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Ulysses

By James Joyce

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Dow Jones falls
AP photo / Frank Franklin II

Jobless Rate Rises, Stock Market Dives

The employment market and the stock market both took major hits Thursday, with new jobless claims registering as high as 627,000 and market indicators like the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq composite index dipping alarmingly low.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Zaidi
AP photo / Evan Vucci

The Shoe-Thrower Speaks

Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, who quickly became renowned throughout the world after chucking his shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad last December, took the stand in court Thursday to defend his memorable act as a gesture of self-expression, on behalf of both himself and “the Iraqi people.”

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Post protest

Protesters Call for Boycott of N.Y. Post

The New York Post may yet discover that not all publicity is good publicity, particularly when it comes to the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper’s decision to run a cartoon on Wednesday linking Washington politicians (perhaps one in particular) to a marauding chimpanzee. The cartoon sparked an uproar that on Thursday found hundreds of protesters demanding a boycott of the Post by readers and advertisers.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Health Care Reform Can’t Wait

The national health care crisis, intensified by the recession, is so bad that nothing can be permitted to stop reform of the system, not even the implosion of the president’s health czar.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Two-Headed Monster

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The Pencil

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Good News for the Taliban

We seem to have spent our way—to the tune of $864 billion—into allowing our friends the Pakistanis to enter into a peace treaty, or something that looks like it, with the Taliban.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


There Was No GOP ‘Victory’

Republicans congratulate themselves for remaining unified in defeat and whine about Obama’s refusal to capitulate—but in fact it is they who have failed in the initial episode of a confrontation that will certainly continue for four years.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Downward Automobility

It makes sense to prop up ailing carmakers. Allowing GM and Chrysler to go bankrupt could be a triggering event that might make a very bad economy much worse.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


High Ideals in Low Times

  If freedom is just another word for no high-flying jobs left for new college graduates to lose, it opens room for risk-taking. And—dare I say it?—idealism.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Chris Matthews

Who Dares Defy King Rush?

Chris Matthews dares GOP strategist Todd Harris to say something negative about Rush Limbaugh. He can’t, which leads the “Hardball” host to wonder whether anyone in the GOP is willing to risk Rush’s ire.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



telegraph.co.uk

N.Y. Post Cartoon Goes Way, Way Over the Line

The New York Post is no stranger to controversy, but the rag’s latest goes beyond its typically low standards: A cartoon shows two cops, one of whom points his smoking gun at a bullet-riddled, bloody chimp. His partner says: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
change.gov

Attorney General: On Race, America Is ‘a Nation of Cowards’

Speaking at a Justice Department event in honor of Black History Month, the first black attorney general, appointed by the first black president, acknowledged that America has made progress but warned that “in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” His full remarks, after the jump.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Robber Barons
icsd.k12.ny.us

A Non-Rising Tide Lifts No Boats

The rationale of the TARP bailout’s “capital-injection program”—providing banks with capital that will increase loans to consumers and businesses—has apparently been forgotten by the 20 largest banks that received TARP money. A Treasury Department survey has found that lending in the last quarter of 2008 was stagnant, or even slightly declined, despite $250 billion in capital-injection funds.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


General Chrysler
truckend.com

More Aid, Please

General Motors, recipient of the 2009 “Nation’s Most Resistant-to-Change Company That Still Gets Federal Assistance” award, wants more. The auto giant on Wednesday asked for $16.6 billion in loans, on top of the $13.4 billion already granted. All this amid GM plans to shed 47,000 jobs worldwide.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Bank Owned
willows-journal.com

$75 Billion to Fight Foreclosures

While $700 billion was given to the banks and credit institutions that haphazardly pushed forward our current economic fiasco, millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure may now be given only about one-tenth of that figure—$75 billion—in an effort to slow the deterioration of the housing market.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Paul Morse / Pete Souza

Good Money After Bad

Congressional Republicans, with the exception of that embarrassingly shrunken contingent of three moderates, will rue their legacy of deep indifference at a time of true national emergency, one that makes George W. Bush’s far more costly war on terror now seem an absurdly irrelevant exercise.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


The Early Consumer

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Modern Times

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The Patriarch

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America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or establish permanent NATO bases there, or are we searching for Osama bin Laden? It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Aaron Escobar

Coping With Corporate Media

The Truthdig Podcast is back and better than ever. This week the panel tackles our obsession with imperfect athletes, the first days of the Obama administration and the decline of media. Special guest Megan Tady, campaign coordinator for Free Press, joins James Harris and Josh Scheer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Jailing Kids for Cash

As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / Sgt. Zach Otto, U.S. Army

Obama Throws 17,000 Troops at Afghanistan Mess

President Obama’s desire to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a sore spot for the progressives and anti-war folk who helped elect him, took a major step forward Tuesday when the White House announced plans to raise troop levels in Afghanistan by 50 percent over the next few months.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


construction signs
Flickr / jphilipg

Infrastructure Spending Shafts the States That Need It

ProPublica did some digging into the infrastructure spending bundled into the stimulus package—the $100 billion that promises have the biggest impact in terms of job creation—and found that Wyoming is getting more than $20,100 per unemployed worker while Michigan, a state on the verge of a labor apocalypse, is expected to have to make do with just $2,434.37.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Burris
senate.gov

Burris Did More for Blagojevich Than He Let On

Surprise! Roland Burris has no credibility. The man who condemned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat—until he was appointed to it—has revealed that, contrary to what he told the United States Congress in sworn testimony, he tried to raise money, as requested, for the governor-turned-auctioneer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Smash-Me Bernie
minimemodelworks.com

