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foxsearchlight.com

Slumdog Sourpuss

It may be the best picture, but Hirsh Sawhney writes in the Guardian that “Slumdog Millionaire” is a simplistic text that “far from spreading the blame for global poverty ... actually suggests that the west is the solution to India’s problems.”

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE



collage: Flickr (epicharmus) / Google

Dow and Out on Wall Street

The Dow hasn’t been this low since “Titanic” won Best Picture, appropriately enough. Investors, apparently convinced the worst is yet to come, sent stocks tumbling to a 12-year low on Monday. The Dow sank to a depth of 7114.78.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE


Brown
blogs.ft.com

British PM: We Need ‘Global New Deal’

It’s time for teamwork, according to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who made a call for unity—and a “global New Deal”—during a meeting about the worldwide economic crisis with other European heads of state over the weekend.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE


Dustin Lance Black

‘Thank You God for Giving Us Harvey Milk’

The 81st Academy Awards ceremony was a politics-free affair, except for a predictably superficial nod at the economic collapse and two acceptance speeches for “Milk,” one from screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, the other from best actor Sean Penn.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A Choice Between Peace and Peril

Bibi Netanyahu’s assumption of power in Israel sets the stage for a huge campaign by the Israeli government, and its well-oiled lobby groups in Washington, to push us into a war with Iran, but a stable relationship with Iran would do more to protect Israel and our interests in the Middle East.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE


A Road-Trip Presidency

After Obama began to campaign around the country for the stimulus, support for the package rose. Administration officials have taken notice. Count on this to be a road-trip presidency. 

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / stan

Citigroup Wants a Bigger Bailout

Uncle Sam already gave Citigroup $45 billion and promised to limit the bank’s losses on $300 billion in troubled loans, but executives at the ailing bank are now reportedly asking the federal government to sweeten the deal. One scheme has Washington exchanging preferred stock for common stock.

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE


Sean Penn Oscar
AP photo / Matt Sayles

Sean Penn Schools Prop. 8 Supporters in Oscar Speech

Lest he miss an opportunity to speak his mind, Sunday night’s Best Actor Oscar winner took a moment on the podium to encourage those who voted last November for California’s Proposition 8, the anti-gay-marriage initiative, to rethink their choice. Turns out the Academy is actually made up of commie, homo-loving sons of guns. Update: Video

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE


The Cure for Shopping Withdrawal

For everyone forced by the global economic meltdown to pinch pennies, the Onion has this friendly reminder that consumption isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Warning: This clip has an abundance of salty language.

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
Flickr / geerlingguy

Some Governors May Tell Obama to Stuff It

While just about every state in the Union is starving for funds, a small band of Republican governors is debating whether or not to reject the stimulus bill’s cash infusion, citing concerns over future taxes. This California editor says good. Give their stimulus money to my state. It’s broke.

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE


Burris
AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Burris: Symbolism Over Substance

As Sen. Roland Burris’ listening tour apparently deteriorates into a dismissing tour, perhaps black voters will finally abandon the politics of symbolism that Burris has eagerly manipulated. 

Posted on Feb 21, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

Obama: Let’s Get to Work

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama hailed the stimulus bill he recently signed, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as “the most sweeping economic recovery plan in history.” Here’s what he had to say to back up this big claim.

Posted on Feb 21, 2009 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton and Yang Jiechi
AP photo / Greg Baker, Pool

Dissidents Are Held Back as Clinton Holds Forth in China

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this weekend made her first visit to China in her new role, but Amnesty International and other activist groups didn’t like her position when it came to addressing China’s treatment of dissidents—more specifically, she didn’t take a firm stand on the issue during her meetings with Chinese officials.

