by Goldy, 08/31/2006, 11:13 AM

Sources have confirmed to HA that Safeco Insurance is indeed the unnamed “Firm 1″ in a Washington Insurance Commissioner’s Office study of the abusive use of credit scoring to cancel auto-insurance policies. As first reported in the Seattle Times, Safeco has asked the Thurston County Superior Court to block release of the information.

According to sources familiar with the investigation, the controversial practice was initially pioneered in WA state by Progressive Insurance. Sources say that Safeco was actually late to embrace the practice, but did so aggressively under former CEO Mike!™ McGavick’s leadership, far and quickly exceeding the scope and impact of its competition. As the Times initially reported:

The study cited “Firm 1″ for relying on credit scoring to cancel auto policies, as opposed to simply raising rates, which the other companies did. It said Firm 1′s decisions disproportionately impacted minorities, divorced women and low-income residents.

Many of those terminated by Firm 1 had clean driving records.

“Over one-quarter of those cancelled for low credit scores” by Firm 1 “had no ‘incidents’ in the insurer’s records, though some had been with the insurer for more than 10 years,” the 2003 study said.

“Seventeen percent of apparently accident-free cancelled policyholders were minorities.”

When the story first broke Monday I thought it would be easy to find a cooperative source inside an office Democrats have held for years, but extracting relevant information turned out to be harder than squeezing blood from a stone. Commissioner Mike Kreidler has called credit scoring “a form of redlining” and thinks it “should have been banned,” yet he has adamantly refused to disclose the identity of the firms in question until the legal issues are resolved.

This has apparently led to much consternation in and outside his office by those who complain that Kreidler is not doing enough to help fellow Democrats. But while I personally wouldn’t mind if Kreidler were a bit more partisan, I fully admire the respect he has shown for his office, and am somewhat reminded of similar complaints from GOP stalwarts who attacked Secretary of State Sam Reed for not doing more to help fellow Republican Dino Rossi come out on top of our excruciatingly close 2004 gubernatorial election.

Still, this was a study conducted by a public agency, paid for with taxpayer dollars, and so the public has a right to know its details. Thus if you are one of those Insurance Office insiders who think Kreidler should be more partisan, I urge you to act on your convictions and please leak me any relevant documents. I promise to maintain your anonymity, and once again affirm my pledge to go to jail before ever revealing a source.

by Goldy, 08/31/2006, 9:31 AM

Perhaps you’ve heard about it, but if you haven’t yet seen Keith Olbermann’s commentary yesterday on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, watch it now.

And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country faces a “new type of fascism.”

As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that — though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.

This country faces a new type of fascism – indeed.

Finally, a journalist with a large national audience courageous enough to say out loud what many of us have been warning for years. It’s almost enough to make me call up Comcast and order cable. Almost.

Instead, I sent an email to MSNBC thanking them for putting Olbermann’s Countdown on the air.

by Goldy, 08/31/2006, 12:30 AM

On Tuesday, at around 5:00 PM, I donated $100.00 to Peter Goldmark’s campaign, and challenged you all to give what you could to Peter and Darcy Burner by the midnight, August 30th reporting deadline. I’m thrilled to report that over the past 55 hours, 55 of you answered my call and donated a total of $3,535.00.

While we fell a bit short of yesterday’s goal of doubling the number of contributors to my ActBlue page, we far exceeded my expectations for total dollars raised. I’d only hoped to average about twenty bucks per donation, and maybe a couple thousand dollars tops. But your generosity blew that target away.

Netroots fundraising is still in its infancy, but it’s obviously more mature here than virtually anywhere else. 120 HA readers have now contributed a total of $6,778.36 to Goldmark and Burner via my ActBlue page. With average daily traffic of about 2400 unique visits a day, that’s an astounding response rate of 5 percent… a response rate most direct marketers wouldn’t dare dream of.

Compare that to the National Netroots ActBlue page, which has leveraged a combined readership of over 600,000 readers a day to raise about $620,000 from 7,600 donors. That’s respectable, even impressive, but on both a donor and dollar per reader comparison, HorsesAss readers kick ass.

