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With Big Ideas Like These…

Republicans almost suffered strokes over Hillary Clinton’s health insurance plan.  Now that the screams of outrage have subsided, a close examination reveals that the GOP alternatives are either nonexistent or unworkable.

Posted on Sep 25, 2007 READ MORE


Russert and Clinton

Clinton: Not One More Penny for the War

Hillary Clinton shored up her left flank during an interview with Tim Russert, promising to vote against continued funding for the war in Iraq. Still, one must be wary of caveats such as “at the level we’ve seen.”

Posted on Sep 24, 2007 READ MORE


Bill Maher

Bill Maher: ‘We’re Not the Crazy Ones’

The “Real Time” host argues that it’s about time for the growing “rationalist” minority to challenge the ubiquity of religion in politics.

Posted on Sep 23, 2007 READ MORE


Agree to Agree

Here is why the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination seems so peculiar: Political campaigns are normally about highlighting differences, but never have the philosophical distinctions among Democratic candidates been so small.

Posted on Sep 20, 2007 READ MORE


The $64,000 Question

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Posted on Sep 20, 2007 READ MORE


Hillary’s Healthy Turnaround

Hillary Clinton’s skillful introduction of her new health care plan demonstrated why she is the most formidable Democrat running for president. It also suggested that if victorious, she won’t be defeated so easily by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries as she and her husband were the last time they tried to reform the dysfunctional American medical system.

Posted on Sep 20, 2007 READ MORE


Sam Bee smoking

‘Is America Ready ...’ Fatigue

The “Daily Show’s” Samantha Bee investigates whether America is ready for a woman president, “Sex and the City” style.

Posted on Sep 19, 2007 READ MORE


Chris Hedges on Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia

In his book “Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia,” John Gray warns that as the era of liberal intervention in international affairs wanes, it is being replaced with “primitive versions of religion” that will be used to fuel apocalyptic violence.

Posted on Sep 18, 2007 READ MORE


Hillary’s Health Care Remodel

The genius of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has been her skill at turning liabilities into assets and weaknesses into strengths. By putting out a detailed health care plan on Monday, Clinton embarked on this year’s most daring act of political jujitsu.

Posted on Sep 18, 2007 READ MORE


If It’s Broke, Fix It

Hillary Clinton’s health care proposal won’t please progressives looking to do away with corporate insurance or conservatives who prefer unaffordable micromanaged care to government “bureaucracy,” but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Posted on Sep 18, 2007 READ MORE


Coming Apart at the Seams

Gen. David Petraeus likes to describe the Iraq he envisions as a patchwork quilt. You establish security in a neighborhood over here, bring peace to a village over there, create more and more of these scraps of relative tranquility—and then stitch the heterogeneous pieces together. The problem is with the seams. They have a tendency to unravel.

Posted on Sep 14, 2007 READ MORE


The New Majority

As Virginia goes, so goes the Senate—and the nation? The decision of former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner to run for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. John Warner is more than just bad news for the GOP.

Posted on Sep 14, 2007 READ MORE


Just Ask the Iraqis

Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, to no one’s surprise, think the “surge” is working. So what if a majority of Iraqis disagree with them?

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 READ MORE


Putin Disbands Russian Gov’t

President Vladimir Putin dissolved the Russian government in a move designed to clear out the upper levels of power before his expected exit from office in the spring. Among those ousted in Wednesday’s Kremlin shakeup was Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, who may be replaced by his first deputy prime minister, Sergei Ivanov.

Posted on Sep 12, 2007 READ MORE


Politics, Hollywood-Style

Given the longstanding relationship between Hollywood and Washington, two towns that share an inborn proclivity for drama, the news that several L.A.-based executives are forming a politically minded production company with the help of an experienced Capitol Hill player should come as no surprise.

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 READ MORE


Obama and Clinton
AP Photo/Alan Diaz

Candidates for Sale

As Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know well, this season’s crop of presidential candidates can’t ignore the super-famous, the super-rich, or those fund-raising impresarios known as “bundlers” in their quest for the White House—and that campaign trend isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 READ MORE


Fred Thompson
fred08.com

Fred Thompson Contorts Over Bin Laden

Fred Thompson has just barely entered the race, but he’s already stepped in it. First the candidate painted Osama bin Laden as an irrelevant figure, but later said he had to be “caught and killed.” Then, after more reflection, he said bin Laden should get due process, which an aide later defined as Gitmo-style interrogation.

