Friday, December 14, 2007

In the news

Just in case you haven't been following the news (watching Dancing with the Stars and all), here's a roundup of some of the more interesting stories I’ve seen in a while:

The phone is on, but nobody's home
According to reports, an Icelandic teen was able to figure out the President's personal phone number and gave him a call. The teen, posing as the president of Iceland, left Bush a message requesting him to return the call. Though the Secret Service finally caught on to him, the kid (as far as I can tell) has not indicated how he came across the phone number. Some say he got it when Jenna Bush called the Prez on the Ellen DeGeneres show; while others suggest that he just simply outsmarted White House security and officials. Either way, this kid is brilliant.

Cookie Jar Contempt
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee -- by a 12-7 vote -- approved criminal contempt resolutions against former Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten. Six months ago, the Committee requested Rove's public testimony on the now infamous attorney firings and issued subpoenas for internal White House documents. As the custodian of such documents, Bolten was cited for refusing to hand them in.

Frankly, I don't think that anything is going to come out of this. Though the resolutions are expected to move to the Senate floor, I don't think any actions will be taken this year. For that matter, I don't think the Senate will have enough momentum to do anything at all.

Gonzo wins award for "Lawyer of the Year"
Former Attorney General Alberto "I don't recall" Gonzales has been honored as the 2007 "Lawyer of the Year". Initially I thought to myself "WTF?!" But when I saw this report from the Associated Press, it all started to make sense to me.

As it appears, the American Bar Association doesn't necessarily recognize the most outstanding lawyer each year; just the one who is the most newsworthy. Think of this way: when Time Magazine voted Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and -- yes -- Dubya "Persons of the Year", it wasn't necessarily because they were the best people in the world (certainly not as cool as you and I apparently were one year). They just made the most noise. That being said, Gonzo truly deserved this award.

Gore finally catches up to his award
Speaking of awards, Nobel Peace prize winner and "former President" Al Gore has made environmentally-friendly improvements to his home. Uh…can you say “about time?” Maybe I'm just being a hater, but when Gore received the Nobel prize for his recent documentary about global climate change, maybe we should've been looking at him as one of the biggest culprits. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to hear about his award. But when you think about how lifestyles don’t match up to sermons, the preacher tends to lose credibility.

Another shock jock back on the air
This story is a little old, but still worth mentioning. Hip Hop disc jockey DJ Star (real name Troi Torain) is back on the air after being fired for comments he made about a rival DJ. Torain was released from a popular New York radio station last year when he threatened to sexually assault and urinate on his rival's then four year old daughter. This dude made Don Imus look like Ghandi by comparison.

Now, we all know my stance on free speech. But, come people: where's the outrage? Threatening children? For real?

Congressional holiday plans: Stay at work?
I just read an op-ed piece from the Washington Post citing the potential plans of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in keeping the Senate running during the Christmas break to stop the Prez from making blind appointments in certain vacancies. Reid organized these special sessions before. He may try it again.

Personally, I think Congressional work should be a year-round job anyway. These clowns typically put us in situations that don’t rest. Why should they get to?

Ex-CIA official chimes in about waterboarding
John Kiriakou, formerly of the CIA recently revealed that not only was waterboarding used in interrogations with suspected terrorists, but that the process was directly approved by the White House.

While all of this was going on, current CIA director Michael Hayden was called into an unpublicized meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee to offer testimony about the process. He is publicly claiming that the Committee knew about the CIA's interrogation techniques, while they claim to have no knowledge of it. Clearly we have a case where somebody or EVERYBODY is lying. So, you can expect for this to be the first of many more hearings.

I'm torn on this story; mostly because it involves two groups whom I frequently have a hard time believing: greedy corporations like Halliburton and alleged rape victims. Halliburton is currently under fire from accusations of rape by former contractor Jaime Leigh Jones. Jones, a former employee of the billion dollar contracting firm, released a story about how she was gang raped by some of her co-workers, locked away in a storage unit without food or water, and how the company tried to cover it all up.

On one hand, I wouldn't be suprised if this story wound up being true. Halliburton is notorious for raping you and me as American taxpayers. So why stop there? But on the other hand, I wouldn't be suprised if this Jones girl is an opportunist; using the unimaginable (and untouchable) idea of being raped as a chance to either get even with her former employer or to get famous from her screenplay. I dunno.

A Slow Food Nation?
Apparently Los Angeles, plagued by obesity and diabetes, is making a push to ban fast food restaurants from the area. The proposed ban was approved by the council's Planning and Land Use Committee even though two city officials indicated that more work was needed on the proposal.

