Index of entries from December 2008
December 31, 2008
Seattle, Salt-free no more
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:17 PM, 40 Comments
Times:Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced this morning that the city will reverse its decade-old policy and use road salt to melt ice in future storms.Good. But the fact that it took this long after the situation for Nickels to catch... [read more]

Finally, Mrs. Gregoire makes a decision about the Viaduct!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:04 PM, 12 Comments
Of course, the decision is to postpone her own deadline for making a real decision, but at least she's doing something.... [read more]

Gregoire Moves Right?
by warrenpeterson, 01:14 PM, 11 Comments
Governor "Dino" Gregoire - there may be hope for us yet. The bloom is hardly off her re-election and Chris is showing a hint of conservative realism. First there was her proposed no tax increase budget despite a forecasted deficit... [read more]

Reichert Scores
by Eric Earling, 08:29 AM, 13 Comments
The Fix lists Dave Reichert's re-election as one of the best House campaigns of 2008: Washington's 8th district -- Dave Reichert (R): This King County-area district is moving away from Republicans rapidly but Reichert, the former sheriff in the area,... [read more]

Let's Help Danny Westneat
by Jim Miller, 07:34 AM, 2 Comments
In this column, Westneat confesses to a few mistakes. Mistakes, I made a few. Yes, year's end is supposed to be about hope and joy.  But my family has a long tradition of also using the season of light to... [read more]

December 30, 2008
The Ballad of Big Mike
by Eric Earling, 07:52 PM, 2 Comments
No, not the departing Mike Holmgren. The tale of another Mike, who given the Seahawks high positioning in the 2009 NFL draft could conceivably be the eventual replacement to the stolid yet aging Walter Jones. I post the story because... [read more]

Seattle Line of the Year
by Eric Earling, 07:24 PM, 1 Comments
Mike Baldwin speaking on the Seattle sports scene's travails this year, in the midst of a more specific post on the Seahawks: Seattle sports fans suffered the equivalent of having your wife leave you for your slimy neighbor who ran... [read more]

The Dave Ross Detroit Bailout Plan
by Jim Miller, 07:03 PM, 0 Comments
First, some background:  For years, Republicans have been supporting the United Auto Workers in the most important way possible; Republicans have been buying vehicles built by the UAW.  If Democrats had been as willing as Republicans to support the UAW... [read more]

December 29, 2008
The City of Flying Trash
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:44 PM, 43 Comments
P-I: "Wind-blown recycling, garbage angers Seattle residents" Blustery winds whipped uncollected recycling and garbage through streets and alleys Monday, frustrating and infuriating residents who set it out as instructed by the city over the weekend or before going back to... [read more]

Rebuilding the Party Right
by Eric Earling, 08:15 PM, 24 Comments
Let me second Patrick Ruffini's admonition that Erick Erickson's post on how technology has to play a role in the future of the GOP is indeed a must read, particularly for serious activists and leaders in the Republican party and/or... [read more]

The "Magic Negro" Kerfuffle
by Eric Earling, 07:28 PM, 41 Comments
It would be fair to say GOP circles are divided on Chip Saltsman's choice of a way to give RNC Members a Christmas chuckle. Count this blogger in Jim Geraghty's camp: One can explain a joke, but one can't save... [read more]

December 27, 2008
The city of accumulating garbage
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:03 PM, 97 Comments
P-I: "Garbage service resumes in some areas, trash continues to pile up in others"In Northeast Seattle, residents whose garbage and recyclable goods were scheduled for removal on Christmas or Friday should have seen crews at their curbs [Saturday], [Seattle Public... [read more]

December 26, 2008
Where in the world is the Seattle City Council?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:33 PM, 112 Comments
Now that Greg Nickels is exposed as too incompetent to clear the city's streets, where are the Councilmembers? Someone from the Council should be trying to fill the void of the leadership left by the Mayor's collapse. Speak for the... [read more]

December 24, 2008
Grade Inflation
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:02 PM, 99 Comments
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels gives himself a "B" for his "response" to the snow, the Times reports. Allowing a city of 500,000+ people to be all but shut down for an entire week (by design!) earns a B only in... [read more]

Where In The World Is Ron Sims?
by Jim Miller, 09:06 AM, 13 Comments
What, if anything, has our county executive been doing to alleviate the effects of these snowstorms? That's not a rhetorical question.  But I have seen and heard nothing about his activities in the last week.  I don't watch much of... [read more]

