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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Barid's Tort Reform Bill 

I'm not signing off on it or anything, but it's a lot better than Republican versions because it has a non-monitory mechanism to hold bad doctors accountable. I'm still opposed to a cap on pain and suffering damages, but I think the other thing is necessary.



Friday, January 14, 2005

Fewer Meth Lab Busts 

In Walla Walla County and the state. DOE isn't sure if that's because there are less labs or if the criminals are getting better at hiding their crap.



Ick ick ick ick ick 

I thought we were done with Rick White for ever. Now he's considering running for senate against Maria Cantwell.

Fans of remembering stuff will recall that White ran ads against then incumbent Rep. Maria Cantwell saying how it's awful to be single. How she's so immoral. Sin sin sin. The only moral people are happily married like him. Then he lost his seat while he was high and mightily voting for impeachment when rumors of an affair were circulating. And if I remember correctly he's now divorced.



UFW Store 

The General points us to the UFW store where you can support the Snokist workers on strike.



Thursday, January 13, 2005

Preemptive Karma Does it Again 

OMFG! Real reporting on a blog! Again! Lock up granny and get out the corn oil, it makes no sense!

Anyway, this time on military ballots:

Earlier this afternoon, I had the honor of speaking with Lt. Colonel Steve Boylan (I really hope I'm spelling that correctly) from the Coalition Press Information Center located in Baghdad, Iraq.

Lt. Colonel Boylan informed me that if a service person serving outside the United States didn't recieve a ballot on time from the place where they're registered, they can still vote. In that case, they may use a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. Lt. Colonel Boylan also informed me that those ballots were in ample supply. State and local races can be voted using those ballots as well. Those ballots are also available online.

Lt. Col. Boylan also told me some other interesting facts. Beginning in what he believed was "early Summer", the US military conducted a major voter education drive.

Each military unit was provided a voting representative. The representative was sometimes an officer and sometimes noncommissioned personnel. This voting rep was trained and provided materials to assist military persons with voting. This training and materials included information on how to register to vote, obtain absentee ballots, filling out all of the necessary paperwork properly, etc.

According to Lt. Col. Boyland, every individual was made aware of deadlines for the various states. In addition, the military postal service ensured ballots were expedited to the best of their ability. In other words, any time they could ship them out, they did, unless there was something else that needed to be on the truck that was absolutely more necessary.



Letter To Your Legislator Week (Day 5 Early!) 

Light posting tomorrow. So you get the post today!

Today's topic: Everything else

Write on something. There's so much good stuff, pick something and dash off a note to your legislator. Election reform. Tax reform. The economy. Trade issues. Outsourcing. Ag. issues. Human services. Consumer rights. The budget. Extending the stadium tax.

Once again, here's the dealie to find your legislator.



Open Thread 

Another encouragement to write a letter to your legislator, because so far the week has been weak edition.



Mixed Transuranic Waste 

I-297 gets its day in court.



The Righwing Noise Machine 

Dino Rossi is a bad man. He's shown himself since the election not to give a damn about elections. Who could forget when his spokeswoman said that they'd only accept the election results if they won the recount? That's the definition of hates America folks. Dino Rossi hates America.

Republicans still pretend that all these "problems" that they've had a hundred fifty years of statehood before the elections to fix are now suddenly reason enough to overturn an election. Their re-vote scheme will have to be rushed, so it will probably disenfranchise even more military voters, but they still trot out a few military folks including one who threw his own ballot out. A stryker brigade that was here in early November is now in Iraq, many of them will be disenfranchised if the Republicans get a new election.

The truth is that they've had decades of anti-American fraud. From Watergate, to October surprise, to impeachment, to Florida 2000, to the California recall, the Republicans have shown time and again that they hate American elections. If there wasn't this history, maybe, maybe, maybe some of their claims might get a legit hearing, but we all know the score. If they didn't shift focus every day, maybe, maybe, maybe we'd listen to their next bit of crap. If they gave the slightest little damn about any of the "problems" they're now using to justify wanting a to overturn this election when they were up, maybe, maybe, maybe we'd take them seriously.

And still the Republican noise machine rattles on. No matter what lie is coming from the Republican party. No matter that the last dozen have been easily disproved, this one must be true. They've infected the mainstream media. Majorities of people want a re-vote despite the fact that a plurality voted for the governor. They want it because they keep hearing the Republicans lie, but don't hear the facts.

News folks should know by now that Sound Politics makes shit up. But they keep reporting whatever bullshit they pull out their collective asses. So earlier I advised Rossi to piss his pants, now I'm reporting it happened. If a blog said it it's true, right talk radio? Right TV news? Dino Rossi pissed his pants. If you need proof, you should retract all the stories that you ran based on SP or Republican blast faxes.



