Afghanistan: A Moment of Opportunity for Obama

obama-garden

Tom Hayden: The targeted killing of Osama bin Laden is powerful evidence that terrorist threats, both real and hypothetical, can be more effectively suppressed by special forces operations than by deploying hundreds of thousands of American soldiers on the ground.

Obama Takes Out Osama

obama osama

John Peeler: Obama may not much like war, but he has shown that if he believes he must wage it, he intends to win it. Liberals who were hostile to the Iraq war, skeptical of the Afghanistan war, and dubious about the Libyan intervention will find little comfort here.

Petraeus, Panetta Reflect Obama’s Support for Status Quo

President Obama’s announcement that C.I.A. director and longtime Washington insider Leon Panetta will become Secretary of Defense, replacing Robert Gates, and that General David Petraeus will take Mr. Panetta’s job at the C.I.A. reflects the type of appointments that could have been made had John McCain won the 2008 election. Obama’s commitment to business as [...]

When “Good” Dictators Go Bad

hillary

Norman Solomon: And so, the secretary of state condemns awful Iran, invoking “our sense of human dignity, the rights that flow from it and the principles that ground it.” But don’t hold your breath for any such condemnation of, say, Saudi Arabia — surely an “awful” government that “routinely violates the rights of its people.”

Tpaw and the Campaign ‘Autohagiography’

tim pawlenty

Michael Sigman: Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty this week joined Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls who’ve published campaign books that might best be called “autohagiographies.”

Woodward’s Exposé Documents What We All Suspected About the White House

bob woodward

Ivan Eland: If it weren’t for the latest salacious bureau-gossip, the book would be rather boring—and tragic. Boring, not because the issues are uninteresting or because Woodward is a bad writer, but because the author records a dysfunctional White House internal decision-making process in which meeting after meeting features the same reasonable questions about the U.S. war in Afghanistan but in which nobody ever has very good answers to them.

Which Democrats Are Being “Divisive”?

rachel maddow

Paul Hogarth: Barack Obama and Joe Biden are upset at progressive Democrats. But which Democrats are being divisive?

Bald Pols: To Pay or Not Toupee

Adlai Stevenson

Michael Sigman: It’s tough to be a politician and a member of what Larry David calls “the bald community” in America, particularly when your shoulders also carry the burden of taking our country back. On last week’s Real Time with Bill Maher, one of the host’s New Rules was, “If Rand Paul is a true libertarian, he has to free his toupee.”

Feting a Fetid War

lyndon johnson ngo diem hamid karzai barack obama

Ivan Eland: The U.S. government’s inability to distinguish between al-Qaeda, with global ambitions, and the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, with their local goals, has merely made more enemies, including those who would begin attacking the United States. How are Americans being made safer by this war?

Jon Karl and ABC Give Dick Cheney a Sunday Valentine

Cheney

Linda Milazzo: Karl’s softballs aside, had he rightfully used this interview to take Cheney to task on specific accusations from experts and scholars, Karl may have achieved a newfound respect as a reporter. But he didn’t.

Reid’s Obama Blunder and What It Means

Light-Skinned Obama

Adriane Lentz-Smith: To marvel ignorantly at a black man’s accomplishment is one thing; to lament all the “problems” that accompany finally fulfilling the constitutional promise of black citizenship quite another.

How the Vice President Can Serve as the President’s Most Unbiased Adviser

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Biden’s questions may have reflected his misgivings about America’s effort in Afghanistan. But his prodding also demonstrated the unique ability of a vice president to help ensure that presidential decisions are based on a full consideration of competing perspectives.

Obama’s Afghan Box Canyon

Escalation

Although Obama may enjoy a brief up-tick in poll numbers after his talk, as soon as larger numbers of American bodies come home in flag-draped coffins, and Walter Reed fills up again with the damaged bodies and minds of soldiers whose lives have been ruined, the country will turn against what it thought, in November, 2009, was a good idea.

Five Facts About Afghanistan

Barack Obama Cartoon Afghan dilemma

Fourth, ultimately, in a republic, escalating an unpopular war is political suicide. If the public and Congress are balking at sending a measly 40,000 additional troops, they will not ever be willing to send the number of troops needed to win.

Minnesotan Nightmare Ends, Job Openings Available for Right Wing Hate Headline Writers

Minnesota U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. (AP Photo /Craig Lassig)

Yesterday, Minnesota’s senior Senator Amy Klobuchar won the over/under wager of before July 4th and the nearly 8-month-long nightmare for Minnesota’s voters came to an end. For 237 days, she served as Minnesota’s only Senator, handling the work of both since the battle to see who won the November 2008 election began with multiple recounts [...]

