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Obama at health care meeting
AP / Alex Brandon

Obama Jumps Into Health Care Fray

So far, we’ve had the angry protests, the scuffles at suddenly volatile town hall meetings, and no resolution of the health care reform argument from our elected leaders, but President Barack Obama is now embarking on a campaign to try to sway public opinion on the issue using ... a series of town hall meetings across the country. Updated

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Staff Sgt. William Greeson

There’s a Solution in Afghanistan—but Not the Way We’re Headed

It would be a great service to the American nation if Barack Obama would tell us what he himself thinks the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are about.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



tvguide.com

Health Care Reform Needs an Action Hero

The 50 people a day who die from inadequate health care might be tempted to call on Jack Bauer—or the grandfather of the man who plays him.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


CNN Falsely Labels Public Option ‘Unpopular’

Media Matters caught CNN’s Erica Hill asking, “What are the real proposals here for public insurance? And why is it so unpopular?” Not sure where she gets her info, since polls here, here, here, here, here and here say a majority of Americans like the idea.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



autoblog.com

GM Claims Volt Gets 230 MPG

GM claims its new wonder car, the Volt, gets mileage that makes the Prius look as if it belongs in the cash-for-clunkers program—230 MPG in the city. Pick up your jaw, the rating is based on a new EPA methodology and hasn’t been confirmed by the agency. The car may also be delayed indefinitely in reaching the market.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / 200MoreMontrealStencils

World Leaders Condemn Burma Verdict

Burma’s military junta has kept Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for the majority of the last 20 years and it looks as if she isn’t going anywhere. The sentence of the opposition leader was extended for the crime of being home—under house arrest—when an uninvited American came calling.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Mother of Special Olympics, Dead at 88

The Washington Post called her “a gladiator for a new age.” JFK’s sister was also the mind and spirit behind the Special Olympics, which has allowed millions of disabled athletes to “be brave in the attempt.” Her life ended in Boston on Tuesday, but her good works live on.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


War Is

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®IP Michael Jackson

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A Reason for All the Health Care Rage

The nut jobs and carpetbaggers are outnumbered by confused and concerned Americans who seem genuinely convinced they’re not being told the whole truth about health care reform.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Library of Congress interior
Flickr / Matti Matila

Looking for Great ‘Big History’ Books

My late friend Ron Silver, the actor and political activist, once asked me a question that I have continued to think about ever since. On the afternoon of his last New Year’s Eve, when he surprised me by coming to California, he wanted to know if I had found any great “big history” books.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


C-37
seeandavoid.com

House Grounds Fancy Plane Plan

During a time when the term government spending (not to mention recession) gets quite a few hackles up, House Democratic bigwigs’ choice to scrap plans to purchase four posh planes to shuttle congressional leaders around is clearly wise, although the Senate vote may still pose a problem.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


New York
Flickr / geoftheref

New York’s War on Marijuana

Marijuana possession is legally decriminalized in N.Y. state. Nonetheless, N.Y. City makes more pot arrests than any other city in the world. How do they do it?

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Tech Sgt. Jerry Morrison

Latin Leaders Unhappy With U.S. Move Into Colombia

The U.S. plans to move its anti-drug operations from Ecuador to Colombia, which is just a little too close for Hugo Chavez, who said “the winds of war were beginning to blow.” Luis Inacio Lula da Silva added, “As president of Brazil, this climate of unease disturbs me.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


bees
Flickr / tastybit

Urban Beekeepers Resist Colony Collapse

We still don’t know exactly why bees are dying in massive numbers, with potentially devastating effect on larger ecosystems, but honey-loving hipsters around the world are taking to their rooftops to help stem the tide.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


health care protest
AP / Hans Pennink

The Rhetoric of Health Care Misinformation

What is it about chain e-mails that makes potentially reasonable people who might even be wary of believing everything they read—at least when it comes to stories generated by media outlets—so gullible and so willing to latch on to hyperbolic distortions and ideologically driven misinformation campaigns?

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


House Leaders Cite ‘Un-American’ Activities

We’re sympathetic to members of the House who find themselves getting yelled at by hecklers with less-than-pure motives, but calling that behavior “un-American” is probably ill-advised when you represent a body of government that famously had a committee by the same name.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Sanders unfiltered

Sen. Sanders Unfiltered: Wall Street Off the Rails

In this installment of Brave New Films’ “Senator Sanders Unfiltered,” the independent federal legislator from Vermont points out what’s becoming hard to dispute or ignore, however much other members of Congress might do both: Wall Street, along with the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, practically runs Washington.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Saint Sebastian
Follower of Pietro Perugino

The Bible Is Not Safe for Children

If public schools are to teach the “literature and history” of the Bible, as some Texans desire, will they leave out the parts that say it’s OK to kill your slaves and disobedient children?

