Index of entries from February 2010
February 28, 2010
Sewer of Corruption (LI)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:20 PM, 20 Comments
Democrats on the House Ways & Means Committee voted to eliminate funding for The Washington State Executive Ethics Board, which:investigates complaints against public employees accused of misusing state computers and other resources. It also trains state workers on ethics rules.But... [read more]

February 26, 2010
One Question
by pudge, 09:47 AM, 47 Comments
Did the Democrats give any signal, at all, that they would be willing to take out any significant provision of their health care bill? It seems to me that if not, it's hard to make a claim they were trying... [read more]

Big Labor Boss Calls For Big Tax Break For Big Business
by Jim Miller, 07:33 AM, 7 Comments
That happens more often than some think, but still calls for an explanation. Here's the story from David Johnson, whom the Seattle Times describes as the "executive secretary of the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council, a coalition of... [read more]

February 24, 2010
KING 5 statewide poll on suspending I-960: 24% right thing to do, 68% wrong thing to do, 8% undecided -- 74% say 2/3's should be required to raise taxes
by Tim Eyman, 07:43 PM, 37 Comments
She took it all away - Gregoire couldn't bring herself to throw some crumbs to the peasants or prove that even enemies can show respect. In the end, she took away all of Initiative 960 -- the 2/3's vote requirement... [read more]

Priorities of Government, Pierce County-style
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:14 PM, 6 Comments
What would happen to our civilization without Pierce County's Thin Blue Line?Pierce County prosecutors on Tuesday filed a misdemeanor charge of unlawful public exposure against a bikini barista spotted last year serving coffee while wearing only pasties on her breasts.This... [read more]

Speaking of "Priorities of Government"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:13 PM, 11 Comments
The Washington Policy Center has found thattransit agencies in the Puget Sound region collect two-thirds of all transportation taxes and fees but only serve less than 3 percent of all trips.In particular:Sound Transit is on pace to collect almost $30... [read more]

Another Mailed Ballot Goes Astray
by Jim Miller, 05:40 AM, 15 Comments
No surprise there you might say, if you have paid any attention to the many problems with mailed ballots, here and in Britain. But this lost ballot shows that even sophisticated voters, even the mayor of Seattle, can err.  And... [read more]

February 23, 2010
"School reform", Seattle-style
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:10 PM, 10 Comments
Seattle legislators are trying to amend state law to make it easier for schools to remove an underpeforming principal. Should the amendment pass:Seattle school officials eventually could demote experienced principals from schools for a "valid reason." As it stands now,... [read more]

Gregoire's partial veto: "even enemies can show respect"
by Tim Eyman, 08:37 PM, 14 Comments
In an open letter to Gregoire earlier today, I asked her to partially veto the bill repealing I-960, leaving in place the policy allowing the voters an advisory vote on tax increases and 2 pages in this November's voters pamphlet... [read more]

Priorities of Government, Seattle-style (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:47 PM, 11 Comments
King County prosecutors have charged a Marysville woman with operating a Seattle hand-job parlor. Seattle police spent 10 months in 2008 and 2009 investigating the alleged house of happy endings. One has to wonder why police and prosecutors choose to... [read more]

EYMAN TO GREGOIRE: throw some crumbs to the peasants: veto the repeal of I-960's advisory vote on tax increases, 2 pages in voters pamphlet with legislators tax votes and costs
by Tim Eyman, 04:56 PM, 19 Comments
Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 10:18 am To: Governor Chris Gregoire From: Tim Eyman 90% of Initiative 960 is/was the 2/3's vote requirement for tax increases - that was the big enchilada. You're going to sign the Democrats' bill (ESSB 6130)... [read more]

We Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends
by Jim Miller, 02:51 PM, 1 Comments
And sometimes with enormous help from many complete strangers, as Abayneh Adefris could tell you. Abayneh arrived in October weighing only 60 pounds and carrying little more than the clothing he wore.  He's returning home 20 pounds heavier, loaded with... [read more]

