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Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Tea Party Surges; Elizabeth Warren Serves

Has President Obama finally made a major change for the better in enlisting Elizabeth Warren to do some heavy lifting for his new consumer protection agency? Tony Blankley doesn’t think so on this week’s edition of “Left, Right & Center.”

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN


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Flickr / edEx

Fears of Double-Dip Recession in California

As the national unemployment rate hovers quite stably below the double-digit mark, California’s troubled economy continues to dive into despair. The state’s jobless rate rose to 12.4 percent last month, renewing fears that California may fall into a not-so-delicious-as-it-sounds double-dip recession.

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 READ MORE


United plane
Flickr / Moto@Club4AG

Continental Unites With United

Shareholders of Continental and United Airlines have finally voted to form a more perfect United Airlines, merging the two companies under United’s name to create the world’s largest airline service, overtaking its closest U.S. rival—the newly merged Delta and Northwest Airlines—and European carriers.

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 READ MORE



Al-Jazeera English

Food Prices Skyrocket in Beleaguered Kyrgyzstan

It’s been a rough year for Kyrgyzstan. There was the uprising in April that saw a new government take charge, followed by violent ethnic clashes in June, then by a mass flight of refugees. And now it culminates with food scarcity and soaring prices that affect a quarter of the population amid a broken trade and supply network.

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 READ MORE



cnn.com

Stewart, Colbert Announce Rallies

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have taken parody to the next level. The comedians announced two parallel rallies to happen on the mall in Washington, D.C., just days before the midterm elections.

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Misserion (CC-BY)

One of Seven Americans Lives in Poverty

One out of every seven Americans lived through 2009 in poverty, according to the Census Bureau. Working Americans haven’t been this poor in 50 years. The poverty line—$21,954 or less annual income for a family of four—is quite low and the number of Americans struggling to get by is much higher still.

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 READ MORE



AP

The Life and Death of Conrad and the Los Angeles Times

Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Paul Conrad passed away this month at the age of 86. Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer, a longtime friend and colleague, delivered this eulogy at the public memorial service held Sept. 11.

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 READ MORE



Tony Blair’s Journey

When a high-profile politician is in office, self-disclosure comes at too high a price, however carefully orchestrated it might be. But now that Blair has left 10 Downing Street, the former British prime minister is telling his story—and trying to protect his legacy—in a new memoir.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE


Master of the Palin Affect

Not to spoil the fun, but Democrats shouldn’t take the Republican Party’s bitter internal warfare—and the inexperienced, flaky candidates who’ve emerged from the fray—as any kind of reassurance about November.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE


Synthetic Novelty Is Not Reality

Historian Daniel J. Boorstin famously predicted that real news and serious discourse would eventually be replaced by a “new kind of synthetic novelty” called “pseudo-events”—synthetic for their media-manufactured artificiality, pseudo for their lack of authenticity.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



The ‘Clinton Bubble’: How Clinton Democrats Fostered the 2008 Economic Crisis

Truthdig reposts an excerpt from Robert Scheer’s 2010 book “The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.” This is the story of the groundwork laid for the collapse of the U.S. economy—a catastrophe from which working blacks in particular still have not recovered.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Grace (CC-BY)

Jimmy Carter Blames Lack of Health Care on Ted Kennedy

It’s not polite to speak ill of the dead, but Jimmy Carter is still harboring a grudge from his health care showdown with Ted Kennedy. Asked about his use of the words “irresponsible and abusive” to describe the Senate lion, the former president said Kennedy opposed his health care proposal out of spite.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



cop.senate.gov

Doing the Elizabeth Warren Shuffle

Opinions are divided over the news that Elizabeth Warren, progressives’ pick to head the new consumer protection agency, will be appointed to get said agency off the ground but (in all likelihood) not be its first director.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



joindiaspora.com

The Anti-Facebook

The creators of Diaspora are touting their new social network as a privacy conscious, open-source alternative to Facebook, but it’ll take more than good will to win over any of Mark Zuckerberg’s 500 million social drones.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE


Karl Rove Supports Christine O’Donnell, Kind Of

Perhaps angling to put a lid on any talk about right-wing rifts, GOP schemer Karl Rove took to the Fox News airwaves Thursday to demonstrate that he’s not trying to slow down the tea party express, at least when it comes to Delaware congressional hopeful Christine O’Donnell.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN



AP / Plinio Lepri

Cardinal Error: Pope’s Aide Not Sorry (Yet) for ‘Third World’ Slight

Things got off to a not-so-cracking start for Pope Benedict XVI’s U.K. tour after a member of his entourage, one Cardinal Walter Kasper, compared Britain to a “Third World country” just hours before Team Vatican prepared for arrival Thursday.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE


Driving Phone-Toxicated

I am, as of this writing, 144 days away from never again being able to sleep soundly. That is when my 15-year-old daughter, as she delights in constantly reminding me, will receive her learner’s permit.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



bbc.co.uk

Sarkozy, EU Officials Trade Blows in Roma Row

French President Nicolas Sarkozy fired back Thursday at European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, who had previously let fly about France’s controversial move to dismantle Roma camps and deport occupants thereof to other countries.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Scrumshus

Small Business Bill Gets Senate’s Stamp of Approval

After a long struggle, partly caused by pre-midterm-election power jostling in Congress, the Senate passed a bill designed to give small businesses a leg up in a 61-38 vote on Thursday. The House is also expected to approve the bill, which some GOP types ... (continued)

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE


‘Colbert Report’: Libertea

Tuesday’s primaries brought a couple of surprising results, such as the voting victories of problematic e-mail forwarding enthusiast Carl Paladino in New York and anti-masturbation crusader Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. What are we to make of these people?

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN


Proof









Posted on Sep 16, 2010 ENLARGE



Flickr / Keith Allison (CC-BY-SA)

Will Big Tobacco’s Former Bagman Really Be the Next Speaker?

There is nothing fresh or surprising about Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the would-be speaker, a figure so closely associated with corporate special interests that he looks, sounds and behaves exactly like a lobbyist.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



Bungie

Video Games Are Good for Your Brain

Don’t listen to Hillary Clinton. Video games are good for you. They make you and your children sharper, and kids should be able to play them without permission.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE


Obama Releases 500,000 Men From U.S. Strategic Bachelor Reserve

In response to a serious shortage in sensitive, eligible males in the U.S., President Barack Obama authorizes the unleashing of 500,000 bachelors into American society in this faux news clip from The Onion. It’s unclear, though, whether they’re technically considered combat troops.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN


rosary
Flickr / rohan_chennai

British Probe Finds Convicted Priests Still in the Fold

The Catholic Church has made remorseful noises and gestures in response to the widespread allegations of clergy sex abuse coming in from multiple dioceses, and some accused parties have been duly punished in recent months ... or have they?

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE



cornsugar.com

Corn Syrup by Any Other Name (Please)

Now that high fructose corn syrup has officially been smeared by everyone from foodie guru Michael Pollan to political prankster Stephen Colbert, the business brass behind the maligned sweetener has gone into identity crisis mode ... and emerged with a bold new rebranding campaign.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE


The Strange Death of Moderate Republicanism

After two decades in which moderates fled a party increasingly dominated by its right wing, the Republican primary electorate has been reduced to nothing but its right wing.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE


Scary Primary Results

Partisan Democrats are delighted about Christine O’Donnell’s Republican primary victory over Rep. Mike Castle in the race for the open Delaware Senate seat. I’m despondent.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / John Lewis (CC-BY)

Too Big to Fail, Except Online

JPMorgan Chase is America’s second biggest bank, further fattened from gobbling up the carcasses of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, so it stands to reason that millions of Americans have been inconvenienced by the inexplicable meltdown of the company’s website.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE


Karl Rove Is Not a Fan of Christine O’Donnell

This little exchange between Karl Rove and Delaware primary victor Christine O’Donnell, mediated by George Stephanopolous on Wednesday’s “Good Morning America,” just might indicate that the tea party movement is creating rifts within the GOP in a potentially useful way for the opposition.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN



AP / Saurabh Das

Quran-Burning Controversy Still Sparking Unrest in Afghanistan

With an eye on Saturday’s parliamentary elections, the Taliban is evidently making sure that Afghans don’t forget the recent Quran-burning hubbub in the U.S. (thanks a lot, Pastor Jones), as some 800 people gathered in Kabul for ... (continued)

