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Dick Head

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Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE    



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Wants to Send Unemployed Back to School

At 14.1 percent, Michigan’s unemployment rate is the highest of any state. So it was a fitting setting for the president to announce his plan to spend $12 billion retraining the unemployed in community colleges. This plan would be a lot more exciting if its budget didn’t inevitably have to be compared with the trillions we’ve thrown at lousy banks.

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


Health Insurance Whistle-Blower Knows Where the Bodies Are Buried

Wendell Potter is the health insurance industry’s worst nightmare. He’s a whistle-blower. Potter, the former chief spokesperson for insurance giant CIGNA, recently testified before Congress, “I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick—all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors.”

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


Bishop Gene Robinson
gayspirituality.typepad.com

Episcopal Church Making Progress on LGBT Rights

Although it doesn’t look like the Church of England is getting with the program at the moment, its American counterpart, the Episcopal Church, is preparing to officially perform same-sex marriages and to approve gay and lesbian bishops. One openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, was ordained in 2003.

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Krugman on the Depressing State of the U.S.

Stephen Colbert interviews Nobel Prize winner and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on the state of the U.S. economy, and let’s face it, things are looking pretty crappy. Check out this clip from Monday’s “Colbert Report.”

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Sotomayor Clears Up ‘Wise Latina’ Remark

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor finally got a chance to respond to the “wise Latina” quote (“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion”) that inspired massive GOP criticism and bigotry around her nomination. Check out this video to hear what she had to say about it.

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Flickr/sburke2478

And Then God Created U.S. History

The Texas Board of Education is currently reviewing the state’s social studies curriculum to decide whether God should have a bigger place in history class. On the revision committee that’s shaping the debate there’s a reverend who preaches that Hurricane Katrina, Watergate and the Vietnam War—three events surely to be found in history textbooks—are signs of God’s judgments on America’s sexual immorality.

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / ICC

Liberian Ex-President on Trial, Challenges ‘Lies’

Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, took the stand on Tuesday to defend himself against 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The first African leader to be tried by an international tribunal, Taylor is deemed responsible for atrocities committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002), in a tale of murder, rape, amputations, child soldiers and diamonds.

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


Sheldon Whitehouse
senate.gov

Confirmation Remarks Worth Revisiting

Supreme Court confirmation hearings are as much about politicians grabbing a little face time as they are about probing a nominee’s legal philosophy. Amid all the posturing and finger-wagging Monday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse spoke rather eloquently about what the court has become, and what it should be: “ ... A place ... where the comfortable can be afflicted and the afflicted find some comfort. ... ”

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


Confirmation Hearings

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Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


Honduras Craziness [A Cartoon From Germany]

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Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Win McNamee, pool

White Men Can’t Trump

For the Republicans outraged at “wise Latina” Sonia Sotomayor, being white and male is seen as a neutral condition, the natural order of things. Any “identity”—black, brown, female, gay, whatever—has to be judged against this supposedly “objective” standard.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Closet Racism in the Age of Obama

Unless Sotomayor suffers a “complete meltdown,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina predicted, she will be confirmed. The price, though, is barely coded race baiting that has been part of the assault on Sotomayor since her nomination was announced.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / antiparticle

Goldman Sachs Execs Dumped Stock Like Crazy

Goldman Sachs is expected to announce a windfall quarter, thanks no doubt to billions in bailout money, but many people at the firm aren’t puffing their chests out. According to the Financial Times, Goldman executives dumped close to $700 million in stock between September 2008 and April 2009—after taxpayers came to the rescue.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Bruno
aceshowbiz.com

What’s With the Pinkface, Fellas?

Vanity Fair’s Brett Berk has detected a mini-pattern playing out in the film world, starring (but certainly not limited to) “Brüno,” Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest attempt at biting social satire. It’s “Pinkface”—or the cinematic phenomenon in which straight guys play gay by way of trying to “lay claim to homosexuality as a ‘topic’” with less-than-stellar results, judging by Berk’s sum-up of the situation.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Benjamins
Wikimedia Commons/Revisorweb

U.S. Budget Deficit Climbs to Over $1 Trillion

America’s spend-a-thon has brought some inevitable consequences, not the least being that we now are looking at a federal budget deficit of more than $1 trillion for the first time ever, and that number is projected to nearly double by October.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Dick Cheney
White House / David Bohrer

CIA Program Too Good to Be True?