Taxing our way back to prosperity
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:56 AM, 22 Comments
The Washington Senate Democrats have proposed raising the state sales tax by 0.3%. This is advertised as a "temporary" tax increase until 2013. Raise your hand if you believe that they won't later come back to "renew the existing sales... [read more]

Priorities of Government, Seattle-style
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:59 AM, 8 Comments
The Seattle City Council has released its 2010 Priorities. At the top of the list is a promise to "act to improve Seattle's business climate", yet many of the other priorities will only poison the business climate through higher taxes,... [read more]

February 22, 2010
Obama Thinks You're Dumb
by pudge, 03:02 PM, 85 Comments
When a "compromise" "bipartisan" proposal includes ideas the Republicans cannot possibly support, according to their principles -- most obviously forcing everyone to buy health insurance, but also forcing people and businesses into a new "health insurance exchange," punishing people for... [read more]

February 21, 2010
Latest SurveyUSA WA Job Approval Poll
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:07 PM, 20 Comments
President Obama - 49% Approve, 47% Disapprove Sen. Cantwell - 46% Approve, 45% Disapprove Mrs. Gregoire - 36% Approve, 59% Disapprove Sen. Murray - 43% Approve, 50% Disapprove Wow. A month ago Murray was at 55% - 39%. This could... [read more]

A Road to Serfdom (V)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:01 PM, 13 Comments
"State workers' health fund short of cash"The fund that covers state workers' health care is strapped for cash because the state cut its premium payments by hundreds of millions of dollars, using that money for other things while the insurance... [read more]

Legislature killed public disclosure on tax increases. Gregoire?
by Ron Hebron, 07:55 PM, 12 Comments
Our legislature was busy the past two weeks overriding our votes on I-960 and previously to require a 2/3 majority to increase taxes. Tim Eyman covered this. Which representatives and senators voted to increase the sales tax and claimed it... [read more]

February 19, 2010
More on Gregoire's Ill-Fated Sin Taxes
by pudge, 12:52 PM, 33 Comments
The Mackinac Center predicts that the cigarette tax will make half of all cigarettes illegally smuggled in to Washington State. I don't know if that's true or not, but what I do know is that over half of Gregoire's proposed... [read more]

"I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply" - should be said by Gregoire and the Democrats, not Tiger Woods
by Tim Eyman, 12:29 PM, 8 Comments
After all, Tiger only screwed 14, whereas Gregoire and the House and Senate Democrats are screwing millions of us. Go to our website to fight back.... [read more]

Democrat Darlene Fairley: Misinformed or Serial Liar? -- ASK EYMAN ABOUT IT
by Tim Eyman, 07:37 AM, 5 Comments
On February 2nd during a committee hearing on Senate Bill 6754, a bill that concerns the release of names and addresses on initiative petitions, Senate 'Gov Ops' Chair Darlene Fairley (D-Lake Forest Park) said some things that weren't true. After... [read more]

February 18, 2010
WA Supreme Court Incorporates Second Amendment
by pudge, 01:05 PM, 11 Comments
Mike Reitz at EFF gives a good writeup of the Supreme Court of Washington's decision in State v. Sieyes, which -- in essence -- says that our federal Constitution (through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment) guarantees an... [read more]

Civilian Rights and the "Christmas Day Bomber"
by pudge, 08:08 AM, 105 Comments
I've not spoken much about this, because there's many arguments to be made for or against whether Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab should be tried in criminal court or military court; whether he should have been read his rights soon after being... [read more]

February 17, 2010
Gov. Gregoire Proposes Massive Tax Increases
by pudge, 05:29 PM, 55 Comments
Read it and weep. Most of it is increased taxes on businesses, which are always paid by consumers, mostly the middle class. She also wants an excise tax on bottled water and carbonated beverages, increased taxes on tobacco products, and... [read more]

Tim Kaine is Dumb
by pudge, 05:06 PM, 24 Comments
Says DNC head Tim Kaine in a fundraising letter: "It's a breathtaking display of public hypocrisy. At least 116 Republican governors, senators, and representatives have spent the past year railing against the Recovery Act, while simultaneously requesting funds to create... [read more]

