Thursday, November 29, 2007


Opposition and violence in the Middle East as the Palestinian and Israeli leaders talk peace with Bush in Annapolis. (London) Times

If you like the quality and prices of Verizon Wireless offers, but don’t like their phones, you’re in luck. They’re going to open their network. New York Times

Google will invest millions to develop renewable energy. San Francisco Chronicle

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When Will It End?

New York theater producers and stagehands have reached an agreement ending a 19-day strike. But the television and movie writers (WGA) strike continues. Since there are fewer and fewer new episodes on TV, you have time to answer a question:

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See Who Iran Would Turn To

Time Magazine has an interesting article about Iran and the Vatican. Apparently, the Islamic Republic and the Holy See are friendly: They have had diplomatic relations for 53 years and the article quotes an Iranian diplomat in Rome as saying relations between the two are “very good.”

But here’s the twist:

“According to several well-placed Rome sources, Iranian officials are quietly laying the groundwork necessary to turn to Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican diplomats for mediation if the showdown with the United States should escalate toward a military intervention.”

For now, the Pope is keeping a “low profile” on the issue, but if the American drumbeat for military action grows louder, Iran may already have a miracle ally ready to slow things down.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"The Business"

Check out the call made by the ref (about :40 into the video). You'd think they'd lose at least 10 yards for that penalty.

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Oscar Time

Now that we're officially in the holiday season, The Soup reminds us it's time for "The Oscar Movie."

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Worthless" Forensic Technique

60 Minutes teamed up with the Washington Post to look into a forensic technique called “bullet lead analysis” that had been used by the FBI for over 30 years. The technique was recently found to be flawed. It wasn’t even scientifically proven. A former FBI chief metallurgist performed his own research on the testing and found that the technique isn’t “based on science at all, but rather had been based on subjective belief for over four decades.” He added, “It’s worthless as a forensic tool.” Many cases that used this technique as testimony are now being called in to question. At first, the Justice Department was reluctant to tell those who were convicted on this evidence that bullet lead analysis is flawed. But because of the story, the FBI will now “identify, review and release all of the pertinent cases.”

Here is the 60 Minutes story via the Washington Post:

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not Working At Work

Lots of people in Britain are getting disciplined by their employers for wasting time online while on the job. Nicole Martin from the Telegraph reports:

“..more than 1,700 people working for 65 public institutions have been dismissed or disciplined for internet or email misuse in the past three years.”

“Of the public employees who were disciplined over three years, 132 were sacked, 41 resigned, 868 got formal warnings and 686 faced other forms of punishment such as a fine or a demotion.”

Which leads us to a question:

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It’s The Cover-Up

Former San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds was indicted today on charges that he lied to a grand jury about using performance enhancing drugs. Lance Williams and Jaxon Van Derbeken from the San Francisco Chronicle report:

“Bonds was indicted for allegedly making false statements to the grand jury that investigated the BALCO steroids distribution ring, the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco said. Bonds is accused of four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.”

If found guilty, it’ll be another example of not getting in trouble for an alleged crime, but getting in trouble for the cover-up.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Saddam's Secrets"

A new book is out that says Saddam wanted to fool Iran into believing he had WMD. To do that, he wanted to make the U.S. believe he had them, too.

Oops, that appears to have worked for those in the U.S. who wanted to believe it.

But there are other nuggets of info, detailed in the story by NBC News, about Saddam and body doubles, and plots to overthrow him. Saddam told all this to an American interrogator, George Piro, who had access to Saddam for five hours a day for seven months.

Here’s the link:

Saddam’s secrets
Saddam’s secrets

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Out Of His "Arse"

You’ve probably heard about Rudy Giuliani misinterpreted and misrepresenting prostate cancer survival rates in England compared to the U.S. Here’s a fact check showing how incompatible the comparisons are. And below is Mark Day saying how Giuliani is talking out of his “arse” when it comes to prostate stats.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Can They Hate?

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas protest funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers with signs that say, “Thank God for dead soldiers,” and “God hates fags.” They believe God is punishing the U.S. for being tolerant about homosexuality.

Hateful and twisted, huh? Well, the haters from Westboro Baptist Church owe $11 million in damages after losing a lawsuit. From Time magazine: “Albert Snyder sued the Topeka, Kan., church after a protest last year at the funeral of his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq. He claimed the protests intruded upon what should have been a private ceremony and sullied his memory of the event.”

No doubt that the “protests” are very disrespectful and un-Christ-like things to do for self-proclaimed Christians, but do they have a right to do it? Or does it go beyond the boundaries of the First Amendment as Albert Snyder claims?

Which leads us to our first poll on The Morning Joe:

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Danger Zone

Stay with it. The guy does a great Tom Cruise impression.