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE



bbc.co.uk

BP’s Hayward Says Oil Spill Was Personally ‘Devastating’

His tenure as BP’s chief executive is almost up, and outgoing CEO Tony Hayward has changed his tune about the effect that last spring’s cataclysmic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had on him personally, making public statements on Wednesday that sounded ... (continued)

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Charles Dharapak

After Summers Comes the Fall

When will the president give Lawrence Summers his pink slip? He can thank him for his years of service and use the excuse that his top economic adviser wants to spend more time with his family. I don’t care how he sugarcoats it.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE


A Myth About Job Creation

It is taken as gospel among politicians of both parties that small business is the engine of job creation. Obama, McCain, Bush, Kerry, Clinton and Reagan have made that claim. Only one problem: The assertions are overblown and simplistic.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE


Naomi Klein: Building an Independent Left

The “Shock Doctrine” author tells Laura Flanders, “We have to build that independent left. It has to be so strong and so radical and so militant and so powerful that it becomes irresistible.”

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN



U.S. Army / Sgt. Derec Pierson

A New Season in Military Fashions

“Transformation” is the new military buzzword, meaning reorienting the military institution for “the complex insurgencies” that “planners say will dominate the 21st century.” Robert Gates, the U.S. secretary of defense, was quoted as saying that Afghanistan provides the “laboratory” for this change.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE



Wayne National Forest / Alex Snyder (CC-BY)

A Little Missed Sunshine

When first lady Michelle Obama started an organic garden at the White House, she sparked a national discussion on food, obesity, health and sustainability. But the green action on the White House lawn hasn’t made it to the White House roof, unfortunately.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE



christine2010.com

Tea Party Mobilizes for Primary Battles

In the lead-up to November’s midterm elections, there have been signs in some states that moderate Republican candidates might face considerable challenges from tea party contenders.  (continued)

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Tinou Bao (CC-BY)

Fashion Police: France Votes to Ban the Burqa

The French Senate voted 246-1 Tuesday to make it illegal for women to wear garments that cover their entire faces. The measure, if greenlighted by a constitutional body, will affect only a few thousand people, but its implications for religious freedom and women’s rights have attracted international interest.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE



‘The Great American Stickup’: How Wall Street Occupied Washington

The big cop-out in much of what has been written about the banking meltdown has been the argument by those most complicit that there was “enough blame to go around” and that no institution or individual should be singled out for accountability. “How could we have known?” is the refrain of those who continue to pose as all-knowing experts.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE


A Back-to-School Pep Talk From President Obama

It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since President Obama’s last back-to-school speech—the one that got certain detractors in a tizzy about his purported plans to brainwash America’s youth with dangerous socialist messages.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN



fao.org

U.N. Says Global Hunger Is ‘Unacceptably High’

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has released a new report gauging global hunger in 2010, and the FAO surmised that worldwide undernourishment, although slightly improved from 2009, remains “unacceptably high.” This raises the question: Is there ever an “acceptable” level?

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE


‘Daily Show’: Islamophobiapalooza

Several of Bill O’Reilly’s colleagues at Fox News clearly don’t subscribe to his patented “No Spin Zone” formula, as the spinnage happening on the Murdochian channel about the Islamic cultural center near Manhattan’s Ground Zero is enough to power a generously proportioned dynamo.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN



‘A’ Is for Afghanistan

Today on the list: Afghanistan on life support, obsessing over punctuation, and how the Supreme Court (kind of) legalized bribery.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE



© 2010 Reese Erlich

The Carbon Racket

Proponents say cap and trade will save the world, but an innovative green project in Nepal exposes the carbon market’s flaws.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE


Money Talks









Posted on Sep 13, 2010 ENLARGE    


Enthusiasm









Posted on Sep 13, 2010 ENLARGE


Newt and the Closet Kenyan

Is Newt Gingrich just pretending to have lost his mind, or has he actually gone around the bend? His lunacy certainly seems genuine enough.

Posted on Sep 13, 2010 READ MORE


Axelrod on ‘Politically Toxic’ Health Care Reform

The president’s political guru defends health care reform, which appears to be the redheaded stepchild of American politics, and Obama’s handling of the economy.

Posted on Sep 13, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN


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