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Tuesday, February 17, 2009
While There's Still Time
Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films has launched "Campaign: Rethink Afghanistan" to urge more public debate and Congressional oversight hearings on what increasingly looks like escalating American involvement in Afghanistan. They are also airing a series of online debates among prominent writers and activists on some key issues in Afghanistan. The goal, writes Greenwald, is to "do everything possible to rethink Afghanistan while there’s still time." For more go here
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On Obama's Afghan Escalation: 'Stop Digging'
Win Without War's Tom Andrews on this afternoon's announcement that President Obama is sending 17,000 more US troops to Afghanistan: The first principle for someone who finds himself in a hole is to stop digging. The US policy 'hole' in Afghanistan is not of the new administration's making. But it is important for the president to consider if adding new U.S. combat forces in Afghanistan, without a new and comprehensive plan for U.S. policy there, might be digging an even bigger hole.
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Too Bad Irony's Dead
Illuminating the tantalizing possibility that the mighty just, yet, still, possibly fall, Trump Entertainment filed for bankruptcy protection today after missing deadlines for a $53 million interest payment and (clearly undeserved) grace period. Trump Entertainment, whose market value has plummeted from a 2005 peak of $842 million to $7.3 million, owns three casinos in Atlantic City, where revenues have likewise plunged given what's going on out there. Founder Donald Trump, whose unearthly hairdo and unsavory t.v. show seem to be doing fine, had quit the board days before. It remains to be seen if he, too, will be seeking bailout funds soon.
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Cheney Pissed Off at Bush?
According to Tuesday's New York Daily News , Dick Cheney is pissed off at George Bush for refusing to pardon convicted felon Lewis (Scooter) Libby: Several sources confirmed Cheney refused to take no for an answer. "He went to the mat and came back and back and back at Bush," a Cheney defender said. "He was still trying the day before Obama was sworn in." After repeatedly telling Cheney his mind was made up, Bush became so exasperated with Cheney's persistence he told aides he didn't want to discuss the matter any further.
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Monday, February 16, 2009
An Entirely Appropriate Caution. More, Please.
Despite Pentagon expectations of a quick buildup, President Obama is said to be carefully weighing increased American involvement in Afghanistan before making any decisions. Obama and his aides are now questioning key elements of a longstanding Pentagon request for more troops, showing a caution that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called "entirely appropriate." To encourage such caution, go here
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More English Language Triumphs, Modest But Welcome
While the former resident of the White House committed plentiful crimes against candor, honor, decency and humanity, his abuses of language, while often entertaining, were ceaselessly aggravating as well. So it remains a source of wonder, still, to hear our new President speak . His language is graceful, concise, astute. He uses full sentences. He is even funny. Literates, rejoice.
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US Foreclosure Image is 2008 World Press Photo
A picture of an armed sheriff moving through an American home after an eviction due to a mortgage foreclosure was named World Press Photo of 2008 on Friday.
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Sunday, February 15, 2009
Large Whole Wheat, With Mushrooms and Cash
It's in equal parts unsurprising and profoundly disheartening to read that corruption – sometimes in the comic-book-worthy form of wads of cash stuffed into pizza boxes – may have helped derail the U.S. $125-billion effort to rebuild Iraq after the disastrous 2003 invasion. The fact that senior American military officers likely stole millions of dollars – ours, actually – in the name of the "good" of the Iraqi people puts one more lie on the table in Iraq, and offers one more cautionary note, if we needed it, on the still-evolving scale and tenor of American involvement in Afghanistan. For more on a widening investigation into something we kinda already figured was happening, go here
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Saturday, February 14, 2009
Jeez, Now Why Would Anyone Think That?
Proving that the Rod Blagojevich story is truly the gift that just keeps giving, Sen. Roland Burris admitted Saturday that the former governor's brother asked him for a campaign contribution before Burris' appointment to the Senate, thus contradicting his own testimony in January before an Illinois House impeachment committee. Proving that everyone in beleaguered Illinois is getting a little bit testy, the head of that committee called Burris' protestations of innocence on the subject "a load of B.S."
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Hearts and Flowers: From Israel With Love, Sort Of
The news that Israel has opened the Gaza border to exports for the first time in a year to allow the shipping of 25,000 carnations to Europe for Valentine's Day is surreal, and heartbreaking. How's about letting out some people to get medical care, food, or land instead? Israeli spokesmen said the shipping of the flowers from blockaded Gaza was a generous gesture. Gazans, understandably, said it was "nothing." Abdul Karim Ashour of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees called the opening "propaganda," adding that, besides, most of Gaza's carnation crop has already been lost, and fed to the sheep. "The season has finished," he said. "It is very sad." Gazan growers used to send 40 million flowers abroad. Truth is, there is so much, too much, sad here, and flowers don't begin to cover it.
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