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White House / Pete Souza

The Candidate-vs.-President Canard

Every now and then, an insider inadvertently exposes the hideous rationalizations that run the American political grotesquerie. Such is the case with the president’s flip-flop on drug imports.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Martyr's Square statue
Wikimedia Commons/Vladanr

Lebanese Rappers Make Their Case for Peace

Young hip-hop artists in Lebanon are using their music to deal with their lives in the wake of years of violence, reaching across religious and sectarian divisions and promoting nonviolence, and they’ve joined forces with pro-peace organizations while they’re at it.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Stewart

‘Droopy’ Lieberman Kills Health Care Reform

Even Droopy has his day, unfortunately. In this clip from Wednesday’s “Daily Show,” Jon Stewart channels some of the primal rage induced by Sen. Joe Lieberman’s not-so-subtle stymieing behaviors during this week’s health care reform showdown in the Senate.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE



Federal Reserve

Bernanke Wins Senate Panel’s Support

It’s been a good week for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. First came the news that he’d been chosen to be Time magazine’s Person of the Year, and then, on Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee voted to approve his nomination to lead the Fed for another four years.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Liebermancare Edition

Oh what to make of Sen. Joe Lieberman’s dark influence on health care reform? Should it be passed or torpedoed for the greater good? And what about sexting? Hey, there’s more to life than health care. And it’s all here, in today’s list.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Beck
youtube.com

Fox News Draws Record Ratings in 2009

This doesn’t bode well for next year, but it looks as if leaning ever to the right helped Fox News in 2009. The cable news channel, home to a host of conservative pundits (Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, etc.) pulled in its highest ratings ever, which was definitely not the case for CNN and MSNBC.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez

The Fallacy of Good vs. Evil in Afghanistan

Both Barack Obama and George W. Bush were saying in different ways that we Americans are good and Taliban or jihadists are bad. But the reason we are good is that we are we, and we are justified in punishing them because they are they.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Franken
Wikimedia Commons / Jonathunder

Franken Limits Lieberman’s Talking Time on Senate Floor (Update: Video)

Perhaps reflecting a frustration among Democrats over Joe Lieberman’s role in shaping the Senate’s health care proposal, Sen. Al Franken nipped in the bud the Connecticut senator’s discussion of amendments to the bill Thursday. Updated: Now with video!

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


The Grinch Who Stole Health Care

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Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Wish List

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Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE    


Olbermann: Obama Could Face Primary Challenge

Keith Olbermann has had it with Liebermancare, and he says the president will lose the left and possibly face a primary challenger if he doesn’t kill the “heinous mandate” in the health reform bill.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Keith Olbermann
msnbc.com

Feeling Burned on Health Care

Those who denounce the Senate plan imagine that Obama and fellow Democrats possess political muscle to achieve something more. They don’t.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE



Original: U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Scott Reed

Insurgents Hack Predator Drones With Cheap Software

The $4.5 million Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and its at least $10 million successor are considered the future of America’s Air Force and a big part of the president’s escalation in Afghanistan. Insurgents in Iraq (and probably Afghanistan) were able to track the planes and intercept video feeds using $26 software available on the Internet. (continued)

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Abbas
AP / Muhammed Muheisen

PLO Extends Abbas’ Term

Mahmoud Abbas, who was to leave office in a month, will remain the Palestinian president. The Palestinian Liberation Organization indefinitely extended his term to avoid a constitutional crisis after elections planned for late January were delayed.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Colombian Guerrillas Unite

Despite profound ideological differences and a long history of fighting between the groups, the two largest Colombian guerrilla armies, the ELN and the FARC, have forged a pact to fight the country’s security forces.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Anja Niedringhaus

U.S. Tries to Break Copenhagen Deadlock

In a move to ostensibly “save” the United Nations’ climate talks in Copenhagen, the U.S. has pledged to support a $100 billion multilateral fund to help poor countries adapt to climate change and develop environmentally friendly technologies.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


When China Rules the World

China will soon become “the most powerful and influential country in the world,” says celebrated journalist Martin Jacques. But to what end?

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Whatever Happened to Shame?

What does it say when the New York Post hires Eliot Spitzer’s prostitute as a columnist and the bailout babies of Wall Street can’t be bothered to show up to the White House?

