Sunday, May 29, 2011

1% of your neighbors are psychopaths; so are 4% of business leaders

The Psychopath Test
This American Life

Recently we heard about this test that could determine if someone was a psychopath. So, naturally, our staff decided to take it. This week we hear the results. Plus Jon Ronson asks the question: is this man a psychopath?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Facebook hires 2 former Bush aides as lobbyists, stepping up efforts to friend Washington

Facebook hires 2 former Bush aides as lobbyists, stepping up efforts to friend Washington
By Associated Press
May 26, 2011

NEW YORK — Facebook said Thursday that it hired two aides of former President George W. Bush as lobbyists. The world’s largest online social network is stepping up efforts to friend Washington as it grows.

Facebook hired Joel Kaplan as vice president of U.S. public policy in a newly created position. Kaplan will oversee the company’s public policy strategy and interactions with federal and state policymakers. He was previously deputy chief of staff in the Bush White House.



* Weigh In
* Corrections?

The other hire, Myriah Jordan, will be Facebook’s policy manager, focusing on congressional relations. Jordan most recently served as general counsel to Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina. She also worked in the Bush White House in the office of the Chief of Staff.

Facebook now has four registered lobbyists. The new Republican hires join Democrats Tim Sparapani and Adam Conner. Facebook has 12 staffers in its Washington office, including administrative support.

“At Facebook, we’re committed to explaining how our service works; the important actions we take to protect the more than 500 million people who use our service; and the value of innovation to our economy,” spokesman Andrew Noyes said in a statement. “This work occurs daily in Washington, at the state level, and with policymakers around the world.”

The company spent $230,000 lobbying in the first quarter, according to a recent filing with the House clerk’s office...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

O'bama visits Irish village of his ancestor

Obama in Europe: tending to old friends, new global problems and ancestral roots in Ireland
By Associated Press
May 21, 2011

...A highlight of Obama’s opening stop in Ireland will be a feel-good pilgrimage to the hamlet of Moneygall, where America’s first black president will explore his Irish — yes, Irish — roots, and most likely raise a pint.

It turns out that Falmouth Kearney, who immigrated to the United States in 1850 at the age of 19, is the great great great grandfather of Obama on his white, Kansas-born mother’s side. Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, will connect in Moneygall with distant relatives from the Irish branch of his family tree.

Michael Collins, the Irish ambassador to the United States, says the president’s visit will be “a golden moment” for a country that’s been on the economic ropes after its boom time. The visit is sure to play well at home for Obama — make that O’bama — as he heads into re-election season after being pushed to great lengths simply to prove he was born on U.S. soil...

Friday, May 20, 2011

England and Ireland are friends; are Israelis and Palestinians next?

Queen leaves on high as Irish crowds finally appear
By Conor Humphries
May 20, 2011

CORK, Ireland (Reuters) - Large crowds cheered Queen Elizabeth for the first time on her historic visit to Ireland on Friday, as police relaxed security for the final day of a bridge-building mission widely seen as a success.

After an arrival marred by bomb scares and a riot by people opposed to Britain's continuing control of Northern Ireland, police appeared to ease security to allow thousands of people within yards of the monarch for the first time.

She responded with an unscheduled walkabout to shake hands with her well-wishers in the center of Cork, Ireland's second city. She later boarded the royal plane past an honor guard.

"This will show the world that the past is the past," said Pamela Hyland, 41, who brought her 9-year-old child to see the queen. "It has taken us decades to achieve peace and this is the icing on the cake."

Organizers slowly breathed a sigh of relief that the four-day trip, the first by a British monarch to the Republic of Ireland since independence from London in 1921 and a diplomatic high-wire act, had gone off without a hitch.

Daring gestures included the queen laying a wreath to those who died fighting the British crown and visiting the scene of a massacre of 14 people by British forces. In a speech to the nation, she expressed sympathy to those who suffered during hundreds of years of conflict between the two neighbors.

"It has been a stunning success," said Diarmaid Ferriter, professor of modern Irish history at University College Dublin. "We knew what was going to happen in advance, but it's not until you see it that you realize the power of the symbolism."

"It got to people in a way that probably surprised them."

Several dozen nationalists protested a few hundred yards from the queen, but there was no disorder in Cork, known as the rebel county for its resistance to the partition of Ireland during a civil war that followed independence from Britain...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Iowa conservative group hosting potential GOP candidates accepted $3 million in federal grants

Iowa conservative group hosting potential GOP candidates accepted $3 million in federal grants
By Associated Press
May 13, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A conservative group that has brought a string of potential presidential candidates to Iowa to lecture about the need to reduce government spending owes some of its past success to generous federal grants, which it has since rejected amid charges of hypocrisy.

The Family Leader has organized multicity forums for Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Sen. Rick Santorum. Each has called for reining in federal spending and talked about family values.

The same group received more than half of its funding from federal grants over a five-year period when it operated under a different structure as The Iowa Family Policy Center. The group was among those that benefited from former President George Bush’s faith-based initiative, which made it easier for social and religious organizations involved in community work to win federal funding.

The organization defends taking the grants, the bulk of which helped provide marriage mentoring for couples, but decided last year to turn down the final $550,000 in grant money and operate free of government involvement. In all, the group had accepted more than $3 million in federal grants since 2004...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hypocrisy among religious conservatives doesn't happen only in America--Osama Bin Laden's compound reveals stash of porn

May 13, 2011
Porn found in Bin Laden compound
By Tracy Clark-Flory

...A porn stash was found in his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, according to unnamed U.S. officials. Reuters reports that the smutty library "consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive."

Now, we don't know who was watching the porn. We don't know what particular genres or titles were favored...All we know is that someone in Bin Laden's compound was indulging in X-rated entertainment of some sort. A religious extremist turning out to be a total hypocrite -- particularly when it comes to sex? Why I never!...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Donald Trump says everyone is as much of a racist as he is

Donald Trump Cancels on Letterman Over Racism Allegation
by THR staff

...Trump wrote Letterman a personal note, stating he was "disappointed to hear the statements you made about me last night on your show that I was a 'racist,’" according to the New York Post. "In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth and there is nobody who is less of a racist than Donald Trump," Trump went on.