Posted on Sep 10, 2007 READ MORE


Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson Announces His Candidacy

All we can say is he either really believes in what he’s saying, or he really knows how to work a camera. We suspect the latter is true. Cheese Alert: Get ready to duck when the video hurls this doozy at you toward the end: “Fred needs you, and America needs Fred. Together, we’re a winning team!”

Posted on Sep 7, 2007 READ MORE


Thompson
conservapedia.com

Nine’s a Crowd

Fred Thompson has at long last thrown in his lot with the other (long list of) Republicans running for president. Frequently painted as an eleventh hour hero to conservatives, Thompson’s shtick so far strikes us as canned Gingrich opened long after its expiration date. What do you think?

Posted on Sep 7, 2007 READ MORE


Lost in the Wilderness

Fred Thompson, who proposes to be what Republicans need to overcome their malaise, may himself be part of the problem.

Posted on Sep 6, 2007 READ MORE


The Bigger Bathroom Picture

Whether or not Larry Craig manages to save his Senate career, the circumstances of his arrest bear exploring. Isn’t there a better way to secure an airport bathroom than the institutionalized entrapment and humiliation of gay men?

Posted on Sep 5, 2007 READ MORE


Half-Glass Study Group

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Posted on Sep 4, 2007 READ MORE    


Rudy Cross-Dresses for Votes

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Posted on Sep 4, 2007 READ MORE


Weak Labor’s Strong Clout

The American labor movement is divided on which candidate to support for president. Its membership is at one of its lowest ebbs in our history. And yet the nation’s unions are more politically influential today than they were in the movement’s heyday in the 1950s.

Posted on Sep 3, 2007 READ MORE


Larry Craig
cnn.com

Craig Cries Uncle

Sen. Larry Craig, whose alleged shenanigans in a Minnesota airport have captured national attention, announced he will resign at the end of the month. He is likely to be replaced by a fellow Republican, whom the governor of Idaho will appoint.

Posted on Sep 1, 2007 READ MORE


Don’t Ask, Don’t Kvell

Yes, it’s hypocritical when a member of the “family values” party gets caught stepping out on his spouse or tapping toes in a restroom, but politicians of all stripes should be allowed to destroy their marriages in peace.

Posted on Aug 31, 2007 READ MORE


Condi Gets Her Man

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Posted on Aug 30, 2007 READ MORE    


Craig Goes Down the Tubes

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Posted on Aug 30, 2007 READ MORE


Bush to Visit Congressional ATM

The White House plans to ask for an additional $50 billion to fund the troop “surge” in Iraq. That may seem like peanuts when you consider the $607 billion in annual Defense Department and Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental funds, but it’s a sign that the administration is politically confident it can extend the surge through next spring. Plus, it’s money that could be used for something silly, like building schools.

Posted on Aug 29, 2007 READ MORE


Abu Ghraib: One of Al’s Claims to Fame

It was among the worst nightmares of U.S. history, and it sprang from the brutal thinking that Attorney General Gonzales trafficked in.

Posted on Aug 28, 2007 READ MORE


Larry Craig

Sen. Craig: ‘I Am Not Gay’

The Idaho senator who was arrested on charges of committing a lewd act in a Minnesota airport apologizes for the scandal but emphatically denies that he is gay: “Let me be clear: I am not gay. I never have been gay.” For the record, if a movie is ever made of this fiasco, Craig simply has to be played by John Lithgow.

Posted on Aug 28, 2007 READ MORE


Maliki Doesn’t Deserve All the Blame

Maybe the Iraqi prime minister should just enter our primaries next year and Americans could vote up or down on whether he should remain in office.

Posted on Aug 24, 2007 READ MORE


Reality: America Isn’t Conservative

As Karl Rove exits stage right with his ruined dreams of rightist hegemony, all the political signs and portents tell us that America is turning the other way.

Posted on Aug 23, 2007 READ MORE


Politics Down Under

One of George Bush’s staunchest allies in the war is facing stiff competition at home. Australian Prime Minister John Howard is currently losing in the polls to a dynamic opponent in a political battle that could foreshadow the American election.

Posted on Aug 21, 2007 READ MORE


Follow the Taxpayer’s Money

McClatchy: “Top Commerce and Treasury Departments officials appeared with Republican candidates and doled out millions in federal money in battleground congressional districts and states after receiving White House political briefings detailing GOP election strategy.”

