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Ellen Garrison on ‘All the Sad Young Literary Men’

Are Keith Gessen and his posse really the voice of the Zeitgeist, the intellectual heirs to Norman Mailer and George Plimpton? Or just the highbrow version of Judd Apatow?

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Anywhere Becomes Everywhere

America has become homogenized. From suburb to suburb, what people eat, think and enjoy is the same. This is not good for a democracy.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


The Death of Reaganomics

The biggest political story of 2008 is getting little coverage. It involves the collapse of assumptions that have dominated our economic debate for three decades.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Rep. Cannon

Rove Catches Executive Privilege Express Out of the Country

Karl Rove had been subpoenaed to testify Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee about the partisan politics that allegedly played a role in the U.S. attorney firing scandals that shook up the Justice Department during Rove’s time as a key White House adviser—but he didn’t show. Whoops!

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


oil prices
instablogsimages.com

OPEC: War With Iran Would Cause ‘Unlimited’ Oil Price Hike

The price of oil is bad now, but it could get much worse, according to OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla Salem el-Badri, if Iran became embroiled in a military conflict with the U.S. or Israel. If a war occurs, Badri says, there’s no telling how high oil prices might climb.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Ted Kennedy returns
AP photo / Lauren Victoria Burke

Ted Kennedy Makes Surprise Visit to Save Medicare Bill

Just when it seemed they wouldn’t have enough votes to pass a key Medicare bill, Democratic senators staged a dramatic coup by secretly whisking Sen. Edward Kennedy into the Capitol on Wednesday to cast his vote and make his first congressional appearance since he was diagnosed with brain cancer in May.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Ehud Barak
AP photo / Ariel Schalit

Israel and Iran Talk Tough

Israel and Iran appear to be locked in a dangerous round of ¿Quién es más macho? On Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded to Iran’s new displays of military prowess—this week’s missile tests—by declaring that Israel is ready for action should Iran push the direct-threat level any higher.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Pregnant Man Puts the Trans in Gender

One of the expressions my grandmother uttered with feeling and frequency was that “one man should have one baby.” I never knew if this was a wish or a curse, but I’m pretty sure she never imagined Thomas Beatie.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Kids Are Fat People Too

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small. And the ones that mother gives you soon will control your cholesterol.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


invesco field
Flickr / compujeramey

Networks Might Slim Down Convention Coverage

That Barack Obama would accept his party’s nomination at Invesco Field was an unwelcome bit of news for network executives who have already budgeted their election coverage. Apparently it costs more to broadcast from a stadium than an arena, and so the networks are threatening to scale down what they traditionally dismiss as a free commercial.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Disorderly or Not, America Should Withdraw

The endless debate about the U.S. withdrawing its army from Iraq and what will happen to the country once it does tends to ignore much of what we know about how the world works.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Colombia: Celebrate the Release, Not the Regime

It is fantastic to see Ingrid Betancourt free, but the celebration of her release should not be confused with celebration of the Colombian government.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE



Executive Office of the President of the United States

Bush’s Christmas in July: Senate Passes FISA

You know a legislative compromise is one-sided when the AP headline announcing its passage reads “Senate Bows to Bush.” Democratic advocates of the new FISA bill, passed by the Senate on Wednesday, are still trying to explain what they got in exchange for rolling back a few civil liberties and burying some of the president’s abuses. When they figure it out, someone, somewhere, will surely be listening.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Jesse Jackson apology

Jesse Jackson Backpedals on Obama Comment

The Rev. Jesse Jackson quickly switched to damage-control mode Wednesday after Fox News picked up a “crude” and “private” comment that Jackson made about Barack Obama when he thought wasn’t being recorded. Multiple updates.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Fox attacks

Backlash to Fox’s Smearing of Michelle Obama

The Brave New Films team has launched an initiative against Fox News for its treatment of Michelle Obama, whom Fox has described as Barack Obama’s “baby mama,” in addition to using other race-baiting terms.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Betancourt Rescue
news.bbc.co.uk

The Real Operation to ‘Rescue’ Ingrid Betancourt

The July 2nd rescue of French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and U.S. mercenaries employed by the Northrop Grumman Corp. was heralded as a dramatic victory over the anti-imperial FARC guerrilla forces in Colombia. The real story may be significantly less daring. The mainstream media’s heroic rescue narrative is being contradicted by claims that a $20-million ransom payment was made.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Elderkiss the Night Elf
msnbc.com

