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0318 am 'Get This' news

Commentary on the KBOO am news for Tuesday, March 18th, 2008.
Get This: The ACLU and Brandon Mayfield aren't going to let the USA Patriot Act lie...
Chris Andreae

1. So David and Goliath Walk Into A Courtroom... Oregon's own ACLU has filed an amicus curiae (Or as the Dumbing of America refers to this legal instrument, ' friend-of-the-court') brief in a lawsuit filed by Brandon Mayfield against the federal government. The idea is to persuade the appeals court to strike down part of the USA Patriot Act. This ought to be a no-brainer since the Act itself vitiates one's constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure - Of course, as George Bush says, 'The Constitution? Only a piece of paper.
2. The Supreme Court handed Microsoft a big steaming plateful of defeat. The Supremes refused to rule on Big Bill's demand to halt another antitrust suit.
3. The Binds That Tie Up Campaigns: Greg Walden, salivating over his projected run for the governor's seat in 2010 perhaps, has to clean up a few money spills first. Notably: Chris Ward the National Republican Campaign Committee treasurer who was fired in January for embezzling an unknown, but presumably substantial amount of money over the years. Think of it as the Dark Matter in the GOP universe.
4. Dirty Pool: The National Marine Fisheries Service has opened the flood gates and the expected sea lion slaughter at Bonneville Dam is on. Never mind the fact that dams in general are a major cause of declining fish populations... Never mind the fact that the river itself is so contaminated with industrial chemicals that it's unsafe for humans to swim in... Never mind the fact that most of the water gets redirected to massive agribusiness endeavors... Never mind the fact that the ocean habitat is irreversibly becoming hostile to marine life of all kinds. Never mind the fact that sea lions and salmon have been coexisting for as long as both have been here... Never mind... .
5. But in Washington, more water is flowing down the North Fork of the Skokomish River these days. Electricity in Tacoma will cost more - hydroelectric, y'know - but it's a small price to pay when you consider that the fish have been paying with their lives for your 'life-style' ever since you bought all those zany appliances back in the fifties.
6. There's PCBs in the smallmouth bass taken around Bradford Island in the Columbia River. (Probably plenty of other drugs as well - but the others are "family-friendly" and at the worst will only cause mild hallucinations.)
7. The Feds arrested more than 25 people over the weekend in a vast investigation of "high-end" cockfighting ("High-end" cockfighting?). (Prediction: someone will almost certainly come forward to defend the blood sport by claiming that it is "traditional". Bet on it... )
8. Oregon got a $500 thousand dollar grant to pay state agencies and non-profits to counsel people who are losing their homes to foreclosure. In other words, a bunch of upwardly mobile middle management/counselor types are going to instantly guzzle the paltry funds. $500 thousand? That's what some of their houses cost...
9. Portland cyclists got their 'bike boxes'. And the homeless are still being swept from the streets like so much flotsam and jetsam. Yes, it is wrong to run over a person on a bicycle, but every time we preen our civic image, money seeps gradually upward. Will someone please treat the homeless like human beings? If we can't provide housing, we can at the very least put the "public" back into "public space."
10. Welcome To Cosco: The pilot (And in this case I use the term very loosely) of the Cosco Busan is looking at 18 months in jail (Maybe) and a $100 thousand dollar fine (Perhaps). Compare and contrast Captain Cota's sentence for immeasurable, irreparable long term damage to the environment with the sentences handed down to the various 'Greenscare'/ELF defendants ... .That's what I'm talking about here today...
11. Nacchios Grande: A federal appeals court in Denver ordered a new trial for former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio. Apparently the trial judge excluded expert testimony and classified information "important to Nacchio's defense" - And How! This is the biggest insider trading prosecution in the nation.
12. The Supreme Court, guns, Dick Cheney and George Bush: Like 'Wired' - only without the great drugs...
13. New York Governor David Paterson was sworn in yesterday.
14. 'Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out: It has come to the attention of money managers and investment bankers that somewhere far, far down below the corner office windows, on the streets and out in America's desolate, forsaken industrial cities, that the whole manufacturing foundation of the country has been cannibalized by the capital structure it formerly created.
15. Don't-Over: Florida Democrats have spared the nation the prospect of the hilarious sitcom-worthy spectacle of a do-over presidential primary.
16. It's been a wild week in Iraq - and today's only Tuesday. A bomb blast in Karbala killed 43 people yesterday. Subcommandante, Dick "Dick" Cheney is in Baghdad, specifically, he in the Green Zone enjoying all the comforts of home in a bomb-free, luxury military setting... sort of a very high-end adventure camp for wealthy warlords. John McCain is 'in-country' as well, no doubt to celebrate the My Lai Massacre amongst His Own Kind on either side of the old water trough (Cue: 'I've looked at love from both sides now.')
17. Seven out of ten Iraqis want American occupation forces to leave (And I believe we killed the other three... ).
18. And even more Iraqis are seeking asylum - though perhaps not in a country where they are likely to be tortured, such as the US...
19. Full Steam Ahead And Dam The Torpedos: Israel's milquetoast warlord, Ehud Olmert says his occupation forces are going to continue expanding settlements... After all, that's what his American Friends are for...
20. The Dalai Lama says he is going to resign if China's terror campaign against Tibetans continues.
21. NATO troops are securing northern Kosovo today after Serbian riots scared the pants off United Nations employees recently.
22. Hot Hot Hot: Glaciers that used to melt about one foot a year are now vanishing at a rate of ten feet per annum.