Conniving, Machiavellian, sneaky: newly amended version of anti-initiative bill SB 6449 -- ASK EYMAN ABOUT IT
by Tim Eyman, 04:46 PM, 5 Comments
Under Senate Bill 6449, perfectly valid voter signatures WILL NEVER BE COUNTED This is as sleazy, conniving and Machiavellian as it gets. Chairman Sam Hunt's original bill required ANYONE, whether paid or unpaid, who collects voter signatures MUST personally write... [read more]

Anti-initiative bill passes senate, expedited house hearing tomorrow morning - ASK EYMAN ABOUT IT
by Tim Eyman, 10:43 AM, 21 Comments
RE: Senate Bill 6449 requires registration, licensing, photo head shots, fingerprinting, criminal background checks, names, personal signatures & home addresses of citizens who collect signatures -- expedited house hearing Thursday (tomorrow), 8 am, O'Brien Bldg, Room D Yesterday in the... [read more]

February 16, 2010
On Education
by pudge, 10:40 PM, 28 Comments
Obama and College President Obama wants more control over education, but he doesn't really understand education. It's scary enough that Obama wants to further violate the Constitution by dictating (either with carrots or sticks) what kids should be learning, as... [read more]

Yesterday's tax rallies in Olympia -- ASK EYMAN ABOUT IT
by Tim Eyman, 09:42 AM, 25 Comments
Delusional award: "This is incredible -- there's so many more of us than the other side," said Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle. Attacking the messenger award: Eyman was the punching bag at the pro-tax rally -- "The American Revolution was about... [read more]

February 15, 2010
A Road to Serfdom (IV)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:30 AM, 29 Comments
Reason:Bigger government means more government employees. Those employees then become a permanent lobby for continual government growth. The nation may have reached critical mass; the number of government employees at every level may have gotten so high that it is... [read more]

February 13, 2010
"We underestimated the Democrats' audacity, their arrogance, their shamelessness" -- ASK EYMAN ABOUT IT
by Tim Eyman, 05:09 PM, 29 Comments
On Saturday morning, Olympia's Democrats in the House had a hearing on their maddening repeal-of-Initiative-960's-policies bill. Those opposed to the Democrats' bill did a great job. Here's what I calmly said during my testimony at the hearing (in a suit... [read more]

February 12, 2010
Good
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:53 PM, 14 Comments
"Judge's ruling ends Seattle parks gun ban"The rule banning firearms in Seattle parks was tossed out Friday by King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer, who said the city cannot pre-empt state law.One of the individuals who challenged Seattle's gun... [read more]

Hell Freezes, Liberals Concerned About Higher Taxes
by warrenpeterson, 11:23 AM, 52 Comments
I had to read it twice to be sure it was true. It was. Joni Balter, Seattle Times editorial columnist, wrote a column in the February 11, 2010 issue of the Times bemoaning the tax whipsaw citizens are experiencing with... [read more]

Tax Alert from State Legislature
by pudge, 09:19 AM, 6 Comments
From Rep. Dan Kristiansen's web site:This weekend you have the opportunity to tell the Democrat leaders exactly what you think about their tax-increase plans. This Saturday, Feb. 13 at 9 a.m. in the John L. O'Brien Building, Hearing Room A,... [read more]

February 11, 2010
Democrats weren't incompetent, they reneged on a deal -- ASK EYMAN ABOUT IT
by Tim Eyman, 01:04 PM, 45 Comments
It just shows (again) that the rules don't apply to them I was there for I-960's conception, I was there when I-960 was born on the day voters approved it, I watched it work for the past 2 years exactly... [read more]

February 10, 2010
The 96 million is just a rounding error anyway
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:38 PM, 28 Comments
"State budget gap estimate grows by $96 million" to $2.7 billion:The additional $96 million expense is mostly due to higher-than-expected costs at K-12 schools, according to Victor Moore, budget director for Gov. Chris Gregoire. As school districts have laid off... [read more]

