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Entries by Arianna Huffington from 01/2009

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 01.03.2009 | Politics

This was a true straddle week, ushering out 2008 and ushering in 2009. And some of the top political stories reflected this split. Blago calling a press conference felt very '08; the Burris/Senate Dems showdown is totally '09. Franken v. Coleman is '08; Franken v. the Senate Republicans threatening to filibuster his seating is '09. Gov. Patterson considering Bill Clinton and Mario Cuomo doesn't feel '08 -- it feels 1988; Caroline in the Senate could be one of the more, y'know, compelling stories of '09. The top quote of straddle week had to be Alberto Gonzales' pathetic: "I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror." Let's see, he approved torture, politicized the Department of Justice, and lied to Congress about warrantless wiretapping and pre-war intelligence. Definitely not an '09 definition of a victim.

Obama Isn't the Only One Being Inaugurated on Jan. 20th

| Posted 01.05.2009 | Politics

The preamble of the Constitution starts with We the People. And it has never been clearer that we can't "form a more perfect Union" without the active participation of millions of us.

Why Are the Media More Interested in Blago Than in Unraveling the Bailout Mystery?

| Posted 01.08.2009 | Politics

Why have the media shown such relatively little interest in the utter lack of transparency about the bailout? Is it because they are still in campaign mode -- addicted to small bore, quick burn-out stories? The time has come to recalibrate. As Obama transitions to governing mode, so should the press. READ MORE Obama Isn't the Only One Being Inaugurated on Jan. 20th The preamble of the Constitution starts with We the People. And it has never been clearer that we can't "form a more perfect Union" without the active participation of millions of us. To illustrate this we are putting together a video that will symbolize that we are all stakeholders -- all being inaugurated on January 20th -- by having people from across America send us video of themselves taking the presidential oath of office. READ MORE

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 01.11.2009 | Politics

In this, the penultimate week of the Bush Years, we learned that the only thing there wasn't enough room for at Blair House was the enormity of Bush's pettiness. It turns out there was plenty of room to accommodate the Obama family in time for the kids to start school. Scrambling to make things look good after snubbing the Obamas, Bush had hastily invited former Australian Prime Minister John Howard to toss another shrimp on the Blair House barbie, leaving the Obamas -- and their sizable security detail -- to check into the Hay Adams. At taxpayer expense. Also staying true to his character until the bitter end was Dick Cheney who this week asserted, "I don't believe we violated anybody's civil liberties."

Memo to Obama: Moving Forward Doesn't Mean You Can't Also Look Back

| Posted 01.13.2009 | Politics

Will Obama's promise to protect and defend the Constitution include an investigation into the assaults on it perpetrated by members of the Bush administration?

Bush's Farewell Address: Still Delusional After All These Years

| Posted 01.15.2009 | Politics

It's easy to feel a pang of pity for a guy heading out the door. But the more sympathy he evokes, the more susceptible we are to the lies he is telling. READ MORE Memo to Obama: Moving Forward Doesn't Mean You Can't Also Look Back Will Obama's promise to protect and defend the Constitution include an investigation into the assaults on it perpetrated by members of the Bush administration? READ MORE Watch: Arianna Discusses Bush's Farewell Address on Rachel Maddow Watch: Arianna Discusses Closing Gitmo on MSNBC

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 01.18.2009 | Politics

This week's confirmation hearing of Hillary Clinton was a promising sign that Team Obama will mean a return to prepared, knowledgeable, fact-based leadership. Maybe Justin Timberlake can do a remix for the Inauguration: Bringing CompetenceBack! The one glitch belonged to Timothy Geithner. Four words, Tim: H & R Block. Elsewhere, David Vitter's lone anti-Hillary vote appeared to be a desperate ploy to gain notoriety for something other than his history with hookers. And George Bush and Dick Cheney smirked and snarled their way through their final days, rewriting the history of Katrina (W), and expressing long-held aggravation that the New York Times won a Pulitzer for exposing the administration's warrantless wiretapping program (Dick). They clearly are devotees of the Erich Segal school of leadership: running the country into the ground means never having to say you're sorry.

HuffPost Video: "Our Inauguration"

| Posted 01.19.2009 | Politics

Watch: Arianna, Nora Ephron, Erica Jong, Craig Newmark, Paul Reickhoff and Trey Ellis Discuss "The Year Ahead" at the 92nd Street Y Watch: Toasts from Chris Matthews, John Cusack, Michael J. Fox, and More at HuffPost's Pre-Inaugural Ball Watch: Will.i.am, Sting, and Sheryl Crow Perform at the HuffPost Ball Watch: Larry King Live on Location at the HuffPost Ball Watch: HuffPost's Original Video "Our Inauguration"

Obama's Sober Sermon on the Steps

| Posted 01.20.2009 | Politics

There was something very powerful about watching this relatively young man, one of the youngest to ever hold the highest office in the land, telling the American people to grow up.