I want to thank you all for your generosity and support. With your help we can take back Congress this November, and finally bring some accountability back to the other Washington.

by Goldy, 08/30/2006, 6:06 PM

24 hours ago I challenged my readers to double the number of donors to Peter Goldmark and Darcy Burner from my ActBlue page by today’s midnight reporting deadline, and while I’m blown away by the $2505.00 raised thus far, I’m a touch disappointed that with 6 hours remaining, only 39 of you have responded to the call, bringing us little more than halfway towards our 72-donor target.

Perhaps I was too ambitious. Or perhaps I didn’t make myself clear.

The more individual contributors each candidate can report, the easier it will be for them to attract big-money donors and independent expenditures during the final weeks of the campaign. That means even a FIVE BUCK donation, if that’s all you can afford, can be leveraged to help raise the cash Peter and Darcy will need to get their message out and win this November.

That’s all I’m asking — a $5.00 donation. I’ll probably log another six to eight hundred readers between now and midnight… surely, 33 of you can afford to pony up five bucks each?

Please give now. Thanks.

Still don’t know much about Peter Goldmark? Lynn has a typically excellent interview with Peter up on Evergreen Politics.

by Goldy, 08/30/2006, 4:01 PM

Mike McGavick enjoys a Guinness

Let the caption contest begin.

by Goldy, 08/30/2006, 1:48 PM

Since launching my challenge late yesterday afternoon, 33 readers have donated $1945.00 to the Goldmark and Burner campaigns via my ActBlue page. That’s fantastic, but still 39 donations shy of my target of 72 by midnight tonight.

Peter and Darcy need you to prove your grassroots support, and the more contributors they have, the easier it will be for them to pull in the big donors. Just a 5 buck donation can make a huge difference come November. So please give now.

by Goldy, 08/30/2006, 12:19 PM

KING5/SurveyUSA: Sen. Maria Cantwell 56%, Mike!™ McGavick 39%. Check out the crosstabs. Just a robo-poll, but nothing for the McGavick folks to cheer about.

Oh, and on a somewhat related topic, TPMmuckraker reports that the US Senator who put a secret hold on a bill that would have created a public, searchable database of all federal grants and contracts (you know, making it easier for taxpayers to figure out how their money is being spent,) turns out to be none other than Mike!™’s good friend, Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska.


Just this past week Mike!™ wrote on his own campaign blog:

This is a sad state of affairs when a senator (or senators) secretly prevent legislation to remove secrecy. The American people have a right to know how their money is being spent. We need senators who are willing to hold their colleagues accountable for this sort of thing, regardless of party.

So… the best way to hold Sen. Stevens accountable is to, um, elect his friend Mike!™ to the Senate?

McGavick stares at oil fatcat's boobs
Ted Drinks!™ to Mike!™ at Alaska fundraiser

Fixed the numbers. It’s 56-39, not 53-36.

by Goldy, 08/30/2006, 12:14 PM

Man, us lefties sure are a bunch of pussies. Sure, we’re liberal. And yeah, most of us drink. But last night not a single one of us managed to get what the kids these days call Mike!™ McGavick drunk. (Or the popular shorthand: Drunk!™)

Joining me in an all too sober discussion of the issues of the day were Will, Mollie, Geov and Carl. Topics of discussion included the relatively warlike tendencies of the various world religions, the Katherine Harris crazy comments of Katherine Harris, what the hell the Democrats are going to do if they actually take back Congress, the human, political and military disaster that is Iraq, the human, political and non-military disaster that was Hurricane Katrina, the Seattle Weekly’s transition from Mossback to Wetback… and Republican US Senate candidate Mike!™ McGavick’s curious revelation that he once got pulled over for driving Drunk!™

The show is 51:33, and is available here as a 38.7 MB MP3. Please visit 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, 08/30/2006, 9:56 AM

Late yesterday afternoon I challenged my readers to double the number of donors on my ActBlue page from 72 to 144 by midnight tonight. Since then, 17 generous readers have donated $935.00 to the Goldmark and Burner campaigns.

That’s great, but we can do better. Candidates are judged not just by the money raised, but by the number of individual contributors, so even a $5.00 donation can make a big difference in attracting big donors during the final, crucial few weeks of the campaign.

Let’s show the nation that WA’s netroots are doing their part to take back Congress and bringing accountability to the other Washington. Please give now.

by Goldy, 08/30/2006, 9:39 AM

The Seattle Times’ latest editorial is neatly summed up in its headline: “Pull the ad, Mike“:

Mike McGavick’s latest radio ad is a politician’s version of highway robbery.

