1. The LakeO businessman, Mike Erikson, challenging Darlene Hooley is the first Oregon candidate to trigger the 'Millionaires' amendment'. How'd he do it? Erikson lent himself the money. The law allows candidates running against wealthy opponents to receive larger contributions from individuals. Parties are also allowed to spend more.
2. State revenue collections are, like the well-heeled Mr. Erikson, rolling in dough. But it isn't going to keep people healthy and educated. No. The money gets "kicked " back to taxpayers who will immediately spend it on beer, video poker and meth.
3. From 1995 till 2000, PGE charged customers for power that it never delivered. The imaginary electricity was to have been generated by the Trojan nuclear plant. (Instead of trying to use the Trojan, the State should have just pulled out... ). Now the Oregon Supreme Court is trying to force PGE to refund the money.
4. Cyclists get to ride on some - but not all - freeways.
5. The summer Chi8nook run topped a ten-year average. Sounds good, eh? But remember that salmon runs have been steadily sinking to the bottom of the river for years now...
6. Ask the 'buoy 10' fishermen off Astoria. Catch rates are way down.
7. Ballard, Washington is on track to become the first 'carbon-neutral' community in the nation. 'Carbon Neutral'? It means just what it sounds like, no CO2 emissions, no 'pollution credits' trading, shell game... just ... ..
8. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne visited Alaska for the first time. He met privately with local leaders (Those with money and/or interests in making some/more in the resource exploitation business) Kempthorne expected to get and earful about the ANWAR drilling, but what he heard instead was concern over Shell Oil's plans to drill off-shore in the Beaufort Sea.
9. The IRS says that the NAACP did not in fact violate the conditions of its tax-exempt status. Chairman Julian Bond made a speech about a month before the 2004 election in which he criticized Bush, thus triggering the IRS investigation. (Here's the thing though; Republicans who got uppity about Bond's speech knew that the fix was already in and it didn't matter what Bond said, and Bond no doubt knew it too... .)
10. Ohio Secretary of State and Election Fixer Extraordinaire, Ken Blackwell has - at last - caved in to pressure to delay the destruction of ballots from the 2004 election. Federal law permits, but does not require, destroying paper ballots 22 months after the election. (Federal law also, apparently "permits but does not require" free and fair elections... )
11. The military had big plans to detonate 700 tons of explosives in a southern Indiana quarry. The explosion was named (with typical military panache) "Divine Strike". And it was supposed to test potential damage to deep underground target. What the people in Indiana figured out was that this "Strike" was going to contaminate their water supply, not to mention destroy miles of limestone caves.
12. Army Specialist Mark Wilkerson was AWOL for a year and a half after serving one tour of duty in Iraq. (at'll do it... .). Now, Wilkerson is turning himself in, first stopping off at Camp Casey to visit Cindy Sheehan and then it's into the Belly of the Beast. The man has courage.
13. Five of the nation's largest tobacco companies argued that it's okay to keep making and selling cigarettes as long as the really bad ones can be sold overseas with little or no warnings printed on the package. It's called 'dumping' and I thought we had laws about that. But those don't apply to the American practice of dumping because by definition, Americans mean no harm by it and it is probably even good for the dumpee... .
14. Exxon has been ordered to pay Alaska $92 million dollars for the on-going clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989. (One would think that the fact that the spill was back in 1989 and it is still poisoning the environment would 'send a message'. Apparently, the Powers The Be haven't noticed that some of the risks associated with fooling about with oil in a fragile environment really aren't worth taking... .) To believe that some Alaskan lawmakers really give a rip about the environment and aren't just it for the money, you would have to believe that nothing of interest was found when,
15. Federal agents raided the offices of at least six Alaskan lawmakers in an investigation of a large oil field company.
16. The 9th Circuit Court of appeals in San Francisco ruled that the videographer who won't turn over footage (containing evidence of police brutality) of a demonstration to a Grand Jury. For now, Josh wolf is a free man. The ACLU helpfully pointed out that the demand for the tape is in straight-up violation of California's Shield Laws.
17. Vatican't: In Bogota, Colombia, A Vatican official says the Catholic Church will excommunicate a medical team who performed Colombia's first legal abortion on an eleven year old girl. The girl was eight weeks pregnant after being raped by her stepfather.
18. Job Opening! The US Command in Baghdad is seeking bidders for a two-year, $20 million dollar public relations contract that calls for monitoring the tone of Iraqi news stories filed by US and foreign media. Proposals are due by September 6th, so you better get started right now. (Interesting isn't it that as Bush's approval ratings continue to drop and Americans are pretty much fed up with this arbitrary, highly illegal war, and with November on the way, it's clearly time for some Good News. And you could be just the person to make it up. Know any Arabic? That's okay. This isn't about Them. It's about US... .)O
19. China's jailing of a Hong Kong reporter as a spy reflects a deepening dilemma for the government. (Not to mention the journalist who is now faced with the problem of getting out of a Chinese jail... )
20. Police in Nigeria are getting gunned-up in anticipation of next April's elections. (It's never too early to stock up on guns before an election. November's almost here, kids1)
21. An internal investigation has concluded that a UN official steered millions of dollars in contracts to a company owned by the government of his native India in exchange for favors that included low-rent apartments (I guess you had to be there... .)
22. A Peruvian judge has indicted former army officer and presidential candidate Ollanta Humala on charges of human rights abuses (That'll teach him to throw his support behind Hugo Chavez and defy the US's failed drug interdiction programs... .)
23. So far only $500 million dollars have been donated for the rebuilding of Lebanon (I think the UN should confiscate all AIPAC accounts and donate that... ).
24. Australia has its very own WMD fact suppression scandal.