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White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama’s Surge in Afghanistan Hardly a Surprise

There was much disappointment on Tuesday night about Barack Obama’s decision to widen the war in Afghanistan, but there can have been no real surprise.

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE



Finding Farce in Terrorism

A British comedy that follows a group of bumbling terrorists trying to pull off an atrocity has won approval from the taste-makers at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie was reportedly inspired by real-life tales of farce in terrorist cells, which, in the words of the filmmaker’s office, “have the same group dynamics as stag parties.”

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE


Tiger Woods Scandal

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The Ratio

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War and Peace

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Schmidt
Flickr/Gisela Giardino

Google Can Help Newspapers, Says Google CEO

Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt has gazed into the future of the news business, and—surprise!—he sees Google playing a big, vital role. In his Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece, Schmidt heralds the advent, in the not-so-distant future, of an era in which the Internet “will foster a new, digital business model.” Hmmm!

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

Obama: ‘I’m Open to Every Demonstrably Good Idea’ About Job Market

President Obama laid out what he believes his administration has been doing to deal with the employment crisis in America thus far and hinted at forthcoming developments in his plan to create more jobs. During a press conference Thursday he tried to take some of the heat off his administration by stating, “Ultimately, true economic recovery is only going to come from the private sector.”

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
Kremlin / Presidential Press and Information Office

Putin’s Not Going Anywhere Anytime Soon

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has found a way to stay in power this long, and, as he told his fellow countrymen and -women Thursday, retirement will not be high on his priority list anytime soon. In fact, he could be eyeing another run for the presidency in 2012.

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE



flickr.com / TechFever

Comcast Acquires NBC

In a deal that will dramatically affect both the story lines on NBC’s “30 Rock” as well as the future of media conglomeration, Comcast, the country’s biggest cable provider, has acquired NBC Universal from General Electric for an estimated $30 billion.

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE


 width=
Wikimedia Commons

Osama’s Not Here, Man

Days after British PM Gordon Brown chastised the Pakistani government for failing to capture Osama bin Laden, Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani (pictured), claimed that he has yet to see any “credible or actionable intelligence” on bin Laden’s whereabouts.

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE



Original: crd! CC-BY-SA

Thanks to Sprint, the Cops May Have a GPS Fix on You

Most mobile phones have tiny GPS chips that do things like give directions or route your call to the right city when you dial 911. It turns out that law enforcement can ask phone companies for GPS info that reveals exactly where a phone owner is, and, according to a disturbing piece of audio making the rounds, the cops asked Sprint-Nextell for the locations of customers 8 million times in one year. (continued and video)

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


Bank of America Set to Repay TARP Debt

Bank of America has been cleared by the U.S. government to repay the $45 billion in TARP funds it received last year at the height of the banking crisis, and BofA may be preparing to do so before 2009 comes to a close. That said, it’s not a foregone conclusion that the transaction will take place this month, even though the company has some built-in motivation to quickly make good on its payback promise.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Goldilocks Strategy

Obama’s surge in Afghanistan is a political loser, but in the short term he’ll get what he wants.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


The Crushing Legacy of Bush and Cheney

Now it’s “Obama’s war,” but we should not ignore the events that led us to this moment and the inexplicable decisions of the Bush administration.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


They Don’t Check Facts Like They Used To

Let it not be said that right-wing bloggers are encumbered by a sense of humor. Or a fact-checker.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


Charlie Brown

Good Grief, Barack Obama!

In addition to all the other problematic things we might point out about President Obama’s West Point speech Tuesday night, there’s also the troubling, scheduling-related factoid that the broadcast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was bumped out in favor of Obama’s highly anticipated Afghanistan oration.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Spc. David J. Marshall

We ‘Support’ the Troops by Burdening Them More

By escalating an unnecessary conflict, President Barack Obama runs the risk of damaging many more Americans through PTSD and other human consequences of warfare. We are heaping upon members of the military more responsibility, more work, more war, more physical and psychological trauma.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


