by Goldy, 06/30/2006, 3:01 PM

It can be awfully difficult figuring out where your congressman stands on the issues, especially if your congressman is Rep. Dave Reichert. Partially it’s the rambling inarticulations he passes off as oratory, and partially it’s because he tends to avoid any forum where he may be forced to address complex issues unscripted.

So it comes as no surprise that Reichert’s campaign has just announced that he will be a no-show at next week’s “A Conversation With Your Congressman” (singular) hosted by the Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans. Both Reichert and Rep. Jay Inslee were invited to take questions on four issues: the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, offshore outsourcing of American jobs, the Employee Free Choice Act labor law reform, and the estate tax. Only Inslee will be there to provide answers.

It’s a shame really, because this sounds like it would have been a wonderful opportunity for constituents to engage their representatives on these important issues, in a relatively nonpartisan setting.

This is not intended to be a political debate. In fact, this forum very deliberately seeks to avoid that, which is why election opponents were not invited. Each issue will be briefly summarized by experts on that topic, audience members will describe their personal experiences on the issue, and the congressmen will explain their positions and answer audience questions.

The format is intended to create an opportunity for our elected U.S. Representatives to listen to their constituents’ concerns, describe where they stand on important issues in a clear and substantive way, and respond directly to citizens’ questions — all outside the politically charged environment of an election debate.

Ah well. But then, we all know that Reichert is a coward. Either he’s afraid that he won’t be able to answer the questions, or he’s afraid that voters won’t like what they hear if he somehow manages to articulate his positions without resorting to a meandering anecdote about the Green River Killer.

If those of you in the 8th District are curious as to what it’s like to be represented by a congressman who’s not afraid to be confronted by his own constituents, go watch Rep. Inslee in action next Thursday, July 6, 6:30 pm at the North Bellevue Community Center, 4063 148th AVE. NE. Or elect Darcy Burner and find out what it’s like to have a smart, articulate, courageous representative, every day of the week.

by Goldy, 06/30/2006, 2:03 PM

The second quarter fundraising period ends tonight at midnight, and Darcy Burner is still $7,000 short of her goal. The further we put her over the top, the easier it will be for Burner to raise money in the third quarter, and money has become more important to this race than ever now that Dave Reichert has Karl Rove and President Bush pulling out all the stops on his behalf.

So please give now, directly via Burner’s website, or through my Act Blue page. And while you’re at it, be sure to drop a few bucks into the campaign of 5th Congressional District Democratic challenger Peter Goldmark.

Goldmark is the real deal. Let’s help give him a real chance at winning in November.

by Goldy, 06/30/2006, 11:51 AM

Initiative profiteer and cabaret performer Tim Eyman took his one-man-show back to Olympia yesterday, dressing up for the TV cameras as a very butch Buzz Lightyear. (I’m told Tim also does a dead-on Liz Minelli impersonation, but he’s saving that costume for the July 7th deadline.)

Eyman supposedly turned in 252,000 signatures on his anti-transit Initiative 917, and promised another 40,000 or so by the end of next week. Not at all surprising really, considering his prior statements, because I never trust a single thing he ever says.

Back on June 5, Eyman told reporters that he had collected only 142,000 signatures on I-917, a shockingly small number considering his army of paid signature gatherers had been on the streets since early February, and for much of that time, unopposed. This early season strategy permitted Eyman to pay some of the lowest street rates in the state — between $0.75 and $0.90 per signature — and yet through the end of May he’d already spent $324,800 on signature gathering efforts.

To spend that much money on so few signatures just doesn’t make sense. That’s about $2.30 per signature, a bizarre 200 percent markup for canvassing firm Citizens Solutions, Inc.

To further cast doubt on Eyman’s June 5th claim of only 142,000 signatures is the fact that reported sitings of I-917 had already trickled to virtually nil by that date. Indeed for much of June, while signature gatherers were out in full force pushing I-920, I-933 and other petitions, virtually none were carrying I-917. And yet now Eyman claims he’ll turn in 300,000 signatures by the deadline.

How could that possibly be? Well here’s a novel theory: Tim Eyman lied.

Of course, that begs the question “why?” What could Eyman possibly have to gain by deflating his June 5th numbers? He relies mostly on paid signature gatherers, so it couldn’t be some lame attempt at motivation.

Well, I have another theory which, lacking the subpoena power to open up the private books of Eyman and Citizens Solutions I cannot possibly prove, but… I think Tim’s ripping off his patron, Woodenville investment banker Michael Dunmire, who’d already contributed $307,700 to I-917 through the end of May.

