Sen. Cantwell takes lead on underage gambling

Longtime readers know that problem gambling is one of my pet issues. That’s why I am so pleased to see Senator Maria Cantwell taking the lead on our nation’s fast growing epidemic of underage gambling.

In a letter sent Monday to Surgeon General Richard Carmona, Cantwell lays out the relationship between underage gambling and “other risk behaviors” such as alcohol abuse and smoking. According to Cantwell, as many as 8 percent of young people may have a gambling problem, and nearly half start gambling before the age of ten. She asks the Surgeon General for his help in raising pubic awareness of youth gambling addiction.

Children are also three times more likely to become addicted to gambling than adults. I am particularly concerned that childhood exposure to gambling is increasingly widespread — exposure that may tragically result in later compulsive gambling addictions. For example, games of chance are used to market many products that also have public health consequences, such as the consumption of high calorie foods and soda. Children are exposed to gambling every time there’s a scratch-off card at a fast food restaurant, or a prize under a soda bottle cap liner.

Not to mention the youth poker craze, that is being fed by ESPN coverage of poker tournaments.

Cantwell is working on this issue with Senator John McCain, who has previously sponsored legislation restricting gambling on youth athletic events. I expect underage gambling and addiction to become a high profile issue over the coming years, as the fast growing gambling industry develops a new generation of its best customers: compulsive gamblers.

In Washington state, legal gambling has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, and gambling addiction has grown with it. And yet Washington currently does not spend a penny on problem gambling treatment or prevention. As a result, the state has only a handful of licensed counselors, and not a single treatment facility.

The Gambling Commission also provides inadequate oversight and enforcement. As I have previously reported, the Gambling Commission conducted a sting operation at seven Seattle-area card rooms, and was surprised to find that a “very young looking” sixteen-year-old was able to gamble and purchase alcohol at three of the seven.

The Legislature is currently considering HB 1031, a bill that would permanently fund treatment and prevention programs, but at about $500,000, the proposed appropriation was little more than symbolic. Hopefully, Sen. Cantwell’s national leadership role will help push the Governor and the Legislature to seriously address this public health crisis at home.

Comments

  1. 1

    swatter spews:

    Underage gambling? Is that as bad as underage smoking and drinking?

    Jeepers! What next? No cell phones in cars? Oops, you been there and done that.

    And to be honest with you, you aren’t going to stop those glorified poker tournaments on TV. And if you do, do you ban Wheel of Fortune, etc.?

  2. 4

    Chuck spews:

    Watch out now, the the next kintergarden kid that says Ill bet my Dad can whip your dad is going down for inciting a fight and illegal gambling, but dont worry he wont get the death penalty, just years of counseling….

  3. 5

    Goldy spews:

    I’m beginning to think that if I came out in support of privatizing Social Security, the righties would attack me for that too.

    Does every issue have to be so goddamn partisan? We’ve got Cantwell and McCain working together on this. How about being a little more reflective guys, before being so reflexive?

    Dismiss it if you want, but compulsive gambling is a real addiction.

  4. 6

    Adriel spews:

    So is sex but there is a little thing called abstinance, we don’t need a law for everything. There is a point where Logic and common sense take over, the problem isn’t gambling it’s lack of parenting and guidance.

  5. 7

    Mark spews:

    Goldy,

    I don’t think any reasonable person is dismissing it wholesale. However, I think there is a concern that, as with many of these types of programs, it’ll end up overreaching. Chuck’s little Chuckle @ 4 isn’t too far removed from reality.

    I guess the good thing is that we’d be addressing the issue specifically instead of playing some six-degrees game and trying to find the “root causes of gambling” and blaming anyone to the right of Teddy K for it.

    Problem gambling is different for each person. If you can afford to throw the money in a shredder, you’re entitled to have your fun as you see fit. I’d have more fun losing $500 at a blackjack table than spending it on Streisand tickets.

  6. 8

    spews:

    Children are also three times more likely to become addicted to ANYTHING than adults.

    Anyone who knowingly or without due diligence allows minors to engage in adult activities should drawn and quartered.

    As far as adults go I don’t think we should give them a dime. I would rather spend money helping people that have not caused their own demise.

  7. 9

    spews:

    Only abstinence policies only make the problem worse. Abstinence by itself doesn’t solve anything.

    the problem isn’t gambling it’s lack of parenting and guidance.

