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Paying Dues and Shining Shoes: Counting the costs of war, the confirmation circus, brothels and more 

The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from a crosswalk, telling select

The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from a crosswalk, telling select tourists to run into the street and others to join him for a float, on assignment for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly.

1,000,000,000,000

A dubious record was set this week when America's federal deficit reached one trillion dollars. See above for how many zeroes that is-We're busted, folks. Talk of another stimulus package may be silenced as we await the invention of a bigger abacus, and more sucker lenders. Good news: Obama budgeters predict a $1.84 trillion deficit by the end of September, but that it will only be $1.24 trillion by 2010 - Whew! We were getting worried for a minute there! One last feel good note: Our total debt is $11.5 trillion - Over $38,000 per American.


click to enlarge I've got it under control: I've got it under control.
  • I've got it under control: I've got it under control.
I've got it under control.Tears for 2,000 Taliban?

Say you're really, really religious, and your country is being invaded. You get caught, and a warlord siding with the invaders stuffs you and 2,000 fellow faithful into shipping containers without food or weapon, then randomly shoots into the containers, killing several of you - After a few days roasting, you're all dead. "This incident has not been fully investigated," explained President Obama. Are you thankful for the somewhat apology yet? Obama isn't done yet: "And if it appears that our conduct in some way supported violations of the laws of war, then I think that, you know, we have to know about that." You heard the man right: "conduct in some way supported violations of the laws of war..." We all knew invading Iraq stunk worse than last month's unemployment numbers, but Afghanistan post-9-11 simply reeks: Pat Tillman's heroism (AKA "fratricide"), Karzai's immediate appointment (though his brother is a known opium kingpin), and now news that the Bush Admin (surprise! surprise!) covered up this killing.

P.S. What else don't we know?

P.P.S. Two more soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, and another two the day earlier. By the time you read this, several more of our soldiers will also die.

P.P.P.S. Four churches were bombed in "new" Iraq on Sunday - all bombs were set to detonate within an hour of one another.

click to enlarge Likes shiny shoes.
  • Likes shiny shoes.
Likes shiny shoes.Sotomayor v. Southern Senators

"If I said anything remotely like that, my career would be over," said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, while addressing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's aged yet recycled remarks about how a Latino woman might make better decisions than a white guy. Ignoring his own support for invading Iraq and keeping GITMO open, Graham instead focused on Sotomayor's supposed racism (she is of Puerto Rican descent, after all, far more dangerous than ten Mexicans on siesta) and questioning her impartiality, as gracefully echoed by compassionate Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions: "Call it empathy, call it prejudice, call it sympathy - whatever it is, it is not law." In her own defense, Sotomayor offered, "Throughout my 17 years on the bench, I have witnessed the human consequences of my decisions. Those decisions have always been made to serve the larger interest of judicial impartiality." Sotomayor then dropped to her knees (broken ankle and all) to shine the many white Southern Senators' shoes, much to their delight.

click to enlarge Image
  • Image
Things That Make You Go "Hmmm..."

Logan Campbell, Olympic Tae Kwon Do hopeful from New Zealand, says the brothel he opened was forced upon him because a $190,000 "cash injection" is needed to continue his intensive training to make the 2012 Olympics. The Washington Post admitted to selling access to its journalists to health care, pharmaceutical and other powerful lobbyists and companies - "All The President's Men" meets "All Our Writers Need BMWs." GM emerged from bankruptcy this week, feeling much better and grateful friends intervened to cut-off Saturns and Hummers. Bernie Madoff arrived at a prison in Butler, North Carolina, eager to serve his time and be released on November 14, 2139. And, finally, this week's shocking news to end all news: Former VP Dick "The Darth" Cheney launched a CIA operation, then told the CIA not to inform Congress; we don't know what this operation entailed, but it was surely inexpensive for taxpayers, totally impartial, and highly effective - Much like Cheney's other classified operations over his esteemed career.

A Poem To Make You Feel Better

Poverty with a view
Ain't nothin' new
Summertime in Bend
A broken heart on the mend
Can't outdo the river
Bikini-tube-skin giver
Without we'd be a mess
Can't survive on much less
Jobs we'll gladly take
Beer money must we make
Empty mansions on the cheap
Awaiting Winter's white, and deep

WTF?! 

DIY Motor Bikers
It's not everyday that a motorcycle collision ends up with someone other than the cycle rider dying. But that's what happened in a strange turn of circumstances in North Bend this week when a biker riding a "motorized bicycle" collided with a real motorcycle on O.B. Riley road and later died of injuries. No doubt there is a tragic storyline in here somewhere. But honestly, the whole concept of a bicycle is self propulsion-strapping a motor on your bike isn't just lame, it's stupid. But if you just have to do it, for God's sake put a helmet on, man. This is 2009. Bicyclists know to wear helmets. Motorcycle riders strap 'em on. Do we really need a motorized-bicycle helmet campaign to address the one percent society that's strapping leaf blower motors to their Schwinns? WTF!?

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