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With Al-Qaida Fading, Why Expand the Afghan War?

Given the Western world’s obsession with al-Qaida, it’s remarkable that public discourse makes little mention of the fact that the terror group is going out of business.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE


Stewart

‘Daily Show’: ‘Rape-Nuts’ on Capitol Hill

If ever there were magic words guaranteed to provoke instant fury in America’s far-right ranks (besides “Nobel Peace Prize”), they might sound a little like “Al Franken.” The comedian-turned-senator’s recent proposal—related to the rights of rape victims who are employees of government contractors—met with some baffling resistance from Republicans in Congress.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Obama campaign / Boston.com

Louisiana Official Refuses to License Interracial Marriage

Keith Bardwell, a Louisiana justice of the peace, may be in hot water for refusing to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. “I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell says, because he thinks it’s cruel to the children produced by such unions.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / maocirpdsp

Russia Arrests Historian for Studying Russian History

A Russian historian faces four years in prison for having the nerve to research Stalin’s gulags, which Russian revisionists would have you believe either didn’t exist or were a form of forced vacation.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE


Berlusconi
telegraph.co.uk

Newsweek Tells Italy to ‘Dump Berlusconi’

It’s not clear whether the editors of Newsweek believe they hold any diplomatic power, but they’ve gone ahead and told Italy to “dump” its scandal magnet of a prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, in the magazine’s European edition this week. Let’s see whether Time can top this.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE


TRT logo
trt.net.tr

Turkish TV Show Causes Conflict With Israel

A Turkish television series, “Separation,” caused a diplomatic clash between Turkey and Israel after an episode this week portrayed an Israeli soldier shooting and killing a Palestinian baby. The fictional scene was shown on Israeli television Wednesday and drew criticism from Israel’s foreign minister Thursday.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / toddalert

Sorry Grandma, No COLA for You

For the first time in 34 years, Social Security beneficiaries will not get a benefit boost from a cost-of-living adjustment. Falling energy prices, in particular, should keep seniors flush with their monthly average $1,094 checks. So what if their health care costs have gone up by a third?

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE


Because

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Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE    


Selfish

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Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE


Clinton and Obama
journalism.wlu.edu

Poll Puts Clinton Over Obama

While the presidential election is three years out, Barack Obama might have to look over his shoulder as his slipping popularity now ranks him behind Hillary Clinton: A new Gallup Poll shows Obama’s favorable rating at 56 percent and Clinton’s at 62 percent.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



armybase.us

40,000 Flee New Fighting in Congo

A recent upsurge in fighting between the Lord’s Resistance Army and soldiers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has displaced 40,000 people, adding to the nearly half a million persons already uprooted by the conflict.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Samory Santos

Looking for a Middle Class

The challenge of our time is to re-create America as a middle-class nation. [This is Marie Cocco’s last column.]

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

A Nobel for Defeating Cheneyism

Outraged babble and sanctimonious tut-tutting over President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize will pour forth for years.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE


global hunger
wfp.org

United Nations: 1 Billion Going Hungry Worldwide

Global hunger is a “world emergency” now, if it wasn’t before, with the number of hungry people rising to a record 1 billion, according to the United Nations. Given this scary statistic, it’s not looking good for a goal, set in 2000, to reduce the number of people going hungry worldwide by half by 2015.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE


Diagnosis

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Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE


protest
Flickr / ingridtaylar

Federal Judge Rejects Request to Dismiss Prop. 8 Suit

Although Proposition 8 passed in California last year, setting back the gay marriage cause, the legal wheels are still turning to argue against the measure. On Wednesday, Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court refused to stop a challenge to Proposition 8, dismissing the argument that (straight) marriage and procreation are fundamentally linked.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / SEIU International

Russian Gays Chide Clinton

Hillary Clinton is all the rage with American gays, but their Russian counterparts are disappointed that the secretary of state rubbed elbows with Moscow’s homophobic mayor, who, the AP reports, once said gays “can be described in no other way than as satanic.”

