by Darryl, 05/31/2011, 6:29 PM

Not to be outdone by Rep. Weiner, or Canadian politician George Lepp or this pervert from Redmond, or this unbalanced character near Skyway, or this resourceful Bangladeshi woman, Dick Cheney gave his own seven gun salute to the troops for Memorial day when he tweeted an old newspaper photo. It was from a Memorial day wiener roast of the past.

You might say, from Cheney’s glory days….


“Fuck Weiner…. He’s a goddamn whining amateur, isn’t he?” growled Cheney from his undisclosed Twittering location.

“The art is in doing the show without everyone noticing….”, came the next tweet, followed by, “…and making a big goddamn deal out of it. He loses.”

The former VP launched another salvo with, “I win on subtly…seriously, if you get a ‘-gate’ suffix, YOU LOSE!”

With that, Cheney tweeted a link to the Weiner photo:

“I win on dimensions, no? And you’d better agree with me @Breitbart or I’ll shoot you in the face. LOL!”

Shortly thereafter Cheney either realized or was informed that he was twittering instead of PMing.

The tweets vanished…seemingly flushing right down that hole sitting between the first and the second branches of government.

A few minutes later, Cheney’s final message of Memorial Day was tweeted.

“Goddamn Scooter hacked my account!”

by Carl, 05/31/2011, 1:43 PM

This piece on Jim Tressel is pretty amazing. I’m not a big college football person: If I wanted to watch a violent corrupt game whose best years are in the rear view, I’d follow boxing because at least they pay their athletes something. But when a game is on on Saturday, I don’t care about any of that.

And now, we’ll hear about how everybody does it. And we’ll hear how it’s just what you have to do to keep competitive. But like those sorts of excuses in politics, I don’t buy it. If we hold corrupt people accountable, and we take away some of the incentives for corruption, this doesn’t have to happen.

Also like in politics, people substitute other people’s piety for judgement. Oh, he’s a Christian, he can’t be stalking men’s rooms for sex. Oh he’s a Christian, he can’t be a corrupt coach. But the truth is that the most and the least religious people are perfectly capable of disgusting things. If I had to bet, I’d say he probably believes the Christian stuff he preaches. I obviously don’t know, but people have a way of compartmentalizing.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this rambling piece. It was just supposed to be a one sentence link in an open thread, but I’m still writing. I guess to sort of make it local, we’ve all seen the decline of the Huskies since Rick Neuheisel’s recruiting violations, and I can’t imagine that Ohio State won’t suffer as well. Doesn’t really seem worth it, but I don’t suppose they thought they’d get caught.

by Darryl, 05/31/2011, 11:30 AM

The Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally meets tonight, and we will be celebrating the 8th anniversary of Drinking Liberally. It all began in a bar in New York…now there are 228 chapters of Drinking Liberally and Living Liberally worldwide.

Please join us for a pint and a toast. We meet at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. Starting time is 8:00 pm, but a few folks show up around 7:00 pm for dinner.

Speaking of toast, I can just imagine this clip as the intro to a Palin-on-wheels video with the Lynyrd Skynyrd song That Smell as the sound track:

Can’t make it tonight? The Tacoma Chapter of Drinking Liberally meets on Thursday (June 2nd) at 7:00 pm at the Hub Restaurant, 203 Tacoma Ave S.

(Note…this IS an open thread.)

by Darryl, 05/30/2011, 10:05 AM

Crosscut’s Ted Van Dyk writes:

As it happened, I was in Prescott, Arizona over Memorial Day weekend and thus got a first-hand view of the current version of the Sarah Palin Show.

Yes…Van Dyk “happened” to be in Arizona. When he eventually gets around to writing about Sarah Palin, he makes a remarkable observation (my emphasis):

A friend of ours, the insurgent/reform candidate for mayor, running against the good-ole-boy GOP incumbent, approached Palin and asked that she sign her mayoral petititon.

Palin did so (even though, as a non-resident, her signature would of course be disqualified).

Sure…as a non-resident, her signature would have to be disqualified, but wasn’t this an act of election fraud?!?

Here it is…under title 16 of the Arizona Revised Statutes:

16-1020. Signing of petitions; violation; classification

A person knowingly signing any name other than his own to a nomination petition or a petition for formation, alteration or dissolution of a special district [...] or who is not at the time of signing a qualified elector entitled to vote at the election initiated by the petition, is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.

