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Some headlines to prime the pump:
Politics: Rove Subpoenaed: Senate Democrats sought a special prosecutor to investigate whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales lied to lawmakers and they subpoenaed President George W. Bush's top political aide, Karl Rove, to testify about the firing of U.S. attorneys.
Charges by four Democratic senators that Gonzales repeatedly lied under oath, plus the latest subpoena, raised the stakes in the congressional fight with Bush over his refusal to allow aides to testify about the firing of nine prosecutors last year.
Economy: GDP up 3.4%, Inflation Signals Mixed: The U.S. economy resurged in the second quarter from its wintertime fizzle as the drag from the housing sector lessened, businesses built inventories, and exports grew.
Gross domestic product rose at a 3.4% annual rate April through June, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
The first estimate for second-quarter GDP showed the economy rebounded from its paltry, downwardly revised 0.6% advance during January through March. Previously, Commerce estimated first-quarter growth at 0.7%.
Inflation gauges were mixed. The government's price index for personal consumption surged 4.3% April through June, after rising 3.5% in the first quarter. But the PCE price gauge excluding food and energy rose just 1.4% April through June, after climbing 2.4% in the first quarter.
The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 3.9% April through June, after increasing 3.8% in the first quarter. The chain-weighted GDP price index advanced 2.7% April through June, after increasing 4.2% in the first quarter.[...]
International trade added to GDP in the second quarter. U.S. exports climbed by 6.4%, and imports decreased 2.6%. In the first quarter, exports had gone up 1.1% and imports rose 3.9%. Trade added 1.18 percentage points to GDP, after reducing GDP by 0.51 percentage point in the first quarter.
Businesses increased second-quarter spending by 8.1%, after rising 2.1% in the first quarter. Investment in structures surged 22.1%. Equipment and software rose 2.3%.
Federal government spending rose 6.7%. First-quarter spending decreased 6.3%. State and local government outlays increased 2.9%.
Entertainment: The Simpsons Movie Delivers: After 18 years and 400 episodes of a show that refuses to grow old, "The Simpsons" finally graduates to a movie theater near you. It doesn't take Homer long (about two minutes) to ask the obvious question: What kind of sucker pays for something he can watch at home for free?
To escape troubles in Springfield, Homer Simpson moves to Alaska -- which brings other problems.
Thankfully this is the last time the thought will intrude on what proves to be a smooth and assured transition. Clocking in at just under an hour and a half, "The Simpsons Movie" is basically a bumper edition of the show; bigger, longer and uncut. (Newsflash: we get a passing glimpse of Bart's manhood after Homer double-dares him to skateboard through Springfield butt naked.)
Fans will be relieved, mostly. And latecomers should get an idea of why this rudely sketched animated sitcom inspires such widespread devotion.
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