    Perhaps you’d like to provide the lack of parenting and guidance that all the children in America are lacking? Or who do you think will – Adriel? If the government doesn’t? Nobody, of course. Some parents are abusive and cannot be trusted with their own children. I hear another sad story every day in the news about parental abuse.

    We don’t live in the 1950s anymore. Time to wake up and recognize that fact.

  8. 11

    marks spews:

    Goldy @5

    I am reminded of how we abused the rebranding of unions several posts ago :)

    More to the point, this is part of the good Senator’s image rehabilitation on the road towards re-election. I seem to recall another recent post about her, and a question posed in the comments about what good she has done as a Senator drew some vague references to ‘Enron’ but little else substantive.

    Naturally, she will be zeroed in on her campaign for the next two years…nothing wrong with that, I guess…and hooking up with…oops!, I mean hitching her wagon to McCain on anything is a no-brainer when it comes to upside (any odds on success?)…

  9. 12

    JCH spews:

    DON and Goldy, Here’s a great idea to get the rest of the corporations who haven’t moved out of WASH state to “exit, stage ring!!” Oh, those “progressive” Canadians!! They are so “future oriented”!! Montreal—Quebec moms and dads with new babies will be able to take more time off with higher benefits than in the rest of Canada under a new program to be controlled exclusively by the province. /break/ Under the current federal leave plan that applies across the country, parents can get 55 per cent of their income up to $39,000 for 50 weeks.

  10. 13

    chardonnay spews:

    Tell us why Democrats accept money from the Tribes. What are the Tribes contributing to addiction issues? Isn’t it really about Tribes wanting to control all gambling? Stick it to the little card rooms until they lose their business?
    It sure seems to me that John McCain never passes up a camera shot.
    There are ties to Hillary in here somewhere, Gregoire as well.

  11. 15

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Great News!!
    Just what we need…more counselors and support groups.
    Leading the charge against underage gambling is almost as safe as being against forest fires.
    Another well-intentioned, ill-advised waste of taxpayer money which will lead to yet another ineffective, bloated bureaucracy.
    More Government Hacks like my pal Bottom-feeder Don…(I’m sure once we get into this, we will need plenty of government attorneys Don).

    I can just see it now…Evergreen College is Olympia churning out Masters Degrees in Global Warming and Gambling Counseling.
    Most of these pinheads spend most of their day playing internet poker already….so they can attest to the dangers of gambling in their own personal lives.

    I hope Cantwell pushes all her chips in on this hand.

  12. 16

    Don spews:

    Jiminy Cockroach Hater @ 10

    Hey JCH are you looking for some action you slimy son of a garden slug?

  13. 17

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    chardonnay @ 13-

    BINGO for you!!!
    The Indian Tribes do contribute mightly to the LEFT WingNuts with gambling proceeds….perhaps these are some of the contributions the Washington State Democratic Party failed to disclose timely in this election cycle (see Robert Mak’s King5 News report).

    Oh and the Left WingNuts have been huge supporters of the Washington State Lottery!!!!!

    Typical Lefty crap—
    Let’s, by our actions, addict the dumb bastards to something…
    Then proclaim these poor bastards need guv’ment help.
    Then raise everybody else’s taxes to help them.
    And then the “victims” will vote Democrat.

  14. 18

    Adriel spews:

    Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t there a law against undersage gambling already and drinking as well? what the hell is she really trying to do?

  15. 19

    JCH spews:

    16.DON…….”Hey JCH are you looking for some action you slimy son of a garden slug?”
    Yes, DON, I am. What are you going to do? Throw your purse and lipstick at me? [It THAT why General Patton slapped you?] DON: “Guvment” union hack parasite. Taxpayers are getting areal deal paying you, DON!

  16. 20

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Adriel–
    She is trying to rally her “emotional” base.
    You know, the Lefty whacko’s who watch Oprah and Oprah re-runs all day, all night 7 days per week.
    Maybe if she finds enough issues like this, folks will forget that she promised to finance her campaign last time, her Internet stock went bust and she is now back at the trough she claims to abhor.
    Cantwell gambled on her Internet company stock and lost.
    Perhaps she can be like the HairClub for men guy.

    Maria is not only the Bill sponsor…she’s a client!!!!!!!!

  17. 22

    jpgee spews:

    lol at our family of trolls. you and your ilk have something legitimate to say about .02% of the time. why do you constantly waste your time trying to bait and switch? get a life you kids….you desperately need it.

