Jan. 20-26: Worst Week Ever!

It's bad enough to get a text message from your girlfriend when you know she's driving a car, but when your dad hits you with an ROFL while he's on the road driving a big rig, you know several things are wrong (ROFL). That's why the U.S. government today

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The Democratic Party might be well versed in political irony, but it took years for Al Gore losing his home state and George Bush calling John Kerry rich to really seem funny to most of them. It might also be a while before Dems laugh about the death of longtime health care proponent Ted Kennedy contributing to the death of the current version of health care reform. The AP reported today that President Obama admitted that Tuesday’s Massachusetts election will directly result in a scaled-back, Republican-approved version. Republican leaders are calling the election evidence of America’s disinterest in health care but have stopped short of insulting Obama directly for fear of John McCain dying next and the president getting his way.

The human body is a magnificent thing, capable of changing its appearance through exercise and healing itself up if you cut it a little bit. but the AP reported today that this adaptability can also be bad in some circumstances, the newest of which is the act of sitting. According the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which has also published papers warning of the negative side effects of breathing too slow, sitting for more than four hours sends harmful signals to the body, shutting down genes regulating glucose and fat. Researchers haven’t determined just how bad sitting is but noted that further tests have shown exercise to still be good for you as long as you don’t get hurt doing it.

It’s common for organizations, in the name of morale, to call things the opposite of what they actually are (in journalism we refer to profit margin as “page views”). but for those of us who participate in such high-level linguistics, we know what’s really going on behind the wordplay (we’re fucked). China today took a page out of the George W. bush book of Iraqi Freedom by calling Hillary Clinton’s thoughts on China’s latest restriction of the Internet “information imperialism.” Clinton on Thursday grouped China with the Internet-disrespecting likes of Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam (the latter of which won’t even allow people to watch live puppy cams). A Chinese spokesman defended the country’s Internet policies, citing the nation’s 380 million users, 3.6 million Web sites and the national blog about how free Tibet is.

Those of us whose only experience in Catholic high schools was getting our asses kicked on their wrestling mats know little about the value of religious education (those kids said mean shit while they were hurting us!). For parents who appreciate how far making friends with rich kids attending mass instead of class will take their children in life, the cost of such an advantage is going up. The Enquirer reported today that Catholic schools are preparing to set tuition rates for next year, and many are concerned with parental reaction to the rising cost of something they can get for free from the government. A spokesman for Archbishop McNicholas High School said the school is concerned with burdening its middle class parents but that most of them would rather get a second job than have to make friends with poor people because all they talk about is sports and TV shows.

People are always saying that when God closes a door he opens a window. And even though these people don’t realize that it’s rude to make people you invited in your front door climb through a window to leave, the AP today reported that sometimes good things do result from bad circumstances. A new study found that consumers who cut back their spending in the wake of the recession are actually enjoying generic products and off brands as much as their old stuff. Consumer-oriented businesses are now trying to figure out if the shift in attitude will continue once the economy recovers or if people will once again be too embarrassed to buy Marshmallow Treasures when the ones with the leprechaun on the box are only $2 more.

If we’ve learned anything from the whole yearlong health care debate, it’s that Democrats are incompetent even with a super majority public opinion doesn’t necessarily influence what politicians do. That’s why it was no big deal for Ohio leaders who support a passenger rail line between Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland to learn today that a new poll shows that most Ohioans don’t want to spend money on it. Proponents of the project say that doesn’t matter because the $564 million in federal stimulus money will come from Washington and not Columbus, but opponents argue that running the line will cost Ohioans money later and that none of the cities is any less boring than the one people would be leaving on the train.

It’s bad enough to get a text message from your girlfriend when you know she’s driving a car, but when your dad hits you with an ROFL while he’s on the road driving a big rig, you know several things are wrong (ROFL). That’s why the U.S. government today formally banned truckers and bus drivers from texting while behind the wheel. A July study found that when truckers text they are 23 times more likely to crash or freak out a fellow motorist by slowly changing lanes while looking into their lap like they’re dead. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the ban will make the roads safer and that truckers can still use the CB to tell their buddies when they see a girl with big boobs.

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