Conspiracy theories surrounding Ken Lay’s death are starting to get some traction over on Huffington Post.
Archives for July 2006
According to 94.9 FM KUOW’s web page, Rep. Dave Reichert will be joining Weekday this morning at 9:00 AM to take questions from callers. But word is Reichert
chickened out cancelled, and Democratic challenger Darcy Burner will take his place. (I’m hoping that’s a metaphor for the November election.)
Guess we’ll just have to tune in to see who shows up. Should be worth listening to either way.
Darcy’s on. If you’re curious where she stands on an issue, give her a call: (800) 289-KUOW
I don’t even bother to read
our friend Stefan Sound Politics much anymore unless somebody of substance who occasionally gets attributions wrong, like David Postman points me in that direction. Of course, when I do link on over to read what Stefan Sound Politics has to say, I’m constantly reminded why I rarely bother to read him in the first place. Stefan Eric Earling accuses Democrats of being “unserious” about Social Security reform, and yet he throws out a paragraph like this:
They continue to claim the so-called Social Security Trust Fund means everything will be fine for decades. Wrong. The special T-Bonds in the Trust Fund are simply an IOU from one government account to another. They’re an IOU that will no doubt be honored, but they’re not an asset you can cash at the bank or sell on the bond market like a regular-issue US Treasury Bond. Redeeming the special bonds means raising taxes or cutting spending to pay for them. Even the MSM is starting to understand that.
So… um, what you are telling us
Stefan Eric, is that our government won’t be able to afford to pay back the trillions of dollars it has borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund without raising taxes or cutting spending to pay for it, right?
So then, it isn’t really Social Security that’s heading towards insolvency due to incredibly shortsighted, irresponsible and unserious fiscal policy, but rather, the federal government.
Stefan Eric and the Republicans aren’t trying to fix Social Security. No, they’re trying to use Social Security “reform” to cover up the mess left behind by the most fiscally irresponsible administration in US history. If President Bush and the GOP congressional leadership hadn’t turned record budget surpluses into record budget deficits, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Blaming this looming budget crisis on Social Security is nothing but creative accounting.
Stefan Eric see privatization as a twofer: they get to dismantle the crowning achievement of the New Deal while covering up the financial disaster created by their party’s failed policies at home and abroad. And the rhetoric they employ is dishonest as usual.
Stefan Eric wants a “substantive national debate” let’s have one on our current fiscal crisis, and figure out how we’re going to pay for this administration’s policies and programs instead of passing the cost off to future generations. Are we really at war? Then let’s raise taxes to pay for this war the way we have all previous wars, or dramatically cut services elsewhere, forcing our elected officials to pay the inevitable political price. Let the Republicans tell Americans that we can’t afford things like education, health care or even Social Security at home, because we have to pay hundreds of billions of dollars a year fighting “The Long War” in Iraq.
Let’s have that debate,
Stefan Eric. But don’t tell me Democrats are “unserious” about Social Security while Republicans blithely run up the largest budget and balance of trade deficits in US history.
Well, so much for trusting “somebody of substance like David Postman.” Postman wrote:
Stefan Sharkansky says “Cantwell’s social security stance hurts my head.”
So I read the post on (u)SP, but didn’t bother reading the byline. Turns out it wasn’t written by Stefan after all, it was written by Eric Earling. (Whoever he is.) Doesn’t change my point, but I’ve updated the post accordingly.
Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Raj Manhas’s Final Recommendation on School Consolidation and Closure has been released, and amongst other changes, my daughter’s school, Graham Hill Elementary, has been removed from the list.
Graham Hill was removed from the preliminary recommendation due to the dispersal of students violating the School Board’s principles of equity and minimizing disruption. While the Southeast quadrant does have enough excess capacity to close an additional school, the majority of that excess capacity is at African American Academy (an alternative school).
I am of course more than pleased that Graham Hill will not be closed, and that my daughter will be able to finish out her final two years. It is a fantastic school and an incredible community; properly funded it could be as good as any school in any of the best public school districts.
