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Tom Hanks
Wikimedia Commons / Angela George

Hanks to Take On JFK Murder Mystery

It seems that wherever Tom Hanks goes, a historical miniseries is soon to follow. There’s his latest foray into World War II storytelling, “The Pacific,” which airs this month on HBO, and then there’s the small matter of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which Hanks plans to tackle soon.

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE


orca and trainer
Flickr / milan.boers

Tilikum, According to the Book of Exodus

Last month’s trainer tragedy at SeaWorld has taken on biblical proportions. According to an evangelical pastor evidently given to consulting the Old Testament in reference to theme park disasters, the book of Exodus suggests that Tilikum, the orca responsible for killing handler Dawn Brancheau, should have been dealt with in the manner of a murderous ox.

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE



pithhelmet.wordpress.com

What Does Blackwater Have to Do?

The company formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide has been mired in scandal ever since its guards massacred some Iraqi civilians, but the government work keeps coming. Sen. Carl Levin has asked the Pentagon to think carefully about awarding a $1 billion contract to the company now known as Xe.

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE


Levin
Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Congress

Sandy Levin Tapped to Replace Rangel as Ways and Means Chair

Following Rep. Charles Rangel’s announcement Wednesday that he’d no longer head up the House Ways and Means Committee, naturally the nation awaited the revelation of his successor with bated breath ... or not. But either way, Rep. Sander Levin has been picked to take over. Levin’s a Democrat from Michigan, and as The Christian Science Monitor notes ... (continued)

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE


Palin
youtube.com

Sarah Palin Shopping Alaska-Themed TV Show Around Hollywood

We keep trying to read the tea leaves each time news or rumors about Sarah Palin’s blossoming media career hit our radar—i.e., does this mean she’ll be too busy to run for, you know, president? What would it mean for her chances at the White House, for example, if she were to appear in a television show about Alaska she created with the help of reality TV megaproducer Mark Burnett?

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE


Jon Stewart

‘Daily Show’: Sarah Palin Should Quit (Her Day Job)

Um, what’s the deal with Sarah Palin doing standup on “The Tonight Show”? Next thing you know, she’ll be pitching her own TV show around Greater L.A. Now that would be ... oh, never mind. Jon Stewart has some advice from one seasoned comic to this particular amateur: Maybe she should quit!

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE


Colbert

‘Colbert Report’: Greece, Frightening

Sure, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein once crowed that his firm was “doing God’s work,” but, as Stephen Colbert points out here, Blankfein never actually specified which God he was talking about. Perhaps it was Hades, Greek god of the underworld. Given the state of the Greek economy, that may not be too much of a stretch.

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE


Stupak
Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Congress

Abortion Debate Looms (Again) Over Health Care Reform

“In the present form, the Senate health care bill is going nowhere in the House of Representatives,” Rep. Mark Stupak told Fox News on Thursday, owing in part to the way in which the bill was passed—“the special deals,” as he put it. After Fox co-anchor Liz Claman reminded him that he “could hold this whole thing up” ... (continued)

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE


Nuclear Posture Review [A Cartoon From the UAE]

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Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE


Saturday Delivery

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AP

The Politics of Earthquakes

If the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti carry any message for those of us fortunate enough not to live in those places, perhaps it is that government regulation could save your life—while right-wing ideology may kill you someday.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Big Lie About ‘Reconciliation’

The claim that Democrats are just “ramming through” a health bill is, I am sorry to say, one big lie—or, if you’re sensitive, an astonishing exercise in hypocrisy.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Hurt Locker
imdb.com

U.S. Soldier Sues, Claims He’s ‘Hurt Locker’ Character

He and his lawyer waited until the Oscar ballots were in, but on Tuesday, Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver, a U.S. Army soldier who worked as a bomb disposal specialist in Iraq, filed a lawsuit claiming that he had provided the real-world inspiration for actor Jeremy Renner’s character in “The Hurt Locker.” Why did he wait until the votes were cast?

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Going Nuclear, Again

Get ready for the new nuclear option. You may remember the old version, legislatively speaking, which came up during the George W. Bush-era controversy over filibustering judicial nominees.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Weir

Weir and Behar Rise Above ‘Nasty’ Talk at the Olympics

Joy Behar was all kinds of brassy sympathy on her show Tuesday night as she chatted with U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir about how “two Canadian commentatehs” clearly couldn’t get ready for Weir’s unique brand of fierceness on ice during a regrettable moment of Olympic reportage.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Feckless on Ethics

Sometimes I think I’ve gotten too cynical after so many years in Washington. Then I remember the House Ethics Committee.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Edwards
Flickr / SEIU International

