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Saturday, July 17, 2004

Tribes won't Appeal Kennewick Man Case

It'll never go to the Supremes.



Team Inslee on Joe Wilson

Nice blog post. Even if it still doesn't mention Inslee (and I still think that's the biggest problem with the Inslee blog). Still it is about the man who will be their featured guest for the kick-off.



Dear Secretary Abraham;

First of all, I know you're busy, what with losing those information storage devices. It must be tough to track them down when you're so incompetent. So I won't waste too much of your time with this letter.

I see you're being sued by my state of Washington, and we're about to expand it. I'd like to urge you to make that unnecessary. Just stop shipping nuclear waste to Hanford. When a moderate who doesn't like to pick a fight like Chris Gregoire says something like, "DOE has failed to prove that shipping more waste to Hanford won't make the nation's most contaminated site even worse," you should really think about what you're doing.

Kiss kiss,

Carl Ballard

PS, still no answer to my first letter. Was it on one of those lost storage devices?



3000 New Jobs

Boeing is finally hiring more people. It'll be mostly in the Puget Sound and Portland and some in the rest of the country.

This news by itself is undoubtedly good. Especially considering how recently Harry Stonecipher was talking about more lay offs. But the larger context of this is the tanker deal.

Imagine if instead of this wasteful crap, we used the money on a jobs program for the Northwest. Imagine if we paid for more police and firefighters. Imagine if we used that money to hire teachers, and other public servants. And this would have been much better for the country than planes we don't need.



Friday, July 16, 2004

Go Fuck Yourself In Kennewick

Dick Cheney is going to be working a fundraiser for Dino Rossi in Kennewick. I don't know if there will be any protests, but if you know anything, let me know.



$72.5 million

The Boeing Co. agreed today to pay female workers up to $72.5 million to settle allegations they endured slurs and discrimination while losing millions of dollars in overtime at factories and offices in the Puget Sound region.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman granted preliminary approval of the pact this morning. Lawyers have worked on a deal since the company announced in May that it agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that covers roughly 29,000 past and current female Boeing employees in Western Washington from 1997 to the present.

The settlement will establish new protections for women who complain about mistreatment in the future. It also calls for changes in pay, overtime and promotion policies



It would be nice
 
To live in a city with a functioning monorail.




Thursday, July 15, 2004

Open Thread
 
Because there hasn't been one in a while, and maybe you've got something to say.




Charges Dismissed

As a followup to our previous post about the Texas couple who were ejected from a Bush rally, the charges against this couple have been dismissed.

We might note that Nicole still lost her Federal job.

Atrios has more.



Tom DeLay has his sights on us

It seems that Tom "The Exterminator" DeLay wants to dictate Washington's social policy. From the lead paragraph of Jonathan Kaplan's latest article in The Hill:
Realizing that a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage faces little chance of passing soon, if ever, House Republicans yesterday discussed alternative approaches, including stripping federal courts of jurisdiction over the issue, passing a federal law to define marriage and using the appropriations process to ban gay marriage in Washington.
Regardles of where one stands on this debate, do we really want Tom DeLay telling Washington what we can or cannot do? And if he does, who is to stop him?

Thanks to Josh Marshall at the invaluable Talking Points Memo for telling us about the story.

UPDATE: Carl correctly points out that DeLay is threatening Washington the D.C., not Washington the State. On one hand, Never Mind. But on the other hand, this is sort of scary, don't you think?

Update Deaux: Carl correctly points out that Kevin made the above update possible.



Why the Downticket Matters

This morning Mike Kreidler rejected Premera Blue Cross' attempt to turn into a for profit organization. This will save the sick and the injured real money. It will help contain healthcare costs in Washington. But for a narrow band of people, it'll cost them a big opportunity to make money.

Now we obviously don't know what Davidson would have done if he had won the election. It would have been tough for anyone to go against most doctors and hospitals. And if his staff had concluded that it was a bad idea, it would have been even more difficult. But he would have appointed a different staff. So maybe they would have been closer to the for profit interests. And he would have been more likely to favor the powerful.

Nobody knew in 2000 that Premera was going to try to turn into a for profit organization, and so the last election couldn't have been about that. When we elect people for 4 year terms, we have no idea what challenges they'll face 2, 3, 4 years out. We have to look at their philosophy and figure out how well it will work for us. That's why Brenda keeps talking about bureaucrats. That's why I keep pimping Democrats. Because who's in these seats matters.

