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Flickr / ifindkarma

Police Share in Government’s Largesse

In the midst of a recession with continuously rising unemployment, Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday that the government will hand out $1 billion in grants to law enforcement agencies across the country. The money will go toward hiring and rehiring police officers in all 50 states.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / .faramarz

Iran Says 140 Protesters Have Been Freed

Iranian officials announced that 140 detainees have been released from prison in Tehran, while some 200 are still being held. But the numbers announced by authorities and those given by protest leaders differ significantly. According to the latter, thousands are still being held and about 100 people have been killed during the election protests.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE


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whitehouse.gov

Senate Panel Approves Sotomayor

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13 to 6 Tuesday in favor of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination as a Supreme Court justice. The full Senate must now review her nomination, for confirmation. If approved—which is likely—Sotomayor will become the first Hispanic and only the third woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE


police car
AP / Nick Ut

America the Great ... Police State

Let us accept the facts staring us in the face – that demonstrably we are no longer a republic. We are no longer governed by laws, only by armed men and force. This is just like the days of Billy the Kid. You have an armed man going down a dusty street and that is authority. And it has come to this for us.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE


What if the Big Cheese Had Been White?

If race were the only issue, there would be much less hyperventilation about Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.‘s unpleasant run-in with the criminal justice system. The debate is also about power and entitlement.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE



Collage: Flickr / david.nikonvscanon and Staples.com

A Rebound Without Recovery

The arithmetic of this recession still looks pretty dismal and the politics and psychology of it are starting to become disconnected from reality in a scary way.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE


texting
phonedog.com

Texting and Driving Spell Trouble on the Road

Despite any illusions some of us may still harbor about our manual dexterity and multitasking prowess behind the wheel, a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has found that text messaging and driving really don’t mix. Surprise.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


US Interest building
cubaheadlines.com

American News Ticker Goes Dark in Havana

After vexing Cuban officials (and citizens, no doubt) for three years, a U.S. government-sponsored electronic billboard that featured news and information blips tailored for a Cuban audience from an American-friendly angle has been switched off in the interest of changing the diplomatic tone between the two countries.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE



Taser

Don’t Tase Me, Bro

Many a protester—and the occasional speeding grannie—has faced off against Taser-wielding law enforcement officers. The Man now has a new rapid-fire stun gun that multiplies all of the ethical problems of gaining “voluntary compliance.” After the jump, a video of Taser employees zapping each other.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


Photo Fun at Palin’s Expense

This snap was taken at Sarah Palin’s farewell picnic. Check out the jump to see why it gave us a giggle.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Lance Cpl. James Purschwitz

Talking With the Taliban

After eight years of getting nowhere in Afghanistan, U.S. and British forces have decided to open negotiations with “second-tier” Taliban leaders. Those would be local bigwigs, as opposed to Mullah Omar and friends.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


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The Land of the Rising Smile

Japanese railway employees use computerized “smile scanners” to be certain they’re offering the best service to customers and greeting them with “natural smiles.” Check out just how happy these people look. 

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / baekken

EPA Weighs Waste Plants’ Impact on the Poor

The EPA will be closely examining the effects of hazardous waste recycling plants on low-income and minority communities. Poorer people disproportionately live in areas where such plants exist and suffer from health-related illnesses caused by the sites. The move reinstates a law dating back to the Clinton era that was largely ignored by the Bush administration.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


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AP / Josh Anderson

That Good Ol’ Tennessee Socialism

Faced with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, Tennessee has taken matters into its own hands. In a work project inspired by the New Deal, the state is using money from the federal stimulus package to create hundreds of jobs ranging from working for the state Transportation Department to baking goodies at the local pie shop.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / Combined Media

Obesity Costs Fatten Health Care Spending

New research indicates that nearly 10 percent of all U.S. medical spending goes toward treating obesity and diseases more common in the overweight, such as diabetes and heart disease. Many health economists believe it is one of the leading causes of rising health care spending. About one-third of adult Americans are obese.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


Let NRA-Loving Senators Practice What They Preach

Isn’t it time to dismantle the metal detectors, send the guards at the doors away, and allow Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights by being free to carry their firearms into the nation’s Capitol building?