Letter To Your Legislator Week (Day 4) 

Today's topic: The Environment

The natural splendor of our wilderness is amazing. From the Puget Sound, to the Columbia, to the forests the mountains and streams. I remember visiting family out here when I lived in New York City. My Grandfather took me fishing. And one of the amazing things was the ability to drive in essentially the middle of nowhere for a few hours. But every year more and more of that drive becomes somewhere. Our farmland becomes strip malls. Our forests are slowly converted to tracts further and further away from anywhere.

But our legislators can help remedy the problem. They can encourage density closer in and around the cities. They can grab up forest lands and put them in trusts. They can mandate that our cars don't pollute as much.

But they'll only know it's important to you if you write them.



Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Letters 

Kendall Miller of Into The Breach gets a letter published in the Tri-City Herald.



Just Thinking Out Loud 

But what happens in the future if there's a dispute in the primary like the one in the governor's race? I've been witness to one such thing in a Democratic primary, but one person won and the loser while paying for a recount didn't go to court (or get the same help from the party).

But now our primary is the top two. It's only a matter of time before the difference between the number 2 and number 3 candidates is only a few votes. If they're from the same party no big deal, the process works, and the party will get behind the winner. If they're from different parties I don't see it getting resolved before we need to print up ballots for the general election especially with the September primary.



Hell Yeah 

Preemptive Karma lays the smack down on the silliness from Sound Politics. And lordy lordy me, actually does some honest to goodness reporting from blogtopia (y!sctp). Calling people up, and verifying paper trails! What will the children think?

If the braintrust at soundpolitics had just made a few phone calls, they could have checked their information. Instead, they published what appears to be dubiously and sloppily sourced material, misleading their readership. This misinformation is being used to prop up some very serious allegations.
Tip of the hat to Orcinus.



Dear Reps. Cody and McDermott and Sen. Poulsen, 

I'm writing you to let you know that I'm very concerned with the healthcare of Washingtonians. I hope that you will heed Governor Gregoire's advice that "[w]hen half a million people have no health insurance, we have work to do." I hope that you will start that work bringing healthcare to more Washington children. There's no excuse why we can't make sure that at least all children in the state have healthcare. I'd also ask that you make sure at least not to cut care for the poorest among us while you consider things this session and in the future. And if possible, expand their care as well.

Thank you,

Carl Ballard

(Yes there is a small portion of the 34th that's rural and in King County)



Inaugural Address 

There's a bit much I'd like to thank the academy at the beginning. But she lays out a decent framework of what she wants to do in the coming months and years.

As we gather here today, it seems fitting to ask, what will our legacy be?

Will we leave a legacy of holding government accountable, cutting through the red tape and breaking down the barriers that hinder business development?

Will we leave a legacy of strong democratic institutions and faith in government?

Will we work to provide health care for every child in this state?

Will we dramatically lower our high school dropout rate, and help every young person fulfill his or her full potential?

That’s exactly what I’m here to do – not alone, but together with all of you, Republican and Democrat alike.

...

When citizens don’t have confidence their tax dollars are being used efficiently and effectively, we have work to do.

When we lose 20 percent of our manufacturing jobs in five years, we have work to do.

When half a million people have no health insurance, we have work to do.

When children start kindergarten already behind because they didn’t get early education, we have work to do.

When a third of our high school students don’t finish high school on time, we have work to do.

And when Hood Canal, Puget Sound, Lake Roosevelt, and the Spokane River are polluted, we have work to do.
She also does a good job addressing the tight election.

I believe the voters have given all of us a mandate – a mandate to overcome our differences, and to solve problems.

Truly, the challenges we face are not Democratic challenges or Republican challenges.

In fact, they are not political challenges at all; they are fiscal challenges, and educational challenges, and the challenges of figuring out how to take care of each other and create a future worthy of our children.

It is healthy to have differences of opinion about how to rise to these challenges.

It is unhealthy to let those differences paralyze us.

...

Clearly the election recount ordeal of the last two months has challenged us, and among our challenges this session is election reform.

We want every vote to count – and to be counted right the first time.

I will, therefore, create a task force, chaired by Secretary of State Sam Reed, and former State Senator Betti Sheldon, to review our election process and report back to me and to the legislature with recommended reforms by March 1st.

This task force will travel the state and listen carefully to suggestions from citizens on how we can move forward with improvements in our election system.



Best. Quote. Ever. 

Thank you Jerry Asbach for making my day.

