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Trent Lott
blogs.southflorida.com

Trent Lott to Resign

The Senate’s second-ranking Republican is expected to announce that he will resign by year’s end. Trent Lott’s health is fine, but he wishes to pursue “other opportunities,” a congressional official said. Lott famously put his foot in his mouth in 2002 when he said the country would have been better off had Strom Thurmond won his segregationist bid for the presidency. Update: Money and politics are likely to blame (or thank).

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Light a Candle

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Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Christmas Summit

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Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Fred Thompson
satiricalpolitical.com

Thompson Accuses Fox of Bias

Fred Thompson told Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” that his network was biased, charging that criticism against Thompson’s campaign “has been a constant mantra of Fox.” As if to demonstrate the point, Wallace shot back: “Do you know anybody who thinks you’ve run a great campaign, sir?”

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Rudd and wife
news.bbc.co.uk

Shakeup Down Under

While we Americans were gorging ourselves on turkey and dressing, Australians were busy voting out their Prime Minister John Howard, who has been one of President Bush’s closest allies. His successor, Kevin Rudd, has pledged to sign the Kyoto climate treaty, withdraw from Iraq and apologize to aborigines for Australia’s past abuses.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


flags at the capital
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

America in the Time of Empire

All great empires and nations decay from within. By the time they hobble off the world stage, overrun by the hordes at the gates or vanishing quietly into the pages of history books, what made them successful and powerful no longer has relevance.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Turkish flag
AP photo / Murad Sezer

The Not-So-Sick Man of Europe Does Matter

The former weapons inspector and military intelligence officer argues that Turkey, once dismissed as the “sick man of Europe,” will be ignored by the West at its own peril.

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Gives Thanks

The satirist imagines what the president might be thankful for. A compliant Congress, perhaps? A lack of impeachment proceedings? Jena’s book deal?

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 READ MORE


head x-ray
defenseindustrydaily.com

Pentagon Sweeps 20,000 Veterans Under the Rug

Roughly 20,000 soldiers who aren’t on the military’s list of combat wounded have signs of brain injury, according to an analysis of Army, Navy and Veterans Affairs data conducted by USA Today. The Pentagon’s official tally of troops who’ve suffered brain trauma in combat is 4,471—one-fifth the total gleaned from military records.

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 READ MORE


The Promised Land

Imagine a place where the leading politician pokes fun at those who “regard all taxes as a pestilence, a plague or a disease.” Imagine the same politician saying: “Not one of us wants to pay more in taxes. But you know what we want even less? What we want even less is to leave our country to our kids in a worsened condition.”

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


Land of Broken Dreams

We think of the United States as a land of unlimited possibility, not so much a classless society, but as a place where class is mutable—a place where brains, energy and ambition are what counts, not the circumstances of one’s birth. But three important new studies suggest that Horatio Alger doesn’t live here anymore.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


Was Ross Perot Right?

“Ross Perot was fiercely against NAFTA. Knowing what we know now, was Ross Perot right?” It was a straightforward query about a Clinton administration trade policy that polls show the public now hates, and it was appropriately directed to a candidate who has previously praised NAFTA.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


Hard Road West Cover

John Mack Faragher on the ‘Hard Road West’

One of the most gifted historians of the American West takes a close look at the remarkable tale of triumph and tragedy that Keith Meldahl recounts in his dramatic story of the largest overland migration since the Crusades, as well as the equally compelling epic of the geology of the harsh and sublime Western landscape.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


turkey pardoning
whitehouse.gov

A Thanksgiving Reality Check

Along with family gatherings and counting one’s blessings, Thanksgiving has come to signify a rather rosy view of the unity of American society.  This weekend, however, two largely overlooked news items—one about unexpected financial issues that some wounded American veterans face and another about hunger in New York City—tell a different story.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


A Holiday for American Immigrants

The turkey may share the table with lasagna or guacamole or Asian-style rice bowls.  Welcome to America, Pilgrim.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


A Telling Rejection of Rudy

Rarely does the endorsement of a presidential candidate make any national impression, especially when offered by a retired local politician. Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean may well disprove that maxim, however, not so much because he chose McCain but because he rejected Giuliani.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges’ Civil Disobedience

The Truthdig columnist writes in The Nation that he will not pay his taxes if the United States attacks Iran. Like Henry David Thoreau before him, Hedges will not help finance an immoral war. “I realize this is a desperate and perhaps futile gesture,” he writes. “But an attack on Iran—which appears increasingly likely before the coming presidential election—will unleash a regional conflict of catastrophic proportions.”

Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


Garble Garble

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Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


Ego Parade

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Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Gets Mugged

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Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


Saudis Defend Decision to Lash Rape Victims

The Saudi Arabian justice ministry has defended the high court’s decision to lash and imprison a 19-year-old girl and her male friend, both of whom were gang-raped last year. The two are being punished for “illegal mingling” of the sexes and, unofficially, taking their story to the media. The leading Democratic candidates have all signaled their outrage, but the Bush administration has adopted a mind-your-own-business approach.

Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


AP Backs Photographer Held in Insurgency Case

Bilal Hussein, an AP photographer whom the U.S. military has accused of collaborating with insurgents, has been detained in Iraq for 19 months and may soon be tried by an Iraqi court. The Associated Press, apparently fed up with trying to reason with the military, has released the results of its own exhaustive investigation, which found the charges against Hussein to be “false” and “meaningless.”

Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


Kerry
vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.com

Kerry Takes Swift Boat Vets’ $1M Bet

It may be a few years too late, but Sen. John Kerry is going after the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, taking SBVT sympathizer T. Boone Pickens’ offer to pay $1 million to anyone who could disprove the group’s claims.

Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad
AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Iranian Newspaper Blasts Ahmadinejad

In what may be a sign of turning tides within Iran, a powerful paper in Tehran, The Islamic Republic, published an editorial Wednesday slamming President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s treatment of his political opponents—an auspicious critique, considering the paper’s close ties with Ayatollah Khamenei.

Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


Romulus and Remus

Discovery Resurrects Rome’s Founding Myth

The revered myth holds that Rome was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus, rescued and raised as infants by a she-wolf.  Now, scientists say they have discovered an ornate cave that ancient Romans believed to be the wolf’s lair.

Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


McClellan and BushENTER_ALT_TEXT
whitehouse.gov

McClellan’s Publisher Does Damage Control

Since the news broke about former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s new book, there has been a curious lack of commentary on the topic in certain mainstream U.S. news outlets and only a vague official reaction from the White House.  Meanwhile, his publisher is attempting to do some damage control.

Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


Bush and Musharraf
White House photo by Eric Draper

Bush Says Musharraf ‘Hasn’t Crossed the Line’

Just weeks after publicly fretting about Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorial power grab, George W. Bush has decided that the Pakistani president “hasn’t crossed the line” and “truly is somebody who believes in democracy.” It’s an assessment that would be comical if it didn’t have to do with the freedom of millions of people and the security of dozens of nuclear weapons.

Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


Barry Bonds
Aislin, The Montreal Gazette

Lance Williams on Bonds’ Indictment

“Game of Shadows” co-author Lance Williams shares his thoughts on Barry Bonds’ legal woes, the impact of steroids on sports and how Nancy Pelosi helped to keep him out of jail.

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


Ron Paul
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Cheering for Ron Paul

What can you get for a trillion bucks?  Or make that $1.6 trillion, if you take the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as tallied by the majority staff of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee. Or is it the $3.5-trillion figure cited by Paul, whose concern about the true cost of this war for ordinary Americans shames the leading Democrats?

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


pistol
news.bbc.co.uk

Supreme Court to Rule on Gun Rights

The Supreme Court will rule on the Second Amendment for the first time since 1939, when it examines whether a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., is constitutional. A decision is expected next summer, so expect to see a lot of tap dancing from the candidates, particularly those who’ve changed their minds about gun violence or suddenly discovered a love of hunting.

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


What Would Jesus Buy?

“Rev. Billy” wants you to stop shopping. He’s the brainchild of an anti-consumerism activist and the subject of a new movie that takes a hard and entertaining look at our shopping-addicted culture just in time for “Black Friday.”

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


Canadian medalist

Money for Medals

Canada has won its share of Olympic medals over the years, but apparently not enough. Whether to reward or recognize its athletes, Canada will now pay them $20,000 per gold medal. That’s not so extraordinary—a number of countries, including the U.S., already shell out, and Italian gold medalists in the Turin Games took home a cool $150,000 per gold.

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


McClellan
defectiveyeti.com

Ex-Press Secretary Claims Team Bush Deceived Him in Plame Case

There has been no shortage of tell-all books from former Bushies (paging George Tenet), but the latest one, by former White House spokesman Scott McClellan, is a real bombshell—primarily because McClellan alleges that the president, the vice president and three other high-ranking officials allowed him to pass “false information” about the Valerie Plame CIA identity leak case to the press.

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


Pakistani journalists
AP photo / Anjun Naveed

Musharraf Frees Thousands of Pakistani Prisoners

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is showing signs that he’s feeling the heat from the West, loosening his regime’s steel-trap grip by lifting some of the most severe measures he enforced since imposing a state of emergency rule in his country.  As of Tuesday morning, in fact, 3,416 people who were jailed during the initial crackdown had been released, according to a government spokesman.

