by Lee, 07/31/2007, 11:43 PM

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. :)

by Goldy, 07/31/2007, 6:38 PM

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).

by Goldy, 07/31/2007, 4:48 PM

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.

by Goldy, 07/31/2007, 2:10 PM

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’….

by Goldy, 07/31/2007, 10:50 AM

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.

by Carl, 07/31/2007, 5:25 AM

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

by Goldy, 07/30/2007, 8:40 PM

I’m filling in all week for Frank Shiers, Monday through Friday, from 9PM to 1AM on Newsradio 710-KIRO. On the 9PM hour tonight Brian Robinson from Save Our Sonics and Chris Van Dyk from Citizens for More Important Things join me to talk about their odd alliance to keep the Sonics in Seattle.

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

by Goldy, 07/30/2007, 3:46 PM

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.

by Lee, 07/30/2007, 1:35 PM

Congressman Inslee is going to introduce a bill to kick off the impeachment process in the House for Attorney General Gonzales.

On the subject of Gonzales, here’s a good CNN.com flashback.

by Will, 07/30/2007, 12:58 PM

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?

by Goldy, 07/30/2007, 8:20 AM

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.

by Goldy, 07/29/2007, 5:23 PM

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.

by Goldy, 07/29/2007, 12:18 PM

by Goldy, 07/29/2007, 9:01 AM

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.

by Goldy, 07/28/2007, 6:46 PM

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).

by Lee, 07/28/2007, 10:49 AM

Iraq:

The extent of the deterioration in US-Saudi relations was exposed for the first time today when Washington accused Riyadh of working to undermine the Iraqi government.

The Bush administration sent a warning to Saudi Arabia, until this year one of its closest allies, to stop undermining the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki.

The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and the defence secretary, Robert Gates, are scheduled to visit Jeddah next week. A diplomat in Washington said of the two governments: “There is a lot of bad blood between the two.”

Saudi Arabia:

The Bush administration is preparing to ask Congress to approve arms sales totaling $20 billions over the next decade for Saudi Arabia and its neighbours, The New York Times reported in Saturday editions.

Coming as some U.S. officials contend that the Saudi government is not helping the situation in Iraq, the proposal for advanced weapons for Saudi Arabia has stoked concern in Israel and among its U.S. backers, the Times said. The package of advanced weaponry includes advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades for its fighters and new naval vessels.

Israel:

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abul Gheit said Saturday that Arab countries were waiting for a clear indication from Israel that it was interested in discussing peace with its neighbors.

Speaking to Al-Ahram newspaper, Abul Gheit said an Arab peace-for-land initiative that offers Israel normalization with the Arab world in return for a full withdrawal from land occupied during the 1967 Israeli-Arab war was aimed at establishing a Palestinian state through negotiations.

Abul Gheit said opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu told him during talks in Jerusalem earlier this week that he was not opposed to the initiative. Netanyahu was said to be opposed to the Arab peace plan because he redeemed it dangerous to Israel’s security.

I know what you’re saying right now. Wait a second, Lee, that last item doesn’t sound so bad. It’s not. Here’s some more details from occasional neocon supporter Amir Taheri:

The plan is the brainchild of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah who unveiled its basic principles almost five years ago. At the time, Israel dismissed the plan as nothing but a public relations exercise by the Saudis who wished to divert attention from the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Five years later, Israel’s President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert admit that the plan is a serious diplomatic proposal, and should be treated with something other than disdain.

The lesson to be learned here is that the people who have been saying all along that the Arab world can’t be trusted in the peace process have never really understood the real motivations of the leaders in that part of the world. September 11 didn’t just change how we perceive terrorism. It changed how the leaders in the Arab world saw it as well. It was no longer a local problem for them, it became a much more serious liability. And the Saudis, despite their many faults, understood that they were entering a time where they might not be able to use their longstanding trump card, antagonism of Israel, as much as they use to, if at all.

In 2002, when the Saudis first unveiled this proposal, Dick Cheney visited the Middle East with his own mission, to convince the Saudis and others to be on our side in the invasion of Iraq. At the time, two of the most prominent neocons, Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol, slammed Cheney’s efforts:

Nor is it entirely clear what message Cheney delivered to his Arab friends, even in private. We had hoped Cheney would approach the Saudi royal family with the same tough choice the administration presented Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf a few months ago: You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists. You decide.

Instead, Cheney seems to have avoided putting the Arabs on the spot. He told Arab leaders both publicly and privately that the United States had made no decisions regarding Iraq. This relieved the Arab leaders of the need to make a choice, at least for now. We have no doubt that Cheney made clear America’s grave concerns about Iraqi weapons programs, and he described the kind of inspections regime the United States wants in Iraq. But this was hardly news to Arab leaders. Probably the most surprising aspect of Cheney’s message, to those leaders, was that the United States still didn’t know what it wanted to do. As the vice president himself put it at a press conference with President Bush this past Thursday, “I went out there to consult with them, to seek their advice and counsel to be able to report back to the president on how we might best proceed to deal with that mutual problem.” Funny, that’s just what Warren Christopher said on his failed trip to Europe.