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 01.24.2009 | Politics

Some post-Inauguration predictions: Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma will refuse all future cold-weather bookings. Aretha Franklin will now be known as "The Queen of Soul...and Funky Hats." Rev. Lowery will be invited to throw out the first pitch at the home openers of the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians. Jacques Chirac will not be renting Cujo anytime soon. George Bush will not be on Scooter Libby's Christmas card list this year. In the Dick-Cheney-in-a-wheelchair-movie-reference-derby, "Mr. Potter" will beat out "Ernst Stavro Blofeld." The swearing in will not be the last time President Obama and Chief Justice Roberts are not on the same page.

The Era of Not Getting It: The Marie Antoinettes of the Meltdown

| Posted 01.26.2009 | Business

Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, the poster child for the modern era of Not Getting It, and execs at Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and State Street have shown themselves to be tone deaf.

Davos '09: Less Glitz, More Anxiety

| Posted 01.27.2009 | Business

I'm on my way to Davos for this year's World Economic Forum. The theme of this year's conference is "Shaping the Post-Crisis World." Glad to hear the organizers are expecting there to be a "post" to this "crisis."

Davos Notes: Contrite Bankers, Overflow Interest in Philanthropy, Mistrusted Americans

| Posted 01.28.2009 | Business

The first questioner at this morning's panel, responding to my earlier assertion that Wall Street execs and bankers are acting like Marie Antoinettes, rose to his feet and, dripping with contrition, introduced himself by saying, "I am one of these financial guys..." It had the feel of a binge drinker who, after finally hitting bottom, shows up at an AA meeting and announces "...and I am an alcoholic."

Davos Notes: Blackstone's Schwarzman "Walking with His Head Still On"

| Posted 01.28.2009 | Business

At this evening's cocktail reception hosted by Yale, Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman walked up, clearly in an upbeat mood (unusual for financial types at Davos this year). "You are walking with your head high," I remarked. "I'm walking with my head still on," he replied. READ MORE Davos Notes: Contrite Bankers, Overflow Interest in Philanthropy, Mistrusted Americans  The first questioner at this morning's panel, responding to my earlier assertion that Wall Street execs and bankers are acting like Marie Antoinettes, rose to his feet and, dripping with contrition, introduced himself by saying, "I am one of these financial guys..." It had the feel of a binge drinker who, after finally hitting bottom, shows up at an AA meeting and announces "...and I am an alcoholic." READ MORE

Davos Notes: Contrition, Paralysis, and the Embrace of Faith and Philanthropy Take Hold

| Posted 01.29.2009 | Business

Yesterday, I wrote about the aura of contrition surrounding the financial types here, wafting off them like cheap cologne on a disco Lothario. Today, at a gathering of international editors and reporters, the contrition had spread to financial journalists. There was the sense that many had missed the boat, failing to ask the tough questions. The widespread contrition is matched by an unnerving feeling of paralysis. The people here -- and we are talking about some of the most influential people on the planet -- seem at a loss about how to attack the financial crisis. It's as if we are watching things unravel -- but are powerless to stop the unraveling. If bankers and politicians were stocks, Davos attendees would be shorting them.

Davos Notes: The Great Repression, Homer as the Original UGC, and Is America the New Argentina?

| Posted 01.30.2009 | Business

Harvard professor Niall Ferguson called what we are going through a "Great Repression," referring to government attempts to repress the symptoms of the greatest financial crisis the world has ever faced. READ MORE More Davos Notes: The Sessions I Decided to Skip Contrition, Paralysis, and the Embrace of Faith and Philanthropy Take Hold Blackstone's Schwarzman "Walking with His Head Still On" Contrite Bankers, Overflow Interest in Philanthropy, Mistrusted Americans Davos '09: Less Glitz, More Anxiety Watch: Arianna on ABC's Nightline Watch: Arianna on CNBC's Squawk Box

Davos Notes: The Sessions I Decided to Skip

| Posted 01.30.2009 | Business

Davos is not a place for people who have a hard time picking and choosing. You need to carefully circle the Must-Sees and x-out the Can-Live-Withouts...

Notes from Davos

| Posted 01.31.2009 | Politics

Here is a collection of my dispatches from Davos, starting with two dramatically different views of our economic crisis from Niall Ferguson and Henry Kravis.

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 01.31.2009 | Politics

This week -- a week that saw unemployment claims hit a 42-year high, January layoffs hit 125,000, and President Obama call the economy "a continuing disaster" -- delivered a hard-to-top nominee for our Marie Antoinette Award: disgraced scam artist Bernie Madoff, who still so doesn't get it that he had the gall to bellyache about being cooped up in his $7 million Park Avenue apartment under "penthouse arrest" -- even as his victims face financial ruin. On the What Were They Thinking? front (Journalism Division), came word that Bill Kristol, hot on the heels of being dropped by the Times, was being picked up by the Washington Post, which is apparently eager to publish more unerring insights like Kristol's July 2007 gem: "George W. Bush's presidency will probably be a successful one."