Democratic Debate Open Thread

I’m at the Roanoke Tavern this evening with a couple of friends to watch the debate (starts at 6pm local). Please join us if you wish. Otherwise, join the fun in the comment thread.

I’ll post some commentary, snark, and (mostly) other people’s excellent Tweets.

Enjoy!

5:59: I’ll be watching the debate on PBS rather than CNN. Just a personal choice (and a choice endorsed by the bar management).

6:03: Opening shot of the candidate’s backs…looking for the secret radio receivers strapped to Clinton’s back…

6:07: Sander’s opening statement “Yuuuge count”: 1

6:09: Shorter Hillary, “I’m just like him.”

6:21: Hillary is sure “we” will have the political capital to raise taxes on wealthy. Don’t think so, but probably better than Sanders.

6:43: Come’on, when is Bernie going to go all Christie on Hillary?

6:46: Will someone PLEASE ask the candidates about their position on waterboarding?!?

Learn How WA Is Kicking the NRA’s Ass, on the Latest Episode of “The Other Washington”

Last week I made my triumphant return to the podwaves with the release of “The Other Washington,” a new podcast on politics and policy from me and my co-workers at Civic Ventures. This week I’d like to invite you to listen to Episode 2: Gun Responsibility, through the convenient player embedded above.

Of our first batch of episodes, this is the one I’m proudest of, including a harrowing account from a survivor of the Jewish Federation shooting, plus a firsthand report from inside the White House on the heart-wrenching truth behind President Obama’s tears.

If you like what you hear, please, please go to iTunes, subscribe to the podcast, and leave us a review. The more subscriptions and reviews we get, the higher we get pushed up the iTunes charts, and the more listeners are likely to find us. Thanks!

Open Thread 2-10

Congrats to Senator Sanders for the win in New Hampshire. I think that puts him in the lead in the (non-super) delegate count by 2. I have some family in New Hampshire and they’re either super conservative or much more liberal than me. So based on that small, unrepresentative, sample size, the result isn’t too surprising.

Election night edition of Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottle

Tonight’s the first primary of the 2016 presidential election season, and there are some local elections happening as well. So please join us for an evening of election returns and primary politics over a pint at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. You’ll find us in the small room at the back of the tavern. We start at 8:00pm.

Can’t make it to Seattle tonight? Check out one of the other DL meetings happening this week. Tonight, the nation’s newest DL addition, the Federal Way chapter meets along with the Tri-Cities and Redmond chapters. The Kent chapter meets on Thursday. And next Monday, the Aberdeen and Yakima chapters meet.

There are 187 chapters of Living Liberally, including nineteen in Washington state, three in Oregon and one in Idaho. Find—or go out and start—a chapter near you.

Open Thread 2-8

In many Washington State jurisdictions, there’s an election tomorrow. Get it postmarked by tomorrow. Or drop it off. Here are the locations for King County. I voted for both of the Seattle levies. I have to say though: I’m not a parent, but I paid enough attention when the latest round of school closures went through to find the we have to reopen schools because who could have predicted we’d need capacity arguments pretty ridiculous.

HA Bible Study

Leviticus 18:17
Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.

Discuss.

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Congressional hits and misses of the week.

Straight outta options:

Mental Floss: Fifteen facts about coffee.

Bill Maher: Lies are the new truth.

What led to Flint, MI’s poisoned water.

Stop making guns so sick.

Minute Physics: How to discover new particles.

I Oh Wha???

Twelve minutes of Right-wing nutjob Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5) talking politics.

Stephen and Samantha Bee try out some lady euphemisms.

What the West gets wrong about Muslim women.

Obama: Employment is down to 4.9%.

Young Turks: “Pro-life” activist proves she’s not really pro-life at all.

Pap and Farron Cousins: Lunatic Michele Bachmann says Obama is about to reveal himself as Anti-Christ.

Larry Wilmore and friends: Anger and politics.

Conan meets his censor.

The 2016 Conservative Crazy Car:

Mental Floss: Misconceptions about famous companies.

Madame President.

David Hawkings Whiteboard: Here comes the budget:

Follow the money: The chemical industry writes a law.

Farron Cousins: Republicans destroy government to prove government doesn’t work.

VSauce: Math Magic.

One of these people will be President.

Thom: The Good, the Bad & the Very, Very Depascently Ugly!.

Martin Shkreli invokes his fifth amendment rights before Congressional oversight committee.

Space Station Live: African American History Month.

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

Omigod, I’ve Got a New Podcast!

Missed the mellifluous sounds of my whiny high-pitched nasal voice? Then you’ll want to tune in to the premier episode of my new podcast: The Other Washington!

Each episode, co-host Paul Constant and I and the rest of the troublemakers at Civic Skunkworks will take you on a deep dive into a single issue, exploring the nexus between policy and politics from a uniquely Washington State perspective. Our first topic? The $15 minimum wage, of course! How did $15 go from “insane” idea to political reality, and what does this teach us about the rest of the progressive agenda? Tune in and find out.

