1. Even Sheriff Bernie Giusto says that the Multnomah County jail system is an utter shambles. Bernie says that he is no longer going to call it the Department of Corrections because no "correction" is going on. "Warehousing" human beings is what is, in fact, going on.
2. A Gallon of Supreme; Hold the Benzene: Senator Ron Wyden says he is going to block a Bush administration from appointing Roger Martella for EPA general counsel unless the Agency limits benzene in gas. (It's a safe bet that Ron is posturing: Bush can appoint any crony he wants over the Thanksgiving ... or Christmas... or New Years. 'Tis the season to be appointed without the rubber stamp of Congress... ) But the question is why do we have more benzene in our gas than any other state in the nation. Well because refiners buy and sell pollution credits. The more clean air you've got, the more room you have for benzene...
3. A gas pipeline in Coos Bay got the go-ahead this week. The Williams Pipeline company is going to drill at least 14 test borings in the estuary in preparation for the underwater stretch of natural gas pipeline. The idea is to build a 223mile gas pipeline from an LNG terminal at Coos Bay to a refinery in Malin. Whence Malin? From Eastern Oregon the line goes South to California, which was the whole idea in the first place. Oregon doesn't need the energy; California does, but Californians like to keep their image green...
4. Sucker fish are back in the Klamath River. (Good for them. Because ocean fish are heading for extinction by 2046... )
5. Senator Gordon Smith hosted a tribal summit this week. Restoration of forestland, healthcare and education all were discussed, but the round-table talks ultimately came down to money and opposition to a bill mandating reform of the management of Indian trust funds and assets. The bill is a bald-faced federal grab for gaming money...
6. Former KBOO reporter and journalist, Catherine Komp has been writing a series of articles on the size, shape and authors of Tuesday's inevitable election fraud. (It is my opinion that ever since the 2004 election, Karl Rove & Company have analyzed each state in the nation to determine how best to steal the election: Voter intimidation? Bogus ballot-counting? Voting machine tampering? Hacking? Redistricting? Buckets of out-of-state money? Rove has a panoply of options. All of which will be exploited to the fullest. When the rout of Democratic hopefuls is tallied, the media will feign shock and surprise. Democrats will whine and everyone will go home and get ready for the invasion of Iran and Syria... ..It's just a prediction. But seriously, do you believe after the NeoCon's investment of time and money - since the 1990's - do you really believe that they are going to allow the electorate to make important decisions like who runs the country?
7. Bev Harris of Blackbox Voting thinks voters are getting a little suspicious about What Can Go Wrong.
8. Democratic Representative Rush Holt of New Jersey wants to know a bit more about e-mail voting for the military. Oh sure, it's easier to fire off a message from a Pizza Hut in the Green Zone than to fight your way back to Scranton by Tuesday, but Holt wonders if it isn't possible that some fraud or possibly identity theft could occur (Naaaaw... .)
9. Extra! Extra! Extra! The LA Times, Newsday and the Chicago Tribune (just to name a few) are up for sale .The parent company, Tribune, is one of the nation's biggest media empires. But now the company's investment bankers wrote to "Interested Parties" (Rupert Murdock, the Reverend Moon, Karl Rove... ) that offers for individual assets are welcome (But will they get coupons?)
10. The final regulatory hurdle facing AT & T's acquisition of Bell South got a little higher this week. The FCC delayed the vote - this is the third time now - on whether to approve the proposed deal. (Newspaper, anyone?)
11. Dahling, You Look Striking!: In Houston, janitors demanding higher wages and better insurance benefits staged a sit-in at one of the city's busiest intersection. More than 17 hundred janitors have been on strike since October 23rd.
12. The president of the National association of Evangelicals, out spoken opponent of gay marriage, pastor of a mega-church in Denver and all-round Family Guy got popped for having sex and drugs (Rock and Roll, too, very likely) with a male prostitute. (Who says Christianity isn't a fun-type religion?... ..I mean other than Muslims... )
13. Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee say a deal between the IRS and private tax preparers that allows people to file electronically is too restrictive. (Translation: Not enough 'wiggle room' for the hyper-wealthy.)
14. Militants in the Niger Delta region are threatening to launch a flurry of attacks this week (They'd better get on it. Today's Friday... )
15. Attacks in Western Darfur today killed at least 63 people, half of them children.
16. In Gaza, Israeli forces fired on a group of several hundred women who had surrounded a mosque where alleged militants were allegedly hiding out. They killed one woman and wounded ten.
17. In Nicaragua, Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega has a strong chance of regaining power. Ortega has gone a little "funny" but not in the ha-ha sense lately. For one thing, abortion is illegal in Nicaragua. Aside from that, one wonders about Oliver North surfacing in Managua last week and the election this Sunday.
18. A Spanish Court has ruled that it is okay to download music for free.
19. One Crisis At A Time, Please: The European Union was forced to cancel an emergency summit on Cyprus. The Finnish government had hoped to broker a compromise on Cyprus before the European commission hands in what ahs got to be a damning report on the progress with Turkey's EU membership. (Note to Turkey: It's the Human Rights Thing... )
20. Play It Again, Sam: The Latin American community condemns the US blockade of Cuba.
21. Yeah, and I'm Jackson Pollock: An American General in Baghdad called Iraq a "work in progress. Art Critic and war criminal (Hey, nobody's perfect... ) General Caldwell said that what is going on in Iraq is getting a little messy but that it was all part of the process of creating a work of art...
22. AWOL or Merely Kidnapped? You Be The Judge! The US military is still trying to win the release (From other US military interrogators subcontracted by the CIA, is my best guess... ) of an American soldier of Iraqi descent who was abducted while visiting his Iraqi wife. The military wants you to know that the poor guy was actually AWOL because he left the base without permission.