by Darryl, 09/30/2011, 11:38 PM

Pap: Climate change leading to food shortages.

Olbermann with Valerie Plame Wilson on ridding the world of nuclear weapons:

Comcast Newsmakers interviews Gov. Christine Gregoire.

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

CNN’s Dana Loesch triumphs over the Toe Sucker and Aqua Buddha to snatch the title of Worst Person in the World.

Wall Street Occupied:

Alyona’s Tool Time: Bill-O and his NPR hypocrisy.

Maddow: The French 75.

Mark Fiore: TEMA.

Racism in America:

Greenman: NASA on Arctic sea ice.

Capitol Hostage Situation:

Ed with Pap and Joe Madison: At last, Obama fights back.

Olbermann and Markos Moulitsas on Roger Ailes’ attempt at rebranding Fox.

Thom gives Teabaggers a constitutional lesson.

Jon does Bill-O.

Maddow: Unalienable rights are not subject to a vote.

Comcast Newsmakers interviews Peter Goldmark.

The G.O.P. Primary Asylum:

White House: West Wing Week.

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

O’Donnell: Lynch-mob Republicans can’t get enough of the ‘death penalty’ and misery of others.

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) beats a couple of other kooks for title of Worst Person in the World.

Thom: Time for a revolution?

Pap: Time for Democrats to fight.

Stephen ingests Karl Rove’s PAC fundraising secrets.

Greenman: The 2011 Arctic ice minimum.

ONN: Who is/are the worst liars in D.C.?

Thom: Even more Good, Bad, and Very, Very Ugly.

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

by Darryl, 09/30/2011, 11:00 AM

So what we have here is Rob McKenna participating in the multi-state lawsuit, now fully aware that the goal of the lawsuit is to strike down the entire law.

If McKenna is successful, Washington state gets credit for the downfall of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Ouch! Like that sooooooo represents our state. But that’s nuttin’.

Just for shits and giggles, I decided to look up the immediate effects should the lawsuit succeed in killing the law—the things that would affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Washingtonians.

Here’s what I found:

  • Strips small businesses of the 35% tax credit (50% beginning in 2014) provided to make employee coverage more affordable.
  • Eliminate for early retirees the temporary re-insurance program (pending the full development of insurance exchanges).
  • Eliminate consumer protections and the external review process for appealing insurance company coverage determinations or claims.
  • End the prohibition on recissions—that is, insurance companies will, once again, be allowed to drop sick people from coverage.
  • End the prohibition on insurance companies denying coverage to children (and, in 2014, everyone) with pre-existing conditions
  • Eliminate caps—once again allow insurance companies to place lifetime caps on coverage.
  • End prohibition of certain annual coverage limits—some are in effect right now but all such restrictions will be eliminated by 2014.
  • Re-open the Medicare part D “donut hole” by eliminating the 50% discount on brand name drugs for those in the donut hole, and put a halt to the gradual elimination of the donut hole by 2020.
  • Reinstate co-payments for preventive care and, under medicare, once again allow preventive care to be included in deductibles.
  • Eliminate funding for state consumer assistance programs that help folks navigating the health care insurance process.
  • Eliminate funding for resources and new screening procedures that reduce fraud and waste in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP.
  • Eliminate the option for young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until they turn 26.

That is a selection of the tangible benefits that have already fully or partially kicked in under the law.

It will be painful…particularly to our state’s youngest and oldest citizens.

There are many more benefits to come. Some are extremely important, like getting insurance for the estimated 50 million uninsured Americans.

And then there is the fiscal effects, to the tune of quashing the $210 billion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years, and an estimated $1 trillion over the next 20 years.

Shit…with gubernatorial wannabes like McKenna…who needs al Qaeda?

by Carl, 09/30/2011, 7:39 AM

- I love the short plays in WordPress.

- at least a few people who will stand outside of the right buildings and yell (h/t)

- Anyone have any idea if the display coming to the bus stop at 3rd and Pike is going to be a one off there, or if there are more planned around town?

