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DRUG SHARKS
guardian.co.uk

Is the ‘War on Drugs’ Ending?

Mexico and Argentina’s recent decisions to decriminalize the personal use of drugs mark a growing trend across Latin America to reject the now-40-year-old, U.S.-led, Nixon-founded “war on drugs” as both harmful and ineffective.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE


Van Jones
earthfirst.com

Obama’s Green Jobs Adviser Gives In to the Smears

It looks as if the insanely organized smear campaign against Van Jones has finally worked. Jones, President Obama’s special adviser for green jobs, resigned Saturday after being viciously attacked for his past civil rights activism and for signing a petition that questioned U.S. involvement in 9/11.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE


Ashcroft
AP / John Russell

Legal Troubles Might Lie in Wait for Ashcroft

Did then-Attorney General John Ashcroft violate the Constitution in his handling of certain national security investigations shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks? According to the Los Angeles Times, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reason to believe that he did, and thus Ashcroft can be sued for prosecutorial abuses even this long after the fact, the paper reported Saturday.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


EPCEA Now

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Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE    


Fonda and Byrne
Collage: celeb9.com/hearsay.cc

Artists and Activists Protest Tel Aviv Program at Toronto Film Fest

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has a way of popping up in any number of seemingly unrelated arenas across the world, such as the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, where a planned Tel Aviv-themed program has spurred several entertainers, including Jane Fonda, Danny Glover and David Byrne, as well as writers and filmmakers, to sign a letter of protest that’s shaking things up with just days to go before the fest begins. All of the 10 films in City to City, a new program at the festival, will focus on the Israeli city.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Jobless Labor Day, Afghan Plans, Obamacare

President Obama’s got a lot of work to do to convince “Left, Right & Center” regulars Arianna Huffington, Tony Blankley and Robert Scheer that he’s going to make good on his promise of “change” when it comes to bettering Americans’ health care options, the economy, the job market and that whole war thing he’s got going on in Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Weaver
whitehouse.gov

Obama’s Back-to-School Speech Ruffles Feathers on the Right

So, President Obama wants to give our nation’s schoolchildren a personalized message Tuesday as they start a new year. One might imagine that the president plans to emphasize the importance of education, but some of Obama’s detractors are reading much more into the motives behind his speech.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Sebastian Scheiner

U.S. Condemns Israeli Settlement Expansion

In a strong rebuke of Israeli policy, the White House has expressed “regret” over an announcement by Israel that it will expand its illegal settlements in Palestinian areas. Hundreds of new housing units are expected to be approved for construction in the West Bank in a move seen as placating the rightists in power.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE



guardian.co.uk

Afghanistan Strike Kills 90

The war in Afghanistan should weigh heavy on the public’s mind, given the recent increase in troop levels and grumblings from high military officials about the manner in which the war is being fought. Now there’s news that a NATO airstrike has killed 90 people, 40 of them believed to be civilians, in the northern part of the country.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


Unemployment
theinsanityreport.com

Unemployment Hits a 26-Year High

Just as the Labor Day weekend arrives comes word that the U.S. economy shed another 216,000 jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate up to a 26-year high of 9.7 percent.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Steve Oney on John Buntin’s ‘L.A. Noir’

A rare combination of bravura storytelling and social history, “L.A. Noir” will delight fans of hard-boiled film and fiction even as it challenges the myths of 20th century Los Angeles.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


Progressives Pay the Price for Confusing a Party With a Movement

Washington’s labor, environmental, anti-war and anti-poverty groups spent millions electing a Democratic president and Congress and were promptly stabbed in the back. So why are they still loyal?

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


From ‘Do No Harm’ to Torture

A new report by Physicians for Human Rights reaches a sickening but inescapable conclusion: “Health professionals played central roles in developing, implementing and providing justification for torture.”

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Los Angeles fire
Flickr/slasher-fun

Arson Sparked L.A. Inferno

It’s been over a week since the latest and biggest fire to scorch large parts of the Greater Los Angeles region began, and according to U.S. Forest Service officials it’s now known that the blaze was caused by deliberate human intervention—otherwise known as arson.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Good Old Days

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Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Shoe Fly Shoe

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Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE    



Project on Government Oversight

Kabul Contractor Parties Aren’t the Half of It

Much of the furor over the conduct of private embassy guards in Kabul appears preoccupied with what one whistle-blower describes as the “gay shit” rather than the exploitation of young Afghan women or the deteriorating security situation at the embassy. The latter, after all, was the major focus of the complaint that blew this story open.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Madoff affair book
gawker.com

