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Diary of a Bad Year

Diary of a Bad Year

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Warren Is Worth the Headache

By inviting Pastor Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation, President-elect Barack Obama has alienated some of his friends on the left, but the choice also enrages conservatives who fear the breakup of right-wing dominance in the white evangelical community.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

From ‘Mission Accomplished’ to ‘So What?’

The history-be-my-judge interviews that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been giving recently help me understand their choices—but also reinforce my confident belief, and my fervent hope, that history will throw the book at them.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Joe Shlabotnik

N.Y. Times Gets Punk’d

On Monday, the paper of record published an e-mail from the mayor of Paris slamming Caroline Kennedy’s political maneuvering as “appalling.” Unfortunately, the Times failed to check whether the message was authentic—it wasn’t. Guess that explains all those articles by Nigerian princes.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


For Howard Dean, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The outgoing chairman of the Democratic National Committee fought to expand his party’s reach to the red states that Barack Obama won. His pioneering Internet fundraisers became Obama’s pioneering Internet fundraisers. He refused to budge on Florida and Michigan. So why is Howard Dean out in the cold?

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


WMD

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Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE    


Blago

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Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE    


Caroline Kennedy Asks to Be Time’s Person of the Year

Caroline Kennedy would like to be considered Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2009 and has let the magazine’s editor know of her interest in the honor, aides to Ms. Kennedy confirmed this week.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


Schwarzenegger Wants It All

California’s governor tells “60 Minutes” how he went from a guy who drives a Hummer to a guy who drives a Hummer that runs on vegetable oil and why he wouldn’t count out a run for the White House.

Posted on Dec 21, 2008 READ MORE


A Frank Assessment: Rev. Rick Is Offensive

Rep. Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of Congress, isn’t happy about the “high honor” Barack Obama has bestowed on the Rev. Rick Warren, who recently likened gay marriage to incest and pedophilia. This isn’t a speech at a forum, the congressman points out, but a role that is “traditionally given as a mark of great respect.”

Posted on Dec 21, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia / Daniel Schwen / Altered

Obama’s Big Promise to Biden

The vice president-elect revealed Sunday that he sought and won a major promise from Barack Obama: For every major decision, “I’ll get to be in the room.” Even if you love the guy, that’s got to be tiresome—not to mention impractical.

Posted on Dec 21, 2008 READ MORE


Nightmare on 34th Street

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Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE



bradblog.com

There’s Hope for Franken Yet

BradBlog has the latest from the endless recount battle in Minnesota, where Al Franken currently is trailing by only two votes. Results are day-to-day, but the Star-Tribune is predicting Franken will win out by fewer than 100 votes.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Vegas strip
letstravelvacations.com

We Are All Las Vegans Now

A voyage to Sin City in this moment of ecological and economic crisis is a journey to a giant concave mirror reflecting back the magnified—and ugly—truths about this epoch of cataclysmic consumption and hubristic hedonism.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Bill Clinton
Flickr / Photo Mojo

Pondering the Inner Meanings of Bill’s Big List

It’s far-fetched to think Hillary Clinton’s performance as secretary of state would be influenced by foreign donations to her husband’s charitable foundation. But it is naive to think that the newly revealed list of donors won’t provoke suspicion and give rise to conspiracy theories.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Should She Be Sen. Kennedy?

In the culture of celebrity, the media have instantly deemed Caroline Kennedy a leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, much to the frustration of elected officials who feel they have earned a chance to win what she would merely take.

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 READ MORE


Caroline Kennedy
welt.de

You Can Never Have Too Many Kennedys in the Senate

There is something refreshing in seeing a mother and public citizen auditioning for a second act. Beyond that, there is something tender and timely in seeing this particular woman coming home to the family business.

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 READ MORE


Torture Proponents Have No Serious Argument

George W. Bush’s war against terror has brought out of the darker places in America a lot of people who want to torture, or like the idea of it. We know it doesn’t work, so what drives Dick Cheney and his colleague to champion such moral depravity?

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 READ MORE


Blundering U.S. Should Spare the World Any More Nation Building

According to a new report, the U.S. has accomplished little more in Iraq than restoration of the basic services destroyed by the American invasion and the looting that followed. This is after killing or wounding—how many, a half million?—Iraqi civilians in order to liberate them. No wonder the Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at George W. Bush.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE


‘Daily Show’: Mac Is Back

Now that election hangovers are finally starting to wear off, it’s time to hop in the time machine and relive the very best of John McCain.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Pelosi Gets Tough With Rahmbo

When he selected Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, Barack Obama acknowledged that he was looking for a bad cop, but Nancy Pelosi refuses to be bullied. A former mentor of sorts to Emanuel, the House speaker is “laying down the law,” according to the Politico.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE


steven chu and barack obama

Meet Obama’s Green Team

The president-elect rolled out his major energy appointments Monday, among them Nobel prize-winning physicist Steven Chu. That choice, Obama said, “should send a signal to all that my administration will value science. We will make decisions based on the facts, and we understand that facts demand bold action.”

