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Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Obama’s Budget, Jindal’s Debut

Disagreement abounds on this week’s episode of “Left, Right & Center,” especially when it comes to President Obama’s budget plan and the origins of the economic crisis it’s intended to remedy. Who’s the moderator again? And is Bobby Jindal done for?

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Williamson
topnews.in

Holocaust-Denying Bishop’s Apology Falls Flat at Vatican

The powers that be at the Vatican (at least the earthly variety) are even more upset with Bishop Richard Williamson now that he has apologized. After drawing outrage last month when he claimed that no Jews died in gas chambers during the Holocaust, he made an apology this week. The papacy found it inadequate, to say the least.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Thiermann

90-Year-Old Madoff Client Goes Back to Work

Even though this CBS report seems to want to make a feel-good story out of this one, it’s more the stuff of nightmares, despite 90-year-old Ian Thiermann’s good-natured take on his fate. After being retired for 30 years, Thiermann discovered that he’d lost his entire retirement fund due to Bernie Madoff’s shenanigans, and now Thiermann is working for $10 an hour in a California supermarket.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Stanford
AP photo / Lefteris Pitarakis

Stanford’s Billions Are MIA

The troubles of alleged rip-off artist Sir R. Allen Stanford are piling up in a big way: Not only does he stand accused of defrauding some 50,000 customers via his Stanford Financial enterprise, but now it seems that authorities are able to account for only $250 million of the $8.2 billion in assets that Stanford’s bank said it had.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


George Costanza
blogspot.com

U.S. Economic Shrinkage Worst in 25 Years

Either the U.S. economy was in the pool during the last three months of 2008 or the economic crisis is worse than expected. The nation’s GDP shrank 6.25 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, almost doubling the preceding quarter’s contraction rate of 3.8 percent.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Combat vs. Support
nytimes.com

War in Iraq: 2003-2010

Updated: Well, not exactly a real pullout, but a plan to be announced by the Obama administration on Friday is expected to withdraw “combat” troops from Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, officially ending U.S. combat operations in the war-torn country while keeping 50,000 ambiguously labeled “support troops” there.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Robin-Hood Republicanism?

Only months after the 2008 primaries, most Americans probably don’t remember Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul. But that doesn’t mean the conservative populism they championed during their campaigns is as fleeting as their dark-horse candidacies.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


A Reason to Believe in Miracles

Let me interrupt the constant flow of unsettling news about budgets, bailouts and bankruptcies to welcome Tiger Woods back to competition and back into the spotlight.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Donald Fanger on Seamus Heaney

A new book gives us one of the most indispensable poets in the English language whose work mines the terrain between hope and history.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


soldier's coffin
AP photo / Department of Defense

Pentagon to Revoke Coffin-Filming Ban

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that the Pentagon will, with some restrictions, allow the media to capture images of flag-draped military coffins entering the U.S. at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, thus reversing a ban on coverage imposed in 1991.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


Monopoly Man
amnesta.net

Wall St. Scams a Go-Go

This information should shock no one by this point, but it seems that there are more tales of alleged fraud emerging from the general direction of Wall Street. Move over, Bernie Madoff.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


Clooney

Clooney in Chad

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof recently took at trip to Chad with an unlikely sidekick: George Clooney. Kristof was skeptical at first, but Clooney—always the charmer!—won him over, and thus Kristof came to see the potential benefits of celebrity advocacy.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


Jindal
blogs.wsj.com

GOP Throwing Jindal Under the Bus?