Posted on Feb 21, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Darin McGregor, Pool

Obama Gets Aggressive on Cutting the Deficit

Despite the fact that he’s looking at a trillion-plus deficit for 2009 as he settles into his second month as president, Barack Obama has plans to cut the annual deficit by half by the time his first term ends.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


Spike Lee
manolomen.com

Spike Lee Throws Down in N.Y. Post Cartoon Controversy

If the higher-ups at the New York Post thought that running a simple apology for printing the now-notorious chimpanzee cartoon this week would constitute enough damage control to do the trick, here comes filmmaker Spike Lee—along with the Post’s arch-rival publication, the New York Daily News—to disabuse them of this notion.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


Guernicamocracy

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Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: More Banking Shenanigans, Forestalling Foreclosure

This week’s episode of “Left, Right & Center” finds the full lineup of co-hosts—Matt Miller, Tony Blankley, Arianna Huffington and Robert Scheer—debating the latest developments in the unholy marriage between big banks and the U.S. government, speculating about what might be done about the American auto industry and doing a little on-the-fly analysis of comparative economic systems. Listen and learn.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Soldier Found Guilty of Murder in Iraq Killings

Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. was convicted of murder Friday for his part in the shooting deaths of four Iraqis in 2007. The 28-year-old Army medic, one of a group of soldiers to face charges in the case, admitted that he shot one of the victims in the back of the head, but Leahy’s lawyer argued that combat stress had destroyed his client’s capacity to reason properly.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


Sen. Burris
senate.gov

First Blagojevich, Next Burris?

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich didn’t go down without a big fight (or a full-on media assault), and judging by the comportment of his controversial Senate pick, Roland Burris, we can expect another show of defiance if Burris is put on trial for perjury.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE



telegraph.co.uk

N.Y. Post Apologizes for Monkey Business

In the face of angry protests outside its offices, the New York Post has apologized, with qualifications, for publishing a cartoon about the stimulus package showing a dead chimpanzee that many readers saw as representing President Obama. But in its half-hearted mea culpa, the Post made little direct reference to the racist stereotype that sparked the controversy in the first place.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


Environment Probs
DFID / Hassan Bipul

Rich Nations Truant on Climate Pledges

Analysis is finding that, amid the historic neglect that rich nations show toward the poor, developing countries have received less than 10 percent of the funds promised to them by the developed world. This comes as countries in the global south struggle to respond to the myriad concerns about global warming.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


Net and Peres
guardian.co.uk

And the Israeli PM Goes to ...

In a political blast from the past, former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been chosen to form Israel’s next government, ending a nine-day struggle between the candidates and paving the way for a coalition arrangement with a strong right-wing bent.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Zachary Karabell on ‘The Case for Big Government’

Jeff Madrick’s new book insists that the anti-government ethos that is a treasured American prejudice is not grounded in the new economic reality. But is he fighting the last war?

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Getting to Zero

John Isaacs, executive director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, joins the podcast with a status report on the spread of nuclear weapons. Cutting a deal with Iran and North Korea while getting the U.S. and Russia to downsize their own arsenals won’t be easy, but it may be only a matter of time—and diplomacy.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


Past the Point of No Return

It’s fitting that Barack Obama went to Denver to sign the stimulus bill. We’re just now starting to climb the challenging “Rocky Mountains” of this economic odyssey.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Stop Explaining, Start Packing

Roland Burris, the woefully forgetful Illinois senator, should go home and stay there, and I’d advise taking a vow of silence as well.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Slumdog Millionaire
altfg.com

‘Slumdog Millionaire’: The Tour

As “Slumdog Millionaire” continues to rack up critical accolades (not to mention awards-season promotional blitzes), the film has also drawn crowds to its setting in the slums of Mumbai, India. But does this kind of attention represent a welcome boon for tourism or a form of exploitation—“poverty porn”—for a city still recovering from last November’s terrorist attacks?

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Fear, U.S. Folly in Afghanistan

Except for the brief NATO intervention in Kosovo and Serbia, all of the significant U.S. military expeditions since the Cold War have been fought against Asians, and we have lost nearly all of them.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / debaird

Congress for Sale

Nearly a quarter of the members of the House of Representatives find themselves embroiled in a lobbying scandal, with Rep. John Murtha at the center. One hundred four representatives earmarked more than $300 million in just one bill, allegedly in exchange for campaign contributions from a lobbying firm founded by a former Murtha protégé.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Dow Jones falls
AP photo / Frank Franklin II

Jobless Rate Rises, Stock Market Dives

The employment market and the stock market both took major hits Thursday, with new jobless claims registering as high as 627,000 and market indicators like the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq composite index dipping alarmingly low.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Zaidi
AP photo / Evan Vucci

The Shoe-Thrower Speaks

Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, who quickly became renowned throughout the world after chucking his shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad last December, took the stand in court Thursday to defend his memorable act as a gesture of self-expression, on behalf of both himself and “the Iraqi people.”

