System Failure

We now know a little more [emphasis mine] about the shooting that occurred yesterday in Bothell downtown Seattle:

The shooting suspect is being held at the King County Jail, under investigation of being a felon in possession of a firearm, assault and committing a crime while under DOC supervision. He served prison time for selling cocaine.

Well done! Another non-violent criminal turned into a violent one thanks to the drug war. Are we winning yet?

UPDATE: Richard Pope in the comments has dug up the full list of this man’s violations and it’s a long one, starting in 4-2000 when he was either 12 or 13. It looks like I was a little too quick to assume what I did here. I will be re-implementing my “no posting after DL” policy immediately. :)

Radio Goldy tonight on 710-KIRO

I’m filling in all week for Frank Shiers, Monday through Friday, from 9PM to 1AM on Newsradio 710-KIRO. The 9PM hour tonight features a candidate forum between Bill Sherman and Keith Scully, both seeking the Democratic nomination for King County Prosecutor. At 10PM, noted chronicler of right-wing extremist hate speech Dave Neiwert joins me to discuss noted right-wing extremist hate talker Bill O’Reilly.

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

Drinking Liberally

The Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally meets tonight (and every Tuesday), 8PM at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. I’m on the air tonight, so I’ll be leaving by the time things officially start, but there will be plenty of other folks with whom to share some hoppy brew and some hopped up conversation.

Not in Seattle? Liberals will also be drinking tonight in the Tri-Cities. A full listing of Washington’s eleven Drinking Liberally chapters is available here.

Tough questions

A couple weeks after announcing his run for the 8th Congressional District Democratic nomination, State Sen. Rodney Tom finally has his campaign website up online, touting his “experience” and “knowledge of the issues,” and of course, slamming the Republican incumbent, Rep. Dave Reichert:

The current congressman has repeatedly failed us, most importantly by stubbornly sticking with President Bush in support of the war in Iraq, not asking the tough questions prior to the invasion, and not holding this President accountable as this conflict has evolved.

Um… nobody likes to stick it to Reichert more than me, but to be fair to the congressman, it’s hard to blame him for “not asking the tough questions prior to” the March 2003 invasion, when he wasn’t even elected to Congress until 2004. (Considering Tom’s “knowledge of the issues,” you’d think he would’ve known that.) Come to think of it, Reichert wasn’t even a declared Republican at the time, having recently won a second full term to the nonpartisan office of Sheriff. As for Tom, I’m guessing he didn’t have much time to ask those tough questions during the build up to war, as he was too busy campaigning for the state House… as a Republican.

I’m just sayin’….

Home Depot dumps Bill O’Reilly?

It looks like Bill O’Reilly’s crusade to shame corporate America from sponsoring hate-talking media seems to have scored another victory:

Home Depot seems to have had a change of heart. They’re now unequivocally telling their customers that they will not advertise on Bill O’Reilly’s show.

Personally, I tend to shy away from supporting boycotts. But if O’Reilly and his masters at News Corp are intent on waging economic war on the nascent progressive media infrastructure, then it is time to fight fire with fire. And when O’Reilly compares liberal bloggers like me to the Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan, he not only insults the victims of these hate groups, but as David Neiwert points out, he is projecting.

Bill O’Reilly is a hate-talker. FOX News is a hate group. It is time to start letting corporate America know that they will lose the business of mainstream America if they continue to sponsor this sort of proto-fascist hate-mongering.

PROGRAMMING NOTE:
I’m filling in again for Frank Shiers tonight on 710-KIRO. David Neiwert will be my guest in the 10PM hour.

This Week in Bullshit

Kind of abbreviated to deal with real life stuff this week and maybe next.

* If you ask some people, the conflict between Shia and Sunni in Iraq is about to come to an end, just ask the Iraqi parliament. If you ask non-crazy people, you might get a different answer.

* I’m loathe to link to Andrew Sullivan, because he was one of the most vile of the bullshit artists in the lead up to and the first few years of the war. Still, good on him for calling bullshit on the people who can’t even imagine that atrocities happen in war.

