Open Thread 2/5

- Tim Eyman and his birther friend team up to try to kill light rail in Vancouver, because of course they do.

- The IRS is already the administrator of the second-largest anti-poverty program in America. It’s about to become the second-largest health regulatory agency in the Federal Government

- Eat shit, Michael Brown.

- The sponsors of this bill have provided a Prima facie case that they should have all of their guns taken away.

- Dow Constantine’s vision for the county is certainly a fine one for when we don’t spend money, but in the long run, that isn’t going to cut it.

- Anyone doing STP this year?

Comments

  1. 2

    spews:

    Looks like Eyman has help ‘killing’ light rail from, er, the voters:

    In November, Clark County voters rejected a sales tax to fund light-rail on the Columbia River Crossing.

    http://blog.oregonlive.com/com.....g_tim.html

    But city councils know better about what’s good for the voters than the voters do. At least the Seattle City Council does.

    Bringing in a guy experienced in signature gathering, for better or for worse, seems reasonable for supporters of an initiative that, after having nearly 40% of its signatures invalidated, still came up less than 1% short of the required number.

    My guess is next time they’ll have the correct number of valid signatures.

  2. 3

    spews:

    That Vancouver light-rail initiative actually did have more than the minimum of valid supporters, after all:

    The state law governing city petitions says that if a person signs a petition multiple times, all of those signatures are invalid. Petitioners have argued the name should count once, citing a 1977 Washington Supreme Court decision declaring that practice unconstitutional. But that ruling came in response to a different state law, governing the state petition process.

    If all duplicate names were counted once, it would put the light rail petition well over the required number of signatures to move forward, according to the county. County officials threw out all duplicates, per state law.

    http://www.columbian.com/news/.....challenge/

  3. 5

    rhp6033 spews:

    Michael Brown continues to prove that he had no qualifications for the FEMA job. The Bush administration was just putting in place an agreeable hack who wouldn’t cause a ruckus as FEMA was dismantled into nothing more than a contracting agency.

  4. 7

    rhp6033 spews:

    As for the Washington House members who want to make it a felony for federal agents to enforce federal gun laws, I guess they never heard of the supremecy doctrine in the U.S. Constitution.

    Funny how the really crazy 2nd Amendment types think that’s all there is to the U.S. Constitution, and all other parts of it are subservient to it.

    They should move to S. Carolina, work to have it seceed from the Union, and this time we should let them do it. Then, when crossing the borders into the U.S., the customs agents can ask the same questions they do on the Canadian side of the border – “Are you carrying any firearms?”

  5. 8

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 1: Gee, you managed to blame the one group who can’t be criticized for the 787 problems, the group that has worked hard to fix the problems caused by other people.

    Stick to a subject you know something about – if there is one.

  6. 9

    KDS spews:

    So it comes back to Mike Brown – blame it on the Bush Administration; the meme of the left until it no longer works. It will be interesting to see what kind of clout Eyman has in Clark County and how the voters react. Who will actually pay for Light Rail there – the Chinese ??

  7. 10

    spews:

    Although the White House declined to comment, Michelle Obama was asked a few years ago during an interview whether the focus on her has affected her body image.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....tid=pm_pop

    Actually, I think that what’s different about Michelle Obama’s ass these days is that WaPo’s Robin Givhan isn’t around anymore to kiss it:

    The Obama effect transformed Friday’s Fashion Week presentation in New York by Jason Wu — the young designer who created her inaugural gown — into the season’s must-see event. In Washington, she had federal employees cheering and locals swooning.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....04221.html

  8. 11

    Czechsaaz spews:

    Wow, this is a big day for stupid from Cereal.

    @1

    You didn’t follow the outsourcing of huge amounts of the work to non-union, overseas companies.

    @2

    But the federal government has made one thing clear: No “high capacity” transit, no money from Congress to build a replacement for the aging Interstate Bridge.

    So, council members who want to prevent local funds being used on any bridge rebuild that includes rail is A.O.K. with doubling (tripling, quadrupling?) the city and state costs to rebuild as driver only. Conservatives are stupid. I’ll save taxpayers a dollar over here and then spend $3-4 over here. Reaganomics in a nutshell. (Nutjob?)

    @3

    Can we then invoke the statute against signing a petition multiple times and charge several hundred people with voter fraud?

    29A.72.140
    Every person who signs this petition with any other than his or her true name, knowingly signs more than one of these petitions, signs this petition when he or she is not a legal voter, or makes any false statement on this petition may be punished by fine or imprisonment or both.