An Arithmetic Problem For Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels
by Jim Miller, 07:52 AM, 46 Comments
Seattle has chosen not to clear city streets of snow and ice, because clearing them would require the use of salt. The city's approach means crews clear the roads enough for all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or those with front-wheel drive... [read more]

December 23, 2008
Bail Out Trailer Trash
by warrenpeterson, 10:16 AM, 14 Comments
James Carville, former Clinton campaign advisor, once said about Paula Jones who accused President Clinton of sexual harassment "If you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find." Just think what trailer... [read more]

An Early Merry Christmas
by Eric Earling, 09:52 AM, 9 Comments
I'm going incommunicado for a few days, so just wanted to take a minute to wish all those in the reading audience a very Merry Christmas, wherever these words might find you. May your holiday be blessed.... [read more]

Compromising public safety - by design!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:17 AM, 91 Comments
Today's Seattle Times: "Seattle refuses to use salt; roads "snow packed" by design" By ruling out salt and some of the chemicals routinely used by snowbound cities, Seattle has embraced a less-effective strategy for clearing roads, namely sand sprinkled on... [read more]

December 22, 2008
Kirkland In Winter
by Jim Miller, 02:25 PM, 25 Comments
We see scenes like this about once a decade, so we might as well enjoy them when they come. The cross country skiing has been good to excellent these past few days, by the way. Cross posted at Jim Miller... [read more]

December 21, 2008
Read Any Good Books Lately?
by Jim Miller, 02:32 PM, 39 Comments
Seeing Mary Ann Gwinn's list and Michael Upchurch's list reminded me — let me put this gently — that I have different tastes than the book editor and book critic for the Seattle Times.  Nothing wrong with that, but it... [read more]

Priorities of Government
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:08 PM, 55 Comments
Seattle streets are expected to remain dangerously covered in snow and ice for several more days. Mayor Greg Nickels offers little more than his regrets:Most side streets will not be covered by city plows. "We just do not have the... [read more]

The Rossi Gregoire Budget
by Eric Earling, 10:07 AM, 20 Comments
It is a potentially fascinating turn of affairs shortly after our recently concluded campaign season, that Governor Gregoire's budget sure looks an awful lot like that which a Governor Dino Rossi might have proposed. Though he didn't win, the bull's-eye... [read more]

December 20, 2008
Here's The 5 AM Weather Service Warning Message
by Jim Miller, 07:30 AM, 30 Comments

December 19, 2008
Helpful Hint for the Times
by Eric Earling, 08:45 PM, 9 Comments
Today the Seattle Times printed a story on the magically disappearing press corps in Olympia. It's a decent piece, though somewhat limited by the under 900-word size. Here's the thing. I was interviewed by Andrew Garber for the story, though... [read more]

Global Warming Update (XLVIII)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:59 AM, 114 Comments
From today's headlines: "Snowfall creates havoc across Seattle" "Few commuters are braving bitter cold, icy roads" "Metro shuts down 100 bus lines" "Spokane is paralyzed by record snowfall" Of course, today's weather by itself doesn't disprove the anthropogenic global warming... [read more]

December 18, 2008
Green Light
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:41 PM, 11 Comments
AP: "Judge rules 2 whistle-blowers can sue King County"A federal judge is giving a green light to a lawsuit filed by two King County traffic specialists. The two workers, Ho-Chuan Chen and Hossein Barahimi, were among five employees who came... [read more]

Obama - What Matters?
by warrenpeterson, 03:10 PM, 36 Comments
I received an e-mail from a friend touting a NewsMax article on irregularities in Obama's record-breaking campaign fundraising. He asked recipients to comment. Well here's mine. If Obama's campaign accepted contributions from Daffy Duck, foreign nationals, amounts over the $4,600... [read more]

Open Post On The Snowfall
by Jim Miller, 08:16 AM, 49 Comments
If you want to say something about our weather, here's your chance.  And if you need inspiration, take a look a snowflake pictures, Cliff Mass's blog, or this wonderful weather site. Me?  I'll be out cross country skiing downtown Kirkland... [read more]

The Value of the Right Candidate for the District - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 07:53 AM, 52 Comments
Some commenters objected mightily in yesterday morning's post to the notion candidates need to fit the district in which they run. Meaning: sometimes a moderate GOP candidate is going to be a good option, depending on the jurisdiction in question.... [read more]

December 17, 2008
"Embattled Seattle Republicans Hoping for a Comeback"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:59 PM, 34 Comments
KUOW reports:The City of Seattle is living up to its reputation as a Democratic stronghold. This past November, just seven percent of Seattle voters cast ballots for Republican candidate John McCain. 84 percent voted for Barack Obama. That's from data... [read more]

