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Bustin’ the Mainstream Media’s Balls

While Sean Hannity and others at Fox manipulate the news, MSNBC develops a Limbaugh hangup and CNN goes Twitter slap-happy. Ah, the wonders of news coverage in the mainstream media! Check out last night’s clip of “The Daily Show” and watch Jon Stewart dissect just how these anchors “report” the news.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / Fantaz

U.N Official Seeks Global Ban on Plastic Bags

The U.N.‘s top environmental official has called for a global ban on plastic bags, declaring: “There is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere.” The ban is currently being tested in China, and already exists in the city of San Francisco. Los Angeles will hop on the environmental bandwagon in 2010.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE


‘Colbert Report’ Invades Iraq

Stephen Colbert, in a hilarious outfit, has taken his show to one of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces in Baghdad to entertain the men and women of the U.S military. Watch President Obama order Gen. Ray Odierno to give Colbert’s coif a military makeover. Update: Full videos added.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / d_vdm

The Terminator Turns to the Textbooks

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to do away with textbooks in favor of online ones, because kids today “get their information from the Internet, downloaded onto their iPods, and in Twitter feeds to their cell phones.” The question remains what effect will this have on students who may not have access to all that technology, and what the switch may wind up saving—or costing—the state.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE


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fbi.gov

Guantanamo Detainee Arrives in the U.S.

The first Guantanamo detainee to be tried in a U.S. civilian court arrived in New York on Tuesday. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani faces charges for his alleged role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa. His trial will serve as an important test for plans to try other terror suspects in civilian courts, at a time when some critics contend that such transfers will endanger U.S. security.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / The TruthAbout...

Some Banks to Repay Bailout Funds

Some of the country’s major banks are prepared to pay back money they borrowed under the TARP program, but don’t get too excited. The initial repayment is expected to be a meager $50 billion, which Timothy Geithner wants to inject right back into other troubled banks.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE


The View From Denny’s Just Ain’t So Grand

Satire from The Onion: “President Obama announced today he will drastically scale back his agenda for America after a visit to a Denny’s restaurant ... caused him to ‘completely reconsider what our nation is capable of achieving.’ ”

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


Being Obama Matters

I used to fear that the president was overestimating the power of his personal history as an instrument of foreign policy. Now I wonder if he might have been underestimating.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Outrage—and Business as Usual

The public face of Congress is angry and outraged at all the bad behavior by banks, but in the other Washington, the financial industry continues to have its way.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / dok1

Supremes Stall Chrysler Deal

The Supreme Court has put the brakes on President Obama’s plans to bail out the auto industry, ordering a stay of the sale of Chrysler to Fiat. Before the ruling, the administration said blocking the deal would have “grave consequences” for Chrysler. Also, it could threaten the government’s plans for the much larger and more complicated GM. Update

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


Yao Ming
Keith Allison

China to Censor Online Porn, Possibly Basketball

Starting July 1, every computer sold in China will come bundled with software designed to block access to pornographic sites and whatever else parents—and, critics fear, the government—want to keep at bay. As one of the software’s developers explains, “If a father doesn’t want his son to be exposed to content related to basketball or drugs, he can block all Web sites related to those things.”

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE



Courtesy of Apple

iPhones for Everybody?

Apple unveiled a faster, more powerful version of its popular iPhone Monday, but the bigger news is that the company slashed the price of the current model to $99. That makes a robust portable computing experience available to a much bigger crowd, assuming they can handle AT&T’s horrendously overpriced service.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


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commons.wikimedia.org

‘We Have It in Our Power to Begin the World Over Again’

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Thomas Paine, a man who rallied the American people in the fight for independence from Britain, denounced political corruption and defended “free and rational inquiry” in the face of organized religion. He famously wrote, “The world is my country. All mankind are my brethren. To do good is my religion.”

