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pig on the run

Swine Flu Hysteria Hits the Middle East

Despite the fact that only two cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the region, the top stories around the Middle East have been about the H1N1 threat—even to the point of edging out reports of violence in Iraq in the news lineup.

Posted on May 2, 2009 READ MORE


Running Scared

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Posted on May 2, 2009 READ MORE


swine flu
AP photo / Paul Sakuma

Not All Swine Flu News Is Bad

Of course, nobody knows for sure how the H1N1 swine flu virus might morph in the future, but the word from the science community suggests that the current strain may not be quite as catastrophic as it’s been cracked up to be.

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Souter, Specter and Swine Flu

This week’s episode of “Left, Right & Center” is jam-packed full of news, much of it having to do with words beginning with “s,” incidentally. Also, did Obama pass his first 100-day test?

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


White House Twitter
Twitter.com / WhiteHouse

White House All Atwitter

It’s not entirely clear how the White House joining the cyber-ranks of MySpace, Facebook and Twitter will serve to make the American government more “transparent” and “efficient,” but perhaps micro-blogging will save our democracy ... or maybe we’ll get to hear about what Joe Biden had for lunch.

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


Specter
syracuse.com

With Their Magic Bullet, Dems Have No More Excuses

As counsel for the Warren Commission, Arlen Specter described a “magic bullet” that changed America. Four decades later as a U.S. senator, Specter is providing another history-altering magic bullet—one Democrats will either fire off in a starting gun, or use in their suicide.

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


Republicans on a Bridge to Nowhere

At this point, I’m almost ready to start rooting for the Republicans. No, not really. There’s no “mercy rule” in politics. And anyway, the increasingly bitter ideologues who control what’s left of the Grand Old Party are so bereft of new ideas—and so determined to obstruct rather than collaborate—that I could never wish them well.

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


Dudes
forward.com

Justice Dept. Drops AIPAC Spy Case

President Obama’s Justice Department has moved to drop all espionage charges against two former AIPAC lobbyists after they were accused of disseminating sensitive information to journalists and diplomats gleaned from conversations with senior Bush administration officials.

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


Painting on May Day
flickr.com

Dare We Use the S-Word?

The current global economic crisis is not just another roller-coaster ride. Many sane and sober observers fear that the international locomotive of corporatism is going off the rails. Is this a necessary crisis of the capitalist system, determined by the self-destruction and self-renovation of a perpetual motion machine?

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Lou Cannon on Ronald Reagan

The debate over our 40th president’s role in ending the Cold War continues with the publication of James Mann’s “The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan.”

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


Souter Painting
np.edu.sg

Souter Is Outer

U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter is reportedly planning to retire from the bench at the end of the court’s current term. Souter’s decision to leave will likely not affect the political balance of the court, as his replacement by President Obama will likely be another liberal-minded justice.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 READ MORE


Troopz
arcent.army.mil

One If by Land, Two If by Flee

Six years after the disastrous invasion of Iraq, Britain’s armed forces have formally ended their combat mission in the war-torn country. Believing that their role is finished, U.K. government officials handed over control of their base to the U.S.—not Iraqi—military.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Obama’s Next Target: Hedge Funds

President Obama gave certain hedge fund manager types who held out for “an unjustified taxpayer bailout,” as he put it, a dressing down in the midst of his comments about Chrysler’s bankruptcy filing on Thursday. Needless to say, that didn’t go over so well with the targeted demographic.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 READ MORE


Combating Epidemic Ignorance

Some on the right are blaming immigrants for swine flu in the U.S. Actually, the outbreak had nothing to do with immigrants and everything to do with ordinary travel and commerce.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Life as a Makeover

Susan Boyle’s 15 minutes, OK, 15 days, of fame have fueled a smackdown between those two strains that braid and twist their way through our culture: self-acceptance and self-improvement.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


