Gubernatorial John Kitzhaber and Chris Dudley shared the stage at a candidates forum in Eugene yesterday, taking time to trash one another's plans for the state. Kitzhaber, the Democratic nominee, complained Dudley's tax cut plans would starve the state's coffers and that lowering the minimum wage would pinch taxpayers. Dudley complained later that Kitzhaber's "math was fuzzy," made a pitch to state residents who don't live in Salem or Portland, and trotted out the line that his proposals would (magically?) allow businesses to start growing. Catch 'em again Thursday when they go head-to-head in an actual debate.

In case you need a refresher for what's at stake in November, here's a primer on the state's budget woes, presented by the Oregonian.

Our homes are too drafty! And keeping them perfectly climate-controlled costs us big bucks while also adding a disgusting amount of carbon dioxide to the sky. There is a solution. But constructing so-called passive homes, built so they don't need things like furnaces, is expensive and a long way from catching on in the U.S. of A.

The battle for Kandahar has begun. Commanders expect "hard fighting" as American and Afghan soldiers work to drive the Taliban and its fighters from a city that has long served as its traditional and spiritual stronghold.

Karl Rove has gotten the old gang back together: Lobbyists, financiers, operatives and strategists, all of them plotting how to spend millions of dollars in shady money to take down the Democratic Party and spur on a Republican resurgence.

Surprise! The fate of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is cloudy! Despite heady talk last week about finally carving a Palestinian state from Israel, the two sides are struggling, once more, to reach an agreement over the construction of Israeli settlements. Wondering where settlements are being built? Don't worry. There's an app for that.

Lately, for China, it's been less of the talking softly, and more of the swinging of the big stick.
The Asian giant's attempt to pass itself off as a nice guy among its neighbors is wearing thin after a couple of high-profile diplomatic rifts emerged in recent weeks.

An Iranian nuclear plant may have the sniffles. A computer virus, believed to have been launched via Russian laptops, appears to be targeting the Islamic Republic and its Bushehr nuclear power plant, due to come online next month. Naturally, Iran is blaming Israel.

Maybe they were trying to game the Amazon rankings?
The Pentagon bought and destroyed 9,500 copies of a lieutenant colonel's memoir about the special ops fight in Afghanistan. Military officials say the book divulges too many secrets. Its author, Anthony Shaffer, called it "retaliation."

Finally, Bündnerfleisch!