For years Republicans have engaged in fetishistic hand-wringing over voter fraud, even as numerous investigations find little evidence of actual voter fraud. Its a good issue for Republicans, because under the guise of “election integrity” they can systematically disenfranchise, en masse, voters who tend to vote Democratic. And, man, have they been disenfranchising voters. (Apparently, blocking people entitled to vote from exercising their right isn’t an equally important integrity issue.)

So I hope Republican voters will stay true to their fetish strategy convictions and express shock and outrage over Sarah Palin’s demonstrably blatant act of election fraud. If so, one might expect enraged calls for her prosecution, if not angry mobs chanting something about a hanging.

As for me…I am truly shocked beyond belief over this matter.

Breaking news from Ted Van Dyk?!?

by Lee, 05/29/2011, 9:28 PM

- This Thursday, June 2, multiple former world leaders, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, and others will be holding a press conference to release a report and call for a change in global drug policies. The group will be advocating that we move away from criminalization and begin exploring ways to regulate markets for currently illegal drugs.

- That message is one that’s needed quite badly here in the U.S. where the Obama Administration is still failing in its promises to put science over ideology when it comes to the medical uses of marijuana.

- Locally, State Representative Roger Goodman is planning a press conference and rally to demand that the Obama Administration back off and let Washington regulate medical marijuana. The press conference will be at Green Hope Patient Network at 15021 Aurora Ave. N in Shoreline.

- I’m continuing to do a lot of work with Sensible Washington, trying to get as much done before I start up at a new job in June. The group is still working hard to get I-1149 on the ballot. This week, I’m traveling to Sunnyside to speak with some farmers about hemp. And I’m also working with some other Sensible Washington folks to put together a video about the abuses of the WestNET drug task force, who’ve left a trail of destruction across Kitsap County. Much of the abuses out there have focused on longtime officer Roy Alloway, who has now been indicted for illegal gun sales.

by Lee, 05/29/2011, 12:00 PM

Last week’s contest was won by Dan. It was the Bonnet Carré Spillway, just west of New Orleans.

Here’s this week’s contest, just a random location somewhere in the world. Good luck!

by Goldy, 05/29/2011, 10:09 AM

Job 3:2
He said:


by Darryl, 05/28/2011, 5:30 PM

A lot of language is being thrown around on the topic of political prostitution lately. It is, of course, metaphorical and largely hyperbolic.

The real thing is much more disturbing than anything that happens in the political arena….

by Darryl, 05/27/2011, 11:42 PM

The Rapture experiences technical difficulties.

Sam Seder: suggests rape is like getting a flat tire.

Mark Fiore: Doin’ time.

Life’s Been Good To Him, So Far:

Jon and John: Fixing the U.S. Pakistan relationship.

President Obama addresses the British Parliament.

Ed Shultz Calls Some Right-wing Whore a “Right-wing Slut” and “Talk Slut”:

Ann Telnaes: G.O.P. race is shaping up.

Pres. O’Bama addresses the Irish people.

Cenk: Right-wing grassroots CON JOB.

Auto Bail-outs Pay Off for America:

Thom: Judge declares foul on Republicans

Young Turks: G.O.P. refuses to give relief aid to tornado victims.

Pap: Teabagger racism reaches the boiling point.

G.O.P. Presidential hopefull Herman Cain lecture on reading the Constitution cites passages from the Declaration of Independence (via ThinkProgress).

Thom: Can Texas secede from the TSA?

Maddow does George Takei.

Liberal Viewer: FAUX News forgot first amendment forbids Christian graduation from public school.

Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal:

Young Turks: Dick Cheney worships Paul Ryan.

Ann Telnaes: The U.S–British special relationship.

Very Special Election:

Young Turks: Daughter of Arnold’s mistress speaks out.

Thom: Is there a “shadow Patriot Act” behind the Patriot Act?

White House: West Wing Week.

Sam Seder: For GOP & Scarborough healthcare for Americans is nothing short of hedonism.

The G.O.P. Primary Carnival Freak Show:

Newsy: TN Governor signs anti-gay bill into law.

Young Turks: FAUX News claims that Obama already cut Medicare.

