Morning News and Stuff

A “new” study has found that you can’t live on minimum wage. The Basic Economic Security Tables for Michigan, a study that analyzes the cost of essential needs for singles and families across Michigan, found the cost of providing basic necessities —roof, food, transportation — far exceeds minimum wage and the paychecks of people working full-time in low-paying job categories. Among its findings: Single Michigan residents without children must earn $12.24 an hour to support themselves, and a mother with two young children needs $24.49-an-hour to house, clothe and feed her children, which is three times the minimum wage.—-

Doctors are now rethinking their decision to prescribe Abbott Laboratories’ Niaspan, a drug that is supposed to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol in order to prevent heart attacks. In actuality, Niaspan doesn’t prevent heart attacks, but it does raise the risk of stroke when combined with Zocor, another cholesterol pill.

“The good news is your heart sounds great but the bad news is you’re stroking out right now.”

Doctors say statins like Lipitor and Crestor do such a good job at lowering bad cholesterol that there’s often little need to add another pill to most patients’ treatment, rendering Niaspan useless unless you want to kill someone. "An incremental benefit of adding another agent to something that works very powerfully is very hard to show," said Dr. Alan Brown, a cardiologist and director of the lipid clinic at Midwest Heart Specialists, a large cardiology practice in Chicago's western suburbs. "If you are already on a statin and your LDL is at its target, does adding niacin (the active ingredient in Niaspan) give you any additional benefit? Based on the study, there is not much of a benefit."

As if you still cared (and I think it’s safe to assume you care about a lot of irrelevant news because you’re now reading the “stuff” part of this blog), Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” bus tour is “not about her.” Palin, in an exclusive interview with her employers at Fox News, said the bus tour is a not a “conventional campaign-type tour,” except in the sense that she’s using it “to campaign for our Constitution, our charters of liberty.” The full interview between Palin and Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren airs this evening and we at MNS can’t wait to not watch it.

Palin’s tour, which kicked off in Washington on Sunday, made sure everyone knew just how uncampaign-y it was by teaming up with a troupe of motorcyclists. When asked by reporters if she expected all of her events to be as loud, the former governor responded, “Oh, it would be a blast if they were this loud, if they smelled this good. I love that smell of emissions."

A tune of 300 bikers (not Palin’s bikers) yesterday met the members of Westboro Baptist Church head-on in Joplin, Miss., where President Obama was to give a speech. When the bikers heard that the WBC was going to make an appearance they decided to undertake the role of “not-so-secret-service” and ward off the protestors. Turns out, the WBC didn’t like their chances against scores of men clad in leather and denim, and according to eyewitness reports only one WBC member actually took on the bikers. “When they found out who he was it got ugly for him real quick. His shirt got torn off and he was pushed around pretty good! When they police saw what was about to happen they grabbed him and tried to push the bikers back. Then [the bikers] told the guy, ‘run you stupid mother fucker.”

Somehow The Hangover Part 2 made $118.1 million during its first four days in the U.S. despite craptastic reviews from renowned critics across the nation:

• “I left 'The Hangover Part II' feeling dazed and abused, wondering how bad things happened to such a good comedy. To paraphrase Ken Jeong's memorable mobster, Mr. Chow, "I want answers, bitches." How could a 2009 raunchfest that slapped a grin on my face I couldn't unglue degenerate into this?" Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

• “The Hangover Part II' arrives much like a hangover — bludgeoning, harsh and relentless — yet it's a notable, even groundbreaking film. It represents the logical evolution of a roughly five-year trend: someone has finally dared to make a mainstream American comedy in which nothing funny happens." Adam Sternbergh, The New York Times

• “More like: The Hangover Part Piece of Shit, Part Dick Jokes.” Eli Johnson, Unafilliated

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