Friedman and Stewart

Friedman, Stewart Critique Obama’s Afghanistan Plan

“I overreacted,” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman admits to Jon Stewart about his initial support of the Iraq war in 2003 in this clip from Tuesday’s “Daily Show.” However, Friedman is still writing columns and selling books, such as his latest, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded,” so perhaps bad journalistic deeds still go unpunished in some media circles.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


zell
chicagobusiness.com

Zell Out as Tribune CEO

After two tumultuous years in the media business, Tribune Co.’s controversial CEO, Chicago-based real estate mogul Sam Zell, is stepping down from his post, but he’s not bowing out of the game altogether—Zell will continue as the media company’s chairman.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: West Point Hangover Edition

A few of the morsels that landed in Larry’s web this post-escalation day: How to protest a homophobic protester, Obama speech aftermath, digitizing Da Vinci and much, much more. Update

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn

Why They Hate Us, Part 2

Stephen M. Walt takes the “especially fatuous” Tom Friedman to task for one of his obstinate screeds. By the most conservative estimates, Walt explains, the U.S. has killed 30 Muslims for every American killed by Muslims, extremist or otherwise.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


Beck and Colbert

‘Colbert Report’: Obama Answers to GI Joe

As usual, Glenn Beck exhibits an, um, unusual political sensibility in his analysis of Barack Obama’s West Point speech and the president’s plan to send 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan. Luckily, Stephen Colbert is on hand to translate Beck’s logic puzzles with the help of his other favorite plastic friends, GI Joe and My Little Pony.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / CarbonNYC

N.Y. Senate Votes Against Same-Sex Marriage Bill

New York wasn’t able to go as far as even Iowa, as the New York State Senate shot down a bill Wednesday that would have made same-sex marriage legal in the Empire State. Not one Republican in the Albany chamber supported the bill, which was beaten by a vote of 38 to 24.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Charles Dharapak

Here We Go Again

After 30 years of failure, and thanks to the political opportunism of the current commander in chief, the Afghanistan war is still without end or logical purpose.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Edgar Zuniga

Comcast to Buy NBC

Cable giant Comcast, feeling the pressure from an expanded field of video and Internet access competitors, has decided to go ahead and buy NBC-Universal. The deal, which is all but done, makes Comcast one of the biggest media conglomerates (on par with Disney), and the proud owner of this.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

Obama Makes It Official: 30,000 More U.S. Troops to Head to Afghanistan

He took his time to mull it over, and in a speech at West Point on Tuesday night President Barack Obama announced his decision about what course of action to take in Afghanistan, affirming reports that he plans to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to push back on the resurgent Taliban and to try to establish some semblance of stability in the war-scarred country.

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE


Thank You for Not Sharing

Tiger Woods’ determined silence in the aftermath of his wee-hours encounter with a fire hydrant is a timely antidote to the too-much-information celebrity culture.

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Charles Rex Arbogast

Kucinich on Obama’s Escalation: Great Speech, Bad Policy

The other “peace candidate” in the 2008 Democratic primary isn’t thrilled with the president’s order to radically escalate the war in Afghanistan, no matter if there’s an exit strategy: “What are we going to learn in 18 months that we haven’t already learned in the last eight years?”

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Charles Rex Arbogast

Kucinich on Obama’s Escalation: Great Speech, Bad Policy

The other “peace candidate” in the 2008 Democratic primary isn’t thrilled with the president’s order to radically escalate the war in Afghanistan, no matter if there’s an exit strategy: “What are we going to learn in 18 months that we haven’t already learned in the last eight years?”

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE


Is It Time for Financial Institutions to Give Back?

It seems plausible that payback time has arrived for the international financial community. The principal obstacle here is, at the moment, the Obama administration.

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE


Canada’s Olympic Crackdown

Going to Canada? You may be detained at the border and interrogated. I was, last week.

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE


Britain's Missing Top Model contestants
bbcamerica.com

Reality TV Hits a New Low With Disabled Model Show?

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to BBC America’s new reality show, “Britain’s Missing Top Model,” which focuses on a group of disabled women competing to win a high-profile modeling gig. First, what, exactly, is “missing” here, aside from the fact that some contestants are missing limbs? Could it be a sense of humanity, then?

