by Goldy, 02/29/2008, 11:38 PM

We’ll never know exactly how much money Dave Reichert raised from First Lady Laura Bush’s $500 per plate Medina fundraiser — because quite frankly, Reichert and his accountants don’t want us to know — but the Darcy Burner campaign is quite a bit more transparent. We set out to generate a modest 250 new donations in response to this second Bush funder, and proceeded to blow past our target: 432 donations for a total of $21,879, over just three days. Once again, amazing.

Republicans have typically outspent Democrats for years, because they simply have more rich people on their side, and have long been the party that ideologically favored the wealthy. But the growing strength of the netroots is beginning to even the playing field, leveraging the resources of the many to balance the money of the few. The First Lady may have raised more money for Reichert on Wednesday than we did for Burner, but we generated more than three times their turnout, proving once again that there are more of us than there are of them.

Meanwhile, over on the right wing blogs, they generally don’t even bother trying to raise money for their candidates. I’m guessing, it’s because they can’t.

So thank you all for your generous support. And if you didn’t contribute this time around, well, it’s never too late:

Help Darcy Burn Bush: $
by Lee, 02/29/2008, 6:58 PM

by Will, 02/29/2008, 2:30 PM

Dino Rossi wasn’t a very good legislator:

In 1997-98 – He sponsored 19 bills and he got 1 passed.

In 1999-2000 – He sponsored 14 bills and got 2 passed.

The 2 he got passed? Senate Resolution 8683 which “applauded the dedication and work of all SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) members.”

And the other was Resolution 8720, which recognized the “We the People Program.”

In 2001-2002 – He was 2/18. Rossi introduced 18 bills got 1 passed. One of those bills was another recognition for the “We the People Program.”

In 2003-2004 – He was 5/32. But two of those bills that passed had to do with the operating budget… you know, when he was “Following The Governor’s Lead”? So really he was 3 for 32 that year.

So in total what is Rossi’s legislative success rate? What does he have to show for seven years in Olympia? What track record to we have to go on when he says he is going to shake things up? Eighty-three bills introduced and seven that passed.

That is an 8% success rate. Pretty good for the football coach at the “Secondary School for Hemophiliacs,” but not so great for a legislator.

by Goldy, 02/29/2008, 1:50 PM

I got an anonymous tip earlier today, claiming a “100% reliable source” within the US Air Force let slip that Boeing has won the lucrative $40 billion refueling tanker contract. I didn’t run with it because, well, it was an anonymous tip — not just anonymous to you, but anonymous to me — so it could have been any joker. And good thing I didn’t run with it too, because now the Seattle Times reports that Airbus has won the tanker deal, citing “a respected and well-connected defense analyst close to the Air Force tanker deal.”

Man, that sucks. Yet another poke in the eye from the Bush administration.

UPDATE:
From the P-I:

In its quest for new tankers, the Air Force in 2002 negotiated a $23 billion deal with Boeing for a hundred 767 tankers, but it quickly came under fire in Congress as a financial handout for Boeing. The critics were led by Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was on the Senate Armed Services Committee at the time and is now the likely Republican presidential nominee.

Gee, thanks Sen. McCain. Maybe some folks on the 767 assembly line will remember that next November as they ponder their future.

by Will, 02/29/2008, 1:32 PM

Big head, little arms:

mccaintrexarms.JPG

by Goldy, 02/29/2008, 8:55 AM

I’m filling in for Dave Ross this week (and next week, March 4th through 6th) on News/Talk 710-KIRO. Here’s the show as it’s shaping up so far:

9AM: Are we becoming prisoners to the War on Drugs?
According to a new study by the Pew Center on the States, 1 in 100 Americans are now behind bars, the highest of any Western nation. Here in WA state, we now spend 55 cents on corrections for every dollar spent on higher education, compared to only 23 cents on the dollar only two decades ago. We’ll ask the question whether this dramatic shift in priority is really making us safer, and how much of this cost is due to our so-called War on Drugs? But first, we’ll chat with Seattle P-I political columnist Joel Connelly reemerging Democratic prospects in formerly one-party Republican states like Alaska, and what lesson this might hold for Democrats in their virtually one-party strongholds like Seattle.

