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The Balkan Trilogy

The Balkan Trilogy

By Olivia Manning; Rachel Cusk (Introduction by)

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Conservatives Have Their Own Plan

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Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE


Partisan Politics Wait in the Wings

Beneath the warm pledges of bipartisanship and the earnest calls for cooperation lurks an unpleasant fact: From the moment it loses power, the opposition party turns to the task of getting it back.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


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Brenda Wineapple on Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

Two recent books show how a man of reason and conservative temperament and a man of passion and radical disposition joined together, even before either knew it, to end slavery.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Defining ‘Bipartisan’ in a New Era

When Obama delivered his stunningly eloquent and inspiring address at midday on Jan. 20, he provided a powerful hint of what bipartisan, a term hollowed out by habitual and insincere misuse, means to him now.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


The Downside of Bipartisanship

Remember this, President Obama: There are few Washington traditions as annoying as the cultish worship of bipartisanship, for it ignores the simple fact that sometimes one party gets things disastrously wrong.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / seiu_international

Senate Confirms Clinton

Hillary Clinton made it safely through the confirmation process, despite a last-minute hissy fit from Senate Republicans. John McCain prevailed upon his colleagues to shape up and, in the end, only two voted against Clinton’s confirmation as secretary of state. She was then hastily sworn in.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Too Soon

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Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



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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


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



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


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


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


The Politician in Chief Works for a Stimulus

The substantive issues surrounding an economic stimulus are clearer than the politics of getting it passed fast. Here’s how Obama is trying to weave the politics and the substance together.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Should the Torturers Go on Trial?

The impending end of the Bush administration and the inauguration of Barack Obama pose the enormous and explosive question of what to do about those responsible for what are regarded by a significant part of the world as war crimes.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Beware, Mr. Obama, of Tax-Cut Seduction

Much of the business-tax package Obama contemplates fails his own test of cutting business taxes “where it makes sense and is going to work.”

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Now Is No Time for Phony Thrift

As the government contemplates spending very large sums of money, it is reassuring to know that somebody still worries about waste. Or it would be reassuring, if only that somebody were not Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Navel-Gazing in the Grand Old Party

While Republicans are looking inward and focusing on appeals to the party’s activist base, Obama wants Democrats to concentrate their energies on recently acquired political terrain and the new converts who were central to his party’s sweep last year. 

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Yukking It Up at the Blago Show

I am supposed to be typing out words that articulate a highly audible and terribly alarmed tsk tsk. Instead, I am laughing with unrestrained amusement at the farce that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has engineered. Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun since New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s implosion.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Blagojevich vs. the Senate

Some have argued that the Senate does not have the right to reject embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pick to replace Barack Obama. However, history clearly disagrees.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / FaceMePLS

The Jobless Hold Their Breath

President-elect Obama is still working out the nuts and bolts of his recovery (fingers crossed) package, but Obama advisers have disclosed that at least one proposal would expand benefits and compensation to the unemployed. With the economic meltdown vaporizing more and more jobs, here’s hoping Congress gets it done before February.

Posted on Jan 4, 2009 READ MORE


Democrats Must Not Get Into Blagojevich’s Game

The governor is playing Chicago-style hardball at the highest level. His opponents need to reply in kind. 

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Don’t Be Fooled by Bush’s Farewell Tour

The 43rd president is going home with less remorse and fewer regrets than my grandchildren express for spilling their cereal.

Posted on Dec 24, 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



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



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


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


The Beauty of Free Money

No, the federal government isn’t going to discover new billions under some rock in a national park. But with the economic downturn, the new president’s imperative will be to spend as fast as he can, to the tune of perhaps $500 billion, to keep the economy from going belly up.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
Flickr / sskennel

Palin Milks Georgia Runoff

As Sen. Saxby Chambliss squares off Tuesday against challenger Jim Martin in Georgia’s runoff election, a certain Alaska governor has managed to work her way back into the spotlight. Stumping for Chambliss, Sarah Palin continues to draw throngs of Republicans while others wish she would simply go away.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Hoover Impression Flirts With Depression

At the earliest, it is likely to be at least February or March before the first dollar of an Obama recovery plan is felt. This is a national disgrace.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers

Bush’s Follies Will Destroy Obama If He Lets Them

Barack Obama has no choice but to accept responsibility for America’s foreign policy crises. But why should he accept them on the distorted and even hysterical terms by which the Bush administration has defined world affairs since 2001?

