Friday, March 17, 2006

Civil Commitment 

Given his history, it's tough to imagine that Calvin J. Mines won't commit more crimes in the future. So it's tough to dismiss civil commitment. But there is something unseemly about committing someone after their jail time is up because we're afraid of future crimes. I mean when is his condition going to change?

Retroactive to Last Year 

I have no problem Mark Emmert getting a raise. He's done good at the U.W. But it seems a bit strange to me that it would be from September of last year and not from now.

Kos in Seattle 

Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga (The Daily Kos) and Jerome Armstrong (MyDD)are coming to Seattle on Friday, April 7, and to Olympia on Saturday, April 8, to promote their new book Crashing the Gate. Details pending.

Tribal Clean Up of the Nooksack 


Nooksack and Lummi tribal natural resources workers will start this summer on one of the biggest salmon habitat restoration projects in the region in an effort to revive dwindling stocks of spring chinook salmon and bull trout.

The project is expected to cost at least $1 million, paid for by federal salmon recovery grants.

Both spring chinook and bull trout are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Only 120 wild salmon returned to the south fork to spawn in 2005, according to Nooksack Natural Resources. A firm count of bull trout was unavailable, but the numbers are dangerously low, said Ned Currence, salmon habitat biologist for the tribe.

Dear The Media, 

I don't want to tell you how to do your job. But I think a lot of you would miss it if someone didn't point it out to you. In a little over a week we're going to hit a major milestone in the Plame leak scandal. Namely 1000 days since Karl Rove leaked her name. This is a golden opportunity to write one of those notebook clearing timeline stories. I'm just saying to the newsfolks who stop by from time to time.

Now back to a blog about Washington State politics.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Goldmark is Running 

!!!! Lynn has some great info on all three Dems challenging the Repubs.

The Sprawl and Downstream Pollution Initiative 

I-933's misleading (but it polls well) ballot title has been approved.

Hu Jintao 

Trade is important. But let's at least remember that Hu Jintao is still the president of an incredibly oppressive regime. That in our efforts to sell over there we shouldn't do what Yahoo! and others have done. I don't know what the answer is, but it is something that ought to be carefully considered and brought upwhen he comes to town. Maybe something to protect Hotmail. I mean, I don't blame Yahoo! for doing what they did when our government is encouraging them to participate in trade with China, that's the rules. I'm saying to whatever power she has, and I know it's limited, she should try to protect Washington State companies from being put in that position.

Tom Tomorrow at Elliott Bay Bookstore 

Tom Tomorrow will discuss and sign his new book Hell in a Handbasket at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 31, at the Elliott Bay Bookstore, 101 S. Main, Seattle. Be there or be square.

Murray Stands Up to Preznit Katrina 

Senator Patty Murray has joined Senator Clinton to stall Little bush's latest nominee to the Food and Drug Administration over the availability of the "morning-after pill" (aka Plan B).
"This nomination will not move forward until there is a yes-or-no decision on Plan B." Murray said.


Plan B has been available by prescription since 1999, but a decision on over-the-counter sales has been stalled. The contraceptive contains a higher dose of a hormone that is in regular birth-control pills; it is most effective in preventing pregnancy when taken in the first 24 hours after unprotected sex.
To secure her support for a previous nominee, the Republicans promised Senator Murray that this issue would be resolved. As usual, they lied. Patty isn't buying it this time around.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Election Results 

If there was a special election in your area yesterday, I hope it went well. I know it did out here.

Cantwell & Obama in Town 

Looks like a great event.

Doc Hastings Billboard 


Plan B Plan B 

I guess George W. Bush thought that he would never nominate anybody to the FDA again. In any event Patty Murray and Hillary Clinton have probably learned a valuable lesson from the last time they went here with the President.

Darcy Burner 

Nice article in the Stranger.

