Fun game: What one is Carl?
The legislative session starts on the 14th. It’s a short session so that the legislators can campaign for re-election. No major budget decisions. Nothing that hasn’t already gained some traction. So you can limit your expectations. But I won’t; here is what I’d like to see from our legislators:
* A cap and trade system for global warming gases. With our state’s biggest city (and several of our smaller ones) meeting Kyoto already, we ought to be able to make a cap and trade system with some real teeth. It’s my understanding that states can get into the European system if we meet their standards. This should be our goal. We can lead the country and get set up with a new commodity. Good for the environment and good for the local economy if we can make it happen.
* Income tax. Yeah, I know, a state supreme court decision in the 30’s says we can’t have one. We can have up to a 1% income tax, so here’s my proposal: A 1/2% flat tax for incomes between $30,000 and $60,000 and 1% for incomes over $60,000. We take whatever income we get from that tax and reduce the regressive state sales tax by that much.
* The article Lee linked to the other day had a suggestion for a law that will be tough to get through even this legislature, but is worth a shot:
When mothers abandon their unwanted newborns—which happens with alarming frequency—they must decide whether to leave an infant in a Dumpster, where the child is likely to die, or in a public place, where the child’s likelihood of survival is higher but so are the chances that the mother will be seen by witnesses, arrested, and prosecuted. The pandemic of abandoned newborns in the 1990s spawned a popular movement to declare emergency rooms and other medical facilities “safe havens” where mothers could abandon newborns without risking arrest. In 2002, the Washington State Legislature passed such a law.
A law that encourages people to call 911 when someone is overdosing would be grounded in the same impulse: It’s better to save lives than to prosecute every crime. But saving the lives of newborn babies is an easy sell and saving the lives of drug users is not.
But a life is a life to Senator Kline, who introduced legislation that would provide amnesty to people who call 911 to report an overdose. The bill, first introduced in 2005 and reintroduced in 2007 (remaining active in the 2008 session), states, “A person shall not be charged, subject to civil forfeiture, or otherwise prosecuted for a [drug offense] if… the person reported the drug overdose to law enforcement or summoned medical assistance at the time it was witnessed….”
Even the far from perfect law by Senator Kline would be a step in the right direction.
* Marriage Equity. Actually passing it does two things: First it gives gay couples the same recognition as the rest of us. As I told my evangelical cousin at Christmas, “what, do you want them living in sin?” But it also does something nice politically. It gets the issue off the table. Gay people aren’t going to drop the issue until they get full marriage equity, and the evangelical community isn’t going to drop the issue until gay people are all stoned to death, but having the end point puts the issue out of the minds of the rest of voters. So yeah, in the short term there may be some political fall out, but in the longer term it lets us not engage the crazies on the state level.
Anyway, there are a few from me, but I’d love to know what you want.
Flotsam Media have their pre-playoff power rankings, and they sure said a lot about the Seahawks.
This is a lazy Friday open thread.
Happy war on holiday.
* Mitt Romney gave a speech about freeance and religiosity. And he was introduced by a jackass.
* And, speaking of freedom needing religion, how about those moderate Muslims?
* And speaking of Romney, Goddamn are some of his supporters sensitive.
* And speaking of (is there a pattern here? I’ll stop) GOP whining. It’s bad that Democrats are allowed to ask questions of Republicans. And of Democrats.
* Democrats need not jump to defend the CIA when it obstructs justice.
* Michelle Malkin and Freepers are delightful people.
* It’s nice to know what’s a real emergency.
* The complaint against Dino Rossi was dismissed, but to the Republicans who seem to think that makes him clean, you are an idiot.
* Dino Rossi’s idea man is having trouble reading the Constitution.
This is an open thread
As to Goldy’s post this morning, I have not had sex with Larry Craig, but on the other hand, anonymous bathroom sex isn’t my thing.
* It’s so rare that you get a statement that converges so much of the bullshit that’s been going around into one delightful package.
* Bill O’Reilly has a new book out for kids. And if you’re having trouble reading the tiny tiny font, Keith Olbermann channels Fiorello LaGuardia and reads the comics for you.
* Y’all probably heard that Hillary Clinton’s Rochester, NH campaign office was taken hostage last week. What you might have missed is the freeper reaction.
* So, naming a bear Muhammad is a grave offense? Geez.
* Is Obama a Muslim version of the Manchurian Candidate? Well the fact that he’s a Christian, and that’s insane might lead you to a solid no. But for one of the nation’s most important newspapers, it’s still an open question.
