Index of entries from January 2007
January 31, 2007
Obsession Shown At Cedar Park
by Jim Miller, 06:58 PM, 106 Comments
Last night, talk station KTTH combined with Cedar Park Church to give a free showing of Obsession, a documentary on the threat of radical Islam.  The crowd, the introduction, the movie, the collection, and the discussion were all of interest.... [read more]

CIA (NCS) Recruiting On Facebook, You-Tube
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:30 PM, 10 Comments
Attention college graduates, the CIA's National Clandestine Service (NCS) - created post-9/11 to boost the agency's human intelligence capabilities - is looking for a few good men and women. And as Wired reports, they're hanging out their shingle on the... [read more]

Shining a light on Mrs. Gregoire's budget
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:14 PM, 6 Comments
Hope to see some of you at this evening's panel discussion which will shine a light on Mrs. Gregoire's budget. Special guests are the ranking Republicans on the House and Senate budget committees: Sen. Joseph Zarelli and Rep. Gary Alexander.... [read more]

Seattle Times opposes the attempted legislative coup against the citizen's right of initiative
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:53 AM, 11 Comments
The Seattle Times editorial board says "Don't weaken initiatives with tight restrictions"The people's right of initiative and referendum would be needlessly weakened by the proposed ban on payment per signatureThe editorial lists several initiatives that passed in recent years and... [read more]

Canada-U.S. Smuggling Ring Participant Convicted
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:58 AM, 6 Comments
Harminder Singh of Kent has been convicted for conspiracy and four human smuggling counts tied to a B.C.-WA ring assisting 100 illegal immigrants from Pakistan and India across the border. The Vancouver Sun reports today, far more deeply than yesterday's... [read more]

January 30, 2007
Woman Convicted For Vote Fraud
by Jim Miller, 01:45 PM, 27 Comments
No, really.  It doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. The unusual case of an Oak Harbor woman accused of feloniously filling out her daughter's absentee ballot and signing it was settled with a plea bargain in Island County... [read more]

The Unbearable Hipness Of Slackerdad
by Matt Rosenberg, 12:53 PM, 18 Comments
Talk about a made-for-Seattle moment. To image-conscious Gen Xers fatherhood has major upside potential. Those weighing the R.O.I. can hasten Thursday to Chop Suey. There Neal Pollack reads from his latest ironic ode to himself, "Alternadad." He's no Ward Cleaver.... [read more]

Viaduct ballot measures challenged
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:20 PM, 12 Comments
Former Monorail advocate Peter Sherwin has filed suit to challenge the wording of the Viaduct advisory ballot measures. It's the second measure that upsets Sherwin, who supports retrofitting, rather than replacing, the viaduct. "I don't think this is an honest... [read more]

The ongoing legislative coup against the citizen's right to initiative
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:44 AM, 19 Comments
The Senate Government Operations & Elections Committee holds a "public hearing" at 1:30pm today on several bills designed to cripple the people's Constitutional right to initiative:SB 5181 - Requiring signature gatherers to wear identification. SB 5182 - Requiring signature gatherers... [read more]

Shining a light on the governor's budget
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:31 AM, 0 Comments
State Sen. Joseph Zarelli, R-Vancouver, and State Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia, will participate in a special event hosted by the Downtown Seattle Republican Club on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. at the College Club (5th & Madison in Seattle).... [read more]

January 29, 2007
Re: Giuliani is looking interesting
by Eric Earling, 10:02 PM, 51 Comments
It just wouldn't be right of me to ignore the chance to follow-up to Stefan's Giuliani-related post below by noting a bloggers poll or two that my man Mitt Romney has done well in also (see more results from the... [read more]

"Only Fools Support Bush's Escalation"
by Eric Earling, 07:15 PM, 138 Comments
So says Daniel Kirkdorffer. Plus, he goes further: How can Giuliani, McCain and Romney support a troop surge doomed to failure? Their very position on the matter should automatically disqualify them from holding the nation's highest office. "Automatically disqualify," eh?... [read more]

Evidence of fraud in the Secretary of State's office
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:06 PM, 28 Comments
Secretary of State Sam Reed is supporting the unconstitutional proposal to criminalize per-signature payments to initiative petition circulatorsReed said Friday that paying on a per-signature basis -- as opposed to paying by the hour or using volunteers -- creates an... [read more]

Coming To A U District Theatre Soon
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:20 AM, 23 Comments
A Seattle Times reviewer reports from the prestigious Sundance film festival on the documentary about the Enumclaw man-horse sex cult. Viewers can learn to lament the "excommunication" of this "community." More here.... [read more]

Were You Offended?
by Eric Earling, 08:18 AM, 64 Comments
Mike Fancher's weekly column in yesterday's Seattle Times covered the outrage of some locals over a front page story discussing less-than-warmly dressed baristas at a smattering of local coffee stands. Judging from Fancher's column, a not insignificant chunk of the... [read more]

January 28, 2007
Giuliani is looking interesting
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:03 PM, 49 Comments
Some of the buzz that's building around former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his exploratory presidential bid -- * Steven Malanga has a long piece in City Journal about Giluliani's tenure as Mayor: "Yes, Rudy Giuliani Is a Conservative... [read more]

The real way we're tackling Iran
by Eric Earling, 05:07 PM, 26 Comments
The Seattle Times ran an interesting New York Times story today on the potential geo-political impact of Saudi Arabia's acceptance of $50 a barrel oil. While Saudi Arabia comes out just fine at such a price point, Iran may suffer.... [read more]

