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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Family Farms 

So you have the Republicans with their repeal of the estate tax that already has a 100% exemption for family farms. Or you have the Democrats who, you know, are actually doing things and getting awards from the Farm Bureau.

Haugen was the lead sponsor of a bill that protects farmers against actions, claims or counterclaims that are found to be unverified or found to have been initiated maliciously and without probable cause. The bill allows a farmer to recover any reasonable costs spent in defending against the action and, depending upon the circumstances, exemplary damages as well.

The bill also requires sellers of property within one mile of a farm to inform prospective buyers of the property’s proximity to farmland and the “ordinary noise, dust, odors” and other common characteristics of farms.



Ballfields 

It's good to have Dems in charge.



Youth Leadership summit and Pro-Choice Lobby Day 

Have some fun lobbying.

Saturday, January 21, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
at the University of Washington HUB

This event if FREE and open to all high school and college students!!! Lunch provided. Learn valuable information about:

Reproductive health and rights issues important to young people. How to talk about choice and organize your peers. What YOU can do to fight back against Bush's extreme anti-choice agenda.

For more information or to sign up contact Sasha Cousineau at 206-624-1990 or SashaCousineau@ProChoiceWashington.org.[...]

When: Monday, January 30th, 2006 10am – 4pm
Where: United Churches Building, Olympia

NARAL will provide you with a lobbying tool kit that includes tips on how to talk with your legislators and information on choice related legislation.



Football Thread! 

Go Hawks!



Letters 

I got the following email from ERW:

ERW staff and volunteers have been working overtime this week! There is so much going on! We are WITHIN REACH of passing the anti-discrimination bill!!

IF you read nothing more of this email please PAY ATTENTION to this! Since Tuesday hundreds of you decided to TAKE ACTION and petition your legislators in support of this year's anti-discrimination bill, HB 2661. The bill was introduced in the State House Tuesday by Governor Christine Gregoire. Unfortunately we are having a hard time being heard above the right-wing noise machine . I've seen the emails from Pastor Hutch, Faith and Freedom Network, and others. Trust me, they are calling their legislators in force! And they are targeting legislators who voted WITH US last year. We need YOU to call TODAY!! Call the LEGISLATIVE HOTLINE 800-562-6000 to let your legislator know that the right is wrong: nobody should suffer discrimination in our state. Please encourage your friends and family to call and email as well! If you sent an email, that isn’t enough! Pick up the phone and call now. Your equality depends on it.

On Monday the legislative session began in Olympia with Republican Senator Finkbeiner declaring his support for this year's anti-discrimination bill. If you live in the Senator's district please take the time to thank him for his support.

On Wednesday a coalition of businesses announced their support of the anti-discrimination bill.
Click here to read the Press Release. The coalition includes such businesses as Boeing, Corbis, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Nike, Real Networks, and Vulcan.

Yesterday the Tacoma News-Tribune and the Yakima Herald issued editorials in support of the anti-discrimination bill.
Click here to read why these major newspapers believe in protecting all Washingtonians.

Lastly a reminder: January 23 is
Equality Day in Olympia. Please join us to rally and lobby legislators in support of our issues. This is the time to make our voices heard!

We are committed to keeping our members informed. Throughout the legislative session please look for weekly Friday updates from me on the progress of the anti-discrimination bill and other topics.

Thanks for your support of Equal Rights Washington at this critical time. Again...Please TAKE ACTION AND CALL YOUR STATE LEGISLATOR!!



Friday, January 13, 2006

Sent 

I'm Carl Ballard with the Washington State Political Report (carl-ballard.blogspot.com), and here are a few questions my readers and I have for you about the race for Chair of the party. Your response will be put up on the blog as soon as I get it. Thank you so much.

1) What are the 3 most important issues that state and local Democrats should work on in your term as chair of the Washington State Democrats?

2) With the recount costing both parties significant amounts of money, we are in debt. What are your fundraising goals for a state party with you at the helm and what is your strategy to get there?

3) What would you do to work with and enhance the new grassroots tools that are developing such as MoveOn, and the blogs? Where do they fit into the older models with organized labor and the party structure?

4) How do we grow the party in Eastern Washington and rural and suburban Western Washington without alienating our base in the I-5 corridor?

5) Finally what do you see as the role of the party chair if you are elected?

Again, thank you so much.
And by the way, thanks for the emails and comment, it really made the questions better. Roll? Jesus. Also, if someone has Jean Brooks' email, I'd be eternally grateful if you'd pass it on to me.



OK, Maybe Trainwreck was too Harsh 

These people of course know what they're doing.



Heathman Kirkland 

Fancy.



Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hannity and Colmes 

Man and to think just this week I was saying nice things about Nethercutt. What the hell type of show does he think Hannity and Colmes is anyway?



