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Hard Road West

Hard Road West

By Keith Heyer Meldahl
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Lethal Injection Gurney
Arizona Department of Corrections

Botched Execution Gives Chance for Testimony

The failed attempt to execute an Ohio man has given new impetus to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection in the state. Technicians were unable to kill Romell Broom on Tuesday, and now a judge is ordering Broom be deposed in the federal lawsuit, a day before the executioners are to try again.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Secret Report Says Iran Could Build a Bomb

Let’s see how the cable news channels cover this one: A “secret report” by the International Atomic Energy Agency suggests that Iran has “sufficient information” to make a nuclear weapon and has “probably tested” a key component, but the agency admits it has no hard evidence of a warhead program in Iran.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 READ MORE



Flick / MeetTheCrazies

Where Did All These Marchers Come From?

Josh Silver from FreePress.net joined us to discuss the Glenn Beck phenomenon, Obama’s health care plan and our country’s dependence on for-profit media.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE



Flick / MeetTheCrazies

Where Did All These Marchers Come From?

Josh Silver from FreePress.net joins us to discuss the Glenn Beck phenomenon, Obama’s health care plan and our country’s dependence on for-profit media.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Joel Kotkin on California’s Golden Age

Kevin Starr’s newest volume in his magisterial series on California examines the dream of endless prosperity that was, for a time, synonymous with the American dream.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 READ MORE


Moby-Dick
tower.com

Google Teams Up With Speedy Bookmaker

Bibliophiles who can’t warm up to the idea of curling up with an e-reader or a laptop instead of a bona fide book may be heartened to hear that Google just took a significant step in the direction of making more book titles available on short notice—in the offline world.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Selective Deficit Disorder

When President Bush vastly expanded the deficit with his massive tax cuts for the wealthy, where were the conservative organizations that recently marched on Washington?

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Jimmy Carter Is Right

President Obama has to give even his most vocal critics the benefit of the doubt. But I don’t. There’s a particularly nasty edge to some of Obama’s detractors that is difficult to explain in terms other than racism.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE



senate.gov

Did Somebody Spike Sen. Grassley’s Ovaltine?

If you haven’t been following Sen. Chuck Grassley’s psychodrama, here are the recent developments. The Republican who personally delayed a health care reform has pretty much decided not to vote for any bill, even if he likes it, and is now offended that the president had the audacity to quote him accurately.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

Massachusetts Close to Replacing Kennedy With a Temp

Democrats would like an interim senator to fill Ted Kennedy’s shoes until a January election provides a more permanent solution, and the Massachusetts House of Representatives on Thursday agreed to give Gov. Deval Patrick the power to appoint just such a person.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


dinosaur
bbc.co.uk

T. Rex in Miniature

The going theory about the Tyrannosaurus rex, in case you didn’t know, had been until very recently that this famous mega-dinosaur sported stumpy little arms as an evolutionary adaptation related to its jumbo body size. Then a fossil of Raptorex kriegsteini—perhaps 1/100th the size of T. rex, its descendant—came along and upended that notion with its own disproportionately puny forelimbs.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Carter

Carter Sticks to His Guns, Repeats Racism Charge

Although Barack Obama himself apparently disagrees with Jimmy Carter’s assessment that some of the vitriol recently directed at the president is propelled by racism, Carter reiterated and expanded upon his claim during a town hall meeting Wednesday night at Atlanta’s Emory University.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy

Obama Punts Missile Shield, Russians Dance the Kalinka

Add this to the oft-forgotten list of things progressives can celebrate about the president: Obama’s decision to postpone the deployment of a missile shield in Eastern Europe has possibly averted a new arms race with Russia.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Bill O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly Wants a Public Option

Bill O’Reilly says of the very public option that makes his Foxy friends’ heads explode: “I want that. ... [I]f the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks.” Quick, look out your window to see the flying pigs.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


soldiers in Afghanistan
Flickr/Army.mil

Yet Another Reason Why War in Afghanistan Is a Bad Idea

Numerous historical examples have demonstrated that attempting to go to war in Afghanistan isn’t really the best plan, what with the tricky geography and all, yet here we are, eight years into just that very scenario. Along with the landscape-oriented issues, The Wall Street Journal has noted yet another reason that this war is dragging on without a clear end in sight.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Bear Ice Cap
polarice.com

