Published June 26, 2008
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Denver Mayor John Hickelooper has challenged his party to make the Democratic National Convention what he calls "the greenest... in the history of the planet."
The Wall Street Journal reports the convention's official merchandiser has been asked to sell fanny packs that are made from organic cotton by union labor in the USA. But, he says such items do not exist.
And, organizers have hired the first-ever director of greening who is assembling a 900-strong trash brigade to sift through garbage heaps and ensure that each scrap is put into the proper bin.
The rules even extend to the convention's "lean and green" menu. Fried food will not be served and at least 70 percent of all ingredients must be organic or locally grown.
Those drive-through windows at fast food restaurants may be efficient. But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports a member of the planning commission in Madison, Wisconsin, thinks they should be banned because of global warming.
Eric Sundquist told the Sentinel, "If we are really serious about climate change, should we be building a bunch of places for idling cars?"
Sundquist says he hopes to get a discussion of the idea going this summer.
But the local business community is already concerned about disastrous effects on profits. One restaurant owner says in some weeks he gets up to half his business from drive-through customers.
The Washington State Democratic Party has apologized and removed a controversial Internet video attacking Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi. Rossi, who is Italian-American, is criticized in the video for his ties to the Building Industry Association of Washington.
But the Seattle-Post Intelligencer reports the video's soundtrack is the theme song from "The Sopranos", the hit television series about Italian-American mobsters. The Italian Club of Seattle sent a letter to Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire calling for the video to be removed.
"Attempting to associate Dino Rossi with criminal activity through the use of negative ethnic stereotyping is beyond offensive... it is racist."
And finally, the Spanish parliament's environmental committee has taken a giant step in improving human-animal relations. The committee approved a series of resolutions urging compliance with something called the Great Ape Project — an international organization that says apes are our closest genetic relatives, and therefore, deserve rights previously limited to humans.
Great Apes Project Director Pedro Pozas says, "This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades."
The legislation is expected pass and become law. If it does, experimental testing on apes will be banned, as well as the use of apes in TV commercials and circuses.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.