Monday, August 30, 2010

News Nuggets 428

Oh ... isn't he just darling!  The 300-lb+ kitty who gets bottle-fed by his "Dad."  The owner needs to have his head examined.  See the Tiger Nugget below from the Daily Mail.

Obama's Iraq (Michael O'Hanlon & Ian Livingston) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"With U.S. combat troops out, the country remains fragile. But the drawdown has gone much better than anyone expected."

The Gulf War at 20: Its Lessons Today (Richard Haass) from the Daily Star [of Lebanon in English]
"The United States has used military force numerous times for a range of purposes. Today, the US is working to extricate itself from a second conflict involving Iraq, trying to figure out a way forward in Afghanistan, and contemplating the use of force against Iran. So the question arises: What can we learn from the first Iraq war, one widely judged as a military and diplomatic success?"

"Not only have these labor disputes played havoc with major manufacturing facilities in many parts of the country, they have also brought to the fore a serious dispute within the Chinese Communist Party as to how to reconcile workers' demands for higher wages with the need to maintain high economic growth."

AP Report: US Wasted Billions in Rebuilding Iraq from the Associated Press via Raw Story
"Hundreds of abandoned, incomplete projects as US hands off to Iraqis."

Flood Tides In Pakistan (Steve Coll) from the New Yorker
"So far, the Obama Administration has displayed the right instincts in responding to the deluge in Pakistan. But many challenges remain."

St. Peter and the Minarets (Harvey Cox) from the National Interest
"In this encyclical, Benedict declares that the whole Church (and this obviously includes priests and bishops) should be involved in working for structural change, especially to nurture peace, to prevent the degradation of the planet, and to combat economic injustice and inequality."

"This iconic county of 3.1 million people passed something of a milestone in June. The percentage of registered Republican voters dropped to 43 percent, the lowest level in 70 years."

The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party (Frank Rich) from the New York Times
"All three tycoons are the latest incarnation of what the historian Kim Phillips-Fein labeled “Invisible Hands” in her prescient 2009 book of that title: those corporate players who have financed the far right ever since the du Pont brothers spawned the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R."

Obama, Beck and America (Michael Tomasky) from the Guardian [of the UK]
"They believe government strangles their liberty. I guess they really believe, as Beck put it, that "we are on the side of individual freedoms and liberties and, damn it, we will reclaim the civil rights movement." The two problems here are, first, that while they think they owe government nothing, they actually owe government a great deal."

"What they do agree on is God is the answer,” Beck said near the end of the rally. Speaker after speaker lamented the current state not of politics, but of culture: America needs a return to tradition, to the ideas and ways of the founding fathers."

It's Witch-Hunt Season (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"The last time a Democrat sat in the White House, he faced a nonstop witch hunt by his political opponents. Prominent figures on the right accused Bill and Hillary Clinton of everything from drug smuggling to murder. And once Republicans took control of Congress, they subjected the Clinton administration to unrelenting harassment ...  Now it’s happening again — except that this time it’s even worse"

New Frog is Right on the Money from the National Geographic News
"An adult male of the new species is about the size of a pea. Their size makes them hard to spot, but fortunately for scientists, these mini-frogs have a loud croak."

"Bengals may be fearless predators when in their natural environment, but Panjo is more at home playing with Goosey Fernandes and his adopted family at thier home near Pretoria, South Africa."
This guy is nuts.

The Uprooted: Chronicling the Great Migration (Jill Lepore) from the New Yorker
"Wilkerson has taken on one of the most important demographic upheavals of the past century—a phenomenon whose dimensions and significance have eluded many a scholar—and told it through the lives of three people no one has ever heard of."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

News Nuggets 427

Domesticated Asian elephants in Sri Lanka.  From National Geographic.

After Iraq from the Editorial Board of the Economist [of London]
"America has had a bruising decade. But do not underestimate either the superpower or its president."

The President and the Peace Process (the Lexington column) from the Economist [of London]
"A thankless task, but at least Barack Obama seems to be trying."

Still Striving for MLK's Dream in the 21st Century (Martin Luther King III) from the Washington Post
"It is clear from the timing and location that the rally's organizers present this event as also honoring the ideals and contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. I would like to be clear about what those ideals are."