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Johnston and Griffin
mtv.com

Levi Johnston’s Media Blitz Continues

Sarah Palin is facing several challenges these days, what with her pile of legal bills, self-reinvention campaign, the whole not-being-governor thing and her daughter Bristol’s pesky ex-boyfriend, Levi Johnston, who seems to want to bask in the limelight as long as possible. Most recently, Johnston, 19, made an appearance at Sunday’s Teen Choice Awards ... as the date of comedian Kathy Griffin, 48.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Paul Krugman: Big Government Prevented a Second Depression

The Nobel Prize-winning economist writes that “around a million more Americans are working now than would have been employed without that [stimulus] plan. ... ” He also argues that “it’s possible to be dissatisfied, even angry, about the way the financial bailouts have worked while acknowledging that without these bailouts things would have been much worse.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / hoyasmeg

Axis of Obstinacy: Israel Rebukes Diplomat for Challenging Settlements

A leaked memo from Israel’s consul general in Boston, Nadav Tamir, has Israel’s extremist foreign minister calling for the diplomat’s resignation. Tamir wrote in an internal document that his government’s settlement policy has led to “the feeling in Washington that Obama has to deal with obstinacy from the governments of Iran, North Korea and Israel.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / The Pug Father

Marines Practice Battlefield Medicine on Live Pigs

The L.A. Times sets the scene: “Two enlisted Marines are kneeling on the ground, quickly stuffing gauze into a gaping wound in a pig’s belly to stop the bleeding. ... An officer, just inches from its snout, monitors its breathing and keeps the pig’s thick tongue from blocking the airway. At the other end of the 150-pound swine, a Marine corporal has inserted a thermometer into its anus.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC1 Molly Burgess

Top General Denies Saying Taliban Is Winning

The Wall Street Journal claims the top American commander in Afghanistan stated that the Taliban has “gained the upper hand,” forcing a change in U.S. strategy. However, Gen. Stanley McChrystal says the paper mischaracterized his comments and he never meant to suggest that the Taliban is “winning.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Ralph Nader
AP / Carolyn Kaster

Nader Was Right: Liberals Are Going Nowhere With Obama

“Something is broken,” Ralph Nader said when I reached him at his family home in Connecticut. “We are not at the Bangladesh level in terms of passivity, but we are getting there.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Inside Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work

How the health care industry, the GOP and one media mogul made common cause with the anti-government fringe.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock

U.S. Targets Afghan Drug Suspects for Killing

“Fifty Afghans believed to be drug traffickers with ties to the Taliban have been placed on a Pentagon target list to be captured or killed ... ,” The New York Times reports. That’s not quite targeted assassination, but it comes pretty close.

Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE


Warehousing Soldiers in the Homeland

Soldiers who have gone AWOL and find themselves detained at Fort Bragg face a legal limbo of forced uncertainty that can extend from several months to a year or more. Some of them, however, are offered a free pass out of this military half-life—but only if they agree to deploy to Afghanistan or Iraq.

Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE


Rumors of Kim Jong Il’s Demise May Be Greatly Exaggerated

The North Korean dictator seems to be in control of both his government and his personal faculties, U.S. national security adviser James Jones said Sunday. Reports in South Korean media and elsewhere have suggested Kim’s health is failing, but Jones, referring to Bill Clinton’s recent visit to the Hermit Kingdom, said “obviously we didn’t have any time to make an assessment there. But he [Kim] seemed in control of his faculties.”

Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE


40-Year Hangover

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Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE    


Arm and a Leg

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White House archive / Oliver F. Atkins

35 Years After Nixon

President Richard Nixon resigned on Aug. 9, 1974, in the wake of the Watergate scandal and the revelations of his “abuses of power” and obstruction of justice. For his involvement in criminal activities, Nixon earned his unique epitaph: an unindicted co-conspirator.

Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE


Mosaic Intelligence Report

Yemen: A Powder Keg Ready to Explode

Will Yemen become a haven for militants? Is President Obama ignoring the warning signs of unrest in this Middle Eastern hot spot? Link TV’s Jamal Dajani looks into the complex problems brewing in Yemen in this week’s “Mosaic Intelligence Report.”

Posted on Aug 8, 2009 READ MORE


Sotomayor sworn in
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

What Lies Ahead for Justice Sotomayor?