The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate is appropriating the issue of sales tax deductibility as his own and using it to attack incumbent Maria Cantwell. Problem is, Democrat Cantwell might as well be known as Sen. Sales Tax Deductibility. Both she and Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, have been leaders, in their respective houses of Congress, on the issue of first restoring, then keeping, the right of residents in Washington and seven other states to deduct their state sales tax from the federal tax bill.


McGavick’s radio ad attacks Cantwell for voting against the sales tax deduction

by Goldy, 08/29/2006, 6:02 PM

Yesterday I put $100.00 on my credit card and wired it over to the Peter Goldmark campaign via my ActBlue fundraising page, and then I asked all of you to follow suit. Since then six of you have contributed a combined $790.00 to the Goldmark and Darcy Burner campaigns via my ActBlue page… an astounding $132.00 per contribution!

Thank you for your generosity.

But did you know you don’t need big bucks to make a big difference in the upcoming election?

The pre-primary reporting period closes tomorrow at midnight, and that’s the figure the DCCC and various PACs and big donors are going to use to help them decided which campaigns have the wherewithal to warrant further investment. But they don’t just local at the amount of cash raised… they also look at the total number of contributors as a powerful indicator of a candidate’s grassroots support.

So here’s what I want everybody to do. Even if you don’t have much money, I want to go to my ActBlue page and donate whatever your can to Peter and Darcy… even if it’s only $5.00.

Of course, if you can give more, please do… but five measly bucks can make a big difference when it comes to convincing the big money to take the campaign seriously.

We have only a little more than 24 hours before the reporting period closes, and as of now a total of 72 donors have contributed through my page. Let’s prove again how powerful the local netroots are, and see if we can double that number before midnight tomorrow.

5 bucks. That’s all I’m asking. Please give now.

by Goldy, 08/29/2006, 1:11 PM

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

Assuming somebody brings along a breathalyzer and a 200-pound man, I intend to run a little experiment to see exactly how many drinks it takes to get “Mike McGavick drunk”. I’ve got a free copy of Sen. Byron Dorgan’s new book, Take This Job and Ship It for the first person to show up with a functioning breathalyzer, and 8 or 9 free drinks and ride home for one lucky volunteer.

Washington liberals will also be drinking tonight in the Tri-Cities. Here’s a full run down of WA’s ten Drinking Liberally chapters:

Where: When: Next Meeting:
Burien: Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub, 435 SW 152nd St Fourth Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm onward September 27
Kirkland: Valhalla Bar & Grill, 8544 122nd Ave NE Every Thursday, 7:00 pm onward August 31
Monroe: Eddie’s Trackside Bar and Grill, 214 N Lewis St Second Wednesday of each month, 7:00 PM onward September 13
Olympia: The Tumwater Valley Bar and Grill, 4611 Tumwater Valley Drive South First and third Monday of each month, 7:00-9:00 pm September 4
Seattle: Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Ave E Every Tuesday, 8:00 pm onward August 29
Spokane: Red Lion BBQ & Pub, 126 N Division St Every Wednesday, 7:00 pm August 30
Tacoma: Meconi’s Pub, 709 Pacific Ave Every Wednesday, 8:00 pm onward August 30
Tri-Cities: Atomic Ale, 1015 Lee Blvd, Richland Every Tuesday, 7:00 pm onward August 29
Vancouver: Hazel Dell Brew Pub, 8513 NE Highway 99 Second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 7:00 pm onward September 12
Walla Walla: The Green Lantern, 1606 E Isaacs Ave First Friday of each month, 8:00 pm onward September 1
by Goldy, 08/29/2006, 11:22 AM

To call him “a stinking drunk” might strike some as a misleading and means-spirited personal attack on Mike!™ McGavick’s character, but in my defense I’m only attempting to follow his lead. Indeed, unless he wants to add the word “hypocritical” to the headline, the dipsomaniacal former lobbyist and self-proclaimed champion of civility must reluctantly acknowledge the epithet as both accurate and, well… civil.


Yeah, I know us Democrats tend to get bogged down in nuance, but I want you to follow me on a little thought experiment, put all your partisanship and cynicism aside, and assume for just a moment that we can actually take Mike!™ at his word.

