Well here's a little bit of good news for a change. Apparently the House of Representatives has decided that it is not going to attempt to pass legislation (at least for now) allowing the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to be opened for oil drilling. I have to think that this is a very good thing. Drilling in the ANWR seems to be, at best, an ineffective, short-sighted attempt to alleviate our nation's energy problems (most of the experts that I've heard speak on the matter seem to think that the amount of oil available for extraction from the ANWR would make only a very small dent in our nation's overall demand), and the potential damage to the Alaskan ecosystems that would result from the drilling could be severe and last for many generations (if the damage is not, in fact, permanent).
There's probably a decent chance that I may never even see the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge during my lifetime, but it's still nice to know that it's there, you know? It's just nice to be able to believe that the U.S. is still holding onto a few tracts of undeveloped, preserved wilderness so that future generations will be able to experience what North America was like before we stomped all over it.
Of course, I'm also kind of happy that this ANWR drilling bill didn't pass simply because it was one of Bush's top priorities for his energy platform- undoubtedly a top priority because ANWR drilling was one of the rewards meant for the cronies in the oil business that got him elected. I welcome any sign that that goofy bastard's grip on our country is weakening.
And in more depressing news, the Al Qaeda bombings in Jordan yesterday killed at least 56 people and injured at least another 110. The White House issued a statement saying that suicide bombings are really, really bad things, and that people who blow up other people are very bad people. They did not, however, mention how our war in Iraq is going to stop people from blowing other people up in Jordan, or for that matter in Spain, London, or Thailand.
And more good news! The U.S. trade deficit has hit an all time high! This means that the relationship between the stuff that we buy from other countries (thereby making these other countries wealthier) versus the stuff that we export and sell to other countries (thereby making America wealthier) is more out of whack than ever! We're buying way more stuff from other nations than they seem to be spending on American products. This makes for greater unemployment in the U.S., and typically a reduction in U.S. manufacturing. It also means that Bush's trade policies are doing nothing to protect the American worker. Hooray!!
Some analysts are apparently blaming the record deficit, at least in part, upon Hurricane Katrina and the damage which it did to American oil exports, but let's be honest people- the trade deficit wasn't exactly great at this time last year, either (we're at a deficit of $706.4 billion for this year versus last year's old all-time high of $617.6 billion).
That's bad juju for the economy, people. Bad juju.
Well, that's all for now. Steanso continues to recover from his cold. Let me just go ahead and put a plug in here for Emergen C. It's this fizzing fruit drink powder that has like 10 times your daily requirements of Vitamin C in it, and it's really the bomb when you have a cold. Thanks to The Pea and Crackbass for turning me on to it. Also the zinc. Although the zinc kind of makes you feel like you've been kicked in the gut after you take it, it really helps clear up a cold.