Index of entries from December 2006
December 31, 2006
Best and Worst of 2006
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:00 PM, 40 Comments
We ring out the old year with our picks for Best and Worst in local politics and journalism for 2006. Thanks to Andy and Eric for helping me make the final picks and to all the readers who posted nominations... [read more]

Help restore Mt. Rainier Park
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:09 PM, 13 Comments
The P-I reports: "Storm damage at Mount Rainier is 'unbelievable'" U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, who expects to be named chairman of a key committee in the incoming Congress, says he is working to secure emergency funding. Fine, but as I... [read more]

Suit filed to invalidate election of new Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:39 PM, 10 Comments
Democrat Josh Brown, a 25 year-old UC Berkeley graduate with minimal experience, was elected to the Kitsap County Commission in November and took office in late December. The Kitsap Business Journal's Larry Coppola reports: a Kitsap resident has filed suit... [read more]

'"It's a new day" as secrecy fades'
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:07 AM, 8 Comments
Congratulations to the Seattle Times for its successful efforts to open King County Superior Court case files. It has been routine practice for years for courts to seal files entirely upon request of either party. Unfortunately, that has prevented the... [read more]

December 29, 2006
Good riddance
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:53 PM, 81 Comments
Saddam Hussein has been executed.... [read more]

Rush Holt should have spoken up two years ago
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:53 PM, 19 Comments
There's a dispute over a Florida U.S. House seat -- an anomalously high undervote in one county (using electronic voting machines and no paper trail). The Republican won. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) questions the result: This is a district ...... [read more]

Here and there, Dec. 29
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:59 AM, 11 Comments
The P-I has a profile of the increasingly powerful Speaker of the state House, Frank Chopp. Yet another human life tragically damaged by government incompetence Mud, trees and roots slid onto railroad tracks between Seattle and Everett Friday morning, causing... [read more]

Whither KeyArena?
by Eric Earling, 08:20 AM, 27 Comments
Joel Connelly asks an interesting question in his annual year-in-review awards column, which remains a guilty pleasure for this writer even though I end up disagreeing with his take most of the time: Matt Millen/Isiah Thomas Sports Management Award: Using... [read more]

Case Against Nifong Mounts
by Eric Earling, 07:55 AM, 13 Comments
This is slightly off topic to Sound Politics but I wanted to follow-up to an earlier post on the Duke lacrosse rape case, itself responding to this post from the Stranger Blog. The crux of that argument was whether this... [read more]

December 28, 2006
King County Journal, R.I.P.
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:24 PM, 27 Comments
On the P-I website: "King County Journal to close". And on the Times website: "King County Journal's owner announces paper is closing". No mention, at this hour, on the Journal's own website.... [read more]

World's Smallest Violin (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:33 PM, 35 Comments
Joel Connelly is understandably disappointed about recent storm damage to some of his favorite local hiking areas. Although somehow, he makes the bad weather out to be Bush's fault! "Starvation of national parks, land angers me"several destinations are now inaccessible... [read more]

World's Smallest Violin (I)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:07 PM, 18 Comments
My recent post about publicly financed campaigns generated several comments, including a couple from Gentry Lange, Green Party candidate for King County Executive in 2005: I was outspent by oh $800,000, by both Ron Sims and David Irons. I... [read more]

Power Restoration Must Be Faster In Next 10-Year Storm
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:01 AM, 37 Comments
Despite clear warning, it wasn't until 10 days after Puget Sound's ferocious Dec. 14 storm that power was restored to nearly all of the roughly 1.5 million affected customers in suburbs and Seattle. Our storm was somewhat stronger than one... [read more]

Liberals Are About to Go Apoplectic
by Eric Earling, 08:15 AM, 87 Comments
There are few true certainties in politics, but it seems quite likely political observers are about to witness the explosion of liberal minds across the country once President Bush finalizes deliberations on a revised Iraq policy, then announces it to... [read more]

December 27, 2006
Floyd McKay Flirts With Bigotry
by Jim Miller, 02:11 PM, 80 Comments
In today's column, the emeritus journalism professor gives us more reason to suspect journalists, particularly those trained at Western Washington, where he taught.  He begins by equating the three Abrahamic religions. We kill, they kill, we all kill in the... [read more]

December 26, 2006
Site tweaks
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:07 PM, 2 Comments
I've made a few tweaks to the main page: * Placement of ads * New feature -- "Buy These Books" (my picks along with personalized suggestions from Amazon's Omakase program) * Full-service blogroll. Matt is the blogroll Czar. Any comments... [read more]

