Open Thread 5-8

- Congrats to the UK for keeping horrible people in office. At least they won’t have to form a coalition with even more horrible people.

– Sound Transit will miss Joni Earl when she retires.

Murray Releases Revised $930 Million Transportation Levy Proposal

Oil trains are ticking time bombs, and each one passing through a small town in North Dakota or a large city like Seattle is a risk to the people, the property, and the environment of that community. There is no safe way to transport this oil, and local municipalities should not bear the risk while the railways and oil companies rake in all the profit. We urgently need stronger local, state, and federal protections against these dangerous oil trains rolling through our communities.

– I liked reading about the end of the gray wolf in Thurston County, but what I’m most amazed by is an old newspaper using “xpedition.” Did nobody catch that, or was it proper?

Hillary as Nut Cracker

This happened in Washington state a bit over seven years ago:

This story was brought to mind as I was thinking about the upcoming election season—I guess the idea of Hillary bringing down a big slate of almost all males nutjobbers served as a vehicle to invoke the Hillary-as-nut-cracker metaphor, triggering the memory.

Hillary will, in fact, end up running against only one Republican. Even so, almost all the Republican candidates will be running as the anti-Clinton, besides trying to out-conservative, out-gun, out-god, out-science-deny, and out-homophobe the others.

It’s going to be entertaining. More so, if we can get some more televised G.O.P. debates.

And every time a Republican drops out, I’ll be hearing another nut being cracked….

Don’t Hold Your Nose

I’ve been hearing a lot of people saying they don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton because she’s sooooooo far to the right, and they’ll only vote for her in a general. And, you know, I’m not here to tell you how to vote in a primary where I haven’t even made up my mind yet, but that has always struck me as off.

I mean of the 3 candidates who got furthest in the last contested Democratic primary, her health care plan probably would have covered the most people. I’d have preferred universal single payer, but it wasn’t on offer. During that primary, other Democrats kept attacking her from the right. Her time in the Senate was pretty liberal, especially on domestic issues, and her tenure as Secretary of State was fairly remarkable. And while it’s early days right now, she has also run a fairly lefty campaign so far. This isn’t someone you have to hold your nose for!

Look, if you prefer some other candidate: great! That’s what primaries are for. If her vote on the Iraq war or how she or her surrogates campaigned 8 years ago is a deal breaker: you’re an adult vote how you want. If you think supporting someone else will push her to the left: go for it! But the idea that she’s some awful compromise doesn’t comport with how she has governed or campaigned.

Open Thread 5/6

- Oh hey, public pressure might have actually done something to stop the Arctic drilling fleet from coming to Seattle.

– I never drank as much as the author of this piece, but I can definitely relate to being one of the few non-drinkers by choice at a party.

– I’ve walked there a bunch, but it’ll be nice to try out the bike path is open at Mercer.

– I don’t really follow Canadian politics but it was explained to me at Drinking Liberally that Canada’s Texas just elected a bunch of commies.

On busing and birthday parties (or, My brief encounter with a bus goddess)

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottlePlease join us for drinks and conversation at this week’s meeting of the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. Our starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks stop by earlier for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle tonight? Check out one of the other DL meetings this week. The Long Beach, Tri-Cities and West Seattle chapters also meet tonight. The Lakewood chapter meets on Wednesday. And on Thursday, the Tacoma chapter meets.

There are 191 chapters of Living Liberally, including eighteen in Washington state, four in Oregon and two in Idaho. Chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.

HA Bible Study: Deuteronomy 12:15-16

Deuteronomy 12:15-16
However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your towns, as much as you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you. The unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and as of the deer. Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out on the earth like water.


Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

James Rustad: “I am Governor LePage”.

Helpful Dos and Don’ts for police officers

The 2016 Clown Parade:

David Pakman: Where’s my apocalypse? Economic collapses are not happening in cities that raise minimum wage

Pap: Mitch McConnell wants to nullify the Constitution.

Forgotten assholes of history: The Brit who invented the Concentration Camp:

Sam Seder: FAUX News blames Obama for young people “trying” to join ISIS.

