Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, December 7, 2007

In Brief - December 7th, 2007

Here is today's quick news digest:

In the Pacific Northwest
  • Darcy Burner's campaign has announced free lead screenings for toys parents aren't quite sure about. The testing events will happen next weekend (Saturday the 15th and December the 16th) ; at many different locations in the 8th Congressional District between Puyallup and Redmond.
  • Traffic is now moving through a formerly flooded stretch of Interstate 5 near Centralia, but Lewis County is only beginning to recover from the storm's beating. (Learn how you can contribute to disaster recovery efforts). Things aren't much better on the coast, where many are still without power. However, Amtrak has resumed service between Seattle and Eugene - trains began running again yesterday.
  • A new poll of Oregonians shows that health care is an important concern. Whether the predictable results of the poll register with anyone in D.C. who's not in the pocket of the health insurance lobby remains to be seen.
Across the Nation
  • Thanks to the efforts of Representative Jay Inslee and others, the New Apollo Initiative is rolling forward. Yesterday afternoon, Congress passed HR 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act (235-181), which, among other things, raises CAFE standards to 35 mpg by 2020, and yanks about $20 billion in subsidies from under the well-heeled feet of large oil corporations. The White House's Resident Decider, though, has threatened a veto, should the Senate's version pass. Shocking.
  • Senator Maria Cantwell remains undaunted by Republican stonewalling of the farm bill that is working its way through the Senate. She has offered a common sense amendment that helps not just her own constituents but people all across America. Common sense and facts never seem to play well with Republicans, though. Not if they don't fit into right wing frames.
  • Everybody knows how important Ohio will be to winning the White House in 2008 - but we have a chance this month to win a special election in Ohio's 5th District with Robin Weirauch. Visit her website to learn more about her campaign. We're $ure there'$ $something you can do to help.
Around the World
  • Great news for China's auto industry, but not great news for the planet: China's new auto boom will add more cars to an already too-crowded nation. Unfortunately, we can't point fingers, because the United States hasn't embraced the environmental revolution.
  • More disclosure: Democrats would like to investigate the CIA's rather suspicious destruction of two tapes related to the interrogation of suspected al Qaeda operatives. Well, if “enhanced techniques” were involved, surely they were perfectly legal, so why the mystery?
  • In Vancouver (British Columbia), airport officials there have decided to make some changes as the result of an investigation following the taser death of a disturbed traveler from Poland. See that, Mr. Decider. Investigate, analyze results, improve. Yeah, ya gotta get that last part. We can indeed learn from other countries. It's okay. Really.
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