The logical extension of publicly financed campaigns
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:55 PM, 35 Comments
Postman notes that some local liberals are pushing for public financing of all campaigns Gov. Christine Gregoire's proposal for public financing of judicial races has some people asking, "Why stop there?" Why stop at public financing, indeed? It would be... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:53 AM, 18 Comments
Seattle Times: "King County sewer bills likely to rise" King County's most expensive public-works project ever, the $1.75 billion Brightwater sewage-treatment plant, is about to drive the region's already-pricey sewer rates much higher. The cities and sewer districts whose customers... [read more]

December 25, 2006
Merry Christmas!
by Eric Earling, 09:55 AM, 10 Comments
That's it. Good bye.... [read more]

December 23, 2006
About that Duke Case
by Eric Earling, 10:25 PM, 33 Comments
I have a confession to make. I think the rape case involving members of the Duke University lacrosse team is a fascinating story, and as compelling a criminal case in the public realm in years. I wish the local media... [read more]

The Times Just Wants to Bug Out
by Eric Earling, 07:55 PM, 9 Comments
The Seattle Times recently raised objections to the idea of a temporary troop "surge" to Iraq, as part of its ongoing and periodic editorials opposing our continued involvement in that country. The crux of the editorial was that some notable... [read more]

Best Wishes from Mrs. Shark
by Mrs. Shark, 05:39 PM, 15 Comments
Happy Hannukah (belated) and Merry Christmas! I wish all of SoundPolitics readers a joyous season and a healthy and happy New Year! I'm finding myself in a grateful mood as of late. I'm thankful * that we only lost power... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:10 PM, 8 Comments
Dino Rossi contacted us earlier today with a correction. Contrary to what Eric wrote this morning (citing an item from The Stranger blog and qualified with the word "supposedly"), Rossi has not endorsed Luke Esser for state party chair. No... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:24 AM, 22 Comments
Today's P-I has an urgent news bulletin: In recent years, as people's lives have become busier, eating Chinese food on Christmas Day has become more of an American tradition. Going out for Chinese has been a famous Jewish Christmas tradition... [read more]

Questions for Esser & Tebelius
by Eric Earling, 07:35 AM, 9 Comments
Luke Esser seems set to challenge Diane Tebelius for State Republican Party Chair, including supposedly lining up the endorsements of Dino Rossi and Rob McKenna. Knowing what I know now I have a personal preference in a match-up between Esser... [read more]

I Agree with Liberals
by Eric Earling, 07:23 AM, 11 Comments
Hey, it happens once in a while. As it is, I do agree with both Goldy and Ron Sims (Seattle might start electing Republicans before this happens again) on current affairs related to replacing the viaduct. Heck, for that matter,... [read more]

December 22, 2006
Property Rights and Wrongs
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:18 AM, 17 Comments
Bill Maurer, with the Institute of Justice and the Washington Policy Center, has an eye-opening policy brief "A False Sense of Security: he Potential for Eminent Domain Abuse in Washington" A shorter version is posted under the title "Eminent Domain... [read more]

"Seattle's Jewish Problem"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:27 AM, 45 Comments
Eli Sanders has the cover story in this week's The Stranger. I really liked the essay. It's wonderfully written and a touching bit of family and local history. I wouldn't say that Seattle has a Jewish problem and I haven't... [read more]

December 21, 2006
Qapla' batlh je
by DonWard, 09:58 PM, 26 Comments
There's nothing like a minor natural disaster to bring a community together. We don't have any of that blaming FEMA, President Bush, or Governor Gregoire and finger-pointing at utility companies. Not for us sturdy Puget Sound types. No sir. Despite... [read more]

Who's the most vulnerable Seattle City Councilmember?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:00 PM, 14 Comments
Yesterday's article about local GOP plans to challenge incumbents on Seattle's dysfunctional City Council, has prompted some speculation: Who are the most vulnerable incumbents running for re-election in 2007? Peter Steinbrueck? Sally Clark? David Della? Tom Rasmussen? Jean Godden? Personally,... [read more]

Ignorance-is-bliss journalism
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:15 PM, 14 Comments
In yesterday's column, the P-I's Susan Paynter scores an own-goal against her profession's and the public's interest in transparent government : "The media may know too much". Paynter thinks it's wrong that a file of City of Seattle employee names,... [read more]

