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The Balkan Trilogy

The Balkan Trilogy

By Olivia Manning; Rachel Cusk (Introduction by)

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Cheney in Retirement

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Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Whitney Houston

Obama Will End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Here’s what Robert Gibbs, Barack Obama’s top talker, had to say about whether the next president would work to end the military’s policy of discrimination against gay service members: “You don’t hear politicians give a one-word answer much. But it’s ‘Yes.’ ”

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / exfordy

The Party of No Ideas

Would it be rude to ask whether the Republicans have any new proposals to save the country from this worsening recession? If not, they should halt their reactionary opposition to Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


The Shame Beneath Inaugural Hoopla

Sorry to rain on the inaugural parade, but we need to find a better way to pay for these things. The financing of President-elect Barack Obama’s big day is just as much of an embarrassment to the country as the financing of inaugurations past.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


So, Just Who Is the Guy Taking the Oath?

Obama has made it hard for anyone to pin him down philosophically. So when he raises his hand on Tuesday, exactly what can the American people expect?

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


A Huge Opportunity for the Mom in Chief

What will happen if Michelle Obama makes the personal her political issue? What would a serious work-and-family policy look like?

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


‘Daily Show’ on Sarah Palin, AKA ‘Blamey Whinehouse’

Jon Stewart takes Sarah Palin to task for her postelection face-saving: “Is it really fair to ask a vice presidential candidate what things they read?”

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE



marcelinopena.files.wordpress.com

Geithner’s Record of Failure

Forget that business with the maid whose work papers expired. The real scandal with Timothy Geithner, Barack Obama’s choice to head the Treasury Department, is his history of lax regulation—at least where his friends at Citigroup were concerned. ProPublica did some digging and found that Geithner’s New York Fed “eased the reins as the company blew billions. ...”

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Shanghai Scape
Flickr.com / PMorgan

China Takes the Bronze in GDP

After reconfiguring its output figures, China has finally found itself on the medal podium for gross domestic product, ousting Germany from its role as third largest economy in the world. China’s economy has grown tenfold in the past 30 years, and its development, while marveled at, worries many environmental, human rights and labor activists.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

U.S. Fails in Human Rights Role

It is unsurprising that a group like Human Rights Watch has condemned the Bush government for jettisoning the U.S. role as a defender of global human rights: Numerous examples—Guantanamo, gay marriage, Iraq, etc.—accentuate this failure.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Buildings Destroyed in Gaza
Maan Images / Wissam Nassar

Next Stop: Tensiontown, Israel

As the death toll of Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip moves past 1,000, tensions between Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis are growing. Some of the country’s Arab population is increasingly vocal in denouncing the bombings, while some Israeli politicians are trying to ban the re-election of Arabs to parliament on the grounds of alleged national disloyalty.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Last Press Conference

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Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Exit Strategy

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Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Glenn Beck Cites ‘24’ to Defend Torture

It’s amazing what happens when powerful minds get together. Take this episode of “Fox and Friends,” during which conservative luminary Glenn Beck quotes Jack Bauer, an imaginary person from the land of TV make-believe, to prove the righteousness of torture. Genius.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


inauguraton memorabilia
AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Here Comes the Change

Like many other people, I’d like to party all week when Barack Obama is sworn in as president. But this isn’t the year for it, not with unemployment rising and fear spreading through the land.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner and Summers
AP photo / Lawrence Jackson

Wall Street Robber Barons Ride Again

Why rush to throw another $350 billion of taxpayer money at the Wall Street bandits and their political cronies who created the biggest financial mess since the Great Depression? And why should we taxpayers be expected to double our debt exposure when the 10 still-secret bailout contracts made in the first round are being kept from the public?

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE



Department of Justice

Bush’s Politics-First Justice Department Has a New Poster Boy

An internal investigation has found that Bradley Schlozman, a former high-ranking Justice Department official, hired and promoted conservative “right-thinking Americans” while making it clear that “adherents of Mao’s little red book need not apply” to work in his wing of the Justice Department. He also transferred an employee for allegedly using “ebonics.”

