0731 am 'Get This' news
07/31/07 Get This
- The Big One That Got Away: The Oregon Natural Resources Committee is holding hearings today on Cheney’s role in the Klamath River salmon kill. The VP personally took an interest in the Fate of the State and made sure that farmers got their water. Cheney himself declined to attend the hearings….Too busy tangled in another kind of net altogether, I imagine…
- Dawn of the Dead: For a sixth years now, the Dead Zone off the Oregon coast is back – bigger and deader than ever. For a while this summer it seemed to be dissipating. Now OSU scientists think it may be a permanent artifact of climate change. (Picture the tour boats taking visitors out to view a sea without seafood. They can eat hamburgers and toss the wrapping over board.
- Funkytown: Nike is going to pay $7.6 million dollars for the privilege of not admitting to racist policies inflicted on employees at Chicago’s Niketown store. (And now let’s get back to that fascinating dog fight we were watching when we were so rudely interrupted by a discrimination lawsuit….)
- The Guv signed a bill requiring Oregon’s fat little kids to go to gym class.
- And then he signed another. Kulongoski signed a bill last week that makes it easier for workers to organize unions and receive benefits.. Labor won the right for public-sector workers to form new unions under the state’s collective bargaining law simply by signing cards, rather than holding elections. Homecare and foster care employees and employers got a little as well.
- Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire and Where There’s Fire There’s People: Fires in Oregon are cooling off a bit. Some of them have been burning since the beginning of the month. It’s been great for small business in fire-stricken parts of the state. They’re selling diesel and Gatorade like there was no tomorrow. And there might not be if we don’t get serious about limiting the consumption of natural resources. There is a cascade of events flowing from every new set of footprints on the ground.
- A Republican lawyer in California has cooked up a proposal that – if it gets past the voters – is going to hand a majority of the state’s 55 electoral votes to the Right. Instead of all 55 going to the statewide winner, the scheme would mean the statewide winner get two votes and the rest are distributed to the winning candidate in each of California’s congressional districts. Confusing, no? That’s the whole idea: Voters are going to be told that it’s the only way “their voices will be heard.”
- Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts had an ‘idiopathic seizure’ yesterday. He’s 52 years old. And he was on vacation.
- ‘It was a dark and stormy contest’: This year’s winner of this year’s Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for terrible writing. Jim Gleeson of Madison, Wisconsin credits his time spent in college for his “gift.”
- Hubris is its Own Reward Dept.: While evidence of Alberto Gonzales’s mendacious ways continues to mount, Bush is pressuring Congress to pass more of the same. Yes. Even as the AG digs himself ever deeper into the illegal domestic spying mire, the president wants lawmakers to reconfigure the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to jibe with illegal activity that is already well under way…(And we’re worried about corruption in Iraq?)
- History is its Own Punishment Dept: Gonzales’s apparent willingness to dissemble in order to protect himself and the president (although this should be interesting: Will Dirty Al’s allegiance to his master trump his own self-interest in this current imbroglio?) goes all the way back to 1996. That’s when he intervened to prevent then-Governor Bush from serving jury duty in Texas. By not serving on this jury in particular drunk driving case, Bush was able to keep his own DUII conviction secret for several more years. (Not that the media has shown the slightest interest in airing the Commander In Chief’s alcoholic indiscretions, despite their intrinsic entertainment value…)
- Connecting those dots leads us right to the lip of the laptop of Robert Novak, Voice of Both Sides of the Right Wing’s Mealy Mouth. Novak says that Cheney is pretty much personally going to send US Special (And how!) Forces to help Turkey attack the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which is currently fucking up America’s plan to occupy the oil fields of Northern Iraq, leaving the rest of the country to seethe in its own separate hell. This is what the VP is pleased to call ‘Energy Policy’…
- Fore! Senators have got the heebie-jeebies about yet another Bush appointee. While you weren’t looking, confirmation hearings got underway for Henrietta Holsman-Fore to serve as Deputy Secretary of State and head of USAID. Fore distinguished herself not long ago by suggesting that Latinos were “lazy” and that black employees at a factory she owned “would rather deal drugs than work” (I know I would.)
- Bush nominee Number Two for the week, Michael Mullen is up for the Joint Chief of Staff position in the Bush war machine. Mullen is a Company Man all the way. He figures this Iraq situation is going to take “years” to sort out.
- Gordon Brown figures that he and George Bush share the same values.
- Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About: Condoleeza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are on a whirlwind tour of the Middles East (It doesn’t take very much time to explain the American point of view to horrified representatives of our tutelary Arab “allies.”) The two American tourists admitted that they failed to impress with their down-home brand of diplomacy, so instead did what they do best and turned the whole thing into a sales call, offering Arab leaders all manner of weaponry for a price. Beats talking about peace in the region any day….
- “Having a wonderful time! Wish you weren’t here…”: The Iraqi parliament for the most part is on summer holiday.
- In Britain, as appeals court says it is perfectly okay to go ahead and air some American dirty drawers.
- Children are suffering horribly in Iraq. The ones who are still alive, anyway. The rest of them are safely dead and beyond the reach of “democracy.”
- Germany: “No more ransom for kidnap victims!” (It just encourages the kidnappers.)
- A record-breaking 180 African immigrants reached the Canary Islands in a single gigantic ocean-going canoe.
- China’s massive Three Rivers Dam is showing some unnerving signs of stress, what with the flooding and all. (Irony: When the dam was built hundred of villages up-stream were wiped out, inundated. Now it’s, ‘Heads Up! downstream villagers….)
- More flooding in Sudan. And the market in gigantic, sea-going canoes is way up. The world’s poor are feeling the pressure of climate change and responding accordingly.