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


Killing the Big 3 Would Be Nuts

Despite the popular myth, lemmings don’t really hurl themselves off a cliff to reduce their numbers. That sort of behavior is seen only among Republicans in the Senate, who gave us a demonstration when they torpedoed legislation to bail out the auto industry.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


Crippling the Auto Union Is Just a Warm-Up

I must admit that when the danger of a global financial implosion became apparent in March, I did not understand how all those worthless Wall Street credit swaps really could be the fault of an overpaid union welder at an auto plant somewhere in Michigan.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


There May Be GOP Gold in the Blago Scandal

The troubles of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have endangered one of the Democratic Party’s safest U.S. Senate seats.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / jburwen

In Illinois, They Love Blagojevich Not

How many Illinois state House members voted Monday to begin impeachment proceedings against Gov. Rod Blagojevich? 113. How many Illinois state House members are there? 113. But in a twist, the governor retains the power to name Barack Obama’s successor, although the U.S. Senate has no intention of recognizing a Blagojevich appointee.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE



Allen Barra on ‘Frost/Nixon’

Frank Langella as Nixon in the new Ron Howard movie does his best, but no one did Nixon like Nixon.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE


This Isn’t a Time to Be Coy, Mr. Obama

Obama’s statements in the Blagojevich case have been cautious and precise. For most politicians, that would be good enough. For the man who inspired the nation with a promise of “change we can believe in,” it’s not.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Torture Report Points the Finger at Rumsfeld

A bipartisan report released by Sens. Carl Levin and John McCain blames former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high-level officials for interrogation abuses. Based on an 18-month investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the report determined that prisoner abuse “was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own,” as the administration has claimed.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Comes Clean

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Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


All Bush Wants For Christmas

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Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE    


Dangerous Bias Against Detroit

Nearly every current poll shows that most Americans oppose federal assistance to the auto industry, but legislators should also consider how voters would feel if the nation suffered the full consequences of a cratering auto industry—and if those voters then found out that the facts were not quite what they seemed to be.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE



Truthdig / Peter Scheer

Redrawing the Political Map

A little-noticed California proposition could limit the kind of partisan gerrymandering that Republicans and Democrats have used to influence elections around America for decades. But is that a good thing?

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Joe Crimmings Photography

A Nation Turns Its Desperate Eyes to Obama

Seventy-three percent of adult Americans think Barack Obama is off to a good start, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. An even larger number think Obama’s trials will test him more than other recent presidents. Folks are scared, and whether they voted for Obama, John McCain or Snoopy, they’re pulling for the president-elect.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE



thinkprogress.org

Wrong Again, Bill

Foreign Policy magazine has identified the 10 worst predictions of the year. William Kristol, who seems to get it wrong more often than right, tops the list with this doozy: “If [Hillary Clinton] gets a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she’s going to be the nominee. ... Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.”

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


Gov. Blagojevich Plea Bargain

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Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


The Case Against Kennedy

How can Democrats, who ridiculed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as an inexperienced political wannabe, now embrace the idea of elevating Caroline Kennedy—who hasn’t served a day in public office—to Hillary Clinton’s New York Senate seat?

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Department of Energy

Global Zero Pushes for a Nuke-Free World

The founders of Global Zero, including Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev and Sir Richard Branson, want to do for nuclear disarmament what Al Gore and other environmentalists did for climate change. While the vast majority of the world’s citizens seem to favor going nukeless, the issue has been confined to the back burner.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


West’s Role in Afghanistan Needs Re-Examining

Why are the allies waging war against the largest of the native ethnic groups in Afghanistan? The NATO answer is that the allies didn’t set out to fight a war against the Pashtuns. It just happened that way.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


A Tale of Two Nobel Nations

While the Nobel prizes recognize lifetime achievements in medicine, chemistry, physics, literature, economics and peace, and Sweden is a paragon among progressive, social democracies, there is another side to Sweden and the Nobels that warrants a closer look.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley, 1958: ‘Brave New World’ Just Around the Corner

It’s always a little spooky and a little funny to listen to a person from the past predict a future that may have already come to pass. In this clip from 50 years ago, Mike Wallace interviews “Brave New World” author Aldous Huxley, and while some of what Huxley says sounds goofy, some sounds uncomfortably familiar.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Talking Points Celebrate Bush’s 8 Wonderful Years

Putting a positive spin on George W. Bush’s two terms in office is no easy feat, which is why the White House has sent out a two-page memo detailing the president’s numerous achievements, including his protection of “the honor and the dignity of his office,” whatever that means.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Embraces the Military

In naming retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as veterans affairs secretary, President-elect Barack Obama made what may be the most politically and morally significant choice of his transition.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / SteelCityHobbies

Auto Bailout Comes With Car Czar, Standard

White House and congressional leaders have agreed to bail out the auto industry. Detroit will get $15 billion in loans and, to make sure the Big Three keep running after their warranties expire, a so-called car czar will oversee long-term restructuring. And because we’re really serious about getting this right, George W. Bush gets to pick the car czar. D’oh!

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE


Canada, Banana Republic

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Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / sergis blog

Maryland Police Keep You Safe From Terrorist Nuns

How did two nuns end up on a list of terrorists? Blame a now-defunct investigation by the Maryland State Police, who sent undercover troopers to spy on political groups and identify supposed terrorists, among them pacifists, environmentalists, a congressional candidate and those two feisty nuns. Update 

Posted on Dec 7, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Franco Folini

Senator Tells GM Chief to Take a Hike

As congressional leaders, the White House and President-elect Obama came to terms with a $15-billion loan package for the auto industry, Sen. Chris Dodd suggested Sunday that not all executives should stick around to spend that money. GM CEO Rick Wagoner “has to move on,” the senator declared on “Face the Nation.”

Posted on Dec 7, 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



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


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