Investors Against Climate Change

We normally think of capitalists as ravaging the Earth with profit in their eyes. While that still might be true, 181 of the world’s largest investors have issued a united call for action against climate change, most importantly a binding treaty to cut pollution and boost funding for low-carbon technologies.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Clinging to Civility

For me, the real Obama moment of this back-to-work season wasn’t the speech before Congress or Wall Street. It was in the Virginia schoolhouse when a ninth-grader asked him a question that had nothing and everything to do with his presidency.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Testing the Obama Effect

President Obama was the first Democrat to win Virginia’s electoral votes since 1964, and his drop in the polls has already had a powerful influence on the direction of this year’s contest for governor.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Why We Fight the Tire War With China

We are warned it is dangerously protectionist to enforce existing trade laws against China’s cheap tire surge, but Obama is obligated to do so—and for good reason.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Teddy Wade

All U.S. Presidents Need a War to Call Their Own—and Obama Has His

The more one hears the discussion among Democrats about the war in Afghanistan, the more one feels that it is a serious handicap that Barack Obama has no personal experience of international relations or of foreign policy or military service.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Joe Wilson’s Confederate Cronies

The stupid misconduct of entertainer Kanye West and the South Carolina politician demonstrated, if any fresh proof is necessary, that thoughtless rudeness isn’t confined by ethnicity, ideology or background.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Electoral Dysfunction

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Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE    


Blue Red Black White

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Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE    


outer space
Wikimedia Commons/NASA/JPL-Caltech

What’s the Equation for Life?

Seeing as we’re not doing so well with our planetary preservation program here on Earth, it might be prudent to consider the possibility of shopping around the universe for a new home at some point in the not-too-distant future. But how do we know which heavenly bodies are ripe for the human ruination treatment?

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



startrek.com

‘Newlywed Game’ Goes Gay With Sulu

For the first time since its 1967 premiere, the “Newlywed Game” will feature a gay couple: George Takei of “Star Trek” and his husband of one year (and partner for 22) Brad Altman.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Jeff Chiu

Bill Clinton Picks a Horse in Cali Governor Race

The former president has thrown his considerable political and fundraising heft behind San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in the race to succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger. Newsom is up against California institution and former Gov. Jerry Brown.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Carter
AP / Lori Cain

Obama Counters Carter’s Race Claim

Although it certainly seems plausible that, as former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday, the intense hostility directed at President Barack Obama of late is partly rooted in racism, Obama apparently begs to differ.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



finance.senate.gov

Baucus Bill Lands With a Whimper

Sen. Max Baucus bent over backward to please Republicans with his insurance-friendly vision of health care reform, which forces everyone to buy private insurance and has no public option, but the very Republicans he negotiated with now won’t have anything to do with the bill.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan election
AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Over 1M Afghan Election Votes May Be Fraudulent

A European Union election watchdog group has determined that as many as a third of the votes cast in the recent presidential election in Afghanistan might be fraudulent, which translates to as many as 1.1 million bogus votes—making Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s re-election seem suspect just as the tally tilted in his favor.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / agitprop

Meet Josef Stalin, ‘Competent Manager’

Is Vladimir Putin’s dictator chic to blame for Josef Stalin’s makeover? The Soviet tyrant who presided over the suffering of millions and helped launch World War II has been rebranded as a “competent manager” and, if Moscow’s deserted Gulag Museum is any indication, Russians appear to be lapping it up.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


I Want My America Back

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Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Lectures Wall Street

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Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / freemarketmyass

Bernanke Says Recession Is Over, Economy Still Sucks

Fed Chair Ben Bernanke declared Tuesday that the recession is “very likely over at this point,” but don’t get too excited. The non-investment bankers among us still have a lot to worry about: “[I]t is still going to feel like a very weak economy for some time as many people still find their job security and their employment status is not what they wish it was.”

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP / Charles Dharapak

Obama’s Presidency Isn’t Too Big to Fail

A president has only so much capital to expend, both in tax dollars and public tolerance, and Barack Obama is dangerously overdrawn. He has tried to have it all on three fronts, and his administration is in serious danger of going bankrupt.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Tea-Baggers March on Washington, Have No Idea Why

If these anti-Obama marchers are to be believed, fascism and socialism are the same thing, abortion caused 9/11 and “Glenn Beck is such a logical thinker.” There’s a whole pile of crazy where that came from.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Kindle 2
Flickr/bfishadow

Are the Kindle’s Days Numbered?