10AM: Will Tim Eyman call in and defend his for-profit initiative business?
Once again efforts to impose transparency and accountability on professional signature gatherers were met with howls of outrage from professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman and his enablers on our state’s editorial boards, and once again minor reform legislation died quickly in the legislature. Joining me for the hour will be Kristina Wilfore, Executive Director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, an organization that seeks to reinvigorate the initiative process while safeguarding it from corruption and fraud. Eyman, who rarely turns down an opportunity to use the media for self-promotion has yet to respond to our calls and emails, but we’re still hoping he’ll have the balls to engage me. We’ll see. He never agreed to come on my show, so I don’t see why he’d talk to me when I’m subbing for Dave.

11AM: Budget crisis? Potential tax hikes? Then why are we still giving away billions in dubious tax breaks?
After the Seattle P-I’s Chris McGann exposed a $1 billion tax giveaway to Microsoft and Yahoo that was quietly making its way through the Legislature, the bill dropped dead in its tracks, but this is only one of the tens of billions of dollars of special interest tax breaks, loopholes and exemptions that drain state coffers, reducing services and shifting the cost of government to the rest of us. Some of these tax “preferences” might make economic sense, though there is currently no audit process to determine if they are delivering on their promises. Marilyn Watkins of the Economic Opportunity Institute joins me for the hour to discuss the extent of the problem, and what we can do to bring greater accountability and efficiency to our tax system.

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

by Will, 02/28/2008, 8:38 PM

I wish the kids at The Stranger cared half as much about light rail as they do car sharing.

I’m a Zipcar member too, and I’ve had plenty of access to cars since their switch-over. But they’re a private company trying to make money in this dog-eat-dog world. I feel bad for all of you balloon-headed PCC members who got your special rate eliminated, or you college kids who lost your special UW rate…

You got issues, I got tissues.

Ten and a half bucks an hour is not a sin against God. It’s still cheaper than buying a car, fixing it, and parking it. I loved Flexcar, and I like Zipcar too. That said, carless folks aren’t entitled to car sharing at cheap rates any more than folks with cars are entitled to cheap gas and parking. If you don’t like your options, do a couple of things:

1.) Expand mass transit in the city.

2.) Start a non-profit alternative JUST for Capitol Hill.

3.) Buy a plug-in hybrid for the neighborhood, and then charge people to use it.

If Zipcar is living too high on the hog, then maybe they need competition.

by Lee, 02/28/2008, 7:40 PM

Some links to share…

Thanks to the extraordinary success of the drug war, for the first time in this nation’s history, more than 1% of Americans are in prison. Dominic Holden and Eli Sanders add their thoughts.

Washblog has some thoughtful posts on the same topic, including the frustration from the state’s black community over House Bill 2712 and the real effect of shipping prisoners out of state.

Dan Kirkdorffer posts about Dave Reichert and the environment.

Earlier this week, I responded to a column in a Virginia newspaper that attacked those who are demanding answers about the botched drug raid that left Chesapeake, VA Detective Jarrod Shivers dead. The man who shot him, Ryan Frederick, was incorrectly targeted by the police based upon faulty info from an informant, but Frederick may still face capital murder charges, even though most of his neighbors believe him when he says he thought he was in danger for his life. His supporters held a rally at the jail last weekend.

Finally, this week’s Birds Eye View Contest is up.

by Will, 02/28/2008, 3:00 PM

…because he has little T-Rex arms.

mccain13.jpg

T-Rex arms, with bloaty, pasty sun-damaged skin. A sure thing, America!

by Will, 02/28/2008, 1:19 PM

Dino Rossi takes credit for the 2003 state budget:

Ultimately, Dino became a leader on state budget issues and was the Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee in 2003 when the state faced the largest dollar deficit in history.