Maddow: Minnesota’s anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment.

Cenk: George Takei on Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill:

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

by Darryl, 05/27/2011, 2:08 PM

The Stranger’s Paul Constant highlights a statement from Joe Walsh, the freshman douchebag of a congressman from Illinois, not the former Eagle (my emphasis):

“Why was he elected? Again, it comes back to who he was. He was black, he was historic. And there’s nothing racist about this. It is what it is. If he had been a dynamic, white, state senator elected to Congress he wouldn’t have gotten in the game this fast. This is what made him different. That, combined with the fact that your profession”—another friendly tap of the bumper sticker—”not you, but your profession, was just absolutely compliant. They made up their minds early that they were in love with him. They were in love with him because they thought he was a good liberal guy and they were in love with him because he pushed that magical button: a black man who was articulate, liberal, the whole white guilt, all of that.

A shorter Joe Walsh: Obama was elected because he’s a Magic Negro.

Paul has a salient, if too generous, take on Walsh’s statement…check it out.

by Darryl, 05/27/2011, 9:05 AM

Right wing slut Tim Eyman has gotten his John back.

Michael Dunmire, who apparently took a hit during the Bush Recession forcing him into a one-year hiatus from political bestiality, has come back this year and bought himself some more gen-u-wine Horses’ ass! $100,000 worth, paid right into Eyman’s personal services fund. (Apparently, Dunmire is okay with Kemper Freeman’s sloppy seconds.)

You have to give Eyman some credit for turning his life around and breaking into the big-leagues of political prostitution. It seems like just yesterday he was literally stealing money from his Johns….

by Carl, 05/27/2011, 7:34 AM

- Maybe this explains why it’s so painful to read the Seattle Times’ editorials.

- Google Correlate is clearly not Google Causation.

- The money for that Queen Anne bike bridge could have gone to, um, bike infrastructure somewhere else.

- This looks like a really terrible movie.

- So I’ll be at Folklife instead.

by Carl, 05/26/2011, 7:53 PM

If I told you at the start of the legislative session that there was a large hole in the budget and that there were 2 or maybe 3 possibilities to fix it, you’d probably think the moderate thing to do would be pick some of each of the ways available. Moderates might, to use less vague terms, want some tax increases and some spending cuts while they looked at ways to deficit spend through the downturn. Moderate the pain of tax increases with spending cuts and moderate the pain of spending cuts with tax increases. Yet somehow in our state, the people who want all cuts get to claim moderate status. Take the Trib editorial board, for example:

The spending plan, unveiled jointly by Democrat and Republican budget writers, was a feat of compromise. Working across the aisle, lawmakers were able to stave off the cruelest of options for filling the state’s $5 billion shortfall.

“Reduce, but not eliminate” was their guiding mantra. Legislators saved the Basic Health Plan, but continued the freeze on enrollment. They preserved access to state health insurance for immigrant children, but tightened eligibility.

Pain but not death. When so much pain could have been avoided, that’s still moderation. Sure not letting people into Basic Health will be disaster, but otherwise, we’d have to consider cutting tax breaks for out of state banks. You guys, we can’t do that and be moderate, can we?

It carves 22 percent out of the higher education budget, but gives universities the authority to set their own tuition. It cuts funds for teacher pay, but only commensurate with the hit state workers are taking and without freezing longevity pay.

It makes it tougher to educate the next generation. It decides that the best way to attract new teachers is to cut their pay. In a time when American manufacturing is on the decline and a college education is more important than ever, it makes one harder to obtain. But at least there’s still a tax break for bull semen.

The budget is equal-opportunity agony, with the priority where it should be – basic human necessities – and the responsibility for its tough choices shared by both parties.

Except for the tough choice to close multiple loopholes. That was only one side. And even though it would have eased the pain, it would be partisan. Therefore not moderate. Therefore bad.

