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Risk, Ambiguity and Decision

Risk, Ambiguity and Decision

By Daniel Ellsberg
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Tag: Politics

The Tragedy of John McCain

John McCain’s 2000 campaign for president failed, but it was an unruly and joyous romp. His campaign this time feels quite different: carefully planned, meticulously calculated—and a tragedy.

Posted on Apr 10, 2007 READ MORE


Swift Boat Appointment Obscures the Real Threat

How much damage can an ambassador to Belgium do? Probably not as much as an ardent antagonist of Social Security might unleash in a top policymaking position at the agency that millions of Americans depend on.

Posted on Apr 10, 2007 READ MORE


Scientists Study Memory Loss Among Politicians

This week the satirist targets the convenient forgetfulness of politicians, who so frequently can’t remember why, when and how they screwed up.

Posted on Apr 9, 2007 READ MORE


Lieberman

Lieberman Bashes Pelosi

For a guy who says he’s a Democrat, Joe Lieberman doesn’t show much party loyalty. The senator took a break from defending Bush and his war on Sunday to pile on the criticism of Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Syria. Luckily Arlen Specter, a Republican no less, was on hand to defend the logic of diplomacy.

Posted on Apr 8, 2007 READ MORE


At Bottom of the Polls, GOP Candidates Duke It Out

An odd thing happened Sunday: Mike Huckabee took a shot at Mitt Romney’s credibility. With only four percentage points of support for the two of them, according to the most recent Gallup poll, you’d think the former Arkansas governor would have bigger fish to fry. He may.

Posted on Apr 8, 2007 READ MORE


Civil War

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Posted on Apr 7, 2007 READ MORE


Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert Endorses Child Labor

The pseudo-pundit argues that the best way to leave no children behind is to put them to work.

Posted on Apr 6, 2007 READ MORE


David Wu

Red Alert! There are ‘Faux Klingons in the White House’

Rep. David Wu brings some much needed Star Trek fandom to the capital, arguing that unlike the wise and logical Vulcans, the administration has behaved like a pack of war-hungry Klingons.

Posted on Apr 6, 2007 READ MORE


King George Loses His Crown

In his quest to expand presidential authority, George W. Bush has claimed extraordinary powers, whether to imprison American citizens without charge or ignore the laws of nature. The Supreme Court’s ruling on the EPA is a breath of fresh air, not just for the environment but for our democracy.

Posted on Apr 5, 2007 READ MORE


McCain’s Magic Carpet Ride

Sen. John McCain invaded a Baghdad market with a small army this week, determined to sell the surge. But Americans and Iraqis know better: No matter how many soldiers are sacrificed to delay the fact, the war is lost.

Posted on Apr 5, 2007 READ MORE


The Obama Bombshell

Barack Obama surpassed expectations Wednesday with the announcement that his campaign raised $25 million in the first quarter, almost as much as Hillary Clinton with her record $26 million. Though Clinton pulled in more overall, Obama had twice as many individual donors and outraised the front-runner online.

Posted on Apr 4, 2007 READ MORE


Pelosi
news.bbc.co.uk

Bush Still Fuming Over Pelosi Diplomacy

The White House has continued to criticize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for visiting Syria, while ignoring an earlier trip by a Republican congressional delegation. The speaker’s office maintains that it is worth meeting with “every country that has an interest in avoiding a chaotic Iraq.”

Posted on Apr 4, 2007 READ MORE


Hannity and guest

The Fox Attack on Black America

The Congressional Black Caucus has agreed to cosponsor two debates with Fox News, one for Democrats and the other for Republicans. But as Robert Greenwald and the folks at Fox Attacks demonstrate in this video, the network has a history of attacking black America.

Posted on Apr 3, 2007 READ MORE


Fighting a Mockery of Democracy

With the 2008 presidential election on the horizon, a novel plan to circumvent a constitutional amendment and eliminate the anti-democratic Electoral College is gaining momentum in Maryland and other states.

Posted on Apr 3, 2007 READ MORE


Air America

Truthdig Podcast: Saving Air America

Mark Green, the new president of Air America, tells Truthdig why it didn’t work, what he’s going to do to fix it and what you can expect in the future from America’s largest progressive radio network. Pictured above, Al Franken, who was an Air America host.

Posted on Apr 2, 2007 READ MORE


Air America
msnbc.com

Saving Air America

Mark Green, the new president of Air America, tells Truthdig why it didn’t work, what he’s going to do to fix it and what you can expect in the future from America’s only progressive radio network.

Posted on Apr 2, 2007 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton
hillaryclinton.com

Clinton Rakes It In

Hillary Clinton has easily set a fundraising record, pulling in $26 million between January and March. The Clinton campaign would not publicly say how much of the money it plans to save for the general election. A number of pundits have predicted this will be the most expensive election in American history.