Posted on Aug 17, 2007 READ MORE


begum

Pakistani Drag Diva Tells It Like It Is

Here are some words to the wise for the U.S. government from a unique Pakistani media figure:  introducing (for some of us, at least) Begum Nawazish Ali, nee Ali Saleem, a drag queen who interviews politicians and celebrities in character—and colorful finery—as “Begum Sahiba” on Pakistan’s AAJ Television.

Posted on Aug 17, 2007 READ MORE


One-Trick Elephant

The corpse has a pulse. Or at least the Bush White House and congressional Republicans are counting on the predictable thump, thump, thump about taxes to resuscitate themselves.

Posted on Aug 16, 2007 READ MORE


A Master of Division

Not long after Americans stood united against terrorism, they had solidified into camps that spewed invective at each other. One of the main reasons for that change was Karl Rove.

Posted on Aug 16, 2007 READ MORE


Rove Leaves Behind a Grateful Party

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Posted on Aug 15, 2007 READ MORE


Charisma Isn’t Everything

Karl Rove set out to build an eternal Republican majority. In the end, he managed two terms for a mediocre president.

Posted on Aug 14, 2007 READ MORE


Rove’s Sad Legacy

Buh-bye, Karl Rove. On your way out of the White House, don’t let the screen door hit you where the dog should have bit you.

Posted on Aug 14, 2007 READ MORE


Gul
news.bbc.co.uk

Political Danger in Turkey

Turkey’s Abdullah Gul says he will once again run for the presidency, which could lead to a crisis in the politically and religiously complex nation. Turkey’s avowedly secular military has already announced its willingness to intervene should Gul win the post, because of his Islamist background.

Posted on Aug 14, 2007 READ MORE


Rove
AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Rove Resigns

Karl Rove has announced his intention to resign at the end of August, saying simply, “I just think it’s time.” The man who came to be known as “Bush’s brain” has been widely held responsible for both the president’s electoral successes and the nation’s deep divisions.

Posted on Aug 13, 2007 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Honeymoon May Be Over for Ron Paul

Ron Paul may have soured his antiwar appeal among progressives with a speech Saturday at the Iowa straw poll. Paul referred to Roe v. Wade as “that horrible ruling,” called for the abolition of the Departments of Energy and Education and the IRS, and attacked welfare and immigrants. But the most bizarre moment came when he suggested airline passengers should be allowed to carry guns.

Posted on Aug 12, 2007 READ MORE


Romney Wins Iowa Straw Poll

Mitt Romney won the Republican straw poll in Iowa on Saturday by a wide margin, but his victory was tempered by the conspicuous absence of the other big names in the campaign: John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, turned heads with a surprising second-place finish. Tommy Thompson said previously he would drop out of the race if he didn’t get second or better. He placed sixth.

Posted on Aug 12, 2007 READ MORE


Richardson

Richardson: Being Gay Is a Choice

Gov. Bill Richardson dropped a bomb in what was billed as the first gay debate on Thursday, saying of homosexuality, “It’s a choice,” which is for gays the equivalent of saying there was no Holocaust. Melissa Etheridge was so perplexed by his response that she cut him off to say, “I don’t know if you understand the question.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2007 READ MORE


McCain site
cracked.com

The Worst Candidate Websites

Cracked.com has a review of the candidates’ websites, including “awkward attempts at hipness” and “weirdest moments.” John McCain’s virtual outpost, for example, won this critique: “The main image from the pre-site landing page essentially says, ‘Welcome to the online obituary for the late Senator John McCain.’ ”

Posted on Aug 10, 2007 READ MORE


Democrats Punt on National Security

Some lawmakers were furious over the administration’s actions regarding a surveillance bill, but in the end members of the majority party in Congress caved in under political pressure.

Posted on Aug 10, 2007 READ MORE


The GOP’s Big Health Scare

Listening to the Republican candidates for president warn against “socialized medicine,” you might believe that national health insurance is really a plot to institute Soviet rule in the United States.

Posted on Aug 8, 2007 READ MORE


N.Y. Council Considers ‘Bitch’ Ban

Emboldened by its decision to outlaw the “N-word,” the New York City Council is now setting its sights on another slur: bitch.  According to The New York Times, this latest semantic crusade, headed up by Brooklyn Councilwoman Darlene Mealy, is drawing supporters who think the word falls squarely within the bounds of hate speech.  Detractors believe it can be used with benign—even affectionate—inflections.

Posted on Aug 7, 2007 READ MORE


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