  18. 23

    Chuck spews:

    Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t there a law against undersage gambling already and drinking as well? what the hell is she really trying to do?>>>>

    She probably wants to prosecute and make the greasy little criminals to the fullest extent of the law! (so they can be helped by the counselors in kiddy jail)

  19. 24

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    jpgee (aka Rudy and other assorted handles):
    You have always had an identity crisis…repeatedly re-inventing yourself.
    Based on you blog personality…I can certainly understand why.
    EVEN YOU DON’T LIKE YOU!!!!

    This underage gambling issue is just another LEFTY crisis of the month. LEFTY’s survive on creating crisis situations and fear-mongering. Whenever the LEFT can create another well-intentioned government program that results in a new government bureaucracy and more government employees thaey will do it simply because:
    THEY INCREASE THEIR VOTER DEPENDENCY BASE WITH PEOPLE DEPENDENT ON THE PROGRAM AND THE NEW GOVERNMENT WORKERS HIRED TO STAFF IT.

    I get a kick out of fairly conservative people that sometimes fall for the sob stories and get sucked into this game. Fortunately, most of us see it as clearly as the schnoz on our face.
    LEFTY’s seem to have a hard time seeing their own Schnoz’s.
    I think it’s because they are near-sighted, far-sighted, and only see out of their LEFT eyes.
    Oh….plus they are pinheads with all mouth, no ears.

  20. 25

    JCH spews:

    21….Rush, Great post, and good point. YES, he’s a 30- year “guvment” union hack!! [Your tax dollars at work!]

  21. 26

    JCH spews:

    24, Mr. Cynical. Exactly. Very well put. Each program adds a few hundred “guvment” employees [DONs] who now are feeding at the through. Great post!

  22. 27

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    * sigh * … and to think I voted for Cantwell.

    Yes, I’m sure the Senator means well, and I’m sure problem gambling is an issue for people, and the children of Washington state have probably been overlooked as a group vulnerable to gambling and all that.

    Cantwell has had four years in the Senate where she hasn’t done all that much, and is now on a flurry of activity (against BPA rate hikes! Addressing problem gambling with youngsters!) doing what she does best — taking popular sides of issues where she risks alienating as few constituents as possible.

    Does anyone remember a call-in she did on KUOW when she was running for the Senate? Anyhow, a caller came in with an out-of-left-field question. Sleater-Kinney’s latest album was allegedly a fave on Cantwell’s tour bus. Did Cantwell have a favorite song or two on the album?

    She mumbled something about “just really liking everything”.

    I didn’t think much of it at the time, but that process has been the byword for her entire term so far.

  23. 28

    Goldy spews:

    Chardonnay @13,

    I’m not a defender of tribal gaming, but in direct answer to your question, the tribes just contributed over $400,000 to DSHS, most coming from the Mukilshoots, with another $100,000 expected to come from the Tualips. It’s not enough, but it’s a start, and it matches what the Legislature has so far considered committing (but hasn’t.)

    Vince @8,

    And your point is? Yes, children are more likely to victim to addiction. The problem is, most parents don’t know how addictive gambling can be, and thus do not see the youth poker craze as a potential danger for their children.

    Marks @11,

    Your cynicism about Cantwell on this issue is undeserved. This is not yet a high profile issue, and likely will not be in time for her election. She is working on this issue because she believes in it, and was prompted by problem gambling advocate Jennifer McCausland.

    Cynical @15,

    You have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. (As usual.) This is a real addiction, and there are treatment programs with proven track records. Oregon spend $3.5 million a year on treating and preventing problem gambling, with only half the population. We spend nothing, and the result is, a lot of families are suffering. Hope you didn’t break your chin when your knee jerked.

    Chardonnay @17,

    And the commercial gambling industry contributes heavily to Republicans ($1 million to Tim Eyman), so what’s your point? It’s okay for corporations to give large sums of money to politicians, but not tribes or labor? Welcome to the real world… people spend money to elect those politicians who they believe favor their causes.

    Adriel @18,

    All Cantwell is asking the Surgeon General to do at the moment is study the problem more closely, and use the prestige and publicity his office gives him to increase public awareness. She wants him to use his bully pulpit.

    As to the legal gambling age, it is currently 18. I suggest it should be 21, like for alcohol. (For oh so many reasons.)

  24. 29

    swatter spews:

    Sorry, Goldy, I didn’t mean to cause such a ruckus in your house.