Danny Westneat Tells a Funny Story
by Jim Miller, 02:31 PM, 28 Comments
Though you might find it more infuriating than funny, if you happen to live in Seattle. When a cedar tree with a trunk 3 feet thick fell across Seattle's 33rd Avenue, the folks there saw it as a symbol of... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:58 AM, 23 Comments
In today's column, Joni Balter creatively spins Mrs. Gregoire's craven avoidance of a decision on the Viaduct into an act of political genius, or something. The column includes this hilarious line: Seattle voters are among the most generous in the... [read more]

Absence of Justice
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:34 AM, 22 Comments
Another 7-2 decision by the statist Alexander court: "Supreme Court says voters can't repeal critical areas ordinance"... [read more]

Say WA?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:38 AM, 15 Comments
The Herald: "Everett to spend $250,000 on image" City officials say the money will pay for a whole new identity, not just a slogan.... [read more]

The French Connection
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:32 AM, 42 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire1, April 2005, "Those who are rich in Washington state are rich because we have a great state," Gregoire said when she announced her intention to partially reimpose the estate tax. "The economy has allowed them to prosper. ...... [read more]

Good PR...for now.
by Eric Earling, 08:20 AM, 7 Comments
David Postman accurately summarizes the relatively good press the release of Chris Gregoire's budget has garnered. One should reasonably expect as much given the superficial appearance of fiscal restraint, coupled with modest spending on popular issues like education, the environment,... [read more]

December 20, 2006
Racist WSU professor
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:23 PM, 37 Comments
Eugene Volokh has some thoughtful comments about WSU's investigation report on the case of Prof. John Streamas, who called a College Republican student a 'white shitbag'. Interestingly enough, Streamas' website posts his syllabus for American Studies 590, "Racism and Technologies... [read more]

Call for nominations
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:19 PM, 0 Comments
Please be sure to post your nominations for the Best and Worst of 2006. Post your nomination in a comment at the above-linked post. I'll ask my fellow editors to caucus and we'll announce the winners by the end of... [read more]

GOP will compete in Seattle city races
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:10 PM, 25 Comments
Today's P-I: "GOP seeking unlikely victories in Seattle". King County GOP chairman Mike Young pledges to back competitive conservative candidates in Seattle races: "... the one-governance party that has been governing the city and the schools has done one really... [read more]

Suppression of dissent in Mrs. Gregoire's AmeriKKKa
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:15 AM, 20 Comments
As part of her new deficit spending budget, Mrs. Gregoire wants to spend $4.4 million of taxpayer money for public financing of campaigns for state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court positions. Candidates would have to agree to a clean... [read more]

Maleng will not seek death penalty for Haq
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:53 AM, 24 Comments
King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng announced today that he will seek life imprisonment without possibility of release for Jewish Federation shooter Naveed Haq, the Seattle Times reports. Although Maleng called Haq's murder spree "one of the most serious crimes that... [read more]

Grumpy Progressives Warm the Conservative Heart
by Eric Earling, 08:29 AM, 8 Comments
It was clear even shortly after November's election that self-described "progressives" were likely to be left wanting by the actual accomplishments of a Democratic Congress. That drumbeat of disappointments caused by failure to meet expectations has already begun on domestic... [read more]

The Real State Budget Problem
by Eric Earling, 08:15 AM, 16 Comments
The stumbling-out-the-gate budget fumble by Chris Gregoire's staff highlights a bigger problem for the state budget that will pose a significant stumbling block for lawmakers: a large piece of the puzzle is the under funded state pension system which requires... [read more]

December 19, 2006
Mrs. Gregoire's budget
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:38 PM, 21 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire has announced her budget. It's a Santa's bag of Christmas presents for government workers, not so much for the ordinary taxpayers whose money she's giving away to her primary constituency. The EFF notes that the budget projects a... [read more]

"Seattle students getting junk-food fix elsewhere"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:00 AM, 37 Comments
The Seattle School Board's prohibition on junk food in school vending machines has not prevented students from consuming junk food. It has, as predicted, only defunded the school programs that depended on vending machine revenue:The policy meant to discourage students... [read more]

Government incompetence kills again
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:30 AM, 32 Comments
"Faulty storm drains may have led to woman's death in basement" Chronically dysfunctional storm drains on East Madison Street -- the subject of several complaints to the city over the years -- may have caused the death of well-known voice-over... [read more]

December 18, 2006
The story of public education
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:38 PM, 11 Comments
As mentioned earlier, Thomas Shapley has left the P-I for a $75,000 a year job as spokesman for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the mission 'to help tell the story of public education'. Shapley e-mailed me a... [read more]