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / laverrue

Gay Marriage Taking New England by Storm

New England is becoming a gay marriage zone. Five of the six states already have protections for gay couples, and state lawmakers and groups like Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders are pushing for full marriage rights in all six by 2012. Beyond human rights, that could mean big bucks for the region.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Nothing to Fear but No Health Care

Fifty million Americans are without health insurance, and 25 million are “underinsured.” Millions being laid off will soon be added to those rolls. At this perilous moment, we need sweeping New Deal-caliber changes, not the impotent tinkering that has been proposed.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
United States Senate

Obama Threatens to Use Veto Against Bailout Dissent

Barack Obama made sure that anyone who might oppose his plan for rolling out the next part of the $750 billion bailout package understands that he means business: In a meeting Tuesday on Capitol Hill, he threatened to veto a possible disapproval resolution, according to Democratic senators who met with him.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


The Drama of Reciprocal Self-Destruction

The people of Gaza and Israel suffer at the hands of leaders whose bewildering and savage decisions have no rationally achievable purpose.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert

‘Colbert Report’: Aromatherapy for Our Economy

President-elect Barack Obama says he thinks he can find a way to fix the American economy, which leads top economic wonk Stephen Colbert to conclude that Obama might just need a little extra confidence—and the help of a strangely alluring body spray for men.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan lookout
army.mil

The Afghan Scam

The vision of a reconstructed, peaceful, stable, democratically governed Afghanistan faded fast after the U.S.-led invasion. Most Afghans now believe that it was nothing but a cover story for the Bush administration’s real goal—to set up permanent bases in Afghanistan and occupy the country forever.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza City
AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Israeli Troops Push Into Gaza City

The war in Gaza has taken on another deadly dimension, as Israeli troops have moved into several districts of Gaza City, the BBC reported Tuesday, sparking street fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Clinton and senators
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Clinton: U.S. Must Use ‘Smart Power’

Hillary Clinton began the first phase of her official vetting session for the position of secretary of state Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill, where she made opening remarks and faced her peers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as they took a close look at her credentials—and her husband’s globe-trotting fundraising activities.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Beyonce
Wikimedia/Jen Keys

Stars to Come Out in Force for Obama

Barack Obama has been known to roll with the celebrity set (paging Oprah Winfrey), so perhaps it’s only fitting that his inaugural festivities will begin on Sunday with a show at the Lincoln Memorial replete with boldfaced names and HBO at the ready to showcase the event.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / tomsaint11

This Common-Sense Solution Brought to You by the 19th Century

Barack Obama wants to spend as much as a trillion dollars on the nation’s infrastructure, from roads to bridges. A video on his transition Web site even touts the economic advantages of fixing potholes. Why so car-centric? A new article in the Washington Monthly claims that spending some of that money on rail lines instead of roads could pay dividends.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Bush’s Short View of History

In his eyes, there’s “no such thing as short-term history.” It’s true that some presidencies look different after a few decades. But it’s also true that presidential acts can have immediate consequences—and Bush’s eight years are seen as a nadir that will take years to recover from.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


One for the Workers

Hilda Solis does not have star power. What the nominee for labor secretary does have is a record of loyalty to those who work and want to work, and who wish to receive in exchange a decent wage and a measure of dignity.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Eco-Femme

There’s No Delicate Way to Put This ...

Hello ladies. Would you consider reusable menstrual items? Please stay with me. 

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Charles Dharapak

That’s Senator Burris to You, Bub

Although a majority of his state’s voters are opposed to his appointment (according to a recent poll), Roland Burris will be seated as the junior senator from Illinois. Senate Democrats had promised not to seat Burris but, true to tradition, promptly caved.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Wants You

The incoming first lady sends this friendly reminder in support of her husband’s call for a national day of service. In keeping with the Obamas’ Web savvy, Michelle would like you to visit usaservice.org, a volunteer networking site created in the image of the campaign’s old home page.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / respres

Obama Says He’ll Spend Some Bailout Money on Homeowners

With half of the $700 billion in TARP funds already spent and not a whole lot to show for it, Barack Obama has pledged to spend the second parcel differently, with at least some of the money going to desperate homeowners. President Bush has agreed to request the funds on Obama’s behalf in order to expedite the process.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Bush at the White House
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Bush Gears Up for Farewell Speech