70-Year-Olds Still Get It On, Reports Says

An ongoing Swedish study has shown that 70-year-olds are more likely now to have sex—and women to have orgasms—than in any decade since the 1970s. Sixty-eight percent of married men and 56% of married women reported having sex after turning 70, an increase of about 15% in both cases.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / throwthedamnthing

Tehran Shoots, Obama Scorns

Taking a move from the McCain playbook and latching on to the bogeyman that is Iran, Barack Obama responded to Tehran’s long-range weapons tests Wednesday with calls for tougher economic sanctions against the country, whose missiles are now deemed capable of hitting American bases in the region.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Penance You Can Believe In

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Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Africa Aid

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Federal Reserve building
Flickr / wwarby

Fed Forecasts Economic Gloom

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expects America’s economic struggles to continue well into next year and has asked Congress to expand his regulatory powers. Lawmakers are unlikely to fulfill his request any time soon. Bernanke also suggested that the Fed could continue to bail out investment banks.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Chinese flight to Taiwan
AP photo / Greg Baker

Taiwan Declares Peace on China

You can’t trust the Chinese. I don’t care if you’re talking about those communists on the mainland or the other guys on Taiwan; they just won’t follow the war-games script that our weapons hawks had counted on.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain ad

John McCain: A Fighter, Not a Summer-of-Love-r

What are we to make of this new John McCain campaign ad, in which colorful countercultural degenerates prance through the opening frames, and, near the end, a still of Noble Older McCain is superimposed over footage of Hunky Younger Ex-POW McCain?

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Pelosi and Congress members
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Congressional Approval Rating Falls to 9%

President Bush hasn’t exactly been basking in the glow of Americans’ approval recently, according to those all-important poll numbers, and now he’s got some company at the bottom of the barrel. Rasmussen Reports finds that just 9 percent of American voters think Congress is doing a bang-up job, and the numbers fall even lower for respondents who don’t identify as either Republicans or Democrats.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Gorby doll
Flickr / h-angele

Gorbachev Scolds Obama and McCain

According to Mikhail Gorbachev, John McCain and Barack Obama have more in common than they’d like to admit. Both have refused to address their country’s unprecedented military spending, which the former Soviet leader blames for America’s economic woes. Writing in a Russian newspaper, Gorbachev argued that the U.S. behaves “as if the Cold War were not a thing of the past, and the country were surrounded by enemies.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Maliki and Ahmadinejad
AP photo / ISNA, Amir Kholusi

Military Action Against Iran ‘Would Destabilize Iraq’

Iraq will be plunged into a new war if Israel or the U.S. launches an attack on Iran, Iraqi leaders have warned. Iranian retaliation would take place in Iraq, said Dr. Mahmoud Othman, the influential Iraqi MP.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Paralympic Athletes Carry Iraq’s Hopes

In war-ravaged Iraq, the paralympic athletes have a better shot of winning gold medals, according to this report from The New York Times.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Betancourt freed
AP photo / William Fernando Martinez

Colombian Hostage Drama Becomes Big-Screen Drama

Well, that didn’t take long: Just a week after former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages were rescued from their FARC captors by Colombian forces, plans are in the works to make a movie version of the story, with Simon Brand on board to direct the drama.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Cheney
commons.wikimedia.org / NASA

Official Says Cheney Pushed EPA Censorship

A former EPA official alleged Tuesday that the vice president’s office influenced congressional testimony about the public health effects of climate change. Last October, it was revealed that six of 14 pages of the proposed testimony of the director of the Centers for Disease Control were deleted because so many references to global warming had been cut.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


missile shield
michaelfowlkes.com

U.S.-Russian Tensions Rise Over Missile Shield Plan

Forging an agreement with the Czech Republic to host the radar for the United States’ planned missile shield project represents, according to Condoleezza Rice, a way of making the missile defense system “transparent to the Russians.” Officials in Moscow, however, are inclined to take this latest move as a hostile gesture that could provoke military retaliation.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Elegy

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Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE    


Watermelon

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Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Vet Groups Battle for American Hearts and Minds

There are two major veterans groups trying to make a splash in this year’s election, one conservative and the other broadly liberal. Both, says NPR’s Peter Overby, will attempt to have an impact on the order of the 2004 efforts of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. It sounds like the anti-war group will have the edge this year.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo /J im Cole

Playing Down the Middle

Politics is a cruel and disappointing business. This year, Democratic liberals gambled on a young man who offered hope and change. But after those wondrous primary days, they are furious over Sen. Barack Obama’s understandable effort to reach out to an electorate that is, and long has been, planted firmly in the middle of the road.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Marty Klein

The War on Sex

What do abortion, nude beaches and group sex have in common? According to author and sex therapist Marty Klein, they’re all targets of a coordinated war on sex. “The government,” he says, “has acquired more and more tools to regulate sexual expression over the last thirty years.”

