guard register throughout the Middle East? Will Barack Obama deliver on his inaugural promise to usher in a new era of respect and consideration for mutual interests of the U.S. and the Mideast? This week’s “Mosaic Intelligence Report” offers some answers.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Bear Naked Emperor

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Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE    


Holbrooke
AP photo / Mike Wintroath

The Wrong Man for the Job

The United States needs to contract the services of a U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan who is capable of visionary thinking, one who possesses the political courage to stand up to a president and a secretary of state and argue against bad policy. I do not believe Richard Holbrooke is such a man.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Predator
blog.wired.com

Missile Strikes Kill 20 in Pakistan

At least 20 people were killed in Pakistan on Friday in two missile attacks that are being attributed to unmanned U.S. drones near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was the first such strike since Barack Obama took office as president.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Daily Show

‘Daily Show’: Fear Grips Fox News

Just hours into the Obama presidency, Fox News stalwarts Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and that blond she-anchor with the helmet hair were practically shaking in their conservative shoes over the horrors that await all Americans—including YOUR children—if things keep going the scary way they’re going. Will terrorists take over our shores? And is Rush Limbaugh molting?

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Gillibrand
United States Congress

Meet N.Y.’s New Senator

Caroline Kennedy she ain’t. On Friday, New York Gov. David Paterson tapped Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to take over the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Perlman and Ma
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Yo-Yo Ma Cello-Synced at Inauguration

In their defense, it was almost impossible for Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman to actually play their instruments at Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony, because of the frigid weather, but it turns out that Ma, Perlman and the other two musicians who accompanied them at Tuesday’s event were performing in sync with a recording of John Williams’ commemorative arrangement.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


General Motors Lobby
nation.co.ke

Post-Bailout, Lobbying Continues

Without skipping a beat, once-troubled financial entities are continuing to spend big to lobby Congress as they pocket billions in TARP bailout money. The lobbying is defended by the bail-outted firms as a “transparent and effective way” to be heard on policy issues.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Global Gag Rule
freechoicesaveslives.org

Obama Will Rip Away the ‘Global Gag’

In the next move of a partisan ping-pong game over women’s reproductive health, Obama is slated to reverse the despicable “global gag rule” that refuses U.S. aid to foreign health clinics that even mention the word that begins with an A. And sounds like “shma-shmortion.” It’s abortion.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


book covers

Brenda Wineapple on Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

Two recent books show how a man of reason and conservative temperament and a man of passion and radical disposition joined together, even before either knew it, to end slavery.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


The Gulf Between Hope and Change

Though presidential festivities and media superlatives tried to numb any feeling other than happiness, it’s only natural to experience a twinge of anxiety while celebrating at the edge of an abyss.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Salvage Operation

Repairing the damage that George W. Bush did to the nation’s values, honor and pride will be complicated and, at times, politically inconvenient. But nothing is more urgent, and nothing will ultimately reap more benefits at home and abroad.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Condoleezza Rice
AP Photo / Akira Suemori

Condi Goes to Hollywood

What’s a former secretary of state to do once her time in the White House runs out? In Condoleezza Rice’s case, the next step in the “reinvention and evolution” of her professional life involves signing on at the William Morris Agency, according to Variety.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Must Halt America’s Moral Decline

Barack Obama’s is a restoration presidency. His job in office, as during the campaign, is to summon up the better America that was abandoned or repudiated during the past eight years by his predecessor.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Whistle-Blower: Bush’s NSA Spied on ‘All Americans’

Russell Tice helped blow the whistle on Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program back in 2005, but the revelations don’t end there. On Wednesday’s “Countdown,” the former NSA analyst said the agency had “monitored all communications” and specifically targeted journalists.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


George Mitchell
senate.gov

Pursuing Peace in the Middle East, Obama Style

President Obama didn’t wait long to tackle one of the most intractable items in his in box: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On a whirlwind Thursday, Obama spoke to leaders in the region (minus Hamas), called for an end to the Gaza blockade and appointed George Mitchell (above), the man who brokered a truce in Northern Ireland, as Mideast envoy.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Gov. Palin
gov.state.ak.us

Palin Launches Multimedia Assault (Again)