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has made history after successfully navigating the grueling confirmation process by finally being sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts at a ceremony at the court’s headquarters Saturday. However, the partisan politics that played out during the grilling phase are just a taste of things to come, according to The Christian Science Monitor’s Brad Knickerbocker.

Posted on Aug 8, 2009 READ MORE


Zelaya Plane
infobae.com

OAS Delegation to Honduras

Little has been done to undo the coup d’etat that rocked Honduras over a month ago. Now, the Organization of American States, hoping for new elections and the return of President Manuel Zelaya, is sending a delegation to the country to try to negotiate an end to the crisis.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Big-Dog Diplomacy, Sotomayor and Health Care

Diplomacy by former President Bill Clinton that brought home two journalists from North Korea offers a moment to reflect on the anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear attack. Sonia Sotomayor’s been confirmed, but not until after there was a dramatic display of partisan ideology. Plus, is the disruption of health care town halls real or orchestrated?

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE


Mel Thinking
washingtonpost.com

Another One Bites the Dust

Has the world gone mad or is Sarah Palin a trendsetter? Florida’s Republican Sen. Mel Martinez has announced he will step down after Congress’ August recess, claiming that his priorities of “my faith, my family and my country” suggest it’s time for him to retire from public life. Rumors are circulating that “family problems” are behind his premature exit.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE


AIG sign
visitbulgaria.info

AIG Logs a Profit

For almost two years, insurance giant AIG has experienced quarterly losses—until now. The infamous company is reporting its first profitable quarter since 2007, a turnabout that will give the U.S. government a whopping $1.5 billion gain as a shareholder, while individual shareholders get to split $311 million among themselves.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE


DOS Attack
columbia.edu

Squeezed-Out Blogger Blames the Kremlin

A significant Internet “denial of service” attack Thursday directed at popular Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter may have been carried out or instigated by the Russian government in an attempt to silence a dissident blogger in Georgia. At least so says the blogger.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE


Economy
southwestga.com

In the Jobless Numbers, a Glimmer

Woe is still the economy, but several numbers are indicating that the recession might, just might, be easing up. The pace of U.S. job losses has gradually slowed, and the unemployment rate actually dropped in July for the first time in over a year.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE


The Me-First, Screw-Everyone-Else Crowd

Thanks to the Khaki Pants Offensive in the Great American Health Care and Tax War, finally, there’s no pretense. Finally, the Me-First, Screw-Everyone-Else Crowd’s ugliest traits are there for all to behold.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE



Richard Flacks on Pete Seeger

Now 90 years old, America’s exemplary troubadour continues his lifelong project to agitate and organize through song, fulfilling his father’s dictum that “Music, as any art, is not an end in itself, but is a means for achieving larger ends.”

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Markus Schreiber

Playing Politics With a Ghost

Now that the remains of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Scott Speicher have been recovered from Iraq, Sen. Pat Roberts and other politicians will have to stop shamelessly exploiting his disappearance to sell their war agenda. Update from the author

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


Small Business Owner vs. Conservative Democrat

Michael Snider, a small business owner from Nebraska, stars in a pro-public option ad currently running in opposition to the stand of “conservaDem” Sen. Ben Nelson on health care reform. Snider tells Rachel Maddow that Nelson called him about the ad, but didn’t change his mind.

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE



Samsung / Sprint

When Life Gives You Corn, Make Corn-Based Cell Phones

Samsung and Sprint are coming out with a new cell phone for the green crowd. The “Reclaim” is made from recycled materials and corn-based plastic and comes in eco-friendly packaging complete with soy-based ink. It’s enough to make one long for the day when all electronics are manufactured sustainably and iPhones grow on trees.

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


Harvard Yard
nymag.com

Now Men Everywhere Can Dress Like Harvard Elitists

Now, everyone knows that even the toniest of Ivy League institutions recently suffered substantial blows to their massive endowment funds, but Harvard University’s idea to launch a menswear line called Harvard Yard just seems like school branding gone horribly awry.

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Tech. Sgt. Eric T. Sheler

Counterterrorism Chief Says Bullets Alone Won’t Do the Job

John Brennan has known controversy for his defense of torture and rendition, but the president’s top counterterrorism adviser has just condemned the Bush administration’s approach by declaring: “We cannot shoot ourselves out of this challenge.”

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


Negotiating Tactic

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Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


Cash for Clunkers

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Sotomayor hearing
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Sotomayor’s Bumpy Road to Confirmation

In Washington, a Supreme Court nomination usually sets off a flood of political accusations, and in this case the GOP certainly upheld the grand old tradition of seeing sin where none existed.

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


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