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Austin IRS office
AP / Tony Gutierrez

Terrorism by Any Name

What’s as interesting as Stack’s motives are our motives in labeling this act. Was Stack’s gesture an attention-grabbing suicide plot, a deliberate criminal act, an act of heroism or an act of terrorism? It seems that the answer varies according to whom we ask.

Posted on Feb 21, 2010 READ MORE


Anthem Customer Service

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Posted on Feb 21, 2010 READ MORE


An Ass Man

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Posted on Feb 21, 2010 READ MORE    


Tiger’s Mistresses Fill Yankee Stadium to View Press Conference

Thousands of Tiger Woods’ mistresses converged on Yankee Stadium to watch the golfing legend’s press conference on the stadium’s giant Jumbotron.

Posted on Feb 21, 2010 READ MORE


Dutch F16
Flickr / Randy83

Dutch to Leave Afghanistan

One day after the Dutch Cabinet collapsed, the country’s prime minister has announced that he expects the Netherlands to pull out all its troops from Afghanistan in August.

Posted on Feb 21, 2010 READ MORE


Yoo
Wikimedia Commons / YooTube

Waterboard Memo Authors Won’t Be Investigated

Officially closing the hotly contested chapter on how the Bush administration conducted its war on terror, the Justice Department has rejected calls for ethics investigations against the two lawyers who wrote and signed off on the memos justifying the waterboarding of detainees.

Posted on Feb 21, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Revista Forum

Succeeding Lula in Brazil

Barred from holding Brazil’s presidency for a third term, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has personally nominated his chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff, to run as the Working Party’s candidate for president in October. Rousseff, whom the party has officially endorsed as its candidate, will be the first woman to hold Brazil’s executive office if she wins the election.

Posted on Feb 21, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / kontrainformatu

ETA May Drop Arms

In a potentially historic development for Spain, the political wing of the ETA—the Basque separatist group—has announced it will call for the organization to lay down its arms after 40 years. Leaders of the wing are urging the organization, which has been in decline, to focus on bringing the issue of separatism back to the center of Basque politics.

Posted on Feb 21, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Adel Hana

Congressman Walks Gaza, Urges Massive Aid

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., has criticized the White House, Israel and even his congressional colleagues after three trips to the Gaza Strip, commenting on the lack of action by the international community and the ignorance that most U.S. politicians have toward the plight of the Palestinians.

Posted on Feb 20, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / No Sweat UK

Iraq’s Oil for Iraq

In an announcement that was one part election hackery and one part good domestic politics, the Iraqi prime minister has declared that his country will not sell the rights to any more of its oil fields to foreign companies, a move that signals an intent by Iraq to develop its own national oil industry.

Posted on Feb 20, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Tommy Donovan

Alexander Haig Dies

Alexander Haig was chief of staff to Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, secretary of state under Ronald Reagan, NATO’s supreme military commander and a longtime Republican hawk. He died Saturday in Baltimore at 85 from complications from an infection.

Posted on Feb 20, 2010 READ MORE


Morales
AP / Juan Karita

An OAS Without Empire

In a press conference before a meeting of Latin and Caribbean countries in Cancun, Mexico, Evo Morales proposed a new Organization of American States “without empire” that would remove Canada and the U.S. from the organization’s roster.

Posted on Feb 20, 2010 READ MORE


computer engineer Barbie
mattel inc.

Introducing Computer Geek Barbie

Before anyone freaks out, let us unequivocally state that we heart the computer geeks. Apparently toymaker Mattel Inc. is hoping that members of its Barbie target market do, too, as the company is debuting its own computer engineer version of the iconic blond doll, complete with a pink laptop and a stylish-yet-nerdy T-shirt.

Posted on Feb 20, 2010 READ MORE


GM building
Flickr/richardefreeman

Big Bucks for GM Boss

It seems that the romantic notion of cutting back on executives’ astronomical salaries, especially execs at corporations that benefited from government funding, hasn’t exactly caught on like wildfire in the American auto business. Take General Motors, for example.

