1. The primaries are over in Washington and winners Maria Cantwell beat out her anti-war opponent easily for the Democratic spot. She'll be running against Mike McGavick. Green Party nominee of Seattle will also be on the ballot.
2. Washington State was busy on all fronts yesterday, it seems. The State issued a notice of violation to the US Department of Energy for leaking a highly toxic compound - sodium dichromate - into the ground. The concentrated (well, I suppose since the DoE just dumped the stuff out, it's not "concentrated" any longer... .) chemical endangers workers, contaminates groundwater and poisons spawning salmon and every other living thing in the river.
3. A judge has ruled that Beaverton City officials - including the mayor and chief of staff - deliberately hid public records from Nike. Essentially, it's a pissing match over Beaverton's attempt to sneak The SneakerMaker inside city limits. Taxes, y'know...
4. Senators - including Ron Wyden - on an Intelligence panel are seeking to declassify more information from two reports on prewar "intelligence" on Iraq. The bipartisan group wants the report made public. (The Office of Special Plans (OSP) was created by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to help create a case to invade Iraq. OSP evolved from the Northern Gulf Affairs Office, which fell under the Pentagon's Near East and South Asia policy office. It was renamed and expanded to the Office of Special Plans in October 2002 to handle prewar and postwar planning. Keep reading for a timely up date on The Office That Wouldn't Die... )
5. Like to nibble the paint off old windowsills? Enjoy a lungful of tobacky smoke now and then? Your kids are going to wind up with ADHD. (In fact if you eat paint and smoke, you probably are ADHD too... .)
6. Carry On Spying: Republican Representative Heather Wilson just wants to help out around DC. So she's cooked up another version of Bush's warrantless wiretapping bill - one in which the Prez has to ask a few of his cronies if it's okay. They'll decide whether to share the information with anyone else. All this, while illegally carrying on with the spying.
7. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wants Congress to require Internet providers to preserve customer records. (There is no doubt in my mind that they are doing this already - and worse.)
8. According to Laura Rosen of the Los Angeles Times, the Office of Special Plans has been reincarnated as the Office of Iranian Affairs, apparently housed in the same Pentagon offices inhabited by its predecessor and involving some of the same slimy personnel. Notably, Abram Shulsky, who headed the OSP under Douglas Feith, is back too. It's like Homecoming without the football and dancing.
9. The Department of commerce attempted to block a government scientist from discussing the impact of global climate change on hurricanes. Read about it at www.rawstory.com.
10. Renewable energy technologies are fast becoming economically competitive with fossil fuels, but - alas - US federal policy is hampering development of the nation's abundant renewable energy... ...
11. Here's what is not getting hot: The US economy.
12. Then we had a very good FSRN story about the anti-Bush demonstrations in DC
13. There was a bloodless coup in Thailand while Thaksin Shinawatra was out of town at the UN.
14. And protester in Hungary wants the government to resign. Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany in a recording dating back to May told a private meeting of his deputies that the government had "lied all along for the past 18 months" about the abysmal state of the Hungarian economy.
15. World powers said that making nuclear reactor fuel available through un-controlled supply centers could keep nations from enriching uranium themselves and learning how to make atomic weapons.
16. Iraq has sacked the judge who is presiding at Saddam Hussein's trial - too pro-Saddam, apparently. Human Rights Watch said the judge's removal was a "blatant violation of the independence of the court." In other words, the US is getting nervous about the trial and doesn't want a judge who might allow Saddam to tell the world how deeply involved America has been in recent Iraqi history. (and don't even get him started on the Kurds... .)
17. A British soldier became the first ever member of the country's armed forces to admit to a war crime. Prosecutors listed alleged "systematic abuse" of civilian detainees in Iraq.
18. This morning Israel was all set to vacate southern Lebanon - just in time for the holidays! But I notice they are backing away from that decision
19. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are being reviled for the simply, albeit witless, delivering of one Canadian citizen Maher Arar, into the black hold of America's war on terror.
20. Russia has revoked key permits for a massive oil and gas adventure up on Sakhalin Island. Environmentalist had a short celebration and then it hit them that the $20 billion dollar travesty was probably too large to stop and it's momentum too great to effectively slow.