Hey y’all! – It’s Thursday and editordude called me to say he wanted another column on stories our OBcean friends may have missed due to being too messed up from the night before. Them – not me. I’ve been savin’ some clips from the week. So, Wake and Bake, people! Get off you ass, load the bong, and check these out! C’mon!
For starters, Comedy Central has abruptly suspended Stephen Colbert‘s nightly comedy satire show. Reuters reports that “Comedy Central has suspended production of the Colbert Report for at least two days, an unexplained development that ignited widespread speculation about the popular satirical news show on Twitter and other social networks.” A repeat was shown on Wednesday and also is planned for tonight, Thursday due to due to “unforeseen circumstances”. We all know what a super job Colbert and his pal Jon Stewart have done in educating the nation about Super-Pacs, so we’re hoping everything is okay.
Some sanity from two of our Congressional reps – Filner and Davis – both are co-sponsoring a bill that would require disclosure of corporate money in politics. The East County Mag reports:
Two San Diego Congressional representatives, Susan Davis and Bob Filner, have taken steps to clean up the secret money plaguing our political system. Both Democrats have joined colleagues in cosponsoring the Disclose 2012 Act (H.R. 4010) to require disclosure of the corporate and special interest money in politics.
How California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris played hardball and won $18 billion to help California homeowners. While you’re over at the East Co. Mag, check out this piece by Miriam Raftery: “Her actions led to a dramatically different settlement reached last week that is expected to ultimately reach $40 billion—including an estimated $18 billion for California and $1.5 billion for San Diego homeowners.”
Apple will now allow some level of inspection by labor advocates of its Chinese factories. LA Times reports: “Responding to criticism after worker deaths and injuries at Chinese factories that produce iPhones and iPads, Apple Inc. and its suppliers have agreed to allow a labor watchdog group to monitor those facilities. Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., said Monday that the Fair Labor Assn., an industry-funded labor monitoring organization, would evaluate some of the most controversial factories in Apple’s Chinese supply chain. The Foxconn facilities in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, that employ tens of thousands of live-in workers have garnered the most attention. Last May, a fire at one of the plants killed four workers and injured nearly 20 others. In 2010, more than a dozen Foxconn employees jumped to their deaths from factory rooftops.” Where’s Steve Jobs now?
Apparently pressure on Apple has been working. The New York Times published a series of condemning articles about factory conditions where Apple products are made. Plus more than a quarter-million people have joined a call for an ethical iPhone 5. Yet, some activists complain that the Fair Labor Assn., a nonprofit established in 1999 that claims to be independent, is heavily subsidized by the companies it audits. It relies largely on dues payments from its members, which include more than a dozen large international apparel firms, among them Nike Inc. and Adidas Group, both of which in the past have been the focus of reform campaigns targeting poor working conditions. “It’s a fox-guarding-the-henhouse model,” said Teresa Cheng, 24, an international coordinator for United Students Against Sweatshops. “We see little to no reform in the supply chains of some of these huge apparel companies.”
With leaks and calls for investigations at our own San Onofre Nuclear Power station, we now have More nukes for America – first in over 30 years. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to approve a new plant in Georgia. Reuters: “The U.S. nuclear industry is celebrating the go-ahead of its first new reactors in three decades. Since the last permit approval in 1979, America’s electricity demand is up 80 percent. … Last year was a particularly bad one for proponents of nuclear power. The accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi reactor caused an international backlash against atomic energy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel turned her back on the sector, saying that all the nation’s reactors would be shut by 2022. Older plants came under scrutiny across the world.”
Meanwhile, scores of dolphins die in mysterious mass strandings on U.S. beaches. In the last month, 177 short-beaked common dolphins have stranded on Cape Cod, and 124 have died. And, so far, no one really knows why. Rescure workers have tagged and taken blood samples of the stranded dolphins, necropsies have been changes in weather, water temperature or behavior of the dolphins’ prey, or even geography.
President Obama wins in toss-up with any of the Republican front-runners. In a new CBS News and the New York Times poll, President Obama holds a significant lead over each of his potential Republican opponents in the general election, which includes Obama leading Mitt Romney by 6 points (they were even last month), 48 percent to 42 percent, among registered voters, Obama over Rick Santorum, 49 percent to 41 percent, and over Ron Paul 50 percent to 39 percent, and over Newt Gingrich 54 percent to 36 percent, a difference of 18 points.
Finally, back here in OB, our some-times fellow OB Ragster Terrie Leigh Relf did a fantastic job in highlighting OB’s mural program.