    But, if your Democrats had voted to allow non-reservation casino owners the same rights as the tribes, then maybe you have something there. But, as of now, the Indians make the big bucks. Why should the US of A have to foot the bill for their problem? Aaaah, I see. I am a little slow. Cantwell wants tribe money like last election and wants the tribe to make the bucks but make non-tribe (and non-gamblers) foot the bill.

    The tribe doesn’t want anyone to fix the addiction. It is bad business.

    I went into a tribal casino once and it was very sad. What should have been a fun time by all was a bunch of tired, poor people sitting on their fannies in front of the modified “one-armed bandit”.

    But the kids and their addictions. Stop the gambling or isoate it to Vegas. And who, besides me, doesn’t bet on sport events. And the reason I don’t is I always lose.

  25. 30

    Rush spews:

    25. JCH. how can someone post all day on taxpayer expense? criticizing half the people whose taxes support his job? what is his boss doing? are there no rules re computers are for WORK, not personal time? what does he make? seems like there is funding for Cantwell’s “cause of the week” right there…

  26. 31

    Chuck spews:

    All Cantwell is asking the Surgeon General to do at the moment is study the problem more closely>>>

    And if the surgeon general puts any official money or time towards this waste of time he should be fired!

  27. 34

    Chuck spews:

    how can someone post all day on taxpayer expense? criticizing half the people whose taxes support his job?>>>>>

    this is a case in point, these people need cuts in their numbers…so they can do our work instead of play on the puter…

  28. 35

    marks spews:

    Goldy @28

    “As to the legal gambling age, it is currently 18. I suggest it should be 21, like for alcohol. (For oh so many reasons.)”

    Should we extend that to the voting age as well (though that calls for the repeal of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution)? I don’t mean to evoke cynicism, but maybe we should not let our ‘youngsters’ join the military until then, either?

    At what point do we allow the child to grow up? To make their mistakes in life and do what most normal people do, which is learn from their mistakes? I do not know with any certainty other than historical (18 years old and sometimes less), but perhaps that is pertinent to the discussion…

  29. 36

    Chuck spews:

    My opinion on voting, drinking, gambling and even “peep show” age are the very age that you are considered an adult, and no longer juvenile, which happens to co-incide with the military opinion as to when a man is old enough to join and possibly die for his (her) country.

  30. 37

    zapporo spews:

    Goldy – Do you really think this is going to amount to much of anything. i’ll wager you two to one ……

  31. 39

    christmasghost spews:

    mr.cynical @20…very funny post….I am still laughing.
    What I want to know is why we should all be expected to pay for a problem that the Democrats in their vast wisdom created in the first place?
    And I agree….gambling is a huge problem that destroys families….so why was it embraced so dearly by the Democrats in this state? Could it be that the money they would get out of it was more important than the citizens? And now it’s out of control?

  32. 40

    zapporo spews:

    YOu have found the liberal subliminal mind control channel.
    Maria Cantwell is not a chronic gambler.
    Christine Gregiore is honest.
    Purchase lottery tickets with your children.
    There is no need to contest the election.
    Support the CAO for all of us.
    Lesbians are good for the economy.
    Democratic control makes you happy.
    Send your paycheck to Paul Behrents, c/o Washington State Democratic party.
    Al Gore invented the internet.
    You will remember nothing when you wake up.
    That is all.
    Have a Nice Day.

  33. 43

    Don spews:

    Cynical @ 17

    Why shouldn’t the Tribes contribute to Democrats? You guys stole their land. LOL!!! ha ha

  34. 44

    Don spews:

    Jeepers Creepers Hick @ 19

    I’m a bargain, JCH. I deal with assholes like you for only 50K a year.

  35. 45

    Don spews:

    Rush @ 21

    You must be new here. No, I do it on my own time and dime. If you read some of the old threads you’ll see Cynical bitching about my state pension. He’s the kind of person who would throw little old ladies out of nursing homes.

  36. 46

    Don spews:

    jpgee @ 22

    As violently delusional mental patients, they’re not allowed in the exercise yard with the other inmates, but the warden lets them use an office computer after hours to keep them under control.

  37. 49

    K spews:

    The griping about government workers betrays true ignorance. Yes, I am a 20 year government employee. Any I have been called out on Thanksgiving, late nights and early mornings. My cell phone is on call 24/7, although I only post outside work. When the Nisqually Quake hit I did not see my family for 18 hours and I did not get to inspect my home in daylight for 3 days. And the emergency response center was filled with dedicated folks I’ve worked with over the years. All of whom were working for the public good, not caring for persoanl interests. They probably do not work non stop 60 minutes per hour, 8 hours a day, but you are simply ignorant if you believe we do not work hard. And yes our benefits are good, but we are generally paid below market. I know as I have had market offers over the years.

