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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Budget 

Not the best, but I'll take it. There are some tough cuts like Medicade drug benifits, and some fine ones like middle management and extra tight security around the capital. The sensible taxation is a good thing. The slots for college are awesome. Of course the biggest problem is the mess with the road budget (gah).



Only Three? 

How quaint. I really like how you can have 11 paragraphs dedicated to the opening of a Starbucks in your town. Could you imagine if the PI did that every time a Starbucks opened in Seattle? It's be hundreds of pages a week.



Lakoff in Town 

It's a bit cheaper than the Kerry thing.



Kerry in Town 

He's speaking with Governor Gregoire at a $75 a head fundraiser. Top item for now.

You’re invited to join Senator John Kerry for a seafood reception to benefit the Washington State Democratic Party's Governor's Defense Fund with special guest Governor Christine Gregoire.
Event Sponsorship: $250, Individual Sponsorship: $100,
Individual Ticket: $75.
Where: Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center
Discovery Park, Seattle (Magnolia Neighborhood).
When: Sunday, May 1st 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
RSVP: Shawna Ousse at 206-583-0664 or shawna@wa-democrats.org.



Election Reform 

Looks like a pretty good package will be signed by Gregoire.



Singing the Blue 

Blue Washington that is. They're off to a nice start. The name is Washington, but there's plenty of national stuff too. Go check them out.



Friday, April 22, 2005

Award to Local Geek Rescinded 

In 2001, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center gave Microsoft its Corporate Vision award. Today, they asked Microsoft to give it back.



Open Thread 

Busy today and tomorrow edition.



Thursday, April 21, 2005

McDermott Spring 2005 Community Meeting 

I'm cribbing pretty heavily from the 34th District Dems, but I don't think they'll mind since Ivan pointed it out to me in the first place.

Saturday, April 23, 2005; 10:00 ? 11:30 am; White Center Heights Elementary School, 10015 6th Avenue SW

Join Congressman Jim McDermott for the Spring 2005 Community Meeting to explain Social Security, the war in Iraq, Medicare, Personal Bankruptcy, and other issues.

?I am eager to hear your ideas about where we go from here, and to discuss approaches we can take together to advance the well-being of our country and the priorities for our district. I look forward to a vigorous discussion.?



Microsoft and gays 

Gah!



Up for a Vote 

I'd thought that the non discrimination based on sexual identity bill was already dead, but it's good it came up for a vote, even if it did ultimately fail. It should be good to go on the attack against people in moderate districts. Finkbeiner is already being a moron.

"I was very conflicted on this bill," said Finkbeiner, a former Democrat who actually supported the bill once before when he was a House member. "I don't think there's anything wrong with being gay."

He said he opposes discrimination but voted against the bill for two main reasons: because he thought it could interfere with the current Supreme Court case on gay marriage, and because he is the leader of the Senate Republican caucus.

"To me," he said, "this isn't a rights issue."

Finkbeiner said he doesn't think Democrats should use the issue as a political football. He said he believes his vote reflected his district.

That belief will probably be put to the test. Equal Rights Washington, a group formed to support the gay civil rights bill, plans to campaign against Finkbeiner on this issue. They may also target other Republicans from suburban districts such as Sen. Luke Esser of Bellevue and Sen. Dave Schmidt of Mill Creek.
What the hell does that even mean, I couldn't support it because I'm the leader of the Republican caucus? These other jackasses want to keep discriminating against gays, and since they're my peeps, I guess I've got to too. He's basically saying he'll sell out his principals to keep his leadership position. You can still fire homos, but at least the people who kept it legal will vote for me to lead them again. You can deny someone a loan for being gay, but at least I'll be able to keep leading a group of hateful jackals.



Like the City and the Paper 

Olympia is an interesting place. It's full of live and excitement. It's got it's own hustle and bustle. Then the legislature goes out of session and it goes into a holding pattern. And I didn't work in the legislature, or even government when I was down there, so it must be even moreso for those who do.

Same with the Daily O. It has had the best legislative coverage this year, as it does most years. It keeps wonderful tabs on state government, especially the legislature. But when the session ends, it'll be maddening to read with a few exceptions.

So it seems with Oly Scoop, who's going to slow down after the legislative session. It'll be fun to see what OlyScoop comes up with when the legislature is out.



Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Fewer Schools 

Seattle Schools are proposing cutting elementary schools and reducing choice for elementary school students. But the trade offs are fixing the budget mess and better school busing. The school board still votes on it in July.



Scamtastic! 

Nice catch by Columbian Watch.



Audits 

Passed the legislature. And oh yeah, it's a hell of a lot better than the Timmih initiative.



Tuesday, April 19, 2005

It's Like Reform Except Without Reform 

So far as I can tell the Republican election reform plan differs from the Democratic plan in 3 ways. I've already discussed their brilliant plan to compare the voter rolls to a Federal list that doesn't exist, and the need for ID at the polls that good people can differ on if it's a good idea or not. But they also are opposed to moving the primary up.