"I don't have the proof, but I've heard lots of statements about dead people voting and our military voters not being able to vote," said Jerry Asbach of Olympia, a supporter of Republican Dino Rossi.

"Because of fraud and negligence, we need a revote," Asbach said.
So the man admits there's no proof, but as long as he's heard statements, there should be a revote. That's about where we are on the Republican side. No proof is good enough. Here's the proof though: The only dead voter we know of so far voted for Rossi. The only vote from a county that tried to re-canvas after they certified their hand recount was for Gregoire. So she won, the only question is if it's by 129 or 131 votes.

...edited grammar



Letter to Your Legislator Week (Day 3) 

Today's topic: Healthcare.

We aren't doing as bad by our children and our poor as some states. We've got a basic health plan that while not wonderful, at least protects the least among us from dying or falling insufferably into debt if a child gets sick. If someone who is extremely poor gets extremely sick they can at least survive to get treatment.

I'll be writing a letter to my legislators later today. I hope some of you will also write something soon because they absolutely do listen.



Casey Corr 

He's leaving Nickels' staff to run against Richard Conlin.

"I am running to give a sense of purpose and bring some effectiveness to the City Council. I want to make the council stronger so the city is better. We need leaders. The council today doesn't have an agenda; it lacks strong leadership and focus. I will bring that to the council."



Tuesday, January 11, 2005

CAOk 

There's really no way to write that headline with it reading like it sounds in my head and making sense. I think that's the best of CAOK and CAO AOK.

But anyway the critical areas ordinances won't have to come up for a vote just because some land owners don't like it. For those interested, the judge was King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson.



Blogoversery 

Since Shaun was the only person who seemed interested in doing something to celebrate one year of me posting crap, here's what's going to happen: This Sunday, the 16th, I'm going to eat at the Cabin Tavern from 6 to 8(or earlier if nobody shows up). I'll belly up to the bar, and if there's other folks, wonderful, if not, I'll just bring something to read, and if he's working, chat with my old party chair (but only for a few months because I turned 18 right at the end of his term).



Abortion Clinic Arson 

In Olympia. I hope that people like Sen. Val Stevens who was a driving force on a database of "eco-terrorists" last year will make a similar list of anybody who might be sympathetic to these people. (Not really. As you may remember, I was opposed to that list at the time. And I don't think it's terrorism, although it is bad. The same probably applies here because the fire was set when nobody was around.)



2 Weeks 

I've said it before, I'll say it again: The Republican idea that because they don't like the results of the last election, we should have a governor who nobody voted for is patently silly. So it was with their failed plan to delay Gregoire's certification.



Sounds About Right 

From TAPPED Via Atrios:

I swear that I have never taken money -- neither directly nor indirectly -- from any political campaign or government agency -- whether federal, state, or local -- in exchange for any service performed in my job as a journalist (or commentator, or blogger, or whatever you think I should be called).



Letter To Your Legislator Week (Day 2) 

Today's topic: Transportation.

There are a things that come up every year, and some specifics that vary from year to year. The first of course is roads versus mass transit. But there is always a question of what roads and what mass transit. How much state money is going to go to fix the Viaduct? How many more East-West lanes should we put across Lake Washington (if any)? In terms of mass transit, should the state pay for part the Green Line? Should they build capacity across Lake Washington? Should ST get money? If so for what? What about the ferries? Are there enough runs, is there some area that's underserved? That's all Puget Sound stuff. In the South there's more bridge capacity across the Columbia. In the East, there's talk of a North-South highway. Is that any good? If you have a strong feeling about any of that, let your rep or senator know what's what.

Links:
Senate Transportation Committee
House Transportation Committee



Monday, January 10, 2005

Dear Steve Hammond, 

You are the Rosa Parks of politically connected white men. When you said, "I just have to tell you that when you look at this map it's really kind of a joke. If you look at the rural areas, you can see that the minority, which is the rural districts, that minority has been told to get to the back of the bus," it made me think about how tough it is to be a rural white man.

I live in a rural part of the county too. I just hate the way that the urban part of the county (and the state, and the nation, but that wasn't what you were talking about) pays for our lifestyle. The way they spend their tax money on police for us even though we don't pay for their city police. The way they build all our roads even when they also build their own city's roads. That's awful.

I mean they pay a disproportionate amount of their tax dollars for our sewer, but mine still gets clogged sometimes. It's so unfair. But honestly what I really liked was the way you mocked the civil rights struggle by comparing it with the possibility that your party might lose elections in a county where most people Democrats.

Love Ya!

Carl Ballard

...Sent to an aide because I couldn't find one for him.