Will It Hurt The Democrats?
by Jim Miller, 02:01 PM, 17 Comments
I did not have time Friday to do a full report on KUOW's Gang of Four show.   But I did listen long enough to hear their discussion of the Blagojevich scandals.... [read more]

Vance on Winning Back the Suburbs - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 08:50 AM, 63 Comments
Chris Vance again takes to the pixels of Crosscut for a worthwhile discussion of how Republicans can reverse negative electoral trends in the suburbs that unfolded in 2006 and 2008. Vance is right that the emphasis has to include the... [read more]

An Unexpected Scene
by Eric Earling, 08:20 AM, 16 Comments
Where can dyed-in-the-wool liberals gather with local Republicans, including John Carlson, Slade Gorton, and Dino Rossi, for an intimate yet festive Christmas bash? I can't say. It was an "undisclosed location." But, I attest; it can be done. Oh, can... [read more]

December 16, 2008
Don Ward on Nickels' Gun Ban
by pudge, 11:52 PM, 39 Comments
Good post by Don Ward over at Seattle Weekly about Mayor Nickels' gun ban. He surely knows he is violating the civil rights of every Washington citizen, and breaking the law. Nickels should go to jail. I especially love the... [read more]

December 15, 2008
Obama Elected President Today, December 15
by pudge, 06:29 PM, 44 Comments
Barack Obama was elected President today. Not one word on the home page, though MSNBC and Fox News buried it on their home pages. Odd. You'd think the election of the President would be a big deal worth more... [read more]

"Is Ron Sims catching a bus to D.C?"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:04 PM, 24 Comments
Crosscut speculates:With the King County courthouse and the business community full of rumors that federal security checks and interviews by the F.B.I. were taking place for Executive Ron Sims, it looks like Sims might be headed for an important post... [read more]

Blagojevich-style Quids Pro Quo in the Elections Director Race?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:03 PM, 9 Comments
As the Seattle Times reported on Saturday, State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz hosted a meeting at party headquarters last Tuesday to pressure certain Democrats who were gearing up to run for the non-partisan office to bow out in favor... [read more]

Orbusmax Should Be Back Soon
by Jim Miller, 09:31 AM, 3 Comments
Here's the message I just received from Jim Walker. (the Orb) My host provider (Dreamhost) has been experiencing severe hardware problems for most of the weekend.   My site is down and I can't receive email through, so I... [read more]

Overzealous Punishment of a Kid
by Eric Earling, 08:21 AM, 22 Comments
Perhaps you've read or heard of the events surrounding Tony Wroten, the Garfield High School student and basketball player whose enrollment was recently terminated for alleged eligibility violations. This avid fan of amateur athletics is a vociferous advocate for serious... [read more]

The GOP's Online Future
by Eric Earling, 08:02 AM, 24 Comments
Part of the necessary discussion in the post-2008 world of politics for the Republican party is matching, or better yet jumping ahead of, the technology-based operation created by the Obama campaign. To some degree there are legitimate questions as to... [read more]

SEIU in the Crosshairs
by Eric Earling, 07:39 AM, 19 Comments
We in the Evergreen State are more than familiar with the hardball politics of SEIU (just ask Helen Sommers). Perhaps its little surprise then there is not just one, but two significant stories about corruption in SEIU leadership. Both stories... [read more]

December 14, 2008
The candidate who doesn't think you should get to vote for her
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:01 PM, 29 Comments
An interesting phenomenon in the Elections Director race is that Sherril Huff's backers are all of the people who fought tooth and nail to prevent the voters from getting to make this decision -- Ron Sims and the Democrats on... [read more]

Global Warming Update (XLVII)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:24 AM, 94 Comments
Seattle Times: "Below-freezing temperatures expected to last a week":The potential record-breaking cold temperatures predicted to hit the Seattle area start today -- and now it looks like frigid temperatures might stick around for quite a while. The Seattle area could... [read more]

December 13, 2008
Finally, we get to elect the Elections Director
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:51 PM, 37 Comments
Now that King County voters have changed the county charter so that the Director of Elections is to be elected, the first race for county Elections Director is underway. Three plausible candidates have filed in the race. The most qualified... [read more]

December 11, 2008
Mike Hope Wins Recount
by pudge, 05:17 PM, 23 Comments
Republican challenger Mike Hope, in his third try at Representative for the 44th Legislative District, has emerged victorious in the initial count, and now in the mandatory hand recount. Representative-elect Hope won the first vote over incumbent Democrat Liz Loomis... [read more]

