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Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Jobs, Health, War, Sex!

That last bit in the headline isn’t just to get your attention—there are a few valid reasons for its inclusion among this week’s “LRC” topics (paging Roman Polanski ... or was that David Letterman?). However, more substantial fare precedes that part of the discussion, including talk of unemployment, Wall Street’s most wanted, and Obama’s growing Afghanistan problem.

Posted on Oct 2, 2009 READ MORE


Madoff
AP / Jason DeCrow

Legal Trouble Spreads to Madoff Family Members

Fallen financier Bernard Madoff’s brother, sons and niece are now in legal hot water after a court-appointed trustee filed suit against them on Friday for allegedly pocketing “ill-gotten gains” they received from Madoff’s fraudulent business ventures, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Posted on Oct 2, 2009 READ MORE


Frist
Wikimedia Commons/senate.gov

Frist Supports Health Bill

Good to know there are some seemingly dyed-in-the-wool GOP types who are at least partly open to some of the health care reform proposals knocking around the halls of Congress. Count among that tiny minority the former Senate Republican chief Bill Frist, who says he’d vote for the measure despite its shortcomings.

Posted on Oct 2, 2009 READ MORE


editorial roundtable

Editors’ Round Table: Moore’s Manifesto, Green Gadgetry and Czar Craziness

Truthdig editors Robert Scheer, Peter Scheer and Kasia Anderson unchain themselves from their laptops long enough to weigh in about the week’s news, Michael Moore’s economic epic and a new phone made partly from corn. If that’s not eclectic, we don’t know what is.

Posted on Oct 2, 2009 READ MORE


Unemployment
wfxl.com

U.S. Unemployment Edges Toward Double Digits

Economic news and pessimistic views: U.S. unemployment increased slightly to 9.8 percent and, moreover, this figure shows the crisis is far from over, experts say. Joblessness is at a 26-year high.

Posted on Oct 2, 2009 READ MORE


Chicago
U.S. Presswire / Jerry Lai

Chicago Booted From Olympic Running

The 2016 Summer Olympics will not find their home in the Windy City: Chicago was eliminated Friday in the competition to host the Games and the honor was given to Rio de Janeiro, marking the first time the Olympics will take place in South America.

Posted on Oct 2, 2009 READ MORE



White House photo

The Torture Memos

Georgetown University law professor David Cole’s new book, “The Torture Memos,” investigates how key members of the U.S. Office of Legal Counsel rewrote the law to make torture legal.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Tracy Quan on Class Anxieties

Julian Fellowes’ novel “Past Imperfect” provides a compelling fictive crossroads where the myths and realities of class collide.

Posted on Oct 2, 2009 READ MORE


‘Socialism’ and Sham in the Senate

Listening closely to the politicians with the most clout in the debate over health care, it is startling to discover how little they actually seem to know about the subject.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Who’s in Charge: Obama, Congress or the Military?

The Washington Establishment clearly believes elected officials should defer to the military, no matter what that pesky Constitution says.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Polanski Brings Out the Worst in Hollywood

Could it be that the conservative culture warriors who portray Hollywood as a cesspool of moral bankruptcy have been right all along? Not really. But in the case of Roman Polanski, the Puritan scolds definitely have a point.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE



capitalismalovestory.com

Capitalism Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Michael Moore’s latest look at what’s wrong (and right) with America is a lot better—and a lot more radical—than some of the brie-eaters reviewing it think. It’s a cry from the soul of a man who sees the whole country turning into his hometown hell of Flint, Mich.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Grayson
grayson.house.gov

Grayson’s Comments Spark Congressional Flame War

The partisan nonsense meter hit a high Thursday following a protracted bout of bickering in the House that heated up after Florida Rep. Alan Grayson made his views about his Republican colleagues eminently clear, but he’s not sorry, and he’s not apologizing—at least not yet. This does not please said colleagues, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn’t in a hurry to appease them either.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Communist China Turns 60—and Reveals Its Insecurities

What could and should have been celebrated this week in Beijing is the resumption of effective power in the People’s Republic by the modernizer Deng Xiaoping.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Early Adopters

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Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE    


Congressman: Republicans Are ‘Knuckle-Dragging Neanderthals’

Rep. Alan Grayson, the congressman who said the Republican health care plan is for Americans to die quicker, tells Wolf Blitzer and friends what’s up: “Democrats have to have guts. And now we have to have the guts to take the majority that the American people have given us and do something with it.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


5-0
milwoman.com

‘Spiraling Increases’ in Afghan Police Deaths

International efforts to expand Afghanistan’s security forces are being undermined by “spiraling increases” in violent deaths among the nation’s police officers as the eighth anniversary of the U.S. war approaches.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr.com / HSeverson

