Index of entries from February 2009
February 28, 2009
Keeping the GOP Ideas-Based & Relevant
by Eric Earling, 06:41 PM, 62 Comments
Earlier in the week I linked to Patrick Ruffini's rejection of "The Joe-the-Plumberization of the GOP." Ruffini's core point was that in order to be successful, Republicans need an agenda and a message that can be presented successfully without partisan... [read more]

A Trend to Watch
by Eric Earling, 03:18 PM, 64 Comments
One take on Obama's raise taxes on "the rich" plan: Raising taxes on the wealthy, especially via higher rates on investment related income, is an easy populist position, always earning a cheer from significant elements of Obama's base. All well... [read more]

February 27, 2009
Seattle Tea Party Protest
by byrond, 05:23 PM, 68 Comments
Today were "Tea Party" protests in dozens of cities across the nation. You can see my coverage of the Seattle protest here.... [read more]

Friday Pity Party
by Eric Earling, 01:47 PM, 23 Comments
Joe Turner at the TNT says what needs to be said about the languid pace of Olympia this session: This week, Chopp was mildly complaining that we in the Press Corps have not given House Democrats enough credit for what... [read more]

Playing In The Snow On Mt. Rainier
by Jim Miller, 01:40 PM, 0 Comments
Last Saturday, since the day was lovely at Mt. Rainier, I drove down to do a little cross country skiing, and to take a few pictures.  The day was mostly sunny, with enough clouds to make the pictures more interesting.... [read more]

Reading Betweenthe Lines
by Eric Earling, 09:02 AM, 12 Comments
A careful read of Joel Connelly's column today hints strongly at a dynamic I've heard more than a little of behind the scenes: many Democrats - and related interest groups - were pleased to get Gregoire over the finish line... [read more]

More On Gary Locke's Ethical Problems
by Jim Miller, 08:37 AM, 15 Comments
From Michelle Malkin.   Here's a sample: And then there were Locke's not-so-squeaky-clean fundraising trips to a Buddhist temple in Redmond, Wash., which netted nearly $14,000 from monks and nuns — many of whom barely spoke English, couldn't recall donating... [read more]

Obama's in Office, But Nobody's Working - UPDATED & BUMPED
by Eric Earling, 07:42 AM, 44 Comments
UPDATE: Big story on Good Morning America to start the AM, on how the Treasury Department has only one of eighteen positions requiring Senate confirmation in place. Yes, that one would would the Secretary. Atypical for this point in an... [read more]

Provocation of the Day
by Eric Earling, 07:32 AM, 13 Comments
I'm only 33, but I'm not sure if my retirement investments can take much more hope and change.... [read more]

February 26, 2009
Might Be Some Negatives There, Too
by Jim Miller, 03:25 PM, 16 Comments
Seattle Times reporter Kristi Heim knows why former Washington governor Gary Locke was picked to be Secretary of Commerce.   Locke has close ties to Communist China. Locke perhaps is best known for cultivating close ties to China — and... [read more]

Good News: Netroots Starts to Eat Their Own - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 02:07 PM, 24 Comments
This has to be the best tactical news of the day for Republicans thinking about 2010: "Bloggers and Unions Join Forces to Push Democrats to Left" The lede: WASHINGTON -- A group of liberal bloggers said it was teaming up... [read more]

Left Likes Arguing with Straw Men
by Eric Earling, 01:54 PM, 5 Comments
Yesterday I chided lefty blogger Jon DeVore for the errant logic of his attack against Bobby Jindal, who had the temerity to question the economic "stimulus" value of volcano monitoring. DeVore wrongly concluded that objecting to it being included in... [read more]

GOP Looking Forward
by Eric Earling, 07:49 AM, 11 Comments
Two important reads on the topic this morning: 1) Byron York's reporting in the DC Examiner: During the stimulus debate, the strategist argued, Republicans had an actual alternative but were unable to direct much attention to it -- in part... [read more]

February 25, 2009
Heartache: Cap & Trade Markets Collapse in Europe - UPDATED & BUMPED
by Eric Earling, 05:16 PM, 22 Comments
Folks in Olympia working on as yet un-finalized cap & trade legislation might want to take note (h/t, with more analysis, via HotAir): Set up to price pollution out of existence, carbon trading is pricing it back in. Europe's carbon... [read more]

What is a "stimulus"? - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 04:54 PM, 25 Comments
Angry lefty Jon DeVore inadvertantly makes a point for conservatives while objecting to Bobby Jindal's criticism of "volcano monitoring" in last night's speech. DeVore is indignantly upset that Jindal could oppose such programs. What DeVore totally ignores, however, is that... [read more]