- As someone who really likes cartoons on the web, this is a problem.

- All the other states are doing it.

- I’m not a fan of the wild card, but after the last day of the regular season, well I still don’t like it, but it did produce this year.

by Lee, 09/29/2011, 11:18 PM

From earlier this year:

A botched gun-trafficking investigation that allowed suspected criminals to purchase roughly 2,000 firearms — many which later crossed the border into Mexico — came under renewed criticism on Tuesday as federal officials responsible for implementing and overseeing the operation testified before Congress.

The hearing came just hours after the release of a joint House and Senate report providing new details on the investigation, code-named “Operation Fast and Furious.” According to the report, at least 122 guns tied to the operation have been found by Mexican authorities at crime scenes or were recovered during police action against drug cartels.

The operation was “a perfect storm of idiocy,” Carlos Canino, a senior ATF agent in Mexico, said in the report. Other current and former ATF agents testified at the hearing that the operation violated basic agency protocols.

The “Fast and Furious” operation first ignited controversy in March after whistleblowers within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms revealed to the media and members of Congress that a gun tied to the program had been found last December among a cache of weapons at the murder scene of a Border Patrol agent.

From yesterday:

Firearms dealers in states that allow medical marijuana can’t sell guns or ammunition to registered users of the drug, a policy that marijuana and gun-rights groups say denies Second Amendment rights to individuals who are following state law.

Federal law already makes it illegal for someone to possess a gun if he or she is “an unlawful user of, or addicted to” marijuana or other controlled substances. A Sept. 21 letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, issued in response to numerous inquiries from gun dealers, clarifies that medical marijuana patients are included in that definition.

So let me get this straight. Gun sales to people who are widely expected to use those guns to kill people are ok (as long as the ATF thinks that there’s a chance that it could help them bring down Mexico’s drug trafficking organizations), but gun sales to people who have permission from their doctor to use a medicinal plant that makes you more passive are not.

Every time I think members of our government have managed to do the dumbest thing possible, they always top it.

by Carl, 09/29/2011, 8:16 PM

Professional writer who writes for a living at the Tacoma News Tribune, Cheryl Tucker, sure is pleased to use “ironic” wrongly. From her post about how she feels that it’s ironic that Tacoma Teachers want to get paid, “(And I’m sure some teacher will write in to tell me that I’m misusing “irony.” Go tell it to Alanis Morrisette).”

First, super current. Great job keeping up with the zeitgeist. Second, I’m going to have to take a pass on mocking the obvious disdain for teachers: I could just do posts making fun of editorial writers’ disdain for teachers, but there are only so many jokes, and they would quickly get as stale as an Alanis Morrisette joke in 2011.

All that aside, it’s the calling things ironic at all that bugs me. Not so much for the getting it wrong, but that it’s completely unnecessary. If you just describe the thing you think is ironic, and then it turns out not to be ironic, you’ve told an interesting (hopefully) story, and you don’t look the fool. If your story turned out to be ironic, well, congrats on telling a story where irony was a factor, that didn’t need to spell it out for your audience. I mean it’s not like when Romeo is killing himself at the end of the play that he says, “it sure would be ironic if Juliet was still alive” because fuck that, it would be terrible. I guess what I’m saying is why can’t everyone on the Internet write as well as the Bard?

But I’m not just here to criticize meta uses of literary devices and references from the early 1990′s. I’m also here to help. So here’s a list of things you might say instead of “ironic” when you still feel the need to describe a thing, but perhaps you’d like to do so a bit more accurately or interestingly:

  • Interesting
  • Coincidental
  • Poetic justice*
  • Hypocritical
  • Silly
  • Odd
  • Amusing
  • Strange
  • Funny (ha ha)
  • Funny (the other kind)

Read the rest of this entry »

by Darryl, 09/29/2011, 10:50 AM

Rob “Cupcake” McKenna has lost control of the multi-state lawsuit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

McKenna made the unilateral decision to join the lawsuit, against the will of the voters, the Governor, and the state legislature. He then repeatedly reassured us all that the aim of the lawsuit is only to overturn the “individual mandate” while keeping the rest of the law intact:

When Attorney General Rob McKenna signed on to the partisan Republican lawsuit challenging the federal Health Care Reform law, he claimed that he was not trying to overturn or repeal the entire law, only part of it.

