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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Sex Offenders 

I'm not sure how I feel about Spokane Community College considering a new policy of notifying its student body about the sex offenders who'll be attending. Of course its the same consideration that happens when sex offenders move in. But they don't have the same right to go to college that they do have to live somewhere. Of course campus security should know but I don't know about the student body.

There are now 20 sex offenders registered at the college: seven Level 3s, two Level 2s and 11 Level 1s. A Level 2 offender was expelled this week for viewing pornographic material on a library computer, McKenzie said.

Spokane Community College hasn't had a recent case of a sex offense on campus, but the issue came to the forefront this fall after an instructor questioned how to handle an offender in his class.

The debate also has been fueled by intense interest in the arrest of Joseph E. Duncan III, a registered sex offender accused in the slayings of four Coeur d'Alene family members.

At Tuesday's forum for faculty and staff, McKenzie said the college is putting together a panel to review the school's policies on sex offender notification, and is planning to provide more guidance to instructors. She said it's likely that the school will begin notifying all students of sex offenders' presence in the classroom.

That may help allay the fears of most students, but it may also present obstacles to offenders who are trying to get on with their lives, officials at the forum said.



Monorail Crash 

Well good that nobody got hurt. I hope the time it's out of service isn't that long. Not that I use it anyway, but it's a nice thing when it's up an running.



Beep a boop a beep beep boop 

News flash! Yesterday was a big shopping day.



Gregoire's Response 

Governor Gregoire did the Democratic response to Bush's weekly radio address. She focused on the need for a federal energy policy and Hanford.

...Andrew has the text.



I Agree With The Union-Bulletin In Theory 

That it would be prudent to have a rainy day fund put aside for when the economy falters again. But politically doing the right thing would be a disaster. Because having extra money on hand is what started the anti-tax stuff in the first place. I remember we had a modest one (compared to the private sector businesses we're always told to emulate) and the voters decided that was too much of their money and if we have a tax cut (or several) all it will do is draw down the surplus. And they're just now getting over it.



Friday, November 25, 2005

1000 

Not Washington State. Or mostly not Washington. Sadly we're a part of it but fortunately we're not that much. The state and the federal governments are about to execute the 1000th person since it was legalized again. If there's just a 1% error rate, ten innocent people have been killed in our name. In Chicago, DNA showed their death penalty was bullshit. In Texas lawyers slept through their cases. Yeah, ours are better than Texas and Chicago. But our standards are too lose. And an imperfect justice system means that we're going to kill the innocent from time to time. I don't understand how some people who support the death penalty are so damn flippant.



What A Good Idea Josh 

Let's replace an ineffective liberal Democrat with an ineffective conservative Democrat. I know, I know, he takes the bus. Because that's more important than the actual policy.



Norm Dicks Joins Murtha 

Washington Congressman Norm Dicks (D-Sane) of Bremerton has now joined Congressman John Murtha and the rest of us in opposing Quagmire Iraq Nam.



Point Defiance 

An interesting set of ideas about the future of the area of Tacoma I have to go through to get to the rest of it and points South.



Eyman V. Hunter 

In an epic battle on the role of government. Looks like a fun time if you're in Bellevue.

December 2nd: The public is invited to an evening of hot dogs and hot topics on Friday, December 2, 2005, featuring a forum entitled The Role of Government in Our Lives featuring speakers Tim Eyman and Representative Ross Hunter. The event will be moderated by Wendy Aman. The event is free of charge and will take place in Fenwick Hall at the Bellevue First Congregational Church located at 752 108th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA 98004.

From 6 PM to 7 PM there will be hot dogs, chips and deserts for sale. From 7 PM to 8:30 PM, speakers Eyman and Hunter will address a variety of topics including: is government meeting the needs of our citizens? What are the components of state and local governments that are most helpful to the citizenry, where is it failing? Why do citizens feel powerless to impact decisions? Does money play too much of a role in the election process? And, are we getting leaders in office or those who are the best fundraisers?

