Open Thread 4-27!

- The oil train bill did pass after all.

– I’ve always thought rightwing media caterwauling about the liberal media is more about working the refs than covering for their own failures. But I guess both are true.

People driving through the bridge supports to go down a bumpy alleyway is a whole new way to get hurt while biking on the Missing Link and yet another hazard to look out for. Perhaps this happens now because the street is one-way for people driving. I don’t see any reason why the city can’t make some design changes to prevent this from happening again.

William Wingate Sues Officer Cynthia Whitlatch and the Seattle Police Department Alleging Racial Discrimination

The backlash is here, and it has lawyers, and things are going to get real ugly.

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Maddow: Mainstream Media sucks up anti-Clinton book by right wing author liar.

Tim Simons prepares for the White House correspondences’ dinner.

White House: West Wing Week.

Why frats aren’t that bad:

MinutePhysics: How big is the sun?

Dickipedia: Mitch McConnell is a dick.

President Obama and Bill Nye talk Earth Day in the Everglades.

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

The 2016 Clown Procession:

Joe Biden and Blondie sing about naked men.

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

WaPo: No…same sex marriage will not cause 900,000 abortions.

Glacier National Park’s glaciers are disappearing:

Mental Floss: Misconceptions about Caffeine.

Mark Fiore: Death & Destruction, Inc..

Michael Brooks: Bill-O-the-Clown’s War on White Men.

The week in Congressional Hits and Misses.

SlateTV: A mystery on Ceres.

On Drugs:

Young Turks: Comcast–Time Warner deal is over.

Sam Seder: You’ll never believe who is now in on the climate change conspiracy.

Jon asks Neil deGrasse Tyson an important question.

Thom: Corporations to America, “We own you”.

Mental Floss: 101 amazing facts.

SlateTV: Leaked 2016 campaign ad.

John Oliver: Patents:

Eighty-year-old Seattle man returns to Boston to run the marathon.

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

Jon announces his last episode hosting The Daily Show.

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

Will It Help?

Oh hey, another round of arrests for drugs and other minor violations downtown. I’m sure unlike a few years ago, this time, this time, this time, we’ve solved it.

And to be clear, that part of Pike-Pine can be really sketchy, and of course they are going to arrest people in that area for selling crack, meth, and other drugs. I’m not sure what the solution is here, but it can’t just be lock them up and throw away the key. I praised the police for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program a few weeks ago. If the people they arrested here can get some help of that kind, it might be a net positive for them. That’s a big if, and one I’m not at all confident about given the coverage I’ve seen so far.

Still, even then, I’m not sure how it solves the underlying problem for the neighborhood. A war-on-drugs, lock-‘em-up approach isn’t going to get addicts and small time street dealers the help they need. And in the long term, it’ll either go back to the way it was or move the dealing to somewhere else.

Sawant Wins (43rd LD Straw Poll)!

Kshama SawantOkay, so it’s not exactly statistically meaningful or predictive, but socialist city council member Kshama Sawant kicked ass last night at the 43rd Legislative District Democrats’ annual straw poll, winning 145 votes, more than twice the 70 votes of second-place finisher, Urban League president Pamela Banks. Former Equal Rights Washington director Rod Hearne came in third with 59 votes, followed by Morgan Beach with 52.

There’s been more than a little wishful thinking on the part of some establishment Dems that Sawant is on shaky ground with rank and file Democratic voters, but you wouldn’t know it from her reception last night. Sawant was surrounded by well-wishers all night long, while her challengers had to put a little effort into their mingling. If their bylaws didn’t prevent the 43rd Dems from endorsing a non-Democrat, I’m pretty sure she’d easily win the LD’s endorsement.

The fact is that few Democratic politicians speak to the values of the party’s progressive base as directly as Sawant does. So it shouldn’t really be a surprise that so many Dems are willing to overlook her socialist label.

Still Not Adding Money

A levy swap isn’t on its own a horrible thing. Poor districts should still be able to educate their children. But in the absence of new money, it’s just taking money from districts that have been doing a better job educating children, if because they can afford it or if they’re more willing to pay. Goldy explained this ad nauseum when Rob McKenna was running and losing on levy swaps.

I’m happy to pay for education in the whole state. Let’s fund significantly more education at the state level. I’m all for it! Ideally with an income tax, but absent that, the most progressive tax we can get through the legislature.

But what we shouldn’t do is take money away from some districts or force the Puget Sound to pay for it while the rest of the state doesn’t. And that’s what a levy swap will do. As long as that’s the GOP position, it’s never going to fly.

