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Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

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Flickr / twicepix (CC-BY-SA)

Fiddling While the Economy Burns

Let me put it in terms that Washington understands: The party that begins to treat the unemployment crisis with the hair-on-fire urgency that it deserves is the party that will do well in November.

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Lauren Victoria Burke

Robert Byrd’s Redemption

“End of an era” is an overused trope, but in this case it’s appropriate: The last of the old Southern Democrats is gone.

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 READ MORE


Leave the Nation-Building to Afghans

The good news? Nobody has to pretend anymore that Gen. Stanley McChrystal knew how to fix Afghanistan within a year. The bad news? Now we’re supposed to pretend that Gen. David Petraeus does.

Posted on Jun 25, 2010 READ MORE


All Shook Up for BP

Joe Barton is not alone. The Texas congressman’s lavish sympathy for BP—which he sees not as perpetrator of a preventable disaster but as victim of a White House “shakedown”—is actually what passes for mainstream opinion among conservative Republicans today.

Posted on Jun 21, 2010 READ MORE


Stick to the Deadline in Afghanistan

When he ordered his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, President Obama pledged that U.S. troops “will begin to come home” in the summer of 2011. Discouraging reports from the war zone should make him more determined to keep his promise—and Americans more insistent on holding him to it.

Posted on Jun 18, 2010 READ MORE


Adm. Cool in a Very Hot Seat

Adm. Thad Allen is an expert on thankless jobs. After the initial response to Hurricane Katrina had been botched, President Bush assigned him to clean up the mess. Now President Obama has put him in charge of handling the worst oil spill in the nation’s history.

Posted on May 31, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Defending Our Natural Resources From Presidents and Profits

Barack Obama is, in many admirable ways, our most progressive president in decades. But as an environmentalist, let’s face it, he’s no Richard Nixon.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE


Give Some Answers, Dr. Paul

Not so fast, everybody. Rand Paul can’t abruptly disavow the extremist views on civil rights that he’s been espousing for years and expect us all to just move along.

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE


Tea Stains on the GOP Too

Rand Paul’s stunning victory in Kentucky demonstrates that the tea party movement does not intend to become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.

Posted on May 20, 2010 READ MORE


Outlawing Latinos’ Heritage

Arizona’s latest attempt to put Latinos in their place is an oppressive new law that imposes restrictions on the teaching of history.

Posted on May 14, 2010 READ MORE


Lena Horne
Wikimedia Commons

Lena Horne: A Glamorous Revolutionary

Lena Horne, who died Sunday at 92, was an infiltrator and one of the most significant American entertainers of the 20th century.

Posted on May 11, 2010 READ MORE


Our First Line of Defense

The system worked. Authorities responded to the attempted Times Square bombing about as well as anyone possibly could.

Posted on May 6, 2010 READ MORE


Border-First Hallucinations

The notion that the first thing to do is “secure the border” between the United States and Mexico—and only then worry about comprehensive immigration reform—falls somewhere between hopeful fantasy and cynical cop-out.

Posted on May 4, 2010 READ MORE


The Good Ol’ Days Before Anesthesia

Nevada’s leading Senate candidate, who wants to return to the barter system, makes Sarah Palin sound like an intellectual, but they share a nostalgia for a golden age that never was.

Posted on Apr 29, 2010 READ MORE


Arizona’s Act of Vengeance

Arizona’s draconian new immigration law is an abomination—racist, arbitrary, oppressive, mean-spirited, unjust. About the only hopeful thing that can be said is that the legislation goes so outrageously far that it may well be unconstitutional.

Posted on Apr 26, 2010 READ MORE


The Eradication of Trust

American public opinion seems to have become an unguided Weapon of Mass Suspicion, and it’s not hard to understand why.

Posted on Apr 19, 2010 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
U.S. Army / Sgt. Matthew Moeller

No Place to Fight a War

After five years and 42 American lives lost, the U.S. conquered three miles of the Korengal Valley. Now troops have been ordered to withdraw. It’s not just a metaphor, but a template for the whole war.