The $380 Million Gorilla

With six lobbyists for every congressperson and $380 million spent on lobbying in recent months, the health care industry has pulled out all the stops in battling against any reform to the nation’s health insurance system, no matter how watered down it might be.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Peru
journalperu.com

Fujimori Is Found Guilty, Again

While serving time in a Peruvian clink, Ex-President Alberto Fujimori found time in his schedule to be convicted of corruption. The sentence handed down in his fourth and final trial on charges of illegal activity in office calls for extending his jail stay by six years.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Obama’s Afghanistan Dilemma

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama repeatedly called for expanding the war in Afghanistan. Be careful what you wish for.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Making Tragedy Out of Farce

The Senate Finance Committee’s health care debate has given Michael Moore hours of footage for his next cinematic assault on the system.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


The Public Option Only Looks Dead

The strangest aspect of the debate over a public option for health coverage is that the centrists who oppose it should actually love it.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


A Question of Health—and Equality

My favorite moment so far in the health care debate was when Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl argued against mandating maternity benefits as part of a basic insurance coverage. “I don’t need maternity care,” he blurted out. At which point, Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow quipped, “I think your mom probably did.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


banking hearing
AP / Susan Walsh

Bank of America CEO to Pack It In at Year’s End

Another head of another big bank is rolling ... all the way out the door. On Wednesday, Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis made the startling announcement that he was opting to take early retirement, effective the last day of this calendar year.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 READ MORE


Sumatra survivors

Giant Earthquake Rocks Indonesian Town

A whopping 7.6 earthquake hit the coastal town of Pedang, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, full force on Wednesday, causing survivors to flee in fear of a possible tsunami in its aftermath and leaving thousands more trapped under collapsed buildings.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 READ MORE


smoke in Gaza
Flickr/Amir Farshad Ebrahimi

Israel Should Pay Attention to a Man of Justice

Israeli investigations of the Gaza war, its government officials announced, were “a thousand times” fairer than the Goldstone investigation—a preposterous claim, given Israel’s constant inability to conduct fair inquiries of its own—and that his mission “gave legitimacy to the Hamas terrorist organization.”

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / langalex

The Dark Side of Green Energy

Renewable energy projects are sprouting up across the country, much to the delight of environmentalists. Or is it? Green power, it turns out, is very thirsty. Developers are requesting billions of gallons of water annually to cool, cleanse and maintain their solar farms and other projects—billions more than we may have.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 READ MORE


Twitter theater
Composite image: Kleininstruments.com, twitter.com

Want to Reach Moviegoers? Go Online

It’s official: Movie marketers can no longer afford to ignore social networking sites. This may strike some as a foregone conclusion (i.e., duh), but those in the industry who are still resisting the all-consuming pull of online vortexes like Facebook and Twitter are doing so at their own peril, according to the new “Moviegoers 2010” report.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 READ MORE


Bush and schoolchildren

Fox News Drags Kids Into Faux Obama Conspiracy Theories

The folks at Fox News are outraged after seeing a clip of some New Jersey school kids singing President Obama’s praises and have handily spun the story into yet another sign of the Obama administration’s relentless indoctrination of unsuspecting Americans everywhere. Problem is, there’s similar footage to be found of schoolchildren doing the same for George W. Bush.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 READ MORE


Iran nuclear program
payvand.com

U.S. to Huddle With Iran on Its Nuclear Plans

American diplomats are gearing up to carefully broach the topic of Tehran’s nuclear program with their Iranian counterparts during a summit on the subject in Geneva on Thursday, thus potentially going further than President Obama had been able to venture in earlier negotiation efforts.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 READ MORE


Baucus
AP / Jose Luis Magana

Senate Panel Votes Down Abortion Amendment in Baucus Bill

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch tried, and ultimately failed, to add an amendment to the health care hydra that Max Baucus’ reform bill has become. This one would have required women to buy separate policies for abortion-related services. Even the formerly reticent Sen. Olympia Snowe cast a “no” vote on this one.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 READ MORE



toyota.com

Toyota Recalls 3.8 Million Cars

Toyota has announced a recall of eight U.S. models, including the 2004-2009 Prius. A problem with floor mats has reportedly caused the deaths of five people so far. The BBC calculates the cost of the recall at two years’ worth of U.S. sales for the automaker.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama at G-20 summit
AP / Charles Dharapak

Exorcising America’s Diplomatic Demons

Communism once was, as the Islamic terrorist threat is today, presented as an undifferentiated revolutionary impulse that could never be diplomatically accommodated without sacrificing our own security or, indeed, our freedom. The various communist nations and movements, like those currently led by a polyglot collection of Islamist radicals, were stripped of any complexity, be it in their national identity or ideology. 

