Editor's note: Mike McMenanminuses has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from Cape Disappointment, WA, on assignment for or-bust.com and The Source Weekly.
$3,333.33 For Every American
Don't get running for your mailbox anytime soon. $3,333.33 for every single American (300,000,000 and counting) is what President Obama's economic team is "very confident" will at last stabilize banks (on top of the $1,457,000,000,000 already authorized for the Stimulus Bill and TARP funds). Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner requested the $1 trillion to remove "toxic assets" (bad mortgages, IOUs to bookies, that "friend" who still owes you $5 et al) from balance sheets. Love Canal redux, we haven't seen this level of cleanup since team-building pudding wrestling at the last AIG retreat.
Drones = Good Neighbors
Twenty-four more suspected members of the Taliban were reported killed in Pakistan by the latest missile strike via remote-controlled, pilot-less drones. Of course our military doesn't take credit for these missiles magically appearing and exploding a few bearded and devoutly religious gentlemen to bits - especially when these missile strikes occur in countries that we aren't officially fighting, like Pakistan. However, insiders at the Pentagon do say that these magic missiles have "led to infighting" among the Taliban ("I'm not going outside, why don't you pay for the pizza this time?") and are leading strategists to consider similar strikes on known Al Qaeda operatives, folk singers, and those unnerving kids who hang out by Drake Park every afternoon.
James Taylor Wrote a Song About This
Planes seem to be falling from the sky, and Navy ships are mysteriously colliding. Last Friday in the Strait of Hormuz, a US Navy submarine and warship bumped uglies; interestingly, the Navy was quick to point out how the oil slick from the accident cleared faster than Bill Clinton's conscience. If you don't know, the Strait of Hormuz is passage for around 40% of all the world's oil, so two US warships going crunch sent gas prices higher. Thanks, Navy. Now if we could get the US Air Force (which devours ½ the total fuel used by the entire US government) to strafe a wind farm and puppy kennel we'll be totally awesome.
Chinese Fire Drill
Hoping to "keep good relations" with China, South Africa has banned the Dalai Lama from attending a peace conference in Johannesburg. Seriously. South Africa (Apartheid) doesn't want to offend China (Wal-Mart) so a man born in an absconded (and now-Chinese) province (Tibet) can't attend. This is like the time we invited my drunk uncle ("drunkle") to his own birthday party and he surprisingly showed up sober, was incredibly coherent, then spit all over the cake while blowing out the candles. "No thanks," we each said when offered a piece, much like what we should say to China and South Africa the next time they ask to be invited to or host a peace conference.
In a major blow to the economy's much-needed stimulus, office productivity plummeted this week due to an annual illness known as "March Madness." Cubicles nationwide were dumbfounded as Cleveland State beat Wake Forest, more so by Syracuse's continued use of a citrus fruit as its mascot, despite Syracuse being a bitterly cold campus in upstate New York. Louisville will win it all, the Pac-10 is as weak as your aunt's handshake, and that Cinderella team everyone suddenly likes will be going home very soon.
Suicide, Book Signings, Weddings, Etc.
Sylvia Plath's son, Nicholas Hughes, hanged himself last week, almost 40 years to the day his poetic mother took her own life. Only months after leaving office, former President Bush signed a $7 million book deal to write about the many important decisions he made while utterly destroying his country; Crown will publish Bush's book in 2010, and will use only old-growth timber for the paper, and baby calf-skin for the cover. Bruce Willis and David Letterman got married - That's all the headlines said so we assume Dave will be the woman and both will move to Vermont, where lawmakers are backing same-sex marriage.
He Was Dressed Like A Cop....
Closer to home local realtor and graduate of the Bernie Madoff school of investing, Tami Sawyer has agreed to pay one of her creditors some $800,000 as part of a legal settlement. Sawyer who ran several speculative real estate ventures with her husband and former Bend police captain Kevin Sawyer agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by Dr. David Redwine just days before the suit was set to go to trial. The judgment stipulates that the Sawyers must pay 12 percent interest until the outstanding debt is satisfied, which sounds a lot like the kind of returns that the Sawyers and other real estate gamblers were promising investors just a few years ago. The Sawyers - who have closed their real estate business, the Sawyer Five - face several more lawsuits and have been reported to be at the center of an FBI investigation, the revelation of which prompted Bend Police chief (and Kevin Sawyer's ex-wife) Sandi Baxter to place Sawyer on administrative leave earlier this year. Sawyer announced he was retiring at the end of February before the conclusion of the federal investigation.