Democrats aren't bound by votes, not even their own -- ASK EYMAN ABOUT IT
by Tim Eyman, 12:26 PM, 32 Comments
"You peasants don't understand, the rules don't apply to us" A vote on the floor of the Senate yesterday by the Democrats eliminated the 2/3's legislative vote requirement for tax increases. Voters have approved that law 3 times and that... [read more]

February 09, 2010
Global Warming Update (LIII)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:41 PM, 55 Comments
"Snow shuts down federal government, life goes on". That suggests an experiment to test how long different parts of the federal government could be shut down before anybody notices. Meanwhile, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is busy setting up yet another... [read more]

Gays in the Military
by warrenpeterson, 08:20 PM, 23 Comments
A recently released poll of active duty military personnel shows that opposition to gays serving in the military has fallen from 63% to 51% and acceptance has grown from 24% to 30%. This change in attitude, while still opposed by... [read more]

Taxpayers still get screwed, but we at least get to find out who screwed us and by how much - ASK EYMAN ABOUT IT
by Tim Eyman, 03:41 PM, 14 Comments
The 14 co-sponsors of I-1053, the "Save The 2/3's Vote For Tax Increases Initiative" just released this statement this afternoon: Voters have approved the 2/3's vote requirement for tax increases 3 times, in 1993, 1998, and just recently in 2007.... [read more]

Ghost Bill In Washington Legislature
by Jim Miller, 02:23 PM, 10 Comments
On taxes, naturally. A strange thing happened in Olympia today.  This morning a bill was introduced in the Senate, SB 6853, which has no text. I don't think this is what is generally meant by transparency. Call me suspicious, but... [read more]

February 08, 2010
I-420
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:54 PM, 97 Comments
A group calling itself "Sensible Washington" has filed a statewide initiative to legalize possession, use, delivery and cultivation of marijuana by adults (Initiative 1068). Medical purposes aside, I think that smoking marijuana is a pretty stupid use of one's time.... [read more]

Seattle Environmentalists Love "Density" ...
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:19 AM, 16 Comments
except when it entails allowing taller buildings in a smaller area.... [read more]

A Road to Serfdom (III)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:15 AM, 21 Comments
Michael Barone: "Public-sector unions bleed taxpayers"... [read more]

February 07, 2010
Which Census Questions I Won't Answer
by pudge, 08:51 PM, 37 Comments
There's ten questions on the 2010 census questionnaire. I believe several of them cannot legally be required, and I won't be answering them. The Constitution says on the subject: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States... [read more]

A Road to Serfdom (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:55 PM, 21 Comments
"State's biggest expense is the hardest one to cut"Wages and benefits for teachers and state workers make up 60 percent of the budget. Yet, even in the face of a $2.6 billion shortfall, it's unlikely that the Legislature will fire... [read more]

February 06, 2010
A sensible idea, opposed by the usual suspects
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:24 PM, 14 Comments
"WA among states weighing sale of liquor business""To me this isn't a core function of government," said Sen. Rodney Tom, a Medina Democrat who is a chief budget writer for the Senate. "It's a retail operation. Private companies can do... [read more]

February 05, 2010
If they value their education so highly, why are they playing hooky?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:01 PM, 22 Comments
Students awash in purple gathered on the Capitol steps in Olympia Friday, calling for lawmakers to resist further cuts to higher education and to protect financial aid. An estimated 350 to 400 people from the University of Washington's Seattle, Tacoma... [read more]

A Road to Serfdom
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:47 PM, 18 Comments
Do read the WSJ column on public employee unions which Carter mentioned earlier:As we can see from the desperate economic and fiscal woes of California, New Jersey, New York and other states with dominant public unions [e.g. Washington], this has... [read more]

More great moments in government schools
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:16 PM, 7 Comments
King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector ordered the Seattle School Board to revisit its decision to use the "Discovering Series" math textbooks, calling the Board's decision to use them "arbitrary and capricious". Meanwhile over in Kirkland, school officials have... [read more]

Arrogant Democrats decide the rules don't apply to them - ASK EYMAN ABOUT IT
by Tim Eyman, 01:50 PM, 17 Comments
On Wednesday, Olympia's Democrats introduced their long-anticipated, yet still maddening repeal-of-Initiative-960's-policies bill. The public hearing on it was held less than 24 hours later, illustrating perfectly their lack of desire to hear from the people. Everyone who testified against it... [read more]

