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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Unemployment rate, presidential pardons, and the only music video you'll ever need

By Melissa Bell
merle haggard
President Obama did not pardon Merle Haggard. (Dave Martin/AP)

Some stories to send you into the Friday night:

Unemployment rate:

It was a bummer of a numbers kind of day with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a rise in the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent. Many economists had predicted much larger jobs growth, in part thanks to holiday hiring. The news revived concerns about the nation's economic recovery.


Presidential pardons:

Another number on the national radar: nine. While President Obama was en route to Afghanistan for his surprise visit to the troops, the White House announced his first presidential pardons: "No well-known people were on the list and most of the crimes seemed low-grade," the Associated Press reports.

NPR notes that Obama has been the slowest Democratic president to grant clemency, and the Pardon Power blog notes that six of the nine people pardoned committed crimes so minor they were never given prison sentences.

Merle Haggard was not one of the nine pardoned by Obama. But he was pardoned by Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.


New Hollywood super couple:

My newest obsession: Randy and Evi Quaid. Who are they? Randy's Dennis Quaid's erstwhile brother best known for over-the-top sidekick parts, though he's appeared in over 70 movies. But he's now famous for running from the law with his wife after being arrested for breaking and entering and residential burglary. They headed for Canada, blamed their troubles with the law on a vast Hollywood conspiracy and are now giving an interview to Vanity Fair. Get the whole story here. If you want more of the Quaids, Esquire also has the scoop. Both are must weekend reads.


A moment of joy:

Is this green-screened beach heaven for '80s stars?

With that perfection, I'm off to see Black Swan because Ann Hornaday called it a near masterpiece. Have fun weekending!

By Melissa Bell  | December 3, 2010; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Next: ♪♫ Dave Brubeck takes five


50 million unemployable Americans should be given federal jobs even if those jobs just require them to show up and punch a time clock. The jobs can then be terminated making them eligible to collect unemployment benefits. The federal job experience picked up by those that were once unemployable will give them a good chance of being rehired even if only to punch a time clock.

Posted by: morristhewise | December 3, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

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