Posted on Apr 1, 2007 READ MORE


Pelosi and Assad
Left: CNN.com / Right: wikipedia.org

Pelosi Goes Over Bush’s Head

Over the president’s objections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to visit the president of Syria next weekend. Pelosi’s spokesman said the meeting was inspired by the Iraq Study Group, which recommended engaging regional players—a recommendation the Bush administration has so far ignored.

Posted on Mar 30, 2007 READ MORE


Risks Might Pay Off in ‘08 Race

Candidates on both sides are playing it safe, but the signs are that voters will reward strong ideas and bold positions.

Posted on Mar 30, 2007 READ MORE


Let the Showdown Begin

The president has threatened to veto a war spending bill that includes a timetable for the withdrawal of troops, but that didn’t stop the Senate on Thursday from passing one. The next step is for the House and Senate to work out the differences between their competing withdrawal plans, and then it’s off to the White House.

Posted on Mar 29, 2007 READ MORE


Ignore the Pundits and Bark Louder

The Washington press elite has warned the Democrats not to pursue the U.S. attorney scandal, but lawmakers should listen to the polls, not the “cable sages” who have so frequently been wrong.

Posted on Mar 29, 2007 READ MORE


Pentagon briefing
AP Photo / Haraz N. Ghanbari

Pentagon Cowers Behind Wordplay

The military covered its ass on Monday, with a report on the investigation into the exploitation of Pat Tillman that stank of non-denial denials. After three years of lies and obfuscation, the Tillman family deserves better.

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


Politics Is Personal

The caricature of John Edwards as a preening politico evaporated the day he and Elizabeth publicly faced cancer with the same humanity and sense of mission that have been the hallmarks of his campaign.

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


In the Battle Over the War, Pelosi Wins

The president and his allies seem eager for a constitutional showdown, but with the people on their side, the Democrats and the Congress are poised for victory. Updated to reflect Tuesday’s Senate vote

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


Republicans, to Their Peril, Stand With Bush

Now that Republicans in Congress have expressed their overwhelming support for the status quo in Iraq, the war has gone from Bush’s pet disaster to the albatross around his party’s neck.

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


Justice Department Official to Avoid Testimony

The Justice Department’s liaison to the White House announced she would take the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination rather than testify in the U.S. attorney scandal. Meanwhile, Alberto Gonzales said he was “really pained” by diminishing support from lawmakers.

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


Hagel
nytimes.com

Republicans Waver on Gonzales

Three prominent Republican senators expressed their lack of confidence in Alberto Gonzales on Sunday. GOP support has dropped off since Justice Department documents released on Friday caught the attorney general misrepresenting when he first knew about a plan to fire eight U.S. attorneys.

Posted on Mar 26, 2007 READ MORE


Bipartisanship

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Posted on Mar 24, 2007 READ MORE    


Chimps
jeffcohen.org

Media Critic on Why It’s Only Getting Worse

Jeff Cohen joins Truthdig to talk about life in the big media trenches, why news coverage is only getting worse, and how horse race politics and the corporatization of information are killing American democracy. Cohen was the communications director for the 2004 Dennis Kucinich campaign, founder of Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, and author most recently of “Cable News Confidential” (excerpted here).

Posted on Mar 23, 2007 READ MORE


Seeing Presidential Privilege Through a Partisan Lens

The looming showdown over subpoenas and presidential privilege is as insincere as it is distracting. How quickly politicians forget their rock-hard principles when applying them to another administration. The politicization of the justice system is a real scandal—one that demands an open inquiry.

Posted on Mar 23, 2007 READ MORE


Edwards
nytimes.com

‘The Campaign Goes On’

Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer is back, in an incurable but treatable form.  However, the couple announced Thursday that the campaign would go on. John Edwards called his wife the most unselfish woman he has ever met, and said that when she received the news her first thoughts, after their children, were of John and the American people.

Posted on Mar 22, 2007 READ MORE


DeLay’s New Career: Comedian

Tom DeLay’s new self-obsessed memoir, “No Retreat, No Surrender,” turns out to be a hoot from start to finish. Take the title—this from a man who ended his disgraced career with a resignation.

Posted on Mar 22, 2007 READ MORE


The Ultimate Taboo

Pete Stark may not be gay, black or a woman, but he raised eyebrows last week when he made a startling announcement that shattered a political taboo: He doesn’t believe in God. No big deal? He’s the first member of Congress ever to say that.