January 27, 2007
Esser wins
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:20 PM, 30 Comments
According to a source at the meeting, Luke Esser was just elected WSRP chairman 71-43. Congratulations, Luke! UPDATE. Esser sent out his first press release:"The first step towards recovering from our defeat in 2006 is recognizing that we have a... [read more]

A Long Overdue Debate
by Eric Earling, 11:39 AM, 7 Comments
Somewhat lost in the shuffle of a State of the Union speech heavy on political drama and pre-'08 positioning, President Bush hopefully stimulated a serious debate about healthcare in this country and how we pay for it. Thursday the Seattle... [read more]

by Eric Earling, 10:23 AM, 23 Comments
I haven't been adding much to the fray this week because I've been occupied with personal matters. Tuesday evening a young lady was kind enough to run a red light and total my car for me as I was driving... [read more]

January 26, 2007
My endorsement: Luke Esser for State Chairman
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:18 PM, 13 Comments
Again, I had initially intended to be neutral in this race. But I was startled by the number and stature of people who approached me with unusually serious concerns about Tebelius's leadership. The information I've posted here, here, here and... [read more]

The 20 Minute Anti-War Commercial On KUOW
by Jim Miller, 02:50 PM, 26 Comments
KUOW is Seattle's NPR affiliate, so they are not supposed to carry commercials.  But they often have commercials anyway, and I am not just referring to the thinly disguised "commercials" from their sponsors.  No, what I am referring to are... [read more]

Diane Tebelius, in her own words
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:47 AM, 16 Comments
Jan. 21, 2007: "No one is to blame in our state for a nationalized election," [Tebelius] said, citing the effect of the war in Iraq and corruption in Congress in turning voters against Republicans.May 27, 2006: A state poll by... [read more]

From the pro-Tebelius camp
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:07 AM, 17 Comments
I got two responses to my invitiation for Diane Tebelius's supporters to contact me and make the case for her re-election. Both calls were from people I know from party circles and whom I respect. One offered to speak on... [read more]

On the legislative coup against the right of initiative
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:44 AM, 15 Comments
At this hour, the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee is holding a hearing on HB 1087, the bill which would outlaw per-signature compensation on initiative petitions. The broadcast is live on TVW. I wasn't able to appear in... [read more]

Note to self
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:17 AM, 12 Comments
King County Executive Ron Sims is engaged in self-promotion today as he welcomes President Note of the Marshall Islands to discuss the impact of "global warming" ... on the Marshall Islands Executive Sims will pledge today to deploy the county's... [read more]

January 25, 2007
These legislators mustn't have a very high opinion of their voters
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:18 PM, 23 Comments
See HB 1696 "Facilitating the statewide initiative and referendum processes ..." Nice title, but what it offers is the "Citizens Initiative Review Commission", a group of political appointeesdemographically representative of the state as a whole, who will study and evaluate... [read more]

The Racial Politics Of Police "Use Of Force" Complaints
by Matt Rosenberg, 02:12 PM, 30 Comments
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today badly botches its coverage of a report by the Seattle Police Office of Professional Accountablity on "use of force" complaints from 2003 through 2005. Nearly half of the complaints are from blacks or other minorities, giving... [read more]

It's largely about the money, or lack thereof
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:25 PM, 20 Comments
The most significant allegation that Republican insiders have raised against Diane Tebelius is that she's been a disaster at all aspects of the #1 task of managing money -- raising it, spending it wisely and accounting for it properly. Eric... [read more]

WSRP events this weekend
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:07 PM, 6 Comments
Here's the agenda for the state Republican Party organizational meetings this weekend. I'm told that the Saturday meeting from 1 - 5pm (which includes election of the chairman) will have audience seating for the public. I'm also told that the... [read more]

"We have to work with whichever chair is elected, we're hoping it's not Diane"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:50 AM, 19 Comments
So said a member of the state GOP executive board who contacted me today with yet more concerns about Diane Tebelius's leadership. I didn't start with the intention of publishing a one-sided, negative portrayal of her chairmanship. But that's the... [read more]

Viaduct Tunnel Ballot Measure Still Doesn't Meet Gregoire's Stated Conditions
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:04 AM, 9 Comments
The Seattle City Attorney released the final language for the Viaduct ballot measures. Gregoire rejected Tuesday's language because it neglected to mention costs. The final wording mentions costs:The estimated cost [of the tunnel] is $3,410,000,000, to be potentially funded with... [read more]

January 24, 2007
Best of Times
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:44 PM, 12 Comments
Westneat: "Is viaduct monorail deja vu?" Ramsey: "Judge Gates Foundation by what it spends, not how it invests"... [read more]

Diane Tebelius and the election contest legal fees
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:40 PM, 29 Comments
Some of the complaints and ill-will over Diane Tebelius's leadership of the state GOP stem from her involvement in the election contest lawsuit and the aftermath. The questions that I posted about this here are just those -- questions --... [read more]

Bill Would Excuse Schools From Bad Weather-Day Make-Ups
by Matt Rosenberg, 05:22 PM, 25 Comments
State Senate Bill 5395 would let Washington school districts off the hook for 2006-07 instructional days missed due to bad weather, which in the last few months have ranged from three or four to ten, depending on location. It would... [read more]

This could be a bar fight if Democrats get their way
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:17 PM, 30 Comments
KING-5: "Dogs shot dead after biting officers" State Senate Democrats Jacobsen, Kline, Murray, Poulsen: SB 5484 "Allowing dogs in bars"... [read more]