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / Editor B

600,000 New Jobs for the Summer

With U.S. unemployment now at 9.4 percent, President Obama unveiled a plan Monday to provide more than 600,000 new jobs this summer, paid for under the $787 billion economic stimulus package. The initiative will create jobs by dolling up military facilities, improving roads and hiring teachers and some 125,000 teenagers for the summer.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


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North Korea Sentences 2 U.S Journalists to 12 Years

Two U.S. journalists have been sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp in North Korea for an unnamed “grave crime” and illegal entry into the country. The women were investigating the trafficking of women on the China-North Korea border for a story for Al Gore’s Current TV network when they were arrested in March.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / Darren and Brad

High Court Upholds ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of maintaining the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on Monday, which bars openly gay men and women from serving. The decision came after 12 former service members filed a lawsuit for being discharged because of their sexual orientation.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Hold Your Applause

We may thrill to Obama’s rhetoric, but very few of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are as deluded. They grasp that nothing so far has changed for Muslims in the Middle East under the Obama administration.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


Naysayers

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Fly Creationism

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Harry and Louise Need Health Reform

Remember the imaginary couple who appeared in the television ads that helped beat President Clinton’s health plan 15 years ago? That duo and the corporations behind them have switched sides in the debate, and for a good reason: 50 million new customers.

Posted on Jun 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Yves Logghe

Two Elections in the World Spotlight

The world saw two major elections on Sunday—one on a continental scale, the other much smaller but no less talked about. The European Parliament will tilt further to the right after an election with near record-low turnout. In Lebanon, meanwhile, it appears that the U.S.-backed governing coalition will survive a strong effort by Hezbollah to win a majority.

Posted on Jun 7, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper / Archive

New Orleans Mayor Quarantined

For many, swine flu is proving to be more of an inconvenience than a pandemic. One of them is Ray Nagin, who has been quarantined by the Chinese government after traveling on a plane with someone experiencing swine flu symptoms.

Posted on Jun 7, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / joewcampbell

Justice Dept. Lawyers Opposed Torture but Saw It as Legal

While George W. Bush’s torture policies stained the reputations of a number of administration lawyers, others have been lauded for their resistance to backing harsh interrogation. However, newly revealed communications show that there was broad consensus in the Justice Department—even among lawyers who opposed such practices—that torture was legal.

Posted on Jun 7, 2009 READ MORE


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65th D-Day Anniversary Celebration

Sixty-five years ago today, American, British and Canadian troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in what would lead to the Allied victory over Hitler in World War II. Here’s a glimpse of the D-Day commemoration.

Posted on Jun 6, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr/CLippahbOY

California Landmarks May Be Put Up for Sale

Gov. Schwarzenegger’s newest proposal to close the Golden State’s budgetary gap: selling some of California’s biggest landmarks, including the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the California State Fairgrounds and the San Quentin prison. Because the proposed sales might come during a slumping real estate market, there are questions about whether taxpayers would be getting a good deal.

Posted on Jun 6, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr/tahitianlime

Most Bankruptcies Caused by Medical Bills

A new study reveals that through-the-roof medical bills are the cause of more than 60 percent of bankruptcies in the U.S. From 2001 to 2007, bankruptcies associated with medical debt increased by 50 percent, and 75 percent of the families surveyed actually had health insurance.

Posted on Jun 6, 2009 READ MORE


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fbi.gov

Nominee Pulls Out Before Being Questioned About Torture

In the latest bout over who was in the know about torture, President Obama’s nominee for Homeland Security intelligence chief, Philip Mudd (above), withdrew from consideration on Friday before having to disclose his involvement in the CIA’s interrogation practices. John O. Brennan, who was the leading candidate to head the CIA, withdrew from consideration for the top post because of similar reasons last November.

Posted on Jun 6, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / Army.mil

The ‘Good War’ Wasn’t So Good for Everybody

This year’s 65th anniversary commemoration of D-Day has been taken over by the revisionists, who are breaking down some of the heroic folklore surrounding the Normandy landings. According to historian Christophe Prime, “The suffering of civilians was for many years masked by the overriding image—that of the French welcoming the liberators with open arms.”

Posted on Jun 6, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

LRC: Obama in the Middle East, GM in Bankruptcy, Now What?

You know you’re in for a spirited episode of “Left, Right & Center” when Truthdig’s own Robert Scheer drops a line like “Tony, you’re getting overly excited for NPR.”

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE


Sonia Sotomayor
whitehouse.gov

Man Arrested in Threat to Blow Up Sotomayor

New Yorkers have a reputation for hyperbole, but this is just going too far. A Manhattan man was arrested after allegedly letting the good people at 911 know about his desire to blow up both the president and his Supreme Court nominee.

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE



Library of Congress

Elderly Couple Arrested as Spies

A 72-year-old former State Department employee and his 71-year-old wife were arrested Thursday on charges of spying for the Cuban government. An undercover FBI agent reportedly tricked the couple into giving up their secret after they allegedly had been engaged in espionage for 30 years.