In this leadership position, Dino worked across party lines to balance the state budget without raising taxes, while still protecting the most vulnerable.

…but wasn’t he just following the Governor’s lead?

The Republican budget has much in common with the all-cuts plan that Democratic Gov. Gary Locke unveiled in December. In fact, Rossi opened a press briefing yesterday with a PowerPoint presentation titled: “Following the Governor’s Lead.”

So when some liberal interest groups attack Rossi’s 2003 budget for cutting teacher COLAs and poor kids off Basic Health, how far will some go to apologize for it?

Funny thing, they refer to a Rossi budget, rather than a Rossi-Locke-Chopp-Reardon budget.

If the budget ain’t Rossi’s, then he can’t take credit for it. If he takes credit for the budget, then he gets some of the blame as well. It would be cool if the press looked in to this. Until then, more flip floppin’ from Dino is expected.

by Darryl, 02/28/2008, 11:55 AM

Bush’s new environmental initiative…


Had enough? You know what to do….

Help Darcy Burn Bush: $
by Goldy, 02/28/2008, 8:44 AM

I’m filling in for Dave Ross this morning (and through March 6) on News/Talk 710-KIRO. Here’s the show as it’s shaping up so far:

9AM: Are our elected officials hanging on too long?
In this morning’s Seattle Times, editorial columnist Joni Balter complains about the “stacked up” skies and crowded runways of our local political landscape, where our elected officials keep running for reelection, leaving little opportunity for younger leaders to move on up. We’ll debate the pros and cons of seniority and experience versus new blood, after a brief political roundup.

10AM: Are you predictably irrational?
Why do we splurge on a fancy restaurant yet cut coupons for a can of soup? Why do we go back for seconds (or thirds) at an all-you-can-eat buffet, even though we’re uncomfortably full? And why on earth do folks pay $4.15 for a cup of coffee when a few years ago they used to pay about a buck? (I don’t lump myself into that category.) Author Dan Ariely joins us for the hour to talk about his book, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.

11AM: How do you motivate kids to do well in school?
All the money in the world and all the latest education reforms won’t amount to hill of beans toward educating our kids, if our kids simply aren’t motivated to learn. In Brooklyn, 2,500 middle school students are receiving free cell phones with 130 free minutes, and additional minutes awarded based on good behavior, homework, test scores and grades… this in a district that bans cell phones in school. Are free minutes or monetary rewards the key to inspiring students these days… or is good old fashioned fear of a crappy job and a crappier life more than enough motivation. I’ll be asking you how you motivate your kids to succeed to school, but first we’ll take a brief look at the so-called “Colbert Bounce.

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

SHAMELESS ASK:
The national blogs are still kicking our ass. We need 20 more local donors to hold up our end of the bargain in support of our candidate, Darcy Burner. Just $5 or $10 is enough to send the message that Dave Reichert won’t be rewarded for his loyalty to the Bush administration, so if you haven’t already given, please give today.

Help Darcy Burn Bush: $
by Goldy, 02/27/2008, 10:48 PM

Thanks to all of you who’ve contributed to Darcy Burner during this current fund drive. Yesterday we set out to respond to First Lady Laura Bush’s $500 per person fundraiser for Dave Reichert by matching the White House donor for donor. We started with a target of 250 donors, and in less than 48 hours have smashed through that to a current tally of 320 donors and over $15,000. By comparison, a birdie tells me that about 125 cars were parked at the event in Medina today, mostly with single occupants. (Of course.) So once again we have proven that there are more of us than there are of them.

Great job, but then, as Joan wrote over on Daily Kos:

Of course, if you wanted to make it an even 500 donations….

