With Jeb Bush Dissing Vets & Pissing On A Third Rail Of American Politics, Is It Time To Get Real About The Iraq War?
May19

With Jeb Bush Dissing Vets & Pissing On A Third Rail Of American Politics, Is It Time To Get Real About The Iraq War?

For a brief if not shining moment, it occurred to me that Jeb Bush might just be the guy to make the 2016 presidential race interesting. I’m not saying that I’d vote for him, but I had really hoped that Hillary Clinton would not win in a walk because she was opposed by some Republican chucklehead. Yet in the space of four days last week, Jeb not only dashed my hopes, but angered me in a way that no presidential aspirant...

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Seymour Hersh’s Bin Laden Exposé Reveals Hypocrisy Of The Chattering Classes
May18

Seymour Hersh’s Bin Laden Exposé Reveals Hypocrisy Of The Chattering Classes

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING PIONEER IDA TARBELL There is a back story to the back story that underpins Seymour Hersh’s controversial new exposé claiming that the Obama administration lied about virtually everything having to do with the death of Osama bin Laden: If as a journalist you buck the official line, expect to be castigated not just by the people spouting that line, but by your peers, as well. What is so irretrievably sad...

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Analysis Of An Exposé: Bin Laden Is Still Dead, But Does Seymour Hersh’s Assertion That President Obama Repeatedly Lied About His Demise Stand Up To Scrutiny?
May14

Analysis Of An Exposé: Bin Laden Is Still Dead, But Does Seymour Hersh’s Assertion That President Obama Repeatedly Lied About His Demise Stand Up To Scrutiny?

Osama bin Laden is dead. But beyond stating the obvious, virtually nothing that the Obama administration has said about the run up to the assassination of the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, the circumstances surrounding his death and its immediate aftermath is accurate, according to a fascinating but frustrating new exposé by Seymour Hersh. “The Killing of Osama bin Laden” a 10,300-word takeout published in the London...

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(UPDATED) What Caption Would You Write For This Foto?
May09

(UPDATED) What Caption Would You Write For This Foto?

It’s been a while since we had a chuckle over a Queen Elizabeth photo op. The grand old gal is shown here instructing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka William and Kate) as to how to put a nappy on her great-granddaughter, the newborn Princess Charlotte, at Kensington Palace. Except . . . it turns out the photos were faked. See link in comments...

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A Timeless Mother’s Day Proclamation: ‘Our Sons Will Not Be Taken From Us To Unlearn’
May09

A Timeless Mother’s Day Proclamation: ‘Our Sons Will Not Be Taken From Us To Unlearn’

A MOTHER’S DAY PROCLAMATION (1870) By JULIA WARD HOWE Arise then…women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, For caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity,...

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Onward Through The Fog: Has America Become The New Rome?
May07

Onward Through The Fog: Has America Become The New Rome?

(Portions of this post were originally published in June 2011) When did America became Rome? That is, when did it forswear faith in its leaders and morality for greed and decadence? That question is no more or less relevant today than it was four or fourteen years ago, but came up in a backhanded sort of way in a discussion on a recent post on Hillary Clinton’s frontrunner status when I was challenged for writing that Hillary...

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A Lamentable Republican Field Insures That Hillary Will Keep The Inside Track To The Oval Office
May06

A Lamentable Republican Field Insures That Hillary Will Keep The Inside Track To The Oval Office

Let me be clear from the jump that I’m not a Hillary Clinton fan. She is too loose with the facts, is unable to speak extemporaneously, being most comfortable with focus group-tested messages, lost in 2008 because she was so unsure of her self that she ran a way too traditional man’s campaign, and a lousy one at that, and then there’s my own personal peeve: She has never adequately come to terms publicly with her...

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Report: American Psychological Association Secretly Conspired With Bush Torture Regime
Apr30

Report: American Psychological Association Secretly Conspired With Bush Torture Regime

There has been ample evidence for years that the Bush administration sought the cover of health-care professionals to justify its use of Nazi-like torture techniques, but a new report that the American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with the administration still shocks. Indeed, the report by a group of so-called dissident health-care professionals, as well as human rights activists, is sodden with unstated comparisons...

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Are Riots The Only Way To Provoke Meaningful Police Reform?
Apr28

Are Riots The Only Way To Provoke Meaningful Police Reform?

This correspondent abhors violence in any form, let alone what is happening on the streets of Baltimore. But he concludes that civil unrest may be the only way to provoke meaningful and lasting police reform, including an end to the rampant brutality that has been part and parcel of policing in Baltimore and too many other big American cities. (It is highly likely that in the very dead Freddie Gray’s case, police took him for...

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Book Review: ‘The Sympathizer’ By Viet Thanh Nguyen
Apr24

Book Review: ‘The Sympathizer’ By Viet Thanh Nguyen

The analogy is imperfect, but will suffice: The Sympathizer, the remarkable debut novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, is a terrific bookend to Fire In the Lake, the Frances FitzGerald classic. While one book is fiction and the other nonfiction, both tell the story of the Vietnam War, its aftermath and legacy from a Vietnamese point of view. And both, in their genre different but similarly powerful ways, are reminders to believers of the...

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Seven Years On: Why The Sarah Palin Birth Hoax Story Still Shouldn’t Go Away
Apr20

Seven Years On: Why The Sarah Palin Birth Hoax Story Still Shouldn’t Go Away

Rumors, innuendo and inconclusive photographs do not a true story make, but the fact of the matter is that seven years after the birth of Trig Paxson Van Palin, there is no proof that right-wing sweetheart Sarah Palin is his biological mother and evidence he may be her grandson. If you believe that I — or anyone else — has no business pursuing the question of whether John McCain’s 2008 running mate put over an...

