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, January 25, 2008

In Brief - January 25th, 2008

It's certainly been cold enough to snow all week, but now that the weekend is here, it looks like it will finally happen, according to most local forecasts. So do be careful in your travels this weekend, and if you can, try to donate blankets and winter coats to local shelters and missions.

Sometimes people don't come inside even if shelters aren't full, so coats and blankets distributed to these folks are the only thing keeping them from frostbite or worse. Now, on with today's quick news digest.

In the Pacific Northwest
  • Despite Proposition 1's defeat last November, Sound Transit and Puget Sound area officials haven't given up on combating gridlock in the region. According to this article in the Seattle P-I, Sound Transit will decide by March on how to proceed with a new package.
  • Mitt Romney is tired of hearing about John Edwards' “two Americas” theme. Well, here's 150 people from the America that Mitt doesn't want to hear about. They're homeless, sleeping in local shelters this weekend to prevent freezing to death. And there are probably more not as “lucky” as these folks. Yeah, Mitt: We're all just one happy well off white family living in the 'burbs.
  • Progressives should be aware that an Oregon civil rights law is being challenged in federal court by an out of state conservative group. Not just because of the rights issue itself, but because of how it affects their initiative process. When you consider how much damage Tim Eyman has done already in this state, it might serve us well to pay attention to our neighbors, and learn from their (we hope) successes as well as mistakes.
Across the Nation
  • Yesterday, Dennis Kucinich dropped out of contention for the presidency (he has his own reelection to the House to worry about). Prior to that, the Republicans lost Frederick Thompson of Hollywood and Duncan Hunter of Never Heard of Him.
  • The economy has been teetering on the edge of a recession for quite a while now; some economists say we're already in one. In a response typical of this administration, The Decider, with Nancy Pelosi's concurrence, is planning to fling small amounts of money to middle and low income taxpayers, in the hopes they'll go on a wild spending spree which will jumpstart the economy. The range of rebates we'll get could be anywhere from $600-$1200 (plus $300 per child), depending on various circumstances. As Andrew wrote yesterday, the idiocy of this idea is stunning, considering the monthly transportation and heating expenses of the average homeowner.
  • This isn't news, but it's solid bit of compilation: A new comprehensive report neatly proves that the guys who run the Bush administration are liars. It documents 935 times where Bush or his cronies deliberately misled the country to gin up support for an attack on Iraq. If those statements had been scrutinized by the traditional media back during the prelude to the invasion, we might have avoided the costly quagmire we're in today.
Around the World
  • Egypt can't quite close the border between them and the Gaza Strip. Militangs blew a huge hole in the wall earlier in the week. Hamas wants to keep the border open; to say the situation is tense, doesn't quite do it justice.
  • A grandson of Mahatma Ghandi resigned his post at a non-violence institute after making insensitive comments about Jews. He has since apologized, and will appear on a panel with Jewish leaders and others later in the year to discuss the issues he raised.
  • I haven't seen much coverage of this in the American corporate media: The U.S. is on the verge of sending troops to Pakistan. Great idea — we're not spread nearly thin enough. And the Pakistanis are apparently as eager as the Iraqis were to have us help them out.
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