Worst News Story of the Year
by Eric Earling, 06:57 PM, 15 Comments
Stefan has issued a call for nominations for assorted awards and such below. I'll leave that task to readers but should chime in on a category I don't think Stefan envisioned: worst news story covered in the local press. I... [read more]

Dino's Back
by Eric Earling, 06:11 PM, 2 Comments
Rich Roesler, the Spokane Spokesman-Review's Olympia reporter finds this interesting Powerpoint presentation which offers a clear critique of current affairs in the statehouse. Reading through Roesler's blog entry one gets the impression all this wasn't intended to be public just... [read more]

Call for Nominations: The Best and Worst of 2006
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:05 PM, 44 Comments
This thread is for readers to nominate the year's best and worst in local politics. A non-exclusive list of suggested categories, with a few non-exclusive suggested nominees to spark your input -- Best and worst local journalists and editorial writers... [read more]

Cost/benefit analysis
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:47 AM, 67 Comments
Our regional transportation leaders admit that they can come up with only $2.1 billion of the estimated $4 - $5 billion that will be needed to replace the 520 bridge (The bridge, by the way, currently carries about 110,000 vehicles... [read more]

December 17, 2006
Governor Punts, Editorial Boards Applaud. Voters, what say you?
by Eric Earling, 11:40 PM, 22 Comments
On the heels of Christine Gregoire's abdication of decision making authority over the replacement of part of a state highway, the Seattle Times and Everett Herald applaud her choice. Those that think elected officials are supposed to make decisions and... [read more]

Open Thread On The Storm
by Jim Miller, 06:01 PM, 44 Comments
Well, almost open thread.  If your comments would fit better under one of the storm posts below, then put them there.  Use this thread for anything else on the storm. (For me, the storm was just a minor inconvenience.  Here's... [read more]

Best Performance By Elected Officials?
by Jim Miller, 05:55 PM, 13 Comments
As far as I can tell, the Washington state governor, the King County executive, and the mayor of Seattle did almost nothing during the storm .  Which may be just as well, considering.  Sometimes the best we can hope for... [read more]

Best Info During The Storm?
by Jim Miller, 05:50 PM, 34 Comments
In the thirty or so hours that the power was out here, I looked hard for information about the storm.  I listened to the radio and used my laptop with a dial-up connection to check sites on the internet.... [read more]

Crawling Through The Wreckage
by Matt Rosenberg, 05:47 PM, 10 Comments
Last Thursday night's major windstorm not only damaged private property, but public assets as well. It takes some time to calculate the damage, inform the public and engineer the clean-up. One spot hard hit - and worth watching for timely... [read more]

Intervention needed
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:20 AM, 10 Comments
"State to oversee Boston Elections Department"The Boston Elections Department agreed to be overseen by Secretary of State William F. Galvin's office through the 2008 presidential election Friday, acknowledging that it violated state laws when it failed to supply enough ballots... [read more]

Frank Blethen, Call Your Office!
by Eric Earling, 09:15 AM, 2 Comments
In otherwise not very interesting news, Time Magazine has proclaimed its person of the year. Indeed, for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros... [read more]

December 16, 2006
Gregoire abdicates
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:28 AM, 39 Comments
It's the biggest issue in her inbox and Mrs. Gregoire has decided not to make a decision: "Gregoire calls for voters to decide future of viaduct"The future of the Alaskan Way Viaduct appeared as murky as ever Friday, despite [Mrs.]... [read more]

December 15, 2006
Back on the grid
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:55 PM, 17 Comments
My electricity just came back on after a 17 hour outage. Driving across the 520 bridge last night just before it closed wasn't a lot of fun either.... [read more]

Never Fear, the "Media Whore" is Here
by Eric Earling, 09:05 AM, 12 Comments
Many moons ago, I was conversing with a former staffer for Congressman Jay Inslee and the topic of the behavior of this person's old boss came up, at which point the confession was made: "Yeah, we realized Jay had pretty... [read more]

Joel Connelly Reports Myth
by Eric Earling, 08:09 AM, 1 Comments
Today, Joel Connelly shares some interesting conversations he had with Congressmen Brian Baird and Adam Smith. Baird for one acknowledges the lack of cogent thought that exists on the extreme of his party (remarkably similar to the demands for purity... [read more]