The End of the Middle Class as We Know It

This is how it ends. Or at least, this is how the latest, sad chapter in a story that has been ending for three decades is written.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Famous Dick

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Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE    


Breakup

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AP photo / Nell Redmond

B of A Chairman Dethroned

Kenneth D. Lewis was relieved of the Bank of America chairmanship by shareholders Wednesday in a backlash from the highly criticized Merrill Lynch acquisition. He does, however, retain his two other titles, president and CEO.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Congress
space-rockets.com

House Passes Matthew Shepard Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, on Wednesday. Similar but weaker legislation had failed two years ago in the face of opposition from President Bush. Before Wednesday’s vote, Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx created a stir by taking issue with the bill’s name, claiming Shepard’s murder in 1998 didn’t constitute a hate crime.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


obama
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Obama’s Hallmark Moment

President Barack Obama addressed a crowd in Missouri on Wednesday, stating he’s “pleased … but not satisfied” with his first 100 days in office and he’s eager to get beyond this “Hallmark holiday” in order to focus on the challenges that lie ahead.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / alvy

Blind People Aren’t Crazy About Your Prius

Here’s the thing about eco-friendly hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius—they’re quiet. Too quiet, if you ask the National Federation of the Blind. Luckily, Sens. John Kerry and Arlen Specter have penned the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 to address the problem.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Toes the Liberal Line

President Obama may be sounding a positive note about his first 100 days, but there are others who beg to differ for various reasons. Take this analysis by Andrew J. Bacevich in The Boston Globe, for example, in which Bacevich points to some problematic aspects of American liberalism that Obama seems more than willing to uphold.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / sarihuella

Swine Flu on the Verge of Pandemic

With news of the first swine flu death outside of Mexico (U.S.) and the first infection of a patient with no connection to Mexico (Spain), the World Health Organization has reclassified the health scare one level short of a full pandemic and has urged governments to initiate emergency measures.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


May and Stewart

Jon Stewart Inflicts Discomfort on Cliff May

Cliff May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was clearly on the defensive as he took the hot seat during Tuesday’s “Daily Show” with the unenviable task of debating whether or not waterboarding is torture, whether American officials have to follow the Geneva Conventions under all circumstances, and whether President Truman was a war criminal.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Wall Street
weblogs.cltv.com

‘Wall Street’ Sequel in the Works

What would have happened to the likes of Gordon Gekko, the ultra-sharky villain of Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street,” in the current economic climate? We’re about to find out, as Stone and Michael Douglas, who first brought the unabashedly greedy Gekko to life in 1987, are gearing up to make a sequel to the classic financial cautionary tale.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Disclosure of ‘Secrets’ in the ’70s Didn’t Destroy the Nation

Back in the Watergate era, the Senate’s Church Committee exposed government abuses. Of course some people tried to block its work. You may have heard of a couple of them—Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner Obama Summers
AP photo / Evan Vucci

The Clinton Bubble

Has Timothy Geithner ever had lunch with a non-megamillionaire who has lost his job or home because of the banking meltdown? I ask that question after reading the list of the treasury secretary’s luncheon dates when he was head of the New York Federal Reserve, a list that the government was forced to provide in response to a lawsuit.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



Left: Flickr / realjameso16; right: World Economic Forum

Special Frenemies

President Obama and newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have their first meeting in a few weeks, a test of the special relationship between two countries that are now led by men with very different ideas about how to pursue peace in the Middle East.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Nerd Alert: IBM Does ‘Jeopardy’; Scientists Invent Ambulatory Goo

Tired of making machines that beat humans at chess, IBM is prepping a computer competitor for “Jeopardy,” which makes sense since Alex Trebek himself is computer-generated. Japanese researchers, meanwhile, have created walking goo.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Sen. Arlen Specter on Switching

The Pennsylvanian is only the 21st active senator in U.S. history to switch parties. Here is what he had to say about his change of loyalties.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Sebelius at Last

