Whole lot of stuff to catch up on after a week away. I’ll try to hit the highlights for you. Doubt I’ll offer much commentary as I’m multi-tasking this with writing a manual for my successor….yeah, I’m considerate like that. My welcome to this job was a six foot high stack of back filing. Tracy, if you’re out there, just want you to know…that sucked.
*New Jersey legalized same-sex civil unions, which should make its former governor happy.
*There was a fricking giant blizzard in the middle of the country that caused, among other things, my luggage to be delayed. People may have died or been otherwise inconvenienced, but let’s stick to the relevant details.
*Former VP candidate John Edwards announced he’ll be seeking the Democratic nomination for President in 2008. Didn’t do it on The Daily Show like last time. I was disappointed.
*President Bush said he’ll support a $2.10 hike in the minimum wage as long as it comes with tax cuts for business. The current minimum wage is $5.15. The plan would raise it over three years to $7.25.
*The President’s plan to increase the size of our military will take time, according to the Pentagon. One hurdle is the $1.2 billion price tag…the other would be that whole signing up for the stupid war thing.
*The President signed a postal reform bill that will hopefully stabilize the USPS, and delaying any future rate hikes in postage. Oh that won’t prevent the three cent hike that’s coming this spring though. Use your 39 centers now. It’s gonna be 42.
*Starting next year, China will no longer allow foreign adoptions by anyone deemed “unmarried, obese, or disabled.”
*Experts fear that theft damage to Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream, one of the world’s most famous images, may be too extensive to completely repair.
*Minnesota Twins pitcher Brad Radke retired after a 12 year career, the latter part plagued by injuries.
*The Toronto Blue Jays locked up outfielder for the next seven years at a cost of $126 million.
*The lineup for the most irrelevant all-star game in sports, the NFL’s Pro Bowl, has been announced. The Chargers lead all teams with 9 players named, the Bears were second with seven players.
*Longtime Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt passed away at the age of 74.
*The New Jersey Nets may move to Brooklyn, giving the city their first pro team since the Dodgers bolted 57 years ago.
*Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony was suspended 15 games for being an ass and sucker punching someone in a brawl….idiot.
*The above story is one of the primary reasons that the Nuggets acquired 76ers star Allen Iverson via trade. Iverson has long been unhappy in Philly. Now he can start being disgruntled under 3 feet of snow in Denver.
*JK Rowling has released the title of the final book in the Harry Potter series. The seventh installment will be titled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
*Kevin Smith, Zhang Ziyi, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Patrick Stewart will be among the voice actors for the CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie due in March, and yeah I’m actually kind of excited about it.
*Animation legend Joe Barbera passed away at the age of 95.
*Will Smith’s The Pursuit of Happyness opened at #1 with $27.2 million, beating out Eragon, which finished second with $23.4 million.
*The seven finalists for the FX Oscar have been announced. Three of these films will be actually nominated for the award: Casino Royale, Eragon, Night at the Museum, Pirates 2, Posiedon, Superman Returns, X3. For my money, I’d like to see Casino Royale, Superman, and X3 get the nods.
*The upcoming third Resident Evil film will be the last in the series.
*Golden Globe nominations are out. Babel lead the way with 7 noms, several other films had six nominations. Leonardo DiCaprio will compete against himself, getting two nominations for Blood Diamond and The Departed. Likewise, Clint Eastwood was nominated for directing both Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima.
*Director JJ Abrahms confirms that they are aiming Star Trek XI for a 2008 release.
*Composer Ennio Morricone will receive an honorary Oscar for his body of work, composing scores for over 300 films. My personal fave of his-The Untouchables.
*Everybody Loves Raymond star Peter Boyle passed away at 71 from complications from heart disease.