Baltimore Burning:

Sam Seder: Michele Bachmann is grateful Obama is bringing about “End times”.

David Pakman: Right-Wing lie that Obama is creating mostly low wage jobs is DEBUNKED.

The Daily Show: Getting Congress to “Fucking Cooperate”.

Same Sex Hypocrisy:

Mental Floss: 25 towns that changed their name.

Nepal: Before and After.

White House: The Obama state china service.

Correspondents Dinner:

David Pakman: Anti-Clinton author admits he has no evidence of wrongdoing.

Rep. Pelosi on the GOP bill to allow employers to control reproductive freedoms in D.C..

Mark Fiore: Commander-in-Drone.

Corruption is Legal in America:

James Rustad: “DEA Sex Party Song”.

Same Sex Marriage:

Mental Floss: Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Thom: The Good, The Bad, and the Very, Very, Petulcously Ugly!

Dancing dots show Congressional divide.

IAF: 10 facts about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Bernie Sanders declares:

Greenman: Mike Mann on “hide the decline”.

Maddow: America’s new views on criminal justice.

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

I’m a Jolly Good Fellow (But a Mean Fisker)

So, my day job hasn’t changed, but after six months of working for Nick Hanauer I finally have something official to print on a business card: I am a Senior Fellow at Civic Ventures, a public policy incubator. (And if you’re wondering what makes me “senior,” it’s that I’m the only fellow old enough to qualify for AARP.)

Anyway, in addition to the new name, we also have a new blog—Civic Skunkworks—to which I proudly posted today the blog’s first fisking:

Tim Worstall not only has a byline at Forbes and a fellowship at the impressive-sounding Adam Smith Institute, he also spells “labour” with that fancy extra “u,” so he must be a smart guy who knows an awful lot about economics, right? But then you read his actual words and, well, not so much…

Watch Worstall plot a demand curve from a single data point, and then watch me tear him a new one. Enjoy!

Open Thread 5-1

- Baltimore Police Detain Numerous Residents Without Charge (also, you should really check out all of TWIB’s coverage of Baltimore, and maybe give them some money if you can)

In the end, it’s impossible to point to one closing franchise restaurant as a symptom of a deeper problem.

– The need among Republican states to punish their poor is really disheartening.

– Oh hey, more Patty Murray being awesome.

– I don’t really like the lightening round questions in the candidate debates, but I guess when there’s a large field they may be necessary. Still, Godden should answer the questions.

– Maybe Okamoto should apologize to the citizens of King County for how the Port Of Seattle operated when he was chief administrative officer? No, that would be substance rather than decorum, so it’s not important to The Seattle Times.

Civil Liberties Roundup

Last Thursday, the Obama Administration came forward with the news that a drone strike back in January killed an American and an Italian, along with the four militants who were holding them hostage. The American, Warren Weinstein, is the 8th American killed by the Obama Adminstration’s drone program. Of those eight, only 6 were even suspected of being part of a terrorist network.

As numerous reporters have noted, there’s hardly any transparency when it comes to how the CIA is carrying out these attacks. It would be one thing if the secrecy of these attacks served some practical purpose, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anywhere.

In Somalia and Yemen, our drone strikes have only compounded the instability. And in Pakistan, where the Obama Administration has given the CIA even greater leeway – and where Weinstein and Italian hostage Giovanni Lo Porto were killed – not even the most strident domestic opponents of the Islamic radicals think it’s working. Writing recently in the Globe and Mail, former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani writes about the Obama Administration’s misguided belief that they can win the war on terror by dropping bombs from flying robots:

The fascination with drones reflects the desire of leaders to be able to fight wars without risking casualties to their own side. The Obama administration has preferred using unmanned aircraft, armed with cameras and missiles, in locating and eliminating terrorists over committing troops or even intelligence officers in the field. The death of hostages, coupled with the fact that terrorists continue to recruit and multiply despite drone strikes, points to the folly of that approach.

