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.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In Brief - December 16th, 2007

Here is today's quick news digest:

In the Pacific Northwest
  • Washington's Task Force for Homeowner Security, a 17-member group appointed by Governor Gregoire in September, has offered a series of recommendations to "prevent consumers from losing their homes to risky loans they can't afford." Gregoire will announce on Monday which of the recommendations she plans to endorse.
  • Yet another tunnel proposal is offered by some of our intelligently-designed friends over at the Discovery Institute (Seattle's hometown "think tank" mainly devoted to challenging evolution) as an option to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Unlike Mayor Nickels' earlier tunnel proposal rejected by voters, this tunnel would be dug deeper and would extend from SoDo to north of downtown Seattle. Though "[c]osts are unknown," a group of "international tunneling executives" just happen to think this is a grand idea.
  • Oregonians have listed health care and education as their most pressing concerns for the governor and state legislature. 17% of Republicans felt that "illegal immigration" was the top issue, while only 5% of Democrats felt similarly. Republican Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli must be part of that 17%, as he promises to "mount a 'full court press' to ensure that only legal residents can get driver's licenses."
Across the Nation
  • Whether editorial board endorsements have the same weight as they used to is debatable, but most candidates still actively seek them. The Des Moines Register announced endorsements of Hillary Clinton and John McCain for the upcoming Iowa caucuses. Meanwhile, the editorial board of the Boston Globe endorsed Barack Obama and McCain.
  • In a "dramatic reversal" at a climate conference being held in Bali, the US has agreed with 186 other countries to negotiate over the next two years a follow-up accord to the Kyoto Protocol. The reversal occurred after international delegates loudly booed and hissed the head of the US delegation when she repeated the obstructionist stance of the Bush administration. Andrew had more on this yesterday.
  • Democratic U.S. Representative Julia Carson, from Indiana's 7th congressional district, passed away on Saturday. She had been battling lung cancer and had spent the last several weeks at her home in Indianapolis. We at NPI extend our sympathies to her friends, family, and colleagues.
Around the World
  • President Pervez Musharraf just ended the six-week old state of emergency in Pakistan, but only "after passing a flurry of constitutional amendments and decrees to ensure that his recent actions would not be challenged by any court." Typical actions of a Bush ally...
  • British troops will very soon transfer authority over Basra province in Iraq to Iraqi troops, four and a half years after the initial invasion.
  • Bolivia's President, Evo Morales, presented a new draft constitution to the country, declaring that the nation's "people will never again be marginalized." However, three of the wealthier lowland regions, home to most of Bolivia's natural gas reserves, declared autonomy because they view the constitution as illegally drawn up during an opposition boycott of parliament.
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