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Sudan's Al-Bashir
breakfornews.com

The ICC’s First Tooth

The International Criminal Court is getting its teeth, as judges have ordered the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity—including murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape—marking the first time the ICC has issued a warrant for a sitting head of state.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE


Friends In High-Tech Places

The FCC has incredible power over the health of our democracy, from how we get our information to the technology we use to freely express ourselves—and the billions of dollars made in between—yet we tend to know little about the people who wield that power. The latest technocrat nominated to take charge of the commission is Julius Genachowski, an old school chum of the president.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE


Daily Show

‘Daily Show’: A Party in Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh staked his claim to primacy in the GOP recently. Jon Stewart is at the ready with a response. This includes a cultural reference to Russian nesting dolls. Sometimes absurdity is the best policy.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE


AIG building
AP photo / Mark Lennihan

Billions Dished Out in the Shadows

We’ve already given AIG a total of $170 billion—an amount that dwarfs the $75 billion allocated to helping those millions of homeowners facing foreclosures. And more will be thrown down the AIG rat hole because President Barack Obama is blindly following the misguided advice of his top economic advisers, who insist that AIG is too big to fail.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Bernie Sanders
senate.gov

Bernie Sanders Wants Answers, Writes Legislation to Get Them

Fed chief Ben Bernanke may be able to dole out trillions in the blink of an eye, but on Tuesday he ran headlong into Congress’ only independent democratic socialist. Sen. Bernie Sanders demanded to know where all the Fed’s money was going. Bernanke said “no.” Sanders fired back by introducing a bill that would require such information to be posted to the Fed’s Web site.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Coalition of the Unwilling

President Barack Obama met recently with the prime ministers of Canada and Britain, two NATO allies looking for a way out of Afghanistan even as the U.S. is talking escalation.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Penn and Leno
AP photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez

Sean Penn Calls for ‘Harvey Milk Day’

Having been resoundingly honored for his onscreen portrayal of Harvey Milk, Sean Penn is now calling for a high honor for Milk, asking for an official “Harvey Milk Day” in California to commemorate the slain San Francisco politician and gay rights activist.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Levy
capitolhillblue.com

Prisoner Accused of Chandra Levy’s Murder

Eight years later, it seems the mystery of Washington intern Chandra Levy’s murder might be solved, and it seems former Congressman Gary Condit is exonerated—cold comfort after his political career was wrecked as a side effect of the Levy investigation.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chris Greenberg

Secret Bush Memos Gave President Even More Power

President Bush’s memo fetish is well documented, but the Obama administration has just made public a series of memos that said the executive had extraordinary powers far beyond those traditionally considered legal. According to the crack legal minds of the Bush administration, the president could overrule the other branches of government.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Jerusalem
state.gov

That’s Why They Call It Diplomacy

The chances of peace in the Middle East over the next four to eight years have something to do with what Hillary Clinton is able to achieve there. We’re getting a first glimpse this week, as Clinton makes overtures to Syria, Iran and the Palestinians while trying not to threaten Israel’s BFF status.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


school scene
AP photo / Carlos Osorio

The Rebirth of Education

A friend of mine, J.M. Zimmerman, once stated that to revitalize our schools, engage our children and ultimately save our planet will require “the death of education and its rebirth.” Sometimes systems are so flawed that they need to be scrapped and replaced rather than fiddled with or fixed. 

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Withdrawal 101

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Hungry Hungry Hillary

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Medicare (Dis-)Advantage

Obama’s bid to reduce the taxpayer-funded slush fund that flows to the managed-care insurance industry through Medicare is an emphatic, if overdue, effort to turn Washington around.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

America’s New Trajectory

Just six weeks into his term, Obama has opened his bid to redraw the boundaries of our politics and expand the realm of the possible.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel: Limbaugh Is the Voice of the GOP

What does the future hold for the Grand Old Party? For his part, President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gave some credit, however credible, to Rush Limbaugh as an intellectual force to be reckoned with on the right. Here’s what Emanuel had to say on Sunday’s “Face the Nation.”

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE


Tabernacle organ
Wikimedia:Carterdriggs

Utah Shows Big Love for Porn

Where in this great nation would you think the per capita consumption of pornography would be at its highest? Perhaps a decadent coastal blue state such as California or New York? Guess again, people—the answer is Utah.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE


Limbaugh and Steele
Composite image: mediabistro.com / AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Limbaugh and Steele Lock Horns in GOP Rumble

¿Quién es más macho? And who’s the rightful leader of the GOP? Both Rush Limbaugh and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele are claiming the title in a curious kind of public arm-wrestling match that also pits entertainment against politics (as if the two weren’t already interconnected).

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Paul Sparkes

Dow Slides Below 7000, No End in Sight

The Dow Jones industrial average fell to 6763.29 Monday. In less than a year and a half, the market has lost more than half of its value. More bad news from the financial sector has some analysts worried that rock bottom is still a long way away.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE


Are Video Games Violent Enough?

With dark times on the horizon, the Onion’s “In the Know” panel takes a satirical stab at whether violent video games are “adequately preparing children for the apocalypse.”

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE


Erik Prince
eyeball-series.org

Blackwater CEO Steps Down

Saying that he’s “taking on new challenges,” Blackwater Worldwide founder and CEO Erik Prince announced Monday that he’s resigning from his long-held position at the top of the security company, which has now changed its name to the spooky and sci-fi-tinged Xe.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE


Sebelius
governor.ks.gov

Obama Taps Sebelius for Top Health Post

Let’s try this again, shall we? Tom Daschle didn’t make the cut, but President Obama has a new contender for secretary of health and human services. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who may be vulnerable to attacks on the abortion issue, faces a potentially challenging confirmation process.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / kimberlyfaye

House Flummoxed by Green Initiatives

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives had hoped to set an environmental example, but going green is turning out to be a bit of a challenge for the cigar-chomping Washington types.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Photographer's Mate 1 Shane T. McCoy

CIA Torture Coverup Was Worse Than We Knew

Remember those two videotapes documenting “enhanced interrogation” that the CIA destroyed, despite a judge’s order to preserve such evidence? Well, it turns out the agency wiped 90 more just like them.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Michael J. Ayotte

It’s Obama’s War Now

Combat troops are to be pulled out of Iraq by August 2010, President Obama said, but some 50,000 occupation troops will remain behind. Someone should let the Iraqis know the distinction.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE


Redistributionist, and That’s Just Fine

The well-off will pay more in taxes. And before the howling on the right gets too loud, consider that we have just gone through a long era involving a far less frank form of redistribution—upward.

 

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Marcello Casal Jr / ABr

Islamic Banks Presented as an Economic Model

The United States spent much of the 20th century lecturing the world about how to run an economy. Clearly, we’ve lost some credibility in that area. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wants Islamic banks, with their abhorrence of interest and gambling, to fill the void.

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / reubenaingber

Bigger Bailout Expected for AIG

The government is expected to come to AIG’s rescue for a fourth time as the mega-insurer prepares to announce the biggest quarterly loss by a single company in the history of the world. Reports put the bonus bailout at $30 billion, less than half of AIG’s expected quarterly loss.

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE


Getting Better

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Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE    


The Sports Nut

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Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE    


Barbie at 50

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Mitt Romney
c.berlet / publiceye.org

Conservatives Cling to Romney

The conservative wing of the Republican Party still has a lot of affection, oddly enough, for the former governor of the People’s Republic of Taxachusetts. For the third straight year, Mitt Romney beat out the likes of Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee in a poll of conservative activists.

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE


Rush Limbaugh
politicsandfunk.com

Limbaugh Holds Court at Conservative Conference

If there was any question as to how Rush Limbaugh is positioning himself vis-à-vis the new administration, that was obliterated by his performance Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, where he once again made it clear that he’s not wishing President Obama well.

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE


Pope Benedict XVI
AP photo / Alessandra Tarantino

Consider the Source

Now a lot of folk will go along with the line that the Holy Father is so stupid—so utterly out of touch with Planet Earth—that he has no idea how disastrously his actions are received. Hmmm. Well, I wonder.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

Obama Pushes His Budget Plan

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama makes the case for his proposed budget scheme, arguing that while it might rankle the likes of Washington lobbyists, it will deliver on the promises he made during his campaign.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad
timesonline.typepad.com

Iran vs. Hollywood

A special delegation from Hollywood visited Iran this weekend. Said delegation was there to take part in a “cultural exchange,” according to The Wrap, but Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wasn’t rolling out the red carpet.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 READ MORE


Obama on the phone
enscriber.com

Obama Calls Bush About Iraq

Before he made his announcement Friday about withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, President Barack Obama called Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as well as his predecessor in the White House, George W. Bush. The White House described the call to Bush as a courtesy.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

Iraq Withdrawal Lite

Since he was elected president, Barack Obama has said he plans to withdraw most of the U.S. troops stationed in Iraq by August 2010. That’s a little more time than he said he’d take to do the job before he was voted into office. Does this constitute a major violation of his pre-election pledge?

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Bush and Tantoh
AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Africa’s Good Friend

Linda, a 24-year-old sex worker in Kigali, Rwanda, didn’t want to be tested for HIV because she feared she would find she would soon die. Her fear was not unfounded. Being aware of one’s HIV-positive status was a first step toward dying of AIDS in Rwanda, as in most parts of Africa. Anti-retroviral drugs were expensive and hard to come by. But that was before President Bush’s PEPFAR.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Jindal
nola.com

Jindal’s Tall Katrina Tale

If Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal could have one career do-over, he might opt to use it on the speech he gave Tuesday. Not only did his performance induce cringes on both sides of the aisle, but now, according to TPMMuckraker, it looks as if the part of his speech about Hurricane Katrina (to many the most baffling part) wasn’t exactly true.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


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


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