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book cover

Peter Stothard on Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens reveals a life in contradictions in “Hitch-22,” a brilliant memoir that is at turns comic, self-deflating and sexually frank.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE


Square, Category Page

Flickr / Evil Erin (CC-BY)

Tanning Machines Cause Cancer, Study Finds

File this one under the medical science of “duh,” but people who use indoor tanning beds are 74 percent likelier to develop melanoma, a new study has found. According to one researcher, “Our data would suggest that there is no safe tanning device.” Someone alert the cast of “Jersey Shore.”

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE

The Texas Textbook Massacre

Our friends at Brave New Films sent us this update on the Texas Board of Education’s partisan rewriting of American history. If you haven’t been angry enough today, hop past the jump and give it a gander.

Posted on May 27, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN

Terry Gou
AP / Kin Cheung

10th Suicide Rocks Chinese Company

Although Terry Gou, chairman of the Taiwan-based electronics maker Foxconn, visited the suicide-plagued branch of his company in Shenzhen, China, on Wednesday in an attempt to get to the root of the ongoing tragedy, answers aren’t coming fast enough ... (continued)

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE

Gulf Spill Worst in U.S. History

By the most conservative estimate, BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster has already spilled nearly twice as much oil as the Exxon Valdez. The impact of the 1989 environmental and commercial catastrophe is still being felt in Alaska more than 20 years later. The gulf spill could already be five times as big as Valdez. Watch live footage of the effort to stop the undersea gusher after the jump.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE

There Goes Palin’s Neighborhood

I’m with Sarah Palin on this one. Her new neighbor, it turns out, is author Joe McGinniss. Coincidence? I think not. McGinniss wrote an unflattering profile of Palin for Portfolio magazine last year, and he’s now writing a book about the former Alaska governor.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE

Reminder: Live Chat With Robert Scheer at 3 PT

Join Robert Scheer at 3 PM Pacific for a live discussion on Rand Paul and social justice. Can’t make it? Submit a question now and Bob will try to answer during the chat.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE


Weight Loss Drug Linked to Liver Injury

The instances in which a popular weight loss drug, orlistat, has been associated with liver damage may be rare, but said damage can also be severe. That would be Alli, as in “my Alli.” Not so much, apparently.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE


Finally, Some Overdue Attention to the Pancake Crisis

The highly pressing matter of H.R. 323, otherwise known as the “IHOPs Should Stay Open All Night So We Can Get Some Pancakes Act,” may be a figment of The Onion writing staff’s twisted satirical imagination, but we can’t say for sure that ideas like this haven’t occurred to our friends in Congress.

Posted on May 27, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN


Obama: This Whole Oil Spill Situation Is Really Bad, People

OK, so he actually called it an “unparalleled disaster,” but you get the idea: President Barack Obama took a moment Thursday morning to announce that the federal government had been on British Petroleum’s gulf oil spill from the very start and to declare unequivocally ... (continued)


Posted on May 27, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN

White House / Pete Souza

Obama Rewrites America’s Nat’l Security Strategy

The first-strike mentality of the Bush years, along with the attendant unilateral military exploits, has fallen from favor in President Barack Obama’s revised national security scheme for the U.S.—or so goes the spin on that plan.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE

David Byrne
Wikimedia Commons /

David Byrne Hits Charlie Crist With Suit Over Song

Let it be understood that Talking Heads’ 1985 classic tune “Road to Nowhere” was not intended for use in political campaigns. Embattled Florida Gov. Charlie Crist found this out the hard way after setting a campaign ad to the song without singer/composer David Byrne’s permission—which he clearly wouldn’t have gotten anyway.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE

When Oil and Hurricane Mix

What happens when you mix a massive oil spill with a hurricane? When Obama finally decides to negotiate with the Taliban, what will he ask for? And how did Jane Austen become such a big celebrity? Answers to these and other vexing questions after the jump.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE

In the Bag

Posted on May 27, 2010 ENLARGE    

The Muddle Oozing From the Gulf

So who is in charge of stopping the oil spill, BP or the federal government? The answer to this question seems as murky as the water around the exploded oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE

What Rand Really Believes

Rand Paul, tea party flavor of the month, is said to be avoiding “overexposure.” When he emerges from hiding and explains his most extreme positions, even many Republicans may think twice or three times before they vote for him.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE

RFK and Monroe
Keya Gallery via Legman LA

Marilyn Monroe and Two Kennedys, Captured in a Snap

Given the scuttlebutt about Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy brothers (well, two of them, anyway), not to mention the murder and conspiracy theories still circulating about her untimely death, it makes some sense that there’d be few, if any, candid images of the screen siren ... (continued)

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Jonathan Alter: Health Care Puts Obama in FDR’s League

Newsweek senior editor and columnist Jonathan Alter talks about his new book, “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” and why “Just by getting health care through ... [Barack Obama is] now standing alone with Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson in terms of domestic achievement.”

