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GM Collapse

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Posted on Apr 1, 2009 READ MORE


Obama in Europe

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Posted on Apr 1, 2009 READ MORE


toxic schmoxic
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

In for a Penny, In for $2.98 Trillion

The good news on the government’s “No Banker Left Behind” program is that, according to the special inspector general’s report on Tuesday, the total handout to date is still less than 3 trillion dollars. It’s only $2.98 trillion, to be precise, an amount six times greater than will be spent by federal, state and local governments this year on educating the 50 million American children in elementary and secondary schools. 

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Dan Balilty

Most Israelis Disapprove of Their New Government, Poll Finds

There’s no putting it any better than Haaretz did: “The Knesset approved Benjamin Netanyahu’s return as prime minister last night amid allegations that his new government is bloated, convoluted and unprepared to deal with Israel’s many problems.” The newspaper surveyed the Israeli public and found that 54 percent already disapprove of the new regime.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Kathleen Sebelius
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Another Nominee in Tax Trouble

This has gone from coincidence to self-parody to alarming. Another of Barack Obama’s nominees has had to apologize for not paying her full taxes. Kathleen Sebelius, the president’s pick to lead the Health and Human Services Department, has now paid off $7,918, a paltry debt compared with Tom Daschle’s $140,000.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Seattle’s Lessons for London

A former police chief of Seattle—who directed the harsh action there against 1999’s WTO protesters—has changed his views on protests, as well as on drugs. The G-20 leaders meeting in London should heed his words.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Boycotting Obama at Notre Dame Is Vulgar Zealotry

In respect to tradition, one would expect Obama to deliver Notre Dame’s commencement address in May, but a crowd of Fighting Irish have decided to try to keep the new president away from the hallowed campus for fear that some of his thinking might rub off on them.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Osbournes
rollingstone.com

Osbourne Show Provokes Free-Speech Fight in Fla.

He’s not biting off bats’ heads at the moment, but Ozzy Osbourne has once again managed to stir up controversy, even in his autumn years. The flap this time is over “The Osbournes: Reloaded,” his new Fox TV variety show co-starring other members of his clan, which an affiliate in Panama City, Fla., has deemed unfit for viewing.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Caterpillar standoff
AP photo / Laurent Cipriani

French Employees Hold Bosses Hostage

Four higher-ups at the Caterpillar construction equipment office in Grenoble, France, were taken hostage on Tuesday by hundreds of employees demanding negotiations after the company announced it would cut 700 jobs. Even more startling is that this latest episode was but one of three similar boss-blockading incidents in France this month.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert

A Nation of Narcissists

Is American exceptionalism just a euphemism for nationalized narcissism? Are narcissists to blame for the cataclysm on Wall Street? Stephen Colbert takes a read on the national zeitgeist and brings in Slate columnist Emily Yoffe to declare that certain public figures might suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. Let the armchair diagnosing commence!

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


auto industry
fordnewsblog.wordpress.com

Blurring the Line Between Business and Government

President Obama grabbed the proverbial steering wheel on Monday, shaking up the American auto industry by stating tougher conditions for receiving federal subsidies and forcing GM’s CEO to step down. But critics are wrong to suggest that this represents an unprecedented use of executive power.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE



roamagency.com

Amy Goodman on ‘Standing Up to the Madness’

The “Democracy Now!” host talks about her book, the state of activism and why “the media are the most powerful corporations on Earth—more powerful than any bomb, more powerful than any missile.”

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE



roamagency.com

Amy Goodman on ‘Standing Up to the Madness’

The “Democracy Now!” host talks about her book, the state of activism and why “the media are the most powerful corporations on Earth—more powerful than any bomb, more powerful than any missile.”

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Where’s the Outrage Over Workers Getting the Shaft?

The AFL-CIO spent $250 million in last year’s elections on behalf of Obama and other Democrats, yet a waffling president and a handful of senators have managed to kill the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, a cruel defeat for labor.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


Cars, Banks and Confusion

The president is telling Detroit to shape up or die while at the same time politely asking Wall Street, whose recklessness and greed caused this economic crisis, if it would be so kind as to accept another heaping helping of taxpayer funds.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Sarah Furrer

Awakening on the Wrong Side of the Bed

The Awakening movement isn’t very happy these days. The U.S. has been paying Sunni militants to turn their guns from American soldiers to al-Qaida foreign fighters, a program that has been celebrated for reducing violence in Iraq and is now falling apart. In the words of one Sunni leader who spoke to NPR, “The Americans completely abandoned us.”

