News You Might Have Missed
Hi everybody. Welcome back to my weekly attempt to bring you the news that you might have missed. Sorry about skipping out on the post-debate coverage, but I was tired, and really, what more could I have said? Anyway, 360 has been trending toward the non newsy lately, so you missed a lot!
- But that Michael Moore is just a propagandist. A California health insurance company paid their employees bonuses based on dropping sick policyholders.
- All in the family. Blackwater shoots and kills civilians. Blackwater is employed by the State Department. Blackwater is "investigated" by the State Department and granted limited immunity. Blackwater board member is the brother of the State Department's Inspector General. Round and round we go.
- One step forward, two steps back? The income gap between black and white families has grown.
- Paging Drew Griffin. While chiding the Democratic Congress of spending money like teenagers with a credit card, Bush himself was porking up spending bills with earmarks for Laura and Bush the elder's pet projects.
- If she did it. Judith Regan, attempted-publisher of OJ's sleazy screed, is protesting her firing by News Corp, claiming she was pressured to lie to federal investigators about her affair with Bernard Kerik to protect Rudy Giuliani, close friend of Roger Ailes. MSNBC breaks down the dizzying and overlapping scandals.
- The phrase "support the troops" becomes more meaningless every day. CBS has uncovered a suicide epidemic among veterans. The stunning investigation includes the data that in 2005 alone, 120 veterans were lost to suicide each week. This news comes not long after a study discovered that one-fourth of the homeless are military veterans. In related news, desertions among the troops is at its highest rate since 1980.
- The poor continue to be left behind on the gulf coast. Congress required Mississippi (and other states) to spend half of their federal grant money related to the hurricanes on low-income citizens, but to date, the poor have only gotten about 10 percent while the upper-class and business community have received the majority.
- If you can believe it, the trailer saga continues. FEMA still hasn't tested survivor's trailers for formaldehyde, but their own workplace policy bars agency employees from entering trailers sitting unused in the sunlight. Apparently the trailers are safe enough for those displaced by the hurricane, but not enough for FEMA employees.
- Not a good time for a math mistake. When working on new gate and levee repair data, someone at the Army Corps of Engineers put a minus sign when a plus sign was needed, putting them off by five feet. Now the flood protection in Lakeview and Old Metairie has only improved by a half a foot since Katrina.
- Perhaps the fire response wasn't the perfect anti-Katrina as so many tried to spin it. Documents show that aircraft were not grounded by high winds as previously reported, but in some cases due to the failure of state officials to request them.
- Oh yeah, that threat. The flu killing turkeys in the UK has been confirmed to be H5N1.
- And to think there are still deniers. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues scary new report. Yes Virginia, our Planet is in Peril.
- Out of sight, out of mind? There is stew of plastic trash that is twice the size of Texas floating between San Francisco and Hawaii.