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Jonathan Alter: Health Care Puts Obama in FDR’s League

Newsweek senior editor and columnist Jonathan Alter talks about his new book, “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” and why “Just by getting health care through ... [Barack Obama is] now standing alone with Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson in terms of domestic achievement.”

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE

Cordoba House plan

N.Y. Board Gives Go-Ahead to Mosque Near Ground Zero

Following a sometimes lively debate Tuesday night, a Manhattan community board voted in favor of a plan to build the Cordoba House, a mosque and Muslim cultural center, near ground zero.

Posted on May 26, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN

Apple Passes Microsoft to Become the World’s Biggest Tech Company

Apple fan-boys and -girls, rejoice. The iCorporation is now worth more than the dreaded Microsoft. But don’t get too excited: Bill Gates’ gang has a few ideas to get back in the game, and some bloggers claim that Google, whose Android is outselling the iPhone, “has leapfrogged” Apple in terms of innovation. (continued)

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE

top drill method

BP Goes In for the Top Kill

The news that British Petroleum began its latest attempt to contain the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill Wednesday afternoon with the “top kill” stopgap strategy would be more heartening if it didn’t come so late in the game—and if there was more of a guarantee that it would do the job.

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Department of Justice

A.G. Huddles With Top Cops About Arizona Law

On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder met with police chiefs from several big cities—including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Houston and Philadelphia—who are concerned about the potential effects of Arizona’s SB 1070 on ... (continued)

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE


Clinton Talks Tough About North Korea

The sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan back in March was “an unacceptable provocation by North Korea,” according to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who declared Wednesday in Seoul that “the international community has a responsibility and a duty to respond.”

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / underbiteman (CC-BY)

Note to Readers

We are currently recovering from what we believe thought was an attack on the site. We were down for over an hour. In restoring the site, we appear to have lost a number of comments. We deeply regret this. We appreciate the time and thought you put into your comments and we will do our best to retrieve them. Update after the jump.

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s New Security Strategy Looks Much Like the Old One

Though the president reiterated his promise of success, the future he outlined at West Point is hard to distinguish from what we have already been through in Iraq, with less than reassuring results.

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE

Winners and Losers

Posted on May 26, 2010 ENLARGE

AP / Jessica Hill

Blame Clinton, Not Paul

What is so great about our bloated federal government that when a libertarian threatens to become a senator, otherwise rational and mostly liberal pundits start frothing at the mouth? What Rand Paul thinks about the Civil Rights Act, passed 46 years ago, hardly seems the most pressing issue of social justice before us.

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE

Palin Refuses to Learn Anything

Sarah Palin has had ample time now, outside the crash course of a presidential campaign, to develop and exhibit some understanding of the issues. Her learning curve, from all the available evidence, is a flat line.

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE

Alleged Chicago Torturer’s Overdue Day in Court

Abu Ghraib has nothing over Chicago. Forty years ago, Jon Burge returned from Vietnam, joined the Chicago Police Department and allegedly began torturing people.

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Rob Shenk (CC-BY-SA)

Jim Webb to Military Gays: Not So Fast, Mary

Democratic Sen. Jim Webb says he won’t vote for the compromise ending the ban on gays in the military until the Pentagon completes its review of the policy, even though the whole point of the compromise is that the ban wouldn’t actually end until the military completes its review. (continued)

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE

Jamaican troops

Dozens Dead in Jamaica Standoff

The death toll rose again in Jamaica on Tuesday, the third day of violent clashes between governmental forces and supporters of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, whom the U.S. is seeking to extradite on gun-running and drug-trafficking charges.  (continued)

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE

gringo mask

Miami Ad Agency Rolls Out ‘Gringo Masks’ for the Masses

When life gives you SB 1070, make Gringo Masks. That’s the response of the Miami-based agency Zumi Advertising, whose clever marketers came up with handy his ’n’ hers facial accouterments for anyone to slap on and instantly look whiter ... (continued) 