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Democrats Blinked

By bowing to Sen. Lieberman and his obstructive pals in both parties on health care reform, Obama has confirmed what Republicans always say about Democrats: They simply aren’t strong enough to govern.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


George W. Bush
White House Archives / Eric Draper

The Democrats’ Bush Nostalgia

Here’s what Democrats need to ponder: Can they prosper in the absence of George W. Bush?

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


genome
Wikimedia Commons / Webridge

Scientists Crack Skin and Lung Cancers’ Genetic Codes

Scientists are now able to map the complete genetic codes of lung and skin cancer, and now an international effort is in motion to do the same for more varieties, including breast, stomach, liver, brain, mouth and pancreatic cancer.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


Sanders

Sanders Lets Fly at GOP Senators

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, was far from pleased with certain of his Republican colleagues Wednesday when his attempt to add a single-payer amendment to the Senate’s health care reform legislation was met with stonewalling tactics from his GOP peers. Here, he lets it rip, slamming what he calls their bid “to bring the U.S. government to a halt.”

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


Cadet Chapel
usafa.af.mil

Hitchens Pipes Up for ‘Foxhole Atheists’

“God Is Not Great” author Christopher Hitchens got a feel for the evangelical climate at the Air Force Academy in May and came away with some troubling questions. In a column headlined “In Defense of Foxhole Atheists,” he asks: “Is there a clique within the United States military that is seeking to use the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as an opportunity to mount a new crusade and to Christianize the ‘heathen’?”

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


Blankfein
AP / Mark Lennihan

Has Goldman Sachs Gotten Greedier?

Was there ever a time when Goldman Sachs was more, um, ethical and client-centric than greedy and profit-driven, as its reputation now suggests? That’s debatable, but whatever its previous corporate ethos might have been, all signs point to Goldman’s current chairman and CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, as the major driving force behind the firm’s push for building bigger profits quicker these days.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


Howard Dean
Flickr / Liberal Democrats

Howard Dean: Kill the Health Care Bill

Now that health care reform has been tailored to the demands of Sen. Joe Lieberman, there’s real debate among progressives about whether it’s worth doing at all. Howard Dean writes: “Any measure that expands private insurers’ monopoly over health care and transfers millions of taxpayer dollars to private corporations is not real health-care reform.” (continued)

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


iPhone
apple.com/iphone

The iPhone Goes to War

The iPhone is getting outfitted for battle. Raytheon, that clever military contractor, has developed an iPhone application called the One Force Tracker that helps soldiers track each other and their enemies, orient themselves and communicate using an interface similar to Facebook.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


John Slattery

‘Colbert Report’: Joining the Conservative Gold Rush

Glenn Beck is pushing it, as are Laura Ingraham and Bill O’Reilly. Nothing shores you up better for the coming Obamapocalypse than gold, that familiar, shiny and dependable element that calls to you, as Stephen Colbert points out, from the periodic table. Or if you don’t have gold, try women—or sheep.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
abcnews.go.com

Senate Republicans Trotting Out the Delay Tactics

President Barack Obama’s hope of getting new health care legislation passed by Christmas may not be realized, especially if Senate Republicans, who seem intent on using whatever strategies they can to delay the vote until next year, have anything to do with it. That’s not to say all Democrats are particularly thrilled with the way it’s shaping up either.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Gay-Prostitution-Gets-Legal Edition

Las Vegas is out to ruin the sanctity of prostitution, and the Joe Lieberman-shaped health care bill violates the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. These arguments and more in today’s list.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


Honor Redefined

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Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE    


A Visit From Citibank

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Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE


In Need of a Watchdog on Health Spending

There was a nice, albeit fleeting, moment in the spring when hospitals, doctors, drug companies and insurers came together at the White House, pledging to do their part to get health care costs under control.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Eustaquio Santimano

Here’s Something for Neocons to Flip Out About

Vietnam is spending billions on Russian submarines and fighter jets. Calm down, Dick Cheney. Vietnam cares more about the prawn market than World War III. The real superpower fretting over this is China. ... (continued)

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE



Mark Fellman / WETA courtesy 20th Century Fox

Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ Awes the Skeptics

The film industry has produced no shortage of spectacles over the last hundred years, from “Ben Hur” to “Star Wars.” In terms of technological sorcery and visual wonder, James Cameron’s “Avatar” now ranks chief among them.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE


Wall Street CEOs
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Wall Street’s Fat Cats Are Still in Charge

