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December 19, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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Mumbai
The New York Times

Mumbai Movies: Too Soon?

The death and destruction from last month’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai are still fresh in the minds of many, but filmmakers in India nevertheless are rushing to retell the events cinematically, with over 20 Mumbai-themed movies already awaiting approval.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE


It's A Tarp!
elitemrp.net

A ‘TARP’ to Cover Detroit

The White House has shifted from its original position to state that it now is willing to consider using bailout funds from the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, to keep the country’s top three automakers afloat. The announcement comes after negotiations in Congress to provide a $14-billion bailout to Detroit broke down.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE


Let's Get Ready to Rumsfeld
AP photo / Rick Browmer

Senate Panel’s Report on U.S. Torture Abuse

Read the devastating bipartisan report from the Senate Armed Services Committee that indicts high-level Bush administration officials—including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—as bearing major responsibility for the torture at Abu Gharib, Guantanamo, and other detention facilities.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE



Allen Barra on ‘Frost/Nixon’

Frank Langella as Nixon in the new Ron Howard movie does his best, but no one did Nixon like Nixon.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE


PETA coffin
theoldpinebox.com

PETA Goes to the Grave

Why settle for a mere lifetime membership when you can take your favorite cause all the way to the Great Beyond? That appears to be the logic behind People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ startling new marketing strategy.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE


Bettie Page
myspace.com

So Long, Bettie Page

Long before Madonna, Dita Von Teese or any number of aspiring sirens squeezed into their first corsets, there was proto-vixen Bettie Page, who brought her own racy sensibility to the art of pinup photography in the 1950s.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


This Isn’t a Time to Be Coy, Mr. Obama

Obama’s statements in the Blagojevich case have been cautious and precise. For most politicians, that would be good enough. For the man who inspired the nation with a promise of “change we can believe in,” it’s not.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Premature Fretting on the Left

Oh, my: Barack Obama is still more than a month away from assuming the presidency and already there are reports about “the left” being dispirited about change it no longer believes in.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


We Told You So

With the release of three new reports, there’s no debate anymore about who was correct and who wasn’t concerning the economic collapse and the Wall Street bailout. The studies prove that progressive critics were right and the Washington ideologues and the pundits were wrong.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Torture Report Points the Finger at Rumsfeld

A bipartisan report released by Sens. Carl Levin and John McCain blames former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high-level officials for interrogation abuses. Based on an 18-month investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the report determined that prisoner abuse “was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own,” as the administration has claimed.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Settlement Extremists Threaten Israel’s Moral Substance

The steady expansion of nominally illegal colonies into the Palestinian territories has gone on to the point where the political parties are now incapable of disengaging from the settlement enterprise.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Comes Clean

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Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


All Bush Wants For Christmas

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Dangerous Bias Against Detroit

Nearly every current poll shows that most Americans oppose federal assistance to the auto industry, but legislators should also consider how voters would feel if the nation suffered the full consequences of a cratering auto industry—and if those voters then found out that the facts were not quite what they seemed to be.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Chertoff
valleywag.com

Undocumented Workers Cleaned Chertoff’s Home

Oops! It wasn’t exactly an international incident, but it turns out that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff unintentionally had undocumented workers clean his house.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE



filminfocus.com

Globes Cool to ‘Milk’

Despite widespread acclaim and gushing praise from some tough critics, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association largely overlooked Gus Van Sant’s “Milk” in choosing this year’s Golden Globe nominees, although Sean Penn is among the HFPA’s picks for best actor.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Say Hello to the Thrift Zeitgeist

Now, competitive consumption has been replaced by contagious anxiety. Buying hit the wall with the housing collapse, the stock market plunge, the credit card crunch and the surge in unemployment figures.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE



Truthdig / Peter Scheer

Redrawing the Political Map

A little-noticed California proposition could limit the kind of partisan gerrymandering that Republicans and Democrats have used to influence elections around America for decades. But is that a good thing?

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Fastfission

North Korea Talks Fizzle

North Korea and the U.S. have agreed to the broad strokes of a nuclear disarmament deal, but hammering out the details is proving to be a monumental challenge. U.S. envoy Christopher Hill announced Thursday that talks were essentially on ice. It may or may not help that Kim Jong Il has been missing in action for months.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Joe Crimmings Photography

A Nation Turns Its Desperate Eyes to Obama

Seventy-three percent of adult Americans think Barack Obama is off to a good start, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. An even larger number think Obama’s trials will test him more than other recent presidents. Folks are scared, and whether they voted for Obama, John McCain or Snoopy, they’re pulling for the president-elect.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


oliver
foxnews.com

Stone to Turn Camera on Chavez

After making a movie about President Bush, what’s “W.” director Oliver Stone to do next? Why, he’ll make a documentary about that repeat Bush taunter from Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez, of course!

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE



shop.npr.org

NPR Catches Layoff Fever

The financial crisis has hit the tote bag set: National Public Radio is cutting two shows and 7 percent of its work force, thanks to $23 million in red ink. Non-pledging fans of “Day to Day” and “News & Notes” have only themselves—and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act—to blame.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Brazilian Indians Win Land Battle

The native people of the state of Roraima have won an important legal victory before Brazil’s Supreme Court. With 100 similar cases hanging in the balance, the court decided to keep an Indian reservation intact, to the chagrin of farmers, loggers and even some military leaders.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE



thinkprogress.org

Wrong Again, Bill

Foreign Policy magazine has identified the 10 worst predictions of the year. William Kristol, who seems to get it wrong more often than right, tops the list with this doozy: “If [Hillary Clinton] gets a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she’s going to be the nominee. ... Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.”

