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Reckless Endangerment

Reckless Endangerment

By Gretchen Morgenson, Joshua Rosner
$17.04

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Tag: Not For Profit


White House / Paul Morse / Pete Souza

Good Money After Bad

Congressional Republicans, with the exception of that embarrassingly shrunken contingent of three moderates, will rue their legacy of deep indifference at a time of true national emergency, one that makes George W. Bush’s far more costly war on terror now seem an absurdly irrelevant exercise.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


The Early Consumer

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Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Modern Times

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The Patriarch

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America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or establish permanent NATO bases there, or are we searching for Osama bin Laden? It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Aaron Escobar

Coping With Corporate Media

The Truthdig Podcast is back and better than ever. This week the panel tackles our obsession with imperfect athletes, the first days of the Obama administration and the decline of media. Special guest Megan Tady, campaign coordinator for Free Press, joins James Harris and Josh Scheer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Jailing Kids for Cash

As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / Sgt. Zach Otto, U.S. Army

Obama Throws 17,000 Troops at Afghanistan Mess

President Obama’s desire to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a sore spot for the progressives and anti-war folk who helped elect him, took a major step forward Tuesday when the White House announced plans to raise troop levels in Afghanistan by 50 percent over the next few months.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


construction signs
Flickr / jphilipg

Infrastructure Spending Shafts the States That Need It

ProPublica did some digging into the infrastructure spending bundled into the stimulus package—the $100 billion that promises have the biggest impact in terms of job creation—and found that Wyoming is getting more than $20,100 per unemployed worker while Michigan, a state on the verge of a labor apocalypse, is expected to have to make do with just $2,434.37.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Burris
senate.gov

Burris Did More for Blagojevich Than He Let On

Surprise! Roland Burris has no credibility. The man who condemned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat—until he was appointed to it—has revealed that, contrary to what he told the United States Congress in sworn testimony, he tried to raise money, as requested, for the governor-turned-auctioneer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Smash-Me Bernie
minimemodelworks.com

Oh, Look ... You’ve Gone and Broken Your New Doll

Ah, capitalism. First, we had Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff making big money off his clients, and now here comes ModelWorks, a toy manufacturer with an enterprising plan for how to profit off the failed financier in turn.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Johnston and Palin
gaywired.com

Bristol Palin: Abstinence-Only Plan Doesn’t Work

Last fall, Bristol Palin became a controversial figure in her mother Sarah Palin’s vice presidential bid when it was revealed, not long after the elder Palin took to the campaign trail, that the teenaged Bristol was pregnant by her high school boyfriend. Now Bristol has re-emerged to make a few comments that run against her mom’s approach to teen sex ed.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
AP pool photo / Alexei Druzhinin

Avoiding Another Cold War

Relations with Russia haven’t been this frosty since there was an East Berlin. President Obama may be distracted by other priorities, but getting reacquainted with Vladimir Putin and his nuclear arsenal should be at the top of the list.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Carmaker, Banker, Broker ...

Obama must deal with a new presidential role that he did not seek but cannot avoid: managing big chunks of the private-sector economy.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Blame Your Puny Paycheck

This didn’t start with the mortgage and credit crisis. It all began with the wage crisis.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



osmoothie.com

California Plans to Fire 20,000 Workers

California has the biggest economy in the union, but the state is in a real hole. With major shortfalls and a $40 billion budget in legislative gridlock, Sacramento has laid off some workers, furloughed others and slashed wages. Now the governor is threatening to, er, terminate 20,000 more employees.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



Hollywood Battles Swedish Pirates

The founders of The Pirate Bay, one of the biggest names in file sharing, face up to two years in a hard-core Swedish prison if they can’t convince a judge that their unfortunately named Web site isn’t legally responsible for 115 million kronor worth of media piracy.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Fonda Colbert

Stephen Colbert, Feminist Icon

Gloria Steinem. Jane Fonda. Arianna Huffington. Stephen Colbert. Here we have feminism’s greatest hits. You’ve been warned.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Japanese Official Denies Getting Drunk to Survive International Boredom

Here’s one way to get through a meeting: Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa denies getting tanked at a recent G7 get-together. Nakagawa was caught slurring and nodding off during a press conference, for which he apologized and blamed cold medicine. We’ll have to remember that one. Update

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Lincoln
flickr/androfire

Survey Says: Lincoln’s Tops

It’s either a grand testimonial to the staying power of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy or a subtle put-down of his many successors, but, regardless, a survey of 65 historians conducted by C-SPAN found that Honest Abe still prevails when it comes to perception of his presidential prowess.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Hope mural
flickr/jetheriot

And Now for the Disillusionment Phase

His presidency is not yet a month old, but there already are some who are wondering aloud whether Barack Obama is going to make good on his pre-election pledges. What’s this—he’s a politician?

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Rebutting the False Choice Between Security and Freedom

A three-year review of more than 40 countries has found that justice systems prior to 9/11 were perfectly capable of combating terrorism. The U.S. and Britain were especially opportunistic in their violations of human rights and international law and gave comfort by example to other abusive regimes, the International Commission of Jurists found.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


auto industry
fordnewsblog.wordpress.com

Auto Task Force ... Activate!

What’s to be done about the floundering American automotive industry? Appoint a “car czar,” you say? No, this is a job for a whole team of people, such as the newly formed Presidential Task Force on Autos. One small hitch: It’ll be headed up by Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Denver
flickr/jeffrey beall

Obama to Take Stimulus-Signing Act to Denver

It’s finally happening: President Barack Obama is about to sign the stimulus bill. Get ready, people of Denver—he’s going to do the honors at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, of course—where else?

