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Entries by Arianna Huffington from 12/2012

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 12.02.2012 | Politics

This week, President Obama's initial proposal in the fiscal cliff showdown sparked merriment and outrage from Republican leaders, who pretended they hadn't heard the same details six weeks ago. Susan Rice continued to have nomination meetings even without a nomination, but failed to win over GOP senators who are still "troubled" by Benghazi but not by their own failure of judgment on Iraq. Palestine scored a victory at the U.N., where it was given non-participating observer status -- the same status Mitt Romney has in U.S. politics. Romney was invited to the White House for lunch, where he and the president dined on white turkey chili [insert your own "white turkey" punchline here]. Meanwhile, revised figures show the U.S. economy had its best third-quarter performance in five years. How this fits into Jack Welch's conspiracy theories about "imagination defying" government stats, we'll just have to wait and see.

#My2K and How to Keep Our Political Debate From Going Over the Cliff

| Posted 12.03.2012 | Politics

Hey, have you heard about this thing called "the fiscal cliff"? Actually, the better question is: Have you heard about anything except the fiscal cliff? Nine months ago, the term had not even entered the media lexicon. And now it's suddenly everywhere. But whether or not we go over the fiscal cliff, around the fiscal curve, or down the fiscal slope remains to be seen, but one thing is already certain: Our political debate has already gone over the cliff. Why can't we channel some of the ingenuity we clearly possess for producing manufactured crises -- and giving them catchy names -- into solving our real problems? The debate the country should be locked in right now isn't about the fiscal cliff and the deficit but about the growth cliff and the 20 million unemployed or underemployed Americans. The only way we're going to grow the economy is if we grow the debate about the economy.

Huffington This Week: Policing the Streets and Policing the Times

| Posted 12.07.2012 | Crime

In this week's Huffington, John Rudolf puts the spotlight on crime-ridden Camden, New Jersey, where instead of improving the police department, local leaders plan to replace it entirely. And Michelangelo Signorile looks back at an article he wrote 20 years ago about being gay at The New York Times, and how the paper rose to a new level of journalistic integrity by ending its silence on gay issues.

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 12.09.2012 | Politics

This week, several stories reminded us that life is often a contest between our better angels and our demons. On the demon side, a suspect was arrested in the horrific death of a man thrown in front of a New York subway train. On the angel side, three days later, a pair of bystanders helped save a person who'd fallen onto subway tracks. There was good news in Kate Middleton leaving the hospital, but bad news in the apparent suicide of the nurse who'd put through a prank phone call seeking medical information about the pregnant princess. In Egypt, the Arab Spring turned to winter, as thousands protested President Morsi's attempt to consolidate power -- while back home there was continued fascination with the cop who gave boots to a vet wrestling with demons of his own. Officer DePrimo's selfless act of kindness grabbed our imagination, and summoned our better angels to help guide us through the holiday season.

'Slightly Above Zero': A Slogan for Our Age of Diminished Expectations

| Posted 12.12.2012 | Politics

To hear the media tell it, all eyes are on the fiscal cliff. What will the deal ultimately be? And, most important, which side will win and which side will lose? Actually, only Washington and the media are transfixed. The rest of the nation is absorbed with trying to make it in the struggling economy -- the same economy that will still be struggling after the champagne corks are popped as soon as the fiscal deal, whatever it may be, is announced in a few weeks. So why are none of our political leaders looking beyond the cliff, planning for what happens next? Far from having a debate about how to grow the economy, all we're currently talking about is how to preserve the status quo -- which, for millions, is an utter disaster. Getting our economy moving will require a larger, bolder and more forward-looking conversation than the one we're currently locked into.

Huffington This Week: A Battered Borough and a Controversial Merger

| Posted 12.14.2012 | Green

In this week's issue, Saki Knafo and Lila Shapiro put the spotlight on Staten Island, telling the story of how Hurricane Sandy collided with one man's version of the American Dream. And Jason Cherkis and Zach Carter write about a potential shakeup in the music world: a controversial merger that would give Universal Music control of 40 percent of the industry.

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 12.15.2012 | Politics

The names of the towns and the tally of the victims change but the horrific mass shooting cycle of shock, unimaginable grief, calls for reform, followed by a return to the nothing-to-be-done status quo is all too familiar. The nightmare in Newtown, Connecticut -- made all the more sickening by the presence of 20 dead children -- is the third mass shooting since July and the fifth since President Obama took office. In the hours after the shooting, the president made a moving, emotional speech. Just as he did in the wake of Tucson. And Aurora. But calls for "meaningful action" and the lowering of flags to half-staff are no longer enough. What we need, in the words of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is "immediate action." Gun violence, turbo-charged by easy and legal access to deadly weapons, is a cancer eating away at the soul of America. We need emergency surgery.

Newtown Massacre: What We Don't Need Is a 'National Conversation' -- We Need Action

| Posted 12.17.2012 | Politics

On Sunday night, President Obama spoke at an interfaith service for the victims of the horrific elementary school shooting. Not surprisingly, it was a poignant and moving speech. But the sad, horrible, tragic fact is that none of what we are witnessing is surprising. Shocking, yes, but not surprising. Mass shootings have become a defining feature of modern America. Yet on the issue of gun violence, President Obama has shown a gift for eloquent rhetoric but no follow-through. What we need now is not another national conversation but action -- starting with a ban on the sale of weapons that are only good for mass murder. Will the president lead the way? Will Congress act? Or will we succumb to the fatalistic conventional wisdom that says we'll never be able to prevent this from happening again -- and again and again?