The city is in the very best of hands
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:11 AM, 19 Comments
"McGinn adviser resigns, admits he lied about Ph.D." The adviser, Chris "Bushnell" (legal name Chris Haugen), was to be paid a $110,000 annual salary by the people of Seattle to work on "policies regarding transportation, human services, public health and... [read more]

Learning to Read the Mainstream Economic Press
by pudge, 09:31 AM, 8 Comments
CNN dutifully reports that "The government's monthly job report on Friday showed that the disastrous labor situation plaguing the nation's economy is moderating." The facts: "The unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in January to 9.7%. And businesses shed 20,000 jobs for... [read more]

February 04, 2010
Loitering at the Bottom
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:34 PM, 21 Comments
King County Superior Court Judge John Erlick ruled today in favor of plaintiffs who sued the State of Washington for "violating the state Constitution by providing too little money for public schools". In his ruling, Judge Erlick declined to define... [read more]

Intellectual Disability at the Justice Department
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:35 AM, 23 Comments
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is looking for a few good attorneys to join the Justice Department and defend your voting rights:The Civil Rights Division encourages qualified applicants with targeted disabilities to apply. Targeted disabilities are deafness, blindness, missing extremities,... [read more]

Your Leaders Dislike You
by pudge, 08:43 AM, 12 Comments
One thing I dislike about many politicians is that they genuinely dislike many of their constituents. Take Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, for example. When presented with a petition of 14,000 signatures -- mostly from corporate special interests who get government... [read more]

February 03, 2010
GALLING: Democrats don't just get rid of the 2/3's, they gut I-960's "sunshine" transparency policies - ASK EYMAN ABOUT IT
by Tim Eyman, 07:36 PM, 11 Comments
February 3, 2010 To: Our thousands of supporters throughout the state (cc'd to all media outlets -- reporters, columnists, editorial writers, and others in newspapers, radio, and TV -- House & Senate members, and the Governor) From: Our Expanded Team... [read more]

A Governor Who Gets It
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:53 PM, 22 Comments
Virginia's newly inaugurated Republican Governor, Bob McDonnell, has promised to privatize that state's liquor stores. Our Governor, on the other hand, has convinced herself that selling Blue Curacao is a core function of government. Discuss.... [read more]

Mrs. Gregoire's Nuclear Option
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:19 PM, 16 Comments
"Wash. gov says nuclear energy must be considered"Gov. Chris Gregoire is applauding President Barack Obama's recent push for nuclear power...She says the Northwest is in good shape to develop alternative energy sources ... She says nuclear energy must be part... [read more]

SEATTLE TIMES: Bills to restrict initiative process really aimed at Eyman
by Tim Eyman, 07:32 AM, 20 Comments
According the Seattle Times columnist Bruce Ramsey: This is spite, codified. The best way to protect our rights is to exercise them. "We have to get 960 overturned as soon as possible," said Lisa Brown, the Democrats' leader in the... [read more]

February 02, 2010
"Ban on tobacco use in Seattle parks is intolerant and disingenuous"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:39 PM, 18 Comments
So writes Noel Merino in a Times op-ed. I agree. And I'll continue to enjoy my occasional cigar from the comfort of a park bench until the nannies take my Maduros "from my cold, dead hands".... [read more]

Great moments in government-run medicine
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:12 PM, 6 Comments
KING-5 Investigators: "Report confirms strange practices at King County Morgue "Robinette Struckel worked as a forensic autopsy technician at the King County Medical Examiner's Office (KCMEO) between 2001 and 2007. She says during that time she witnessed lax procedures, unprofessional... [read more]

February 01, 2010
And Don't Even Bother to Visit
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:23 PM, 29 Comments
Some in Seattle would like to one-up Oregon's "Visit But Don't Stay" campaign "Neighborhood groups seek car limit for new 520 bridge"Seattle neighborhood and environmental groups want to change the design of the future Highway 520 bridge lanes in hopes... [read more]

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