*Alberto Gonzales lies to Congress and while it’s nice that the good folks at Sadly No! are calling Bullshit, what might actually get something done is Inslee’s impeachment bill.

*Bill O’Reilly is crazy.

* The Discovery Institutes’s own Patrick Bell is paranoid. I’m hoping that he fills us in on the details of this conspiracy some time soon.

Use this as an open thread

Burner calls out Reichert during recess

Darcy Burner has issued a press release challenging Rep. Dave Reichert to hold a town hall meeting during the August recess to explain to constituents his unwavering support for President Bush’s Iraq war policies:

“Doesn’t Congressman Reichert have the responsibility to stand in front of the people of his district to explain his stand on the War in Iraq? If he can vote more than a dozen times in favor of continuing and even escalating the war, can’t he talk to the voters in person just once about why he believes what he does?

“The voters deserve to hear directly from their elected representative on an issue of this magnitude, especially when the representative disagrees so strongly with the views of his constituents, as Congressman Reichert does,” Burner said. “While he is back in the district for his August vacation, I hope that this time he will not just hide from his constituents as he has done so many times in the past.”

Reichert, who has attacked Democrats for “meddling” and “politicizing” the war, has held only three town hall meetings since first being elected in 2004, and none since his reelection in 2006. Burner has consistently pledged that she would regularly meet with voters in an open and unscripted manner.

I called Reichert’s district office to ask if he had any town hall meetings, forums or public appearances coming up during the August recess, and was told that he has received invitations to events, but that there is currently nothing on his schedule.

Bike Ridin’ II

When Goldy asked if I wanted to help him fill an hour of his radio show Saturday night, I knew I had a good excuse to get back on the saddle (of my bike). Even if that saddle was causing some, um, soreness.

Getting out of Belltown was easy enough, except for the Torchlight Parade. I had to wait to cross, just like the Metro buses who were behind me. When I got the “all clear,” it was a mad dash to get through the intersection before the buses edged me out.

I have a feeling that Dexter Ave N is a bicyclist’s best friend. It was very a convenient route to get to South Lake Union. Which reminds me…

Be VERY careful around construction. (But you already knew that, right?) The streetcar construction made things dicey through Valley Street, and I chickened-out a bit and walked my bike across the crosswalk at Fairview. Better safe than… dead.

The stretch from Hooters up the hill to the studio was a piece of cake. I even had a chance to figure out the whole “shifting” thing. It’s all about gear ratios, right?

Finally, some questions:

For riding at night, or a less-than-optimal lighting conditions, what’s a good strategy for making sure I’m visible to idiot drivers? Are some lights better than others?

Also, while I love love LOVE my Kryptonite U-Lock, the thingy that attaches to my bike that holds my bike lock… it keeps failing me. I tried to secure it per the installation instructions, but it still moves around a bit on me when the U-Lock is attached to it. I tightened it so much that the plastic split. I’m going to have to get another one from those guys. (This’ll be the second one I’ve had to get sent to me special delivery. Those guys at Kryptonite are very understanding.) Anybody else have this problem?

House Republicans (stupidly) play politics with tragedy

State House Republicans are holding a news conference today at 1PM in Federal Way to call for a “special legislative session to address deficiencies in the state’s sex offender laws.”

What a bunch of assholes.

Or at the very least, what a bunch of idiots. I dunno, perhaps their motives are pure, but coming fresh on the heels of Zina Linnik’s murder, it sure does look like a base attempt to exploit the tragedy for political gain — and given the House Republicans’ recent bogus sex offender postcard escapade, you’d have to be an even bigger idiot to instantly give them the benefit of the doubt.

“Our state has some effective sex offender laws on the books – but others are outdated and incapable of properly protecting the public. Our goal is to identify weak laws, discuss them with the public, and collectively propose solutions,” said Priest. “There are thirteen known registered sex offenders living within five miles of where the news conference will be held – which is a public park. In King County, there are more than 400 sex offenders with no known address. This problem is everywhere and the time to act is now – not later. The forum will help all of us gauge where the public stands and take action accordingly.”

