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The midnight hour

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Occasionally, someone asks me why I don’t cut Obama some slack. Stories like this one from Rock Center are why. Because when we have so many people in such desperate need, and so very little political capital has been expended to help them (especially that decision administration officials made not to help struggling homeowners, citing “moral hazard”) — well, he didn’t step up to this enormous task when he took office. It is a disgrace that people are living like this in the richest nation on earth, especially where there’s always money for military weapons:

At the stroke of midnight, a growing number of Americans are lining up at Walmart not to cash in on a holiday sale, but because they’re hungry.

The increasing number of Americans relying on food stamps to survive the sluggish economic recovery has changed the way the largest retailer in the United States does business.

Carol Johnston, Walmart’s senior vice president of store development, said that store managers have seen an “enormous spike” in the number of consumers shopping at midnight on the first of the month. That’s typically when those receiving federal food assistance have their accounts refilled each month.

“We’ll bring in more staff to stock. We’ll also make sure all of our registers…are open…Some people may think at 12:01, Walmart’s very quiet, but in a lot of our areas of the country, 12:01 is a big day or a big night for us, actually,” Johnston said.

Becca Reeder and her husband, T.J. Fowler, are one of the families shopping before the sun rises.

When NBC News visited their home six days before the first of the month, they had no milk in their refrigerator. Among the few things left were water, bacon grease for the dog’s food, a little bit of apple juice, cheese and tortillas.

The couple and their 2-year-old son, Miles, live in Nampa, Idaho, about a 30-minute drive from Boise. Reeder and Fowler married in September. She recently had to pawn her wedding ring to help support the family.

“As long as I got my family, I’m good,” she said.

The newlyweds are both certified nursing assistants but have been unable to find work in their field. Fowler is commuting an hour and a half round trip to a part-time job flipping burgers at a fast-food restaurant and Reeder is not working.

Much ado about nothing

Another gall bladder attack. I went to the ER as the GI doctor told me to do if symptoms escalated (in this case, I was throwing up – a lot) but by the time they saw me in the ER, the pain was gone. They ascribe the vomiting to the diverticulitis and tried to push another round of antibiotics but I said no way and they backed off.

So it’s back to the BRAT diet for the next few days. I’m so sick of rice and bananas, I could scream.

Back to the ER

Hopefully they’ll just take the damned thing out.

Love in vain

Mick and the boys:

John Pilger

Great interview on journalism and war.

It’s a liberty walk

Even a teenaged pop star knows things are unequal in this country. Miley Cyrus:


Sometimes the universe displays a wicked sense of humor:

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (AP) — A trio of wealth managers from Greenwich, one of the most affluent towns in America, claimed a Powerball jackpot worth more than a quarter of a billion dollars Monday off a $1 ticket.

Greg Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff and Tim Davidson came forward as the winners of the $254.2 million jackpot and the trustees of The Putnam Avenue Family Trust, which they formed to help manage the money after Davidson bought the winning ticket at a Stamford gas station.

A lawyer who spoke for the group at a news conference said they contacted him immediately after the Nov. 2 drawing and came forward after making plans for the money. He said the trust will take the after-tax lump sum of $103,586,824.51 cash and a significant amount will go to charity.

“Obviously, everybody is extremely excited,” said Jason Kurland, the group’s attorney. “These numbers are huge. This is going to benefit many people.”

Newt Gingrich, scumbag

Not news, I know. Just another example of a Republican reaching into the past for “new” ideas. In this case, Newtie argues in favor of child labor.

Call Mr. Lee

He’ll know the code is broken.

Gov. Brownback, you really do suck

Great story out of Kansas regarding attempts to intimidate Emma Sullivan, an 18-year-old high school girl who insulted wing-nut Gov. Sam Brownback in a message to her Twitter friends. I’ve written a letter of apology on her behalf. More here.

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