See, here’s what I suspect is really going on. Eyman is paying his pal Roy Ruffino at Citizens Solutions a typical 100 percent markup per signature, so it’s probably costing the campaign about $1.50 each. Thus the $324,800 in signature gathering expenditures through May probably accounted for about 216,000 signatures.

Tim doesn’t have a volunteer organization to speak of, but he does mail out thousands of petitions, and surely, some of those do come back. So lets be generous and say he’s collected about 40,000 signatures from volunteers. That means that by June 5, Tim was likely comfortably past the 224,880 signature threshold and well on his way to hitting the 20 percent cushion everybody shoots for. But if he comes right out and says it, he can’t very well go back to Dunmire and ask for more money, can he?

So let me go out on a limb here and make a prediction: come the July 10th PDC filing we’re going to see another $100,000 or so contribution from Dunmire, and another $100,000 or so in expenditures to Citizens Solutions. But I think that these expenditures will mostly be for signatures that had already been gathered and paid for.

Again, I can’t prove it, but I’ve always suspected that Eyman has a financial stake in Citizens Solutions, or receives some kind of monetary “consideration”, and while none of this may be illegal it is certainly dishonest. Something is just not right here, and knowing Timmy, I can’t help but suspect that he’s cooking the books for personal gain. Again.

Think about it. What would it really cost to gather 150,000 signatures during the final three weeks of June, the busiest and most expensive time of the season? $300,000 bare minimum. So considering what Eyman had spent through May, and what he now says he’ll turn in next week, his June 7th claim was obviously total bullshit.

Now perhaps Dunmire doesn’t care. Perhaps Eyman told him from the start it would cost him about $400,000 to guarantee I-917 a spot on the ballot, and Dunmire doesn’t really care how it gets there or how much Eyman personally profits off the venture. But if this isn’t an attempt to deceive Dunmire I’m at a loss to explain Tim’s June 5th deception.

Perhaps Tim just plain enjoys lying?

by Goldy, 06/29/2006, 5:16 PM

I’m not calling them “Daily” open threads anymore because I don’t always manage to get one online everyday, and who knows, maybe some days I might want to run more than one open thread… so there.

by Goldy, 06/29/2006, 1:05 PM

Tomorrow is the end of the fundraising quarter and Darcy Burner is still $30,000 short of her goal. What with the huge amounts of cash President Bush has already pumped into Dave Reichert’s campaign, Burner’s ability to raise money becomes more important than ever, and big donors will be watching closely to see if she continues to build momentum.

No longer able to promote himself by abusing his congressional franking privileges, Reichert is no doubt preparing to hit the airwaves with his first round of advertising. How well Burner will be able to weather the inevitable attacks partially depends on how much she can spend in response.

So if you haven’t already given to Burner, or you plan to give more, now would be a great time to open your wallet. Please contribute directly via Burner’s website, or through my Act Blue page.

And if you do go to my Act Blue page you will notice that I have added a second candidate, 5th Congressional District Democratic challenger Peter Goldmark. I’m pretty damn stingy with my call to actions, but Goldmark is the real deal, and with a big enough Democratic wave he really does stand a chance of winning if he can afford to get his name, face and message out in front of voters.

So please give generously to Burner and Goldmark. And give now.

by Goldy, 06/29/2006, 9:50 AM

The Stranger’s Josh Feit has been sticking it to GOP senate hopeful Mike McGavick… that is, if you consider the definition of “sticking it” to be insisting that McGavick give a straight answer to a straight question.

It took four tries, but Josh finally got the McGavick camp to say that no, he “would not support” the Snow-Dorgan Net Neutrality amendment. (Sen. Maria Cantwell was a co-sponsor.)

Curiously, back when Josh first posed the question, the campaign claimed Net Neutrality wasn’t an issue they’d even bothered to consider, saying it “isn’t something we’ve been asked about yet” — a surprising statement considering McGavick seeks to represent two of the amendment’s most adamant corporate supporters, Microsoft and Amazon. Yet by his third shot at giving a coherent answer, McGavick seemed to have developed a nuanced rhetorical approach to the issue, saying…

We ought not to restrain innovation through heavy handed regulation…

Hmm. Where have I heard that line before?

Alaska’s Ted Stevens, the committee chairman, accused his colleagues of “imposing a heavy-handed regulation before there’s a demonstrated need.”

