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Paul Ryan Isn’t Afraid to Send You to Bed Without Dinner if You Don’t Do Your Poverty Homework

The most eyebrow-raising part of Ryan's poverty plan — which, as I wrote last week, has a lot of good parts — is his suggestion that low-income households write and execute a contractually binding "life plan" in exchange for government aid. As such, in a funny inversion, conservatives have spent the week arguing for more government bureaucracy and oversight, with liberals arguing against it.


72-Hour Unconditional Humanitarian Cease-fire Reached in Gaza

The United States and United Nations have jointly announced a break in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, beginning at 8 a.m. local time on Friday and lasting at least 72 hours. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that they have "received assurances that all parties have agreed to an unconditional humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza," although Israeli "forces on the ground will remain in place."


Signs in Hasidic Brooklyn Suggest Dressing Modestly; Women Not Having It

Ladies: Please wear pants in Crown Heights. And sleeves. Consider a smart blazer, too. As long as you dress modestly, the people who posted a handful of signs around a Hasidic section of the rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood will be happy.

"Love and Respect," the signs read. "Dear Resident, Guest, Visitor, Please dress modestly. This is a Jewish neighborhood."


Why Costumed Times Square Performers Keep Attacking People

It was a messy weekend for the costumed street performers of Times Square. A man dressed as Spider-Man punched an NYPD officer after resisting arrest for harassing a tourist Saturday, joining a long list of characters behaving badly that includes a Cookie Monster who shoved a 2-year-old and a vocally anti-Semitic Elmo. Four more characters were arrested later Saturday night. 


You Probably Shouldn’t Travel to Places With Ebola, Says CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning against nonessential travel to three West African countries today as the death toll from the Ebola outbreak on the continent has reached 729. The travel advisory applies to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and it's the first level 3 travel warning — the CDC's most serious — during a disease outbreak since 2003, when SARS was killing hundreds in Asia.


George W. Bush Loves His Dad So Much He’s Writing a Book About Him

Because getting his act together to become president and starting a war with an old foe wasn't enough, America's favorite never-good-enough son is writing a 300-page book about his dear old dad. "George H.W. Bush is a great servant, statesman, and father," said George W. Bush in a statement. "I loved writing the story of his life, and I hope others enjoy reading it." The president-on-president biography is due out November 11 via Crown.


It Shouldn’t Take Having a Daughter for Men to Care About Feminism

No act of personal writing makes my skin crawl like when a father sits down to describe what having a daughter has taught him about the female experience. It’s nothing against dads. I love mine, and I also welcome feminist awakenings whenever and however they occur. But often the writer-dad’s newfound sensitivity is overshadowed by his prior obliviousness: He was apparently unable to empathize with women before one sprung from his loins. Did he take nothing from his other encounters with half of humanity? Not even from his mother?

The latest entry to the genre is an open letter from AllHipHop site owner Chuck Creekmur to Nicki Minaj on the topic of the glorious, bare-assed artwork for her latest single, “Anaconda.” Creekmur writes that he used to take Minaj’s hypersexualized image in stride. Now, though, things have changed: He has a daughter. “I wasn’t even shocked,” Creekmur wrote in the letter, published on MommyNoire. “I was just disappointed.”

Sound like dad? »

CIA Admits It Spied on Senators, After Insisting It Didn’t

When reports first surfaced that the Central Intelligence Agency snooped on senators preparing a report about the agency's Bush-era interrogation techniques, CIA Director John Brennan said, "When the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong."

Nope, wrong: McClatchy reports that Brennan apologized this week to Senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss of the Senate Intelligence Committee for what a CIA Inspector General's report called behavior "inconsistent with the common understanding reached between" the two sides.


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