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


Tuning Out the Braindead Megaphone

If you’re having trouble remembering what the recent election was all about, rest easy: You’re probably not going senile – you’re likely experiencing the momentary effects of brainwashing.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


Should Obama’s Army Lay Down Its Arms?

While the nation’s capital obsesses over who will be the next pick for Barack Obama’s Cabinet, the president-elect’s lieutenants are engaged with what may be a more important long-term issue: What will become of Obama’s vast grass-roots network?

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
washingtonpost.com

Running on Empty

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby seems to be one of the only real capitalists left on Capitol Hill. The Alabaman argued Wednesday that U.S. auto firms should be left to the realities of the market, letting companies like Ford, GM and Chrysler go bankrupt and forcing the failing industry to carry out what Shelby believes are much-needed reforms.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008 READ MORE


Conservative Identity Crisis

There is a second transition under way over which President-elect Barack Obama has no control—the transition of conservatives to minority status. How they do this will have a powerful impact on the new presidency.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Morry Gash

America’s Wars of Self-Destruction

War is a poison. It is a poison that nations and groups must at times ingest to ensure their survival. But, like any poison, it can kill you just as surely as the disease it is meant to eradicate.

Posted on Nov 17, 2008 READ MORE


Knowing When to Walk Away

Bush reportedly suggested to Obama he might support an economic stimulus package and aid to struggling automakers if Democrats drop their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia. Strange behavior? Yes and no.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE


From Barracuda to Scapegoat

Have you ever seen a transformation this fast? Think of it as evolution on steroids. But don’t think Sarah Palin will go quietly into that good Arctic night.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


Who’s Afraid of a Filibuster?

Is there enough muscle behind the GOP filibuster threat to block Obama’s mandate? The short answer is no—and the new president’s own political arsenal should enable him to call the Republican bluff.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


The Danger in Timidity

If Reagan had the voters’ permission to move away from strategies associated with liberalism, Obama has sanction to move away from conservative policies. And Reagan offers another lesson: His first moves were bold, and Obama should not fear following his example.

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Jennie R.F.

Thousands of Ballots Discovered in Alaska

Why is Alaska’s Sen. Ted Stevens, a felon, leading in his race for re-election after pollsters predicted a decisive loss? It could have something to do with the fact that roughly one-third of the ballots have yet to be counted, and thousands more were just discovered.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE



goodguide.com

Your Money Votes, Too

You may have knocked on doors for Barack Obama, but it’s possible you gave money to John McCain. GoodGuide has a tool that sorts donations by party, logo and industry. Tech companies seem to prefer Democrats while food companies love Republicans. The banks, of course, throw money at everybody.

Posted on Nov 7, 2008 READ MORE


Only One Good Path for the Democrats: Go Big

Obama and the rest of the party should retire the Innocent Bystander Fable—the myth about being powerless onlookers.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


Neocons Plot to Co-Opt Obama

The president-elect is a foreign policy novice and will find himself under great pressure to follow Middle Eastern and China and Russia policies inherited from George Bush, even though these are what Barack Obama was elected to change or terminate.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


The New Political Center

Obama can be expected to behave as Bush ought to have acted in a time of national crisis. That means drawing on goodwill wherever he can find it, drawing on talent regardless of party and drawing on the powerful desire of most Americans to live again in one nation.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


The Ghost in Obama’s White House

Republicans will try to tie memories of Jimmy Carter to the new Democratic president by conjuring up disturbing visions of policy failure and “malaise.”

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


The Red Is Fading in a Virginia Bellwether

The line for early voting wound up one side of a corridor in the Loudoun County voter registration office and down the other. Those in line were, collectively, the face of change in Virginia that could tip the state into the Democratic column for the first time since the LBJ landslide of 1964.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Only Nader Is Right on the Issues

Tomorrow I will go to a polling station in Princeton, N.J., and vote for Ralph Nader. I know the tired arguments against a Nader vote. But there is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / LM Otero

The Obama Standard

A good politician triumphs by adapting to the times and taking advantage of opportunities as they come. A great politician anticipates openings others don’t see and creates possibilities that were not there before.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE


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