April 13th, 2009, by

The First Dog, Bo, which the Obamas got for their daughters over the weekend, is not, we repeat, not, from a shelter.

Guess they didn’t learn from the backlash over the Bidens’ pet pick.

Animal rescue organizations are up in arms.

In a statement on Friday, the Executive Director of called the Obama’s decision a “missed opportunity.” “If Obama had adopted a pet from a shelter, it could have been the turning point for the pet-overpopulation problem in this country,” the Executive Director said in her statement.

The Humane Society is a bit more forgiving. Since Bo was returned by the family that originally purchased him, they’re calling Bo a “second-chance dog.” (There are questions about calling Bo a second-chance dog.) They put out a statement congratulating the first family on bringing Bo into their home.

The Obamas will make a donation to the Humane Society by giving a gift to its D.C. office.

Here’s the Humane Society’s pet adoption video to tug at your heartstrings.

April 7th, 2009, by

Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage Tuesday, when the state legislature voted to override the governor’s veto of a same-sex marriage bill. Such marriages can be performed in Vermont as early as September. On the same day, the D.C. Council voted to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The actions come just days after Iowa legalized same-sex marriages, which are also legal in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

States to watch: New Hampshire and New Jersey.

April 3rd, 2009, by

Iowa became the first state in the Midwest and the third state in the country, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut, to legalize same-sex marriage. The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down a 1998 ban on same-sex marriage Friday. Same-sex marriages could begin in the Hawkeye State in three weeks. The opposition is outraged. The pundits are already looking at how this might impact the 2012 presidential race. And Californians on both sides of their state’s Proposition 8 debate spoke up about Iowa’s decision.

March 16th, 2009, by

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer joins the Rocky Mountain News in the Newspaper Death Watch. On Tuesday, Seattle’s 146-year-old paper will publish its last print edition, shutting down the daily newspaper but maintaining its online presence at

P-I subscribers will receive rival paper, The Seattle Times, without interruption, but The Seattle Times has its own set of problems and might be next to disappear. At least the Post-Intelligencer‘s 30-foot neon globe isn’t going away anytime soon.

March 11th, 2009, by

As we mentioned yesterday, it’s Women’s History Month. And today, President Obama signed an executive order creating a White House Council on Women and Girls. The council’s first year will be focused on the “economic status of women,” establishing a “balance between work and family,” preventing “violence against women, at home and abroad” and improving “women’s health care.” Valerie Jarrett will head the council.

Some people are on board with the new council. Some people say it’s not enough. What do you think?

March 10th, 2009, by

It’s National Women’s History Month. So, here’s a round-up of tidbits and interesting articles in honor of the month. Be sure to tell us your Women’s History favorites as well.

1)    Go to the National Women’s History Project to find out how Women’s History Month got started or what the 2009 theme is (hint: it’s green).

2)    Want a quick snapshot of U.S. women today? Check out CNN Student Newsone-sheet for Women’s History Month.

3)    Bitch magazine’s weekly “Adventures in Feministory” has an interesting post about “The Night Witches” (Note: they flew at night, but they weren’t really witches).

4)    What else can you read this month? Books, books and more books for, by and about women, of course!

5)    And even is getting in on the Women’s History action. Check out their history of girls high school basketball.

February 27th, 2009, by

As Tamika mentioned in December when The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press ended their daily home delivery, newspapers are in a heap of trouble.

Today, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News closed shop for good. The Pulitzer Prize-winning San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle’s oldest daily Seattle Post-Intelligencer could go next.

Not depressing enough? Then be sure to check out Newspaper Death Watch, a Web site that is “Chronicling the Decline of Newspapers and the Rebirth of Journalism.”

February 24th, 2009, by

Just about everybody is scared these days.

French consumer confidence is down. German business confidence is down. Consumer confidence is up in Canada and Italy. But consumer confidence is down in Mexico, and many foreign workers in Dubai just skipped town when they lost their jobs.

In the United States, well, Americans are not very confident at all. U.S. consumer confidence plummeted this month. Americans don’t trust their peanut butter anymore, and (get this) Americans trust politicians more than business leaders when it comes to the economy.

February 24th, 2009, by

In honor of Black History Month, we’re teaming up with the social news site NewsTrust to find and promote journalism about the Black experience in America today. How has the election of Barack Obama changed the conversation, and the realities, for African Americans and other people of color?

Join us in reviewing news and opinion pieces that explore issues of social justice and empowerment and highlights the contributions of African Americans to the country’s cultural landscape.

February 19th, 2009, by

Of course you don’t speak Kashaya. That’s because the dying language found on the California coast near the mouth of the Russian River is one of nearly 2,500 worldwide languages that UNESCO has classified as endangered or extinct (out of more than 6,000 total world languages).

UNESCO created an interactive atlas of the world’s endangered languages. 192 of those languages are in the United States. As with endangered species lists, the atlas seeks to inform policy-makers, communities and authorities of languages that need to be targeted for preservation.

And if you are one of the 24 people still speaking Kashaya, please let us know.

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