So I guess when the McGavick camp told Josh that they had to think about the issue and get back to him, what they really meant was that they had to ask Sen. Stevens what he thought about the issue.

Alaska doesn’t have all that many people. Does it really need a third U.S. Senator?

McGavick stares at oil fatcat's boobs
AK Sen. Ted Stevens introduces Mike McGavick to oil industry fatcat.

by Goldy, 06/29/2006, 8:25 AM

Yesterday Sen. Maria Cantwell co-sponsored an amendment in the Senate Commerce Committee to add language to the new Telecommunications Act that would preserve Net Neutrality. The amendment failed. So Sen. Cantwell voted against passing the bill out of committee. Again, she was on the losing side.

Now Sen. Cantwell is asking you to sign a petition urging the full Senate not to pass any version of the Telecommunications Act that does not protect the principle of nondiscrimination on the Internet.

Net neutrality is a simple concept – it has enabled equal access to the Internet to spread ideas, develop commerce, and build movements online without financial discrimination from the companies controlling the Internet.

But now special interests are asking Congress to end the openness and freedom that built the Internet. Large telecommunication companies want to create a two-tiered Internet, divided between those who will pay top dollar to guarantee their online content gets priority over those who can’t pay.

I am committed to vote against any telecommunications bill that did not include a provision or amendment to ensure the continuation of net neutrality. Yesterday I did just that. But the fight isn’t over – and I need you to decide which side of this issue you are on.

Imagine an Internet where broadband monopolies can pick and choose which content and services their customers may access. Imagine an Internet where Qwest and Comcast have the right to deny their customers access to a blog that criticizes Qwest and Comcast.

This version of the Internet is about to be debated on the floor of the Senate. Sign the petition now.

by Goldy, 06/28/2006, 6:13 PM

Reichert campaign flyer

Looks like a pretty typical piece of campaign literature, huh? An oversized, glossy, folded pamphlet touting Rep. Dave Reichert’s reelection.

Only it’s not a piece of campaign literature, it’s a piece of congressional franking, paid for with our taxpayer dollars, and a clear violation of the spirit of the franking rules, if not the law itself. Oh… and it’s only one of six such mailings Reichert’s office has recently sent to voters.

Indeed, Reichert’s mailings have been raising eyebrows and filling mailboxes for months. At last night’s Drinking Liberally an experienced campaign staffer actually laughed when he saw the congressional seal on the pamphlet, while another knowledgeable politico rolled his eyes in disbelief. And this morning I corresponded with a longtime Republican consultant who confided that there’s a pretty blurry line between what is or is not a legitimate use of franking privilege, but that this one “crosses it by a mile.”

But it’s not just the content of Reichert’s mailings that pushes the limits of the franking rules. House members are prohibited from franking mass mailings to constituents within 90 days before an election; with a September 19 primary date, that means the last day this latest mailing should have been postmarked was Tuesday, June 20th. Yet this latest flyer didn’t start hitting mailboxes until Monday, June 26th.

Of course, presorted standard mailings like this can take over a week to go cross country, but since the cost is distance sensitive and the mailing was likely produced by local consultant Bruce Boram, chances are it was printed locally and mailed from the USPS’s Seattle Bulk Mail Center.

So the question is… when did this mailing drop? If it actually went out after June 20th, then Reichert broke the franking rules. Not exactly the kind of disregard for the law you’d expect from an ex-sheriff.

by Goldy, 06/28/2006, 3:38 PM

The Tacoma and Burien chapters of Drinking Liberally both meet tonight:

Tacoma: Every Wednesday, 8:00 pm onward, Meconi’s Pub, 709 Pacific Ave.

Burien: Fourth Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm onward, Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub, 435 SW 152nd St

(I understand that an Eastside chapter starts up tomorrow in Kirkland, so please email me the info if you want a free plug.)

by Goldy, 06/28/2006, 1:37 PM

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has a question:

We hear Washington Senate candidate Mike McGavick ( R ) is a big supporter of President Bush’s plan to phase out Social Security. If you know more, drop us a line.

Hmm. If you know more, drop me a line too. Though I’m guessing this might have something to do with the fact that McGavick is a shill for the fucking insurance industry.

by Goldy, 06/28/2006, 10:51 AM

I sometimes envy Republicans, for it must be comfortable living in a world of simple truths where the free market always makes the most efficient use of resources, God really does bless America above all other nations, and Dino Rossi truly is a master at writing state budgets. But unfortunately reality always seems to get in the way of my aspirations towards faith-based politics, condemning me to a life of tawdry cynicism.