Posted on Feb 20, 2010 READ MORE


Money Never Sleeps

Another ‘Wall Street’ Sequel Trailer: Money (Still) Never Sleeps

This “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” trailer is, thankfully, lower on the cheesy scale than its predecessor teaser, and shows more from the human interest angle—also a good idea. Scenery chewing does not a great sequel make, and we’re getting our hopes up for this one. Take a look after the jump.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE


Family Guy
Fox via YouTube

‘Family Guy’ Actor Says Palins Didn’t Get the Joke

Turns out that Andrea Fay Friedman, the voice actor who played the part of Ellen on the last episode of “Family Guy,” has Down syndrome, as does her character on Fox’s cheeky cartoon. As it also happens, Friedman thinks Sarah Palin ... (continued)

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Et Tu, Dick Cheney?; Woods’ Lament

Tiger Woods performed his celebrity duty on Friday, making a public apology for his extramarital escapades, and, yes, even the “Left, Right & Center” lineup of regular commentators has something to say about it. Also this week: Some conservatives think (gasp!) Dick Cheney ought to run for president, and the richest Americans aren’t feeling the same recessionary burn that the rest of the country is suffering.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE


Penn in Cannes
AP / Lionel Cironneau

Sean Penn Charged in Scuffle With Photographer

Sean Penn isn’t known for being a shrinking violet, and he’s drawn criticism and applause for taking public political stances on a wide range of topics. However, when Penn registered his displeasure with a photographer in L.A.‘s tony Brentwood neighborhood last October, the actor allegedly took things to a physical level—and now he’s facing charges that may land him in jail.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
facebook.com

Unfriending Your Insurance Premiums

A British insurance price comparison service is predicting that use of social media could eventually lead to increases in home insurance premiums. Membership on Twitter or Facebook could become just another variable in determining costs, based on fears that such sites let potential criminals know when a user is not at home.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE


Dick Cheney
AP / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Run, Cheney, Run!

With cheers urging Dick Cheney to run for president, the Republican spokesman talked at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, pontificating about the party’s chances in 2010 and even 2012, claiming that “President Obama is going to be a one-term president.”

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE


Woods

Tiger’s Mea Culpa

Golf superstar Tiger Woods has stayed out of the public eye since the news about his expansive infidelity scandal broke last Thanksgiving, but on Friday, an apparently penitent Woods made a brief appearance and a sober apology at a press conference before returning to continue his treatment program. Reactions to his show of contrition, perhaps unsurprisingly, were mixed.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE


Bernanke
Wikimedia Commons / United States Federal Reserve

Fed to Raise Interest Rate

The Federal Reserve announced Thursday it would increase the interest rate for temporary bank loans. The New York Times reports that many on Wall Street see this as signaling an end to big bank profits. But some economists say the move was purely technical, with no real effect on how much money is made.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Lionel Cironneau

El Baradei Returns to Egypt

With an almost rock-star return, Mohamed El Baradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has come back home to Cairo, greeted by an estimated 500 supporters. The crowd was so large it prevented him from leaving the airport.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Rebecca Blackwell

Niger Hit by Military Coup

A military junta, the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy, captured Niger’s President Mamadou Tandja and his Cabinet on Thursday in a coup d’etat welcomed by opposition leaders and potentially by a population frustrated with the government, which critics say has stayed in power past its legal term.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE


book cover

Frederic Raphael on ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’

A best-seller in Israel, Shlomo Sand’s startling book argues there never was a Jewish people, only a Jewish religion, and explodes the myth of a unique nation with a special destiny.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE


Hey, Dummy: Climate Change Is Real

We’re the nation that put a man on the moon, so we can’t be stupid. We’re just pretending, right? We’re not really taking seriously the “argument” that the big snowstorms that have hit the Northeast in recent weeks constitute evidence—or even proof—that climate change is some kind of hoax.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE


Rogues Gone Wild

We’ve so idealized cowboy-style rebellion in matters of war and law enforcement that the DEA can refuse to follow explicit orders from the president and attorney general and get away with it.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Jack Plunkett

Austin Plane Attack: Tea Party Terrorism?

Authorities continue to investigate why Joe Stack of Texas flew his small airplane into the Austin offices of the IRS, but based on early reports and a tirade the attacker posted on the Internet, it had something to do with taxes, big government, corporate crime and bailouts. (continued)

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE


A GOP Star Is Born

If you are asking, as former President George W. Bush did jokingly the other day, “Who the hell is Marco Rubio?” you probably won’t be for long.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Race to the Top of What? Education Is About More Than Jobs

We need to reclaim a broader vision, for we have terribly narrowed our thinking about school.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Meets With Dalai Lama

Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader called China “childish” on Thursday after conferring with President Barack Obama in a meeting that was held over Beijing’s objections. The White House released a carefully worded statement (posted after the jump) that praised the Dalai Lama without lending too much weight to his cause.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE


Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck Calls Thomas Paine the Glenn Beck of Revolutionary America

