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June 6, 2011

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U.S. CONSIDERING STEEPER PULLOUT FROM AFGHANISTAN
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Jared Bernstein: "Nobody" Is a Very Tough Political Opponent
Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
In politics, "nobody" is a tough opponent. Like my old boss the VP used to say, "don't compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative." This is especially germane on the economy. Obama's potential opponents will inevitably be singing from an economic policy songbook that's no different from the one that got us into this mess. More tax cuts, less regulation. These ideas tickle the base, no doubt. But it's hard to imagine this policy set resonating with the independents who may ultimately decide the next election. This is ultimately good news for the president.
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POLITICS
One More Thing About Mitt Romney...
Alec Baldwin, 06.04.2011
Actor
Perhaps Twitter is best for promotional purposes. I don't really know just yet. But apropos of my Twitter-izing about Mitt Romney and the GOP field of candidates, let me add this addendum.
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HEALTHY LIVING
30 Years of HIV/AIDS
Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, 06.05.2011
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Every year, nearly 56,000 Americans still get infected with HIV, and 16,000 die of AIDS. Yet the number of Americans who see HIV as a serious health problem has declined dramatically since the 1990s. Why?
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WORLD
A State Department That Can
Sean Penn, 06.05.2011
The American people should call for a moratorium on the CISADA sanctions of Venezuela until a congressional hearing may be convened and strategic benefits evidenced in balance with the historic effects of similar sanctions in other developing and impoverished nations.
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GREEN
Cleaning Up and Revitalizing Our Communities
Lisa P. Jackson, 06.06.2011
EPA Administrator
From tainted factories to deserted gas stations, the more than 450,000 abandoned or contaminated sites throughout America threaten not only our health and environment, but also our economy.
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IMPACT
Seeking Justice in Mexico, and the Legacy of Robert Kennedy
Kerry Kennedy, 06.06.2011
Founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights
On this day, 43 years ago, in the midst of a national struggle to make real the promises of justice and equality, we lost Robert F. Kennedy. We honor his legacy when we stand with heroes who are devoted to the pursuit of justice and put their lives on the line for others.
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POLITICS
The Demise of "Originalism"
Geoffrey R. Stone, 06.05.2011
Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago
Judges purporting to engage in originalist analysis often project onto the Framers their own personal and political preferences. The result is an unprincipled and often patently disingenuous jurisprudence.
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HEALTHY LIVING
Could Michael Jackson Have Created Twitter?
Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., 06.06.2011
Cognitive scientist, personality psychologist and professor, NYU
Michael Jackson was the epitome of creativity. But I wonder, how far did his genius spread? With his innovative powers, could he have created Twitter? This isn't an easy question to answer.
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WORLD
Release Josh and Shane -- and All Prisoners of Conscience in the Islamic Republic
Trita Parsi, 06.06.2011
Author, Treacherous Alliance; President, NIAC
Those who are holding Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer are not only violating their human rights, they are also violating Iranian law. This charade must end.
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POLITICS
"Travelling States of Emergency" Unmasked: Did British Colonial Repression Tactics Inspire the American DHS?
Naomi Wolf, 06.06.2011
Bestselling Author, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
New research suggests that British colonial rule was a laboratory of the very repressive tactics and the same soundbites that we are seeing at home now in the United States. The past is prologue.
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CANADA
E.coli, and Fear of e.coli -- Both Are Dangerous.
David Ropeik, 06.06.2011
Author, 'How Risky Is It, Really?'
The actual danger E. coli poses to vegetable-eating Europeans is low. But then, we don't just use the scientific evidence to figure out what's dangerous -- risk perception is a mix of facts and feelings.
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ENTERTAINMENT
Weekend Box Office: X-Men First Class Pulls a Batman Begins, Grosses $56 Million, Bridesmaids and Kung Fu Panda 2 Cross $100m, Fast Five Crosses $200m
Scott Mendelson, 06.05.2011
Film Critic
X-Men was used to being near the top of the box office charts, but now has to rebuild from the ground up, emphasizing quality and character over big-budget spectacle.
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EDUCATION
Students, How About You Appreciate Your Free Education Before You Lose It?
Larry Strauss, 06.06.2011
Veteran high school English teacher, basketball coach, novelist
I was recently contacted, from prison, by a former student, a brilliant young man according to the state standardized tests we were giving a decade ago on which he scored in the 99th percentile in math and not far below that in English.