In an interview with BJ Shea on KISW, McKenna stated, “We don’t think we can stop this entire bill, we don’t think we can or that we should.”

In a video on his official website, McKenna stated, “There are two provisions that are focused on in this lawsuit. None of the thousands of other provisions in the law are affected because we are just addressing these two provisions. . . . . the individual health insurance mandate. . . .and Medicaid.”

In an interview with KING 5 News, McKenna stated, “We are not challenging the policy, that is not our role.”

McKenna’s official website reads, “This suit will not ‘overturn’ or ‘repeal’ the new health care reform legislation. In fact, this lawsuit will not affect most provisions in this 2,400-page bill.”

Has McKenna been lying to us all along? Or…maybe he just didn’t know what the fuck he was doing by joining the lawsuit. Because the principles of the lawsuit see a larger purpose:

“This health-care law is an affront on Americans’ individual liberty,” said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who asked the high court to strike down the entire law, not just its mandate that all Americans have health insurance. [...]

Bondi’s request to strike down the entire law was at odds with McKenna’s statements when he made Washington state a plaintiff in the case last year.

McKenna, a Republican candidate for governor in 2012, said his goal in joining the lawsuit was not to strike down the entire law, just the provisions he argues are unconstitutional — chiefly the mandate. But the plaintiffs’ legal briefs since then repeatedly have sought to scrap the entire law.

McKenna’s office said he has been overruled on that point by his co-plaintiffs.

So, whether he initially lied or was just too fucking stupid or incurious enough to know what he was signing up for, the one thing we know: McKenna hasn’t been influential enough to convince his fellow AGs to limit the scope to what he promised us.

McKenna should now do the right thing and pull out of the lawsuit.

by Lee, 09/28/2011, 11:03 PM

Nina Shapiro’s profile of former U.S. Attorney John McKay is long, but a very interesting read. As I’ve written about a few times here, McKay has undergone a big transformation from Republican U.S. Attorney to an outspoken advocate of marijuana legalization and other issues important to civil libertarians. It’s very reminiscent of former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr’s transformation earlier in the decade.

Despite my reservations about the New Approach Washington initiative, I’m glad to see McKay lending his voice to the effort to end marijuana prohibition. It’s rare that people make these kinds of radical political changes after a long career, and Shapiro goes back through the last decade to recount the history of how McKay made that journey. Much of it is a tale we’re very familiar with, as the Bush Administration’s DOJ became politicized and expected Bush-appointed U.S. Attorneys to be political actors.

by Carl, 09/28/2011, 5:46 PM

More and more Seattle folks are biking to work. From Seattle Bike Blog:

Seattle rose to the number two spot among major US cities in terms of the number of people commuting to work by bike in 2010. The percentage of people using a bicycle as their primary mode of getting to work in Seattle increased 22 percent between 2009 and 2010, according to the annual American Communities Survey conducted by the US Census.

This data confirms the city’s 2010 downtown bike commute count, which measured an increase of 21.4 percent in the same time period.

Between 2005 and 2010, the percentage of people commuting by bike in Seattle increased 57 percent. Between 2000 and 2010, it increased 93 percent.

On top of what it says about the infrastructure improvements in the last decade or so, I think there is a cultural aspect that gets lost in the war on cars nonsense. And that’s that most Seattle drivers are perfectly willing to share the road with bikes.

Yes, there are asshole drivers. Yes, the recent spate of bicyclist deaths has been tragic. Yes, several media outlets have invested themselves in a story of a clash between driving and riding a bike. Yes, I’ve read the comment threads whenever there’s a bike story in the paper. But for the most part, drivers are willing to give you a bit of room and to slow down if they can’t. Speaking personally, I’ve had pleasant chats with people in cars with the windows down who just started talking to me when we were both stuck at red lights. Probably more than people yelling at me or honking their horns.