For example, ex-real estate salesman and 2008 gubernatorial hopeful Dino Rossi spoke before the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce yesterday, comparing Democrats in Olympia to drunken sailors.

“I realized that it’s really an insult to these drunken sailors to compare them to Olympia,” Rossi said. “These guys are spending their own money.”

Ha, ha, ha. That’s original.

So if state spending really is out of control, as Rossi implies, what solution does he offer other than tossing insults? What exactly does Rossi suggest we cut from the state budget?

Um… nothing.

Rossi said in an interview that before he handled the budget in 2003, he thought the what-would-you-cut question was a good one. “Now that I’ve actually written the budget I realize that’s not a question that can really be answered,” he said.

Yup, that’s the kind of bold leadership we can expect from Dino Rossi… strong talk about cutting budgets yet no answers on what exactly should be cut. In his entire speech before the chamber he did not offer a single suggestion of a program he would axe or scale back. In fact, he said, “that’s not a question that can really be answered.”

And… he’s running for governor why?

(Oh, and just for the sake of accuracy, it should be pointed out once again that he never really did “write a budget” in the first place, for as he admitted in introducing the state Senate’s 2003 budget proposal, he was merely “following the Governor’s lead.“)

All this time I’ve been berating Rossi for refusing to counter straight questions with straight answers, when the truth is he simply doesn’t have any. I suppose that’s why so many Republicans continue to keep the faith with Rossi — they sure got nothing else to go on.

by Goldy, 06/28/2006, 9:12 AM

It was hot. It was muggy. It was the end of a very long day. So what better way to cool down than to dive into the politics of personal destruction? Both freshman King County Councilman Raymond Shaw Reagan Dunn (who Seattle P-I columnist Joel Connelly referred to as "the Dunn Dauphin") and freshman Rep. Dave Reichert provided amusing fodder for our sodden antics.

Joining me and Joel in reasoned, objective political discourse were Mollie, Will, Carl and Daniel. Topics of discussion included Shaw’s Dunn’s self-published King County Guide to Do-It-Yourself Identity Theft, the empty head underneath Reichert’s impressive hair and how that impacts the race for the 8th CD, the impressive cowboy hat atop the equally impressive head of Peter Goldmark and how that could help Democrats win in Eastern Washington… and the need for a Democratic blogger out in Eastern WA to help make that happen.

The show is 55:49, and is available here as a 36.3 MB MP3. Please visit PodcastingLiberally.com for complete archives and RSS feeds.

[Recorded live at the Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally. Special thanks to Confab creators Gavin and Richard for producing the show.]

by Goldy, 06/27/2006, 2:45 PM

Reporter Neil Modie takes down King County Councilman Raymond Shaw Reagan Dunn in this morning’s Seattle P-I… and it’s well deserved.

If identity thieves needed assistance plundering King County’s records for sensitive personal data about its citizens, County Councilman Reagan Dunn may have unwittingly helped them out Monday.

Dunn held a news conference to call attention to the fact that the county Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division posts documents containing Social Security numbers and other personal data online for “potentially thousands of current and former King County residents.”

[...]

Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesman for King County Executive Ron Sims, Logan’s boss, added, “Here’s a situation where there’s no indication that any kind of identity theft has occurred before, and now there’s a public announcement out there drawing people’s attention to it.”

Oy.

See, here’s what I’m guessing happened. Shaw Dunn thought he had a sexy story on his hands — one of those golden opportunities for some free press — and all he needed to do to cash in was take yet another cheap shot at outgoing KCRE director Dean Logan. This was a freebie.

But in his haste, Shaw Dunn simply didn’t think through the consequences, for in publicizing this issue he likely made the problem much worse by telling aspiring identity thieves exactly where to find the personal information they are looking for.

Ooops.

And when you look at the chronology of events, Shaw’s Dunn’s defense of himself comes off as a bit disingenuous.

When asked why he held a news conference to highlight the problem instead of drafting legislation to remedy it, Dunn said he wouldn’t have done so “if the director had been willing to work with us on this. … I couldn’t get Records and Elections to do anything about this.”

That’s right, Shaw Dunn could get Logan to do anything about this… for an entire day.

