1. Two well-funded right-wing groups in Illinois have pumped more than a million dollars into Oregon ballot initiatives. (Look, if we wanted to launch a Norquistian assault on government, we would have paid for it out of our own pockets. But wait! Remember that State Republican forum recently? The one that "ejected" (as in "shot from a cannon"?) a reporter from the Oregonian? Ever wonder what was said behind those gilded doors?)
2. Bill Bradbury said that Oregon's petition-gathering skills are dismal. (But we're fairly good at other poverty-level occupations such as telemarketing and waiting tables... )
3. In Coos Bay the proposed path of an LNG pipeline has to be rerouted to avoid the town of Glasgow. Apparently the citizens of Glasgow were dismayed at the prospect of being consumes by a six-mile wide fireball. (Any takers?)
4. Not enough salmonberries to keep the bears happy (And don't even think about habitat destruction... .). They have resorted to dipping into a seemingly limitless source of protein - people! The perfect fast food for bears, corn-fed Americans.
5. The Wilderness bill made it to the finish line. Now that it's in the can the Department of Energy will be selling drilling rights any day now.
6. In California not so long ago Enron-sponsored rolling black outs rolled then Governor Grey Davis out of office and Arnold Schwarzenegger right in. Now the black outs are back - albeit indirectly sponsored by the oil industry and people are looking at their Governator as a possible source of protein...
7. Congress is debating a bill today that would prohibit states from taxing companies that earn income in the states but do business without employing local people - or even having offices. That works out to a $3 billion dollar loss for the states and yet another huge windfall for the corporations who paid cold hard cash to lobbyists to see that this monster comes to life.
8. It's been a big year for agricultural run-off in the Gulf of Mexico: This year's Dead Zone is on track to be the biggest yet. Hello hypoxia! Goodbye fish! These Dead Zones , by the way don't so much come and go annually as wax and wane. The one in the Gulf is currently waxed to about half the size of Maryland (That's Maryland without fish... .)
9. The WTO talks collapsed, as we all know. Other G-8 countries are blaming the US for being "inflexible." (I think it had more to do with 'Backrub Diplomacy', as practiced by our Glorious Leader... .)
10. The weapons industry has also come to collect a bill: Specifically the bill that overturns decades of US policy by allowing trade in nuclear fuel and technology with India.
11. The State Department - dragging its high heels again - has yet to issue a semiannual report outlining all foreign persons known to be engaging in WMD-proliferation (Perfect moment to drop a dime on that annoying neighbor down the street with the collection of ATV's... ) in Iran and Syria... The report is one month overdue and congress just isn't buy the old "The god ate it." Excuse...
12. 'It's Better In Bermuda': A fisherman hooks a fourteen-foot Marlin. Marlin jumps out of the water, spears a fisherman with it's sword-like proboscis, jumps back into the water with the fisherman still attaching to said proboscis. Does it get any better?
13. Israeli - 'we don't want to invade Lebanon... Trust us' - ground forces are pushing deeper into Lebanon. The devastation and carnage is staggering. The destruction of homes, shops, schools, hospitals, roads - everything is of epic scale. The deaths are mounting daily. The vast, inhuman silence emanating from the world Jewish community is deafening.
14. The Saudi King Abdullah is issuing an appeal to the world to stop Israeli attacks.
15. The leader of Britain's opposition Liberal Democrats yesterday asked Prime Minister Blair to suspend arms exports to Israel.
16. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has suggested that Iraqi troops can handle the situation - if the US would just back off. (If the US would just back off, there would be less of a situation to handle. ("Sectarian violence" is the latest Thing That Goes Bump In The Night, y'know.) Will the US leave Iraq voluntarily? Not as long as "killing is their business, and business is good."
17. The speaker of the Iraqi parliament went so far as to describe America's martial antics as "the work of butchers."
18. Iranian dissident Akbar Ganji declined to meet white House officials during a visit to the US. . Any why did Ganji decline the invitation (Other than the possibility that he might have been hooded, drugged, wrapped in duct tape and flown to an undisclosed location... )? Because, Ganji said, he believes current US policies could not help promote democracy in Iran.
19. In Australia, the Nobel Peace laureate Betty Williams was speaking with a group of school children when her feelings about the American president overcame the better angles of her nature. Williams said, "I have a very hard time with this word 'non-violence' because I don't believe that I am 'non-violent. Right now, I would love to kill George Bush." Williams' young audience clapped and cheered.
20. Oil giant British petroleum has agreed to an out-of-court settlement (otherwise known as a pay-off) with a group of Colombian farmers over a pipeline that threatened their livelihoods and ruined their health. The farmers say they were also menaced by paramilitary groups (Hmmm. Let's see: these farmers are opposed to the pipeline and the right-wing paramilitary death squads are opposed to the farmers... do you suppose... Naaaah.)
21. Hugo Chavez is on another Coalition Mission. This time to Belarus. Here's what the charismatic leader had to say: "We do not want to be deceived or exploited by anyone. We must defend the interests of the individual and not the hegemonic interests of the capitalists, wherever they may be, in Europe of Latin America.
22. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's top advisor says that Mexico's recent 'Electile Dysfunction' should be annulled unless there is a full recount.
23. Bolivian president Evo Morales lashed out at the US policy of drug certification that evaluates the cooperation of foreign countries according to their compliance with American Empire. Morales called it "blackmail." And he's right!
24. Now that Bush has taken the wind out of stem cell research, the Best and the Brightest are leaving for more enlightened shores - India, for example.
A Modest Proposal for Peace in the Middle East: Move Israel to Texas:
Texas is so big that it would be years before the citizenry caught on.
Very right-wing, conservative, anti-choice elements
Gun-loving, militaristic attitude toward life
The two could get together for the Rapture
President Bush wouldn't have to pass tricky bills that include foreign massive aid for Israel, because, Hey, it's now in his home state.