The Sobering Message of the Mosque (Ronald Brownstein) from the National Journal
"Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans, including not only Republicans but also independents, oppose locating the mosque near Ground Zero. But surveys in the controversy's wake have also shown a surprisingly broad receptivity to much harsher assessments of Islam, particularly among Republicans and conservatives."

One Set of Shoulders: China's Hidden Revolution from the New York Review of Books
"Other Chinese parents I spoke with said similar things about their children, complaining about their remoteness, their social isolation, and their obsession with technology. They seem an alien race of free-floating individuals."

Same-Sex Marriage Gains GOP Support from the Washington Post
"A growing number of Republicans are breaking with the party's traditional stance to publicly state their support for same-sex marriage, a shift strategists say stems as much from demographics as from the renewed focus on economics and the "tea party" movement."
Shocking!!  It is not what I would have guessed.

A Republican Comes Out of the Closet (Tobias Harshaw) from the New York Times
"On the right, sympathy for Ken Mehlman. On the left, not so much."

Primary Colors: Bright Red and Neon Blue (Gerald Seib) from the Wall Street Journal
"It's become increasingly dangerous for lawmakers of either party to compromise with the other side on a big issue, because politicians who do so increasingly face harsh, well-funded challenges from the ideological wings of their own parties in primary elections."

The Right Stuff: Profile of Mitch Daniels from the Economist [of London]
"Indiana's governor is a likeable wonk. Can he save the Republicans from themselves and provide a pragmatic alternative to Barack Obama?"
I've said for some time that Daniels is one of the few GOPers out there who could really pose a challenge to Obama in '12.

Republican Rivalry from the Editorial Board of the Financial Times [of London]
"Insurgents are making their voices heard in the US primary elections. The battle for the soul of the Republican party goes on. So far, on the whole, moderation and intelligence are on the losing side."

"So ends the first paragraph of the first book in Richard Rhodes’s four-volume epic. In that book, “The Making of the Atomic Bomb,” which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988, Rhodes explained how exactly the United States came to build atomic weapons. His next volume, “Dark Sun,” traced the early years of the cold war. “Arsenals of Folly” told the story of its end. And now “The Twilight of the Bombs” describes the fate of nuclear weapons since the Soviet Union collapsed."

Should We Clone Neanderthals? from Archeology Magazine
"As the Neanderthal genome is painstakingly sequenced, the archaeologists and biologists who study it will be faced with an opportunity that seemed like science fiction just 10 years ago. They will be able to look at the genetic blueprint of humankind's nearest relative and understand its biology as intimately as our own."

"An amateur historian has discovered the mummified body of a World War I solider frozen into an Italian glacier.  Dino De Bernardin made the grim find as he walked in mountains close to his home, which had been the scene of bitter fighting between Italian and Austro-Hungarian troops between 1915 and 1917."

"It was one of the oldest and most feared legions in the entire Roman Empire.
But, at some point after 108AD, it vanished - never to be heard from again. Now archaeologists have discovered a Roman 'industrial estate' near ruins which may once have been home to the famous Roman Ninth Hispanic Legion - the lost legion."

"A newly discovered planetary system orbiting a sunlike star may conceal a rare super-Earth, according to data from NASA's Kepler space telescope."
A related story goes into greater detail HERE.

Friday, August 27, 2010

News Nuggets 426

A new attraction in Darwin, Australia -- swimming with the crocs!!  From the Daily Mail of the UK.  See the Crocodile Nugget below.

For Once, Hope in the Middle East (Martin Indyk) from the New York Times
"NOW that President Obama has finally succeeded in bringing the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table, the commentariat is already dismissing his chances of reaching a peace agreement. But there are four factors that distinguish the direct talks that will get under way on Sept. 2 in Washington from previous attempts — factors that offer some reason for optimism."

Settlements versus Negotiations in the Middle East (Paul Pillar) from the National Interest
"For whatever reason, whenever George Will addresses any topic related to Israel the sharp logic, and even basic respect for historical fact and for fairness, that characterize most of his work mysteriously desert him.  It is as if his columns on this subject were ghost-written by AIPAC, with Will coming in only at the final stage to copy-edit the prose to make it consistent with his writing style."

Globo-Cop (Doug Bandow) from the National Interest 
"China is becoming a regional power. It is a decade or more away from being a genuine global power. And it will be years if not decades beyond that before the PRC is a peer of America, capable of matching U.S. power on a world scale. That should be seen as good news, at least in America. However, some Washington policymakers see no meaningful difference between the ability to defend American and the ability to attack China.  Yet that difference is critical."

