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0130 am 'Get This' news

Summary of the KBOO am news for Tuesday, January, 2007.
01/30/07 Get This
sui generis

1. Not "just following orders"; The Army has dropped its subpoena of Sarah Olson in the Ehren Watada court martial case. Olson is the journalist you know from the TruthOut website, who published an interview with Watada that made abundantly clear that Watada never claimed to be a pacifist, but he knew legal from illegal when it came to fighting a war.
2. What's Your Sign Here?: The Oregon House Committee on Elections, Ethics and Rules is having another go-round with the state's initiative process tomorrow - and you're invited!
3. In A Transport of Delight: Yesterday, the Oregon Senate Judiciary heard testimony on a bill that would loosen bicycle riding restrictions on sidewalks and crosswalks. Under this revision of bike law, if you get pulled over "peddling under the influence" it won't count toward permanent revocation of your driver's license. (I thought that was why people rode bikes, in order to avoid drunk driving... .)
4. Pray To Pave: Oregon Republicans don't much like the idea of using toll roads to fund Oregon highways. (In general, it appears that the GOP's notion of maintaining infrastructure is to pray for maintenance which once upon a distant time yet strangely in the same place, the government's job was to take care of such things as roads, schools paving and the like... .)
5. Lost In Transportation: The Federal Highway Administration is suspicious of Metro's current plan which addresses the problem from a 'coping with growth' perspective. (As contrasted with the Grover Norquist approach to fixing the roads: Everyone gets their own bucket of sand and a shovel... .)
6. Tigard gas station owners failed to get enough valid signatures to get a referendum against a recently approved gas tax on the May ballot. (Thank Gawd the anti-tax people sign their name with an 'X' or simply a thumbprint... .)
7. 'Hidin' Wyden rides Again: Ron Wyden has staked a bold claim to the Higher Ground, ardently supporting a healthcare plan that is largely a giveaway to private insurance companies. (Well, look, don't imagine Ron is going to go up against his supporters in the business sector by opposing the president's troop 'surge'... ..)
8. So A Dog Walks Into A Bar... ... Washington State is considering a bill that would allow dogs in bars. (I can see it now: Bar stools in the shape of fire hydrants... .)
9. Tomorrow, mental health advocates will be in Salem to talk to lawmakers (Whom, it need not be pointed out, stand to benefit the most from any advances in mental health available... .)
10. Ari Fleisher struck an immunity deal with prosecutors in the Scooter Libby trial and ever since then, he has been playing to the galleries, smiling, winking, breezily unearthing embarrassing toys discovered in Cheney's drawers - the furniture sort, you see... .
11. The New York Times, having nothing better to do, has been searching court decision and came up with this rather alarming judicial artifact: In over one hundred rulings over the past two years, judges sitting on high courts (Not the Supreme court, but close) have referenced Wikipedia as a source in their decisions. What's next, e-bay bail bondsmen?
12. Nine anti-war protesters were arrested yesterday when they gathered in a House office building in DC to read off the names of American and Iraqi war dead. (A mystery wrapped in an enigma: If Americans are supposed to be supporting the troops, then why not be proud of all these dead guys? Why isn't Bill O'Reilly dancing around in the carnage, hugging a gun and celebrating open casket funerals broadcast 'live' - or not, as the case may be. FOX could do a reality program where proud families could compete to see whose sons and daughters were mutilated the worst. If this killing business is so glorious, then why hide it?)
13. Extraordinary Renditions... .To the US! An Iraqi-born Dutch citizen pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of plotting attacks on Americans in Iraq. Why would he want to do a bad thing like that? Wesam al-Delaema is from Fallujah and thus another victim of America's attempts to bring democracy to Iraq in a body bag.
14. Through A Glass Darkly: Microsoft's long-delayed new version of Windows, Vista, is if anything, even more prone to viral attack.
15. Thirteen percent of Americans have never heard of global warming.
16. Reconstruct This: A former Defense contractor doing business in Iraq was sentenced yesterday to nine years in prison and ordered to forfeit $3.6 millions dollars plundered from the funds designated for Iraqi reconstruction. This $3.6 would be your $3.6, tax-payers.
17. Today Congress is writing about on the House floor, trying to figure out how they can do the will of the people who elected them without actually committing themselves, thus dodging two political bullets at once. The debate is moot, really, since a supine GOP-led congress already granted the spurious Commander in Chief limitless power to wage war for any reason at all - or none whatsoever.
18. The US government delivered a mild but rare rebuke to Israel when the State Department said that nation had misused American-made cluster bombs in its offensive against Lebanon. (How it works: We pay taxes; the government gives Israel vast sums of "aid"; and Israel purchases vast amounts of ordnance from American arms manufacturers and defense contractors. Why not just pay taxes directly to gun-makers here in the US and cut out the middleman?)
19. How weird it? Representatives of Iraq's government are hedging their bets on America's political future, hoping to keep US support by reaching out to Democrats. That's how weird... .
20. More mortar attacks in Baghdad as the Shiite holiday, Ashura, winds down.
21. Yesterday during an interview with NPR, President Bush said he had no plans to attack Iraq (Leaving out the nasty parts about the rest of his administration and the Pentagon, which almost certainly have plans), but he said that if Iran "meddled", then he would abruptly pull a fresh set of plans out of his arse.
22. Israel's first Muslim minister was sworn in yesterday.
23. "Why Can't We All Just Get Along": Nelson Mandela, Sonia Gandhi, Lech Walesa, Kenneth Kaunda, Mohammad Yunnis and others pleaded with world leaders to reinvent Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent approach to solving conflicts. (The technique is also familiar to anyone who has attended kindergarten: "Don't hit! Use your words!")
24. Glaciers are melting faster than ever.
25. Moscow's mayor said that the city's planned Gay Pride march was "satanic."