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal just might be going through the quickest rise to prominence, followed by the fastest plummet from the pedestal, in recent political history. Mere moments after he had given his big debut speech Tuesday night, the fallout began—and much of it came from within his own party.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


Maddow

Bobby Jindal’s Speech Renders Rachel Maddow Speechless

If you didn’t catch it already, take a look at MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow’s reaction to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s disastrous speech Tuesday night. This is what is known as good television.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


The Rocky building
denverpost.com

The Rocky Going the Way of the Dodo

The death knell has been sounded for the Rocky Mountain News, E.W. Scripps’ Denver-area newspaper, which is scheduled to close after Friday’s edition is churned out, no doubt signaling more mayhem to come in the old media world.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / commorancy

Gamer Says Microsoft Banned Her for Being Openly Gay

Anyone who’s ever worn a headset while on Xbox Live, Microsoft’s multiplayer gaming-chatting-shopping nexus, knows that it’s dominated by adolescent bigots. It’s bad enough that Redmond hasn’t cleaned things up, but a gamer named Teresa says she was actually banned from the service for being openly gay and allegedly offending the bigots who were harassing her.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE



cctv.com

China Protests Artifact Auction

China’s cultural heritage agency has strongly condemned the auction of two bronze pieces it says were looted from the Summer Palace near Beijing some 150 years ago. Christie’s sold the bronzes, part of the late Yves Saint Laurent’s estate, for 31 million euros.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Foraggio Fotographic

At Last, Accepting Some Clues From Across the Pond

We suddenly seem willing to consider sensible ideas that were always deemed unthinkable. Soon we may be mature enough to observe how other developed countries address problems that have baffled us for generations.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Government’s Long Night May Be Ending

Obama’s message was plain: The era of bashing government is over. So, too, is the folklore of a marketplace capable of producing abundance without regulation, oversight or public intervention.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Bill Redux?

For someone who spent much of the Democratic primary season running against the Clinton era, Obama sounds an awful lot like President Clinton.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Marcin Wichary

Mexican Drug Lords Depend on Gun-Crazy America

More than 6,000 people died in Mexico’s drug war last year, far too many as a result of U.S.-purchased firepower. Though Mexico has strict gun laws, smugglers have no trouble legally purchasing military-grade weapons, such as AK-47 rifles, in the U.S., and then shipping them south of the border, where they are used with devastating effect.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Colorado Lawmaker Shocks With Tirade on Babies and AIDS

An effort to screen pregnant women for HIV in order to reduce the spread of the virus among babies didn’t get Colorado state Sen. Dave Schultheis’ vote. In the Republican’s own controversial words, that’s because “[t]his stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part, and I just can’t go there. ... We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior, unacceptable behavior, quite frankly.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / _Patola_

Workaholics Risk Dementia, Study Finds

Those who have lost their jobs can take solace in the fact that although working may put food on the table, it can also break your brain. A study has found that busy bees who labor more than 55 hours a week develop problems with reasoning, memory and vocabulary, and the problems get worse the more they work.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Peachy Keane

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Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE    


Naming Rights

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Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


David Brooks

David Brooks Calls Jindal’s Speech ‘Insane’ and ‘a Disaster’

When civilizations collapse, mass hysteria ensues, often followed by cannibalism—a scenario familiar to the Republican Party, in which old friends are now turning on each other with reckless abandon.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Bombing Human Rights?
Air Force

Room for Improvement ... Even at Home

In announcing her department’s annual human rights report, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made multiple references to the elephant in the room—the United States’ own tarnished record, saying “America must first be an exemplar of our own ideals.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Crimmigration?
pewhispanic.org

The Age of ‘Crimmigration’

A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center reports that Latinos now constitute the largest single ethnic group in the U.S. federal prison system. The rising arrest and detention levels are driven largely by changes in immigration law that criminalize undocumented immigration, with nearly half of all Latino offenders jailed on immigration-related “crimes.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


AWESOME
wikimedia.org

Thou Shalt Not Place Monument

A lawsuit tinged with questions of free speech and separation of church and state ended when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Summum religious group’s attempts to install a marker of its own in a Utah park that already has a Ten Commandments monument.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Obama speech
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Getting Warmer

We are lucky to have Barack Obama as president. I write that even though I believe the content of his Tuesday evening speech deserved no more than a B+ / A-, for its failure to seriously address the origins of the banking crisis and for only hinting at the severe military budget cuts required to get close to his goal of reducing the federal deficit by the end of his first term.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE



White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Jindal
Flickr/dsb nola

Jindal Disses Obama’s Economic Plan

Perhaps keeping an eye on the 2012 election, Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal has gone public with his critique of President Barack Obama’s proposed solutions to the country’s economic woes. ThreatDown!