  38. 50

    K B spews:

    I remember the controversy over legalization of gambling in WA. Those of us who were opposed to legalized gambling predicted that people would become addicted, and that the taxpayers would then have to pay to help them overcome their addiction. We were told to stop “trying to force our morality on others.”

    As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

    My children have much more constructive things to do with their time than gambling, as do I. I had a grandfather who died penniless because he couldn’t stay out of the card rooms. I learned from his mistake.

    Some people are smart enough to learn from other peoples’ mistakes. Some people have to make all their own mistakes, sometimes more than once, before they finally learn…

    Some people just never learn.

    Who allowed this to happen? I didn’t vote for it, nor for those ‘representatives’ who voted for it. I’m not a selfish, uncaring, heartless SOB. I contribute as much as I can afford to organizations that I believe provide people with the help they need, but there’s a limit to my philanthropy – my pockets aren’t bottomless.

    I have to live with the tyranny of the majority, but I don’t have to like it! Why should I have to pay the bill for the mistakes of others?

  39. 51

    JCH spews:

    Jeepers Creepers Hick @ 19

    “I’m a bargain, JCH. I deal with assholes like you for only 50K a year.” DON
    DON, You are WAY out of your league. I had you as someone higher up in the Democrat “guvment” hack administration. I reality, you are a lower level pissant. My mistake. I shouldn’t have wasted my time.

  40. 52

    John spews:

    K – you’ve just opened yourself up to a world of hurt. The right-wing whackjobs that populate this comment board will eat you alive. One thing they hate above all else is a government employee no matter how dedicated, you are all the same to them.

    But maybe, just maybe they’ll leave you alone if you tell them that you’re a millionaire who just wanted to serve the public and accepted no state salary and benefits. Then they’re in 7th heaven because 1)they didn’t pay dime one for your salary and 2) they believe more than anything in the voodoo about your wealth trickling down to them.

  41. 53

    JCH spews:

    “JCH @ 25

    True enough, but at least I’m not a pimple on somebody’s dick like you.”

    Comment by Don— 3/2/05 @ 7:55 pm
    Thirty years and only pulling down 50K? DON, I pay that in income taxes most years, and I have a great CPA. DON, thirty years? How many times have you been passed over? Dozens? Are you suicidal? Should you be?

  42. 54

    K spews:

    What arrogance JCH, the value of one’s comments are determined by their salary? And the R’s accuse the D’s of trying to stimulate class warfare.

    Or was that yet more lame humor.

  43. 55

    JCH spews:

    54.K…..Another “guvment” union hack? “Class Warfare”? A little Marxist reference? K, [Little DON], another parasite with a lot to say!!

  44. 56

    K spews:

    A proud government worker, and I indicated it up front for you. I was not the one judging by their salary, you were. I’ll use whatever term for it you’d like.

    And I am in a union too.

  45. 57

    K spews:

    We don’t make up the programs. We do work based on appropriations by our (yours and mine) elected officials. And one person’s pork (or waste) is another’s right. Looko at how I-90 was gold-plated across good old republican Mercer Island. It was not the most expensive stretch of interstate highway because of government worker salaries. It did grant special Islander only lanes, landscaping and cover.

    Cheap attacks seem to be fun for you.

  46. 58

    JCH spews:

    K…….You seem reasonable. I respect that. That said, stay far away from DON. He has been slapped by General Patton, and he takes his pants off in public.

  47. 59

    Don spews:

    JCH is in a class by himself when it to cheap shots, and that’s why I’m nasty to him. That little cockroach has it coming.

  48. 61

    John spews:

    Hey JC Hater! You’re a big man with the flashy income! I respect that! (Not!)

    Do you sell 3×4 closets with a view of a mud puddle timeshares on the islands?

  49. 62

    Rush spews:

    Don: on 44 you say you deal with assholes like JCH for $50k / year. on 45 you say you post on your own time and dime. on 47 more profanity and on 48 you say to me “I’m retired, stupid”.

    yes, I am new to this site. it seems that Goldy is trying to make for a civil interchange of ideas. you just choose to be profane. I am unclear: are you retired at 50k/year? nice gig, if so. and your posting would then clearly be on your own time. but if retired, why the comment that “I deal with assholes like you (JCH) for $50k/year” ?? are you paid or are you retired? and why the childish need for profanity? seems that a retired person ought to be a grownup.

