No Shutdown, But a Lot of Sellouts

So, the Democratic Party continues its rightward drift. No surprise, but still disappointing. From John Nichols in The Nation: If you had asked Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman or John Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson or Jimmy Carter or even Bill Clinton what Democrats would defend in a fight over the …

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Oslo City Hall

If you’ve already watched Barack Obama’s Nobel acceptance speech today (if you haven’t, at least give it a read), you probably caught at least a glimpse or two of Oslo’s stunning City Hall. I attend an event there each summer, and can’t ever get enough. At first glance, it’s not …

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How Obama Came to Plan for ‘Surge’ in Afghanistan

Good NYT report on the decision-making process for what is now his war. Two days later, Mr. Obama flew to West Point to give his speech. After three months of agonizing, he seemed surprisingly serene. “He was,” said one adviser, “totally at peace.” Ljubljana 110, originally uploaded by pirano.

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In defense of war crimes

Remnants of Bush/Cheney (even Cheney himself) infested TV shows over the past few days to demonize the Obama administration for releasing classified documents about the previous administration’s use of torture. (I’m not sure why I even bother to watch these clips.) That most of this info was already out there …

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Letters to the President

The White House receives tens of thousands of emails, faxes and letters a day. Of those, 10 reach and are read by Barack Obama. Interesting story on the process in yesterday’s NY Times. A slideshow is here. obama in Lyon, originally uploaded by pirano.

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Ammo Shortages in the USA

From NPR: “It started the day that Obama got elected,” Johnny Dury, who owns Dury’s Gun Shop in San Antonio, tells NPR’s Michele Norris. “It is when everything just went crazy in the gun business.” From The Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune: “It’s a political deal. Everybody’s worried about losing their guns …

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Cats, Sick Bags and Paradise: Syros Notebook

Ermoupoli, Syros, Greece — During a ride from Athens Airport to Mati, near Marathon, on Friday, I passed by several smallish packs of what appeared to be wild dogs. They were roaming aimlessly and lazily, on small patches of land, ignored plots of overgrown grass and dry brush that apparently …

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Obama Wines

Keeping with the St. Martin’s day theme and before I forget, notes on a few wines that were uncorked before the champagne during the election watching party the other night: First was this 2006 Bonvin Humagne Rouge, made from a little known grape grown in Switzerland which I picked up …

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LJ Pic of the Day (Obama newspapers)

As if I need to collect more things. Obama’s immediate impact on the world economy: I spent about 30 euros today on newspapers I’ll never read, but ones I will keep. Note to Collectors: I’ve got a decent sized stash of three Slovenian dailies. Get in touch for trades. papers, …

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U.S. Election reception, Ljubljana

A few shots from a U.S. Election reception hosted by the U.S. Embassy at the Hotel Union in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Tuesday night. Above a life-size Obama cut-out. Foreshadowing? The expression on the McCain cut-out. Yousif B. Ghafari, U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia. Katarina Kresal, president of Slovenia’s LDS party. The …

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