Discontent with Diane Tebelius has reached the critical point
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:09 PM, 12 Comments
When it was first reported that Luke Esser would challenge Diane Tebelius for state GOP chairman, I decided to remain neutral. I've had only pleasant interactions with both. But many Republican insiders have since contacted me with serious concerns about... [read more]

B.E.S.T. for Washington
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:45 PM, 21 Comments
Republicans in the state legislature are, in spite of their numerical minority, doing an impressive job of formulating an agenda and reaching out to the public. They've inagurated a series of conference calls for bloggers and professional journalists. In last... [read more]

Uptight Ethics
by Eric Earling, 12:09 AM, 24 Comments
Reader note: See update below based on Toby Nixon's comment at #7. Apparently Mayor Greg Nickels isn't allowed to advocate for his preferred "tunnel light" option on his City website. Is it me, or is this yet another example of... [read more]

January 23, 2007
"Hillary" On Iraq, Obama, Race & Sexism
by Matt Rosenberg, 05:58 PM, 15 Comments
All is revealed as TV pundit "Chris Matthews" interviews Democratic presidential candidate "Hillary Clinton." A "more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating mode" of Hillaristic deconstruction I've yet to see. But if the SNL hit hurt, well, Hil's already going right at... [read more]

Questions for Diane Tebelius
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:33 PM, 29 Comments
The state Republican committee convenes this weekend to elect a state chairman, and will either re-elect Diane Tebelius or replace her with Luke Esser. Numerous party insiders have raised specific questions and concerns about the state of the WSRP under... [read more]

Suppression of Dissent in Christine Gregoire's AmeriKKKa
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:49 AM, 21 Comments
The Seattle School District used a wonderful campaign strategy for the Levy vote. The School Board itself selected Chris Jackins to write the "opposition statement" for the voter's pamphlet: A "NO" vote won't take money away permanently: The District can,... [read more]

Why the initiative process needs to be protected
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:13 AM, 17 Comments
Another sponsor of HB 1087, which would cripple citizen initiatives by prohibiting per-signature compensation for qualifying petitions, replied to my request for evidence that such compensation promotes fraud. Fred Jarrett (R-41):I signed on because I believe there is a need... [read more]

Re: A nationalized election...
by Eric Earling, 07:41 AM, 6 Comments
I've read through Brent Boger's analysis provided at Stefan's post below on the State Republican Party. All the statistical evidence Boger presents points to the fact Republican legislators in Washington state fared worse than just about anywhere else around the... [read more]

Worth Reading
by Jim Miller, 07:00 AM, 3 Comments
Eugene Volokh describes the obstacles Washington state puts in the way of romance — if one of the people happens to be a medical professional. It is easy enough to understand the motivations behind these regulations; the state doesn't want... [read more]

January 22, 2007
Irony Watch
by Eric Earling, 08:25 PM, 18 Comments
A fun little tidbit was recently brought to my attention regarding a recent entry into the Presidential campaign mix, Tom Tancredo. In the past, sometimes Sound Politics commenters and Tancredo fans Doug Parris and Michelle McIntyre have expressed dismay with... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:20 PM, 30 Comments
Joel Connelly, the contumelious liberal columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, writes today: "Sexism's alive and well on the right". Among his "examples": the far-right Web site directing ceaseless, often personal nastiness at Gov. [sic] Chris Gregoire.How pathetically baseless. We... [read more]

A nationalized election or an exceptionally bad state election?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:07 PM, 24 Comments
Brent Boger, former state Court of Appeals candidate and current Republican state committeman for Clark County, recently observed:there has been a debate about our defeat this year--whether it was just a national anti-Republican wave breaking in Washington or whether it... [read more]

Vote NO on the Feb. 6 Seattle School levies
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:03 PM, 16 Comments
Yet another reason to vote NO on the Seattle school levies --- the district is lying to the public. From today's Seattle Times:The district is quick to point out the bond and levy would simply continue existing taxes. In fact,... [read more]

Two newspapers in one
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:26 AM, 69 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial "Climate change heats up" Virtually all regions of the state and its economic sectors dependent on water will feel the consequences of global warming. Washington is already living with declining snowpack and earlier peak stream flows.... [read more]

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:18 AM, 18 Comments
NPR notes today that there are now eight Democrats running for President.... [read more]

Boeing Drops the Hammer
by Eric Earling, 08:26 AM, 19 Comments
Recent news about Boeing has demonstrated the prudent choice Washington state made to adjust public policy affecting the business community to keep the company's airplane assembly operating locally. As observers expected, Boeing topped Airbus for airplane orders in 2006. More... [read more]

January 21, 2007
"Ample provision" is a function of both funding and expenses
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:35 PM, 52 Comments
Saturday's Seattle Times applauds the educators' bogus lawsuit demanding that the state "fully fund" education:the lawsuit is an appropriate tool to spur lawmakers into obeying Article IX of the state constitution, mandating that the state make ample provision for the... [read more]

January 20, 2007
Clowncil lives up to its nickname
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:03 AM, 14 Comments
The Seattle Times reports on the circus that was yesterday's Seattle City Clowncil deliberations over the $1 million public vote on the Viaduct/tunnel, a vote whose outcome legislators have already dismissed as "meaningless": Nickels missed a doozy of a council... [read more]

Urban Legends And Eric Oemig
by Jim Miller, 10:47 AM, 13 Comments
State Senator Eric Oemig used a famous quote from Stalin to illustrate his proposals to make Washington elections more vulnerable to fraud.   (Though that is, not, of course, how he explains his legislation.)  David Postman caught the odd use... [read more]

