News Roundup for Wednesday, April 1

As unusual as some of these items seem, none contain April Fools’ jokes as far as we know.

Flushing trees down the toilet: “The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country’s love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions” (A convenient recycled tissue and paper guide is available here.)

Never say die, say kick the bucket: “Norm Coleman’s lawyers all but conceded defeat Tuesday and promised to appeal after a panel of three judges ordered no more than 400 new absentee ballots opened and counted.” Also: “Texas Sen. John Cornyn is threatening ‘World War III’ ” and “is prepared to see litigation continue for years in the Minnesota Senate race.”

NY Congressional election goes into overtime:  In Tuesday’s special election to fill the vacant seat of Kirsten Gillibrand (who was named to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat), Democrat Scott Murphy is leading Republican Jim Tedisco by 65 votes.

You say tomato, I say tomahto: “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration has stopped using ‘war on terror,’ breaking with the Bush administration’s terminology in describing the conflict with al Qaeda and militant Islam.”

Why we (heart) Debra Bowen: Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Tuesday that she had withdrawn approval for Premier Election Solutions’ Global Election Management System… the machine contains a software error that can delete a first batch of optically scanned ballots without alerting election officials. The flaw caused 197 ballots to be deleted from initial results in Humboldt County last November.

“If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion:” A (relatively) simple explanation and analysis of the Geithner plan.

State Senate passes Green Energy bill: “A measure that would require utilities to receive one-third of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020 passed off the Senate floor Tuesday with the bare minimum of 21 votes.”

The drillah from Wasilla ain’t a thrillah: “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is out, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is in as keynote speaker at a Republican dinner this spring.” A GOP official told Fox News that the Alaska governor “was a disaster.”

Lawmaker targets Google Earth to thwart terrorists: “Citing reports of terrorists using Google Earth in bloody attacks in Mumbai and elsewhere, a California lawmaker wants close-in images of hospitals, schools, churches and key government installations blurred out as a security precaution.”


  1. The toilet-paper-as-boogey-man story was thoroughly debunked when it first appeared last month.

    Someone seems to have confused the “virgin pulp” (which contains all new wood fibers) used in toilet paper with “virgin forests” (which implies magnificent untouched wilderness).

    In fact, pulp for paper comes almost exclusively from purpose-planted forests which are grown specifically for paper production. They are a crop, just like corn or wheat.

    There may well be a place for recycling post-consumer waste in toilet paper production, but the guilt-trip in that press release is completely misplaced and distracts from the fight against other, truly wasteful consumer practices.

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