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Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Reminder 

There are some elections this Tuesday.



Good for the Environment 

Edie over at Progressive Majority explains the environmentalist victories in the last legislature. And lets you know how to elect people who'll make more good come.



Oh Please 

Look, we all have religious or moral convictions. But if we go down this path it will be chaos. I mean is a vegetarian pharmacist going to be able to deny you any medication that's animal derived? Can a Jehovah's Witness deny you anything blood derived? Are people who believe you have to wait until after marriage to have sex going to require you bring a copy of your marriage license before you get birth control?

And further it denies patients their fundamental right to decide their course of treatment. If you're an adult and you aren't in some of a few situations, described in the law, you get to decide on healthcare for yourself. Isn't that the greater right in this society than the right of pharmacists not to feel sad when they do their job?



Friday, March 10, 2006

The Republican's Positive agenda 

The Cap. Chat with Hewitt is up. You can read the whole transcript, but I'm totally adding "probably a Democrat" to the description. It also lead to a discussion with the moderator. Including catching Hewitt in a lie. As far as I can tell the Republican legislative agenda involves moving to repeal the minimum wage, and agree with Gregoire's budget priorities. Oh and talking about property rights. And hating ballfields.

Carl, Vashon: Given that the Democratic Legislature has passed a raft of positive legislation -- including sex offender legislation that law enforcement approves of, funding education, Eastern Washington water protection, gay civil rights, and strong environmental legislation -- and that the Republican Party is reduced to sending fake sex offender notices, don't the Democrats have the better ideas for the state?

Hewitt: I'm guessing this guy's probably a Democrat. Also I need to make it clear that it wasn't my body on the sex offender notices, so I'm not going to get into that battle with him.

I can tell you that the Legislature this year has been controlled by Democrats, just sent out the largest supplemental budget in the history of the state -- a 17 percent increase over last year, didn't fund the pension obligations, didn't fund gain-sharing, didn't provide a rainy day fund that the governor wanted. The Democrats did nothing to talk about property rights or eminent domain, didn't repeal the death tax, did nothing to protect marriage, tried to hold business hostage with the Wal-Mart bill, so there are lots of things they did not do.

We have the highest minimum wage in the nation. Sen. Hargrove, a Democrat, and I sponsored a a bill to do a study on the impact of minimum wage to see if its impact was positive or negative -- that bill was killed by the Democrats two years in a row. So they do things that aren't good for the state of Washington.

Thanks for the question.

Moderator: You said there was a 17 percent increase -- that wasn't just this year's vote, you're referring to the combined two-year increase.

Hewitt: Yes, but they spent $611 million more this year. When Zarelli and Rossi and I wrote the budget in 2003, we added spent $499 more than the previous year. They added more in a supplemental year than we did in a full-scale budget year.

Moderator: Of course that was done by moving a lot of payments to a later budget cycle.

Moderator [I assume this is a typo and it's Hewitt--Carl]: We passed over 50 bills to supplement the budget that year, without any funding mechanism attached to it whatsoever, that would have cost taxpayers more than $800 million. That's the bad part about initiatives in my opinion -- there was no funding mechanism in the smaller class sizes initiative.

Moderator: But adjusting for that is a big part of the budgets the Democrats just passed.

Hewitt: There were a lot of other things that increased the budget as well. My favorite wasteful item was something that my district got a part of -- spending $7 million on baseball field improvements when that could have gone to the basic health plan for kids.

Moderator: In spite of how terrible you see the budget being, why did four of your members vote for it, including Sen. Pam Roach and Sen. Don Benton, normally not pushovers for the Democrats?

Hewitt: They get something in the budget, I know that the other two members who voted for it have ballparks in their districts and told me that that's why they voted for it.

Moderator: Well, we're out of questions from our readers, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Quick question for the paper: How do you think this session will play with the voters this fall? How do you think the initiatives are going to filter into it?

Hewitt: The initiatives could have a huge impact on the conservative base this year, depending on what happens with the Supreme Court and the Defense of Marriage Act. Eyman has a couple of initiatives floating around, the Farm Bureau has a property rights initiative. There are four or five issues on the ballot this fall that could play very well with the conservative base. McGavick's numbers against Cantwell also look very very good, so there's a top-ticket item that also could bring Republicans out in the fall. It'll be fun to watch.

Moderator: The Democrats are saying the same thing, that the initiative to repeal civil rights for gays could bring out a big crowd against it, could make people active in the Democratic ranks. They think their legislative agenda will play well with voters.

Hewitt: Well, you've been around longer than I have. You know now that session is out, we're into the political rhetoric arena.

Moderator: Thanks for joining us today, we'll be talking with you this summer, I'm sure.

Moderator: Join us again at noon Tuesday for a chat with House Speaker Frank Chopp, who'll take a look back at this session from the other side of the aisle.



Billionaires 

We've got 9!



Well I Care 

Unlike Eli Sanders, I will never have a gig at the New York Times, so I suspect he's being somewhat coy.

The question, if you can pull yourself away from your favorite local blog or podcast long enough to consider it, is not just who will attend the P-I's funeral. It is, more broadly, this: If a failing newspaper like the P-I dies, and it dies in a city that experts agree can't support two daily newspapers anyway, and it also happens to die at the precise moment when that city is experiencing a proliferation of new media, well, who cares?
We were talking before Tuesday's Podcasting Liberally about how few local podcasts there are. Let alone, I could certainly be wrong but I don't think that they've ever broken a story. As for the local blogs, God love us but just today, Goldy's still writing on the David Irons story. Yeah, we do break some stories from time to time but the Queen Borg at the Evil Braintrust is a bit of a fabulist. And he's stuck on the 2004 election.

Mostly what we have to offer is commentary on events. And we get a fair amount of that commentary from places like the PI. And don't even get me started on losing David Horsey.