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


U.N. Downsizes AIDS Estimate

Finally, some good news in the world (relatively speaking):  AIDS scientists at the United Nations are ready to announce that they have been overestimating the scale of the viral epidemic for quite some time now, and that the spread of AIDS has actually been decelerating over the last decade.

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


Having It Both Ways With Hillary

Now that Hillary Clinton has hushed, for the moment, the chatter about how she can be both a woman and a presidential front-runner whose opponents pile on, can we pay attention to the way the most powerful “gender card” is really going to be played in the 2008 campaign?

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


The Democrats’ Facebook Primary

The contours of the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination are set, and it is not a battle about “issues.” Advisers to the major contenders largely see things this way, and Democratic voters are in a quandary about what to do.

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


The Gloves Come Off

Finally, we’ve got a real presidential campaign on our hands. Wake up, those of you in the back row, because it looks as if the long-running seminar is finally over.

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


Money Problems

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Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


U.S. soldiers
boston.com

Ron Paul:  Iraq War Will Cost $3.5 Trillion

It’s difficult to fully comprehend the total price tag of the Iraq war, but Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has made some staggering calculations, coming up with a whopping $3.5 trillion—including “hidden costs” such as interest on the money we’re borrowing, and long-term health care for vets. 

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


Fox News logo
postpolitical.com

Poking Holes in Fox News’ Mythology of Objectivity

This is certainly a point that has been made before, but the Guardian’s Michael Tomasky performed his own journalistic audit on the U.S.‘s Fox News network, starting with the conservative channel’s overt claims of offering “fair and balanced” news coverage, and finds that it falls short of its mission statement about spin-free reporting. 

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


Tentative Security Gains in Baghdad?

The New York Times reports that in certain areas of Baghdad, such as the Dora neighborhood in the south of the city, residents are cautiously returning to their homes and attempting to resume some semblance of normal life by taking advantage of a recent lull in violence.  How long it will last, however, remains to be seen.

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Loyalist Leaves Post Amid Staff Turmoil

Rachel K. Paulose, the youngest U.S. attorney, who came to symbolize the administration’s preference for political loyalty over ability, has been recalled to Washington from her post in Minnesota, where her office reportedly is in turmoil.  She once claimed she was politically persecuted because she was a conservative and a Christian.

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


Gravel with Clinton on TV

Gravel Has His Own Debate

Mike Gravel wasn’t invited to CNN’s Democratic debate last Thursday, but that didn’t stop him from taking on the other candidates anyway, armed with the power of TiVo. What follows is part history lesson and part Howard Beale polemic. Enjoy.

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


Giuliani
nytimes.com

Rudy Plays de Fence

Rudy Giuliani is on the defensive over immigration, which has become this campaign’s hot-button distraction. In response to criticism from his opponents that, as mayor of New York, Giuiani had the audacity not to arrest hospitalized immigrants, the candidate has promised to end illegal immigration within three years. At the center of his strategy is a virtual fence he’d like to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


obama
trb.com

Obama Pulls Ahead in Iowa Poll

Barack Obama has taken the lead in Iowa, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.  However, his lead is within the poll’s margin of error, so he remains in a statistical tie with Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Much of Obama’s strength may come from “new direction” voters, and the sense that voters have, according to the survey, that he is “the most honest and trustworthy.”

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad and Chavez
AP photo / Vahid Salemi

Chavez and Ahmadinejad Huddle in Iran

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stopped off in Tehran to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday after the weekend’s OPEC summit in Saudi Arabia, marking Chavez’s fourth trip to Iran in two years.  During their tête-à-tête, the two least likely leaders to drop in for dinner at the White House discussed, among other things, the dollar’s recent and precipitous decline.

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


Clinton and Obama
cnn.com

Clinton and Obama in ‘Scandal’ Feud

Conservative columnist Robert Novak initiated a scuffle between the Clinton and Obama campaigns over the weekend by reporting that “agents” of Hillary Clinton claimed to possess “scandalous” information about Barack Obama. Obama promptly accused the Clinton campaign of trying to “Swift-boat” him and demanded that the front-runner come clean.

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


Obama
peakaction.files.wordpress.com

Obama Campaigners Work the Switchboards

If the Illinois senator beats Hillary Clinton and the others for the nomination, a good portion of credit will go to the volunteers now making phone calls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, California and other places.

Posted on Nov 18, 2007 READ MORE


central park
zdnet.com

The New British Invasion

With the dollar getting weaker all the time, the ailing housing market is getting a little relief from an unexpected source: foreigners. Brits in particular have been tempted by bargain homes in glamorous locales such as Manhattan, where one-third of all new condominiums are selling to foreign buyers.

Posted on Nov 18, 2007 READ MORE


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