Index of entries from December 2007
December 31, 2007
Happy New Year!
by Jim Miller, 03:04 PM, 14 Comments
As the sun sets over Seattle. Cross posted at Jim Miller on Politics. (The picture was taken October 28th.  But Lake Washington will look about the same in an hour or so.)... [read more]

December 30, 2007
Alarm Bells
by Eric Earling, 06:09 PM, 35 Comments
A Jerry Cornfield column in today's Everett Herald contains an interesting little nugget: Snohomish County Auditor Carolyn Diepenbrock is predicting 400,000 people will be registered to vote by then and 90 percent of them will turn out [in next November's... [read more]

Saluting Gary Nelson
by Eric Earling, 05:57 PM, 6 Comments
It's not often a partisan Republican gets some nice parting words from the MSM on the way out the door of public office, but retiring Snohomish County Councilman has been praised in recent editorials by the Seattle Times and the... [read more]

December 29, 2007
Fight! Fight! Fight!
by Eric Earling, 12:03 PM, 137 Comments
So, uh, heard about any upcoming elections of import? The post-Christmas dash to the finish line for the Presidential nominations - or finish lines as things actually unfold - is on. With abandon. Given the multi-candidate field, duking it out... [read more]

December 28, 2007
PCO Training for Snohomish County
by pudge, 07:36 AM, 83 Comments
Because of the upcoming precinct caucus in February, many new PCOs have signed up recently, and so now is a great time for PCO training. Every Republican PCO in Snohomish County -- old and new -- should come to PCO... [read more]

December 27, 2007
How I Spent My Christmas Break
by Eric Earling, 06:37 PM, 26 Comments
Well, a small part of it at least. The American Spectator asked me to do a guest column on this little race for Governor brewing in our neck of the woods. I did. Here it is. Other than a title... [read more]

December 26, 2007
Joyous Kwanzaa
by DonWard, 05:38 AM, 165 Comments
Thousands of Americans across the country are lighting the Mishumaa Saba, donning their Uwole and offering libations to the ancestors from the Kikombe cha Umoja. The seven days of Kwanzaa have begun. Since the crassness of blatant commercialism has begun... [read more]

December 25, 2007
Final Christmas thoughts
by DonWard, 04:19 PM, 72 Comments
The final few hours of Christmas 2007 are passing by. One last thought before midnight strikes. Perhaps it's because I've been wasting less time watching cable news channels but I seem to have noticed fewer "War on Christmas" stories this... [read more]

Merry Christmas!
by Eric Earling, 09:05 AM, 10 Comments
That is all. Have a wonderful day.... [read more]

The Important Questions at Times like these
by Eric Earling, 09:02 AM, 13 Comments
Are you surrounded by a sea of nose miners at your Christmas festivities? Is it steadily driving you bonkers? Evaluate yourself in this survey. My score was 26, probably because I'm willing to fight dirty. h/t: Jonah Goldberg at the... [read more]

December 24, 2007
Christmas Eve Shopping
by DonWard, 01:12 PM, 8 Comments
It's Christmas Eve. Hope you have your shopping done. If not I'm sure we'll see you on KING 5 tonight when they air one of their hard-hitting pieces about "last-minute shoppers" that producers put together this time of year when... [read more]

December 23, 2007
Mismanaged Growth Chokes Community
by Eric Earling, 06:37 AM, 19 Comments
The Everett Herald editorializes today on the issue of growth overwhelming the 164th Street corridor in south Snohomish County. The discussion, however, neglects to point out to key errors by local governments. 1) The general refusal of cities, particularly in... [read more]

December 22, 2007
A Post for the Addicts
by Eric Earling, 07:04 PM, 47 Comments
Why the addicts? Because let's face it, if you're checking this site over the pre-Christmas holiday you are a serious political news junkie. As such, here are some tidbits to help feed the craving: 1) Weather is a real problem... [read more]

