The idea of being a hero doesn't really sit well with Leigh Ann Hester, so having an action figure modeled after her is, in a word, surreal. The doll, decked out in Army fatigues, an M4 rifle and small Oakley sunglasses, is supposed to be a tribute to Hester, a sergeant in the Army National Guard who received the Silver Star in 2005 for valor during a firefight in Iraq. "The action figure doesn't really look a whole lot like me," she says. "The box is better."
Consumer spending in the U.S. was flat in 2010 — if you didn't include auto sales.
New and used vehicle sales jumped 20 percent last year as consumers replaced their aging vehicles, according to a survey of businesses done by Sageworks, a financial research firm.
"But I don't think one sector is going to drive us out of the recession or continue the expansion that we've seen recently in the last couple of quarters," says Brian Hamilton, an economist and the CEO of Sageworks.
She might be called "Chemical Carol." Carol Anne Bond, a 41-year-old Pennsylvania woman, tried to poison her husband's mistress with chemicals she stole from work. The federal government then charged her with violating U.S. laws enacted to implement a global chemical weapons treaty.
On Tuesday, Bond's case will come before the Supreme Court to test important constitutional questions.
Labor unions and their supporters are planning protests in more than a dozen states this week. These rallies are nominally to support government workers in Wisconsin, who could lose many of their union protections as a result of legislation there. But the movement is going national now because anti-union efforts are cropping up in many states.
And what happens in these statehouses could cripple a labor movement that has been in slow decline.