Erev Shabbat Roundup!

This week has been insane, to say the least. Getting back into “the groove” after more than a week in Florida, lounging in the sun, has been a nightmare. To a degree, I still feel like I’ve yet to really accept the Michigan air. Maybe next week, eh?

Before I go offline until Shabbat is complete, I thought I’d round up the “top” news topics, humor, and videos of the week gone by.

Without further ado, here goes…

NEWS STORIES

1. The Pope

I’m not picking on the Church when I say this whole scandal has be brought to an effective, final halt, or the institution of Catholic Christianity will be dead in 50 years. Families are sick of being told to keep quiet, honest clergy are weary of being lumped in with all the perverts, and members of the hierarchy are worried about job security in a crisis that has seen more than one veteran thrown under the bus to save the lot.

This piece in the Telegraph sums up best the current predicament facing both the Munich archdiocese formerly under the now-Pope Benedict XVI.

2. Healthcare Reform

You knew this was coming: healthcare reform is edging towards a vote very soon, and (partisanship briefly aside) it’s safe to say everybody’s got an opinion.

This piece in the LA Times attempts to “de-code” some of the language in the current bill for laypersons.

3. Chris Dodd’s Federal Spending Reform

This one didn’t get a lot of attention at first, but since the details surrounding Dodd’s ever-controversial bill on federal regulation were made available, the back and forth between parties has been severe.

This opinion piece in the Seattle Times is an interesting commentary on the issue and the players.

SONGS/MP3s

1. Holy Fuck’s “Latin America”

This stuff is damned quirky to be post-rock. It has all the sweep of a “big” band, and the chord progression and layering of distorted electronic samples is nuanced, but bright and accessible. Just listen to the damn thing; it can’t quite be explained.

2. T.I.’s “I’m Back”

If I was “just okay” with T.I. until now, this one has me hooked. Delivered with a gruff twang and synths that sound loaned from an old video game soundtrack, “I’m Back” has a series of excellent lines delivered without pretense. Lil Wayne is the incessantly self-conscious “best rapper alive.” T.I. is Weezy’s focused cousin: weird at times, sure, and arrogant as hell, but more rehearsed. While Weezy “takes time off” in the slammer, T.I. will hold the fort down, freshly released and pissed as ever.

3. Lady Antebellum’s “American Honey”

I hate country music, but if these guys aren’t half bad, I’ll be damned. The lyrics are simple but evocative of Georgia summers (at least, that’s what I think of), and the music doesn’t bowl the listener over with all the signposts of traditional country music. I’d take this over Taylor Swift’s whiny school girl persona any day.

HUMOR

1. Why You Shouldn’t Complain About New Facebook Designs” by CollegeHumor

2. The Betty White Meme: When the Internet Stopped Making Sense, by Cracked.com

3. How to Get Things Done in Politics, by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

That’s all for now! Gut shabbas!

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