A melancholy Wednesday morning…at least, outside it is. At least, there is a reason for the cold now that it’s (finally) snowing. Got plenty ‘o coffee and tea to get me through, even if it gets really bad outdoors.
At least, I got my first morning cuppa out of the way before I noticed the white stuff, outside. So, let me get this ten post round-up out of the way, as well.
From Colorado Confidential:
- Hush, Hush and on the QT: Legislators Play Musical Chairs:
The Music is On with Plenty of Chairs on the Floor
Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald (D-Coal Creek) joins a list of legislators who are leaving office before their terms are up in 2009. Popular Democrat Rep. Dan Gibbs (D-Silverthorne) has taken a bid for Fitz-Gerald’s seat, which would leave open the 56th district, which covers Summit, Lake and most of Eagle County.Fitz-Gerald is stepping down to devote full time to her congressional campaign.
- Drug Treatment A Big Business In Colorado:
The most recent figures from the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, an annual survey conducted by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2005, show that 56 percent of Colorado’s 430 drug treatment facilities are private for-profit businesses, with the rest being managed by nonprofit and government entities.The numbers are significantly different on the national level, with only 27 percent of all treatment facilities being for-profit.
One of the reasons for the contrast, Colorado advocates say, is the lack of state funding for substance abuse programs, particularly in the area of residential rehabilitation treatment, which provides patients with a place to live while receiving treatment.
“It’s a very underfunded system,” says Carmelita Muniz, director of the Colorado Association of Alcohol and Drug Service Providers, a group composed of the state’s treatment providers. “Residential is viewed as the most expensive…so you have very few opportunities for residential, especially for women and adolescents.”
Only 14 percent of Colorado treatment centers offer residential care, according to the SAMHSA survey. The number is 28 percent nationally.
- A Corrupt DC Tax Official’s Plea for Help?:
As sometime and part-time resident of the District of Columbia, I have watched with horror, fascination, and amusement the corrupt shenanigans of Washington’s city government for nearly thirty years. After the political demise of Marion “Mayor for Life” Barry, the city government actually began to clean up its act. Apparently, the clean up has not yet reached into all the dark nooks and crannies of DC’s local government.Since last week, residents have been treated to an unfolding scam in which property tax officials issued to themselves and their cronies bogus property tax refund checks amounting to millions of dollars. For me, the Washington Post reported the piece de resistance of this scandal today.
- Ron Up, Fred Down:
That’s one conclusion to draw from the new CBS/New York Times poll of New Hampshire and Iowa. Paul’s at 4 percent in the Hawkeye state—tied with Surgin’ John McCain—and he clocks in fourth in New Hampshire with 8 percent of the GOP vote. The RealClearPolitics average gives Paul 5.4 percent of the vote in the state.* Rival pollster John Zogby left Sean Hannity sputtering when he predicted further Paul gains:
From The Huffington Post:
- Don’t Be A Turkey: Get Your Thanksgiving Feast Green:
In 1621 the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians stuffed their faces in an autumn harvest feast–the first Thanksgiving. Although Historians aren’t certain of the menu, it’s safe to say the pilgrims weren’t gobbling up pesticide-smothered potatoes and antibiotic-infused turkey.Fast forward nearly four centuries, and this Thursday the majority of American’s will sit down to a copious table of factory-produced food. With few exceptions, 178 million plus turkeys will come from animal factories, while the vast majority of our fruits, vegetables; even vino will travel hundreds of miles from foreign farm factories. Such processing plants are reported to have few regulations and less regard for environmental best practice.
- Poll: Dems Deadlocked In Iowa:
Democrats and Republicans are both headed toward heated showdowns in Iowa, where, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, Hillary Clinton holds a statistically insignificant lead over John Edwards and Barack Obama, and GOP hopeful Mitt Romney finds his long-held position as the state’s front-runner challenged by a surging Mike Huckabee.
From Think Progress:
- Right-wing blogs ignore facts to claim ‘liberal bias.’:
Yesterday, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas announced that he “will become a Newsweek contributor for the 2008 presidential campaign.” Right-wing blogs Stop the ACLU and Newsbusters jumped on the news as proof of “liberal bias.” But in their haste to confirm their own assumptions, both blogs ignored the fact that Newsweek is “balancing” Kos with a yet-to-be named conservative:
From Signs Of The Times:
- Torturing Palestinian Detainees:
B’Tselem is the conservative Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories with a well-deserved reputation for accuracy. A group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists and Knesset members founded the organization in 1989 to “document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel” to convince government officials to respect human rights and comply with international law.
- Even erotic food has to follow the rules:
OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s largest erotic chain store was forced to change the labeling on products such as penis pasta, candy cuffs and chocolate body painting, to comply with Norwegian food regulations.The Norwegian food safety authority, whose goal it is to make sure consumers have healthy and safe food, conducted a surprise inspection at one of the chain’s stores and found that several products violated food labeling regulations, top-selling tabloid VG reported on Tuesday.
“We were a bit surprised to have the food safety authority on inspection. Food is not really our core product,” Kjersti Antonsen, a sexual adviser in the store, told VG.
- Army reiterates its ban on waterboarding:
WASHINGTON – With Congress’ approval of a new attorney general who refused to describe waterboarding as torture, the U.S. Army has sent out a message to its leaders repeating that the interrogation technique is prohibited in the military.The service issued the Nov. 6 message “to eliminate any confusion that may have arisen as a result of recent public discourse on the subject.”
The U.S. military formally banned waterboarding as an interrogation technique in September 2006.
I can see that the weather is teasing me. The lightness of the snowfall does not indicate it will be sticking around long enough for me to use that as an excuse to not leave the house in the next 24 hours. At least, I’ve got the “internets” to keep me warm, today. I refuse to let this Wednesday Morning put me in a funk.
No matter where you are, go out and make it a great day.