As to the micropayments: um bull. This is the idea that's always been about to revolutionize how we make money from the internet that's never materialized because nobody's going to actually pay for it. And while an all online paper might be a good idea, as Sanders points out himself "it's not clear that a newspaper could yet make money going completely online." So that's a heck of a business model.



Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'll Probably Head Down 

To the Kos/Washblog shin dig this Saturday.



Cold Front Open Thread 


So it kinda stuck where I work. This was taken on the way out. We had a good chunk around 2:30. But I couldn't find more than just this. Any snow where you are? Heavy rain? Nadda?



Cap. Chat Question: 

For the R's Senate Minority Leader.

Given that the Democratic legislature has passed a whole raft of positive legislation including sex offender legislation that law enforcement approves of, strong environmental protection, funding education, Eastern Washington water protection, gay civil rights, and strong environmental legislation and the Republican Party is reduced to sending fake sex offender notices, don't the Democrats have the better ideas for the state?



Seattle Recycling Rules 

Going well.

They said in January and February, "more than 90 percent of apartments and businesses inspected recycled correctly." Only 487 warning tags were issued, and no business or apartment complex has received two notices.



Open Thread 

Spotty interweb edition.



Will Rossi Concede? 

The Republicans just had their asses handed to them by the Washington Supreme Court. The only remaining question: Will Governor-in-his-own-mind Dino Rossi finally concede?

(Goldy has more).



Cap. Chat 

The Senate Minority Leader, Mike Hewitt will be doing a recap of the session. Ask some questions before noon 12:30 tomorrow.



Chris Marr for State Senate Kick-Off 

The Spokane County Young Dems are looking for volunteers, but it looks like a fun event if you just want to attend.

Wednesday, March 15th
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. (check-in begins at 7:00 a.m.)

Grand Pennington Ballroom, Davenport Hotel 10 South Post Street, Spokane, Washington.



Sine Die 

Well looks like the legislature wrapped up early this year. Not a bad thing for a short session.

GAY RIGHTS: Passed a civil rights law, HB 2661, adding gays and lesbians to the list of groups protected against discrimination in housing, employment and credit.

SEX OFFENDERS: Passed more than a dozen bills dealing with penalties for child molestation and rape, the supervision and tracking of registered offenders and limiting sex-offender treatment programs.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: Passed a medical liability package, HB 2992, which protects doctors who apologize from having it used against them in lawsuits and addressing other elements of patient safety, insurance rate-setting and legal procedures.

EDUCATION: Provided $28 million in help for students failing the Washington Assessment of Student Learning and approval of four alternatives for passing the graduation test.

PUGET SOUND: Approved roughly $42 million for cleanup, authorized a septic-system monitoring program, and provided money for state park sewage systems on Hood Canal.

ENERGY AND BIOFUELS: Approved a requirement for 2 percent biofuel mixtures in diesel products sold in Washington; approved financing to assist the construction of seed crushers to help stimulate biofuels-oriented agriculture; approved emergency heating-bill assistance money for the poor. Lawmakers also exempted farm fuels from sales and use taxes.

ENVIRONMENT: Approved bills making Washington the first state with an electronics-waste recycling mandate for manufacturers of televisions and computer hardware, the first with a ban on phosphates in dishwasher detergent, and created biodiesel fuel standards.

WATER: Approved $200 million in bonds for Eastern Washington storage projects and changed some water rights laws.
Next year Fare Share Healthcare and 50% on school bonds.



Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Voting Reform 

We'll just keep outlawing specific Republican shenanigans until they run out.



Skylstad 

That's quite an accusation. There are some inconsistencies in her memory of events in the early 1960's. But Rubino wouldn't have got involved if he didn't think there was some there there. Hopefully we'll be able to know one way or another in the not too distant future. Although, I don't know what that process would look like.



Last Year 

I had a bonus in the triple digits. I'm just saying.



Global Warming 

Well it really is nice to get the snow bunnies out of town for the weekend. Too bad we'll have to think of another way to do it.



The Republican Agenda 

At least in the South Sound is to kick kids off healthcare, abandoning the U.N., keeping the government's hands off their guns and on women's lady bits are just some of the fun ideas adopted at the Republican caucuses.



Podcasting Liberally 

Fun times.

...I come off as a viaduct booster. I'm for moving forward and that's why I'm for the tunnel more than value (although it's got it) or anything else. I did do some devil's advocacy, because people said they couldn't even understand the viaduct boosters.



RIP 

Gordon Parks







...I'm reminded by an emailer that if he'd gone just a bit earlier he'd have been in the Oscar telecast in the who's died last year section. He directed Shaft.



Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Probably the Acronym 

I guess the Vanguard is a "piece of crap".



Budget Compromise 

It's a goodie, but we had good things to work with.



Doing Good 

It's kind of what Democrats do.



I'll Meet You on Tuesday 

It's our lucky booze day.

That's my Drinking Liberally post, to the tune of Big Bottom.



Monday, March 06, 2006

Housing 

Sales are down for the Puget Sound region.



Eastern Washingtonians 

Run for something, or at least get trained.



Best. Headline. Ever! 

Well then.



Sunday, March 05, 2006

Open Thread 




Richard Wright 

Yeah, it's still a long shot. I don't think that the 4th is as red as people seem to think. Jay Inslee won there in a Democratic year. And we're having another Democratic year this year. Jimmy, who knows more than me about the district, seems to think it's possible if you keep pointing out how crooked Doc is.



Caucus Stories 

From Shaun, Kayne and a somewhat upset Kewalo.



Shield Laws 

I mostly agree with Goldy, although I can see a place for someone who just starts a blogspot web site. Maybe they just came across some good info. Maybe that's their way of leaking something. Bypass the media all together.



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