Pap: The G.O.P. fear machine.
Things there are fewer of than Republican repeal votes:
David Pakman: Ted Nugent tells some whoppers.
White House: West Wing Week.
O’Donnell: The titanic battle ahead in Texas.
Stephen “praises” Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
The IRS Non-scandal Reemerges:
Maddow: Chris Christie’s offensive tone.
Young Turks: Record number of Americans support gay rights.
ONN: Onion Week in Review.
John Oliver’s new show…a promo.
The Republican’s Operation Oxymoron.
Mental Floss: 27 amazing facts about comics.
Stephen knocks Bill-O-the-Clown for knocking Hillary.
Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.
When I started writing my first blog, the people whose voices I liked the most, I didn’t even know their real names. Media Whores Online and Bartcop. What strange fake names. But they always wrote with a passion and humor that I loved reading. I mean, I remember reading Bartcop during the Clinton administration! There weren’t too many voices as strong and as fun back then.
If you’ve ever wondered why the lefty blogs are so much funnier than the conservative ones, well, there are a lot of reasons. But Bart blazed a pathway of mixing humor and dead seriousness that so many on the left over the years looked at and thought “shit, I can do that.” Too bad not many of us could as well as him.
And don’t get me wrong, the guy was hardly perfect. He always flirted with 9/11 conspiracy nuts, for example. But he was right more than he was wrong: From Bill Clinton’s impeachment to the Iraq war to trying to legalize marijuana, he got it right more than he got it wrong and at a time most media pontificators were as wrong as wrong could be. He got it right from Oklahoma when so many of us on the coasts couldn’t. He was funny more than he fell flat and decent more than not. 3197 issues and countless side pages and podcasts are a hell of a legacy, and even though he never rose to the same prominence as some other bloggers, he was an original, and he’ll be missed.
So, good news: the bus tunnel will have cell service in the near future. It will be nice to not have whatever you’re doing cut out when you pull past the International District station. And while you’re waiting, you can pull out your phone and fart around a bit.
The bad news: the bus tunnel will have cell service in the near future. I can’t tell you how many times it’s been a relief to have someone yelling into their phone have to turn it off. Formerly, a moment’s quiet. Now lost.
Last Friday, I and much of the Washington lefty establishment, noted that State Sen. Jan Angel at the behest of Rodney Tom killed funding for state homeless programs. Anyway, finally Senator Angel has decided to address the problem head on. By demanding that Governor Inslee study the issue to death.
Sen. Jan Angel today sent a letter to the governor requesting his leadership in establishing a task force to evaluate funding sources for local homeless housing and assistance.
Her decision to hold House Bill 2368, a measure that would extend a temporary surcharge tax to support homelessness, in the financial institutions, housing and insurance committee has caused a flurry of controversy and inaccurate accusations, despite her good intentions.
“I was half an inch away from being homeless myself, so this issue is extremely important to me, despite what others are so quick to assume,” said Angel, R-Port Orchard. “People need to understand all of the facts surrounding an issue before they point fingers.”
Yeah, just because she withheld funds, how dare you ignore her personal story? Don’t you understand individual, unverified, claims are more important than the actual policy she pushes? Stop holding her to account for her actions, you meanies.
Angel said her main concerns about HB 2368 have to do with a lack of supporting data and reporting from the state Department of Commerce, strong discord among involved stakeholders, and the fact that the surcharge tax falls on the backs of one small and unpredictable sector.
That’s why she didn’t go through the normal committee process and instead killed it in a surprise legislative move. A move that caught even most of her GOP colleagues off guard. If she had wanted more reporting or more information, well, she’s the chair of the relevant committee. She could have made that happen without killing funding. For God’s Sake.
“This isn’t a matter of being for or against homeless people. This is about finding a sustainable solution that is agreed upon by all affected stakeholders – things that the measure did not do.
Look, it isn’t a matter of being against homeless people; It’s a matter of taking action against homeless people. And then waiting a week to find a way to deflect the actual reasons that you did it.
