State of the Rerun, California mud, Joe for John, FEMA hijinx, more


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State of the Union rerun: “America Faces Uncertainty”

Because of the ongoing writer’s strike, last night’s State of the Union address was a rerun, as many viewers were disappointed that American still faces “uncertainty” and that Al Queda is “on the run.” Previously unreleased footage was added to the rerun to make it appear fresh and timely. One of these clips includes an alternate ending – instead of President Bush saying that the economy is “resilient,” a new version featuring an economy that causes “concern” was broadcasted. BBC News reports: “According to Gallup polls of approval ratings around the time of the State of the Union addresses, this is the worst year for Mr Bush since his presidency began.”

California Recovering from Massive Snow Storms

Heavy snow fall, downpours and mudslides made life difficult for Californians last week, as they now try to clean up nature’s mess. CNN reports: “The storm produced wind approaching 40 mph during the night in the mountains east of Los Angeles, said Penny Dodge, a desk clerk at the mountain resort community Big Bear Lake. It was the worst she has seen in her seven years in the area.”

Republicans Battle it Out in The Sunshine State, Joe Lieberman Works on a Suntan.

Front-runners in the Republican presidential candidate race are scratching and clawing for the state’s 57 delegates. Joe Lieberman has made himself important again, urging GOP voters to go with John McCain. MSNBC reports: “McCain campaign spokeswoman Melissa Shuffield said Lieberman has proven to be a powerful asset for McCain in south Florida’s Jewish and Cuban-American communities. Lieberman “has done a lot of work on political asylum legislation and has become very close with Cuban-Americans since 1988,” said Shuffield. “In Little Havana people come up to him as long-lost brother.” Jewish and Cuban-American communities? Little Havana? Long-lost brother? Doesn’t this remind you of The Godfather part II?

Virginia State Veterans Affairs Hospital Cited for “Substandard Care,” Causing 19 Deaths.

In a country that is so adamant on “supporting the troops,” mistreatment and disregard of veterans continues to thrive. CBS News reports: “(AP) Substandard care at a southern Illinois Veterans Affairs hospital may have contributed to 19 deaths over the past two years, a VA official said Monday as he apologized to affected families and pledged reform. The hospital in Marion, Ill., initially drew scrutiny over deaths connected to a single surgeon, but two federal reports found fault with five other doctors. The hospital undertook many surgeries that its staffing or lack of proper surgical expertise made it ill-equipped to handle, and hospital administrators were too slow to respond once problems surfaced, said Dr. Michael Kussman, U.S. veterans affairs undersecretary for health.”

FEMA Manipulates Scientific Research on the Dangers Posed by Formaldehyde. Guess the Victim? Hurricane Victims.

Hurricane survivors who were living in temporary relief now have a new reason to hate FEMA. New Orleans citizens are now considering themselves “FEMA survivors.” FoxNews reports: “The Federal Emergency Management Agency manipulated scientific research in order to play down the danger posed by formaldehyde in trailers issued to hurricane victims, according to an investigation by congressional Democrats released Monday … Victims living in FEMA trailers have complained of health problems related to formaldehyde, but initial FEMA tests revealed the air quality in the trailers was safe if those trailers were properly ventilated. Formaldehyde is a common preservative found in building materials used in manufactured homes. It can cause respiratory problems and has been classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and as a probable carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”

$270,000 Art Gallery Security System Fails/Stolen.

The Galapagos Art Space, which spent $270,000 on a security system to protect their exhibits were surprised to find that the system had failed to prevent theives from stealing it … meaning, the system. The Brooklyn Paper reports: “Thieves entered the arts and performance space, at the corner of Main and Water streets, through a hole under the front door after 6 pm on Jan. 15. When workers returned the next morning, they found that the surveillance system, valued at over $270,000 was missing. Also gone was high-end computer equipment worth more than $32,000.”

And Finally … EVIL, EVIL, EVIL! British Insurance Firm, Lloyds, Upset that There Weren’t Enough Disasters to Cash In On.

Sigh. Times Online reports: “In the absence of natural disasters or big aircraft crashes, premium rates for aviation and catastrophe insurance have fallen by between 5 and 20 per cent, according to industry estimates. Brokers and underwriters are to scale back or withdraw from some areas altogether, rather than write unprofitable policies, the insurers said. “Businesses have been signaling their intentions to cut back, particularly as market conditions have been softening,” a spokesman said.”


-image courtesy of JupiterImages.com

Tags: disaster planninghurricane katrinaflorida2008 presidential election