Reprising Darcy Burner (D-Netroots)
by Eric Earling, 11:58 AM, 3 Comments
Josh Feit quotes at length from an Eli Sanders piece, which delves deep into the notion of whether or not Darcy Burner's netroots affiliation was a net boom or bust for her candidacy. Feit's whole post, heavy on Sanders content,... [read more]

by Eric Earling, 11:19 AM, 32 Comments
Last night's address was an egg, let's be honest. Very strong on core content, poor on delivery. Yes, the latter got better as the speech went on, but the anecdotes were neither good nor well delivered and the cadence of... [read more]

Republicans on New Media - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 10:04 AM, 4 Comments
Steadily and surely, GOP use of technology in communications is improving. If you're on Twitter you're already aware to the degree to which conservative leaders & activists are using it both as a communications and organizing tool. Our own Cathy... [read more]

Obama's Bush Speech
by Eric Earling, 09:25 AM, 4 Comments
That title is a bit of a provocation, but this former Bush Administration Education official believes there was nary a difference thematically in the K-12 education section of Obama's speech last night than that which could have been said by... [read more]

February 24, 2009
Speeches & Stuff
by Eric Earling, 10:30 PM, 36 Comments
This blogger caught most of Obama's remarks and all of Jindal's tonight. I have some thoughts, but would welcome reader feedback on all aspects of the performance of both gentlemen in the comments.... [read more]

"Economists" Who Support Tax Increases
by Eric Earling, 12:09 PM, 84 Comments
Remember those "economists" who signed a letter urging the state to raise taxes? It turns out the Washington Policy Center discovered: ...that nearly half of letter signers, eleven of 28, are not economists. The non-economists include: * an associate professor... [read more]

Reichert in the Spotlight
by Eric Earling, 09:05 AM, 24 Comments
The Boston Globe sent a reporter out to the lovely confines of the Puget Sound region to do a story on Dave Reichert, as an example of House Republicans walking a careful line between opposing the recently passed "stimulus" plan... [read more]

Ex-Gov. Locke is not Mr. Clean
by Ron Hebron, 07:56 AM, 18 Comments
President Obama needs a Commerce Secretary nominee who is so clean that he will sail through the vetting process. So Gary Locke... Gary Locke? I sometimes ride my bicycle past the Buddhist temple in Redmond where he raised illegal campaign... [read more]

Locke for Commerce Sec. - UPDATED & BUMPED
by Eric Earling, 07:29 AM, 14 Comments
That's the news, per here and here. A safe pick in the wake of the Bill Richardson fiasco and Judd Gregg's Census-induced about-face. Locke is about as straight-laced as they come, so it's hard to imagine any hang-ups in the... [read more]

February 23, 2009
The Evils of Modern Cable Systems
by Eric Earling, 05:13 PM, 20 Comments
I am utterly sympathetic with Jonah Goldberg's plight here. So, we need a technician to come out. The soonest one will be available from our overlords at RCN: Friday. And yet, in this country, if I were to kill someone... [read more]

More Jindal - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 03:50 PM, 30 Comments
Per our weekend discussion, check out Jindal getting tossed a standard issue, quasi-gotcha curveball during a MSM press avail outside the White House. Result: laced down the line for stand-up, RBI double. He's articulate, knowledgeable, and unwavering. More, please. 2/24... [read more]

Locke For Commerce Secretary?
by Jim Miller, 03:15 PM, 0 Comments
Here's the story. President Barack Obama is likely to announce former Washington Gov. Gary Locke as his choice for Commerce Secretary this week a senior administration official said.  Locke was the first Chinese-American governor in U.S. history. Locke seems more... [read more]

The Permanent Campaigner
by Jim Miller, 01:10 PM, 15 Comments
Seattle PI cartoonist David Horsey worked hard to elect Barack Obama president.  Horsey is now complaining that our elected officials won't stop campaigning. From day one of the Obama administration, Republicans and Democrats inside the Beltway have jockeyed for advantage... [read more]

Breaking up DSHS
by Eric Earling, 08:45 AM, 12 Comments
Rep. Mike Armstrong's bill to split DSHS into four separate agencies might be the biggest under-the-radar issue of this legislative session, yet with substantial implications for the administration of state government. His bill is moving out of committee. Here's a... [read more]

February 22, 2009
The Drum Beat from the Left for a Tax Increase Goes on...
by Eric Earling, 08:12 PM, 35 Comments
Via Lisa Brown and Joel Connelly. Me thinks the only question now is the details of what gets foisted on to a ballot for our consideration later this year. One interesting wildcard: what if legislators rectified a past wrong by... [read more]

True Grit
by Eric Earling, 07:52 PM, 2 Comments
Nothing related to politics, but I love this story (bonus coverage here): On Wednesday, Kamiak senior Daniel Schmidt walked out of the hospital with what had to be the ultimate trio of ailments: strep throat, mononucleosis and the flu. He... [read more]

