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Larry’s List: Beautiful People Edition

Today on the list: gay-baiting in Illinois’ GOP primary, a website for beautiful people only (ouch), the ups and downs of higher education and more.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE

Slut Alert

VH1 viewers might be momentarily fooled by this satirical Onion clip, which pokes fun at the cable network’s habit of producing low-brow television shows built around the antics of drunk, sexed-up lady folk. A bit nasty, but then so is the material that inspired it.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Wagner T. Cassimiro "Aranha"

A Designation Cuba Doesn’t Deserve

The United States still considers Cuba a state sponsor of terror, even though the very notion is absurd.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / TenSafeFrogs

Liberal Linguist Wants to Save California

The nation’s biggest and richest state has been called ungovernable because, among other reasons, budgets and taxes have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Legislature. George Lakoff, the guy who gave us framing, is out to change things. (continued)

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons / David Sifry

Freeman Replacing Cronkite in CBS News Intro

If anything should make someone the logical choice to introduce the “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” via voiceover, it’s surely that the person previously played the role of God. No, not George Burns—it’s too late for that (and probably too soon for that joke). Well, then, how about Morgan Freeman?

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


Thurmond the Younger Aiming for Congress?

Controversial Sen. Strom Thurmond died in 2003, but Congress may not be a Thurmond-free zone for much longer if Strom’s youngest son, Paul Thurmond, ends up following through on some preliminary noises he’s making about a possible run for outgoing South Carolina Rep. Henry Brown’s House seat.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

Gay Marriage Prompts Arrest in Malawi

Two Malawian men could spend the next 14 years in jail after taking part in an unofficial marriage ceremony in the southeast African country. Under the guise of the law, the couple have been subjected to beatings, they say, as well as other indignities, such as the threat of a medical examination to determine whether they’ve had sex.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

Brown, Obama and Batali / click

Michelle Obama, White House Garden Guest-Star on ‘Iron Chef’

Michelle Obama has made the White House garden emblematic of her cause to help Americans cultivate better eating habits, and on Sunday, the “FLOTUS” showed viewers of “Iron Chef” how her garden grows, as she and her vegetable patch made cameo appearances on the popular cooking show.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Seth Perlman

Blagojevich Joining ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Cast

What’s a deposed Illinois governor to do, now that he has more time on his hands and is facing, you know, criminal charges? When it comes to Rod Blagojevich, in case there was any doubt whom we were discussing, he’ll spend time on “Celebrity Apprentice” with Donald Trump and others who became famous for their forays into showbiz.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

You Have to Show More Than Your Boarding Pass

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

War Baby

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE    

Good Versus Evil

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE    


Alabama Congressman’s Party Switch Sparks Office Exodus

Looks as if Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith may be traveling a little lighter than he planned as he makes the transition from the left to the right of the political aisle. On Monday, Griffith’s chief of staff, along with 10 other staff members, decamped from his office, wishing him well but declining to join him in his switch to the GOP.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

Burj Khalifa opens

World’s Tallest Tower Opens in Dubai

It was going to be known as the Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower), but given Dubai’s recent economic woes and given that its UAE neighbor, Abu Dhabi, came to the rescue with $10 billion last month, it’s both a fitting tribute and a sign of the times that the world’s tallest building is now called the Burj Khalifa in honor of Abu Dhabi’s leader.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

British embassy in Yemen
AP Photo

Two Militants Declared Killed, Three More Embassies Closed in Yemen

The situation in Yemen became more heated Monday as Yemeni forces clashed with suspected al-Qaida operatives, killing two and reportedly wounding a few more 25 miles from the capital city of San’a. According to The New York Times, Yemeni officials linked the militants they targeted in Monday’s fight to ongoing threats against U.S. and British embassies in their country.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Adem Hadei

The Pictures of War You Aren’t Supposed to See

The state and the press work hard to keep the reality of war hidden. We rarely see images that capture the evil of war, what it does to young minds and bodies.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

Larry’s List: Irish Atheist Edition

Ireland’s atheists are battling a blasphemy law while the year of gay China is moving forward. And you won’t believe what you’ve been eating. These stories and more on today’s list.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Ends AIDS Immigration Discrimination

