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Oh No She Didn’t!

Wanda Sykes tells Jay Leno what the media really mean when they wonder who the “real” Michelle Obama is. Watch her break down the media and the race issue on last night’s “Tonight Show.”

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


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Flicr/iliturgitana

This Prom Queen Is a Man, Baby!

In the same month that the California Supreme Court voted to uphold a ban on gay marriage, seniors at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles voted Sergio Garcia as their prom queen, proving once again that if you wish to find more open-minded folk, you can always turn to the youth.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Choi

Lt. Dan Choi Leads Gay Rights Rally Outside Obama Fundraiser

The anti-Proposition 8 protests were one form of gay rights activism taking place recently around Los Angeles, but a related issue was the subject of a rally led by former Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and Arab linguist who was discharged from the Army National Guard earlier this month for coming out publicly: Choi wanted to remind the visiting president about his pledge to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


flag at half mast
Flickr/medigirol

Escalating Suicides Shut Down Routine Duties at Base

Fort Campbell, a military base in Kentucky that had the most suicides of any Army base this year, has halted routine duties for three days in order to seek out and aid distressed soldiers who may be thinking of taking their own lives. In January through March alone, the base saw an average of one suicide per week.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Hollywood sign
Flickr/Derek Purdy

Obama Goes to Hollywood (Again)

Fresh off a fundraising stop in Las Vegas, where he made an appearance at Caesars Palace, President Barack Obama swung through Hollywood Wednesday evening to pitch woo to a star-studded crowd for the first time since taking office—but, as The Wrap’s Dominic Patten points out, it was a bit of a tough crowd this time around.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


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duartelevyen.wordpress.com

Obama Orders Review of Government Secrecy

Seeking to break with eight interminable years of information lockdown, President Obama ordered two studies on Wednesday that would review the government’s procedures of classifying state secrets and the degree to which information is being held from the public. National Security Adviser James Jones, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have been assigned to head the investigations.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr/Creap

Israel Rejects Complete Halt on Settlements

In a surprisingly strong statement Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Israel to freeze all settlement activity in the West Bank. On Thursday, an Israeli government spokesman insisted that while they would cease building new settlements, “normal life” (read “new construction”) would continue in those that already exist.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / VirtualErn

Here’s the Skinny on Soup

With news that American health remains in general decline and more than one-third of adults are obese, consider this a public service announcement: Soup is the secret weapon against fat. Scientists have confirmed that soup keeps you fuller longer than other food.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / leafbug

Childhood Diabetes on the Rise in Europe

A new study suggests that the number of children in Europe diagnosed with diabetes will double by 2020. After examining tens of thousands of cases, researchers said the cause of the increase remains largely unknown.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Big Tent

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Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


A Wise Person for the Court

Forget Rush Limbaugh. In Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination, we face the riddle of the wise old man, the wise old woman, and the wise old person.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Why Obama’s Court Pick Is Already a Winner

The same impulses that have long driven the Republican Party toward ethnic polarization and immigrant-bashing seem certain to infect its opposition to Judge Sonia Sotomayor—in ways that can only benefit the Democrats and Mr. Obama in elections to come.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


A Justice for Us All

President Obama’s nominee said she hopes Americans “will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.” Ordinary people have had a difficult time of it before the current Supreme Court.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Sotomayor Is No Leftist

Republicans would be foolish to fight the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court because she is the most conservative choice that President Obama could have made.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE



hartmaninstitute.com

Conservatives Go After Arab Israelis

Feeling their power, Israel’s conservative parliamentarians are drafting laws that appear to target Arab citizens, causing both allies and civil libertarians to cringe. One measure would create a loyalty oath, while another would punish any “call to negate Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state” with a year in jail.

Posted on May 27, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / CarbonNYC

Fight for Gay Marriage Goes Federal

Theodore B. Olson and David Boies were Supreme Court adversaries in the landmark Bush v. Gore case, but the two lawyers have joined forces to take the fight for gay marriage into federal court. Fearing an unfriendly Supreme Court, some prominent gay rights groups are criticizing the shift in strategy.

