If you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products anywhere in the world, you may soon have to pay an extra international tax of up to 70 percent in a plan intended to force smokers to give up the habit.
At least, that was the proposal the World Health Organization -- the medical policy arm of the United Nations -- was slated to discuss during a hearing in Seoul, South Korea, before the agency removed members of the press and people from the general public on Tuesday.
In an apparent attempt to pin blame anywhere but on the Obama administration for the rising unemployment rate, a USA Today item currently carried at Newsmax's MoneyNews.com web site opens by claiming that "Companies across the country are cutting training programs for new employees, broadening the divide between workers with skills needed to compete in today's economy and those left out, pushing up unemployment rates in the process."
The incoherence is stunning, and it continues after the jump:
A number of the conservative movement's prominent online figures are battling to be the right's equivalent of Talking Points Memo or Huffington Post--political organizations that report hard news. Many believe that to truly harness the power of the Web, political organizations must report their own news, rather than comment on reporitng from traditional outlets.
"The left needs Daily Kos, but they also need the Huffington Post," Politics Daily columnist Matt Lewis told Politico. He praised the roles of activists and opinion commentators on the right such as Red State's Erick Erickson, but noted that the conservatives have not yet matched the left's capability for original reporting.
Though HuffPo, TPM, and other politcally stilted but journalism-oriented sites, liberals "have the ability to amplify stories into the mainstream media conversation," according to Politico. Conservatives have a large void to fill when it comes to producing original content, rather than solely commenting on what is already out there. There are conservative sites providing original reporting, but there are so far no center-right equivalents to the left's powerhouse online news operations.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
According to Robert Redford and ABC co-host Diane Sawyer, you're either a liberal activist or you are apathetic. Those are the two options. The famous left-wing actor/director appeared on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" to promote his new anti-war film, "Lions For Lambs." After playing a clip of the movie that shows Redford's character, a college professor, deriding a student for not opposing his government, Sawyer breathlessly asked the star, "You've been touring colleges. Is it true? Are they not awake out there? Are they waking up? What's the difference? What's it going to take?"
Redford, who also directed the film, asserted that "the pendulum is beginning to swing back" and repeated the cliched liberal claim that young people aren't aggressively opposing the war because "the fact that there wasn't a draft...let a lot of people off the hook and they didn't get involved." So, essentially, young people either support a liberal agenda or they simply don't care?
Whether or not one agrees with the political views of Markos Moulitsas, there's no getting around the fact his website has become not just a powerful force in the blogosphere, but is also shaping the Democrat Party.
This raises an important question: Why isn't there a conservative website like Daily Kos?