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The House and Senate reached agreement on a $789 billion economic-stimulus plan, which President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law despite a lack of support from Republicans.New York Times“When Roosevelt did this,” said Representative Steve Austria (R., Ohio), “he put our country into a Great Depression. That’s just history.”Dispatch PoliticsThe Columbus DispatchAbraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin both turned 200.Washington PostAnglican hymns were sung at Darwin’s tomb in Westminster Abbey. A poll showed that 43 percent of Britons believe in creationism.Associated PressIn a speech at the Capitol, President Obama called Lincoln a “singular figure who in so many ways made my own story possible–and who in so many ways made America’s story possible.”CNNStocks fell sharply after Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, whom Obama called “the chief economic spokesman for my administration,” announced his plans for further bailouts of the financial sector.New York Times“Even if Kant, Plato and Aristotle were resurrected together with the late brilliant economist John Kenneth Galbraight [sic],” wrote Fidel Castro, “they would neither be capable of solving the more frequent and deeper antagonistic contradictions of the system.”PoliticoFederal agents ordered a brewery in Brooklyn to stop making their “Hop Obama” ale. “Iâ??m upset,” said one local bar owner. “They were actually trying to support himâ??while making a good beer.”The Brooklyn PaperSenator Judd Gregg withdrew as a nominee for commerce secretary, making him the third of Obama’s cabinet nominees to withdraw before being confirmed;Washington PostMissouri State Representative Bryan Stevenson apologized for calling a proposed abortion bill “the greatest power-grab by the federal government since the War of Northern Aggression”;Kansas City Starand Senator Roland Burris admitted that Robert Blagojevich, brother of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, had asked him for a donation, in contradiction to his testimony during Blagojevich’s impeachment hearings.Washington PostA Continental Airlines flight en route to Buffalo from Newark, New Jersey, crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York, killing 50 people, among them Beverly Eckert, who was traveling to Buffalo to celebrate the birthday of her late husband, who died in the World Trade Center attacks.New York TimesNew York Times
Finance officials and central bankers from the G-7 nations met in Rome to discuss plans to revive the world economy.BloombergA report revealed that Japan’s economy recently registered its worst decline in three decades.MarketWatchTwo missile strikes by American drones in Pakistan killed more than 60 people, leading some to suggest that Bush Administration policies in the area may remain unchanged under Obama.New York TimesFrench and British authorities acknowledged that nuclear submarines from the two countries collided earlier this month.Washington PostAn Iridium communications satellite crashed into a non-operational Russian satellite in the first major collision between two man-made objects in space,Spaceflight Nowa van in New York dragged a pedestrian almost 20 miles through the streets of Queens and Brooklyn before the van’s driver noticed the body near Coney Island,Fox Newsand 41-year-old Christine Newton-John pleaded guilty to reckless homicide after prosecutors produced video footage of her forcing her 71-year-old husband to swim around in their pool until he died of a heart attack. When the couple met, Newton-John was John Vallandingham, but after sex reassignment surgery she changed her name in honor of singer Olivia Newton-John. “The whole case,” said the local police chief, “is very sinister.” Associated Press
Australian police charged a man with starting a blaze that killed 21 people, which was in turn one of a series of wildfires that killed up to 200 people and destroyed thousands of homes; the man was also charged with possession of child pornography.BBC NewsPennsylvania judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan pleaded guilty to fraud after taking $2.6 million in kickbacks from two private detention centers in exchange for sending teenagers there. One high school student with no previous record was sentenced to three months of juvenile detention for creating a MySpace page making fun of her assistant principal.New York TimesVenezuelans passed a referendum lifting presidential term limits, which cleared the way for Hugo Chavez to run for re-election in 2013. “This was a victory imposed by the abuse of state power,” said the leader of a local election-monitoring group. “I am a soldier of the people,” said Chavez. “I will obey the peopleâ??s mandate.”New York Times“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” singer Molly Bee died at the age of 69,MSNBCand elevator-music pioneer Muzak declared bankruptcy.Charlotte Business JournalYankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted to using steroids,San Francisco ExaminerAstros shortstop Miguel Tejada pleaded guilty to lying under oath about steroid use among his teammates,ESPNa ten-year-old Sussex spaniel named Stump became the oldest best-in-show winner in the history of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show,Washington Postand swimmer Michael Phelps apologized to the Chinese for taking bong hits at a frat party. “The past few days have been tough for me,” Phelps said in a video provided to Asian news sources by automaker Mazda, which sponsors him. “But I have received support and encouragement online from so many Chinese friends.”New York Times
More from Christopher Beha:
Commentary — May 22, 2015, 1:10 pm
Jonathan Chait’s flawed attack on David Bromwich’s critique of Barack Obama’s presidency
i. stand with israel
I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio. Confident masculine voices telling me the enemy is everywhere and victory is near â€” I often find it affirming: thereâ€™s a reason I donâ€™t think that way. Last spring, many right-wing commentators made much of a Bloomberg poll that asked Americans, â€śAre you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or Obama?â€ť Republicans picked the Israeli prime minister over their own president, 67 to 16 percent. There was a lot of affected shock that things had come to this. Rush Limbaugh said of Netanyahu that he wished â€śwe had this kind of forceful moral, ethical clarity leading our own countryâ€ť; Mark Levin described him as â€śthe leader of the free world.â€ť For a few days there I yelled quite a bit in my car.
The one conservative radio show I do find myself enjoying is hosted by Dennis Prager. At the Thanksgiving dinner of American radio personalities (Limbaugh is your jittery brother-in-law, Michael Savage is your racist uncle, Hugh Hewitt is Hugh Hewitt) Dennis Prager is the turkey-carving patriarch trying to keep the conversation moderately high-minded. While Prager obviously doesnâ€™t like liberals â€” â€śThe gaps between the left and right on almost every issue that matters are in fact unbridgeable,â€ť he has said â€” he often invites them onto his show for debate, which is rare among right-wing hosts. Yet his gently exasperated take on the Obamaâ€“Netanyahu matchup was among the least charitable: â€śThose who do not confront evil resent those who do.â€ť
Average number of Americans who are injured by chain saws each year:
A farmer in Kenya bit a python who tried to eat him.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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â€śMatt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'Iâ€™m glad everyoneâ€™s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supportsÂ my lifestyle.'â€ť