"There's only one problem with Boehner's message: so far, the things that Republicans have said they want to do won't actually boost employment or reduce deficits. In fact, much the opposite."

"Interviews with BP engineers and technicians, contractors and Obama administration officials who, with the eyes of the world upon them, worked to stop the flow of oil, suggest that the process was also far more stressful, hair-raising and acrimonious than the public was aware of."

Building a Nation of Know-Nothings (Timothy Egan) from the New York Times
"Take a look at Tuesday night’s box score in the baseball game between New York and Toronto. The Yankees won, 11-5. Now look at the weather summary, showing a high of 71 for New York. The score and temperature are not subject to debate.Yet a president’s birthday or whether he was even in the White House on the day TARP was passed are apparently open questions."

Waiting for the Mavrick (Jacob Heilbrunn) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"John McCain may have survived a right-wing insurgency in the Arizona primary, but the moderate leader pundits loved isn't coming back. "

International Adoption: From a Broken Bond to an Instant Bond (Michael Gerson) from the Washington Post
"Scott Simon -- the sonorous voice of NPR's "Weekend Edition" -- has written a short, tender book about the two most important people in the world. At least to him. "Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other" recounts the arrival of his two daughters, Elise and Lina, from China, while telling the stories of other families changed by adoption. Simon describes himself as skeptical of transcendence but as taking part in a miracle."

World Bodypainting Festival in Austria (PHOTOS) from the Huffington Post
"The painting is almost impossibly elaborate and intricate, and the styles range from the glamorous to the strange to the downright scary."

More Than Man's Best Friend from Archeology Magazine
"Today there are some 77 million dogs in the United States alone. But as late as 20,000 years ago, it's possible there wasn't a single animal on the planet that looked like today's beloved (at least in some cultures) Canis lupus familiaris. Just how and when the species first became recognizably "doggy" has preoccupied scientists since the theory of evolution first gained widespread acceptance in the 19th century."

"Seeking out sun, surf, and sand is an easy enough task, but is it possible to stir seclusion into the mix, too? editors say "shore"! They've dug deep into their arsenal of secret sands to present their top picks for secluded U.S. beaches, where quiet coasts invite in-the-know sunbathers to savor their relative solitude."

How to Make a Crocodile Smile from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Inspired by the popularity of cage shark-diving, a tourist attraction has opened that allows adrenalin junkies the chance to swim with killer crocodiles. And, as these incredible pictures show, participants can get up close and personal with one of the worlds deadliest creatures."
Why, those crocs look pretty friendly to me.  Who needs a cage?!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

News Nuggets 425

A baby Silver-leaf Langur with his parents at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.  From National Geographic.

The Bomb Iran Debate From Hell from Mother Jones Magazine
"Despite Goldberg's breathless two-minutes-to-midnight schedule, there's no urgency whatsoever about debating military action against Iran. And then, of course, there's the question of the very premises of the to-bomb-or-not-to-bomb "debate." Perhaps, after all these years of obsessive Iran nuclear mania, it's too much to request a moment of sanity on the issue of Iran and the bomb. If, however, we really have a couple of years to think this over, what about starting by asking three crucial questions, each of which our debaters would prefer to avoid or ignore?"

Cover-ups and the Church in Northern Ireland from the Economist [of London]
"An official report confirms that authorities conspired to hush up a case of mass murder involving a Catholic priest."

Steal This Movie, Too (Thomas Friedman) from the New York Times
"While Washington is consumed with whether our president is secretly a Muslim, or born abroad, possibly in outer space, I’d like to talk about some good news. But to see it, you have to stand on your head. You have to look at America from the bottom up, not from the top (Washington) down. And what you’ll see from down there is that there is a movement stirring in this country around education."

Boehner's Cheap Opposition Strategy (Ruth Marcus) from the Washington Post
"So the Boehner plan boils down to the internally inconsistent demands that the president forswear any plan to increase taxes during a recession and that he immediately put the brakes on spending -- during that very recession."

The Backlash Against Obama's Blackness (Dan Kennedy) from the Guardian [of the UK]
"From Arizona to Ground Zero via birthers, the Republicans are riding a wave of white resentment. It's reckless and frightening."

