Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check
February 15, 2011
More crackpot news from the world of birthers conspirators.
At least 10 state legislatures have jumped on the birther bandwagon by introducing bills requiring presidential candidates to prove they were born in the United States.
Politico reports that after lengthy (and apparently tireless) rumor-mongering about PRESIDENT OBAMA's country of birth, states such as Connecticut, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma are looking into bills that would require presidential candidates to furnish a birth certificate or risk being kicked off the ballot in that state. (The bills have all been introduced by Republicans.)
Though the issue hasn't gained much traction in the national debate, state lawmakers seem still willing to entertain the conspiracy theories. "We don't think the president was vetted, and it's just that simple," said Texas GOP state Rep LEO BERMAN who claims he doesn't know whether Obama is "a citizen or not." Berman (who is to the right of Atilla the Hun) had high hopes for the bill in the state House. "My colleagues love it," he said, adding that Democrats were likely to block the bill in the state Senate.
Republican legislators in Oklahoma have also taken up the issue of proof of birth for presidential contenders. "I've not seen evidence one way or the other," said state Senator RALPH SHORTEY who claimed the bill isn't about Obama. "To be honest, I don't care [if the president is a citizen]. He's our president, and we elected him, whether he's qualified or not."
Editor's note: Given the fact that so many states have major economic problems (Texas, for instance, is facing a $27 billion-dollar deficit), shouldn't state legislatures be doing something more useful with their working time? (Maiman)
Auto World /Gas Guzzlin' Update:
Gas prices are higher than they've ever been in February.
Triple A says the national average is now $3.15 for a gallon of regular, a penny more than last week. And refineries haven't shut down yet to brew up the special summer blends, an annual practice that always jacks up prices at the pump. (Maiman)
Hot punks in the Summertime:
Today's nominee for Criminal Mastermind of the Week comes from the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights where a 16-year-old kid told police he poisoned and killed three fish because he "didn't want to leave any witnesses."
Police say he broke into a home last month with two other teenage accomplices. According to the police report, "he looked at the fish tank and said 'We can't leave any witnesses.'"
The murder weapon: Condiments from the fridge poured into the tank --hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, and some spices.
Police were able to track down the perps through sales of the stolen items to local pawn shops.
Among the things stolen: A fire safe containing family memories and personal papers. That stuff is gone.
All three will be tried in juvenile court.
Editor's note: May the scales of justice ensure that the punishment fits the crime. Get it? Scales? Fish?
--So the fish are sleeping with the...? (Maiman)
She's ba-a-a-a-ack! Deadline.com reports ROSEANNE BARR will be doing a 16-episode "comedic reality series" for Lifetime about her new business --managing a 40-acre macadamia and live stock farm on Hawaii’s Big Island. "They’ve said ‘Roseanne’s nuts’ for years, and now I’m going to make that a reality --I’m all about nuts now, macadamia nuts!” she says. The series will premiere later this year.
The Reel Deal:
Today is the 50th anniversary of the crash of Sabena Flight 548.
The plane, carrying 16 members of the U-S Figure Skating team, their coaches and families, took off from what was then called Idlewild Airport in NYC and then crashed and exploded outside a Brussels airport. The tragedy basically wiped out U-S figure skating for a period.
Members of the team were inducted into the U-S Figure Skating Hall of Fame a month ago at the latest National Championships, and this Thursday night (Feb 17), skaters across the country will be at screenings of "Rise," a movie which honors those skaters and remembers the event. SCOTT HAMILTON, DOROTHY HAMILL, BRIAN BOITANO, MICHELLE KWAN and PEGGY FLEMING are some of the legends who will be interviewed in the film. The movie will be shown only one time in theaters, and asks the question: "Can the end of one dream give rise to another?"
Part of the answer is the Memorial Fund that the U-S Figure Skating Association set up in memory of the skaters, which raises around $300-thousand annually and has made it possible for many, many figure skaters to fulfill their ice skating dreams. Proceeds from the film go to this fund. For details on theatres showing the film, head to http://www.rise1961.com/.
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