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Clinton in Lahore
Still: AP via youtube.com

Clinton: We’re ‘Not Getting Through’ to Pakistanis

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced the unenviable task of trying to change U.S.-Pakistani relations for the better during her three-day diplomacy spree in the South Asian nation. However, it was unclear as her visit drew to a close whether she’d made any headway, as she herself acknowledged on Friday.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


employment
haldimandcountyhydro.ca

White House: Stimulus Made, Saved Nearly 650,000 Jobs

The White House sounded a triumphant note Friday about the success of the economic stimulus in salvaging and creating close to 650,000 jobs in recent months, but some Republicans, along with the AP, are questioning the accuracy of the government’s figures.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Spending for America; Clinton’s Pakistan Gamble

Consumer spending drives the real economy, and it has taken a plunge. Did we save the banks at the expense of the people? Also this week: The health care reform bill finally appears on the scene, and Hillary Clinton attempts a precarious balancing act in Pakistan—are either of these developments successful?

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


Lieberman
AP / Susan Walsh

Lieberman Leans to the Right (Again)

Fresh off a heady week in which he managed to supremely infuriate former colleagues and supporters in the Democratic Party with his filibuster talk, the ever-more-Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman gave ABC News a taste of his political plans for 2010.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE



ABC News / Giulio Saggin

EU Agrees to Pre-Copenhagen Deal

It looks like the EU is anteing up for December’s Copenhagen conference on global warming, agreeing to a conditional deal that estimates climate change will need almost $150 billion every year until 2020, and that the EU is prepared to pay its “fair share”—though poorer countries say it’s still not enough.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


Praying
blogspot.com

Denouement to a Coup D’etat?

A resolution to the Honduran coup d’etat may be near after the country’s interim government agreed to a deal that could lead to the return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. International pressure has been immense against the coup leaders, with most countries supporting Zelaya’s return.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


bookcover

D.J. Waldie on the Cult of Baseball

“The Opposite Field,” a memoir by Jesse Katz, is a moving meditation about baseball, politics, and the unease of negotiating a new kind of American place.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE



AP / David Guttenfelder

McChrystal Doesn’t Get It—Does Obama?

President Obama may have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but if he allows himself to be bullied into supporting Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s foray into Afghanistan, he will reveal himself as the worst kind of warmonger.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Poppy Trade Blurs All the Lines

The opium poppy was introduced to Afghanistan more than 2,300 years ago by the armies of Alexander the Great. His forces were eventually driven out, like those of every would-be conqueror since. The poppy has proved more tenacious.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

TARP on Steroids

The former financial executives inside the Obama administration have labeled their bill the “Financial Stability Improvement Act,” but it’s more like the 9/11 of bailouts.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


In Pursuit of Happiness

Women are now less likely than men to report that they are “very happy,” despite the achievements of the women’s movement. Let the predictable debates begin.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


When the Tough Should Get Going

The former Marine officer Matthew Hoh, who resigned his Foreign Service post in Afghanistan because he feels the war is pointless and not worth dying for, deserves all the attention he’s gotten and more.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



White House Archive / Paul Morse

Tony Blair Isn’t Conservative Enough to Be President of Europe

The former British prime minister took a hit after France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel agreed over dinner at the Élysée Palace (oh to be a fly on that wall) that the first president of the European Council ought to be more of a right-winger. (continued)

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Lahore student protest
AP / K.M. Chaudary

Clinton Lowers the Boom About Al-Qaida in Pakistan

During an interview with journalists in Lahore, Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her puzzlement over why certain al-Qaida leaders believed to be harbored within the country’s borders haven’t been caught. She did not address the issue of missile attacks from U.S. drones that had earlier fueled student protest.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Caveman 92223

Pot Politics: California Could Go All the Way

California was the first to legalize medicinal marijuana and, if three ballot measures and a bill floating around the state legislature have anything to say about it, the Golden State could be the first to legalize and tax adult marijuana use across the board. (continued)

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Boehner

Boehner Decries Health Bill as ‘Government Takeover’

Thursday’s mass display of Democratic delight over the newly introduced health care reform mega-measure was countered by the sober declaration, courtesy of House Minority Leader John Boehner, that what we have here is “a bill that really is a government takeover of the health care system.” Sigh.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi
AP / Alex Brandon

