by Carl, 10/31/2011, 9:28 PM

If you’re offended by swearing, you may want to not read the rest of this piece. Also, you’re reading a blog called Horse’s Ass, so there’s that. Basically, what I’m saying is my parents might not want to read the rest of this piece.

What the fuck, Seattle Weekly? Look, I know since McGinn said the city wasn’t going to advertise in the Weekly as long as their parent company didn’t ID their adult service ads, the Weekly has been out to get McGinn. And it isn’t like they were super friendly before that. But fuck me if this isn’t the goddamn stupidest piece of shit public records request I’ve ever seen.

I mean yes, there are a few words in that list that are rightly off limits* and it would be a legitimate story if McGinn or his staff used them. But basically, any elected official or their staff who want to say “crap” is fine by me. Hell, I sort of expect a few fucks and shits.

In fact, I’m a little disappointed with McGinn’s team. Only 14 uses of swear words in a year and a half? That’s like a slow motherfucking thread here. Jesus Christ on the fucking cross, step up your game, guys.

And what the fuck kind of list is that any way? I’ve never made a public records request, but wouldn’t “fucking moron” “fucking idiot” and “fucking buffoon” all be covered under “fucking”? It seems like they’re trying to pad their swear count, and yet they leave a lot off.**

Read the rest of this entry »

by Carl, 10/31/2011, 8:39 AM

- I’ve been reminded about how fitting the location is for them. Before Capitol Lake, that particular place was home to Little Hollywood, Olympia’s depression era shacktown. It was probably the most visible evidence of the Great Depression in town.

- Occupy Wish List

- I assume you’ve already bought your Halloween candy, but holy cow.

- Shorter Pudge: Congress forced me to keep my kids up late with its nefarious daylight savings time. (And From Carl, sunset is before 6:00. How early do Pudge’s kids need to be home?)

- Whoever is in charge of making signs for the NY Police protest needs to, um, try harder.

- It’s really annoying that jaywalking is ticketed. Also, apparently, not where the problem lies.

- If we’re not actually painting the map red, we can’t be an empire.

- Endemic.

by Darryl, 10/31/2011, 1:18 AM

The Washington Poll has released a new poll of Washington state voters on issues, initiatives in this election, as well as candidates in next year’s election.

The poll surveyed 938 registered voters from Oct 10th through Oct 30th, and has a margin of error of 3.2%
Here is the summary:

  • The economy and recession is the number one issue (26%) in how voters will be making voting decisions. Republicans better hope to hell the economy makes a very slow recovery. (And they are doing their damnedest to sabotage any recovery attempts.)
  • Initiative I-1183 is the Costco initiative to privatize state liquor stores (and related things). The poll found 50% would vote yes, and 43% would vote no, with 7% undecided.
  • Initiative I-1125 is the Tim Eyman, Kemper Freeman-funded initiative that would severely restrict tolling and, essentially, shut down light rail to the east side (Bellevue and Redmond). The poll found 41% would vote yes and 40% would vote no, with 19% undecided.
  • If a same sex marriage law was passed in Washington and it ended up as a referendum, 55% would support the law, 38% would vote to overturn the law, and 7% aren’t sure.
  • By 64% to 24%, Washington voters approve of eliminating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military.
  • By 48% to 42%, Washington voters approve of legalizing and regulating marijuana.
  • For the 2012 gubernatorial race, 45% would vote for Washington AG Rob McKenna (R) and 38% would vote for Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA-01), with 18% still undecided.
  • For the 2012 presidential race, 54% would vote for President Barack Obama and 41% would vote for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, with 5% undecided.
  • In another 2012 presidential race match-up, 50% would vote for Obama and 41% for former governor Mitt Romney, with 9% undecided.
  • Voters tend to disapprove of the 2010 health care reform law by 47% to 37%.
  • Only 24% of Washington voters want to fix the projected budget deficit by spending cuts alone. By contrast, 71% want at least some revenue increases.
  • Washingtonians trust “Obama and Democrats” (41%) more than Republicans (37%) to “make the right decisions and improve our economic conditions.”

