Saturday, March 06, 2004

13 points


Anti Discrimination Bill Dies

We had the votes too. But the senate decided to adjourn early Friday, and I don't know how it works, but that was all they needed to kill a bunch of bills. According to Sen. Bill Finkbeiner "It's not about the issue. We have important work to do." If you believe that I'd like to point you to something else they did on Friday.

The senate passed a resolution to ask the supreme court to review Chief Leschi's court decision from a hundred years ago and reverse his conviction. I have no problem reversing the Leschi decision but really they did that and called it a day Friday. Then Finkbeiner decided the senate was over worked. It must have been tough on them.

Budget Cuts at Seattle

The first round of many cuts in Seattle after the City Light decision has gotten under way. Combined with the still slow economy and we'll see more to come.

Not all of yesterday's news was bad. Nickels announced that funding for 22 crossing guards will be restored. Money for the Neighborhood Matching Fund and crime prevention coordinators also will be available.

But the mayor warned that next year will be tougher: The city could face a $20 million budget gap. Library and community center hours could be cut, street and bridge work could be postponed, and other programs that were spared so far could face cuts.

"We are well past cutting the fat, past cutting muscle, and now into the bone," Nickels said.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Dear President Bush,

I hear a lot of people are giving you a hard time because you used images of 9/11 in your first campaign ads. I think these people are horribly misguided. I wish you would do a series of ads talking about your immediate response to the terrorist attacks. Who could forget the decisive way you read a book about a goat after the second plane hit. And the way that you selflessly ran and hid in the Midwest. Who could forget the way you made up stories about Air Force One being a target despite no evidence. How you went to Afghanistan and didn't worry yourself with trivialities like getting Bin Laden or stabilizing the country. That's your legacy after 9/11 and I think you should remind people of it again and again.

Love ya,

Carl Ballard

Pelz to run for City Council

Wow. I'm a little surprised. He's in a comfy seat now. I don't understand why the city council would have more appeal than county government, but there you go. He says he expects an open seat to come along for him to run in, but the PI wasn't so sure.

Facing an uncertain political future where he is, King County Councilman Dwight Pelz announced yesterday that he will run for a seat on the Seattle City Council in 2005.

"The power of the county is declining and the power of the city is growing, and it makes (city government) an exciting and challenging place to work," Pelz said in making the extraordinarily early announcement. "A lot of the issues I work on at the county are really hitting Seattle right now," such as light rail and growth management.

A liberal, populist, vigorously partisan Democrat and former state senator, Pelz would be switching from a partisan council dominated by Democrats to a politically virginal, non-partisan council where everyone is some variation of liberal. He was appointed to the County Council in 1997 and has been elected twice since then.

No one has ever been elected from one council to the other.

Library Bond

In King County on the primary ballot there will be the same library initiative we rejected a year ago. Along with the majority of King County voters, I supported it then. I'll support it again next time. But the 60% margin is tough to pass.

I bet Nobody

Will ever get confused about the difference between the Sammamish River trail and the new Lake Sammamish trail. I picture myself getting quite lost on the East Side with just a bike and a bevy of swear words. Still I'm glad it's open, and I wish they could resolve the rest of the trail.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I'm Afraid

With Carson from Queer Eye in town I'm afraid that he'll come here in the middle of the night and turn me into someone fashionable. For example I might own more than one normal tie and one Christmas tie when he's through with me.

5th LD

We've got someone running for Rossi's old seat. A fire captain to boot.

A Sammamish resident and Port of Seattle fire captain is filing to run for the state House of Representatives from the 5th District.

Jeff Griffin is running as a Democrat against Republican Jay Rodne.

Rodne, a former Snoqualmie city councilman, was appointed to the seat after his predecessor, Cheryl Pflug, took over Dino Rossi's senate seat. Rossi is running for governor.

The Archbishop of Seattle on the Sex Abuse Report

The Catholic archbishop of Seattle has a regular column in the Catholic paper. This week he wrote about the report on sexual abuse by John Jay College. He talked about what the Catholic church has done to improve itself.

In the Archdiocese of Seattle I will continue to build on the policies established by my predecessors aimed at creating safe environments for every child and vulnerable adult in our care. Our efforts first implemented in 1987 will continue to require that all allegations of abuse are reported to civil authorities and that any clergy member found guilty of abuse will be immediately and permanently removed from active ministry where they might have the opportunity to abuse again.

This promise, however, goes beyond a mere set of policies and procedures. It is a commitment to seek reconciliation with those who have been harmed in the past and a promise to re-establish trust in the church’s compassionate ministry for children, the poor, the elderly and all the afflicted and marginalized in our culture.