House Dems Unveil Giant Health Care Reform Bill

After months of squabbling and tussling with each other as well as their Republican opposition, House Democrats finally produced the latest comprehensive result of their efforts in health care reform in the form of a whopping 1,990-page measure—and then proceeded to congratulate themselves in a public rally outside at the Capitol.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Boca
welcomeargentina.com

Politicians Fined for Environmental Negligence

An Argentine court has fined the country’s environmental secretary and two politicians for failing to clean up the polluted Riachuelo River that winds through Buenos Aires, a move unique and commendable for its accountability of politicians to citizens’ concerns.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Iran nuclear program
payvand.com

Iran Counters U.N. Offer

The IAEA announced it has received Iran’s reply to a U.N.-backed proposal to send that country’s enriched uranium abroad to be turned into fuel rods—not weapons. The reply, which remains secret, is expected to agree to the overall framework of the proposal while demanding significant changes.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP

Racist Judge Inadvertently Makes the Case for Gay Marriage

The marriage equality movement has been severely damaged by the argument that those opposed to same-sex marriage would be forced to perform weddings against their will.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Hug Obama, Find the Moderates

Those are the two outstanding lessons from the campaigns for next Tuesday’s governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia. Both parties would be smart to apply them in 2010.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Dennis Cook

The Party of Choice

By acting on their convictions rather than their fears, the Democrats could ultimately find that the public option can be turned to their advantage for years to come.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Earth [A Cartoon From Greece]

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Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Save the Wails

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Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / cometstarmoon

House Dems Water Down Public Option

If the point of health care reform is to do something about skyrocketing medical costs, then the House reform bill just got a little more pointless. Although the speaker and other House liberals had hoped to hitch the public option’s negotiating power to Medicare’s wagon ... (continued)

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Obama signs bill
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Obama Trims (Some) Fat with Weapons Bill

In a move that some are praising as a major victory against the powerful weapons lobby, President Barack Obama was able to cut out several expensive programs, thus cutting down on defense spending, in the new $680 billion dollar military bill he signed Wednesday. However, before we get too excited, let’s be clear here: That’s still $680 billion, after all.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


One Step Closer to Mars

George W. Bush’s dream of Americans on Mars got a little bit closer to reality Wednesday as NASA successfully launched its prototype Ares I-X rocket. A version of the new rocket is planned to launch Orion, NASA’s replacement craft for the aging space shuttle, as America’s preferred method of getting off-planet.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Howard Bragman
logoonline.com

PR Guru Helps Stars Come Out

Despite Hollywood’s reputation for being a liberal hotbed, some stubborn forms of prejudice persist, such as the lingering notion that it’s a potential career-killer for certain high-profile types to come out of the closet. Luckily, those who are willing to try have at least one industry expert ready to give them a hand with the press, the public and their risk-averse bosses.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Kabul attack
bbc.co.uk

Taliban Target U.N. Workers in Deadly Kabul Attack

United Nations officials said Wednesday that at least five U.N. workers and three Afghans were killed and nine others wounded by three Taliban militants, who were themselves shot dead during the attack at a private residence in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


palin
gopconvention2008.com

Is Palin Veering Off Course or Blazing Her Own Trail?

Since last year’s presidential election, Sarah Palin has made unconventional moves for someone presumably planning to make a play for the White House in 2012. CNN’s Alexander Mooney takes a look at what she’s doing and whether it’s working to solidify her status in the GOP and boost her chances of running for president soon.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Geithner’s Fed Made AIG Pay Banks to the Max

That Timothy Geithner must love the big banks he spends all day talking to. Back when he was in charge of things, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York forced AIG to pay off Wall Street tycoons for all those toxic bets, even though the mega-insurer was busy trying to negotiate a better deal.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Lieberman
AP / Douglas Healey

Lieberman Twists the Knife

Is there a more hypocritical figure in American politics than Joe Lieberman? The Connecticut senator declared Tuesday that he would support a filibuster of any health care reform bill that has a public option—even the version with the “trigger” compromise accepted by Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe—because it might cost money.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Of Laureates and Laundry

“I bet he wasn’t folding laundry.” Carol Greider, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine, on what she was doing at 5 a.m. when the big call came, and her thoughts on learning of President Obama’s prize.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Gerbil

Blue Dog Fundraising Dries Up

The Blue Dog Coalition’s political action committee took in just $12,500 in September, from a total of three donations. The group raised $1.1 million between January and June. Could it be the steadfast opposition to health care reform, or perhaps the perception among donors that the conservative Democrats just won’t be able to deliver?

