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Saturday, June 19, 2004

New Athletic Director

I don't know anything about him other than what's in this article.

Turner, who has previously been the athletic director at Vanderbilt, North Carolina State and Connecticut, was in Seattle yesterday working out final details of his contract with incoming UW president Mark Emmert, according to a source.



Friday, June 18, 2004

Mason-Dixon Poll

Via the Swing State Project. Kerry is at the upper edges of the MOE.

Kerry: 46
Bush: 42
Nader: 2
Undecided: 10
(MoE: ±4%)



Bush's Speech in Spokane

You can see it here. I won't comment on the strange syntax, because if you've read this page for a while you already know, mine is pretty strange too.

So I went to the United Nations, and I said, here's a threat. And unanimously, they said, you're right. Mr. Saddam Hussein, disarm, disclose and disarm, or face serious consequences. When America speaks, we better mean what we say. When we say, serious consequences, we mean serious consequences. Saddam Hussein, once again, defied the free world. I had a choice to make: to trust the judgment of a madman, or defend America. Given that choice, I will defend America every time. (Applause.)

I'm sure that's just how all you remember it. That was the choice. No middle ground, like um keeping the inspectors in the country. Like er finding out for ourselves. I don't think anyone was saying trust the judgment of a madman, and yet millions of us took to the streets in a sort of a "focus group" to oppose the war.

And "we better mean what we say." Coming from any other president this would be a bland statement of fact. But here's a man who in the time frame of this paragraph said he would go to the UN for a second vote and didn't; also Bush said he wanted the inspectors to do their job and pulled them out. Outside of this time frame, he abandoned our commitment to the ABM treaty, has basically abandoned Afghanistan to warlords, and supported terror sponsoring states like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan post Bush doctrine. That's just off the top of my head I'm sure there's more.



Am I Reading Too Much Into This?

Bush was at Ft. Lewis today. And he posed with the troops. Typical presidential stuff. But one of the pictures is of him waving flanked by a couple soldiers and the one on the right is giving a peace sign.


... Chad says it's probably a V for Victory.



Thursday, June 17, 2004

And why was that again?

The Seattle P.I. Editorial Board has now asked why the Iraq Nam war was a just war.

With apologies to the magnificent Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, The World Wonders.



Ha!

Conservatives are petty. Bush made a lame speech the other day about Iraq and he tried to say how wonderful it is there. He said that they have talk radio and ha ha I hope they've asked Rush. It isn't very funny and Randi Rhodes (among others) has been all over it. KVI, who lost Rush to newer conservative talk station KTTH, was airing the speech and used its 2 second delay to bleep the joke out.



Lighter Posting and Questions for 8th District

I'll be busy through the end of the weekend. Obviously the unpaid thing will take a back seat to real life related program activities. I'll still post some today and Friday, but maybe not over the weekend.

Switching gears without a good transition, I'd like to send out another round of questions like I did for the Governor's race, except this time for the 8th district (and maybe the 4th soon after). I'm thinking about asking something about outsourcing and something akin to the question about controversial issues (but I'd have to modify it somewhat because none of them have held elective office).

Like last time I'd like to hear what the community wants to ask. Just as a reminder, these would be questions for the Dems only, and I would be asking the candidates the same questions. And it'd probably be 5 questions again because that's a nice number.



Repubs Want Moral Defense of DOMA in Court

State rep Gigi Talcott and sen Val Stevens, both Republicans, wrote a letter complaining about Gregoire's handling of the DOMA lawsuit. They think that she isn't defending the law enough. They wrote in part:

"By law, the attorney general is required to defend the state and DOMA," they wrote, referring to the state's Defense of Marriage Act passed by the Legislature in 1998. "Unfortunately, in an election year, Attorney General Gregoire appears reticent about making a full and forceful defense of DOMA."

I think her opposition to gay marriage is a bigger story than the fact that she wants to make a legal defense of the law and not wade into moral silliness. But Washington Evangelicals for Responsible Government, an anti gay marriage group is going to enter the case as defendants. They plan "to mount a spirited defense of DOMA. The attorney general has made it clear she won't make a moral argument in this case."



9/11 Plotters Looked at Seattle

I was reluctant to run this story. I mean 2 1/2 years ago terrorists didn't blow up the Space Needle or WaMu Tower isn't exactly news. And my boss was so freaked out I wasn't even allowed to go to work in the suburbs, so it wouldn't have been the same mass casualty event as what happened on the East coast. And of course, it didn't happen.



Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Knight-Ridder Paper Endorses John Kerry

The Philadelphia Daily News, a newspaper owned by Knight-Ridder who also owns 49.5% of the Seattle Times, has become the first newspaper in America to endorse (free subscription required) John Kerry for President. Here are some highlights:
Unlike the current White House occupant, Kerry can lead America to a brighter, better future. He has shown the personal courage, compassion, intellect and skill to lead this country in a time of war abroad and economic troubles at home. He is a serious man for a serious time.

But since [September 11, 2001], the Bush administration has been marked by failure . . . . in even the one challenge he set out for himself at the beginning of his administration - to bring the country together. His has been one of the most ideologically driven and divisive administrations in recent times.

Instead of moving forward, the country has been on the wrong track. These last four years have been wasted.

Amen to that. However, the endorsement goes on to praise John Kerry:
John Kerry's long life in the national spotlight has been defined by steadfast support for the principled and intelligent use of American power in the world. His proposals - not to mention the administration that he will create - promise new hope for America. [ ]
Kerry, who fought in the swamps of Vietnam, can lead us out of the quagmire of the Bush administration - but for that to happen, he will need your help.

I have predicted that The SeaTimes will endorse Little Bush once again to satisfy Blethen Greed, but I guess that Knight-Ridder's endorsement makes The SeaTimes ownership either 49.5% smart or 50.5% stupid.




Help the Grocery Union

This is a bit of a long copy from the Protect Health Benefits blog. I don't think they'll mind. And you can read down to see the specifics of the union proposal.

Thursday, June 17, 2004:
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Community Action Campaign Kick-off press conference
Who: Local Union Members, UFCW leaders, Union supporters
Where: Safeway 7300 Roosevelt Way NE Seattle

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Doorbelling the Roosevelt store neighborhood

Friday, June 18, 2004:
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Community Action Campaign Kick-off Press conference in Tacoma
Who: Members, Leaders, Supporters
Where: Safeway, 2637 N. Pearl St. Tacoma

1:00 - 3:00 PM / 4:00 - 6:00 PM Hand billing consumers with Pledge Cards

Saturday, June 19, 2004:
10:00 AM - 12 Noon Doorbelling neighborhoods
Where: Safeway 519 Hwy 9, Lake Stevens

Monday, June 21, 2004:
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Press Conference, Northern California UFCW members mobilizing Puget Sound Consumers - UFCW members from across the country preparing to hold the line, if necessary, in the Puget Sound to protect affordable health care.
Where: Safeway Roxbury 9620 28th Ave SW

4:00 Pm - 7:00 PM Doorbelling Roxbury neighborhood



About Goddamn Time

More than a year into the war in Iraq, and look, we've decided that the people who take the initiative to buy body armor can get reimbursed. Not we'll give them all body armor because the flack jackets don't stop bullets.

She wasn't the only one worried about reported shortages in protective gear available to troops. After meeting with families at Camp Murray and Fort Lewis, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., wrote to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asking for his assurance that the 81st Brigade would have the body armor it needed. Her office cited an Associated Press report that said as late as March, some soldiers were still buying their own protective gear. Last October, the AP reported, nearly a quarter of troops serving in Iraq did not have ceramic-plated body armor.



Isn't there one just North of there?

A new 63,000-square-foot QFC grocery store will anchor a redeveloped Broadway Market in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, according to the market's owner, Madison Marquette.



Tacoma Parks Vote is on

The parks board is putting it on the ballot in November.



Money for Eyman Initiatives

The headline of this article deals with money from Casinos giving to I-892. That's a piece of the article to be sure. And it is interesting. I've always admired the way people in the vice industry can milk the fear of their own industry to preserve their interest. In this case the casino owners who opposed California's expansion of gambling and were afraid of competition with Las Vegas are now clamoring for a piece of the action up here. While gambling interests on reservations like to point to their remoteness and say you don't want it expanding into major cities.

Anyway, some of the tribal interests have noticed that Eyman's campaign spending is fishy.

A leader of an opposition campaign, backed by casino-operating Indian tribes, suggested yesterday that Eyman might be diverting donations for the tax-cutting initiative to help cover expenses of I-892. The gambling initiative likewise would reduce property taxes, by whatever amount of tax revenue the electronic slots produce.

Eyman yesterday flatly denied mixing money between the two initiatives.

"Both campaigns are kept separate and all expenses are kept separate," Eyman said in an e-mail to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "Every campaign is different and the mix of expenses is always different. That's the way it's always been."

However, his campaign finance reports through the end of May show that his I-864 committee has spent more than $147,000 on postage, mailing permits and printing, but his campaign committee for I-892 has spent only $8,400 on those items. His past tax-cutting initiative campaigns typically have each spent $80,000 or more for such expenses.



Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Olchefske Loses, Minneapolis Wins

The fine people of Minneapolis have rejected Joseph Olchefske, the highly unsuccessful former Seattle School Superintendent, as their new Superintendent.

I don't know about the successful applicant, but Minneapolis has avoided having an uncaring bureaucrat in their school district. This was a very wise move.

An young aquaintance locked horns with Joey several years ago after he decided to boost the performance of a Central District middle school by busing in students from a successful elementary school near Northgate. Although our student was a foster child who was being raised by a very old person, Joey ignored our appeal and tried to force this child into a 16-mile round trip each day. However, after the caregiver decided to school the child at home, Joey and his gang suddenly found a space for her at Hamilton Middle School.

Memo to Joseph Olchefske: You are a stinking bureaucrat and should never be allowed anywhere near children because you just don't care nearly enough. Please go back to whatever you were doing before you got your position by kissing poor John Stanford's ass, which you are unfit to be a pimple thereupon.



6.1

The state's unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in May, declining two-tenths of a percentage point from April. The rate represents a marked improvement over last May, when the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.



Dear Secretary Abraham,

I see your department decided to ship at least 83 drums of nuclear waste to Hanford without such silly things as informing Governor Locke or anyone else in the state. What the fuck? Look I know there are political costs associated with screwing with Washington. It's a swing state, and the people won't be too happy that you're tossing radioactive waste in their back yard.

But don't you have to, um, keep some sort of track of nuclear waste? Don't you think that if there was some sort of accident, we'd want to know about those 83 or more drums of waste?

Later Alligator,

Carl Ballard



Cities try to Figure out ways to Oppose I-864

Officials of some cities are wondering if they can head off Tim Eyman's latest tax-cutting initiative before voters have a chance to mark their ballots on the issue.

Ironically, one of their ideas is to ask voters to approve a slight increase in local property tax rates.

That would make the municipal property tax in those cities ``voter approved'' levies, which would be exempt if voters statewide approve Initiative 864, which would cut some local property taxes by 25 percent.



Senators' wealth

link

Patty Murray has between $350,000 and $750,000. Cantwell has somewhere between $2 Million and $10 Million.



Lawyers pay for Gregoire Print ad

Bill Bailey and Steve Fury paid for an ad in the Times and PI that said in part "One mistake is being used as an excuse to indiscriminately trash the reputation of the entire office."



8-1!

Yeah it was probably a given anyway. But still the council vote to approve the monorail route was nicely lopsided. Richard Conlin was the 1.



Monday, June 14, 2004

150 Modified 737s

Later today, Senator Murray is going to announce the completion of the deal where the Navy will buy 150 737s. They would be built in Renton.

This is different from the troubled Air Force 767 decision. I don't know if this was fairly agreed on or not. The 767 still leaves a bad taste in my mouth though.

...The Biz Journal has more, post announcement:

The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing Co. with a contract worth $3.89 billion to replace its aging fleet of P-3 aircraft, used in submarine-hunting missions. The total program value is estimated at about $15 billion over a 10-year production run.

The deal goes to Boeing's Integrated Defense Systems unit in St. Louis, but the program will use Renton-built 737s converted to the military's needs, Boeing said.



South Lake Union

I don't know if the deal is going to be good or bad for solving the Mercer mess, but it looks like it'll probably be going forward.



$1.1 Billion

That's how much Snohomish PUD thinks Enron bilked Washington State during the energy crisis.



Sunday, June 13, 2004

Open Thread

Discuss the day's events. Or yesterday's events. Or future events. Or something else all together.



Bomb Sniffing Robot

Bellevue officials say an Andros F6A robot that can defuse bombs, sniff out hazardous materials and carry a shotgun for blowing doors off their hinges will help make the city's six-man bomb squad safer.

The $140,000 bomb robot is part of a request by Bellevue for money through a State Homeland Security Grant Program. The total request is for $325,000 and includes $185,000 for a new bomb truck.



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