Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Back to Beck

Am I supposed to boycott companies who advertise on Glenn Beck’s show, or am I supposed to boycott Glenn Beck’s show? This is too hard. Who wants to have a viewing party for Beck’s return to air tonight? Anyone? Two-and-a-half million people can’t be wrong, can they?

Like we always do about this time, your PostBourgie-approved reading material from the weekend. Bigger and better (maybe?) than ever:

1. Breaking news: The Los Angeles County Coroner has ruled Michael Jackson’s death a homicide. (Blackink)

2. Looks like Latoya’s going to get what she wants: the Democrats are anteing up on pushing through a health reform plan with a public option by a simple majority. (G.D.)

3. PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter turned two years old this weekend. The project has fact-checked more than 1,000 claims and attacks, starting with the presidential campaigns in 2007 all the way up to the recent health care debate. The item with the highest number of page views? Debunking a chain e-mail’s claims that Obama was sworn into the U.S. Senate on the Koran. (Blackink)

4. The military says it needs more troops for the “deteriorating” war in Afghanistan. Boy, it’s a good thing we don’t have 160,000 troops bogged down elsewhere. (G.D.)

5. Nobody could have ever predicted that CIA interrogators were allegedly staging mock executions to threaten terror suspects. “Nashiri’s interrogators brandished the gun in an effort to convince him that he was going to be shot. Interrogators also turned on a power drill and held it near him.” To borrow a riff from Balloon Juice: if a concept such as moral authority ever truly existed, the U.S. certainly doesn’t have it anymore. (Blackink)

6. Only 43 percent of the top positions in the Obama administration have been filled, and the president doesn’t have people in key posts pushing and enacting his agenda. (G.D.)

7. In California, the economic free fall continues unabated. The state’s unemployment rate for July reached a post-World War II high of 11.9 percent. David Dayen: “I honestly don’t know where the bottom is.” (Blackink)

8. Cara notes that the Bahamas is attempting to outlaw spousal rape. And lest you think they’re totally backwards, remember that the shit was legal here until the ’70s. (Shani-o)

9. Late last week, the Mexican government officially (and quietly) decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs. (G.D.)

10. The “cash for clunkers” program will come to an end tonight, though many dealerships already discontinued the program because of the government’s delay in honoring the paperwork for reimbursement. (G.D.)

11. Is Zora Neale Hurston a Republican? According to John McWhorter, Zora would be “a fervent Republican who would be at home today on Fox News and whose racial pride led her to some unorthodox conclusions.” (Belleisa)

12. Also, this is really old, but someone just sent it to me this weekend. It’s worth a read, especially if you’re feeling poor and downtrodden, which I’m sure we all are. (Quadmoniker)

13. The Times profiles the guy who holds America’s “credit card,” and it’s balance is going to hit about $9 trillion over the next decade or so. Yikes! Krugman says that while this is very bad, it’s happened before both here and it Europe, and would actually comprise a smaller part of GDP than it does currently. (G.D.)

14. More from Krugman, who calls Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) a “coward” after his mealy-mouthed explanation on ‘Face the Nation’ for why he didn’t tell a misinformed town hall attendee that the “death panel” thing was bullshit. (G.D.)

15. Amanda Hess at The Sexist details the changes (and implications thereof) to Catholic University’s sexual assault policy. Basically: sex is bad, but sexual assault is really bad. This seems like a no-brainer, but protecting its relationship with the Vatican has gotten in the way of the university enacting that policy before now. (Shani-o)

16. One of the new arguments against health-care reform: Americans are too fat to deserve quality health insurance. (Blackink)

17. And point-by-point, Media Matters takes apart RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s silly little opus on seniors’ health care. (Blackink)

18. At least 500 inmates in Houston’s county jail have been held in prison for more than a year as they await trial for minor felonies, like drug possession and bounced checks. It’s part of the clusterfuck in Texas’s criminal justice system, which has 2,615 separate law enforcement agencies. (G.D.)

19. Also in Texas, the State Board of Education is pushing hard to miseducate high school children there about the relative accomplishments of conservative political figures. Paul Burka of Texas Monthly offers the board’s chairwoman some advice, including this: “It doesn’t do the board, or Texas, any good to be arguing over evolution, creationism, and intelligent design, sending a message that a bunch of flat-earthers are in charge of educating our kids.” (Blackink)

20. If you’re a fan of Margaret Atwood (The Handmaids Tale is one of my favorite books), she’s blogging about her book tour promoting The Year of the Flood. (Belleisa)

21. For anyone pissed about the lack of an official Google Voice app on the iPhone, here is some detailed information on the whole fiasco. (Jamelle)

22. I’m not sure whether this freaks me out about cops or twins. (Quadmoniker)

23. The Gordon Parks collection gets new home (slb)

24. Publishing companies still white-washing book covers except huge controversy over it this time. (Belleisa)

25. Renee from Womanist Musings guest-blogs at Feministe, and reminds us that the sweet, sweet love affair between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings was actually, um, rape. (Shani-o)

26. From Double X reviews Karine Steffans’ new book. Her advice: “When your man walks through the door, there’s a softer, more homebound independence you can show,’ she says. ‘It means you know how to cook and clean, and you don’t need someone like his mother (or your mother) to show you how to do so. You can do laundry without [making] his whites pink. He can relax in knowing his woman has mastered her domestic terrain. Just don’t look up and find yourself lonely because you were trying to be too world-bound and dominant at home.” Hear that ladies. You’ve been warned. And from the author of the article: “Steffans’ main audience is young black women, some of whom must be single mothers like her. For them, she seems to be laying out a romantic path that moves from strumpet to baby mama to wife.” (Belleisa)

27. By a small majority, more Americans would rather have a good night’s sleep than great sex. Let’s get our priorities straight, y’all. (G.D.)

28. Might Usain Bolt’s run of dominance make others reconsider conventional wisdom about the ideal height for sprinters? Probably not. (Blackink)

29. This is going on my reading list. From USA Today books section: “Burke was a bigger-than-life female wrestler in the 1930s and ’40s. At 5-foot-2, she was a powerhouse, a star making more money than Joe DiMaggio, drawing crowds wherever she performed.” (Belleisa)

30. And finally, Facebook Fail. (Blackink)

A nice round number of items for you all to enjoy. Like a fine wine – or Pam Grier – we’re getting better at this with age.

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