January 19, 2007
Seattle City Clowncil votes to prolong Viaduct indecision
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:17 PM, 22 Comments
The Clowncil voted 6-3 today to prolong its debilitating indecision on the Viaduct and to spend $1 million on a meaningless advisory ballot measure. There will be two ballot questions, a YES/NO on a new elevated Viaduct; and YES/NO on... [read more]

Election reform proposals, with LBJ and Stalin smiling on
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:59 PM, 41 Comments
State Senate Democrats Kohl-Welles, Fairley and Oemig held a press conference yesterday to announce their "election reform" proposals. (TVW video). Hilariously, the backdrop consisted of portraits of Lyndon Johnson and Josef Stalin, reminding us not to trust the Democrats'... [read more]

The Insane Clown Posse and the Tunnel of Love
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:36 AM, 7 Comments
I'm reminded of the music group the Insane Clown Posse and their album "Tunnel of Love" Now that Mrs. Gregoire has firmy rejected the latest Viaduct tunnel proposal, Mr. Nickels (he's the Clown Club mascot) and the Seattle City Clowncil... [read more]

The party of robbers and rapists
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:32 AM, 29 Comments
Just introduced: HB 1473 "Changing requirements for the restoration of the right to vote for people convicted of felonies" This bill goes farther than any other felon voting proposal I've seen, allowing all felons to vote, except for those who... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:20 AM, 33 Comments
Seattle AM radio station KIRO has been acquired by Bonneville International, a broadcasting company wholly owned by the Mormon Church. It'll be interesting to see whether the new owners retain the excruciatingly preaching-to-the-choir (no not that choir) David Goldstein Show.... [read more]

January 18, 2007
Faith-based initiatives
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:34 PM, 130 Comments
AP headline: "Science, religion find common cause in global warming" Saying they share a moral purpose, a group of evangelicals and scientists said Wednesday they will work together to convince the nation's leaders that global warming is real. "We believe... [read more]

State Supremes Nix City Light's Global Warming "Offsets"
by Matt Rosenberg, 12:05 PM, 3 Comments
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports the State Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote today rejected Seattle City Light's global warming "offsets" program. It involved compensating for above-threshold City Light-related carbon emissions by paying for, among other things: Princess Cruises using electricity,... [read more]

And I'll spend the money on strippers and booze
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:10 AM, 25 Comments
House Democrats yesterday introduced a bill, HB 1360, to provide public financing to campaigns for the legislature and statewide offices. This is a reprehensible attack on civil liberties. Not only does this force citizens to pay for objectionable political speech,... [read more]

State GOP Starts To Grok Online "Pull"
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:09 AM, 5 Comments
In politics, advocacy and business, largely static Web sites remain common, often representing opportunity lost. Complementing the need for a strong, viable message, the entire WA Republican apparatus - state party, county and district organizations, candidates, officeholders - must get... [read more]

Shredders in the news
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:26 AM, 8 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire, State of the State address last week: I was proud of a Yakima Herald-Republic editorial last summer that said I was shredding the Cascade Curtain and creating one Washington. I'd like to invite you to join me at... [read more]

January 17, 2007
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:26 PM, 38 Comments
We have reports on Mrs. Gregoire's Viaduct pow-wow from Josh Feit at The Stranger and on the P-I's Strange Bedfellows blog. The punchline is that Nickels' Tunnel is dead. But what does the Mrs. mean by this?"This leaves us with... [read more]

Because dirigisme has worked so well in France
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:28 PM, 24 Comments
Ammons: "Gregoire introduces 10-year plan to push biotech, other sectors" [Mrs.] Gregoire today outlined a 10-year "business plan" that calls for the state to forge into new frontiers of medicine and high-tech invention, biofuels and tourism. Raise your hand if... [read more]

A legislative coup to undermine the people's constitutional right of initiative
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:10 AM, 45 Comments
I recently e-mailed Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo), lead sponsor of the bill that would outlaw per-signature payments for initiative petitions, asking her to support the claim that such compensation "increases the possibility of fraud". Her response:If you contact the Secretary... [read more]

Today in Olympia
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:27 AM, 17 Comments
On today's agenda for the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee Work Session: Improving Voter Participation by Minority Language Groups.... [read more]

Residency Lawsuit Against Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown Moves Forward
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:18 AM, 8 Comments
The Kitsap Sun reports that a judge has denied the motion to dismiss the lawsuit to invalidate the election of newly inaugurated Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown. As noted earlier, a county resident alleged that Brown, a 23-year-old Democrat, had... [read more]

Democrats Unveil State Income Tax Proposal
by Matt Rosenberg, 09:57 AM, 55 Comments
Washington state Democratic legislators have unveiled a two-bill package to establish a state income tax. SJR 8209 calls for a public vote on a state constitutional amendment to allow it; 60 percent required. SB 5150 specifies the rates of the... [read more]

Globalization is the reality, even if some people don't like it
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:37 AM, 5 Comments
P-I headline: "WTO protesters' views irrelevant, Stamper says"... [read more]

GOP Fundraising, Spending, and the Beating of 2006
by Eric Earling, 08:27 AM, 15 Comments
Toby Nixon has now joined the discussion, via David Postman, regarding 2006 fundraising and spending by the State Republican Party. He says he doesn't think additional support from the State Party would have helped him. Fair enough. I've said it... [read more]

