Open Thread

- While the marijuana bills in the State House were voted down last week, the decriminalization bill is still alive in the Senate.

– The Cannabis Defense Coalition got the third set of documents from the Public Disclosure Requests from the Department of Corrections. I’ve updated the index of those documents here.

– Dan Bertolet writes about why it would be a mistake to implement the “Vision Line”, the proposed routing of light-rail through Bellevue that bypasses the Bellevue Transit Center. As someone who works in that area, I strongly second Bertolet’s concerns. It just doesn’t make sense at all not to utilize the existing Transit Center as a light-rail station. Plus, Wallace claims it “brings all of Downtown Bellevue within a 10-minute walk from the station” at 114th and 6th. It would take a pretty brisk pace to make it to Bellevue Square from there in 10 minutes, not to mention that it’s a fairly steep uphill climb between 112th and 110th. I just don’t see people making that walk – especially during the Christmas season when the weather is crappy and the need for transit alternatives is greatest.

– Tom Schaller writes one of the most dead-on posts I’ve read so far this year regarding Obama and how his instincts hurt him on health care. Here’s a snippet:

One of the joys of reading The Audacity of Hope is also one of its repeated annoyances: Obama’s reasoned and reasonable mind almost always works through a problem or controversy by admitting the merits of arguments made by advocates on both sides of some issue, then confesses his preference for a more liberal solution, but admits he is open to alternative solutions that might take into account a broad range of views and values. The book was undoubtedly written with his own political future in mind, and he surely aimed to demonstrate both his intellectual faculties and his open-mindedness.

But the presidency is not an intellectual exercise. It is a not a law school class debate. And in this hyper-partisan age it damn sure isn’t a colloquium in which opponents try to find common ground with opponents uninterested in reaching accommodation, no matter how much good faith bargaining is done. Consider the filibustering tendencies of the past three years, with the Republicans in the Senate minority, compared to the six years prior with the Democrats in the minority and George W. Bush in office.

Based on data provided by the U.S. Senate, cloture activities have doubled since the GOP became the minority. The average annual filed cloture motions from 2001 through 2006 was 34, but jumped to 69 in the three years since; average votes on cloture grew from 27 to 50; and per annum invoked clotures ballooned from 13 to 33. Neither party plays well with the other, but the GOP is more likely to throw a tantrum in the sandbox.

Did Obama think his political philosophies or 2008 campaign rhetoric would be an antidote to this sort of obstructionism? Did he think that the hand he reached across the aisle would be shook rather than bitten? Did he think wishing for a post-partisan America would make it so?

Comments

  1. 1

    righton spews:

    But Obama didn’t write that book; Ayers did. so don’t read too much into it

    I hate the Bellevue transit center….what a stupid thing to not have any parking adjacent to it. nice job aiming at the capital of SUVs without a way to get the locals out of same SUVs (cuz its easier to drive to seattle or seatac than to take a cab to the transit center to then catch a bus)

  2. 2

    notaboomer spews:

    Did he think that the hand he reached across the aisle would be shook rather than bitten?

    he was reaching under the senate stall for the soft hand of larry craig.

  3. 3

    eastsider spews:

    Yakima Racism Lifts its Ugly Head

    Is city’s code probe racially motivated?
    Some Latinos cry foul over city’s examination of possible violations
    BY LEAH BETH WARD
    YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC
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    Hector Franco

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    YAKIMA, Wash. — At the urging of at least one member of an anti-illegal immigration group, the city of Yakima this fall investigated possible code violations at identifiably Latino-run businesses.

    The investigation of 47 addresses — including private residences — resulted after Mary Ann Lockhart and Deanna Pemberton presented a list to the City Council at an August meeting.

    Pemberton identified herself on a sign-in sheet as a member of Grassroots of Yakima Valley, which opposes illegal immigration.

    Of the 47 inspections conducted between September and November, officials found two possible code violations at private locations, one of which has since been fixed. City officials were not immediately able to explain the violation, saying the inspector on the case was unavailable.