And this is true down to PCO. It's true for the fire district. It's true in your sewer commission. It's true for city and town council. It's true for state house and senate. It's true for those executive offices that you aren't really sure what they do. Fill them with good people, and keep them honest, and hopefully they'll do good more than they won't.



8th District Dems on KUOW Today

At 1:00. I don't see a link on the website, so I may have heard things wrong.
 
... Here's the link to the audio archive. It looks like I'll have to change it soon. I haven't listened to it yet, but I'll do that later.

...Link changed



Wednesday, July 14, 2004

5,000

Holy Cats! 5000 visitors since I put that sitemeter link in. I realize Kos does that in a minute. And atrios links to someone and there are 5000 visitors in an hour. But damnit, it's big for a little provisional blog from the middle of nowhere that mostly deals with local stuff. So here's to the next 5000, and hopefully most of them won't be me hitting refresh.



Email your Grocer

The good folks at the grocery union point me here. You can email Safeway, Kroger, and Fred Meyer Albertsons and let them know what you think of the proposed cutbacks in pay and health benefits.



Greens on the Ballot

I agree with Shaun's position on keeping the Nader off the ballot. It also extends to his former party. There's no shame in our trying to make sure Greens meet the feeble requirements of so many Western states. But I guess the downticket Greens in Washington will be on the ballot in November.

Four Green Party candidates are campaigning for statewide and congressional seats. They are Bern Haggerty for lieutenant governor, Paul Richmond for attorney general, Robert Losey for the U.S. House of Representatives [the article doesn't say it but that's the 9th district, against Smith --Carl]and Mark Wilson for the U.S. Senate.

In addition, the Green Party is running candidates for county commissioner seats in Skagit and San Juan counties and for the 46th District's seat in the state Legislature.


Slight editing for grammar and clarity



6.1

The state's June unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, unchanged from May. The state still lags the national rate, which was 5.6 percent in June.



Inslee and Wilson

Jay Inslee's campaign kick off is July 24th. Its 15 bucks for a ticket, and Joe Wilson will be there.

When : Saturday, July 24th, 2 to 5 p.m.

Where : Edmonds Woodway High School - 7600 212th St SW, Edmonds

Directions : From I-5, take exit #179 (220th St.) and head west. Turn right on 76th Ave. West. Edmonds Woodway High School is on the corner of 76th Ave West and 212 St. SW

RSVP for your tickets. The requested donation is $15.00 per ticket, which you can purchase online or you can order by calling (206) 533-0575.

It looks like he's trying to become a bigger player in the state as a whole. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, he doesn't have a strong opponent this year, so he should probably do something. And I love it when we take the fight to other people. On the other hand his seat is usually vulnerable, and this will make the Repubs work extra hard at beating him next time. But Inslee has never put his own electoral politics before doing what's right (see his first stint in Congress). So I hope it works out.

For the next 100 days, we'll be working to help elect Democrats around the State of Washington, as well as to help put John Kerry in the White House. Join us in making the election night a celebration for Democrats across the state.



Finally Something Nethercutt isn't evil on

He says he opposes the hate amendment. Of course he'll still vote for a Senate leadership that's all too happy to bring it up. And he's probably worse on legislation (I don't know how he or Patty voted for DOMA though).



Smith on not Repealing Parts of the PATRIOT Act

I agree with the pissed off people in this article. Either stand up for how you voted, or don't have voted that way. One of 4 Democrats to say we shouldn't need to go through a judge to see what people are reading at a library. I mean I don't mind politicians changing their minds. But this turn around is so soon after the vote. And maybe if the margin had been higher at the outset, the R's wouldn't have been able to pull those shannigans.

...For a more through explanation of Smith's position, look at the first comment at the DFW post on the same topic. But I still think that he should have come to the conclusion faster.



Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Washingtonian Blogging at the Dem Convention

natasha at Pacific Views will be heading out to Beantown. So yay one of the team and such.

...Changed the link to the actual post. And also, if you're so inclined, you might want to include yourself in the hat passing going on. But if otherwise the good vibes she asks for are good too.



PI has Advice for New UW President

The PI has some scandal-control advice for incoming UW President Mark Emmert. This article also contains a handy checklist of UW scandals (for those of us who are now scandal-overwhelmed).