Posted on Mar 22, 2007 READ MORE


Schwarzenegger
allposters.com

Limbaugh Picks a Fight with Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger has had enough of Rush Limbaugh, who refers to the California governor as a “closet liberal.” On Tuesday’s “Today Show,” Arnold fired back, saying “Limbaugh is irrelevant.” That was apparently too much for Rush, who responded on own show by saying Arnold has clearly “sold out.”

Posted on Mar 20, 2007 READ MORE


Dems Divided Over War Spending

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Whip James Clyburn are having a hell of a time convincing rebellious Democrats to support the new Iraq spending bill. Conservative “blue dogs” don’t like the readiness requirements and withdrawal timetable, while House progressives object to spending “another dollar or another dime to support this war.”

Posted on Mar 20, 2007 READ MORE


The Post-Bush Awakening

Americans are starting to learn the real lessons of the Iraq war: Dissent has value, political conformity costs lives and leaders who fail time and again don’t deserve one more chance.

Posted on Mar 20, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Creates Department of Faulty Intelligence

The satirist envisions a Cabinet-level agency to better handle the abundance of misinformation pumped out by the administration.

Posted on Mar 18, 2007 READ MORE


Gonzales
nzherald.co.nz

Gonzales Apologizes to Attorneys

During a conference call Friday with all 93 U.S. attorneys, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales apologized for the way his office carried out its apparently partisan firings. The move was seen by critics as an attempt at damage control amid calls for his resignation.

Posted on Mar 16, 2007 READ MORE


She Serves at the Pleasure of the President

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Posted on Mar 16, 2007 READ MORE


Weekly Video Roundup

Our collection of favorite videos this week includes Sen. Chuck Schumer nailing the Bush administration on the firing of U.S. attorneys, the Discovery Channel drooling over a weapon that kills Americans, and “The Simpsons” dressing down Fox News.

Posted on Mar 16, 2007 READ MORE


plame

Audio Tribute to Valerie Plame Wilson

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer and contributors James Harris and Josh Scheer celebrate the dignity and tenacity of Truthdigger of the Week Valerie Plame Wilson.

Posted on Mar 16, 2007 READ MORE


Faux News

‘Simpsons’ Nails Fox News

“The Simpsons” has never shied away from biting the hand that feeds it. In this classic clip, the show eviscerates Fox News in what may be the greatest ever indictment of the network. It’s worth watching multiple times just to take in the “crawl.”

Posted on Mar 16, 2007 READ MORE


Religious Conviction vs. Political Dogmatism

Evangelical Protestantism in the United States is going through a New Reformation that is disentangling a great religious movement from a partisan political machine. This historic change will require liberals and conservatives alike to abandon their sometimes narrow views of who evangelicals are.

Posted on Mar 15, 2007 READ MORE


E-Mails Contradict White House

The White House has suggested that the idea to fire U.S. attorneys originated with former counsel Harriet Miers, but newly released e-mails show that Alberto Gonzales discussed the matter with political guru Karl Rove even before he was confirmed as attorney general. Related: Check out the Brad Blog’s excellent coverage of the voter-fraud angle of the scandal.

Posted on Mar 15, 2007 READ MORE


Bush/Lieberman
boston.com

Withdrawal Timetable Defeated in the Senate

Despite the threat of a veto, withdrawal legislation moved forward in the House Thursday. Meanwhile, in the Senate, a weaker measure was successfully opposed by all but one Republican, two Democrats and Joe Lieberman.

Posted on Mar 15, 2007 READ MORE


Partisanship at Justice Dept. Is Nothing New

This isn’t the first Bush White House to exert political pressure on U.S. attorneys. Back in 1992, a principled Arkansas Republican sacrificed his own career to defy partisan thuggery.

Posted on Mar 14, 2007 READ MORE


The Real Voter Fraud

By repeatedly attacking the integrity of elections, Republicans have managed to disenfranchise the voters whose votes they’re unlikely to get.

Posted on Mar 14, 2007 READ MORE


The 24-Hour Scandal Cycle

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Posted on Mar 14, 2007 READ MORE


John Edwards
msnbc.com

Edwards’ Iraq Vote Explained

In an upcoming memoir, Bob Shrum, former adviser to John Edwards, says he pushed the then-senator to vote for the Iraq war authorization out of concern for his political future. Edwards denies the claim, saying of his vote: “It was not a political calculation. ... It was a mistake.”

Posted on Mar 14, 2007 READ MORE


Gonzales Admits ‘Mistakes’ but Won’t Resign

On Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced there was “direct evidence” that Alberto Gonzales was politically motivated to order the firing of U.S. attorneys. The attorney general admitted that “mistakes were made here,” but said he had no plans to resign.

Posted on Mar 14, 2007 READ MORE


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