And while I don’t have any hard data, lots of Seattle drivers also ride bikes. There’s certanily some self interest for me when I’m driving and I see a bike. On top of wanting to make sure not to hit the person, I also feel that I’d better give room and slow down, etc. to put kindness to bicyclists out into the world.

by Carl, 09/28/2011, 7:35 AM

- A good primer on how to donate political money to make the most difference.

- HA God correspondent Goldy makes a point over at Slog about the Tacoma teachers’ right to strike even if it isn’t codified in law.

- The most stressful part of my commute is figuring out what to write.

- Cain would probably get a lot of support from Wall Street Republicans if his name was Co.

by Carl, 09/27/2011, 6:50 PM

Jesus Christ, do they ever bother to fact check any Seattle Times columnist? I mean, I’m an idiot and I can spot the problems with the lede.

Someday Seattle needs to vote no on a tax increase. Just to set a limit — some limit, somewhere.

The links added by me, and I swear were just off the top of my head. I know one is King County, but it’s not like Seattle taxes go up if we accept them but the county as a whole doesn’t. And I didn’t include Roads and Transit for the same reason (I’m not even sure if those measures passed or failed in Seattle). Or any Washington State initiatives. And by the by all of the tax cutting initiatives in Washington state over the years: they cut taxes for people in Seattle too, so we can increase our taxes before we hit the “limit” of before Eyman started relentlessly destroying the public good.

Anyway, then Ramsey goes on first to the Families and Education levy:

It is not a school levy. Voters already have approved those. Families and Education is a seven-year city levy that pays for preschool, clinics, tutors and after-school programs. This year’s levy will hit the average property owner at $124 a year. In the amount of money it raises, it doubles the existing seven-year tax, which was a 69 percent increase over the previous seven-year tax.

Preschools, clinics, tutors, etc., have not gone up in cost that much. Proponents want more of them.

Well, the state has been cutting education. They cut it in part because of the economy, in part because things that are dedicated to education like timber have been declining, in part because we rely too heavily on a sales tax that’s a shrinking share of the economy, and in part because of those statewide tax cuts that also cut taxes in Seattle. So it’s not just the cost of those things but the need to fill in the gap the state left (and beyond that the greater need in a recession).

Then while trying to argue that we should reject the car tabs, he makes the case that they should be larger:

One reason is that it is not pegged to anything big. The $204 million it will raise over 10 years will be spread over the city — a spoonful here and there on potholes, a serving of sidewalks, a slice of bus signals and bus electrification, more bike lanes, etc. Many of these are worth doing. Then there is the 9 percent earmarked for streetcars, which appeal to people who judge vehicles on how they look.

Ha, it’s funny because even though the SLUT has been so successful that we’ve had to add another car, streetcars look funny (???) or whatever. But, yes, I agree I’d like more big projects. You get that with higher car tabs, not by rejecting the car tabs.

Also, he enthusiastically quotes people who don’t like the regressive nature of the tax. I agree with that, but somehow, I doubt Ramsey would be for it if we raised the same amount of money (or enough for something big) by basing it on the blue book value with an exemption for the first $500 or whatever. In any event the state, not the city, is the problem here. I think it’s safe to say that if Olympia gave us the ability to raise the money in a more progressive way, Seattle would agree to that.

by Darryl, 09/27/2011, 4:00 PM

Please join us tonight for an evening of politics under the influence at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

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



Can’t make it tonight? The Tri-Cities chapter of Drinking liberally meets every Tuesday night. Tonight the Bellingham Chapter also meets at 7:00pm. Tomorrow night at 7:00pm, the Burien chapter meets. And next Monday, the Olympia and the South Bellevue chapters of Drinking Liberally meet at 7:00 pm.

With 225 chapters of Living Liberally, including thirteen in Washington state and six more in Oregon, chances are good there is one near you.

by Carl, 09/27/2011, 7:30 AM

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?