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


Showdown in Honduras [A Cartoon From Germany]

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Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


Slow Down

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Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Mark Lennihan

Happiness Consultants Won’t Stop a Depression

Positive psychology, which claims to be able to engineer happiness, is a quack science that justifies the cruelty of unfettered capitalism, shifting the blame from the power elite to those they oppress.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


Bernanke and Lehrer
kc.frb.org

Chairman Bernanke Explains It All

On Sunday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke met the media, or at least PBS “NewsHour” anchor Jim Lehrer, along with some concerned citizens of Kansas City, Mo., to discuss how the Fed has dealt with the ongoing economic catastrophe over the past few months.

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Wesley Oostvogels

Million-Dollar Baby: How Much Would You Pay for a Baby If You Couldn’t Have One?

Is there a fairer way to compensate surrogate mothers? Too often, surrogacy is about a wealthy couple hiring a poor woman to breed for them.

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 READ MORE



UNICEF Iran / Hevash Ghader

U.S. Treats Refugees Like Terrorists

McClatchy reports on a section of the Patriot Act that bizarrely requires the U.S. to treat certain refugees as terrorists. Sami Alkarim, an Iraqi artist who was tortured by Saddam Hussein’s regime, can’t get his status sorted “because of messenger work he did as a teenager for the same political party that counts the current prime minister of Iraq as a member.”

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 READ MORE


Avi Shlaim
sant.ox.ac.uk

Lessons in Justice in the Middle East

Let us now praise famous men and their fathers that begat them. The famous man—he should be much more famous—is the Israeli historian Avi Shlaim whose wonderful “reappraisals, revisions and refutations” is coming out in September under the simple title: “Israel and Palestine.”

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 READ MORE


Progressives Campaign Against Democrats

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee wants to run ads against Democrats, including John Kerry and Dianne Feinstein, who are working against a public health care option. They’re already running this ad against Sen. Max Baucus in his home state of Montana.

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
twitter.com

Where Will Palin Go From Here?

It’s time to add “former” to the Alaska governor’s title. So now that Sarah Palin is a free woman, what will she do with her time? Her friends and flacks aren’t giving anything away, but we already know she has plans to hit the rubber chicken circuit, campaign for like-minded politicians and write a book.

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 READ MORE


Open Door

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Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE    


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Health Care Gets Critical

So we won’t have a solution to the health care conundrum before summer’s end—and maybe not before the end of 2009, either—but for millions of Americans, this issue is a top priority. Who’s going to pay? Bob Scheer, Matt Miller and Tony Blankley cast their votes on this week’s show.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE


obama
White House / Pete Souza

Obama Invites Prof. Gates, Sgt. Crowley to White House

The strange saga involving an African-American Harvard professor, a white Cambridge, Mass., police officer and a crash course in racial politics may have reached a (somewhat) happy ending—or at least an interesting one—now that President Obama has invited Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley to the White House to try to work it all out together.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE


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Current National Threats, According to Colbert

Stephen Colbert walks us through the top three threats of the moment: Harvard professor and criminal mastermind Henry Louis Gates, Bill Gates and his weather-controlling madness, and an unemployed Wilford Brimley, who breaks into Colbert’s house in search of food. Check out this clip from last night’s “Colbert Report.”

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE


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Rebels Among the Civil War Rebels

Jon Stewart interviews Sally Jenkins, author of “The State of Jones,” about a Mississippi county that seceded from the Confederacy during the Civil War and the ensuing insurrection it led against the Confederate army. Later it battled the KKK. Check out this clip from last night’s “Daily Show.”

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE


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AP / Ron Edmonds

Bush and Cheney’s Final Disagreement

According to a Time magazine report, former VP Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush spent the last months of the Bush presidency divided on a number of issues, particularly on the question of whether the president should pardon Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, convicted of perjury and other counts after an investigation into the leaking of a covert CIA officer’s identity.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE


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AP / Muhammed Muheisen

Israeli Arabs Feel the Squeeze

Not all is well in the Promised Land. Despite Israel’s Basic Law, which declares that all citizens are equal, Israeli Arabs say some Israelis are more equal than others. There is plenty of evidence that the Arabs do not enjoy the same rights as Jews. They say they are being squeezed into enclaves in the north of the country, where resources are scarce and development is limited.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE


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AP / Morten Holm / SCANPIX

Talks Aim to Ease Chechnyan Conflict

Akhmed Zakayev, head of the Chechen government-in-exile, and Dukuvakha Abdurakhmanov, chairman of the Chechen parliament, met in Oslo for talks on stabilizing the situation in the breakaway Russian republic. A mediator said it marked the first time a “serious political dialogue between the Russian-installed regime in Chechnya and the government-in-exile” has occurred.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE


Fatal Health Care

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Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE



DoD

Psst! We May Never Leave

While affirming the Dec. 31, 2011, date for the pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did mention in a speech to a Washington think tank the possibility of extending that deadline if Iraqi forces still required “further training and further support.”

