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0117 & 0118 'Get This'

Summary of the am news for Wednesday & Thursday, January 17th & 18th, 2007.
01/17/08 Get This
Sorry about Wednesday's failure to appear. I took a 'snow day.' This 'Get This' is a combination of the 17th and the 18th's Feast of Global Folly
Chris Andreae

1. It has come to the attention of the Oregon Legislature that healthcare, renewable energy and environmental degradation - and much, much more - require attention every year, rather than every other year. The Oregon legislature got off the bench and after 150 years of intermittent work and adopted annual sessions.
2.Gosh You Shouldn't Have!: Vancouver got a New Years gift it sorely needed: a new police chief.
3. Even if you don't count the people who have long since despaired of ever finding work again (And have gone to Vancouver to deal meth and turn tricks...), Oregon's unemployment numbers for December were up. Expanding those numbers into the real word yields a grim picture indeed.
4. But down in McMinnville, Republican Representative Donna Nelson wants the State to pass a bill making English Oregon's "official language", whatever that means. (Aren't all languages "official" to those who speak them? How about Klingon for McMinnville's "official" language....)
5. My Own Private Kick Bin: Gus Van Sant got sent to rehab for drunk driving.
6. The City of Beaverton could have saved itself a bundle ($175 thousand dollars, to be exact) in lawyer fees. It isn't nice to fool Mother Nike...
7. Lost In Trans-nation: Multnomah's attempt to emulate New York and ban trans fats is fried: The County lacks the authority to pass such legislation. (That, and the citizens of Gresham would all starve to death....)
8. Lost Tribes: Klamath County commissioners are split over the transfer of the Fremont-Winema National Forest to tribal ownership. Klamath Tribes want the land and that seems like the right direction to be going....But for the fact that tribal life lately seems to have lost direction in this corporate wasteland and the Forest under tribal ownership might well be expected to burst into a profusion of casinos destination resorts and ATV tracks...
9. An enormous buck tangled in the ropes of a suburban swing set was rescued by police armed with Tasers. The humanitarian ('animatarian'?) cops tased the stag, stunning it long enough for them to free it. (Which begs the question; Ought we to allow the police to use a weapon capable of knocking out a thousand pound animal on human beings under a thousand pounds? (You're safe, Gresham!)
10. Adam Gadahn is the first American to be charged with treason in more than fifty years. He was born in Oregon, grew up in California and converted to Islam when he was 17. Gadahn made a name for himself as Osama bin Laden's PR man - sort of the same role Harvard graduate Putzi Hamfstaengl played to Hitler...(Read all about it in the January 14th New Yorker; great stuff!).
11. Two US Attorneys in California have stepped down, citing pressure from the Bush administration. Thanks to an obscure provision of the Patriot Act, they can - and will! - be replaced by appointees without Senate confirmation.
12. The 9th Circuit Court has reversed on count against Ahmed Ressam, 'the Millennium Bomber.' Ressam is currently cooperating with the government.
13. The Seattle judge in the trial of WTO protesters says that the demonstrators' political views are "irrelevant."
14. The Oregon Public Utilities Commission has rejected plans by Mid-American Holdings - a subsidiary of Pacificorp - to build two coal-fired power plants. Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet's enormous hedge fund owns Mid-American. (Quelle Suprise! Usually the coal fired power plant wins the right to send carcinogenic matter gushing into the air 24 hours a day, while people who want to enjoy a cigarette break in 'Portland's Livingroom' can get nicked for polluting the air in the vicinity of 'Portland's SUVs'....Please, go lie down in the middle of I-205 at rush hour and Stop A Semi For Jaysus....I'l personally thank you for your selfless sacrifice.
15. Bridge Work: Mirabile Dictu! The Bush administration says it's going to cease and desist from warrantees wiretappping...From now on, it secret court approval or nothing. Hurrah! (And if you actually believe that the Bush administration is going to stop its domestic spy program, well, listen, I can get you a deal on a terrific bridge....)
A group of Senators agreed on a resolution opposing George's Big Surge.
16. A judge has ruled that Army Lieutenant Ehren Watada cannot base his court-martial defense on the war's illegality. The ruling itself may, in fact, be illegal....But as we all know, what is 'legal', 'illegal', 'up', 'down', 'true', 'false' are now the property of Frank Luntz and the Bush Message Machine. The own the factory, we just eat the weenies....
17. As the Senate debates an ethics bill, antiabortion groups and other organizations of "social conservative" (Read as: Right-wing evangelicals) unleashed a major cyber-lobbying effort to amend the bill. Leading the charge against ethics reform - as always - is none other than Jack Abramoff's old pal Grover Norquist. Norquist & Co. have co-opted the word "grassroots" in the name of promoting their vicious, hateful subversive tactics.
18. It's January Jury Selection Time is in the air! Smell that? It's Scooter Libby choosing a panel of jurors who believe that Cheney isn't really such a bad guy.....when you get to know him. and they most assuredly will...
19. When world leaders meet in Davos Switzerland this year, there are going to be a few big changes: Change number one is that global warming is on the agenda - only because it turns out, after running the numbers again, that climate change is not the kind of disaster that is good for business. The other change is No Celebrities. (Except for the 9-foot tall lizards wearing the little fezzes and riding Harley's - they're still okay...
20. Look Ma, No Cavities!: The Bush administration is going to rethink those pesky 'No-Fly' Lists (Better know as the Cavity Search Special). Instead, we're going to have "Arrest This Person Now' lists....just kidding!....I hope.
21. Mullah Omar is in Pakistan under the protection of the Pakistani Secret Service, the ISI.
22. Darfur aid is on the brink of collapse.
23. Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, a top Iraqi Shia politicians is furious over the kidnapping of the five Iranian Embassy staff members in Irbil. And if you think the man it being a bit touchy, just imagine if the Iranians had kidnapped five American....
24. A Taiwanese indigenous group thought to have been wiped out more than 100 years ago has been officially recognized as that nation's 13th aboriginal tribe.
25. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that if Europe doesn't pull together and get aa constitution ratified, then it is "facing a historic failure". (If that is the only "historic failure" europe if facing, I'd say, they are well out in front of the game...)
26. Although Israel withdrew from Gaza more than a year ago, its evil mitts are all over the territory, controlling Palestinian lives with its insidious touch. To a half-blind, over-stimulated America, things look pretty much all right. But on the ground in Gaza, Israel's iron grip is crushing the life out of an entire people.
27. Lieutenant Watada? You've Got Company: An amendment to a spending bill has made it possible for US civilians to be court-martialed. The last minute addition to the bill was sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham.