1. A new report put out by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concludes that the cuts in federal spending that are set to occur on January 1st will have a detrimental effect on the economy and could push the US into a double-dip recession. Like double-dipping chips, it probably won't make a good impression on those around us. As with most CBO reports, it does not suggest solutions, leaving that up to the legislative body of government. Good luck with that. By the way, here's the way Fox News is spinning it.
2. Two articles, opposing ideas. This isn't really a news story, but a detailed look at both sides of the aisle when it comes to the history of civil rights. The Left claims that they have always been the supporters of civil rights for all, while the Right claims the same thing. They both point fingers at the other for being opposed to equality, and have used this divisive rhetoric to great effect in generating votes from those who believe them. It has long been the Democrats that have championed the mantle of civil rights leaders, but now the GOP is gearing up to tear that down with their own version of history. Here is the article that supports the GOP stance, and explains their position. In response, here is an article that seeks to debunk the Right-wing claim. You can decide for yourself which one you think is more accurate historically.
3. This HAS to be the worst defense ever thought of, and certainly used, in a case of accidental death. One of the defendants in the case of the Florida A&M drum major who died during a band hazing ritual, stated in his deposition that the victim wanted to be hazed. So, there is no disputing the fact that this person engaged in hazing, and no dispute that this act directly caused the victim's death. The defense of this person is that the victim wanted to go through with it. This is like a murderer saying that they shot the victim because they asked to be shot. At some point, you have to question whether you should do something just because someone asks you to. You know, it's that whole "if he asked you to jump off a bridge..." thing.
4. Wal-Mart is back in the spotlight (to someone like me, anyway) as Democrats in Congress are investigating whether Wal-Mart execs that are also affiliated with the USCOC are using the business lobby to push for a change in the laws they broke. Specifically, the Chamber of Commerce has been trying to loosen bribery laws that Wal-Mart has been investigated for breaking recently in relation to its expansion into Mexico. What is interesting about this push by the COC is that several top Wal-Mart officials sit on the board for the group that is lobbying for a change in these laws. In other words, there is a good chance that Wal-Mart is using the COC to duck out of legal ramifications for bribing Mexican officials. If only we all had the backing of the nation's largest business lobby...