1. Look out Ruth Reich!: Here comes Oregon’s state review of prison food. Basically, the cuisine is acceptable; it’s the ambiance and the service that really suck.
2. Shoot First, Pay For It Later: Our newly militarized police force is starting to cost us. The family of Jason Porter has launched a $4 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Springfield and the policeman who shot their unarmed, 15 year-old son in the face after a car chase.
3. ‘Ich bin ein Angleno’: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told the National Association of Hispanic Journalists that if Hispanic kids want to learn English faster, they should watch more English language TV.
4. The human rights, civil rights and the progressive community joined with Hispanic leaders yesterday to raise one, united voice of outrage at the immigration raids this week. The fallout from the roundup has occupied everyone’s attention up until yesterday’s press conference at the Mexican embassy. Meanwhile, parents and children search for one another in a wasteland of paperwork and legal barbed wire.
5. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon smith offered up their financial disclosure statements on the altar of public scrutiny yesterday. And, Lo! There seemed to be nothing amiss.
6. Textbook Bill: The thing about higher education is the higher price of the books. Students at colleges and universities have been crushed by the cost of their books for years. What Governor Kulongoski is going to do about it is to sign a bill that partially puts the damper on the amoral greed driving companies to exploit a captive market.
7. This is what Measure 37 Looks Like: In Marion County, commissioners ignored their own planning code as well as the scientific review when they approved a 42 house subdivision in a limited groundwater area. Neighbors are already having trouble with their wells and the ground is barely broken on this latest of Oregon’s burgeoning sprawl of rural slums.
8. And now it’s on to the Haditha Massacre. Lance Corporal – and psychopath-in-training – Justin Sharratt told a military court that he thought the three people he murdered in cold blood were insurgents. His statement is unsworn so there won’t be any cross examination. (See, this is what you learn in the military; impeccable moral character and the courage to tell the truth…Then when you get out of the military, you apply what you’ve learned to civilian life…with predictable consequences.)
9. Alberto Gonzales: What can one say really about this guy??? Here’s what: Gonzales has gone and used an interim appointment authority procedure that is already banned by Congress. The ‘Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act’ was passed and sent to the president to be signed on June 4th. Bush has yet to sign it (Tennis elbow?). If the Act is not signed or vetoed in ten days, it expires. That would be…let’s see, yesterday…Stay with me here: The main thing the Act does – make that ‘would have done’ – is overturn a GOP stealth measure that allowed the AG to appoint US Attorneys on an interim basis with congressional confirmation. So Gonzales plans to appoint George Cardona as an interim US Attorney when his stint as Acting attorney runs out…wait for it…tomorrow. We could have stopped all this back in 2000 but the hogs are in the kitchen now…
10. The Supreme Court has ruled against public sector labor unions. (Pure failure on the part of Grover Norquist: There wasn’t supposed to be a ‘public sector’ at this stage in the program…)
11. Bush is trying on his old cheerleader costume for this new $4 billion dollar (Helloooo, contractors!) border patrol proposal intended to sweeten his immigration bill. (At last! We find out whether or not Republicans swallow…)
12. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell say they ‘envision’ a vote on this compromise immigration bill before the rockets’ red glare on July 4th. (‘Envision’? Don’t these people know not to mix hallucinogens and fireworks unless you really know what you’re doing…some of us do.)
13. Massachusetts has rejected a same-sex marriage referendum. (How about a ‘same-marriage sex referendum’ making it legal to have sex with other people while remaining in the same marriage? It’s just a thought…)
14. A federal judge has finally convicted Klansman James Ford Seale of kidnapping and conspiracy in the 1964 deaths of two black teenagers in southwest Mississippi. (“But everybody knows about Mississippi goddamn” as Nina Simone sings…)
15. Hamas is in control of Gaza, Fatah is control of the West Bank…(Where’s Ban Ky Moon? Where’s the Security Council? Where’s Condoleeza Rice? Ahhhh, yes, of course, celebrating the death of Palestine with the Israeli government in Tel Aviv. When the world’s heavy weights said they were after a ‘two state solution’, little did we know what they were really talking about….)
16. IAEA chief Mohammed al-Baradei says that an attack on Iran would be “madness” (Since when has “madness ever stopped the Bush administration? Of course it’s “madness”, that’s the whole idea…)
17. There’s a new medical school opening in Cuba. A great many of the students are from Bolivia and many of those are indigenous people…
18. Venezuela is buying itself some submarines from Russia. This, just days before George takes Vladimir home to meet his parents in Kennebunkport. . (Barbara to Vladimir: “George Sr. and I just hope you will be able to support our little boy in the manner to which he has become accustomed…”)
19. Striking civil servants and their supporters have shut down most of South Africa’s major cities.
20. Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern was elected for a record third term in succession yesterday.
21. Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo have arrested two soldiers suspected of killing a journalist working with Radio Okapi. The station was set up to aid the peace process in the wake of the 1998-2003 war.
22. Iran, Iraq and the US are planning to meet “again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but they’ll meet again some sunny day…”
23. In Oaxaca yesterday, marchers turned out to commemorate last year’s uprising which, for all intents and purposes, is still on the rise.