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / laverrue

Washington’s Black Community Grapples with Gay Marriage Issue

Tuesday’s vote in favor of same-sex marriage at the District council in Washington, D.C., brought up some tensions among members of the local African-American community. Some have less trouble viewing the issue as a civil rights struggle than others, and generational differences appear to have something to do with it.

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE


Finishing the Job

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Good Luck

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Crashers

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Code Yellow

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Zuma
youtube.com

South Africa Announces Treatment Plans for HIV-Positive Babies, Moms

South African President Jacob “Bring Me My Machine Gun” Zuma has become an unlikely supporter of HIV care in his country, announcing Tuesday—World AIDS Day—new, expanded health care measures to be implemented for HIV-positive mothers and their babies.

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / SEIU International

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Addresses Escalation in Afghanistan

Rep. Dennis Kucinich writes, “An escalation of the war in Afghanistan at a time of such economic dislocation and hardship raises questions about America’s priorities. ...”

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE


health care news conference
AP / Lauren Victoria Burke

Time for Our Second Bill of Rights

In his powerful new book, “The Healing of America,” T.R. Reid asks, “Which inequalities will society tolerate? Is it acceptable that some people are left to die because they can’t see a doctor when they get sick? That question encompasses a more basic question: Is health care a human right?”

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Afghan Surge Edition

All eyes are on the president and his planned escalation of the war in Afghanistan, but there’s plenty else worth clicking on, such as Uganda’s “execute gays” law, zombie Reagan and more. Update

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Cpl. Artur Shvartsberg

The Audacity of Obama’s Hopeful Exit Strategy

Thanks to high-level leaks, we now know semiofficially that President Obama plans to deploy 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, that he will announce a time frame for withdrawal and that his exit strategy (as well as Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s) depends on the expansion of the dysfunctional Afghanistan National Army. (continued) Update

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / nattu

The Copenhagen Conundrum

Climate-change skeptics are barking up the wrong smokestack. The shell game being played isn’t with the science, it’s with the solutions.

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE


Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges on Books About War

The Truthdig columnist, veteran war correspondent and author of “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” tells “On the Media” that when it comes to capturing war, “fiction is a better medium.”

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE


Obama at Arlington Cemetery
Original photo cropped: White House Photo / Pete Souza

Michael Moore to Obama: ‘Say It Isn’t So’

On the eve of President Obama’s speech at West Point, one of his more media-savvy supporters, filmmaker Michael Moore, sent out a pre-emptive missive to the would-be “new war president,” predicting the fallout that Obama will face if he follows through with his reported plan to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Cyber Monday Edition

No bargains here, just the news and notes that caught the eye of esteemed scholar and infomaniac Larry Gross.  Mega updates

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE


Brad Pitt house
Still image from the Make It Right project's Web site.

Do the ‘Brad Pitt Houses’ Help New Orleans?

Does Brad Pitt’s housing development project in New Orleans’ Katrina-ravished Ninth Ward represent a much-needed boost to the neighborhood, no matter from whence it came? Or do his efforts amount to yet another example of a Hollywood do-gooder’s personal crusade ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE


Workers in Pain sign
Flickr / aficio2008

Don’t Look to D.C. to Help in Job Crisis

Talk of giving a much-needed jolt to the job market has petered out in the offices and chambers where something could actually be done about the country’s pervasive employment crisis. This priority problem in policy circles is unacceptable to economics whiz Paul Krugman, who proposes ideas to fill in the gaps.

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / M. Janicki by way of popsci.com

Lab-Grown Pig Even Vegetarians Can Eat

Dutch scientists are doing their bit to address the food crisis, the climate crisis and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals by growing pork meat from muscle cells harvested from a live pig. Their hope is to turn the cells from one animal into the meat from a million without killing any. (continued)

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Marie Brown

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Perhaps inspired by reports that President Obama plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, Gordon Brown said Monday that Great Britain would deploy an additional 500 soldiers to the region. (continued)

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE


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