For 22 years, people with HIV and AIDS have been banned from entering the U.S. It’s pretty difficult to throw a global AIDS conference under such circumstances, which is why the policy is coming to an end.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE

Why 2010 Doesn’t Have to Be 1994

Democrats can avoid a midterm rout if they get progressives excited without turning off independent voters. Here’s how.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE

Transportation Security Administration

Airports to Get Tougher Screening in Aftermath of Christmas Attack

Passengers traveling to the U.S. from or by way of certain countries on the U.S. government’s naughty list, which includes Yemen and Cuba, will be subject to “enhanced screening” starting Monday. (continued)

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Muhammed Muheisen

Walls Never Work—in the Middle East or in Ireland

The story of the Protestant "settlements" in Ireland provides a ghostly narrative of those modern-day "settlements" in the West Bank, where the Israelis insist on fighting the world’s last colonial war with the assistance of that great anti-colonial nation known as the United States.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE


The dirty little secret of the consumer electronics boom is that a lot of the sexy little gadgets you use every day are made from minerals that help fund what this video says is “the deadliest conflict in the world since the holocaust.”

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE


Bomber in Attack on CIA Reportedly Courted as Informant

According to a BBC report, intelligence sources say that the suicide bomber who managed to enter a military base and kill seven CIA agents in the Khost province of Afghanistan was courted by the U.S. as a possible informant.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Nasser Nasser

Closing Time in Yemen

Both the U.K. and U.S. temporarily closed their embassies in Yemen “for security reasons” on Sunday after increasing concern about al-Qaida threats in the capital city of Sana’a. Yemen has been under heightened scrutiny after the 2009 Christmas Day attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner was traced to the Middle Eastern country.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Martin Mejia

Fujimori’s Sentence Upheld

Peru’s Supreme Court has confirmed a verdict finding Alberto Fujimori guilty of ordering the kidnapping and murder of 25 dissidents during his presidency from 1990 to 2000. His 25-year sentence marks the first time a democratically elected Latin American ruler was found guilty of human rights abuses in his own country.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Farzana Wahidy

Remodeling Karzai’s Cabinet

Hamid Karzai is having issues in his second term as Afghanistan’s president. It seems that the Afghan parliament has nixed 17 of his 24 Cabinet nominees.

Posted on Jan 2, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / KatЯ

Russian Vodka Prices Soar

At a time of the year when alcohol consumption is traditionally up in Russia, a campaign against alcoholism launched recently by President Dmitry Medvedev will substantially raise the price of vodka. The cost of the cheapest half liter will increase to at least 89 rubles (about $3) from about 50 rubles.

Posted on Jan 2, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Jeffrey M. Boan

Walking for Legalization

Taking an ambulatory cue from the Freedom Riders of the civil rights era, four immigrant students—three of whom are undocumented—are walking from downtown Miami to Washington, D.C., in a four-month protest against the Obama administration’s inaction on legislation that could give legal status to immigrants.

Posted on Jan 2, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / ashwinnavin

China’s Anti-Porn Crusade

A highly publicized campaign against Internet pornography swept China in 2009, with 5,394 people arrested and 4,186 criminal investigations conducted against the circulation of “smutty and lewd pictures”—a fourfold increase in smut cases compared with 2008.

Posted on Jan 1, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Khalid Mohammed

2009 Less Bloody Than 2008 for Iraqi Civilians

A group that monitors the death toll in Iraq believes the number of civilian deaths in 2009 to be less than half the number for 2008. Yet the United Kingdom-based group said that terrorist violence “still afflicts Iraq’s population more than any other.”

Posted on Jan 1, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Ahn Young-joon

Why Can’t We Be Friends

2010 might already be looking up. North Korea has sent the U.S. a New Year’s message calling for an end to hostility in relations between the two countries and declaring that Pyongyang is committed to making the Korean peninsula nuclear-free.

