by Carl, 08/31/2011, 5:20 PM

Since a lot of the farmers markets in Washington run through late September/early October, and since we’re in a great harvest time, it seems like the right time to mention that you should go to a farmers market if you haven’t yet (or even if you have). I’ll vouch for the Ballard, U District, Columbia City, and Lake Forest Park markets as good places to shop this year.

I love the interactions at the booths, both the pride people take in what they’re selling and their suggestions for what to do with the food once you buy it. I love the food, fresh, tasty, great for you.

by Darryl, 08/31/2011, 9:19 AM

The Podcast returns from a long vacation hibernation incarceration a coma the dead to tackle the big political issues of the day last many months. And freshen the sidebar.

The discussion starts with bold analyses of the recent election: the panel re-litigates The Tunnel (long after the topic is hip, relevant, or even interesting), and contemplates the meaning of the pro-tunnel vote for Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. The discussion meanders into a referendum on Seattle itself (whereupon, Goldy briefly attempts to re-litigate the Chihuly Museum, long after the topic is hip, relevant, or even interesting).

Circling back to the election, the panel ponders the piss-poor performance of King County Councilmember Jane “37.9%” Hague, and the remarkable candidacy of challenger Richard Mitchell. Catalyzed by another lame-ass Seattle Times editorial, the Podcast closes on the topic of public employees, education and (of course) Seattle schools.

Goldy (The Stranger) was joined by’s Joel Connelly, and Horsesass’ Carl Ballard and me.

The show is 30:15, and is available here as an MP3.

[Recorded live at the Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally. Special thanks to Confab creators Gavin and Richard for hosting the Podcasting Liberally site.]

by Lee, 08/30/2011, 10:37 PM

Jaime Herrera Beutler appears to be learning a lot in Congress. In particular, she’s learning how to avoid interacting with the people she represents. I’m guessing Dave Reichert is her mentor.

by Darryl, 08/30/2011, 1:35 PM

Please join us tonight for drinks, conversation, and dinner at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

We meet at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. Starting time is 8:00 pm, but a few folks show up earlier for dinner.

Can’t make it tonight? The Tri-Cities chapter of Drinking liberally meets every Tuesday night as well. And Drinking Liberally Tacoma meets this Thursday at the Hub Restaurant at 7:00pm.

With 232 chapters of Living Liberally, including thirteen in Washington state and six more in Oregon, chances are excellent there’s one near you.

by Darryl, 08/30/2011, 11:07 AM

For the third consecutive month, Politico has ranked the 2012 Washington gubernatorial race as the most competitive gubernatorial race in the country.

The PI‘s Chris Grygiel comments:

Between them, McKenna and Inslee are expected to raise more than $20 million. And that’s not counting the many millions more outside interest groups will pour into the Evergreen State race.

Many millions in out-of-state money pouring into the state? Huh.

Chris must be assuming that Sen. Cantwell will face some serious competition….

by Carl, 08/30/2011, 7:16 AM

One thing that I never tire of reading is foreigners who come to America and share what they found. From Alexis de Tocqueville to the countless immigrant stories, to more recently Jonathan Raban and Stephen Fry there’s something charming about seeing an outsider’s perspective. While you don’t expect them to get everything right, a different set of eyes is interesting. And quite naturally, I especially love people coming to Seattle.

So I was glad Seattle Bike Blog linked to this piece about someone from England cycling around the world. It’s always a bit mystifying to think about people who only know us from TV.

I explored the sculpture park and talk a walk to the Space Needle, and followed bike lanes through the city. I was soon south of the downtown core and took a route along a lake where the road was closed to traffic every Sunday and was taken over by cyclists. It was a wonderful atmosphere. South of the city I picked up the Cedar River Trail and followed it south before camping down a side trail which resembled the Amazon rainforest, except for the busy highway overhead.

by Darryl, 08/29/2011, 8:48 PM

By all accounts Reagan Dunn is a very pleasant guy. Apparently, he hasn’t been jaded by the trappings of a man whose wardrobe requires a closet the size of a modest haberdasher’s shop.