Every Picture Tells a Story

| Posted 12.20.2012 | Arts

There are photos that communicate more than words ever could -- from the image of a single Greek protester staring down a battalion of riot police to the sheer power of nature that ravaged entire neighborhoods during Hurricane Sandy.

Huffington This Week: After Newtown

| Posted 12.21.2012 | Politics

This week's issue of Huffington largely focuses on the tragedy in Newtown, bringing together essays and moving photos to capture the horror and heartbreak of that day. Peter Goodman writes of the natural tendency, and the folly, of trying to make sense of such violence. And as we move forward as a country, the urge "to grieve and hold our children close," as Lisa Belkin puts it, is not enough.

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 12.23.2012 | Politics

The Mayans turned out to be wrong about the end of the world, but there was still a lot of gloom this week as we watched the procession of funerals for victims of the Newtown shooting. On Thursday alone, services were held for four six-year-olds and one seven-year-old. In an attempt at establishing some normalcy for those kids who survived, officials are recreating their classrooms at a nearby school, right down to the art on the walls and the placement of desks and backpacks. That's good for the children; the rest of us need the exact opposite. We need to break the all-too familiar routine of gun-victim funerals and leaders who helplessly throw up their hands. On Wednesday, the president announced that Joe Biden would lead a task force on gun violence. It's a step in the right direction, but only if it results in legislation that makes a week of wrenching funerals begin to seem utterly unfamiliar.

Destressing the Holidays: Making a List, Checking It Twice

| Posted 12.24.2012 | Healthy Living

Why does a season that's supposed to be about happiness and joy so often result in just the opposite? A survey by Consumer Reports found that 90 percent of Americans find at least one thing stressful about the holiday season (who are these 10 percent who feel no holiday stress?). Of course, it's possible that just having such expectations of the season to begin with, and then feeling the guilt at not meeting them, might be part of the problem. But whatever the reason, stress is what a lot of people will be unwrapping this year. Fortunately, much of it is returnable. So what follows are tips not only for holiday stress, but for the rest of the year as well. If you're in that 90 percent who's stressed out this week and next, this might be the list you should be checking twice. Your mind and body -- as well as your family -- will thank you.

Merry Christmas, HuffPosters!

| Posted 12.25.2012 | Healthy Living

Merry Christmas, HuffPosters! As is our tradition, we have stuffed our Featured Blog Post stocking with a line-up of holiday inspired offerings. I am spending Christmas in Hawaii with my daughters, my sister, and my ex-husband -- reflecting on the year gone by and following my own advice on reducing holiday stress (if you missed it, you can read the post here). And I am continuing another personal tradition: spending more time today on HuffPost's Impact and Good News sections, celebrating those committed to making things better, than on our Politics section, fuming over those who are making things worse. I'm also filled with gratitude and counting my blessings, which, along with my family, include our incredible HuffPost community -- our HuffPost team, our bloggers, our commenters, and all of our readers. You have been the greatest gift of all.

Huffington This Week: Every Picture Tells a Story

| Posted 12.28.2012 | Arts

This week's issue, "The Year In Photos," is a collection of images selected by our photo editors for the way they vividly, and often beautifully, tell the stories that defined 2012 -- the people, events, innovations, triumphs and heartbreaks that shaped our lives. We hope they'll prompt reflection and provide fresh angles into stories you followed obsessively -- or missed entirely -- in the past year.

Sunday Roundup

| Posted 12.30.2012 | Politics

This week, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf died, Vladimir Putin signed a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by Americans, and our economy continued to speed towards the fiscal cliff, with Harry Reid accusing John Boehner of waiting until he is reelected as Speaker before seriously negotiating a deal, and the president demanding an up-or-down vote on a stop-gap measure. The poor beached whale that died in Queens, New York midweek seems a fitting metaphor for our political system. On a more positive note, a gun buyback event in Los Angeles was so successful the police ran out of the gift cards that were being exchanged for the turned-in weapons (including 75 assault weapons -- and a pair of rocket launchers). Many of those giving up their guns said they were doing so as the result of the Newtown massacre. Here's hoping that's a trend that extends into the new year.

So Long, 2012: New Year's Resolutions I'd Like to Hear

| Posted 12.30.2012 | Politics

Happy New Year, HuffPosters! May your 2013 be filled with love, laughter, passion and 365 full nights of sleep. Through the years, I've discovered something about New Year's resolutions: while it's not so easy to keep them, it's very easy to make them for other people. And a lot more fun, too. So here are some New Year's resolutions I'd like to hear assorted public figures make and keep: "I'll find better uses for my $150 million than trying to buy an election." ~ Sheldon Adelson. "I will stop endlessly repeating in your brain. Eventually." ~ The "shine bright like a diamond" refrain from Rihanna's "Diamonds (In the Sky)". "I will finally quit making excuses and coming up with crazy ideas, like armed guards at every school, and admit that guns really do kill people, and lots of them." ~ NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.