We make certain the Office of Professional Accountability, and the related civilian Auditor and the seven-member civilian Review Board, have the tools and resources necessary to thoroughly investigate complaints of misconduct.

This may seem insignificant, but we should transform the public face of the OPA—printed materials that explain the process of investigations, notification and update letters and the office environment. The current OPA environment—website, printed materials, offices—express a strong police orientation. Instead, the OPA environment should be professional, neutral and welcoming. First impressions matter.

As we have heard from the past four civilian OPA Auditors, the quality and thoroughness of OPA investigations are not the issue. The real issue, as identified by current Auditor Anne Levinson, is what we don’t know. Some in the city believe that our police officers use force far more often than is reported. My office will soon ask the City Auditor and the OPA Review Board to examine this issue and conduct independent research of arrestees to determine whether force was used during their arrest and whether the arresting officers properly completed required “use of force” reports. This type of external, proactive examination will identify problems and will also help build public trust and confidence in the Police Department.

Turning to crime prevention, emerging evidence indicates that we should shift away from the policing of people, but not all people, to the policing of place. This would be a major shift in American policing.

This change is necessary because crime is geographically concentrated and anchored at micro places. Crime is not randomly distributed across a city. In Seattle, using 16 years of crime data, researchers have found that about 50% of reported crime is found at just 5% to 6% of our street segments. More than 20% of crime in Seattle is concentrated at just 1% of street segments.

Changing to policing place would have dramatic impact in reducing crime and improving police-community relations. Inherent in the “policing of place” is a strong community-based orientation; police officers working with the community to resolve problems, rather than police officers arriving to just arrest people or “enforce the law.”

This strategic shift would transform the Police Department. It would give officers a strong sense of mission. A spirit of innovation would take hold as officers digested crime data and worked with community members to design appropriate intervention tactics.

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

The central waterfront should become a place that celebrates Seattle’s maritime and industrial history, honors our Native American heritage, reconnects the city with Elliott Bay along key east-west corridors, and provides a series of public places where individuals and families can enjoy parks, pedestrian promenades, outdoor restaurants and views stretching from Pike Place Market to the stadium district. Port of Seattle operations and jobs must be protected.

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?

We should adopt an outcome-based budgeting philosophy so we understand why we are investing in particular projects and what we are achieving. Unfortunately, we don’t really know what many of our investments are producing, especially when it comes to human services, youth and family, and crime prevention expenditures. A much stronger performance orientation is needed in city government.

We should continue to protect human services and public safety programs as our highest priorities. For example, one of the best crime prevention programs in the country is the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), a 30 year effort to link specially trained nurses with first time mothers living in poverty. Seattle currently provides funding to reach about one-third of the eligible moms in the city; two-thirds of those who qualify do not receive services. Yet, the NFP has consistently shown through high quality research that it can reduce criminal behavior, strength the families involved and save government tens of thousands of dollars. We should fully fund the
NFP.

I helped craft the renewal of the Families and Education Levy that is on the November 8 ballot. If passed by the voters, this measure will nearly double the amount of funding for highly targeted intervention efforts for our most at risk public school kids. This tax increase is justified because continuing to accept the status quo in public education where nearly half of our students are at great academic risk will only cost much more long into the future.

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

We need to maintain our parks so they are inviting and accessible to all. Funding for parks maintenance has suffered in recent years because of the economic slump. In 2008, I worked with Councilmember Rasmussen to craft a Parks levy for the November ballot. That measure passed overwhelmingly.

There are discussions under way to identify other Parks funding options.

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?

With regard to public education, our role is to make certain that Seattle students receive a high quality education. The City has many opportunities to influence the direction and policies of the Seattle School District— Families and Education Levy, joint use agreements for school playgrounds and parks, collaboration between the Council and the School Board.

City services should be aligned with the policies and outcomes of the School District. For example, we do this now with the Levy that is designed to provide academic and support services consistent with the District’s goals and with police services at specific District buildings.

