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Stinky Hand

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Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE    


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AP

‘Death Panel’ Déjà Vu

Public memory often has a short shelf life, and it doesn’t preclude the potential for rapid recycling, according to The New York Times’ take on the current “death panel” controversy, considering that a prototypical version of this particular argument made the rounds during the (Internet-enabled) Clinton era.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


morakot
AP

Typhoon Toll in Taiwan 500 and Counting

Typhoon Morakot has claimed more than 500 lives in Taiwan since the storm hit the island’s southern region a week ago. Thousands more may still be trapped, according to local reports, making Morakot the worst natural disaster to strike the island in half a century.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


Michael Vick
1010wins.com

Vick Signs With the Eagles

Disgraced quarterback Michael Vick, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, has found a new job with the Philadelphia Eagles. It seems that the once-superstar athlete, jailed for two years for his involvement in a dog-fighting circuit, will be back in the NFL, much to the dismay of animal rights activists.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


US Troops
defendamerica.mil

U.S. Troops on Midnight Train to Georgia

The U.S. military has begun war games in the nation of Georgia, an exercise reportedly planned for months, but which comes just days after Russia announced it will spend half a billion dollars refurbishing its own military bases and strengthening its hold on Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Women
blogspot.com

New Afghan Law Castrates Women’s Rights

Remember all that malarkey about how the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan would result in a remarkable push for women’s rights? Well, the Afghan government has passed a law that allows Shiite men to deny food to their wives if they refuse their husbands’ sexual demands. Oh, and a rapist can effectively avoid prosecution by paying “blood money” to his victim.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


Jim Webb
salon.com

Sen. Webb’s Burmese Vacation

Sen. Jim Webb is the first senior U.S. official in more than 10 years to visit Burma, triggering speculation that the White House may be trying to nudge the authoritarian regime there into a “new era of engagement.” The trip follows the recent ludicrous sentencing of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 more months of house arrest.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney
AP / Ron Edmonds

Cheney Memoir in the Works

Former Vice President Dick Cheney maintained an elusive stance, to say the least, during his years in the White House, but since leaving office he’s made himself more visible and vocal on the public stage. For his next act, he’s working on a memoir—but somehow the term tell-all doesn’t quite seem to fit the bill in this particular case.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


Losing the News

Chris Hedges on Alex S. Jones’ ‘Losing the News’

Are we entering an age in which the electronic image, endowed with the ability to manufacture its own reality, is hurling us into a state of collective self-delusion? Welcome to a brave new post-literate world where we confuse how we are made to feel with knowledge.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


Don’t You Forget About John Hughes

The late director’s films were marketed as one-off parables about teenage angst, but they were really celebrations of the intrinsic worth of the regular person.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


How Bad Things Might Have Been

The summer has become a bummer, but almost every day there’s some reminder of how far we’ve come since President Obama’s inauguration—and how much worse things could be.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Castro photo
AP / Franklin Reyes

Castro Issues Critique of U.S. Economic Policy

Just in time for his 83rd birthday, former Cuban President Fidel Castro made his presence known once again, by signaling his displeasure with the United States’ handling of the recent financial catastrophe. He spoke out in an Op-Ed article published Thursday in Cuba’s government-run newspapers.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Media Meltdown in a Time of Crisis, Part 2

Amy Goodman, Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer discuss the present and future of media with the global economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the health care debate raging on.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / showbizsuperstar

Here’s Hoping Obama Really Is a Socialist

In this topsy-turvy world it seems one’s proximity to full-blown communism is directly proportional to one’s success in capitalism. Take Red China’s explosive economic growth, or the unexpected success of semi-socialist Germany and France, which just bid auf Wiedersehen and adieu to the recession.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Declined

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Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE    


Death Panelist

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house.gov

Georgia Republican Worries Dems Will Declare Martial Law

Rep. Paul Broun, who once compared Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, now thinks the president is part of a radical “socialistic elite” that may try to declare martial law. Broun’s comments came during what an area newspaper described as a “relatively peaceful” town hall.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Bush’s Pioneering Sadists: A Tale From the ‘War on Terror’ Dark Side

Little mainstream comment seems to have appeared on the latest revelations of incompetence and sadistic fantasy that have been published this week about the ways in which the American nation lost its honor and international reputation because of the Bush administration’s infatuation with torture.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


iPod book
Flickr / Brian Lane Winfield Moore

Are We Too Wired to Read?