Alaska’s ever-savvy Gov. Sarah Palin has gone and lassoed top D.C. lawyer Robert Barnett to help her broadcast her important life lessons to the world, most likely in the form of a book deal (surely being hatched now that Barnett’s on the case) and maybe even a TV deal for the “telegenic” Palin, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Coleman
coleman.senate.gov

Coleman’s New Gig

While he’s enduring his umpteenth go-round with arch-rival Al Franken over Minnesota’s now-vacant Senate seat, Norm Coleman has found himself some gainful employment to keep him busy.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Slumdog Millionaire
telegraph.co.uk

Yet Another Oscar Snoozer?

Well, the Academy has spoken, picking this year’s Oscar nominees, and they couldn’t be safer or more boring ... except for those categories in which “Milk” figures in somewhere. At least that’s what the San Francisco Chronicle’s completely unimpressed critic Mick LaSalle thinks.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Obama signs order

Obama Signs Order to Close Guantanamo

Making good on his pre-inaugural pledge, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year—and that was just one of three orders he inked Thursday, signaling a significant break from Bush-era “war on terror” policies.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Oliver at the inauguration

Obama’s Inauguration: Better Than the Moon Landing?

Was Barack Obama’s inauguration moment more important than, say, Martin Luther King Jr.’s finest hour? How about the moon landing? A brazen John Oliver takes to the streets of Washington, D.C., during Obama’s big day to take advantage of the good will of fellow revelers—and to steal a kiss or two—in this memorable “Daily Show” clip.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Kennedy waves
AP photo / Kevin Rivoli

Kennedy Bows Out for ‘Personal Reasons’

It’s official: Caroline Kennedy will not continue her quest for the Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Kennedy reportedly told New York Gov. David Paterson on Wednesday that she was dropping out, and although he asked her to think it over for 24 hours she sent out an e-mail minutes after midnight saying she had withdrawn. Updated

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney’s Mementos

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Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


The Bush Years

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Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


In Box

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Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Defining ‘Bipartisan’ in a New Era

When Obama delivered his stunningly eloquent and inspiring address at midday on Jan. 20, he provided a powerful hint of what bipartisan, a term hollowed out by habitual and insincere misuse, means to him now.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


The Downside of Bipartisanship

Remember this, President Obama: There are few Washington traditions as annoying as the cultish worship of bipartisanship, for it ignores the simple fact that sometimes one party gets things disastrously wrong.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


To Each His Own Obama

President Barack Obama intends to use conservative values for progressive ends, and in doing so he will confuse a lot of people.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Faith Amid the Ruins of Faith

After the collapse of trust in every sort of expert—after lenders financed houses for people who couldn’t afford them, bankers created systems they couldn’t even describe and, finally, we hear, Bernie Madoff ripped off even his high school friends—there is a residue of resilience.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE



YouTube / WhiteHouse

Obama Takes Oath Again, Just to Be Safe

The second time was the charm for Chief Justice John Roberts, who flawlessly administered the oath of office to Barack Obama a day after botching the pledge. The White House counsel explained that they opted for a repeat “out of an abundance of caution.” Obama actually legally became the president even before taking the oath the first time.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / seiu_international

Senate Confirms Clinton

Hillary Clinton made it safely through the confirmation process, despite a last-minute hissy fit from Senate Republicans. John McCain prevailed upon his colleagues to shape up and, in the end, only two voted against Clinton’s confirmation as secretary of state. She was then hastily sworn in.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Worth a Thousand Words

The Boston Globe has assembled a stunning array of photos from Inauguration Day. Images from Washington, D.C., and from viewing parties around the world capture the excitement and wonder of that historic day. The subjects include Kenyans in Obama’s father’s home town, former Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos embracing, and crowds at the capital’s Mall as photographed from a satellite.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
Flickr / No. Nein

Obama Announces New Ethics Rules, Freezes Aides’ Salaries

President Obama says “[t]ransparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones” of his administration. To that end, he will toughen lobbying restrictions and require all federal agencies to give high priority to Freedom of Information Act requests. The president also announced a pay freeze for about 100 of his highest-paid aides.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Douche

You Got Obama. What Now?