    @10. All you have now is pot shots at a woman’s appearance or diet. You must be so proud.

    All this inanity before even 10am.

  9. 12

    Czechsaaz spews:

    Michael Brown has a radio show? Exhibit #1,705,324 as evidence that no amount of gross incompetence or utter insanity disqualifies a conservative from a paycheck in the noise chamber. But as long as that noise chamber keeps the Tea Party believing they aren’t deeply unpopular or that Willard is going to win in a landslide…

  10. 13

    Gman spews:

    I don’t think the following is insensitive or in bad taste so I will ask again – American Sniper is dead. Why didn’t his guns protect him? The whole basis of the Republican argument is that you are better off armed. What happen in this case?

  11. 14

    Steve spews:

    “blame it on the Bush Administration”

    When they deserve it, yes, of course. After all, for our nation to gain anything from lessons learned, we must examine our nation’s failures. But what your whine is really about is the hope that the nation will forget the many abject failures of the last Republican administration. Sorry, KDS, you can whine all you want but we’re never going to let that happen.

  12. 15

    Expat(!)Chad spews:

    I see that Serial Bloviator is here continuously instead of working. Does anyone actually read him or is he simply masturbating?

    Surely he has enough sense left to realize nobody cares what he thinks?

  13. 16

    ArtFart spews:

    @9 So who brought up Bush? Mike Brown has repeatedly shown himself to be a total dipshit without anyone’s help.

  14. 17

    ArtFart spews:

    @1, @8 The Seattle Times (you know, Uncle Frank’s pro-labor socialist rag) ran a front page story this morning about how the development and production startup of the 787 occurred under a 2005 FAA policy change in the name of “regulation reform”. Since then, it seems the agency has allowed aircraft manufacturers to do their own inspections and documentation for certification, and (particularly in the case of the Dreamliner) to rewrite the standards to fit what they wanted to build. A little like letting the inmates run the asylum.

  15. 18

    ArtFart spews:

    Temperatures in Alaska are 20 degrees or more higher than usual for this time of year. Consequently, the organizers of the Iditarod race are struggling to re-route the course to avoid long, impassible stretches of exposed mud and brambles that would normally be covered by several feet of snow.

    But remember, kiddies…”global warming” is just a theory.

  16. 19

    Angelus Novus spews:

    “In November, Clark County voters rejected a sales tax to fund light-rail on the Columbia River Crossing.”

    They didn’t reject light rail. They rejected paying for it.

  17. 21

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 9: “So it comes back to Mike Brown – blame it on the Bush Administration; the meme of the left until it no longer works.”

    The Republican answer to everything has been to lower taxes on the wealthy, reduce regulations and oversight of big business, and to privatise just about every government function. That’s been the strategy of just about every Republican candidate since F.D.R. was in office.

    The disaster at FEMA, while it was under Brown’s purview, is just one example of the “privatisation” strategy run amok.

    So yes, we will remind the American voters of what a disaster the Republican policy has been as long as it’s necessary. Republicans are counting on the American voters to have short memories, but we won’t make it easy for them to capitalize on that.

  18. 23

    No Time for Fascists spews:

    @19
    The Seattle voters did reject the tunnel many times and yet, we are paying for it.
    Seems that there is no political will in Vancouver.

  19. 25

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 17: The 2005 changes in FAA regulation really weren’t that significant. It’s pretty much the same as it was done before, except that the names/initials of the company-designated FAA inspectors were changed, along with a few other things, such as issuance of duplicate FAA8130-3 tags, etec. Due to lack of any real funding, the FAA simply doesn’t have the manpower to buy off on every test and installation made on an aircraft.

    It’s real hammer is it can threaten to withdraw the company’s manufacturing certificate, thereby revoking it’s ability to deliver any aircraft until the FAA demands are met. The FAA threatened to do that to Boeing once before, in the late 1990′s, when an audit revealed that a lot of work wasn’t done to plan, and relied upon the machinist’s knowledge or opinions as to how the work was to be performed. Boeing changed it’s entire way of documenting it’s processes as a result.

    The Japanese Civil Aviation Board “JCAB” is considerably more stringent than the FAA is. But they hire the best engineers out of college, and working for the JCAB is considerably more prestigous than working for a manufacturer or airline. You don’t see a revolving door – they typically work for the agency for their entire careers, except that some may contract out as “consultants” for manufacturers or airlines after they retire from the agency at age 60 (the mandatory retirement age in Japan).