Crazy People in the News
by Eric Earling, 07:27 AM, 13 Comments
David Horsey takes a look a little Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the tyke-like tyrant from Tehran. Meanwhile, little Mahmoud tells Time, "no country in the world looks upon America as a friend." Uh huh. Little Mahmoud also says, "Everyone knows that the... [read more]

December 14, 2006
Seattle needs more police; and needs to use better sense in deploying the ones it already has
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:54 AM, 22 Comments
In an op-ed in today's Seattle Times, Tim Burgess argues that "Seattle needs more police officers" Read the whole thing. I agree with Burgess' arguments. Provided, however, that the officers are assigned to protect the citizens from the serious violent... [read more]

"Double Down"?
by Eric Earling, 08:00 AM, 26 Comments
It is moderately disturbing that even before potential new policy in Iraq is formally announced, there is already a catchy yet not quite accurate phrase in wide circulation to describe it. The news that President Bush may well support a... [read more]

Jimmy Carter: Not Just Four Years in their Lives Americans Would Like Back
by Eric Earling, 06:53 AM, 46 Comments
David Postman recently spent some time with Jimmy Carter, the man who holds the high honor of being disliked by conservatives even more for his affairs after the Presidency than his abysmal service in it. This the same Jimmy Carter's... [read more]

December 13, 2006
"Can Somebody Check the School Board's Diplomas?"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:06 AM, 22 Comments
Seth Kolloen at Seattlest recommends that the Seattle School Board members should repeat 9th grade English.... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:58 AM, 21 Comments
An item in this week's The Stranger is baffled by a conundrum: ROOTS, a U-District youth shelter with 25 beds, has seen an increase in the number of homeless people they serve, despite higher city and state funding for homeless... [read more]

Pork of Seattle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:21 AM, 10 Comments
Today's P-I: "Lax oversight at Port of Seattle" Port of Seattle officials have cut generous no-bid deals with a company hired to run publicly owned facilities on the central waterfront, have failed to closely monitor those contracts and have shouldered... [read more]

Re: The Israel Gambit
by Eric Earling, 08:25 AM, 11 Comments
Over the weekend, I took a look at the quick but errant support from local editorial boards leaping to support the Iraq Study Group (ISG), particularly the fallacy that "solving" the Arab-Israeli conflict will magically produce less Sunni v. Shiite... [read more]

Scooped By Michelle Malkin!
by Jim Miller, 07:27 AM, 18 Comments
Malkin has the best take I've seen on the House ethics committee report on Seattle congressman Jim McDermott's ethics violations.  (Yes, we should have covered it yesterday at Sound Politics, but there are so many Democratic scandals, and so little... [read more]

December 12, 2006
Contacts Needed
by Jim Miller, 08:12 PM, 13 Comments
I haven't said anything about the Sea-Tac holiday tree controversy, though other contributors have.   (Here and here.)  Mostly that's because I already said what I have to say on the general subject last year and early this year, though... [read more]

Utopian social engineering at its worst
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:03 PM, 60 Comments
As expected, the Seattle City Council approved rules to make it harder for people to park near neighborhood businesses: To wean people from their cars, encourage new small businesses and add greenery, the Seattle City Council told businesses and developers... [read more]

Gossett elected King County Council Chairman
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:10 AM, 35 Comments
Former Black Panther Larry Gossett has been elected Chairman of the King County Council The P-I reports: Gossett said he will work readily with the GOP minority. "I think people will be pleasantly surprised with how collaborative and transparent and... [read more]

RE: I'm not buying it, Eric
by Eric Earling, 07:31 AM, 23 Comments
Stefan responded below to my earlier musings on challenges facing the regional discourse on the RTID-Sound Transit joint ballot measure. Stefan, as regular readers of Sound Politics know full well, will not soon be accused of favoring Sound Transit's light... [read more]

December 11, 2006
"Christmas trees are going back up at Sea-Tac airport."
by Eric Earling, 09:30 PM, 84 Comments
So reports the Seattle Times. Maybe next time some dunderhead won't be so quick to threaten a lawsuit to get their favored version of a holiday symbol displayed at the public place of their choosing. The only thing Christian about... [read more]

Investment, yes, but in education, or in education union?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:14 PM, 16 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire wants to "invest" $200 million in math and science education. I'm all in favor of improving math and science education. Unfortunately, Gregoire's proposal reads like another list of dunderhead ideas from the same loserocracy that brought us the... [read more]

I'm not buying it, Eric
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:56 PM, 28 Comments
The Washington Policy Center has published this financial note on the proposed Sound Transit expansion: Under its larger package, Sound Transit is planning to spend a combined $35.2 billion to move 351,000 people a day. It would be cheaper to... [read more]