I’ve also heard—from sources beyond Goldy—that Reagan Dunn is lazy.

So I wasn’t completely surprised to learn that Dunn’s ideal strategy to get elected Attorney General is to hope Democrats don’t notice there’s an election. He is hoping for a quiet election in which Democrats don’t feel threatened.

(It kind of reminds me of Luke Esser’s “Democrats are lazy” voter suppression strategy. Except that Esser was writing humor for a college newspaper.)

Dunn “big idea” is to give Cantwell a free ride to reelection, so that he doesn’t have to worry about parties dumping money into her race, causing voters to notice his:

Dunn’s remembering what happened in last year’s hard fought contest between U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Republican Dino Rossi. A late multi-million dollar push for voters funded by Democrats secured Murray’s victory while boosting vote totals of Democratic candidates farther down the ballot.

“That really hurt Republicans,” Dunn said. “So on (this Senate) race my belief is we don’t put anybody up. Make it a nominal challenge. Keep the national Democratic fundraising apparatus out of the state and don’t give them another reason to bring (President) Barack Obama here to further drive up turnout.”

Shorter Dunn: “I can, maybe, win if we keep the election low profile enough.” Goddamn, is that lazy!

It’s also sloppy thinking. It’s intellectual laziness to presume similar voter motivation for the 2010 and the 2012 elections. Twenty-ten was an off-year election with a senatorial race at the top of the ballot. The 2012 ballot will have a presidential election as well as a high-profile gubernatorial race in addition to the senatorial race. In other words, it’s going to be an election with a big turnout—with or without a strong challenger for Cantwell.

And pinning Rossi’s loss on out-of-state money seems simplistic (and lazy). In 2010 Murray did have a big advantage in out-of-state donors, as you would expect for an 18 year (at the time) Senate incumbent. But Rossi “took in” more money via independent groups:

Between them, Murray and Rossi raised more than $22 million. Murray, a three-term incumbent, brought in $15.3 million and Rossi – who got a late fund raising start – amassed $7.3 million, according to Outside groups, recognizing the Washington Senate seat was key to which party controlled upper chamber, also spent big. Total spending by independent groups topped $19 million, third-most in the country, according to campaign-finance watchdogs. Almost 60 percent of that money went to help Rossi.

A less lazy analysis would recognize that the big difference was between the candidates: a popular, proactive incumbent who had risen to the 4th most powerful position in the Senate compared to an angry real estate salesman who entered the race late and reluctantly, and never really had his heart into it. Oh…and there was that “D” next to Murray’s name. That helped, too.

Even his own party Chairman, Kirby Wilbur, doesn’t buy Dunn’s analysis:

Given the anti-incumbent fervor, an aggressive challenge of Cantwell by an energetic candidate could produce a Scott Brown-like upset. Even a loss delivers the benefit of making Cantwell spend her political dough on getting re-elected and not other campaigns like Democratic candidate for governor, Jay Inslee.

Enrollees in this school theorize turnout will be huge in 2012 regardless because of the presidential election. Plus battles for congressional seats — including a new one — mean Democrats and Republicans and an array of independent groups will be slugging it out whether the Senate race is in play or not.

Except for the “Scott Brown-like upset,” which is utter fantasy, Wilbur’s analysis is spot on.

So, if you ask me, prospects are looking good for Dunn’s opponent, Democrat Bob Ferguson. Again, the race will be determined by the candidates.

Reagan Dunn can’t just click his heals three times to give Cantwell a free pass in exchange for an easy race. The 2012 election is going to be huge no matter what happens in the Cantwell race. Whoever wins the AG race is going to do so by working his ass off doing retail politics, non-stop fundraising, and, dare I say it, baby kissing. We’re talking hard work.

Call me a skeptic, but I don’t see a work-shy Reagan Dunn “getting into” any of these tasks.

by Carl, 08/29/2011, 5:30 PM

The recession is still bad. So what should Washington do about it according to The Seattle Times? Make sure to fire people!

