1. The Portland Development commission is going to set aside $750 thousand dollars for small business working capital loans. This is the third program the commission created for companies with 50 or fewer employees.
2. A class action lawsuit has been filed to shield 21 thousand retired Oregon public employees from having to reimburse the State pension fund for past "over-payments" into their pension accounts.
3. PPRC: Last Friday Portland Peaceful Response sent a message to Senator Hilary Clinton - who was also in town. PPRC to Clinton: 'Bring our troops home.' (And while you're at it, please don't run for president... )
4. KBOO: Aaron Ernst on human-cougar interaction or lack thereof.
5. NASA's senior climate scientist reports that the Bush Admin is trying to stop him from speaking out about global warming and the shit soup we are in. James Hansen said that NASA ordered all his work to be "reviewed" before being released.
6. Houston, we have a problem... ' Apparently there isn't anyone left in Hopuston who doesn't loath Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling. Enron's wonderboys bilked thousands of people out of billions of dollars. So they're having a hard time seating a jury and are justifiably concerned about the 'stealth jury' possibility.
7. Barack Obama says he would vote today to filibuster Alito's confirmation. But Obama also pointed out that things would never have got this far if the Democratic Party had not utterly failed to impress upon the dim American mind that Alito was poisonous as far as the Constitution, civil rights, voting rights, presidential power... .were concerned.
8. FEMA neglected to use the hundreds of available trucks, boats, planes and federal officers that were made available for search and rescue operations in the aftermath of the hurricanes. (Oh c'mon, guys... .everyone knows that what happened in New Orleans was not the result of "lack of planning" It was the result of a carefully executed plan to clear the "undesirables" out of the city so that developers could get their hands on all that real estate and turn The Big Easy into The Big Disney.)
9. A US court-martial in Afghanistan has found an American soldier guilty of mistreating two prisoners at a military base.
10. Republican Senator Charlie Hagel says that Bush has a bit more explaining to do on his assertion that he legally came himself untouchable, unstoppable executive power to spy on Americans. (Charlie, Charlie, Charlie... the telecom companies. Go after the telecoms for cooperating with what we clearly an illegal act.)
11. ABC's reporter Bob Woodruff and his cameraman Doug Vogt had a little surgery in Iraq after a roadside bomb attack but now they're safe in Germany. (An Iraqi soldier was also wounded but not being a celebrity anchorman, his name was not mentioned.)
12. Senate Majority leader Bill Frist says he still thinks this Iraq war thing is splendid, just splendid. (Or as one military leader observed upon witnessing the infamous 'Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War, "C'est magnifique! mais ce n'est pas la guerre... " which means 'It's terrific! But it isn't war.')
13. House Republicans are still trying to choose a new leader to replace Tom DeLay. (Hint to Republicans: You may be able to find someone as corrupt as DeLay, but you'll never find anyone as brutish.)
14. Election boards around the country are trying to unload faulty voting machines. One idea: lease them to unions or community groups. Another idea: sned them to African countries (where, presumably, it doesn't matter... .)
15. A senior Hamas leader has appealed to the EU not to halt funding to the Palestinian authority. (How about everyone stop funding Israel and start making them dismantle their Nuclear arsenal. Then we would be getting somewhere.
16. More bad news from Iraq: Bird flu. One Iraqi girl has died of the virus.
17. Saddam Hussein and 7 co-defendants got their trial shut down again. (
18. Mahmoud Abbas isn't helping things. He's threatened to resign if this Hamas thing doesn't work out. (At least Hamas has been running things quite well behind the scenes. And at least they are less corrupt than the Fatah Party. But the thing is, as long as a two-state formula is the only option on offer, there will always be two sides that want to kill each other. A single state where people lived side by side would avoid the Israeli mortar attacks since it would be hard to pinpoint single Palestinian houses. And it would be hard for suicide bombers to target only Israelis. Ironically, the only solution is that last possible resort.
19. Whoo-hoo1 Dario Fo is running for mayor of Milan. (If you don't know who Dario Fo is, oh go look him up.)
20. And back in the USSR... (kidding) The British Russian spy-rock incestuous triangle continues perking along.
21. The EU is set to hold last minute talks with Iran at Tehran's request, moreover.
22. Silvio Berlusconi says that until after the April 9th elections, he will not have sex (Good news for his wife. Bad news for Rome's more expensive call-girls.).
23. One Hundred thousand people - perhaps more - attended the funeral of Schafik Handal. Handal was a former top commander of el Salvador's left-wing FMLN guerrilla. Handal was one of Latin America's best known and best loved revolutionaries. (By the way, he is of Palestinian descent. Many Palestinians settled in El Salvador. That's another story).