Monday, March 31, 2008

Overnight - A roundup of news items that you might have missed

[Posting a bit early tonight and taking the rest of the evening off. See you back here tomorrow.]

Quote of the Day honors go to Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post, talking about Bush getting booed roundly when he went out to throw the first pitch at Nationals Stadium..."There's a reason President Bush almost never appears before members of the general public: They really don't like him."

The Hill has a new feature on their website. In a sign of the growing prominence of blogs in the national political discourse, The Hill has introduced the Blog Briefing Room, a clearing house of what the blogosphere is buzzing with on any given day. Bookmark/blogroll it now.

Newshoggers has moved Cernig & crew have abandoned blogger for a hosted url and a slick new look. Update your blogrolls and bookmarks.

Here is my idea of a "leading economic indicator" The number of Americans participating in the USDA food stamp program is on pace to reach 28 million in a few weeks. That will represent the highest percentage of the general population receiving the assistance since it was introduced in the sixties. The number of participants has fluctuated for various reasons, but this increase seems to be tied directly to the economic slump the United states finds itself in, coupled with rising food and fuel prices that are pushing families that were previously getting by into their local state social services office.

Musharraf swore in the newly elected opposition parliamentarians today, and probably signed the death warrant for his presidency. The opposition won overwhelmingly in February's elections, and speculations are overt that on the one hand Musharraf might be pushed out in a matter of weeks, and on the other hand that the United States will try to prop him up.

A female soldier in the United States Army is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than she is to be killed in combat. Doctors at the VA Medical Center in Los Angeles reported finding that 41% of the female veterans they treated reported being sexually assaulted by fellow military personnel while they were serving. This has always been a problem, and it is getting worse. Don't look for it to get better any time soon, when the Army is taking 20% of their enlisted recruits in on waivers.

The question of temperament keeps coming up and casting questions of suitable disposition over John McCain's presidential bid. Lot's of those "McCain Moments" are archived on video for posterity.

Have you ever heard of a "Splash and Dash" scam? Here is how it works...Biodiesel is shipped to the United States from Europe. Once in the US, a bit of US biodiesel is added, and the whole bloody shipment becomes eligible for a subsidy. While it is not technically illegal, it rather violates the spirit of the intent, don't you think? The EU does as well, and is pushing to have the practice banned.

Zimbabwe anxiously awaits election results Riot police were deployed to opposition strongholds in Harare on Monday as results for other races and parliament seats began to trickle in, while the government refused to release any information at all about the presidential voting. This prompted opposition leaders to proclaim that Mugabe was trying to steal the election.

Say Aloha to Aloha Aloha Airlines, transporter of island hoppers, vagabonds, military brats and beach combers for more than 60 years has lost the battle for solvency. The company has struggled for years, but fuel prices appear to be the final nail in the airlines coffin. Military Brats everywhere cast a heavy sigh, remembering Aloha flights from Honolulu to the big island to party like it was 1979 (because it was), out of reach parental control. **sniff**