January 16, 2007
Inadequate determinations of adequacy
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:00 PM, 16 Comments
This article discusses the nationwide craze of education funding "adequacy" lawsuits, like the one just filed by Washington educators:Wyoming plaintiffs ... have so far doubled Wyoming's per-pupil spending, elevating it from $5,971 in 1996-97 to an estimated $12,422 for 2006-07... [read more]

Scenes from Wallingford
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:53 PM, 143 Comments
Here are some photos I took earlier today in Wallingford A canvasser from GreenPeace, standing in the snow, teaching passersby about global warming. Handbills stapled to a telephone pole.... [read more]

Alcohol Sales Have "Infringed On Our Rights"
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:05 AM, 17 Comments
The Yakima Herald-Republic reports tribal plaintiff Marlene White is suing for enforcement of an 1855 treaty and federal liquor laws, to uphold an alcohol ban approved by the Yakima Nation six years ago. Forty-plus businesses on the rez still sell... [read more]

Schools, minds, closed yet again
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:26 AM, 51 Comments
Another couple inches of snow, another school closure day. I blame global warming. Speaking of which, there's the controversy over the Federal Way School Board's decision to insist that Al Gore's movie Inconvenient Truth be shown only when it is... [read more]

The Underwhelming Priorities Of The Seattle City Council
by Matt Rosenberg, 09:14 AM, 18 Comments
The Seattle Times reports this morning that at its regularly scheduled meeting today the Seattle City Council will discuss 2007 priorities. I'll get to those, below. Reporter Bob Young notes the council's gravitas, long unimpressive, was not aided by the... [read more]

Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) Light
by Eric Earling, 08:43 AM, 9 Comments
We here in the Evergreen State have been blessed with a delightful tutorial in a modified version of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS); let's call it BDS Light. The idea being that even aside from Iraq and other hot-button issues, Bush... [read more]

"More WASL delays coming?"
by Eric Earling, 07:51 AM, 54 Comments
The Everett Herald reports some in the Legislature are considering the idea of delaying the implementation of the reading and writing portions of the 10th grade WASL test as a graduation requirement. This in addition to the proposed postponement of... [read more]

January 15, 2007
Re: 2006 State Republican Party Fundraising Doesn't Look Good
by Eric Earling, 07:22 PM, 38 Comments
David Postman provided some coverage of my original post on 2006 state GOP fundraising below. His coverage includes a response from Diane Tebelius. I disagree with one aspect of Postman's coverage, and Tebelius' response: they're both focused on the spending... [read more]

Ron Sims actively seeking a lucrative exit?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:48 AM, 21 Comments
King County Executive Ron Sims appears ready to step down for more lucrative opportunities well before his term ends in January 2010. Sims was mentioned in press reports as a finalist for Port of Seattle director (Tay Yoshitani got the... [read more]

January 14, 2007
2006 State Republican Party Fundraising Doesn't Look Good
by Eric Earling, 10:34 PM, 35 Comments
Luke Esser recently responded to some questions I posed to he and Diane Tebelius given their competition to be Chair of the Washington State Republican Party (WSRP). As part of those answers, Esser broached the notion that State Party fundraising... [read more]

"An accuracy rate any bank would envy"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:56 PM, 24 Comments
Ron Sims' IT department continues to confirm our confidence in Sims' self-aggrandizing claims of "Excellence in Government". 1) The King County Recorder's office (sister department of Elections) is spending the month restoring back-ups of real-estate and other records that have... [read more]

January 13, 2007
Welcome to Congress, Have a Nice Majority
by Eric Earling, 10:07 PM, 27 Comments
The US House recently passed a component of the Democrats' 100-hour agenda, a bill to allow the federal government to "negotiate" directly with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Dave Reichert wisely voted against the bill, thus upsetting liberal blogger and anti-Reichert... [read more]

Thanks to Maria Cantwell
by Eric Earling, 09:19 PM, 12 Comments
I don't often sing the praises of Maria Cantwell, but she deserves to be thanked for her vote against the bulk of her party, including Patty Murray, in support of a purer version of earmark reform. In short, Cantwell supports... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:56 PM, 30 Comments
Today's P-I reports on property tax reform under consideration in the state legislature. "Lid on state property taxes proposed": Democratic lawmakers proposed a constitutional amendment Friday to limit state property tax assessments to annual growth of 1 percent. The proposal,... [read more]

Your education dollars at work
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:47 PM, 7 Comments
If you didn't already have enough good reasons to vote NO on the Feb. 6 Seattle School levies, here's one more: The Seattle School District has committed $50,000 to help fund a sweeping lawsuit filed against the state of Washington... [read more]

A Seattle story
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:34 PM, 23 Comments
I was in my car this morning stopped at a long traffic light. There's a knock on the driver's side window. Startled, I look up, and see that the knocker is a man who looked a bit like this guy.... [read more]

January 12, 2007
More And More, Governor Gregoire Reminds Me Of Pope Leo X
by Jim Miller, 12:54 PM, 46 Comments
Has that particular pope slipped your mind?  Here's a refresher. When he became Pope on March 11, 1513, Leo X rejoiced; he is reported to have said to his brother Giuliano, "Since God has given us the papacy, let us... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:49 AM, 33 Comments
"N.E.W.S.", a coalition led by school employees, has filed suit to force the state to "fully fund education". Like others who habitually demand that the state "fully fund education", NEWS won't say what "fully fund" costs, where the money should... [read more]

Pressure on Democrats Building
by Eric Earling, 08:29 AM, 135 Comments
The current media narrative locally and nationally on Iraq is heavy on criticism and outright disdain for Bush's new policy, while showcasing Republicans with concerns about the policy as well. This is to be expected, particularly in the short-term of... [read more]

