Remember when San Jose Mercury-News reporter Gary Webb detailed an unholy trinity comprising the CIA, the Contras, and inner-city crack cocaine dealers? And remember how other big newspapers conducted an unfair smear campaign against him, making him persona non grata in the journalism biz and partly causing his suicide? Well, one of his inquisitors, an ex-L.A. Times reporter named Jesse Katz, has apologized for the whole thing. Great timing, dude -- even the suicide was nine years ago. I hope Zombie Gary Webb eats his brain.
Bad news, everyone: the Vermont state Senate did pass a GMO labeling law -- but it would only go into effect if four other states pass similar laws. To allay corporate "concerns" about having to label their food differently, I presume. You'd think these Frankenfood manufacturers all hired monks with quill pens to write their food labels.
Citizens for Tax Justice reports that Apple, lately the subject of Congressional investigation for tax avoidance, is hardly alone among multinational corporations in sending money to overseas tax havens. But we've been talking about this for years now, and all our Congressfolk do is pretend that making it worse (a territorial tax system? Are you kidding?) will solve the problem. We need to get new Congressfolk.
Actress Jean Stapleton, most famous as All in the Family's Edith Bunker, dies at 90. That's a big chunk of my childhood gone -- that voice (which wasn't her voice at all, as you know if you saw her in anything else!) filled my living room in the '70s. And Edith wasn't dumb or naive, no -- All in the Family often ended with five minutes of her explaining the meaning of the first 20 minutes to Gloria.
Also, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) dies at 89. I always liked him -- he was my Senator for many years -- but I had forgotten that he's the main reason we have a national drinking age of 21, the main reason you can't smoke on airplanes, and the main reason over 350,000 Jews and others were able to leave oppressive regimes after 1990. That's a pretty good CV, especially for a Senator who spent his entire career in the post-New Deal era.