In his speech, Dean dropped Burner's name more often than any other Democratic candidate running in Washington State this year. That's an unusually high-level plug for a 35-year-old woman who's never held elected office. But it makes sense: Dean is hoping to turn this year's widespread voter discontent into a Democratic takeover of both the House and Senate in November. While the 2004 presidential election was about the swing state, this fall's congressional elections will be all about the swing district, and Burner, a former Microsoft executive, is running in Washington's swing district par excellance, the 8th Congressional District.

Most of the people at the crab feed weren't residents of the district Burner wants to represent, but they cheered whenever she was mentioned. Their enthusiasm for a race they likely won't be voting in felt familiar: During the 2004 presidential election, many Washington Democrats, propelled by this same type of enthusiasm, flew on their own dime from safely blue Washington to volunteer in contested swing states like Ohio and Iowa. Their "Will Travel for a Win" attitude sprung from a recognition that national elections, be they for control of Congress or the presidency, turn on outcomes in relatively few locales. This year, however, Democrats in the deep blue cities of Western Washington don't have to go all the way to Iowa or Ohio. To be a part of halting the Bush agenda, they simply have to drive 15 minutes across Lake Washington.

The growing excitement about Burner's race has only been heightened by the fact that both of Washington's senators are already Democrats, and the only one currently facing reelection, Maria Cantwell, seems safely ahead of her challenger. That leaves Burner's attempt to unseat Republican Congressman Dave Reichert as the only Washington contest in which there's a realistic chance for a Democratic "pickup." Which is why, to many local Democrats, Burner's battle for the 8th District is the only race that matters.[...]

"I think when people elected Dave Reichert they were hoping he would be a moderate," Burner told me recently over coffee at a Starbucks in Seattle, where we met after she'd finished a morning meeting with potential donors. Dressed in a power suit and pearls, and speaking with a poised assurance, she continued: "There has already been a tremendous disappointment in him. He has not been a moderate. He's been voting overwhelmingly with the Republican leadership."

At the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, D.C., which supports House and Senate candidates around the nation (usually in proportion to their chances of winning), spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said Burner's race against Reichert is one that's being targeted.

"We think that Reichert is vulnerable," Bedingfield told me. "We think that he's out of touch with the values in the district and we think that Darcy Burner is a fantastic candidate."[...]

Congressman Jay Inslee (D-Shoreline) places Burner's race among the top 30 most likely to produce a Democratic pickup in the House. "The whole Washington State delegation is committed to this race," Inslee told me recently. "If you want to know where one vote could make a difference, one vote out of the 8th District could make a difference this year."
So if you've got it, give her $100. If you don't less is fine. Volunteer if you're able to. That really is more important, if less measurable. The point is to do what you can.

Stop Attacking Russ 

I think we can all see my post below. I certainly have serious problems with Feingold's methods. Not the least that I think the way he went about it actually hurt Democrats chances of getting something like this passed. There is an obligation to let the leadership know what's coming down the pike. And as I say, doing it this way is a deal breaker in the primary for me.

But let's be real, there's nothing wrong with the proposal itself. And so I agree with the party that we need to stand up for the right to introduce this stuff.

On Monday, Democratic Senator Russ Feingold introduced legislation to censure the President for breaking the law by creating a secret domestic spying program. Agree or disagree with his proposal, as a Senator -- and as an American -- he has the right to speak his mind and express his views without Republican Senators questioning his patriotism.

But that's exactly what happened. This week Republican Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado, in an interview with Fox News radio, said in response to Feingold's action that he has "time and time again [sided] with the terrorists".

Send a message to Senator Allard: shame on him for questioning the patriotism of another Senator. Sign this petition and it will be delivered to Allard:

Podcasting Liberally 

A new podcast and a new web page.

...Now with Catholic Bashing!


Because I haven't been contrarian enough lately, I like the state's new slogan.

Podcasting Liberally 

With Jimmy and Kendall Miller in the Tri-Cities!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

That Carl From Vashon, What a guy 

From the Daily O's Cap. Chat today.

Carl, Vashon: Why didn't the state get fair-share health care?