I like the way Joan thinks. Let’s extend this another day and go for 500 donations nationwide. And more importantly, don’t let those bastards at Daily Kos and Open Left do it all on their own. They’ve generated considerably more contributions than HA has thus far, and while sure, they’re a helluva lot bigger than we are, damn it, Darcy is our candidate.

I’m not asking for much, just $5 or $10, whatever you can afford. It’s a matter of pride. So please give today.

Help Darcy Burn Bush: $
by Goldy, 02/27/2008, 5:59 PM

Thanks to Darryl and his personal obsessions (and demons) it looks like we’re podcasting again from Drinking Liberally. Sitting around the table last night was Joel Connelly, Will Kelley-Kamp, Daniel Kirkdorffer, Carl Ballard and me. Joyful Republican bashing ensued. You may download the podcast (43MB, 47 minutes) for your time shifting pleasure, or listen to it here:

I sound a little tired (not drunk) at first, but don’t worry, we all get back into the swing of things after a while.

We’re working to get the old Podcasting Liberally site up to date, and hope to make this a regular feature once again.

by Goldy, 02/27/2008, 1:32 PM

I know Dave Reichert and his buddies at the Seattle Times would like to present him as a “conscience driven independent,” but exactly how independent he is can be measured by the degree to which the Bush White House has prioritized his reelection. When President Bush made his first fundraising visit of the cycle on behalf of a Republican incumbent, he flew cross-country to raise money for his friend and ally, Dave Reichert. And now that First Lady Laura Bush is making her first appearance on behalf of an incumbent, she too has followed her husband’s path.

That’s Dave Reichert — the Bush’s favorite congressman — and while you can’t blame him for happily sitting down to a $500 per person lunch with the First Lady at an exclusive Medina residence, he can’t blame us for doing our best to make him choke on it. And the best way to make him and his campaign gag on yet another White House funder, is to match this event donor for donor.

That’s why we’ve set a target of 250 new donors to Darcy Burner in response to today’s event, and the good news is that we’re already halfway there. The bad news is, we’re only halfway there. So we need your help. I just donated yet again to Darcy’s campaign and I’m asking you to do the same. Anything you give will be appreciated; even a few bucks can make a difference.

They have bigger checkbooks, but there’s more than us than there are them. Help prove it by giving today.

Help Darcy Burn Bush: $
by Darryl, 02/27/2008, 11:50 AM

A few days ago, I analyzed a match-up between Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire and Dino Rossi. The analysis, using the most recent polling data, offered that:

…if the election were held today, we would expect Gregoire to have about a 97% chance of winning the election.

Today, SurveyUSA released the result of a new Washington state poll on Gregoire’s approval. The poll of 600 adults gives Gregoire a 51% approval versus a 44% disapproval, and 5% who are unsure.

Gregoire does best in the Seattle metropolitan region with 54% approval to 43% disapproval. But even in Eastern Washington, she has a positive spread: 49% who approve to 45% who disapprove.

Fully 75% of Democrats approve of the Governor, but one out of three Republicans also approve of her performance. One seemingly concerning finding is among “independents:” 38% approve and 57% disapprove. But consider this: only 27% of those polled identified as a Republican, whereas 30% said “independent,” and 38% identified as a Democrat. It’s a safe bet that the “independent” category is inflated by a number of right-leaning folks who are ashamed to call themselves a Republican.

After a highly contentious, close election, followed by a multi-million dollar Republican dis-information campaign (a.k.a. the election contest), Gregoire’s approval–disapproval spread started out strongly negative, and remained in negative territory for her first year in office. Then, after a 6 months period of nearly even approval (Jan 2006 until June 2006), Gregoire emerged, permanently, from negative territory. For the past 20 months, her approval has remained relatively stable, averaging 51% approval to 44% disapproval.

To summarize, Gregoire’s approval numbers are stable, in the right direction, and typically over 50%. In recent head-to-head polls against Rossi, Gregoire is always coming out on top.