“That’s why I have called on the governor for his leadership. I am sure that he would agree that Washingtonians living in cars should be at the top of our priority list.
Jan Angel has called on the governor to lead, because we can be assured of one thing: Jan Angel will not lead on her own. No, what we need most of all in these troubled times is a commission or something. And, in the mean time, if people are hungry or cold we can just tell them, “there’s a taskforce in some office in Olympia leadershipping.”
“When you are put in a leadership position, you have to be willing to make the tough calls for the betterment of people. As co-chair of the committee, I decided to hold the measure because I know we can do better.”
But even after a week, I have no idea what better is. Leadership, as you know, is having no ideas and asking for someone else to rescue you from you own actions.
Angel said the current surcharge tax is at the mercy of virtually one industry that experiences severe peaks and dips depending on the economy. Instead of putting this kind of responsibility on the backs of one small sector, she is looking to the governor to help pull everyone together to evaluate more stable and permanent funding options that would truly meet the needs of the homeless.
Of course, the governor would have had more time to figure that out if she hadn’t killed the funding in a surprise last minute maneuver.
As the regulars know, HA has been intermittently slow and balky for quite some time. So now that I have some extra time on my hands, I am in the process of implementing some tweaks and upgrades in the hope of speeding things up and eliminating those pesky “508″ errors.
So if you find the site down or weirdly dysfunctional over the next day or so, please be patient.
Kudos to Senator Pedersen for this bit of throwing the GOP nonsense back in their face.
Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, and Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, introduced amendments to the transportation bill that triggered alarms for Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle. Ericksen’s amendment sought to pay the 520 bridge replacement costs with toll revenues. “I wanted to stop the gigantic sucking sound” of 520 overruns, Ericksen said. Baumgartner’s amendment would have made Seattle’s property owners responsible for cost overruns on the downtown tunnel project. Baumgartner was unavailable for comment after the Senate showdown.
Pedersen decided to introduce to file his own amendment to make the property owners of Medina, at the east end of the 520 bridge, liable for cost overruns on the 520 project. “My objective is to get rid of those two (Ericksen and Baumgartner) amendments,” said Pedersen midway through Tuesday night’s showdown.
Ericksen withdrew his amendment. Then the Senate passed Pedersen’s amendment to put Medina on the hook for 520 overruns by a voice vote — in which senators shout as groups or stand in groups to show their positions without a formal roll call. The vote on Pedersen’s amendment showed that some Republicans wanted to have Medina pay for 520 cost overruns, or at least wanted to punish Tom.
In the end, neither provision was in the final Senate Supplemental Transportation Budget. It’s nice that a Seattle Democrat is willing to throw an elbow. And look, something good actually came out of it. If Seattle Democrats are a bit more willing to throw a punch now and again, that probably bodes well for future projects.
Also, it’s nice that enough GOP members were willing to throw Tom under the bus. Or at least Medina, and that’s somewhat less nice. Either they don’t like Tom as much as many Democrats (but are still willing to make him Majority Leader!), or they really can’t tell the difference between Seattle and the suburbs with their hate. In some ways their irrational hatred of Seattle is an irrational hatred of the Puget Sound region. As much as Tom may go out of his to demonize Seattle, Medina — and the whole of the Eastside and for that matter all of King County — are just about as hated by the people who hate Seattle.
- Welcome back Goldy.
- Is the marbled murrelet habitat on the Olympic Peninsula worth $600,000?
- Too much rain, you guys. It’s starting to get expensive for King County and the rest of Western Washington.
- With all the problems with Russia, one could be forgiven for being distracted from what North Korea is doing, but what the fuck is North Korea doing?
- Justice James Johnson is not a favorite around here, but I wish him the speediest of recoveries.
- Welcome to the Pac 12 Women’s Basketball tourney.