Words And Numbers, Democrats And Republicans
by Jim Miller, 11:19 AM, 28 Comments
I have been studying the differences between Democrats and Republicans for decades, and I thought I knew all the important ones (Republicans are better off than Democrats, more educated on the average, more likely to be married, and so on,... [read more]

Alternative School Meltdown In Seattle
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:21 AM, 16 Comments
"There's No Learning" at John Marshall The Seattle Times publishes an important, painstakingly documented article this morning about the utter collapse of the Seattle Public Schools' John Marshall Alternative School. At some point, nearly all public school boosters calling for... [read more]

The Right and the Left Don't Speak the Same Language
by Eric Earling, 08:15 AM, 14 Comments
Ok, it's no shock the right and the left aren't on the same page on most partisan issues; everyone expects that. The stark contrast, however, between where the right and left are at on transportation (rarely a den of gleeful... [read more]

December 10, 2006
Speaking of the death of the mainstream media
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:41 PM, 9 Comments
Friday's Seattle Times has two generations of Blethens editorializing against "media consolidation". Blethen-fils: "Media-consolidation foes make wonderful bedfellows"; and Blethen-pere, identified as a "guest columnist" in his own newspaper: "America's democracy at risk" . While the rhetoric of protecting "diversity"... [read more]

Oy Vey! That "War On Christmas!"
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:00 AM, 94 Comments
First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS! Happy Hanukkah! May God grant you many blessings, including the ability to breathe deeply and keep calm. Because....Seattle finds itself Exhibit A in the purported "War On Christmas." The Port of Seattle removed Christmas trees... [read more]

December 09, 2006
Eh, the P-I Has a Point
by Eric Earling, 10:52 PM, 10 Comments
A Sunday editorial in the P-I previews a pending final report from Regional Transportation Commission. That group's draft report received mention in this post on revitalizing the GOP in the burbs, and more direct discussion here as well. Beyond the... [read more]

The Israel Gambit
by Eric Earling, 11:52 AM, 17 Comments
It's no secret conservatives haven't exactly been widely impressed by the findings of the Iraq Study Group (ISG). And yes, the gratuitous media fawning over a mushy collection of what we already knew, considered meaningful simply because it is supposedly... [read more]

December 08, 2006
Norm Maleng is shocked
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:27 PM, 15 Comments
Former King County employee, bi-partisan political operative and alleged skeevy perv Larry Corrigan is also accused of embezzlement: A longtime employee of the King County Prosecutor's Office who was arrested in an Internet sex sting is now accused of embezzling... [read more]

Hell hath no fury
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:51 PM, 28 Comments
As noted earlier, liberal group "Voters for Democracy" sought a partial recount of east King County ballots to explain why their exit poll of the Reichert-Burner race was so far off the official results. They decided on a recount of... [read more]

Dense yes, but not by people per square mile
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:34 AM, 38 Comments
Seattle City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck wants to make it harder for customers to park near neighborhood businesses: But the aim, he said, is to turn neighborhood business areas into verdant urban villages to which people could walk, rather than drive.... [read more]

The Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives
by Eric Earling, 07:40 AM, 74 Comments
It's normally rather easy to define the policy differences between conservatives and liberals, and intelligent observers have little trouble doing so. On less frequent occasions, however, one can see clear insight into the deeper philosophical and operational differences that truly... [read more]

December 07, 2006
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:51 PM, 22 Comments
Sometime mid-day Friday this blog will welcome its 5,000,000th visitor, according to Sitemeter.... [read more]

Esser to challenge Tebelius?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:27 AM, 24 Comments
Neil Modie in today's P-I reports that departing state Sen. Luke Esser is mounting a challenge for state GOP chairman against incumbent Diane Tebelius. I've heard credible rumors about this myself, although Esser wouldn't tell me anything more than the... [read more]

A Thrifty Jew Takes Office - Thanks To IRV
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:27 AM, 8 Comments
A fiscally conservative local merchant (of Chinese descent) named Ed Jew has been elected and - as the SF Chron reports this a.m. - sworn in to the badly distracted San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Jew explains in this post-election... [read more]

Absence of Justice
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:38 AM, 23 Comments
The statist Alexander Court again upheld executive preference to ignore the will of the voters -- this time allowing Sound Transit to continue collecting its motor vehicle tax, despite I-776. The majority ruling here. Justice Sanders' dissent here.... [read more]