Here is what I take away from this poll:

  • Get ready to pay a lot more for your liquor. Seriously, the proponents of I-1183 make claims that cannot be simultaneously sustained by the laws of physics. They suggest Washington will earn additional revenue, but liquor sales will not increase, AND, there is an assumption that Costco and friends will be earning profits (or why bother?). The math can only work out to increased prices (but perhaps with better selection).
  • The big drama of the 2011 election is whether or not Tim “Biggest Lie of my Life” Eyman, and his rich friend will succeed in further paralyzing the maintenance and future development of Washington’s transportation infrastructure. Maybe Or maybe Washington voters will come to their freaking senses!
  • HELLOOOOOOOO Gov. McKenna! Fortunately, that race is a long ways away!
  • Hardly a day goes by without another absurd breaking news piece from the Republican primary asylum. Washington state voters are “on to” it—they see through the farce that is the current field of Republican presidential contenders.
  • Same-sex marriage is on the horizon in Washington
  • The legislature and Governor will ignore the will of the voters and focus on an “all cuts” budget. (Yes…I am being cynical here.)

More poll results will be released soon.

by Lee, 10/30/2011, 12:00 PM

Last week’s contest was won by Brian. It was the location of the Occupy protest in Melbourne, Australia. Here’s their homepage.

This week’s contest is a random location somewhere in the world, good luck!

by Goldy, 10/30/2011, 9:45 AM

Exodus 25:15
Don’t ever remove the poles from the rings.

Discuss.

by Darryl, 10/28/2011, 11:57 PM

White House: West Wing Week.

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

Young Turks: Steve Jobs ripped FAUX News a new one.

Susie’s presidential cat bowl.

Greenman: Climate denial crock of the week.

Pap: G.O.P. continues its Class Genocide.

Jon on the Koch brother’s accidental science.

America Occupied by Americans:

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

Ann Telnaes: Mitch McConnell on state bailouts.

ONN week in review.

Bill-O the Clown retakes the crown as Worst Person in the World.

Young Turks: Global warming confirmed by Koch-funded scientist.

Comedian Orlando Jones jokes his way to Worst Person in the World.

Thom: The Patriot Act at 10 years.

Mark Fiore: Tough enough.

The G.O.P. Primary Asylum:

Sen. Maria Cantwell: Preserving workers’ rights.

Young Turks: No handguns for Obama voters….

Alyona’s Tool Time: Gov. Walker supports guns, not cameras.

Thom: Have Dems not learned their lesson yet?

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee: 2 Legit 2 Quit (via Political Wire).

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

by Darryl, 10/28/2011, 1:53 PM

Publicola has a tip about a robopoll concerning the 2012 election for the seat currently held by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA-8):

Two-time Reichert challenger, onetime Microsoft exec, and now lefty leader at ProgressiveCongress.org, Darcy Burner, is looking at getting in.

I hope so. Darcy is smart and energetic.

Oh…and she’s right on the issues.

Reichert? Yeah…not so much.

I’m not saying he’s brain damaged, or anything silly like that. Plainly put, Reichert is a third-tier Congressman who hasn’t show much of anything resembling initiative or influence.

And he is wrong on the issues. Sure, he occasionally casts pro-environment votes…that’s nice. As it turns out, he does so for self-confessed cynical reasons. That he got caught, unforced, fessing-up doesn’t speak well to his intelligence or his understanding of his job.

Washington’s congressional delegation is weakened by having among their members this listless, ineffective, and uncommunicative third-rate congressman. Let’s hope that the voters in Reichert’s 8th (possibly reshaped) district realize in 2012 that they’ve outgrown him.