    The other case — a homeowner’s storage of tires and heavy tools out in the open — remains open.

    While the businesses can be identified by a Latino surname, such as Jimenez Auto Sales, the private residences have no occupants or property owners identified in city records. Of the 47 addresses, 36 are businesses and 11 are residences.

    Most of the addresses investigated are in the city’s central area just outside downtown, although two are in the city of Union Gap and one is in Terrace Heights. The city has jurisdiction in Terrace Heights but not Union Gap.

    The city’s action prompted the resignation last week of Hector Franco, from the Community Review Board, a volunteer group that deals primarily with code violations.

    In his resignation letter to Mayor Micah Cawley, Franco, a union organizer and longtime Latino activist from Yakima, called the investigation a “racist effort to target the Hispanic residents of the city of Yakima.”

    Franco’s letter faults the complaint-driven nature of the code compliance system.

    “This policy lends itself to abuse by residents hostile to other residents of the city,” he said.

    Franco said in a telephone interview Tuesday that he waited to decide to resign because he thought the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was going to formally object to the investigations.

    “But that never happened, so
    I had to do something,” he said.

    Nestor Hernandez, another Community Review Board member and a local real estate agent, said he also doesn’t think the city acted appropriately by conducting the investigation.

    “Are people going to come in and say, ‘I want a list of all the Arab businesses. All the Muslim businesses.’ It does not look good,” Hernandez said. “The codes apply to everybody.”

    Cawley said that he routinely forwards citizen complaints to code compliance. For instance, if someone tells the City Council about people who regularly park in restricted zones, the city will take a look.

    “We don’t question why you are in front us. If you complain, we’ll look into it. We treat everybody fairly,” the mayor said.

    Cawley nevertheless allowed that a complaint list full of Latino surnames could be perceived as biased.

    “I do see where there could be some misperceptions,” he said.

    Pemberton couldn’t be reached for comment.

    Lockhart said in a telephone interview that she requested the city review because of her concern over environmental pollution by businesses illegally disposing of contaminants, such as motor oil.

    She said the list of possible offenders was not compiled with ethnicity in mind.

    “I had no clue what nationality these people were. I have six Hispanic grandchildren,” she said.

    Lockhart also said she was satisfied with the way the city responded to her concerns. “They did what they could within their limitations. I walked away feeling very, very happy.”

    * Leah Beth Ward can be reached at 509-577-7626 or lward@yakimaherald.com.

  4. 4

    Monterey spews:

    Am LOVING having John Carlson back on KVI without Shram. Happy days are here again—loving the substantive analysis he provides. Welcome back, John!

  5. 5

    Monterey spews:

    You guys still don’t get it. Obama is the most leftwing radical prez we’ve had in a long time. What America is not liking about him is that he ran as some kind of tax-cutting moderate, but then once in office pulled off the mask and revealed his true colors—a radical leftist big-government over-spender to beat all over-spenders. Trying to institute new entitlement spending when we’re already drowning in all the other entitlement spending. And he wasn’t even willing to address tort reform, to get health care costs down. He’s out of touch with the people They want jobs and national security long before they want this health Deform

  6. 7

    spews:

    @5
    You guys still don’t get it. Obama is the most leftwing radical prez we’ve had in a long time. What America is not liking about him is that he ran as some kind of tax-cutting moderate, but then once in office pulled off the mask and revealed his true colors—a radical leftist big-government over-spender to beat all over-spenders.

    What’s your planet like?

  7. 8

    spews:

    @1
    I actually agree with your second point about parking. Our unwillingness to provide more parking at transit stops is taking the idea of urban planning and turning it into attempts to change people’s behavior. We have to evolve our way into new systems. You can’t just build what you think is the ideal end point and expect everyone to conform (ironically, this is partly what’s happening with the Vision Line too). You have to build bit by bit solutions for people. Some people are never going to want to live walking distance from a light rail station (especially in Bellevue), but many of them will find the line useful for trips downtown or to the airport. Telling those people that they need to move closer to a light rail station is absurd.

