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The Passing of the Vast Right-Wing Conspirator

The New York Times reports the death of Richard Mellon Scaife, the Mellon heir and noted financial backer of conservative organizations and publications such as the Heritage Foundation, The American Spectator, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy, following his battle with cancer. Scaife is perhaps best known for funding a staggering number of anti-Clinton projects in the 1990s that set the stage for the Whitewater investigation, efforts which won him derision from some quarters and approbation from others. [more inside]
posted by kewb on Jul 4, 2014 - 42 comments

We draw a thick line on what has happened in the past.

Tadeusz Mazowiecki has died. The first prime minister after the fall of communist regime in Poland was later an UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Bosnia and resigned this post in protest over the failure of international community to prevent the Srebrenica massacre. [more inside]
posted by hat_eater on Oct 28, 2013 - 6 comments

The Dean of the White House Press Corp

Helen Thomas (Previously and Previously and Previously), who covered ten different administrations in her 49 years in the White House Press Corps (and maintained her rabble rouser image with both Republican and Democratic administrations), has died at age 92.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 20, 2013 - 161 comments

Batteries not included

André Cassagnes, the inventor of Etch A Sketch, has died aged 86. [Telegraph] [Guardian] [Washington Post] [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 2, 2013 - 25 comments

Jack Layton has passed away

Jack Layton has passed away after a long battle with cancer. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Aug 22, 2011 - 389 comments

David S. Broder, RIP

David S. Broder: Reporter. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 9, 2011 - 19 comments

You've got to end this war in Afghanistan.

A top-ranking American diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, dies. [more inside]
posted by mooselini on Dec 14, 2010 - 40 comments

A rat race is for rats. We're not rats. We're human beings.

Scottish trade unionist, journalist and broadcaster Jimmy Reid has died aged 78. Often described as the best MP Scotland never had, Reid was the instigator of the 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders famous work-in, where rather than striking, workers demonstrated the viability of the shipyards by working to fill the orders on the books, drawing national and international support (including a fat cheque from John Lennon). The year after, he was elected as rector of the University of Glasgow, where he delivered a speech (behind a paywall, sadly) that the New York Times (which saw fit to print it in full) called one of the finest since the Gettysburg Address [more inside]
posted by Len on Aug 11, 2010 - 40 comments

“A cobra among garter snakes”

He was... "...the meanest, toughest, most ambitious S.O.B. I ever knew but he'll be a hell of a secretary of state." -- Richard Nixon
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr.,, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who served US Presidents Nixon (as a military adviser, deputy assistant for national-security affairs, and chief of staff), Ford (chief of staff), and Reagan (secretary of state), has died at the age of 85. Haig commanded a batallion during the Vietnam War (where he was seriously wounded), managed the White House during the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon, and was himself a former Presidential candidate. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 20, 2010 - 40 comments

Beth Rickey, 1956-2009

Beth Rickey, instrumental in thwarting the rise of neo-Nazi David Duke in Louisiana politics, died this weekend at the age of 53 in a Santa Fe motel.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 15, 2009 - 34 comments

Samuel Huntington Dies

Samuel Phillip Huntington, best known for his work "Clash of Civilizations," died on December 24. Previously on the blue (here, here, here, and here)
posted by Glibpaxman on Dec 27, 2008 - 20 comments

Tony Snow, 1955-2008

Former White House spokesman Tony Snow developed colon cancer in February 2005 thanks to having suffered from ulcerative colitis for much of his life; he died today from that ailment. Snow was a "Fox News Sunday" anchor, a Fox News Channel political analyst, a guest host for Rush Limbaugh's radio program, the host of Fox News Radio's "The Tony Snow Show", and a NPR commentator. Chief of Staff Josh Bolten told staffers that unless they could commit to staying the full remainder of Bush's term, they should leave by Labor Day 2007, prompting Snow's resignation (due to what he said were financial reasons), where he was succeeded by Dana Perino. He played the guitar, saxophone and flute and was in a band called Beats Workin'. "Bush's wavering conservatism has become an active concern among Republicans, who wish he would stop cowering under the bed and start fighting back against the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Wilson," said Snow in a column. "The newly passive George Bush has become something of an embarrassment."
posted by WCityMike on Jul 12, 2008 - 125 comments

Former United States Senator Jesse Helms, 1921 - 2008.

