1, The Ideas of March: what it means to you. In which we go to great lengths to explain the ancient Roman calendar while taking care to point out that March wasn't a generally unlucky day7. Just unlucky for Caesar.
2. Ten weeks after the start of the new Medicare drug benefit plan, nearly half of all eligible Oregonian still have not enrolled. The plan is too confusing, the drugs aren't very good, and even the elderly are chuffed with president Bush.
3. Portland General Electric's coal-fired power plant near Boardman is one source of pollution in the Colombia Gorge. Emissions from the plant plus ammonia from cow shit at the dairy next door have created the gigantic dung-hued cloud that floats over the Gorge summer and winter. And Kulongoski wants to put a casino at Cascade Locks... I have a better idea: put the Casino at Oaks Park; all the hotels are in town, tourists can take ferry boats from downtown to the Park; families could do family things and lose money at he same time, it would bring jobs to the area and tree-hugging high-rollers could hike Oaks Bottom. Perfect!
4. One thousand three hundred Latino students honored Hugi Chavez at the annual Hispanic Leadership conference this week.
5. The Portland Port Authority is back in business. An Israeli firm is taking over the operation of the Port. of Portland (otherwise, we'd have to call it 'Land' and that makes Measure 37 people nervous)
Oregon will no longer participate in programs sponsored by the Mexican consulate that provided information on government programs for immigrants. The "Carousels" were mobile units that motored around the state helping undocumented immigrants get their 'Matricula Consular.'
6. Farmers and businesses depending on The Undocumented are finding it tough sledding getting a guest worker program through the legislative process. The Admin owes too many special interst groups favors and has come face to face with itself on the issue.
7. The Austin Texas FBI put Food Not Bombs, Indymedia and the Communist Party of Texas ('scuse me, there. I meant 'com'niss' party of Texas) on its watch list. Did you make the Oregon list? Find out at the ACLU of Oregon web site!
Sirhan Sirhan is up for parole.
8. Former WaPo editor Ben Bradlee says it' reasonable to assume former State Department official Richard 'Give 'em Hell' Armitage is the likely crack that Valerie Plame's identity leaked out from.
9. Leoni Brinkema has just about had it with both Zaccarias Moussaoui and the Prosecution. Moussaoui, because, as al Qaeda put it, "He's kookoo in the head." And the Prosecution because they coached witnesses.
10. Bush & Company have launched their latest promotional effort designed to make America a war-friendly nation. (It's like the 'Springtime for Hitler' plot: the worse the invasion and occupation plays out the more reason to be in the Middle East where the oil is.)
11. More 'Mad Cow' disease in the US. Alabama to be precise. (Musical interlude here: "Daddy's doing sister Sally; grandma's dying of cancer now; cattle all got brucellosis; we'll get by somehow... " - W. Zevon)
12. US climate scientists have recorded a significant rise in the concentration of CO2. Record levels in fact. 9The Bush Administration is no longer saying that climate change doesn't exist. Now it's saying that the climate scientists don't exist.)
13. The White House has rejected hurricane disaster-recovery loans at a higher rate that any other administration in the last 15 years.
14. An 'earthen' dam on the island of Kauai broke. Horrible mess. Seven people missing. On the plus side, it took out some luxury condo and the word "earthern" just feels lovely to say.
15. If you keep chickens in your backyard, now's the time to think about migrating. The government believes that your birds are going to catch bird flu from wild birds and that then you might get it too (But try not to get sick just yet because government science-wankers haven't quite perfected the technology required to combine nanotracking chips and flu vaccine. In about a year expect to be feeling a little feverish.)
16. As the world knows, this week Israel grabbed a handful of Palestinian prisoners from a West Bank jail. The siege was part of Olmert's election campaign. Israel wants to try these guys. (Now that's something to look forward to, an Israeli trial.)
17. Pakistan's newspaper of record says that the Pakistani Foreign Office had paid bags of money to American lobbyists to get anti-Pakistan references dropped from the 9/11 "inquiry".
18. Huge demonstrations are going on in Thailand. Looks like Taksin Shinawatra may have to - not exactly 'step down' but sort of 'step back' for a while.
19. Same going on in France. French students are still pissed at de Villepin's employment ideas. (de Villepin may be looking for a little employment soon if he's not careful)
20. Bodies in Iraq: Many, many more and turning up in worse shape and stranger places. (Don't believe that Iraq Body Count nonsense: the numbers are far higher. Who do we think we're kidding?)
21. In England an RAF Lieutenant is being court martialed because after two tours of duty, we won't go back. The man is a doctor, so he's seen some terrible things. But beyond that, he says - loudly and repeatedly - that the war is illegal.
should Dr. Kendall-Smith win this, then the orders he was given would have to be illegal and would be a free man... .