A “pole tax” for the adult-entertainment business?
With the adult-entertainment business one of the few bright spots in the economy, several states and municipalities have been moving to raise taxes on dirty magazines, sex toys, and strip clubs. In Texas, a proposed levy on strip joints was dubbed the “pole tax.”
Associated Press

CIA now briefs White House on global economic crisis
Underscoring the official anxiety over the risks that the economic downturn poses to international stability, the White House now receives a daily CIA briefing on the global economic crisis, in addition to briefings on terrorism and other national-security issues.
Los Angeles Times

Vehicle repossessions rise by 12 precent
The number of vehicle repossessions in the U.S. last year jumped 12 percent, to 1.67 million. Violent incidents between repo men and car owners also rose sharply.
USA Today

National Guard leaves New Orleans
Three and a half years after Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard has pulled the last of its troops out of New Orleans. “A lot more of us will be packing our own pieces now to make sure we’re protected,” said restaurant owner Calvin Stewart.

The Rocky Mountain News  closes
The Rocky Mountain News, a 149-year-old Denver daily, published its last edition last week—another victim of sagging circulation and advertising revenue. In recent months, four major newspaper companies have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for 33 daily newspapers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Associated Press