SDOT is responsible for city streets and bridges and we work closely with King County and state agencies related to Metro bus services and state highways that traverse Seattle. We have good relationships with these other agencies; witness the new regional transit service principles for allocation of Metro service that eliminated the old and flawed 40-40-20 rules.

by Lee, 09/27/2011, 4:20 AM

Looking forward to this Ken Burns special next week:

by Darryl, 09/26/2011, 9:59 PM

There is another statewide poll result released by King 5 today. This one is for the 2012 Attorney General race between King Council members Bob Ferguson (D) and Reagan Dunn (R). Like the gubernatorial poll I wrote about earlier, 523 registered voters expressed a preference.

A total of 388 had a preference, of which 207 (39%) went for Ferguson and 181 (34%) went for Dunn. Some 27% had no preference—hardly surprising since both politicians are mostly known in King County. The normalized percentages are 53.4% for Ferguson and 46.6% for Dunn. But the poll has a very small effective sample size.

The Monte Carlo analysis of a million simulated elections finds Ferguson winning 825,042 times to Dunn’s 165,625 victories.

SUSA26Sept2011

If an election was to be held today, we would expect Ferguson to win with an 83.3% probability. Of course, the polling results are not “significant” by traditional criteria.

I suspect that this poll is biased in favor of Ferguson. My reason is that the largest share of undecideds probably come from outside of King County, where there is low name recognition for both candidates. Therefore, what we see is likely dominated by Democratic-leaning preferences within King County. A small countervailing bias might arise from the better name recognition outside of King County for Reagan Dunn, on account of his late Mother, Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R). Still, Ferguson gets a few points advantage out of the poll at this stage of the election season.

The contrast between this race and the gubernatorial race is interesting. At first glance, it might seem concerning that Ferguson (D) leads Dunn (R) for Attorney General in the same poll that finds current Attorney General Rob McKenna (R) leading Rep. Jay Inslee (D) for the Governor’s race. Rather than spelling doom for Inslee, I think this just shows that McKenna has much better name recognition statewide, and even within King County. The position of Attorney General can be high-profile, and McKenna has certainly not been bashful about taking advantage of it to raise his profile. And while Inslee has been very popular in the 1st CD (winning by double digits in every one of his last six reelection bids), he hasn’t nearly the name recognition outside of his district.

In sum, Inslee is a little better off than today’s poll suggests, and Ferguson is a little worse off than today’s poll suggests. Both races are probably closer to 50%-50%.

by Darryl, 09/26/2011, 2:43 PM

Update: As Richard Pope points out in the comment thread, the numbers in the post didn’t match the headline. The headline is correct. I screwed up typing Inslee’s number into a database, and the error spread from there. All fixed now.

A new poll is about to be released in the Washington gubernatorial race between Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA-01) and state Attorney General Rob McKenna. The poll surveyed 532 registered voters and was conducted on behalf of KING 5 by Survey USA. KING 5‘s Robert Mak gives a brief overview of the results.

0f the 532 surveyed, 404 436 had an opinion: 170 202 (32 38%) supported Inslee and 234 (44%) supported McKenna. The undecided group made up 24.1 18%. I did my typical Monte Carlo analysis using a million simulated elections at the observed percentages. Inslee “won” 11,474 136,028 times and McKenna “won” 987,293 856,218 times.

SUSA26Sept2011

The results suggest that, if the election was held today, McKenna would win with a 98.9 86.3% probability. Note that since McKenna’s probability of winning is less than 95%, the lead is not considered “significant” by traditional statistical reasoning.

It is, of course, too early to panic over this poll, particularly with 24 18% undecided. Nevertheless, this poll puts McKenna in the lead. Last week a poll from Strategies 360, a Democratic consulting firm, showed a similar lead for McKenna, 46% to 39%. I generally ignore polls from partisan consultants or polls commissioned by campaigns, but the similarity in results is noteworthy. The previous “real” poll for this race was from Survey USA in late June and showed Inslee with a small, non-significant lead over McKenna, 47% to 44% (my analysis is here).