Audience members will also be invited to ask questions of the speakers and comment in an open and moderated format.
Tip of the hat to Daniel.



Thursday, November 24, 2005

60,000 

Yay, passed a milestone thanks to someone in Bow Washington and lots of people hitting refresh.



Inslee Back From Iraq 

Although he spells out his mataphores a little bit more than a normal person, he's right to look toward both a time table and looking toward some specific actions.

First, the only way to placate the vast center of the country -- which is non-radicalized, he said, but increasingly resentful of a seemingly indefinite U.S. presence -- is to set and stick by a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops.

Just as important, Inslee said, U.S. forces needed to do a better job helping "stand up" a viable Iraqi military. That includes doing a better job supplying them with communications and transportation equipment and basic infrastructure.

"The key to the exit door of Iraq is having a working Iraqi army and police force," he said.

Toward that end, Inslee said, Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey, who is in charge of training Iraqi security forces, told him that a fully functioning army should be up and running by the end of 2006. A stable police force should be in place by early to mid- 2007.



Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Frequently Asked Questions 

The King County Republicans are upset that you might try to vote. So here's their Frequently Asked Questions(.pdf), with their answers and then mine.

Q1. Why were the majority of registration challenges in Seattle?

A. Most registration challenges were in Seattle because the vast majority of people
registered at mailboxes and storage units was in Seattle.

CB. Well nobody in rural places know what the hell their address is. Isn't it more likely that people with rural routes and who go by "two lots passed the Jesus Barn" are by and large more likely to not have an address? It seems to me by your own admission that you felt your methodology would nab more Democrats. Why not go after rural voter disenfranchisement?

Q2. Why shouldn’t people be able to register at private mailboxes?

A. People need to register where they live because that is the jurisdiction in which
they are permitted to vote. Usually when people register at private mailboxes,
they are registering outside of the jurisdiction in which they are allowed to vote.
When this happens, local elections can be impacted. Currently there are several
local city council races that are very close. If people who do not live in a
particular city are allowed to vote in that city, they are diluting the rights of the
legally-registered voters in that city.

CB. Only here's what the WAC actually says, "No person registering to vote, who meets all the qualifications of a registered voter in the state of Washington, shall be disqualified because of a nontraditional physical address being used as a residence address. Nontraditional addresses may include shelters, parks or other identifiable locations which the voter deems to be his/her residence. Voters using such an address will be registered and precincted based on the location provided." But in the Steroid addled mind of the typical Washington State Republican, I'm sure that answer made sense. God, if you can't even strike down your own straw men, this is going to be silly.

Q3. Why did the Republicans challenge the registrations when they did?

A. We challenged these registrations prior to the November 8th, 2005 election for
two specific reasons. The first reason was that under the widely disseminated
ruling by Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges following the 2004
Gubernatorial Election contest, challenges to illegally registered voters must be
put forth prior to an actual election. Secondly, King County Executive Ron Sims
and King County Records and Elections Director Dean Logan had provided the
public with assurances that they had made substantial improvements to recordkeeping
prior to the election when in fact they had not as evidenced by hundreds
of voters illegally registered at commercial mailbox facilities. The King County
Republican Party through its Voter Registration Integrity Project wanted to ensure
that those legally registered voters casting ballots would not have their votes
potentially diluted by the casting of ballots by hundreds of illegitimately and
illegally registered voters. Washington State law prohibits registering at
commercial mailbox facilities and yet King County Records and Elections wasn't
applying or enforcing Washington State law to the obvious detriment of the lawabiding
registered voters within the county. When asked several weeks ago if
they would challenge the illegal votes prior to the November elections, the King
County Elections Office said no.

CB. Psst: Read the WAC again.

Q4. Why didn’t the Republicans turn over the information to King County Records &
Elections in database form instead of doing individual challenges?

A. Sending it in database form was our preferred method. King County Records &
Elections refused to accept a database and insisted that we file individual
challenge forms.

