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bbc.co.uk

Clinton: Pakistan Authority Losing Juice

A Taliban attack Sunday morning on Pakistan’s army headquarters has pressed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to warn about the waning authority of the Pakistani state in the face of violence by “extremists.” Security forces were later able to defeat the attackers and free 40 hostages.

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Promises End to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Again.

President Obama, echoing many of the claims he made on the campaign trail, promised at a Human Rights Campaign gala Saturday to overturn “don’t ask, don’t tell” and called for “full [legal] equality” for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and an end to anti-gay discrimination. On Sunday, thousands descended on Washington in a march whose organizers said the LGBT community will not accept a piecemeal approach to civil rights.

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE



fulldisclosure.net

Top Judge Gives Golden State the ‘D’ Word

The chief justice of the California Supreme Court has a choice word for the state’s method of operation: dysfunctional. At a speech in Massachusetts, Ronald M. George chastised the referendum process that prohibits amending or repealing of laws without voter approval.

Posted on Oct 10, 2009 READ MORE



flowtv.org

Pronouncing Himself Best Prime Minister Ever

Channeling Muhammad Ali bravado with a Kanye sensibility, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi has declared himself as “the best prime minister,” inferior to no one in history and the “most legally persecuted man of all times.”

Posted on Oct 10, 2009 READ MORE



pvld.mobi

Armenia, Turkey Sign Accord

Despite a last-minute hitch, Turkey and Armenia signed an agreement normalizing relations. The accord comes almost a century after the killing of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in 1915, an action for which Turkey denies responsibility. Under the agreement, a panel of independent historians will study the genocide issue.

Posted on Oct 10, 2009 READ MORE


Jumping the Gun

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Posted on Oct 10, 2009 READ MORE    


Obama
AP / Gerald Herbert

He’s Earned It—for Now

In Obama’s nine months as president, he has put U.S. relations with Russia on a more constructive course; has seen Iran agree to open its nuclear facility near Qom to international inspection; and, despite Israeli and Palestinian intransigence, has kept the two sides negotiating with America’s dogged envoy, George Mitchell, who helped bring peace to Northern Ireland.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Nobel explained

Nobel Committee Secretary Explains Why Obama Won

Perhaps Geir Lundestad, head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, knew that there would be questions about President Barack Obama’s Peace Prize win, but regardless, he’s ready for the biggest one—why Obama?—in this interview conducted and posted by his Nobel colleagues on Friday.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Nobel
eetd.lbl.gov

What Does the Nobel Mean for Obama?

He’s not a year into his presidency yet, and when he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize that he just won, President Barack Obama hadn’t even occupied the White House for two full weeks. So, how are we to make sense of his surprise victory? The New York Times rounded up a bunch of ... well, learned white guys to comment on Obama’s and other U.S. leaders’ Nobel nods.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Nobel Surprise; the Dollar’s Down

President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize caused a ruckus round the globe, drawing a wide range of reactions. The big question: Did he deserve it? On this week’s show, “Left, Right & Center” co-hosts Robert Scheer, Tony Blankley, Matt Miller and Arianna Huffington mull this one over, along with the value of the dollar and the ongoing saga that is health care reform.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP / Gerald Herbert

Obama Pushes Consumer Watchdog Agency

President Barack Obama went on the offense Friday to reassert the need for a new consumer watchdog agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, to keep tabs on financial institutions and to keep consumers from getting caught up in more mortgage disasters and high-interest credit card schemes.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE



‘A Bomb in Every Issue’

A new book on Ramparts Magazine, “A Bomb in Every Issue,” marks the significant contribution of the alternative San Francisco-based publication that gave a viable and legitimate voice to 1960s radicalism. Check out the NYT’s review of it here.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

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Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE    



citizensrequired.com

Sun Sets on Anti-Immigration Sheriff

Joe Arpaio, a sheriff in Arizona known for his rabid anti-immigration stance and poor treatment of undocumented immigrants in his custody, has finally lost the federal power to enforce immigration law—a power reserved for federal agents, not county sheriffs.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE



wordpress.com

Redefining Hate

The House has voted to strengthen the definition of hate crimes to include those carried out on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, marking a step toward protecting gay, lesbian and transgender people under the federal statute. The bill still needs to go through the Senate and be signed by President Obama.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Committee has interrupted the president’s meditations on whether to escalate the war in Afghanistan by awarding him the Peace Prize. The committee cited Obama’s “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples” and especially his “vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