Just in time for swine flu, the Senate has confirmed Barack Obama’s pick to head the massive Health and Human Services Department, Kathleen Sebelius. Democrats were able to use the health scare to shake the upper chamber out of abortion-obsessed confirmation gridlock.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Look to the Law—Not to Whether Torture ‘Works’

The calls for an independent commission to investigate torture usually argue that a congressional investigation, or a Justice Department criminal investigation, would become so politicized as to be hopelessly compromised. I am not sure this is true.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Specter Comes Full Circle

When Arlen Specter ran for Philadelphia district attorney in 1965, he proudly proclaimed himself a “Kennedy Democrat,” but said he was running as a Republican to take on what he saw as the corruption of the city’s then-legendary Democratic machine. Forty-four years later, Arlen Specter has come full circle.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Svadilfari / Senate.gov

Senate Shake-Up: Specter Goes Blue

Arlen Specter was always too moderate for this crop of Republicans, but his surprise decision to become a Democrat has more to do with the likelihood of losing a GOP primary battle than ideological differences. Specter’s move should give the Democrats the 60 votes they need in the Senate, assuming Norm Coleman ever gives up the ghost In Minnesota.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Enough With This ‘100 Days’ Nonsense

On what basis have the cable channels decided that President Obama’s first hundred days are the most important thing to happen in the history of the world? As in the case of FDR before him, much has happened in the beginning of the president’s first term—and there is much more to come.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Dog Puppy Fetish Pakistan

The New York Times gets an inside look at a Pakistani fetish factory located next door to a fundamentalist Islamic mosque. Globalization doesn’t get more entertaining than this.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Model for an Accounting

History demands an investigation into U.S. torture. We have a contemporary model for how to conduct a politically sensitive inquiry properly, without undue theatrics and with respect for classified information. It is the 9/11 commission.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


The Devils We Know

The initial response to the flu outbreak, which may have the potential to become a pandemic, illustrates first of all how sensitive and responsive the global health-monitoring system has become.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE



Boost Your Karma With a Vote for Truthdig

Help Truthdig win a 2009 Webby for politics and avoid a future life as a sea cucumber. We’re almost certain this will work. And it’s good for your posture. Hurry, voting closes soon. Just visit pv.webbyawards.com and click Truthdig from the “select a nominee” menu at the top of the screen.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


NY Post
imageshack.us

Big U.S. Papers Take a Big Hit

We’ve all been hearing this refrain for some time, but this is getting even more serious, people: According to Business Week, circulation numbers for 11 of the 25 biggest newspapers in America have taken a nosedive—the worst drop yet since the mediapocalypse in the print world commenced.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Haunch Flu

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


I’m Afraid I Have Some Bad News…

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE    


Feeling Dirty

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Zimerman
harrisonparrott.com

Polish Politics at the Piano

Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman’s debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles took a political turn on Sunday night when he took a moment before his final number to announce that he wouldn’t play in the U.S. again as long as America pursues an imperialist agenda on the world stage.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Krugman
Wikimedia Commons / Prolineserver

Krugman on Bybee and the ‘Apparatchiks’

Clearly, Paul Krugman, pictured above, is no fan of federal Judge Jay Bybee, legislative enabler of the “enhanced interrogation technique” that’s become one shameful symbol of the past eight years: waterboarding. You know it’s not good when Newt Gingrich is held up as a paragon of a bygone, and preferable, brand of Republicanism.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer

Joe Wilson Wants Dick Cheney to Let It All Hang Out

Ever the fan of cherry-picking, former Vice President Dick Cheney has called for the declassification of select intelligence he claims would polish his torture legacy. Whistle-blower extraordinaire Joe Wilson says the “most secretive individual in American politics” shouldn’t stop there—why not air all of the Bush administration’s dirty laundry once and for all?

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


The Other White Meat [A Cartoon From France]

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Too Old

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE    


Take It From Bert

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE    


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