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Saturday, May 27, 2006

McDermott In For Dave Ross 

Should be a good week. And check out Michael's whole post for a nice little round up of McDermott's career.



94% 

Maybe next time.



Energy Corridors 

Yikes.

Most will be places already home to gas or electricity lines, but some may cut across undisturbed terrain or through national parks, scenic areas or wildlife-rich lands.

“Alarm bells are ringing on some of these corridors,” said Ivan Maluski, conservation coordinator for the Sierra Club in Oregon.

Frustrated by the lengthy process the energy industry faces when it wants to run pipes and power lines, Congress last year gave the Department of Energy and the Bureau of Land Management until August 2007 to set aside energy corridors on federal land in 11 Western states.

This should consolidate permitting for using federal land, although construction will still go through additional environmental review, said Scott Powers, who led the project for the BLM. In some places, construction may be decades away, or never occur at all.



Friday, May 26, 2006

Last Minute Filling In 

For the General. Check out my post on the Gore Movie. More to come, maybe.



High Up the Toadie Poll 

So a week or so ago, the rankings of who's most powerful in the House and Senate came out. And I was happy to let Goldy write something silly, and basically leave it at that. Not Washington State and all that. And, kind of stupid.

But, I was looking at something else on the Washington State Republican Party web page and found a press release attacking Cantwell for not being in a position of power (PS, when Murray is up for re-election, someone remind me about this press release, especially if we're in power). Anyway, the main thing the rankings tell us, outside of some exceptional cases is what party is in power, and who kisses the Republican leadership's ass the most.

See the metrics include "position" and "Legislative Activity." Position, basically is more determined by party than anything else. Although, longevity also helps, a lot. As does your ability to kiss ass of your party leadership. Still what party you're in matters the most. Cantwell won't be a committee chair until there's a Democratic majority (are you for that Dianne Courtney?). Legislative activity means basically how often did the stuff you voted for pass as near as I can tell. For important legislators this means how well can you push your agenda. For less important legislators, it means how often they vote with the Republican leadership. So in that sense, especially for people like Reichert who represent a district sharply at odds with the Republican leadership, it means how much of a wh--, let's say prostitute, they are to the Republican leadership.

Of course there's also influence that Maria, who doesn't accept PAC money, is behind on. See candidates' PAC's, among other things, are critical to that particular rating. In other words, Diane Tebelius Courtney Love wants a more corrupt member of the Senate (well, duh). Also, I've read the "Sizzle/Fizzle" factor a couple times, and still don't exactly understand it.

Aside from wanting a sizzling insurance agent as her Senator, I guess she wants a crooked Republican toadie. Um, I think most Washingtonians would like something else for now. That's not really the type of power they're interested in.



Memo to Murray 

Dear Senator Murray,

Your vote to confirm General Hayden as CIA head is incomprehensible.

What on Earth were you thinking?

(Edited and sent)

Maria Cantwell voted against Hayden and I congratulated her for it.



Cantwell 

Are you inspired yet?



Thursday, May 25, 2006

On Behalf of Mustachioed Men Everywhere 

I like Peter Steinbrueck's old mustache. But the viaduct ad is pretty funny.



20% 

The law suit is forthcoming about the new voter rules. And holy cats.

That process is fraught with small but serious errors, including improperly filled applications and data-entry mistakes at the bureaucratic level, that could lead to about 20 percent of registrations being unnecessarily spoiled, Levitt said.

The problems could be more pronounced among voters in ethnic minority groups, the lawsuit said, because of confusion on both ends over a person’s first and last names.

“Matching is not, in and of itself, a bad thing,” he said. “The bad thing is making the match, which is an imperfect process at best, a precondition for voting.”

“Given the number of applications we typically see, were likely to have many thousands of eligible voters wrongly rejected,” added Alon Halevy, a University of Washington computer science and engineering professor.



Schools 

I wasn't in this week's podcast, and I haven't had the chance to listen yet, but apparently school closure was discussed. I hope they go ahead and close Goldy's school quickly, so I can stop hearing about this (kidding, sorta).



Hey Patriots 

I don't know how how many of y'all are looking at the front page, but hi if you are.



Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hey, He's Big in Spokane 

Peter Goldmark made a grand entrance in Spokane.



Cabbies 

Hmm.



ACLU Files Wiretapping Complaint 

The ACLU has filed complaints in Washington and 19 other States over illegal surveillance by the Little bush Maladministration. The complaints were filed with the Public Utilities Commission and the Attorney General.

I hope that they used simple words and cartoons so that our Boy Attorney General will understand. Not, of course, that he will do anything.



Drinking Liberally Burien 

I'm going to try and make it down today. Hopefully it won't induce vomiting.

Mick Kelly's Irish Pub, 435 SW 152nd St.



Exercising their Rights 

The teachers union in Oly are walking to the district to tell the administration they don't like the contract offer.



Sheldon 

Ha ha!



Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Open Thread! 




Netroots Endorsed! 

Go Darcy Go! In the last few hours, they've raised more than I did the entire time I was fundraising for her. Way huge!

