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  THE WEEKLY RUNDOWN FOR FEB. 7  
   
   
 

WORLD:

Oh, Don’t Forget These Guys, You Know, The Ones With The Nukes: North Korea threatened the U.S. on Thursday with war if a military buildup continued in the region. North Korea’s Communist party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said “a surprise attack on our peaceful nuclear facility” would “spark a total war.”

The statement was in response to a U.S. announcement that 24 heavy bombers – or, as we prefer to call them, “plus-size” bombers -- are prepared to head out to Pacific bases. North Korea’s army has 1.1 million soldiers, about 80 percent of whom spend most of their time within 50 miles of the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. The U.S. seems more worried about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities (and desire to use them) than South Korea is. A South Korean official sloughed off North Korea’s threat, calling it “a repetition of their usual rhetoric.” The Black Table would hate to hear North Korea’s “unusual rhetoric.”

NATIONAL:

This seems so familiar. The space shuttle Columbia exploded minutes before landing Saturday morning, killing all seven astronauts on board and spreading debris from California to Texas. NASA is unsure what caused Columbia to break apart on reentry, though an early theory about foam insulation from the fuel tank damaging thermal tiles on the shuttle’s left wing has been discarded. The Bush administration pledged to continue the manned space program, but the accident prompted NASA critics to consider whether the shuttle is the way to go.

As tends to happen with disasters, the event brought out the worst in media saturation and idiots who:

1. Steal debris.
2. Think every bit of crap on their property came from outer space.

The Black Table is appalled that it takes a disaster for everyone to pick up their lawn. Then again, it is Texas.

Convince us. Secretary of State Colin Powell took the Bush administration’s case against Iraq to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, but not everyone was convinced. Powell said Iraq (deep breath):

  • Is concealing weapons instead of reporting them to weapons inspectors.
  • Continues to develop nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
  • Continues to produce means of using these weapons.
  • Has links to terrorism, specifically Al Qaeda.
  • Hates puppies, babies and old people.

Despite tapes and charts that would rival Ross Perot, many Europeans who were already against the war remained unmoved.

But really, who gives a shit what France thinks about anything?

BUSINESS:

It Could Happen to You (It Probably Already Has): If unemployed people haven’t told you already, the U.S. economy is in its worst hiring slump in 20 years. Since March 2001, the U.S. workforce has dropped two million jobs, with more folks getting laid off every day. The actual statistic of “Unemployment” is down, but only because people have simply stopped looking for jobs (the statistic measures only those who are out of work, but seeking it).

The Black Table empathizes completely with those looking for work. Hang in there. When the Bush tax cut kicks in, jobs will be pouring out of your ass. Yeah. Seriously. We mean it. No joke.

OTHERWISE:

Behind the Music: It’s been a rough week for freakish musicians.

Michael Jackson was (get this) a total weirdo during a documentary aired Thursday on ABC. (So, something happened to him during his childhood. We’re SHOCKED!)

Courtney Love was arrested in London on Tuesday after going “berserk” on a Virgin Atlantic flight from LAX to Heathrow. Love was called “verbally abusive” to the crew, who probably did not treat her with the deference a money-hungry, no-talent, Cobain-grave-robbing rock widow deserves.

Famed producer Phil Spector was arrested Monday on suspicion of murder after actress Lana Clarkson (who’s in a bunch of Roger Corman movies) was found dead at his mansion. Spector’s limo driver called the police after he heard shots while waiting to drive Clarkson home.
Spector’s next studio innovation will be called the Wall of Death.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President! Wake up! Ronald Reagan turned 92 on Thursday. Reagan is now the president who has lived the longest – only John Adams and Herbert Hoover made it past 90.

If you had no idea it was his birthday, don’t worry. He didn’t either.

*BT*