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, February 4, 2008

In Brief - February 4th, 2008

Around Washington State this week, Democratic legislative district organizations are hustling to prepare for an organized, energized caucusa at a VFW hall or school cafeteria near you. It's no easy task, but good meetings need facilitation.

The people greeting you at the door and helping you decipher your caucus packet on Saturday are the folks who are committed to getting authentic Democrats elected and holding them to Democratic ideals once they're in office. If you've had enough of the Bush administration's right wing agenda, consider volunteering to help Darcy Burner or your local LD win this year.

NPI staff will be participating, chairing, and liveblogging from the Democratic precinct caucuses this Saturday. We hope to see you there!

In the Pacific Northwest
  • If you're feeling lucky in Oregon, skip the lottery and play for the big Just call the Oregon Department of Human Services to win. No purchase required. The odds of winning a slot in the state run Oregon Health Plan are 1 in 8, with 13,000 slots available from a pool of about 100,000 qualified applicants.
  • Yes, Boise can! About 10 percent of Boise's voting-age population turned out Saturday night to see Barak Obama at Boise State University. That's 14,000 people and three times the number who attended the state's 2004 Democratic caucuses. There's a light blue glow over Idaho this week.
  • Snoqualmie Pass reopened Sunday afternoon after the state's first-ever use of aerial blasting to prevent avalanches. More heavy snow is expected this week - which could cause more delays.
  • Parents hoping to recognize the math homework their children bring home will be disappointed by OSPI's revised math standards. While many teachers like the curriculum changes, fans of the extremely successful Singapore math won't see anything resembling that concept in Washington schools anytime soon.
Across the Nation
  • President Bush is setting a dubious record today, sending Congress the largest-ever budget proposal of $3.1 trillion. As you'd expect, the budget contains an increase in military spending, but freezes public investments here at home, like education and healthcare.
  • Joan is continuing her fantastic coverage of the FISA debate in Congress at Daily Kos and points this morning to objections from, of all places, Topeka, Kansas. Even citizens from red states are noticing the infringement upon our civil liberties.
  • Wondering who your favorite politician, actress or author has endorsed for the presidency? Then check out the fun, interactive graphic at the New York Times.
Across the World
  • Israel was hit by the first suicide bomber in more than a year today. The attacker sneaked into the country through the Egyptian border, which Defense Minister Ehud Barak says requires a fence for security.
  • Tensions are high in Malaysia between the government and its Indian citizens. Indians are one of Malaysia's three dominant ethnic groups and are increasingly riled by the government's preferential treatment of ethnic Malays.
  • A new idea from the U.N. climate conference in Bali aims to do what other efforts couldn't, save tropical rain forests. The new initiative would give landowners cash or carbon credits per unit of untouched forest. Deforestation is a big contributor to both climate change and the extinction of animal and plant species.
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