1 Samuel 20:30
“You stupid son of a whore!”
The 2016 Festival of Clowns:
Over the counter birth control is very exciting.
Late Night Democratic presidential debate.
Greenman: Exxon knew about climate change in the 1970s.
Preview: Obama’s Final State of the Union Address:
Jimmy Dore: GOP vows to pursue more nightmare policies in 2016.
Mental Floss: 29 facts about dinosaurs.
Gun Violence in America:
Ann Telnaes: White Americans are boiling mad.
Colbert: Beware of the Franken-Lincoln.
Congressional Hits and Misses of the week.
Farron Cousins: Koch brothers and ALEC team up to protect white collar criminals.
Water Emergency in Flint:
Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.
We should have a lot more access to our local governments. Most of the public records stuff could probably be done automatically. But it’ll take a fair amount of time and money to make it happen. It seems like a state mandate and state money (if we ever have it) either from the legislature or an initiative would be able to to do that in a more systematic way. Not just someone overwhelming public records requests.
Every time President Obama makes the slightest moves toward gun safety, the right does two things. They claim that President Obama /liberals in general /the government is about to take away your guns (not linking to any terrible people, but if inexplicably you need some evidence that they’re out there), and also they buy a lot of guns. At this point the gun buying at the first tiny hint of any minor restrictions is such a cliche, that Wall Street now bets on gun manufacturers (h/t).
But if you think about it for a minute, if you actually thought your guns were about to go away, you wouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars or more on getting guns. It would be like spending money on Budweiser futures in that interim period between when the 18th amendment was passed and when it was implemented.
So either we all know President Obama isn’t taking your guns, or markets don’t work. Despite having lived through the .com bust and the housing bubble, I still don’t think that investors would be putting their money into a business that’s about to go away. That leaves people don’t think Obama is taking their guns.
Given what the president — and what governors including Inslee — have proposed, perhaps people are buying more guns now because they don’t think they’ll meet the criteria to buy them in a bit. That seems more economically rational. If you think he’s going to tighten the background checks in the future, better get your gun while you can. If you’ve got a history of domestic violence or have already set up a trust, you’re maybe hoping to slip in before that.
Now that Jim McDermott has made it official, it’ll be interesting to see who replaces him. I don’t have any favorites really, but I’d sort of prefer not voting for a person who thought they should primary him. One worry that came up at Drinking Liberally would be someone running as a Prefers Republican Party candidate could slip past a crowded primary field and make it into the general if there are enough Democrats. I don’t think that’s an issue.
So, any preferences?
How about this for a New Year’s Resolution: Join us for drinks, laughs, and political conversation at this week’s Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally?
Can’t make it to Seattle tonight? Check out one of the other DL meetings happening this week. The Long Beach, Tri-Cities and West Seattle chapters also meet tonight. The Lakewood chapter meets on Wednesday. And on Thursday, the Tacoma chapter meets.
There are 186 chapters of Living Liberally, including eighteen in Washington state, three in Oregon and one in Idaho. Find—or start—a chapter near you.
When I was looking for stuff to write about, I came across this press release about Inslee’s budget by Representative Bruce Chandler. I don’t think I can improve on it’s terribleness, except to say that people vote for him. Like actual humans in Washington see his name on a ballot every two years since 2008 and mark the little circle.
“The governor is required to introduce his ideas for state spending before the Legislature convenes each year. We thank Governor Inslee for his proposal and for his staff’s efforts in providing a starting point from which the Legislature can begin its work.
So far, fine. Let’s follow it up with the dumbest paragraph ever written.
“At first glance, we’re pleased to see emergency money allocated for fire suppression efforts across the state. While we may not agree on the cause of this year’s horrendous forest fires, we certainly agree on the need to allocate adequate resources to fire suppression now, and in the future we believe there is ample opportunity to restore forest health and develop more effective state and local fire response strategies.
Sometimes when you do a metacommentary piece, you have to leave jokes on the table. Here are some things I left out because if I went in depth on them, I’d never finish writing this:
OK. With that out of the way: As far as I can tell “we may not agree on the cause of this year’s horrendous forest fires,” is Representative Chandler’s way of saying he doesn’t believe humans caused global warming. Or possibly he doesn’t think global warming is even a thing? Look, on the one hand, you have Governor Inslee’s side: Basically all the scientists that study the issue, and the fact of the actual forest season that we’re actually talking about. On the other side, you have Representative Chandler: Nu huh.