With multiple gadgets and screens constantly running, and perhaps even a different sense of time than our forebears had, it’s no surprise that powering down long enough to curl up with a book is becoming an endangered activity—although, as David L. Ulin argues in the Los Angeles Times, it’s still a very vital contemplative practice to pursue.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Polargeo

Say Goodbye to Florida

One of Antarctica’s largest glaciers is melting much faster than it was a few years ago, potentially adding anywhere from an inch to a foot to global sea levels. According to one of the scientists who broke the bad news: “This is unprecedented ... nothing in the natural world is lost at an accelerating exponential rate like this glacier.”

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Mac
300

White House Sending Health Care Counterspin Through Cyberspace

The Obama administration is working to counter the myths about health care reform currently ricocheting around the Web, particularly those recently generated by a certain Alaska ex-governor, by attempting to kick another chain e-mail phenomenon into motion.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP / David Kohl

Education ‘Miracles’ Don’t Survive Scrutiny

What miracle talk and magic-bullet solutions share is the reduction of complexity, of the many levels of hard, creative work necessary to make schooling successful in the United States.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


The Real Death Panels

The ugly fact is that every year we fail to reform the existing system, that failure condemns tens of thousands of people to die—either because they have no insurance or because their insurance companies deny coverage or benefits when they become ill.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

What Do Billie Jean King and Bob Dole’s Running Mate Have in Common?

The president on Wednesday honored 16 do-gooders, big shots and champions, including Stephen Hawking (still alive despite Britain’s socialized medicine), Billie Jean King (G.O.A.T.?) and, oddly enough, the late former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, who was Bob Dole’s ’96 VP choice. Full list after the jump.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE


Ari Melber

4 Ways Obama Can Boost His Numbers

The Nation’s Ari Melber has some ideas about how the president can turn around his slipping poll numbers. First and foremost: Take charge and fight for the public option.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE


‘Sick for Profit’

Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films have a simple but compelling health care argument: Compare the obscene earnings of one insurance CEO to the comparatively bargain claims his company has refused to honor. UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley, this clip argues, is personally profiting from the misery of children.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / swanksalot

How Green Is Your Beer?

Watching your environmental impact is almost as important as watching your liver impact. To that end, Greenopia has rated “15 of the largest breweries in the world.” Guinness, Heineken, Coors, Sam Adams and Tecate all got the lowest possible rating, while Fat Tire’s maker, New Belgium, took home four out of four green leaves (adorable). Remember to consume environmentally friendly beer responsibly.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC1 Nicholas Lingo

Contractor Waste of Tax Dollars Continues

DynCorp International got caught charging the government $50 million over contract for providing living facilities in Kuwait. The company’s CEO told a congressional commission, “If we’re not competitive [in costs], it’s possible for the government to replace us.” But the opposite seems to be true when it comes to contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, where fraud, waste and abuse have been all too common for years.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ProComKelly

Gay Rights Group Puts Marriage Fight on Hold

Equality California, possibly the biggest gay rights group in California, will wait until the 2012 election to attempt to overturn the state’s gay marriage ban. The organization’s director says “we think we have one shot” and that it will take time to marshal the necessary forces. Other groups have their sights set on 2010. Update

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Ron Edmonds

New E-Mails Detail Rove’s Role in Attorney Firings

Internal e-mails released Tuesday show that Karl Rove and other senior Bush aides played an “earlier and more active role” in the 2006 U.S. attorney firing scandal than previously revealed. The messages detail a concerted, two-year effort by Rove and staff to dismiss attorneys for political reasons.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE


Russian Tanks in South Ossetia
AP / Musa Sadulayev

Russia to Strengthen Presence In Abkhazia

Russia has announced it will spend half a billion dollars upgrading its military presence—reinforcing bases, strengthening borders—in Abkhazia, the breakaway region of Georgia that, along with South Ossetia, was a focal point in last year’s war between the two countries.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE


banking hearing
AP / Susan Walsh

Letting the Banking Rats Out of the Bag

“Was there some sort of ghost that performed these actions?” New York federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff demanded to know Monday in rejecting a deal that would let Bank of America off the hook in yet another banker bonus scandal.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Media Meltdown in a Time of Crisis, Part 1

Amy Goodman and Robert Scheer discuss the present and future of media with the global economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the health care debate raging on.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Clinton in Congo
AP / Roberto Schmidt, pool