Chopp: The fair-share proposal in my opinion was flawed. I pledged to work with people to come back with something better next year. We haven't started meeting on that yet, so I don't know what the changes will be.

Moderator: Do you think it's wrong for people employed by major corporations to use state-funded health care?

Chopp: That's why we asked for the study to be done, because a large number of those people on state health care rolls are kids, and we think that's appropriate for the state to do, covering kids is a community responsibility. We have to do that study to find out what the true numbers are. We want to encourage people to get jobs in the private sector, so we provide them with health care up to six months after they get a job, which gives employers incentive to hire people off welfare. So that's another information point we need to clarify with this study.

We Need Less Democrats Like Russ Feingold 

If any other Democrat went on Fox News and complained about his caucus that would be the end of their dreams of winning a presidential primary. For some reason Feingold gets a pass. For goodness sake, he spent more time talking strategy with Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannidy's office mate than he did with his own leadership.

Look, I support impeachment but even I'd have a tough time supporting this if I was a Senator. No advance warning. If he'd announced it on Sunday and the following Monday every Democrat who supported it had an op-ed in their local paper lined up. If they had media ready to go they might have been able to move some Senators. They might have been able to make it a real debate. Instead he wanted to create the impression that it was him alone. And that's fine except it killed any chance to do something like this in the future for real.

And yeah it sure is nice to keep Republicans who are over reaching in line. We really could have used someone like Feingold claims he is today when he was the only Democrat to vote to move the immoral anti-democratic impeachment of Bill Clinton forward. When he was a critical vote to confirm Ashcroft despite the fact the Bush had just stolen a presidential election. I'm with Shaun:

Even if this is the right thing, it's the wrong way. Holding Senators accountable for cleaning up the mess Russ Feingold has made would only compound the wrong.
And I can scratch one name off my potential list of primary votes.

Drinking Liberally 

I'm probably not going to make it out, but you enjoy the Montlake twice as much for me. Or maybe I'll just be a bit late.


Time to vote. I'm for parks and schools for Vashon.

Because You Want to Make Balloting More Complex 

Chinese and Spanish language ballots are often times also chosen by people who can speak English, but who speak the other language better. Because the ballot language isn't confusing enough in your native language, now the evil brain trust (and others) want it to be even tougher.

Monday, March 13, 2006

DFW Wants You 

To run for something or at least to let them know who is running.

Sunshine Week 

The Daily O is all over it.

Tomorrow is Coming 

Tom Tomorrow will be coming to Seattle on March 31 to promote his new book, Hell in a Handbasket. Details pending - we'll let you know.

Seattle Times New Partner - The News Tribune 

Knight Ridder Newspapers, 49.5% owner of the Seattle Times, has been sold to the McClatchy Corporation, owner of Tacoma's News Tribune.

McClatchy Newspapers also publishes the Tri-City Herald, The Puyallup Herald, and The Peninsula Gateway (Gig Harbor). Knight Ridder also publishes The Bellingham Herald and The Olympian. The remaining 50.5% of The Seattle Times is owned by a self-serving idiot.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Open Thread 

Play Nice.


The next phase of repair starts soon.

The Time for Debate is Over 

In 2001 the Nisqually Quake put a few cracks in the Viaduct. We all know that if it was a bit bigger magnitude or a bit further north, or 5 seconds longer then the viaduct would have collapsed. And we had years of debate on the best option. But after a few years the mayor came out with a plan. And then we had another year to debate it. At this point any plan but the tunnel is a plan to have a thousand extra meetings and eventually have the viaduct collapse on us all.

Can we do an Initiative Like this? 

Some Vermont town meetings asked Bernie Sanders to bring articles of impeachment. So could we push an initiative that asks our delegation to impeach him? I suspect the same problems that killed Goldy's initiative would kill it: No change to the RCW. But if someone's smarter than me on this, I'd like to know.

...And speaking of Impeachment, ITMFA!

That is an Amazing Book Review 

I don't usually read the Book Reviews in The Stranger, and it's not Washington State, but this review of Don Quixote is right on.

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