Fmr. US Senator Jesse Helms, 1921 - 2008. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 4, 2008 - 315 comments

The king of sound silenced

Tony Schwartz passed away on June 15. [more inside]
posted by ddaavviidd on Jun 17, 2008 - 8 comments

Chris Lightfoot - "a one man think-tank"

It's a year since the untimely death of Chris Lightfoot. He had a remarkable combination of political commitment and technical expertise that led him to develop sites such as WriteToThem and Pledgebank for the splendid political and social software group, MySociety. His political writing brings a sharp and sarcastic wit to bear on such subjects as the Iraq war, and ID cards. There are also some good rants. A sad loss to British society.
posted by crocomancer on Feb 11, 2008 - 6 comments

The Saddam Sessions

Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
posted by kliuless on Jan 27, 2008 - 24 comments

Mohammed Suharto dead at 86.

Indonesia's former President Mohammed Suharto, who towered over Indonesian politics for 32 years, has died in hospital aged 86. Accused of amassing billions of dollars in ill-gotten wealth for himself, his family and friends, Indonesian officials were never able to find any evidence of this ill-gotten wealth. The BBC remembers him in pictures.
posted by Effigy2000 on Jan 27, 2008 - 39 comments

RIP Robin Prosser

Robin Prosser was a former concert pianist and systems analyst who suffered from an autoimmune disease similar to lupus for over 20 years. The disease left her in constant pain and made her allergic to most pharmaceutical painkillers. Only medical marijuana brought her relief, but last spring the DEA seized her medicine. Unable to cope with the chronic pain any longer, she committed suicide on October 18th. [Via Andrew Sullivan.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 29, 2007 - 68 comments

Does this make Turkmenistan an orphan?

Saparmurat Niyazov is dead. The self-designated "father of the Turkmen" was the absolute ruler of Turkmenistan for fifteen years, a minor middle-Asian country which would completely escape the notice of the West if it wasn't for Turkmenbashi's unique form of excess and its oil. Along with the usual human rights violations and wallowing in wealth -- an estimated $3 billion cached in private accounts -- he dedicated himself to reshaping Turkmen's philosophy and cosmology on a scale to inspire Kim Jong Il. Among his accomplishments are redefining the ages of Man and renaming the names of days and months after neutrality, the flag, and Turkmenbashi's mother. Who now will speak up for Turkmen Melon Day?
posted by ardgedee on Dec 21, 2006 - 42 comments

Tramp The Dirt Down?

Haughey Dead No, not that one. Charles Haughey – Former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, and probably the most controversial figure in recent Irish political history, has died of complications arising from prostate cancer.
posted by Sk4n on Jun 13, 2006 - 26 comments

George F. Kennan, 1904 — 2005

The Wise Man. George Frost Kennan, (Feb. 16, 1904 — Mar. 17, 2005). Architect of the Cold War, father of the Marshall Plan and the doctrine of containment in the "Kennan Century".
In February 1946, as the second-ranking diplomat in the American Embassy in Moscow, he dispatched his famous "Long Telegram" to Washington. Widely circulated, it made Kennan famous and evolved into an even better-known work, "The Sources of Soviet Conduct," which Mr. Kennan published under the anonymous byline "X" in the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs. More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 19, 2005 - 22 comments

Congressman Matsui (D-CA) Dies of Rare Disease

Congressman dies of rare disease Congressman Bob Matsui, who was recently elected to a 14th term in Congress, has died due to a rare stem cell disease. Matsui, who was one of the leading opponents of President Bush's plan to eliminate Social Security, was the ranking Democrat on the Congressional subcommittee on Social Security.
posted by expriest on Jan 2, 2005 - 26 comments

Family Asks Cheney Not To Attend Wellstone Service.

Family Asks Cheney Not To Attend Wellstone Service. "Upset by Republican activities", the Wellstone family has uninvited Cheney to Sen. Wellstone's funeral. This article suggests that it's as much an issue of the awkwardness of Cheney being at what might amount to a Democrat rally, as it is about the family not wanting him there.
posted by badstone on Oct 29, 2002 - 62 comments

Léopold Sedar Senghor, poet and first president of Senegal, dies at 95

Léopold Sedar Senghor, poet and first president of Senegal, dies at 95
He was the founder the négritude movement in French poetry, and a leader of African socialism. This "This Day" article discusses the political side, crediting him with Senegal's relative peace and success. This Libération article gives some biographical details. Like his friend and colleague, Senghor's negritude poems used images and symbolism of African folk cultures in French modernist verse to create a liberated identity for Africans.
posted by rschram on Dec 21, 2001 - 6 comments

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