I am sorry to say that as of the moment I am no longer an employee at The Stranger. It’s a longish story that I don’t really feel like getting into (and it would probably seem stupid to outsiders), but let’s just sum it up as “editorial differences.” I was always appreciative of the opportunity to share the page with such a great group of writers, and will miss some (if not all) of the experience. We have left open the possibility of me returning to the paper in some capacity, but after more than three years there I am comfortable with the notion of moving on.
Of course, just because I’m no longer being paid to pontificate on politics doesn’t mean I’ll stop pontificating. I certainly don’t plan to maintain my prior workload, but do expect to use HA again as an outlet. So sorry, trolls. I also plan on doing some long deferred maintenance in order to both speed and clean things up around here. As for my career plans, well, I’m determined to be openminded.
It is no secret that I have long been considering a run for office, quite possibly a city council run in 2015. But I lack the financial resources to wait 22 months until my next paycheck, so I have no choice but explore more practical options.
I am fully aware that there aren’t likely any local journalism jobs out there for me—at least none that would pay the bills—so I won’t be looking too hard in that direction. May 10 will be my 10th Blogiversary; that’s a long time to be doing one thing, so I could use a change. That said, I am confident I would still be a valuable asset to the right broadcast, print, and/or online news outlet. So if anybody is looking to add a smart, wonky, passionate, provocative voice, drop me an email.
Other than that, I’m open to new challenges: communications, public relations, government relations, policy analysis, political consulting (I helped elect a Socialist, for chrisakes! What’ve the other consultants done?)—as long as it’s a cause, candidate, or product I can get behind. I am also perfectly willing to consider abandoning politics altogether. I’m a self-taught programmer capable of straddling the chasm between marketing and development, so a return to the tech industry would be appealing.
The point is, I’m looking for a job: presumably one that pays better than the last one, while harnessing my passion and creativity. So if you have any offers or suggestions, let me know.
• Where: The gondola would run from Freeway Park next to the Convention Center down to the waterfront, staying above Union Street. A midway station would sit between First and Second Avenues on Union, which would have to narrow from three to two lanes of traffic to accommodate the station.
• What it looks like: Eight towers would support the cable and cars, each shaped like a whalebone and taking up only three feet square on the sidewalk. The cars would travel about 40 to 50 feet above traffic, and well above the cables used by city buses.
• Who the heck is paying for it: The entire enterprise, which will cost “tens of millions of dollars,” according to Griffith, is privately funded. No taxpayer money will be used, says the elder Griffith, “and by being privately funded, there’s a strong possibility it will happen.”
That sounds pretty fun, and as long as taxpayers aren’t on the hook for it, sure. I mean the Convention Center to the Waterfront is pretty walkable, but still, it’s probably easier to point to the big sky machine, and say “hop in.” I like the Ferris Wheel, and sure, why not? If they can make another high up thing, only this time practical, go for it.
- Mark Driscoll should probably consider just stopping for a while until he can get past the plagiarism stuff. Don’t worry, buddy. The asshole church you built will still be there when you get back.
- This is a lovely story from when Multnomah County issued marriage licenses to gay couples.
- It’s sort of dizzying to look at the map of bikes that have been stolen in Seattle.
- In a previous Open Thread, I said that I was sorry for the people who lost money on Bitcoin. That’s still mostly true, but there are exceptions.
The Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally has been nomadic for the past two months. This week we return to our natal home. The former Montlake Ale House is under new management, with a new menu, and a remodeled interior.
So please join us tonight for a homecoming visit to Traveler Montlake, 2307 24th Ave E in Seattle. We meet at 8:00 pm, but some folks show up early for dinner.
Can’t make it to Seattle? Check out another Washington state DL over the next week. The Tri-Cities chapter also meets this and every Tuesday night. The Lakewood chapter meets this Wednesday. For Thursday, the Spokane and Tacoma chapters meet. And on Friday, the Enumclaw chapter meets.
With 215 chapters of Living Liberally, including nineteen in Washington state, four in Oregon, and three more in Idaho, chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.
Well, this is good news.