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


cyber espionage
fortressglobal.com

China Denies Connection With Cyber-Spying Network

The Chinese government has denied having any relationship with “a malware-based cyber espionage network” called GhostNet, an operation revealed Sunday by a Toronto-based research team. GhostNet is suspected of infiltrating a number of military and diplomatic computer systems, including the Dalai Lama’s, and is based in China.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


O'Reilly
youtube.com

Bill O’Reilly Boycotting Sean Penn Films

How will Sean Penn sleep at night knowing that Fox News’ own talking points champion, Bill O’Reilly, has declared that he will never see another one of Penn’s movies?

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obamas Hire Merrill Lynch Decorator

Although they’re allotted $100,000 to redecorate, Barack and Michelle Obama will spend their own money updating the White House. The first family has turned to Michael S. Smith for the task. The designer has worked for Steven Spielberg, Rupert Murdoch and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, whose decorating habits have come to epitomize corporate greed.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



IDF

Israel’s Gaza Inquiry Finds Israel Innocent

The Israeli military has exonerated itself after investigating the recent comments of soldiers who alleged abuses in Gaza. The military said in a statement that the accounts, which described the casual shooting of women and children, were “based on hearsay and not supported by facts.” Nine Israeli human rights groups have called for an independent investigation.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
cbsnews.com

Obama Zeroes In on Afghanistan

On Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” President Obama did his best to convince CBS’ Bob Schieffer, and by extension the American people, that he knows what he’s doing in escalating U.S. military operations in Afghanistan—and that this won’t be his Vietnam.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


al-Bashir at summit
AP photo / Hassan Ammar

Sudan’s President Shows Up at Arab Summit

Despite the arrest warrant recently issued for him by the International Criminal Court, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has made a defiant move by showing up in Qatar to attend the 21st Arab League summit meeting, at which United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was also slated to appear.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


‘How Did This Country Get Stuck With an Empire?’

With military personnel deployed in 150 countries, Bill Maher says bringing the troops home from Iraq is only the tip of the iceberg. “Can you imagine if there were 20,000 armed Guatemalans on a base in San Bernardino right now? Lou Dobbs would become a suicide bomber.”

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


Not Limbaugh’s Crowd

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Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Pokes Iran

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Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


Change You Can Translate

If there is a trend in democratic nations now, it is toward younger politicians who express disenchantment with the status quo, more by questioning past approaches than by offering fully worked-out alternative systems.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Wolf

Obstruction of Justice

The facts surrounding the trial and imprisonment of Dr. Sami Al-Arian have severely tarnished the integrity of the American judicial system and made the government’s vaunted campaign against terrorism look capricious, inept and overtly racist.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / richardefreeman

Obama Team Scraps Auto Bailout

The Obama administration auto task force has sent both GM and Chrysler back to the drawing board, turning down requests for additional loans until the companies come up with more realistic restructuring plans. The government will prop up GM for two months while the automaker tries again. Chrysler has 30 days.

Posted on Mar 29, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Earth Hour Global

Turning Off the Lights Gives Activists a Charge

In just three years, Earth Hour has spread from Australia to more than 4,000 cities around the world, and environmentalists are thrilled with the results. Participants in 88 countries killed the lights for an hour on Saturday to call attention to the dangers of climate change.

Posted on Mar 29, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Anatoli Axelrod

GM Chief Booted in Bailout Deal

GM CEO Rick Wagoner resigned Sunday, apparently at the request of the Obama administration as part of a larger bailout agreement. The ouster of the man who gave us the Hummer wasn’t entirely unexpected. He spent the last eight years driving the world’s biggest car company into a ditch. Now if only we could apply this logic to the banking bailout. Update

Posted on Mar 29, 2009 READ MORE


Hurndall
telegraph.co.uk

If Only the World Had Listened

Tom Hurndall was one of a bunch of “human shields” who turned up in Baghdad just before the Anglo-American invasion in 2003, the kind of folk we professional reporters make fun of. Tree huggers, that kind of thing. Now I wish I had met him because Hurndall’s journals show a remarkable man of remarkable principle.

Posted on Mar 29, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Geithner’s Grand Plan; Obama’s Afghan Quagmire

The clock is ticking for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to come up with a plan to deal with the banks that actually works. Meanwhile, some of the United States’ current struggles seem beside the point to European countries that already have a strong social safety net. And finally on this week’s list of “Left, Right & Center” hot topics is President Obama and Afghanistan: Is this a disaster waiting to happen?