But while I thank both the Superintendent and the School Board for listening to our arguments and carefully reexamining both the data and the circumstances, I still come away from this process somewhat disappointed and disillusioned. I cannot help but believe that politics is what got Graham Hill onto the list in the first place, and to some extent it was politics that got our school off the list. We were very fortunate, not only to have the facts on our side, but to have a community of parents and teachers with the time, energy and ability to effectively present them.
There may be other schools still on this list just as worthy of being saved, but without such a loud and convincing voice.
I also believe that the imperative to close a large number of schools now, and all at once, was overstated from the start. In fact, there will be very few if any cost savings from these closings, while many children will have their education disrupted. I still believe that the driving force behind this round of school closures was a demand for political cover from legislators who otherwise lack the balls to fight for the kind of funding increases all our state’s schools desperately need.
And that’s where the fight goes next: to the Legislature.
I come away from this battle with an even greater respect for my daughter’s school, but with a profound sense of cynicism as to the district administration’s ability to effectively serve all our children. Gross inequities between North End and South End schools that I previously had only intuited, have now been laid out before me in neat, irrefutable spreadsheets, and I am immensely disappointed at the lack of creativity and forthrightness with which the district is addressing this problem. I’m not sure what the solution is, but I intend to exert time and energy exploring possible structural reforms.
But… the immediate fight is with the Legislature. No doubt there are inefficiencies in the Seattle Public Schools as there are in all bureaucracies (both public and private sector) but the real crisis facing K-12 education in this state is not inefficient spending, but inadequate funding. One of the major differences between a top-notch public school like the Bellevue district’s Medina Elementary, and my daughter’s Graham Hill, is the $500,000 a year the families of the Medina PTSA put into their school versus the $30,000 our largely low- and middle-income families struggle to raise.
This is money that not only buys books and computers and basic supplies, but which is used to buy down class size and give their children music, art, phys-ed and all the other elements of a well-rounded curriculum our state used to give all its children. Washington state has by law one of the most equitable school financing systems in the country, but by dramatically underfunding it and leaving it to families to make up the difference, we are gradually creating the type gross disparity — both within and between districts — that has become commonplace throughout much of the rest of the nation.
Children don’t choose to live in poverty, so why should we base the quality of their education on their parent’s income?
Whether that means raising revenues or shifting spending or some combination of the two, we need to spend more money on our schools. It is time once again to remind the Legislature and the Governor that public education is the state’s primary obligation… an obligation they are failing to meet.
Enron founder Ken Lay, facing a life term for fraud and conspiracy in one of the largest corporate scams in history, died last night of an “apparent heart attack.”
Condolences to his family, but… I’d just like to point out that had this happened during the Clinton administration, and had Lay been Clinton’s primary financial backer, the right-wingers would be all abuzz today with conspiracy theories about how Clinton had Lay killed so as to keep him from talking. You know they would.
I’m just saying….
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
According to the Seattle Times’ David Postman, Rep. Jay Inslee has drawn a challenger.
Issaquah School Board member Larry Ishmael, a Dino Rossi pal, is now also a congressional candidate, running against incumbent Democrat Jay Inslee in the First District.
Ishmael was welcomed to the race by state Republican Party Chairwoman Diane Tebelius.
Um… gee… but last time I checked, wasn’t Issaquah still in the Eighth Congressional District?
According to our good friend Stefan’s online voter database (you know, the one with online ads that violate the prohibition on using such databases for commercial purposes,) Ishmael has indeed been registered to vote in Issaquah since 1987. Which kinda makes sense considering living within the boundaries of a school district is a sort of a prerequisite for being eligible to serve on its board.
So if Ishmael is indeed running against Rep. Inslee in the First District, one can only assume that either….
A) Ishamel has actually moved into the First District, changed his registration, and formally resigned from the Issaquah School Board, or
B) Is so unengaged politically that he doesn’t even know who the fuck his own congressman is.
