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Before the electoral year of 2012 slinks into history, it is worth a comparative glance back to the electoral year of 1912 to give us some jolting perspective on how degraded our contemporary elections, voter performance and election expectations have become.

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The beloved historian, social activist and author of “A People’s History of the United States,” would have turned 90 years old on Friday. "Democracy Now!" remembers Zinn with clips from speeches he gave near the end of his life.

TD originals

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The Obama administration is thoroughly committed to defense of the empire it inherited; there is no or little retreat from the mindless expansion of American ambition. Teddy Roosevelt would be proud. The Obama administration is thoroughly committed to defense of the empire it inherited; there is no or little retreat from the mindless expansion of American ambition.

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Speaking of Howard Zinn, did you see his devastating attack on the Nobel Committee for awarding President Barack Obama the Peace Prize? Zinn says the committee "should retire, and turn over its huge funds to some international peace organization which is not awed by stardom and rhetoric, and which has some understanding of history." Ouch.

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He's not a year into his presidency yet, and when he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize that he just won, President Barack Obama hadn't even occupied the White House for two full weeks So, how are we to make sense of his surprise victory? The New York Times rounded up a bunch of well, learned white guys to comment on Obama's and other US leaders' Nobel nods.

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Riffing on a Teddy Roosevelt quotation, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich maintained his defiant (or delusional?) stance to reporters outside Chicago's U.S. District Courthouse after pleading not guilty to 16 federal criminal charges on Tuesday.

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