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Archive for December 31st, 2008

Gaza Clouds Obama’s Prospects

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2008 5:39 am by HL

Gaza Clouds Obama’s Prospects

Gaza runner

So, why didn’t they give peace a chance? Why did the leaders of Hamas and Israel not wait for the incoming U.S. president’s inauguration before mutually escalating hostilities?

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Mary Lyon: The “Bush Effect” – Hopefully for a Third and LAST Time

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2008 5:38 am by HL

Mary Lyon: The “Bush Effect” – Hopefully for a Third and LAST Time
12/30/08 The “Bush Effect” – Hopefully for a Third and LAST Time By Mary Lyon Third time’s a charm, maybe? I’ve compiled three of these…

Obamas Moving To Washington DC This Weekend
Even in a town where the hotels are swamped for the inauguration, it turns out to be easy to get a room if you’re the…

Patricia Martin: Blago Impersonator or a Real Twit?
Is Rod Blagojevich out Twittering today to tell his side of the story? Or is an impostor posting tweets like “How about joining me for a keg party in my office later?” For those of us who have observed him for years, this could be quintessential Blago.


Another Financial Institution Jumps On Bailout Gravy Train

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2008 5:37 am by HL

Another Financial Institution Jumps On Bailout Gravy Train
Yesterday we told you about the trend of financial institutions jumping on the bailout “gravy train” by acquiring — or transforming themselves into — traditional banks, which are eligible for the government’s $700 billion TARP program. Well add one more…

For Some Culprits In Financial Meltdown, Life Is Still Pretty Good
This probably won’t come as a surprise. But some of the major culprits in the financial crash — former CEOs or top execs at banks whose billion-dollar losses helped precipitate the turmoil — don’t seem to be paying much of…


The Bizarre Life and Angry Times of Bill O’Reilly

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2008 5:35 am by HL

The Bizarre Life and Angry Times of Bill O’Reilly
O’Reilly’s book tells the tale of how he blustered and threatened his way through life to reach TV stardom.

Financial Crisis Sends Tuition Costs Sky-High as Colleges Face Crunch
Not everyone is suffering equally: low and middle income students are particularly vulnerable in the current economic environment.

Israel Is Foolishly Breeding the Next Generation of Islamic Militants in Gaza
Israel is using hunger and terror to break a hostile population — it will pay a huge price down the road.

My Dangerous Encounter With a Supermarket Security Guard & His Gun
‘For the first time in my life, I experienced overwhelming, palpable fear.’ Was it a Brink’s guard or a Blackwater mercenary pointing his gun at her?

The GOP’s ‘Magic Negro’ Debacle
In the era of Obama, the GOP’s tone deafness on race could ultimately destroy the party.


A Much More Pro-Labor Administration

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2008 5:34 am by HL

A Much More Pro-Labor Administration
In many ways, it is remarkable how much more pro-labor the Obama administration is compared to the Clinton administration, at least in its rhetoric. Obama himself has often talked about the importance of the right to organize for unions, something…





The Grave Dancers
I’m so happy to see that Sam Zell, the “grave dancer” who has already destroyed our local newspaper, the L.A. Times, has found fresh territory to plunder. Sam and a bunch of former Resolution Trust Company (R.T.C.) officials are working…

Obama Refuses To Endorse Gaza Attacks PLUS Young Jewish Bloggers (Klein, Yglesias and Ackerman) Do Us Proud
On Meet The Press this morning, David Axelrod was asked about Gaza by David Gregory. Gregory reminded Axelrod that the President-Elect had visited Sderot earlier this year and said that Israel had the right to defend its people against the…


Former Powell aide: Bush was ?Sarah Palin-like? in his knowledge of foreign policy.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2008 5:33 am by HL

Former Powell aide: Bush was ?Sarah Palin-like? in his knowledge of foreign policy.
In an interview with Vanity Fair for its upcoming issue on the Bush White House, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, ripped President Bush, saying that after the 2000 election, Bush’s knowledge of foreign affairs was as poor as that of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R): We had this confluence […]

In an interview with Vanity Fair for its upcoming issue on the Bush White House, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, ripped President Bush, saying that after the 2000 election, Bush’s knowledge of foreign affairs was as poor as that of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R):

We had this confluence of characters—and I use that term very carefully—that included people like Powell, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, and so forth, which allowed one perception to be “the dream team.” It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin–like president—because, let’s face it, that’s what he was—was going to be protected by this national- security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire.

