Editor's note: Guest columnist sits in this week for Mick McMenaminuses who has departed for parts unknown with flask full of cheap whisky and a newly minted Chase Visa card. Godspeed, Mick.
Dollar Bills, Yo!
Further proof of why the war on drugs is a lost cause arrived when Yuegang Zuo, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth reported that 90 percent of all American C-Notes live up to their name -
C meaning traces of cocaine. L.A., Miami, Boston and several other cities showed 100 percent traces of sweet snow, with even Salt Lake City showing 77 percent. Thought to be transferred after a late-night blow session via ATMs and incidental exposure, Zuo was surprised that mostly $1 bills weren't affected, offering, "Probably $1 is a little too less to purchase cocaine. I don't know exactly [why]. It's an educated guess." Sure, professor, we understand. Sniff, sniff.
Did We Promise All of You Health Care? Oops...
A retreat quicker than that from Saigon occurred this weekend, when President Obama seemed to hint that the "government option" of his health care reform may not be an option. "All I'm saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform," somewhat explained the sometimes eloquent President at a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado. The notion of health care co-ops and government competition with HMOs and the other excellent services that are bankrupting all of us is fading fast. Even Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean wasn't impressed with Obama assuaging to increased opposition, saying simply, "Let's not say we're doing health reform without a public option." Ouch! Obama needs an icepack after that slap!
E-Mails Link Rove to Satan
An underwhelming "Duh, I knew that!" investigative journalism piece by The New York Times revealed that Karl Rove pushed for the firing of US attorneys. Time travel back to 2005-06, when the White House was screaming of voter fraud and Democratic corruption - Well, that was the brainchild of Rove, whom Prez Bush nicknamed "Turd Blossom" (you can't make this stuff up). New Mexico attorney David Iglesias was obviously forced out by Rove, as well as Arkansas' Bud Cummins, so Rove's second-best friend (first being the entire Bush clan) could take his job. The lack of investigating and prosecuting GOP foes was the real reason why several US attorneys were inappropriately (read: possibly illegally) removed from their posts. It only gets better: Thousands of Rove's emails - who was working at the White House while also "inappropriately" working for the RNC - were lost, somehow disappearing in the post-9-11 era (around 14,000,000 Bush-era emails have been "lost") except for the few from then-White House counsel Harriet Miers that implicate Rove. Recalling that Rove was "very agitated" about US attorneys not investigating Democrats, Miers told Congressional investigators last month, "It was clear to me that he [Rove] felt like he has a serious problem and that he wanted something done about it."
They keep telling us it could have been worse. But, really, who else will beat us out of this recession? France and Japan are already out of the red, and the upcoming hockey season ensures that Canada's economy will soon be flying high. Here at home, July's Oregon unemployment numbers show a slight improvement - 11.9% vs. 12% in June. Time to relax and take a vacation? Not yet: Economists say that unemployment will be slow to stem - maybe approaching 13% before falling, as companies at last add workers. Quiche or sushi? Take your pick; just hope someone else is picking up the tab.
Other Deadly News
Russia's largest hydroelectric plant was the scene of an accident on Tuesday, with at least 12 workers crushed or drown, and 64 workers missing; despite witnesses saying they heard knocking on the walls from survivors, the manager of the half-mile wide plant in Siberia, Vasily Zubakin, wasn't optimistic, saying, "With every hour there is less and less chance left that we will find somebody alive." Speaking of death, solid electric guitar inventor and all-around-rock star Les Paul died at the age of 94. . As did all-around leaker and liar Robert Novak. Also, newly disclosed information from immigration officials show that a total of 104 ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) detainees have died since 2003 - Created after 9-11 from the hot air of Republican fear mongers, ICE runs multiple facilities (albeit profitably by private companies, mostly) with roughly 400,000 illegal immigrants processed last year, however humanely.