The Times recently reported that state full-time equivalent jobs are down a total of 7 percent in fiscal 2010 and 2011. That does not include higher education, which has had few job losses. It includes everything else.

The New York Times reported that? The Times of London? Oh, you mean The Seattle Times. Nobody calls it that, Ryan or possibly Joni. Well that’s pretty terrible for the people involved, don’t you think? I mean at least have a bit of compassion for people who’ll get kicked off work. No? Nothing.

No downturn in decades has been as deep or as long as this. It is news.

I like the implication that if the downturn was as bad as some in the 70′s or 80′s, it wouldn’t be news. Skipping ahead.

There is a thought that the state should not do this — that its layoffs are making the downturn worse, and that it should keep everyone on the payroll. It is a warm thought, but who would pay for it? The state cannot do it with bonds. New taxes on the private sector would probably snuff out as many private jobs as public jobs sustained.

Layoffs are making the downturn worse. Public sector, private sector. It’s not a thought, it’s a fact. The laid off people have less money to spend, they have less money to save and invest. They produce less economic activity. The argument that paying to not lay people off will make the economy even worse, well that’s at least an argument that acknowledges that there are tough choices. But yes, if we lay off teachers, or state patrol or anyone else in the public sector, on top of losing what they do for us, we also lose some of their economic output.

by Carl, 08/29/2011, 7:16 AM

- Leadership, sure. Courage, well, no, not in Seattle.

- A real charmer at KIRO.

- I thought Al Qaeda’s number 3′s were always killed. Did everyone step up a notch when Bin Laden died?

- But if storms aren’t Jesus telling us things, how could they possibly have happened?

- Bus branding is a concept that I hadn’t even thought of.

- Our smooth universe.

by Lee, 08/28/2011, 12:00 PM

Last week’s contest was won by Siberian Dog. It was Enumclaw.

This week’s contest is related to something in the news from August. Good luck!

by Goldy, 08/28/2011, 8:00 AM

Nahum 1:2-8
The Lord is a jealous God, filled with vengeance and rage. He takes revenge on all who oppose him and continues to rage against his enemies! The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet. At his command the oceans dry up, and the rivers disappear. The lush pastures of Bashan and Carmel fade, and the green forests of Lebanon wither. In his presence the mountains quake, and the hills melt away; the earth trembles, and its people are destroyed. Who can stand before his fierce anger? Who can survive his burning fury? His rage blazes forth like fire, and the mountains crumble to dust in his presence. The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him. But he will sweep away his enemies in an overwhelming flood. He will pursue his foes into the darkness of night.


by Darryl, 08/26/2011, 11:24 PM

Tool Time: Gays cause earthquake claims a nutcase Rabbi.

Dave Letterman does Rachel Maddow.

Frank McCourt (Los Angeles Dodgers owner) is Worst Person in the World.

Ed with more Psychotalk from The Donald.

Thom: Why 60% of Congress is not holding Town Hall meetings.

Stop the environment:

Young Turks: Gabrielle Giffords insane challenger.

Darth Cheney Re-emerges:

Ann Telnaes: D.C.’s version of “Duck and Cover”.

Thom with some Good, some Bad, and some Very, Very Ugly.

Tool Time: The donkey whisperer.

Young Turks: Pat Robertson’s on the earthquake.

Dave Letterman on Rachel Maddow’s reporting on him.

Libya Leaves Republicans Red-faced:

Olbermann: Has the partnership between the NYPD and CIA going too far?.

Ron Reagan: Turd-blossom vs. Moose-dung—The Palin-Rove 2012 smackdown continues.

White House: West Wing Week.

The Daily Show Explains:

Ed: FAUX and friends tackle the big issues—hair.

ONN: Law gives all mistreated Americans right to open casinos.

Restoring Insanity: ‘Blubbering baboon’ Glenn Beck takes his act to Jerusalem: .