Why the Tea Party is Toxic for Conservatives (Michael Gerson) from the Washington Post
"In the normal course of events, political movements begin as intellectual arguments, often conducted for years in serious books and journals. To study the Tea Party movement, future scholars will sift through the collected tweets of Sarah Palin. Without a history of clarifying, refining debates, Republicans need to ask three questions of candidates rising on the Tea Party wave:"

That's a Wrap, Folks (Marc Ambinder) from the Atlantic
"Hewing to my "good analysis is victory agnostic" nostrum, here's what I'm taking away from a night of surprises and triumphs."

AK-Sen: Miller on Verge of Toppling Murkowski from the Anchorage Daily News
"U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is battling for her political life this morning against Republican primary challenger Joe Miller, the tea party-backed candidate who has a slim lead as ballots continue to be counted."
This would be quite a shocker if Murkowski were to lose.

"In an atypical move for vacationing presidents, Obama bought a stack of novels for his vacation on the seashore. Let the psychoanalyzing begin."

Finest Hours: The Making of Winston Churchill (Adam Gopnik) from the New Yorker
"Churchill’s words did all that words can do in the world. They said what had to be done; they announced why it had to be done then; they inspired those who had to do it. That fatal summer and those fateful words continue to resonate."

The World's Worst Traffic from Foreign Policy Magazine
"Five places where soul-crushing gridlock is a way of life."
These places make LA look like a model of mass transit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

News Nuggets 424

A scene from Yellowstone National Park from 2004 -- from my own visit there.

Debating an Attack on Iran from Foreign Policy Magazine
"The argument for a military strike on Iran remains weak, with massive potential negative effects, very limited prospects for significant positive impact, and much less urgency than its proponents claim. It is Obama's sound strategic judgement, not his lack of will, which makes an attack unlikely."

Cracks in the Iranian Monolith (Michael Ledeen) from the Wall Street Journal
"The Iranian regime loves to boast of its military strength, international clout and hold on domestic power. Much of this is accepted by outside experts, but in fact the regime is in trouble. Iran's leaders have lost legitimacy in the eyes of the people, are unable to manage the country's many problems, face a growing opposition, and are openly fighting with one another."

Mideast Peace Talks to Look Forward To? (David Makovsky) from the Washington Post
"The announcement Friday that Middle East peace talks would be launched
Sept. 2 was not exactly met with an outpouring of enthusiasm. Yet progress
on security and other issues suggests there is reason to believe peace
talks can produce results.

America's First Muslim President from Foreign Policy Magazine
"Muslim Americans helped elect George W. Bush, but now they're leaving the Republican Party in droves. It didn't have to be this way."

Why Republicans Will Raise Your Taxes (Andrew Romano) from Newsweek
"Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But someday soon, political and fiscal forces will conspire to make tax hikes very hard for Republicans to resist."

The GOP's Long, Hot, Racist Summer (Kirsten Powers) from the Daily Beast
"First came a harsh new immigration law and calls of white racism; then we turned up the heat with an “n-word” flap and the ground zero mosque hysteria. Kirsten Powers on a season of grievance jihads"

How to Spread 'Dumb-ocracy' (Clarence Page) from the Chicago Tribune
"Beneath our national democracy runs a national dumb-ocracy, a vast community of folks who don't care all that much about civic engagement and other current affairs, except maybe Lindsay Lohan's drinking problems."

Why Won't the GOP Say 'No' to Extremism? (E.J. Dionne) from the Washington Post
"the Democrats have come up with a loud "no" of their own, asking voters to reject the Republican past one more time to avoid moving the country backward."

The Right-wing, Blinded by its Own Hysteria (Eugene Robinson) from the Washington Post
"The whole "controversy" is ridiculous. Yet conservatives who should know better are doing their best to exploit widespread ignorance about Islam by transforming it into fear and anger. They imply, but don't come right out and say, that it was Islam itself that attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, rather than an extremist fringe that espouses what the vast majority of the world's Muslims consider a perversion of the faith."

"The Republican National Committee's $5.3 million war chest for the final stretch of the midterm election campaign—which is half the amount of its Democratic counterpart—is causing anxiety among some GOP operatives."

"It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a cliche! No, it's a new type of oxide compound!
It sounds like boring stuff on the surface. But when researchers talk about the capabilities of this new oxide compound, the material sounds like it comes straight out of a comic book."

