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Entries by Arianna Huffington from 02/2006

The Democratic Response We Should Have Heard Last Night

| Posted 02.01.2006 | Huffington Post

Today, Jack Murtha delivered a killer Democratic response to Bush's State of the Union address, filled with passion, insight, perspective, and loads of specific details. It's the one we should have heard last night.

Bush: Addicted to Empty Rhetoric

| Posted 02.02.2006 | Politics
Read More: Politics News

There is nothing more infuriating than hearing something you passionately believe in -- and indeed have been advocating for years -- cynically co-opted by someone who clearly doesn't mean it. That's why the smoke started pouring out of my ears Tuesday night when President Bush announced: "America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world." I also wondered if the Detroit Project, which I co-founded three years ago, should ask the White House for a royalty check. Here are two of the TV ads we produced urging American consumers to connect the dots between the cars we drive, our addiction to oil, and our national security...

From the Dept. of Ass-Smooching (Chris Matthews Division)

| Posted 02.03.2006 | Huffington Post

For proof that all TV journalists covering politics should be forced to live as far away from the Beltway as possible, check out Chris Matthews' chummy on-air chat with former Commerce Secretary Don Evans. "It's great having you on, Mr. Secretary," chirped Matthews. "You're one of the good guys... We wish you were back in Washington because you're a very civil guy and you're bipartisan and everybody likes you." Wait a minute, what makes somebody "one of the good guys"? Being civil and charming -- and disastrous policies be damned? And what makes somebody "bipartisan"? Being a Bush apologist who got his job in the cabinet by raising $90 million for W's 2000 run?

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 02.05.2006 | Huffington Post

The State of the Union address was the hottest topic on the Post this week. I live-blogged the speech, as did the wickedly funny Bob Cesca. Don't miss the SOTU takes of Ted Kennedy, Amy Ephron, Jesse Kornbluth, Nancy Pelosi, Paul Hipp, John Conyers, RJ Eskow, Dan Carol, Trey Ellis, Jerry and Joe Long, Paul Rieckhoff, Nina Burleigh, Robert Schlesinger, Tom Gilroy, Nicholas von Hoffman, Bob Barr, Patt Morrison, Andrew Bacevich, and Craig Crawford, as well as those in our Sunday Roundup below. And be sure to check out the latest offerings in our Contagious Festival which is now up and running.

Russert Watch: Let the Games Continue

| Posted 02.05.2006 | Media

Meet the Press and the Super Bowl share a common bond: it's all about the game. On the war, John Boehner offered a novel theory of delayed gratification: it may not benefit our generation, but for our kids and theirs, this may be the greatest gift that we give them." Just like that, the Republican majority leader gave up on us getting any benefits -- including, presumably, in terms of increased security -- for an entire generation. And here is Russert's follow-up on this stunning concession from Boehner: "If the situation in Iraq in November of this year is like it is today, will Republicans pay a price at the polls?" Ah, yes, the Republicans' standing at the polls. Is that what the game -- and the war -- is all about, Tim?

Spying and Lying: A Winning Issue for Dems... If They Stay Strong

| Posted 02.06.2006 | Huffington Post

Illegal warrantless wiretapping -- and the administration's unrelenting mendacity about it -- is not only wrong on principle but a perfect wedge issue for Democrats. But only if they correctly frame the issue. So far, the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have adopted a strong tone with Alberto Gonzales. But Democrats have an ignominious recent history of coming out of the gate hard, then quickly sounding retreat as soon as the White House cries "soft on defense!" This time, they need to stay on the offensive, making the case every chance they can that our national security is being undercut by Bush's lawbreaking and lies.

The Murtha Effect: Why Republicans Are Worried

The Murtha Effect: Why Republicans Are Worried

| Posted 02.07.2006 | Huffington Post

For further evidence of why Democrats should be falling in behind Jack Murtha and making him the point man for nationalizing the '06 elections, look no further than the editorial page of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. After steadfastly deriding Murtha's call for immediately withdrawal, the conservative daily, fast on the heels of Murtha's appearance on "60 Minutes," did an abrupt 180 and offered a ringing endorsement of his plan. What makes this so significant is not the Tribune-Review's reach (circulation 102,000) but its provenance. It's part of a seven-paper chain that is published -- and controlled -- by Richard Mellon Scaife, the arch-conservative icon who has donated so much money to conservative causes and institutions that the Washington Post dubbed him the "Funding Father of the Right."

Spying and Lying: A Winning Issue for Dems... If They Stay Strong

Dems Have (Yet Another) Identity Crisis -- On the Front Page of the NYT

| Posted 02.08.2006 | Huffington Post

Another week, another episode of our least favorite long-running political soap opera, Desperate Democrats. In the latest installment, Democratic leaders decide to have an all-out, full blown identity crisis. On the front page of the New York Times. Above the fold. The article reads like a Saturday Night Live sketch. Except the only ones laughing will be Republicans. The most disturbing aspect of the piece is the fact that Democrats are still iffy about the importance of taking on Bush and the GOP on national security. Are there really Democrats still "arguing that the party should focus only on domestic issues and run away from national security"? Say it isn't so!