January 11, 2007
Luke Esser Responds
by Eric Earling, 08:09 PM, 20 Comments
One candidate for Washington State Republican Party (WSRP) Chair has thus far responded to the public questions I've posed, Luke Esser. Below are his answers; they're definitely worth a read. On the whole, I think Esser's answers are quite good.... [read more]

"Republicans Hate Latinos" Speaker At Everett High School
by Matt Rosenberg, 06:45 PM, 19 Comments
Airbrushing The News, Vol. 2 Two Seattle Times stories yesterday and today about the Everett High School speech of United Farm Workers co-founder and Cesar Chavez ally Dolores Huerta highlight Martin Luther King Day, and illegal immigrant "rights." No mention... [read more]

Your state legislature: overworked and underpaid?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:44 PM, 27 Comments
"Panel OKs pay boosts for Washington elected officials" -- Mrs. Gregoire gets a 10% raise to $167,000, and legislator salaries go up by 16% to $42,000. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) wants a constitutional amendment "redefining the job of legislator as... [read more]

Health Effects Of Pot Get Short Shrift: Bummer, Man
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:10 AM, 81 Comments
With misplaced pride, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial board today notes that our metro area ranks second out of the 15 largest nationwide in illicit drug use, including marijuana. Absent from the P-I's encomium to being stoned in Seattle is any... [read more]

McKenna 1, WEA, 0
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:00 AM, 31 Comments
Seattle Times: "State gains steam in union case before high court" The Supreme Court appeared ready Wednesday to reject claims that the First Amendment prohibits Washington state from forcing unions to get permission before spending some of the money they... [read more]

Cold weather is costly too
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:44 AM, 25 Comments
Seattle Times: "Warming climate may prove costly for state, study warns". Cold weather proves to be costly too. And schools all over the Puget Sound are closed again, all because of a couple of inches of snow. When I was... [read more]

It's the Issues, Stupid
by Eric Earling, 08:46 AM, 13 Comments
A while back I mused Republican legislative candidates will have serious trouble in the suburbs until their message on education and transportation improves. There is no demonstrable evidence past candidates taken as a whole or the party itself have established... [read more]

Re: Republicans Shouldn't Roll on Prescription Drugs
by Eric Earling, 08:24 AM, 5 Comments
Just curious, has anyone see one of our local Congressional Democrats take a high-profile position on Democratic attempts to have the federal government "negotiate" prices for the Medicare drug benefit? I haven't, but maybe I missed it. In the meantime,... [read more]

January 10, 2007
A Solid Speech, but the Policy Has to Work
by Eric Earling, 11:54 PM, 26 Comments
Let me follow my pre-speech comments with some post-speech thoughts as well, with more no doubt to come on the local media & blog scene on the topic. On the whole, a good speech, but not a great one. It... [read more]

Let It Snow
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:05 PM, 30 Comments
Here's my Bush, all Green with snow, thanks to iPhoto. Listening to the breathless radio reports this afternoon about the snow falling in Puget Sound - now wonderful fluffy inches deep - you'd suppose something really challenging and darkly obstreperous... [read more]

Seattle NAACP: "We Didn't Do A Lot, But We Held On"
by Matt Rosenberg, 12:12 PM, 41 Comments
The Seattle Times reports today that the local NAACP will have its third president in two years, James Bible of The Defender Association. A Seattle NAACP board member tells the Times of the last year: "we didn't do a lot,... [read more]

Seattle's bank robbery problem
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:22 AM, 23 Comments
Seattle is the 23rd largest American city, but had the 4th highest number of bank robberies last year. FBI officials say they're seeing many bank robberies being committed by people who were recently released from prison for earlier robberies. The... [read more]

Please, no jokes about "global cooling"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:25 AM, 75 Comments
Seattle Times headline: "Big freeze is next for region battered by storm after storm"... [read more]

January 09, 2007
Life imitates David Ammons
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:35 PM, 5 Comments
David Ammons, yesterday: Call it the Children's Hour. Washington's Democratic-controlled Legislature is back at the Capitol for a 15-week session - and kids are king. AP headline, today: "Teenage mayor takes over in Eastern Oregon town of Union"... [read more]

Dismantling your constitutional rights, one step at a time
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:28 PM, 35 Comments
As Postman reported, legislators have introduced a bill to outlaw per-signature compensation for initiative petition signature gatherers, claiming that per-signature compensation "increases the possibility of fraud". I e-mailed several sponsors to ask for evidence that signature-based compensation causes higher fraud... [read more]

Airbrushing The News, Vol. 1
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:15 AM, 59 Comments
Media must give voice to truly moderate Muslims who oppose terrorism and support harmonious co-existence with and within Western societies. Media also must not bury the story when Muslim immigrants here are punished for conspiring to commit terrorist acts. But... [read more]

Great moments in public education
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:38 AM, 37 Comments
Alex Coberly, the principal of Seattle's Whittier Elementary School was placed on administrative leave last month under mysterious circumstances. The mystery has now been solved, today's P-I reports. Coberly had been arrested for indecent exposure "Principal's a flasher, police say":... [read more]

Size of the Economy Vs. the Size of Government
by Eric Earling, 08:31 AM, 18 Comments
Goldy recently posted some analysis of the state budget worth reading, here and here. The crux of his complaint is Governor Gregoire's budgets are being measured in absolute dollars (with related percentage increases) rather than being measured as percentage of... [read more]

