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Tuesday, February 17, 2009
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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'My Silence Cannot Be Bought'
On Thursday night, Beverly Eckert, whose husband died on 9/11, died herself in the Buffalo plane crash. From our archives we wanted to share a piece Beverly wrote over 5 years ago: By suing, I've forfeited the "$1.8 million average award" for a death claim I could have collected under the fund. Nor do I have any illusions about winning money in my suit. What I do know is I owe it to my husband, whose death I believe could have been avoided, to see that all of those responsible are held accountable. If we don't get answers to what went wrong, there will be a next time. And instead of 3,000 dead, it will be 10,000. What will Congress do then? So I say to Congress, big business and everyone who conspired to divert attention from government and private-sector failures: My husband's life was priceless, and I will not let his death be meaningless. My silence cannot be bought.
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Small Steps: First Rachel Maddow, Now This
Saudi King Abdullah has appointed a woman to the council of ministers for the first time as part of a Cabinet reshuffle, the Saudi state-run Channel One reported Saturday. Noor Al-Fayez will serve in the new position of deputy minister for women's education in the Saudi Council of Ministers. Good news, more needed. Now maybe they could reconsider the "Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice?"
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