* But the biggest bullshit is the fact that you don’t know what’s going on in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
* Doc Hastings sure doesn’t like poor children.
* Faith and Freedom need money.
* Did anyone on this blog mention the special session was bullshit?
This is an open thread
Talking to several people at Drinking Liberally yesterday, there’s a real question of where the local netroots should be headed. A lot of people are glad that the netroots got involved in the Burner-Tom primary (moreso than I was, as I was still undecided if leaning). And there is some discussion of primary challengers to entrenched Democrats in the legislature who aren’t pulling their weight.
Many Seattle Democrats and other Democrats in safe seats aren’t doing their part. It’s not just about liberal issues; most of the caucus from safe seats votes correctly most of the time. But too much of the leadership is coming from some more suburban swing districts. I’m not sure, for instance, why the impeachment resolution had to come from a suburban first term Democrat. I’m not sure why the leader on drug policy reform is a suburban first term Democrat. I’d like the safe Democrats to do more of this, and if they aren’t willing, I’d like to see them replaced.
That said, I’m not as convinced about the netroots’ ability to turn a primary as some people. We’ve still got a fairly small audience, and while we can raise some money, we aren’t enough on our own. We can maybe influence some media, but we’re still only writing to a small number of voters. We’ll also almost certainly be more divided than in a general election contest, as some people will inevitably take the side of the incumbents who got elected for a reason, and more bloggers will stay out.
Finally, there’s the question of who to primary. Ultimately, it would be the choice of whoever is willing to run. But given the problems above, we couldn’t support it if all the deadwood got challenged at the same time. Some will be better candidates, and some will run against worse incumbents.
Not too much bullshit this week, or if there was, I was too busy celebrating Thanksgiving to notice.
* Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as the President.
* And I hope you also enjoyed your make employees get up at 4:00, or earlier day.
* Our Saudi allies sure are, um, what’s the word after shittastic?
* Lou Guzzo has some ideas about race.
* Some say the Tri-City Herald’s editorials are unhelpful.
This is an open thread
This may be a bit of a Hillary Clinton centric post. If you don’t like it get your own spot on HA and have a repetitive shtick. Then it can focus on your favorite presidential candidate. Or whatever, I’ve tried to support all of the Democrats against bullshit, but this week has been mostly directed at Clinton (because she’s winning and because she’s a woman, I suspect).
* Andrew Sullivan really doesn’t like Hillary. I happen to prefer the political environment of the 1990’s to that of the Bush era.
* Anyhoo, she’s probably got girl cooties.
OK, not too Clintonie, that’s it.
* Mitt Romney is push polling himself.
* Fox News Porn banned by digg.
* I’m sure we totally have the resources to invade Pakistan.
* The new media laws seem to still be up in the air.
* Last year when the Republicans didn’t pass a budget, it didn’t have any earmarks. So the Republicans are good fiscal stewards.
* Goldy touched on this, but Rick Ensey’s wife Diane is giving us pseudonymous bloggers a bad name.
* He also touched on this like two posts ago, but Dave Reichert‘s inability to do basic FEC reporting is the gift that keeps on giving.
* You may have missed it, but I guess there was a tax revolt in King County.
* I hope one day we can figure out what the anti-war protesters want.
I mean honestly what the fuck?
In the genteel world of bridge, disputes are usually handled quietly and rarely involve issues of national policy. But in a fight reminiscent of the brouhaha over an anti-Bush statement by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in 2003, a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest.
At issue is a crudely lettered sign, scribbled on the back of a menu, that was held up at an awards dinner and read, “We did not vote for Bush.”
By e-mail, angry bridge players have accused the women of “treason” and “sedition.”
“This isn’t a free-speech issue,” said Jan Martel, president of the United States Bridge Federation, the nonprofit group that selects teams for international tournaments. “There isn’t any question that private organizations can control the speech of people who represent them.”
Not so, said Danny Kleinman, a professional bridge player, teacher and columnist. “If the U.S.B.F. wants to impose conditions of membership that involve curtailment of free speech, then it cannot claim to represent our country in international competition,” he said by e-mail.
It only gets more insane. These women make their living playing bridge. They are some of the best in the world, and they’re being threatened with a years’ banishment because they held up a menu that said “We did not vote for Bush”? Seriously.
I’m super pissed off that there’s honestly any discussion of people losing their livelihood because they held up a menu that said how they voted. These are mothers and they held up a sign during a victory celebration. While waving American flags and singing the National Anthem.