Follow-up on Questions for Esser & Tebelius
by Eric Earling, 07:28 AM, 15 Comments
I have yet to hear back from either Luke Esser and Diane Tebelius regarding the questions I posed to them at this post (note the clarification to the post as well). I've emailed them both again this morning encouraging them... [read more]

January 08, 2007
Timothy Burgess to run for Seattle City Council
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:19 PM, 1 Comments
Timothy Burgess has announced his campaign for Seattle City Council this fall. Burgess has been a Seattle police detective, chair of the Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission, chair of the Queen Anne Community Council and most recently a direct marketing... [read more]

Congratulations To The UW
by Jim Miller, 01:40 PM, 17 Comments
For placing sixth in this prestigious contest.  (It must be prestigious considering how much effort colleges and universities put into winning it.)  And congratulations to the Women Studies department for producing this winning entry: Border Crossings, Borderlands: Transnational Feminist Perspectives... [read more]

"Kids are King" (and Queen)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:35 PM, 6 Comments
David Ammons reports: "Call it the Children's Hour" Washington's Democratic-controlled Legislature is back at the Capitol for a 15-week session -- and kids are king. Aided by a record $1.9 billion projected revenue surplus, lawmakers have declared children as their... [read more]

What should Mrs. Gregoire cut?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:50 AM, 52 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire is angrily defending her fiscally reckless budget, Austin Jenkins reports: If you want to see [Mrs.] Gregoire get angry - just suggest that her 30-billion dollar budget spends too much and saves too little. And then get out... [read more]

Republicans Shouldn't Roll on Prescription Drugs
by Eric Earling, 08:44 AM, 13 Comments
Yesterday's Seattle Times ran a version of this story from the New York Times on the policy difficulties facing the Democrats' proposal to have the federal government negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies set drug prices. The trade off is pretty... [read more]

Pre-Bush Announcement Thoughts
by Eric Earling, 08:15 AM, 27 Comments
There has been ample discussion in the local and national press about Bush's upcoming Iraq policy announcement. In follow-up to previous posts on the topic (here, here, here, and here), let me offer some thoughts for consideration prior to the... [read more]

January 07, 2007
A Question For Lawyers:
by Jim Miller, 03:14 PM, 17 Comments
Nine days ago, the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary committee, John Conyers, promised to stop using his congressional staff as personal servants and campaign aides, something he had been doing for years.  (Here's the statement from the House ethics... [read more]

Better Name Needed For Olympic Sculpture Park
by Jim Miller, 02:46 PM, 45 Comments
Today's New York Times included a slick 42 page brochure on a damaging pork barrel project, Patty Murray's "Olympic Sculpture Park".  That reminded me that we need a more descriptive name for it.  "Muscatel Meadows" is already taken, but that's... [read more]

January 06, 2007
McDermott: Bring Back Baath Party
by Andy MacDonald, 02:21 PM, 110 Comments
David Postman writes in yesterday's Times about Dal LaMagna, co-chairman of Maria Cantwell's reelection bid, whose current main issue is surrendering in Iraq: One man's obsession with Iraq. LaMagna travelled to Amman, Jordan with Jim McDermott last November to meet... [read more]

Where all the children are above average disabled
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:35 PM, 31 Comments
Next Friday the state Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on a proposal to amend the Washington Law Against Discrimination to include a definition of disability that is essentially unlimited: (c) [A disability] is perceived to exist whether... [read more]

Turned off by condescending liberals
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:38 AM, 39 Comments
My good friend Josh Feit at The Stranger reports being turned off by condescending liberals: there was one thing on [the Transportation Choices Coalition] agenda that irked me. It seems like a minor thing, I guess, but it defined everything... [read more]

January 05, 2007
"Sales tax bill could make your online purchases cost more"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:14 PM, 48 Comments
KOMO-4 reports on a proposed state bill to impose state and local sales taxes on online and remote catalog vendors. City officials are slavering for the revenue. Suppporters include Seattle's fiscally incontinent Councilwoman Jean Godden, who, by the way, will... [read more]

Eliminating accountability ... for the children!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:08 AM, 44 Comments
One of the Democrats priority bills in the new legislative session is Amending the Constitution to provide for a simple majority of voters voting to authorize a school levy. Not that 60% is that tough of a hurdle for levy... [read more]

Less-affordable housing
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:22 AM, 15 Comments
Seattle's fiscally incontinent Mayor Greg Nickels yesterday announced city support for several new "affordable" housing projects. But as we learn from the Daily Journal of Commerce, building more housing at a reasonable cost has a lower priority than shoveling taxpayer... [read more]

Reardon Starts the Year Ahead of Bart
by Eric Earling, 07:41 AM, 12 Comments
Earlier this week the Seattle Times previewed this year's race for Snohomish County Executive. In summary, incumbent Aaron Reardon has to be seen as the frontrunner going into the campaign season. The article notes the stunningly large fundraising advantage Reardon... [read more]

Democrats May Be in a Quandary on Iraq
by Eric Earling, 12:55 AM, 43 Comments
I'll have more to say later on the pending Bush announcement on Iraq, but for now, note the push and pull already visible in the Democratic party, clearly seen just from reading the reporting of David Postman in the last... [read more]

Discussion of Ethiopia's Intervention in Somalia a Bad Precursor to More Iraq Debate
by Eric Earling, 12:45 AM, 18 Comments
One might expect to read a thing or two in the local blogosphere and media after the upcoming Bush policy announcement on Iraq. In the meantime, it's worth examining the more limited discussion on what seems to have transpired recently... [read more]