I mean, they shouldn’t have to wait 20 years for Reichert to figure out how to do his job….

by Carl, 10/28/2011, 8:01 AM

- Sorry, Jon Stewart, but whenever you pick up right wing propaganda, you get it wrong. Community Power Works has so far done good work.

- It takes a walloping amount of willful cluelessness to look at a mass of people holding up signs and claim that they have no message.

- What?

- Whaaaaaat?

- Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

- Transit Riders Union survey of Metro bus riders (and how you can help with it).

- Ordinary Muslim Man (h/t)

- the only high-class drink in history that involves Red Bull

by Carl, 10/27/2011, 7:37 PM

Seriously, this has been online for a week:

Lynne Varner:[You might want to put a space here -- Carl]Bruce: This.[Instead of a period here, you might want to put another space -- Carl, again]story has reignited a local debate over the politics of the Pledge of Allegiance.

I agree with Lynne’s side here but what the fuck?

Also, I’m glad they’ve given up the pretense that this is a regular feature “Civil disagreements, with Lynne Varner and Bruce Ramsey of the Seattle Times editorial board, is an occasional feature of the Ed Cetera blog.” More honest, good job.

by Darryl, 10/27/2011, 1:38 PM

The budget proposals are very, very ugly:

The governor identified $4 billion in optional cuts, in which she choose $2 billion in preferred cuts. The following proposals are likely to end up in her November budget proposal:

  • Eliminate the Basic Health Plan, ending subsidized health care to 35,000 low-income individuals.
  • Cut off medical services to 21,000 people enrolled in the state’s Disability Lifeline and ADATSA (Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Treatment Support Act) programs.
  • Trim 15 percent from the support the state provides to colleges and universities.Reduce levy equalization, which helps property poor districts, by 50 percent.
  • Cut the length of supervision for all offenders, based on severity of offense. Sex offenders will be supervised for 24 months, and all other offenders, for 12 months.
  • “This is what our choices look like even after we let go of thousands of state workers and cut money to our public schools, our colleges and universities, our prisons, and shredded our safety net for the old, sick, and poor,” Gregoire said.

This is a budget that hurts everyone, but it really hits the most vulnerable of our citizens. Crime and violence will be higher than it should be for all of us. These cuts can be quantified by increases in bankrupcies, untreated morbidity, and dead bodies. The actuaries will tell us just how many bright high school graduates have had a college degree stripped from them—with lifetime consequences and lost dreams.

But this budget does not have to be. The Governor is, undoubtedly, hoping the legislature will grow a pair and work on the revenue end of things:

Gregoire says she will now turn her attention to finding ways to offset some of the cuts with new money. That could include fees, closing tax exemptions or a general tax increase.

We are now living through an era of historically low taxes. It’s well past the time to close many of the tax exemptions that have outlived their usefulness to us, the flesh and blood people of Washington state. And its time to raise bring in more tax revenue.

Seriously…I don’t want to live in a Washington surrounded by decaying infrastructure, high crime, medical bankruptcies, or physical suffering for those who chose pain, even death, over bankruptcy. Let’s confine that Mad Max-like dystopia shit to the movies, huh?

by Carl, 10/26/2011, 7:53 PM

One of the things I most like about the Occupy movement is the fact that things get done. You’re standing around, and suddenly people need to move some supplies and the people around will help. Soup gets handed out(most days, generally). Pizzas get passed around. People from the legal group will work with people willing to get arrested or who are being arrested. In the announcements at the end of the General Assembly, someone will ask for help and usually get it even if there’s some begging. The work groups figure out what needs to be done and then either do it, or take it to the General Assembly. It’s not always a perfect process, and I’m not sure how long it can last after the excitement of the movement dulls. But for now it seems to work.

So when at the end of a recent General Assembly, someone asked for help cleaning the park, I shot my hand up, and was glad to do it. I didn’t mention that I was a blogger, so I’d say everything was off the record, and I won’t get into specifics (and I won’t say it was problem free). But I have to say, I loved sweeping up.