  8. 9

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Obama is Both a Left-wing Radical President and a LIAR…the biggest LIAR and the most Leftist Radical EVER!
    Name one more Radical Lee????

    Now Obam-Mao and his sidekick, David “The Devil” Axelrod must actually start being honest with the American people. His days of shoving a radical Leftist Agenda are over.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 27% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -15

    Even a mediocre SOU should bring this number to -7 at a minimum. If it doesn’t Obam-Mao’s magic charm has expired.

  9. 10

    spews:

    There is a tremendous preference to talk about the health care debate in terms of personalities rather than in terms of institutions. That preference couldn’t be more misplaced in this instance.

    Political analysis has a weakness for “Great Men of History” thinking. Schaller, like most right now, continues to wade in this swamp.

  10. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Obama needs to get a pair of Doc Martens, a pair of brass knuckles, and a pair of balls; and learn how to use ‘em.

  11. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 “But Obama didn’t write that book; Ayers did.”

    If I had a penny for every lie you asswipes spew, I’d be a trillionaire.

  12. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    As it stands right now, I’ve made only $375 in the stock market today, but that still beats morning. That works out to $46.88 an hour or $95,625 a year; and I don’t even have to do anything. I can stay in bed if I want to! No commuting hassles or work expenses, either. Beats me why anyone works in this country. I sure don’t. I get paid for pushing money in little circles, which produces absolutely nothing except little circles.

  13. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 Yup, wingnuts prefer not to have their misstatements of fact corrected and their irrational arguments rebutted. It’s so much easier when nobody is fact-checking you!

  14. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 Personally, I think tax-and-spend is healthier for the economy than the borrow-and-spend policy of the radical rightwinger who preceded him. It’s going to take taxpayers six generations to repay all the money Bush borrowed from China to give more tax breaks to billionaires.

  15. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    1, 8 — I don’t know anything about the Bellevue Transit Center, because I haven’t been there in years. If there’s no parking, I can’t use it, because I’m a lame and wheezy old rabbit who can’t hop more than a feet steps.

  16. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 Absolutely everything any Republican says is a lie, so what’s the big deal? Why is the kettle spouting off? Did the goats refuse you sex this morning?

  17. 22

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    12. Roger Rabbit spews:

    Obama needs to get a pair of Doc Martens, a pair of brass knuckles, and a pair of balls; and learn how to use.

    He won’t..like Clinton, he has an underlying desperation to be loved because of a difficult childhood. Obam-Mao seems to be saying all his problems are caused by his “Typical White Woman” granny…not his goofy, hippy Mom or his runaway dad who abandoned him.

    Get under the surface here and you’ll see why Obam-Mao will move aggressively to the center or even Right of Center.
    I don’t think it will do him any good.
    He has already repeatedly verbally abused the unaffiliateds who are aka the TEA PARTY!
    From the e-mails I’m getting, the disgust & hatred of Obam-Mao is growing and despite these same folks mistrust of Republicans, Obam-Mao is the target because of his ACTIONS, his VERBAL ABUSE and the simple fact he is in charge.

    I know you KLOWNS will never get it.
    There is a huge Unaffiliated Group in America that actually elected Obam-Mao. Obam-Mao mistakenly believed it was Black folks and you uber-Leftists (like him!).
    Now Obam-Mao and his sidekick, David “The Devil” Axelrod are scrambling to heal wounds they caused. I think it would have been possible 8-9 months ago. But judging from the e-mails and articles I see…unlikely.
    Because
    The messiah has no clothes!!

  18. 23

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    16. xotz spews:

    @14
    I’m curious what your trades were.

    Racist Roger Rabbit has been proven to be a LIAR many, many times. He has been busted on his stock picks and his 90% stock portfolio.
    Getting tips from a proven LIAR??
    Good luck!