Nat’l Enquirer: Grand Jury About to Indict John Edwards

The National Enquirer is still on John Edwards’ case, and according to the tabloid the fallen politician may be in serious troubs with a federal grand jury for allegedly redirecting campaign funds into his mistress’ pockets.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE



Starbucks in Gun Activist Crossfire

Those aspiring screenwriters and novelists clogging up Starbucks may soon have more dramatic material from which to draw inspiration, as the coffee chain has become a reluctant battlefield in the culture wars. Gun enthusiasts and/or nuts have taken to arming themselves before overpaying for coffee. (continued)

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Three Bomb Blasts Kill 32 in Baghdad

The timing of Wednesday’s series of three suicide bombings in Baghdad was significant, considering Sunday’s parliamentary election is just around the corner. The attacks happened in rapid succession in the morning and killed 32 people, including some who had been wounded in the first two blasts and were seeking treatment at a hospital in the Iraqi capital city.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Rangel
C-SPAN via YouTube

Rep. Rangel Steps Down From Chairman Post (for Now)

Facing ethics investigations on multiple fronts, Rep. Charlie Rangel announced Wednesday that he’s stepping down from his position as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Although Rangel characterized the move as temporary, he might be looking at a longer—i.e., permanent—hiatus.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Obama
AP / Alex Brandon

Obama Tells Congress to Get Health Care Reform Done Already

During a speech at the White House on Wednesday, President Barack Obama hinted at the possibility that congressional Democrats would soon be obliged to play the reconciliation card to ensure that health care reform legislation reaches the finish line and he pushed Congress to “finish its work”—as in pronto—on that crucial and contentious issue.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE



scsos.com

South Carolina Charges Fee to Overthrow the Government

A South Carolina lawmaker is trying to repeal the state’s Subversive Activities Registration Act, which charges locals who want to overthrow the government a $5 fee and requires that they register—with the government. You have to see the paperwork (after the jump) to fully appreciate its comic value.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Palin

Palin Gives Leno a Palm Reading on ‘Tonight Show’

In this clip from Tuesday’s episode, as Jay Leno hunts for cue cards to open “The Tonight Show” a familiar voice calls out, “Hey, Jay—we’re goin’ old school tonight.” Yes, it’s Sarah Palin, taking the now-familiar route of attempting to drum up good PR by spoofing herself on a late-night comedy show.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


same-sex marriage in D.C.
AP / Jacquelyn Martin

Same-Sex Couples Line Up to Make It Legal in D.C.

Wednesday marked the first day that same-sex couples in Washington, D.C., could begin the process of tying the knot by applying for marriage licenses, which they did in droves at our nation’s capital, waiting in long lines at local courthouses to get their paperwork in order.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE



Fun With Geography Edition

There’s talk of single-payer in Pennsylvania, Bibles-for-porn in Texas and iPhones everywhere. Plus: the Arab Jew cultural connection, and why Republicans and Greens are so mad at Obama.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Bunning
AP / Harry Hamburg

Don’t Blame Bunning

How convenient that seemingly everyone in the liberal blogosphere, and even at many points to the right, got to use Jim Bunning as a scapegoat. The venom of the attacks suggests that the maverick Republican senator from Kentucky provided a welcome alternative to the real villains: bankers much closer to the centers of power.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Rick Perry
governor.state.tx.us

Republicans Back Perry in Texas

Rick Perry, already Texas’ longest-serving governor, has survived primary challenges from a popular senator and an insurgent tea party candidate. Debra Medina had hoped to spoil the Republican race, but the tea partyer (whom we recently called out) was able to grab only about 17 percent of the vote.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Competition in Ignominy

There is a lot of money to be made by big international banks in impoverished small, and even medium-size, countries in times of world crisis.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE


Domestic Violence: A Pre-Existing Condition?

March is Women’s History Month, recognizing women’s central role in society. Unfortunately, violence against women is epidemic in the United States and around the world.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE



Marvel.com

Spider-Man Loses His Job

Not even superheroes are safe in this economy. Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, is going to get fired in the next issue of the comic book. Marvel says the unemployed webslinger will have to figure out how to pay his rent and buy web fluid without his photography gig.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE



porsche.com

How the Other Half Hybrids

Quick, name a supercar that has 500 horsepower and gets 78 mpg. Unfortunately there isn’t one—yet. Until Porsche puts its 918 Spyder up for sale, this environmentally friendly beast, which will take you from a standstill to a suspended license in about three seconds, is confined to auto shows. (pictures after the jump)

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Phil Konstantin

Why Jerry Brown Wants to Be California’s Next Governor

We’ve known for years that Jerry Brown would run to succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, but the former two-term governor waited until Tuesday to make it official. In his announcement video, Brown promised not to raise taxes without ... (continued)