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE


Amp Up Before You Score
iTunes

Pepsi Amps Up the Sexism with Pickup App

PepsiCo Inc. ran into trouble trying to be all hip and stuff with an iPhone app aimed at young male consumers of Amp energy drink. It was bad enough that the app was built around the charming idea of bagging 24 different types of women—and then posting the conquests online. Almost worse was the company’s Twittered apology after reception of its “Amp Up Before You Score” app fell flat.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / I.Gouss

Dow Hits 10K, You Can Go Back to Work Now

Put down your pitchforks and pick up the champagne. Boom times are here. The Dow is over 10,000 for the first time in a year. What’s that? Real unemployment is at 17 percent, and they’re foreclosing your house? Stop being such a communist and party!

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert cross

‘Colbert Report’: Is That a Cross-Mallow in Your Lucky Charms?

Stephen Colbert is on a serious tear in this “Colbert Report” clip from Tuesday night’s show, tackling religious symbology, reptilian champion of atheism Christopher Hitchens, canary-eating Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the infamous Three-Fifths Compromise all in one go—and that’s before he busts into the Apostles’ Creed. 

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza rubble
AP / Khaled Omar

Gaza War Crimes Report Sparks Conflict

A controversial report about last winter’s war in Gaza, generated by the United Nations and headed up by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, was the subject of debate at the U.N. Security Council Wednesday, largely owing to the fact that the report accuses both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Hellgasms!

Condoms, Not Laws, Help Cut Abortions

This isn’t going to sound all that shocking, but remember that this country is still wrapping its head around evolution: Criminalizing abortion does not reduce the number of abortions; it reduces the number of safe abortions. Contraception, however, does reduce abortions, according to an epic study of 197 countries.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Subsven

A Campus Is Born on Spot Where RFK Was Shot

If things had worked out a little differently, the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where Robert Kennedy was gunned down in 1968, might have become a Wal-Mart or one of Donald Trump’s gaudy creations. Instead, it is now a center of education, home to two elementary schools and, next year, the new Robert F. Kennedy High School.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner
AP / Gerald Herbert

Public Health Before Wall Street Wealth

There is an odd disconnect between the furious public debate over health care reform, with its emphasis on the cost of an increased government role, and the nonexistent discussion about the far more expensive and largely secretive government program to bail out Wall Street.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama's Nobel speech
Still image: AP via YouTube

More Obama Talk From the Nobel Jury

All but one of the five judges who picked President Barack Obama as the recipient of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize sounded off on Tuesday about their decision, noting Obama’s less-than-jubilant initial reaction to the announcement and shedding more light on the reasons behind their choice, which one judge reported was unanimous.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


California Marriage Protection Act PSA

A Marriage Protection Act Gays Can Appreciate

Score one for irony: A new movement is in the works, complete with its own Web site, to protect the institution of marriage in the Golden State from the unholy scourge of ... divorce. The drive is on for the 2010 California Marriage Protection Act, and this group—which actually intends to poke fun at the Proposition 8 proponents—is circulating its own PSAs to educate the masses about its mission.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Lt. Choi Won’t Lie for His Country

Since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993, 13,500 soldiers, sailors and Marines have been discharged from the military.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

In Search of Great Men

The world hungers for great men to liberate it from grief. They rarely arrive, and even more rarely are they appreciated at the time for what they are.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE



gop.com

Why Stop at a Web Site When You Can Redesign the Whole Party?

The Republican Party’s new social network wants photographic evidence and an answer to the question “Why are you a Republican?” (good question). Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele brings the hip to this new Facebook for white people with a blog titled “What up?”  Update 2: This is more interesting than we realized.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Swinton
Flickr / Strevo

Swinton vs. Trump in Golf Resort Dispute

Donald Trump is plotting to plop down a deluxe golf resort in an “environmentally sensitive” part of Scotland—a plan that’s getting some of the locals good and riled up, including actor Tilda Swinton, according to the AP. Swinton has added her name to a petition signed by some 15,000 Scots to block Trump from breaking ground, which does not please The Donald.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Napolitano and Stewart

‘Daily Show’: Napolitano Makes Stewart Feel Secure

Jon Stewart sat down with Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano on Monday night’s “Daily Show” to enjoy at least a fleeting feeling of security and to discuss the government’s infamous safety color codes—which, she quipped, “are the subject of late-night humor, as you may have noticed”—as well as swine flu and terrorism.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Rush Limbaugh
politicsandfunk.com

