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Wikimedia Commons

Downsizing Charlie Brown’s Christmas

The cartoon “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is a classic that offers us an endearing and memorable message against yuletide commercialism. But ABC must not have been paying attention, as it cut several key scenes from the program to add even more space for—you guessed it—advertisements.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Kent Gilbert

Honduras’ Zelaya Rethinks Exile

It may not be the end just yet for Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, ousted in a coup in June. Despite international support for his return to office, Zelaya was slated to leave his country for exile in Mexico. But those negotiations have now been postponed.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Bjorn Sigurdson

Peace Through War

President Barack Obama struggled to balance “man of peace” with “man of war” in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, in which he demanded we uphold moral standards in “necessary” war and insisted that war could bring peace.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / The Gifted Photographer / CC-BY-SA

Fair and Balanced (and Phony) Science

Evading the challenges of climate change—and the human responsibility to save the planet—is simple enough even for the laziest citizen.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


The ‘Human’ Factor Missing in Copenhagen

Countries are wrangling over everything about human-induced climate change except the increasing number of humans inducing it.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


Making Gun Safety (Politically) Safe

When it comes to passing sensible gun laws, Congress typically offers Profiles in Cowardice.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


Orrin Hatch’s Hanukkah Song

Can someone explain how über-Mormon Sen. Orrin Hatch came to write a Hannukah song? Oh wait, Jeffrey Goldberg just did and took all the fun out of it. Better to not know, and watch the video after the jump.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


Springsteen
Wikimedia Commons/The Boss~Live!

Springsteen Pipes Up for Gay Marriage in New Jersey

Gay marriage advocates in New Jersey can count The Boss among their supporters. On Wednesday, Bruce Springsteen posted a statement on his Web site saying that he “couldn’t agree more” with Gov. Jon Corzine’s assessment that the marriage-equality legislation that’s under consideration in the Garden State represents “a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law.”

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE



Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art

Missing Album From Hitler’s Fantasy Museum Found in Ohio

The world’s most famous failed art student planned to build a “Fü hrermuseum” in his hometown and fill it with his favorite (and often ill-gotten) art—photos of which were collected first in various scrapbooks. One of those volumes was just discovered in the Ohio home of a WWII veteran, who decided to have it returned to Germany.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


ashtray
Flickr/mamagrrrl

Report: States Slacking on Anti-Smoking Spending

According to a consortium of anti-smoking organizations, U.S. state governments are raking in more money than ever from tobacco companies but aren’t spending as much as they had in recent years on preventing their constituents from starting to light up or on helping them quit.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi: Obama’s Wall Street 180 Started on Election Day

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi walks through Barack Obama’s banking sellout, beginning with the president’s transition team. According to Taibbi, Obama’s transformation from populist to Wall Street’s best friend started on day one.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


Timothy Geithner
Wikimedia Commons / Presidencia de la Nación Argentina

Geithner Gives TARP an Extension

The Troubled Asset Relief Program, otherwise known as TARP, was scheduled to expire at the end of this year, but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress on Wednesday that it’ll stick around until October 2010, partly as a precautionary measure in case of economic emergency and partly to help struggling homeowners, banks and small businesses.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


Mark Sanford
thenewliberator.wordpress.com

No Impeachment for South Carolina Governor

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair with an Argentine may have exacted a personal cost and made him more vulnerable politically, but it looks as if his conduct won’t cost him his job. A panel of his state’s lawmakers have decided his indiscretions don’t merit impeachment.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert

‘Colbert Report’: Fed’s Dead

Do Americans really need to know how sausage gets made over at the Federal Reserve? As Stephen Colbert points out, there may be a little pig rectum in the mix, but as long as the Fed’s minions are allowed to perform their secret rituals, which may or may not involve ritual chicken slaughter, we all profit in the end, no?