You Want to Discuss Impeachment? Give Me a Call on Nov. 8th

| Posted 02.09.2006 | Huffington Post

Does George Bush deserve to be impeached? Absolutely. So should Democrats rally around nascent efforts to impeach the president? Absolutely not! A push to impeach would be nothing but a huge -- and pointless -- distraction. The House is controlled by the GOP and the votes are simply not there to impeach. Election Day 2006 is just eight months away. The best way to hold President Bush accountable for abusing his power is to vote his fellow Republicans out of office and give control of Congress (including the Judiciary Committee) back to the Democrats.  READ MORE

Dems Have (Yet Another) Identity Crisis -- On the Front Page of the NYT

The Beginning of the End?

| Posted 02.09.2006 | Politics
Read More: Politics News

I want to underline the importance of the news story at the top of our page, about Dick Cheney authorizing the leaking of classified information. This proves just how far the White House was willing to go to back up its deceptive claims about why we needed to go to war in Iraq. And remember, it's not partisan Democrats making this claim. This information is coming from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald as filed in court papers. This is major. READ MORE

You Want to Discuss Impeachment? Give Me a Call on Nov. 8th Does George Bush deserve to be impeached? Absolutely. So should Democrats rally around nascent efforts to impeach the president? Absolutely not! The best way to hold President Bush accountable is to vote his fellow Republicans out of office and give control of Congress back to the Democrats. READ MORE

On Fear, Lizard Brains, and 1984

| Posted 02.10.2006 | Huffington Post

I spent much of Thursday having people try to scare the hell out of me. In the morning it was President Bush. At night it was Big Brother. At times, it wasn't easy telling them apart.

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 02.12.2006 | Huffington Post

My favorite quote of the week came from former FEMA director Michael Brown, who said of the president, "He called me Brownie at the wrong time. Thanks a lot, sir." (Jack Abramoff's e-mail memories of Bush's prodigious memory were a close second). Elsewhere on HuffPost, it was "12 Mohammads and a Funeral", as the ongoing uproar over the Danish cartoons and the new uproar over Coretta King's funeral were hot topics on the Blog. Don't miss the 'toon takes of Hooman Majd, Deepak Chopra, Jim Zogby, RJ Eskow, Nina Burleigh, Michael Standaert, and Eric Deggans, and Michael Shaw, Marty Kaplan, Harold Ford, Sherrod Brown, Jan Schakowsky, Major Owens, and Diane Watson on the funeral. Plus the choice offerings in our Sunday Roundup below.

Russert Watch: Memories

| Posted 02.12.2006 | Media

Today's Meet the Press featured an older male Senator hawking a bottle of pills. And no, these weren't little blue pills, and no, it wasn't Senator Bob Dole. It was another senator from Kansas, Sen. Pat Roberts, who, I kid you not, tried to make a point about the NSA scandal to his fellow panelists by pulling out a bottle of pills and admonishing the group that "everybody ought to take a memory pill." Of course Tim Russert, who lives in the eternal present (going to the past only for meaningless "gotcha" quotes and the future only for meaningless "Are you running for president?" questions), failed to call Roberts on his outright falsehoods.

Bush in the GOP Crosshairs: the White House Gets Hit with Friendly Fire

| Posted 02.13.2006 | Politics
Read More: Politics News

Dick Cheney wasn't the only Republican taking shots at his friends this weekend. President Bush and the White House have suddenly found themselves getting "peppered" with a fusillade of friendly fire on a wide range of issues, including NSA wiretaps, Iraq, Katrina, Plamegate leaks, the budget, and immigration. Even punchline figures Michael Brown and Jack Abramoff have seen fit to go after the president, with Brown saying bitterly of Bush, "He called me Brownie at the wrong time. Thanks a lot, sir" and Abramoff branding Bush a liar. When you've got Republican lackeys like Brownie and true-believers-truly-in-trouble like Abramoff taking shots at you, you know things are not going well.

Happy Valentine's Day, Dick: Why the Press is Acting Like a Jilted Lover

| Posted 02.14.2006 | Entertainment
Read More: Entertainment News

Watching McClellan being raked over the coals reminded me of many failed relationships I've witnessed -- and a few I've been part of.

A (Shotgun) Blast from My GOP Past

| Posted 02.15.2006 | Huffington Post

Pulling out my slightly dusty Texas Rolodex, I've begun making calls to some of my old friends -- and have been surprised by how many of them are more than eager to talk (and speculate) about what really happened this weekend at the Armstrong Ranch. READ MORE

Karl Rove's Connection to the Cheney Shooting Rove's fingerprints are all over the handling of this story. And perhaps a bit of his DNA as well. READ MORE

Happy Valentine's Day, Dick: Why the Press is Acting Like a Jilted Lover Cheney has been the political equivalent of a philandering husband, and the press has been the compliant and silently-suffering wife, willing to put up with being lied to and cheated on again and again and again and again.READ MORE

I'll be discussing the Cheney shooting fallout tonight on CNN Showbiz Tonight (4:05 PT/7:05 ET) and Sunday morning on CNN's Reliable Sources (7 am PT/10 am ET).

