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Traitor to a Losing Tradition

The liberal blogosphere was aflame today with new accusations that Sen. Barack Obama is trying to win the 2008 presidential election.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE


Occupation Negotiations Hit Snags

President Bush had hoped to shape America’s military presence in Iraq for years after his departure from the White House by negotiating a long-term status-of-forces agreement, but a number of sticking points indicate there will be a much shorter time frame. U.S. negotiators have agreed to a kind of timetable for withdrawal, as demanded by the Iraqis, but are holding out over legal immunity for American forces.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

U.S. Loses 9 to Taliban Strike

Nine American soldiers are dead after a Taliban raid on a small combat outpost in the Afghan province of Kunar, near Pakistan. Coalition forces rarely experience such losses. The attack took place close to where the U.S. allegedly killed 47 civilians, a charge the military denies.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE


Fannie Mae
foreclosurewearhouse.com

The Rise and Fall of Fannie and Freddie

Although certain Washington denizens from both sides of the aisle might have been thrown when the two government-backed mortgage finance companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hit the skids last week, several of their current and former colleagues had long seen the crisis coming.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE


Denver Group ad
huffingtonpost.com

Mutiny at the Democratic National Convention?

A defiant new group of Democrats calling itself the Denver Group has started a campaign to make sure the Democratic presidential nomination remains open until August’s convention in Denver, leaving the game open to certain contenders (read: HRC) instead of following the “presumptive nominee Barack Obama” plan.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE


Barnes on Fox

‘Mental Recession’ Is ‘Straight Talk’?

Next thing you know, they’re going to say unicorns are real, too. On an episode of Fox News’ “Special Report” late this week, Weekly Standard Editor Fred Barnes chimed in about McCain adviser Phil Gramm’s assessment that America was on the verge of a “mental recession,” calling Gramm’s statement “straight talk.”

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE


Tony Snow
White House / Chris Greenberg

Tony Snow Dies at 53

Bush’s former press secretary was never shy about his cancer, but friends and colleagues alike were surprised by the news of his death Saturday. As the president’s mouthpiece, Snow knew scorn, but he also had the respect of a number of his critics. As The Nation’s John Nichols elegizes, he brought “a measure of dignity” to the Bush administration.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE


Howard Dean

Elbow Your Way to Glory in the DNC Press Pool!

Accompanied by a thumping beat and quasi-techno keyboard riffs from somewhere around 1993, DNC Chairman Howard Dean stiffly reads a script off the teleprompter announcing a thrilling contest that’ll give one lucky camera-wielding Democrat the chance to spend a day in the presidential campaign cattle pen press pool.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


Lollipop and flies ad
adfreak.com

Lollipops, Flies and Veils: A Love Story

When confronted with the uncomfortable task of explaining sexual relations to the uninitiated, it’s often handy to look to the animal kingdom for reassuringly “natural” and helpfully vague metaphorical material. Just take the trusty birds-and-bees dodge, for example—or that old yarn your grammy told your ma about the lollipop and the flies. Wait, what?

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


John and Cindy McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

McCain’s Past Catches Up in the Press

Along with maintaining the hypervigilance necessary to avoid having one’s gaffes caught on camera and replayed endlessly on YouTube, politicians face a vast array of image-maintenance challenges these days. John McCain encountered a PR problem of the lower-tech variety on Friday, in the form of two newspaper articles focusing on details from his private life that could be gleaned from plain ol’ public records.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE



Chris Hedges: ‘Stop the New FISA’

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges warns in an L.A. Times Op-Ed that “If the sweeping surveillance law signed by President Bush on Thursday—giving the U.S. government nearly unchecked authority to eavesdrop on the phone calls and e-mails of innocent Americans—is allowed to stand, we will have eroded one of the most important bulwarks to a free press and an open society.”

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


Black Doctors
mirror.co.uk

AMA Apologizes for Once Excluding Blacks

The American Medical Association has finally apologized for once excluding black doctors from membership. The discriminatory policies ended in the 1960s, but it has taken almost 50 years for the group to formally apologize for its institutional racism.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


Fake Missile
nytimes.com

Photoshopping Military Might

Charges against Iran’s Sepah News for digitally altering a photo of the country’s missile tests on Wednesday arose Friday after analysts discovered what is clearly a Photoshopped extra missile in an image released by the media arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The image, which was used by the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune on their front pages, was later retracted.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


Inquiry Finds U.S. Strike Killed Wedding Party

Imagine this happening in the U.S.: Forty-seven people, including the bride, are killed on their way to a wedding after an airstrike on “militants” goes off course. Of course, this happened not in the U.S. but in Afghanistan, and, of course, the attack’s civilian toll was initially denied by the U.S. military.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