I loved seeing the park clean. I loved people thanking me for helping. I walked home after and noticed how much dirtier the streets were than at and around Westlake. More than going there regularly, more than participating in a General Assembly, more than giving a little money, this really felt like taking ownership of a part of Occupy Seattle. It’s certainly not as much as the people who stay at the park or who work more than me, but it was really a great feeling, especially as someone who has generally stayed more at arms length as a blogger than I might otherwise.

And so I’d encourage people, if you can, to put in an hour doing something. Go to General Assembly and wait for the announcements; someone will find something for you to do. Ask the people handing out food if they need help. Find a work group that you’d be interested in. Of course the more the better, but don’t be afraid to spend just a bit of time.

by Carl, 10/26/2011, 4:59 PM

- A first hand account from Occupy Oakland (h/t)

- Not sure I care much one way or the other what Meghan McCain thinks of the Occupy movement.

- The city budget is going to have more pain, I’m afraid.

- Unprincipled, Illiterate, Hypocritical Douchebags

- Upcoming events for transit types

- Finally an explanation of Lord Monckton.

by Lee, 10/25/2011, 9:30 PM

From Oakland, where police shot tear gas and rubber pellets at Occupy Oakland protestors.

UDPATE: Some aerial footage of the tear gas being shot into the crowd.

by Carl, 10/25/2011, 6:30 PM

This started off as a comment over at Howie’s place, but I’ve reworked it for here.

Maybe it was reading this after a more successful General Assembly. Maybe the fact that I’ve never been to a GA where it rained. Maybe, I’m just an optimistic person. But I don’t think the General Assembly is “Robert’s Rules if Robert had, say, just ingested a pound of ecstasy.”

First off, I’ve been to plenty of Democratic Party and local government things with Robert’s rules of order or modified versions of them and occasionally, they just don’t flow smoothly. People will work very hard to get 50%+1 or 2/3+1, and then there will often be a large group with hurt feelings on the losing side. So, there is an advantage with letting everyone be heard and with trying to find consensus. It’s trying to do something that Robert’s rules don’t do, and it’s so far been fairly successful in a way that the GA probably wouldn’t have been if, for some reason, they’d adopted Robert’s.

Another upside is that it makes the proposals better. The proposal that passed on Monday night was more clear than the one Dominic saw lose earlier. It answered (some) concerns, and it was more forward looking.

The down side is that it took several days and a lot of time to make a decision. Hearing from everyone can be tough. It can be taxing on the vocal chords with the People’s Mic, and as Winter comes, it’ll be more rainy and colder than before, and time at the GA, no matter where it is, will be more valuable. So, while it isn’t a process I endorse for everything, I think it has been good for Occupy Seattle.

by Darryl, 10/25/2011, 3:50 PM

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

We meet at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. at 8:00 pm. Stop by earlier for a quiet dinner.

Can’t make it into Seattle? The Tri-Cities chapter of Drinking liberally meets every Tuesday night as well. The Bellingham Chapter also meets tonight. And tomorrow the Burien chapter meets.

With 227 chapters of Living Liberally, chances are good there is one near you.

by Darryl, 10/25/2011, 10:36 AM

Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-1) want to be your next Governor. In this interview, he talks jobs, jobs, jobs, and a bit of medical marijuana. The interview is followed by a round-table discussion with Chris Vance, Joel Connelly, Cathy Allen, and Joni Balter:

Watch October 21, 2011 on PBS. See more from KCTS 9 Connects.

by Lee, 10/24/2011, 9:43 PM

UPDATE: I spoke to some folks at Fuse today and they’ve now updated their guide and removed the reference to the study in question. I have to commend them for responding to this the way organizations should.

Original post follows…..