The next netroots candidate is Darcy Burner in Washington's eighth Congressional district. The district is trending blue, and Burner is incredibly smart and a natural camapigner going against vulnerable incumbent David Reichert. She is also young (35) and web-savvy, having worked at Microsoft, and these traits will serve her well in a House that is desperately in need of new blood. She has promised, for instance, to post on her Congressional web site a list of all meetings with lobbyists by her or any staff member, which is a fundamentally new approach to governance.[...]

Burner regularly attends Drinking Liberally, and was at the Pacific NW Progressive Bloggers Conference. Her diaries at Kos are here. She's got a good shot to win this district, and she is part of a new wave of internet candidates who know what it takes to win and know what democracy really can mean.
You can give to Darcy here or any and all of the netroots candidates here.



Port Angeles 

Ick.



Drinking Liberally 

I won't be there this week, but you totally should.



Monday, May 22, 2006

Supporting Act Blue in Washington 

I've been looking at the act blue Washington legislative page and it'll be tougher than I'd thought to make sure the Featured Dems have act blue pages. So it's less of a requirement than I'd said yesterday. But I would suggest that if you see an omission, that you let them know. Or if you're so inclined, you could drop them some scratch.



The Value of the Assets 

I have no idea if the Sonics will be sold for $400 million. But for the sake of argument, lets take the team at their word. Both that it's possible to sell a team for $400 million and that their losses haven't been, you know, a lie. Still, let's do the math:

On the cost side of the ledger: The initial purchase price $200 million. And their alleged losses over the past half decade: $60 million. So that's 260 million over a half a decade.

The gains are even easier: $400 million sale. That works out to $400 million.

So if you apply math to this situation, you get a 5 year investment that gains you 140 million bucks. And you get to hang out with basketball stars and shit. I can see why they need our tax money. And of course, they're probably lying about their expenses:

Even with all these advantages, owners will often resort to tricky accounting techniques to make it appear their teams are in poor financial condition. They do this to justify raising ticket prices, to get fans on their side in salary disputes with players, and to win support for further stadium subsidies. The claims by owners that they’re in financial distress are deceptive, however. Typically, the owner will cite accounting losses (expenses exceeding income) that are not really losses.

One reason is that team owners are allowed to deduct a portion of their players’ salaries as tax losses. This form of tax subsidy is unique to professional sports; no other business in the United States depreciates the value of human beings as part of the cost of its operation. In a curious twist of logic, showing the bias toward capital over human rights, players whose skills diminish with age do not receive a personal tax write-off; only their owners do.

Economist Richard Sheehan provides another example of creative accounting that, while not a tax subsidy to owners, is used to further misrepresent the fiscal health of professional teams. An owner will receive a large salary, which is then counted as a business expense that cuts into profits. In the NFL, some owners have paid themselves "salaries" as high as $7.5 million.

George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees, provides an egregious example: In the early 1980s he paid himself $25 million as a "fee" for negotiating the team’s cable contract. This fee, of course, was considered an expense for accounting purposes. The bottom line — what the public hears — is that the team is losing money, when in fact, the owner is simply pocketing profits as salary or in tax writeoffs.

As Toronto Blue Jays Vice President Paul Beeston explained, "Under generally accepted accounting principles, I can turn a $4 million profit into a $2 million loss, and I can get every nation’s accounting firm to agree with me."

Another way to manipulate the balance sheet so teams appear weaker financially occurs when a team is sold. The prospective team owner first creates a new ownership corporation. He then loans money to the company, which uses the loan as a down payment to buy the team. This loan, plus the interest payments, then has to be repaid to the owner from the subsequent income of the team, which lowers — for accounting purposes — the team’s stated profit. Once again, the owner pockets the money, and the accounting department records it as an expense.



A Story 

Unlike Josh Feit, I'm pretty with the protesters. I think it's important to oppose the war and I wish my party would with more gusto. Not for the mealy mouthed reasons stated by Pelz. Not for political gain, but because it's the right thing to do. Pottery Barn rule be damned. There's nothing wrong with getting out, and so much right.

And to the extent that the protesters move Cantwell, or any other Democrat there, great. Now at the end of the day, I like Cantwell on a lot of issues. Most issues. And the fact that she means a step closer to a Democratic Senate would be enough for the election.

But even if you don't agree. Even if you support the American presence. Or if you think we should just shut up until mid November, it's still quite interesting.



Sunday, May 21, 2006

Legislative Candidates 

So at some point before the end of the quarter I'd like to start featuring some Democratic candidates for the legislature. Ideally they'll have an act blue page, because then I can keep them together. I'd prefer a good dispursement of geography. I'd prefer not to just go over the same ground as Progressive Majority, so any candidate I'd be pushing for candidates that are perhaps not necessarily in the districts that are the easiest pick ups, or the ones that are getting attention. It's kind of a 49 district strategy, except, I'll probably just end up with 5 candidates like 2 years ago.

Anyway, I have some ideas, but I'd prefer to year from y'all.



I Don't Think he's Running 

In 2008. Or rather I think he'll be running for re-election in 2008, but not for the presidency. No inside blogger knowledge or anything, just a hunch based on how he's acting. Anyway, Kerry is helping Darcy Burner and Maria Cantwell.



Da Bears 

They're wandering the close in suburbs.



50% 

Gregoire hits the magic number.



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