Anyway, then they go on to say that making the workers’ comp system more corporate friendly is also a victory for moderates. Because blindly giving more power to employers is moderate. I don’t think every moderate decision is necessarily the right one (I don’t think I’m going to convince anyone that a 70% high earner’s income tax is moderate, for example). But I wish the ed boards across the state at least had the courage to call the extremism they’re pushing what it is.

by Carl, 05/26/2011, 7:40 AM

One of the most dispiriting aspects of the shitty budget is the fact that a majority of House legislators voted to soften the blow. The most ludicrous, outdated tax exemptions remain on the books, not because we lack the majority the constitution requires to repeal them, but because of the extra requirement imposed by the voters. I hope Darryl is right that this time the legal maneuvering will work. But if anything, past courts’ rulings have been pretty consistent that they don’t want to hear any challenge to these initiatives, so nobody has standing.

So if this challenge fails, I’d like to offer a potential solution that pits Tim Eyman’s populism against itself. In the past the same legislature that claims to respect the will of the people in these instances have been quick to cut the class size initiatives. So my solution is a more broad based initiative that says the legislature needs 2/3 to cut education (or social services, or higher ed whatever polls best, or whoever is willing to spot the money).

Ideally, this would provide a class of people with standing, but as with the tax side, I’m not sure the court will think anyone has standing. Still, even if this bad, probably unconstitutional law stays on the books, it’s better than the status quo.

Right now, there is no incentive for the no tax people to compromise since cuts need 50% and tax increases need 66%. But, if budget cuts have the same hurdles to pass, then we might see a more balanced approach emerge.

And, yes, I’m aware that everybody has their own idea for an initiative, but nobody has the money. I’d prefer a court win to initiative trickery. But we can come back to the same place every few years, or we can find another way around it.

by Lee, 05/25/2011, 8:19 PM

As you’ve probably seen by now, it’s officially over:

A yearlong attempt to clarify Washington’s medical marijuana laws collapsed Tuesday, leaving state dispensaries without legal recognition and more vulnerable to prosecution.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, had pursued a series of proposals to regulate the dispensaries, managing to usher one plan all the way to the governor’s desk. But Gov. Chris Gregoire struck down key parts of it with a veto last month, and a scramble to pass two other plans before the end of the legislative session failed to get enough support in committee.

“By far, this represents the greatest disappointment of my legislative career,” Kohl-Welles said.

I certainly have sympathy for Kohl-Welles. She worked tirelessly for this bill, tried hard to ensure that all stakeholders were involved, and persevered when things got rough – only to see the governor wreck her efforts through what appears to be either dishonesty, incompetence, or both. To underscore exactly how bad the governor’s actions were, both Delaware and Vermont are in the process of passing bills into law that have the kinds of provisions that the governor falsely claimed would put state workers at risk of arrest. And even worse, America’s Craziest Governor, Jan Brewer of Arizona, is now using Gregoire’s bogus talking points in her attempt to overturn Arizona’s voter-approved medical marijuana law.

In other news, State Rep. Roger Goodman is continuing to put pressure on Attorney General Rob McKenna to weigh in on this issue. As I’ve written before, McKenna’s animosity towards our state’s voter-approved medical marijuana law stands in stark contrast to his belief that the state needs to stand up to the federal government’s tyranny via the Affordable Care Act. Goodman’s latest letter to McKenna specifically references this bit of legendary hypocrisy, by pointing out that McKenna has expressed his opinion on health care reform, but remains awfully quiet about whether or not the state of Washington should be standing up for its citizens over medical marijuana.

Also staying silent on this issue is the DEA, which has been stalling for nearly ten years regarding a petition to reschedule marijuana out of its Schedule I classification (reserved for highly addictive drugs with no medical use). A coalition of advocacy groups filed another suit yesterday to get them to respond. The cause for the DEA’s silence is that if they come back and say that marijuana has no medical value (which I’m sure they’d love to say), then there’d be a follow-up lawsuit that allows a judge to review the evidence and provide a ruling. For reasons that should be obvious, the DEA would prefer not to go down that route. So instead, they’ve locked themselves in the closet with Rob McKenna, hoping that everyone will stop asking them why they continue to support one of the most inexcusable policy disasters of the past half-century.

by Darryl, 05/25/2011, 4:46 PM

Obama’s approval has hit a 16 month high at 53% approval to 41% disapproval.

Another poll finds Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) ” the least popular Governor in the country”, tied with Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL):

The furor over Senate Bill 5 [an anti-collective bargaining bill] was one of the main events precipitating Kasich’s decline and voters in the state continue to strongly favor repealing it.

