We have moved into the hottest, most oppressive portion of the year. It's hot everywhere you go and there's no avoiding it. I suggest trying to avoid stressful situations and not over-exerting on the party train. Or as my Uncle Johnny used to say, "just keep your behind inside."
Vincent Gray has really stepped in it this time. The 68-year-old D.C. mayor can't seem to get out of his own way when it comes to shady operations by his staff. In the latest incident, a Washington Post investigation found that Gray's campaign finance team was converting cash to money orders, in an apparent attempt to skirt the city's $25 limit on cash donations. Even more unsettling is that his campaign also apparently listed several donations on the books that came from places that don't even exist. Oy. The Post's Nikita Stewart reports on the details.
The Rupert Murdoch NewsCorp. situation is officially in "stranger than fiction" territory. After his News of the World was outed for illegally tapping phones, prompting investigations and leading to the publication's shutdown, the original whistleblower turned up dead. Somehow police don't seem to think foul play is a factor, but then again, Scotland Yard is scrambling amid the scandal as well. In addition, a group hacked into The Sun's Web site and redirected the page to one falsely announcing Murdoch's death. As I write this, the media mogul is answering questions in front of Parliament. Bonkers.
Movie cameras seem to be spending a lot of time in classrooms these days, real and fictional. But beyond various documentaries highlighting the travails of school systems, one movie has been the No. 1 comedy in America for a couple weeks. On the surface, "Bad Teacher" is a funny movie about a teacher who doesn't care and has given up. Yes, the premise seems ridiculous after the trailer depicts an angry Cameron Diaz beaning a kid in the groin with a dodgeball. But Sylvie Laurent writes for The Root that the real life message sent by the overall premise of the movie, in fact, is not funny at all.
Unemployment can be an extremely demoralizing experience. And with the economy being up or down, depending on whom you ask, keeping a steady position in the American workforce isn't an easy task. To document the struggle, Slate asked readers who had been unemployed for over a year to write in with their experiences trying to get a job, and the responses are fascinating. Emily Yoffe recounts the tales of people willing to go to greater lengths than even they thought possible to find gainful employment.
Yesterday, my colleague Swengali told me he was writing a column about the Redskins. He mentioned it would outline three things for the team to do to win fans back, since they can't sell seats. My reply was, "offense, defense and special teams will probably help." Speaking of which, The Post's Mike Jones caught up with Redskins quarterback John Beck, who is more than ready for the lockout to end so he can get to work.
• I've long contended that the Red Hot Chili Peppers is the best band of my generation. All these guys do is make hits and fun records. They've got a new album coming out, and the first single dropped this week. Let's see if they can keep up the magic.
• Hide your fish, hide your mice because that crazy air-breathing, land-living aquatic monster thing is back and taking over everything out here.
• I'll be chatting today, so be sure to turn in some questions and tune in!