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Bad News From America’s Top Spy

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. Just ask the new director of national intelligence, who warned that the deepening economic crisis could trigger a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Recipe for Disaster in the Middle East

Gas may be cheap again, but the bursting of the petro bubble has sent unemployment soaring to 40 percent among Middle Easterners 15 to 24 years old, stirring unrest. Dubai’s airport parking lots are littered with abandoned cars as foreign nationals flee. Egypt, with half a million newly unemployed headed home from abroad, could see a repeat of last year’s bloody economic riots.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


A Hand on History

President Obama senses that fate has handed him opportunities few presidents ever get, and that his test will be whether he makes good use of his chance to bend history at one of its “inflection points.”

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / openDemocracy

No More Term Limits for Venezuela’s Chavez

Hugo Chavez can remain Venezuela’s president until he dies, gets bored or loses the job in an election, now that a referendum dropping term limits has succeeded. Chavez was facing mandatory retirement in 2012. An earlier attempt to extend his time in office failed. International election observers pronounced the process free and fair.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / illuminating9_11

Gaza’s Baby Boom

According to a Palestinian census, the population of Gaza jumped by 40 percent between 1997 and 2007. West Bank officials expect the Gaza population, which they estimate at 1.4 million, to double over the next 21 years.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE


Downsized

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Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE


Nuts

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Isolating the Gay Gene

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Roid Rage

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Flickr / Jeffrey Beall

Pols Sink or Swim With the Stimulus

President Obama on Tuesday will sign the stimulus bill, which passed without the support of a single House Republican and with only three votes from the GOP in the Senate. With battle lines that stark, lawmakers have tied their fates to that of the bill.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: The Stimulus, the Bailout and Judd Gregg

How stimulating is the stimulus, really? Did Obama bite off more than he could chew? Who wears the pants at the Treasury Department? Answers to these questions and more in this week’s episode.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE


The Buck Stops

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Posted on Feb 14, 2009 READ MORE    


Sachsenhausen
AP photo / Sven Kaestner

Rules of War Weren’t Made for Only One People

The organized persecution of a group is despicable whether the victims are the Jews of World War II or today’s Gazans.

Posted on Feb 14, 2009 READ MORE


Daily Show

‘Daily Show’: American Grandstand, Banking Episode

Was it too much to expect a show of contrition or sacrifice when CEOs from eight of the nation’s biggest banks turned up on Capitol Hill last week to dodge questions about how they used their respective chunks of bailout change? Probably.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza Flowers
European Pressphoto Agency / Abed Rahim Khatib

Israel Opens Gaza Border ... for Flowers

In probably the least appropriate metaphor for relations between Israel and Palestine, Israel has allowed, for the first time in a year, Gazan flower companies to export 25,000 carnations to Europe in time for Valentine’s Day, though the volume pales in comparison to previous annual exports of 60 million flowers.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


Mugabs and Tsvans
telegraph.co.uk

Tsvangirai to World: ‘Get Over’ Mugabe

Much like an unsympathetic friend counseling you after a breakup, recently installed Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is calling on the world to “get over” the wrongs of President Robert Mugabe.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


Tamil Child
abcnews.com

Sri Lanka’s Civil War Takes a Toll

The toll in the recent spate of clashes in the decades-long battle between Tamil Tiger rebels and the Sri Lankan government has been officially estimated: 40 civilians are being killed every day, with more than 100 wounded, as artillery shells and gun battles between the two sides devastate the Sri Lankan northeast.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


Addicted to Fake Outrage

One thing is obvious after Michael Phelps’ marijuana “scandal”: Our society is addicted to fake outrage—and to break our dependence, we’re going to need far more potent medicine than the herb Phelps was smoking.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Mr. Inside

The treasury secretary will get much better at making his case. I’m confident in that prediction because after watching his debut this week, I don’t see how he could get much worse.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE



Allen Barra on the Myth of Ronald Reagan

At last, a revisionist takedown of our 40th president, portrayed as an empty suit too often lauded by the common people he betrayed.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


peanuts
.abc15.com

Peanut Corp. in Hot Water With Texas Health Officials

Woe to Peanut Corporation of America: After running into trouble in Georgia in the recent salmonella outbreak, the peanut product manufacturer has now run afoul of Texas health authorities, who have ordered the company to recall all the products made in its Plainview plant.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


Israel’s Lose-Lose Election

Of the possible political combinations that have emerged from the Israeli parliamentary election, none will bring the region closer to peace. Israel will continue to persecute the Palestinians, whose hatred will only grow.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE



State Dept. / Michael Gross, cropped

Israel’s Kingmaker in Legal Limbo

With his party holding 15 seats in the Knesset, Avigdor Lieberman of the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu is poised to pick Israel’s next government. Lieberman would like a choice cabinet post in exchange for anointing the next premier, but he’s under investigation for allegedly laundering millions of overseas dollars.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE



DoD

PR Worries Stalled Release of Gitmo Inmates

A 2006 memo from the State Department to the U.S. Transportation Command suggested holding Guantanamo detainees after they had been cleared in order to avoid bad press. “Got it ... Thank you,” was the reply, and indeed, no prisoners flew out of Guantanamo for three months.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


‘Born Again American’

TV legend Norman Lear is no stranger to philanthropy. His latest venture is an interactive music video that celebrates the “rebirth and re-expression of citizenship through informed and thoughtful activism.” Give it a gander after the jump, then make your own version.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Another Nominee Bites the Dust

Apparently nobody wants to be President Obama’s commerce secretary. The second candidate for the post, Sen. Judd Gregg, has dropped out. The Republican senator cited “irresolvable conflicts,” including the stimulus package and the census. That’s what you get for trying to make nice with those fussy Republicans.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


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