CB. And the fact that the forms were altered kind of puts the lie to that. But even if it were true, is that really a complaint you've been getting? I mean I got access to your database without too much trouble? Are you sure the question wasn't "what kind of a jackass alters a form illegally and then blames it on the fact that Dean Logan wanted you to follow the law?" Because that would make more sense.

Q5. Aren’t these registration challenges a waste of taxpayer money?

A. There would have been no cost to the taxpayers if Dean Logan and King County
Records & Elections had been doing their job. The importance of maintaining an
accurate and clean voter database cannot be over-emphasized.

CB. And that's why you tried to disenfranchise whole apartment buildings. That's why an internet search was enough for you. That's why more and more of the people you've tried to disenfranchise are in fact legal.

Q6. What about your mistakes?

A. We regret that a few voters were mistakenly inconvenienced, however
maintaining the integrity of the voting process is worth any inconvenience. When
people are allowed to register and vote illegally, all legal voters are
disenfranchised. The Voter Registration Integrity Project will continue until the
Elections Office does the job it is supposed to do.

CB. Hundreds is a few. The error rate in your little bullshit experiment dwarfs that of King County even if every remaining voter you try to disenfranchise turns out to have committed the horror of voting in a slightly wrong place. Do you regret that you were a jackass?

Q7. To legally challenge voter registrations at private mail boxes and storage
facilities, don’t Republican have to provide the current residential address of the
voter?

A. No. Despite claims by Democratic Party lawyers, Washington law does not
require the challenging party to provide the current residential address in addition
to the illegal private mail box address. The listing of a private mail box is not a
“complete residential address” which is required by state law for one to properly
register to vote (see RCW 29A.08.010). Since a private mail box is not a
physical residence as required by law, these registrations are deficient were
invalid when submitted. The Democrats’ assertion would apply to these
challenged voters if they had originally provided a valid residential address and
had later changed their address.

CB. I'll admit it, I stopped reading after you mentioned an RCW to go look it up. Shockingly it doesn't say anything about a "private mail box" it simply says that residents must provide, among other things, their, "(2) Residential address". As the aforementioned WAC says, it can be legal. You goober. Look at what you made me do. Research!

Q8. Why are Republicans challenging these registrations? Isn’t that something that
should be left up to the county elections department?

A. The Voter Integrity Project has challenged these registrations in an effort to
preserve the integrity of the elections system in King County, precisely because
the elections office has failed to act. Republicans have consistently said that it is
King County’s duty under state law to identify improper registrations and remove
them from the voter rolls. Unfortunately King County has done this only when
presented with evidence by others. The overwhelming majority of the Voter
Integrity Project’s research has been accurate. It is readily apparent that King
County does not have a system in place to respond to or review improper
registrations. Shockingly Elections Director Dean Logan stated in both the
Seattle P-I and the Seattle Times, that he knowingly took out the safeguards that
would eliminate these types of bad registrations.

CB. If you're so damned determined to do all that, why did the person issuing the challenges keep saying "I won’t answer that question"? It seems to me if she wanted to actually explain this sort of thing, she'd be more than willing to talk about her actual methodology.
Also, I have a few questions that maybe the Republicans just forgot to include. I hate it when that happens. Maybe they can do a follow up, non straw man edition.

*Why did you have to alter the form when you submitted your complaints?

*Did Ms. Sotelo do anything more than put people's names into a serach engine to determine where they lived?

*Why do you hate America?

*How is it that outside of Seattle, there were disproportionately more Democratic precincts than Republican ones that you disenfranchised?

*Does Sotelo know how to make wine in a toilet?



Congressional Race Watch 

Our old Friend Rahm Emanuel at the DCCC has a list of the Democratic opponents who have announced against the Washington Republicans in Congress. So far, Dave "I Caught Him All By Myself" Reichert has drawn Darcy Burner and Randy Gordon, both of Bellevue. The DCCC also includes a nice (though necessarily abbreviated) list of Sheriff Green River's ties to Tom DeLay.

I can't support Randy because he brags about his service to the Washington State Bar Association, one of the most corrupt and most political operations on Earth.