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


2 Against 1

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Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE    


Everybody but Us

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Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / Gauldo

Secret Service Investigating Facebook Poll

The U.S. Secret Service investigates all threats against the life of the president, including a recent user-generated Facebook poll that asked whether the president should be killed. The social networking giant has disabled the survey, which, according to CNN, carried the possible answers “yes,” “maybe,” “if he cuts my health care” and “no.”  —PS

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE



news.bbc.co.uk

Widespread Rape, 157 Dead in Guinea ‘Hell’

A human rights organization reported 157 dead after Guinean troops fired on protesters Tuesday. Widespread rape has also been reported by witnesses. The country’s opposition leader was quoted by the BBC as saying, “I don’t know whether I’m on earth or in hell.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


In Europe, the Left Has Run Out of Gas

While the Republican leadership in the United States would have people believe that the country is being remorselessly driven to the far left under Barack Obama, European voters are moving toward the right.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Dan Rather
www.flickr.com/laugurinn

CBS: 2, Rather: 0

Former CBS anchor Dan Rather has come up short—$70 million short, in fact—in his bid to sue his ex-employers at the network for relieving him of his desk duty following a 2004 report he delivered about then-President George W. Bush’s National Guard service during the Vietnam War era.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Scanning the Horizon of Books and Libraries

A battle is raging over the future of books in the digital age that could grant a practical monopoly on recorded human knowledge to global Internet search giant Google.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP / John Froschauer

Soldier of Conscience Survives Court-Martial, Goes Free

Lt. Ehren Watada, the soldier who refused to deploy to Iraq on grounds that serving there would be participating in war crimes, is finally free of the Army. His court-martial ended in a mistrial and the military decided to let Watada go.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Baucus
AP / Susan Walsh

Baucus & Co. Shoot Down Public Option Amendment

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and his merry band of legislators on Tuesday nixed an amendment proposing that a government-backed “public option” be included in Baucus’ contested health care reform plan, using the argument that the public option addition would further diminish the bill’s chances of passing.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Baucus bill

A Brave New Baucus Bill Primer

As this commentary from the vigilant videographers over at Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films outfit points out, Sen. Max Baucus’ health care reform bill definitely would serve the interests of at least some interested parties—namely, the health insurance companies themselves.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Stewart

‘Daily Show’: Better Socialism Through Performance Art

Are America’s “culture wars” being backed by the NEA? Will President Obama marshal a shadow army of deft performance artists and elementary school teachers to brainwash Americans into a state of mass compliance as he enacts his Socialist Agenda™? The people at Fox News clearly haven’t seen a lot of bad performance art if they really believe their own racket.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Rasmussen and Obama
AP / Gerald Herbert

Obama Meets With NATO Chief on Afghan Strategy

President Barack Obama is under major pressure to sort out the future U.S. commitment and plan of action in Afghanistan, and thus his work was cut out for him during his huddle Tuesday with NATO leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Lynne Sladky

Washington Plays the Idiot With Guantanamo

With the arrest of Najbullah Zazi, the man allegedly behind the biggest terror plot since 9/11, the truth is clearer than ever: Law enforcement stops terrorism. Not secret island prisons.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Bring Polanski to Justice

Hasn’t Roman Polanski suffered enough? Didn’t he endure all those cool, gray, rainy Paris winters? Didn’t he also drug and rape a 13-year-old girl?

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Manuel Zelaya
ABR / Ricardo Stuckert

U.S. Critical of Zelaya, Honduran Government

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (above) shouldn’t have returned to his home turf before striking some kind of agreement with the regime that seized power during last summer’s coup, according to Lewis Amselem, U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States—but Amselem also fired off some words of official disapproval about said regime while he was at it.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009 READ MORE


Polanski
AP Photo/Roberto Pfeil

Polanski Preps for a Fight After Arrest

Director Roman Polanski’s 1977 sex crime case has become an international and intergenerational saga, now that members of at least four governments have become involved, the former minor in question has grown up and requested that the issue be put to rest, and the original judge has been dead since 1993. However, after Polanski’s arrest last Saturday in Zurich, it’s clear this drama is far from over. Updated

Posted on Sep 28, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert and Pinsky
colbertnation.com

Psychology, Metaphors and You

Can you tell your metaphors from your synecdoches? These terms may trigger bad freshman English flashbacks, but at least when it comes to metaphors, they’re more important than you might think; in fact, they might just be intrinsic to how you think.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009 READ MORE


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