December 21, 2007
KUOW's Gang Of Four Get Religion:
by Jim Miller, 05:41 PM, 29 Comments
Well, not really.  But last Friday, the Gang of Four did spend much of the Weekday program discussing religion and politics.  Since none of the four has any religious beliefs, the discussion reminded me, at times, of four monks discussing... [read more]

December 20, 2007
The Thread is Yours
by Eric Earling, 11:16 PM, 142 Comments
In the spirit of the holiday season, I decree this to be a get-away-day open thread. And may all of you soon to hit the road to grandma's house, or elsewhere, have a very Merry Christmas.... [read more]

Least surprising recent news story
by Eric Earling, 11:11 PM, 27 Comments
The Port of Seattle has problems. No one could have guessed that after watching news about that government agency in recent months. UPDATE: here's the Times coverage too.... [read more]

Presidential Race Q&A: Pre-Christmas Edition
by Eric Earling, 11:08 PM, 43 Comments
How would you characterize the GOP race right now? It's a scrum. If you're looking for a visual analogy, it matches up pretty well with this delightful careerbuilder.com ad. It's a political brawl and gladiatorial theater all in one. Anything... [read more]

Presidential Christmas Ads: Sign of the Cross
by DonWard, 08:06 PM, 48 Comments
Christians are sneaky people who'll stop at nothing in order to spread their fundamentalist ideology. Why, they'll even try to hijack a perfectly good commercial holiday like Christmas to spread messages about religion, the Bible and some Jewish guy born... [read more]

Earmarks, the Perennial Story
by Eric Earling, 07:39 AM, 19 Comments
Regular commenter pbj took umbrage with me at #21 at this thread for not doing more with the series of earmark stories upon which the Seattle Times has spent a couple barrels of ink (latest article here). I'll confess, the... [read more]

The Worst Christmas Songs Ever (And Some of My Favorite) Update
by DonWard, 07:14 AM, 48 Comments
With Christmas now just five days away Americans on the whole have probably been bombarded with hundreds of holiday songs. You can probably get a grant from the federal government to do a study on this. Call your congressman now.... [read more]

December 18, 2007
Something to Like About Joel Connelly
by Eric Earling, 10:13 PM, 68 Comments
He's been beating the anti-Jim McDermott drum for quite some time. The latest installment is here.... [read more]

Stop the Presses
by Eric Earling, 10:05 PM, 10 Comments
Forget politics, the news of the day is that The Hobbit is coming to the silver screen. Words can not begin to describe the enthusiasm of nerds across America at the thought of Peter Jackson, who turned J.R.R. Tolkien's literary... [read more]

Hide the Kids, the Apocalypse is Upon Us
by Eric Earling, 08:19 PM, 5 Comments
Michael Hood over at blatherwatch spoke truth recently, chiding the gray-bearded thinking over at KUOW. The idea of getting past the supposed sages of the dead tree press and hearing from the new media is, however, seemingly beyond the scope... [read more]

Murray Moving Up?
by Eric Earling, 07:27 PM, 23 Comments
The Politico is reporting speculation that ailing and deteriorating Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) could be dethroned and replaced as Appropriations Chair, at least on an interim basis, by Patty Murray. The article is an interesting look into the culture of... [read more]

None Of The Above?
by Jim Miller, 04:50 PM, 28 Comments
Today, the Seattle Times gave precious op-ed space to this column by Seattle teachers Jesse Hagopian and Vicky Jambor.  Hagopian and Jambor begin with this multiple choice question: What is ailing public education in America? A) Chronic underfunding of public... [read more]

Traffic Stinks? The Hell you say!
by Eric Earling, 07:49 AM, 40 Comments
A couple points related to this article in the Everett Herald on a dreadful problem with suburban congestion: 1) The story isn't particularly well reported. The headline and much of the text focus on increased bus use as the supposed... [read more]

Gregoire Actually Gets Some Good News
by Eric Earling, 07:20 AM, 5 Comments
Former Cantwell aide Michael Meehan joining the Christine Gregoire's re-election effort is a plus for that campaign - if it pans out as Postman's reporting implies. For all that there was not to like from a partisan perspective, Cantwell's 2006... [read more]