Mac points out for today’s poll:

McKenna’s early lead can be attributed in part to his strength in the Puget Sound area. In King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, he’s even with Inslee at 41% each, which is significant for a Republican candidate. As expected, McKenna picks up votes in more conservative eastern Washington with a 59%-25% advantage.

Inslee has, apparently, lost ground to McKenna on both fronts: in June he was up 49% to 42% in Seattle and McKenna was up 51% to 41% in eastern Washington.

This race is being touted as the hottest Governor’s race in the country, and the best G.O.P. gubernatorial pick-up opportunity in the nation. It’s certainly living up to the hype!

by Carl, 09/26/2011, 7:39 AM
by Lee, 09/25/2011, 12:00 PM

Last week’s contest was won by Siberian Dog. It was Kent, WA.

Here’s this week’s contest, related to a news event from September. Good luck!

by Goldy, 09/25/2011, 7:00 AM

Genesis 6:1-4
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Discuss.

by Lee, 09/24/2011, 3:55 PM

- The group Patients Against New Approach Washington sent the New Approach Washington campaign a letter outlining their concerns over the DUI provisions in Initiative 502. Earlier this week, I discussed why these limits aren’t just unscientific, but could lead to unnecessarily overburdening a system that’s already not very good at keeping dangerous drivers off the roads.

- The RAND Corporation released a study from Los Angeles that showed that when medical marijuana dispensaries are closed, the amount of crime in the immediate area increases. The study looked at the 10 day windows before and after Los Angeles shut down over 70% of its dispensaries. They found that crime around the closed dispensaries was 60% greater than around the dispensaries that continued to operate. This is just another reminder that anyone who calls medical marijuana dispensaries “magnets for crime” is either unaware of how magnets work, or is completely full of shit.

- The White House is once again using the internet to find out what issues “We the People” want the government to deal with. And once again, a petition to end marijuana prohibition is winning by a lot. Even Mexican President Felipe Calderon is starting to come around on this, but it’s still pretty clear no one in the White House is willing to listen. Same for Canada.

- This past Wednesday, I went to an event sponsored by MAPS. They continue to do a lot of great work on finding PTSD treatments, but continue to run into roadblocks from the drug war. Despite that, the evidence continues to pile up that they’re on to something.

- New York is finally cracking down on the very cynical way that they trick people (read: minorities) into more serious drug offenses by having them show their drugs to them.

- It’s good to be reminded that police officers don’t always tell the truth.

- Some Texas cops had a fun night.

by Darryl, 09/23/2011, 11:40 PM

Obama: Address to the U.N.:

Ann Telnaes: The dangers of privatizing Social Security.

Pap: Trade deals are killing American jobs.

Thom: How Republicans are trying to steal elections.

Capital Punishment:

Mark Fiore: SolyndraGatePocalypse.

Young Turks are going to Current TV.

Something to make Puddybud’s head implode: Al Gore welcomes Cenk and the Young Turks to Current TV:

New co-chair of “Rick Perry’s Florida Presidency 5 campaign leadership team” is Worst Person in the World.

Ed with some psychotalk from a poor impoverished Republican.

Sam Seder: First hand account of “Occupy Wall Street”.

Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Obama: The American Inventions act.

Actual Audio: James Carville wants Obama to fire somebody.

Pap and Ed: The truly evil nature of FAUX News.

Jon interviewed by Rolling Stone.

The G.O.P. Primary Asylum:

White House: West Wing Week.

David Schuster with Comedian Jamie Kilstein on Tea Party untruths.

American Family Association breaks into Worst Person in the World.

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

Newsy: Political ads on Twitter.

Oh Nos! Class Warfare!

Thom: More Good, Bad, and Very, Very Ugly.

Stephen: Obama wasted no time emarassing US at the UN.

Pap: The hatred coming from the Teabaggers.

Thom: Republicans are taking more hostages, are you next?

Alyona’s Happy Hour: Bristol Palin bar fight.

Obama on No Child Left Behind.

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