Daily Archives: January 6, 2011

Sudanese To Vote on Secession

Soon, the world might have one more country.

In the next week, several million people will vote whether to declare independence for South Sudan. Nearly four million people have registered to vote, and few of them doubt that, come summer, South Sudan will be an independent nation.

South Sudan has been ravaged by war and famine for generations. More people have been displaced from South Sudan as a result of war than anywhere else in the world.

For more information, head over to CNN.

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Filed under Politics, World

Vaccine-Autism Link an “Elaborate Fraud”

An investigation published in the British medical journal BMJ concludes that the British study linking autism to childhood vaccines was an “elaborate fraud.”

The journal concluded that Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who released his study linking autism to vaccines in 1998, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all of the patients in his study.

Wakefield, whose medical license was revoked in May 2010, said his work has been “distorted.”

In other autism-related backtracking, Jenny McCarthy, who in the past defended Wakefield’s research and declared the MMR vaccine the cause of her son’s autism, announced in February that her son probably never had autism at all.

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New Chief of Staff Is Brother of Mayor Old Chief of Staff Left to Replace

Two senior officials announced today that President Obama has picked William Daley as his new chief of staff.

Daley is the son of the legendary Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the brother of the city’s current Mayor Richard Daley. He was Commerce Secretary during the Clinton administration, and he currently runs Midwest operations for JP Morgan Chase.

Daley will replace Rahm Emanuel, who has returned to Chicago to run for the Richard Daleys’ mayoral seat. It’s a small world in Chicago politics.

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Republicans Promise to Repeal Health Care, Add $230 Billion to Deficit

During the 2010 midterm election campaign, Republicans promised that, if elected, they would repeal the health care reform that was signed into law March 23, 2010.

They also promised to roll back spending and decrease the deficit to its 2008 level.

Promises to achieve both of these goals were at best ignorant and at worst deceitful.

According to an estimate released today by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, repeal of the health care law would add $230 billion to the federal deficit in the next decade.

The CBO stands by its earlier estimate that the health care law will reduce the deficit by approximately $143 billion over the first ten years.

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Filed under Law, Politics

James Franco: You know what, maybe I’m just gay.

Franco in "Milk"

James Franco, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, gave a surprisingly reasonable answer to questions regarding his sexuality.

Franco, who just wrapped a third film in which he plays a gay character (The Broken Tower, which follows Howl and Milk), has been fielding questions about his sexuality. Such questions are nothing new for celebrities. However, Franco didn’t, as many stars have, refuse to address his sexuality, nor did he deny being gay.

“There are lots of other reasons to be interested in gay characters than wanting myself to go out and have sex with guys,” he says. “And there are also lots of other aspects about these characters that I’m interested in, in addition to their sexuality. So, in some ways it’s coincidental, in other ways it’s not. I mean, I’ve played a gay man who’s living in the ’60s and ’70s, a gay man who we depicted in the ‘50s, and one being in the ‘20s. And those were all periods when to be gay, at least being gay in public, was much more difficult. Part of what I’m interested in is how these people who were living anti-normative lifestyles contended with opposition. Or, you know what, maybe I’m just gay.”

Well played, James.

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