More advice, Mark: Find some way to get rid of Regent Dan Evans. Dan is a snake in snake's clothing who knifed a family friend in the back when his rethughican masters told him to. Just ask former Congressperson Jolene Unsoeld. And, Mark, he will do the same to you if it suits his agenda.



Monorail Recall Maybe

Monorail Recall has gathered enough signatures for the November ballot. But there are still a couple folks fighting it in court, and there may not be enough valid signatures.



More Competitive, Less Workforce

Boeing Chief Exec. Harry Stonecipher says they need more layoffs to be more Competitive. Presumably not in the executive suite.

"We have plans to become more competitive, and to be more competitive means lowering costs," Stonecipher, 68, said in an interview at the company's Chicago headquarters. "Lowering costs means that you have to get out of a lot of these manufacturing jobs, service jobs, all kinds of jobs."

He will meet with leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union, which represents about 16,000 commercial aircraft workers and 23,000 laid-off and retired members in the Seattle area, where the company's commercial aircraft are manufactured. The union's top concern is job security, and the company's continued shifting of jobs to outside suppliers at home and abroad.



One Ballot

Oh the confusion! King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties will all print up one ballot with all the names of candidates from all parties. Then you chose what party you are voting for. And if you cross over, it doesn't count. And depending on who you talk to, it could spoil the entire ballot.



Monday, July 12, 2004

Water Use

Ever since I read Cadillac Desert I've been interested in our water supply. Because we don't live in LA, or some other stretch desert, we've been able to avoid some of the worst problems. But as our population increases, our water use is also increasing.

So I enjoyed reading this article about what Battle Ground is doing to keep ahead of population growth. Digging more wells won't work for ever. But at least they have the foresight to do something far enough out that it won't become a crunch.

slight editing grammar



As an Incumbent

Rep. Mike Carrell was just appointed to the state senate, a seat he was running for anyway when sen Winsley dropped out. Fine. It seems a little sketchy this close to an election, but whatever.

But the article said "Now he will be able to run as the incumbent." What? This doesn't give him any legislative accomplishments. What does he get to put a re before his signs that say "elect Mike Carrell"? Because that seems like it would cost him money without much gain.

I mean I guess he'll have seniority over any new senators elected in November, so maybe that's something for getting plumb committee assignments. Vote for me, I may be slightly better at bringing pork back to the district all other things being equal.



I may be a bigger ass

Than most of the people reading this. But I think it's a good thing that Seattle is coming down hard on people who haven't paid their traffic tickets. I mean I don't really cry for people who decided to risk parking in the handicapped space, or the half hour parking, or didn't feed the meter; then got caught; then didn't pay their fines. Yeah it probably impacts the poor more disproportionately. But poor jackasses.

Maybe I'm not one to complain. I have no parking (or moving) fines, hell I've never even been pulled over, and given a warning. And yeah, JD if you're lurking, that one time in Olympia was totally unfair.

... Bah, forgot the link.



Sunday, July 11, 2004

My Rep is Still an Embarrassment

God knows I'll vote for her, because she's a Dem. But I got a letter in the mail (that I don't see online) from Maralyn Chase that makes me reconsider that. First of all, no margins. If you're using Word you have to work for that. And you'd think the print shop would be like "um, maybe you'll want a bit more space between the edge of your paper and your text."

Anyway, she's announcing her campaign kick off for re-election as state rep. It happens to be on Bastille Day, and she makes reference to that. For like 2 paragraphs. Then she launches into a screed about the federal government. Fine, I agree with most of it, but she's running for state office.

So to sum up, vote for Maralyn Chase for the French parliament, or US Congress. If you don't like margins.



Homeless in Spokane

We hate the homeless all over the state. Eastern and Western WA. Suburban and urban. We just hate them.



Naming Rights of Public Parks

Kitsap County parks officials aren't saying who they're negotiating with, or even whether it involves Kitsap Pavilion, but they admit they're in talks about selling naming rights to park facilities.



Dear Doc Hastings,

I'm writing to ask you to recuse yourself from the ethics investigation of Tom DeLay. Since you have taken over a thousand dollars from his PAC, people might reasonably question your judgment. If you vote with DeLay, people will feel that the Republican leadership can buy you off.

I would also ask you to talk to Reps Hulshof, LaTourette, and Biggert about recusing themselves.

Love love love,

Carl Ballard



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