How will this pledge be fulfilled? The process has begun already with screening procedures for all candidates to the priesthood. It includes training requirements and background checks for all current and future church employees. And although the Seattle Archdiocese received commendations by independent auditors for compliance with strict child protection standards established by the bishops in 2002, we will continue to listen, learn and act on the best advice available to improve our prevention efforts and pastoral outreach.

House will Probably Pass Primary Soon

I said my piece yesterday and I'll leave it at that.

House Speaker Frank Chopp said he wasn't sure how a vote would go, but he plans to find out. Chopp said he expects to bring the Senate's Louisiana-style-primary bill up for a vote Monday.

A different primary system, the Modified Montana primary, will be voted on as well, he said. Chopp, Locke and the state's political parties support the Montana plan, which would allow voters to voluntarily register by party.

Independents could take part and keep their ballot choice secret.

The article also says that Locke opposes Cajun and might veto it. If that happens, we could have a special session. The article didn't mention it but a special session would mean fundraising problems for Gregoire. State officials can't raise money within some amount of time after the session ends. I believe it's a month, but I'm too lazy to look it up. That's why Rossi left the senate early.

ST can do Whatever they Want

Or at least they can do the downtown/ kind of near the airport light rail route. I would prefer if they stuck to busses and trains, but I don't think this will be too bad. It is important to have means other than cars and the take for ever bus routes to get around.

Gay Marriage and the Governorship

The Seattle Times has a breakdown of the positions of the 3 Democratic governor contenders and Rossi on gay marriage. A lot of it cleaves along party lines. I was a bit disappointed with Gregoire for being a civil unions person, but still she's less repugnant than Rossi. The Times asked about the Constitutional amendment, I don't think governors have anything but the bully pulpit when it comes to amending the Constitution.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Dueling Quotes William Safire Edition

I know it's like fish in a barrel, but here are two quotes from today's NYT column by Safire on Kerry. Both are Safire's characterization of Kerry's voting record. They are 3 paragraphs apart.

John Kerry is "the Massachusetts senator, a lifelong free trader who had warmly embraced Nafta." I always thought it was NAFTA, but I've seen it like that a few times in the NY Times, so maybe that's how they do it. In any event John Kerry also has a "down-the-line lefty voting record."

I found a contradiction. Kerry has been a bigger free trader than Bush or even within the party than Clinton (who was no slouch). And he's been consistent throughout his career. But he's an uberliberal.

Look, in non paranoid columnist world, he's pretty good on social issues, and probably won't sell the party down the river on economic issues not relating to trade. But if you're going "down-the-line" and you come to trade, his isn't the lefty position.

That doesn't mean that he isn't pure enough. He's fine. And he's to the left of my guy, and the guy I'm an alternate for. He's great on his own merits and wonderful compared to Bush.

Spam and the Passion

Apparently someone decided to turn nails into pendants and sell them as officially merchandised products of The Passion Of The Christ. A bit disgusting but whatever. They decided that the best way to sell them is by spamming us. Chet has the details.

While I will be amused when Burger King has Passion of the Christ Chocolate shakes, "Christ may have died for your sins, but he lived for our chocolate shakes!" I am not amused that Mel and company have taken it upon themselves to spread the word of Christ by selling cheap trinkets by spamming. So check your mail, amidst penis enlargers and Viagra, there is a new product, Passion of the Christ nail pendants. All I want to know is, how long do I have to wear this pendant before my penis starts growing?


It looks like the Kalakala may be moored in Lake Union for a bit longer. Everett rightly doesn't want anything to do with it.

EVERETT -- Show us the money.

That was the stance Port of Everett officials took Tuesday to proposals to bring the aging ferry Kalakala to the city's waterfront for a multimillion-dollar restoration

On a day when the Kalakala was ordered not to leave its Seattle dock because of predicted high winds, Everett port officials made it increasingly clear that they want nothing to do with the rusting hulk.

Let's Be Next

Gay Marriage is creeping up the West Coast. The Stranger argues for the second week that Sims should be the next one. They suggest that someone with Sims' rhetoric on the subject really has to try to force the issue. I agree.

This may seem odd coming from someone who has said that there are more important issues and that this could cost the Democrats the election. I wish this decision could be made by someone with more time to convince the electorate that it's the right thing to do. I wish there wasn't an election that might be tight for the person making the decision. I wish we could put this off until after the primary, or if Sims wins it the general. But we can't. The time is now, and the man is Ron Sims. Unless another county exec decides to put him to shame.

How to Tell When People Aren't Serious

Another Republican is running for the 8th District.