Although Kindle sales have seemed strong since its debut nearly two years ago, the future of Amazon’s e-reader may not be rosy, according to The Atlantic’s Kevin Maney, who sums up the “Kindle problem” thusly: “[I]n aiming to provide both a great experience and supreme convenience, it has achieved neither.”

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ISM Palestine

U.N. Finds Israel War Crimes in Gaza

A U.N. fact-finding mission has concluded “there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.” (Full release after the jump.)

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE



US Army / Sgt. Teddy Wade

Let Us Not Become the Evil We Deplore

On Oct. 7, the U.S. enters its ninth year of occupation of Afghanistan—equal to the time the United States was involved in World War I, World War II and the Korean War combined.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Mullen
defenselink.mil

Top Admiral Says U.S. May Need More Troops in Afghanistan

There are already about 62,000 American troops in Afghanistan, and more may be sent to combat the Taliban and contain insurgent violence, according to Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said Tuesday that the next couple of weeks could be telling in terms of how many more troops the U.S. might deploy.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Stewart

‘Daily Show’: Mad Men on the March

After an extended vacation, Jon Stewart returned to his “Daily Show” anchor’s desk Monday—and not a moment too soon, as the national epidemic of crazitude hasn’t calmed down since he left, especially when it comes to the subject of health care reform.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE



house.gov

Wilson Faces House Knuckle-Rapping for Heckling Obama

How much of a backlash should Rep. Joe Wilson endure, and in what form, for his “You lie!” outburst during President Obama’s speech nearly a week ago? Well, on Tuesday, the House was nearing a conclusion about whether to officially admonish Wilson—whatever that might mean. (Update: Wilson admonished.)

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Rick Santorum
congress.gov

Santorum Wants to Be President, Has a Poo Problem

Rick Santorum is thinking of running for president, but he has a serious PR problem. The former senator’s rampant homophobia inspired sex columnist Dan Savage to launch a campaign to usurp the conservative’s name. The result: If you type “Santorum” into Google, you’ll find that, in addition to a former senator, it refers to ...

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE



The New Press

Business Goes to School

Business leaders are eager to meddle in education but rarely take responsibility for the root of education’s problem—economic despair and mind-numbing mass media.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE


Wall Street Is Still Playing the Odds

I’m as pleased as anyone else to see a rising Dow, but somebody needs to slap the incipient grin off Wall Street’s face.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE



AP Photo / Toby Talbot

The Other Public Options

Overlooked in the health care debate is the recently reconfirmed fact that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are working better than ever.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE


Oligarh
youtube.com

Report: Glenn Beck’s Ad Dollars Take a Dive

He may be jacking up his ratings with all his, um, displays of distrust of the Obama administration and its policies, but it seems that Fox News pontificator Glenn Beck might well be feeling the burn in the advertising department for all his bloviating (not to mention his spelling issues).

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE


Mark Foley
gpoaccess.gov

Mark Foley Takes to the Airwaves

Remember the name Mark Foley? It can be difficult to keep all the GOP sex scandals from blending together, especially when trying to remember one so far back as 2006, but Foley’s the ex-congressman from Florida who wound up in big trouble for sending raunchy messages to an underage page. Now, Foley is looking to reinvent himself on AM radio.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s White House Is Woman and Girl Crazy—in a Good Way

From the creation of the White House Council on Women and Girls to the State Department’s global focus on women’s rights, President Obama is scoring points with feminists who worked against him in the primaries.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE


Kanye West

Kanye Heckles Obama?

You may have caught rapper and megalomaniac Kanye West hijacking the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, but did you see him shout at the president during last Wednesday’s speech to Congress?

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE


football players
Flickr / SteelCityHobbies

NFL Players Give Away Their Brains

Recent autopsies on the brains of former football players showed that concussions cause a lot more brain damage than previously suspected. To contribute to a better understanding of the problem, three current and 40 retired NFL players have agreed to donate their brains to a program at Boston University.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE


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