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Rand
radicalsforhappiness.com

Ayn Rand Revisited

Two new biographies about the irascible and idiosyncratic Ayn Rand, objectivist philosopher and ham-fisted mistress of the capitalist morality tale, show how her rocky Russian childhood and her subsequent self-reinvention campaign in America (partly conducted in Hollywood, of course) influenced her work, and how her ideas led to her own undoing.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE


U.S.S. New York
bbc.co.uk

USS New York Docks in NYC

It was partly intended as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on New York’s Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, but, considering America’s bellicose response to that tragedy, it’s hard not to read more into the story of the USS New York, a new Navy warship constructed partly from melted-steel remnants of the World Trade Center.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE


global warming
tv5.co.th

Danish PM Hopeful About Copenhagen Climate Summit

Even if all the countries slated to show up in Copenhagen for next month’s climate talks are represented around the negotiating table, there remains a huge amount of work to do. For one, a legally binding measure to replace the Kyoto Treaty has yet to be created. Still, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen is “optimistic” about the summit.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE


Hamid Karzai
Wikimedia Commons / Tapand

Without an Opponent, Karzai Declared Winner

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission has declared President Hamid Karzai the winner of a second five-year term after his rival Abdullah Abdullah dropped out of the race. Abdullah said the runoff would be just as corrupt as the original election and withdrew in protest. (continued)

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Opium, Rape and the American Way

The warlords we champion in Afghanistan are as venal, as opposed to the rights of women and basic democratic freedoms, and as heavily involved in opium trafficking as the Taliban.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE



nationalatlas.gov

New York 3-Way Gets Even More Interesting

The party lines in New York’s 23rd Congressional District got even more confused Sunday. A day after a conservative third-party campaign hounded Dede Scozzafava out of the race, the moderate Republican turned around and endorsed her Democratic rival. Politico reports on the Democrats’ ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Will Deal With Karzai

The president’s top political adviser, David Axelrod, told CBS News that Abdullah Abdullah’s withdrawal from the Afghan runoff election was a “political decision” and that the White House would “deal with the government that is.”

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

The Battle to Define the New Health Care System

Barring astoundingly self-defeating behavior by Democrats, a decent bill will get to Obama’s desk. Whether lawmakers are rewarded or punished for their efforts will largely be decided in the coming weeks.

Posted on Nov 1, 2009 READ MORE


Wish Upon a Star

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Posted on Nov 1, 2009 READ MORE    


Balloon Boy 2

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Posted on Nov 1, 2009 READ MORE



cnet.co.uk

Internet Reads From a New Script

In what is being described as the biggest change to how the Internet works in 40 years, the ICANN Internet oversight organization has finally approved plans to allow Web addresses to include non-Latin letters, such as Arabic and Chinese, instead of just www.whatever.com.

Posted on Oct 31, 2009 READ MORE



smarter.com

Lying to Our Children

Education Secretary Arne Duncan feels that “we’re lying to our children” when we accept low student achievement standards, a policy that sees many states promoting children to the next grade despite being inept at reading and math. Also, Santa isn’t real.

Posted on Oct 31, 2009 READ MORE


Stewart

‘The Daily Show’: For Fox Sake!

The battle between the Obama administration and Fox News hasn’t ended yet (sigh), but luckily, Jon Stewart takes this timely opportunity to dissect what exactly the conservative-leaning channel’s raison d’être is, and here’s a hint: It’s not necessarily the news.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


Clinton in Lahore
Still: AP via youtube.com

Clinton: We’re ‘Not Getting Through’ to Pakistanis

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced the unenviable task of trying to change U.S.-Pakistani relations for the better during her three-day diplomacy spree in the South Asian nation. However, it was unclear as her visit drew to a close whether she’d made any headway, as she herself acknowledged on Friday.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


employment
haldimandcountyhydro.ca

White House: Stimulus Made, Saved Nearly 650,000 Jobs

The White House sounded a triumphant note Friday about the success of the economic stimulus in salvaging and creating close to 650,000 jobs in recent months, but some Republicans, along with the AP, are questioning the accuracy of the government’s figures.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Spending for America; Clinton’s Pakistan Gamble

Consumer spending drives the real economy, and it has taken a plunge. Did we save the banks at the expense of the people? Also this week: The health care reform bill finally appears on the scene, and Hillary Clinton attempts a precarious balancing act in Pakistan—are either of these developments successful?

