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0331 am 'Get This' news

Commentary on the KBOO am news for Monday, March 31st, 2008.
!%@$#&: Russia to Iran: Watch out! The Americans are coming!
Chris Andreae

1. Condominimum Wage: : Union carpenters are picketing the North Mississippi Lofts. But really, whether you represent Labor or Management, when you consider buying a substandard, scab-made condo you've got to ask yourself, 'Do I feel lucky?'
2. The otherwise charming - albeit slighted strip-malled - Oregon hamlet, Wilhemina is scrapping the idea of declaring itself, "illegal alien free." Welcome to the 21st Century, Wilhemina - Now go home...
3. Bill Clinton was in Oregon scouting for new interns now that his wife is on the road so much.
4. 'I Remember When All of This Used to Be Green': Oregon's Primary is seven weeks away and the Sierra Club is amping-up its 'Power to Change' campaign. Presidential candidates have hedged their bets when it comes to global warming and What To Do. But then presidential candidates haven't had to face angry mobs of environmentalists who have fought the good fight from the tops of trees to the 9th Circuit Court. Funny thing about the state: Oregonians don't talk much about climate change, preferring instead to complain about the weather, but a great many people actually take steps to lower the Heat. Meanwhile in Salem, Senators and Representatives show up for photo-ops with Mt. Hood glistening in the background, but in fact are selling the state to the highest bidder. This is called 'Green Development' some places, 'Greenwashing' in others. And 'Greenscare' when one puts one's life on the line for the life of the planet.
5. The new 'Welcome Center' in Ashland isn't exactly... Well... welcome in Ashland.
6. The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is open. (I'm all for preserving wild lands... But let's parse this 'Refuge' business: What kind of a species have we become that we are now obliged to create a 'refuge' for all the other species we have imperiled because if we don't we risk extinction ourselves? ... I'm just asking... )
7. No less a Temple of Learning than Oregon's own OSU is taking up the torch in renewed - I'm not exactly saying panicky, but close, very close - efforts to figure out this head-scratcher: Why are all the bees dying off leaving many crops to - you should pardon the expression - 'go fuck themselves'? And of course you find what you go looking for; Pointy heads across the nation are struggling to come up with bee-related teleology.. Whereas the real answer lies in the same habitat degradation dilemma that prompts us to provide a "refuge" for the creatures we have endangered. "It's the environment, Stupid".
8. Pray for Healthcare Insurance: Until the latest faith-healing death of an Oregon City girl this month, members of the Followers of Christ Church have only lost one child to sickness (Actually, it was the rapturously crazy parents that caused the kid to pop it's clogs, but I digress... ). Since 1999, Oregon has passed laws against parents who would rather pray than pay for their children's medical care.
9. Bush League: When George Bush showed up to throw the inaugural pitch at DC's new Nationals Park he was loudly booed off the field. That's not how the midstream media news called it, but that's what the live audio sounded like...
10. And then it was on to the Eastern Europe for the Boy Wonder. Bush left town this morning admonishing Congress to pass housing legislation, the Colombian Free Trade, mess and the tangled mass of slimy subterranean flying shitsnakes that is his domestic surveillance law.
11. How broke-ass are we As A Nation? Here's how: The Air Force is using coal to power its fighter jets. (Liquefied coal actually. But take heart; I, too, enjoyed the mental image: "Shovel faster, Zeke! We're twenty seconds away from our target!")
12. Rocky Road Home: A private contracting company is under investigation for the compensation it received from the federal government to run the Road Home grant program which was supposed to assist Katrina refugees rebuild. And that's what ICF of Fairfax, Virginia did. Now - of course - the company wants New Orleans people to give the money it spent on construction back. Wha??? Let's see, the government (FEMA) gets a huge pile of money, hires a contractor to disperse the funds in the form of buildings, then bulldozes people's homes and asks for the money back... I can see where this is going...
13. And there's more... The professional organization for engineers who build the nation's roads, bridges and dams has been accused by fellow engineers of covering up catastrophic design flaw "while investigating national disasters. Yes, that's right the American Society of Civil Engineers was paid to investigate and did the exact opposite. It's a little like asking your cat to "investigate" a pile of its own shit. In fact almost exactly like that...
14. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson resigned to day. Didn't give a reason. But then this latest Bush crony to get tangled up in his own web has so many strings attacked when he comes undone the results will reach to the moon and back.
15. The EPA wants to exempt factory farms from reporting hazardous waste emissions. (I'm not making this up.)
16. The National Parks Service was all ready to go with its Plans for the Park when the Nasty Bits surfaced: The {Parks Service Yosemite development failed to take into Account the damage the plans would cause to the environment. (Somebody call the EPA; I'm fairly sure they can over ride environmental stewardship and get this bun back in the oven...
17. Bush is out to woo NATO into fighting his war in Afghanistan. At first it was fun and interesting for George. He could watch it on TV and learn new facts about a chunk of real estate he had never even known existed, squatting as it does, there in the dust on the other side of the world, somewhere between that Evil Iran and that Un-evil Pakistan. Almost like it was asking to be "robustly" bombed by American fighter jets flying high on ... coal. .But now the coally embers have cooled and still These People insist on Afghanistan for Afghanis - in the quaint, traditional way they did with the British (Not once but twice) and the Russians (Bringing about the collapse of the Soviet Union). And George is bored. Time to hand the whole shitarree over to NATO; Maybe they'll know what to do...
18. Moqtada al-Sadr has ordered his followers off the street, so Baghdad and Basra are a good deal calmer today. (Proving once again that any "peace" that's ever going to happen in Iraq is going to be the result of Iraqi efforts and not Bush's Surge... )
19. Russian intelligence reporting in: American invasion forces are massing along the Iranian border. It won't be long now...
20. Israel is planning to build 600 new apartments in East Jerusalem in the neighborhood that is in fact, precisely where Palestinians planned their future capital. (Couldn't have worked out better foe the Israelis if they had the EPA working with them... )
21. And finally: 'al-Qasual' comes to "global terrorism"! From now on al-Qaeda wants its members to dress 'more Western.' So if you're on a plane and the guy in the next seat over tried to light his cowboys boots on fire, that would be your first clue something wasn't right. On the bright side, sales of chaps in Waziristan are way up. (