Bush famously was unable to name the leaders of Pakistan, Chechnya, and India when running for President in 1999. In a recent interview, he reflected on his early days as President, stating, “I think I was unprepared for war.” Similarly, in 2004, Bush said he “was not on point” prior to 9/11. “I didn’t feel that sense of urgency, and my blood was not nearly as boiling.”

?Key Ally In The War On Terror? Breaks With U.S., Condemns Israel For Gaza Strikes
After disastrously invading and occupying Iraq, one of the justifications President Bush frequently offered for sustaining the enormous U.S. costs in lives and resources was that we were developing a “key ally” in the Middle East: Together we’ll help Iraq become a strong democracy that protects the rights of its people and is a key ally […]

After disastrously invading and occupying Iraq, one of the justifications President Bush frequently offered for sustaining the enormous U.S. costs in lives and resources was that we were developing a “key ally” in the Middle East:

Together we’ll help Iraq become a strong democracy that protects the rights of its people and is a key ally in the war on terror. [9/22/05]

Our mission in Iraq is clear. … We’re helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We’re advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. [6/28/05]

Freedom will prevail in Iraq; freedom will prevail in the Middle East; and as the hope of freedom spreads to nations that have not known it, these countries will become allies in the cause of peace. [3/20/06]

The Wonk Room’s Matt Duss notes that — in a central test of the U.S. alliance with Iraq — our “key ally” is instead more eager to disassociate itself completely from the United States:

Just as they did during Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, Iraq’s leaders are now showing where their true sympathies lie. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Da’wa Party “issued a statement condemning the attacks and calling on Islamic countries to cut relations with Israel and end all ’secret and public talks’ with it.”

Khalid Hussain of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) told Gulf News “We have obligations towards Palestine and all Iraqi people are in solidarity with the people in Palestine, and we will support the people in Gaza.” […]

“Iraqi resistance groups have to retaliate against the Israeli aggression on Gaza by escalating their operations against the US military in Iraq since the US position is in favour of this aggression, firstly, and secondly because the United States and Israel are both enemies of the Arabs,” Omar Al Kubaisi, an activist of the Sunni Muslim Clerics Association.

Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Sistani has also condemned the Gaza strikes. Duss concludes, “Looking on the bright side, if one can call it that, as with opposition to the U.S. occupation, Gaza is an issue on which Iraqis have achieved rare political consensus.”


Ill. Gov. Blagojevich Makes Senate Pick Over Democrats’ Objections

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2008 5:32 am by HL

Ill. Gov. Blagojevich Makes Senate Pick Over Democrats’ Objections
Brushing aside the objections of Democratic leaders, embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich selected former state attorney general Roland W. Burris yesterday to take the Senate seat previously held by President-elect Barack Obama, setting up a potential constitutional showdown.

Atheists Sue to Get Prayer, God Out of Obama’s Swearing-In
A group of atheists, led by a California man known for challenging the use of the words “under God” in recitals of the Pledge of Allegiance at public schools, filed a lawsuit yesterday to bar prayer and references to God at the swearing-in of President-elect Barack Obama.

Degrees of Separation? Not in Illinois Politics.
President-elect Barack Obama spent yesterday afternoon in Honolulu, going to the zoo with his daughters and visiting his high school campus. And yet, he couldn’t escape the political melodrama unfolding more than 4,000 miles away.