Petraeus says there’s plenty more Afghan war where that came from, Saudi Arabia gets to buy an election or two and Social Security goes on the chopping block. These stories and more on today’s list.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

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Redundant Scientific Illustration of the Day

A massive salami recall has been initiated in the United States over fear of salmonella poisoning.

Great Ideas That Never Caught On … Disney-logoed DDT-impregnated wallpaper for the kids’ room (1947).

Is There Also a Teleprompter in the Presidential Bathroom?

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Compares Helping Poor With ‘Feeding Stray Animals’ South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has compared giving people government assistance to “feeding stray animals.”

Petraeus: Afghan War Will Be Longer Than Iraq One In an in-depth interview with the Times of London gearing up for the London Conference on Afghanistan later this week, CENTCOM commander General David Petraeus again cautioned that the war was going to “get harder before it gets easier.”

A Solution to the Corporate Takeover of Politics: Free TV Ads Forget campaign finance laws—this is the solution!

Bibles in the Bunkers Cause Afghan Row The US’s highest ranking military officer has said it is not the US military’s position to promote any specific religion, after Al Jazeera revealed footage of troops apparently preparing to convert Afghans to their Christian faith.

Obama Puts Social Security on the Chopping Block Hope for lasting liberal change was washed away on Tuesday—not just with the loss of the Democrats’ super-majority in the Senate, but with a closed-door deal that would lead to cuts in bedrock liberal programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

The Age of Affirmation A new study finds that TV viewers watch the news more for affirmation than for information.

National Arts Index Paints a Troubling Picture While the number of arts organizations increased rapidly over a recent 10-year span, the percentage of people attending arts events declined, a new national survey by the nonprofit group Americans for the Arts reported Wednesday.

Manchurian Candidates: Supreme Court Allows China and Others Unlimited Spending in U.S. Elections I’m losing sleep over the millions — or billions — of dollars that could flood into our elections from ARAMCO, the Saudi Oil corporation’s U.S. unit; or from the maker of “New Order” fashions, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Or from Bin Laden Construction Corporation. Or Bin Laden Destruction Corporation.

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