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Seeing Red About ‘Feeling Blue’

Somewhere along Barack Obama’s winding road through the red states, he lost me. It happened when he talked about abortion seekers who are “feeling blue.”

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Pakistani police helmet
AP photo / Emilio Morenatti

Pakistan Blast Seen as Payback for Red Mosque Raid

Sunday’s explosion near Islamabad’s Melody Market is believed to be retaliation for last summer’s official crackdown on the nearby Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) mosque and seminary, according to Pakistan’s Daily Times. Nineteen people, most of them policemen, were killed in the blast.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Prius
Flickr / jslander

Calif. Mandates Car Stickers With Global Warming Scores

Starting with 2009 models, new cars in California will sport a sticker that rates just how environmentally friendly they are, based on emissions and fuel economy. Not to be outdone, the European Union might require governments to monetize and budget for emissions.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Jim Webb
webb.senate.gov

Webb Opts Out of VP Pageant

He’s hung up his tiara and sash, ladies and gentlemen: Virginia’s Sen. Jim Webb has announced in no uncertain terms that he is officially out of the running to be Barack Obama’s choice for vice president. As Talking Points Memo reported Monday, Webb put out a formal statement declaring that he has made it clear to Obama’s camp that he wants to continue serving as a senator but will still enthusiastically back Obama’s bid for the presidency.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Iraq Flap

Barack Obama recently promised to “refine” his withdrawal policy. His detractors called it a flip-flop. Team Obama said revision is different from reneging. The usual lineup of Sunday morning chatterboxes is here to sort things out.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Elah
thecia.com.au

Pentagon Looking to Help Shape War Films

The recent spate of war movies about Iraq and Afghanistan has proved to be a hard sell with American audiences—even more so with the U.S. military. Now, the Pentagon is combating a certain lack of nuance, as military officials see it, in flicks like “Redacted” and “In the Valley of Elah” by offering script consultation services to Hollywood types looking to make movies about the current conflicts in the Middle East.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



antiwar.com

Daniel Ellsberg’s Guide to FISA

What’s the big deal about the new FISA “compromise”? Simply put, it legitimizes warrantless spying on Americans while papering over one of George W. Bush’s worst abuses. Daniel Ellsberg would like your help in stopping it, provided you can set aside 60 seconds of your Monday.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / soldiersmediacenter

Maliki Mulls Troop Pullout

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, eager to sell his colleagues on a status-of-forces agreement with the U.S., has suggested the possibility of a built-in troop withdrawal timetable. The Pentagon isn’t impressed. “Timelines tend to be artificial in nature,” cautioned a U.S. military spokesman.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Kabul bombing
AP photos / Pajhwok News Agency

Pakistani Militants Suspected in Kabul Bombing

Details have emerged about Monday’s deadly blast at the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, raising suspicion that the bombing was done by Pakistani militants associated with the Taliban. The fact that the Indian Embassy was targeted is one substantial indication, considering the long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan. The blast killed 41 and injured over 130.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Bruno
slashfilm.com

‘Bruno’ Tricks Ex-Mossad Spy

Sacha Baron Cohen is already notorious for his alter ego Borat, and now, fortunately for his career (and unfortunately for those who get caught in his comedic cross hairs), he has another invented personality—Austrian fashionista Bruno—who just pulled one over on former Mossad agent Yossi Alpher.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



news.bbc.co.uk

Bombings Jolt South Asia

A suicide bombing apparently tied to the one-year anniversary of the Red Mosque raid killed at least 15 in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad Sunday night. The next morning, a bomber drove an explosives-laden car into the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 41—including India’s ranking defense attaché—and injuring more than 140 others.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


California fire
AP photo / Phil Klein

Weather Aids S. Calif. Firefighters

Lower temperatures and higher humidity helped crews battling wildfires in Southern California early Monday morning. Fires in the state have laid waste to more than 800 square miles in recent weeks. Many thousands of acres remain ablaze. [Update]

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Sanders, file

Surviving the Fourth of July

I survive the degradation that has become America—a land that exalts itself as a bastion of freedom and liberty while it tortures human beings, stripped of their rights, in offshore penal colonies, a land that wages wars defined under international law as criminal wars of aggression, a land that turns its back on its poor, its weak, its mentally ill, in a relentless drive to embrace totalitarian capitalism—because I read books.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Wee the People

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Posted on Jul 6, 2008 READ MORE    


Free SUV

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