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Eight Days Out Last Week

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Tuesday, November 23

Dan Rather announces his retirement. He'll still be a correspondent on 60 Minutes but we won't get to see him next election making great statements like:

"This race is hotter than a Times Square Rolex."

"His lead is as thin as turnip soup."

"This race is humming along like Ray Charles."

"Texas: 32 electoral votes, another of the so-called big enchiladas or if not an enchilada at least a huge taco."

"This situation in Ohio would give an aspirin a headache.''

"Bush is sweeping through the South like a big wheel through a cotton field."

"No question now that Kerry's rapidly reaching the point where he's got his back to the wall, his shirttails on fire and the bill collector's at the door."

We'll miss you Dan, like we miss grandma's sweet iced tea on a sweaty Mississippi day.

Wednesday, November 24

The Greeks are upset that Oliver Stone suggests in his new movie Alexander (which opens today) that the subject of the film may have been bisexual. They're upset? The country that brought us not only democracy but the island of Lesbos and the euphemism for "Greek" is upset? They say that the most homophobic people are really latent homosexuals you know.

Secretary of State Colin Powell warns Ukraine to get its act together over the recent elections held there. He told them "to decide whether they are on the side of democracy or not." Because, you know, if you're not with us, you are against us. Residents of Ukraine are protesting against the election results and are on the verge of revolution. Some may call this an ironic challenge by our soon-to-be ex-Secretary of State because of similar voter fraud accusations in the United States. This may seem like hypocrisy but the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which monitors elections across the globe, reported that their monitoring of the U.S. election showed no such overt fraud. The OSCE doesn't give the election in Ukraine the same high marks.

Thursday, November 25

The Idaho Farm Bureau sent a press release letting us know that we have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The cost of a typical Thanksgiving meal for a table of 10 has gone down 60 cents this year from last year, from $36.28 to $35.68. Of course, at our house the cost has risen astronomically over the last few years. Our traditional Thanksgiving has gone up with sugar subsidies increasing the cost of jelly beans and increased costs for genetically modified popcorn. The cost of ice cream for the sundaes remained about the same but chocolate sauce has gone up considerably due to increased anti-drug defoliating of the South American rainforest where cocoa is grown. Of course there have been some decreases in costs such as pretzels and toast because of the glut of flour on the market due to the low-carb craze. Charlie Brown and Snoopy enjoyed the meal nonetheless.

Friday, November 26

Boise Police Chief Jim Tibbs announces his retirement after 34 years of service. He was appointed police chief when Don Pierce after the city hall scandals resulting in Mayor Brent Coles' resignation. Tibbs' accomplishments during his brief tenure include a 10 percent reduction in crime from January to July of this year and obtaining a $4 million grant for the department.

Today is known as Black Friday, the day retailers move from the red into the black because of the huge amounts of dollars consumers spend. People line up across the country in the wee hours of the a.m. to be first in line at stores. They just have to have those cheap Chinese televisions and DVD players that are glutting the U.S. market. Meanwhile, efforts to promote today as National Buy Nothing Day fell on a lot of deaf ears. To most, the temptation to buy something, anything, the day after Thanksgiving is too great. We particularly like the efforts of the Whirl-Mart Virtual Resistance Group who pushes empty shopping carts around Wal-Mart one Sunday a month. See the video at www.thevacuumcleaner.co.uk/whirlvid.html.

Ukraine still seems to be on the verge of revolution with protesters blocking access to government buildings. Do you ever think in your lifetime you'll see protests of this scale over an election in the U.S.? If we haven't seen them in the last four years we never will.

The U.S. Army knows how to preach to the choir and is now sponsoring a NASCAR driver to help "get the word out." It might work really well for recruitment efforts. Now fans fantasizing about driving a precision-engineered car super fast can think about driving it really fast with a really big gun mounted to the top. Yahooo! Get me a beer.

Saturday, November 27

The biggest story today is the trouncing BSU gave to Nevada. A few BSU fans make the drive to the game in Reno but an abnormal snowstorm and the closure of Reno/Tahoe airport prevents more from attending. The stands look less filled than a Boise High School game. Despite the huge win and four games in a row scoring over 55 points, a feat only done by three other teams in the last 50 years, Boise State slips one in the AP rankings to eleventh. Let's say it all together now, "We want a college playoff!"

Sunday, November 28

The world's eyes continue to look toward Ukraine where people are talking of the possibility of a country divided between East and West. But there's even bigger news on the home front. Pretty woman Julia Roberts gave birth to twins today, Hazel Patricia Moder and Phinnaeus Walter Moder. She is currently married to cinematographer Daniel Moder and we congratulate her on her bundles of joy--but we can never forgive her for what she did to our good buddy Lyle. Tramp.

Monday, November 29

The Supreme Court hears a case regarding medical marijuana. On one side, the federal government (i.e. the pharmaceutical lobby) believes that their rules supercede the states' rules regarding what people can and cannot put in their bodies. On the other side, the states believe their citizens and doctors can make up their own minds about what they can and cannot put in their bodies, even if they grow it themselves (i.e. with no profit to the pharmaceutical companies), to alleviate symptoms of disease.

The big wigs in charge of Ukraine are rethinking whether or not to hold a new vote. Could it be the thousands of protesters not letting them in their own office buildings?

Tuesday, November 30

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge resigns today. Be warned. His replacement could be even scarier.

war in Iraq

U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, Nov. 30, 1,254 U.S. service members (including 10 Idahoans) have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 983 in combat and 271 from noncombat-related incidents and accidents. Injured service members total 9,326.

Last week 26 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq.

Since President George W. Bush declared "mission accomplished" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, 1,115 soldiers have died and 8,784 have been injured.

Source: U.S. Department of DefenseIRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 14,563 and 16,742.Source: www.iraqbodycount.orgCOST OF IRAQ WAR TO U.S.: $147,742,000,000.COST OF IRAQ WAR TO BOISE: $63,588,000. Source: costofwar.com

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