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Comment by Janice on October 13, 2009 at 5:35pm
Melissa Lacewell Harris analyzes 2004 politics in real time. Interesting in the pre-Princeton post for her, and the pre-presidential candidate candidacy of Barack Obama.

Comment by Janice on October 13, 2009 at 4:42pm
So who needs a tennis racket in the picture ?? LOL

Comment by Janice on October 13, 2009 at 8:30am

Rachel Maddow, voice of America By cutting across the grain of US cable news, the sober-minded liberal pundit has become the best talkshow host in America
From the

Rachel Maddow first came on my radar in the spring of 2004, when she, along with Lizz Winstead and Chuck D of Public Enemy hosted an early morning radio show called Unfiltered on the newly minted Air America, an attempt to counter rightwing talk radio with liberal programming.

Radio has this ability to make the listener feel like they share a secret with the hosts and the few, hard-to-know listeners out there. I hoped people tuned in to listen to the hosts trade jokes and talk about politics and music, and mostly I wanted other people to learn about this Maddow character, who brought to every episode a dynamic mix of sparkling good humour, intelligent analysis and a broad view of what issues should matter.

Unfiltered didn't make the first round of reshuffling at Air America, but Maddow hung in, hosting her own eponymous radio show and eventually moving to television, first as a guest pundit and now as a host of her own night time political talkshow on MSNBC.

Before it happened, most American liberals would have never imagined that Maddow could have her own programme on any cable network, much less the same network that had, just a few years before, tried to pull in a rightwing audience by giving hard right nut Michael Savage his own show (before pulling it after he told a gay caller to die from Aids).

It's not just that Maddow is a liberal. After all, MSNBC had already given a spot to liberal commentator Keith Olbermann and his frequent, angry rants. It was mostly hard to imagine a cable news network rewarding a pundit for being sober-minded and nuanced in her analysis, as well as suspicion that homophobia would prevent it from promoting a lesbian who favours a more masculine way of dressing.

But 2008 was a year for re-arranging American expectations about who gets to have a voice in public. The Democratic candidate was not only black, but also overtly professorial, and this didn't diminish his popularity with the public. Hillary Clinton and, yes, even Sarah Palin normalised the idea of more female authority in politics. In a very short period of time, the unthinkable became the reality, and Maddow had her very own MSNBC programme.

Maddow's audience is still small, but she inspires devotion in her fans, because she doesn't fit the tedious mould of most political talkshow hosts. Maddow openly identifies with the wild world of the liberal blogosphere, and even went so far as to wear pajamas on her show to cheekily demonstrate solidarity with bloggers after Palin denounced the netroots.

Like bloggers, Maddow knows that the key to building rapport with your audience isn't making yourself into an aloof portrayal of authority, but to show your human side and sense of humour. To this end, Maddow lets her idiosyncrasies become known, such as her obsession with classic cocktails.

But what really endears her to American liberals is the way she takes her job and the authority it gives her seriously. Maddow is less interested in the shouting fests that dominate most cable news and instead favours in-depth interviews with experts who are permitted to show their expertise on air without being interrupted. Hers may be the only show on cable news were feminists come on air to speak their minds without being paired off with belligerent sexists who dominate the conversation by yelling over their points.

But Maddow isn't opposed to fair-mindedness. She often brings on conservatives for the same kind of in-depth interviews, and even when she strongly disagrees, she always gives them a chance to air their views (and generally hang themselves with those views). Her show is the exact opposite of Bill O'Reilly's show. Where he cuts people off for saying things he doesn't like, Maddow digs in deeper.

She also gives far more coverage to issues other hosts avoid because they're big downers. Maddow is the only reliable source of televised information on the growing problem of domestic terrorism in the US, and the only mainstream pundit to pay attention to the network of anti-abortion activists that quietly support the few that work up the courage to shoot doctors or bomb clinics. She doesn't treat the rapid growth of the extreme right in America like it's a joke or a minimal issue, as do other hosts, but as a serious threat to our democracy. In her transition to the mainstream media, the only thing Maddow seems to have given up is the thick-framed glasses she prefers to wear off-camera.

Unfortunately, the Maddow magic might not have much of a lifespan. During the US election, there was a hunger for televised liberal content, and no one does it better than Maddow. It seems that now, most liberals have turned off their TVs and returned to getting most information from the internet, and Maddow's ratings have plummeted as a result.