This Should Be Interesting 

The Dems are getting set to impose fines on the kind of Republican voter intimidation that we've seen on display recently. Now the Republicans have two options. They can either support the measure that's widely seen as a response to their party's fuck up, or they can oppose any penalty for voter intimidation.



The Difference Between Narrow and Overwhelming? 

1.92%



Tuesday, November 22, 2005

But She Already Purjered Herself 

My oh my Ms. Sotelo has got mighty cagy.

Hamilton: What personal knowledge did you have about Mr.
Bylsma when you signed the form?
Sotelo: I’m not going to answer that question.





Hamilton: Did you send Mr. Bylsma any letters, make any
phone calls, try any other way to contact him personally before you made the
challenge?
Sotelo: I’m not going to answer that question.
Diane Tebelius (Sotelo’s GOP hack lawyer): Objection!





Hamilton: Will you name the names of your volunteers who
compiled the list for you? Did you pay
them?
Sotelo: I’m not going to answer that question.





Hamilton: You don’t
know Mr. Bylsma, do you?
Sotelo: I’m not going to answer that question.





Satterberg: How do you know that Mr. Bylsma’s storage
facility doesn’t have a residence attached?
Sotelo: I believe it does have a resident manager, but Mr.
Bylsma’s PO Box number isn’t the same as the residence.
Satterberg: Couldn’t someone live there and use one of the
mailboxes?
Sotelo: That could be reasonable to think, but I don’t
believe it so.





Hamilton: Ms. Sotelo, admit it – you didn’t have any
personal knowledge or know anything about Mr. Bylsma before you filed this
challenge.
Sotelo: The evidence speaks for itself.



Hamilton: Your evidence is an internet search. Is that good enough evidence to
disenfranchise someone?
Sotelo: I’m not going to answer that question. The evidence speaks for itself.




Dear The Washington State and King County Republican Parties; 

I know how it is. You’re losers. When you endorsed a tax cut initiative in this tax cut state, it lost by almost double digits. Your marquis candidate didn’t break 40%. And he hit his mother. And you knew it ahead of time.

Women don’t like you. All the cool people are Democrats. They do fun things like Drinking Liberally and meet ups. And it Washington, win elections.

But could you at least not take it out on innocent voters? Could you at least, I don’t know, do some homework before you start purging voters? It won’t make you not a loser, but at least it will make you a loser fair and square.

Keep Doing What You Do But Without The Disenfranchisement!

Carl Ballard

P.S. Jackasses!

...Sent. And man alive are the Republicans mad. On their home page the Washington State Repubs have Reid and Clinton featured more prominantly than any of their candidates. And the King County R's are complaining about voter integrity, apparently unconcerned that they're linking to crap.



Drinking Liberally 

I've got a bit of a head cold, so I'm not sure if I'm going to head out or just stay on the island. But head on down if you're in the area.



Graduating 

Tough for Oly school children.

Roughly 18.5 percent of students who start as freshmen in the Olympia School district fail to graduate from high school, statistics presented at an Olympia School Board study session Monday show. That's equivalent to 640 students from the total student body of about 3,500.



Pop Quiz 

"which blue state gives the President the highest job approval rating."

Answer here, but um you can probably guess since its on this blog.



Monday, November 21, 2005

60% of Spokanites 

Are going to vote West out if this poll is at all right. It's undoubtedly good news. But I'm more concerned about adopting our cliches to the new political realities. I mean in a county where most people use mail in isn't, "The only poll that counts is the one on Election Day." a bit of an incorrect statement? I mean people are casting their ballots as we speak. And it isn't even election day yet.



Wow 

So um not Washington State but wow. And I did read about it on Slog, who are local.



Eyman Is Crazy. 

Daniel from On The Road To 2008 has a wonderful smack down of Tim Eyman's masturbatory rant in the Daily O. You should really read the whole thing. But what I'm interested is something Eyman said, and probably believes.