What is so controversial about killing al-Qaida bigwigs and avoiding civilian casualties that the CIA would have to conceal such things from Congress? The usual anonymous officials have emerged to explain the secret CIA program Dick Cheney and the agency are supposed to have hidden, and something smells awfully fishy.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


McCain

And Now, a Canned Answer About Palin From McCain

In this clip from Sunday’s episode of “Meet the Press,” Sen. John McCain goes into Papa Bear mode to defend his former running mate, Sarah Palin, but his show of support seems a little strained at times—as when he says “I don’t think she quit,” for example.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



twitter.com/AKGovSarahPalin

Palin Under Fire From GOP Ranks

Sarah Palin’s popularity within the Republican Party seems to have taken a hit since her startling resignation announcement on July 3, which may point to deeper rifts within the GOP, or may indicate that a presidential run may not be a wise choice this time around.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Benjamin
AP / Charles Dharapak

Obama Picks ‘Country Doctor’ as Surgeon General

If she is approved by the Senate, Dr. Regina Benjamin has a big job ahead of her as the next surgeon general during a time of upheaval in the health care industry. Luckily, given her résumé, she seems more than qualified for the position.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Live Sotomayor Confirmation Hearings

Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court justice confirmation hearings are currently under way in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Check out this live stream of the hearings, and hear what the senators have to say about the nominee and how she defends herself in front of them.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
facebook.com

The Internet as a Media-Altering Force and the Facebook Addiction

We talk with UC Santa Cruz history professor Matthew Lassar about the FCC, how Internet has altered the media, and why college kids can’t stop checking their Facebook accounts during classroom lectures.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP / Matt Dunham

Brown Holds His Ground as Troops Die

Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown defended his government’s policy in Afghanistan after eight British soldiers were killed over the weekend. In the past two weeks, 15 U.K. servicemen have died, making the total death toll for British military personnel in Afghanistan greater than the Iraq toll, 179. As a result, Brown and his ministers have been under increasing criticism by the MPs.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Flickr / robertnelson

Getting Loaded in Tennessee

Believe it or not, Tennessee is relaxing its already liberal gun laws even more. Starting Tuesday, residents of the state will legally be able to go to bars and restaurants with loaded guns. Letting people get drunk in public places while they’re packing heat = a really really smart decision.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Sotomayor Confirmation Hearings Under Way

The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor began on Monday. Despite a strong partisan divide over her candidacy, she is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate after she has a chance to make her opening statement and answer questions from the Judiciary Committee. If confirmed, she will be the first Latina and only the third woman justice to serve on the nation’s highest court.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Jacqueline Larma

The Man in the Mirror

The commercial exploitation of Michael Jackson’s death was orchestrated by the corporate forces that rendered him insane. He was infected by the moral nihilism and personal disintegration that are at the core of our corporate culture. He was a reflection of us in the extreme.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



Original: Flickr / kiwanja

Bush’s Wiretaps Now Even More Warrantless

It turns out George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretap program wasn’t just illegal, it was pretty useless. A new report by the inspectors general of the agencies charged with catching the evildoers determined that many agents were flummoxed by the vague information coming out of the overly secretive program, and those who weren’t couldn’t demonstrate how it was helpful.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



guardian.co.uk

Kim Jong Il Reportedly Has Pancreatic Cancer

A South Korean TV station is reporting that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il has pancreatic cancer, based on information from Chinese and South Korean intelligence. Whether or not Kim actually suffers from that especially deadly disease, he did appear ill during a rare public appearance last week and is rumored to have appointed his youngest son as his successor.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Sotomayor’s Critics Are the Real Radicals

This week’s hearings on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court represent the opening skirmish in a struggle to challenge the escalating activism of an increasingly conservative judiciary.

Posted on Jul 12, 2009 READ MORE


War and Peace

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Posted on Jul 12, 2009 READ MORE    


3 Degrees

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Posted on Jul 12, 2009 READ MORE    


Man or Mouse

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Posted on Jul 12, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / SmackNHawaii

Gone With the Wind

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens has dropped his plan to build a huge wind farm in Texas, citing financing problems and challenges posed by the economic recession. The collapse of the project adds weight to the notion that we won’t have practical alternative energy generation until the governments of the world, and the populations they represent, make lasting commitments of money and attention.

Posted on Jul 12, 2009 READ MORE


Colin Powell
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

What Will History Make of Colin Powell?

Public figures understandably fuss over their reputations and how they will be remembered. Recent news brought to mind two prominent figures of their moment: Colin Powell and Robert McNamara.

Posted on Jul 11, 2009 READ MORE


laughing dick cheney
White House / David Bohrer

Cheney’s CIA Cover-Up

In a report that’s sure to surprise absolutely nobody, The New York Times revealed on Saturday that former Vice President Dick Cheney explicitly ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to keep a “counterterrorism program”—of an as-yet-unknown nature—secret from Congress. The program reportedly existed for eight years.