You see, Mike!™ says he wants to bring civility back to the other Washington, and rails against candidates for “attacking each other’s personal character instead of attacking the issues.” And in his much publicized, recent mea culpa he even apologized for a TV ad he ran in 1988 while managing Slade Gorton’s senate campaign — an ad that cynically mischaracterized Mike Lowry’s position on drug legalization.

“Though we never raised it again, we should have pulled it once evidence mounted that the Daily article was not an accurate reflection of his views.”

Mike!™ lists this ethical lapse as one of the two biggest regrets of his professional career. So let’s take him at his word. Surely, today’s Mike!™, a champion of civility and clean campaigning, would never knowingly mislead voters about an opponent’s views again.

So how do we explain Mike!™’s current radio spot in which he accuses Sen. Maria Cantwell of opposing allowing Washington residents to deduct state and local sales tax from their federal income tax?

“Maria Cantwell voted with her party, against our deduction and against our families,” says the announcer, noting that the deduction was worth $550 to Washington families.

“Sen. Cantwell said she voted ‘no’ because she disagreed with parts of the bill, yet when she was offered a compromise, she refused to talk,” the ad says.

As the Seattle Times points out this morning, that’s simply misleading.

Cantwell, in fact, co-authored the bill that first allowed state and local sales-tax deductibility in 2004. That legislation expired this year. In February, Cantwell sponsored a measure to make that deduction permanent. It passed the Senate 75-25 and is still pending in the House.

The bill the ad refers to was the GOP’s cynical “trifecta” legislation, that in addition to extending the sales tax deduction (for only a single year) would have reduced the take-home pay for millions of tip-earning workers while permanently slashing the federal estate tax on our nation’s wealthiest families. And in fact, Sen. Cantwell talked with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist the night before the vote, but he didn’t offer a compromise that could satisfy her or the American people.

Yet not only doesn’t “Open” Mike!™ regret this ad, he actually defends it.

“She voted against it,” he said, adding that her vote on state sales-tax deductibility will be a major campaign issue.

And you know what? Technically, he’s right.

Even though Sen. Cantwell has long been a champion of the sales tax deduction, ushering it through the Senate in both 2004 and 2006 — and even though the ad deliberately leaves the false impression in voters’ minds that she opposes the deduction — technically, the ad is accurate in stating that she voted against the deduction, this one time.

And so following this high standard of accuracy and civility, I think it is fair to say that technically, Mike!™ McGavick is a stinking drunk.

Oh, Mike!™’s not stinking drunk all the time. I’m sure he tends to wake up sober most mornings, and there are probably occasions when he orders only a club soda or maybe an O’Doul’s, rather than a 12-pack of beer.

But we now know for a fact that on at least one occasion he not only drove drunk, he blew a literally staggering 0.17 percent — a blood alcohol level difficult to achieve with fewer than 8 or 9 drinks over the course of an hour. And when fellow KIRO host Dori Monson accused him of being “stinking drunk,” Mike!™ not only didn’t deny it, he actually admitted that there are still occasions to this day when he is too drunk to drive.

And so if it isn’t misleading to claim that Sen. Cantwell opposes a sales tax deduction she’s long championed, based on a single vote on a bill deliberately and cynically designed to provide fodder for misleading campaign ads (“There’s like 12 30-second ads sitting around in this bill,” one Republican aide told The Hill)… then it certainly can’t be misleading to describe Mike!™ McGavick as a stinking drunk based on the fact that from time to time he gets, well… stinking drunk.

Perhaps I’m being unfair. Perhaps Mike!™ fully intends to live by his civility pledge and set the record straight by apologizing for this ad too (some 18 years in the future.) Or perhaps, we really shouldn’t blame him for approving and defending this misleading ad because, you know… maybe he was just drunk at the time.

But for the moment I’m just going to have to follow his example, for after all, when he’s not fall-down drunk, I’m told that Mike!™’s a real stand-up guy. In fact, he’s downright Socratic.

That’s why I wanna be like Mike!™.

by Goldy, 08/28/2006, 5:18 PM

Congressional Quarterly just upgraded its rating of the race for Washington’s 5th Congressional District!