Unrequited Love:

Maddow: Tea Party is just re-branding of religious conservative Republicans.

Sam Seder and the Wingnut “50% of Americans Don’t Pay Taxes” LIE.

Seattle under siege by pod of California Orcas.

Thom debunks the “Jobs Creators” myth.

NPR “It’s All Politics”: Disaster edition.

Rep. Eric Cantor contradicts his way to Worst Person in the World.

Thom: Why is Paul Ryan using the Police to hide from constitutients.

The G.O.P. Primary Asylum:

Thom with The Good, the Bad and the Very, Very Ugly.

Ed: Republicans hate Obama more than they hate taxes.

Sam Seder: The decline of American journalism.

Alyona: The funding of Islamophobia.

Tea Party chair Sherry Lanford Smith crazies her way to Worst Person in the World.

Hayes and Greenwald: “War criminal” Dick Cheney.

Happy Hour: Glenn Beck’s Israel #FAIL.

Thom with John Deans: How the Koch Brothers are endangering Americans.

Olbermann: Eric Cantor and his Scrooge-like response to natural disasters.

Maddow: New anti-abortion laws.

Alyona: Unions have “Stockholm syndrome”.

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

by Darryl, 08/26/2011, 1:39 PM

Ron Paul shows just how totally in tune he is with the real world:

After a lunch speech today, Ron Paul slammed the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and said that no national response to Hurricane Irene is necessary.

We should be like 1900; we should be like 1940, 1950, 1960,” Paul said.

Ahhh, yes…those were the good ol’ days. Babies were healthy


…if they were healthy enough to survive.

Children had the strongest of mothers


…if their mother was strong enough to make it.

And we ate natural disasters for breakfast…


…when they didn’t have us for a snack.

Life was fabulous…


…while we had it.

Gooooooood times!

by Carl, 08/26/2011, 7:15 AM

- Tom Fucoloro is mostly right here, but he seems to think The Seattle Weekly might produce good journalism if it wasn’t trying to protect its parent company’s child prostitution notification business.

- KBR is simply godawful.

- What Richard Trumka said.

- People are driving less. Maybe because of low car diets (h/t).

- I cannot tell you how much I like this picture.

- I like The Decemberists (as you’re required to if you’re from the Northwest) and their newest video was directed by one of my favorite bloggers ever (Ken Tremendous, formerly of Fire Joe Morgan).

by Carl, 08/25/2011, 8:34 PM

One of the things that doesn’t get discussed enough in politics is the fact that we don’t know what the future will hold. I think we all know this in the general sense, but we tend to discount it when discussing policy making.

It struck me recently after the debt crisis. We were told the debt ceiling would have to be raised to avoid downgrading US debt and keep the stock market from going crazy. Well, the debt ceiling was raised and the debt was downgraded (by one agency) and the market went crazy. There were also all sorts of possibilities before the vote about what might happen if we had defaulted from it wouldn’t be so bad to it would have been horrible.

So who was right and who was wrong? Well, we know what happened after we passed the debt ceiling, obviously. But we don’t know what would have happened if a better deal had been reached or if we’d defaulted. We can make educated guesses, but in an unprecedented situation like a default, it’s only a guess.

And the same holds true in international affairs. At the start of the Libya conflict, Lee wrote about the potential humanitarian catastrophe there, and “the possibility of a massacre that could’ve taken 100,000 lives” had we done nothing. Not to put any faith in Gaddafi, and certainly not to dismiss the possibility, but we don’t know if it would have been 100,000 or far fewer people. And while the war is hopefully reaching its end now, it was tough to know how it would end a few months ago. We also won’t know for some time how the administration’s arguments about the War Powers Act will be used by the next president.

The point here isn’t that we can’t make decisions or move forward. Of course we can. I just wish we’d acknowledge some uncertainty at the start.

by Carl, 08/25/2011, 7:17 AM

Joni Balter has a column mostly arguing that McGinn should start doing things he’s been doing (and saying he shouldn’t have put the car tabs on the ballot, but I’m here to focus on her lecturing him to do the things he’s already done).