Dear Dave Reichert; 

In the campaign last year you seemed to be running to the right of George W. Bush. You were convinced that we'd find WMD long after that was something only crazy people thought, saying, "The question is what happened to them; where are they? The search is not over yet." And saying that the Bush tax cuts that have led to massive debt to China are "a good start."

So I've got a few questions about your positions through the first year of Congress. First, do you still cling to the batshit crazy notion that WMD are definitely there and we'll find them soon enough? Because I haven't heard you repudiate it yet. Also, having not proposed specific program cuts, and have voted on piddly things that won't come close to making a dent in the debt, do you regret running up the deficit?

I'm just curious

Carl Ballard

P.S. I assume you won't respond to this because man alive have you been a wimp on the campaign trail.

...edited and sent



I'll Send Tomorrow 

But here are the chair questions: If you want to suggest any improvements, this is your last chance.

1) What are the 3 most important issues that state and local Democrats should work on in your term as chair of the Washington State Democrats?

2) With the recount costing both parties significant amounts of money, we are in debt. What are your fundraising goals for a state party with you at the helm and what is your strategy to get there?

3) What would you do to work with and enhance the new grassroots tools that are developing such as MoveOn, and the blogs? Where do they fit into the older models with organized labor and the party structure?

4) How do we grow the party in Eastern Washington and rural and suburban Western Washington without alienating our base in the I-5 corridor?

5) Finally what do you see as the role of the party chair if you are elected?



Yay for Darcy Burner 

Good for her.



Senator Murray Speaks 

Here is Senator Patty Murray's response to the Abramoff matter:
I'm writing in response to "Murray should return tainted money," [editorial, Jan. 8], regarding campaign contributions.

You are right about one thing: This story is all about appearances.

Jack Abramoff never darkened my door, and, as you wrote, he never donated to me. In fact, he sought my defeat by contributing to my opponent in 2003.

Apparently, The Times has decided that certain contributions are tainted no matter that they were legally given, legally reported and legally spent. The Times' message is: Return tribal money.

I will not join the rush to scapegoat those tribes who have already been victimized by Abramoff. Your easy answer would be fine if all I wanted was to score cheap points on being "clean."

But as someone who has stood as a partner with Native Americans and championed tribal sovereignty, I'm proud of their support. Your editorial asks, "How would she like to repeat that riff 25 times a day for the next five years ... ?"

I would rather repeat my support for tribes 25 times a day than to even once say "tribal money is tainted" just to make myself look better.

The people of Washington state know that blaming someone for the sins of another just for appearances' sake doesn't make anyone clean.

— Patty Murray, United States senator, D-Wash., Washington, D.C."
Cheap shots? She must be reading our comments.



Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Scoop 

Washblog is all good now. Test it out and get a low number while the low number is getting.



Kitten Off! 

Not really, or hardly at all, Washington State, but August needs hizzself the emails of rightwing bloggers who've been supportive of President Bush's torture and illegal wire taping. Presumably to promote this comic.



Goldy Wuz Robbed 

Boo.



Citizens Heath Care Working Group 

Pretty important stuff.



Brad Benson 

A class act that one.



Department of Global Health 

To be located in South Lake Union.



Tuesday, January 10, 2006

State Of The State 

Gregoire lays out her plans for the future.

Gregoire ticked off a laundry list of legislation and budget priorities she wants from the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

These include:

—Creation of a new Department of Early Learning.

—Help for students who struggle with the Washington Assessment of Student Learning. Less than half the state’s 10th graders are passing all portions of the high-stakes test, which will be a graduation requirement starting in 2008.

—A “Running Start” program for training high school students in the trades.

—Assistance for low-income residents’ home-heating bills.

—Support for a new biofuel industry in Washington, using canola and other crops to make fuel.

—Cleanup of Puget Sound, using state money to leverage federal, regional, local, tribal and private contributions.

—Creation of a better tsunami warning system on the Pacific coast, improvement of earthquake readiness and better detection and tracking systems in the event of a flu epidemic.

—More state troopers for ferry security and highway patrols.

—Tougher penalties for sex offenders.
And here's the speech itself if you're interested.



Sweet 

Nothing like our 2 paper town.



Drinking Liberally 

Should be a good one. Not really my issue, but if drug reform is something that lights you up, Goodman should be good for you.



The Rest of the Story 

In a desperate attempt to "prove" that Senator Murray took money from Jack Abramoff, one commenter cited an Associated Press story as evidence. Here's the rest of that story:
AP failed to note that its source for that story, Jimmy Faircloth, is not just the Coushatta’s lawyer, but a Republican operative.[link]
This is what passes of a "credible source" in their little world.



Insurance 

Remember last year when that lady was hit as a pedestrian in her car and her insurance wouldn't cover her? And everybody said there ought to be a law. Well now there may be one.

...Thanks for setting me right Belltowner. No more posts until there's some caffeine in me.



Monday, January 09, 2006

Biodiesel 

Snohomish County is moving in that direction.

