12/07/07 Get This
1. Dial 1-CIA-VER-IZON: Verizon customers, finally, the Public Utilities Commission is going to take a listen to what Verizon has been listening to - which is you. Prompted by the ACLU, the PUC is going to investigate the huge telecommunications company has been handing your telecommunications over to the Bush administration.
2. They'll Leave a Light On For You!: A lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco alleges that PacifiCorp's hydroelectric dams along the Klamath River are producing hazardous waste harmful to salmon - people, too. But aren't assorted cancers a small price to pay for all that pulsing electricity? It keeps us humming along... right over the Edge.
3. FEMA: They'll Leave a Light On For You!: The high altitude band of climate that circles the earth at the equator has expanded to the size it was expected to reach by the end of the century not the beginning. What does this mean? More killer storms like the last one in these parts and drought in the Southwest. What about the Weather Refugees? No problem! The Bush administration has the internment camps just about ready to open for business.
4. The Army Corps of engineers is rethinking its war on the Bridgeton Levee trees. Turns out that it's the trees that are preventing the Levee from collapsing on your Chevy and letting the Columbia River swap the airport. So the trees stay after all. (This is the first the Corps has heard about roots, soil, all that messy stuff holding the top layer of the earth to its inside bits... )
5. Portland - like Winnie the Pooh - has its own 'Hundred Acre Woods' and it is going to be allowed to keep it.
6. A divided Washington State Public Disclosure Commission has dismissed potentially damaging campaign finance complaints against Republican gubernatorial challenger Dino Rossi. (It's something called critical mass: Republicans has accrued so much corruption both financial and sexual in nature, that the charges against Rossi - although entirely provable - are sliding straight off. But don't worry: He'll be picking up more on his way to Olympia... )
7. Tuition at Oregon State's public universities is an immigration issue. But then what isn't? This is, after all, a nation of immigrants.
8. Sloppy Seconds: Used to be that if the police kicked your door in while pursuing a suspect and that individual was not "home" at the time but you and a few close friends were there, the police could run background checks on anyone who happened to be there to see if there wasn't someone, anyone they could pick up. ("Hate to make you come all the way out here for nothing, Officer... ")
9. The CIA destroyed videotapes of interrogations. 'Why?', you might well ask... Well, because the Agency was concerned that disclosure of exactly who was involved in said "interrogations" might pose a security risk." (And outing undercover operative Valerie Plame's identity, that wasn't a "security risk"? I guess it depends on whose security we're talking about here... )
10. Congress and Bush are never going to agree on what constitutes torture. But they know it when they see it, which is why that videotape got zortched...
11. Only a tiny fraction of greedy idiots are going to benefit from Bush's vaunted interest rate freeze. Bush, on the other hand, is going to make out like the PR bandit he and his cronies are.
12. Democrats are still trying to tax the wealthy without the wealthy knowing it. The right thing to do is abolish the vile Alternative minimum and return to the truly progressive system that kept the nation on an even keel until the NeoCons took over and fleeced the middle and lower classes. This administration isn't going to give an inch on the Tax Thing - it's the only semblance of "policy" it has got...
13. Chrysler is going to ax more well paid jobs.
14. Wrongway Peachfuzz Strikes Again: In San Francisco, the Board of Pilot Commissioners has formally charged the captain of the Cosco Busan with misconduct. For the record, Captain John Cota blamed faulty radar for the smash-up that inundated the San Francisco Bay with oil. You have to wonder if radar is really the problem if you are at the helm of an enormous tanker that is about the hit the enormous Bay Bridge.
15. South Korea has its own huge oil spill to contend with as of last night. This one 66 thousand barrels of crude got dumped in a marine area that is a major stopover for migrating birds. (You'd think that with so much oil traveling around the world, these kinds of problems would have been worked out by now... )
16. In Nigeria, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND!) tells it Like It Is: Mend says that the "peace ceremony" to end violence against oil companies in the Niger Delta, is a "stage-managed play which would make a bad B-grade movie" and that those who participated are "rent-a-militants." (Give that man the 'Annapolis' Award of the Day!)
17. Opec rules out an increase in output. (Maybe Opec should shut off the tap until the rest of the world figures out how to get oil from A to B without spilling it all over the C.)
18. Fashionista!: Salim Ahmed Hamdan - Osama bin Laden's driver - was called as a witness at a Gitmo hearing this week. His crime? Wasn't wearing a uniform, therefore he can't call himself a 'lawful combatant', which makes him an 'unlawful combatant'. (It was pointed out to the prosecution that some Afghan troops under US command didn't wear uniforms either... And I'd wager that the Blackwater guys weren't wearing uniforms when they murdered all those civilians... Unless you consider wrap-around mirror sunglasses, tats, flak jacket, and a Lynard Skynard T-shirt a "uniform.")
19. A female suicide bomber made liars out of administration officials who have been saying that Baghdad is less violent than ever before...
20. The Red Cross visited detainees being held in Iraq. (Good thing they're in prison and probably haven't heard what the Red Cross did and didn't do around the Katrina fiasco - on the other hand, vast sums of money simply disappearing is something Iraq is painfully aware of... )
21. Look out, Africa! Here comes Free Trade. (Which explains why the US is militarizing AfriCom.)
22. The US says its European allies are on board with more sanctions on Iran.
23. Russia says, Not so fast, US.
24. Seventy mine workers in China were blown to smithereens - again.
25. And an iron ore tanker - crew and all - got sucked down by a gigantic whirlpool off the coast of Taiwan. (At least no oil was spilled... )