Based on this video, it seems Fox News viewers are so patriotic they don’t know anything about the origins of our country. During this little history lesson, Glenn Beck explains who Tom Paine was: “kind of the me. ...” In fairness, Beck made a disgusted face as he said it—the same one we were making.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Khalil Hamra

Israel Implicated in Hamas Leader’s Death

With “99 percent, if not 100 percent” certainty, Dubai police believe that the death of a Hamas commander in Dubai last month came at the hands of a hit squad from Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / World Economic Forum

U.N. Climate Change Head Resigns

Yvo de Boer, the head of the United Nations’ climate change body, has unexpectedly resigned after four years—and after the failure of the Copenhagen climate talks in December—in a move that could significantly set back global negotiations on climate change and emissions.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE



pleaserobme.com

Please Rob Me

A Dutch developer has created a website called Please Rob Me that takes Twitter data and compiles a list of people who say they are away from home and at a restaurant or movie—with geocoded information and the likelihood of an empty house being broadcast throughout the Internet.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Bebeto Matthews

‘Say on Pay’ Won’t Prevent Bonus Gluttony

Like many of us, President Barack Obama is outraged by how out of control executive compensation is, but his plan to fix the problem simply won’t work.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE


Why the Democrats Are Losing

If you want to be honest, face these facts: At this moment, President Obama is losing, Democrats are losing and liberals are losing.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE


The GOP’s Mixed Medicare Message

For voters listening to the Republican leadership over the past year, the most startling surprise was the shift in the GOP attitude toward Medicare.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / subactive_photo

Lighten Up, Canada

The Games haven’t been without their glitches, making Canada the butt of jokes as well as the host of the Olympics. But that’s part of the fun, explains the Guardian’s Marina Hyde: “Sorry for coming over all capital letters about it, but Olympic hosts are SUPPOSED to be teased. You basically pay billions of dollars for the world to laugh at you. Deal with it.”

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Barker

Haiti Frees Most of the Jailed Missionaries

Eight of the 10 Baptist missionaries accused of kidnapping have been sent packing by a Haitian judge, who said he had not finished questioning the group’s leader and nanny. The judge said that parents of children taken by the missionaries made statements in their defense, AP reports.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE


The Gift of Cheney

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Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE    


In the Red

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Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE    



White House / Chuck Kennedy

Stimulus: One Year Later

Some say it was too modest, others feel it was about $800 billion overboard. In any event, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a year old, and, according to ProPublica, still has a few hundred billion dollars’ worth of stimulation left in the tank.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE


Is the History Channel Smearing the Kennedys?

Is the conservative creator of torture-evangelist “24” really the right person to helm a miniseries about the Kennedys? On the basis of a draft of the script, some scholars say “no.” Above is one of those scholars, Theodore C. Sorensen, an adviser to President John F. Kennedy.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Malaysia Canes Women

Although the oppression of women in some foreign countries is routine, we ought not to forget cases like the recent ones in Malaysia in which three women were caned for having extramarital intercourse and another awaits a caning decision for, *gasp*, drinking beer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE



United States Treasury

China Flexes Financial Muscle

News that China sold $34 billion in U.S. government bonds at the end of last year has raised the fears of analysts, some of whom think that the move—which involved less than 5 percent of the overall amount of bonds held by China—is meant to signal a loss of confidence in U.S. economic policy.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE



Unsolved Mystery Edition

Why do Americans refuse to believe crime has been going down for a decade? Why are so many of them foot fetishists? And was Rene “I think, therefore I am” Descartes really murdered with a poisoned communion wafer? Answers to these questions and more on today’s list.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE



outsports.com

Gay Athlete Says ‘Milk’ Saved His Life

How did Andrew McIntosh go from having thoughts like “How will people remember me after I take this bottle of pills so I can just die and no one will ever know I’m gay?” to being a cheerful, out-of-the-closet lacrosse captain? Things started to turn around for the college athlete, he says, after he saw the movie “Milk.”

Posted on Feb 16, 2010 READ MORE


James Cameron and friends
20th Century Fox / Mark Fellman

James Cameron Working on ‘Avatar’ Novel

There’s no shortage of fan fiction and musty paperbacks based on science fiction movies, but it’s highly unusual for the creators of such films to actually write the things. James Cameron is reportedly working on a novel based on the back story of his latest film, which has already made more money than any movie ever.

Posted on Feb 16, 2010 READ MORE


What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Opponents of gay marriage say they want to protect the sanctity of the institution, but what if marriage were limited to people who love each other? The Onion has this satirical take on the marriage brouhaha.

Posted on Feb 16, 2010 READ MORE


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