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE


Tensions Brew Between Tea Party, GOP

Now that we’ve gotten the inevitable tea party pun out of the way, here’s the newsy bit: According to the astute analysis of Salon’s Gabriel Winant, the relationship between the GOP’s powers that be and certain sachet-carrying members of the tea party ... (continued)

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Christopher M. Burke

N. Korea Severs Ties, Orders Preparations for War

Tensions between North and South Korea are spiraling out of control. The north has cut all ties, and Kim Jong-il reportedly ordered his forces to prepare to defend against attack. Seoul continues to push for satisfaction in the U.N. Security Council after the north allegedly torpedoed a South Korean warship. (continued)

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE

Polish flood

Floodwaters Threaten Warsaw, Claim at Least 14 in Poland

The Polish people are having a rough time of it this spring. At least 14 people have died in recent days after Poland’s largest river, the Vistula, flooded an area some 50 miles away from Warsaw, and the capital city is in danger of becoming waterlogged as well.

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Coast Guard / CPO John Kepsimelis

EPA Weighs Sanctions Against BP

Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency are considering whether to bar BP from receiving government contracts, a move that would ultimately cost the company billions in revenue and could end its drilling in federally controlled oil fields.

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE


Alabama Republican’s Campaign Ad = Comedy Gold

Equine enthusiast and budding politician Dale Peterson’s unintentionally hilarious campaign ad, in which he and his horse make their case for why he should become Alabama’s next agriculture commissioner, hardly requires any embellishment to be soundly parodied ... (continued)

Posted on May 25, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN

Out of the Ashes Edition

We’re all on Prozac, Stravinsky gets arrested for messing with the anthem, Twitter is taking over the world (and Larry’s List) and the Dalai Lama is introduced to the Green Party. Will the world survive today’s list? Not as we know it.

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE

I Came, I Saw

Posted on May 24, 2010 ENLARGE    

British Petroleum—Here to Help You

Posted on May 24, 2010 ENLARGE

Give Some Answers, Dr. Paul

Not so fast, everybody. Rand Paul can’t abruptly disavow the extremist views on civil rights that he’s been espousing for years and expect us all to just move along.

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE

US Army / Mike Strasser

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Compromise Could Pass This Week

The White House, congressional leaders, the Pentagon and gay rights activists have hammered out a deal that could finally end the military’s ban on gays serving openly. A vote could come as soon as this week, but the ban would remain until the president and military leaders agreed to lift it. (continued)

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE

DoD photo / SSG Lorie Jewell, U.S. Army

Secret U.S. Plans for Clandestine Mideast Military Activity Brought to Light

The New York Times is calling it a “secret directive,” but it’s not so secret anymore, it would appear: Back in September, Gen. David Petraeus signed an order to expand “clandestine military activity” around the Middle East.

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE


‘SATC 2’ Review: Marking the ‘Misogynistic, Borderline Racist’ End of an Era

The early word is out on the second “Sex and the City” movie, and according to at least one former-fan-turned-reviewer, the franchise has officially gone to Hades in a Birkin bag, taking what she believes was once a series with a warm heart beating under all those ... (continued)

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE

Salazar: ‘All-Stars’ Will ‘Kill This Well’

The interior secretary, defending the government’s response to the ocean of oil building up in the Gulf of Mexico, says the U.S. has assembled “a team of all-stars that are now leading an Apollo 13 type effort” to kill the well and contain the disaster.

Posted on May 24, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN

Flickr / hyku (CC-BY)

Supreme Court Rules Against NFL

In a ruling that has implications for other professional sports leagues, the Supreme Court decided Monday that NFL teams are individual businesses that are subject to antitrust laws when they act collectively (via the league) to limit competition. (continued)

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE

kid at computer
Flickr / @cdharrison

Technology News Flash: Computer Users Slightly Less Inclined to IM

Those fickle users of online communication technologies have defied the expectations of both select BBC reporters and people paid to study these things, at least when it comes to their instant messaging, which has apparently dropped off in recent years. Why could this be?

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE

Rep. Alan Grayson Introduces the ‘War Is Making You Poor Act’

The bill would cut the DoD’s budget and use that money to make the first $35,000 each American earns tax-free.

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE

South Korean warship
AP / Yonhap, Jin Sung-chul

U.S. to Join Forces With South Korea for Seafaring Exercises

In a move that predictably provoked the North Korean government, the Pentagon acknowledged that U.S. forces would be conducting naval exercises with their South Korean counterparts as a show of solidarity with Seoul following the sinking of the warship Cheonan in March.

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE

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