About Those Newspapers
by Eric Earling, 12:28 PM, 10 Comments
Point: Counterpoint, from page 396-7 of this book: Like other newspapers of the 1790s, Freneau's National Gazette did not feign neutrality. With the population widely dispersed, newspapers were unabashedly partisan organs that supplied much of the adhesive power binding the... [read more]

Jindal Rising - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 12:11 PM, 39 Comments
Bobby Jindal's Meet the Press appearance today has received strong reviews. Regardless of what he does in 2012, he's a hugely important, emerging leader of the GOP. Jindal's MTP appearance starts at 1:49 in the video below. .msnbcLinks {font-size:11px; font-family:Arial,... [read more]

February 21, 2009
Taking Chance
by Andy MacDonald, 09:18 PM, 7 Comments
I just finished watching Taking Chance on HBO. The movie was every bit as respectful and moving as I hoped it would be. I recommend it to anyone who wants a better understanding of the sacrifices made by our troops... [read more]

Reoccurring Problem Haunts Obama
by Eric Earling, 05:50 PM, 22 Comments
A silent killer of many Presidential Administrations is the interminable process of filling key appointments in Executive Branch departments and agencies. As key positions below Cabinet Secretary remain unfilled, critical work of the executive branch is either ignored, delayed, or... [read more]

Keep an Eye on the Obama Effect
by Eric Earling, 01:44 PM, 42 Comments
Larry Kudlow has some harsh words for Obama's plan to aid the mortgage market. If he's even partially correct it's a significant condemnation of plan that seems not only ineffective, but has had the dual effect of alarming markets because... [read more]

No Hope-n-Change: Constitutional Rights for Detainees Denied
by Eric Earling, 01:19 PM, 15 Comments
A delightful turn of affairs, both for the propriety of the legal decision and for the heartache caused to the whiners in the left wing crowd who were the cause for one of our first discussions on the topic...and who... [read more]

New Media Communications, Fundraising, and Future Campaigns
by Eric Earling, 12:44 PM, 3 Comments
An instructive post from Patrick Ruffini re: the steady reversal of which comes first, the fundraising or the mass marketing campaign: Traditional campaigns usually unfold in this order: 1. Raise money and stockpile resources so that you can afford to... [read more]

February 20, 2009
Gregoire for a 3rd Term?
by Eric Earling, 06:49 PM, 33 Comments
The option is out there. $5 on a contested primary if she does follow through with a run in 2012.... [read more]

Who Is to Blame for the Housing Market Bubble?
by Eric Earling, 04:42 PM, 51 Comments
The blame du jour obviously falls on President Bush, in no small part since we're coming off an election year when everything was blamed on the guy and it is now politically expedient for Democrats to pin the blame on... [read more]

Basic State Budget Numbers
by Jim Miller, 12:17 PM, 6 Comments
Here's the best set I have found in a brief search.  The set gives us some historical perspective, showing yearly expenditures from fiscal year 1996 through fiscal year 2009.  (The file accompanied this Andrew Garber article, so I suppose that... [read more]

State Policy Twist of the Day
by Eric Earling, 09:31 AM, 22 Comments
From the P-I's story on the latest state budget projections: ...Democratic lawmakers are seriously considering drawing up a list of desirable programs that are on the chopping block and asking voters to approve new taxes to save them. [Senate Ways... [read more]

February 19, 2009
A Tale of New Media
by Eric Earling, 06:03 PM, 4 Comments
Take a few minutes to read this New Republic story on the rise of the Politico. An interesting tale on the aggressive and evolving world of online journalism and reporting. Indeed, whatever comes of the Politico in the future -... [read more]

Doom & Gloom State Revenue Forecast As Expected
by Eric Earling, 05:28 PM, 24 Comments
An $8 billion budget shortfall looms: OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington's tax revenue is expected to drop another $2.3 billion through mid-2011, pushing the state's projected deficit to $8 billion or higher, government sources said Thursday. The rapidly worsening deficit will... [read more]

The "Stimulus" Package Will Help Poor Folks
by Jim Miller, 03:36 PM, 46 Comments
Poor folks including Paul Alllen. Billionaire Paul Allen is a Microsoft cofounder, the owner of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and the owner of the NBA's Portland Trailblazers. And, thanks to the stimulus bill President Obama signed this week, he's also... [read more]

Provocation of the Day
by Eric Earling, 02:20 PM, 32 Comments
Question: at what point does this no longer become an economy Obama can easily blame on Bush? The cumulative market reaction to the "stimulus," TARP II, a federal foreclosure "fix," etc. hasn't exactly been comforting. When do opinion leaders, the... [read more]

February 18, 2009
Cap & Trade Bill Moves Forward...Kind Of - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 10:28 PM, 14 Comments
The P-I reports, somewhat breathlessly: OLYMPIA - Washington state just got one step closer to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. House Bill 1819, which has the backing of Gov. Chris Gregoire, passed out of committee this week. The bill would impose... [read more]