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


Jerusalem protest
AP / Sebastian Scheiner

Protesters Rally in Jerusalem Over Building Moratorium

Thousands of demonstrators rallied in Jerusalem, converging near the home of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to protest his recent announcement of a 10-month moratorium on approving permits for new settlement homes in the West Bank, according to the BBC.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP / Susan Walsh

Dear Barack, Spare Me Your E-Mails

Obama’s faux populism is beginning to grate, and when yet another one of those “we the people” e-mails from the president landed on my screen as I was fishing around for a column subject, I came unglued.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


capitol
Flickr / laura padgett

Lieberman Wins: Senate Compromise to Kill Public Option

Senate Democrats have worked out a tentative compromise that would nix the public option in favor of a national nonprofit plan and an expansion of Medicare. Sens. Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders, strong public option supporters, could spoil the deal, but they’re likelier to support overall reform than their conservative colleagues. (continued)

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE


Sofia Tolstoy
amazon.com

The Life and Times of Mrs. Leo Tolstoy

Turns out that being married to Russian literary giant Leo Tolstoy wasn’t always a recipe for a good time. Sure, there was the excitement of helping him realize his loftiest artistic ambitions, but Sofia Tolstoy, wife of 48 years and mother of the author’s 13 children, eventually discovered that she would lose her husband to his religious convictions before losing him for good.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE


McChrystal: Defeating Bin Laden, Taliban Key to Afghanistan Victory

This may sound more like a press release from Captain Obvious than incisive strategic commentary from one of our nation’s top military leaders, but lest it be overlooked, Gen. Stanley McChrystal recommends that the U.S. capture Osama Bin Laden and push back on the Taliban as two crucial action items on America’s to-do list for Afghanistan.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Gay Animals Edition

Today on the list: the power of same-sex liaisons, poetry in the Bible and more. Update

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / america.gov

Take Me to Your Climate Leader

“Politicians talk, leaders act” read the sign outside the Bella Center in Copenhagen on the opening day of the United Nations climate summit.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE


‘The Great Global Security Underwriter’ Will Pay a High Price

Why, if the electorate is less than enthusiastic about providing global underwriting, and would like to see others provide their own insurance, does Washington persist in its role?

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE


Camp Sullivan parties
cbsnews.com

State Department to Drop ArmorGroup’s Kabul Contract

Tough break, ArmorGroup North America. The U.S. State Department has decided not to re-up its contract with the rent-a-guard company that made the worst kind of headlines earlier this year with lurid stories about, and compromising photographs of, AGNA’s alarmingly hard-partying Kabul embassy crew.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Financial Oversight: We’re Still Waiting, Mr. President

We have a “regulation czar,” but no new regulations. It seems we can expect little from those with a track record of enabling bad policies.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE


Daily Show

‘Daily Show’: Tactics of Mass Obstruction

Here’s some shocking news: Certain members of the U.S. Senate may be employing stalling tactics to make sure their version of the highly contested health care reform legislation, should it ever see the light of day, takes freaking forever to create.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE


No Exit

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Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE


Some Summit

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Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE



youtube

Can Gadgets Save the Magazine?

What to do when your business and the medium it’s printed on are disintegrating into pulp? Form a consortium, of course. Condé Nast, Hearst, Time, News Corp. and something called Meredith have banded together to crack this nut with a common digital format, shared innovation and maybe even a new gadget or two. (continued)

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE


Baghdad firefighters
AP / Hadi Mizban

At Least 127 Killed in Baghdad Bombings

A spate of car bombings attributed to al-Qaida killed at least 127 people and wounded 448 in Baghdad on Tuesday. The bombs targeted a police patrol and official buildings, according to the BBC.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Brani's fashion dolls

Tiger’s Oppressive Standard of Beauty

Tiger Woods has a Barbie thing so pronounced it suggests his philandering is as much about validation as lust.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Leslie E. Kossoff

21st Century Skills: Education’s New Cliché

What’s new about them? They sound like the skills one would have gotten from a good 20th century education—or from a lot further back than that.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Rainy Day Edition

It’s pouring in Larry HQ, which makes it a better time than ever to read about guns and gals, China and America’s inferiority complex, military anthropologists and more. Soak it up after the jump.  Many, many updates

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE


Virgin Galactic
virgingalactic.com

Virgin Galactic Gears Up for Space Flights

As if his plan for global domination weren’t enough, Virgin Group honcho Richard Branson is taking to space with his new commercial spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo, which will grant six paying customers at a time the experience of weightlessness for six minutes.