December 16, 2007
A Note on Rossi's Fundraising
by Eric Earling, 06:08 PM, 44 Comments
David Postman has covered the macro numbers already, but there's something else worth mentioning with this story. First, a summary of the numbers: Through the end of November Gregoire had raised $4.16 million and spent $1.37 million. Rossi had raised... [read more]

Presidential Race Q&A
by Eric Earling, 05:19 PM, 61 Comments
What's going on with this crazy GOP nomination race? "Crazy" isn't a bad choice. The fluidity of the contest and the events of last couple weeks leave us at a rather bizarre point. Take a minute to read this post... [read more]

December 15, 2007
Ferry Woes May Grow
by Eric Earling, 03:02 PM, 25 Comments
The Everett Herald reports on freshly required inspections for more ships in the state's fleet of ferries. Does anyone feel terribly confident more problems won't crop up? Meanwhile, the Herald's editorial page plays a cute game of let's not pin... [read more]

Some Thoughts on Fred Jarrett
by Eric Earling, 02:51 PM, 24 Comments
Well, you guys had quite a bit to say. Here's some more fodder: 1) Jarrett's description of himself places him squarely in the Dan Evans/Nelson Rockefeller wing of the party (which, by the way, isn't exactly growing). Beginning with Barry... [read more]

I want my monorail ride
by Andy MacDonald, 11:15 AM, 16 Comments
During the 2002 campaign to convince voters to fund a new monorail for Seattle, the Elevated Transportation Company passed out refrigerator magnet tickets for a free ride on opening day: December 15, 2007. For five years I've kept that... [read more]

December 14, 2007
This Morning I Saw Something Extraordinary On A Local TV Station
by Jim Miller, 02:12 PM, 0 Comments
Q13, the local Fox affiliate, ran a positive story on the war on terror.  It is the first positive story I can recall seeing in months on a local news program, though I have once or twice seen reports that... [read more]

Another One Bites the Dust
by Eric Earling, 07:23 AM, 158 Comments
State Rep. Fred Jarrett is switching parties - R to D - and will run for the State Senate next year in the 41st District. Will the last Republican leaving the Legislature please turn out the lights? I don't have... [read more]

December 13, 2007
The Floods: "A Great Opportunity"
by Brian Crouch, 04:56 PM, 24 Comments
Western Washington was ravaged last week by very severe flooding in several counties. I-5 was shut down for days near Chehalis. Many rural bridges were wiped out, many homes were condemned if not washed away, and many businesses will be... [read more]

Where's The Math Isn't Happy With Superintendent Terry Bergeson
by Jim Miller, 02:10 PM, 33 Comments
They explain why in their press release, which I will quote in full: December 10, 2007 Contact: Shalimar Backman 206-276-9300 s.backman@comcast.net OSPI Pays $770K to Keep Math Status Quo State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Terry Bergeson hired the Dana... [read more]

So Far, No Takers
by Jim Miller, 07:14 AM, 38 Comments
It has been 24 hours and I have received no responses to this offer.  Which, if I say so myself, is quite generous.  In effect, I am offering to post a free advertisement here for any of the three leading... [read more]

Congressman McGrinch
by Jim Miller, 06:37 AM, 33 Comments
The Seattle PI (to its credit) gives him that label. Maybe you could call him Congressman McGrinch. Rep. Jim McDermott supported House resolutions this fall to recognize the Islamic holiday of Ramadan and the festival of Diwali, celebrated by Hindus,... [read more]

December 12, 2007
Gregoire Moves to the Left on Viaduct Replacement
by Eric Earling, 09:41 PM, 18 Comments
The pragmatist in me says Governor's Gregoire's new found openness toward the surface-transit option to replace the Viaduct is simply a case of realism taking hold. Earlier this year I said it was the most politically feasible option and still... [read more]

The Final GOP debate...
by Eric Earling, 09:36 PM, 8 Comments
...was a dud. Though not a candidate is to be blamed. The presumably last chance for multi-candidate sparring before the Iowa caucuses ended up allowing for virtually no interaction between candidates, thanks in part to the facilitation of lone moderator... [read more]