Posted on Apr 15, 2010 READ MORE



"Scars of a Whipped Slave" / National Archives

The Confederacy Isn’t Something to Be Proud Of

Slavery wasn’t just “a bad thing,” as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour recently said in dismissing it. Littering is a bad thing. Slavery was this nation’s Original Sin, and the revisionists behind Confederate History Month should be ashamed.

Posted on Apr 12, 2010 READ MORE


In Defense of Chairman Mike

With attacks pouring in from both the left and the right, won’t someone at least pretend to take Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s side?

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Invisible Ward 8

Entrenched black poverty, with all its causes and implications, barely makes a ripple in the public debate these days.

Posted on Apr 6, 2010 READ MORE


Penance Demands Action

At its holiest time of the year, the Roman Catholic Church is being forced to confront a more worldly riddle: What did the Holy Father know, and when did he know it?

Posted on Apr 1, 2010 READ MORE


There Are Crazies on One Side

It is disingenuous for mainstream purveyors of incendiary far-right rhetoric to dismiss groups such as the Hutaree militia by saying that there are “crazies on both sides.” This simply is not true.

Posted on Mar 29, 2010 READ MORE


Palin
AP / Ross D. Franklin

How Long Can GOP Leaders Ignore Tea Party Death Threats?

Let’s not pretend anymore that the tea party movement is harmless. Even Sarah Palin is making comments that could have lethal consequences, such as “Don’t Retreat, Instead—RELOAD!”

Posted on Mar 25, 2010 READ MORE


Tea Party Bigotry Can’t Stop History

On Sunday, as comprehensive health care reform was becoming a reality, some people couldn’t bear what they saw.

Posted on Mar 22, 2010 READ MORE


‘Kumbaya’ No More

No matter what the Democrats attempt or how they go about it, Republicans are going to complain, obstruct and attack. It’s hard to fathom why that took so long to sink in.

Posted on Mar 19, 2010 READ MORE


The Terrorists Newt Gingrich Wouldn’t Stop

It took the case of “JihadJane” to illuminate what should have been obvious by now: Anyone who claims to be able to identify a potential terrorist by appearance or nationality is delusional. There’s a reason why all of us have to take our shoes off at the airport.

Posted on Mar 11, 2010 READ MORE


Liz Cheney’s Shameless Smear

The former vice president’s ambitious daughter has in her hand a list of nine Justice Department lawyers whose “values” she has the gall to question. She ought to spend the time examining her own principles, if she can find them.

Posted on Mar 8, 2010 READ MORE


Health Care: Pass It or Perish

Now that Obama has finally put a health care proposal on the table, the Democratic leaders in Congress have only one rational course of action: pass the thing, and quickly, or risk their party becoming the loyal minority.

Posted on Feb 22, 2010 READ MORE


Hey, Dummy: Climate Change Is Real

We’re the nation that put a man on the moon, so we can’t be stupid. We’re just pretending, right? We’re not really taking seriously the “argument” that the big snowstorms that have hit the Northeast in recent weeks constitute evidence—or even proof—that climate change is some kind of hoax.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Julianne Showalter

Cheney’s Dose of Reality

Do you believe in miracles? I do, and here’s the proof: Dick Cheney said something reasonable.

Posted on Feb 15, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / SpecialKRB

The Tea Party Queen

The headlines scream as if Godzilla were rising from the icy depths of the Potomac: “Sarah Palin: Threat or Menace?”

Posted on Feb 11, 2010 READ MORE



Rainer Hachfeld, Neues Deutschland, Germany

Kidnapping Is Not Charity

Even in the midst of a terrible natural disaster, spiriting away a busload of kids—with vague plans to worry about the “paperwork” later—is no act of charity.

