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Pete Cenedella

Entries by Pete Cenedella

Political Storytelling With Brand Obama and Brand Romney

(3) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 2:11 PM

Our major presidential candidates agreed with each other on foreign policy at their final debate, yet were locked in a firefight. So what were they fighting about? Let's look at their brands -- how they seek to win advantage with the voting audience, delivering a differentiated experience that will inspire...

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Wish You Were Here: Top Five Who Should Have Lived to See President Obama

(84) Comments | Posted January 30, 2009 | 5:42 PM

It's so easy for the simple passage of time to rob us of what's most remarkable in our lives. All the power of these stunning American moments -- the Obama family walking out onstage in Grant Park on Election Night to greet a joyous, tearful crowd; the clear, sober miracle...

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The Torture Memos Are the Crime: Why Obama and Holder Should Smack Cornyn Down

(49) Comments | Posted January 21, 2009 | 2:49 PM

As I write this, senator John Cornyn, the, um, distinguished Republican from Texas, is holding up the people's business by delaying the confirmation of Attorney General-designee Eric Holder. Why? Because he wants guarantees that Holder, in due course of his tenure at Justice, will never, ever, EVER prosecute any...

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This Train: Barack Obama and the Revival of American Patriotism

(7) Comments | Posted January 18, 2009 | 1:31 PM

Certain kinds of bad political behavior are passed from parents to children. My mom told me bitter stories from her girlhood of run-ins with Republican kids, the worst being when FDR died. Neighborhood kids taunted the Democratic families' houses with chants of "The cripple is dead."

Of course, in...

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Undoing Bush Tax Cuts May Prove Harder than Closing Guantanamo

(6) Comments | Posted November 24, 2008 | 3:47 PM

One of the most pernicious symptoms of the kind of shock and awe that the Bush administration has perpetrated on the public for so long is that we become exhausted, beaten down. We say uncle. And we get a little amnesiac -- we forget the offenses done in our names...

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Dingell to the Junk Yard: Henry Waxman Deposes John Dingell on House Energy Committee

(18) Comments | Posted November 20, 2008 | 10:10 AM

Feel the balance of power shifting in the American energy debate? Bye bye MIchigan, hello California: The House Democrats have finally cleared some old spare parts out of the way in anticipation of President Obama's agenda. Henry Waxman, a reliably progressive and sometimes pleasingly combative liberal from California has deposed...

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Not So Easily Pegged: The Wars of a Bisexual Black Vietnam Vet

(2) Comments | Posted November 11, 2008 | 3:18 PM

This is excerpted from a post I made on Election day, but it somehow seems way more important now in light of the rising tensions between African-Americans and gay activists in California, in the wake of the passage of Prop 8. Maybe we can see identity, and rights, a little...

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Gay Marriage: The View from Post-Everything America

(158) Comments | Posted November 9, 2008 | 10:10 AM

My wife and I, a heterosexual couple, are both "peach-colored," according to our 5-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Her best friend from Brooklyn, where we used to live, has two Mommies, a peach-colored same-sex couple. These two Mommies got married in Massachusetts because New York recognizes same-sex marriages from that state. These women...

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The Cutting Edge of Civil Rights: Why President Obama Must Lead on Gay Marriage

(53) Comments | Posted November 8, 2008 | 9:04 AM

It was the best of elections, and it was the worst of elections. Like everyone but the Republican base, I've been savoring Obama's stunning and beautiful vistory -- YES WE DID; but there's no denying anymore that the passage of anti-gay propositions is a fat dead fly floating in the...

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Studs Terkel Dies at 96

(3) Comments | Posted October 31, 2008 | 10:22 PM

Come Tuesday, we measure how far we've come. Come Tuesday, we check our progress in this weird experiment in egalitarianism mixed with brutality; in lofty ideals and base metals; this social pact promising freedom and justice that just needs centuries of amendments to be written to it -- not in...

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Happy Birthday James Carville. Now Retire.

(20) Comments | Posted October 25, 2008 | 12:48 PM

This is a birthday card to James Carville, on a day when polls show most Americans rejecting the negative campaigns and the spin-mongering that he has been such a part of. The gift your countrymen and women bring you is an early retirement. Looking around at our country today, I'm...

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Barack the Builder vs. Joe the Plumber: Battle of the Cartoon Stars!

(13) Comments | Posted October 17, 2008 | 2:25 PM

Joe the Plumber is a cartoon character, invented by the RNC-sponsored production team of Dewey Cheatham and Howe. If it's a cartoon war you want, Sen. McCain, then a cartoon war you shall have! Whatever "real person" exists behind the Joe the Plumber simulacrum is of little relevance. What matters...

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Ooh, That Smell: McCain and His Mob Waltz with Death

(89) Comments | Posted October 10, 2008 | 2:07 PM

Shortly before death, bodies engage in a riot of convulsions and hemorrhages, some disturbingly visible, some internal and unseen. There is a dance of extreme violence that occurs in a living organism as it "rages against the dying of the light," to paraphrase Dylan Thomas. And then, there is often...

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Boys Don't Cry (Except When They Do): Joe Biden, Ed Muskie, and Me

(13) Comments | Posted October 3, 2008 | 3:09 PM

Last night's vice presidential debate had serious implications for the nation's young boys. Not because of any education policy prescriptions that will affect them, nor for the discussion of health care for the millions of America's uninsured children -- such details were, predictably, in short supply. No, last night's debate...

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Bush May Be Stupid, But He's No Fool: The Bailout and the Final Repeal of the 20th Century

(118) Comments | Posted September 25, 2008 | 11:23 AM

As I write this, there has been no bailout passed and enacted, no $999 gazillion dollars has been deposited directly into Henry Paulson's off-shore account, and no CEOs in the last 48 hours have been granted $800 septillion dollar bonuses for turning their once-vibrant companies into a fecal smear. And...

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Disaster Movie 2: If You Liked the Patriot Act, You'll Love BAILOUT!

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2008 | 4:06 PM

Star Wars isn't the only motion picture franchise to roll out an unwelcome sequel this month. Georgey and the Con Squad are back on the big screen, too: Every time we think we're out, they pull us back in!

If Bailout! The Motion Picture gets green-lighted by Congress, the Bush...

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Financial Bailout = Patriot Act Redux: Under Cover of Crisis, the Republic is Lost

(36) Comments | Posted September 22, 2008 | 10:28 AM

Mr. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. had made an urgent and unusual evening visit to Capitol Hill, and they were gathered around a conference table in the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"When you listened to him describe it you gulped," said Senator Charles...

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John McCain is America's Crazy Uncle

(22) Comments | Posted September 18, 2008 | 1:43 PM

Most American families have a funny old uncle. Someone who is amusing and affable from a distance, but with whom you never ever talk politics, especially during a presidential election. You enjoy seeing this uncle once a year at a holiday party, and you suspect he's really a good guy...

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War and Politics at the Age Four and 11/12ths

(8) Comments | Posted September 16, 2008 | 9:22 AM

Today, I want to look fondly back at a moment before the bruising ugliness of this general election; indeed, a moment before even the tensions between Obama and Hillary got ratcheted up beyond reason. A moment shortly before Super Tuesday, when I came home from my work day at UNICEF...

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A Man of Peace Pushed Too Far: Yelling "Liar" in a Crowded Theater

(76) Comments | Posted September 12, 2008 | 3:15 PM

"I was a Man of Peace," Barack Obama said today. "But this time, they pushed me too far. I came into this election to talk about substance, and they got nothin'. So they started lying. Last time I checked, we've just suffered through 8 years of liars. Lies have consequences....

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