Heartache: No Porn Tax
by Eric Earling, 09:40 PM, 9 Comments
Rep. Ross Hunter won't give it a hearing. Good. And Hunter's reasons against moving forward are valid, in addition to those already discussed.... [read more]

by Eric Earling, 08:12 PM, 16 Comments
Perhaps you, the loyal Sound Politics readership, can help this blogger out with a conundrum. I am honestly vexed about which of the below stories is more troublesome: 1) The moron of a pet owner who actually owned the chimpanzee... [read more]

Howard Schultz Is In Trouble With The British Government
by Jim Miller, 07:00 PM, 6 Comments
For being too negative about Britain's economic prospects. The business secretary, Peter Mandelson, has launched an extraordinary tirade against the head of the Starbucks coffee empire, accusing him of spreading gloom and overly denigrating the state of the British economy.... [read more]

About that Looming Tax Hike
by Eric Earling, 04:36 PM, 16 Comments
Unions are currently doing the grunt work to lay the political foundation for a tax increase to address the state's horrific budget problems, which let's not forget are in no small part self-inflicted. Either way, what are the odds the... [read more]

Same Sex Marriage, Yea or Nay?
by warrenpeterson, 12:30 PM, 273 Comments
Once again, legislation has been introduced in Olympia to legalize same sex marriage in Washington State. Companion bills have been filed in the House (HB 1727) and Senate (SB 5688) by State Representative Jamie Pederson and State Senator Ed Murray,... [read more]

Gut Feeling: King Co. Exec's Race
by Eric Earling, 09:47 AM, 9 Comments
In a contest between King County Councilmen Dow Constantine and Larry Phillips, I give the former the edge. The latter come across as the old-school, establishment candidate...even before one gets to the fact he doesn't seem to have an actual... [read more]

February 17, 2009
A No-Brainer Issue for Republicans
by Eric Earling, 06:48 PM, 39 Comments
Obama Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaking on the big influx of federal funding for K-12 education: Mr. Duncan said he intended to reward school districts, charter schools and nonprofit organizations that had demonstrated success at raising student achievement --... [read more]

Which Companies Would Be Affected by Cap & Trade?
by Eric Earling, 04:43 PM, 12 Comments
In response to a request from state Senator Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside), State Department of Ecology Director has released a list of companies potentially affected by the Governor's proposed cap & trade legislation (SB 5735). The list can be found on... [read more]

Good Hire by Gregoire
by Eric Earling, 04:03 PM, 2 Comments
No, I don't mean Zach Silk, the 2006 Darcy Burner campaign manager who - damnit - performed well as Gregoire's Deputy Campaign Manager in 2008. I mean former Slade Gorton staffer Bill McSherry, pulled away from the Puget Sound Regional... [read more]

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
by warrenpeterson, 01:19 PM, 7 Comments
A taxpayer I know sent the following letter to members of the Seattle City Council. Dear Council Member I am puzzled over legislation that the City Council is to vote on today. News reports have stated that a court decision... [read more]

February 16, 2009
Anti-Porkulus Protest in Seattle
by byrond, 09:22 PM, 66 Comments
People came out on Presidents' Day in Seattle to protest the 'Porkulus' bill being signed into law tomorrow. You can see my coverage of this protest here.... [read more]

Pity the Netroots
by Eric Earling, 08:09 PM, 13 Comments
Shot: "Liberals not pleased by go-slow approach by Obama" Chaser: "[expletive] you ten years later." [profanity warning...duh] The former discusses the laments of liberals, learning that the One may not have meant everything he said on the campaign trail. The... [read more]

Porkulus Protest Coverage
by Eric Earling, 07:10 PM, 0 Comments
From Michelle Malkin and Don Ward. Enjoy.... [read more]

Infusing Online Activity Into Campaigns
by Eric Earling, 10:47 AM, 10 Comments
For those keeping track of the post-Obama election debate about the use of technology within the GOP, this Patrick Ruffini post is a must read. The idea of accountability for achieving desired metrics is common in both parties. The most... [read more]

More Hints of a Budgetary Trainwreck
by Eric Earling, 10:00 AM, 10 Comments
Today's P-I story on the status of state budget woes continues to point to a Legislature in which precious few people actually have a grasp of what will be needed to solve the problem: So, [House Finance Committee Chairman Ross]... [read more]

How To Sell Me A Newspaper, Example 2
by Jim Miller, 07:29 AM, 12 Comments
Congressman John Murtha is visiting this area.  Either the Seattle PI or the Seattle Times can sell me a newspaper by sending a reporter out to ask Murtha some questions. Questions about what?  Here are some possibilities: Questions about his... [read more]

February 15, 2009
"Porkulus" Protest
by Jim Miller, 06:39 PM, 13 Comments
Tomorrow, 12-3 at Westlake Park.  And now you know as much about the protest as I do. (I probably won't have time to attend.  I've been working on a long post on the "stimulus" bill, and Obama's economic programs generally.... [read more]

