“UNDERWEAR BOMBER” INDICTED
Federal prosecutors have thrown the book, and then some, at the “underwear bomber” but some GOP politicians don’t think it enough. Umar Farouk Abdulmullatab , who tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day, was indicted in six counts by a federal grand jury in Michigan. The 23-year-old was charged with attempted murder on a plane, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, and related offenses. The indictment alleged that there were two different explosives in the bomb concealed in his underwear.
Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that Abdulmullatab could face life in prison if convicted on all counts. The government also said that it had obtained important information about Yemen-based branch of Al Qaeda that is suspected of having planned the attack. Of course, some Republicans said that Abdulmullatab should never have been indicted at all through the regular courts. Republican Congressman Christopher Bond of Missouri said it was a mistake to treat the suspect as a common criminal and process him through the courts; instead, he should have been classified as an enemy combatant. Maybe we should just take them out and shoot them.
WILL OBAMA LOSE ‘LOST’ FANS?
Can Barack Obama afford to alienate viewers of Lost? Fans of the ABC TV series with the endless twists, turns and totally unintelligible plot appear to be all a-twitter over the possibility that the State of the Union speech might rain on their island.
For weeks, ABC has been hyping the return of the show on February 2. But the White House has indicated the President’s speech could be moved to that date so Obama can flaunt the health-care reform bill during the event.
Lost fans, who can be particularly ardent, have even suggested that super-agent Ari Emanuel call his brother Rahm Emanuel, the president’s chief of staff, to plead the case for not stepping all over the Lost premiere, according to the Washington Post’s Lisa de Moraes.
Some fans are tweeting like mad at #nostateoftheUnionFeb2. One twitterer pleaded: “C'mon Obama, when we voted for change, we didn't mean for you to go and change the Lost premiere.” Really, guys, get a life – or a DVR. There may not be much conflict for some of our readers. The few black characters on the show were killed off long ago.
THE GOOGLE PHONE HYPE
Hype is not limited to the entertainment business. The tech industry thrives on creating the “nextest, bestest, hottest” thing and then convincing you that you’ll be a Neanderthal of you don’t get it right now! So Google’s intro of its latest phone at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week was cast as the throw-down between the search giant and Apple, the coolest tech company on the planet.
Of course, the intro was less than earth-shattering. The guru of all things tech, Walter Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal judged the new Google Nexus phone as a nice try. Most other pundits concurred. Like all version 1.0 tech products, the Nexus has its bugs, but the iPhone sets a high bar that no other phone maker has been able to cross—so far.