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Dodd
dodd.senate.gov

Dodd Confirms Retirement Rumors

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd announced Wednesday that he won’t seek re-election this November, making him the third high-profile Democrat to talk retirement in just one 24-hour news cycle. Despite Democrats’ worries about the 2010 elections, Dodd’s potential replacement from his party may have a fighting chance to score his Senate seat.

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Chicks With Lit Edition

Of Publishers Weekly’s top 10 books of the year, none are written by women. In Texas, right-wingers are writing the textbooks. These and other outrageous facts on today’s list.

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 READ MORE


Too Revealing

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Posted on Jan 6, 2010 READ MORE


It’s an Oy

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Posted on Jan 6, 2010 READ MORE    


A Case for Presidential Power

Much of the criticism of the Obama administration’s decision to bring criminal charges against the failed Christmas Day bomber is ill-informed, ill-intentioned or both. All that said, I’m left with one nagging worry.

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 READ MORE



google.com / phone

The Google Phone Is Here Again

Google is quietly taking over the phone market for reasons that have little to do with its latest “superphone.”

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 READ MORE


Obama and McCain
AP / Haraz N. Ghanbari

McCain Gets It, Obama Doesn’t

Maybe I got it wrong. During the presidential campaign I wrote columns blasting Sen. John McCain for siding with the big bankers on deregulation, citing his choosing ex-Sen. Phil Gramm, currently a vice chairman of the Swiss-owned banking giant UBS, as his presidential campaign chair.

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 READ MORE


Sick With Terror

The underwear bomber has reignited the debates about how best to protect the American people, while a killer that claims 45,000 lives annually—one dead American about every 10 minutes—goes unchecked.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE


iBailout!
gametrailers.com

Now You Too Can Be Among the Powers That Be—Thanks to ‘iBailout!!’

Leave it to the good ol’ U.S. of A. to produce this sort of thing: An enterprising gaming company by the name of Hands-On Mobile has created an iPhone game that allows users to play the part of the money-gobbling Fed. In this digitized satire the Fed actually eats angry citizens. But fear not ... (continued)

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison

Al-Qaida Uses U.S., U.S. Plays Along

It is not widely understood that the policy objective of al-Qaida is not to attack Western countries, but to bring about an upheaval in the Islamic world in which Islam can be rescued from corrupted governments and degenerate practices.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE


Obama
washingtonpost.com

Obama Slams Intel Agencies for Christmas Day Attack Attempt

Barack Obama gave U.S. intelligence agencies the presidential equivalent of a knuckle-rapping Tuesday for their failure to connect the dots and nab Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before a fellow passenger on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was forced to foil his underwear bomb plot the old-fashioned way.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE


Janet Jackson

Case Still Not Closed on ‘Nipplegate’ Incident

Legal battles famously have a way of dragging on, but in the case of the ongoing tussle over Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the 2004 Super Bowl, it’s getting a little ridiculous. Yes, that was six years ago. No, the involved parties are not done with their various attempts at fining and appealing said fines.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE


flag of New Jersey
Wikimedia Commons / xrmap

Gay Marriage Vote Coming Soon in N.J. Senate

The New Jersey Senate has reportedly scheduled Thursday for their vote on whether to legalize gay marriage. Timing will be key in determining the outcome of the issue in the Garden State. Gay marriage advocates have a sympathetic governor in office for only another two weeks.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE


Guantanamo
AP / Brennan Linsley, pool

U.S. Halts Transfer of Gitmo Prisoners to Yemen

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the U.S. government has decided that now is not the best time to transfer Yemeni detainees back to their homeland from Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba. More than 80 Yemeni prisoners—almost half of the entire group at Gitmo—will stay put for the time being, as the situation between the U.S. and Yemen remains tense.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE


Colbert

‘Colbert Report’: Genitalia Bomb Threat

Thank goodness “The Colbert Report” is back on the air, and just in time to comment on the attempted airplane attack in Detroit on Christmas Day, which was nearly, er, pulled off by a new kind of dirty bomb. This, plus the prospect of full-body scanning in airports, leads Stephen Colbert to point out that terrorists may not stop at wiring explosives near their junk.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE



CIA

CIA Bomber Was a Double Agent, Report Says

The Washington Post is reporting that the suicide bomber who carried out the deadliest attack against the agency in a quarter-century was a trusted double agent who “lured intelligence officers into a trap by promising new information about al-Qaeda’s top leadership. ...”

