Rolling Stone asked former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, "Why does capitalism need saving, and why is it worth saving?" His response: "Those are the two questions I've been getting on the book tour. One group of people says, 'Why do you suppose it needs saving? It's perfect.' And another group says, 'Why do you want to save it? It's so rotten.' ... Capitalism is going to become the universal system of economic organization. The real issue isn't capitalism versus some other 'ism.' The real issue is whether capitalism is organized for the benefit of the society as a whole or for the benefit of a small group at the top. That's really what we ought to be debating." read more
Bill O'Reilly stated that childhood poverty and hunger in the U.S. is a myth after analyst Kirsten Powers called him out on the conservative belief that the poor (including the working poor) are simply looking for handouts. Powers said, "What you call 'free stuff' and what Jeb Bush calls 'free stuff' that actually are necessities in life [sic]. So the problem with when he said 'free stuff' is that he's talking about children getting food. He's talking about people who -- a lot of the people who receive welfare, even the adults are working poor. They're people who have jobs. But they don't have enough money to get food." O'Reilly responded, "That myth has been busted time and time again." He claimed, "[M]ost poor people in this country have computers, have big screen TVs, have cars [and] have air conditioning."
Paul Prudhomme, the Louisiana chef who ignited a nationwide craze for Creole and Cajun cooking and profoundly influenced American cuisine, died Thursday. He was 75. Prudhomme's blackened recipe for redfish became so popular in 1987 that Louisiana banned the sale of redfish caught off its coast until 1992. He hosted five PBS cooking shows and authored nine cookbooks. The New Orleans Times-Picayune offers this observation: "As his enterprises grew, so did Prudhomme. In his first cookbook, he described himself as an enthusiastic eater, and he eventually became so large that he had to walk with a stout cane and, frequently, use a golf cart instead of walking at all."
The 911 call has been released after an Austintown, Ohio, man called 911 last week because he was "too high on weed." When officers arrived, they were directed to an upstairs bedroom by the caller's grandfather. As they got upstairs they could hear "groaning from a room at the end of the hall." When they opened the door, they found the 22-year-old laying on the floor in a fetal position, surrounded by "a plethora of Doritos, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and Chips Ahoy cookies.
Cruise missiles fired by Russia from warships in the Caspian Sea at targets in Syria crashed in a rural area of Iran, senior United States officials said on Thursday. It was unclear exactly where in Iran the missiles had landed, or whether there were any casualties. The officials said the flight path of the Russian cruise missiles would have taken them across northern sections of Iran and Iraq on the way to Syria. But not all of them made it there, one official said. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss military intelligence. read more
In a shocking move Thursday afternoon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, pulled out of the race for Speaker of the House, throwing the GOP leadership race into chaos and confusion. According to Republican congressmen coming out of the caucus meeting -- where lawmakers were expected to pick a successor to retiring House Speaker John Boehner -- McCarthy told Republicans he didn't have a path to victory. read more
In a message on Twitter, Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch praised Ben Carson and added, "What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else." Murdoch later offered an apology with all the contrition you'd expect a man worth $12 billion to muster: "Apologies! No offense meant. Personally find both men charming." On Twitter, humorist Pourmecoffee responded to Murdoch's tweet, "Answer your phone. It's your communications VP."
Though Ben Carson said this week that if he encountered a mass shooter "I would not just stand there and let him shoot me," he had a gun pointed at him in the past and did nothing. Carson said on Sirius XM that he encountered a gunman at a Popeye's restaurant. "Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, 'I believe that you want the guy behind the counter,'" Carson said. Mathew Downing, who survived the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon, said of Carson's comment about resisting a shooter, "I'm fairly upset he said that. Nobody could truly understand what actions they would take like that in a situation unless they lived it," he told CNN.
California Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths. Brown appeared to struggle in deciding whether to approve the bill, whose opponents included the Catholic Church. "In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death," Brown wrote in a signing message. "I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn't deny that right to others."
After saying last week that the House Benghazi panel served its purpose by increasing Hillary Clinton's unpopularity, House Speaker candidate Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) is asserting that he never meant that. "Let's be very clear: Benghazi is not political," McCarthy said. "It was created for one purpose and one purpose only: to find the truth on behalf of the families of the four dead Americans. Period. ... The integrity of the work that has been done has never come into question, and it never should be. Stop playing politics" read more
The border between India and Pakistan is one of the few international boundaries that can be easily identified from space.
NASA's Earth Observatory shared a nighttime image of the international border that divides India and Pakistan.
The border between the two countries can be seen as a distinct, brightly-lit orange line -- thanks to the security lights that run the length of the boundary. Nearly 2,000 kilometers out of about 3,300 of the India-Pakistan border is floodlit, according to Indian government officials, which racks up massive electricity and diesel bills. read more
Months after winning a national title, Harvard's debate team has fallen to a group of New York inmates. The showdown took place at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison where convicts can take courses taught by faculty from nearby Bard College, and where inmates have formed a popular debate club. The Harvard debate team also was crowned world champions in 2014. But the inmates are building a reputation of their own. In the two years since they started a debate club, the prisoners have beaten teams from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the University of Vermont. "Students in the prison are held to the exact same standards, levels of rigor and expectation as students on Bard's main campus," said Max Kenner, executive director of the Bard Prison Initiative, which operates in six New York prisons. "Those students are serious. They are not condescended to by their faculty." read more
Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva is set to endorse Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders later this week, becoming the first member of Congress to do so. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has the backing of over 150 sitting senators, representatives, and governors, according to FiveThirtyEight's endorsement tracker -- including half of the nation's Democratic governors.
Hillary Clinton came out against the Trans Pacific Partnership in an interview Wednesday, breaking with President Barack Obama and his administration, which has forcefully promoted the deal. Clinton told PBS' Judy Woodruff Wednesday in Iowa that, "As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it." The former secretary of state cited the "high bar" she set earlier in the year as the reason she was giving the deal a thumbs down. read more
Republican presidential candidate and neurosurgeon Ben Carson accidentally left a sponge in a patient's brain and caused a nine-year-old patient to be partially paralyzed after a risky surgical approach her parents did not authorize, the National Enquirer tabloid reports based on six malpractice lawsuits. "He's totally untrustworthy," former patient Karly Bailey told the tabloid. She claimed Carson spent "maybe 14 minutes" with her and her parents before performing a delicate brain tumor operation when she was nine. "My parents told him they weren't authorizing him to remove the whole tumor because of the risk," said Bailey, 27. "He tried to remove all of the tumor, and injured my nerves and brain stem." read more