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Anthrax Evidence Released

The government on Wednesday released some of the evidence collected against biological weapons researcher Bruce E. Ivins, who died of suicide July 29. Anonymous sources peppered media reports earlier in the week, saying that much of the case relied on circumstantial evidence. So far, those reports appear to have been correct.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Alex Brandon

Playing the Economic Card

After enduring the silly debate over who injected race into the presidential campaign, let’s look at some recent numbers that indicate how Barack Obama could win this close election.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Threats, Lies and Audiotape

With no end in sight in Afghanistan and Iraq, military recruiters must be prevented from using desperate and aggressive measures to lure our nation’s young people—the poorest and most vulnerable—into the line of fire.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain the Maverick? Not So Fast

In the battle to define John McCain, the man himself would have you call him “the original maverick.” Barack Obama, meanwhile, says McCain is running for George W. Bush’s third term. This identity struggle could determine the outcome of the election.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Wiki Commons

Good-News Alert: Gorilla Paradise Discovered

While National Geographic may be the best magazine educating Americans about the horrors of the modern world, the organization also makes a point of highlighting positive earth news when it happens, such as the discovery that Congo may hold an additional 125,000 western lowland gorillas, which would double the known population of the critically endangered beast.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Steps Up Celebrity Attack

John McCain has found a theme he likes and he’s sticking with it: Barack Obama is popular and that’s bad. Much worse, apparently, than the Reagan-era economic philosophy the presumed Republican nominee is peddling.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Shock Therapy Buzzes On

Tens of thousands of the desperately depressed sign up every year in the U.S. to have electricity-induced grand mal seizures even though nobody has ever figured out why the treatment works or how severe the associated brain damage is. The good news: You no longer have to be awake, and muscle relaxants now keep your bones from breaking.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Mauritana Military and Police
javno.com

Bloodless Coup Leaders Arrest Mauritania’s President

The government of President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdellah came to an end Wednesday in the West African state of Mauritania, as military officers arrested both Abdellah and the prime minister in a coup against a government denounced for its “corruption and ineptitude in handling rising food prices and oil revenues.” Sound familiar at all?

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Hamdan Court 2007
blackfive.net

Military Court Finds Osama’s Driver Guilty

Osama bin Laden’s alleged driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, was convicted Wednesday by a military court on five counts of supporting terrorism. The decision was largely symbolic, since the U.S. had reserved the right, regardless of guilt or innocence, to detain Hamdan indefinitely. The ACLU called the verdict a “monumental debacle.”

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


South Africa Strike
guardian.co.uk

2 Million South Africans on Strike

A national strike left South Africa’s streets largely deserted Wednesday as 2 million people refused to work in protest of soaring food and fuel prices. The action, led by a coalition of trade unions, was symbolic and precautionary, suggesting additional strikes if the government and business remained inept at managing the national economy.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Sold

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Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad Gives the Finger

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China’s Quest for Olympic Glory

The Chinese authorities’ anxiety that the Olympic Games will be a success reflects their need to find international confirmation of their general political and economic policies of the past 20 years.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Paltrow

McCain Dogged by Another Member of the Hollywood Blonde Posse

Just as John McCain was catching flak for bolstering Paris Hilton’s bafflingly resilient showbiz career, another danger appeared on the horizon in the form of that purebred Hollywood golden retriever Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s turned up in a Democrat-sponsored PSA with an angular bob that could slice deli meat and a get-out-the-vote message for expat American voters.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE


anthrax preparedness
AP photo / Kenneth Lambert

Terror From the Inside

The terrorists find all sorts of reasons to hate us. On Aug. 5 came word that the deadliest biological assault on the United States may be linked to the rejection of the terror suspect by a Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sister decades ago.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE


Wall Street
AP photo / Richard Drew

Oil Prices Dip, Stocks Rise

Finally, some slightly better financial news has hit the wires after months of sobering reports: Oil prices dropped to a three-month low on Tuesday, which may be due to “the softening market,” as one analyst puts it in this NYT account, but whatever the reason it still means a slight reprieve from weeks of punishing prices. Stock markets had their biggest gains in four months.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / ccgd

Pelosi Takes the Heat on Drilling

According to the Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has given her blessing to vulnerable Democrats to rebel against the party’s position on offshore drilling. The strategy goes something like this: Pelosi plays the liberal from San Francisco while representatives of more conservative districts berate her. With a majority intact, the Democrats push through a comprehensive energy policy sometime in 2009.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE


Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton: ‘I’ll See You at the Debates, Bitches’

In her video response to John McCain’s “celeb” commercial, the heiress unveils her own energy policy and threatens to paint the White House pink. Thanks again, Sen. McCain, for making this campaign about the issues. Or not.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE


Rwanda Says France Participated in Genocide

After two years of investigation, a Rwandan commission has accused France of facilitating the 1994 genocide by training Hutu militias and providing support to the Hutu government. The commission also says French forces murdered and raped Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The French government has consistently denied involvement in the genocide, in which 800,000 people were killed, but said it would look at the new report.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE


Iraq’s $79-Billion Windfall

A congressional report has found that the Iraqi government will soon have a $79-billion surplus, thanks to the record price of oil. It’s a figure that will surely raise eyebrows as the U.S. shells out an additional $48 billion for reconstruction, but the situation, like all things involving billions and bombs, is a lot more complicated.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE


Ron Suskind on Bush’s ‘Great Lies’

Ron Suskind’s new book alleges that the White House ordered the CIA to fabricate a link between Iraq and al-Qaida. The CIA director at the time, George Tenet, calls the claim “ridiculous.” Suskind says that’s just an example of “George’s memory issue.”

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

White House Fabricated Iraq Intelligence, Book Alleges

According to Ron Suskind, former Wall Street Journal reporter and best-selling Bush critic, the White House ordered the CIA to fabricate evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida and knew before the invasion that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. The White House denies the allegations, published in Suskind’s new book, “The Way of the World.”

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Race-Baiting Scoundrels

I’m confident that Sen. Lindsey Graham and the rest of John McCain’s front-line surrogates know full well what messages they’re sending about Barack Obama and race. On the off chance that they—or, more likely, some of the white voters they’re trying to reach—don’t know text from subtext from context, here’s a deconstruction.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


A Common-Sense Approach to Social Security

In this summer of our economic discontent, it isn’t necessary to manufacture a financial crisis or to make political hash out of discussing a nonexistent one.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Getting Past the ‘Race Card’

Will the race issue go back into the closet for the rest of the presidential campaign? Of course not, so where do we go from here?

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Pocket ad

Obama and McCain Spar Over Oil

Both Barack Obama and John McCain have recently changed their positions when it comes to dealing with the burgeoning energy crisis and America’s all-too-apparent dependence on foreign oil, but that doesn’t mean each presumptive nominee isn’t going to keep pointing out the other’s potential inconsistencies and flaws, as Obama’s new ad here demonstrates.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Dick Cheney
White House / Karen Ballard

Cheney to Skip Convention

The vice president has no plans to attend his party’s convention in September, the American Spectator reports. Apparently Dick Cheney and John McCain are less than BFFs, and while conservatives still are warm to former oilman Cheney, independents and women tend to find him unappealing.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Putin and Castro
commons.wikimedia.org

Russia and Cuba, Together Again

Forty-six years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he wants “to rebuild our positions in Cuba” by strengthening economic cooperation with the island nation. The push could be a retort to America’s resolve to build a missile shield on Russia’s doorstep.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE



twitter.com

Republicans Go Web 2.0 for House Protest

House Republicans are camping out in the Capitol, trying to pressure an up-or-down vote on offshore drilling. The lights and the C-SPAN cameras are off, but a number of lawmakers have turned to new media sites such as YouTube and even Twitter to microblog their dissent.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


McCain at Red Ribbon
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

McCain Camp Gets Big Checks From Big Oil Execs

It’s not particularly surprising that oil executives at the Hess Corp. got a little excited when John McCain changed his position in June and called for offshore drilling, but it is interesting that the Hess brass, according to Talking Points Memo, apparently demonstrated their gratitude (cue cash register sound effect here) by writing some big checks to the McCain campaign.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Solzhenitsyn
bbc.co.uk

A Moral Force Moves Into History

He was born into a Cossack family, which was just one of many indications that life wasn’t exactly going to be conflict-free for Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who died Aug. 3. The Russian writer survived eight years in Stalin’s notorious gulags and became one of his country’s most controversial critical thinkers, a process that continued during the two decades he was forced to live in exile.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Reaper drone
uavinfo.com

‘Reaper’ Ready to Watch Over Iraq

One way the U.S. military could maintain a presence in Iraq, even if by proxy, in the near future is through the use of unmanned drones with foreboding names like the MQ-9 Reaper and the Predator, both of which are able to carry seriously sinister weaponry like the laser-guided Hellfire missile.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Border Skirmish Kills 16 Ahead of Games

According to state media, a raid in China’s northwestern frontier region killed 16 policemen. Officials quickly tried to hush concerns about the Olympic Games, which are just a few days from opening thousands of miles away in Beijing, where the government has invested billions to clean up and secure the city.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A War of Self-Destruction

An attack on Iran, which Israeli and Bush administration officials appear set to carry out if Iranian uranium enrichment is not halted, would ignite a regional war in the Middle East and lead to economic collapse and political upheaval in the United States.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Skeptical Junkie

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Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


The Peace Candidate

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Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE    


Syria Succeeds by Doing Nothing

Without a shot being fired, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ensured that anyone who wants anything in the Middle East has got to talk to Syria. He’s done nothing—and he’s won.