February 13, 2009
Hummingbird Cheer
by Jim Miller, 04:19 PM, 6 Comments
Today is ending on a gray note in this area, and, for me, that makes this collection of hummingbird pictures even more enjoyable.   I especially like the animated gif pictures on the right side of the site. They show... [read more]

Politicizing the Census caused Senator Gregg to quit
by Ron Hebron, 12:04 PM, 105 Comments
Republican Senator Judd Gregg was appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Obama. But the leftists complained that he would be in charge of the 2010 census. I thought the census was just getting the count correct. But there certainly is... [read more]

February 12, 2009
Light Posting from this Blogger
by Eric Earling, 01:26 PM, 9 Comments
For a few days at least. I have a funeral for a close friend of the family to attend.... [read more]

Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln!
by Jim Miller, 12:22 PM, 96 Comments
You don't look a day over 200.... [read more]

There Will Be Blood
by Eric Earling, 10:31 AM, 17 Comments
The Seattle Times encourages Democrats in the Legislature to wake up and smell what they've been shoveling: Because some budget items, such as basic education, cannot be cut at all, other things may have to be slashed 40 percent, she... [read more]

Latest Bills From Olympia, Part XXI
by pudge, 08:14 AM, 4 Comments
Free PCO filings and mail-in ballots for all! Senate Bill 5271 (Modifying provisions relating to candidate filing) Substitute offered in the Senate on February 10, 2009, makes technical changes related to precinct committee officer and filing fees. The substitute passed... [read more]

"Free Speech" on the Left
by Eric Earling, 07:26 AM, 70 Comments
Facebook takes down ads run by "" 15-second version: Facebook users on the left complained about the ad because they disagreed with it. Facebook responded by taking it down. Pathetic. When will people learn that free speech means everyone has... [read more]

February 11, 2009
Rep. Hurst Fails to Act to Punish Child Abusers
by pudge, 10:10 PM, 43 Comments
On January 28, State Rep. Mike Hope sent a letter to Rep. Chris Hurst, chairman of the House Public Safety Committee, to request a hearing for HB 1724, which would increase the penalties for first-time child abuse offenders. The legislation... [read more]

Why the Right is Calling it "Porkulus"
by Eric Earling, 08:07 PM, 26 Comments
Behold, the might power of the proposed stimulus deal: Q: What are some of the tax breaks in the bill? A: It includes Obama's signature "Making Work Pay" tax credit for 95 percent of workers, though negotiators agreed to trim... [read more]

Mt. Rainier Is Beautiful Today
by Jim Miller, 01:06 PM, 5 Comments
Here's how it looked a little after noon. It may be even prettier around sunset, though I won't promise that you will even be able to see the mountain then.  Here's the main Paradise webcam, if you want to see... [read more]

Blind Cutting
by pudge, 11:27 AM, 20 Comments
Danny Westneat's column in the Seattle Times reminds us that there's more to cutting programs than just looking at the name of the program. While the Migratory Waterfowl Art Committee sounds like wasteful spending, it only costs $1,000 a year,... [read more]

Congress Hamstrings Obama
by Eric Earling, 10:16 AM, 42 Comments
That's a trend we may see more of in coming months. Intentional or not, the workings of an aggressive Democratic majority will not match the political brand of post-partisanship (or hope-n-change) for which Obama is known. Multiple reports of Republicans... [read more]

Budget Crisis? Where?
by Eric Earling, 09:12 AM, 10 Comments
Democrats in Olympia are setting themselves up for a swoon by overtly delaying necessary budget cuts to the current fiscal cycle - let alone dealing with the looming $6+ billion budget shortfall for the next biennium: Why is it taking... [read more]

Latest Bills From Olympia, Part XX
by pudge, 08:52 AM, 12 Comments
Another in a series of selections of the latest bills filed in Olympia. There's some good stuff in here, but note especially that if HJR 4209 had been in effect, we very well might not have faced any deficit this... [read more]

February 10, 2009
End of Days
by Eric Earling, 06:35 PM, 42 Comments
It has come to this: a porn tax. Befitting something seeking to extract more money from the adult entertainment industry, the proposal isn't small, adding an 18.5% surcharge to: ...materials that show explicit sex -- magazines, photographs, motion pictures, video... [read more]

How Elections Are Won
by Eric Earling, 03:39 PM, 12 Comments
A worthwhile nugget, in a Chuck Todd column on some potential lessons learned by the Obama White House: We may like to think politics is a battle of ideas and that the best idea wins out. But that's not true... [read more]

Dave Ross Says the Darndest Things
by Jim Miller, 12:53 PM, 26 Comments
This morning the Seattle talk show host told his listeners that Barack Obama is a "pretty conservative guy".  Seriously.  Ross really did say that.... [read more]