Video clips of her shows are routinely traded on liberal blogs, but that doesn't translate into ad revenue for MSNBC. Hopefully, the next round of US elections will push her ratings back up again, because we can't afford to lose the sole voice of intellectual liberalism in the cable news desert.
Comment by Janice on October 12, 2009 at 10:43am
LEAP - Drug war economics with James Gray
Links Criminal justice professionals speaking out against the War on Drugs

Drug war economics with James Gray

Comment by Janice on October 12, 2009 at 9:59am

Dow Jones Reprints: This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers, use the Order Reprints tool at the bottom of any article or visit
See a sample reprint in PDF format. Order a reprint of this article now
* The Wall Street Journal
* OCTOBER 10, 2009
The 'Democratization of Credit' Is Over -- Now It's Payback Time


NEW YORK -- Karen King owes nearly $36,000, more than she's ever earned in a year.

All day long, bill collectors call. She hunts for a second job, sometimes skips meals, and stays with other family members at a grandfather's crowded apartment, trying to get out of debt and turn her life around.

She largely holds herself at fault. "Years ago, I lived for now. It was so stupid," the 28-year-old says. "It's depressing, but I can't live that life anymore." Now, she says, "I basically want to live for the future."

The recession has forced a financial reckoning for Americans across the income spectrum. The pressure is especially acute for the low-income Americans who relied on borrowing for daily expenses or to gain the trappings of middle-class life. Shifting credit practices over several decades had enabled them to live beyond their means by borrowing nearly as readily as the more affluent.
Credit Ruined, Now Living for the Future

View Slideshow
Mustafah Abdulaziz for The Wall Street Journal

But the financial crisis and recession have reversed what some economists dubbed the "democratization of credit," forcing a tough adjustment on both low-income families and the businesses that serve them.

"We saw an extension of credit to a much deeper socioeconomic level, and they got access to the same credit instruments as middle-class and mainstream Americans," says Ronald Mann, a Columbia University law professor. Now, "it will be harder for families at the bottom of the income ladder to get credit cards," he says.

Read More
Comment by Janice on October 12, 2009 at 9:54am
Fox Business Network is eying CNN host Lou Dobbs, the New York Time...

Stelter merely mentions the news midway through his article on the ongoing battle between the White House and Fox News:

Read more at:
Comment by Janice on October 12, 2009 at 9:43am
This Week with George Stephanopoulos notes the passings of photographer Irving Penn, anti-war activist Peg Mullen and restaurateur Ben Ali. In addition, the Pentagon has released the names of 16 soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army SGT Roberto D Sanchez, 24 of Satellite Beach, FL
Army SGT Aaron M Smith, 25, of Manhattan, KS
Army SPC Brandon A Owens, 21, of Memphis, TN
Army SSG Thomas D Rabjohn, 39, of Litchfield Park, AZ
Army SPC Paul E Andersen, 49, of Dowagiac, MI
Army CPT Benjamin A Sklaver, 32, of Medford, MA
Army PFC Alan H Newton Jr, 26, of Asheboro, NC
Army MAJ Tad T Hervas, 48, of Coon Rapids, MN
Army SGT Justin T Gallegos, 27, of Tucson, AZ
Army SGT Joshua M Hardt, 24, of Applegate, CA
Army SGT Joshua J Kirk, 30, of South Portland, ME
Army SGT Michael P Scusa, 22, of Villas, NJ
Army SPC Christopher T Griffin, 24, of Kincheloe, MI
Army SPC Stephan L Mace, 21, of Lovettsville, VA
Army PFC Kevin C Thomson, 22, of Reno, NV
Army SPC Kevin O Hill, 23, of Brooklyn, NY

This brings the total number of allied servicemembers killed in Iraq to 4,667, in Afghanistan, 1,453. During this same week, Iraq Body Count has listed 63 Iraqi civilian deaths and violence in Afghanistan has contributed to at least 17 Afghani civilian deaths.
Comment by Janice on October 12, 2009 at 9:37am
October 9, 2009
Virus Is Found in Many With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Many people with chronic fatigue syndrome are infected with a little known virus that may cause or at least contribute to their illness, researchers are reporting.

The syndrome, which causes prolonged and severe fatigue, body aches and other symptoms, has long been a mystery ailment, and patients have sometimes been suspected of malingering or having psychiatric problems rather than genuine physical ones. Worldwide, 17 million people have the syndrome, including at least one million Americans.

An article published online Thursday in the journal Science reports that 68 of 101 patients with the syndrome, or 67 percent, were infected with an infectious virus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV. By contrast, only 3.7 percent of 218 healthy people were infected. Continuing work after the paper was published has found the virus in nearly 98 percent of about 300 patients with the syndrome, said Dr. Judy A. Mikovits, the lead author of the paper.

XMRV is a retrovirus, a member of the same family of viruses as the AIDS virus. These viruses carry their genetic information in RNA rather than DNA, and they insert themselves into their hosts’ genetic material and stay for life.