Enough with the Clown Show in Olympia
by Eric Earling, 07:52 AM, 201 Comments
The whole contretemps with the PR-challenged atheist placard in the state capitol had already passed the point of being silly before yesterday. Now, we have the great Seinfeld creation of "Festivus" and the utterly loathsome Fred Phelps joining the cast... [read more]

December 10, 2008
Double Bonus
by Eric Earling, 09:29 PM, 40 Comments
One corrupt Alaska Republican down (Ted Stevens), another to go. And we're part way there with the latter. Don Young is stepping down from his position as Ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee. Excellent. The quicker such soiled... [read more]

My Future in Blogging
by Eric Earling, 08:04 PM, 13 Comments
Short story: it's undecided. Per this post, I'm actively sorting out my future job status. I mention that here because it includes several variables, some of which would leave me in a position to continue blogging, some that would leave... [read more]

About that Chopp Viaduct "Plan"
by Eric Earling, 07:29 AM, 9 Comments
Someone with a major stake in the game finally comes down hard against Frank Chopp's monstrous Viaduct dreams. It's about time. Though for the sake of the Downtown Seattle Association, I trust this is currently their highest priority issue in... [read more]

December 09, 2008
Defeating Dave Reichert
by Eric Earling, 09:32 PM, 46 Comments
Dave Ross's former campaign manager has penned a tome on the topic of Democrats retaking the 8th CD. Interesting reading and largely wise counsel if a Democrat were to heed it, until this part of the piece: "Hit Reichert on... [read more]

by Eric Earling, 09:11 PM, 56 Comments
Rod Blagoevich's incredible implosion probably says much, much more about Chicago politics than Democrats as a whole (Blago was well known to be ethically challenged long before today's news). Nonetheless, the circumstances surrounding his unfolding demise virtually guarantee further expanded... [read more]

Open Post On Governor Blagojevich's Little Problems
by Jim Miller, 12:54 PM, 67 Comments
Here's my own post on the Democratic governor's arrest, just to get you started. (Ordinarily, I wouldn't put up a post on a subject so far from this area.  But I thought commenters here might want to say something about... [read more]

Closely Related Headlines
by Eric Earling, 07:28 AM, 57 Comments
From the Politico: 1) Liberals voice concerns about Obama Mr. Hope & Change becoming the party of the centrist Democratic Establishment is not sitting well with a number of progressives. The discontent might be overstated for now, but it's lurking... [read more]

December 08, 2008
The Seattle PI Should Make Up Their Mind
by Jim Miller, 04:58 PM, 32 Comments
There were two editorials in today's PI.  In the first, the PI told us that more jobs are needed.  (I agree.) Last week's job report was an urgent call for more action by the federal government.  More than a half... [read more]

Changes at the Times mean little
by Eric Earling, 08:38 AM, 16 Comments
Seattle Times Executive Editor David Boardman explains the "big changes" occurring the the dead-tree version of the paper. That's nice. But, virtually the only growth opportunity in the business of journalism today is in online advertising. The business model of... [read more]

December 07, 2008
Obama on the Meet the Press
by Eric Earling, 10:34 AM, 125 Comments
Over-arching observation: the President-elect sounds like he wrote the book at the DLC. Coupled with the rather stark moderation - comparatively speaking - of his announced appointments, it raises legitimate questions as to just what we'll see out of... [read more]

December 05, 2008
Let's Get The Jokes Ready
by Jim Miller, 12:43 PM, 49 Comments
Today's news on employment was bad, unquestionably.  So, we need to get the jokes ready in case the recession is longer and worse than recessions have been in the last two decades.  (Incidentally, I think that OPEC deserves most of... [read more]

December 04, 2008
Asking the Right Question About Frank Chopp's Viaduct "Plan"
by Eric Earling, 10:07 PM, 20 Comments
Josh Feit parts the waters: Sure no one is coming out against the Speaker's plan. But are there any House members (or any elected officials at all, for that matter) who publicly support Chopp's plan? [emphasis in the original] Excellent... [read more]

ICYMI: Goldy v. O'Reilly
by Eric Earling, 08:29 AM, 383 Comments
It seems to me that regardless of the legal issues involved in this controversy, what the atheists have actually accomplished is a slightly milder version of Fred Phelps & Co. standing on a corner hollering bile, with "God hates... [read more]

December 03, 2008
Obama Power Down the Ballot
by Eric Earling, 10:07 PM, 34 Comments
A fundamental premise Chris Vance's analysis of Dino Rossi's defeat is that the Obama tide - coupled with a very inopportune trainwreck of economic news - gave the Democratic ticket an insurmountable boost. Probably. All things considered, there was almost... [read more]