State Sen. Luke Esser yesterday joined an increasingly crowded field of candidates seeking to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn.

Saying he wanted to create more jobs, reduce congestion and help fight terrorism, the 42-year-old Bellevue resident became the third Republican candidate running in the 8th Congressional District, which covers much of east and south King County and east Pierce County.

Now I don't know much about him. I'll take a look at his record in a little while. But for now I'd like to focus on the first sentence of the second paragraph. He wants to do some things, lovely. The Times didn't get into the specifics, so I don't know if he had any plans for any of them, but that's fine, it's early. Jobs and terrorism are important federal issues and a good debate will be healthy.

But he's leaving the state legislature hoping to go to Congress to deal with Traffic? I have to call bullshit on that. If traffic was his concern he'd run for local government or stay where he is. The county, cities and the state have a way bigger impact on Puget Sound area traffic than the federal government. I'm not saying the federal government has no role in fixing traffic congestion, just a much smaller roll than the job he's giving up.

edited because I apparently spelled government wrong and the spell checker wanted me to talk about the federal covenant. And I didn't catch it until a few hours later. So sorry if you read that and think I'm an idiot. I am, but not that big of one. And other spelling.

No No No

I swear to God, I don't understand what all you guys see as so wonderful about the Cajun Primary but the senate passed it today, and it'll probably be the primary system. I am not so fond of copying the system Edwin Edwards decided to put in place to help him keep the Governor's mansion despite his corruption. The system that gave us the slogan "Vote for the crook. It's important". A system that closely resembles the one that gave Le Pen more respectability than most mainstream French politicians.

It seems crazy to me. I think we could get better candidates picking names out of a hat. Yes I like IRV and on the surface Cajun looks the most like IRV, but really that's just the surface. Cajun narrows the field where IRV expands it. Cajun only gives you two priorities where IRV gives you as many as there are candidates. IRV eliminates strategic voting, Cajun doesn't. And of course the parties will probably find a way to ignore the Cajun system any way.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Crazies in the Northwest

I mean we've got plenty of our own crazies, but now we're apparently importing some. Because what we need is someone to happily quoting George Wallace. Christamighty (so to speak).

Also, for a religious right anti gay kinda guy, judge Moore looks pretty fruity.

edited to move the picture down a bit.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Light Posting For a Few Days

Probably through Wednesday. Real life related program activities I'm afraid.

This is Better Than Malpractice Caps

As part of the Nursing degree at Bellevue Community College there is a class on avoiding mistakes in the first damn place. I think that mandating something like that would go a lot further toward (a) reducing the instances of errors in the medical profession and (b) reducing insurance rates generally.

The Washington State Medical Association and many vocal doctors say out-of-control jury awards have driven up malpractice insurance premiums to the point that they can no longer afford them or can't find coverage. A bill recently passed in the state Senate would cap non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, at $350,000 for medical malpractice jury awards.

Massong said the problem lies with insurance companies that mismanaged assets during the downward economy.

A better approach, she said, is to reduce the number of mistakes.

It's not all legalese. Massong stresses basic thoroughness and attention to detail. The idea is preventing mistakes, whether it involves misreading a doctor's sloppy penmanship or double-checking medical charts. Nurses also should know when it's safe to delegate a task, and to whom.

Edited because my quoting of the article ended in a weird spot.

Look Both Ways Before Getting Out of the Firetruck

A volunteer firefighter from Monroe was hit by a car early Saturday morning at the site of a vehicle accident, but he escaped serious injury.

Monroe firefighters went to a noninjury wreck at 12:30 a.m. in the 10400 block of Trombley Road. Two fire engines, a medic unit, a command rig and a sheriff's patrol car responded, Battalion Chief Leroy Schwartz said.

The injured firefighter, 30, was dressed in full firefighting gear, including a helmet. He was walking just outside the fog line at the time, Schwartz said.

150 Years With A Legislature

A couple days ago marked the 150th annaversery of the first territorial legislature.

Immigration Report

The Feds completed a study of a century of immigration in the metro area (that includes Everett, but not Tacoma, who knew?). It's pretty neat even if the only ancestors of mine who came from another country to this area were probably outside the study's area (Paulsbo).

This 100-year portrait of Seattle-area immigration is at the crux of a first-of-its-kind demographic study being released today by The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C.

The study shows that, in these parts, the influx of foreigners crested in 1910, when immigrants accounted for one out of every 3.5 residents. Immigrants represented one out of every 11 people in 1970, but three decades later, their presence nearly doubled.

In 2000, one out of every six people in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metropolitan area was foreign-born.

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