Limbaugh’s Politics May Mean Trouble for NFL Bid

Rush Limbaugh may be the grand poobah of conservative radio, but that doesn’t mean his influence in one arena carries over to another without a hitch, at least not when it comes to his bid to become part-owner of the St. Louis Rams. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell indicated Tuesday that Limbaugh’s politics might just get in the way of that grand plan.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Olympia Snowe
AP / Charles Dharapak

Snowe Helps Baucus Bill Pass Committee Hurdle

Maine’s Olympia Snowe explained her vote for health care reform by saying “when history calls, history calls.” It called, she answered, and now the Senate Finance Committee’s Baucus bill, which would force Americans to buy health insurance without offering a public option, is off to get married to the more progressive Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / seiu_international

Clinton Says She Won’t Run for President Again

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a strong run for the White House in 2008, but she won’t be doing that again and quite likes the job she has now—or so she said in an interview with NBC on Monday. It’s all up to Chelsea now.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Premature Nobel

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Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE


Prize for Hope [A Cartoon From Austria]

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Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Bribe, Vote, Repeat

The votes of lawmakers are so routinely purchased by corporations that it takes a scandal of unusual proportions to generate news coverage.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Why Do Conservatives Hate America?

Somebody explain this to me: The president of the United States wins the Nobel Peace Prize, and Rush Limbaugh joins with the Taliban in bitterly denouncing the award?

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE


binladen
chinadaily.com

Report: Al-Qaida Hurting for Funds

Although the Taliban apparently enjoys good funding these days, thanks in part to drug money, the BBC reported Monday that al-Qaida is struggling by comparison, according to “terrorist financing official” (?) David Cohen.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / sarniebill1

We’ll Need 70 Percent More Food

Global population is expected to hit 9.1 billion in the next 40 years, causing demand for food to double. The U.N. says we will need to produce 70 percent more food by 2050 or risk starving hundreds of millions of people.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE


Glenn Beck Goes to War

Fox News personalities are so sensitive. After White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said that “we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave,” Glenn Beck grabbed his toys and declared war.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE


Summers
AP / Lawrence Jackson

Summers to Boehner: Stimulus Is Working

There is some rumbling among the congressional Republican ranks that Team Obama’s stimulus package has driven the country into ever deeper economic trouble, but one prominent member of said presidential team, economic adviser Lawrence Summers, begs to differ—and he’s written a letter to House GOP honcho John Boehner to tell him why. 

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE



City of Hardin

Private Prison Swindle Bleeds Desperate Towns Dry

TPMMuckraker investigates the sad story of Hardin, Mont., a town so desperate for jobs it fell for a private prison scheme that left it with a big empty jail and a load of debt. You know you’re in trouble when you have to beg the state to send you sex offenders.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE


Kissinger
National Archives / White House

A People’s History of Ironic Prizes

Speaking of Howard Zinn, did you see his devastating attack on the Nobel Committee for awarding President Barack Obama the Peace Prize? Zinn says the committee “should retire, and turn over its huge funds to some international peace organization which is not awed by stardom and rhetoric, and which has some understanding of history.” Ouch.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE


Milk
Wikimedia Commons / Daniel Nicoletta

Schwarzenegger Gives Harvey Milk His Day

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has changed his tune about Harvey Milk Day, signing a bill on Monday to make May 22, Milk’s birthday, a day of official commemoration for the slain San Francisco supervisor and gay rights activist.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE


Swat blast
AP / Abdullah Khan

Over 40 Killed in Yet Another Pakistan Attack

The death toll after four days of militant attacks in Pakistan rose past 100 following another deadly blast, this time in the Shangla district of the Swat Valley, where a car bomb exploded near a market early Monday afternoon.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Poor Will Have to Wait for Health Care Help

Democrats have lousy timing, according to the AP: “Under the Democratic bills, federal tax credits to help make health insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income households won’t start flowing until 2013—after the next presidential election. But Medicare cuts and a sizable chunk of the tax increases to pay for the overhaul kick in immediately.”

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE



Library of Congress / Currier and Ives

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

Read historian Howard Zinn’s account of that genocidal, gold-crazed maniac Christopher Columbus, and it’s impossible to think this man deserves a holiday. Upon meeting the Indians, for example, his first thought was “They would make fine servants. ... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE



Sprint

The Phone Made Out of Corn

The Samsung Reclaim is an odd little device that raises the question: Why isn’t everything made out of corn?

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE


Failure Fail

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Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE


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