03/01/07 Get This
1. Cascadia Rising: The Portland City Council passed a resolution against the war in Iraq yesterday by a unanimous 5 - 0 vote. The resolution includes a requirement that the US not establish permanent bases in Iraq; not seek control of Iraq's oil industry (That's already been ceded to stateless transnationals... ) and redirect construction contracts to Iraqi firms, as opposed to companies like Halliburton and Bechtel that have doen such a marvelous job thus far..
2. Meanwhile, in Olympia, activists are gearing up for a vote - also symbolic, but nonetheless - in Washington's legislature on impeachment. The State Senate is holding the hearing on the resolution at 3:30. The rally gets underway at 1:00 pm. (One could argue that it is futile to "send a message" to the chronically illiterate administration, still... it's the thought that counts.)
3. Low-Ball: The official government estimate has it that America is home to 754 thousand homeless people. (Millions of dollars are paid to assorted 'consultants' puzzling away in their think tanks trying to solve the problem of homelessness. Why not simply use the money instead to pay for housing?).
4. Dodge-Ball: Legislative leaders announced that they have agreed to create a "rainy day" fund with a one-time suspension of corporate kicker refunds. That way they don't have to send the question to voters. The deal also increases the corporate minimum tax - $10 currently - based on a sliding scale. The scale slides all the way from $50 thousand dollars down to the "PGE Special", $25 dollars.
5. McMenamined: Ethos Music Center - the place to go if you are a poor kid who loves music - bought an 84-year-old building, couldn't find the money for the renovations needed and the building wound up as another real estate windfall for McMenamins. Which raises the question, why didn't McMenamins donate the money to renovate the building and call it a good deed well done?
6. Let Them Eat Cake... Until The Cake Runs Out: Six Portland community centers have been granted a fund-jerking reprieve - for now.
7. Four of Portland's firefighters now are equipped with lifesaving equipment for pets. It should be notable that Americans spend vast fortunes on food, clothing, massage, acupuncture and medical care for their pets. It should be alarming that there are a quarter of a million people in this country who don't even have a roof over their heads. If there is a "god", It must be busy elsewhere fighting alongside US soldiers in Iraq...
8. Certificate of Incomprehensible Mystery: Only 31 percent of Oregon's students earned the much-lauded CIM or Certificate of Initial Mastery. Leave no child in a bind, I always say... .
9. Double Down: Voters may get the chance to weigh in on the dubious "double-majority". Democrats say it leaves too much power in the hands of those who don't vote. Republicans love it because their base is opposed funding anything but the private sector, the Haves and the Have More's...
10. Praying For Money: Bush's faith-based initiatives are up before Bush's faith-based Supreme Court.
11. Three (Health) Card Monte: Bush's health insurance proposal is a burn. What it amounts to is a huge tax increase because, for the first time, the cost of an insurance policy would be treated as taxable income. Think about the implications for a moment, if you will...
12. Democrats want to hear what the eight-and-counting US attorneys have to say about the political witch-hunt that cost them their jobs.
13. "Saigon... I'm Still Only In Saigon... ": An elite team of officers advising the US commander in Iraq, General David Petaeus (Rhymes with 'Betray us'... unfortunately), has concluded that they have six months to win something - anything, a box of cracker Jacks would do nicely, at this point - or face a Vietnam-style rout.
14. Former prisoner of war, torture victim and all-round Post Traumatically Stress Dirordered guy, John McCain chose to 'pre-announce' his candidacy on Letterman last night. (He could have done the Simpsons, but his voice just isn't that recognizable. Duh'ooh)
15. Markets opened bottoms up this morning.
16. The Ohio River could be on fire by the time you read this... .a barge dumped close to one million gallons of a highly flammable benzene compound into its waters. But don't worry. The stuff's odorless... .
17. Whale of An Oil Sale: Whalers and Alaskans are trying to block an offshore oil and gas lease sale. Residents say that the dirty deal will threaten Arctic marine life - what's left of it... (What? And whalers don't?)
18. Rendered Unto Caesar: The Washington Post came out with a nerve-wracking, gut-wrencher of an article about America's secret 'Black Sites', those holes into which the Bush administration deposits inconvenient people in the hope that they will never be heard from again.
19. More car bombs all over Baghdad. ("Saigon... I'm Still Only In Saigon... )
20. Potluck: Malliki has sent out the invitations to the US and other Middle Eastern power brokers...
21. In Cairo, the trial of a man accused of spying for the Israeli Mossad has resumed. (His lawyers should have asked for a change of venue... at the very least.)
22. In Italy, Romano Prodi is back on top.
23. Many Unhappy Returns: Senegal's opposition parties have soundly rejected the results of the recent election, which "returned" the president to office.
24. Hanging Chad: Chad has rejected the United Nation's offer of a military force. Apparently the government has seen the UN at work in Sudan...
25. Rebuffed in its ardent pursuit of Chad, the UN has turned its attention to the shadowy world of prescription drugs (But don't we all from time to time... )
26. An Italian grandmother found a hand grenade in a sack of potatoes. (That's the difference between Italy and Iraq: In Iraq, you're fortunate if you find a potato in a sack of grenades... )