Posted on Mar 28, 2009 READ MORE


Bair
AP photo / Harry Hamburg

Courage Award Honors Two Women Who Warned Us

There has been much hand-wringing, not to mention finger-pointing, regarding who knew what, and when, about the financial calamities that have recently come to pass. However, Brooksley Born and Sheila Bair won’t be counted among the willfully or accidentally ignorant: They’ve been named this year’s winners of the JFK Profile in Courage Award for sounding the alarm far ahead of time.

Posted on Mar 28, 2009 READ MORE


Frank and reporters
AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

We’re Paying Congress for This?

Congress’ work has often offered us transparency and has usually led to useful, progressive legislation. And now comes Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank’s choreographed extravaganza in the House of Representatives, supported by an echoing committee, with sound bites worthy of a night in the Borscht Belt.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE


Silva and Brown
AP photo / Eraldo Peres

Brazil’s President Says Whites Caused Global Crisis

During a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Brasilia on Thursday, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made the startling assertion that the current worldwide economic catastrophe was caused by “white people with blue eyes.” Perhaps that last detail was thrown in to graciously let brown-eyed Brown off the hook.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE


What a Hot Tea
telegraph.co.uk

Not Your Cup of Tea

Drinking hot tea may be bad for you, researchers say, as a study has found that imbibing black tea at temperatures higher than 158 degrees is linked to an increased risk of esophageal cancer.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE


Clinton and Co.
nytimes.com

Hillary’s Replacement Is Smokin’

Forgive that pun, but it is clear that Kirsten Gillibrand, junior senator from New York, played an important role in fending off the Justice Department as it sought internal research conducted by Philip Morris that proved a connection between cigarettes and cancer—a causation rebuked by tobacco executives in testimony before Congress in 1994.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
cafepress.com

Pinching Political Party Purses

Both the Democratic and Republican parties are experiencing a unique form of financial comeuppance, as the economic recession they were in charge of preventing—that has now caused a 8.4 percent national unemployment rate—is causing a dramatic drop in the level of political party donations.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE



What You Dig

Here are the five most-read stories of the last seven days, including Chris Hedges on America’s moral meltdown and Robert Scheer on the economic incompetents who find easy employment in the Obama administration. Full list after the jump.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE



Jonathan Shapiro on ‘The Tyranny of Dead Ideas’

Matt Miller, a host of KCRW’s “Left, Right & Center,” has written a book full of necessary honesty and courage—a welcome effort to rid us of the nostrums and shopworn notions that cloud our thinking and constrain our politics.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE


Newspapers’ Self-Inflicted Wounds

Most newspaper postmortems insist that decreased ad revenues brought on by the Internet and the recession caused journalism’s problems, but a look at the vapid celebrity-obsessed pages of the nation’s ever-thinner rags tells a different story.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


Drugs, Guns and Reality

It’s an indictment of our fact-averse political culture that a statement of the blindingly obvious could sound so revolutionary. Nevertheless, Hillary Clinton deserves high praise for acknowledging that the U.S. bears “shared responsibility” for the drug-fueled violence sweeping Mexico.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


De Niro Sr.
AP photo / Michel Spingler

Art Dealer Nabbed in $88 Million Swindle

It appears to be game over for Manhattan art dealer and gallery owner Lawrence Salander, who was arrested Thursday morning and accused of stealing $88 million from various art world players, institutions and investors, including tennis champ John McEnroe. Actor Robert De Niro, pictured above next to an image of his artist-father, is accusing Salander of stealing 12 of the senior De Niro’s paintings.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Adam Mancini

Obama to Send Even More Troops to Afghanistan

President Obama is expected to order 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, on top of the 17,000 previously announced and 38,000 already there. This latest batch of personnel is reported to be departing in June with a mission to train Afghan forces.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


Art Imitates Life

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Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


Rare Red Meat

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Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


Going Postal

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Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


Tree Dreams

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Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE    


Obama's virtual town hall

Obama Takes Americans’ Questions in Virtual Forum

In a bid to interact more directly with the public at large, the Obama administration once again turned to the Web, inviting Americans to submit questions for Thursday’s online “town hall” meeting. Here President Obama sets the stage with his opening remarks, discusses helping homeowners and considers whether marijuana should be legalized.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


Soros
bloggernews.net

Soros Laughing All the Way to the Bank

Not many big hitters from the financial sector have managed to stay afloat, let alone turn a profit, since the economic crisis kicked in, but George Soros has done quite well for himself. Soros made $1.1 billion last year, and he’s not even at the top of the list of hedge fund managers who beat the odds in 2008.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


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