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert

Let Stephen Colbert Get You a Job

Having trouble finding gainful employment in these difficult times? Wouldn’t it be great if, say, Lorenzo Lamas could help you out in your job search for the low, low price of $300? Lucky for you, this is an achievable dream—or you can do it for free with a handy e-mail-ready semi-personalized endorsement from Stephen Colbert.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE


Arrogant U.S. Misses the Message From Pakistan’s People

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Pakistan this week, she will hear a lot about how fearful the Pakistan populace is, not of the Taliban and al-Qaida, but of the United States.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol

The War Condolences Obama Hasn’t Sent

U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Chancellor Keesling died in Iraq on June 19, 2009, from “a non-combat related incident,” according to the Pentagon. Keesling had killed himself.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / lieberman_2006

Surprise! Lieberman Stabs Dems in the Back

Now that serial opportunist Joe Lieberman is holding health care reform hostage in the Senate, we wonder whether the president regrets shielding the Connecticut independent from political retribution. (continued)

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE


Jyllands-Posten
sitemaker.umich.edu

Two Arrested for Alleged Plot on Danish Paper

Two men from Chicago were arrested recently for allegedly plotting to attack overseas targets, including the Danish newspaper that sparked a huge controversy in 2006 by running the now-infamous cartoon of the prophet Mohammed sporting an explosive turban.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE



Department of Defense / MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Can’t Split the Difference in Afghanistan

Afghanistan doesn’t present the kind of “false choices” that President Barack Obama, by nature, habitually rejects. The choices are real and awful, and no amount of reframing and rephrasing will make them go away.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE


Karadzic
AP / Valerie Kuypers, Pool

Karadzic Misses First Day of Genocide Trial

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was a no-show Monday at The Hague, where he was scheduled to stand trial on charges of genocide against Bosnian Muslims in the mid-1990s. The proceedings were expected to continue Tuesday regardless of his participation, or lack thereof, in court.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE


Four-Letter Word

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Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE    


Marx
Wikimedia Commons / marxists.org

Marx Gets a Boost from the Vatican

Although Pope Benedict XVI made a point of denouncing institutionalized Marxism two years ago, the Vatican’s own newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, last week cast a more redemptive light on Karl Marx’s ideas by going to the primary source and validating the German economist’s critiques of capitalism.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / jarrodtrainque

Is CNN the Least Trusted Name in News?

The original cable news network has slipped to fourth and last place with prime-time viewers between ages 25 and 54, trailing Fox News, MSNBC and HLN. The conventional wisdom is that Americans prefer their news with a heavy dose of opinion, but CNN could be losing viewers because, as the “Daily Show” points out (after the jump), they’re just bad at gathering news.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE


Innocence Lost arrest
fbi.gov

52 Children Rescued in Countrywide Prostitution Crackdown

Federal authorities nabbed nearly 700 people—60 pimps among them—during a three-day nationwide sting operation targeting child prostitution. The sting, dubbed Operation Cross Country, saved 52 children from further sexual exploitation at the hands of adults.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE


polar bears
problembear.wordpress.com

Climate Expert to Obama: Come to Copenhagen

President Obama may think he’s skipping December’s United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen, but one Lord Stern of Brentford has a message for him and other world leaders taking a stubborn stance on the subject.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE


Harry Reid

Senate Bill Will Include Public Option

Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that the Senate version of health care reform would include a public option with an opt-out, which would allow states to sidestep participation in the government insurance program. The White House reportedly favored a trigger instead, which is probably just a sneaky way to ... (continued)

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE


Robert Reich

Robert Reich: Make a Ruckus

Despite widespread public support and momentum in the House, the public option faces White House officials and conservative senators who looking to undermine it. In this plea for MoveOn, the always-insightful Robert Reich says to vote the bums out if they vote against you.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE


Abdullah
AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Karzai, Abdullah at Odds About Afghan Election Official

Considering the outcome of the last presidential election, or attempt at same, in Afghanistan, it’s not surprising that Hamid Karzai’s challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, would balk at the idea of letting the same polling officials head the voting effort during the runoff slated for Nov. 7.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE


Haggis
Flickr / gdcgraphics

Top Writer-Director Breaks With Scientology Over Proposition 8

The Church of Scientology counts several high-profile figures from the world of entertainment among its members—Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley, to name a few—and they sometimes act as public advocates for their religion. However, one of their own, screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, has very publicly left the fold after taking issue with the church’s stance on Proposition 8.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE


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