It’s a Good Thing Really Rich People Care About Ebola, or Else We’d Be Totally Helpless!

Hooray for really rich people!

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $25 million to the CDC Foundation to help address the Ebola epidemic.

The money will be used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Ebola response effort in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and elsewhere in the world where Ebola is a threat, the foundation said Tuesday.

The grant follows a $9 million donation made by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen last month. Zuckerberg and Chan are making the grant from their fund at the nonprofit Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Sure, the money is great and all. So thanks. But… um… we’re the United States of America! We put a man on the fucking moon! (Actually, 12 men!) So you’d think the CDC would have the financial resources to adequately address the Ebola threat without begging for money from billionaires!

Seriously, America! How about taxing the super wealthy sufficient to meet our national needs, instead of just kinda hoping they care enough to gift us money when and if they think we really need it? Wouldn’t that be a much more rational way to run a government?

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottlePlease join us tonight for some more political punditry and electoral prognostication over a pint at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday evening at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. The starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks show up before that for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle? Check out another Washington state chapter of Drinking Liberally over the next week. The Tri-Cities, Vancouver, WA, and Redmond chapters also meet on Tuesday. The Lakewood chapter meets this Wednesday. On Thursday, the Tacoma chapter meets. And next Monday, the Aberdeen, Yakima and Olympia chapters meet.

With 201 chapters of Living Liberally, including seventeen in Washington state, three in Oregon and three in Idaho, chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.

NRA, Eyman Shoot Blanks in Latest PDC Report

Sometimes no news is big news, as was the case with Friday’s monthly PDC filing deadline for campaign contributions and expenditures. The National Rifle Association, potentially facing a momentous defeat at the polls, reported raising and spending absolutely nothing during the month of September in opposition to Initiative 594, which would impose background checks on all private gun sales. Assuming they’re actually obeying Washington’s campaign disclosure laws (and that’s merely an assumption), it sure does look like the NRA has turned tail and fled rather than shoot it out with I-594’s well-heeled backers.


As for professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman, he’s never been one to run away from certain defeat—although that sort of boldness is easy for a guy who has only ever played with other people’s money. But what happens when the well runs dry? Irrelevance. As in the zero dollars raised in September for his yet to materialize statewide anti-minimum wage initiative.

Eyman had kicked off his campaign to personally profit from the minimum wage debate with a neat $50,000 each from two Seattle real estate baronesses, but has yet to raise another dime to toward the $1 million he says he needs to buy enough signatures to qualify his initiative by the end of the year. I suppose it’s possible that a deep-pocketed backer like, say, the International Franchise Association could dump in the necessary cash all at once. But why bother with Eyman? He’s just a middleman. And an expensive one at that.

It’s now been two years since Eyman has managed to qualify an initiative for the ballot. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, Tim, I hear The Stranger is hiring.

Open Thread 10/13

- I look forward to future groundbreaking judicial decisions such as, “Yes, ‘finders keepers, losers weepers’ does apply to your PIN at the gas station.”

– Those of you who read Dave Neiwert’s book And Hell Followed With Her will remember Oin Oakstar (and those of you who haven’t should). He has died in Everett.

– What Seattlish said. This has been What Seattlish Said.

3 reasons why I wish I could tell you to vote for none of the above in the Clerk race, but I won’t

#TWIBnation on the Ground in the Aftermath of the #shawshooting

The Counter-Intuitivist

HA Bible Study: Judges 11:29-40

Judges 11:29-40

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites. And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD : “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the LORD gave them into his hands. He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh! My daughter! You have made me miserable and wretched, because I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break.”

“My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the LORD. Do to me just as you promised, now that the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

“You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and the girls went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. After the two months, she returned to her father and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.


Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Stephen is horrified by Boehner’s support of gay Republican.

Funny or Die: Here’s how you’re getting fucked!

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

David Pakman: Obama outperforms Reagan on jobs, growth & investing.

White House: West Wing Week.

Ed and Pap: Rick Scott can’t shake his criminal past.

Bill Clinton Returns to Arkansas to save the Dems.

Maddow: GOP-driven voting laws hurt turnout report.

Sam Seder: Republican Scott Brown thinks nobody cares about equal pay for women.

Jon to AIG: Go fuck yourselves.

Young Turks: Obama to close Gitmo…Republicans freak out.

Lewis Black says fuck voter suppression:

Thom: Boehner admits Republicans have no jobs plan.

Sam Seder and Janeane Garofalo: Why the climate crisis is getting worse.
Mental Floss: 100 Amazing Facts.

Pap: What Republican obstruction has cost.

Political Ebola:

Rubin Report: Doing this in Seattle will get you fined $1.

Jon has a problem with Obama’s “Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad war”.

