1. The Oregon Democratic Party convention was this weekend. What do they want? Universal healthcare, no parental notification and no state spending caps. When do they want it? November.
2. The House has proposed major cuts to states' new comprehensive wildlife management plan. Teaming With Wildlife, a coalition of more than 3 thousand conservation groups, is opposing the cuts.
3. Just because it's new does not mean w should rush to embrace it. Case in point: OSU researchers have figured out how to rumple up tree genes so that sylvan life cycles would be speeded up. Can't see the trees for the forestry department.
4. OHSU's enormous new building is going to include one spa-like wing for the wealthy. That puts Portland right in step with the disturbing national trend toward one way for the rich and another for the rest of us.
5. When OSU isn't hypnotized by tree rings, it is studying housing discrimination. To no one's great surprise the study found that discrimination against Black people is much worse than they thought (I'm guessing that the researchers are white... )
6. The Oregon gubernatorial race is all elbows. So far we have Kulongoski, Saxton, right-winger Mary Starrett, Independent Ben Westlund, Joe Keating and now Libertarian Richard Morley, who conveniently forgot that the Libertarians don't even like government.
7. The Senate begins three crazy days of debating a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Everyone knows this a loser of a piece of legislation but it gives republicans something to drag home to their wild-eyed constituents.
8. Anti-war and anti-Bush fervor is growing among slow-on-the-uptake rank and file Democrats. Washington states Democratic party convention came up with the idea of a Department of Peace.
9. Hopping on the nearest bandwagon, Joseph Biden said that he too thought the war in Iraq was and is a bad idea. A little late isn't it, Joe?
10. In the three years since Americans gained federal protection for their medical records, the Bush administration has received thousands of complains alleging violations. But it has not imposed a single civil fine and has managed just 2 criminal cases - as always, the administration is doing a heckuva job.
11. Independent pharmacists say they have to wait months for payments from the fledgling federal Medicare part 'D' prescription drug coverage program, leaving them short of cash and threatening their businesses. (apparently they don't understand that this was the idea all along, to take small businesses out of the game and hand over their customers to huge drug store chains. All part of a day's quid pro quo work at the White House... )
12. The American Bar Association voted unanimously to investigate whether Bush has exceeded his constitutional authority in reserving the right to ignore more than 750 laws that have been enacted since he took office. As the world knows, Bush has appended 'signing statements' (loopholes, to you and I) to any law that impedes his imperial power. (This really is going to be a Long War. Indeed.)
13. In San Diego one of the two people running for Randy 'Duke' Cunningham's seat "misspoke." Francine Busby said you don't need paper to vote.
14. In Canada, the weekend's dramatic police raid and the arrest of as many as a dozen me - with more to come - marks the culmination of Canada's largest ever terrorism investigation into an alleged homegrown cell. (Not to mention more 'quid' for your 'quo', if you believe that the National Endowment for Democracy had a hand in the recent election... )
15. Red-necks lost no time and celebrated the arrests by vandalizing a mosque in Toronto.
16. And in Peru Alan Garcia won - I'll just say it one more time: National Endowment for Democracy - a run-off election. Garcia is the former Peruvian president whose term ended in economic ruin and rebel violence. Chavez probably wielded too heavy a hand in his energetic backing of Garcia's opponent Ollanta Humala. Humala wanted to redistribute Peru's wealth but there simply wasn't any left after Garcia's first term... .
17. Rumsfeld is in Vietnam lining up military bases in case we have to attack China for not letting us have all the oil left in the world and also for calling in all its American paper. (Check FOX news for the hilarious official story!)
18. China too has problems other than Donald Rumsfeld tunneling into it from Vietnam. The nation is currently spending 200 billion dollars trying to address its pollution problems and not even making a dent. (Where is Toxic Avenger now?)
19. And a top Chinese diplomat is defending China's growing economic involvement in Africa.
20. Five Palestinians have been killed in two outbreaks of violence in Gaza.
21. In Iraq, gunmen stopped three minibuses full of students on their way to Baquba to take their final (bad choice of a word, here I'm afraid... ) exams. The gunmen asked each student what his religion was and they killed everyone who did not say 'Sunni'. (You'd think after the first two or three non-Sunnis, the rest would catch on... ). Since early this morning, by the way, there have been over 50 more killings in Iraq and that's just the A/P report. The made-in-America government is coming apart at the seams even as it is being formed.
22. Europe is getting a new fleet of adorable little spy planes to watch for terrorists (and presumably, when they find any, a C-130 will come along, scoop them up and take them to the secret prisons in Poland and Romania). They are also getting devices that can see through clothes - just in time for the tourist season! What ever happened to the old 'mirror on the top of the shoe' trick?
23. The Palestinian stand-off between Hamas and Fatah is burning out of control.
24. Evo Morales has started handing confiscated land on huge estancias back to the people who originally lived on it.
25. Islamist warlords have taken yet another key town just outside Moghadishu.