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POLITICS
Why Washington Isn't Doing Squat About Jobs and Wages
Robert Reich, 06.05.2011
Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley; Author, 'Aftershock'
The unemployed are politically invisible. They don't make major campaign donations. They don't lobby Congress. There's no National Association of Unemployed People. This is why neither party seems to care that we're heading back towards a double-dip recession.
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TECH
Apple: A Video Game Giant, Missing in Action at E3
Roy Bahat, 06.06.2011
President, IGN Entertainment
More games have been published on Apple's platforms than any other. They are far and away the most commonly created and downloaded apps, and millions of birds are not happy.
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HEALTHY LIVING
Personal Transformation: How to Overcome What Holds You Back
Russell Bishop, 06.06.2011
Author, Consultant, Executive Coach
After last week's article on what holds you you back in life, many people asked for additional thoughts on how to move forward in life. Here is what I have found useful in my own life in overcoming various setbacks and challenges.
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FOOD
Sprouts Likely Cause Of German E. Coli Outbreak: Say Goodbye to Raw Sprouts In U.S. Groceries
Meathead, 06.06.2011
AmazingRibs.com, Barbecue Whisperer, Hedonism Evangelist, Omnivore
I predict that within weeks raw sprouts will disappear from grocery shelves in the US and around the world, perhaps to never appear again.
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IMPACT
All Children Deserve Vaccines
Melinda Gates, 06.06.2011
Co-chair, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Now that several vaccine manufacturers are offering their vaccines at much lower costs, GAVI Alliance will be able to roll out the rotavirus vaccine, as well as other vaccines, for the first time ever in many of the poorest countries.
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POLITICS
The "Cheney Brigades": A Second Chance for War Advocates to Fight
Doug Bandow, 06.04.2011
Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute
How noble an enterprise, creating "second chance brigades" for those who found themselves too busy promoting wars to serve in them when they were young. Congress might want to name the program after a figure who inspires us all: the Cheney brigades.
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BUSINESS
Intensive Care Required For US Economy
Robert Lenzner, 06.06.2011
Forbes columnist
What cures are there for pathetically small job creation and the suffocating weakness in real home prices? Dr. Bernanke has no magic potions. Washington is bewildered. The big Wall Street houses are just plain wrong on their prognostications.
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RELIGION
Walking the Abraham Path to Christian, Jewish and Muslim Understanding
Dick Simon, 06.06.2011
Co-founder, Peace Action Network
As arranged by the Abraham Path's local partners, I ate with people, slept in their homes, visited their schools, viewed their factories and fields, and talked with them about their beliefs, frustrations, hopes and desires.
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WORLD
Costs of War Hit Home, Politically
William Hartung, 06.04.2011
Director, Arms and Security Project, Center for International Policy
The combined costs of the wars this year amount to nearly $170 billion. While $19 billion less than '08, it's a modest drop considering Iraq spending decreased almost $100 billion since then too. In other words, 4 of every 5 dollars saved from Iraq were reinvested in Afghanistan.
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WORLD
Letter From the Arab World: The Speeches Revisited
James Zogby, 06.04.2011
President, the Arab American Institute; Author, "Arab Voices"
While one could quibble with aspects of Obama's state department speech and his remarks before AIPAC, I was struck by some things he said that didn't register in the U.S. press or in the Arab World's media.
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GREEN
On the Hill, Gulf Oil Drilling Safety Takes a Back Seat
Rocky Kistner, 06.04.2011
Media associate, NRDC
Rep. Issa trotted out Gulf politicians intent on bashing Obama administration oil drilling policies. The hearing could have been called, "Making the Oil Industry Whole Again: How the Obama Administration Put Safety Before Profits."
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POLITICS
The Undefeated: The Movie I Wish Hillary Had Made
Amy Siskind, 06.06.2011
President and Co-Founder of The New Agenda
Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin share next to nothing in political ideology or background. Here's what they do have in common: both woman candidates were victims of a media smear campaign which played a major factor in their temporary political demise.
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POLITICS
Both Sides Now: Debating Romney and Palin, Global Warming, Edwards and Weiner
HuffPost Radio, 06.05.2011
Mary Matalin and Ron Reagan discuss why Romney isn't doing better and whether Palin could do any worse. Plus there's strong disagreement over global warming and Germany's nuclear punt.
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