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Walters 'n' Palin

Walters Fascinated by Fellow Celebrity Palin

It’s dizzying, really, if you think about it: In this clip, media celebrity Barbara Walters names political celebrity Sarah Palin as one of her “Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People of 2008,” which people are mostly compelled to watch because Walters’ name is attached to it. Celebrities are fascinating!

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton and Obama
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Keeping Track of Change

For anyone seeking real reform of America’s foreign and defense policies in the years ahead, the introduction of Barack Obama’s national security team last Monday was a mixed bag. Yet what these and other appointments really suggest about Obama’s broader prospects for reform requires vigilant public attention.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Mugabe
U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lock

Mugabe’s Last Stand?

The U.S. has finally decided that it is “well past time” for Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe to be shown the door. This after he stole an election in June, subverted a power-sharing arrangement and run his once-prosperous nation into the ground.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Mexico Security
nytimes.com / Adriana Zehbrauskas

Mexican Drug Wars Claim 5,000 Lives in 2008

It’s been a creeping tragedy that has escaped serious attention by many major media outlets, but the recurring waves of drug violence in Mexico have taken the lives of about 5,000 people in 2008. In response, the Mexican government has deployed more than 40,000 troops, though corruption within the state’s security forces remains a grave problem.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Unemployment Chart
U.S. Department of Labor

A Dark November for Jobs

The news continues to get worse after the government finally put the “official” stamp on the current recession. The Labor Department has announced that 533,000 jobs were lost in November, the biggest monthly cut in 34 years—with analysts fearing that the 11-month trend of increasing job losses will deepen even further.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE



Warren I. Cohen on China’s ‘Factory Girls’

There’s a revolution underway in Chinese culture as young women flock from villages to factory employment in the cities, leaving traditional values behind.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Those Other Elections

A month after Barack Obama’s triumphant victory, we are still celebrating America’s only authentic national religion, and it isn’t Christianity—it’s presidentialism.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


The Beauty of Free Money

No, the federal government isn’t going to discover new billions under some rock in a national park. But with the economic downturn, the new president’s imperative will be to spend as fast as he can, to the tune of perhaps $500 billion, to keep the economy from going belly up.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Bush the Infallible

Remember that long-ago news conference when George W. Bush couldn’t think of any mistakes he had made? Unbelievably, he still can’t.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


O'Reilly

O’Reilly: Dangerous ‘Far-Left Loons’ Nixed Torture

The CIA would still be able to keep America safe by using harsh interrogation methods (read: torture) on terrorists if it weren’t for those despicable, meddling “far-left loons”—according to Bill O’Reilly, Fox News pundit and well-known international terrorism expert.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Joe Crimmings Photography

The High Cost of Hope

Was it his charisma? His rhetorical gifts? His policy ideas? There’s a more cynical and perhaps realistic explanation for Barack Obama’s historic electoral victory over John McCain: When all was said and done, the Democrat had about $400 million more to spend than his rival.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



thesmokinggun.com

Is Bush Dallas Bound?

The Smoking Gun has the scuttlebutt on the president’s new $2 million home in Dallas. Should he need to borrow a cup of sugar, Bush can call on billionaire neighbor Tom Hicks, who succeeded him as owner of the Texas Rangers.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force

‘Why We Fight’ Director on the American Way of War

Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki speaks with Truthdig’s Kasia Anderson about his new book, whether Obama can deliver, and why the U.S. is like Elvis.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Remaking the World in America’s Image

The evidence suggests that American policy under Barack Obama will be a continuation of the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush administration, given a human face.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Afghan prisoner
AP photo / Xinhua, Xie Xiudong

Who Are the Afghan Insurgents?