[...] “It’s clear that certain sex offenders are falling though the cracks of our system and the public wants answers and solutions – not excuses. People are demanding action now – and they deserve nothing less. That’s why we are creating a legislative package that we think the public will support,” said House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt.

Yeah, well… we could shoot them all. Cut off their balls. Make every sex offense — no matter how minor, no matter what the circumstances — a mandatory life sentence. No doubt, that’s the kind of “legislative package … the public will support.” And that’s about as comprehensive and thoughtful a package as you’re going to get in a politically charged, two-day special session, coming on the heels of this brutal murder.

Of course, the Republicans know they’re not going to get a special session, and so their grandstanding on this issue is all the more offensive. Most people looked at Zina’s murder and saw a terrible, heart wrenching tragedy. But like our good friend Stefan, the House Republican caucus looked at the murder and immediately saw a political opportunity.

Former WSRP chair Chris Vance recently offered some suggestions to state Republicans on how they might turn around their political fortunes, but he missed the most obvious piece of advice: stop being such a bunch of conniving, mean-spirited, ham-fisted assholes. Playing politics with tax cuts is one thing, but playing politics with the sexual assault and murder of a little girl is simply despicable.

“The David Goldstein Show” tonight on Newsradio 710-KIRO

Tonight on “The David Goldstein Show”, 7PM to 10PM on Newsradio 710-KIRO:

7PM: Should pharmacists be required to, um, you know… do their job?
New state rules went into effect this week requiring pharmacies to fill valid prescriptions, and several pharmacists immediately sued, claiming dispensing some forms of birth control would violate their religious beliefs. NARAL/Pro-Choice Washington Executive Direct Karen Cooper joins me for the hour to discuss this and other threats to women’s reproductive rights.

8PM: Should felons have the right to vote?
The state Supreme Court this week upheld WA’s felon voter laws, some of the most restrictive in the nation. Aaron Kaplan from the ACLU and Assistant Secretary of State Nick Handy join me to discuss what impact of laws that have permanently disenfranchised over 160,000 Washingtonians and one-quarter of the state’s African American men.

9PM: TBA

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

PROGRAMMING NOTE:
I’ll be filling in for Frank Shiers this week, Monday through Friday, 9PM to 1AM. Join me Monday at 9PM when Brian Robinson from Save Our Sonics, and Chris Van Dyk from Citizens for More Important Things join me to discuss their strange new alliance.

Times endorses Bill Sherman for County Prosecutor

At first I was pleasantly shocked when I read the headline “Sherman gets nod“… but then I realized they were only talking about the Democratic primary:

Sherman has worked in the prosecutor’s office since 2003. He was a deputy prosecuting attorney in its Domestic Violence Unit before going on leave to conduct his campaign. He has prosecuted sexual-assault cases, gun crimes and juvenile crimes, and says he will focus attention on repeat offenders involved in drugs or domestic violence, will overhaul the fraud division and expand the offerings under victims’ services.

Sherman is smart and well-spoken, though in a race among lawyers to become King County’s top prosecutor, being well-spoken is expected.

The Times editorial board is nothing if not establishmentarian, and insists on leaning Republican despite being the largest paper in this deep blue region of the state (ergo its ridiculous endorsement of Mike McGavick.) And you can’t get much more Republican or establishment than the late Norm Maleng’s 17-year chief of staff, Dan Satterberg — so I’ll streak naked across Frank Blethen’s front lawn if Sherman actually captures the Times’ endorsement in the general election. (Notice how carefully the Times avoided providing Sherman’s media people a single, usable subjective quote?)

Still, I suppose nice words in July make it all the more difficult to turn nasty in October. Difficult, but not impossible.

“The David Goldstein Show” tonight on Newsradio 710-KIRO

Tonight on “The David Goldstein Show”, 7PM to 10PM on Newsradio 710-KIRO:

7PM: The Stranger Hour with ECB
The Stranger’s Erica C. Barnett joins me for the hour for a round-up of the week in state and local politics, including bike plans, nightlife licenses, city council races and more.

8PM: TBA

9PM: What’s up with Will?
Fellow HA blogger Will Kelley-Kamp joins me for the hour for a no holds barred discussion of local and national current events.

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