"Astronomers using ESO's world-leading HARPS instrument have discovered a planetary system containing at least five planets, orbiting the Sun-like star HD 10180. The researchers also have tantalising evidence that two other planets may be present, one of which would have the lowest mass ever found. This would make the system similar to our Solar System in terms of the number of planets (seven as compared to the Solar System's eight planets)."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

News Nuggets 423

A close-up view of an elephant and his trunk.  From National Geographic.

Barack Obama Makes His Push for Palestine from the Economist [of London]
"America's president, in short, shows every sign of being a true believer in the necessity of solving this conflict, not least in order to redeem the promises he gave the Muslim world in his famous Cairo speech."
This observation is what most foreign policy experts seem to miss about Obama.

From Shock and Awe to a Quiet Exit – US Troops Pull Out of Iraq (Martin Chulov) from the Guardian [of the UK]
"Martin Chulov senses the relief among the last US combat troops to leave Iraq, seven and a half years after the invasion."

Reactor Reaction: Five Minutes to Stupid (Christian Caryl) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"Is the reactor in Bushehr likely to become the target of an Israeli airstrike?  The answer is almost certainly no -- and not just because attacking the reactor after this weekend would release radioactivity into the atmosphere. The reactor has been under construction for almost 30 years."

Obama, We Hardly Know You (David Rothkopf) from Foreign Policy Magazine
""There is little evidence," the professor writes, "that the Obama presidency could yet find new vindication, another lease on life. Mr. Obama will mark time, but henceforth he will not define the national agenda.  It was a well-argued, quite passionate piece. The problem with it was that it was arrant nonsense."

How Fox Betrayed Patraeus (Frank Rich) from the New York Times
"So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right ... that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?"

Crime (Sex) and Punishment (Stoning) (Op-Ed) from the New York Times
"Much of the outrage those cases generated ... seems to stem from the gulf between sexual attitudes in the West and parts of the Islamic world, where some radical movements have turned to draconian punishments, and a vision of restoring a long-lost past, in their search for religious authenticity."

Blame the Pollsters (Michael Kinsley) from the Atlantic
"What if you take the poll seriously and assume that the people questioned took it seriously, what's the explanation? Is it the failure of civic education in our public schools? Is it right-wing nutballs on the radio?  I blame pollsters themselves. They have created a world where everything is an opinion, nothing is a fact, everybody is entitled to an opinion, and every opinion is equally valid."

A President in Need of a Political Spark (David Ignatius) from the Washington Post
"Obama is different. He truly doesn't seem to relish politics, in the raw, mix-it-up sense. Most of all, he isn't needy for public attention in the way our most neurotic and gifted politicians have been -- walking outpatients such as Richard Nixon or Lyndon Johnson or Bill Clinton. He doesn't like red-hot; he likes cool and deliberative. Obama's tidy, button-down style is clear when you look at those who have prospered in his administration and those who haven't."

When is a Muslim Not a Muslim? (Tobin Harshaw) from the New York Times
"How many of the Americans who say they think Barack Obama is a Muslim actually believe that he is one? That’s not as obtuse a query as it might appear, as some of the blogosphere’s better minds have argued in recent days."

Are One-Quarter of Americans Freakin' Morons? (Amy Sullivan) from Time Magazine
"calling Obama a Muslim has become a way for some conservatives to express their distrust of and opposition to him. The idea that "Muslim" is being used as that kind of pejorative shorthand is a disturbing development on its own."

Cut Dr. Laura Slack (Kathleen Parker) from the Washington Post
"She was guilty at times of not listening and leaping to conclusions before a caller had time to finish. Even so, to my frequent surprise, she got to the nugget and managed to reach exactly the right conclusion. ... At other times, as now, her failure to listen is disastrous."

"John McCain holds a comfortable lead in the contentious Arizona Republican Senate primary, according to the most recent public polling, making him the strong favorite against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth on Tuesday. But it’s been a costly road to a fifth term for the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, and the experience is likely to leave a lasting and unsightly stain on his legacy."

5000 Stone Statues Older than Terracotta Warriors Discovered in Hunan from People's Daily Online via Daily News and Analysis [of India in English]
"Archaeologists have discovered a large group of ancient stone statues at the worship site of Guizai Mountain near Hunan province."