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Post protest

Protesters Call for Boycott of N.Y. Post

The New York Post may yet discover that not all publicity is good publicity, particularly when it comes to the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper’s decision to run a cartoon on Wednesday linking Washington politicians (perhaps one in particular) to a marauding chimpanzee. The cartoon sparked an uproar that on Thursday found hundreds of protesters demanding a boycott of the Post by readers and advertisers.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Health Care Reform Can’t Wait

The national health care crisis, intensified by the recession, is so bad that nothing can be permitted to stop reform of the system, not even the implosion of the president’s health czar.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Two-Headed Monster

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Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


The Pencil

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Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE    


Good News for the Taliban

We seem to have spent our way—to the tune of $864 billion—into allowing our friends the Pakistanis to enter into a peace treaty, or something that looks like it, with the Taliban.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


There Was No GOP ‘Victory’

Republicans congratulate themselves for remaining unified in defeat and whine about Obama’s refusal to capitulate—but in fact it is they who have failed in the initial episode of a confrontation that will certainly continue for four years.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Downward Automobility

It makes sense to prop up ailing carmakers. Allowing GM and Chrysler to go bankrupt could be a triggering event that might make a very bad economy much worse.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


High Ideals in Low Times

  If freedom is just another word for no high-flying jobs left for new college graduates to lose, it opens room for risk-taking. And—dare I say it?—idealism.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Chris Matthews

Who Dares Defy King Rush?

Chris Matthews dares GOP strategist Todd Harris to say something negative about Rush Limbaugh. He can’t, which leads the “Hardball” host to wonder whether anyone in the GOP is willing to risk Rush’s ire.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



telegraph.co.uk

N.Y. Post Cartoon Goes Way, Way Over the Line

The New York Post is no stranger to controversy, but the rag’s latest goes beyond its typically low standards: A cartoon shows two cops, one of whom points his smoking gun at a bullet-riddled, bloody chimp. His partner says: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
change.gov

Attorney General: On Race, America Is ‘a Nation of Cowards’

Speaking at a Justice Department event in honor of Black History Month, the first black attorney general, appointed by the first black president, acknowledged that America has made progress but warned that “in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” His full remarks, after the jump.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Robber Barons
icsd.k12.ny.us

A Non-Rising Tide Lifts No Boats

The rationale of the TARP bailout’s “capital-injection program”—providing banks with capital that will increase loans to consumers and businesses—has apparently been forgotten by the 20 largest banks that received TARP money. A Treasury Department survey has found that lending in the last quarter of 2008 was stagnant, or even slightly declined, despite $250 billion in capital-injection funds.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


General Chrysler
truckend.com

More Aid, Please

General Motors, recipient of the 2009 “Nation’s Most Resistant-to-Change Company That Still Gets Federal Assistance” award, wants more. The auto giant on Wednesday asked for $16.6 billion in loans, on top of the $13.4 billion already granted. All this amid GM plans to shed 47,000 jobs worldwide.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Bank Owned
willows-journal.com

$75 Billion to Fight Foreclosures

While $700 billion was given to the banks and credit institutions that haphazardly pushed forward our current economic fiasco, millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure may now be given only about one-tenth of that figure—$75 billion—in an effort to slow the deterioration of the housing market.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Paul Morse / Pete Souza

Good Money After Bad

Congressional Republicans, with the exception of that embarrassingly shrunken contingent of three moderates, will rue their legacy of deep indifference at a time of true national emergency, one that makes George W. Bush’s far more costly war on terror now seem an absurdly irrelevant exercise.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


The Early Consumer

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Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Modern Times

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The Patriarch

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Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE    


America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or establish permanent NATO bases there, or are we searching for Osama bin Laden? It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


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