February 09, 2009
PR v. Reality
by Eric Earling, 07:08 PM, 43 Comments
Conflicting news stories today on the Gregoire Administration: 1) She wants to cut the obnoxious legion of state boards & commissions. Nice idea, particularly from an efficiency standpoint, though ultimate budget savings are more symbolic than truly meaningful given the... [read more]

Implications of Polling the "Stimulus" - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 01:56 PM, 74 Comments
Democrats are cheering new Gallup polling today giving Obama an edge in the stimulus fight. On one hand, it speaks to the delicate balance the GOP must strike in the first several months of an Obama Administration - picking appropriate... [read more]

Ron Sims Has Badly Mismanaged King County
by Jim Miller, 11:04 AM, 10 Comments
And so the county government government now doesn't have all the spending money it wants.  Therefore, concludes Washington state representative Ross Hunter, the county government should have even more money. Hunter, who is chairman of the House Finance Committee, said... [read more]

February 08, 2009
A Raw Deal for Michael Phelps? - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 09:40 PM, 62 Comments
Joel Connelly thinks so: A box of Kellogg's cereal sits in my Dumpster, part of a vow not to patronize the cereal maker's products after it dumped Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps as a product endorser. Phelps has gotten a... [read more]

Credit where credit is due
by Eric Earling, 06:52 PM, 36 Comments
There has been no small amount of media coverage regarding the fact the Washington State Employment Security Department is s-w-a-m-p-e-d with new claims and related inquiries. As regular readers will recall, this blogger is searching for employment at a, um,... [read more]

Latest Bills From Olympia, Part XIX
by pudge, 06:50 PM, 7 Comments
SB 5854 would "identify barriers to achieving net zero energy use in homes and buildings and identify how to overcome these barriers in updated energy codes and through complementary policies." I am interested to see what energy codes or complementary... [read more]

Self-Policing Ideological Movements - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 12:50 PM, 24 Comments
Such is the nature of the large coalitions that constitute our major political parties that sometimes part of an interest group within one of those coalitions goes off the proverbial deep end. Such is the case with the over-the-top and... [read more]

Obama Believes in the Unitary Executive
by pudge, 11:12 AM, 36 Comments
Lots of people complain about the Republicans' belief, under Bush, in the concept of the Unitary Executive. But what they don't understand is the fact that every President believes in the same concept. Including President Obama. The concept is simple:... [read more]

February 06, 2009
Republican Leaders of the Future
by Eric Earling, 05:19 PM, 37 Comments
Jim Geraghty adds an interesting take to Chris Cillizza's "Ten Republicans to Watch" list. Both contributions are worth reading, not necessarily as insight into the 2012 campaign cycle - it's too early for that. Yet, those that seriously compete for... [read more]

Unemployment Benefit Boost Isn't Exactly Speedy
by Eric Earling, 05:07 PM, 17 Comments
The state House passed an increase in unemployment benefits today. That's a reasonable thing to do in the big picture, especially given that the state's unemployment trust fund is the largest in the nation. But, pay attention to the details:... [read more]

The man who blew up print journalism on "How to Save Your Newspaper"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:32 PM, 11 Comments
Walter Isaacson on why your newspaper is dying and how to save it:Newspapers have more readers than ever. ... The problem is that fewer of these consumers are paying. Instead, news organizations are merrily giving away their news ... a... [read more]

Tracking the Legislative Session
by Eric Earling, 02:13 PM, 4 Comments
Given the thinning ranks of the Olympia press corps, this blogger has found TVW's "The Capitol Record" blog to be perhaps the best source of straight news information out there. It's managed primarily by Niki Sullivan, formerly with the TNT.... [read more]

Or maybe they're just as gullible and ignorant as Lance Dickie
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:28 AM, 24 Comments
Lance Dickie: "Voters understood the value of investing in mobility"Voters in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties ... spoke loudly in November as a second phase of light rail, express bus service and commuter rail was approved by 56 percent ...... [read more]

Exurbanite denounces sprawl
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:02 AM, 32 Comments
State Rep. Sharon Nelson (D-34) had in op-ed in yesterday's Seattle Times complaining that "Suburban sprawl has spread and spread" Sprawl is also the most expensive way to grow. It means extending roads and building new schools and fire stations... [read more]

February 05, 2009
Budget Problems & Taxes: Lisa Brown Edition
by Eric Earling, 07:32 PM, 5 Comments
There is much to chew on in this interview of state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown. I don't have time to blog on it immediately, but welcome discussion in the comments.... [read more]

About that Global Warming Bill
by Eric Earling, 05:31 PM, 22 Comments
Note clarification and correction from Rep. Upthegrove @ comment #3. This is what happens when this blogger posts hastily, with distractions. I stand corrected and chastened. Josh Feit asks: Why did Sate [sic] Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-33, Burien) table his... [read more]