Seriously, global warming is real. It did contribute to the fire season being bad. It will contribute to future bad fire seasons.
“We agree with the governor that a supplemental budget year is not the time for substantial policy changes that balloon state spending down the road. The 2015-17 biennial budget was signed into law less than six months ago. Significant policy additions – outside of emergency caseload adjustments – are better suited for the deliberation and scrutiny of a 105-day session during budget-writing years.
Fine whatever. Although I’d prefer yearly budgets, that’s not the process.
“However, in his proposal for additional policy changes, we find it disappointing that Governor Inslee has decided to trot out four tax increases we’ve all seen before. These tax increases have either been rejected by voters in the past, like the tax on bottled water, or already reviewed by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee. The Legislature had ample opportunity to impose these new tax increases over the last few years, but after citizen input and careful scrutiny, chose not to. If the governor felt it was an emergency to add further growth to state government, the public would be better served by innovation and new ideas rather than a continuation of failed efforts of taking more from taxpayers.
Innovation and new ideas? Look, if you could just innovate greater revenue, people would have already done it. Why does Governor Inslee propose minor tax increases when he hasn’t even tried magic?
“We’re also disappointed that Governor Inslee failed to make a strong commitment to public charter schools in our state. During today’s press conference, he had the opportunity to lend his support to bipartisan legislative efforts to ensure all students and parents of our state are served equally. Legislators will invest precious time and political capital in crafting a solution to our state’s voter-approved public charter school system. However, without the engagement of our governor in those efforts, the solution will be more difficult.
Charter schools were ruled unconstitutional. What possible commitment could you make to them if you swore to uphold the state constitution? Gaaah.
In any event, given the McCleary decision, I’d think it would probably make sense to include something about public school funding more generally in this press release if it’s going to have an education section. But no. Just take us home a no-transitions-needed ending.
“We look forward to further discussions with the governor and the other caucuses to arrive at timely, common sense solutions so that the 2016 session can end on time.”
Is ending the session on time really the highest priority? I would think making some situation where you aren’t in contempt of court for shortchanging education would at least get a mention. Oh well.
Hey, remember back in early November when I said I was going to take a week or so off? So, I think I’m back. The plan is to not do links but to maybe have a paragraph or so as the open thread, and then have more time/effort to write longer form stuff. I don’t know if that will pan out.
I think except over the holidays, the conversation was fine in the abbreviated open threads. But I do like the community aspect of linking to other blogs always including local ones. So we’ll see how it goes. If you want more links, or whatever, let me know.
Seattle’s “Congressman for Life” Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA-07) will, apparently, defy his appellation and retire from the House without first dying.
McDermott is expected to announce his retirement on Monday. If KING 5’s sources are correct, that is.
The 79 year-old psychiatrist-turned-politician was first elected to the Washington state legislature, representing the 43 district, in 1970. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1988, taking office on Jan 3 of 1989.
McDermott had several causes in Congress including health care issues of all types and, generally, pissing off the Republican leadership. His battle against Newt Gingrich over Gingrich’s violation of a House Ethics committee agreement was epic (but cost McDermott a lot of money). McDermott also fought an unorthodox battle to strike the phrase “one nation under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
McDermott once showed up the the Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally. A couple of College Republicans decided to stop by that same evening and pestered the Congressman. He largely ignored them. But, then again, he hasn’t been back.
Maybe he’ll have more time for recreational politics and beer next year.
2 Samuel 13:10-15
And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, my sister.”
“No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.” But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.
Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!”
Young Turks: Prosecutor throws case in Tamir Rice case.
Obama: What is really important in life.
Jesus was a refugee points out the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Young Turks: NSA caught spying on Congress, Israel, everyone.
The 2016 Festival of KKKrazy:
Michael Brooks: Black Panther Obama?.
Young Turks: The surprising story of the bearded woman.
Office Space: Dave Reichert’s Washington Precinct.
Young Turks: Open carry laws are not for Black people.
White House: West Wing Week.
Young Turks: Surprising new poll on abortion.
Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.