Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

It’s that time again, no, no, no, not time to sit down to another full blown Thanksgiving dinner, I’m sure we are still all recovering from Thursday’s gastric distress ! No it’s time for another episode of The Weekly Rewind.

Applaud: Here’s to doing something instead of just talking about it. Former president Bill Clinton’s “eco-friendly” presidential library’s roof is now going green. Over the past two weeks, workers have been hoisting 90 species of plants and more than four truckloads of soil atop the library to provide insulation and capture rainwater that otherwise would just be wasted as runoff. Picnic on the roof anyone?

Applaud: For finally catching up to the rest of us. The number of economists forecasting the U.S. will slip into recession almost doubled over the last two months, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics. Thanks for getting in line with the rest of the American Public, we’ve been waiting for you.

Heckle: To the further weakening of the economy. The U.S. dollar has fallen to historic lows against both the euro and the yen as worries about the strength of the U.S. economy continue. The drop has been precipitated by the U.S. credit crisis, which has caused foreign investors to pull some of their investments out of U.S. markets and put them in other countries. I’m waiting for someone to tell me that this is good for the economy….I need a good laugh.

Heckle: To a reversal in crime statistics. The FBI released its hate crime statistics for 2006 showing an increase of 7.8 percent. The Southern Poverty Law Center says the FBI report is “severely flawed,” noting that Alabama reported only one hate crime in 2006, while Mississippi and Hawaii did not report any hate crimes at all. “In fact, the level of hate crimes in the United States is astoundingly high — more than 190,000 incidents per year.” What the hell happened to the reports coming out of the Justice Department stating that crime was being reduced across the board? Oh yeah, another adminstration fabrication….

Heckle: The truth hurts… While the violence in Baghdad declines, northern Iraq has become more violent than other regions as al-Qaida and other militants move there to avoid coalition operations elsewhere. “What you’re seeing is the enemy shifting,” Army Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling told reporters yesterday. I guess they are not as dumb as we thought they were…

Heckle: To more of the same. US contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan more than doubled from 2004 to 2006 to over 25 billion dollars but government oversight of the firms involved has slackened,” reports the Center for Public Integrity. Former Halliburton subsidiary KBR topped the list with more than $16 billion in U.S. contracts. When is this going to stop?

Applaud: To forward thinking. Fearing that President Bush would again use a Congressional recess to install executive branch appointees without Senate confirmation, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) gaveled in a 30-second Senate session yesterday. “This is an exercise in protecting the Constitution and our constitutional process,” Webb said. It’s pretty sad that it had to come to this, but thank you Senator for taking a stand.

Heckle: To the effects of a weakened economy. Americans enter the holiday season in a dark mood, with economic worries, security fears and a lack of confidence in government fueling growing pessimism, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday. The number of Americans who believe the country is on the right track fell from 26 percent to 24 percent in the last month, with about two-thirds believing it is headed in the wrong direction. And this is a surprise to anyone?…. I thought not..

This one could be good or bad. The Supreme Court has agreed to review an appeals court decision that struck down a 31-year-old Washington D.C., ban on pistols. The court’s examination of the meaning of the Second Amendment for the first time in nearly 70 years carries broad implications for gun-control measures locally and across the country. Personally, I would like to see gun bans repealed and while we are at it, my home state of Illinois can get it’s head out of it’s ass and pass CCW legislation for law abiding citizens.

Applaud: To thinking outside the box. Two groups of scientists yesterday revealed that they “succeeded in turning human skin cells into cells that are very similar — but not identical — to embryonic stem cells.” Experts, however, cautioned that it is unclear whether the new cells will be as effective as conventional embryonic stem cells may prove to be against certain disease. Since the administration is so narrow minded when it comes to the benefits to be obtained from stem cells, let’s see if they can embrace this ‘end run’.

Well folks, that’s it for this week. It’s Thanksgiving weekend, time to have another helping of turkey, stuffing and whatever else filled your holiday table. Raise a glass to all that you are thankful for and don’t forget to say thanks to the people in your life who mean the most to you. I’m sure they would appreciate it.

Be good, stay informed….later.

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