...That's steve.hammond@metrokc.gov for those of you interested in sending him your own note, but who don't have a fax machine handy.



Rally at the Capitol and Other Things 

Progressive Majority Washington passes along this from the Gregoire campaign.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 11th, the legislature is scheduled to certify Chris Gregoire as governor. But Republicans are pulling out all the stops to block this. They have blanketed the state with a media blitz of television, radio and newspaper ads.

And they claim they'll have as many as 10,000 supporters at the State Capitol on Tuesday to protest and delay Governor-elect Gregoire's certification.

We need a loud chorus to challenge them.

Tell the Republicans it's time for Rossi to concede, and let the legislature know it's time to start moving Washington forward.

Here's how you can help:

1. Come to the Tuesday rally in Olympia. Here are the details: Tuesday, January 11th 10:30 AM State Capitol, Olympia Washington Story Pole on the north side of the Capitol Campus
2. Let your legislator know how you feel, by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 (hours 8:30am-4:30pm). Or, use Progressive Majority's handy webform by clicking here.
3. Write letters to the editor of your newspapers and email your friends.



Dolan to Executive Policy Office 

Former Featured Dem Laurie Dolan has been hired by Governor-elect Gregoire to the Executive Policy Office.

On Friday, Gov.-Elect Christine Gregoire named Dolan to be director of the governor's Executive Policy Office. Dolan will oversee 20 subject-matter experts who serve as policy advisers to Gregoire on issues like economic development, health care and education.

"Laurie will bring a wonderful perspective from the eastern part of the state," Gregoire said at a morning news conference in the Capitol's reception room.
... Tip of the hat to the SCYD's.



Doling out the Money 

I'm pretty sure Senator Fairley could have worded it better. But since we'll take control of the state house senate and governor's mansion, the Democratic agenda should get a boost. And that of course includes the appropriations.

"The special-interest groups are going to say 'the chips come due,' " said state Sen. Darlene Fairley, D-Lake Forest Park.

"It's not uncommon for special-interest groups who have been backing a party that gets into a majority in all houses" to jump at the chance for change, she said. "They'd be fools not to."



Letter to Your Legislator Week 

I'm writing mine in midweek. But for now I'm officially kicking off letter to your legislator week. Like letter to the editor week, I'll be keeping a running tally. Feel free to write your own and send a copy to me . Obviously the more from the heart and on something you care about the better, so I'll suggest topics all week, but feel free to write on anything. Note, to trolls, no I won't put your letter up, or count it. But don't let that scare you off of having an opinion that differs from mine; If you feel strongly in favor of the new primary or opposed to ST, I'll put it up and count it.

Here's the link to find your legislators. Today's topic is a hold over from the weekend. Write your legislators and ask that they respect the results of the election. Here's the forum I linked to the other day.



Dear Maggi Fimia, 

I caught you on KUOW today. You know there was a time when I was so proud that you were my King County Councilwoman. I mean smart, articulate, and a solid Democrat, what wasn't to love? I know you've had your falling out with the Democrats in more recent years, but the way you sneeringly talked about your party was kind of pathetic.

Also, the way you complained about unincorporated districts having parts of Seattle in them, that was classic! I remember when the county expanded to 13 seats, your district went down into Ballard. Don't get me wrong, I support our side doing things like that with the map, and the other side figuring out how work it to their advantage, and then there would be a compromise. But for you now to complain about a process that in a different context probably got you re-elected is pretty amazing.

Kiss kiss,

Carl Ballard

...Sent. Also, according to an email someone representing the Republicans (they didn't catch the name) on the same show said that rural KC residents were a minority that had to sit on the back of the bus with plan X. Apparently he was saying that in the context a map with one majority minority district (plan X has 2 1 and one nearly majority minority), but I had got out of my car by that time so I can't confirm it yet. I'll let you know what else I can dig up.

...The comment wasn't quite as bad as reported, but they were still pretty bad. The context of having more majority minority districts was the last point that the previous guest had made, but it wasn't brought up to the Republican. Unfortunately, he wasn't just some party flunky, he was Councilman Steve Hammond. To listen click here and skip to 38:20. Here's my transcript:

I just have to tell you that when you look at this map it's really kind of a joke. If you look at the rural areas, you can see that the minority, which is the rural districts, that minority has been told to get to the back of the bus.
According to Steve Hammond's web site, you can contact him in the following ways:Phone: (206) 296-1009 | Fax: (206) 296-0198 | TTY/TDD: (206) 296-1024 | Toll Free: (800) 325-6165
Mailing Address: King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, Room 1200, Seattle, WA 98104-3272



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