Jackson's work at Bell Labs was credited with the development of fiber optics, caller ID and call waiting for phones. In 1995, President Clinton appointed her to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and she became the 18th president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was the first female and first African-American to serve in those positions. In 2016, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor for contributions in science and engineering. read more
Bill Richardson’s 30-year career in politics has included several controversies, including “pay to play” allegations that are likely to become highly publicized during his confirmation hearings for Secretary of Commerce.
Born William Blaine “B... read more
Seventeen Chinese Muslims unlawfully held in Guantánamo are still awaiting news of their fate after U.S. Federal Judge Ricardo Urbina deemed them innocent and ordered their release and delivery into the continental United States in October. The me... read more
Rev. Paul Raushenbush, Associate Dean of Religious Life at Princeton University, reviews the ten worst religious stories of 2008. Coming in at number 9 is Sarah Palin’s Witchcraft video (Palin appears at about 5:00), in which visiting Kenyan pasto... read more
If confirmed, Arne Duncan would become the first Cabinet member who has earned a living playing and coaching basketball. Duncan was born on November 4, 1964, to Starkey Duncan, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago, and Susan Morton,... read more
In nominating Nobel laureate Steven Chu for Secretary of Energy, Barack Obama may have selected the smartest man ever to run a cabinet department.
Chu was born on February 28, 1948, in St. Louis, MO. His father, Ju Chin Chu, and his mother, Ch... read more
In our ongoing attempt to find something good about President Bush’s legacy (see In Praise of George Bush), we turn to his support for community health centers. Kevin Sack of The New York Times writes, “Although the number of uninsured and the cos... read more
A coalition of environmental groups including Earthjustice and the Sierra Club have sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over a new revision finalized on December 12, which will allow mining companies to dump waste in streams. Specifical... read more
Aziz Huq, writing in The Nation, urges Barack Obama to immediately begin the process of reversing the centralization of power that characterized the Bush administration. The administration manipulated the judiciary by creating an atmosphere of fea... read more
Do Jews Run Hollywood?
In reaction to an Anti-Defamation league poll which showed last month that only 22% of people now believe that Jews run the movie and television industries, compared with 47% in 1964, Joel Stein (who is Jewish) protested in... read more
Jason Deparle of The New York Times writes, “In his campaign for chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chip Saltsman, a Tennessee political operative [who was Mike Huckabee’s 2008 campaign manager], distributed a song to potential support... read more
Janet Napolitano does not shy away from tough fights, having first risen to prominence as Anita Hill’s attorney during the Clarence Thomas controversy, and later as a Democratic governor of a very Republican state.
Napolitano was born on Novem... read more
Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor from 1993-1997, argues that Wall Street and Detroit have no intention of fundamentally altering their business strategies because they view the economic crisis as the low point in a cyclical downturn... read more
Reaction from liberals and labor unions to the announcement of Hilda Solis as the next Secretary of Labor can be summed up in a word: Delighted. Solis has a long track record in Congress and the California Legislature as a strong supporter of orga... read more
Juan Cole presents his top ten myths about Iraq. Aside from debunking common misconceptions about the health and wealth of Iraqi minorities and refugees, Cole also addresses the supposed success of the troop surge. In what he numbers myth #6, Cole... read more
University of Utah economics student Tim DeCristopher has single-handedly delayed an oil and gas auction by the Bureau of Land Management in Utah. DeCristopher outwitted and outbid the assorted oil companies by registering as a bidder and offering... read more
On September 19, 1989, a terrorist bomb destroyed the French-operated flight UTA 772, flying from Chad to Paris, killing all on board. Among the 170 victims were seven Americans, including Bonnie Barnes Pugh, the wife of the U.S. ambassador to Cha... read more