Hundreds of the county's fleet vehicles, including off-road and construction equipment, are now using a blend of fuel that is 20 percent biodiesel.

"We think it's worth doing," said Allen Mitchell, the county's fleet manager. There are several reasons for the switch, he said.

"For one, to clean up the air. And it's better for our employees health-wise; diesel is not good stuff to breathe," Mitchell said. "Thirdly, there's some economics associated ... if enough people buy it, it becomes viable as a product."



Vance Out 

But will his replacement be able to give the Republicans their fix of 'roid rage? Stay tuned.



Doc 

For the love of all things holy, isn't there someone who's willing to run against this jackass?



Dunmire Initiative 

Jimmy's right, it's not really a citizen's initiative any more. Perhaps Dunmire initiative is more appropriate. Also, while you're there and if you're from the tri cities, go vote in the Drinking Liberally poll.



Finkbiner Was For Gay Rights Before He Was Against Them, and That's Before Now, When He's For Them 

Oemig tears ol' Fink a new ass hole.



Lisa Brown 

Also rad.



Chris Gregoire is Hella Rad! 

She is really going to do well in the '06 legislature.

Q:

How was your first year?

A:

“It's safe to say it was mixed. It was difficult, all the stuff that was going on outside the office. But inside the office and inside government it was a truly very successful year. I heard (House Speaker) Frank Chopp say the other day that it was the most successful session in 30 years, and I think that's undeniable. My husband couldn't have been more happy — it was an unprecedented year for veterans. It was an unprecedented year for the environmental community, education. I asked them to put — as a top priority, despite a $2.2 billion shortfall — education as the No. 1 funded agenda. They did. It goes without saying transportation was a huge, huge success by the voters … The two trade missions we did were very successful. (The Base Realignment and Closure Commission), which has been lost in peoples' thinking, was a huge success — working with our delegation in saving all those (military) bases from being cut.

Q:

How will your second year be different from your first? Have you relaxed a bit?

A:

It's really quite different, your first time to work with the Legislature. And while my style was very different from my predecessor, it was all a learning curve for me. And I feel very comfortable with working with them, and I'm looking forward to it, actually. I feel good about one of my important jobs, which is be a salesperson of the state of Washington in the global market place. And selling Washington state and all its goods and services, and I feel very comfortable and good about it. That is not to say we don't have challenges. We're not shying away from any of them, education reform, health-care reform, transportation, government efficiency. We're not shying away from any of the problems that I hear when I'm out and talking to citizens. What they care about, we're taking those issues head on, and they're not going to be solved overnight. …

This next year will be a particularly important year for me to get out there and talk with students and parents and teachers because we're going to tackle education through Washington Learns.
...link fixed



Legislature Starts 

Holding pattern session. I can hardly wait.



Sunday, January 08, 2006

Anonymity 

There was some discussion about anonymity at Bloggerfest '06. Also, there is some discussion about outing a "scientist" who was spreading fake science.

I of course don't use my real name, but have put it up here, so it's in the archives. And in print. So I'd like to put out some things.

I agree with Ed that the arguments are more important than the people. There is something that's added when you put up your name, but if your argument is bullshit it's still bullshit when you use your name.

When I started off, there was a lot less competition. The locals were generally more interested in national stuff with some local info mixed in. Goldy was some guy who had done the horses ass initiative a few years ago. So it was easier to get noticed. And besides the pen name was better known online than the real name (a few months ago, I googled my name and I wasn't one of the first 400 links).

The thing I had most to rely on was an archive. And it was something I could build up because, as I say, less competition.

On the other hand, I did let lose a fair amount of personal info. First that I lived in the 1st district. Then that I'd moved to first "rural King County" and then Vashon Island. I said that I'd volunteered with Jay Inslee and Mike Cooper's campaign. When I got work that took me away from the blog, I did a fair explanation of it. So perhaps it was too much expectation that I would remain hidden even if I hadn't told it to a reporter.

There's a lot of nasty stuff out there. Goldy gets all sorts of shit. Hell, his comment threads are the least of it. I keep most of my personal life off of this place.

So there are some times that I think it would be OK to out someone. I think if they were using campaign resources without disclosing it, it would be a violation of campaign finance laws. It's probably the same with some orgs. I could see someone making personal attacks on someone who it isn't appropriate for them to attack (politicians and celebs are, I think, in bounds most other people aren't). Also, for the record, I've gotten info on someone who uses a pen name, but works for our side, and obviously, I didn't report it.



Chair Questions 

I'm probably going to pretty much ask the same questions I did last year with some bringing up this year. But if you want to suggest other things, please let me know in the comments or carlballard at vampiressuck com.

...Oops. Shouldn't have said email me when the ol' email is down, eh.

...Seems to be back up. Send anything you got.



Just a Grumpy Old Guy, a Relic of the 20th Century. 

Shaun is warry of all mail voting.



Oops 

Funny, but read to the end. Or at the very least, skip to the end.



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