Ha!
by Eric Earling, 08:25 PM, 1 Comments
The "door prize" being given out at today's opening of the SLUT? Bumperstickers. Continuity of message, people. Might want to think about that.... [read more]

Read This Article
by Eric Earling, 08:00 PM, 1 Comments
On a bit more serious note than the below post, but along the "we heart Obama" theme, do take the time to read Eli Sanders's coverage of Obama in Iowa that I linked to yesterday. I've had the time to... [read more]

Why Campaigns Give Papers Exclusive Interviews
by Eric Earling, 07:52 PM, 6 Comments
They often get turned into the journalistic equivalent of fellatio. Sometimes twice in the same paper. Makes for nice afterglow from the campaign's perspective as they blow town.... [read more]

State Government Fumbles on Ferries
by Eric Earling, 07:43 PM, 9 Comments
The Washington Policy Center's blog lays out the case that the state dropped the ball with the current ferry snafu. The Everett Herald says blame lies with "the state's own mismanagement and lack of basic planning." Sounds like a recurring... [read more]

Mostly Right
by Jim Miller, 02:42 PM, 13 Comments
Bruce Ramsey's column on Where's The Math?, and their meeting with Terry Bergeson. Here's a sample: "You have my solemn promise on the use of algorithms," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson. "At least one has to be... [read more]

Is This Right?
by Jim Miller, 01:05 PM, 9 Comments
Commenter "whit", responding to this Volokh post on privacy laws, wrote: as a cop, i would LOVE if i could audiotape people (w/o their knowledge) and think they should have the same right to do so with me. however, in... [read more]

A Challenge For Supporters Of Clinton, Edwards, And Obama
by Jim Miller, 07:12 AM, 0 Comments
Ordinarily, I leave posts on national politics for my own site, but after watching KOMO's Barack Obama commercial this morning, I decided to make an exception.  (Technically, it was a story on his fund raising visit, not a commercial, but... [read more]

December 11, 2007
Huckabee is a Marvel
by Eric Earling, 10:34 PM, 31 Comments
Unless the loyal reader is dense, he/she has figured out this blogger is less than thrilled at the notion of a Huckabee nomination. That said, as a political observer you just have to pause and admire the amazing run Huckabee... [read more]

Why I Like Mitt
by Eric Earling, 10:14 PM, 29 Comments
Today's endorsement of Mitt Romney by the National Review encapsulates much of the thinking the led me to backing Romney over a year ago: he's the candidate who best matches my values - though certainly not perfectly - who would... [read more]

Reason #7,453 I don't trust the MSM
by Eric Earling, 10:02 PM, 24 Comments
This one is a bit in the weeds, but an example of when journalists get significant facts in stories I know a lot about wrong, it makes me not want to trust they stories I know less about before reading... [read more]

"787 chief says plane is on track"
by Eric Earling, 09:29 PM, 5 Comments
Let's hope. But reason for skepticism remains. Here are a couple relevant passages from a major article last week in the Wall Street Journal , the full text of which is probably hiding behind the Journal's subscription firewall: When the... [read more]

Just Remember...
by Eric Earling, 09:19 PM, 9 Comments
...our modern politics is too divisive to bear, at least according to the conventional wisdom of the punditocracy. On that note, I give this passage from my current reading selection, a biography of Alexander Hamilton. Speaking of a young Hamilton,... [read more]

Seattle Media Hearts Obama
by Eric Earling, 07:52 AM, 15 Comments
Directly and indirectly, Joni Balter and to a lesser degree Joel Connelly give Obama his props. If I was a Democrat I'd be of the same general mind in that race, which Obama is increasingly winning. P.S. The Stranger digs... [read more]

Ditch that land line
by Eric Earling, 07:24 AM, 40 Comments
Dump the solicitation-call hotline and go with the mobile. Have you joined me yet? I'm sure there's an argument against doing so. But when you're paying roughly $100 dollars a month for cell phone service for you and your spouse,... [read more]

