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.

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.

Discuss.

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Thom politically corrects FAUX News Nutburger Steve Doocy.

Jimmy Dore chats with Rep. Peter King:

Sam Seder: Palin flubs on White House.

Women and Republicans

Jon: American priorities.

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

ONN: The Onion Week in Review

Young Turks: FAUX News has bullshit eruption after Obama calls bullshit on their bullshit.

Sam Seder: Bill-O blows a fuse over Colbert’s mocking of his stupid idea.

Mental Floss: 14 Money Saving Life Hacks.

Puppet Nation: Please hold for the President.

The Republican War on Voters™:

James Rustad: “The Ballad of [Texas Gubernatorial Wannabe] #GregAbbott”.

Sam Seder and Cliff Schecter: Cristie’s Tunnelgate will dwarf Bridgegate.

Jimmy Dore gets a call from Gov. Rick Perry.

White House: West Wing Week.

Young Turks: CNN’s cowardly attack on Reza Aslan.

Thom: How privatizing medical records will harm you.

Sam Seder: Michele Bachmann wants a global war with Islam.

Breach!

John Fugelsang and Thom: Why the American dream is on the chopping block.

Puppet Nation: Vote Granny.

Jimmy Dore chats with President Obama.

Thom with more Good, Bad, and Very, Very Ugly.

World War III Kickstarter update:

ObamaCare is Working!

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

State Supreme Court Upholds Washington’s Estate Tax; Frank Blethen Rolls Over in His Grave*

Back in 2013 the Seattle Times editorial board repeatedly advocated against a technical fix to Washington’s estate tax, calling it both “legally and economically wrong.”

Given the current crisis of income inequality in America they are certainly welcome to continue to argue the latter. But as for their stoopid, stoopid legal arguments, well, the Washington State Supreme Court has once again proven the editors to be constitutionally incapable of interpreting the constitution:

The state Supreme Court has upheld the Washington estate tax as it was amended by state lawmakers in 2013.

The court handed down its unanimous ruling Thursday. The opinion was authored by Justice Charles Wiggins and leaves in place a tax-law change that was meant to preserve an estimated $160 million in the current biennium.

I’m not sure what’s worse—that the editors arrogantly thought they knew better than all the lawyers advising state legislators, or that they didn’t think they knew better and just decided to fake it in an effort to snow readers?


* No, Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen isn’t technically dead, just the five-generation family media empire that’s been pissed away on his watch.

Open Thread 10/2

- I’m not sure there’s all that much that the state can do about oil trains, but good on Governor Inslee for doing what he can.

The problem isn’t that people don’t have enough guns. The problem is that police are too often using the guns they have. That won’t be solved by a bunch of average suburban white people wandering around public spaces with their rifles slung over their backs. Those aren’t the people most likely to be shot by police –whether they’re armed or not. They’re missing the point entirely.

Washington state is dotted with landslide-prone slopes, and many counties and cities do less than Snohomish County to keep homes away from harm.

– What marijuana shops will open are slowly working themselves out.

– That’s cute and all, but maybe an income tax would be a better way to solve the budget hole than taxing political contributions?

Two Weeks Vacation Is Stupid and Inhumane

Richard Branson has made Virgin Management the latest of a handful of companies to offer employees “unlimited” paid vacation time. The idea is that these companies won’t track your hours as long as you get your work done. Which, as a binge worker, sounds pretty damn great me.

But “beware the implications of unlimited vacation,” warns Bloomberg Businessweek’s Vanessa Wong:

The glow of trust and togetherness that such policies provide could actually make employees less likely to take time off. Already, some 40 percent of American workers don’t use all their paid vacation days. Even away from the office, employees can still choose to be on their BlackBerrys (BBRY) for 168 hours a week (as the device’s marketing materials point out, to every worker’s distress). Abolishing official vacation days also means you can’t trade unused days for cash, or hoard them for 20 years and take a hard-won paid sabbatical before retiring.

Um… what century is Wong living in?

I’m 51 years old and have never stayed in one salaried job long enough to accrue more than two-weeks of paid vacation days a year, let alone hoard them for cash or sabbatical. Wait. I take that back. Last February, on my three-year anniversary at The Stranger, I qualified for a third week of paid vacation for the coming year. I was fired one month later.

And my penchant for job hopping isn’t so abnormal. The average worker today stays at one job for a median of 4.4 years—for Millennials, half that. So a national paid vacation standard that starts at two weeks and is tied to length of tenure ends up being cruel, counterproductive, and downright stupid. This is a policy that inevitably leads to burnout while distorting the labor market by punishing workers for switching jobs.

So I’m all for any policy that helps shake up America’s draconian attitude toward vacation days.

Today in I-Can’t-Believe-We-Don’t-Have-This-Already

Patty Murray is introducing legislation to provide increased access to and education about emergency contraception.

When women are not given full counseling about — and access to — emergency contraception, a major health decision is taken out of their hands. Every year, over three million pregnancies (one half of all pregnancies in the United States) are unintended. In the 1960s, researchers began testing the effectiveness of concentrated, high doses of oral estrogen to prevent unintended pregnancy. In 1973, putting science and medical evidence first, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this form of contraception only as an emergency measure. In the time since (and not without significant resistance from critics), the FDA has declared emergency contraception, a.k.a. the morning-after pill, to be safe and effective in preventing unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex, birth control failure, or sexual assault. In addition, the FDA has approved the sale of some forms of this pill to women of all ages — over the counter, without prescription.

However, despite this increased access — and the number of options now available to women — emergency contraceptive use in the United States remains low. In fact, only half of OB/GYNs offer emergency contraception to all of their patients, and one third of reproductive-age women don’t know it exists.

Well, that’s a problem. I mean fortunately this is such a no-brainer that I’m sure it will sail right through our responsive democratic process. Surely, right. Right?

Open Thread 9/30

- Not sure what Washington’s rules about selling the Confederate flag in gift shops is, but if we don’t have a rule like this, we should probably adopt one.

– The GOP trouble attracting women to their cause is sure tough to explain. Part infinity.

– Still not a big fan of Amazon, but if they’ll build a woonerf* I’ll be happy for a moment.

– Hey DC Comics: Do better.

– Goldy will probably have a longer post at some time, but Chris Hansen has submitted all the paperwork for the Seattle Arena.

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