Republicans have hailed Cathy McMorris of Washington’s 5th District as a rising star since she won an open House seat in 2004 by an unexpectedly wide margin.

This image

by Goldy, 08/28/2006, 3:13 PM

Mike!™ McGavick says he wants to talk about the issues, yet ask him why he’s running and he’s bound to tell you that he wants to bring civility back to the US Senate.

How does a real straight shooter answer the question? Listen to Peter Goldmark lay down his priorities:

I’m running for Congress because we need to change things in Congress, and we need to change the direction of our country. We need look no further than the price of gas, no further than the corruption and problems in Congress, no further than the agricultural crisis in eastern Washington, no further than the escalating cost of health care, and no further than the fact that nobody seems to be paying any attention or taking care of those issues. It is my intention to go back to Washington, DC and address those issues. People out here need a representative that will work on these issues on their behalf.

Energy, corruption, agriculture and health care. Bam! Those are Goldmark’s priorities if elected to Congress.

Mike!™, on the other hand? I’ve been following his campaign for over a year, and hell if I know what his legislative priorities are. Do you?

To learn more about Peter Goldmark and where he stands on the issues, read a full transcript of the interview over on McCranium.

by Goldy, 08/28/2006, 12:14 PM

“What’s wrong with politics today? The candidates and the incumbents spend their time attacking each other’s personal character instead of attacking the issues and problems that face our country and our families.”
Mike!™ McGavick

George Lakoff simply illustrates the subtle power of framing in the title of his seminal book, Don’t Think of an Elephant. This is Cognitive Psychology 101: the very instruction not to think of a pachyderm, of course, instantly conjures its image.

I’m not sure whether Democrats have studiously read their Lakoff, but Mike!™ McGavick and his team apparently have. For in constantly stressing his desire to campaign on “the issues” rather than “personal character attacks,” the Republican US Senate wannabe has in fact made character the central theme of his campaign.

One simply cannot accept McGavick’s “civility” meme without inferring that his opponent, Sen. Maria Cantwell, is not sufficiently civil.

Indeed the very preamble to Mike!™’s much talked about public mea culpa is little more than a thinly veiled attack on the character of his opponent. Read it in its entirety (the emphasis is mine):

What’s wrong with politics today? The candidates and the incumbents spend their time attacking each other’s personal character instead of attacking the issues and problems that face our country and our families. They also pretend that they are without fault, yet we all know that none of us are.

In this campaign for example, my opponents have attacked my leadership in turning around Safeco. I am even the subject of a politically-motivated lawsuit. But I am convinced that these kinds of character attacks don’t matter to most people here. I have held dozens of open public forums in communities all around Washington state, and not a single person asked me about my compensation at Safeco. Instead, people ask about the many challenges that face their own families and our country.

Still, I know that the character attacks against me will not stop. So, how about I just tell you directly the very worst and most embarrassing things in my life for you to know, and then I will get back to talking about how much the U.S. Senate needs a new direction.

What does one take away from this statement? That Mike!™ wants to talk about the issues, but his opponent does not. That his opponent engages in character attacks, but Mike!™ refuses. That Mike!™ admits to human frailty, while his opponent “pretends” to be perfect.

But most importantly, that the “new direction” Mike!™ wants to take the US Senate — towards a more civil debate on the “issues and problems that face our country and our families” — is exactly the opposite direction of where his opponent is leading the nation and the state.

What a clever frame. This isn’t a campaign about “the issues” — it’s a campaign about campaigning about the issues, with the clear implication being that his opponent refuses to embrace this lofty ideal. At it’s very core, Mike!™’s “civility” meme, as noble as it may appear, is nothing more than a personal attack on Sen. Cantwell’s character.

Don’t think of an elephant.

In this context, Mike!™’s unprompted revelation of a thirteen-year-old DUI actually makes tactical sense if the strategy is to reinforce his campaign’s primary frame… a frame that at least some in the media have swallowed hook, line and sinker. Writing in Saturday’s Seattle P-I, columnist Robert Jamieson congratulated Mike!™ for his “courage” and “candor.” “He showed he’s human,” Jamieson wrote, by comparison implying that Sen. Cantwell is, well… not.

McGavick has just shown us that he isn’t clinical, rigidly guarded and remote — labels that have dogged Sen. Maria Cantwell, the Democratic incumbent he hopes to beat.