From: Barringer, Christopher
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 1:10 PM
To: Logan, Dean
Cc: Dunn, Reagan; Axe, Casey
Subject: REALS Information

Mr. Logan,

Attached is an urgent letter from Councilman Dunn. If you would like to speak with Councilman Dunn over the phone, please do not hesitate to call me [...] I will do my best to put you in contact with him or his Chief of Staff, Casey Axe.

Here is a copy of the letter sent out by Shaw’s Dunn’s staffer on Thursday afternoon. At 9:28 AM the next morning, Logan forwarded the letter to staff, and by that afternoon he emailed back a detailed, three-page response. Shaw Dunn held his press conference the next business day, at 11 AM Monday morning.

Didn’t exactly give KCRE much time to “work with us on this,” huh?

See, this is exactly the kind of ill tempered, ill thought out, partisan sniping that has Logan leaving for greener pastures, and several of the top management slots at KCRE left unfilled. I mean really… who the hell would want to work in an environment where every communication with a Republican council member must be assumed to be a setup for a media assault and a personal attack?

The responsible thing for Shaw Dunn to do would have been to really attempt to work with Logan instead of immediately going for the easy media hit. It also would have been the smart thing for Shaw Dunn to do, for unless he takes a step back from the KCGOP’s angry, right-wing base and starts governing like a grownup, he’s going to permanently alienate himself from the independent and centrist Eastside voters he’ll need if he’s ever going to fulfill is political promise.

No doubt, Shaw Dunn is the anointed one; if Darcy Burner defeats Dave Reichert this November, dollars to doughnuts she’ll be facing off against Shaw Dunn in 2008.

But first impressions count, and so far Shaw Dunn isn’t making a very good first impression.

INSIDE JOKE ALERT:
FYI, the whole “Raymond Shaw Reagan Dunn” schtick is, of course, a Manchurian Candidate reference, and while the excellent original starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh and a chilling performance by Angela Lansbury is the only version worth seeing, it’s Liev Schreiber’s character in the disappointing 2004 remake to which Dunn eerily resembles in appearance, manner, and um… circumstance.

Reagan Dunn Raymond Shaw
by Goldy, 06/27/2006, 1:14 PM

The Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally meets tonight (and every Tuesday), 8PM at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E.

It’s a busy evening for me so I’m sure to be a little late. First I’m heading down to Renton for a King County Democrats fundraiser for Darcy Burner (5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, Renton Carpenters Hall, 231 Burnett AVE N… you’re all invited), before rushing back to Graham Hill Elementary School for the district’s site hearing on school closures. I’m guessing I won’t get to the Alehouse much before 9 pm.

If you happen to be a liberal drinker on the other side of the mountains, the Tri-Cities chapter of DL also meets Tuesday nights, 7 PM, Atomic Ale, 1015 Lee Blvd., in Richland. Go ask Jimmy for more details.

by Goldy, 06/27/2006, 9:45 AM

I have been known, occasionally — maybe once or twice — to politely and constructively criticize the Seattle Times editorial board for its periodic fits of self-serving, head-up-its-ass, propagandistic bullshit. So it’s only fair that I offer my kudos when they publish an editorial with which I wholeheartedly agree. Um… kudos.

Congress plans to waste time this week on the hardy perennial and all-around bad idea of amending the U.S. Constitution to outlaw flag desecration.

[...]

While it is unnerving to see our powerful symbol of freedom and independence burned or desecrated, it remains an expression of free speech that must be protected. Free speech trumps the insult of flag burning every time.

The right to express disapproval of our country, its policies and its flag is an important and protected right of free expression. When the American flag is burned in other countries

by Goldy, 06/27/2006, 8:29 AM

The Senate Commerce Committee is currently considering several amendments to Sen. Stevens’ Telecom Act (S.2686), and the Snowe-Dorgan Net Neutrality amendment should come before the Committee by mid-to-late afternoon. If passed, this amendment would put Net Neutrality language into the Telecom Act, which is absolutely critical to maintaining a vibrant and democratic Internet.

Here is a list of senators on the committee who have not already committed themselves to supporting Internet freedom and the Snowe-Dorgan Amendment. Call them NOW!

Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK): 202-224-3004
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ.) : 202-224-2235
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR.) : 202-224-2353
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL.) : 202-224-5274
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) : 202 224 3224
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) : 202 224-4623
Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) : 202-224-6253
Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) : 202-224-2644
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) : 202-224-6551
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) : 202-224-6244
Sen. John E. Sununu (R-NH) : 202-224-2841
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) : 202-224-3753
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) : 202 224-6121
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) : 202-224-5922
Sen. George Allen (R-VA) : 202-224-4024
Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) : 202-224-6472

Phone calls absolutely do make a difference, especially when a senator is already sitting on the fence. You can also call the Capitol switchboard toll-free (1-888-355-3588) and ask to be switched to any Senate office.

by Goldy, 06/26/2006, 9:39 PM

Score one for Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Seattle) in his decade-long legal battle with House majority leader, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH).