    Racist Roger, who calls Puddy a “Flying Monkey” “Oreo” and “Uncle Tom”, is a sick old bastard….fading from lung disease caused by decades of smoking.
    If a KLOWN like Racist Roger makes suchs horrible choices with his health…why in the world would you trust him with your money????

  19. 24

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    21. Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 The bulk of my gain today is in BA (up $3.14), which I bought a few days ago.

    Yeah right..after all your ripping on Boeing and telling us how they would fail with the move to Carolina??!!
    Too Damn Funny Racist Rog!
    Zotz…connect the dots dude. Rog makes stuff up days after the fact!!

  20. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 Okay, have it your way — Boeing is DOWN $3.14 today. Go check it yourself and prove me a liar.

  21. 26

    spews:

    Mr Cynical @ 9

    You need some perspective. Seriously. Anyone who quotes Glenn Beck, approvingly, is off his rocker.

    Circa ’97, when Clinton was playing a Blue Dog, I said out loud “If I had wanted a Republican, I would have voted for Dole.”

    Thereafter, I’ve joked that I voted for Republican Presidents the last four times: Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kerry.

    From the vantage point of a progressive, not some trog instigator, Obama is to the right of Clinton.

    Nixon was way more liberal than Obama. (Except for that southern strategy bit.)

    Reagan and Obama are about equal. Though I don’t think even Reagan’s puppetmasters would have suspended habeas corpus.

  22. 27

    spews:

    Mr Cynical @ 23

    Why are you all calling each other racists? It just never stops.

    Taunts like this lose their impact when overused.

    Switch it up sometimes. Try something more effective. Like when someone makes a really stupid point, ask them to clarify. Like this:

    In your libertarian utopia, who pays for the administration of elections and the courts?

    Funny aside: Our office libertarian just repeated your “govt should only provide defense and keep the peace” slogan. He’s a nice kid, so I didn’t crawl down his throat. But he couldn’t answer the above question either. If you ever want to have influence, you so-called libertarians should probably smooth out the wrinkles of your faith.

  23. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @24 Boeing is a cheap labor employer that builds airplane parts in China and assembles them in a right-to-work state. They’re going to make a lot of money. Why shouldn’t I cash in on that? They’re going to exploit cheap labor and treat their workers like shit regardless of whether I own their stock or not, so I may as well help myself to some of that free money. Why should Republicans get it all?

  24. 29

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Jason vomits–

    Reagan and Obama are about equal.

    Yeah, keep trying to convince anyone of that!
    Ther new Democrat talking points are to portray Obam-Mao as a Conservative.
    Won’t work. He’s already offended the Tea Partiers and anyone else who questions his massive deficit spending.
    But it’s fun watching you LEFTISTS try to re-invent Obam-Mao.
    Too Late. America has seen his true agenda.

    The messiah has no clothes!

  25. 30

    spews:

    Mr Cynical @ 29

    I was wondering, if its not too much to ask, if you could start using complete sentences. As a personal favor to me.

    Paragraph form would be good too.

    Much appreciated.

  26. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I went back to bed after checking the market at around 9:30, and just got out of the sack, and am now having my morning coffee and lettuce. How was the commute to work this morning, trolls? Traffic heavy again?

    Last time I checked the market, I’m up about $600 on the day, which works out to $75 an hour, which annualizes to $153,000 a year. And all I have to do for it is sleep. Sure beats commuting to a job!!!

    IBM, AT&T, MSFT, and several of my other holdings are all up today. But Boeing is doing exceptionally well — up $3.44 last time I looked — and APEI, one of my short-term speculative plays, is up 93 cents. And I didn’t burn a penny of 3-buck gasoline or put any pollution in the air getting from my queen-size bed to the computer, with a stop at the fridge for a bite of cheese on the way.

    Life is good.

  27. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @30 Nah. It’s better if no one understands what he’s saying, because he’s got nothing to say. Even his investment tips are shit. Gold? He’s gotta be kidding! If he had bought gold at $900 an ounce when the Russkies invaded Afghanistan in 1979, he would’ve made a $190-an-ounce profit in 30 years. That’s, um, 21 percent or less than 1 percent a year. Hell, even banks pay better than that.