Voters realize that initiatives are their only effective way to influence Olympia. Initiatives give the average taxpayer an equal voice in the process. Only a tiny, whiny sliver of elitists dislikes having the people participate in these public policy decisions.
I don't know about the tiny sliver of elites, but I'm more concerned about the idea that initiatives are the only way to influence your legislators.

First off, everyone reading this can email them something. I certainly have. Of course you can vote. Until Tim's allies in the Republican Party get their way. You can support candidates you believe in. Get active in the groups that support candidates. If that's your union. If that's your party. If that's your church group. Get down and do some good old fashioned lobbying. Sign a petition. Attend a rally. See your legislator when they do a townhall meeting. Hell some citizens even wrote bills.

But more disturbing is the idea that we only have a say in a few issues. Tim Eyman seems to think that we should have no say in gay marriage. Tim Eyman seems to think that our only options for a smoking ban are a seriously flawed one or none at all. That the only plans for healthcare reform are the one the insurance industry wants, the one lawyers want, or none at all.

It is odd that the one way Eyman thinks we can influence the process is exactly the way that's earned him so much money over the years.



Why oh Why 

Do the Republicans hate it when people vote?



Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tacoma Mall 

You know, sometimes you hear a story and you know that there were people. And you know it's horrible. But there isn't much to talk about. But you don't really think of the individuals. And of course there are real people. And they have real experiences.



Mitigation 

Interesting stuff may be happening in Lake Roosevelt. And a lawsuit lets Governor Gregoire grumble but still do the right thing.

Tribal and conservation groups, which successfully sued the federal government over its river operations plan for salmon, are asking Redden to require dam operators to increase river flows and spill more water over dams to benefit fish in 2006. That could lead to an elevation drop of at least 6 feet at Lake Roosevelt.

Most attention has been focused on what that plan would cost electric ratepayers. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council estimates that it could cost anywhere from $125 million to $560 million next year in lost power sales. Put in perspective, the Bonneville Power Administration said the near $75 million additional court-ordered spill cost ratepayers this year was the difference between the 1.6 percent wholesale rate cut it recently adopted and the 6 percent decrease it would have approved otherwise.

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire recently called this year's court-ordered spill program an "expensive experiment" and had sharp criticism for the more aggressive plan environmentalists are seeking for next year.

"I am concerned about the lack of demonstrated benefits and the very real costs," she said.



A Bit Sloppy 

The Inlander has a long article about the forensic analyst that aided the S-R in its investigation. And while there are some problems, the two things to keep in mind are (1) it's all been corroborated by actual people and (2) West isn't denying it.

Smith acknowledges that he would rather have a record of all the chats, but explains their method of capturing screens as PDFs wasn't perfect: "There are a handful of lines, maybe seven to 15 lines, that don't exist. My response is that it doesn't matter. It is corroborated by our live source, and it parallels individuals who came forward later."



Biodiesel 

We're moving toward a carbon neutral future.



Geography Club 

University Place School District has decided to ban a book about gay teenagers from their libraries. And it isn't the gayness that's a problem in the gay book, it's the romantisization of a gay relationship.

Banks said her decision had nothing to do with the theme of homosexuality in “Geography Club.” Instead, she was alarmed by the “romanticized” portrayal of a teen meeting a stranger at night in a park after connecting with that person – who turns out to be a gay classmate – through an Internet chat room.
It is a silly argument to make. But fortunately there are some parents who are opposed to batshit craziness.

“This is the most bogus thing I’ve heard of,” parent Connie Claussen said of Banks’ reasoning.

She believes the book handles the chatroom issue responsibly by presenting the dangers of meeting a stranger through the Internet. Before meeting the stranger, the main character learns enough information about the chat-line buddy that he realizes it’s a student at his school.

Claussen plans to appeal the book’s removal to the district school board.

“It is about gay students. However, the most important part of the book is that it’s about bullying, outcasts, about tolerance,” said Claussen. “This is a really good book for any student to read.”
...The author has a diary on Kos.

...Buy the book



Fuck Shit Ass 

Republicans are such swear wimps. I mean really, Andy, grow a set of balls.



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