100 Days: Is Obama’s Probation Period Over?

102-days

The benchmarks in which we in America seek to establish “acceptance” in the labor force generally come without much fanfare. New hires commonly have 90-day, sometimes six-month, probation periods that affirm their competency and synergetic fit in the workplace. Now, we’ve seen probation periods before. We generally see them come and go. But never has [...]

African Americans and the Economic Crisis

economy-drop

Joe Biden was quite out front about it. On the same day the newspapers were trumpeting the news that President Obama had felt a “glimmer of hope” in the economic situation, the Vice-President was telling CNN that we can expect unemployment to increase each month for the rest of the year. Joblessness stands at 8.5% [...]

U.S. Economic Policy Faces a Defiant Planet

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As President Obama begins his first European tour this week, starting with the G20 economic summit, he’s finding that much of the rest of the world has suddenly become quite uppity. If all goes as planned, by the time these word are published, floats will have departed in late morning April 1 on a “Financial [...]

One Step Forward, Two Steps Toward Monarchy

bush-torture

It has become almost commonplace, since the release last week of seven “legal” opinions written in 2001 and 2002 by the Justice Department, to remark that unbeknownst to us we came within an inch of dictatorship. And with President Obama announcing an end to torture and a new policy on signing statements, it is extremely [...]

Will Obama’s New “Organizing for America” Succeed?

David Plouffe and Barack Obama

After Barack Obama’s presidential campaign built the organizing skills of thousands of young activists, many hoped that his organization would spawn a new entity to keep many of these folks working full time for change. The Obama campaign was the best incubator for activists since the UFW of the 1960s and 70s, and created a [...]

That’s So John Roberts!

Barack and Michelle Obama, John Roberts

Just when a friend of mine got ready to coin the phrase, “that is so Sarah Palin,” along comes a RepubliCANT who cannot memorize the Presidential oath of office (a job that has only been done 43 times before). When preparation and memory fail, “that’s soooooooooooooooooooooo John Roberts!” Barry has only been in office for [...]

Train’s Leaving the Station, Ignore “Big Fat Idiot”

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It was a message not directly spoken but heard by all… President Obama met privately with House and Senate Republicans, all without aides, in the Roosevelt Room. Simply said, there’s room on this train for everyone, I want your opinion and help if you offer solutions vs. attack. Make no mistake, it’s leaving the station [...]

The Inauguration: “It’s Priceless. I Cried Out of Happiness. There Is Hope.”

obama-family

The two of us threw our support behind Barack Obama’s candidacy early on and are deeply gratified that this gifted, inspiring man will become our president Tuesday. America and the world will be immensely better with Barack Obama and Joe Biden at the helm—and with Michelle Obama as First Lady. We tear up typing the [...]

2009: Year of the Filibuster

Filibuster

by David Swanson – Trying to squeeze any sort of peace on earth out of our government in Washington has been a steep uphill climb for years. For the most part we no longer have representatives in Congress, because of the corruption of money, the weakness of the media, and the strength of parties. There [...]

The Purloined Constitution: Or How to Look Only Forward and Still Look Like an Ass

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by David Swanson – The wonderful thing about big lies is their kettle logic. The term, of course, derives from the story of the man who offered several mutually incompatible excuses for returning his friend’s kettle in damaged condition: “It broke too easily.” “It was like that when I got it.” “I improved it for [...]

Why the Sarah Palin Gamble Didn’t Pay Off

by Joel K. Goldstein – John McCain probably lost whatever chance he had to become president on August 28, the day he invited Sarah Palin to be his running mate. In making that decision, McCain ignored a lesson of recent vice-presidential selection: presidential candidates run a huge risk if they  choose a running mate who [...]

From Kennedy to Obama: Recapturing America’s Greatness

by Tom Hall – The day after the election, another lawyer in my office asked, “Is this what it felt like in 1960?” When did I get old enough that people think of me when they want the wisdom of the aged? But it’s a fascinating question.

Hitting the Reset Button on the 21st Century

Maybe we were just behind schedule. Could it be that we simply got a late start launching the REAL New American Century? There is an argument to be made that THIS, NOW, is the new and more formal start to the 21st Century, or perhaps it will be, come January 20th, 2009. Just a little [...]

I Couldn’t Wait To Vote For Barack Obama

I didn’t really mean to do it. I usually have more self-control. Something just came over me. I couldn’t restrain myself. Please forgive me. I voted Friday.

I Helped Pay for That, Too, Senator McCain

The piece of film that just made the biggest impression on me on this particular night, when Barack Obama aired his half-hour TV special, was not anything Obama presented. It was the sour grapes John McCain squeezed in reaction. He complained about all those sinister mystery contributions, the suspicious credit card funding that’s poured into [...]

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