His piece gets at the heart of why drone warfare fails and why there’s so much official secrecy around it. Drones didn’t become a popular method of battling radical groups because of their effectiveness in war. They became the primary means of battling radical groups because of their effectiveness in selling us on war. The lack of transparency – and of dead Americans – keeps this disconnect alive and keeps public support for drone strikes at a much higher level. If Americans fully understood how this method of dealing with groups like Al Qaeda isn’t just a failure, but actually counterproductive, there might start to be some momentum to wind it down. But for now, there’s still a widespread belief that this method of waging the war or terror actually works. If you’re a drone manufacturer or a politician afraid to challenge the CIA, the less said about these failures the better.

More news items from the last two weeks…

[Read more…]

Anybody Who Denies the Existence of Class in America Doesn’t Understand America

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw just doesn’t get it:

Bagshaw said: “More than frustrated, I am sad about how Sawant is acting. I perceive her as intentionally creating class differences for her own gain, whereas we could be shaking everyone’s hands and working together to solve this problem… “

Sigh. So, the thing is, to accuse Kshama Sawant of “creating class differences” is to fail to acknowledge that class differences already exist. And I think that helps explain Bagshaw’s failure to connect with working-class voters.

Also, while Sawant is certainly attempting to create class consciousness (and she may even be attempting to exploit it), none of this is for Sawant’s personal gain. She’s a true believer in the midst of a class struggle. Simple as that. Read your Marx and you’ll gain a lot of insight into what motivates Sawant.

But to attribute it to ego or self-interest is to misread Sawant entirely.

As for Bagshaw, I don’t question her intentions. Every conversation we’ve had has been pleasant and polite. I think we mostly get each other. But then, that is because Bagshaw and I largely hail from the same class. The overflow crowd at the affordable housing forum last week, not so much.

Personally, I struggle to overcome my own class prejudices and preconceptions, not always successfully. Empathy can be a poor substitute for experience. But one thing I know for sure is that these class differences—and the anger and frustration they are generating—are very, very real.

Open Thread 4-29

- It is traumatic as F*&K to be a Black person who has awareness of what’s going on constantly foisted on them.

Nonviolence as Compliance

– Inslee’s office really should have done better on the arctic oil drilling fleet.

– Looks like Dow’s State of the County speech was pretty good.

– So Sally Bagshaw both “felt jilted for not being able to join Licata and Sawant on stage at last week’s rent control forum” and thought the forum was an ethics violation?

– Paid parental leave for King County employees

Droney weighs in

Affordable Housing Town Hall Was About Policy, Not Politics

Hey look over there!

Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw says a town-hall meeting hosted by Councilmember Kshama Sawant at City Hall last week was really a “political rally designed to inflame emotions and get one council member re-elected.”

Um, with all due respect, Sally, that is total bullshit. And it is also a truly unfortunate and unnecessary distraction from the growing crisis over Seattle’s lack of affordable housing.

To be clear, I was at that town-hall meeting. I was the second public speaker on the agenda. And I spoke totally about policy. Not politics, policy. There wasn’t anything political in anything I said. Pure policy wonkery. Period.

Councilmember Sawant had invited me to speak so that I could present my proposal to tap into city and county bonding capacity to build affordable housing. In fact, she did more than just invite me. She and her staff twisted my arm to take an hour out from a really crushing schedule last week—to speak about policy! And a policy that has nothing directly to do with Sawant’s pet project of pushing for some sort of legal rent control.

It was, by the way, the exact same policy pitch that I personally made to Bagshaw just two days earlier at the 43rd LD Democrats’ straw poll. Was our one-on-one conversation a “political rally” too, Sally?

Sawant’s council colleagues would do better for themselves and their city by directly addressing housing affordability rather than attempting to distract from the issue by launching bullshit ethics complaints.

Drinking Liberally — Seattle


Today is Election Day in King county. So get that ballot filled out and in the mail, and then join us for an election day debriefing and a pint at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. Our starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks stop by earlier for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle tonight? Check out one of the other DL meetings this week. Tonight the Tri-Cities chapter also meets. And next Monday, the Yakima and South Bellevue chapters meet.

There are 190 chapters of Living Liberally, including eighteen in Washington state, four in Oregon and two in Idaho. Chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.