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Irma Thomas:


This would be a smart move. Will it happen? We’ll see:

The Obama administration is seeking to use the killing of Osama bin Laden to accelerate a negotiated settlement with the Taliban and hasten the end of the Afghan war, according to U.S. officials involved in war policy.

Administration officials believe it could now be easier for the reclusive leader of the largest Taliban faction, Mohammad Omar, to break his group’s alliance with al-Qaeda, a key U.S. requirement for any peace deal. They also think that bin Laden’s death could make peace talks a more palatable outcome for Americans and insulate President Obama from criticism that his administration would be negotiating with terrorists.

“Bin Laden’s death is the beginning of the endgame in Afghanistan,” said a senior administration official who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal policy deliberations. “It changes everything.”

A moment like this

Kelly Clarkson is the only American Idol I’ve ever really liked — or bought their music:

Old bones

Sonia Dada:

Natural woman

Aretha Franklin:

The great tax debate

The Majority Report’s Sam Seder debates John Nolte, one of Breitbart’s editors, about tax policy. You know, wingnuts are so uninformed, it’s pitiful. That anyone listens to them? Even worse.


I’m pretty sure you’ve figured this out already.


My guest on tonight’s Virtually Speaking Susie is David Swanson of warisalie.com and davidswanson.org. Especially in light of recent events, this should be a very interesting show. David recently returned from Afghanistan, and we’ll have lots to discuss.

Click here to listen — call 646-200-3440 with questions or comments.


On my way to drop off more stuff at the Salvation Army, I saw a protest in front of an area gun shop. About 50 people were demonstrating during rush hour, holding signs with variations on “Illegal guns kill people.”

Philadelphia has a real gun (read: killing) problem, and the Republican-controlled state legislature refuses to permit any special exceptions for its two largest cities. Much of the problem revolves around the use of straw buyers — convicted felons get relatives or girlfriends with clean records to buy the guns for them, despite stiff penalties for doing so.

As we know, it is much more important to keep the NRA happy than it is to prevent killings. Free market!

UPDATE: One of our state wingnuts just introduced legislation to ban same-sex marriage. Priorities!

Shock doctrine

An education expert says Gov. Tom Corbett’s use of scare tactics to justify the Pennsylvania public schools budget is a textbook example of applying Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” to education policy:

The citizenry is repeatedly told that the only way out of this budget crisis is to cut spending and that individual citizens (taxpayers) should not take on any of the burden. In fact, the propagandaleveled at the taxpayers also paints them as helpless victims that have been milked by greedy public-sector unions. In turn, the general public becomes very supportive of any promise to lift their burden and somewhat celebratory in watching their neighbors (public sector employees) lose, at a minimum, basic benefits.

However, what if the “financial crisis” was not real?

Now, I’m not saying that states and local governments aren’t actually in debt; however, what if the proposed solutions (that are being accepted without any critical analysis because of the Shock Doctrine effect) end up (as stated above) costing more money than the proposed cuts? For example, in my home state of Pennsylvania, newly elected governor Tom Corbett has proposed cutting 586 million dollars from K-12 public schools to help cover a projected $4 billion deficit. And of course, with a hefty dose of “greedy teacher” rhetoric from right wing radio, he has been able to convince a large population in Pennsylvania to actively support these cuts in the name of helping the “financial crisis.”
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