Karl Rove's Connection to the Cheney Shooting

| Posted 02.15.2006 | Politics
Read More: Politics News

Today's New York Times piece about the "palpable" tension between Bush's and Cheney's staffs -- exacerbated but not created by the shooting story fall...

Cheney Talks, the Coverup Continues

| Posted 02.15.2006 | Huffington Post

Watching Dead-eye Dick Cheney break his silence on Fox, I kept thinking: This is what it looks like when a man who is used to getting away with covering up the truth finally has to explain himself. He did a lousy job -- especially on the key question of why it took so long to let the public know. READ MORE

A (Shotgun) Blast from My GOP Past

Karl Rove's Connection to the Cheney Shooting

Happy Valentine's Day, Dick: Why the Press is Acting Like a Jilted Lover

Armstrong Ranch: A GOP Bada Bing?

| Posted 02.16.2006 | Politics
Read More: Politics News

We've only scratched the surface, but the more we learn about the Armstrong Ranch, site of the Cheney shooting, the more it feels like the GOP equivalent of Tony Soprano's joint, the Bada Bing. Of course, at the Bada Bing the girls are strippers; at Armstrong they're the ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. But both hot spots feature quite a bit of gunplay. READ MORE

Cheney Talks, the Coverup Continues

A (Shotgun) Blast from My GOP Past

Karl Rove's Connection to the Cheney Shooting

From the Dept. of Contrition (Special Victims Unit)

| Posted 02.17.2006 | Huffington Post

At a brief news conference prior to his release from the hospital today, vice-presidential shooting victim Harry Whittington thanked the hospital staff and the media, and had this to say about Dick Cheney: "My family and I are deeply sorry for all Vice President Cheney and his family had to go through this past week." It says everything you need to know about this administration that the deepest regret and most heartfelt expression of contrition about the incident came from... the guy who had been shot in the face. READ MORE

Armstrong Ranch: A GOP Bada Bing?

Cheney Talks, the Coverup Continues

The Cheney Shooting: A Few Questions Before the Circus Folds Its Tent

| Posted 02.17.2006 | Huffington Post

So the president is "satisfied" with Dick Cheney's "strong and powerful" explanation of the Whittington shooting, and the Kennedy Country Sheriff's Department considers the case closed. Maybe I'm just a harder sell, but there are still a number of unanswered questions that I'd like to see answered before the circus folds up its tent and moves on. READ MORE

From the Dept. of Contrition (Special Victims Unit) It says everything you need to know about this administration that the deepest regret and most heartfelt expression of contrition about the incident came from... the guy who had been shot in the face. READ MORE

Armstrong Ranch: A GOP Bada Bing?

I'll be discussing all this on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday at 7 a.m. PT / 10 a.m. ET.

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 02.19.2006 | Huffington Post

Tomorrow may be President's Day, but this past week was all about Vice President Cheney. It started with word that the veep had shot a man in the face (then kept the story under wraps for 18 hours) and ended with a heartfelt expression of regret and contrition... from the guy who'd been shot! Our bloggers were all over the story, weighing in with takes both serious and satiric. Check out some of the best of them in our special Beer-and-Buckshot Edition of the Sunday Roundup below. And for those hunting for other topics, don't miss Andy Stern on Iraq, Harry Shearer on Mardi Gras, Rep. Ed Markey on oil, Laurie David on global warming, Robert Scheer on Condi, Adam Winkler on the NSA, and Jim Lampley and Bill Maher on the Olympics.

Russert Watch: The Mary Matalin Horror Show

| Posted 02.19.2006 | Media

matalinmaleficentsmall.jpg To get the full effect of Mary Matalin's cringe-inducing appearance on Meet the Press, you had to see not just what Mary said, but how she said it. She was dripping with contempt and sarcasm, parroting anything said by the other panelists in a teenage sing-song imitation complete with the liberal use of air quotes. Note to the vice president: if you're in a situation in which you feel like you need a little more empathy from the American people, and want them to see you as human, you might want to reconsider handing the job to Mary Matalin. It's hard to believe that the VP's 29-percent approval rating didn't plummet by the time her performance was over.

Cutting Pork: Another Glitch in the CW Right vs Left Storyline

| Posted 02.20.2006 | Politics
Read More: Politics News

Although you wouldn't know it from listening to the mainstream media, the right/left view of American politics is slowly going the way of Betamax, the 8-track, and "Cheney '08" bumper stickers. We're seeing this political realignment on a number of fronts, including the battle to reform the system of pork barrel spending that has helped turn the United States Congress into what Jack Abramoff memorably likened to a "favor factory."

Is Sean Hannity Addicted to Coulter Crack?

| Posted 02.21.2006 | Huffington Post


hannitysidebyside200.jpg
On Hannity and Colmes last night, with Ann Coulter, it dawned on me that she is the right wing punditry's equivalent of crack or crystal meth. She's highly addictive -- giving users the delirious, giddy high of outrageousness. But then the buzz wears off and they come crashing down, their spirits shriveled, their souls poisoned. Her brand of way, way over-the-top rhetoric, trading on hatred, demonizing, and caricature is doing to the American body politic what a three-month meth bender does to crank junkies.
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