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 21, 2007

In Brief - December 21st, 2007

Here is today's quick news digest:

In the Pacific Northwest
  • If you're driving this holiday weekend, please be careful. Here are some things to watch out for, courtesy of the Seattle Times.
  • The Bellingham Georgia Pacific toilet tissue mill, the last building in the complex, closed today for good. Its demolition is set for late next year. About 200 people will be without jobs. And the jobs they will end up with, should they find them, will be for less than they're making now. I wouldn't talk to these folks about how fabulous the economy's doing.
  • Oregon's counties are seeing first hand what happens when you choke off a reliable, reasonable source of revenue for the common wealth. Like getting government payouts? Well, our Grover Norquist-influenced federal governmental model (“...get [government] down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”) says, “no more logging industry replacement money for you.” Okay, well, we'll rely on our property — oops, we voted to limit our property taxes. Thom Hartmann has a word for this: Screwed. But let's hope a creative solution is in the offing.
Across the Nation
  • Tom Tancredo, who probably blew his campaign budget trying to frighten people into voting for him, finally left the Republican presidential race yesterday after his efforts, well, “Tanc'ed.” Now he's throwing his tattered support behind Mitt Romney, another paragon of credibility.
  • In a continuing backward trot from reason, the EPA's Stephen Johnson put California in its place by preventing them from tightening emissions standards, possibly becoming a nationwide model on how to squeeze more efficiency and less pollution out of automobile manufacturers. We just can't have “a confusing patchwork of state rules,” Stephens said. He's more confident of the Bush Energy Plan, which apparently pays better dividends to cronies and oil companies when the graft isn't spread all over the place without regard to loyalty or ideology. Jeez, what was California thinking—it would be anarchy, I tell you.
  • A judge will hear both sides of the CIA torture video destruction fiasco today. Just think: somebody will have to justify this. Further thought: read comments after online articles about waterboarding. You will find no other defense than “the end justifies the means.” Rather humbling, in an evolutionary sense: Stack humans up against other species, and it's not a pretty picture, is it? We can, and we must, be better than this.
Around the World
  • The killing continues in Pakistan. Why the Bush administration says nothing about countries like Pakistan having nukes but throws a fit over Iran is a bit incongruent. But I've never accused The Decider of having a lucid thought.
  • Coverage of the Iraq occupation seems to be tapering off — seen any headlines lately that don't involve car bombs and more of our fallen brothers and sisters in Iraq? Me, neither. But hey, the escalation is working (we're told), now that everybody there has been properly murdered or exiled. But for Iraqi kids, this wonderful news of our democratic triumph in their country is a tad empty.
  • And for those on the right who think killing and bombing and occupation is an excellent strategy for combating terrorism, Saudi Arabia has news for you: A more thoughtful approach seems to be working.
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