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Robert Ames in his trademark tinted aviators

In The Good Spy, Kai Bird documents the life of CIA agent Robert Ames, a sincere and unlikely mediator in the Middle East.

Drugs: equal opportunity destroyer… St. Nick to the rescue!… rape on campus… the left and the NRA… climate justice, Texas style… Joyce: a class by himself… a picture = 1,000 words

And don’t miss Kosman and Picciotto’s crossword blog, Word Salad.

Efforts to kill nuclear talks with Iran are only coming from Republicans. That helps Obama.

New York’s governor should accept the Democratic challenger’s proposal for debates about corruption—and more.

Not much evidence of reform-mindedness as Chris Christie, Scott Walker et al. defend tax cuts and austerity.

Beaver

If we want to construct a healthy and resilient world for ourselves and our fellow creatures, we could learn a thing or two from the beaver—who’s already doing just that.

Progressives need a counterweight to the ALEC, one built and operated with progressive values in mind. And soon, we might have one.

As the ‘grown-ups’ in Jerusalem and Washington sort out the situation in Gaza, children keep getting killed.

Low-wage federal contract workers are once again asking Obama to raise the minimum wage.

Shifa Hospital

“I saw a massacre,” says one survivor, “There were heads off bodies, shoulders half torn, hands gone, chests opened.”

Twitter is changing how we “bear witness” to war.

Representative Keith Ellison wants to make forming a union a civil right.

Staples is at the center of a highly controversial “public-private partnership” deal to turn its counters into quasi-post offices. 

She tells CNN that she might favor “no enrichment for Iran” nuclear program.

Natural Gas Fracking

Wishful thinking and corporate greed are leading us down the wrong path to solving our climate crisis.

A new bill could ease the tightrope that many low-wage workers walk.

Only Putin knows. But he also knows he doesn’t have to fear a US or NATO military response.

Israel claims that it is merely exercising its right to self-defense and that Gaza is no longer occupied. Here’s what you need to know about these talking points and more.