Posted on Feb 8, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / lucamascaro

Stealing Fire From the Gods

A friend of mine once had a Toyota that wouldn’t die. The odometer had only a dim recollection of passing 100,000 miles, the body was dinged and the paint was faded and the interior was worn, but the thing just kept running. He finally parked it at the airport, removed the plates and walked away.

Posted on Feb 5, 2010 READ MORE


Scott Brown
AP / Charles Krupa

Another Lone Wolf Joins the Pack

When I heard Scott Brown, the newly elected senator from Massachusetts, describe himself as a “Scott Brown Republican,” I groaned. It sounded as if he’s coming to Washington to be part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 READ MORE


Outsider in Chief

President Obama’s first State of the Union address didn’t signal a political shift to the left or the right. It sounded more like a shrewd attempt to move from the inside to the outside.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Fighting Words, Winning Actions

It’s not enough to use variations of the word “fight” more than 20 times in the course of relatively brief remarks, as the president did Friday in Ohio. At some point, he needs to—metaphorically, of course—actually slug somebody.

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Will Obama Fight for Health Care Reform?

If President Obama has decided to give up on health care reform, he should just come out and say so. Then we could all get on with our lives—those of us with health insurance, that is.

Posted on Jan 21, 2010 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Hard Lessons of a Rookie Year

There are important lessons from the past year that Barack Obama and his team had better learn if he is to achieve his goal of being a “transformational” president.

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 READ MORE


Chairman Mike Turns the Tables

Republican Party grandees were all set to use Michael Steele in the most cynical way. Now it’s becoming clear that Steele has been using the users all along.

Posted on Jan 14, 2010 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

A Truth, Crudely Put

Forgive me if I am neither shocked nor outraged at Harry Reid’s comments about Barack Obama’s skin. What I would find stunning is evidence that his assessment was anything but accurate.

Posted on Jan 12, 2010 READ MORE


Too Much Intelligence, Not Enough Common Sense

The clues that would have alerted authorities to the Christmas Day underwear bomber were buried under mountains of intelligence data.

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Wagner T. Cassimiro "Aranha"

A Designation Cuba Doesn’t Deserve

The United States still considers Cuba a state sponsor of terror, even though the very notion is absurd.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE


Dick Cheney
U.S. Navy / MC1 Denny C. Cantrell

Cheney in Winter

I had promised myself that I would treat Dick Cheney’s nonsensical outbursts like the pearls of wisdom one hears from homeless people sitting in bus shelters, but my resolution will have to wait.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Evert Elzinga

We Got Lucky on Christmas

The United States will soon have about 100,000 troops chasing shadows in Afghanistan, not long after an airliner was nearly blown up by a terrorism suspect who had no connection to that country. What’s wrong with this picture?

Posted on Dec 29, 2009 READ MORE


Christmas Cheer, at Last

Last Christmas we were staring into the economic abyss. A year later, there’s reason to smile—but no telling where we’ll be a year from now.

Posted on Dec 25, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Winning Ugly

When all is said and done the health care reform legislation that President Obama now seems likely to sign into law, while an unlovely mess, will be remembered as a landmark accomplishment.

Posted on Dec 22, 2009 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
AP / Ross D. Franklin

Palin’s Climate Epiphany

Back in the heady days of 2008, as governor of our most at-risk state, Sarah Palin sounded a dire warning against climate change. What a difference a book tour makes.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

What Obama Really Thinks About the Surge

The president believes his Afghanistan surge will most likely create the conditions to bring the greatest number of U.S. troops home at the earliest possible date, a senior official said.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Brani's fashion dolls

Tiger’s Oppressive Standard of Beauty

Tiger Woods has a Barbie thing so pronounced it suggests his philandering is as much about validation as lust.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Otero

Why Obama’s Strategy Won’t Succeed

Even if the surge works, why wouldn’t al-Qaida—or some like-minded group—simply set up shop in Somalia? Or in Yemen, another failing state?

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE


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