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE


Georgia
rferl.org

Russia: No Rebuilding of Georgia’s Military

Russia has announced it will take “concrete steps” to hinder any attempt by Georgia to rebuild its military capability, claiming it is “deeply worried” that its small neighbor might be preparing for yet another conflict. The stern words come as Vice President Joe Biden pays a visit to Georgia just ahead of the first anniversary of its war with Russia over South Ossetia.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE



Summit Entertainment

Inside the Gates Arrest, Plus ‘Hurt Locker’ Review

This week the Truthdig panel talks about the racial politics behind the arrest of high-profile Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who himself said, “I was cast by him [the policeman] in a narrative and he didn’t know how to get out of it.” Also, pop culture critic Sheerly Avni gives a big thumbs up to a new and telling film about the Iraq war, “The Hurt Locker.”

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE



Summit Entertainment

Inside the Gates Arrest, Plus ‘Hurt Locker’ Review

This week the Truthdig panel talks about the racial politics behind the arrest of high-profile Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who himself said, “I was cast by him [the policeman] in a narrative and he didn’t know how to get out of it.” Also, pop culture critic Sheerly Avni gives a big thumbs up to a new and telling film about the Iraq war, “The Hurt Locker.”

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE



Larry Blumenfeld on New Orleans After Katrina

Why are New Orleanians—along with people from all over the world who continue to flock there—so devoted to a place that was, even before the storm, the most corrupt, impoverished and violent corner of America? “Nine Lives” by Dan Baum helps provide an answer.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / jonrawlinson

The Attack of the 1-Percenters

The wealthiest 1 percent’s share of America’s total income is the highest it’s been since 1929, their tax rates are the lowest they’ve faced in two decades and they’ve bought unprecedented protection for themselves on the most pressing issues.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


Wall St.
Flickr / David Paul Ohmer

The Wall Street-Health Care Connection

When I heard Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., floating the idea of a tax on health benefits in order to raise revenue for health-care reform, I was baffled; how could this be?

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


drone

UAVs: The Future of Warfare in America

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said it, and judging by this three-part series from CNN, the age of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is upon us. It’s warfare by joystick—and the Predator drone is only the beginning.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Boosts America’s Public Image

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that people in 25 countries view the U.S. more favorably now that President Obama is in office than they did during the Bush II era, but it’s not a worldwide trend—Israel and parts of the Muslim world are among the exceptions.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



Collage from Flickr / Korean Resource Center and senate.gov

How the Democrats Sucker-Punched Labor

It was a foregone conclusion that Republicans and big business would fight tooth and nail against the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, the union bill that would make organizing easier, but in the end it was Democrats who killed it. The Socialist Worker, appropriately enough, has the most comprehensive take on the story to date.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Foreign Wars Not Going According to Plan

For all America’s trouble, Iraq has turned out to be a sectarian, authoritarian ally of Iran with no interest in working with the U.S. The “new Vietnam” of Afghanistan, meanwhile, is turning out to be worse than Vietnam.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


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AP / Mel Evans

N.J. Politicians, Rabbis Arrested on Corruption Charges

Forty-four people were arrested Thursday— including three New Jersey mayors, two state legislators and several rabbis—in a federal investigation into public corruption and an international money-laundering scheme in which items ranging from human organs to fake designer bags were trafficked.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Barack Who?

As Barack Obama begins his seventh month in office, mainstream news anchors still can’t seem to figure out the president’s citizenship. ... I mean, was this guy even born here? Jon Stewart examines how this mystery man got to be the American president in the first place. Check out this clip from last night’s “Daily Show.”

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


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Honing the Message

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger posted this video on his Twitter page last night, thanking his fans and fellow Twitterers for their suggestions on the state’s budget crisis. But what’s with that huge knife?

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / art makes me smile

U.N. Is Refused Access to Info on Gitmo

The U.S. recently denied U.N. officials access to information on conditions at Guantanamo Bay and other overseas detention facilities. It was the latest in a series of refusals by the Obama administration to allow international human rights organizations to probe Bush-era practices. Administration officials insist, however, that they have not formally closed the door on visits to Gitmo.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


The Politics of Tenacity

Wow, what big and unexpected news! Reforming the health care system is really hard, and Republicans want President Obama to fail. Imagine that.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


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