The Fight

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Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE    


The Victim

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AP / Emilio Morenatti

Unintended Consequences in Nuclear Pakistan

The Obama administration has already begun to escalate the fighting in Pakistan, a policy that could make even the Nixon-Kissinger destruction of Cambodia seem like a pleasant memory.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Rangel’s Portrait of Corruption

The House Democrats who took a majority away from a “culture of corruption” had better start taking the ethics allegations against Rep. Charlie Rangel seriously.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE


Night of the Living Deadbeats

Zombies have made a pop culture comeback. It might have something to do with all the undead banks and the bankers whose careers live on after the economic apocalypse they caused.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / a4gpa

German Socialists Make Do Without Socialized Medicine

Germany is one of the world’s great welfare states, but the country’s health care system isn’t strictly socialist. Nonetheless, lots of options, tight regulation and universal coverage are helping Germans live longer than Americans. Might the German example offer a way out of America’s health care struggles?

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE


NATO soldier
AP / Fraidoon Pooyaa

U.N. Calls for Reinforcements in Afghanistan

While the Obama administration continues to mull over its options regarding America’s commitment to the war in Afghanistan, the United Nations Security Council has voted to urge “member states to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources” to the ongoing conflict.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE



speaker.gov

Pelosi Responds to Republicans’ Sexist Nonsense

Nancy Pelosi wasted no time slapping down a National Republican Congressional Committee press release that said “taxpayers can only hope [Gen. Stanley] McChrystal is able to put her in her place.” That’s “her,” as in the House speaker, whose place is running one of the coequal branches of government.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE


microscope
campusaccess.com

Researchers Find Key Clue in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Mystery

What exactly is chronic fatigue syndrome? Anywhere from 1 million to 4 million Americans suffer from the disease, which announces itself in the form of chronic pains and, well, fatigue. Its origins have been difficult to trace, but it looks as if that’s about to change, thanks to the discovery of a possible link between a retrovirus called XMRV and the syndrome.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE


Paris mosque
enjoyfrance.com

Muslims a Fourth of World’s Population

The internationality of Islam is emphasized by a new Pew Research study that found one in four people in the world to be Muslim. With 1.57 billion adherents, Islam ranks second only to 2.25 billion-strong Christianity. The study’s findings counter the disparaging, stereotyping notions that many in the West have of “the Muslim World.”

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE



infiniteunknown.com

When They Call, Geithner Answers

It’s unsurprising to say the least: A Freedom of Information Act request has discovered that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is in daily two-way communication with a small group of Wall Street CEOs—at Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs—while lawmakers like Rep. Xavier Becerra are forced to leave messages for him.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE


Tortured Law

A new short film by the group Alliance for Justice examines the role that lawyers played in authorizing and legitimizing torture under the Bush administration. It calls on the attorney general to investigate not just CIA operatives but the authors of torture memos in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE


Trick or Treat

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Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE


Keith Olbermann: Saving American Lives

The “Countdown” host, having just emerged from a personal encounter with the system, pulls out all the stops for a special hour-long comment on the need for health care reform.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


Meltdown After the Meltdown

The fevered urgency with which the bailout was pushed by the Bush administration and enacted by the Democratic Congress last year has been followed by dithering in the midst of the employment crisis.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


The Gay Divorce Fandango

I suppose there is something charming about watching conservative politicians in Texas trying so ardently to preserve a same-sex marriage.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


Stimulation Without the S-Word

So now we know: The economic stimulus plan passed by Congress at the beginning of the year was not big enough.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Why Obama Must Spend More

If the president and Congress don’t come to the aid of workers, the political consequences will be severe, and deservedly so.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


Post-9/11 GI Bill
gibill.va.gov

Not All Vets Are Treated Equally Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 was hailed by various media outlets and veterans organizations as the GI Bill of the future. However, through my own experience in dealing with Veterans Affairs regarding the GI Bill, I have found that the help is far less than what we were led to believe.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


Derbyshire

National Review Columnist: Women’s Suffrage Bad for Conservatism, Society

Conservatives seek to preserve old-timey traditions and values when it comes to many social issues, but National Review columnist John Derbyshire apparently wants to set women back at least 100 years with his curious statement, teased out by progressive radio host Thom Hartmann, that women’s suffrage isn’t good for the country.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


Moore

Moore and Hannity Debate ‘Capitalism,’ Terrorism, Conspiracy Theories

In the left corner, we have filmmaker Michael Moore, taking his anti-capitalism roadshow to ... Fox News. On the right, we have anchorman Sean Hannity, eager to repeatedly point out how much money Moore makes. But does Hannity believe in conspiracy theories? This does get lively.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE



World Economic Forum

Tony Blair, President of Europe?