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Toxins ’R’ Us

The American Chemistry Council assures us that “we make the products that help keep you safe and healthy.” But U.S. consumers are actually exposed to a vast array of harmful chemicals and additives embedded in toys, cosmetics, plastic water bottles and countless other products.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE



telegraph.co.uk

Murdoch Apologizes for Chimp Cartoon

Well, it’s officially impossible to go any further up the News Corp. chain of command than this: Mega-media mogul Rupert Murdoch has now apologized for last week’s Chimpgate cartoon caper carried out by one of his media properties, the New York Post.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon

A War Fought in Ignorance

I have often asked for an explanation of why the United States should be at war with the Taliban. Of the several reasons given, none is satisfactory, and all fail to grasp the fundamental truth that peace is better than war.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo
AP photo / Brennan Linsley, pool

Spain May Take Some Guantanamo Prisoners

So, President Obama has made it clear that he wants the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba closed in a year, but that leaves at least one huge question unanswered: Where will the prisoners go? Looks like Spain might be one option.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Economic Meltdown Threatens Penis Enlarger Industry

The Onion takes a satirical look at the effect a spam crackdown could have on a struggling nation that depends on “free iPod” exports.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Schwarzenegger Thought About Ditching the GOP

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biographer has revealed that the California governor recently thought about leaving the Republican Party, but decided he wouldn’t gain much by doing so, politically. Camp Schwarzenegger has yet to respond, but the news fits, given the governor’s problems working with his own party.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert

Behold the All-Seeing Eye of The DaColbert Code

Who knew that, among his many talents, Stephen Colbert possesses the astonishing power of clairvoyance? Watch in awe as he successfully predicts the lineup of Oscar winners ... and reveals the true identity of Kate Winslet’s father.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Bernanke
topnews.in

Bernanke: We Won’t Bounce Back in 2009

While he was able to give the banking business a little lift on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke also delivered the sobering news that the economy as a whole isn’t likely to make big gains in terms of recovery before 2010 or later.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


trading floor
AP photo / Richard Drew

And Now for Some Financial News That’s Not Utterly Disastrous

This just in: Not everything is completely awful in the financial arena. Rejoice—stocks went up a little bit! Even if it’s just because Fed Chair Ben Bernanke assured Wall Street that our nation’s banks won’t be nationalized soon, and even if the 2 percent rise happened a day after the Dow dipped to 12-year lows.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Harsh Medicine

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Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE    


Under New Management

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Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Gary Locke
seattlepi.nwsource.com

Obama Takes Another Crack at Commerce

Fourth time’s the charm? Barack Obama’s two official picks to serve as commerce secretary both had to drop out. Another candidate withdrew her name before it was ever announced. Now the president is reported to have offered the job to former Washington Gov. Gary Locke. So who is he?

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE



NASA / JPL

Global Warming Satellite Launch Is a Failure

NASA’s first effort to loft a satellite to help scientists determine where carbon dioxide is produced and stored around the globe ended in failure when the $270 million spacecraft crashed near Antarctica.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


‘Entitlements’ Take a Bum Rap

It is time to wipe the term entitlement reform, a monument to the dark art of disinformation, out of the political dictionary. There is no crisis in Social Security, or even in Medicare and Medicaid.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE


Turn a Harsh Light Onto the Banks

It’s reaching the point where desperate measures—brutal honesty and complete transparency—may be the only way to bring the economy out of its kamikaze dive. If so, this won’t be pretty.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE


Wilson and Penn
nmsu.edu/aceshowbiz.com

Penn May Take On Plame ‘Game’

Here’s a melding of celebrity and politics that might just be a natural: Academy Award™-winning actor and sometime international political analyst Sean Penn is in talks to play former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, in director Doug Liman’s dramatic retelling of Plame’s story, currently known in deal-making circles as “Fair Game.”

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE



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


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