A new policy for the Seattle Police Department aims to change how officers handle crisis situations with people who are mentally ill or under the influence. The crisis intervention policy, which takes effect Monday, is part of the city’s federally-mandated police reforms.
A key component calls for officers to de-escalate a situation whenever feasible, in line with standard law enforcement practices.
I hope this has a real change in the interactions with people with mental illness, not just some window dressing for the Feds and the public. The department has been resistant to change, and a new policy alone isn’t going to be enough. The actions of the police will be the final measure.
Still, this new policy will include gathering measurable data, so even with the need to temper it above, I’m also hopeful.
- I don’t want to sound like an alarmist here but aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah mice.
- Matchar is correct, in that way. Some of the MRM’s views are reflected more widely across society, which is why we don’t need them for this discussion. They are superfluous and should be left in their corner. We have real work to do.
- I’m just going to put this out there: don’t send threatening emails to school staff
- Hillary Clinton was in Cascadia, but no media.
- Something something Ukraine.
- Something something The Oscars.
Last week’s contest was won by milwhcky. It was the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where a sinkhole swallowed up some classic cars.
This week’s contest is a random location somewhere on Earth, good luck!
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
Michele Obama introduces the food label of the future.
Sam Seder: Threat of the Comcast—TWC merger.
Maddow on GOP Vote Rigging in Ohio:
Stephen: FAUX News’ double age standard.
Daily Show: Why health care is a right.
Obama: About Ukraine:
Ana Kasparian: Stop corporate money from killing our democracy.
Stephen unmasks his “Laser Klan” cartoon.
White House: West Wing Week.
O’Donnell: More emails in BridgeGate.
“In Jesus Name…we discriminate”
Obama: My Brother’s Keeper initiative.
Mental Floss: 15 inaccuracies found in common science illustrations.
Modeley Braun on why black women don’t get elected.
Black Senators on lack of diversity in Congress.
Jon has some fun with Bitcoin.
Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.
I just can’t with this asshole.
You know where American Democracy™ fails? In little rooms in Olympia where petty politics play out, the poor get trampled upon, and it’s all hidden from view. Yesterday afternoon, after TVW turned off its cameras at a Senate Financial Institutions, Housing, and Insurance Committee hearing, State Sen. Jan Angel (R-27) suddenly, to the astonishment of her colleagues, killed off a bill that funds most of the state’s homeless programs by ending the hearing before bringing it up.
Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom called Angel and told her to table the bill, Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44) says, adding that Tom told him that directly. And rumors abound that Tom did it merely to perturb Speaker Frank Chopp. “There’s those theories out there,” says Hobbs. “He didn’t say he wants to poke Frank Chopp in the eye, but I think everyone knows what Frank Chopp’s thing is.” Housing has long been Chopp’s signature issue.
Now I realize that homeless people don’t give campaign contributions, so why would Rodney Tom give the slightest damn about them? Basic empathy? Human decency? Some tiny sense, somewhere, that we’re all in this together? The merest, most scant, sense of caring about dignity for other people? What the fuck is that to Rodney Tom when there are political points to be scored?
The China News Service has decided to run some hurtful, and frankly sloppy, attacks on Ambassador Locke.
“Gary Locke is a U.S.-born, third-generation Chinese-American, and his being a banana — ‘yellow skin and white heart’ — became an advantage for Obama’s foreign policy,” opened the commentary, written by a person identified as Wang Ping…
“However,” the commentary continued, “after a while, a banana will inevitably start to rot.”
Then there was this nugget:
“When Gary Locke arrived, the skies in Beijing became hazy. When he left, the skies suddenly became blue.”
First, I’m not 100% sure that’s how pollution works.
But more importantly: What? That was China’s state run paper. I don’t know that much about his tenure. I followed it a bit closer than I might have otherwise since he was governor of Washington for 8 years. It seemed like he was mostly well liked and respected. Seems like some strange parting words.
It would be one thing if that was just someone freelancing. But I guess that’s the thing when the state tries to control the media, they have to own the things that get said.