If all goes according to plan, the European Union will soon have a new honcho, and it looks as if the former British prime minister is the front-runner. But the bloom is definitely off the rose, Tony Blair having been such a Bush lappie during the Iraq war. Even in view of the former PM’s pro-war stance, Europe’s conservatives are the ones miffed at the idea of Blair possibly becoming the “president of Europe.”

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


Russert
AP / Mark Duncan, File

The Deification of Tim Russert, Part Deux

Not to speak ill of the dead, but really, Newseum? Is it necessary to further enshrine the late and already vigorously celebrated “Meet the Press” anchor Tim Russert by re-creating his NBC office as an exhibit?

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


health insurance reform signs
Flickr / ProgressOhio

Health Care Reform: ‘A Fait Accompli’?

For a long while it seemed as if health care reform was progressing, if at all, at the speed of molasses. Now here comes The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait with his startling pronouncement that “it’s just quietly turned into a fait accompli.” Wait, what?

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / NeoGaboX

There’s No Safe Sex in Saudi Arabia

Bragging about one’s sex life is lame, but is it lame enough to earn 1,000 lashes and five years in prison? A Saudi man has been sentenced to just that punishment for going on TV and talking about his extramarital liaisons.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


flu suit
telegraph.co.uk

Japanese Anti-Flu Suit Lets Wearers Fight H1N1 in Style

Worried about catching the dreaded swine flu? Need to update your wardrobe with some stylish and tailored work solutions? You can do both with the Haruyama Trading Co.’s dapper new anti-flu business suit. That, or you could smear yourself in toothpaste, which isn’t exactly the best look for the workplace.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Agência Brasil

‘Viva Berlusconi’? Not So Much

Italy’s colorful prime minister is in a heap of legal trouble now that the country’s high court has stripped him of immunity. Despite facing charges of corruption, bribery, tax evasion and fraud, Silvio Berlusconi stayed in character, saying, “The trials against me are a farce. Viva Italia and Viva Berlusconi!”

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


Stewart

‘Daily Show’: The Gay After Tomorrow

Whatever happened to President Obama’s campaign pledge to revoke the pesky “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that keeps gay and lesbian military members in the closet as they serve their country? Well, it seems the president has a little “too much on his plate” to confront that particular issue at the moment, as Jon Stewart has duly noted.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


soldiers
AP / Brennan Linsley

Afghan Taliban Say They Have No International Agenda

The U.S. has been fighting in Afghanistan for eight years. To mark the anniversary, the Afghan Taliban asserted themselves via an Internet statement Wednesday, claiming they had—and have—no intention of attacking other countries, but they will continue to fight against Western colonizers as long as they occupy the country.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan landscape
Flickr / U.S. Army

A War of Absurdity

There is no indication that any of the contending forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, are interested in bringing al-Qaida back. On the contrary, all the available evidence indicates that the Arab fighters are unwelcome and that it is their isolation from their former patrons that has led to their demise. 

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / midiman

Conservatives Stripping ‘Liberal Bias’ From the Bible

A group of conservatives is working on “a thought-for-thought translation” of the Bible “without corruption by liberal bias.” Yes, that Bible. The organization seeks to create a document that, among other things, is “Not Emasculated,” that “Express[es] Free Market Parables” and that favors “conciseness [over] the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio.” That Jesus was such a wordy socialist.

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / New England Secession

How Fox News Rigs Polls

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight explains how the mad polling scientists at Fox News manage to produce results that look so bad for the Democrats. Before asking about health care reform, for example, Fox pollsters ask dozens of questions that “run the gamut [from] slightly leading to full-frontal Republican talking points.”

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE


Gen. McChrystal’s Celebrity Weekend

It is not for McChrystal to leak his staff’s strategic plans to The Washington Post, do the celebrity circuit and tell the public in so many words that if he doesn’t have his way the United States can expect defeat and humiliation in Asia.

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / G20Voice

Watch What You Tweet

A social worker from New York City was arrested last week while in Pittsburgh to participate in the G-20 protests, then subjected to an FBI raid this week at his home—all for using Twitter.

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE


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