    The current spate of articles in the Times seeking to blame the FAA is, well, bunk. I don’t know if they want to deflect attention away from an advertiser and country-club partner of the Blethens, or if they just want to create a “scandal” to sell papers. But we don’t even circulate such articles in my company, they aren’t even worth posting a link to the story in an e-mail.

    Of course, the FAA’s ability to oversee the design and production process won’t be helped by any Republicans in office. The budget debates last year didn’t save any money, it actually cost the FAA money (in taxes it couldn’t collect as part of the ticket price, etc.). If the House has it’s way, all the FAA functions (airport management, air traffic control, etc.) would be outsourced to the lowest bidder, who would try to make a profit by lowering service to a level which would be extremely dangerous.

  20. 26

    rhp6033 spews:

    It looks like the Republicans are getting serious about making sure their party P.R. efforts pay off. Karl Rove is kicking off a new Super-PAC to fund candidates in Republican primaries. He wants to protect established Republicans and fight against Tea-Party candidates who haven’t got a chance of winning a general election.

    Karl Rove Creates New Super Pack

    Good luck with that one, Karl. I hope you have just as much success with that as you did with the last general election.

  21. 27

    rhp6033 spews:

    It’s funny that the Republicans, having created the junkyard dog that is the Tea Party, are having trouble putting it down now that it’s going after it’s “master”.

  22. 28

    spews:

    @ 18

    When you’re done conflating a warm front, which is a weather pattern, with the much more long-term shifts in temperature we describe as climate change, maybe check out some of the more cerebral discussions currently going on. Revkin/GavinSchmidt stuff here:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes......nsitivity/


    But while plenty of other climate scientists hold firm to the idea that the full range of possible outcomes, including a disruptively dangerous warming of more than 4.5 degrees C. (8 degrees F.), remain in play, it’s getting harder to see why the high-end projections are given much weight.

    Not a bad read at all.

  23. 29

    ArtFart spews:

    @20 Well, I guess there might be an “out”, at least for today. Blame it on Puxatawney Phil…

  24. 30

    spews:

    The union filed its inevitable lawsuit against the law last week. But in his memo, Mr. Cook admits this is a long shot, as is a challenge based on technicalities like the law’s carve-out for police and fire fighters. “Because of wording contained in the Act,” Mr. Cook writes, “challenging the carve out might not strike down the Act but could merely put police and fire into the same RTW pit the rest of us are in.”

    and

    The pattern in new right-to-work states is that union membership plunges when it is voluntary. That’s what happened in Wisconsin and Indiana, and it will probably happen in Michigan too.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....oveLEFTTop

    Whachagonna do, Michigan unionistas?

  25. 31

    Czechsaaz spews:

    Whoops….

    Seems the ruling about recess appointments may have some consequences the Roberts court may need to consider behind the scene,

    Two members of the NLRB appointed in recess by Reagan ruled that St. Ron had the right to fire air traffic controllers. VOID! How long before surviving controllers or their estates bring suit?

    Jean Kirkpatrick was never legally appointed to serve as a U.N. Representative and anything the U.S. voted on while 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!!! representatives to the U.N. were recess appointments. VOID!

    Any decisions of the FEC from 1981 to 82. VOID!

    NTSB ’83-84, VOID!

    Bush the Smarter,

    Alan Greenspan 1991, Didn’t happen. VOID!

    NLRB decisions 89-91, three recess appointments, VOID!

    And it goes on and on…

    How do you say…judicial activism?

  26. 32

    spews:

    @ 31

    Read your links before posting.

    It should be noted that most of the recess appointments discussed in this memorandum are unaffected by
    the Noel Canning decision, which was limited in its scope to President Barack Obama’s January 2012
    recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

    How do you say……

  27. 33

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 31: This just goes to show how long Congress has been logjammed on the appointments. The Senate “anonymous hold”, created to avoid having the entire business of Congress held up by a filibuster, created a demon of it’s own, preventing a President from making his own appointments.

    The only way to get a lot of appointments done was by recess appointments. But Congress defended this by pro-forma daily ceremonies to pretend it was still in session, amounting little more to gaveling it in and out of business for the day.

  28. 34

    Czechsaaz spews:

    @32

    But if left intact, that the President essentially can’t make recess appointments, Any union effected by any decision made by the NLRB while a recess appointee was sitting is free to file a new claim. Ergo, VOID!

