Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Week for You...From Harper's

I like the use of "conquest" to describe the actions of the Iguanas in South Florida.

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Oil reached a record $139.89 a barrel. Four Western
companies met with Iraq's Oil Ministry to finalize no-bid
contracts to tap Iraqi oil fields, and the Nigerian
government distributed billions of dollars of windfall to
corrupt state officials. Thirty-five countries and 25 oil
companies met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to try to fix
global oil prices, which have caused strikes, riots, and
inflation around the world. Many OPEC countries blamed
speculators for the price increase, as did some
representatives of oil companies and oil-dependent
industries. United States Energy Secretary Sam Bodman
blamed supply and demand, as did lobbyists for Goldman
Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and the International Swaps and
Derivatives Association. Drivers in the Gaza Strip, where
Israel limits fuel supplies and black market gas costs $27
per gallon, used vegetable oil and turpentine as fuel,
producing toxic fumes that result in diarrhea and stomach
pain. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
cancelled four global-warming research expeditions, citing
the cost of fuel. American cowboys could not afford to
drive their horses to rodeos, and those who lived near the
border were filling their tanks in Mexico, where gas is
subsidized. Giant iguanas continued their conquest of
South Florida, surrounding Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commissioner Bob Kanjian at a golf course in Lake
Worth. "I had 25 to 30 iguanas," he said, "staring at me
while I was playing."

Breaking an earlier vow, Senator Barack Obama announced
that he will opt out of the public campaign-finance
system, in order to be able to spend unlimited amounts of
money in the last two months of his presidential campaign,
rather than merely $84 million, the amount to which
Senator John McCain will be limited under public-funding
laws. "It'll be like George Steinbrenner's Yankees in the
90s," Democratic consultant Chris Lehane said of Obama's
campaign, which could spend as much as $500 million,
"against the 90s Kansas City Royals." Al Gore endorsed
Obama, as did Donatella Versace, whose spring-summer 2009
men's line, which includes slim pants with a "slick
techno-fabric sheen," is dedicated to the
candidate. Ex-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
declined to endorse McCain, who has called him "one of
the worst secretaries of defense in history," and Air
Force veteran, comedian, and self-described "old fuck"
George Carlin died at 71.

Water gushed down the Mississippi from last week's floods
in Iowa and Illinois, overflowing at least 20 levees above
Saint Louis, and the Flood Museum in Fort Madison, Iowa,
remained under water. The federal government warned that
climate change will make rainstorms less frequent but more
intense in years to come. A polar bear named Ofeig ("He
Who Should Not Die"), recently arrived in Iceland after
traveling via ice floe from Greenland, was shot and killed
by the police after he panicked and threatened to attack
some journalists. A left human foot wearing a running shoe
was found in the ocean near Vancouver. Police were
checking to see if it was related to any of four right
human feet found in the area since August. "This might
take a long time," said Sharlene Brooks of the Delta
Police Department. "This is not C.S.I." A forensic
pathologist and an anthropologist studying what appeared
to be a sixth human foot concluded that it was an animal
paw and some seaweed stuffed into a sock. Kermit Scott, a
former philosophy professor who inspired Jim Henson's
puppet Kermit the Frog, died. A sweeping revision of
surveillance law, extending the NSA's domestic wiretapping
program and granting immunity to telecom companies that
have helped them spy on Americans, passed the House and
was expected to pass in the Senate. The bill, explained
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.), "abandons the
Constitution's protections and insulates lawless behavior
from legal scrutiny." It was revealed that the Veterans
Affairs Department had tested an anti-smoking drug on
veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder but failed to
warn them that possible side effects included psychotic
behavior and suicide. A bomb in a Kia truck exploded in a
market in Baghdad, killing at least 65 people. "I feel
very tired and sad," said clothing merchant Salam Hashim,
who lost three friends in the attack. "I just want to

-- Sam Stark

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hud said...

I didn't realize that the iguanas had made it so far north. Their invasion continues unabated. They are all over Miami, in some places being an actual attraction (Crandon Park).

brd said...

And I'll bet you are saying, "Where can I get me some of those Versace, slim pants with a slick techno-fabric sheen."