Pakistan Strikes Back: Do you remember when President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had finally been killed, but also cautioned against piling any blame on the Pakistani government? And do you remember how news organizations spent the next several weeks piling blame on the Pakistani government? Well, now Pakistan is giving us something to be upset about. According to The New York Times, Pakistan’s top spy agency recently arrested five of the CIA’s informants who were involved in tracking Osama bin Laden in the months leading up to the raid on his compound. It’s unknown what exactly is going to happen to the informants, though CIA officials are trying to broker their release. One thing is known for certain though: at a time when both our countries should be working together to end the war
next door (in Afghanistan), this sort of behavior doesn’t bode well.
U.S. Companies Make a Comeback: We might finally be on our way out of the recession—if politicians in Washington can quit bickering for a moment and agree on something. According to Reuters, former International Monetary Fund chief economist Raghuram Rajan said recently that U.S. companies are doing well, but that political gridlock over the budget deficit still threatens economic security. U.S. firms are posting high profit margins which, if they can be maintained, could lead to substantial job growth in coming months. Rajan criticized what he called “the Sarah Palin-isation of U.S. politics.” He explained that since Sarah Palin doesn’t know much about history or economics, she separates herself from the normal political process. When other politicians separate themselves in this way, political compromise becomes impossible. Oh well. For now, at least business is booming!
Immigration One-Up: A few months ago, after an Arizona state senator made a pass at Alabama in a television interview, a resident of Hoover sent a letter reprimanding the senator for his comments, saying that at least our state hadn’t passed the harshest immigration bill in the country. Well, that’s not quite true anymore. According to Reuters, last Thursday Governor Bentley signed what both supporters and detractors consider to be the harshest anti-illegal immigration law in the country. The new law, which takes effect September 1, requires schools to verify the citizenship status of all students, allows police to detain anyone they suspect to be in the country illegally and would suspend or revoke the business license of any business found to have hired illegal aliens. Immigration rights activists have called the law “draconian.” Back to square one, I suppose.
When Alabama Rose: At least one good thing has come out of the April tornadoes: they have shown that, when the time comes, Alabamians can set aside their differences and come together as a people to support a common cause. That’s exactly what happened at the sold-out Bama Rising benefit concert Tuesday night. Nineteen acts, many playing for free, performed short sets to an audience of 13,000 to raise money for tornado relief. According to The Birmingham News, The Alabama Band debuted a new song, “Raising Alabama,” and promised that the concert would be the first of many together. American Idol winner Bo Bice also debuted a new song, “Crimson Red, White & Blue.” According to promoters, the event raised over $1 million for tornado relief.