What should I be doing instead of this?
February 9th, 2012 By Kevin Osborne | News | Posted In: 2012 Election, President Obama, Republicans, Women's Health, Courts

Morning News and Stuff

assadBashar Assad

With 273 days remaining until the presidential election, some of our readers might already be getting sick of listening to the latest blather from the candidates. Still, a rather blistering analysis of President Obama’s recent actions at Politico is worth checking out. Maybe this line will pique your interest: “So much for the high road: Victory is more important than purity … He’s made a series of calculated, overtly political gestures that are far more transactional than transformational.”

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) made a series of changes shortly before midnight Tuesday to a bill designed to curb insider trading by members of Congress. “Cantor cut a provision that would require people who mine Washington for market-moving information to disclose their activities in the same fashion as lobbyists,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “The provision covering what is known as the political-intelligence industry was opposed by Wall Street and its Washington lobbyists.” Once again, Republicans side with Wall Street instead of Main Street.

The hacker group Anonymous leaked hundreds of emails from Syrian President Bashar Assad’s office on Monday after it infiltrated his computer. But it didn’t take much expertise to do so: Assad’s password was “12345,” the second weakest password possible.

(The only weaker password, computer gurus say, is “password.”) In the emails, Assad’s media adviser prepares him for an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters by writing, “American psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are 'mistakes' done and now we are 'fixing it.'” (It’s funny because it’s true.)

Writer Adele Stan examines the GOP’s war on birth control and reproductive choice in an article at AlterNet. Among many other items, Stan notes that presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum both believe that Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court case that legalized the sale of contraception in all 50 states, was wrongly decided. (It would be bizarre if it weren’t so scary.)

Federal officials, several states attorneys general and five major banks have agreed on a plan that will provide about $26 billion in mortgage relief and aid to homeowners. Under the deal, the banks will have to pay about $5 billion in cash and refinance or reduce the principal on more than $20 billion worth of home loans, National Public Radio reports.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Wednesday to allow the execution of convicted Ohio murderer Charles Lorraine to move forward. Lorraine had received the death penalty for the 1986 knifing deaths of Raymond and Doris Montgomery near Youngstown. A federal judge stopped Lorraine’s scheduled execution last month after determining that Ohio prison officials failed to properly document the preparation of execution drugs and control who participated in the November execution of Reginald Brooks, among other issues.

The family of a Mason man who died after police shocked him with a Taser gun more than two years ago is suing the city of Mason and two officers involved in the case. Douglas Boucher, 39, died on Dec. 13, 2009, after an incident outside a gas station on Reading Road. Officers said Boucher verbally attacked a 20-year-old cashier.

Downtown’s Tower Place Mall, next to the Carew Tower, is in receivership and is about 70 percent vacant. But a new plan calls for owners of the building and surrounding businesses to create a business incubator where start-up companies would operate next to the retail still there.

The Museum Center at Union Terminal wants the chance to ask Hamilton County voters to approve a property tax levy to pay for repairs to the 79-year-old Art Deco landmark. If approved, the levy would generate about $141 million. Before the measure can go on the ballot, though, it needs the OK of the Hamilton County Commission and the group’s Republican majority says that’s unlikely.

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