For example, McGinn could return more cops to the street. Budget woes stopped a five-year police hiring program, but any mayor can fund his priorities. He can and he should.

Return to the street implies there are fewer on the street now. It took me all of a couple minutes to find out that:

Despite the fact that SPD hasn’t hired any new officers for more than a year, it increased the number of patrol officers over the past year from 684 to 693.

Now you can argue that Joni meant that we should hire more police, or that trouble may be coming down the pike if we don’t hire police. But she used the phrase “on the street” so I think it’s fair to say she just doesn’t know. And can’t be bothered with a Google search or that pesky fact checking.

McGinn needs to ensure the Families and Education Levy passes. At least supporting schools and students are things most Seattleites can get their arms around.

Yes. The levy doubled in part because of his leadership. And now he is pushing for it.

At several stops, the mayor told neighbors that education was an important way to enhance public safety and that the levy would help ensure that every child in Seattle had an opportunity to learn and succeed. Staff said the mayor delayed a family vacation in Massachussetts so he could participate in the levy kick-off event.

Maybe it’s unfair to expect Joni Balter to know that. I mean who the hell reads The Seattle Times any more? Still, while the media (and Balter in particular) were bashing McGinn as a one issue mayor, he was actually doing other things.

by Darryl, 08/24/2011, 12:47 PM

If you’re afflicted by bunched panties syndrome from “dirty” language, the sanitized question and answers are here.

The not-safe-for-those-susceptible-to-BPS question and answers are here.

(h/t Dan Savage [oh nos!])

by Darryl, 08/24/2011, 12:17 PM

Once again, Republicans demonstrate that they are The Party of Fiscal Responsibility (via Publicola):

The State elections commission has fined the Washington State Republican Party $6,700 for campaign violations during the 2010 state senate elections.

…Republicans were late to report a $60,000 contribution to state senate candidate Sen. Steve Litzow (R-41, Mercer Island) [...] and late to report a nearly $10,000 contribution to state senate Republican candidate Marty McClendon.

The GOP also was late to report a batch of contributions it received from its campaign committees totaling $378,000 as well as contributions from companies including Microsoft and Premera Blue Cross totaling over $100,000.

Frankly, I’m happy Republicans have a reputation for something positive. I mean, if they lost that cred, today’s Republicans would just look like a pitchfork- and torch-wielding angry mob on some kind of teabag-infused witch hunt for Jebus.

by Carl, 08/24/2011, 7:15 AM

- If Obama hadn’t been biking and golfing, I bet the earthquake wouldn’t have even happened.

- Cascade Bike’s Energizer Stations

- I’m embarrassed about how few of these books I’ve read.

- Both sides are equally Zzzzzzzz.

- Me too, also, too.

- A nice side effect of doing the right thing.

by Carl, 08/23/2011, 7:20 PM

I sent the following questions to all of the candidates for Seattle City Council. I’ll put the answers up in Tuesdays and Thursdays: Sept. 6 & 8 for position 1, Sept. 13 & 15 for position 3, Sept. 20 & 22 for position 5, Sept. 27 & 29 for position 7 and October 4 and 6 for position 9. First candidate to respond on Tuesday, second on Thursday. There is a good chance some of the candidates won’t respond, if that’s the case, I’ll probably make up snarky answers for them.

1) Crime is down in the city, but we’ve seen some horrible incidents with the police in recent years. How do we ensure public safety and not have those sorts of things happen in the future?

2) Now that the Viaduct is coming down, what should the waterfront look like?

3) As the great recession drags on, the city budget is still hurt. What do we need to cut, what do we need to keep, and do we need to raise more money via taxation?

4) With its budget shrunk at least until the end of the recession what should Seattle parks look like?

5) What is the Seattle’s role in education and public transportation given how important they are to the city, but that other agencies are tasked with them?