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Beautiful People Edition

Today on the list: gay-baiting in Illinois’ GOP primary, a website for beautiful people only (ouch), the ups and downs of higher education and more.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE


Slut Alert

VH1 viewers might be momentarily fooled by this satirical Onion clip, which pokes fun at the cable network’s habit of producing low-brow television shows built around the antics of drunk, sexed-up lady folk. A bit nasty, but then so is the material that inspired it.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Wagner T. Cassimiro "Aranha"

A Designation Cuba Doesn’t Deserve

The United States still considers Cuba a state sponsor of terror, even though the very notion is absurd.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / TenSafeFrogs

Liberal Linguist Wants to Save California

The nation’s biggest and richest state has been called ungovernable because, among other reasons, budgets and taxes have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Legislature. George Lakoff, the guy who gave us framing, is out to change things. (continued)

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


Freeman
Wikimedia Commons / David Sifry

Freeman Replacing Cronkite in CBS News Intro

If anything should make someone the logical choice to introduce the “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” via voiceover, it’s surely that the person previously played the role of God. No, not George Burns—it’s too late for that (and probably too soon for that joke). Well, then, how about Morgan Freeman?

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


Thurmond
www.senate.gov/artandhistory

Thurmond the Younger Aiming for Congress?

Controversial Sen. Strom Thurmond died in 2003, but Congress may not be a Thurmond-free zone for much longer if Strom’s youngest son, Paul Thurmond, ends up following through on some preliminary noises he’s making about a possible run for outgoing South Carolina Rep. Henry Brown’s House seat.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


Gay Marriage Prompts Arrest in Malawi

Two Malawian men could spend the next 14 years in jail after taking part in an unofficial marriage ceremony in the southeast African country. Under the guise of the law, the couple have been subjected to beatings, they say, as well as other indignities, such as the threat of a medical examination to determine whether they’ve had sex.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


Brown, Obama and Batali
politico.com / click

Michelle Obama, White House Garden Guest-Star on ‘Iron Chef’

Michelle Obama has made the White House garden emblematic of her cause to help Americans cultivate better eating habits, and on Sunday, the “FLOTUS” showed viewers of “Iron Chef” how her garden grows, as she and her vegetable patch made cameo appearances on the popular cooking show.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


Blagojevich
AP / Seth Perlman

Blagojevich Joining ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Cast

What’s a deposed Illinois governor to do, now that he has more time on his hands and is facing, you know, criminal charges? When it comes to Rod Blagojevich, in case there was any doubt whom we were discussing, he’ll spend time on “Celebrity Apprentice” with Donald Trump and others who became famous for their forays into showbiz.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


You Have to Show More Than Your Boarding Pass

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Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


War Baby

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Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE    


Good Versus Evil

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Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE    


Griffith
griffith.house.gov

Alabama Congressman’s Party Switch Sparks Office Exodus

Looks as if Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith may be traveling a little lighter than he planned as he makes the transition from the left to the right of the political aisle. On Monday, Griffith’s chief of staff, along with 10 other staff members, decamped from his office, wishing him well but declining to join him in his switch to the GOP.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


Burj Khalifa opens
bbc.co.uk

World’s Tallest Tower Opens in Dubai

It was going to be known as the Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower), but given Dubai’s recent economic woes and given that its UAE neighbor, Abu Dhabi, came to the rescue with $10 billion last month, it’s both a fitting tribute and a sign of the times that the world’s tallest building is now called the Burj Khalifa in honor of Abu Dhabi’s leader.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


British embassy in Yemen
AP Photo

Two Militants Declared Killed, Three More Embassies Closed in Yemen

The situation in Yemen became more heated Monday as Yemeni forces clashed with suspected al-Qaida operatives, killing two and reportedly wounding a few more 25 miles from the capital city of San’a. According to The New York Times, Yemeni officials linked the militants they targeted in Monday’s fight to ongoing threats against U.S. and British embassies in their country.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Adem Hadei

The Pictures of War You Aren’t Supposed to See

The state and the press work hard to keep the reality of war hidden. We rarely see images that capture the evil of war, what it does to young minds and bodies.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Irish Atheist Edition

Ireland’s atheists are battling a blasphemy law while the year of gay China is moving forward. And you won’t believe what you’ve been eating. These stories and more on today’s list.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Ends AIDS Immigration Discrimination

For 22 years, people with HIV and AIDS have been banned from entering the U.S. It’s pretty difficult to throw a global AIDS conference under such circumstances, which is why the policy is coming to an end.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE


Why 2010 Doesn’t Have to Be 1994

Democrats can avoid a midterm rout if they get progressives excited without turning off independent voters. Here’s how.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE



Transportation Security Administration

Airports to Get Tougher Screening in Aftermath of Christmas Attack

Passengers traveling to the U.S. from or by way of certain countries on the U.S. government’s naughty list, which includes Yemen and Cuba, will be subject to “enhanced screening” starting Monday. (continued)

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Muhammed Muheisen

Walls Never Work—in the Middle East or in Ireland

The story of the Protestant "settlements" in Ireland provides a ghostly narrative of those modern-day "settlements" in the West Bank, where the Israelis insist on fighting the world’s last colonial war with the assistance of that great anti-colonial nation known as the United States.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE


iRape

The dirty little secret of the consumer electronics boom is that a lot of the sexy little gadgets you use every day are made from minerals that help fund what this video says is “the deadliest conflict in the world since the holocaust.”

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE



CIA

Bomber in Attack on CIA Reportedly Courted as Informant

According to a BBC report, intelligence sources say that the suicide bomber who managed to enter a military base and kill seven CIA agents in the Khost province of Afghanistan was courted by the U.S. as a possible informant.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Nasser Nasser

Closing Time in Yemen

Both the U.K. and U.S. temporarily closed their embassies in Yemen “for security reasons” on Sunday after increasing concern about al-Qaida threats in the capital city of Sana’a. Yemen has been under heightened scrutiny after the 2009 Christmas Day attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner was traced to the Middle Eastern country.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Martin Mejia

Fujimori’s Sentence Upheld

Peru’s Supreme Court has confirmed a verdict finding Alberto Fujimori guilty of ordering the kidnapping and murder of 25 dissidents during his presidency from 1990 to 2000. His 25-year sentence marks the first time a democratically elected Latin American ruler was found guilty of human rights abuses in his own country.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Farzana Wahidy

Remodeling Karzai’s Cabinet

Hamid Karzai is having issues in his second term as Afghanistan’s president. It seems that the Afghan parliament has nixed 17 of his 24 Cabinet nominees.

Posted on Jan 2, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / KatЯ

Russian Vodka Prices Soar

At a time of the year when alcohol consumption is traditionally up in Russia, a campaign against alcoholism launched recently by President Dmitry Medvedev will substantially raise the price of vodka. The cost of the cheapest half liter will increase to at least 89 rubles (about $3) from about 50 rubles.

Posted on Jan 2, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Jeffrey M. Boan

Walking for Legalization

Taking an ambulatory cue from the Freedom Riders of the civil rights era, four immigrant students—three of whom are undocumented—are walking from downtown Miami to Washington, D.C., in a four-month protest against the Obama administration’s inaction on legislation that could give legal status to immigrants.

Posted on Jan 2, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / ashwinnavin

China’s Anti-Porn Crusade

A highly publicized campaign against Internet pornography swept China in 2009, with 5,394 people arrested and 4,186 criminal investigations conducted against the circulation of “smutty and lewd pictures”—a fourfold increase in smut cases compared with 2008.

Posted on Jan 1, 2010 READ MORE


Iraqi
AP / Khalid Mohammed

2009 Less Bloody Than 2008 for Iraqi Civilians

A group that monitors the death toll in Iraq believes the number of civilian deaths in 2009 to be less than half the number for 2008. Yet the United Kingdom-based group said that terrorist violence “still afflicts Iraq’s population more than any other.”

Posted on Jan 1, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Ahn Young-joon

Why Can’t We Be Friends

2010 might already be looking up. North Korea has sent the U.S. a New Year’s message calling for an end to hostility in relations between the two countries and declaring that Pyongyang is committed to making the Korean peninsula nuclear-free.

Posted on Jan 1, 2010 READ MORE


AllenBarraonWinstonChurchill

Allen Barra on Winston Churchill

Is there anything left to say about Churchill’s extraordinary life and turbulent times? If so, can it be said in the brief compass of Paul Johnson’s 192-page primer?

Posted on Jan 1, 2010 READ MORE


Letting Go

There is something fitting about writing my last column on the first day of a new year. January, after all, is named for the Roman god of beginnings and endings. [Editor’s note: This is Ellen Goodman’s final column.]

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE


Blackwater helicopter
Wikimedia Commons / jamesdale10

Federal Judge Dismisses Charges in Blackwater Shooting Case

A federal judge let five Blackwater Worldwide security contractors off the hook Thursday, dropping all charges against them in a 2007 case in which 14 Iraqi civilians were killed and 20 wounded during a Baghdad shooting. The Justice Department wasn’t thrilled with this outcome, and a DoJ spokesman told The Washington Post that his colleagues are “still in the process of reviewing the opinion and considering our options.”

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE


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