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Madonna
AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Madonna vs. McCain

Madonna is no John McCain fan, and the feeling’s definitely mutual. The newly minted quinquagenarian icon is once again playing the provocateur on her latest tour, taking aim at McCain by making some undesirable comparisons between the GOP’s presumptive nominee and certain nefarious world leaders from past and present.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


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Flickr / M@rcopako

The Literary Mr. Phelps

If you want to read a personal account of Michael Phelps’ training philosophy, you’ll have to wait until December, when the Olympic swimming champion’s “Built to Succeed” hits store shelves. As much as we value the written word around here, is it really necessary for every celebrity to pen a memoir? There are trees at stake, after all.

Posted on Aug 22, 2008 READ MORE


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James Blight on the Cuban Missile Crisis

In “One Minute to Midnight,” Michael Dobbs’ definitive book on the 1962 crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation, the question of lessons learned and unlearned remains as acute as ever.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


Toby Keith
music.aol.com

Toby Keith Comes Out as a Democrat

Is this the same Toby Keith who unleashed the cheese-slathered anthem, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” (complete with fluffy golden retriever puppies and rippling flags in the video version), on the general public in 2002? Mr. “We’ll-Put-A-Boot-Up-Your-Ass”?

Posted on Aug 19, 2008 READ MORE



Borgnine Blushes, but He’s On to Something

The 91-year-old actor sent the cast of “Fox and Friends” into a juvenile tizzy this week when he revealed the key to his longevity: “I masturbate a lot.” Don’t snicker. The health benefits of autoeroticism have been well documented, yet modesty prevents many adults from discussing such matters.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 READ MORE


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Warren I. Cohen on China’s Charm Offensive

The Beijing Olympics are proof that the rule of China’s Communist Party has been validated. Yet human rights abuses continue. What’s really going on? What kind of country is China becoming? Two new books help provide answers.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 READ MORE


Jackson Browne
commons.wikimedia.org

Jackson Browne Sues Team McCain, Republican Party

Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne is not thrilled that his song “Running on Empty” was co-opted by the Ohio Republican Party and used as an anthem for a commercial that Browne believed made it seem as though he supported John McCain’s presidential campaign. Au contraire, Ohio GOP.

Posted on Aug 14, 2008 READ MORE


oprah
freshdames.com

Oprah’s Support = 1 Million Votes

The power of Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement is clearly quantifiable when it comes to her “favorite things” (e.g. book sales), but how about her favorite people (e.g. Barack Obama)? Well, a scholarly duo from the University of Maryland came up with 1 million votes as the impressive, if somewhat strangely derived, number that represents the boost Oprah has given Obama since she gave him her official stamp of approval.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


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Zachary Karabell on the Middle East

What is it about the region that provokes intense sectarian passions, prompting seemingly endless vendettas? “Kingmakers,” by Karl Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac, tells the story of British and American entanglement and how the modern Middle East was invented. It also offers an exemplary history of hubris.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


Solzhenitsyn
bbc.co.uk

A Moral Force Moves Into History

He was born into a Cossack family, which was just one of many indications that life wasn’t exactly going to be conflict-free for Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who died Aug. 3. The Russian writer survived eight years in Stalin’s notorious gulags and became one of his country’s most controversial critical thinkers, a process that continued during the two decades he was forced to live in exile.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


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