A federal appeals court has agreed to hear new arguments in a case involving an illegally taped telephone call leaked to reporters by Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.

In an announcement late Monday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said all nine judges will hear McDermott’s appeal of the taped call case, which dates back nearly a decade. Arguments will be heard in September, the court said.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled in March that McDermott violated federal law by turning over the tape recording of a 1996 call involving then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.

In granting a new hearing the appeals court vacated the panel’s 2-1 ruling that ordered McDermott to pay Boehner $60,000 in damages and over $600,000 in legal fees.

McDermott tends to spark a lot of emotion from both sides the political spectrum, and thus most people seem to approach this case from a partisan perspective. Republicans would be thrilled to see one of their most outspoken critics punitively pushed into bankruptcy by this case, while many Democrats defend McDermott as a whistle-blower who exposed Gingrich’s double-dealing and ultimately led to his resignation.

But the issue at stake here is really much more fundamental; it is about freedom of speech and freedom of the press. I for one receive unsolicited information all the time — sometimes anonymously — and I can never be sure of its provenance. If McDermott ultimately loses his case it means I could be sued or prosecuted for publishing information that may have been obtained illegally, even if I had no part in, or even knowledge of the crime.

Wanna put me out of business? Slip me an illegally obtained legal document and then sue away. Imagine the chilling effect if journalists, bloggers and private citizens risked financial ruin for passing on information of vital public interest.

Here’s hoping that both McDermott and the Constitution prevail.

by Goldy, 06/26/2006, 7:12 PM

I’ve made no secret that as I pursue a career in radio, I look to John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur as role models of sorts. But Rush Limbaugh, not so much

Sources have confirmed to CBS4 News that conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been detained at Palm Beach International Airport for the possible possession of illegal prescription drugs Monday evening.

Limbaugh was returning on a flight from the Dominican Republic when officials found the drugs, among them Viagra.

Limbaugh entered a plea deal back in April in a previous case where his charge of fraud to conceal information to obtain prescriptions was dropped under the condition he continue undergoing treatment for addiction.

Limbaugh had admitted to being addicted to pain killers on his radio program and had entered a rehabilitation program prior to that arrest.

I hope Limbaugh finally gets the addiction treatment he needs, and comes away with a newfound respect for human frailty. (Hat tip to Raw Story.)

by Goldy, 06/26/2006, 3:20 PM

Jim Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies writes a comprehensive essay on global warming for The New York Review of Books, in which he references three books on the subject, Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers, Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe, and Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. This is a weighty essay of some length, so if you don’t have the time to read it in its entirety, check out Lynn’s excellent synopsis over Evergreen Politics.

Hmm. So why is it that supposedly sound people still ridicule global warming in the face of such an overwhelming scientific consensus? And why does Hansen feel it necessary to preface his essay with the disclaimer that his opinions are expressed “as personal views under the protection of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution”…?

by Goldy, 06/26/2006, 9:13 AM

I actually cringed reading the piece on Rep. Dave Reichert in this morning’s Seattle Times. It starts out so fawning and trite, I would have shredded the paper to pieces if I wasn’t reading it online. But as the piece continued, it started to reveal the real Reichert to readers. I just hope most people read as far as I did.

I don’t know if it was the reporter’s fault or that of the editor, but if you only read the headline and the first half of the article you’d think Reichert was a rising superstar, instead of the fumbling, pretty-boy loyalist he’s proven to be during his first term. But in that sense this piece is kind of the perfect metaphor for Reichert himself: all hairdo, no head.

While you may have trouble keeping your breakfast down reading about Reichert’s supposed “courage” and “old-fashioned grit,” keep reading until you get to the heart of the piece:

Tall, with a strong resemblance to actor Leslie Nielsen, his demeanor reflected “suave” and “aw, shucks” simultaneously. Capitol Hill papers called him a potential star.

“He’s right out of central casting,” Peter King, R-N.Y, said.

But Reichert’s shiny finish began wearing off almost as soon as he was sworn in.

He was late setting up his office, and finding advisers and issues