Remember Rod Blagojevich? He’s the guy with the funny hair who spent the last few years on TV chat shows trying to convince people he was a good, innocent guy. No, not Donald Trump. Blagojevich is the former governor of Illinois who, back in 2008, was accused of trying to sell newly-elected President Obama’s old Senate seat, allegedly calling the opportunity, “fucking golden.” Well, Monday, June 27, Blagojevich was convicted on 17 of the 20 counts of corruption brought against him in a retrial after the jury in his original trial failed to make a decision on most of the charges brought against him. It has been speculated that Blagojevich will receive anywhere from 6 to 15 years in prison for his crimes.
Six down, 44 to go:
New york recently became the sixth state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage at the state level. After an aggressive campaign to get the bill passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Marriage Equality Act finally passed the state legislature and was signed into law by Cuomo June 24. Same-sex marriage laws have consistently passed through the State Assembly, but have met with opposition in the State Senate over the last several years. After negotiations with Republicans in the State Senate, the bill finally passed on a vote of 33-29. Many proponents of LGBT rights are hopeful that after a large state such as New York has approved of marriage equality, many more will fall into line. Watch out for Colorado in the next few months. They may be next.
Birmingham couch potatoes:
According to a recent article by Men’s Health, Birmingham is one of the laziest cities in the United States. The magazine determined the most active and most sedentary cities by looking at where and how often people exercise; the percentage of households that watch more than 15 hours of television a week and buy more than 11 video games a year; and the rate of deaths from deep-vein thrombosis, a condition linked to excessive sitting. Of 100 cities, Birmingham came in at number 91, making it the tenth-most sedentary city. Don’t lose hope, though. There is an easy way to improve our future rating: just move, even a little bit. Take a walk around the neighborhood and trim down the hours in front of the boob tube. Just get off the couch.
Cleaning up our act:
Things just haven’t been going Alabama’s way. Between the tornadoes, wildfires, a floundering economy and “draconian” bills passing through the capitol, we’re not in the best of positions. But there is some good news about society in our state: crime is dropping! And not just by a few percentage points. According to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information center, in 2010 there was a 10-percent drop in violent crime as compared to 2009. There was also a five-percent drop in property crimes. Unfortunately, there was an 83 percent increase in arsons, though that number is probably reflective of a change in the mandatory submission method for the crime. We might not be in the best shape socially, politically or economically, but at least we’re getting safer.