January 04, 2007
Mrs. Gregoire on "getting better results from government"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:50 PM, 24 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire gave a speech in October to a group of fellow government lovers and bragged about her crowning accomplishment of accountability and measurable results: In 2005, the Washington State Legislature passed a hefty tax on gasoline - 9.5 cents... [read more]

From the 'Man Bites Dog' file
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:05 PM, 10 Comments
Seattle Times: "Woman Hits Car in Issaquah"... [read more]

Yakima Herald-Republic Perverts A Hed
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:34 AM, 11 Comments
"Seattle Teacher Charged With Voyeuristic Videotaping" screamed the headline this morning on an AP story carried by the Yakima Herald-Republic. Only problem, as the story notes: the teacher worked northeast of Seattle in Kenmore for the Northshore School District, and... [read more]

"Date of birth not an identity violation"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:04 AM, 5 Comments
Both the Seattle Times and P-I editorial boards come out swinging against proposed state legislation to exempt birth dates from public disclosure. The legislation is motivated by a real fear of identity theft, but as today's Times notes the proposed... [read more]

Teachers vs. Union
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:43 AM, 12 Comments
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week in the cases against the Washington Education Association on the question whether public employee unions must receive permission before spending workers' dues on political causes. Arguing for the State of... [read more]

Seattle City Light Workers Sound Off At Hearing
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:35 AM, 11 Comments
Seattle City Light workers and customers testified at a city council hearing yesterday on the 10-day Seattle power outage affecting about 100,000 of the utility's customers following the brutal Dec. 14 storm. In today's P-I: residents told by SCL to... [read more]

January 03, 2007
Michael Hood: Seattle's most chronically wrong journalist
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:02 PM, 41 Comments
Michael Hood reacted to my recent post "Who's the most vulnerable Seattle City Councilmember?" by leaping to an astonishing conclusion:Ace-boom Seattle Republican blogger, Stefan Sharkansky, left the tea leaves in the bottom of his cup, Thursday, for all to read.... [read more]

Something Smells About The Chinese Corpses On Display In Seattle
by Matt Rosenberg, 05:35 PM, 16 Comments
The Seattle P-I reports today a kidney was stolen over the weekend from a Chinese cadaver at a Seattle science exhibit. But let's back up. Action-posed, "plastinated" Chinese corpses of vague provenance - with brightly-colored plastic polymers replacing residual fat... [read more]

Gun Show Loophole
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:52 PM, 43 Comments
My good friend Josh Feit at The Stranger reports today Given that the Capitol Hill murders and the Jewish Federation shootings rocked Seattle last year, and came back to haunt us in all the local Year in Review wrap ups,... [read more]

Seattle School board recall effort
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:59 AM, 11 Comments
Eric Dawson, from The Committee to Stop All School Closures, has filed a petition to recall Seattle School board members Cheryl Chow, Brita Butler-Wall, Darlene Flynn, Michael DeBell and Irene Stewart. It would be nice to get rid of all... [read more]

School shooting
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:48 AM, 67 Comments
A male student was shot to death at Foss High School in Tacoma this morning.... [read more]

January 02, 2007
The Closet Is No Place For A Gay Soldier
by Matt Rosenberg, 08:50 PM, 53 Comments
That's what retired Army general and former Joint Chiefs Of Staff chairman John Shalikashvili says, writing from Steilacoom, Pierce County, in the New York Times. The new Democratic Congress may hold hearings and soon push legislation to revamp the Clinton-era... [read more]

It's Called Freedom Of Speech, Mr. Horsey
by Jim Miller, 04:21 PM, 37 Comments
The Seattle PI cartoonist asks a revealing question. Unquestionably, there are good things resulting from the democratization of the media.  The best bloggers are delving into issues and information that may be bypassed by professional journalists.   But with everyone... [read more]

"Peak Oil" Despair Versus Energy Innovation
by Matt Rosenberg, 02:35 PM, 130 Comments
The Seattle Times today profiles the group Seattle Peak Oil, which debatably sees a bleak future caused by dwindling world oil supplies. "We're probably going to end up with some sort of die-off in the world, of people," said Rocky... [read more]

Pork of Seattle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:23 AM, 19 Comments
Bill Virgin: "The port must quit acting like it has a monopoly" At times, the Port of Seattle's attitude toward its taxpaying constituents, and its less-than-rigorous devotion to the fine points of skinflint budgeting and spending, recall the famous comedy... [read more]

The song remains the same
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:51 AM, 9 Comments
Seattle Times: "Seattle schools aim to change image" In the next year, the Seattle School District will ask taxpayers for $887 million, search for a new superintendent and hold elections for a majority of its board. Most of requested tax... [read more]

Even less bang for your buck
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:20 AM, 27 Comments
Seattle Times: "Highway projects' tab goes up 2431%" Highway projects in the Puget Sound region will cost at least 31 percent more than earlier estimates. Even if voters pass a huge ballot measure in November, new state figures show that... [read more]

"Bill would impose tougher sentences on auto thieves"
by Eric Earling, 08:25 AM, 21 Comments
The Everett Herald reports on an effort by state Rep. John Lovick to set higher penalties for car thieves: Auto thieves would be locked up longer and people caught with the illicit tools of the trade would be punished, under... [read more]

Case Study: Why Conservatives Distrust the MSM
by Eric Earling, 08:04 AM, 18 Comments
Some people still seem perplexed at times about the abiding distrust conservatives harbor toward the mainstream media, an institution still heavily influenced by major newspapers such as the New York Times. Allow me a brief example of the problem. Sunday's... [read more]

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