The take-home message: Gregoire’s reelection campaign is starting out in a position of strength.

(Cross posted at Hominid Views.)

by Goldy, 02/27/2008, 7:31 AM

I’m filling in for Dave Ross this morning (and through March 6) on News/Talk 710-KIRO. Here’s the show as it’s shaping up so far:

9AM: Q&A with Gov. Christine Gregoire
Gov. Christine Gregoire was in the other Washington this week, and she joins us by phone for the first half hour. Topics of discussion will include the imminent announcement of the Air Force’s new refueling tanker contract, and how to respond if it doesn’t go to Boeing, her threat to sue the federal government over Hanford cleanup, the state of negotiations over federal funding for the State Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and the state budget battle in the context of reduced revenue forecasts. Later, KIRO’s business correspondent Jason Brooks will give us an update on the tanker contract and Microsoft’s record $1.3 billion EU fine.

10AM: The race for the White House… is the campaign about to turn dirty?
With one week left to go before the Ohio and Texas primaries possibly settle the Democratic nomination, strategist, pundit and blogger James Boyce joins us again for a recap of last night’s debate, and an analysis of the current state of the campaign.

11AM: Is “No Child Left Behind” making our kids stupid?
Our national obsession with standardized tests as the key to education reform may have spurred marginal improvements in reading and math (or maybe not) but a new survey suggests it has done so at the expense of literature and history. Fewer than half of teens knew when the Civil War was fought, and only a quarter correctly identified Adolf Hitler. And on literature, teens fared even worse. Is our emphasis on the WASL and other standardized tests impoverishing the educations of already impoverished students, or is a liberal arts education an unaffordable luxury in a taxpayer-funded public school?

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

SHAMELESS ASK:
Just a reminder, First Lady Laura Bush is in Medina today to raise money for Rep. Dave Reichert, her first fundraiser for a House incumbent this election cycle. As Darcy Burner repeatedly points out, “there are more of us than there are of them”, so let’s prove. We’re in the middle of an netroots fundraiser seeking to match the First Lady donor for donor, and we’re only about a third of the way to our 250 donor target. So if you haven’t given already, please give today, and send the message to Reichert that he won’t be rewarded for his loyalty to the Bush administration.

Help Darcy Burn Bush: $
by Darryl, 02/26/2008, 5:13 PM

DLBottleJoin us at the Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally for an evening of politics under the influence. We meet at 8:00 pm at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E—some of us show up a little early for dinner.

Tonight’s theme song is inspired by Gen. Casey, who testified before a Senate panel today that the Army is under serious strain and is headed for a train wreck if troop deployments are not shortened: Casey Jones by the Grateful Dead.

There are rumors that the podcast will return to Drinking Liberally this evening.

If you find yourself in the Tri-Cities area this evening, check out McCranium for the local Drinking Liberally . Otherwise, check out the Drinking Liberally web site for dates and times of a chapter near you.

by Lee, 02/26/2008, 4:16 PM

The story of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and how he ended up in prison is an extraordinary story that I haven’t been paying close enough attention to until recently. 60 Minutes dug into the story over the weekend (video here) and makes it clear what can happen when people who are supposed to be carrying out justice are instead pursuing political ends (and for reasons that are still somewhat unclear, the broadcast of 60 Minutes was blacked out in parts of Alabama for just the Siegelman story). The whole thing is chilling, and Larisa Alexandrovna has a post that rounds up the reporting done at Raw Story and elsewhere.

by Goldy, 02/26/2008, 1:23 PM

Really. I’m finally doing the yard work I’ve been putting off for over a year, and I need to borrow a chainsaw. So if you’ll be at Drinking Liberally tonight, and you have a chainsaw you’re willing to lend me, please bring it with you. I promise not to mass murder anybody. (But if I do, don’t worry, Dave Reichert will catch me 18 or so years from now.)

Other than that, consider this an open thread.