Outraged by the Rev. Joseph Lowery’s benediction at Barack Obama’s inauguration, Glenn Beck is calling a post-racial foul. “Even at the inauguration of a black president, it seems white America is being called racist,” Beck whined after Lowrey suggested that “white will embrace what’s right.”

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza Rubble
Maan Images / Mohamed Al-Zanon

Israeli Troops Finally Out?

About 1,300 Palestinians dead, $2 billion in damage and thousands of devastated families later, Israel claims it has officially pulled its troops from the Gaza Strip after its three-week assault—with no formal deal between Israel and Hamas and thus no real change in relations between the two sides.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner Claw!
bloomberg.com

Geithner Urges ‘Fundamental Reform’ in Bailout

It’s the first full day of Obama’s administration and things are looking a bit different in D.C. Treasury secretary nominee Timothy Geithner called for “fundamental reform” of the $700 billion bailout, claiming the existing bailout package favored big business over struggling families.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Israel Soldiers Shells
guardian.co.uk

Israel Admits It ‘May Have Used’ Chemical Weapon

Following accusations by human rights groups last week, Israel has finally admitted that its troops “may have used” white phosphorus shells—a chemical agent that wreaks havoc on the skin—in contravention of international law.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
AP photo

And Now, the Hard Part

President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech was an inspiring call to national service. But you have to read it closely.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Obama Puts Gitmo Trials on Hold

President Obama has asked for a stay in all military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay while his administration figures out how to handle the legal cases of the detainees still held in the island prison. The move was welcomed by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU as a positive first step.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
AP photo

Time to Get to Work

Tuesday was welcome theater, as profound as it gets—but today, as Obama has declared, begins a new era of responsibility and accountability.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


A Long Train Ride

Barack Obama rode to Washington, D.C., for his presidential inauguration on a whistle-stop tour, which was compared to the train ride taken by Abraham Lincoln in 1861. The train holds a deeper symbolism, though, that undergirds Obama’s historic ascension to the White House.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


Biden

Mrs. Biden’s Oops Moment on ‘Oprah’

One of the cardinal rules for any politician or spouse thereof must be: Don’t ever ad-lib on “Oprah.” Jill Biden found this out during a taping of Winfrey’s show on Monday when she let it slip that Barack Obama initially offered Joe Biden either the vice president position or that of secretary of state.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / seiu_international

Cabinet Confirmations: 7 and Counting

Well, Hillary Clinton will have to wait a little longer, but seven others whom President Barack Obama tapped to join his Cabinet had gotten the all-clear from the Senate as of Tuesday afternoon.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


Kennedy Collapses During Inauguration Lunch

An ailing Ted Kennedy experienced seizures during a ceremonial luncheon on Capitol Hill and was removed from the private function, according to reports. President Obama accompanied Kennedy from the room and then returned to offer a few words of support. The luncheon then went ahead, though without Sen. Robert Byrd, who was too upset over his friend’s seizure to stay. Update 2

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Saul Loeb, pool

Good Riddance

Say it with us: former President Bush. After eight crazy years, George W. Bush is escaping to Texas, where he plans to work on his memoirs and, one imagines, clear some brush. He leaves a nation in despair. Perhaps his greatest achievement was scaring America into the arms of Barack Obama. Heckuva job, Bushie.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


Ban Ki-Moon in Gaza
AP photo / Ben Curtis

Ban Ki-Moon Calls for ‘Full Investigation’ of Gaza Bombing

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon toured several decimated sites in Gaza on Tuesday, including the remains of the U.N. compound in Gaza City destroyed last Thursday in an attack. The Israeli shelling of the compound has drawn strong international criticism—not the least of which came from Ban himself both before and during Tuesday’s visit.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Takes the Oath of Office

In case you missed Chief Justice Roberts bumbling the oath of office or you just want to relive the historic moment when Barack Obama became the nation’s 44th president, the first of African descent, here is his swearing in and speech in its entirety.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Charles Dharapak

The President of the United States

At noon Eastern Time, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States. His inauguration speech celebrated America’s history of progress, called for a new era of responsibility and rebuked the Bush administration’s abuse of the Constitution.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


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