Rose Hill Art Gallery
by Jim Miller, 03:05 PM, 3 Comments
Yesterday, I was out stimulating the economy and stopped in at my favorite Kirkland art gallery.  As art galleries go, it is exceptionally well disguised since it is hidden inside a Texaco gas station and car wash.... [read more]

Reichert on the "Stimulus" - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 08:41 AM, 131 Comments
Guest column in today's P-I: Quite simply, the House "stimulus" bill didn't do what it was supposed to -- to help hurting families and small businesses. That's precisely why I was disappointed to see my vote against last week's "stimulus"... [read more]

February 04, 2009
12% Pay Cuts at the Times?
by Eric Earling, 10:18 PM, 21 Comments
Potentially rough news for the staff at the Seattle Times. Dude.... [read more]

Voters Choose New Director of Elections
by warrenpeterson, 06:54 PM, 14 Comments
After the election debacles of 2004 and 2006, more than enough people signed Initiative 25 to put the question of electing the King County Director of Elections on the ballot. We were told that would be a major step toward... [read more]

About that "Budget Calculator"
by Eric Earling, 06:31 PM, 13 Comments
The Governor's office made news recently showing its "budget calculator," in an attempt to let citizens get a hands-on feel for the challenges of addressing the state's looming budget shortfall. It's a nice idea - though not so oddly lacking... [read more]

Ron Sims' Greatest Hits
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:44 AM, 37 Comments
I'm trying to compile a list of the greatest, or at least most memorable, accomplishments of King County Executive Ron Sims, President Obama's nominee for Deputy Secretary of HUD. In no particular order: Brightwater The 2004 Election The Yousoufian Public... [read more]

Four years on and King County gives us another contestable election
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:50 AM, 15 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports on the Elections Director race. The numbers are certainly in Sherril Huff's favor. The laws, not so much. By her own admission, she wasn't living in King County at the time she filed her candidacy papers,... [read more]

Hope-n-Change? - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 08:08 AM, 40 Comments
Memo to those on the left still befuddled by GOP concerns with the current "stimulus package," see this lede in the Washington Post: Senate Democratic leaders conceded yesterday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill... [read more]

February 03, 2009
And the people have spoken
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:33 PM, 42 Comments
In 2007 56% of the voters said that it would be a good idea to elect the Elections Director. 44% said it would be a bad idea. Again in 2008 56% of the voters said that it would be a... [read more]

So, How About that King Co. Exec's Race?
by Eric Earling, 08:32 PM, 4 Comments
I note that the potential candidate I alluded to in this post is not listed in round-ups of the post-Ron Sims race for King County Executive, here or here. Waiting...... [read more]

Huff in a Walk
by Eric Earling, 08:22 PM, 4 Comments
Virtual incumbent Sherril Huff is rolling to a comfortable, plurality election as of this typing. First round of results (reaching 15% turnout as of this typing): Huff - 44.0% David Irons - 19.2% Pam Roach - 16.7% And the three... [read more]

GOP Must Be Ideas Based Moving Forward
by Eric Earling, 08:16 PM, 3 Comments
National Review is unleashing a potentially excellent series of articles on a middle class agenda for the right, with this forward: Conservative success over the years--through welfare reform, tough anti-crime policies, and the income-tax cuts of Ronald Reagan and George... [read more]

Ron Sims is an ironic choice for the "Transparency Administration"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:15 PM, 18 Comments
President Obama wants to be the Transparency President:ON his first full day in the Oval Office, President Obama signaled a new approach to government transparency that will help restore trust in government. As if opening the Bush administration's musty drapes... [read more]

Goodbye To Ron Sims
by Jim Miller, 01:58 PM, 20 Comments
As he leaves to take the 2nd spot at the Housing and Urban Development Department, it is a good time to mention Sims' biggest failure.  (The Seattle newspapers will describe his successes, such as they are, so I don't have... [read more]

Lance Dickie, Call Your Office!
by Eric Earling, 01:46 PM, 1 Comments
Per shots taken at Dickie here and here: McCain, Others Offer Stimulus Alternative Waiting for Dickie to declare this option also as "only knee-jerk criticism" of proposals from the One and House Democrats...... [read more]

Pushing Back on Cap & Trade
by Eric Earling, 01:37 PM, 8 Comments
Following-up to longer discussion over the weekend on the topic, the Senate Environment, Water, & Energy Committee held a public hearing on SB 5735, the Senate version of the cap & trade legislation under debate. Sen. Jerome Delvin (R -... [read more]

The Difference Between Republicans & Democrats
by Eric Earling, 01:18 PM, 25 Comments
A Democrat reads a tough editorial against him in the New York Times and pulls his nomination to the Cabinet in response. Almost any Republican in a similar circumstance - with the possible exception of John McCain - would laugh... [read more]