Another poll finds Florida’s Scott in dire straights:

Florida voters disapprove 57 – 29 percent of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing, the worst score of any governor in the states surveyed by Quinnipiac University and down from a 48 – 35 percent disapproval in an April 6 survey, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Man…voters going sour on Republicans in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin?!? The next thing you know, pundits and media alike will take up the debate of whether 2012 is going to witness Obama win or an Obama landslide.

The Senate has voted down the house budget blueprint (a.k.a. the Ryan budget, a.k.a. the bill to kill Medicare as we know it) today:

A handful of Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Scott Brown (Mass.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) — joined Democrats to reject the House budget, 40-57. Paul voted against it because Ryan’s plan still adds $8 trillion to the debt over the next decade.

I wonder why the others voted against it? Perhaps because they want to be reelected….

(H/T Slog.)

Well…at least one bold Republican is doubling down on Ryan’s plan…after a major display of flip-floppery. That would be Newt Gingrich:

Less than two weeks after he condemned Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan as “right wing social engineering” Newt Gingrich is rallying support for the budget chair’s proposal in Congress.

Does anyone else get the feeling that Newt is perpetually lagging by about three news cycles?

by Darryl, 05/25/2011, 12:34 PM

How can it be that nearly two and half years into President Barack Obama’s (D) administration, people like me still blame former President George W. Bush (R) for the outrageous debt this country has accumulated since the good ol’ days when former President Bill Clinton (D) began paying off the debt?

Because it’s true:


(CBPP via TPM.)

by Darryl, 05/25/2011, 10:13 AM

A couple of months ago some prescient political analyst filthy liberal blogger suggested a way to provoke a constitutional test of the I-1053 two-thirds majority:

Here’s how it works. Declare that the projected revenue shortfall, following a biennium where spending has already been cut to the bone, makes it impossible for the legislature to pass a budget that lives up to the spirit of Article IX, Section 1 of the State Constitution:

It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.

The constitutional requirement of “ample provision for education…” simply isn’t happening.

Article IX, Section 3 gives lawmakers broad authority to do what is needed to fund education. If we cannot provide “ample” funding for education via existing taxes, lawmakers should provide short-term revenue for education through the repeal of tax preferences, using a simple majority to pass the legislation.

The mandate and the authority to accomplish it as spelled out in the Constitution trumps a law enacted through the initiative process. If Republicans believe the law trumps…they can sue.

And look at what just happened (via Publicola):

Late last night, the state house Democrats forced a floor vote on Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-27, Tacoma) bill to repeal an $83 million bank loophole and shift the money to K-3 class size reductions. While the Democrats needed a two-thirds majority and only got 52 votes (it was 52-42 in a straight party line vote), the losing vote wasn’t just a symbolic effort to embarrass Republicans for voting against kids and for banks.

PubliCola has confirmed that the Democrats took the vote to set up a formal court challenge to I-1053, the rule that requires a two-thirds vote to raise taxes.

As Publicola explains, the Democrats followed some procedures required by the state Supreme court in their dismissal of I-960. In other words, the Dems removed one important way for the Supreme court to weasel out of making a decision on the constitutionality of such initiatives.

I-1053 may well get its day in court. Who knew the House Dems had it in ‘em?

by Darryl, 05/24/2011, 6:50 PM

With 462 of 627 precincts reporting, the AP has called it: Kathy Hochul (D) beats Jane Corwin (R).

Current tally is 48% Hochul (D) and 42% Corwin (R).

Update: President congratulates Hochul:

“I want to extend my congratulations to Congresswoman-elect Kathy Hochul for her victory in New York’s 26th Congressional District. Kathy and I both believe that we need to create jobs, grow our economy, and reduce the deficit in order to outcompete other nations and win the future. Kathy has shown, through her victory and throughout her career, that she will fight for the families and businesses in western New York, and I look forward to working with her when she gets to Washington.”

by Darryl, 05/24/2011, 5:15 PM

The Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally meets tonight, and there are a few topics likely to be raised over a pint:

So please join us tonight for drinks, conversation, and even dinner at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. Starting time is 8:00 pm, some folks show up by 7:00 pm for dinner.

Can’t make it? The Burien chapter of Drinking Liberally will meet on Wednesday. And if that doesn’t work, there is an excellent chance you live close to one of the 227 other chapters of Drinking Liberally.