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Susan Rice, America's "See No Evil" Ambassador

Forget about Benghazi. The whole imbroglio was little more than an election gambit gone sour. Republican leaders, frustrated that their charges failed to wound Obama in November, have vented their fury on his choice for Secretary of State.

But Susan Rice's record as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. raises other more serious concerns. The New York Times published two articles today, a news story and an op-ed, which question Rice's judgment concerning several African dictators.

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China's Corruption Conundrum

"We must be vigilant," proclaimed Xi Jinping, China's new paramount leader. In his inaugural speech to the 25-person Politburo, he warned that rampant graft and corruption would "doom the party and the state" if it continued unchecked.

He has a point. From petty graft in far-flung villages to the regime-shaking Bo Xilai scandal, rampant corruption has fueled the social unrest that the long-toothed oligarchs fear so much. Payoffs have bumped China's vaunted high-speed trains off their shoddy tracks. Graft has nibbled away the roots of its famously fertile economy.

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The Change We Weren't Waiting For After All

The pundits are pondering. They mention mandates and movements, margins and maneuvers and meetings in the middle. They wax wisely on who won and why they won and which way the wind will waft on Wednesday.

We love to mock them, these prattling experts and prognosticators. And yet we listen, we read, we react. We can't help ourselves. We want to know what it all means and what will happen next. We are determined to squeeze great meaning from great events. We are all pundits.

But the truth is that the great election of November 7, 2012, was all but meaningless. It represents neither a pivot point nor a portent. A poor candidate lost to a strong candidate, as as he was expected to do. A diverse majority of Democrats in the Senate will continue to play a weak hand weakly. A militant majority of Republicans in the House will continue to obstruct, ignoring calls for moderation as they have done for two decades. The federal government will hobble feebly along.

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Live-Blogging the Debate! Gloves Off! Pants Off! OK, Pants Back On! Just the Gloves!

Gentlemen, your objectives are clear.

Obama: Get those nuts on the table or the pedestal or whatever it is you're using. Wait, it's Town Hall style. Just thrust out your pelvis then. You're big! You're bad! You're mad as hell and you're not going to take it any more! (It's OK, it's just pretend.)

Romney: No apologies! Keep on rolling out those double-speak plans and fake studies. Americans suck at math! They do not care if man means what he says so long as he says what he means. You know that I mean.

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Pretty Little Liars

I wanted to believe Lance Armstrong, even after he wrote, "Enough is enough."

I thought it was strange that he declined to contest the allegations of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, but I couldn't help empathizing with this man, so confident and earnest, a sports legend and a survivor.

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I used to be proud to invite people to contribute to dagblog. Whenever I met a writer, I would encourage them to share their work here. We're not the biggest blog in the sphere, but I would boast about the intelligence and civility of our discussions.

We still have plenty of those these days. I think that the interpersonal rancor has even declined. But the hostility and disrespect towards outsiders has grown. I do not feel comfortable inviting writers to contribute here anymore.

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Hey folks. As some of you may have noticed, dagblog has become somewhat sluggish in maturity. When she was brand new, she zipped along like a peppy new sports car. But over the years, she has filled out a bit. The server is groaning under the weight of some 8,777 blog posts and 96,105 comments, and dag's reaction time has slowed to a crawl.

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BREAKING: Bain Capital Acquires Romney Campaign

Romney for President, Inc., today announced that Bain Capital, LLC, a leading global private investment firm, has completed its purchase of the organization. The total value of the transaction is $53 million.

Romney for President is a leading Boston-based provider of political strategy, public relations, and fundraising services. It was founded in 2011 by Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts and an original founder of Bain Capital, with the goal of electing Romney President of the United States.

"The completion of the sale is a significant milestone in our campaign's history," said Stuart Stevens, Romney for President's Chief Campaign Strategist. "We enter this new phase of our growth and development with a new name – Mittata Intelligence – and a renewed commitment to excellence, innovation, and federal budget reduction."

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Who Believe They Are Entitled...

All right, there are 47 percent...who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.

Mitt Romney, 2012

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Islam and Intolerance

There is a touch of hypocrisy in Mitt Romney's strident defense of free speech. It is hard to imagine that "freedom of speech" would be the first words out of his mouth if Jesus Christ were the target of ridicule instead of Muhammad.

Still, though Romney and his supporters would surely bristle at an offensive caricature of Jesus, the ambassadors of Muslim nations have nothing to fear from mobs of Christian fanatics. The United States has its fair share of religious zealots, but they are not prone to rioting and violence when their sacred symbols are profaned.

Why is that? Why are the Middle East and Indian subcontinent so much more more susceptible to religious explosions of mob violence than Western countries?


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Personal Information


Michael Wolraich is a non-fiction writer in New York City. He co-founded dagblog and has contributed  to the Atlantic, the Daily Beast, New York Magazine,,, Reuters, and Pando Daily.


Wolraich is also the computer genius who maintains dagblog's state-of-the-art software, but he denies responsibility for technical glitches and advises users to "quit sniveling." In his spare time, Wolraich raises peach mold and performs live impressions of the law of gravity.


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