Posted on Jan 1, 2010 READ MORE


Allen Barra on Winston Churchill

Is there anything left to say about Churchill’s extraordinary life and turbulent times? If so, can it be said in the brief compass of Paul Johnson’s 192-page primer?

Posted on Jan 1, 2010 READ MORE

Letting Go

There is something fitting about writing my last column on the first day of a new year. January, after all, is named for the Roman god of beginnings and endings. [Editor’s note: This is Ellen Goodman’s final column.]

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE

Blackwater helicopter
Wikimedia Commons / jamesdale10

Federal Judge Dismisses Charges in Blackwater Shooting Case

A federal judge let five Blackwater Worldwide security contractors off the hook Thursday, dropping all charges against them in a 2007 case in which 14 Iraqi civilians were killed and 20 wounded during a Baghdad shooting. The Justice Department wasn’t thrilled with this outcome, and a DoJ spokesman told The Washington Post that his colleagues are “still in the process of reviewing the opinion and considering our options.”

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE

Larry’s List: End-of-the-Oughts Edition

It’s been kind of a lousy decade, but things are looking up. An Indian minister says TV works as birth control, coffee might not kill you, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Today’s list after the jump.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE

Happy New Year From Wall Street

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE

Too Much Access to Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston

I have a hard time seeing why the custody fight between Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston ought to be splayed out on the public record for all to see.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / J. Kernion

Death of the Superdelegate?

A group of Democrats convened by Barack Obama has recommended that the Democratic Party eliminate the influence of “superdelegates,” who have had an unrestricted vote in the nomination process because they were not selected based on the primaries or caucuses.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / edEx

U.S. Jobless Claims Drop

The Labor Department announced Thursday that fewer Americans than anticipated have filed unemployment benefit claims this month, potentially pointing to a less substantial unemployment population and maybe, just maybe, better economic growth in 2010.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE


War on Terror Visits Yemen

In response to the attempt to blow up a Northwest flight landing in Detroit on Christmas Day, the U.S. has announced it is planning retaliatory strikes in Yemen against al-Qaida members, though not necessarily those involved in the attack attempt.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE


Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE    

The 20 Best Socially Conscious Movies of the Decade

The last 10 years were abundant with films that pushed limits and attacked real issues in real time. Here are 20 of the best socially conscious, topical, progressive movies from a crazy decade.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE

Fighting Over the Squandered Decade

I’m afraid that the past 10 years will be seen as a time when the United States badly lost its way by using our military power carelessly and pursuing domestic policies that constrained our options for the future.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE

Eight CIA Agents Reportedly Killed in Afghanistan

Eight CIA officers died after a suicide bomber set off an explosive vest at the Forward Operating Base Chapman in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, marking the deadliest attack on U.S. intelligence officials since the early ’80s, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 READ MORE

2009 and 2010
Flickr/Optical Illusion

Poll Finds 2009 Was a Pretty Lousy Year

This just in from the Annals of Utterly Unsurprising Polling Results: Nearly 75 percent of Americans won’t be sorry to kiss 2009 goodbye, according to a year-end AP-GfK poll. But wait—there’s a silver lining to be found, in that about the same percentage of respondents are optimistic about 2010.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / saebaryo

Goldman Sachs Duped Investors, Investigation Finds

McClatchy reporters have been digging into the shady offshore dealings of Goldman Sachs and what they found in the records of the financial-meltdown villain is as maddening as you’d expect. (continued)

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 READ MORE

Move Your Money

The filmmaker who gave us “Why We Fight” has crafted this powerful call to action out of scenes from “It’s a Wonderful Life” and documentary footage.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 READ MORE

Dick Cheney
U.S. Navy / MC1 Denny C. Cantrell

Cheney in Winter

I had promised myself that I would treat Dick Cheney’s nonsensical outbursts like the pearls of wisdom one hears from homeless people sitting in bus shelters, but my resolution will have to wait.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 READ MORE

Larry’s List: Jewish Mother Edition

Today on the list: Twitter for your Jewish mother, why the health care bill supporters are full of it, inheriting 9/11 and more.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 READ MORE

Iran New Year

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 READ MORE

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