Although it may seem like ages since the election made it official, President Bush really is leaving the White House, and he’s preparing to say goodbye to the American people in a televised speech on Thursday.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Bishop Gene Robinson
gayspirituality.typepad.com

Obama Asks Gay Bishop to Lead Pre-Inaugural Prayer

Clearly Barack Obama and his legion of inauguration planners have registered the gay community’s dismay over the selection of the Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation on Jan. 20, as Obama has tapped the openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson to lead the prayer session at an event two days prior.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Obama on Gaza, Investigating Bush Abuses and More

George Stephanopoulos picked the president-elect’s brain Sunday in a wide-ranging interview. On Gaza, Obama defended his silence but he said to expect Mideast action on Day 1. On prosecuting Bushies for abuses such as torture or domestic spying, don’t hold your breath. On the economy, “Everybody’s going to have to give.”

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Abdel Kareem Hana

The Language of Death

Israel will, from now on, speak to the Palestinians in the language of death. And the language of death is all the Palestinians will be able to speak back. The slaughter—let’s stop pretending this is a war—is empowering an array of radical Islamists inside and outside of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Learning From Clinton’s Mistakes

One of the clearest signals President-elect Barack Obama has sent is his determination to learn from the Clinton years, and particularly from the former president’s failures on health care.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Targeting Hamas

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Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Greeting Cards 2009

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Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Non-Conformist

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Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / ppz

Russia-Ukraine Spat Leaves Europe in the Cold

Hundreds of thousands of freezing Europeans are waiting for Russia and Ukraine to resolve a pricing dispute, while EU officials engage in scramblepants diplomacy to get the natural gas flowing again. Russia has accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas, which runs from Mother Russia through Ukraine and into Europe, where some areas are very, very cold.

Posted on Jan 11, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / me and the sysop

State Department Scolds Diplomats for Poor E-Mail Etiquette

A recent spate of mass e-mails nearly crippled the State Department’s communications and generated a terse cable—sent out to all employees, of course—threatening disciplinary action if diplomats and others don’t cut it out. The note blamed abuse of the “reply all” button for the “e-mail storm.”

Posted on Jan 11, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Kevin McCoy

Credentials in Order, Burris Is Heading Back to D.C.

Last time he came knocking at the Capitol, the Senate sent Roland Burris away empty-handed. But now that the Illinois secretary of state has ended his protest and signed the relevant paperwork, Burris is hoping his next visit has a happier ending.

Posted on Jan 11, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza graffiti
AP photo / Elizabeth Dalziel

Time to Stop the Mideast Comparisons

It all depends where you live. That was the geography of Israel’s propaganda, designed to demonstrate that we softies—we little baby-coddling liberals living in our secure Western homes—don’t realize the horror of 12 (now 20) Israeli deaths in 10 years and thousands of rockets and the unimaginable trauma and stress of living near Gaza.

Posted on Jan 10, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza report

Mosaic: Two Weeks of War in Gaza

This week’s “Mosaic Intelligence Report” takes stock of various reports about the current Gaza crisis from Middle Eastern media outlets as the conflict reached the 14-day mark. Needless to say, we’re not likely to hear all these voices on CNN.

Posted on Jan 10, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

Obama Gets to Work on Economy

In his weekly address posted on Change.gov Friday, Barack Obama explains why he’s starting his job before assuming office: It’s the economy, stupid.

Posted on Jan 10, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Will Obama Take On Wall Street?

Is President-elect Barack Obama proposing a stimulus package that will actually deliver? What’s going to happen next in the Middle East? These are unanswerable questions, but the “Left, Right & Center” team offers prognostications about what may lie in store on the domestic and international fronts.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


Rubin
treas.gov

Rubin Bows Out of Citigroup

Almost a year ago, Citigroup’s then-director Robert Rubin downplayed the enormity of the economic catastrophe headed our way and made a pre-emptive move to shift any potential blame to politicians instead of financial experts such as himself. Fast-forward to the present and the picture changes considerably.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


Daily Show

‘Daily Show’: Joe Plumbs the Middle East

So Joe the Plumber is off to report on the Gaza conflict for Pajamas Media. Is this one of the signs of the apocalypse? Jon Stewart breaks it down in this “Daily Show” clip after his in-depth analysis of a recent presidential huddle at the White House.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


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