    Unless the Roberts court is prepared to tie itself into a tremendous pretzel for the sake of a narrow ruling. Canning would set the perfect legal precedent to challenge past decisions.

  29. 35

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 32: Duh. All cases start with a set series of facts. Litigants often try to limit their case to a specific set of facts which they think will most suit their case. Strictly speaking, a decision in a case specifically refers to that case, not others which might come before it.

    But the Roberts court used rather expansive language in overturning Obama’s appointment. Although this can be criticized as mere dicta, if it’s central to the court’s reasoning then the court will have to go through considerable logical gymnastics to distinguish one set of recess appointments from another.

    What sort of test would it set? How long must Congress remain open each day to be determined to be “in session”? The court previously struggeled with such fine distinctions in the fields of segregation, admissability of confessions, obscenity, and abortions, but has since tried to back off from such detailed oversight of other government institutions. Is the court going to tell the U.S. Congress how to set it’s own calendar? This raises some seperation-of-powers issues.

  30. 36

    spews:

    @ 33

    But Congress defended this by pro-forma daily ceremonies to pretend it was still in session, amounting little more to gaveling it in and out of business for the day.

    Why does the Senate do this? So the president doesn’t end-around the Advise and Consent role of the Senate by making recess appointments in the first place.

    Nice try.

  31. 37

    Expat(!)Chad spews:

    I see that Masturbating Bob is back trying to impress anyone that is masochistic (or bored) enough to read him.

    What a pathetic egotist.

  32. 38

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    I just want to take a moment to thank Tim Eyman. More than any other single individual that HorsesAss has nearly cemented a permanent Democratic run and led government in Washington state.

  33. 39

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 36: If you read my comments on this issue, you will note that I didn’t specify either party.

    Both parties have used this tactic in the past (the Democrats use it in 2007 and 2008), although it’s reached nearly absurd proportions now that Republicans in the Senate have used their “hold” to prevent almost every Obama nomination from being confirmed.

    Under the current rules, a recess appointment was the only way to get things done. It’s insane to have so many government agencies go leaderless for several years.

  34. 40

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    @39 rhp6033,
    Every presidential appointment requiring Senate approval deserves an up or down vote in a reasonable period of time. Absent a vote, every president is well within his constitutional prerogative to make a recess appointment.

  35. 41

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Hey, if you get a chance, drop a Thank-you note to a Pennsylvanian for allowing Republican Tom Corbett to become their state’s governor.

    Tom Corbett has graciously committed his state federal taxpayers to pick up WA’s Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act but decided that Pennsylvanians will not get that benefit.

    Maybe Republican Gov. Tom Corbett was just too busy thinking about covering his tracks during his tenure as PA State Attorney General when he somehow failed to uncover the Penn State Sandusky child abuse crimes.

  36. 42

    ArtFart spews:

    @40 “Up or down”…now from whom do I recall hearing that from before? Oh, yeah…some guy who set the world’s record for recess appointments and signing statements.

    As to the Court turning itself into a pretzel…well, methinks we’re going to witness some spectacular legal yoga.

  37. 44

    Czechsaaz spews:

    @41 & 43

    Once again, Republicanism (Reaganomics) in a nutshell. “I will principally stand here and save the taxpayers $1. It’s not right to ask the American taxpayer to pay that $1. I think it’s perfectly reasonable that the taxpayer forks over $5 in unintended costs as a result of me saving them $1. Citizens who think it might be better to spend $1 rather than $5 are just moochers. Why don’t they vote for conservatives? We are obviously the fiscally responsible party.”

  38. 45

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 44: The thing to remember is that corporations consider themselves in competition with the federal government. They don’t want the federal government taking away any portion of their business, no matter how much money it saves their customers.

    Similarly, there isn’t a government service in existance that the corporations fantasize about taking over under the “privatisation” label. They will destroy the agency infrastructure by promising to perform the service at a lower cost for the same service, and then afterwards increase the charges and reduce service levels in order to make a profit.

    If the service is not self-financing through user charges, they will either rely upon the taxing power of the federal government to pay them to perform a lower level of service at a higher rate as a government contractor, or cut out the service entirely.

    In the eyes of corporations, every dollar which exists – either in the federal treasury, in the pockets of consumers, etc. – morally belongs to them. Anybody who isn’t forking it over to them is, in their eyese, stealing from them.