Posted on Jul 11, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

Health Care, Unions and the State of the U.S.

It’s the Bob and Matt Show! Robert Scheer and Matt Miller discuss the prospects of a public health care system now that the Democrats hold a 60-vote majority in the Senate, and then they move on to examine the impact of unions on education and health care. Tune in to hear Friday’s special summer show of “Left, Right & Center.”

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


Twitter theater
Composite image: Kleininstruments.com, twitter.com

‘Twitter Effect’ Hits Hollywood

The time frame for projecting the success or failure of a newly released film has already been compressed to the point of asphyxiation, thanks to the Internet, but with the popularity of social networking services like Twitter, the window of box office opportunity has become even shorter, according to The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


GM building
Flickr/richardefreeman

Here Comes the ‘New’ GM

General Motors Chief Executive Fritz Henderson tooted his company’s horn plenty when he ushered in a new, post-bankruptcy era for the Detroit automaker—but he couldn’t promise that GM 2.0 would be able to pay back the billions of dollars his company got from taxpayers.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


Yoo
Wikimedia Commons/YooTube

Basis of Domestic Surveillance Was ‘Flawed,’ Report Finds

Former President Bush’s infamous warrant-free domestic surveillance plan, instituted after 9/11 to monitor potentially suspicious communication between parties within and outside of the U.S., has deservedly gotten a bad rap—and it’s about to get worse, thanks to a congressionally mandated report released Friday.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE



EPA

54 Die in Post-Withdrawal Bombings

Thursday saw the deadliest day since the withdrawal of most U.S. soldiers from Iraq’s urban areas, with 54 people being killed in attacks across the country. Some believe the increase in bombings is an attempt to delegitimize the post-U.S. Iraqi security forces. Others believe it to be just the continuation of six years of bloodshed.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


Zelaya
blogia.com

Day-1 Honduras Talks Fail

Talks between Honduras’ President Manuel Zelaya and not-president/coup-leader Roberto Micheletti expectedly failed Thursday. Now, negotiations will fall to the staff members of each politician, as the two leaders have refused, and will refuse, to meet face to face.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Africa
blackplanet.com

Obama to Seek to End Africa’s Conflicts

It seems that President Obama has finally taken Africa seriously—and in a way that doesn’t look like Bush-era health funding that reeks of an infomercial for Christian charity. In a speech on Saturday, Obama is expected to focus on the importance of democratic governance on the continent and will make the ending of conflicts a key diplomatic initiative.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


Roland Burris
senate.gov

So Long, Roland Burris?

Looks like the Roland Burris show isn’t going to be picked up for a second season. Washington strategists have taken a good look at the Illinois senator’s fundraising numbers (such as they are) and deduced that a 2010 re-election bid is unlikely.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


bookcover

Jane Ciabattari on the Delights of the Rural Life

Is the pastoral arcadia of the country life far from derivatives and emissions and the other excreta of our modern cities all that it’s cracked up to be? Two new memoirs give readers who don’t want to stir from their armchairs to take up farming an insider’s look.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / eflon

AIG Gets Back to Bonuses

The closest we’ve come to a pitchfork moment in this whole economic crisis was the last time AIG tried to shower its employees with bonuses. You may recall that the financial giant was rewarded with $180 billion in federal funds after losing more money than any company ever did before and helping to ruin the world economy. Well, they’re at it again.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE


MJ star
Flickr/wyteone

L.A. Taxpayers Hit With MJ Memorial Bill

When the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship in June, the team and private donors paid the $2 million tab for the victory celebration. The same can’t be said for Michael Jackson’s July 7 public memorial at Staples Center, unfortunately.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE


Welcome to Maine
Flickr/Phil Romans

Gay Marriage Hits a Snag in Maine

Having enlisted the same PR firm, Schubert Flint Public Affairs, that handled the publicity behind the pro-Proposition 8 push in California last fall, opponents of gay marriage claim to have amassed enough signatures to prevent a new law recognizing same-sex nuptials from taking effect on Sept. 12. A referendum on the issue would be held in November. Back to the voting booth, Mainers.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet

Netherlands to Return Artifacts to Iraq

Dutch art dealers have surrendered 69 artifacts that were stolen from Iraq following the U.S. invasion. The ancient objects will remain in the Netherlands until they can be returned to Iraq. In addition to losing 15,000 treasures stolen from Iraq’s national museum, the country has had to contend with rampant looting since the 2003 invasion.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE


Storm

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Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE


Inspiration

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Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE


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