Friday, August 20, 2010

News Nuggets 422

A display of northern lights caused by the recent solar flares.  From National Geographic.

"Israel and the Palestinians will resume long-stalled direct peace talks in Washington early next month with the aim of reaching a settlement in a year's time, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday."

"The Obama administration, citing evidence of continued troubles inside Iran’s nuclear program, has persuaded Israel that it would take roughly a year — and perhaps longer — for Iran to complete what one senior official called a “dash” for a nuclear weapon, according to American officials."
Now -- let me just say that this is SOOO typical of the modern media machine.  Last week, thanks to Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic, the big story was how Israel was about to attack Iran.  This week: ooops!  Maybe not.  While my confidence could be misplaced, it has been my view for some time that the White House has EXCELLENT intel from within Iran's nuclear program.  Why do I think this?  Last year's aborted Green Revolution.  The educated classes in Iran (even those nuclear scientists and their families) are disproportionally pissed off at the Iranian leadership.  

The Beginning of the End (John Negroponte) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"The U.S. combat presence in Iraq is over, and it is likely all troops will be gone by the end of next year. But strong support will still be needed in the weeks and months to come, lest the country slip back into chaos and conflict."

President Obama's Winning Streak (Eugene Robinson) from the Washington Post
"This is a radical break from journalistic convention, I realize, but today I'd like to give credit where it's due -- specifically, to President Obama. Quiet as it's kept, he's on a genuine winning streak."

Washington Saved Our Economic Hides (Froma Harrop) from RealClearPolitics
"Had Washington not taken any aggressive steps starting in 2008, the results would have been horrific, their study says. Real gross domestic product would have fallen a "stunning" 12 percent, rather than the actual decline of 4 percent. Nearly 17 million jobs would have vanished, twice as many as the real count. And the unemployment rate would have peaked at 16.5 percent."

Really Unusually Uncertain (Thomas Friedman) from the New York Times
"One reason it is so unusual is that we are not just trying to recover from a financial crisis triggered by crazy mortgage lending. We’re also having to deal with three huge structural problems that built up over several decades and have reached a point of criticality at the same time."

So much for the 'sacred ground' argument.
"In the last few months, Muslim groups have encountered unexpectedly intense opposition to their plans for opening mosques in Lower Manhattan, in Brooklyn and most recently in an empty convent on Staten Island."

The Ground Zero Mosque Must be Built (Kathleen Parker) from the Washington Post
"The mosque should be built precisely because we don't like the idea very much. We don't need constitutional protections to be agreeable, after all. This point surpasses even all the obvious reasons for allowing the mosque, principally that there's no law against it. Precluding any such law, we let people worship when and where they please. That it hurts some people's feelings is, well, irrelevant in a nation of laws. And, really, don't we want to keep it that way?"

"If we don't stop the hysteria soon, bin Laden will score one of his biggest propaganda victories yet"

At the Far Right Edge of Politics from the editorial Board of the New York Times
"The party has nominated so many at the far right of the spectrum, as well as some other unusual choices — Linda McMahon, the candidate for the United States Senate in Connecticut made millions running the sex-and-violence spectacle known as World Wrestling Entertainment — that the Republican brand is barely recognizable."

"Dr. Laura Schlessinger the conservative talk radio commentator under fire for repeatedly using a racial epithet, announced on Tuesday that she was ending her long-running radio show.
THANK GOD!!  I was wondering if ANY of these right wing nutjobs would ever move on!!

Meanwhile, Ann Coulter continues her march to oblivion:
"The conservative website World Net (WND) announced Wednesday that it was canceling a planned keynote address by Ann Coulter next month at its "Taking America Back Annual Conference" because of her decision to give a paid speech before a gay conservative group. "

"We've seen graphic novels-into-films and, of course, books-into-movies, but what about books-into-graphic novels? What happens when you take a classic work of literature and transform it into a graphic text?"
Some look really good and some look really ... different/potentially quite bad.

BASEBALL NUGGET!! [of a sort]
Roger Clemen's Indictment Continues Baseball's Sorry Saga (John Fienstein) from the Washington Post
"The indictment of Roger Clemens on Thursday for lying to Congress about alleged steroid use isn't the end of this saga. It's just another sad chapter."
The indictment didn't surprise me.  What took me aback was Clemens' whining "victim schtick' tirade he threw when asked for a comment.