Nobody Wants to Read About Bernie Madoff’s Steamy Affair

Disgraced former Wall Street baron Bernard Madoff might have made millions swindling others for profit during his heyday, but he doesn’t seem to have made much of a literary cottage industry for writers presumably looking to cash in on his downfall. Not even the “I-was-Bernie’s-mistress” angle is tempting book buyers at this point.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Coakley
Wikimedia Commons / Abovedrew23

Mass. AG Throws In for Kennedy’s Senate Seat

And they’re off ... or at least, she’s off: On Thursday, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley became the first contender for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat to officially announce her candidacy, which she’s reportedly been considering for the past year, but she’ll face some fierce competition for the vaunted position in coming months.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Parliament
aceproject.org

The Making of Iran’s New Cabinet

The Iranian parliament has approved the first woman Cabinet minister, Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, in the 30-year history of the Islamic republic. Parliament also gave its blessing as defense minister to a man wanted in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Argentina that killed 85 people.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Berlusconi
telegraph.co.uk

Berlusconi Accused of Censorship

Everyone’s favorite world leader/womanizer is in the news again after a film director accused the Italian prime minister of censorship. Italian state television has refused to show a film trailer that accuses Silvio Berlusconi of creating a “frivolous media culture,” and many think the PM’s incredible influence over the media has something to do with it.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Chavez

Stone Goes ‘South of the Border’

A new documentary by Oliver Stone called “South of the Border” follows his earlier trajectory of “Salvador” (1984), “Comandante” (2003), and “Looking for Fidel” (2004) as he talks to several Latin American leaders to understand what is happening on the continent and how U.S. perceptions of our own backyard are skewed.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Don’t Be Fooled by the Public Option

The fight over the public option has occupied much of the media coverage, but left unsaid is the fact that weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations have weakened the public option proposal to the point that it is hardly an option at all.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Distorting the Voice of the People

There is an overwhelming case that the electronic media went out of their way to cover the screamers and ignored the majority of calm Americans interested in health care reform.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care’s Senior Moments

When exactly did the Republicans start operating one of those marketing scams that target the elderly?

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC2 Clay Weis

Cheney Plays to His Crowd

Dick Cheney represents a significant number of conservatives who still believe that the United States can bomb, invade, occupy and torture its way to security.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Prayer Book for Spouses
dailymail.co.uk

A Bedroom Benediction for Married Catholics

Ever wonder what the Roman Catholic Church might have to say about the proper way to prepare for the friskier side of holy matrimony? Well, here it is anyway: A Catholic organization in Britain has come up with a bedroom benediction for officially recognized (read: heterosexual) married couples to consult prior to consummation in its handy “Prayer Book for Spouses.”

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Madoff
AP / Louis Lanzano

SEC Missed Multiple Opportunities to Bust Madoff

It was a sad case of too little, too late when it came to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s readings of Bernie Madoff’s now-collapsed house of cards. On Wednesday, the SEC released a report about Madoff’s massive financial boondoggle, detailing the many moments in which chances were missed to stop the damage from spreading as far as it did.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Brown

British PM: ‘No Double-Dealing’ in Lockerbie Bomber’s Release

The Scottish government may not be united with respect to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s decision to release the so-called Lockerbie bomber, Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, last month, but for his part, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants to make it clear that any conspiracy theorists working on this case should hang it up already. Hmmm.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Eric Kilby

Red Sox’s Schilling Pitches for Kennedy’s Seat

Curt Schilling helped power the Boston Red Sox to two World Series victories and George W. Bush to a second term in office (thanks, Curt). Schilling’s next project? Provided he can juggle his video game studio (what, you don’t have one of those?) and his family, the former ace has “some interest in the possibility” of replacing Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. God help us.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Iraq violence
AP / Khalid Mohammed

Iraqi Death Toll Hits 13-Month High in August

Perhaps it was to be expected after the mass exodus of American forces in late June, but August was a cruel month in terms of the Iraqi death toll caused by insurgent violence—the worst in 13 months. Unfortunately, the trend might continue as Iraqis navigate the aftermath of U.S. troop withdrawal and anticipate their national elections early next year.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE



ABC

‘Death With Dignity’ for the Public Option?