Young Turks: Jon Stewart for Meet the Press host?

Stephen defends Columbus.

David Pakman: Joe the Plumber goes full racist with misspelled slurs:

Maddow: Tasteless GOP political ad still online.

Sam Seder: Rand Paul was insane and hated the poor as a college student.

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

Open Thread 10/10

- Good work Jean Godden, and boo for Seattle for taking so long to get maternity (and paternity) leave for city employees.

– The bike signals on 2nd Ave are great, but I’m glad the city is also dealing with garages mid block.

Despite about a million technical issues, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange has gotten some people covered — at least here at home. Despite low enrollment in rural counties, in King County, 1/4 of residents are covered.

– Given the Seattle Metro Area’s worst in the nation pay gap, it’s particularly galling to see the CEO of Microsoft saying women shouldn’t ask for a raise. He apologized, and we can all decide for ourselves how sincere he was. But I hope it leads to some sort of concrete action because this region most pointedly needs to do better.

– I’m more of a fan of remakes than I think a lot of people, especially people on the Internet. The Ghostbusters with women as the main cast seems awesome.

The Future Is Not Written

There was some discussion at Drinking Liberally over how much weight to put into Nate Silver and other people’s predictions for what will happen in the Senate. I tend to think his predictions are pretty good, and Democrats should be worried about losing the Senate, and having some losses in state legislatures. But the good news is that there’s still a month. And things aren’t static. You can still donate or make calls for your favorite candidates. You can still get behind candidates on Facebook or Twitter and talk to your friends. You can still write letters to the editor and comments. You can still call into talk radio.

And of course, you can still vote. Here in Washington we don’t have a US Senate race but we sure have a close legislature. We still have plenty of initiatives. Politics isn’t a spectator sport, and by all means get involved. The great thing about the issue of if the election were held today is that the election won’t be held today. There’s still time to make things better.

Open Thread 10/7

Carl’s tech issues continue. Maybe I should upgrade from my Vista laptop at some point?

There Is Only One Preschool Measure on Seattle’s Ballot: Proposition 1B

I have been advocating for universal preschool for years, both here on HA, and more extensively at The Stranger. High quality early learning is the only education reform absolutely proven to work. And that is why I will be voting for Proposition 1B.

I’m not totally unsympathetic to the stated goals of the labor-backed Prop 1A, but to be clear, it does not implement preschool. It’s about raising the pay, training, and certification of childcare workers, and it sets a goal of reducing childcare costs to 10 percent of a family’s income. Which are good things. But it’s totally unfunded. And it does not create a single preschool classroom, let alone a high quality one.

Childcare and preschool are not the same thing.

Prop 1B, on the other hand, fully funds the gradual phase-in of citywide universal high quality preschool through a modest 11 cent per $1,000 of assessed value hike in the property tax—about $50 a year for the average homeowner. This evidenced-based program would ultimately be free to all three- and four-year-olds from families earning below 300 percent of the federal poverty line (currently $71,550 for a family of four), with generous sliding scale tuition subsidies for families earning more than that.

Yes, the implementation is a bit slower than a lot of people would like—the plan is to serve 2,000 children by 2018—but we have no choice but to implement slowly. Serving 2,000 students is the equivalent of creating five new elementary schools in a district that’s already struggling to meet capacity; we simply lack both the physical infrastructure and the number of trained and certified  teachers sufficient to implement a high quality program overnight. And experiences in Boston and elsewhere teach us that implementing preschool right is more important than implementing it fast.

Furthermore, implementing a successful preschool program here in Seattle is the first step toward implementing high quality early learning statewide. If we do it right here, we’ll soon see similar programs in cities like Bellevue, Mercer Island, Shoreline, Renton, and Tacoma. Pretty soon voters throughout the state will demand the same opportunities for their children. Reject Prop 1B and you could set back Washington’s early learning agenda by a decade or more.

So yes, I am enthusiastically voting for Prop 1B, without reservations. Whatever the disappointing political machinations that led to this showdown, the clear choice on the ballot is between a measure that actually implements universal preschool, and a measure that doesn’t. I’m voting for the one that does. And so should you.

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottleWe have less than a month to the next election. So please join us tonight for some political punditry and electoral prognostication over a pint at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday evening at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. The starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks show up before that for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle? Perhaps you can visit another Washington State chapter of Drinking Liberally over the next week. The Tri-Cities chapter also meets this and every Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Bellingham chapter meets. And the Bremerton chapter meets on Thursday.

With 203 chapters of Living Liberally, including seventeen in Washington state, three in Oregon and three in Idaho, chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.

HA Bible Study: Deuteronomy 7

Deuteronomy 7
When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you- and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.