Tonight's Crazy Story:
Hospital Staff Caught Storing Caviar in Morgue
Two Russian men planned an exquisite New Year's party, complete with caviar, but apparently lacking any other place to store it, they decided to leave it in the morgue refrigerator at the hospital where they worked, right beside the dead bodies.
Topic One: The Republican Race
Iowa's calendar: Saturday-Sunday-Monday-Tuesday-ReturnToNormalDay. Rasmussen has Romney leading Paul 23-22, with Santorum at 16 and Perry/Gingrich tied at 13. Santorum now appears to be taking his turn as the rising star. The timing might be right, but it might also be a few days too late. Perry is also starting to rise again, and his advantage in organization might get some of the Santorum supporters to switch at the caucuses. The Hill takes a look at what we can expect to see in the final 100 hours.
In Virginia, Newt Gingrich has filed a lawsuit to get on the ballot, joining Rick Perry's suit. Meanwhile, the "loyalty oath" is causing quite a backlash (as it should.) Although I will most likely support whoever becomes the Republican candidate, I would refuse to sign it as a matter of principle, even if it meant I could not vote. Human Events makes the case that the pledge violates Virginia law, because state law permits the pledge, but says it must be in effect 90 days before the primary.
There's Always Time for a Laugh:
(The late night shows are in reruns this week, so we are running some of the best comments of the year.)
"While shopping at Best Buy, out of force of habit, President Obama put everything on layaway. He told the store, "Don't worry about it; the grandkids will pay for it."
Topic Two: Capitalism at Work
Verizon Wireless announced a $2 fee for one-time credit or debit card payments made online or over the phone. It is probably a poor move to announce it now, since the recent Verizon data outages have already left customers of "the world's most reliable network" upset. Customers have taken to the internet to voice their frustrations. Verizon should be free to charge whatever fees they want, but customers are also free to switch to other companies. It's capitalism at work, and it makes me glad we live in a nation where our options are more than just the state-controlled service or no cell phone. However, the FCC has decided to get involved in the decision. I do not know the applicable laws, so I will refrain from further comment for the time being. In a related story, CNN's David Goldman calls 2011 "the year of annoying fees." Update: Just before I scheduled this to post, I saw that Verizon has decided to cancel the fee.
On Thursday, the government added an additional $693,202,333.11 to the debt, bringing the total national debt to:
Topic Three: The Arab Spring
The "Arab Spring" seems to be having a different result than the people expected. In Egypt, a court has banned virginity tests on female detainees. Something tells me that virginity tests were not what Egyptians wanted when they flooded Tahrir Square last February. There are also reports that police have raided the offices of human rights groups and the government has shut down US election monitors. Egypt appears well on its way to deserving a seat on the UN's Human Rights Council, where it can join other examples of sterling human rights records, such as Cuba, China, Russia, and Gaddafi-controlled Libya.
In other Middle Eastern nations, Syria continues to use force to stop protests, despite the presence of human rights monitors. Meanwhile, the presence of the Arab League monitors has only increased the size of the protests. Finishing with some good news from the Middle East, Libya's largest oil port is ready to begin exports.
Tweets of the Day:
David Freddoso (@freddoso): TSA is a joke -- security theater. Alert passengers are the only thing that's stopped air terror post 9-11. See shoe & undie bomber.
Topic Four: The Global Economy
WSJ ran an excellent six-part series on the history of the Euro crisis. Meanwhile, Spain raised its deficit forecast in a move reminiscent of Greece. Most analysts seem to see this crisis as the breakup of the Euro and a weakening of the EU; I contend that it is just as (if not more) likely that the problems with the Euro will lead to a stronger EU as its government institutes greater controls over the member nations in order to avoid a currency collapse.
On the US economy, The CATO Institute has a great column about California and job creation. It might help explain the explosion of tech industries in the South. Rich Lowry's column for Real Clear Politics discusses Margaret Thatcher and rejection of British decline as a historical parallel for American decline. Laurence Kotlikoff explains at Bloomberg why saving is the way out of American decline. Finally, Paul Krugman's latest column has the same title as his last 27,000 columns (or so it seems.)
Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary."
Topic Five: Obama's Legacy
A great American Thinker article discusses what happens when ZerO comes to office. The Denver Post has a great response to Obama's claim that conservatives want to leave everyone to fend for themselves. The American Spectator argues that Obama is not a friend of the middle class. Even the NY Times has started criticizing Obama, contending that he is too distant from lawmakers. Jeffrey Folkes at American Thinker wishes us an "Unhappy New Year", saying that is the only kind of 2012 we will have with Obama in charge. Finally, the Atlantic writes a (rare) excellent piece on the effects of high joblessness under Obama. Just as applicable today as it was when it was first published in 2010.
Tomorrow in History
December 31, 1879 - In Menlo Park, NJ, Thomas Edison holds a demonstration in which he publicly displays the incandescent light bulb for the first time.
Grab Bag - Interesting Stories to Conclude Your Evening
Karl Rove's political predictions for 2012
Capitalism: Good, Socialism: Bad
Is social media a blessing or a curse?
CCW permit holders tend to be law-abiding citizens
Government Motors, neglecting your safety: Chevy recalls cars for missing brake pads
Replace your incandescent light bulbs with Heatballs!
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