“This would be the biggest property tax increase in state history,” said Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, adding that the latest estimates show residents facing the biggest jump in their property taxes would be in the Puget Sound region, while some getting the biggest break would be in Eastern Washington and other rural parts of the state.

Most property owners in Spokane-area school districts would see a drop in their local property taxes over the four years needed to phase in the changes, although the amounts vary because of significant differences in current school district levies and the complicated laws that govern them.

Property taxes in Spokane School District, for example, would go down most years between 2018 and 2021 – as much as $1.80 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2021 – but up by .01 per $1,000 in 2019.

Ranker and other Senate Democrats have a competing plan designed to address the same problem of a system the state Supreme Court says is unconstitutional: using local tax money to pay for a basic part of public education, the salary of classroom teachers. Their solution is a tax increase, plain and simple: a capital gains tax on any resident who collects more than $250,000 a year on investment earnings. Money raised by that tax would be used to replace the money local districts now contribute to teacher salaries. That amount varies from district to district, but the amount a district receives from the state’s capital gains tax they would lower the amount they could collect from local taxpayers, so everyone would get a property tax reduction and only about 7,500 residents would pay the capital gains tax.

Neither one has everything I would want, but at least one actually has new money for education. If the problem is that there isn’t enough money for education, that seems like the thing at the outset you should deal with. I don’t understand how you can try to take education dollars from Seattle and Bellevue and say you’re supporting education statewide.

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottlePlease join us for an “Earth Day Eve” edition of the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. Our starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks stop by earlier for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle tonight? Check out one of the other DL meetings happening this week. Tonight the Tri-Cities, Vancouver, WA, and Shelton chapters also meet. On Wednesday, the Bellingham, Burien, and Spokane chapters meet. And the Woodinville and Kent chapters meet on Thursday.

There are 191 chapters of Living Liberally, including eighteen in Washington state, four in Oregon and two in Idaho. Chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Lawrence O’Donnell: Who smoked pot in the White House, and other tales from Pennsylvania Avenue.

Sam Seder: A Republican story of self-hate and projection.

Bill Maher: Zombie lies of science-denying Republicans:

Vsauce: When will be run out of names?

The 2016 Clown Car:

Climate Change Denial Disorder.

Roll Call: Congressional hits and misses of the week.

Thom: The origins and true face of American Libertarianism.

Slate: Where does lightening strike?

Hillary Announces:

Minute Physics: How do airplanes fly?

White House: West Wing Week.

Mental Floss: Misconceptions about history.

Indiana Legalizes Discrimination—Still:

Larry Wilmore: Maybe Black people need to fly gyrocopters instead of marching

David Pakman: Walmart pharmacist refused to fill prescription for woman who had a miscarriage.

Thom: Montana Democrats and Republicans team up to get dark money out of state politics.

How ALEC lobbies for the private prison industry

Mental Floss: 20 facts about Abraham Lincoln (and his family).

What’s White and Black and Red All Over?

Matt Binder: Fast food strike for $15 grows into a larger social justice movement.

Maddow: Reid, “The Senate is a better place because of women”.

Jon: Who Actually Strengthened Iran’s Nuclear Program?

Pelosi on Corker’s innocuous Iran bill.

Mental Floss: What makes a permanent marker permanent?

Michael Brooks: Obama’s biggest accomplishment?

Lawrence O’Donnell: What woman should be on the $20 bill.

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

Matt Binder: NRA’s Nutjob Prez Wayne LaPierre: ““Eight years of one demographically symbolic President is enough”.

Maddow and Harry Reid: That time McCain threatened to kick the shit out of Sen. Reid:

ObamaCare is Still Working:

Stephen Hawking sings the Monty Python Galaxy Song.

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

Open thread 4-17

- District 8 has nearly $200,000 — and it’s only April. The at-large race has six candidates running, who have amassed, collectively, $193,710 in donations, according to the Public Disclosure Commission.

– Seriously, business owners, why are you volunteering anti-gay garbage?

– The people in Kayaks meeting the Shell rig are pretty amazing.

– Oh hey, here’s your list of possible people to fill Sally Clark’s spot on the City Council. Oddly, no Goldy this time around.

Civil Liberties Roundup

The wife and the little ones all managed to get sick for much of the last two weeks, so I’m just barely caught up with my bookmark list in the last few days. Should be able to do some commentary in the next roundup. News items from the last two weeks below the jump…

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