December 10, 2007
GOP Presidential Race Trends to Watch: Iowa is Approaching Fast Edition
by Eric Earling, 10:53 PM, 51 Comments
1) Fred is all-in in Iowa It was bound to happen. Mike Huckabee has officially stolen Fred Thompson's thunder as the alternative to Giuliani, McCain, and Romney. So, Thompson is camping out in Iowa until the caucuses in a near-desperate... [read more]

A Good Day
by Eric Earling, 07:54 AM, 35 Comments
With a heated Governor's race bubbling under the surface, the wild Presidential race about to go full force through the holiday season, and the general acrimony of the times, let us pause and note: It is a great day for... [read more]

December 09, 2007
Whither Washington?
by Eric Earling, 08:24 PM, 53 Comments
Regular commenter Travis Pahl made an interesting point at #55 in a recent thread: How about doing a local angle on presidential politics. Like perhaps which candidates have the most support in terms of signs, bumperstickers, straw polls results, cash... [read more]

Fight, Fight, Fight!
by Eric Earling, 12:47 PM, 8 Comments
Jerry Cornfield outlines the coming game of musical chairs for a number of legislative seats from Snohomish County. Included in that mix is the intra-party fight among Democrats for the appointment to fill Brian Sullivan's House seat in the 21st... [read more]

A Local Living Legend Retires
by Eric Earling, 12:35 PM, 4 Comments
Today's Everett Herald includes a feature on the retirement of Gary Nelson, who before he leaves office around the turn of the year currently stands as the longest serving public official in the state. He's been a true pillar of... [read more]

December 08, 2007
Critiques of "the Speech" Strike a PC note
by Eric Earling, 03:12 PM, 144 Comments
As predicted, there has been some upset among liberals and persons not of faith about Mitt Romney's recent speech on Faith in America. To be fair, there are a smattering conservative critiques, though the overwhelming positive response the speech received... [read more]

Why Thank You, Sir
by Eric Earling, 10:21 AM, 22 Comments
A free-spirited soul, who I can speculate without fear of contradiction is not a reader of Sound Politics, was handing out the following flier downtown yesterday; and I quote: Your human worth is NOT rated by: How much money you... [read more]

December 07, 2007
Local Blogger Gets Hosed by Google?
by Eric Earling, 06:53 AM, 25 Comments
If the facts of the matter are as presented by the blogger in question that seems to be the case.... [read more]

Eyman Gets Tossed In Yakima
by Eric Earling, 06:46 AM, 34 Comments
A Yakima City Council meeting to be specific. Coverage is available from the Yakima Herald-Republic and via video. Predictable gloating from the local liberal blogs - some of it more cogent than others - is here, here, and here. Putting... [read more]

December 06, 2007
Leadership Vacuum Lingers
by Eric Earling, 10:27 PM, 13 Comments
The ongoing story of how long-overdue projects in Lewis County - to be funded with relatively recent gas tax increases - aren't being built only feeds the mood of the general public that Olympia isn't responsive. The Viaduct fiasco and... [read more]

Romney's Speech Was Powerful, No Matter How He Fares From Here
by Eric Earling, 10:17 PM, 47 Comments
Mitt Romney did conservatives and people of faith a huge favor today, by using his remarks on "Faith in America" to make a widely-watched statement on what America has stood for in the past and what makes it a special... [read more]

Suits heads South
by DonWard, 03:38 PM, 47 Comments
Former KVI afternoon host Bryan Suits appears to have landed a new gig; KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles. He'll be guest hosting tonight and tomorrow from 7 to 10 p.m. Suits wrote last night stating that he was having... [read more]

December 05, 2007
Rudy Might be Collapsing, Team Huck is Playing with Fire
by Eric Earling, 10:13 PM, 82 Comments
Mitt Romney's religion speech tomorrow is going to occupy much of the political news for a while, and may well set the tone for his broader campaign in the closing weeks, before the Iowa caucuses kickoff an intense month of... [read more]