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE


Ghosts in the Addict

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Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE    


gun sign
Flickr / taberandrew

SCOTUS Considering Change in National Gun Ownership Laws

The U.S. Supreme Court may be ready to change the scope of the Second Amendment, as five of the top court’s justices (guess which ones?) have signaled their opinions about American citizens’ rights to bear arms and appear ready to take steps that could override some local and state gun rules, with Chicago as a potential starting point.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE


Stewart

‘Daily Show’: Jim Bunning Feels Jim Bunning’s Pain

Objection-raising robot Sen. Jim Bunning sure had his day, and his night, on Friday, what with his single-handed stymieing of the proposed extension of health care and unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans. But, as he pointed out near the end of Friday’s jousting session on the Senate floor, it’s not as if he wasn’t inconvenienced himself.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE


police confront Chileans
AP / Mario Quilodran-El Mercurio

Chile’s President Tries to Contain Post-Quake Panic

The Chilean city of Concepcion took a big hit from last weekend’s earthquake, and now Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, is working to keep a lid on looting and possible violence in its wake with the help of 14,000 troops posted in the affected region, according to the BBC.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE


Prius
Flickr / Thom Watson

Toyota’s Issues May Drive Change in U.S. Brake Standards

February wasn’t a good month for Toyota, what with the fallout from the automaker’s recent recall, but Toyota’s pain may lead to a gain for U.S. drivers, in the form of a potential requirement for automobiles to include a brake override system.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE


Obama and Biden
White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Considers Adding GOP-Generated Ideas to Health Bill

It doesn’t seem possible, but it could maybe perhaps be the case that some kind of resolution in the health care reform saga might be achievable soon. At least that’s the tone President Barack Obama struck in a letter he sent Tuesday to prominent members of Congress that included conciliatory language on the subject of four ideas advanced by Republicans at last week’s health care summit.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE


Leftover

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Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE    


Chile Standing Up [A Cartoon From Mexico]

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Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE



Free Umbrella Edition

Inside Citibank’s homophobia, how to clean art with tattoo removal lasers, and populism with brains. All this and more after the jump.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Lawrence Jackson

The System Works, Obama’s Approach Doesn’t

Divided government need not mean gridlock. Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan made it work. Obama can, too.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE



Illustration based on a NASA photo

Scientists Find Huge Quantities of Water Ice on the Moon

There may be more than 600 million metric tons of water ice sitting in craters at the moon’s north pole. The discovery, made by an Indian spacecraft, could mean big things for human colonization of our nearest neighbor.

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE


Serial Killer Whale?

A marine conservationist from the American Museum of Natural History says of the SeaWorld orca that killed its trainer, “This was not an insane, uncontrollable act. This was premeditated and the whale, for whatever whale reasons, the whale did this ... intentionally.”

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE


IRS logo
Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Department of the Treasury

Hazmat Teams Called to IRS Building in Utah

A “suspicious substance” caused a ruckus at an Internal Revenue Service outpost in Ogden, Utah, on Monday, and hazardous materials crews and the FBI were called in. Later, an official said the substance was found to pose no danger ... (continued) Updated

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE


Inside ‘The Most Dangerous Man in America’

Judith Ehrlich discusses her Academy Award-nominated documentary about Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE


writing hand
Flickr / tnarik

How to Write Fiction, by Actual Fiction Writers

Hey, aspiring fiction writers: Watch your adverbs closely and lay off the exclamation points! Those are just two how-to tips (or maybe how-not-to tips) from crime writer Elmore Leonard’s “10 Rules of Writing,” which, as the title suggests, offers handy guidelines for would-be authors.

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE


BBC News
Flickr / LoopZilla

Pew Report Says Americans Are News Grazers

Americans are picking and choosing from an information smorgasbord to get their news, according to a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and a large majority are switching between different platforms, with the Internet playing a significant role in their news “grazing.”

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE


women in D.C. mosque
YouTube via The Daily Beast

Muslim Women Protest Through Prayer at D.C. Mosque

On Feb. 20, four Muslim women took a conspicuous step to protest gender segregation in Muslim mosques by refusing to relegate themselves to a cordoned-off prayer zone for women—which one of them ruefully called the “penalty box”—and instead worshiped with the men at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. Their presence did not go unnoticed.

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE



lincoln.senate.gov

Democrat Challenges the Senator From Wal-Mart

One of the Senate’s most conservative Democrats now faces a primary challenge on her left flank. Blanche Lincoln, who betrayed the unions that had supported her and who had bitterly fought off a public option in health care reform, was already headed for a tough race. (continued)

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE


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