Weekend Odds & Ends
A handful of interesting stories from over the weekend:
- Friday brought news that Irving, TX-based oil behemoth Exxon-Mobile is now the world's largest publicly-traded company, beating out GE and Wal-Mart. Exxon Chairman Lee Raymond took the moment to scold European nations for their support of the Kyoto accords aimed at reigning in global warming, saying a "reality check" is needed. Reality check, indeed.
- The scandal surrounding Georgia-based ChoicePoint -- the country's biggest "data-brokering" company -- gained steam, with news that they may have compromised sensitive information about half a million people. ChoicePoint, known for their role in Florida's 2000 election fiasco and other scandals, maintains databases of Social Security numbers, credit and medical histories, criminal files, and other data you wouldn't want the world to see. They also run a DNA analysis lab and "facilitate drug testing for employers."
- On Saturday, North Carolina witnessed the upset victory of insurgent Jerry Meek to chair the state Democratic Party. Meek's opponent, Ed Turlington, had been endorsed by Gov. Mike Easley and most of the party heavy-hitters. But the 34-year-old Meek promised a program of grassroots renewal in winning the vote 271-242.
- Speaking of party leaders, Pam's House Blend alerts readers that the head of Alabama's GOP -- one
TwinkieTwinkle Andress Cavanaugh -- will be pushing for a special election to ban same-sex marriage. Even though fiscal conservatives noted that a dedicated anti-gay vote would cost the state $3 million, TwinkieTwinkle was unfazed: "If we held a special election for the lottery, surely we could have it to protect marriage."
- On the day of Meek's victory in North Carolina, the results of a state-wide poll on Social Security were released: "almost half of the state's residents don't like" President Bush's privatization proposal, "while about one-third do." The poll came a week after W visited Raleigh to pitch his plan.
- To close with other inspiring news, diarist "tepster" at DKos profiles a gutsy 14-year-old Texan who's standing up to the travesty known as high-stakes school testing.
Other news readers should know about?
Twinkle edits 11:45 a.m. 2/21/05 -- we sincerely regret the error.