Huge thanks to our producer, Tina Nole of Larj Media, for making us sound like more than just a couple of opinionated assholes crowding around a mic. We’re still learning by doing, and I expect the podcast to evolve over time, but if you agree with me that it’s a damn good start, then please go to iTunes (or wherever you get your podcasts) and leave us a good review. (Or if you hate it, just leave a nasty comment in this thread.)

Open Thread 2-5

It is always amazing to me when I read things like this. “I’m old enough to remember the shock, replaced quickly by compassion fatigue, when urban homelessness first energed as a problem in the early ’80s,. Before then, hard as it is to imagine now, cities didn’t have homelessness issues – just a few random drunks and what were then quaintly called hoboes.” Geov isn’t the first person I’ve read with similar observations, and while I believe it, it’s tough to internalize. What seems like an intractable problem that has been there forever is actually a bit younger than me.

Low Energy

Donald Trump has been taunting Jeb! as being low energy. Judging from the need to add a high-energy punctuation mark after his name, I’m thinking that The Donald might be right on this one.

And this is kind of embarassing:

It brings back memories of this 2008 GOP low energy superstar:

On the other hand, Ronald Reagan was pretty low energy so it isn’t like energy level is all that Trump cracks it up to be.

And at least Jeb! doesn’t suffer from an abnormal chromosomal makeup.

Open Thread 2-3

This (autoplays) is a few days old (they make Iowa Caucus predictions) but I just listened to it yesterday on my way to Drinking Liberally. It got me thinking about the foreign policy philosophies of the Democratic candidates. I would dispute that Clinton’s foreign policy philosophy is just about competence. I’d say that women’s rights are human rights was an animating idea during her tenure at State and in the Senate.

I asked a few people at Drinking Liberally how they would sum up Sanders’ foreign policy. And we found some interesting things about his record, but I don’t know if it’s predictive for voters or for the bureaucracy if he gets elected. I’d very much like to know more about his foreign policy, but I haven’t seen it yet. It’s one state down, so we may well see something that crystallizes it going forward.

(this has been edited a bit to make it clear I’m just talking about foreign policy)

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottle

Huh…can’t imagine what people want to talk about tonight. If you think of something, please join us for an evening of politics and conversation over a pint at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. You’ll find us in the small room at the back of the tavern. We start at 8:00pm.

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 go out and start—a chapter near you.

If Our Editorial Boards Want to Be Taken Seriously About Education Funding, They Need to Start Talking Seriously About Revenue

 Newspaper toilet roll

I suppose, good on the Seattle Times editorial board for pushing legislators to solve Washington’s education funding crisis sooner than later: “State must start working harder to find an education-funding fix.” But considering the decades-long role our state’s editorial boards have played in obstructing funding reforms, I have a hard time taking them seriously when they offer weak sauce prevarication this:

Fixing a financing problem built for decades will be complicated, require a massive shift in property taxes and probably should include a new revenue source, such as a capital-gains tax. These are tough, but necessary, political tasks. The court set a deadline of 2018.

Okay. First of all, let’s be absolutely clear that the “massive shift in property taxes” that they’re talking about—the property tax levy swap—produces no net new revenue for our public schools. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. It helps address the equity issue, yes, but it merely shifts funds from local levies to the state levy. So the editors should really look up the words “swap” and “shift” in the dictionary before misleading readers that this “shift” represents a funding solution (unless, of course, misleading readers is their intent).

Second, fixing the financing problem will “probably” require a new revenue source? Really? Just “probably?” Um, how the fuck else do you suppose we’re going to close the “eye-watering” funding gap that even the editors acknowledge to be “about $3.5 billion?” Glad to see them on board with a capital gains tax, but the estimated $800 million it might raise would still only get us less than a quarter of the way to the McCleary mandate; modifying the need for new revenue with a big fat “probably” isn’t likely to help lead us the rest of the way there. I mean, if the editors (or Republicans, for that matter) have any realistic suggestions for slicing $3 billion or so from elsewhere in the budget, let’s hear it. No? That’s what I thought. So enough with the “probably” already.

This isn’t my opinion folks. It’s math. There’s simply no way to meet McLeary without billions of dollars in new revenue. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

Quite frankly, if our state’s editorial boards want to play a serious role in solving this very serious crisis, then they’re going to have to start talking about it seriously. And that means leveling with their readers that we need to raise about $3.5 billion in new revenue. Whether that means a substantial increase in our perversely regressive state sales tax and/or an expansion in the sales tax to services (or even food) and/or a hike in our state property tax levy without slashing local levies in return and/or the repeal of billions of dollars of tax “preferences” (exemptions, loopholes, whatever) and/or a spanking new capital gains tax — or the serious and sensible alternative: a modern, sustainable, and less regressive tax structure that taxes income like almost every other goddamn state — well, the voters will ultimately have the final say on the specifics. But we’ll never get to that point until our state’s so-called “opinion leaders” start having a serious conversation about the facts, however painful and unpopular they might be.

This is an opportunity for our editorial boards to reclaim some relevance by helping to lead our state toward a serious and sustainable education funding solution. And it may be the last opportunity they have.