WEA Pays $1 Million for Violating Teacher Rights
by pudge, 10:03 PM, 9 Comments
Until last year, the law in Washington disallowed the Washington Education Association from using mandatory non-member union dues for political activity. The WEA did it anyway, spending millions of dollars, the huge majority of the money going to Democrats. Though... [read more]

The Case for Closing Schools in Seattle
by Eric Earling, 09:37 PM, 5 Comments
Left-of-center columnist Lynne Varner makes a compelling case for the political will to close excess schools in Seattle. One particularly relevant point: In the days since [Superintendent] Goodloe-Johnson unveiled her closures plan, reasonable questions have been raised about some parts... [read more]

Two More Connelly Mistakes:
by Jim Miller, 05:13 PM, 6 Comments
I haven't corrected the Seattle PI columnist recently, so I suppose that I should catch up a bit.  In this column, Connelly quotes from my favorite political novel, The Last Hurrah, and makes two mistakes. As Mayor Skeffington lies on... [read more]

Vance on Rossi
by Eric Earling, 07:29 AM, 29 Comments
With the election season behind us, Chris Vance has returned to the "pages" of Crosscut. His latest spends some time debunking myths about our recently concluded Governor's race. Importantly, he spends time continuing the necessary debunking of Stuart Elway, whose... [read more]

December 02, 2008
Is It a Tree or a Tax?
by warrenpeterson, 11:35 PM, 44 Comments
Not to be outdone by the tree hugging, formally Republican cities of Kirkland and Redmond, the Soviet of Seattle is planting its own tree protection ordinance. It would limit tree cutting on PRIVATE PROPERTY to three per year. Exceptions for... [read more]

Local WA Artist Hates the Constitution, Christmas, and America
by pudge, 10:39 PM, 158 Comments
Deborah Lawrence was offered an opportunity, by the Congress and the White House, to make an ornament for the White House tree. She said the offer "nauseated" her at first -- because she hates Christmas, and presumably because she also... [read more]

King County GOP Organization Meeting
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:13 PM, 101 Comments
This coming Saturday is the KCGOP Biennial Organization Meeting. Officers elected, conspiracies hatched, etc, etc. Two friends of mine, Steve London and Phil Bevis, are running against each other for the position of 7th Congressional District Representative to the State... [read more]

Did Anyone Here Foresee The Washington Mutual Collapse?
by Jim Miller, 01:53 PM, 32 Comments
Let me start by saying that I am not asking that question rhetorically.  I knew, from the volume and tone of mortgage ads, that something was wrong with the mortgage business, but I paid no attention to individual companies, because... [read more]

Worth Reading
by Jim Miller, 09:43 AM, 9 Comments
This Seattle Weekly article on Ron Sims.... [read more]

Question of the Day
by Eric Earling, 08:37 AM, 35 Comments
When domestic auto companies and dealerships are blatantly infusing their advertising with patriotic appeals for a mercy purchase to benefit one's fellow Americans, does that indicate perhaps, just maybe, there are bigger fish to fry in turning these companies around... [read more]

December 01, 2008
Atheists Suck
by Eric Earling, 08:41 PM, 71 Comments
That abrasive title is a comparable statement to part of what is now on display at our state capitol, thanks to the wit and wisdom of PR-challenged atheists: With a nod to the winter solstice - the year's shortest day,... [read more]

$6 Trillion National Debt - Chump Change
by warrenpeterson, 07:43 PM, 21 Comments
The U.S. Federal debt stands at approximately 6 trillion dollars give or take a few billion. It can be argued that as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the current debt, while high, is manageable. Compared to the 120... [read more]

CNN Is Stupid, and Thinks You Are, Too
by pudge, 10:46 AM, 31 Comments
In an article today titled It's official: Recession since Dec. '07, CNN writer Chris Isidore tells us that it is now "official" that we are in a recession because the National Bureau of Economic Research says so. And after all,... [read more]

More Politics Meets Reality
by Eric Earling, 07:56 AM, 26 Comments
David Sirota - the man who single-handedly makes me infinitely less interested in reading the Seattle Times's now shrunken Monday editorial page - discusses the lament of his fellow progressives that Barack Obama isn't the great beacon on change of... [read more]

A Job to Fill in Today's Economy
by Eric Earling, 07:42 AM, 5 Comments
Oodles of candidate are interested in the job of King County Elections chief. Too bad precious few of them look like solid options to handle the post.... [read more]

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