• People are already lining up outside of NBC studios hoping to get in to see Betty White host Saturday Night Live this weekend. Musical guest: Jay-Z, or “Jays,” depending on who you ask.
• A new Washington Post/ABC News national poll shows that one in five adults either believe or guess that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. That number jumps to one in three among self-identifying Republicans. (Meanwhile, the Republican Governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, has said that the proof of Obama’s birth at Kapi’olani Hospital in Honolulu is indisputable.)
• After yesterday’s elections, Britain now faces a hung Parliament, “with no party likely to command an outright majority despite significant gains by the opposition Conservatives and damaging losses for Prime Minister Gordon Brown.” Brown says he will not step down, even though his party lost its parliamentary majority.
• Nashvillians are wondering… why did the media ignore us when we were underwater? Bombs and oil spills are important, they say, but how about a little love for Music City, where numerous people were killed due to deadly storms and flooding — not to mention the rest of the folks who are still drying out as they begin cleanup efforts that are expected to run to a billion dollars? Taylor Swift just gave $500K, by the way. Hey Gwynnie, weren’t you just going on about how much you loved the city’s “warm people, good music, and fried chicken”?
• Speaking of that oil spill, yesterday BP brought in a 100-ton containment vessel designed to collect as much as 85 percent of the oil spewing into the Gulf and funnel it up to a tanker. Oil has reached several barrier islands off the Louisiana coast, many of them fragile animal habitats.
• Yesterday’s insane market drop (and speedy semi-recovery) is being blamed on a combination of nervous traders, the Greek crisis, a high-speed trading glitch, and a Citigroup trader who accidentally typed a “b” for an “m” (they are pretty close on the keyboard) while selling Procter & Gamble stock. Stocks are down again today, after falls in Asia. Everybody, let’s be careful where we put our fingers.