This will be the toughest of the three for a few reasons. First, more Democrats support the Republican position on this than the other two. It may make fundraising tougher for incumbents, and wanting to stay in office cuts across party lines. Also, because the voters passed a successful primary election law, it would take more than 50% to pass any law dealing with the primary.



South Lake Union 

The City Council says it's a go.

The city said housing in the neighborhood is not keeping pace with development in the area, with the rate of jobs per dwelling unit reaching 14 to one.

The area's biggest developer, Paul Allen's Vulcan Real Estate, owns about 60 acres in the neighborhood, and has 12 development projects totaling three million square feet that are either under development, recently completed or planned for the near future. Vulcan hopes to transform the area into a biotechnology hub.

The city's comprehensive plan calls for the development of 8,000 dwelling units in South Lake Union by 2024.



Monday, April 18, 2005

Law School Rankings 

U.S News & world Report has released its annual list of law school rankings. The Big U Law School was #27 and Seattle University Law was #95. Gonzaga Law was not listed, probably because it is in a category of its very own.



Sunday, April 17, 2005

Local Blogging Around 

Cascadia Scorecard explains how much we drive. And it's depressing.

Delivering Hope has a fun little language scorecard. Here's how I scored. 5% of the 10% is because I say Y'all for some reason. I have no idea where the other is. Yankee comes from growing up in New York, I guess.

65% General American English
20% Yankee
10% Dixie
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern

Veiled 4 Allah cribs someone on the similarities between the Jews and the Muslims.

This is truly amazing. The Prophet (pbuh) made the Jews of Medina one "ummah," or community with the believers. This even though the Jews immediately, almost as soon as he arrived in the city, rejected him as Messenger of God (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) did not force them to become Muslim; he did not expel the Jews from Medina after they rejected him; he did not relegate them to a "second-class citizen" status. No. They were equal members of the city, one "community with the believers," with the freedom to practice their religion. At one time in history, Muslims and Jews were one nation under God. I lament the tension between Muslims and Jews both in America and around the world. It makes so much sense for the two faith communities to be very close to each other: we both worship the same God, the God of Abraham; we both honor and revere both Abraham and Moses; Moses and Abraham are both highly honored in the Qur'an, and they are mentioned by name in the Qur'an more than the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself; there are many stories of the Hebrew Prophets in the Qur'an; in fact, the story of Joseph as mentioned in the Bible and the Qur'an are strikingly similar. Like I said before, Muslims and Jews have so much more in common than in distinction, and it pains me to see so much tension between the two faith communities.
Into The Breach explains why Bolton is nuttier than a squirrel fucking peanut butter.

Boston Steamer talks about M's blogging.



Tom DeLay's Ho 

I'm starting a new blog, but I want to be somewhat detached from it. Patriotboy and Expat Teacher both think that there should be a blog linking Tom DeLay and his man ho Doc. But when people say, "there should be," what they mean is, "if somebody puts in all the effort, that would be rad!" Anyway, I'll post from time to time, but there should be (eh!) other posters. So if you want to post about DeLay and Doc, give me an email: carlballard@vampiressuck.com

...er link.



Dam Salmon 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service just released a survey of what happens to the salmon population based on flows from dams upstream. Of course you can guess the general outline. More water is better for salmon survival.

When the flows are high, the small salmon find their way across gravel beds to the security of shallow areas. But when the water level recedes with lower flows, the fish become stranded in large basins, or pools, where they have a 4-in-5 chance of not surviving.
Of course the details and what can be done about it are what's more important. First, the lease on the Priest Rapids Dam is going up for renewal soon, so now would be a good time to negotiate, or it would be if we had someone who gave a damn about the environment. Also just get out some of the specifics:

Don Anglin, a federal supervisor fishery biologist who worked with Schaller on the study, said it appears that 82 percent of the juvenile salmon trapped in the isolated water holes die. He said 59 percent of the fish die because the water drains into the cobbles, leaving them to bake, while the remaining fish perish because the water gets too hot for them to survive.

The exposed fish also become easy marks for predators.

Anglin said the die-off of juvenile salmon entrapped in 2003 is believed to have been 12 percent of the total number of Chinook salmon hatched the previous fall in the Reach. It is difficult to know how many of those fish would have made it to adulthood and returned to spawn again, but the lost harvest for commercial, sport and tribal fisherman could be up to nearly 13,000 Reach-bred Chinook salmon.

The field work showed that during the period and with rising and falling flows, 126,00 entrapment events occurred, putting 1.6 million juvenile salmon at risk.



Crooked 

Shaun points out not just how crooked our own Doc "DeLay's Ho" Hastings is, but how much it infects even the more supposedly ethical ranks of the Republican party.



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