Most Americans now know that Wall Street bankers are so greedy as to never be trusted, and I suppose it is a sign of progress that our president finally seems to grasp the obvious.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE


Livni

Israeli-British Relations Hurt by Arrest Warrant

British Foreign Secretary David Milliband and other U.K. diplomats took some serious heat from Israeli officials after an arrest warrant was issued in London earlier this week for Israel’s former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (above), accusing her of committing war crimes against Palestinians during last winter’s war in Gaza.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE



Staff Sgt. Cohen A. Young, U.S. Air Force

U.S. Contemplates More of the Scarcely Believable in ‘Af-Pak’

The people who are running the war in Afghanistan are contemplating an air attack on one of Pakistan’s principal cities, the capital of its largest province, for reasons that defy logic.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE


Thomson
AP / Charles Rex Arbogast

Will This Prison Become ‘Gitmo North’?

The Obama administration may have hit upon a potential answer, if not a solution, to the still-pressing problem of what to do with Guantanamo Bay detainees once the Cuban prison is shuttered. According to The Washington Post, the government has picked the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois as a destination for “dozens of terrorism suspects”—but it’s not clear whether they’ll be prosecuted prior to their move.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE


Copenhagen Climate Summit: The Empire’s New Clothes

As the United Nations’ climate summit enters its final week in the home country of Hans Christian Andersen, the notion that a binding agreement will come from this gathering looks more and more like a fairy tale.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE


marriage equality
Flickr / hyperbolic pants explosion

Gay Marriage Moves One Step Closer to Reality in D.C.

The City Council in Washington, D.C., soundly passed a bill Tuesday that will make gay marriage legal in the nation’s capital if it clears a few more hurdles. However, one of those hurdles happens to be Congress, and opponents of the measure are gearing up for a battle.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Shoot-Your-Laptop Edition

What prompted Israeli authorities to shoot someone’s laptop? How do you fight a war on behalf of a country that doesn’t want it? Answers to these questions and more in today’s list.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Koji Sasahara

It’s Not About Tiger Woods, It’s About Us

The world is living from development to development, suggesting something much more important is going on. What will it take, exactly, before we butt out?

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
AP / Ross D. Franklin

Palin’s Climate Epiphany

Back in the heady days of 2008, as governor of our most at-risk state, Sarah Palin sounded a dire warning against climate change. What a difference a book tour makes.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE


Krugman
Wikimedia Commons / Prolineserver

Oh, the Naiveté, Mr. Krugman

Here we have one of those columns that might have initially been missed (even by those of us who blog fastidiously about such things) that bears repeating, or re-posting, as the case may be: We submit, for your consideration, Paul Krugman’s latest column. That is all.

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 READ MORE


moviegoers
AP / Robert F. Bukaty

Box Office Sales Buoyant in 2009

Which industries actually thrive in the midst of a crippling recession? There are many ways to approach that question, but over the past year, Americans looking for low-impact escapism on a budget went to the movies, and they did so in numbers that might put some of the hand-wringing about the impact of the Internet and the economy on the film business on hold, at least for the time being.

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 READ MORE


Bush at the White House
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

22 Million Bush-Era E-Mails Found

How exactly does an administration lose millions of e-mails? However it happened, 22 million Bush-era White House e-mails have been recovered, and more may be found. The content, however, probably won’t be made public for years.

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 READ MORE


Re-Volt-ing Dance Could Make You Go Blind

GM’s new Volt may be able to drive for 40 miles without a drop of gas, but, based on the singing and dancing in this video, it’s clear that the brains that bankrupted this company are still very much in charge.

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 READ MORE


Hell Yes

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Posted on Dec 14, 2009 READ MORE    


Copenhagen march
thenation.com

Naomi Klein to Danes: Ease Off the Controls in ‘Hopenhagen’

So, author-activist Naomi Klein has spent the last few days in Copenhagen, taking in the developments—and appreciating streamlined and functional Scandinavian design—at the climate summit, but she has a message for her Danish hosts: Cool it on the whole control freak thing, or the “Hopenhagen” conference isn’t going to be a success.

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Adam Pieniazek

Frustrated Subscribers Target AT&T

Thanks to the runaway success of the iPhone, AT&T has the largest wireless network in the country—and the lousiest. Fed-up subscribers, who pay the telco about $30 a month just for data (and another $40 or so for voice), are planning an assault this Friday called Operation Chokehold. (continued)

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 READ MORE


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