Sitting gravely silent in a wheelchair and dressed in his dark green Class A uniform, Army Major Nidal Hasan made his first courtroom appearance on June 1 in connection with the charge that he murdered 13 people and attempted to murder 32 others during a shooting spree on Fort Hood, Texas on November 5, 2009. The proceeding was a preliminary hearing wherein motions by both sides were heard by the judge.
A coalition of 30 or more organizations is currently urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate what is being dubbed “hate speech” on talk radio and cable broadcast networks. In a letter addressed to the FCC, the coalition targeted the Internet, syndicated radio, and cable television programs, accusing them of “masquerading as news” to promote hate.
It seems as though the political plans of the Obama Administration have been put on hold as the BP rig explosion and subsequent oil spewage gums up both the Gulf of Mexico and perhaps the presidential agenda. Political pundits observe that try as he might, President Obama does not seem able to break away for long from the constant national concern over the oil crisis now stretching into its second month, in order to change the subject to something he prefers. As the Los Angeles Times commented on Wednesday, June 2:
The borders around Montana are being blurred by an overreaching federal government bent on obliterating state sovereignty and assuming all governmental power unto itself. That's the opinion of Rex Nichols, a candidate for sheriff of a rural county in Montana. Nichols is a retired police officer and he's on a mission — to stop the freight train of federal absolutism in its tracks and restore power to the state and local governments.
As crude oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico following an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, BP faces an uncertain future. The London-based oil company which operated the rig has seen its shares plummet by 36 percent since the April 20 accident, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The article quoted investment analysts noting this $58 billion loss could make the company a prime target for takeover. Forecasters predict efforts to plug the leak may continue through the end of 2010 due to complications from weather and the depth of the well, and costs of the recovery could exceed the company’s 2009 profits.