Oh, Look ... You’ve Gone and Broken Your New Doll

Ah, capitalism. First, we had Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff making big money off his clients, and now here comes ModelWorks, a toy manufacturer with an enterprising plan for how to profit off the failed financier in turn.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Johnston and Palin
gaywired.com

Bristol Palin: Abstinence-Only Plan Doesn’t Work

Last fall, Bristol Palin became a controversial figure in her mother Sarah Palin’s vice presidential bid when it was revealed, not long after the elder Palin took to the campaign trail, that the teenaged Bristol was pregnant by her high school boyfriend. Now Bristol has re-emerged to make a few comments that run against her mom’s approach to teen sex ed.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
AP pool photo / Alexei Druzhinin

Avoiding Another Cold War

Relations with Russia haven’t been this frosty since there was an East Berlin. President Obama may be distracted by other priorities, but getting reacquainted with Vladimir Putin and his nuclear arsenal should be at the top of the list.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Carmaker, Banker, Broker ...

Obama must deal with a new presidential role that he did not seek but cannot avoid: managing big chunks of the private-sector economy.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Blame Your Puny Paycheck

This didn’t start with the mortgage and credit crisis. It all began with the wage crisis.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



osmoothie.com

California Plans to Fire 20,000 Workers

California has the biggest economy in the union, but the state is in a real hole. With major shortfalls and a $40 billion budget in legislative gridlock, Sacramento has laid off some workers, furloughed others and slashed wages. Now the governor is threatening to, er, terminate 20,000 more employees.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



Hollywood Battles Swedish Pirates

The founders of The Pirate Bay, one of the biggest names in file sharing, face up to two years in a hard-core Swedish prison if they can’t convince a judge that their unfortunately named Web site isn’t legally responsible for 115 million kronor worth of media piracy.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Fonda Colbert

Stephen Colbert, Feminist Icon

Gloria Steinem. Jane Fonda. Arianna Huffington. Stephen Colbert. Here we have feminism’s greatest hits. You’ve been warned.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Japanese Official Denies Getting Drunk to Survive International Boredom

Here’s one way to get through a meeting: Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa denies getting tanked at a recent G7 get-together. Nakagawa was caught slurring and nodding off during a press conference, for which he apologized and blamed cold medicine. We’ll have to remember that one. Update

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Lincoln
flickr/androfire

Survey Says: Lincoln’s Tops

It’s either a grand testimonial to the staying power of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy or a subtle put-down of his many successors, but, regardless, a survey of 65 historians conducted by C-SPAN found that Honest Abe still prevails when it comes to perception of his presidential prowess.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Hope mural
flickr/jetheriot

And Now for the Disillusionment Phase

His presidency is not yet a month old, but there already are some who are wondering aloud whether Barack Obama is going to make good on his pre-election pledges. What’s this—he’s a politician?

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Rebutting the False Choice Between Security and Freedom

A three-year review of more than 40 countries has found that justice systems prior to 9/11 were perfectly capable of combating terrorism. The U.S. and Britain were especially opportunistic in their violations of human rights and international law and gave comfort by example to other abusive regimes, the International Commission of Jurists found.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


auto industry
fordnewsblog.wordpress.com

Auto Task Force ... Activate!

What’s to be done about the floundering American automotive industry? Appoint a “car czar,” you say? No, this is a job for a whole team of people, such as the newly formed Presidential Task Force on Autos. One small hitch: It’ll be headed up by Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Denver
flickr/jeffrey beall

Obama to Take Stimulus-Signing Act to Denver

It’s finally happening: President Barack Obama is about to sign the stimulus bill. Get ready, people of Denver—he’s going to do the honors at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, of course—where else?

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Bad News From America’s Top Spy

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. Just ask the new director of national intelligence, who warned that the deepening economic crisis could trigger a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Recipe for Disaster in the Middle East

Gas may be cheap again, but the bursting of the petro bubble has sent unemployment soaring to 40 percent among Middle Easterners 15 to 24 years old, stirring unrest. Dubai’s airport parking lots are littered with abandoned cars as foreign nationals flee. Egypt, with half a million newly unemployed headed home from abroad, could see a repeat of last year’s bloody economic riots.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


A Hand on History

President Obama senses that fate has handed him opportunities few presidents ever get, and that his test will be whether he makes good use of his chance to bend history at one of its “inflection points.”

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / openDemocracy

No More Term Limits for Venezuela’s Chavez

Hugo Chavez can remain Venezuela’s president until he dies, gets bored or loses the job in an election, now that a referendum dropping term limits has succeeded. Chavez was facing mandatory retirement in 2012. An earlier attempt to extend his time in office failed. International election observers pronounced the process free and fair.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / illuminating9_11

Gaza’s Baby Boom

According to a Palestinian census, the population of Gaza jumped by 40 percent between 1997 and 2007. West Bank officials expect the Gaza population, which they estimate at 1.4 million, to double over the next 21 years.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE


Downsized

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Nuts

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Isolating the Gay Gene

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Roid Rage

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Flickr / Jeffrey Beall

Pols Sink or Swim With the Stimulus

President Obama on Tuesday will sign the stimulus bill, which passed without the support of a single House Republican and with only three votes from the GOP in the Senate. With battle lines that stark, lawmakers have tied their fates to that of the bill.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE


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