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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 8:57 AM

John McCain strikes back! The failed presidential candidate, peeved over Vladimir Putin's plea to the American people in the effete Noo Yawk Times, has submitted his own essay to Russia's venerable Pravda newspaper in which he poots all over Putin and calls himself "more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today."

The best part, though, is Pravda's justification for its decision to print the essay and the jabs it takes it takes at a rival outfit. Apparently there are two Pravdas, except that, just so you know, "the circulation of the Communist Party Pravda is like a factory newspaper of AvtoVAZ from the Soviet times." Sick burn, dude!

Bashar al-Assad, in a coup for Fox News, finally admits, golly gee shucks, you got me, etc., that he's got some chemical weapons after all and is willing to hand them over. But did he actually use them? Russia, his friend 'til the end, says no way, that it was the rebels, and that they can and will prove it.

You know who's maybe not much of a commander in chief, comfortable leading the military on neat foreign adventures? Barack Obama. Grousing military types say the White House and its cadre of civilian advisers micromanage and over-analyze everything for days.

No nukes for us! Honest! Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, sat for NBC's TV cameras and promised "we are solely seeking peaceful nuclear technology."

The dulcet tones from Iran's leadership mark something of a rhetorical U-turn (they also come amid growing hardship owed to longtime United Nations sanctions) and have raised hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough. Rouhani will be at the UN next week and could very well find himself where no Iranian leader has found himself in decades: face to face with an American president.

Please shut down Fukushima. Please. So goes the Japanese prime minister's desperate plea to the operator of the quake-crippled, Pacific Ocean-wrecking nuclear power plant.

A $920 million fine has been handed down to JPMorgan Chase—America's largest bank—for failures in supervision that led to a $6 billion trading loss out of its London operation. There also, for good measure, were allegations of a coverup.

For New York cops, the controversial gang-busting (and racial profiling) policy of "stop and frisk" has increasingly given way, under pressure, to "stop and Facebook."

A cop in Ohio flipped out after a family complained from a safe distance about how he treated their daughter in law during a traffic stop—pulling a man, a woman, and their teenage son out of their car and then forcing them to lay down on the street while he menaced them with his Taser. Then he threw a witness's phone to the ground and yelled some more.

Phone companies still refuse to level with their customers on how often, if at all, they bother to challenge the National Security Agency's demands for data.

A group of kids bunking together in a dirty, substandard house at Ohio State University found an unexpected surprise: A "locked utility closet" in the basement was actually a bedroom suite, with sink and all, home to a mysterious student named "Jeremy" who'd secretly been living in their midst for weeks.

Like we all figured, the Portland City Council last night voted 4-1 to anoint Metro's plan for a publicly subsidized Hyatt hotel next to the Oregon Convention Center. (Steve Novick said no. Again, just like we all figured.) The thing heads to Multnomah County this morning.

THIS WHOLE BUSINESS OF PUTTING A DEAD POLITICAL LEADER'S BODY (HE'S MORE WAX NOW THAN MAN) ON PERMANENT DISPLAY IS SO UTTERLY BIZARRE AND DELIGHTFUL THAT I CANNOT HELP BUT LOOK ON (AND FEEL CREEPED OUT BY THE MOURNFUL MUSIC FROM A FARAWAY CARILLON).

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