Despite all the hand-wringing over raising the federal debt limit, and the prickly debate between Democrats and Republicans, there's some confusion about what it actually means. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 48 percent of Americans believe raising the limit would lead to more government spending and higher debt. It's a figure that, according to many experts, reflects public misunderstanding.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the assisted suicide advocate, died Friday at 83. Supporters say he was a compassionate caregiver who paid a steep price for helping chronically and terminally ill patients end their suffering. Critics, however, say Kevorkian's zealotry clouded his ability to behave like a responsible physician.
Kevorkian claimed to have assisted in the suicides of at least 130 people with the help of machines he invented. He called one the "Thanatron," or death machine, and another the "Merictron," or mercy machine.
The Labor Department on Friday offered startling evidence that the U.S. economy is slowing, hampered by the high cost of gasoline and supply chain issues related to the earthquake in Japan that have hurt U.S. manufacturers.
Employers hired only 54,000 new workers in May, the fewest in eight months, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent.
The pace of hiring has weakened dramatically from the previous three months, when the economy added an average of 220,000 new jobs. Private companies hired only 83,000 new workers in May — the fewest in nearly a year.
"Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan pathologist who put assisted suicide on the world's medical ethics stage, died this morning between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., said his lawyer Mayer Morganroth." (Detroit Free Press)
A three-inch lizard scuttled into the spotlight in December after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed moving it onto the Endangered Species List. The dunes sagebrush lizard's habitat covers just eight counties on the Texas-New Mexico border, right in the heart of the Permian Basin, a major oil-producing region. Particularly in Texas, industry leaders and local businesses see the action as hostile — another Obama administration environmental policy targeting their successful, energy-sparked economy.
We must note that today is the 73rd National Doughnut Day — a celebration of tasty goodness that honors the work done by the Salvation Army and the "lassies" who made doughnuts for soldiers in World War I and World War II.
If you hit a Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme and some local stores, there could be a free doughnut for you (Dunkin Donuts requires a beverage purchase; Krispy Kreme does not). And Salvation Army workers may be on hand to take donations.
Prior to joining The Nation, George Zornick was Senior Reporter/Blogger for ThinkProgress.org.
Campaign fundraisers are already at work on the upcoming presidential election — Obama 2012 is soliciting donations, and Republican candidates like Tim Pawlenty are spending more time meeting donors than voters.
As we've already reported, there's word from The Hague that former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic made his first appearance before a U.N. war crimes court today. A defiant Mladic rejected what he said are the "obnoxious charges" against him. He's accused of ordering the deaths of thousands during the wars that ripped apart the former Yugoslavia in the '90s.