Posted on May 27, 2009 READ MORE


Cholera
time.com

Cholera Plagues Zimbabwe

Cholera, the scourge of centuries past, has infected 100,000 people in Zimbabwe, dwarfing the body count of the much better publicized swine flu and demonstrating once again the dramatic and tragic inequality of health care in many parts of the developing world.

Posted on May 27, 2009 READ MORE


Like a cop car
USA Today

Mexican Mayors Arrested

Twenty-seven politicians in the western Mexican state of Michoacan were arrested by police in the largest operation to target mayors and other officials in Mexico’s drug war. The politicians are suspected of collaborating with the state’s powerful narco-syndicates.

Posted on May 27, 2009 READ MORE


Twitter
twitter.com / kcna_dprk

Propaganda 2.0

Sure, Obama and McCain (well, actually their staffs) joined micro-blogging site Twitter for propaganda purposes. But now the nuke-happy and secretive North Koreans are getting in on the Web 2.0 revolution, offering an interesting state-controlled glimpse into the isolated country.

Posted on May 27, 2009 READ MORE


How a Hate Crime Becomes a Law

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Posted on May 27, 2009 READ MORE    


Hedgehog [A Cartoon From Austria]

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Posted on May 27, 2009 READ MORE


Schwarzenegger
AP photo / Rich Pedroncelli

Stuff the Bankers, Starve the Kids

I expected a federal government that has spent trillions salvaging the banks that got us into this mess to find the relatively minor sums needed to bail out California and other states that have been the victims of Wall Street’s dangerous games. But I didn’t count on the tough-love steeliness of the Obama administration.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / gotplaid?

Uncle Sam to Own GM Without Any of the Perks

GM’s restructuring plan will make the Treasury Department the majority owner of the company, according to Bloomberg. The administration reportedly intends to take as passive a role as possible and will not appoint anyone to the automaker’s board, thereby avoiding the danger that something competent might happen.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


inhofe
inhofe.senate.gov

Sen. Inhofe Concerned About the Whole Race, Gender Thing

The news that known Latina Sonia Sotomayor may soon join the Supreme Court spurred an apparently alarmed Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to hold forth in a statement on Tuesday about the need to make sure that Sotomayor will be able to mete out justice from her vaunted post without her pesky extra X chromosome or her non-Oklahoman ethnic roots mucking things up for everyone.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Foreign and Commonwealth Office

U.N. Official Calls for Probe of Sri Lanka War Crimes

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said both sides in Sri Lanka’s civil war “grossly disregarded the fundamental principle of the inviolability of civilians.” She has called for an “independent and credible international investigation,” although she’s up against the notoriously impotent U.N. Human Rights Council and a bristling Sri Lankan government.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


The West’s Reckless Approach to Relations With Russia

The basic question is whether the United States wishes to treat Russia as a permanent enemy, even if it is not. The result of treating states as enemies is that sooner or later they become them.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Yoo

Defending John Yoo

What was behind The Philadelphia Inquirer’s decision to give torture memo draftsman John Yoo a platform to air his views as a columnist? The paper’s publisher, Brian Tierney, endorses Yoo to WHYY’s “Radio Times” host Marty Moss-Coane, while fellow guest and Philadelphia Daily News journalist Will Bunch offers a different take on George W. Bush’s erstwhile legal adviser.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Chevron, Shell and the True Cost of Oil

The economy is a shambles, unemployment is soaring, the auto industry is collapsing. But profits are higher than ever at oil companies Chevron and Shell.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE



interactive.usc.edu

U.S. Joins the Digital Arms Race

Jealous of Russia and China’s hacking prowess, the Pentagon is trying to beef up its cyberwarfare capabilities by developing a gadget that would enable a run-of-the-mill soldier to hop on your wireless network, take over a power plant and everything between.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Maddow

Maddow 1, Limbaugh 0

So, Rush Limbaugh’s got his knickers in a twist about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, calling President Obama’s pick of a Latina an example of “reverse racism.” This clearly amuses MSNBC’s resident smartypants Rachel Maddow, who’s at the ready with a zinger or two for Limbaugh in this clip from Tuesday morning’s newscast.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


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zhaxizhuoma.net

House Arrest Over for Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar ended the six-year house arrest of Nobel Peace laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday. She remains in detention, however, as her trial continues over whether she breached detention conditions by letting an American intruder into her house last month.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Red Bull Cola
cemp.ac.uk

