Sailors in the shower: When one says, “Raunchy privately made video accidentally released to the public,” your first thought may be “celebrity sex tape.” Not this time. The one in the hot seat now is a naval commander on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. Several years ago, Captain Owen Honors made a video featuring anti-gay slurs, mixed-sex shower scenes and, according to NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski, “segments too offensive and inappropriate to put on broadcast TV.” Detractors are baying for blood, and Capt. Honors, now the commanding officer of the Enterprise, may find himself looking for a new job. Many of the officers who sailed on the carrier say the videos were great morale boosters on long voyages and should not be taken out of context, but Capt. Honors’ future still hinges on military brass growing a sense of humor. Good luck.
You like me! Spring came early for President Barack Obama, whose approval rating has jumped back up to 50 percent over the past month. Only 42 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s performance in the White House. The last time his rating was this high was last spring, before what he called the “shellacking” the Democrats suffered in the November midterm elections. Obama’s jump in approval bodes well for his chances in the upcoming battle to preserve his health care reforms after Republicans take over the House. While you might not hear the same story from others, Obama handled the recent lame-duck congressional session masterfully, making it one of the most productive in American history. Look forward to another strong performance from Obama this year, even with the House Republican takeover.
Kill ‘em all: Criminals on death row are on a perpetual hot seat, but it’s especially hot in Alabama. In 2010, Alabama, ranked No. 23 in population in the U.S., came in third for executions with five, trailing only Texas, with 17, and Ohio, with eight, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The number of death sentences in America has fallen in the past decade, but Alabama holds a unique status, as the DPIC told Eric Velasco of The Birmingham News. Alabama is the only state that allows for less-than-unanimous death recommendations from juries and allows judges to override recommendations of life without parole in favor of the death penalty, even if the majority of the jury votes against it. Essentially, Alabama has a fast track for handing out the death penalty. At least we’re not as bad as Texas.
Man, this really swings: If there’s any group of people that belongs in the limelight, it’s Birmingham’s musicians. In the past, they’ve pursued their dreams in the underground, but the new Musician’s Cooperative of Birmingham is
going to put them center stage come February 1. The Cooperative will
bring together 20 of Birmingham’s finest and provide them affordable living and practice space, as
well as recording facilities. The building is located at 1210 32nd St.
North in Norwood and will have a coffee shop and variety store attached,
to be run by resident musicians. The Cooperative will feature regular
events, including a monthly show and a weekly web documentary following
the musicians as they move in. Sound like your kind of place? The
Cooperative is still looking for members to fill its halls. Just go to www.themusicianscoop.com to sign up.