Final reminder
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:08 AM, 7 Comments
If you haven't already voted for Elections Director, be sure to vote for David Irons. Your ballot must be postmarked today. That doesn't mean dropped in a mailbox today, that means postmarked today. Before you drop your ballot in a... [read more]

Yet another Elections Accounting Goof discovered: Incorrect Validation Numbers
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:37 AM, 5 Comments
The bottom line: King County's reported validation thresholds are not correct. These numbers will be used as official thresholds to determine whether this year's local tax or bond measures have sufficient voter turnout for passage. If left uncorrected, reliance on... [read more]

Re: Ron Sims rains on own parade by violating state campaign laws
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:17 AM, 17 Comments
Today's Seattle Times: "Sims yanks disputed Twitter posting"King County Executive Ron Sims pulled a Twitter "tweet" from his Web site Monday after state Public Disclosure Commission staff said it improperly supported a candidate in today's election of a county elections... [read more]

Latest Bills From Olympia, Part XVIII
by pudge, 08:20 AM, 7 Comments
House Bill 1880 (relating to ballot envelopes) Introduced by Rep. Mike Armstrong, (R-Wenatchee) (R) on February 2, 2009, gives specific instructions for county auditors on how a ballot is to be prepared and sent to voters, including security envelope instructions,... [read more]

February 02, 2009
Opposition to Stimulus Isn't Tough to Figure Out - UPDATED
by Eric Earling, 08:23 PM, 55 Comments
It's safe to say a number of left-leaning folks are honestly flummoxed by GOP opposition to the "stimulus" currently sitting in the Senate (see posts over the weekend here and here). Such objectors to objection do seem firmly to believe... [read more]

Ron Sims rains on own parade by violating state campaign laws
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:50 PM, 32 Comments
Oops. On the day that Ron Sims gets nominated to a senior position in the Obama administration, he reveals more ethical shortcomings by committing a serious PDC violation, earning himself a formal complaint. See the Twitter box in the upper... [read more]

Latest Bills From Olympia, Part XVII
by pudge, 01:14 PM, 10 Comments
Wherein we get some common-sense health insurance regulation and free ourselves from the twin evils of plastic bottles and federal encroachment. House Bill 1855 (modifying the disclosure of tax information on customer billings) Introduced by Rep. Glenn Anderson, (R-Fall City)... [read more]

Sims Leaving King County ... Really?
by pudge, 09:07 AM, 29 Comments
Joni Balter reports it's true, Ron Sims is going to be the #2 man at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. Her epitaph of him seems like it was written for someone else though. I think... [read more]

Props to Cathy McMorris Rodgers
by Eric Earling, 07:31 AM, 2 Comments
A befitting turn of events given the growing amount of Republican communication occurring on Twitter, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has joined up. McMorris Rodgers was already active on Facebook, which she has been using effectively in recent weeks. She's taking... [read more]

February 01, 2009
Steve Dana Announces Run for Snohomish County Council, District 5
by pudge, 08:48 PM, 4 Comments
Longtime business owner, Snohomish City Councilman and Mayor, and County Planning Commissioner Steve Dana has announced he will run as a Republican for the Snohomish County Council seat held by Democrat Dave Somers. Three of the five district seats are... [read more]

More Perspective On GOP Stimulus Positioning in the Press
by Eric Earling, 08:08 PM, 12 Comments
Earlier this weekend I was very hard on Lance Dickie and Joel Connelly for their erroneous and flawed take on the current state of the GOP. In contrast to their ostrich-like approach to matters, David Horsey has a very fair... [read more]

Random Thought
by Eric Earling, 07:48 PM, 20 Comments
The imposter posing as long-time SP commenter "Duffman" in the comments is a one of the real losers of our time. Neither the majority of commenters nor I always agree with Duffman, but he's authentic at least. His imposter is... [read more]

GOP Strategy Looking Forward
by Eric Earling, 12:51 PM, 60 Comments
Fair and thoughtful analysis from Michael Barone: The debate among Republicans is whether to go after downscale or upscale voters. Those who argue for going downscale usually have a 2012 candidate in mind: Sarah Palin. She has an undoubted appeal... [read more]

There were also funny numbers in the 2007 recount
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:55 AM, 5 Comments
Sherril Huff's record in recounts is 0 for 2: 2 recounts, and in both recounts the numbers didn't add up. I've mentioned the September 2006 Primary recount: 27 votes separated the winner from the loser, yet 62 ballots vanished in... [read more]

Latest Bills From Olympia, Part XVI
by pudge, 09:07 AM, 8 Comments
Wherein gun rights are restored and affirmed, the GMA's negative impacts are limited, and sex offenders are more tightly controlled and regulated. House Bill 1052 (concerning firearm licenses for persons from other countries) Substitute offered in the House on January... [read more]

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