December 06, 2006
Fractured Ferry Tale
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:33 PM, 51 Comments
Kitsap Transit is asking local voters to increase their sales tax to pay for passenger ferry service. the transit board had hoped Washington State Ferries would find a solution or that private companies would be able to find success offering... [read more]

Boeing Ascendant, Airbus Reeling
by Eric Earling, 09:28 PM, 45 Comments
Reader note: see update below from this morning's post. The P-I has a thorough story today on another potential win for the Boeing Company, and corresponding blow to rival Airbus. One of the latter's longtime customers, Lufthansa, seems set to... [read more]

We're not going to take it
by DonWard, 12:15 PM, 19 Comments
When I wrote my two briefs about the King County Republican Party officer selection process I worried that the debate would devolve into a series of petty accusations. Fortunately, as evidenced by the remarks in those comment threads, my concerns... [read more]

Absence of Justice
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:54 AM, 26 Comments
The Washington Supreme Court denied the Strobel sisters' request for review of their eminent domain abuse case with the city of Burien.... [read more]

Federal investigation of King County Jail
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:42 AM, 10 Comments
"Inquiry into jail begins"The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil-rights investigation into the King County Jail in Seattle, focusing on sexual abuse of inmates and on allegations of inadequate suicide prevention and contagious-disease control. I doubt there's anything... [read more]

Yes, It Is Your Fault, Ms. Brodeur
by Jim Miller, 10:54 AM, 19 Comments
In this Sound Politics post, I argued that following "progressive" ideas had made the schools in Seattle (and similar cities) worse.  I was answering a column by Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur, who believes that "progressive" cities ought to have... [read more]

Clarence Page: "A Problem Bigger Than Busing"
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:17 AM, 7 Comments
Chicago Tribune editorial board member and columnist Clarence Page - an African-American - writes today about the Seattle schools student assignment "racial tiebreaker" now before the U.S. Supreme Court. ..the Louisville and Seattle public school racial-integration plans...offer troubling examples of... [read more]

"The End of School Diversity"?
by Eric Earling, 07:20 AM, 30 Comments
Lynne Varner raises the point today in the Seattle Times, speculating that the Supreme Court may rule against the Seattle School District's race-based tiebreaker. Her view of the matter, however, is troubling. However, if the court turns Brown on its... [read more]

December 05, 2006
Heads they win, tails you lose.
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:26 PM, 14 Comments
The Seattle City Council in action "This is the way we make most of our decisions by the way"... [read more]

Initiative time again
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:17 PM, 42 Comments
David Ammons reports that Tim Eyman is back with a "Taxpayer Protection Initiative", that would raise the bar for raising taxes and increase transparency and accountability. And Eyman has an op-ed in today's Seattle Times on threats to the people's... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:33 AM, 19 Comments
Yesterday's P-I editorial alleging a "hateful, comprehensive U.S. apartheid system" was so over-the-top that it deserves more comment. One member of the P-I editorial board, associate publisher Kenneth Bunting, happens to be African-American. In his role at the P-I, he... [read more]

On Math Standards, Expectations, Parenting & "Special Ed"
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:25 AM, 33 Comments
Comments On "Special Ed" Sought - Please Read To Bottom Today's news brings a welter of Washington education commentary. Bethel High School student Courtney Moore of Spanaway in a Tacoma News Tribune letter to the editor says Gov. Christine... [read more]

State House Committee Appointments
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:24 AM, 15 Comments
Speaker Chopp announced his new committee chairs yesterday. Some insider scuttlebutt: Former Finance chair Jim McIntire replaced by Ross Hunter. Rumor has it that McIntire was told by the Speaker that he would be removed as chair if he came... [read more]

Seattle Schools Case Before the Court
by Eric Earling, 07:30 AM, 13 Comments
You want to know what a political geek I am? While channel surfing last night I ran across the oral arguments of the Parents Involved in Community Schools v. the Seattle School District conducted yesterday. And, I watched it. The... [read more]

December 04, 2006
Re: GOP Legislative Candidates Are Toast in the Burbs Until ...
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:14 PM, 18 Comments
If you haven't already done so, be sure to read Eric's post from last night on GOP prospects for recapturing the suburbs, and Matt's post on a similar topic from the other day. I'll weigh in with rejoinders to Matt... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:49 PM, 27 Comments
Today's P-I editorial asks the U.S. Supreme Court to grant the Seattle School District's wish to use racial profiling in school assignments. While I frequently criticize the P-I for factually incorrect and/or foolish editorials, this one is completely unhinged: The... [read more]