The Arab leaders, meanwhile, had their own game plan for the Cheney trip, and they stuck to it with impressive unity and determination. On the eve of Cheney’s arrival, Arab officials outlined their strategy to the Washington Post: “They intend to press the United States hard . . . to shelve any plan for a military strike against Iraq and to concentrate instead on [the Saudi peace plan] and on easing the violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.” The goal was not to listen to American plans, but to change them, to force the United States to “re-examine” its policies in the Middle East. As one Saudi official told the Post, “The U.S. is concerned with an old issue, Iraq. They are making it a priority when it should not be. . . . Iraq can afford to be delayed. The other issue cannot.” In the tiny United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan told Cheney he was against a strike on Iraq and demanded that the Bush administration “stop the grave and continued Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.” Just about every other Arab leader told Cheney much the same thing.

So while we’re now stuck in Iraq, spending billions of dollars to arm the country that’s trying to overthrow a government that we’re spending billions of dollars to prop up, the rest of the Arab world is still trying to continue moving forward on an Israeli peace proposal that all the very serious people mistakenly thought was just a ruse. And it should be obvious to even the most casual observer that if we’d just listened to the leaders in the region in 2002 and focused on solving the problem that they wanted to solve, rather than assuming that they had ulterior motives, we’d be in a much better state of affairs today.

by Goldy, 07/28/2007, 8:11 AM

It took a Democratic Congress to finally implement most of the remaining 9/11 Commission proposals.

Congress gave final approval Friday to legislation that requires tighter screening of air and sea cargo, and shifts more federal anti-terrorism grants to high-risk areas such as New York and Washington, delivering on a pledge by Democrats to implement additional recommendations of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks.

Voting 371-40, the House followed the Senate, which voted 85-8 Thursday night, to send the measure to the White House…

But…

… after dropping a controversial provision that would have extended union protection to 45,000 federal airport screeners. That language had prompted a veto threat from President Bush.

That’s right. President Bush would have vetoed a vital Homeland Security bill if it extended union rights to airport screeners. Because nothing threatens our national security more than organized labor.

by Darryl, 07/28/2007, 12:10 AM

Rep. Jim McDermott speaks…and offers silence:

(Also: The Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza is up.)

by Will, 07/27/2007, 7:23 PM

Don Ward:

Odds are the Sound Transit/RTID proposal is going to be shot down this November under the weight of its own hubris. In 2008 (or sooner) Republican candidates need to all get together in one big ceremony, focusing on one big issue, relieving traffic congestion, with one big list of transportation priorities they will pass when elected. And pound it over and over again.

It needs to be a list of specific projects that people see and understand. The 405/167 interchange, 520 floating bridge, adding lanes to I-5 in Everett. (Others can chime in here) Just as long as there is some funding for multimodal transportation options – increased bus service, ride-share, carpool, etc. – it should be a winner.

Don hasn’t read the Sound Transit/RTID package. How do I know?

Because all that stuff is in it. Whether it’s 520, 167, 405, more buses, more carpool lanes, more ridesharing, it’s already in the package. Don hasn’t read the package, but you can.

If you want to know what’s in the Sound Transit/RTID package, you can look here, here, or here.

Don wants to wait until 2008 to address these critical roads projects. If the 2007 ST/RTID package fails at the polls, don’t expect to see another ballot measure for four more years. I seriously doubt a single lawmaker will want to go to voters on a “roads only” package in a presidential/gubernatorial election year.

Besides, Don doesn’t know his history. Referendum 51 failed miserably at the polls because lefty environmental groups and anti-tax activists opposed it. The whole reason Sound Transit and RTID were joined was to make sure the asphalt guys and the transit guys had to support it! That’s why Reagan Dunn and Shawn Bunney, both conservatives, are supporting the package. Meanwhile, light rail is planned to go north to Lynnwood, south to Tacoma, and east to Redmond (or at least Overlake, depending on how much money has to be spent in Bellevue).

Instead of supporting a package that does the things he wants done, Don would rather scrap it for a plan that’ll never happen. The GOP base will never acquiesce to more taxes to fix roads and build transit infrastructure. They don’t have to.

Because the voters will.

by Goldy, 07/27/2007, 3:15 PM

Vice President Dick Cheney will have his pacemaker battery replaced on Saturday. To replace the battery, the entire pacemaker must be removed, requiring minor surgery.

Under the terms of the 25th Amendment, President George Bush will temporarily assume command while Cheney is under anesthesia.