Who exactly are the Afghan insurgents? Every suicide attack and kidnapping is usually attributed to “the Taliban.” In reality, however, the insurgency is far from monolithic.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Rice and Gilani
AP photo / B.K. Bangash

Rice Sounds Positive Note After Pakistan Visit

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed confidence in the Pakistani government’s commitment to cracking down on terrorist groups operating within its borders after meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari and other Pakistani officials on Thursday.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Mugabe
AP photo / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Kenyan PM Turns Up the Heat on Mugabe

If there was ever any doubt that Zimbabwe’s longtime proto-dictator, President Robert Mugabe, wouldn’t exactly take to anything resembling a “power-sharing arrangement,” that doubt has vanished along with the hope that Mugabe would actually work with his political rival, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Puts Fresh Cash Into the Drug War

While the rest of the world has been preoccupied with a financial meltdown, a handful of wars and a terrorist attack or two, Mexico has been waging war on its homegrown drug industry, and the death count is mounting. U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza announced that El Norte is sending a couple hundred million down south to aid the cause.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / mlb.com

Bailout Ballpark

The U.S. taxpayer is on the hook for more than $300 billion of Citigroup’s junk investments, so where did the ailing bank find $400 million to put its name on the New York Mets’ new stadium?

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Breathing New Life Into Health Care

Over the past 10 months, as the hemorrhage of jobs began to push the national unemployment rate toward its October level of 6.5 percent, about 3 million Americans were thrown off the insurance rolls or had their incomes fall so much that they became eligible for Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Not a Team of Rivals at All

When the journalistic pack bites into a tasty cliché, they often refuse to let go, lazily chewing and regurgitating a phrase like “team of rivals” long after the flavor is gone.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Which Hillary Will We Get?

It was a moment bound to give anyone second thoughts about Hillary Clinton’s nomination as secretary of state: Rush Limbaugh called it a “brilliant stroke.”

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



highereducation.org

Report Fails 49 States on College Affordability

Because of its inexpensive community colleges, California was the only state to earn a passing grade in the affordability category of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education’s annual report. Just as the demand for quality education is expected to spike, too many students are priced out of college, the center found.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE


Learn How to Take a Softball

The Onion pokes fun at facing the rigors of the “Larry King Live” interview with this tour of NASA’s Larry King training facility.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE



Collage: US Census / the-isb.com

Minnesota Race Continues to Perplex

In case you haven’t been following Al Franken’s fortunes in Minnesota’s ongoing recount, here’s a brief recap: He was down, but not by much, then down by less and, a little later, even less, then he claimed to be up, but now it looks like he’s down again, but not by much. Confused? You’re not alone.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE


Big Three
aolcdn.com

Poll: Auto Bailout Low on Fuel

With a bailout of the Big Three hovering over our political landscape, popular opinion has signaled a considerable voice against any federal support for the failing auto industry. A poll shows 61% of Americans oppose a bailout, believing any government assistance would be both unfair and ineffective in fixing the economy.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE


Beard!
nytimes.com

And Commerce Secretary Goes to ...

Bearded political renaissance man and current governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson was picked Wednesday morning to be Barack Obama’s secretary of commerce. The unsurprising move makes Richardson the latest politician drafted by Team Obama, who point to Richardson’s experience at the U.N., as governor, and as energy secretary.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE


Cluster Bombs Feet
lemonodor.com

Cluster Bomb Treaty Steps Forward

It looks like a pact to ban current cluster bomb designs will take another step forward, with more than 100 countries slated to sign the treaty in the next couple of days. However, the U.S., Russia and China—the largest cluster bomb manufacturers—so far have refused to sign on.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE


Sucks for You

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Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE


The Movement

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Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE    


Obama's defense team
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Will Obama Stay the Course?

I do so want to believe that Barack Obama is on the right track. His brain is big, his style fresh, his pronouncements both logical and compelling, and it does feel good to have a president-elect elicit universal respect rather than make the world cringe.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Saxby Chambliss
Flickr / Savannah Grandfather

Saxby Succeeds in Georgia

Saxby “Big Daddy” Chambliss has successfully defended his U.S. Senate seat against rival and fraternity brother Jim Martin. After a close contest in the general election, the two were forced into a runoff Tuesday, which Chambliss won handily.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Richard Nixon
gmu.edu

Nixon Tapes Confirm Sour Personality

The National Archives released another 200 hours of Richard Nixon’s White House recordings on Tuesday, bringing the grand total of publicly available grousing, griping and racially insensitive grumbling to more than 2,200 hours.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE



seattlepi.com

White House Impeaches an Ornament

When Laura Bush oversaw the White House’s Christmas tree decorations, she failed to notice a shiny red-and-white ornament with the message “Impeach Bush.” The orb has since been removed, but the artist who created it still got to party with the Bushes.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Chevron in the White House

President-elect Barack Obama introduced his principal national security Cabinet selections to the world Monday and left no doubt that he intends to start his administration on a war footing. It is revealing that his choice for national security adviser is a director of Boeing, a weapons manufacturer, and Chevron, an oil giant.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Was There Any Point to the Bloodshed in Mumbai?