State "Supervision" Fails Again - Another Dead Cop
by Matt Rosenberg, 08:42 AM, 69 Comments
The Seattle P-I reports on the four breaks cut by courts and the state to gang member Raymond O. Porter, 23, who Saturday murdered King County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Cox in White Center before Cox's partners killed him. It's the... [read more]

You're a Reformer if we say so
by Eric Earling, 07:25 AM, 8 Comments
MSM denizen David Broder made a telling slip in yesterday's column, a polite profile of incoming Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Broder says "McConnell is no reformer" because he fought McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. Yet, just sentences earlier, Broder says,... [read more]

December 03, 2006
GOP Legislative Candidates Are Toast in the Burbs Until Rhetoric on Two Campaign Issues Improves
by Eric Earling, 09:45 PM, 28 Comments
Matt Rosenberg provided some worthy discussion on the future of the Washington State Republican party in a recent post. Let me hone in on a couple of his points. In particular, there are two policy issues in need of clearer... [read more]

King County GOP election results
by DonWard, 06:49 PM, 87 Comments
Here is a very quick, very rough synopsis of how the voting went during the King County Republican Party's organization meeting, Saturday, at Mercer Island. I was unable to attend and got the information via some of those who showed... [read more]

Shapley's Audition
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:37 PM, 22 Comments
Today's P-I editorial repeats the trope: Washington state should increase education spending. The line about underfunded education has been repeated so long by educrats and employee unions, and parroted so faithfully by the liberal media, that few among us question... [read more]

Mail Ballot Horror Show (XXXIV): Underage voters
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:36 AM, 19 Comments
Congratulations to Meagan Norris of Arlington, the state's youngest voter. The statewide voter database shows that Meagan was born on May 15, 2006, registered to vote on September 12, 2006 and exercised her franchise on November 7, 2006, at age... [read more]

I Hate to Say I Told You So
by Eric Earling, 08:41 AM, 12 Comments
Some comments in past threads on the political antics of Democrats on the Medicare drug benefit and related nonsensical policy proposals (which the MSM already reports is a sinking ship) have brought the usual populist arguments in response, oft seen... [read more]

December 02, 2006
Voter database update
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:58 PM, 6 Comments
I updated our statewide voter database with the Secretary of State's release of November 27. The release was cut before the canvassing of the Nov 7 election was finished, so only a small percentage of voters, limited to a few... [read more]

Well-known GOP activist Bi-partisan government insider held in sex-predator sting
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:32 PM, 49 Comments
Today's Seattle Times updates yesterday's irresponsibly biased article about former county employee Larry Corrigan, headlined "Well-known GOP activist held in sex-predator sting" Today's article admits that Corrigan was active in campaigns for a wide variety of politicians: including Maleng, U.S.... [read more]

Race in Seattle Schools
by Eric Earling, 11:52 AM, 7 Comments
UPDATE: Somehow I missed that Matt Rosenberg already reported on Will's column earlier this week in his coverage of Bruce Ramsey's thoughts on the issue as well. I'm retarded. **** George Will weighs in on the pending Supreme Court case... [read more]

Liberal Democrat from Seattle Speaks Wisdom
by Eric Earling, 10:48 AM, 11 Comments
Now there's a title you don't see much here. Ed Murray, however, takes a reasonable approach to the long running viaduct v. tunnel debate in today's Seattle Times. Murray says the state needs to explore the surface boulevard option seriously,... [read more]

December 01, 2006
Ron Sims campaign contributor held in sex sting
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:08 PM, 21 Comments
A former long-time King County government employee, Larry Corrigan, has been arrested for allegedly trying to arrange sex with a decoy posing as a 13-year-old girl. Corrigan has been an active donor to numerous Democrat candidates, including Ron Sims, Larry... [read more]

Nickels' Push For White Center Annexation = Power Politics
by Matt Rosenberg, 09:45 AM, 39 Comments
The Seattle P-I reports this morning that Mayor Greg Nickels' operatives are putting the squeeze on the city council to approve a financially-losing proposition to annex unincorporated White Center to Seattle. It's a bad idea and the council, clearly concerned... [read more]

Trust the parents instead
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:14 AM, 38 Comments
Today's P-I editorial says "Trust the voters" we're left wondering: Whatever became of the idea that representative democracy is the essential starting point for public education, not an inconvenience to be pushed aside? Whatever became of the idea? It failed.... [read more]

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