Signs and Wonders
Miley Cyrus
Associated Press/Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision
Miley Cyrus

Signs and Wonders: From one out-of-control pop star to another

Newsworthy

Miley advice. I’m not a fan of the very strange Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor. She’s had her share of meltdowns over the years, including an infamous performance on Saturday Night Live in which she tore up a photo of the pope on live television. On the other hand, perhaps that history gives O’Connor, now 46, a certain credibility when she tells Miley Cyrus she should step back, take a deep breath, and reconsider her career direction. When O’Connor found out that Miley’s “Wrecking Ball” video was inspired by O’Connor’s 1990 “Nothing Compares 2 U,” she wrote, “I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether it’s the music business or yourself doing the pimping.” Let me reiterate: Sinead O’Connor has made (and continues to make) some pretty bad life decisions, but this time she gets it more or less right.

Tesla tanks. Because I’ve mentioned electric carmaker Tesla favorably a couple of times, it is only fair that I note the company’s stock price dropped significantly this week on news that analysts at Baird downgraded the stock to “neutral.” That was on Tuesday. On Wednesday, one of Tesla’s luxury sedans caught fire after its battery was damaged in an accident. Tesla issued a statement on Thursday: “Yesterday, a Model S collided with a large metallic object in the middle of the road, causing significant damage to the vehicle.” Tesla explained that automatic alerts warned the driver to pull over and that the fire only began after the driver got out of the vehicle. “All indications are that the fire never entered the interior cabin of the car,” Tesla said in its statement. “It was extinguished on-site by the fire department.”

Shutdown, what shutdown? The government shutdown has closed the national parks, but it’s not clear whether the shutdown has halted the destruction of records at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Attorneys with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed suit Thursday to stop the EPA from destroying senior officials’ records, a practice CEI uncovered with recent requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Beginning in April, CEI filed a series of Freedom of Information Act requests seeking text messages from the EPA-issued personal data assistants of Gina McCarthy, then head of the EPA’s Air and Radiation Office and now the agency’s administrator, and her predecessor Lisa Jackson. CEI first asked for the texts on 18 specified days when McCarthy was known to have testified before Congress and had been seen sending texts. According to a statement released by CEI, “Texts, like emails, are considered to be part of the agency record if they are sent on agency-issued devices and concern agency business.” 

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Imperfect storm. Tropical Storm Karen, currently headed for the Gulf Coast, provides an interesting “news hook” for a couple of ongoing stories. First, this was supposed to be a busy hurricane season, and global warming was getting the blame. As it has happened, so far it has been an unusually quiet Atlantic storm season. Secondly, Karen is going to cross paths with the government shutdown. The White House said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would recall workers furloughed due to the government shutdown to prepare for the storm. White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Barack Obama was being updated about the storm. He said Obama directed his team to ensure staffing and resources are available to respond. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Friday morning that Karen was about 275 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and was moving northwest at 10 mph. The storm’s maximum sustained winds gusted near 60 mph, and it’s expected to come ashore over the weekend.

Briefly noted. Lee Webb has moved from the 700 Club television program to co-host (with Dr. R.C. Sproul) Ligonier Ministries’ nationally syndicated radio program Renewing Your Mind. Jerry Johnson is the new president of National Religious Broadcasters. He was previously president of Criswell College in Dallas.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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