Notably absent from Jamieson’s column was any discussion of where the two candidates actually stand on “the issues and problems that face our country and our families” — exactly the kind of empty discourse the civility frame encourages, for it intentionally diverts our focus away from substance and onto style. Which of course, works in Mike!™’s favor, because he is on the losing side of almost every single issue of importance to Washington voters.

Think about it. Which candidate is really campaigning on the issues? Compare the two candidates’ television and radio ads, and which candidate has made the stronger effort to educate voters about their legislative priorities?

We all know that Sen. Cantwell is an environmental leader, a fierce opponent of drilling in ANWR and of increasing supertanker traffic in the Puget Sound. We know that Sen. Cantwell is perhaps the Senate’s most passionately wonkish leader on energy issues, a champion of alternative energy technologies and of higher CAFE standards, and a victorious defender of Snohomish County rate-payers against the extortionist energy contracts signed at the height of Enron’s unprecedented corporate fraud. We know that Sen. Cantwell staunchly supports reproductive rights and a living minimum wage, and believes the Republican controlled Congress has abdicated it’s obligation to provide necessary oversight of the executive branch.

And even though she was at first reluctant to talk specifics about her evolving position on the war in Iraq, she has been incontrovertibly clear that she believes it is now time to start bringing the troops home, and that she absolutely opposes the establishment of permanent US bases in Iraq.

And what do we know about Mike!™? Um… we know that he wants to bring “civility” back to the US Senate.

Really. Think about it. If elected, what will be Mike!™’s legislative priorities? He hasn’t told us.

Sure, if pushed and prodded you can sometimes torture an answer out of him. He’s for drilling in ANWR, and mostly opposed to abortion. He opposes the estate tax, but is for slashing the minimum wage for millions of tip earners. And he not only opposes a ban on permanent military bases in Iraq, he suggests that it’s inappropriate to even debate the war while our troops are still in harms way.

But he’s not running on any of this. He’s running on being civil. He’s running on being human. He’s running on being candid and courageous.

He’s running on character.

Last night on my radio show I asked the Seattle Times‘ David Postman if he thought Democrats are overly guilty of attacking Mike!™’s character, and he answered that for the most part, no. I also asked him whether character is a relevant issue in a political campaign, and of course he said yes.

This morning the Times editorial board echoed their senior political reporter, arguing that “honesty, integrity and character matter“:

McGavick has never voted on anything. His record is thin. Character matters haunted him. The public has a legitimate need to know about these.

And I’d argue that Mike!™’s character is especially relevant in light of the fact that he chose to make it the central theme of his campaign. Not that I can argue with his strategy.

The fact is, if voters elected representatives solely on the issues, the Democrats would hold a comfortable majority in both houses. But they don’t. We elect people, not issues, and the Republicans have simply done a better job electing their people than the Dems have.

Mike!™ knows this, and so in the midst of a political backlash that threatens to produce a huge Democratic wave, and running against an incumbent who wins hands down on almost every major issue, Mike!™ has chosen to run as simply gosh-darn more likable than that “cold,” “remote” Maria Cantwell. He’d surely lose a truly issue-oriented campaign, and so unable to run on the issues, he has chosen to run around them.

So central is the civility frame to Mike!™’s campaign, that even a potentially damaging revelation about his own human frailty was strategically (and successfully) played to call into question the humanity of his opponent.

So the next time Mike!™ rails against personal character attacks, try this little exercise: don’t think of an elephant.

I bet you can’t.

by Goldy, 08/27/2006, 2:19 PM

It’s the last Sunday in August, so what better way to bid farewell to our region’s short summer than to come inside, turn up the radio and tune in to “The David Goldstein Show tonight on Newsradio 710-KIRO, from 7PM to 10PM. Of course, the lineup could change in response to breaking news, but here’s what I think I’ll be talking about tonight:

7PM: In an Oprah moment, Republican US Senate wannabe Mike!™ McGavick revealed that some thirteen years ago he was pulled over for a DUI with a literally staggering 0.17 percent blood-alcohol level. Was this revelation a shrewd political move to inoculate the candidate from negative attacks, a gesture of genuine contrition, or a boneheaded blunder? Seattle Times political reporter/blogger David Postman joins me to discuss this and other political issues of the day.