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE


Tupac
youtube.com

Tupac Makes the Vatican’s Cut

It’s kind of sweetly dorky, like your grandpa finally figuring out how to use his iPod or something, but the Vatican has apparently discovered the late hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur and has gone so far as to include one of his songs, “Changes,” among a lineup of eight tunes on “The Vatican’s Playlist” (which has its own MySpace page!).

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE


‘It’s All About Joe’

Those feisty progressives are at it again, running an ad against Joe Lieberman that features the actual chairman of the Connecticut for Lieberman party—but what exactly is the Connecticut for Lieberman party?

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE


Lahore bombings
bbc.co.uk

Market Bombings Kill at Least 36 in Pakistan

Two bomb blasts ripped through a busy market in Lahore, Pakistan, on Monday evening, killing at least 36 people and injuring about 100. The bombs were reportedly set off via remote control, and the explosions came on the heels of a suicide bombing in Peshawar that killed at least 10 earlier in the day.

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ianduffy

EPA Moves Toward Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

Who needs Congress? The EPA officially determined Tuesday that “greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people.” Under the Clean Air Act and with the blessing of the Supreme Court, the agency might now be able to regulate emissions that contribute to the climate crisis. (continued)

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE



solvingpoverty.org

ACORN Probe Finds No Pattern of Illegality

The Republicans’ favorite punching bag, ACORN, has emerged from an external review process looking far less shady than its opponents would like, but the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now still has some management issues, according to the inquiry’s findings.

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE


Budrus trailer

Palestinians, Israelis Unite to Save Village in ‘Budrus’

This is the kind of story that offers some inspiring relief to the seemingly relentless bad news about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The new documentary “Budrus” follows an unlikely alliance between feuding Palestinian groups and between Palestinians and Israelis, forged in the interest of saving a village through nonviolent protest.

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Matthew R. Jones

Tony Blair Ignored Iraq Warning, Top General Says

Add Maj. Gen. Tim Cross to that growing list of people who foresaw disaster in Iraq but were ignored. The senior British liaison to the U.S. reconstruction effort warned his prime minister before the invasion that insufficient postwar planning would lead to chaos. The rest is history. (continued)

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE


Senate Debate to Focus on Abortion

The health care reform bill that made it through the House of Representatives last month didn’t exactly win rave reviews from the pro-choice camp, and now it’s the Senate’s turn to have it out over whether government-subsidized health care should ever include coverage for abortions and, if so, under what circumstances that should be allowed.

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Jens Meyer

Liberals Are Useless

The gravest danger we face as a nation is not from the far right, although it may well inherit power, but from a bankrupt liberal class that has lost the will to fight and the moral courage to stand up for what it espouses.

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE



cironline.org

Corporate Farmer Calls Upon Sen. Feinstein to Influence Environmental Dispute

Wealthy corporate farmer Stewart Resnick (shown above with wife Lynda) has written check after check to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s campaigns, and when he needed her help, he got quick results.

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE


Nation Building

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Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE


Forward March

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Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE    



White House / Pete Souza

The Health Care Race to Christmas

President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan and his subsequent jobs summit underscored why it’s essential to get a health care bill done quickly.

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE


‘Mosaic’: The Real Reason Behind Obama’s Afghan Surge

Something just doesn’t add up about the stated logic of sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, says Jamal Dajani, who has a theory about the president’s real reason for escalating the war.

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Joerg Sarbach

These Iranian Troubadours Show How Music Can Corrupt the Soul

Music and Islam have a dodgy relationship. I guess it’s really all to do with that most jealously guarded commodity, the human soul, over which music exerts such passion.

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE



What Can the FCC Do for You?

The Federal Communications Commission has a long and disappointing history of generally failing to regulate ever-larger media and telecommunications companies, except, during fits of prudishness, in the area of so-called indecency. But the latest incarnation of the FCC is proving to be more of a consumer advocate than its predecessors. (continued)

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Charles Rex Arbogast

Gitmo Prisoners’ New Digs?

A deal is being brokered that would probably make a state prison in rural Illinois the new home of detainees now held at the prison in Guantanamo Bay. Republicans have voiced outrage at the prospect of bringing the detainees Stateside, citing security threats.

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE


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