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


Lieberman
AP / Susan Walsh

Lieberman Leans to the Right (Again)

Fresh off a heady week in which he managed to supremely infuriate former colleagues and supporters in the Democratic Party with his filibuster talk, the ever-more-Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman gave ABC News a taste of his political plans for 2010.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE



ABC News / Giulio Saggin

EU Agrees to Pre-Copenhagen Deal

It looks like the EU is anteing up for December’s Copenhagen conference on global warming, agreeing to a conditional deal that estimates climate change will need almost $150 billion every year until 2020, and that the EU is prepared to pay its “fair share”—though poorer countries say it’s still not enough.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


Praying
blogspot.com

Denouement to a Coup D’etat?

A resolution to the Honduran coup d’etat may be near after the country’s interim government agreed to a deal that could lead to the return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. International pressure has been immense against the coup leaders, with most countries supporting Zelaya’s return.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


bookcover

D.J. Waldie on the Cult of Baseball

“The Opposite Field,” a memoir by Jesse Katz, is a moving meditation about baseball, politics, and the unease of negotiating a new kind of American place.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE



AP / David Guttenfelder

McChrystal Doesn’t Get It—Does Obama?

President Obama may have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but if he allows himself to be bullied into supporting Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s foray into Afghanistan, he will reveal himself as the worst kind of warmonger.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Poppy Trade Blurs All the Lines

The opium poppy was introduced to Afghanistan more than 2,300 years ago by the armies of Alexander the Great. His forces were eventually driven out, like those of every would-be conqueror since. The poppy has proved more tenacious.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

TARP on Steroids

The former financial executives inside the Obama administration have labeled their bill the “Financial Stability Improvement Act,” but it’s more like the 9/11 of bailouts.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


In Pursuit of Happiness

Women are now less likely than men to report that they are “very happy,” despite the achievements of the women’s movement. Let the predictable debates begin.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


When the Tough Should Get Going

The former Marine officer Matthew Hoh, who resigned his Foreign Service post in Afghanistan because he feels the war is pointless and not worth dying for, deserves all the attention he’s gotten and more.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



White House Archive / Paul Morse

Tony Blair Isn’t Conservative Enough to Be President of Europe

The former British prime minister took a hit after France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel agreed over dinner at the Élysée Palace (oh to be a fly on that wall) that the first president of the European Council ought to be more of a right-winger. (continued)

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Lahore student protest
AP / K.M. Chaudary

Clinton Lowers the Boom About Al-Qaida in Pakistan

During an interview with journalists in Lahore, Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her puzzlement over why certain al-Qaida leaders believed to be harbored within the country’s borders haven’t been caught. She did not address the issue of missile attacks from U.S. drones that had earlier fueled student protest.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Caveman 92223

Pot Politics: California Could Go All the Way

California was the first to legalize medicinal marijuana and, if three ballot measures and a bill floating around the state legislature have anything to say about it, the Golden State could be the first to legalize and tax adult marijuana use across the board. (continued)

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Boehner

Boehner Decries Health Bill as ‘Government Takeover’

Thursday’s mass display of Democratic delight over the newly introduced health care reform mega-measure was countered by the sober declaration, courtesy of House Minority Leader John Boehner, that what we have here is “a bill that really is a government takeover of the health care system.” Sigh.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi
AP / Alex Brandon

House Dems Unveil Giant Health Care Reform Bill

After months of squabbling and tussling with each other as well as their Republican opposition, House Democrats finally produced the latest comprehensive result of their efforts in health care reform in the form of a whopping 1,990-page measure—and then proceeded to congratulate themselves in a public rally outside at the Capitol.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Boca
welcomeargentina.com

Politicians Fined for Environmental Negligence

An Argentine court has fined the country’s environmental secretary and two politicians for failing to clean up the polluted Riachuelo River that winds through Buenos Aires, a move unique and commendable for its accountability of politicians to citizens’ concerns.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Iran nuclear program
payvand.com

Iran Counters U.N. Offer

The IAEA announced it has received Iran’s reply to a U.N.-backed proposal to send that country’s enriched uranium abroad to be turned into fuel rods—not weapons. The reply, which remains secret, is expected to agree to the overall framework of the proposal while demanding significant changes.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP

Racist Judge Inadvertently Makes the Case for Gay Marriage

The marriage equality movement has been severely damaged by the argument that those opposed to same-sex marriage would be forced to perform weddings against their will.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Hug Obama, Find the Moderates

Those are the two outstanding lessons from the campaigns for next Tuesday’s governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia. Both parties would be smart to apply them in 2010.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Dennis Cook

The Party of Choice

By acting on their convictions rather than their fears, the Democrats could ultimately find that the public option can be turned to their advantage for years to come.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Earth [A Cartoon From Greece]

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Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Save the Wails

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Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / cometstarmoon

House Dems Water Down Public Option

If the point of health care reform is to do something about skyrocketing medical costs, then the House reform bill just got a little more pointless. Although the speaker and other House liberals had hoped to hitch the public option’s negotiating power to Medicare’s wagon ... (continued)

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Obama signs bill
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Obama Trims (Some) Fat with Weapons Bill

In a move that some are praising as a major victory against the powerful weapons lobby, President Barack Obama was able to cut out several expensive programs, thus cutting down on defense spending, in the new $680 billion dollar military bill he signed Wednesday. However, before we get too excited, let’s be clear here: That’s still $680 billion, after all.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


One Step Closer to Mars

George W. Bush’s dream of Americans on Mars got a little bit closer to reality Wednesday as NASA successfully launched its prototype Ares I-X rocket. A version of the new rocket is planned to launch Orion, NASA’s replacement craft for the aging space shuttle, as America’s preferred method of getting off-planet.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Howard Bragman
logoonline.com

PR Guru Helps Stars Come Out

Despite Hollywood’s reputation for being a liberal hotbed, some stubborn forms of prejudice persist, such as the lingering notion that it’s a potential career-killer for certain high-profile types to come out of the closet. Luckily, those who are willing to try have at least one industry expert ready to give them a hand with the press, the public and their risk-averse bosses.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Kabul attack
bbc.co.uk

Taliban Target U.N. Workers in Deadly Kabul Attack

United Nations officials said Wednesday that at least five U.N. workers and three Afghans were killed and nine others wounded by three Taliban militants, who were themselves shot dead during the attack at a private residence in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


palin
gopconvention2008.com

Is Palin Veering Off Course or Blazing Her Own Trail?

Since last year’s presidential election, Sarah Palin has made unconventional moves for someone presumably planning to make a play for the White House in 2012. CNN’s Alexander Mooney takes a look at what she’s doing and whether it’s working to solidify her status in the GOP and boost her chances of running for president soon.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Geithner’s Fed Made AIG Pay Banks to the Max

That Timothy Geithner must love the big banks he spends all day talking to. Back when he was in charge of things, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York forced AIG to pay off Wall Street tycoons for all those toxic bets, even though the mega-insurer was busy trying to negotiate a better deal.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Lieberman
AP / Douglas Healey

Lieberman Twists the Knife

Is there a more hypocritical figure in American politics than Joe Lieberman? The Connecticut senator declared Tuesday that he would support a filibuster of any health care reform bill that has a public option—even the version with the “trigger” compromise accepted by Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe—because it might cost money.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Of Laureates and Laundry

“I bet he wasn’t folding laundry.” Carol Greider, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine, on what she was doing at 5 a.m. when the big call came, and her thoughts on learning of President Obama’s prize.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Gerbil

Blue Dog Fundraising Dries Up

The Blue Dog Coalition’s political action committee took in just $12,500 in September, from a total of three donations. The group raised $1.1 million between January and June. Could it be the steadfast opposition to health care reform, or perhaps the perception among donors that the conservative Democrats just won’t be able to deliver?

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert

Let Stephen Colbert Get You a Job

Having trouble finding gainful employment in these difficult times? Wouldn’t it be great if, say, Lorenzo Lamas could help you out in your job search for the low, low price of $300? Lucky for you, this is an achievable dream—or you can do it for free with a handy e-mail-ready semi-personalized endorsement from Stephen Colbert.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE


Arrogant U.S. Misses the Message From Pakistan’s People

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Pakistan this week, she will hear a lot about how fearful the Pakistan populace is, not of the Taliban and al-Qaida, but of the United States.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol

The War Condolences Obama Hasn’t Sent

U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Chancellor Keesling died in Iraq on June 19, 2009, from “a non-combat related incident,” according to the Pentagon. Keesling had killed himself.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE


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