Only an idiot would pick up and move districts just to make a futile, last minute run against a popular Democratic incumbent in an election year when Republicans are proving about as welcome as ringworm; but it would be amusing if it was the latter. And awfully embarrassing, not just for Ishmael, but for Tebelius, who probably should have learned something from the whole Will Baker debacle about the importance of vetting candidates — even joke candidates — before publicly announcing the party’s endorsement.
In any case, Ishmael’s lament that “the First District needs better leadership” falls a bit flat considering he doesn’t live there. Perhaps he was thinking of the Eighth District?
Sure, I’ve got some pretty vile, hateful people in my comment threads, but I respect all my readers, and so as a service to some of my far-right critics I thought I’d just pass along this invitation to join your brethren in a rally today at the state Capitol:
The neo-Nazi rally is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. on the steps of the Capitol Building. Members from all over the West Coast are expected to attend, said National Socialist Movement director Jeff Schoep.
“We want our message to be heard,” Schoep said. “We’re there for the white community.
“As with our other rallies, we are standing against immigration. These people are pouring over from Mexico and they’re not assimilating like our forefathers did. They’re coming here to exploit our country, and we don’t want them here.”
Hmm. At least the Nazis are upfront about what the whole immigration debate is really about.
I’m listening to KUOW discuss the Nazi rally, and how we should respond, and I can’t help but think that the opponents are coming off as just too touchy-feely.
So I’m wondering if perhaps the correct response would be to confront the Nazis with actual physical violence? I mean, if they have their way, it will eventually come to that anyway, so why not just kick their asses now before they grow any stronger?
BREAKING: “Crack Is Found in Shuttle’s Foam Insulation”
Yet more evidence of our nation’s failed War on Drugs.
I’m gonna wing it a bit tonight on the “The David Goldstein Show”– Newsradio 710-KIRO, from 7PM to 10PM — fewer guests, more time for callers. So, um… please call in.
7PM: Civility in politics? Is that a good thing? Is it even possible? We’re going to talk about Councilman Reagan Dunn’s latest partisan attacks on King County Records and Elections, and GOP Senate hopeful Mike McGavick’s call for a new civility in the other Washington. I’ll try to be civil about it… but I doubt I’ll succeed.
8PM: Is the New York Times guilty of treason, or is the Bush administration just looking for an excuse to crack down on the press?
9PM: Seattle Developer Martin Selig just spent $630,000 to lie an estate tax repeal initiative onto the ballot. But believe it or not, when it comes to misleading, destructive, special-interest-funded initiatives, things may actually be worse in Oregon. Carla and Torrid from Loaded Orygun join me on The Blogger Hour to discuss what’s gone wrong with the initiative process south of our border, and what that portends for Washington state.
Tune in tonight and give me a call: 1-877-710-KIRO (5476).
Seattle Developer Martin Selig is a selfish pig, and I wouldn’t rent or buy property from him if my life depended on it. I hope other progressive minded individuals, corporations and organizations have a similar attitude, and take their business to people who aren’t as intent on undermining the ability of our state to educate our children. Selig has just spent $630,000 to hire people to lie to voters, and he should be ashamed of himself.
Oh… and a brief question for Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen: why is that in all of your paper’s coverage of the estate tax and the initiative to repeal it, you never once bothered to report that the signature gatherers were selling it with out and out lies? That is the role of the media in our democracy, isn’t it? To refute lies?
Or, like Selig, does it not bother you that the public believes these lies if it suits your agenda?
So what happens to Washington state’s farmland if I-933 (the developer’s initiative) passes? The same thing that’s happening in Oregon since Measure 37 passed there. From the classified ads of the Capital Press, which bills itself as “The West’s Agriculture Website”:
DEVELOPERS! Private corporation for sale which owns 50.8 acres of farmland, eligible for rezoning under measure 37. Near Arrowhead Golf Course, Clackamas County, OR. Fax 503-295-4023.
That’s what I-933 is about. That’s what it has always been about. Unregulated, out of control development.