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Achenblog: November 29, 2009 - December 5, 2009

David Finkel makes Times 10 Best list

I need to start reading again. I am ashamed to say that I read only one of the books on The New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2009 list. But it could have been worse --...

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 5, 2009; 2:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (245)
 
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Amazing Hubble space telescope fact

There was one interesting factoid that I left out of my magazine story on the Hubble. (Sadly, we are not allowed to revise stories after they have already been published. This has been the bane of my existence.) I...

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 5, 2009; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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What those Hubble images are telling us

By this point, we've all seen so many pretty Hubble pictures that we're in danger of pretty-Hubble-picture burnout. We've seen exploding stars galore. We've seen majestic pillars of gas that are spawning new solar systems. We've seen galaxies colliding,...

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 4, 2009; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (131)
 
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Afghanistan: Firm commitments and wiggle room

An email from Joe Biden this morning seeks to rally the faithful to the president's Afghanistan plan, saying, "the President has authorized the rapid deployment of 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan, with a firm commitment to begin bringing our...

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 3, 2009; 9:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (226)
 
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The Obama doctrine

Lots and lots of half-hearted, slow-motion clapping out there for the president's speech. Lots of "yes...but...." It's a war no one loves. Obama says it's not a quagmire, just, well, a steaming morass of boot-sucking muck that we will...

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 2, 2009; 8:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (246)
 
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Owning Afghanistan [updated]

Really big speech tonight. The president does well in these formats. But he's never had to give a speech quite like this one -- selling an escalation of a war that few people love. He'll frame it as new strategy...

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 1, 2009; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (111)
 
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The errant drive of Tiger Woods [Updated]

The supermarket tabs sometimes run a little feature on celebrities doing very ordinary things "just like us." Here is the celebrity schlepping groceries to his car, just like us! Here is the celebrity looking wrung-out and haggard while enduring...

By Joel Achenbach  |  November 30, 2009; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (306)
 
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