Last night on Twitter, I saw that Fuse Washington was promoting their Progressive Voters Guide. Concerning the liquor initiative, I-1183, they wrote [emphasis mine]:

Big grocery chains and liquor distributors are back with another dangerous initiative to deregulate liquor sales in our communities. Based on an initiative that voters solidly rejected last year, I-1183 would authorize as many as five times as many retailers to sell hard liquor. As a result, our communities would see a 48 percent increase in liquor consumption and an even larger increase in problem drinking.

That’s quite a statistic, and one that I had trouble believing, so I asked them for the source. It turns out that it comes from an independent task force set up by the CDC called the “Community Guide”. And thankfully, I didn’t have to do a lot of work to demonstrate the many problems with this study, because Erik Smith at the Washington State Wire already took care of that:

The task force released a three-page report earlier this year that recommended against privatization. It wasn’t a study. It was a “finding” based on a review of 21 studies.

The finding was “based on strong evidence that privatization results in increased per-capita alcohol consumption,” the report said.

And it contained a striking statistic. In those studies, alcohol sales jumped by a whopping median figure of 48 percent after privatization.

The thing is, most of those studies had nothing to do with hard liquor. Fifteen dealt with the privatization of wine sales in the U.S. and Canada, a big push in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Two of them had to do with beer sales in Scandinavia. Only four dealt with hard liquor. And the results were all over the map, ranging from an 8 percent decrease to a 305 percent increase – never mind the type of alcohol.

The way that 48 percent figure was calculated was by lumping everything together, as if all forms of alcohol are the same, in all countries, in all time periods.

The better way to try to understand the likely consequences of moving from a state-run model for selling hard liquor to a private model is to look at other states that have done just that. As Smith writes:

There’s an easier way of looking at the question – by looking at actual government statistics. For instance, you can compare alcohol consumption in Washington with that of California, where sales are wide-open and there are eight times the number of liquor outlets per capita.

According to the National Institutes of Health, in 2007 the average Washington resident consumed 2.35 gallons of alcohol and the average Californian 2.34. No real difference at all.

There’s also the experience of Iowa and West Virginia, the two most recent states to privatize hard liquor, in 1988 and 1990. Liquor consumption remained flat after booze showed up in supermarkets. Lately it has been on the increase, just as it has been across the country. But privatization didn’t drive the states to drink.

I don’t even have that strong of an opinion on this measure. I’m voting for it, but there are definitely some good reasons not to. But it really annoys me to see an organization like Fuse – that arose in big part to counter bullshit propaganda from the right – deciding that it’s ok for them to throw out their own transparent bullshit as well.

by Carl, 10/24/2011, 7:05 PM

Roads were fine. Lots of people took the West Seattle Water Taxi (thanks Dow) or figured out an alternative method of getting to work. It looks like people, gasp, managed just fine. Although, it looks like the Walk the Viaduct event was a lot of fun.

by Carl, 10/24/2011, 8:06 AM

- Today in false dichotomies: Urban America versus America.

- Congrats to Shaun for 9 8 years’ writing at Upper Left.

- Progressive Voter’s Guide. Pro-Choice Voter’s Guide.

- Sound Transit’s service revisions.

- Fauntleroy is safer and not noticeably slower after a road diet.

- Unless you’re living in a cardboard box, you have nothing to complain about.

by Lee, 10/23/2011, 2:49 PM

In many cases, it’s these guys:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) last week highlighted what he called a “shocking” internal Pentagon report that concluded defense companies defrauded the military by $1.1 trillion.

“The ugly truth is that virtually all of the major defense contractors in this country for years have been engaged in systemic fraudulent behavior, while receiving hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money,” Sanders said in a statement. “With the country running a nearly $15 trillion national debt, my goal is to provide as much transparency as possible about what is happening with taxpayer money.”

More than $250 million “went to 54 contractors convicted of hard-core criminal fraud in the same period,” Sanders said, summarizing tables included with the DoD report. “Of that total, $33 million was paid to companies after they were convicted of crimes.”