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Are These Men The Faces Of Evil? No, But Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld Certainly Were
Apr14

Are These Men The Faces Of Evil? No, But Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld Certainly Were

Clockwise from top left: Dustin Heard, Nicolas Slatten, Evan Liberty, Paul Slough Even as a blogger who wrote extensively about the criminal excesses of Blackwater’s patriots-for-profit mercenary army and was appalled at the slaughter of 14 unarmed Iraqis, including women and children, in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007 by four of the politically powerful security contractor’s thugs, I nevertheless was saddened when...

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Concert Review: Nellie McKay At The Deer Head Inn
Apr14

Concert Review: Nellie McKay At The Deer Head Inn

Nellie McKay is one of those artists you’ll be glad you saw on the way up (like catching Bruce Springsteen in a small club, which I happened to do in 1973). This is because McKay’s star is burning brightly these days and she is going to be very big. McKay (pronounced mick-kai) detonated her vocal dynamite on Sunday evening at the Deer Head Inn, a Delaware Water Gap, Pa. institution that happens to be the oldest...

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‘We Were Born Before The Wind, Also Younger Than The Sun, Ere The Bonnie Boat Was Won As We Sailed Into The Mystic’
Apr13

‘We Were Born Before The Wind, Also Younger Than The Sun, Ere The Bonnie Boat Was Won As We Sailed Into The Mystic’

So there you are in your 68th year floating merrily down the stream, needing to reach for the paddle only occasionally, while filling bird feeders and trying to stay on your feet in the winter and weeding vegetables and working on your tan in the summer, making sure the dogs and cats get plenty of head scratches and your true love fresh cut flowers no matter the season, keeping your hand in the writing game with a blog post here and a...

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The United States Is A Humiliating Also-Ran When It Comes To The Stuff That Really Matters
Apr10

The United States Is A Humiliating Also-Ran When It Comes To The Stuff That Really Matters

If you have the sinking feeling that the American colossus is becoming a little frayed around the edges, then a new study will be a very cold shower. While the U.S. still has the biggest and baddest military and can wipe out anything and anybody on earth with the flick of a neocon’s wrist, while it continues to maintain the technological edge with a tsunami of new products from Apple and other innovators, and while its music and...

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Why Cadillac’s $12 Billion Gamble To Get Back Its Mojo Won’t Pay Off
Apr08

Why Cadillac’s $12 Billion Gamble To Get Back Its Mojo Won’t Pay Off

THE NEW CADILLAC CT6 IS BASED ON THE ELMIRAJ CONCEPT CAR It is difficult to say when Cadillac lost its mojo and began to relinquish its crown as America’s leading luxury car to Mercedes and eventually Lexus and other German brands, but I’ll pick 1992 when an ungainly and arguably ugly boat called the Cadillac Deville waddled onto the scene. Since then, it has been pretty much downhill for Cadillac as it lost its...

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The GOP Has An Uphill Fight To Win Back The White House And Not Just Because Of Dangerous Idiots Like Ted Cruz
Apr01

The GOP Has An Uphill Fight To Win Back The White House And Not Just Because Of Dangerous Idiots Like Ted Cruz

In the last two-plus decades as the Republican Party’s drift to the right morphed into a full-blown gallop and the party’s base came to be dominated by Bible thumpers and angry white men — and frequently Bible thumping angry white men — the GOP has won only two of six presidential elections, one because the Supreme Court gave the Constitution the finger and the other because Republicans had perfected their fear...

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The Dalai Lama And A Gaggle Of Chinese Communist Officials Walk Into A Bar . . .
Mar12

The Dalai Lama And A Gaggle Of Chinese Communist Officials Walk Into A Bar . . .

Do you remember that uproarious Monty Python sketch where the Dalai Lama, played by John Cleese, sits cross-legged in saffron robes in a mountaintop cave and declares that he won’t have an afterlife, throwing into an uproar the exhausted Chinese Communist Party functionaries who have hiked to the cave? The officials, played by the other Pythons dressed identically in Mao jackets and clutching little red books, demand that the...

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Plain Talk On The Criminal Justice System, The Obamacare Challenge & That Bad Old CIA
Mar09

Plain Talk On The Criminal Justice System, The Obamacare Challenge & That Bad Old CIA

WASHINGTON STATE POT GROWERS FACE PRISON WHILE TRAITOROUS FORMER GENERAL WILL WALK On March 3, 2015, there was brutal cold and the hangover from several major snow storms to contend with in the Northeast and Midwest, unseasonably chilly weather in Florida that had natives and tourists alike bundling up, and intermittent rain and fog in the Pacific Northwest, but none of this kept the American criminal justice system from grinding...

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Memo To GOP Wingers: Keep Your Goddamned Religion Out Of My Life — And Government
Feb26

Memo To GOP Wingers: Keep Your Goddamned Religion Out Of My Life — And Government

A new study puts a face — and a particularly ugly one at that — on what was been increasingly obvious for many years: Christian conservatives, the folks who use their God like a cudgel to bludgeon we heathens with their neanderthal social agenda, exert an inordinate influence on the Republican Party even if their numbers are relatively small and their agenda is outside the electoral mainstream. This perversity is on...

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