Clinton Offers $17M in U.S. Aid to Combat Sex Crimes in Congo

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton witnessed the horrific living conditions that many Congolese women and children are enduring in their embattled country on Tuesday and was attentive to their stories about rape and sexual violence. She announced during her visit that the U.S. is extending $17 million in aid targeting sexual brutality.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

‘Daily Show’: Stokin’ the Fear at Crazytown Hall Meetings

There’s a whole lot of Baracknophobia going on when it comes to some folks’ worries about health care reform, but how much of it is based on valid concern and how much is, well, stoked by certain media figures hoping to create a flurry of good ol’ American pseudo-events? In other words, turn off the Glenn Beck, people.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert

‘Colbert Report’: Euphemisms for Euthanasia

What exactly do those dastardly Democrats mean when they talk about “community standards” vis-à-vis health care reform? Only one thing, of course—death panels! But hold on, Mr. Gingrich and Mme. Palin, where are either of those terms written anywhere in the reform proposals?

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Baghdad bomb
AP / Hadi Mizban

Another Deadly Day in Baghdad

On Tuesday, eight people were killed and many more wounded in a series of blasts in Baghdad’s Ameen neighborhood—just a day after 52 died and 250 were injured in explosions set off by al-Qaida, according to Iraqi officials.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Obama at health care meeting
AP / Alex Brandon

Obama Jumps Into Health Care Fray

So far, we’ve had the angry protests, the scuffles at suddenly volatile town hall meetings, and no resolution of the health care reform argument from our elected leaders, but President Barack Obama is now embarking on a campaign to try to sway public opinion on the issue using ... a series of town hall meetings across the country. Updated

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Staff Sgt. William Greeson

There’s a Solution in Afghanistan—but Not the Way We’re Headed

It would be a great service to the American nation if Barack Obama would tell us what he himself thinks the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are about.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



tvguide.com

Health Care Reform Needs an Action Hero

The 50 people a day who die from inadequate health care might be tempted to call on Jack Bauer—or the grandfather of the man who plays him.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


CNN Falsely Labels Public Option ‘Unpopular’

Media Matters caught CNN’s Erica Hill asking, “What are the real proposals here for public insurance? And why is it so unpopular?” Not sure where she gets her info, since polls here, here, here, here, here and here say a majority of Americans like the idea.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



autoblog.com

GM Claims Volt Gets 230 MPG

GM claims its new wonder car, the Volt, gets mileage that makes the Prius look as if it belongs in the cash-for-clunkers program—230 MPG in the city. Pick up your jaw, the rating is based on a new EPA methodology and hasn’t been confirmed by the agency. The car may also be delayed indefinitely in reaching the market.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / 200MoreMontrealStencils

World Leaders Condemn Burma Verdict

Burma’s military junta has kept Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for the majority of the last 20 years and it looks as if she isn’t going anywhere. The sentence of the opposition leader was extended for the crime of being home—under house arrest—when an uninvited American came calling.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Mother of Special Olympics, Dead at 88

The Washington Post called her “a gladiator for a new age.” JFK’s sister was also the mind and spirit behind the Special Olympics, which has allowed millions of disabled athletes to “be brave in the attempt.” Her life ended in Boston on Tuesday, but her good works live on.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


War Is

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Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE    


®IP Michael Jackson

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Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


A Reason for All the Health Care Rage

The nut jobs and carpetbaggers are outnumbered by confused and concerned Americans who seem genuinely convinced they’re not being told the whole truth about health care reform.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Library of Congress interior
Flickr / Matti Matila

Looking for Great ‘Big History’ Books

My late friend Ron Silver, the actor and political activist, once asked me a question that I have continued to think about ever since. On the afternoon of his last New Year’s Eve, when he surprised me by coming to California, he wanted to know if I had found any great “big history” books.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


C-37
seeandavoid.com

House Grounds Fancy Plane Plan

During a time when the term government spending (not to mention recession) gets quite a few hackles up, House Democratic bigwigs’ choice to scrap plans to purchase four posh planes to shuttle congressional leaders around is clearly wise, although the Senate vote may still pose a problem.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


New York
Flickr / geoftheref

New York’s War on Marijuana

Marijuana possession is legally decriminalized in N.Y. state. Nonetheless, N.Y. City makes more pot arrests than any other city in the world. How do they do it?

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


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