- Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is Bob figures it out:
- Jobless compensation claims rise sharply for second consecutive week: For the week ending April 26, seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment compensation clocked in at 344,000. That's up 14,000—four percent—from the previous week's revised level of 330,000. For the comparable week of 2013, 332,000 Americans filed initial claims. That makes this week the first time since the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that initial claims have been higher than they were during the same week of the previous year. The less volatile four-week moving average was 320,000 for the week ending April 26, up 3,000 from the previous week. For the week ending April 12, the total number of people claiming compensation fell 99,855 to 2,822,340. In the comparable week last year, there were 4,956,474 persons claiming compensation. That decrease is mostly due to the fact Republicans have blocked renewal of the federal emergency compensation program since December.
- It's the 11th anniversary of "Mission Accomplished":
On May 1, 2003, Richard Perle advised, in a USA Today op-ed, “Relax, Celebrate Victory.” The same day, President Bush, dressed in a flight suit, landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared an end to major military operations in Iraq—with the now-infamous “Mission Accomplished” banner arrayed behind him.
Chris Matthews on MSNBC called Bush a “hero” and boomed, “He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics.” He added: “Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple.”
PBS’ Gwen Ifill said Bush was “part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan.” On NBC, Brian Williams gushed, “The pictures were beautiful. It was quite something to see the first-ever American president on a—on a carrier landing.”
- Al Feldstein of Mad magazine fame, dead at 88: Al Feldstein, who was made editor of Mad by publisher William Gaines in 1956, transformed the satirical publication into a cultural institution, has died. No cause was announced.
Under Gaines and Feldstein, Mad's sales flourished, topping 2 million in the early 1970s. In a 1997 interview with the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Feldstein credited Mad's challenges to authority with helping incite the cultural revolution of the 1960s. [...]
But not everyone was amused.
Mad once held a spoof contest inviting readers to submit their names to legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover for an "Official Draft Dodger Card." Feldstein said two bureau agents soon showed up at the magazine's offices to demand an apology for "sullying" Hoover's reputation by using his name in Mad.
- Crack-smoking, hard-drinking, trash-talking, sexist, homophobic, racist Toronto mayor in rehab:
Mayor Rob Ford says he’s “ready to take a break” from the mayoral election campaign to “go get help.” [...]
Ford told the Sun columnist Joe Warmington that he realizes “it’s time” and that he “wants” to “deal with his issues.” He said he is being urged to not leave the mayoral race by people around him.
- Cricket flour and other ways to make insects palatable to Americans:
The challenge with Six Foods is to convince the rest of America that eating insects is the best thing since sliced bread. When you look at the facts, it’s really a no-brainer: the livestock industry produces 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all forms of transportation combined, but insects produce just 1% as many greenhouse gas emissions as cows. Raising insects requires far less land, feed, and water than raising livestock, and furthermore, insects don’t feel pain since they don’t have pain receptors (so you can feel less bad the next time one dies from flying into your face as you bike to work).
- Veteran gives up burial plot to lesbian couple:
Madelynn Taylor, 74, is a retired veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving for six years just prior to the start of the Vietnam War. She also happens to be a lesbian, who was discharged when she and another servicewoman told her superiors she was gay. Taylor fell in love with Jean Mixner in 1995. They married soon thereafter, though few states recognized their union at the time. When her partner died in 2012, Taylor began planning for her own death, asking the Idaho Veterans Cemetery to reserve a spot for herself as well as the ashes of her spouse. They denied Taylor’s request. [...]
But now a fellow veteran is stepping up and offering a chance for Taylor and Mixner to reside beside each other forever. U.S. Army Col. Barry Johnson (ret.) wrote in an open letter to the Idaho Statesman that he believes that Taylor had served her country and deserves the same rights as everyone else.
- In five years, FISC rejects a single government request for electronic surveillance:
Last year, the federal government asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for the authority to conduct electronic surveillance 1,588 times. Guess how many were turned down? Not a single one. [...] In 2012, FISC didn’t turn down any of the 1,789 government applications to conduct electronic surveillance, either. Same with 2011, and 2010. The last time it turned down an application was 2009, when it denied one.
- New Iowa GOP chairman ripped off widow in real estate deal: Shady shenanigan that provided former Iowa state legislator Danny Carroll tens of thousands at elderly woman's expense caused state to suspend his business partner's law license.
- On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Happy May! Greg Dworkin ponders the end of ESI, working out ACA's kinks, understanding jobs report day, and the dissonance in voters' heads. Why guns win & people lose. Demolition of the WI voter ID law. Time for HomelessPAC!
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