1. 'Psst, Hey Kid; The First One's Free': Oregon City Police will begin offering free urinalysis for children under 18. It costs $9.50 (Yet how can one ever really put a price on permanently and irrevocably shattering your child's trust in you?) but it's "free for the first 25 people."
2. In Gresham, five sheriff's detective's and a sergeant won't be working out of the city police headquarters after next month. Budget cut, y'know.
3. The Oregon Republican Party approved a resolution that would deny citizenship to babies born to The Undocumented as well as immigrants who are not citizens. Because, Gawd and the GOP knows what distracts people from real problems. (Yes, I know immigration is a serious problem, but it won't find a humane solution until we have a humane administration.)
4. A freelance video journalist is in jail because he refused to hand over his unsold footage from a 2005 protest in which "anarchists" were suspected of vandalizing a police car. The state's 'Shield' law can't save Joshua Wolf: this is federal and he could be jailed until the Grand Jury expires next June.
5. A federal appeals court has overturned the convictions of four Merrill Lynch henchmen who were involved with Enron scams.
6. Cover Your Assets Dept: The Senate says that the super wealthy are bilking the US out of $70 billion dollars in unpaid taxes. (After much investigation and many committees and sub-committees holding endless meetings, the Senate also says that bears shit in the woods.)
7. The heat back east is clobbering the daylights out of states from Maine (?) to Illinois, threatening to shut down the power grid again this year. A brief aside: Last summer, publicly owned power networks were up and running during the crisis.
8. Here comes Tropical Storm Chris! Chris is about to become the first hurricane of the season (and what a season it will be, what with the warming waters in the Gulf of Mexico.)
9. People in El Paso, Texas have been forced to evacuate their homes in some areas. Flooding, y'know.
10. A federal judge in San Francisco ruled yesterday that he Bush administration does in fact have the right to overturn the ban on road construction in remote untouched parts of National Forest. But he may have needed to weigh possible environmental effects at the same time. The judge did not elaborate on that last clause. Bush weighing environmental concerns looks a lot like Bush watching Michael Crichton movies... .
11. A provision in GOP-written minimum wage legislation passed the House. And now the Senate is considering it. What this legislation would do is basically deal a pay cut of $3 dollars or more an hour to thousands of people who work for minimum wages and rely on tips.
12. The US Chamber of Commerce - which is supposed to be a nonpartisan entity - is in trouble for altering ad that praised GOP lawmakers for backing the Medicare prescription drug program.. Two of the lawmakers weren't even in office when Congress approved the plan.
13. A lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, one Kevin Barrett, says that the 9/11 attacks were largely orchestrated in the US. The planes, sure they were flown by foreigners, but what happened next... Well, Barrett laid it all out on a right-wing chat show. Sean Hannity and Alan Combs - predictably - ridiculed him. But Barrett won the pissing match: Millions of FOX fans heard something that really rocked their collective hallucination...
14. Welcome Home to Roost, Chickens!: An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous. Officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters could and arguably should, be charged with committing war crimes and prosecuted in the US.
15. Senator Carl Levin is holding up the confirmation of Kenneth Wainstein as head of the Justice Department's new anti-terror division. Not on account of Wainstein's credentials, per se, but because he wants the Bush administration to supply more information from FBI agents who witnessed abusive, aggressive interrogations at Gitmo. (But Wainstein's credentials are rather dismal too...
16. Undercover investigators had not trouble entering the US using fake documents repeatedly over the last year. (And the younger ones were able to buy beer and cigarettes? Just asking... )
17. American anti-war activists, fresh from a 30-day fast and being arrested in DC are on their way to Amman, Jordan. (Some people just can't stay out of trouble... ) Among them are members of Code Pink, and among them is Martha Odom of KBOO and Portland. Martha will not be going to Jordan. She is on her way to Crawford Texas. If you want to get active like Martha, join Code Pink and other people who give a damn, in front of Gordon Smith's office on Friday, 11 am until 6 pm.
18. In Lebanon, Red Cross workers and surviving residents say that no Hezbollah rockets were ever fired from Qana - in the unlikely event that you actually believed the original story...
19. Israel is pushing ever deeper into Lebanon. It's called 'rape.'
20. So far 828 people have been killed and more that 3,200 wounded. That's just the ones accounted for. I understand they have to use backhoes to gather up the shattered bodies.
21. Even the Pope has appealed for peace in the Middle East... and the papal office did have a little business with one of the parties involved back during WWII...
22. It's the second day of protest in Mexico City over the obviously. rotten election (which has American fingerprints all over it).
23. Colonel Michael 'Black Hawk Down' Steele is under investigation for allegedly encouraging his men to go on a killing spree (Not to mention inspiring a bunch of morons to make a really awful movie... ).