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POTUS envy

You've probably heard by now that former President George W. Bush already has raised $100 million for his presidential library in Texas, outpacing previous fundraising efforts for the mausoleums built to honor other U.S. chief executives. We're not sure why it became a tradition to build a mammoth facility dressed up as a tourist attraction to house all of the papers a president hasn't shredded, burned or b ...

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Sacks of gold

We had some trepidation when Australian-turned-American press baron Rupert Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago. Murdoch has a well-earned reputation for dumbing down his publications and infecting them with his retrograde political preferences. He most famously transformed the nation's oldest daily, the New York Post, from a staid liberal icon into a snarling, outrageous tabloid une ...

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Final edition

Thomas Jefferson once famously said that he would rather have newspapers without a government than a government without newspapers. It is becoming increasingly evident in recent days that we rapidly are approaching the latter. The 137-year-old Boston Globe became the latest arrival this week in a linotype hospice crowded with venerable newspapers on their last legs. The New York Times Co., which owns Beanto ...

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Worst, er, Best Idea of the Week: No Blagojevich!

Former Illinois governor and current punchline, Rod Blagojevich, was my surefire pick for Worst Idea of the Week. Yes, I know--his despicable, profanity-laden scandal regarding the sale of President Obama's former Senate seat dominated headlines several months ago. But this week Blagojevich returned to the esteemed pages of, uh, Entertainment Weekly as a potential contender for NBC's upcoming reality bomb, ...

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TARP cop turns up heat on Treasury chief

Neil M. Barofsky, the special inspector general appointed by President Bush in November to oversee the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, issued a scathing 250-page report today that ripped the Treasury Department's plans to bail out the nation's banks. Barofsky told Congress that what began as a $700-billion bailout last fall has evolved into a $3-trillion bonanza that is being administered with l ...

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Green Giant

The Empire State Building soon will stand as a model for retrofitting existing structures for environmental sustainability. Five leading consulting, design, non-profit and construction partners—including the Clinton Climate Initiative, Rocky Mountain Institute, Johnson Controls Inc., and Jones Lang LaSalle—are undertaking a $20 million project that aims to reduce energy use by 38 percent and energy costs by ...

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