Posted on Aug 3, 2008 READ MORE


Britney Spears

McCain-Spears ‘08

John McCain’s recent “celeb” ad attempted to draw a comparison between Barack Obama and a certain washed-up pop star, but as this video illustrates, the former maverick actually has a lot more in common with Britney “we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes” Spears.

Posted on Aug 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Rahul Sharma

Pilgrim Stampede Kills 140

A stampede of worshipers at an Indian temple killed at least 140 on Sunday, many of them women and children. Rumors of a landslide had caused thousands of pilgrims to flee the site, trampling others.

Posted on Aug 3, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / Joe Crimmings Photography

Obama Throws Florida, Michigan a Bone

Now that he is assured of his party’s nomination, Barack Obama has asked the Democratic credentials committee to award full votes to delegates from Florida and Michigan. Those states held primaries in violation of party rules, and their disputed delegations became a major source of division between supporters of Hillary Clinton and of Obama.

Posted on Aug 3, 2008 READ MORE


Anthrax Researcher Threatened Co-Workers as FBI Closed In

Friends’ and relatives’ memories of microbiologist Bruce E. Ivins, who apparently committed suicide last week as he became a top suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks, differ greatly from the image of him invoked by the stories that have emerged about his threatening behavior in recent months.

Posted on Aug 2, 2008 READ MORE


AIDS ribbon
thecommonwealth.org

Study: U.S. HIV Infection Rates Drastically Underreported

The United States is in far worse shape when it comes to HIV infection rates than researchers previously thought, according to a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that attributes the whopping 40 percent adjustment to more precise research methods.

Posted on Aug 2, 2008 READ MORE


Hersh on Iran

Hersh: Cheney & Co. Discussed How to Trigger War With Iran

You may have already seen this, but it bears re-posting far and wide: The inimitable Seymour Hersh gave truly disturbing details, during the Campus Progress journalism conference in July, expounding upon his article from that month’s New Yorker about the Bush administration’s attempts to find a cause for war against Iran in late 2007.

Posted on Aug 2, 2008 READ MORE


MIR oil report

The ‘Have-Oils’ and the Have-Nots

Skyrocketing oil and natural gas prices in the second quarter of this year led ExxonMobil to report the highest profit ever by an American company. Despite falling production and rising operating costs, Exxon brought in $138 billion in revenue and reported an astounding net income of $11.7 billion. Who else is profiting?

Posted on Aug 2, 2008 READ MORE


Maria Lauterbach
marinecorpstimes.com

Sexual Assault in the Military: A DoD Cover-Up?

There was quite a struggle in Congress this week [July 27-Aug. 2]. The Department of Defense refused to allow the senior civilian in charge of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office to testify in Thursday’s hearing on sexual assault in the military. Above, Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who reported being raped in 2007 and whose body was found buried in a backyard in 2008.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


McCain 'The One' ad

McCain Campaign Even More Obsessed With Obama

Right, so we’ve just seen the comparisons to Britney and Paris in John McCain’s “Celeb” commercial, one of several ads from Team McCain’s oeuvre that perhaps unwisely focus almost exclusively on the presumptive Democratic nominee instead of on McCain’s own policies and positions. Now, here’s Charlton Heston’s Moses impersonation to ratchet up the Camp-O-Meter in “The One,” a McCain spot that ends by ... saying Obama “might be The One.” Huh?

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


Microbiologist’s Suicide Demands a Full Probe of ‘01 Anthrax Attacks

Today’s shocking revelation about the apparent suicide of an Army microbiologist, a lead suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks, has intensified the need for a thorough investigation into the only significant bioterrorism attack on U.S. soil, said Alan Pearson, director of the biological and chemical weapons control program at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


Avigdor Lieberman
nytimes.com

Israeli Right Sees Opening in Political Chaos

As if the situation in the Middle East couldn’t get any worse, this week’s news that scandal-plagued Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will resign has been seized upon by right-wing Israeli politicians, who believe the parliamentary chaos caused by Olmert’s departure will open the door for a return to hard-line, ultranationalist government.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


Elaine Chao
flickr.com

Unemployment at a Four-Year High

A government report released Friday signals worsening economic tides as the U.S. tries to navigate through its highest level of unemployment in four years. The seven-month-long trend of net job losses is likely to persist, with few signs of a turnaround on the horizon.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


Hamilton post office
AP file photo / Brian Branch-Price

Scientist Targeted in Anthrax Probe Dies in Apparent Suicide

The apparent suicide of 62-year-old scientist Bruce E. Ivins on Tuesday shook up his co-workers at the military biodefense labs in Maryland where he’d worked for nearly two decades. But the significance of his death extended beyond personal tragedy when it emerged that Ivins was about to be prosecuted by the Justice Department for alleged involvement in the anthrax attacks of 2001.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


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