Honestly, I'm confused by this one. Rather than committing more resources to promote health (exercise facilities that don't cost a fortune, better/safer parks, less expensive health food stores, etc.) the city wants to ban fast food joints?! Somebody pul-LEASE explain that logic to me. I must be slow or somethin'.

Though some studies have suggested that fast food is addictive, this hasn't been as universally accepted as being as truthful as cigarettes being addictive, for example. Until these studies are universally accepted as truth, the city council needs to factor personal responsibility somewhere into this discussion. Sheesh.

“Liberty City 7” terrorists not so terrorizing
According to reports, none of the seven suspects connected to plans of terrorism in the Sears Tower were convicted. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about this story, but I will say that this seems to represent a failed attempt to get people so scared about terrorism that they commit kneejerk reactions. The resources devoted to manipulate our thinking and to make these guys out to be bogeymen worked; apparently until they got to court.

New Jersey abolishes death penalty
By close votes of 44-36 in the state Assembly and 21-16 in the state Senate, New Jersey has become the first state in over forty years to abolish the death penalty. Governor Jon Corzine has indicated that he will sign the bill, effectively making it state law.

I’m not sure what to think about this decision. On the one hand, I’ve always maintained that the death penalty is a barbaric and archaic way of issuing justice; especially considering the number of falsely convicted people executed in recent years. Still, the argument can be made that some of the criminals who were indeed guilty of brutal crimes lost their right to life. But I guess I still believe that a lifetime of losing your freedom (and not being pampered with our hard-earned money; like many convicts are) can be a fate worst than death.

Ike Turner dead
Ike Turner, the infamous rock and roll pioneer is dead from unexplained circumstances. He was 76. Turner was known just as much for his Greatest Hits on Anna Mae Bullock and his Greatest Hits on the pipe as he was for his Greatest Hits in music. Maybe he got a bad rap; maybe he didn’t. Interestingly, Tina didn’t have any comments.

As always, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what's going on in the world. As more stuff surfaces, I'll be sure to offer my two cents. So keep tuning into to "Inside Andre's Head"; the most trusted source in news. The Hippie Conservative is the second most trusted source; albeit a distant second. :)


8 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

KC said...

Hey Dre. Lots going on here. Pretty interesting perspectives you have on most of these topics. I just hope my Women and Gender majoring cousin doesn't see your commentary about the Halliburton rape case. She'd unleash the dragon on you...

ajbendaƱa said...

You blow FOX outta the watta!

Andre said...

KC: If your cousin wants to be critical of anybody, she should call out the few folks who cry rape that make it harder on the ones who really are raped.

Andre said...

@ Aldo: Thanx dawg. The real no-spin zone starts here; with a little bit of spinning of course...

Greeneyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greeneyes said...

Hello Handsome .
First , congrats on your Graduation etc, you look pretty good in a cap and gown , Why No pics on here ??? Some really nice ones of you and your FAMily .... Wonderful they could share that day with you and celebrate your success , nice to see ,thanks for sharing in FB.

Interesting tid bits , great read ,
I was wondering , what is your view on the Death penality and does being a christian come into play when you decide which side of the fence you stand ???


The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
Just when I try to do one of these you had to go and prove you are indeed better at it. (Dammit) Oh well, I think I like commenting on them better anyway.
1)This just further proves that trying to keep your kid out of your computer with passwords and such is pointless.
2)This is just more evidence that our government is becoming increasingly arrogant.
3)Being shady IS being a good lawyer.
4)Most of these celebraties (not a misspelling) are complete hypocrites on the environment.
5)Yikes! Let me exercise MY free speech by saying that guy's a complete tool.
7)Can someone please define torture so we can move on? The Geneva Convention says torture is; "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; My Parents violated that more times than I can count. How about a little sanity we can all agree on?
8)My feeling is Haliburton has been raping for some time.
9)How about people accepting responsibility for their own bad choices? Now we have to monitor what people eat for them?
10)Found innocent doesn't always mean innocent. But that is our system.
11)I'm not a fan of the death penalty, not for moral reasons, but because we can't seem to administer it fairly.
12) Ike better hope God is awful forgiving.
Great piece as always Andre. But remember, being #2 means I'm only going to try harder.

HeiressChild said...

i'm reading from your current post on back. you're crankin' 'em out faster than i can read them. thanks for the noteworthy news; i was watching dancing w/the stars.

that's really scary about how they choose the lawyer of the year to honor.

i'm glad gore got called out. that annoys me too when people don't put their $$$ where the mouth is. stop talking the talk and walk the walk.

i saw a little of jone's story on the news. i hope she's not making this up. i wonder why she took so long contacting an attorney.