Study: Red Bull Cola Gives You ... Cocaine

Turns out that Red Bull Cola gives you more than just “wings,” according to scientists at The Health Institute in Germany’s North Rhine Westphalia who recently discovered that the fizzy drink contains small amounts of cocaine—very, very small amounts, in fact, but enough to cause a handful of German states to ban the beverage.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Flickr / Jamison Wieser

California Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ban

The California Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the ban on same-sex marriage is still on in the Not So Golden State. But in upholding Prop. 8, the court said the 18,000 gay couples who wed before the November election are still considered legally married.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Lee Jin-man

U.S. Says North Korea Will ‘Pay a Price’

The U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea for carrying out an underground nuclear test on Monday. Pyongyang responded by test-launching two short-range missiles, after which the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, said the actions were “clearly provocative” and that North Korea will “pay a price” for them.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Sotomayor
AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Sotomayor Is Obama’s Pick for the High Court

President Obama on Tuesday nominated federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to join the Supreme Court to fill the seat being vacated by Justice David Souter. Sotomayor would become the first Latino and only the third woman to sit on the high court. The nomination is certain to set off Republican grumbles in the Senate, with some considering her too much of a “judicial activist” for the job.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Fresh Air Versus a Bunker

Which reality do you inhabit, Obama World or Cheney World? If it’s the latter, remember that storm clouds are always gathering. Don’t forget your umbrella.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Guantanamo Appeasement Plan

Two days after his inauguration, President Obama pledged to close Guantanamo within one year. The Republicans, led by Sens. John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Pat Roberts, immediately launched a concerted campaign to assail the new president. 

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


Richard Nixon
White House / Archives

The New York Times’ Watergate Blunder

Back in 1972 the FBI’s acting director gave a New York Times reporter the impression that the president was personally involved in Watergate, but the tip died a quick and historic death in the Times’ Washington Bureau, according to the reporter and editor involved. One went on to law school, the other took a long vacation and no one bothered to follow up.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Sends Rebs a Wreath

President Obama decided not to break with White House custom this Memorial Day and sent a wreath to honor the fallen Confederate soldiers who wanted nothing to do with the Union. But he also started a new and long-overdue tradition by honoring the hundreds of thousands of black Americans who fought against the South.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / kwerfeldein

Doctors Issue Cola Warning

Forget about cavities. Doctors report in the International Journal of Clinical Practice that excessive cola drinking can cause paralysis and a host of other serious health problems. Extreme symptoms were suffered by people who drank as much as three liters of cola a day. That kind of soda binging is becoming less rare, says one doctor.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


The New Black

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Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE    


Democracy

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Daisy Gun

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Shooting Shit

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south korean protesters
AP photo / Lee Jin-man

North Korea Tests Its Nuclear Might

North Korea carried out its second nuclear test on Monday and said it was “on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology,” according to the official Korean Central News Agency. The test sparked international condemnation and protests in South Korea, while the U.N. Security Council called an emergency session to discuss the incident.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / dbaron

Breaking the Royal Code of Conduct

A royal chauffeur was suspended by Buckingham Palace on Monday after he allegedly allowed access to the queen’s fleet of official cars to tabloid reporters of the News World Press. It was the latest in a series of royal security breaches that famously include the intrusion of a man dressed as Osama bin Laden at Prince William’s birthday party and, creepier, in 1982 when a man broke into the queen’s room to watch her sleep.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


colin powell
Flickr / U.S. Dept. of State

Godspeed, Colin Powell

In the latest attempt at figuring out how to give the GOP the makeover of a lifetime, former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave his version of the Grand Reform on “Face the Nation” Sunday. Criticizing the “diktats” of the far right and their “shrill” and “judgmental” tone, he spoke of broadening the base to win people back. As usual, Karl Rove readily fired back.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

‘Winter Soldier on the Hill’

Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan spoke to lawmakers on Capitol Hill this month, giving eyewitness accounts of the horrors of war and the real practices of the military. Amy Goodman devoted Monday’s “Democracy Now!” episode to these testimonials for this Memorial Day. Listen to the soldiers’ stories here.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


Real One

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Memorial Day

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