Friday, April 25, 2008

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

What are you doing at ten central tonight? Tune in Bill Moyers Journal and listen to Jeremiah Wright in his own words as Moyers interviews him. We are purposefully posting the roundup early tonight to give a bit of warning about this show. (Not everyone can stream video. :)

Wesley Snipes sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion after willfully and deliberately failing to file his taxes from 1999 to 2001.

Production of new Bond flick halted and rumors of a "curse" run rampant after a week of mysterious accidents and mishaps involving a driver and two stuntmen on the set of the film. One of the accidents destroyed the trademark Bond Aston Martin.

Orrin Hatch lays an egg Get ready to cringe. He has penned a campaign song for John McCain, titled "Together Forever." "We'll see Barack Obama's Bruce Springsteen endorsement and raise them an Orrin Hatch," a McSame spokesman said. Lets just say if corniness was an amp, this turkey would go to at least 11. (What'll ya bet that John Ashcroft follows suit within two weeks?)

Hey, you can't beat something until you have the courage to mock it so maybe, just maybe, Harold and Kumar will help us take a step back, realize that we have collectively gone batshit insane for the better part of a decade and get real about countering terrorism and go back to treating terrorists like the criminals they are and the problem like the law enforcement issue it really is. You know, like we used to, when we captured, tried, convicted and sentenced terrorist thugs to life in prison and obscurity. You remember...before we were hell-bent on creating martyrs.

An (ominous) sign of the times Teenagers looking for summer jobs are finding themselves competing for entry level jobs with adults who have found themselves downsized or their jobs offshored. I remember this same scenario in the early 80s - I don't kid myself - no job and no prospects - and parents who were struggling, too - is what sent me, and a whole shitload of people my age (That 70's Show could have been filmed in my Mom's basement and called a documentary) into recruiting and ROTC offices throughout the land. Now it's our kids and joining the Army is a whole 'nuther proposition...

An (ominous) sign of the times II After a winter of record-high energy costs, a record number of American households are behind on their utility bills and facing shut-offs over the next two months. I have worked in the trenches of public health - I personally know people who only have utilities from November through March, the months that the Cold Weather Rule is in effect. Start looking at your neighbors houses - if you notice they have "gone dark" be a mensch and find a way to offer to keep stuff in your fridge for them. Missouri readers, if you are facing this situation, or know someone who is, here is the link to the website for the state utility assistance program.

An (ominous) sign of the times III Members of the military are facing foreclosures at a rapidly climbing rate. "The Army as a whole has seen an increase in soldiers and families seeking assistance for mortgage foreclosures," says Army Lt. Col. Anne Edgecomb, an Army spokeswoman, citing data from branch legal offices trying to advise soldiers. Members of the military who get into financial trouble are on much more tenuous ground than civilians - "lose your house, lose your clearance."

Economic stimulus checks start mailing out Monday. And just in time, too...Costco and Sam's Club are limiting the amount of rice we can buy. Can beans be far behind?

Why do conservatives fear fair elections? (Rhetorical question - even the Cheeto eaters are onto them at this point, and if they don't cheat they can't win.) Representative Rush Holt has drafted legislation making a paper trail that would allow recounts mandatory. Chickenshit Publicans have held it up in committee.