Dr. Mikovits and other scientists cautioned that they had not yet proved that the virus causes the syndrome. In theory, people with the syndrome may have some other, underlying health problem that makes them prone to being infected by the virus, which could be just a bystander. More studies are needed to explain the connection.

But Dr. Mikovits said she thought the virus would turn out to be the cause, not just of chronic fatigue, but of other illnesses as well. Previous studies have found it in cells taken from prostate cancers.
Comment by Janice on October 12, 2009 at 9:28am
October 11, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist
Two Wrongs Make Another Fiasco

THOSE of us who love F. Scott Fitzgerald must acknowledge that he did get one big thing wrong. There are second acts in American lives. (Just ask Marion Barry, or William Shatner.) The real question is whether everyone deserves a second act. Perhaps the most surreal aspect of our great Afghanistan debate is the Beltway credence given to the ravings of the unrepentant blunderers who dug us into this hole in the first place.

Let’s be clear: Those who demanded that America divert its troops and treasure from Afghanistan to Iraq in 2002 and 2003 — when there was no Qaeda presence in Iraq — bear responsibility for the chaos in Afghanistan that ensued. Now they have the nerve to imperiously and tardily demand that America increase its 68,000-strong presence in Afghanistan to clean up their mess — even though the number of Qaeda insurgents there has dwindled to fewer than 100, according to the president’s national security adviser, Gen. James Jones.

But why let facts get in the way? Just as these hawks insisted that Iraq was “the central front in the war on terror” when the central front was Afghanistan, so they insist that Afghanistan is the central front now that it has migrated to Pakistan. When the day comes for them to anoint Pakistan as the central front, it will be proof positive that Al Qaeda has consolidated its hold on Somalia and Yemen.

To appreciate this crowd’s spotless record of failure, consider its noisiest standard-bearer, John McCain. He made every wrong judgment call that could be made after 9/11. It’s not just that he echoed the Bush administration’s constant innuendos that Iraq collaborated with Al Qaeda’s attack on America. Or that he hyped the faulty W.M.D. evidence to the hysterical extreme of fingering Iraq for the anthrax attacks in Washington. Or that he promised we would win the Iraq war “easily.” Or that he predicted that the Sunnis and the Shiites would “probably get along” in post-Saddam Iraq because there was “not a history of clashes” between them.

What’s more mortifying still is that McCain was just as wrong about Afghanistan and Pakistan. He routinely minimized or dismissed the growing threats in both countries over the past six years, lest they draw American resources away from his pet crusade in Iraq.

Two years after 9/11 he was claiming that we could “in the long term” somehow “muddle through” in Afghanistan. (He now has the chutzpah to accuse President Obama of wanting to “muddle through” there.) Even after the insurgency accelerated in Afghanistan in 2005, McCain was still bragging about the “remarkable success” of that prematurely abandoned war. In 2007, some 15 months after the Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf signed a phony “truce” ceding territory on the Afghanistan border to terrorists, McCain gave Musharraf a thumb’s up. As a presidential candidate in the summer of 2008, McCain cared so little about Afghanistan it didn’t even merit a mention among the national security planks on his campaign Web site.

Comment by Janice on October 10, 2009 at 3:17pm
Michael Moore makes mincemeat out of Hannity's fake 'hospital' vide...
By David Neiwert Saturday Oct 10, 2009 12:00pm

Someone really should have thought twice before letting Sean Hannity embarrass himself with the failed stunt he tried in his interview with Michael Moore, the second half of which aired last night on Fox.

Hannity wanted to make a point about how health care in Cuba is so much worse than it is in the YooEssAy -- in contradistinction to Moore's own reportage -- so he offered what he called special video footage he had been provided of a "hospital" in Cuba.

What we then see is a rattletrap mess with old beds and rotting toilets, etc. But Moore notices what should be obvious: There are no patients, either.

Ah, but wait! We shortly see footage of patients in a hospital. But they're in an obviously different building (or at least wing), because this room is clean and the beds and equipment sanitary and well-tended. But we only get to see them for a few seconds before -- swoop! -- off we go back to the rat's nest.

Which is obviously an abandoned hospital or wing, which is certainly not unheard of, even in the YooEssAy.

Moore, of course, laughs at all of this with glee. Hannity quickly changes the subject, since his oh-so-convincing video evidence just makes him look as bad as he has recently in his Jennings Jihad.

You'd think Hannity & Co. would know better than to try to run such hamhandedly edited footage past an experienced filmmaker like Moore. This was so amateurish that they all should just be embarrassed.

But they're too arrogant and too stupid to be so.

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