And by the way, the French team got the American ideal better than our country:
“By trying to address these issues in a nonviolent, nonthreatening and lighthearted manner,” the French team wrote in by e-mail to the federation’s board and others, “you were doing only what women of the world have always tried to do when opposing the folly of men who have lost their perspective of reality.”
Anyway, next up is my expose on Pinochle: what do they do with all the low value cards, anyway?
Seahawks beat the 49ers edition.
* The wingnut welfare squad sure are upset that their publishers cheated them to the New York Times best seller list.
* The scene in The Godfather II where Michael beats up Kate after she tells him she had an abortion is apparently inspirational to crazy people.
* Hillary Clinton is a terrible debater who simultaneously shows too much and not enough emotion. And who was a good debater in real time.
* Those of us who say torture doesn’t work? Alan Dershowitz has the answer for us.
* You need 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate, except when you only need 50.
* I for one don’t miss the old old days of blogs.
* Bush is still our president. Sigh.
* Lets not run back to reinstate the I-747 limits quite yet.
* Is there anything about Doc Hastings that isn’t bullshit?
* I think it’s been discussed on this blog once or twice before, but the political class sure knows the meaning of the Prop. 1 failure.
This is an open thread.
Maybe you want to talk about something that isn’t Roads and Transit? Anyway, I miss Do-Nothing-Doc. Sure, he wasn’t investigating Tom DeLay or any other Republican corruption. But at least he wasn’t riding herd on the opposition to basic gay rights:
Representative Doc Hastings of Washington, who led the Republican effort to get a vote on the amendment, said he opposed the overall bill in part because many states already had similar laws and because he viewed it as intrusive. “I do not think it is the place of the federal government to legislate how each and every place of business operates,” Mr. Hastings said.
No: the states, counties, and cities where gay rights aren’t protected are the very places where basic gay civil rights are needed the most.
From the New York Times on Democrats’ attempts to get a sane budget past Bush’s veto pen, our righteous senator hits the nail on the head:
“The president is appealing to a very small conservative base of people, his last few friends in the country, to say, ‘I am conservative,’ ” said Senator Patty Murray of Washington, a Democrat involved in mapping the party’s spending strategy. “But the problem is, he is playing with American lives while he sends his message to his friends.”
I guess someone should mention them as of 10:45. A better round-up to come tomorrow, I think:
* Well Roads and Transit failed, so maybe we can address public transit in 2009 if we’re very lucky. In the mean time, busses. Yippie.
* Tim Eyman is a horses’ ass who just passed an unconstitutional ballot measure, presumably to tie up the Democratic legislature next year before being tossed.
* Being a blogger (and a write in candidate) didn’t help Jimmy at all for Richland City Council. Still 10% for a write-in ain’t bad.
* In Oregon, Measure 49 to do something to Measure 37 that I don’t really care about because I’m not from a state that passed that stupid initiative in the first damn place looks like it’s failing (.pdf) but I am having a hell of a time navigating their elections web page.
* Finally, we’re winning the war in Iraq. I swear to God this month.
* It’s bullshit how little we spend on rail in this country.
* John Fund stepped away from beating his girlfriend long enough to pretend 8 of the 9/11 hijackers would have voted for Democrats.
* Before Hillary Clinton, nobody ever tried to get people to vote for them based on their gender. Just ask the NASCAR dads.
* General Petraeus’ spokesman is a liar.
* Vote on your favorite wingnut post of all time! Sadly, my favorite crazy post, that will be burned in my skull for ever, My Sharia is losing.
* The Seattle Times’ Ed Board is shall we say, wrong-o on Prop-1.
* And speaking of the Times’ Ed Board. Yikes.
* Representative Curtis‘ story made the national blogs.
This is an open thread.
Now with the morning news on this site every day, This Week in Bullshit is less relevant than ever:
* Rush Limbaugh knows where your children go to school.
* Mickey Kaus is an idiot. But on the other hand someone who may or may not exist accuses Hillary Clinton of doing something, so you decide.
* FEMA learned their lesson from Katrina: No more press at the press conferences.
* We may lose another member of the coalition in Iraq. The contractors. But only if they’re ever held accountable for their actions.
* How did you spend your Islamofascism awareness week? I opened presents under the meaningless word that’s a pretext to bomb Iran tree.
* And is there anything that isn’t OK to the far right if it ends up harming a Clinton in some way? Bill Clinton’s distant cousin was raped? Well shit parole the rapist, you’ll be praised by columnists for the liberal New York Times later on, even if they go on to kill one or two women.
* Mars Hill is going to unleash their bunnies and blatant homophobia on another Seattle neighborhood.
This is an open thread