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.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In Brief - February 14th, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! Today, show love for yourself, your significant other, your immediate and extended family, your town, city, state, and country. A brief history of Valentine's Day:

In North America and Europe, it is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery. The holiday is named after two early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. Some of the valentine symbols include red roses, love knots, and love birds.
On to today's quick news digest!

In the Pacific Northwest

  • Oregon's House of Representatives voted along party lines yesterday to pass House Joint Resolution 100, which would amend the State Constitution to refer to Health Care as "a fundamental right" and that every legal resident should have "access to effective and affordable health care on a regular basis." It's time we put an end to the right vs. privilege argument at the federal level. It is our duty as progressives to ensure that the common wealth protects the general wellness of the American people.
  • The disaster that is Bush's FEMA has now turned its eye towards Indian Creek in Idaho. Downtown Caldwell had its big downtown revitalization plans stifled by FEMA when the agency decided that downtown Caldwell would be part of a flood plain. Why did they do this? Because they were using outdated maps of Indian Creek and not the updated maps sent in May. A FEMA representative said "We're not ignoring their information. We are going to look at it, but in the appeals process."
Across the Nation
  • Speaking of cluelessness at FEMA, remember the thousands of trailers that were purchased for Hurricane Katrina and Rita evacuees but never actually given to them? Well they may finally get put to use. FEMA might use them in Arkansas to house victims of the recent deadly tornadoes that swept the South. Unfortunately, the trailers that FEMA has been using are poisonous. Americans living in them (especially children) have been exposed to increased levels of hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Looks like the unused trailers need to be checked over before distribution.
  • Starbucks will start offering two hours of free wireless internet access, courtesy of AT&T this spring. This marks the break-up of their previous arrangment with T-Mobile, which required a one-time fee or subscription to access the internet wirelessly. Hooray, more free WI-FI!
  • My back has been bothering me for most of the last month. Apparently I'm not alone, as Americans seem to be spending record amounts of money treating their spinal troubles, mostly on drugs. If more money was spent on preventative care for the back and the rest of the body, coupled with a willingness among Americans to embrace an active lifestyle, the need for all of these drugs could potentially be greatly reduced.
Around the World
  • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is joining other world leaders and going to Kenya to try and help strengthen the resolution talks taking place. Given Rice's abysmal diplomatic record, I fear that this will unite the conflicting parties around criticism of US foreign policies in Kenya, the African continent, and everywhere else and not around ending the conflict in Kenya.
  • As the Pentagon is looking to execute suspects, Britain has "completely exonerated" Lotfi Riossi, a man who (though never charged), was suspected by the United States government to have trained terrorist pilots. Riossi can now seek compensation from the British government for wrongful arrest and detention.
Today in Black History
  • Richard Allen, an enslaved African that purchased his own freedom and started the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in 1816, was born.
  • Fredrick Douglass, the revolutionary abolitionist, author, orator, and formerly enslaved African was born on this day in 1818.
  • Morehouse College, the men's college in Atlanta, GA that has produced great minds such as Martin Luther King, Jr., was organized on this day in Augusta, Georgia. The school later moved to its current location in Atlanta.
If you have something to add, please leave a comment.


Blogger Hugh Geenen said...

A publicly-financing "local option" bill passed the Senate on 2/13 (following 1551 in the House earlier).

In 1992 when I-134 passed, the provision that prevented public financing of elections was hidden in the "small print" and was not the main point of the initiative. Previously, Seattle had been one of the first cities that provided some form of publicly-financed elections in the form of matching funds. It has gone down the memory hole because of I-134.

For more information, see:

The new "local option" bill that was passed in this session allows for local CHOICE to finance elections through public monies, it is not a mandate. Additionally, any locality or jurisdiction that wants to finance their elections with public money must pass a popular referendum in order to do so. No state money is involved.

Washington Public Campaigns ( has been at the forefront of this battle for years. Go to the website for more information about what makes voter-owned elections the next wave of democratic action on a local level.

Next, voter-owned elections coming to a referedum in Seattle this coming fall. Stay tuned.

February 14, 2008 3:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home