Tuesday, April 20, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: I Should Have Saved My Breath to Cool My Porridge.

George Bush: Friend of the Worker Ah, can you say "election year"? Last year, the Bush administration was fighting to rewrite the country's overtime laws that would have made millions of workers who put in more than 40 hours a week (including yours truly) ineligible for overtime. Now, in a dead heat with John Kerry and facing a stagnant, no-jobs economy just six months before election time, the administration is reversing that proposal. Now, far more workers will be eligible for overtime payment than before. Anyone who is fooled by this transparent ploy deserves to be caught up in the military draft that will follow a Bush election.

Enron, Europe-Style Shell Oil is embroiled in the largest corporate scandal in their history after admitting it deliberately overstated its oil and gas reserves in a three-year bid to deceive shareholders. In addition to investigations in Europe, the Justice Department and SEC have also launched criminal investigations. My question: This is the biggest scandal in Shell's history? What about Nigeria?

Backwards, Desert-Dwelling Bandits Give Us Their Word The Saudi Arabian government has responded to allegations in Bob Woodward's new book by saying it will not dramatically increase oil production (thus lowering gas prices) right before the election this year in a bid to keep George W. Bush in office. Hey, I think we can trust these Saudi cats. After all, it's not like this is precisely the same milieu that gave us Osama Bin Laden. . . oh, wait.

I Paid More in Taxes Than 60 Percent of US Companies Steve Martin used to have a routine where he explained "how to be a millionaire and never pay taxes." It was funny at the time, but how's this for a laugh: Between 1996 and 2000, U.S. companies that saw $3.5 trillion in revenue never paid a single dime in taxes. Worth remembering the next time some Republican starts talking about how the "unfair tax burden" is "driving jobs overseas." No, asshole, it's your rich prick friends who run the companies that are driving jobs overseas.

Happy Hitler's Birthday, General Krstic! A Portland, Oregon defense lawyer has successfully argued for a reduction in the sentence of his client, Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic, who led the detachment of Serbian troops that massacred 7,500 Muslims in Srebrenica 10 years ago. The lawyer somehow managed to convince the war crimes tribunal that Krstic was not a "principal participant" in the slaughter; he merely "aided and abetted" it. "He feels very strongly about his reputation and the stigma it has imposed on his family," says the lawyer. You know what else he "feels very strongly about"? Slaughtering Muslims. Churchill was right: Sometimes people don't deserve defense attorneys.

-Consider Arms