Case Closed

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Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


Israel Puts Its Foot Down

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Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE    


Gramm and McCain
momocrats.typepad.com

McCain Adviser: Recession All in Our Minds

According to Phil Gramm, the former senator from Texas who’s now a key economic adviser to Sen. John McCain, America’s economic woes, insofar as they actually exist, are the product of some stinking thinking by “a nation of whiners” and doom-and-gloom headlines from the U.S. media.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Bush signs FISA
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Hedges, Klein Join The Nation, ACLU in FISA Lawsuit

Following Thursday’s announcement that Congress had passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, there were some who weren’t willing to take the news sitting down. In fact, Congress’ capitulation sparked a legal response from the ACLU and The Nation magazine and two of its key contributors—Chris Hedges and Naomi Klein—in the form of a lawsuit.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Ellen Garrison on ‘All the Sad Young Literary Men’

Are Keith Gessen and his posse really the voice of the Zeitgeist, the intellectual heirs to Norman Mailer and George Plimpton? Or just the highbrow version of Judd Apatow?

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Anywhere Becomes Everywhere

America has become homogenized. From suburb to suburb, what people eat, think and enjoy is the same. This is not good for a democracy.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


The Death of Reaganomics

The biggest political story of 2008 is getting little coverage. It involves the collapse of assumptions that have dominated our economic debate for three decades.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Rep. Cannon

Rove Catches Executive Privilege Express Out of the Country

Karl Rove had been subpoenaed to testify Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee about the partisan politics that allegedly played a role in the U.S. attorney firing scandals that shook up the Justice Department during Rove’s time as a key White House adviser—but he didn’t show. Whoops!

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


oil prices
instablogsimages.com

OPEC: War With Iran Would Cause ‘Unlimited’ Oil Price Hike

The price of oil is bad now, but it could get much worse, according to OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla Salem el-Badri, if Iran became embroiled in a military conflict with the U.S. or Israel. If a war occurs, Badri says, there’s no telling how high oil prices might climb.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Ted Kennedy returns
AP photo / Lauren Victoria Burke

Ted Kennedy Makes Surprise Visit to Save Medicare Bill

Just when it seemed they wouldn’t have enough votes to pass a key Medicare bill, Democratic senators staged a dramatic coup by secretly whisking Sen. Edward Kennedy into the Capitol on Wednesday to cast his vote and make his first congressional appearance since he was diagnosed with brain cancer in May.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Ehud Barak
AP photo / Ariel Schalit

Israel and Iran Talk Tough

Israel and Iran appear to be locked in a dangerous round of ¿Quién es más macho? On Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded to Iran’s new displays of military prowess—this week’s missile tests—by declaring that Israel is ready for action should Iran push the direct-threat level any higher.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Pregnant Man Puts the Trans in Gender

One of the expressions my grandmother uttered with feeling and frequency was that “one man should have one baby.” I never knew if this was a wish or a curse, but I’m pretty sure she never imagined Thomas Beatie.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Kids Are Fat People Too

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small. And the ones that mother gives you soon will control your cholesterol.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


invesco field
Flickr / compujeramey

Networks Might Slim Down Convention Coverage

That Barack Obama would accept his party’s nomination at Invesco Field was an unwelcome bit of news for network executives who have already budgeted their election coverage. Apparently it costs more to broadcast from a stadium than an arena, and so the networks are threatening to scale down what they traditionally dismiss as a free commercial.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Disorderly or Not, America Should Withdraw

The endless debate about the U.S. withdrawing its army from Iraq and what will happen to the country once it does tends to ignore much of what we know about how the world works.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Colombia: Celebrate the Release, Not the Regime

It is fantastic to see Ingrid Betancourt free, but the celebration of her release should not be confused with celebration of the Colombian government.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE



Executive Office of the President of the United States

Bush’s Christmas in July: Senate Passes FISA

You know a legislative compromise is one-sided when the AP headline announcing its passage reads “Senate Bows to Bush.” Democratic advocates of the new FISA bill, passed by the Senate on Wednesday, are still trying to explain what they got in exchange for rolling back a few civil liberties and burying some of the president’s abuses. When they figure it out, someone, somewhere, will surely be listening.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Jesse Jackson apology

Jesse Jackson Backpedals on Obama Comment

The Rev. Jesse Jackson quickly switched to damage-control mode Wednesday after Fox News picked up a “crude” and “private” comment that Jackson made about Barack Obama when he thought wasn’t being recorded. Multiple updates.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Fox attacks