  28. 37

    Steve spews:

    @27 “Taunts like this lose their impact when overused.”

    Mr. Klynical likes to tell racist jokes about lazy black males and then taunt others here as being racist. Whether this is some vile attempt to lower the bar on racism or just another symptom of the batshit crazy, there’s one word, asswipe, which puts it all in a nutshell.

  29. 38

    Steve spews:

    @31 My picking up Sanmina-Sci at $1.52 (post reverse split) worked out well. With today’s pop, it’s just shy of a 10-bagger. I knew last fall when Cramer pumped Flextronics and dissed Sanmina-Sci that it was a winner. Of course, Flex is lower now than when Cramer pumped it. It’s like Cramer’s thestreet.com is one big pump and dump operation.

    Anyways, Goldy has my trade confirmations, whereas Mr. Klynical was a no-show at the Great Trade Confirmation Showdown. He’s all talk and no walk. But I think we all already knew that.

  30. 39

    Steve spews:

    @36 “@30 Jason, a “Libertarian” is a Republican who doesn’t want to admit he voted for Bush.”

    That’s today’s Libertarian. Yesterday’s stormtrooping GOPers. Yesterday’s Libertarians were just anarchists, but whiny and lacking balls.

  31. 40

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Steve–
    Are you enjoying your chuggy chuggy Tollycraft rides burning up lots of fossil fuels polluting the water and air??

  32. 41

    Steve spews:

    @40 Hmm, I’m suspecting that you might now be inhabiting the far side of the batshit insane. But as long as you’re there, say hello to Puddy for me.

  33. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The market snapped sharply upward in the closing minutes, and I made exactly $1,000.00 today. (You don’t see a number like that too often — about as often as you see a triple play or perfect game at the ol’ ballpark.) That works out to $125 an hour, which annualizes to $255,000 a year — hell, that puts me in Obama’s “high earner” tax bracket! Except I get a 2/3rds discount on my taxes because I didn’t work for it. I slept until noon and then posted comments on HA until the market closed at 1:00 and for this the world pays me $125 an hour and gives me tax breaks! I can’t figure it out — it makes no sense — but it sure beats working for a living!

    Ain’t capitalism grand? Gotta love those GOP tax policies, too!

  34. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Boeing was up $4.22 today. Kicking the workers pays. Sure, I feel guilt, but look at it this way — by taking this dirty money, I deprived a Republican of it.

  35. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @38 I miss a lot of good ones. I would’ve passed over Starbucks if Mrs. Rabbit hadn’t sunk her teeth into my rump. I thought it was grossly overpriced, but I bought 100 shares at $17 anyway, just to shut her up. Several splits later, that $1700 investment was worth $20,000, and now she’s never going to shut up.

    I agree with you on Cramer. The guy’s full of shit. Why anyone still listens to him is a mystery. The one time I did, several years ago, back when I didn’t know better, I lost $2,000 in eight weeks. I considered it an investment in my education.

  36. 45

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Actually, it was worth $32,000 at the top, but I sold off some of it on the way up. What I often do is take out my original investment and the net effect is I got the shares I kept for free. For example, let’s say you buy a 100 shares of X at $20 and it’s selling for $40 after two splits. The first split gives you 200 shares and the second split gives you 400 shares. I’ll sell 50 shares to recover my original $2000 and put that money somewhere else. After doing so, I own 350 shares worth $14,000 that I got absolutely free.

  37. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The amount of risk involved in owning a stock you got free is zero. There’s no way to lose money on a deal like that.

  38. 47

    Steve spews:

    @44 Yeah, the misses. I was eyeballing HGSI last spring at 45 cents, saw it dip to $0.35, thought about buying 20 or 30 thousand shares for kicks, passed, and now it’s at 28 bucks plus change. Sigh!