1. The Wall street Journal and Zogby have released yet another poll showing that Ron Saxton is gaining on Kulongoski. (Back in 2004, after the election, Bush turned Karl Rove away from America's roll in the world at large and unleashed him on voters at home. Since then the nation has been carved up into easily managed bits. Some states are seeing massive donations from out of state; some have their voting machines tampered with; for some places, it's the redistricting, stupid. This is a coordinated, well-organized, well-funded campaign to keep the GOP in power... )
2. Q.E.D.: In Oregon two powerhouse national Republican groups are pouring money into our election. The National Taxpayers put $800 thousand on Measures 45 and 48. The AARP put $500 thousand on Measure 41, the income tax reduction measure. Mitt Romney also dumped his state's leftover money on Oregon races...
3. According to a task force charged with leaning up Oregon's political ethics laws. Oregon State lawmakers should be barred from moving into lobbying until they've been out of office for a year.
4. There was a small - about 200 people - mean-spirited anti-immigrant rally in Salem. None the less, it would be a good idea to listen to the Other Side now and then instead of merely preaching. At least we would learn how better to confront raw bigotry...
5. This year campaign ads have reached all-time lows. You want civility? Try Mogadishu.
6. Smoke and Measures: Tobacco company ads telling kids not to smoke may be good for the company image. But a new report in the American Journal of Public Health shows they're actually causing an increase in tobacco use in youth. So what's my point here? Well we can all thank Howard Rich if funding for tobacco prevention disappears. Rich in pouring money into Measure 48.
7. Whole Foods is in cahoots with a business venture that is being touted as a "Natural" salmon farm up in Washington just off Bainbridge Island.
8. Militarized: In Jerseyville, Illinois a teenager carrying a bible and shouting, "I want Jesus" was delivered into the hands of the object of his desire by police. They shot him with a stun gun.
9. Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of NY mayor and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg, has got on the Giving Bus. Yes, equestrienne par excellence, veteran of the Hunter-Jumper Circuit Georgina noticed that she and her friend noticed that they had closets full of cast-off riding clothes. So she has started a charity to provide needy equestrians with jodhpurs.
10. Move Over, Evergreen! Jeppeson International Trip Planning - subsidiary of Boeing - is proud to be the go-to agency for torture flights. The CIA is a client. Managing Director Bob Overby says, "We do all the extraordinary rendition flights - you know, the torture flights" (We know, Bob, we know... ) "Let's face it" he continues, "Some of these flights end up this way." 'Trip Planning', Indeed... .
11. Soldiers of Misfortune: The number of private military and security companies operating in Iraq and Afghanistan presents a problem: no constraints, no regulations, no accountability. It's a free-for-all.
12. The US Air force is asking the Pentagon for $50 billion dollars in emergency funding - those Mercs don't work for cheap - for fiscal 2007. That's about half the Pentagon's whole budget. (But a bargain, when you think about the massive air war that is about to rain down on Iran... .)
13. Donald Rumsfeld has signed a proposal to spend at least another $1 billion dollars to expand the size of the Iraqi Security Forces (Since they are obviously doing such a marvelous job... )
14. Kurds Gone Wild: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says that the situation in Iraq is "nearly out of control."
15. The British government indicated last night that it would concede a high-level inquiry into the war in Iraq once British troops have been withdrawn (and the shit hits the fan... )Downing Street later described the statement as a slip of the tongue and that the PM's office remained opposed to the inquiry (Even if they wait till after the shit and fan scenario?)
16. British and UK forces have continued to use depleted uranium weapons despite warnings that they pose a cancer risk. Scientists released a report - based on statistics they got in Iraq. Mirabile dictu! The report by the world Health Organization said that DU posed only a small contamination risk. (Hey, you can gargle with it! Everyone in Baghdad does... .)
17. Duty Free Shopping? Israel's airports authority has confirmed that torture planes stopped over at Ben-Gurion International in Tel Aviv. A coincidental meeting at Kishon airport near Haifa between a Jordanian-Pakistani detainee and an Israeli lawyer shed light on the special relationship between Israel, Jordan and the CIA. (It was a Moment... And it passed... )
18. John 'Revoltin' Bolton has done it again. America's Ambassador to the World accuses Syria and Iran of destabilizing Lebanon.
19. Meanwhile, Back In The Real World... Hezbollah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has confirmed that he will hold talks with Israel on prisoner exchange.
20. As of this morning, six Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have been killed in heavy clashes in the northern Gaza Strip. It was one of Israel's biggest raids into Gaza in recent months.
21. George Bush thanked China for its role in persuading Korea to return to six-party talks on its nukes program. (Now if we can persuade Bush to return to reasonable UN talks on Iranian nukes... .)
22. In Bolivia, Evo Morales has backed off his plan to nationalize Bolivia's mining industry. Morales says his government can't afford to make good on his campaign promises just at the moment, you know how busy things get heading into the holiday season...
23. Mexico has agree to the extradition of former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo to face corruption charges in his home country. (Vicente Fox: "There! That ought to distract people from the carnage in Oaxaca.")
24. First ADM, Cargill and that lot plough GM crops into India's gene pool and now the world is turning its back on basmati rice because, you see, it's contaminated with engineered genes...
25. P.W. Botha died and Nelson Mandela described him as a "symbol of apartheid". That Nelson!. He can find something good to say about absolutely anyone...