$30 billion for Failing
Here's JohnnyIf you haven't heard, General Motors is now in bankruptcy, and received another $30 billion for the fine work. These additional dollars aren't even a loan, but raise the U.S.'s - Our - ownership stake in GM to 60%. Kudos! Go pick up your Hummer, Saturn or Pontiac today! GM has been creatively bankrupt for decades, and over a dozen plants have been identified for closure (adding over 20,000 in potential job losses), and 2,000+ dealerships have already been notified that GM is breaking up with them (including three in Central Oregon) = another 100,000+ un-employees. Ever optimistic, and citing Chrysler's rapid reinvention only a month into bankruptcy, President Obama offered, "Many experts said that a quick, surgical bankruptcy was impossible. They were wrong." We'll just have to take his (and GM's innumerable, inept managers') word on that one... In other news: Michigan will soon be sold to militias for training exercises, and ex-GM CEO Rick Wagoner was seen driving a Toyota Prius, smoking a Cuban cigar, looking for a tasty quiche.
Meanwhile, Our Invasion of the World Goes On...
We got numbersAs of the end of May, 618 US troops have died in Afghanistan. That's nothing compared to over 4,400 in Iraq, but this may be a turning point - And not necessarily in the right direction. The 32 foreign (= mostly American) troops that died in Afghanistan in May eclipsed the number of troops killed in Iraq, the first time our mission impossible in tribal, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan has led to more losses than Bush's folly in Iraq. And these numbers will only grow, as acknowledged by senior military officers (in a rare moment of candor from the Pentagon) due to the influx of 8,000 more Americans into Afghanistan. An equally sad note: Four Blackwater-affiliated contractors have reportedly fled Afghanistan to avoid possible prosecution for a civilian shooting "incident" on May 5 that left one bystander dead and two wounded. As earlier reported by Upfront: Blackwater is now known as Xe (sounds like "Z" - as in zero accountability), a name-change that doesn't change the fact that mercenaries only belong in movies, not working for our Defense Department.
More Trouble for Muhammad
For entering a Little Rock, Arkansas, military recruiting station, killing Pvt. William Long and wounding Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, Abdulhakim Majahid Muhammad (the most sinister name since Mitt Romney) has been arrested for first-degree murder and 15 counts of a terrorist act. Named Carlos Bledsoe (no known relation to Drew) until converting to Islam and grabbing a gun, the 24 year-old Muhammad pleads not guilty, despite being arrested with an SKS semi-automatic rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and a pistol. The FBI believes he had "political and religious motives" in the shooting. Duh, ya think so?
Speaking of Terrorists with Political Motives...
Dr. Evil himself - AKA Dick Cheney - said on Monday that he now doesn't believe Saddam Hussein had any link to 9-11. Duh, ya think so? Sorry, we already said that, but really-Listen to this jackass at the National Press Club: "I do not believe and have never seen any evidence to confirm that [Hussein] was involved in 9/11. We had that reporting for a while, [but] eventually it turned out not to be true." Oops! Sorry to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis we killed while invading, and so super-duper sorry to the thousands of families of American GIs also killed. See any pigs flying lately? How about a monkey emerging from his butt? Cheney has spoken a smidgen of truth. Please, someone, turn a microwave on high when the former VP walks by - Fry his pacemaker before he opens his mouth again or at least indict him.
News Ticker, Local and Lucid
The Skyliners Lodge near Tumalo Falls will be vacated by OMSI this fall, ending decades of the Cascades Science School at this lodge and campgrounds on the National Register of Historic Places; the US Forest Service recently finished accepting proposals for its future use, with the best idea submitted by a guy named Jack Torrance, who wants to be the caretaker, bring his anorexic wife and weird son along, and work on his novel. Police have been especially active in your neighborhood; this is a sign that either a) you should move b) there are too many cops c) you're a criminal and very paranoid d) all of the above.
Department of Corrections
A piece on Forest Service trails specialist Marv Lang gave the wrong title to local mountain bike advocate Kent Howes, who is the development director for the Central Oregon Trail Alliance. The organization's chairman is Woody Starr.
Also, in the Outdoors column we misspelled Mt. Bachelor President Dave Rathbun's name. Sorry about that, Dave. The heat must have gone to our heads.