The White House is about to relaunch its health reform campaign and some, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are hopeful that the president will “more aggressively fight for a strong health reform bill with a strong public option.” Behind the scenes, however, his staff may be looking for the best way to kill it.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Camp Sullivan parties
cbsnews.com

State Department Probes Embassy Guards’ Parties in Afghanistan

There’s yet more egg on the faces of hired contractors paid to guard U.S. officials in the Middle East—this time in Afghanistan, where ArmorGroup guards are under scrutiny by the State Department for their allegedly undiplomatic antics at their private quarters near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Sawyer
abcnews.go.com

ABC’s ‘World News’ to Swap Gibson for Sawyer

Not so long ago, it seemed like big news that a woman—CBS’ Katie Couric—would be chosen to anchor the nightly news at a major network. Now Couric’s got some competition in Diane Sawyer, who’ll replace Charlie Gibson at ABC’s “World News” starting in January.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan mourners
AP / Rahmat Gul

Afghan Intelligence Chief Among 23 Killed in Taliban Suicide Attack

The violence just hasn’t let up in Afghanistan in the nearly two weeks that have passed since the nation’s presidential election. The latest deadly episode came in the form of a Taliban suicide attack east of Kabul on Wednesday that killed 23 people, including Afghanistan’s deputy head of intelligence, Abdullah Langhmani.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Palin and Johnston
vanityfair.com

Levi Johnston Talks (and Talks) About the Palins

Although the world at large has yet to find out exactly what spurred Sarah Palin to vacate her post as Alaska’s governor this summer, her almost-son-in-law Levi Johnston pipes up (surprise!) in the latest edition of Vanity Fair, helpfully offering that Palin’s plan had something to do with money. This kid is on a tear.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


troops in Afghanistan
AP / David Guttenfelder

Obama’s Meaningless War

True, he doesn’t seem a bit like Lyndon Johnson, but the way he’s headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his presidency. LBJ also had a progressive agenda in mind, but it was soon overwhelmed by the cost and divisiveness engendered by a meaningless, and seemingly endless, war in Vietnam.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / respres

Not Really a Lifeline for Homeowners?

John Dunbar of the Center for Public Integrity has analyzed the Obama administration’s home loan modification program, which aims to keep troubled borrowers in their homes, and finds it “highly problematic.”

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / respres

A Lifeline for Homeowners? Not Really

John Dunbar of the Center for Public Integrity has analyzed the Obama administration’s home loan modification program, which aims to keep troubled borrowers in their homes, and finds it “highly problematic.”

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC3 Joshua Cassatt

Will Japan’s New Leader Maintain His Country’s Fealty to Washington?

The most important political question faced by a Japan led by the Democratic Party concerns the Japanese-American security relationship, which is both humiliating and exploitative.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


New Light on Copenhagen Climate Talks

The 2009 Copenhagen climate conference will be critical to the success or failure of establishing a practical, binding global plan of action before human-caused climate change reaches the point of no return, creating a cascade of catastrophes.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Elmo

Fighting Swine Flu With Elmo, Obama

As American schoolkids clamber back onto buses and funnel into classrooms, the federal government is working on ways to squelch the swine flu virus, which may not be as ferocious as health officials first feared but is proving to be pretty tenacious. President Obama, as well as a familiar red fuzzy friend, are on the case in this clip from The Associated Press.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Cambodian flag
Wikimedia Commons / Open Clip Art Library

American ‘Twisted Travelers’ Charged for Child Sex in Cambodia

The U.S. government is cracking down on American sex tourists who take trips to Cambodia to molest minors, an unfortunately common phenomenon in that country, with the new “Twisted Traveler” international law-enforcement initiative—and three U.S. citizens just became the first to find out what the changes mean for those who get caught.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Ollie Crafoord

Good News and Bad News About Swine Flu

Researchers at the University of Maryland say not to worry about the dreaded swine flu mutating into an even more dreaded super bug. That’s the good news. The bad news: Swine flu doesn’t mutate, based on their tests, because it doesn’t have to. It’s stronger than other flu strains and spreads like wildfire. At least among ferrets.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Hubby Hubby
benjerry.com/hubbyhubby/

Ben & Jerry’s Rolls Out Gay Marriage-Themed Ice Cream

Left-leaning ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is temporarily changing the name of its popular “Chubby Hubby” ice cream to “Hubby Hubby” to serve up support for same-sex couples, who as of Sept. 1 can marry in the company’s home state of Vermont.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


auto industry
fordnewsblog.wordpress.com

‘Cash for Clunkers’ Gives Auto Industry a Lift

Those dangerous socialists in our federal government have really done it this time. Why, they’ve ... engineered a way to give the American auto industry a much-needed boost with their successful “Cash for Clunkers” program.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Back to Normal

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Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE    


Spitzer
Center for American Progress

3 Reasons Eliot Spitzer Should Run Again

This is coming from the New York Post, so take it with a metric ton of salt, but the rag says former New York governor and “Client 9” Eliot Spitzer is thinking about getting back into politics, possibly challenging conservative Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Spitzer has repeatedly denied any interest in running again, but if the polling pans out he should. Here’s why…

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Waiting

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Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


National Security

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