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE


Jobs
tribunahispanausa.com

Economic Optimism

You know things are bad when 345,000 Americans lose their jobs and that is seen as a positive sign. According to The New York Times, the fact that the toll on employment in May was not as profound as expected amplifies hopes of recovery.

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE


Pen
wordpress.com

Dutch Rightists Score in Elections

Exit polls show the notoriously anti-immigrant Dutch politician Geert Wilders gaining 15 percent of the vote and second place in elections for the European Parliament in the Netherlands—even as he faces prosecution on charges of inciting hatred in his speeches.

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Susie Linfield on How to Think About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A provocative new book, “One State, Two States,” by revisionist Israeli historian Benny Morris breaks a taboo by asking whether anti-Zionism has become the anti-imperialism of fools. Can his polemic act as the ax that helps break up the frozen and brittle nature of a debate over the seemingly intractable war between Palestinians and Jews?

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Damian Dovarganes

Prop. 8 and the Misery of the Law

The right to rebel is my real subject here, but the misery of the law is not incidental. No good case can be made for rebellion as an unqualified good in itself. But the right to rebel also cannot be limited to the rebel causes that were won long ago and have passed over into our national mythology.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Whither the Sacred Campaign Promise?

Historically, Americans generally held campaign promises sacred. Just ask the first President Bush. But now behavior by President Obama suggests a systemic assault on the campaign promise is under way.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Cairo Speech: Significant, Eloquent—and Perhaps Just the Beginning

Obama’s speech was distinguished by the quality of his previous major speeches, that of speaking as an adult to adults. He promised to say what he thought, and did so on all of the topics he addressed. Correction

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Clean Coal or Dry Hole?

Obama should be applauded for taking climate change seriously, but one of his administration’s centerpiece initiatives may be digging a very expensive dry hole—literally.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Terrorist Stuff

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D Is for Dictator

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President Obama

Obama’s Cairo Speech

The president called his landmark address to the Muslim world “A New Beginning,” and for good reason.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Gordon Brown
World Economic Forum

Brown in the Dumps

U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has lost three members of his Cabinet in three days, adding to a heap of political casualties that originally grew out of an expense claims scandal. The latest dropout, James Purnell, has called on his former boss to “stand aside to give our party a fighting chance. ... ”

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


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Maddow Exposes Scott Roeder’s Connections

On Wednesday, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow revealed the ties between Scott Roeder, Dr. George Tiller’s alleged assassin, and the extremist anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, and how Roeder repeatedly got away with violating federal laws protecting abortion clinics.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


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uscmc.mil

U.N. Official Seeks More Clarity on Civilian Deaths

U.N. rapporteur Philip Alston called for greater disclosure and accountability for the number of civilian deaths caused by the U.S. in its overseas conflicts. He expressed “strong concern at the continuing problem of preventable civilian casualties” and demanded “real accountability based on credible independent investigations.”

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


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Calling Out Dick

The verdict is in, folks: Dick Cheney has a major case of “Ballzheimer’s disease.” On Wednesday’s “Daily Show,” Jon Stewart recaps the former vice president’s recent public appearances, right up to the one where he blames Richard Clarke—the guy who was warning of imminent terrorist attacks on the U.S.—for 9/11.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / William van Bergen

Moving to Run California ‘More Efficiently’

On a desperate mission to save California from a $24 billion budget gap, a legislative committee voted to eliminate both the Secretary of Education office, a whopping $2.2 million endeavor, and the Office of Planning and Research ($50 million), while the Waste Management Board, stuffed with ex-lawmakers with six-figure salaries, would see its responsibilities enhanced.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / hoyasmeg

The Cold War Is Over ... Well, Sort of

The Organization of American States lifted its 47-year suspension of Cuba on Wednesday, on the condition that Havana undergo democratic reforms in line with OAS principles. Cuba, however, has rejected re-entry, declaring, “Before returning to the OAS, the North and South Seas will join and a serpent will be born from an eagle’s egg.”

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Speaks to the Muslim World

I’m grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. And I’m also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: Assalaamu alaykum. Update: Now with video

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / steve9567

Domestic Terrorism by Any Standard

If right-wing broadcasters don’t want to be blamed when someone murders a person they have demonized repeatedly—as in the case of George Tiller, the doctor shot dead in his Wichita, Kan., church last Sunday—then they ought to moderate their rhetoric.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


What Rhetoric Won’t Cure

The murder of Dr. George Tiller cannot be smoothed over with a speech. This is the lesson the Obama administration must learn from it.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


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