Video Round-up
by Eric Earling, 06:49 PM, 19 Comments
I'm tardy in getting to this but the below clip from the Onion News Network is great, especially the part about John Edwards (including one well-placed profanity): Poll: Mitt Romney Is Candidate Most Voters Want To Get Into Bar Fight... [read more]

Robert Zubrin Speaks At The UW
by Jim Miller, 10:19 AM, 35 Comments
Tomorrow, at 7:00 PM in Room 220 of the Guggenheim building.  In the talk, which is sponsored by Aeronautics & Astronuatics department, he'll be promoting his new book, Energy Victory, and arguing that a switch to alcohol fuels can break... [read more]

Lurking Behind the Scenes...
by Eric Earling, 07:34 AM, 26 Comments
Beyond the actual words of today's Seattle Times editorial on Iran, one gets the feeling from its argument - and others of like mind - that the author honestly thinks against all logic that a number of people in the... [read more]

December 04, 2007
Pigs are Flying Because I Agree with Josh Feit
by Eric Earling, 10:29 PM, 20 Comments
Or maybe you can put those visions of airborne bacon to rest because our point of agreement has nothing to do with politics, merely that Washington, DC is actually a city in which you can truly enjoy walking from neighborhood... [read more]

Some Stories I Would Just As Soon Skip
by Jim Miller, 06:18 PM, 26 Comments
Such as this one. A member of U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's staff has been charged in federal court after a sting operation in which he allegedly solicited sex from what he thought was a 13-year-old boy. James Michael McHaney, 28,... [read more]

December 03, 2007
What Happened to Republicans in the Burbs?
by Eric Earling, 07:34 PM, 51 Comments
That's a complicated question, but this op-ed in the Los Angeles Times offers and analysis that should be applied to the metropolitan Puget Sound area, particularly to the suburbs close to Seattle that have shifted in the last couple decades... [read more]

McDermott Will Have To Pay
by Jim Miller, 04:08 PM, 40 Comments
It's a gloomy day here in the Seattle area, but a ray of sunshine came from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court refused today to take up an appeal by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) of a lower court ruling ordering... [read more]

Who's conservative in Olympia?
by DonWard, 03:44 AM, 44 Comments
The Washington Conservative Union released its rating of Washington State Legislators based on how conservative, or liberal, their voting record was in the past session. Three state senators and eight representatives received a hundred percent conservative rating: Senators Mike Hewitt,... [read more]

December 02, 2007
Democrats Do Funny Things on Taxes
by Eric Earling, 09:29 PM, 18 Comments
Jerry Cornfield has an interesting take on how Democrats are actually keeping the property tax issue in play for next year, in large part with their odd and easy-to-attack "deferral" plan that hits lower-income taxpayers with interest on their property... [read more]

Presidential News to Watch This Week
by Eric Earling, 09:26 PM, 24 Comments
1) Who is going to hit Huck? "Richelieu" over at the Weekly Standard predicts a 3rd party avalanche being dropped on him in Iowa, where his poll numbers are soaring. Richelieu makes his argument in somewhat hyperbolic terms though the... [read more]

Mayor Nickels Talks To Seattle Kids
by Jim Miller, 01:16 PM, 34 Comments
And sounds like the Grinch. A grim Christmas message for kids from the mayor of Seattle.  Greg Nickels told small children he's launching "Operation Save Santa" to protect the big guy from global warming.  At a Christmas tree lighting, Nickels... [read more]

Snow Day
by DonWard, 08:45 AM, 15 Comments
We have a foot of snow where I live in North Bend and it's still dropping. Yes I'm bragging and rubbing it in. If there was a good time for an unexpected dump of the white stuff on the Puget... [read more]

December 01, 2007
Political News Story of the Week
by Eric Earling, 08:11 PM, 40 Comments
The Iraq War is rapidly losing its prominence as an issue for the 2008 election cycle. The Politico details how "voter intensity" on the topic has dropped significantly, with Members of Congress hearing much less from their constituents about it... [read more]

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