1204 am 'Get This' news
Summary of the KBOO am news for Tuesday, December 4th, 2007.
12/04/07 Get This
1. The Yamhill River is forecast to rise above flood stage this morning. The river is expected to crest at over fifty feet by mid-day. (And paramedics are standing by to fish gawkers out of the very waters they went out to watch. Yes, sad but true, there are a lot of people out there who have nothing better to do than watch water and have never heard a 'warning' they could resist.)
2. Storm number Two is due to hit the coast this morning.
3. But at least w can still drive to Salem or even California, should the spirit move us... In Washington the main I-5 corridor between Portland and Seattle was closed due to flooding. Want to go to Seattle yesterday? You've got to fly (Also time travel... )
4. Hundreds of thousands of legal foreign workers are in trouble. But then so is the whole country because a lot of these temporary worker visa people are neither here nor there. Leaving huge shortages in areas like nursing - especially nursing. and don't even get started on agriculture. Farmers across the country haven't been able to field (No pun intended) enough people to pick their crops - which is really saying something since the advent of agribusiness which has wiped out most farm labor jobs more or less permanently.
5. Manufacturers downstate along the South Coast have formed a coalition to up the volume of their collective voices. No one wants the closure of the Coos Bay rail line. But we don't live in the 'rail' world any longer. Around the turn of the century before last there was a push to get people to drive more, train less, because America was heading snout-first down the slippery oil dependency slope. We are still heading down the same slope only with far less oil to 'grease the skids'. Trains are looking better all the time. But not to an administration with its tiny, piggy eyes squeezed shut and its fingers in its ears.
6. Washington State Democrat Jim McDermott is facing fines and penalties topping out at around $800 thousand dollars for allegedly leaking an illegally taped phone call ten years ago. (If he had only waited until 2001 he could have pulled this shit with complete impunity... )
7. In Oregon's senate race for Gordon Smith's seat, it's Jeff Merkley versus Steve Novick. Novick's got the balls but Merkley's got the bells and whistles, courtesy of cringing Democratic political machinery. Why is the Democratic Party so afraid of representing its own members? Follow the money.
8. Wasted Dreams Committee: Earl Blumenaur is the Ways and Means Committee. As such, he has the clout to get things done. But, Earl, we don't seem to be getting enough bang for the buck. (How did this happen? "Bipartisan" : You that like it's a Good Thing. If it really were the Yellow Brick Road, then we would all be the lieges of the Wizard and there would not be a two-or-more party system. We would all make a "bipartisan" choice and that would be it. Maybe it already is... )
9. The National Guard just wants to clear up a few misconceptions here: Oregon's 41st Brigade Combat Team isn't really going to Iraq to "kick camel jockey ass" as some perhaps understood the mission to amount to. No! Nope! The Guardsmen are going to provide "route security" - just like Blackwater, eh?
10. The Annapolis Summit: It's Soooo last week. On Monday, Ehud Olmert said he would not abide by the terms laid out at Bush's Million Dollar Bash last week. And now the Bush administration has withdrawn a resolution it presented to the UN Security Council endorsing the re-launch of Middle East peace talks that he had all assembled had agreed to last week. (But as the rest of the world knew all along, it was nothing but PR and cheap photo ops all along... )
11. And if that isn't enough to make you kiss your democratic ass Good-bye, then say Hello to... ... .Paul Wolfowitz! Yes, Bankman is Baaaaack. Leaner, meaner and crazier than ever, Wolfie is going to chair the International Security Advisory Board. Oh, yes. Chairman of the Board Wolfowitz is all about "International Security"...
12. Time Is Money: The National debt is growing by about $1.4 billion dollars a day - put another way, that's $1 million dollars a minute. ... There! See that? Another million pissed away.
13. Mychal Bell, one of the central figures in the Jena Six "legal lynching" has pleaded guilty to the charge of battery. He accepted a dubious deal and plead out to get the whole nightmare over with. (And the school cut down thee tree, so the white students can bask in triumphant melanoma... )
14. In California, Republican operatives with ties to Rudy Giuliani are trying to get an initiative on the June 2008 ballot which would change the way electoral college votes are allocated - in California, this means 'from Democrat to Republican'. It's got Karl Rove's greasy little fingerprints all over it. And signature gatherers have already been popped for egregiously fraudulent con games. (It's complicated and you can get all the details of the scam on line at www.californiaprogressreport.com as well as a torrent of blogs too numerous to list here)
15. Forty Million People Can't Be Wrong: That's right: Forty million people don't have "health insurance... .But then none of us need that. What we all need is decent healthcare.
16. The FDA is underfunded and uninformed and you take your life in your hands every time you bite into a sandwich. But for the AMA, the pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance companies, the FDA is so bad, it's good...
17. Life In The Cow-Pool Lane: Ever since we started using all our food crops for fuel instead of for food, food has been getting more expensive. Milk and gas, about the same price. (It's going to be cheaper to ride cows any day now - or not as the case may be. In the future, you'll have to check the Dow Jones Averages before leaving the house in order to decide whether to drive or take the cow.)
18. In Hawaii, protestors are getting ready to send the Superferry back to Disneyland.
19. The Phoenix police department wants to round up undocumented people and deport them for civil traffic violations.
20. What The Matter Is With Kansas: A new amphibious drug problem is ravaging Kansas and points South. For years people had been experimenting with "toad licking". Turns out that was just the gateway high, so to speak. The real bang is smoking extracted venom. But first you have to get the toad really angry. Which should be easy - you just lick it.
21. The latest National Intelligence Estimate says that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. The administration dodged that bullet by explaining that its "tough talk" was working. (Israel, on the other hand, claimed that Iran had just got to have a nuclear weapons program because otherwise how was it going to justify Israel's planned attack on Natanz?)
22. Iran had another take on this. At the annual meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Doha, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered to sign a security pact with the GCC and also volunteered that Iran was ready for any "eventuality" (See previous story for details... )
23. Iraq wants the US to know that if private security forces pull any more snuffs on Iraqi soil, they are going to be arrested. (And sent to Gitmo? It would be poetic justice of a sort... )
24. The Bush administration says that Iraq hasn't made enough progress toward managing their security forces. (Well you try "managing your security forces when we have been invaded and occupied a the biggest, dumbest, most violent, vicious, evangelical military superpower the world has ever seen... You think this is easy?)
25. The EU has joined the US in asking Russia for a peek at those Putin landslide election results. (I understand that the Europeans are merely curious about what happened. While the Americans are interested in learning some new techniques to be deployed in 2008... )
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