8PM: King County Council Chair Larry Phillips joins me to discuss the prospects of a proposed county charter amendment that seeks to take the politics out of the elections office by making the county auditor an, um, elected position. Go figure. But if you have other questions for the Council Chair, here’s your chance to ask him.

9PM: The first hurricane of the season has formed in the South Atlantic, just in time to commemorate the first anniversary of the natural and political disaster that was Hurricane Katrina. How did the federal government’s failed response to this long anticipated emergency change your view of the Bush administration, and do you believe our nation is ready to respond to another major disaster or terrorist attack?

Tune in tonight (or listen to the live stream) and give me a call: 1-877-710-KIRO (5476).

by Goldy, 08/27/2006, 11:58 AM

This Tuesday BBC Radio starts airing a five-part series called Meet the Bloggers, introducing you to the people “who’ve attracted attention in cyberspace by recording their thoughts and impressions on anything and everything.”

I’m pretty impressed with the lineup of bloggers featured over the coming weeks. For example, take a look at the program segment on political blogs:

Programme 4: It’s Political
Tuesday 19 September 2006, 9.30am

A look at Instapundit, one of the biggest “political’ blogs in America, written by law professor Glenn Reynolds from Knoxville, Tennessee, and Horsesass, where local political activist David Goldstein, from Seattle, gives what he calls “the Straight Poop on Politics and the Press’

Yeah that’s right. When the BBC went out looking for a couple of bloggers to represent the right and the left of the political blogosphere, they chose Glenn Reynolds and, um… me. (I know… it’s hard to believe somebody like Reynolds made the cut.)

My segment will be available for streaming after it airs on Sept. 19th, along with a longer version of my interview; I’ll post an update at that time. In the meantime you can read BBC producer Mark Savage’s impressions of meeting us bloggers face to face.

by Goldy, 08/26/2006, 5:05 PM

I’d like to perform an experiment, and I’m looking for a couple of volunteers.

First, I need somebody with a good quality, professional “breathalyzer.”

Second, I need an approximately 200-pound man, willing and able to consume eight drinks in a single hour. (Sorry Sandeep, you don’t meet the weight requirement.)

If we can get both of these to this Tuesday’s Drinking Liberally, I’d like to see exactly how many drinks it takes to achieve a 0.17 percent blood-alcohol level, and a general idea of the associated level of impairment. In fact, in the interest of accuracy, I am graciously extending an invitation to Mike!™ McGavick to join us as our test subject.

Send me an email if you can volunteer either or both. Drinks are on me, as is the ride home.

by Goldy, 08/26/2006, 11:07 AM

I’ve never really thought of Rep. Katherine Harris of Florida as an Evangelical fundamentalist, but then, it probably takes much of the cognitive dissonance out of stealing a presidential election to tell yourself that you are acting in the name of God.

In a strikingly candid interview in the Florida Baptist Witness, Harris — the presumptive Republican nominee for US Senate — calls “separation of church and state” a “lie,” and berates the notion that this is “a nation of secular laws.”


Harris gained notoriety as Florida’s Republican Secretary of State who did her best to rig the 2000 election in favor of gubernatorial brother George W. Bush; for her efforts she was elected to Congress. Now she’s running a quixotic campaign for Senate which threatens to tear the Florida GOP apart. Already trailing Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by over 30 points, these new comments suggest Harris may pushing for 40.

“If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin [...] and whenever we legislate sin and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don’t know better, we are leading them astray and it’s wrong.”

Holy shit.

This is a US Senate candidate folks, and while we all know that there are prominent electeds out there who genuinely believe that us average, non-Christian citizens “don’t know better,” we certainly don’t expect them to come right out in public and say it. Last time I visited my snowbird mother down in Florida, I noticed an awful lot of CWANCs (Citizens Who Are Not Christian) kibitzing over lox and bagels. Some of these CWANCs even tend to be the type of affluent voter attracted to the Republicans’ undeserved reputation as the party of fiscal responsibility… but I’m guessing it’s a bit of a political turnoff to be called an ignorant sinner by an election-stealing, booty-shaking spoiled heiress whose name has become an urban lingo synonym for crazy.

But then, I’m just another one of those godless CWANCs, so I don’t know better.