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


Olberman

Bush’s Legacy Untangled

Keith Olbermann, in this comma-laden “Countdown” diatribe, really lets loose on the idea of George Bush’s legacy being anything but a dishonorable, terror-filled and disastrous eight years.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
New York Times / Stephen Crowley

Bailout to Jump-Start Detroit

Agreement has been reached between the White House and congressional Democrats to offer the U.S. auto industry a $14 billion emergency package aimed at keeping the Big Three going until spring. Also, in the grand tradition of state socialism, the deal includes a new auto “czar” to oversee the restructuring of Detroit.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


British Soldiers
americaslibrary.gov

Love Is a Battlefield

The British Defense Ministry has leaked news that it will begin a phased troop withdrawal from Iraq. The drawdown will bring to an end a torrid, near-six-year love affair with the U.S. that began with coordinated intelligence failures and eventually led to jointly invading a sovereign country under cover of a “war on terror.”

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


Fire Police
telegraph.co.uk

Unions Join Greek Unrest

In a move that further complicates the anti-government unrest rocking Greece for the past four days, the country’s two biggest trade unions have declared their intention to go ahead with a planned 24-hour strike, likely to paralyze the economy in protest against government policies and incompetent handling of the economic crisis.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


Workload

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Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE    


Gov. Blagojevich Plea Bargain

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Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


The Case Against Kennedy

How can Democrats, who ridiculed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as an inexperienced political wannabe, now embrace the idea of elevating Caroline Kennedy—who hasn’t served a day in public office—to Hillary Clinton’s New York Senate seat?

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Master Sgt. Kristen Stanley

For Pentagon, More Wal-Mart, Less Gucci

“It is going to be more of a Wal-Mart approach than a Gucci approach.” That’s how a senior Defense Department official, quoted in the L.A. Times, describes perennial Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ vision for Pentagon spending priorities.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Bush and Paulson
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Republicans Bring Socialism to America

Let the record show that it was George W. Bush, the rich Texas Republican, who brought socialism to America, so don’t blame it on that African-American Chicago Democrat community organizer who made it into the White House.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Department of Energy

Global Zero Pushes for a Nuke-Free World

The founders of Global Zero, including Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev and Sir Richard Branson, want to do for nuclear disarmament what Al Gore and other environmentalists did for climate change. While the vast majority of the world’s citizens seem to favor going nukeless, the issue has been confined to the back burner.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


India Releases Names of Mumbai Suspects

Indian officials have identified the nine suspected gunmen in the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai—their names, as well as photos of eight out of nine of them, were released Tuesday. All nine were reported to be from Pakistan.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


West’s Role in Afghanistan Needs Re-Examining

Why are the allies waging war against the largest of the native ethnic groups in Afghanistan? The NATO answer is that the allies didn’t set out to fight a war against the Pashtuns. It just happened that way.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


A Tale of Two Nobel Nations

While the Nobel prizes recognize lifetime achievements in medicine, chemistry, physics, literature, economics and peace, and Sweden is a paragon among progressive, social democracies, there is another side to Sweden and the Nobels that warrants a closer look.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley, 1958: ‘Brave New World’ Just Around the Corner

It’s always a little spooky and a little funny to listen to a person from the past predict a future that may have already come to pass. In this clip from 50 years ago, Mike Wallace interviews “Brave New World” author Aldous Huxley, and while some of what Huxley says sounds goofy, some sounds uncomfortably familiar.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and Gore

Obama and Gore Meet for Climate Change Chat

Another day, another big meeting about a serious global crisis for President-elect Barack Obama, who joined forces on Tuesday in Chicago with former Vice President Al Gore and Obama’s own veep, Joe Biden, in discussing Gore’s signature cause—climate change.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Blagojevich
newsblogs.chicagotribune.com

Illinois Governor Arrested in Corruption Case

For three years, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been under scrutiny by federal investigators on the lookout for signs of corruption, and on Tuesday Blagojevich and his chief of staff were arrested.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Streisand and Bush

Bush and Streisand Embrace, Both Survive

Having been one of President George W. Bush’s most vocal celebrity critics in recent years, it must have been strange for Barbra Streisand to find herself smiling and embracing the lame duck last Sunday at the White House.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Sony
Flickr / Ian Muttoo

Sony Paring Its Work Force by 8,000

Japanese technology giant Sony Corp. announced Tuesday that it is planning to slash 8,000 jobs—or about 4 percent of its global work force— in response to the deepening international economic crisis.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Daily Show

‘Daily Show’: Canadian Shenanigans

Things got a little nutty up North on Monday, when Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper moved to dissolve Parliament rather than face a no-confidence vote from its members. Jon Stewart struggled to comprehend both startling concepts on Monday’s episode of “The Daily Show.”

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Folklore

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All I Got

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White House / Eric Draper

Talking Points Celebrate Bush’s 8 Wonderful Years

Putting a positive spin on George W. Bush’s two terms in office is no easy feat, which is why the White House has sent out a two-page memo detailing the president’s numerous achievements, including his protection of “the honor and the dignity of his office,” whatever that means.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Sweeping Blackwater Under the Rug

The federal manslaughter indictment of five Blackwater Worldwide security guards for the horrific massacre of more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad may look like an exercise in accountability, but it’s probably the exact opposite.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Unions Aren’t the Problem

As Congress and the White House lurch toward possible approval of a loan package for the crippled auto industry, we are undoubtedly in store for more union-bashing.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Embraces the Military

In naming retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as veterans affairs secretary, President-elect Barack Obama made what may be the most politically and morally significant choice of his transition.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

Resuscitating Health Care Reform

With unemployment soaring, the need grows daily for guaranteed health care. But that may not happen in the coming year because of the desperate need to revive the economy and put people to work.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE


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