If USA Today is “The Nation’s Newspaper”, then “the Nation” is going tobe in a very grumpy mood over coffee this morning. I’m in hotel in Viginia, where Macpaper is the default choice in front of your door and the front page of the paper is a veritable catalog of horrors courtesy of George Bush and Dick Cheney.
For Car Dealers Tight Credit is Fueling a Catastrophe–“Things are going disastrously,” says Ray Ciccolo, owner and CEO of Village Automotive Group in suburban Boston. “Most car dealers were down over 30% last month, and that is a catastrophe.”
Many won’t survive. Almost 600 of the about 20,000 U.S. new car dealers have shut their doors this year, and an additional 2,000 will close within 18 months, predicts Mark Johnson, president of a Seattle consulting firm that helps auto dealers buy, sell or merge operations.
Homeless Numbers ‘Alarming’–More families with children are becoming homeless as they face mounting economic pressures, including mortgage foreclosures, according to a USA TODAY survey of a dozen of the largest cities in the nation.
Local authorities say the number of families seeking help has risen in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and Washington.
Troops reportedly popping more painkillers– Narcotic pain-relief prescriptions for injured U.S. troops have jumped from 30,000 a month to 50,000 since the Iraq war began, raising concerns about the drugs’ potential abuse and addiction, says a leading Army pain expert.
The sharp rise in outpatient prescriptions paid for by the government suggests doctors rely too heavily on narcotics, says Army Col. Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
By 2005, two years into the war, narcotic painkillers were the most abused drug in the military, according to a survey that year of 16,146 servicemembers.
White supremacists target middle America The white-power movement is changing its marketing strategy to broaden its appeal. The USA’s largest neo-Nazi group is ditching its trademark brown Nazi uniform with swastika armband for a more muted look in black fatigues.The nation’s largest white-power website, Stormfront, has a new feature that lets members create social-networking pages. The site has had as many as 42,700 unique visitors in a 24-hour period this month, a steady rise since it started in 1995.
Supremacist groups are on the rise as they market themselves to middle America, according to leaders of the groups and organizations that monitor them. They are fueled by the debate over illegal immigration and a struggling economy.
Jeff Schoep, head of the National Socialist Movement, says the government classifies his group as a domestic group of interest, not domestic terrorists. The FBI would not comment.
Interest in the group “has really spiked up,” says Schoep, who would not say by how much.
“Historically, when times get tough in our nation, that’s how movements like ours gain a foothold,” he says. “When the economy suffers, people are looking for answers. … We are the answer for white people.
I’ve read the front page and can go no farther.The litany of suffering brought to our eyes by eight years of disastrous rule, all told in one page. I now need to go take a long shower.