All Further Articles

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
One More Red Flag: Bribes, Kickbacks, Profiteering, aka Reconstruction
In Afghanistan, mismanagement, incompetence and corruption have claimed up to a third of the $15 billion already spent on so-called reconstruction, international aid workers say. Along with wasting an obscene amount of money, the flawed rebuilding efforts have also deepened Afghan resentment toward foreign troops whose numbers will soon be rising. For more on the alarming realities of for-profit reconstruction, go here
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A Nation of Cowards
In a blunt assessment of American race relations at a Justice Department ceremony honoring Black History Month, Attorney General Eric Holder called the U.S. "a nation of cowards" that has "still not come to grips with its racial past, nor has it been willing to contemplate, in a truly meaningful way, the diverse future it is fated to have." He urged "a period of dialogue" between races that remain, still and all, divided. This will be, at first, a process that is both awkward and painful, but the rewards are, I believe, potentially great. The alternative is to allow to continue the polite, restrained mixing that now passes as meaningful interaction, but that in reality, accomplishes very little.
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NY Post's Racist Cartoon
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Post is standing behind a cartoon that some have interpreted as comparing President Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee gunned down by police.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Uh, Sorry, Could You Make That Another Five Billion? Or Sixteen, Maybe?
General Motors told the Federal government Tuesday it may need over $16 billion more to stay afloat, bringing its total federal loans to $30 billion. Even then, it will have to cut 47,000 jobs and close five plants. The same day, Chrysler said it needs $5 billion more, bringing its total bailout to $9 billion; it also announced it lost $8 billion last year. Jeez: If people ran their households the way these guys run their companies, what Chrysler calls "the current economic challenges" would have washed even more of us overboard by now.
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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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