What is the message of a terrorist attack that fails to deliver a message? Threats and warnings are being exchanged by India and Pakistan over the attack on Mumbai, carried out by presumed Muslim extremists. But acting to what purpose, and under whose instructions?

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Nixon and Bush
Collage: MediaSpin / White House photo: Eric Draper

Bush Being ‘Nixonized’ by Left?

“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace braved the “liberal wind,” according to his colleague James P. Pinkerton, by defending George W. Bush from a gaggle of lefties eager to compare Bush to Richard Nixon at a Washington, D.C.,  screening of Ron Howard’s film “Frost/Nixon.”

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Gates

Gates Was ‘Hoping the Question Would Never Be Popped’

Fresh off his official introduction as the current and future secretary of defense, Robert Gates took questions at the Pentagon on Monday about his party affiliation, President-elect Barack Obama and his outlook on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Daily Show

‘Daily Show’: Is MSNBC the New Fox News?

As the current president and president-elect prepare for a major baton-passing on Jan. 20, cable TV is undergoing its own changing of the guard. How will Fox News handle the transition? Is MSNBC taking its place?

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Ford logo
cartype.com

Ford Asks Gov’t for $9 Billion

After a dismal November, Ford Motor Co. is hanging by a thread, but the automaker told Congress on Tuesday that it is in better shape than Chrysler and General Motors and could make it through its current economic crisis with a little help—to the tune of $9 billion in standby loans.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
Flickr / sskennel

Palin Milks Georgia Runoff

As Sen. Saxby Chambliss squares off Tuesday against challenger Jim Martin in Georgia’s runoff election, a certain Alaska governor has managed to work her way back into the spotlight. Stumping for Chambliss, Sarah Palin continues to draw throngs of Republicans while others wish she would simply go away.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Taking Over Bush’s Endless War

Terrorism (for the umpteenth time) is a tactic, not an enemy. One of the most urgent tasks for President-elect Barack Obama’s “team of rivals” is coming up with a coherent intellectual framework—and a winning battle plan—for George W. Bush’s globe-spanning “war on terror.”

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / SteelCityHobbies

Class Bigotry Mars Auto Debate

The auto industry bailout would have no chance of passing without the muscle of the Big Three’s unionized work force. Yet you can’t turn around without hearing someone trash autoworkers for the terrible crime of trying to earn a decent living.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Merry Wal-Mart, America: Part II

Two weeks ago I wrote that this was going to be a Wal-Mart Christmas. I could not have anticipated the most macabre manifestation of the syndrome: the death of a Wal-Mart worker who was trampled by a mob of early shoppers Friday on Long Island.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Condoleezza Rice
AP photo / Akira Suemori

Condi Tickles the Ivories for the Queen

Of all the items we might have expected would rank high on outgoing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s wish list of things she’d like to do before leaving office, playing Brahms in a private concert for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II wouldn’t have been one of them.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Chambliss ad

Saxby Chambliss Needs New PR Team

In this age of YouTube and ever-diminishing privacy, those who choose to position themselves—and, by extension, their families—in the public eye ought to know not to let a potentially creepy moment like this make it to video.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Clinton Rolodex

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Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE    


Bush’s Memoirs

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Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Al Franken
USAF / Staff Sgt. Maria L. Taylor

Franken to Take Senate Fight to ... the Senate

Still locked in a bitter recount battle for the right to represent Minnesota in the upper house, Al Franken’s lawyer says he might take the matter directly to the U.S. Senate, which the Constitution allows to be the “Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members.”

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Flashback: Obama Looks Forward to Clinton’s Advice

Barack Obama’s fondness for Clinton retreads and his choice of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state took many by surprise, but we might have seen it coming. This debate skirmish before last year’s Iowa caucuses has turned out to be remarkably prescient.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


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