Backlash to Fox’s Smearing of Michelle Obama

The Brave New Films team has launched an initiative against Fox News for its treatment of Michelle Obama, whom Fox has described as Barack Obama’s “baby mama,” in addition to using other race-baiting terms.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Betancourt Rescue
news.bbc.co.uk

The Real Operation to ‘Rescue’ Ingrid Betancourt

The July 2nd rescue of French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and U.S. mercenaries employed by the Northrop Grumman Corp. was heralded as a dramatic victory over the anti-imperial FARC guerrilla forces in Colombia. The real story may be significantly less daring. The mainstream media’s heroic rescue narrative is being contradicted by claims that a $20-million ransom payment was made.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Elderkiss the Night Elf
msnbc.com

70-Year-Olds Still Get It On, Reports Says

An ongoing Swedish study has shown that 70-year-olds are more likely now to have sex—and women to have orgasms—than in any decade since the 1970s. Sixty-eight percent of married men and 56% of married women reported having sex after turning 70, an increase of about 15% in both cases.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / throwthedamnthing

Tehran Shoots, Obama Scorns

Taking a move from the McCain playbook and latching on to the bogeyman that is Iran, Barack Obama responded to Tehran’s long-range weapons tests Wednesday with calls for tougher economic sanctions against the country, whose missiles are now deemed capable of hitting American bases in the region.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Penance You Can Believe In

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Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Africa Aid

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Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Federal Reserve building
Flickr / wwarby

Fed Forecasts Economic Gloom

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expects America’s economic struggles to continue well into next year and has asked Congress to expand his regulatory powers. Lawmakers are unlikely to fulfill his request any time soon. Bernanke also suggested that the Fed could continue to bail out investment banks.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Chinese flight to Taiwan
AP photo / Greg Baker

Taiwan Declares Peace on China

You can’t trust the Chinese. I don’t care if you’re talking about those communists on the mainland or the other guys on Taiwan; they just won’t follow the war-games script that our weapons hawks had counted on.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain ad

John McCain: A Fighter, Not a Summer-of-Love-r

What are we to make of this new John McCain campaign ad, in which colorful countercultural degenerates prance through the opening frames, and, near the end, a still of Noble Older McCain is superimposed over footage of Hunky Younger Ex-POW McCain?

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Pelosi and Congress members
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Congressional Approval Rating Falls to 9%

President Bush hasn’t exactly been basking in the glow of Americans’ approval recently, according to those all-important poll numbers, and now he’s got some company at the bottom of the barrel. Rasmussen Reports finds that just 9 percent of American voters think Congress is doing a bang-up job, and the numbers fall even lower for respondents who don’t identify as either Republicans or Democrats.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Gorby doll
Flickr / h-angele

Gorbachev Scolds Obama and McCain

According to Mikhail Gorbachev, John McCain and Barack Obama have more in common than they’d like to admit. Both have refused to address their country’s unprecedented military spending, which the former Soviet leader blames for America’s economic woes. Writing in a Russian newspaper, Gorbachev argued that the U.S. behaves “as if the Cold War were not a thing of the past, and the country were surrounded by enemies.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Maliki and Ahmadinejad
AP photo / ISNA, Amir Kholusi

Military Action Against Iran ‘Would Destabilize Iraq’

Iraq will be plunged into a new war if Israel or the U.S. launches an attack on Iran, Iraqi leaders have warned. Iranian retaliation would take place in Iraq, said Dr. Mahmoud Othman, the influential Iraqi MP.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Paralympic Athletes Carry Iraq’s Hopes

In war-ravaged Iraq, the paralympic athletes have a better shot of winning gold medals, according to this report from The New York Times.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Betancourt freed
AP photo / William Fernando Martinez

Colombian Hostage Drama Becomes Big-Screen Drama

Well, that didn’t take long: Just a week after former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages were rescued from their FARC captors by Colombian forces, plans are in the works to make a movie version of the story, with Simon Brand on board to direct the drama.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Cheney
commons.wikimedia.org / NASA

Official Says Cheney Pushed EPA Censorship

A former EPA official alleged Tuesday that the vice president’s office influenced congressional testimony about the public health effects of climate change. Last October, it was revealed that six of 14 pages of the proposed testimony of the director of the Centers for Disease Control were deleted because so many references to global warming had been cut.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


missile shield
michaelfowlkes.com

U.S.-Russian Tensions Rise Over Missile Shield Plan

Forging an agreement with the Czech Republic to host the radar for the United States’ planned missile shield project represents, according to Condoleezza Rice, a way of making the missile defense system “transparent to the Russians.” Officials in Moscow, however, are inclined to take this latest move as a hostile gesture that could provoke military retaliation.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Elegy

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Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE    


Watermelon

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Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


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