The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He has most recently been seen in PDX, then fleeing to swim across the Columbia, on assignment for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly.
She Made It!
Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic and third female to wear a long, black robe and decide on important issues like how to use archaic maritime laws to spare Exxon-Mobil a few billion for the Exxon-Valdez spill, and whether the parents of stoners have the right to sue public schools to recoup the cost of "special education." Congrats, Sonia! Prediction: In the next Supreme Court session, Justice Sotomayor will be the swing vote on whether Gata Gonzales illegally withheld important information from a bunch of white guys before taking all of their money in Texas Hold'em... Must a wise Latino woman show her cards first? In a related note: The Senate's 68-31 vote to confirm Sotomayor proves that the GOP has officially accepted its minority party status for the next four decades, after foolishly stonewalling a nominee from the fastest growing group of Americans.
Why Bush Was Wise
One past decision of the Supreme Court - Bush v. Gore - continues to haunt us. But let's give dolt Dubya a little credit: He knew how to filter dissenting opinions from his "town hall" meetings. Obama should take note; his admin's town hall meetings on health care reform are being disrupted by - "Egads! Turd Blossom, who let them in?" - opposing viewpoints. Including continued questions about Obama's citizenship from so-called "Birthers" (AKA "Idiots" and "Racists") and elderly Medicare recipients totally freaked out about Euthanasia. Yep, you heard that right - and if you listen to the GOP's brilliant mouthpieces (i.e. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, the ghost of John Wilkes Booth) you hear it a lot - Obama wants to secretly use health care reform to sneak people into your aging parents' homes and advise them about death-with-dignity options and living wills. THE HORROR! What's next? Sending our sons off to war under false pretenses?
Speaking of War...
Our many invasions abroad ain't going so well. But there's bright news: We are "90 percent" sure that Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was killed in another of our unmanned aerial strikes. (AKA "Death from above." Or, rather, "Death from a joystick located in some secret room far enough away to not think twice.") When asked about conflicting reports of Mehsud's death, Obama's national security adviser General Jim Jones (no relation to the legendary Kool Aid purveyor) said, "We put it in the 90 percent category." Awesome! I'm totally confident that Pakistan will be peaceful very soon, and its nukes utterly safe from being stolen by religious freaks that love beards and hate women.
AIG, and other Capitalism News
We're rich! AIG reported earnings of $1.82 billion in the April-June quarter of 2009, and its stock jumped over 20% to $27.14. Since we now own 80% of the troubled insurer (which still has $1.3 trillion in derivatives on its balance sheet - and also reported plans to pay another $1 billion+ in bonuses to "retain critical staff") we're totally phat. In related bailout news, a certain bank whose name rhymes with "Mace" is opening up business in the PacNW, billing itself as being the new kid on the block, but with 200 years of history... You know, getting rich off the Great Depression, then buying up other troubled banks in the most recent bust. Why is this news? As a respected journalist, I must report that my twin, Mike McMenaminuses, paid this big bank over $1,100 in fees in 2008 alone. Wires, ATMs, the swell right to have a place to stash cash, you name it, "Mace" was there for him every step of the way - For a fee. Welcome to the block! In response, Community First Bank was declared insolvent on Friday then reopened under new ownership on Monday.
Oregon Fish and Game officials spotted a dangerous pack of seagoing rednecks over the weekend in Depoe Bay. The sighting touched off a wave of panic in the highway sign community, long a "target" of redneck violence. While no reports of sign damage were found, the Fish and Game officer did find the group of sea necks, who had been out pulling crab pots, in possession of a 12-foot Great White shark, which allegedly became entangled in their fishing equipment and died before it was pulled to the surface. Not surprisingly the fish, which is protected by both state and federal laws, had already been gutted and prepared for transport...
While Upfront understands there is an argument to be made for keeping/eating road kill, pulling a Great White into your boat is like hitting a Grey Wolf and sticking it in the trunk of your car. You just don't do it.
What I Did This Summer
I learned that unemployed carpenters can still drink before noon at the Westside. I made a necklace for a girl, who then gave it to a boy who is far more feminine. I experienced the joys and pains of inviting a younger version of myself on a roadtrip. I perfected my coleslaw recipe by leaving the mayonnaise outside in the sun for three days before adding as an ingredient. I finally realized that, though I may like weed, it doesn't like me and will only make me paranoid, panic, and binge eat. I stopped flicking butts out of windows because this whole region is a huge pile of dry kindling ready to explode. And, finally: I accepted the fine leadership of our country, state, my publisher, and city, and will never ever question anyone who believes in anything.
Editor's note: Mick McMenaminuses and his many aliases has been dispatched to the East Coast where he is working on book deals and other deals that may or may not come to fruition. He will still be filing occasional, or regular columns for the Source Weekly. Then again, maybe not.
Upfront read with interest this week that the Guardian Angels, the citizen vigilante group of 1980s New York subway fame, are trying to form a chapter in Bend. This is of course great news for the Angels who have suffered declining membership since the end of the Reagan Administration when white people moved far enough away from the problems of America's inner cities to stop caring about them. Perhaps a "Take Back Main Street" is just what the Angels need. You can now feel free to stroll down Brooks Avenue without fear of being mugged by leather jacketed punks armed with switchblades. According to the story, the group is looking for funding and guys with superiority complexes to drop by their Dojo for martial arts training. WTF.