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.

Monday, December 3, 2007

In Brief - December 3rd, 2007

A note to our readers: Today's edition continues the new format for our In Brief feature, which divides the post into three parts, focusing on local, national, and international news, including politics, business, sports, technology, weather, or other categories. We hope the new format is more insightful, organized, and comprehensive than the old jumbled style.

With that introduction done, here is today's quick news digest:

In the Pacific Northwest
  • Just when we thought we could get back on the road after a weekend of snow, heavy rains are causing road closures and snarling traffic in the Seattle metro area. The state's worst hit area is the Southwest as most major roads in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties are impassable and as of early Monday, 33,000 electric customers were without electricity.
  • Four gay men have come forward claiming to have had sexual encounters with Idaho Senator Larry Craig. The claims come as a response to Craig's now famous televised denial, "I am not gay. I have never been gay." Sure, we believe you, Larry...
  • High fructose corn syrup is now out at PCC Natural Markets, where the ubiquitous sweetener is no longer allowed in the store's products. Debate continues as to the health effects of eating the sugar, but customers seem to appreciate its absence.
Across the Nation
  • Bush loyalists agree to can't seem to agree on who pushed for a vote on the Iraq war before the 2002 mid-term elections. According to Ari Fleischer, Karl Rove "just has his facts wrong" as he continues to assert that it was Congress who pushed for a hasty vote.
  • Hostile Takeover author David Sirota's recent column reminds us that Blue (or Bush) Dog "Democrats" are sadly doing a disservice to their constituents facing home foreclosure by opposing a new bill designed to ameliorate the terms of "subprime" mortgages. They are hiding behind flimsy excuses while socking away campaign cash from the financial and real estate industries.
  • Grassroots community groups told stories and offered challenges to the Democratic presidential candidates at the Heartland Presidential Candidate Forum in Iowa on Saturday. The coalition of social activists and organizations promotes a people-first agenda. Hillary Clinton saw some opposition at the forum, while Barack Obama seens ti pulled ahead in latest Iowa polling.
Around the World
  • The biggest-ever conference on climate change opened today in Bali, Indonesia, as new reports state that global warming is progressing at a faster rate than previously thought. The two week confab is supposd to draft a succeeding agreement to the Kyoto Protocol which expires at the end of 2012. Al Gore is slated to attend.
  • Opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez eked out a narrow win in a referendum on a constitutional overhaul which would have granted Chavez sweeping new powers. It was his first major electoral defeat in nine years and will likely slow down his tightening control over the nation. The victory threw Venezuelans into a frenzy of partying into the wee hours of the night.
  • There is hope yet for diplomacy with Iran according to National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. All 16 U.S. spy agencies agree that Iran's nuclear weapon program has been on hold since 2003 and that the country is open to negotiation on the program. How will the Bush administration find a way to twist this information as grounds for war?
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