  50. 63

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    JCH–
    You have poor Don wound up tighter than a drum.
    You have successfully used his own words to punish him.
    Congrats!!
    The Left WingNuts are oh so serious and oh so self-righteous.
    They truly believe our Country will be destroyed if we do not continue to build more & more time-wasting, money-wasting mind-numbing bureaucracies. They believe business is evil and citizens are stupid.
    Left WingNuts create more government programs kind of like little “organic farms” to grow new little Left WingNuts.
    Just like most “organic farms” however the programs they create aren’t worth the bullshit and horseshit (just for you Goldy) that they are planted in.

    The problem with these feel-good Leftist programs is that in the end, most of them turn out to be smellier than the crap they are planted in!!

    EAT FREE-RANGE TOFU!!

  51. 64

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Rush @ 62–
    Don is bitter toward those of us who have made it in the real world despite the punitive roadblocks the Left WingNut pinheads have thrown up.
    Don tried for 10 years but couldn’t make it. Don told us he made $1,000/yr. for 10 years and no return on his capital.
    My question, then & now, is what kind of idiot would take 10 years to figure out he couldn’t make it in the real world???
    I know….DON WAS AN AMWAY MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Amway Don feel for the get-rich quick sizzle and wasted 10 years of his pathetic, miserable life. Then he decided to get even with those of us with more intelligence and ambition AND BECAME A DREADED GOVERNMENT LAWYER. Don also admitted he was so frustrated and saw how futile it was, all he stayed in for was his salary and pension.

    So Rush, as you can clearly see—
    DON= Failed Amway Salesman turn government lawyer looking for easy money & retirement==Bitter, Envious Left WingNut…..

  52. 65

    reggie spews:

    Funniest bunch of posts I’ve seen in a long time.

    Cantwell got into the senate by scaring the shit out of old people about their prescription drugs. She hasn’t done a thing to help them (neither has the president) Not one hearing, not one bill nada from the ding-a-ling senator from real networks.

    i wish all it would take is one smart person to dump this worthless bitch from the senate. But, that’s not reality. the R’s don’t really have anyone to take her on at this point. Mckenna’s loving his job, Rossi well let’s just say his 15 minutes is slowly fading into the sunset…i don’t see any of the republicans (that aren’t retired) being able to beat her.

  53. 66

    K spews:

    Business is not evil. But unconstrained it can cause significant problems. It does not value environmental concerns, so that pressure must be externally applied. It’s not so long ago that rivers in Ohio and Texas were flammable. A statement of fact. We were also loosing the view of Mount Rainier. We can go further back and remember Upton Sinclair and the Jungle. Who would you rather take the lead on Mad Cow issues, feed lot operators or regulators?

    We can certainly discuss what level of regulation is appropriate. And even I, a government worker in an implementing agency (we build things) have crossed swords with regulators. My personal belief is that no one should spend their entire career in a regulatory agency because perspective is lost.

  54. 68

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    K–
    Losing the view of Mt. Rainier???
    Maybe it’s looking fuzzy to you because of smoking cheap pot and taking Prozac at the same time.

  55. 69

    reggie spews:

    i think mr cynical and goldy are one in the same. I have never seen them together. In fact their post are never posted at the same time. spooky huh?

  56. 70

    K spews:

    Look at air quality statistics from the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Significantly more haze than today. Note that I used past tense. It’s also quite possible that the closure of the Centralia coal fired plant had a lot to do with that. If we want to talk air, we can also discuss ASARCO arsenic which is clearly measurable eminating outward from the Tacoma area source northward. Sorry if facts aren’t as much fun as cute “jokes”.

    Setting aside college days long ago , I share with Goldy an affection for Guinness as my primary vice. And Reggie, I have the love I need, and state my status up front to cut the name-calling speculation.

  57. 71

    Rush spews:

    I certainly hope we all can differentiate that there are good public sector employees such as “K” seems to be, and also those that just shuffle papers all day. The conservative concern is the lack of incentives to eliminate waste and redundancy. this incentive certainly exists in the private sector.

    K seems ethical and caring. I am a republican, but I certainly appreciate such a person and am sure he/she earns his/her paycheck.

    this Don guy just sounds bitter, however. every post I’ve read directed to a republican is profane and derogatory. doesn’t Goldy have any standards or code of conduct? or does enforcement depend on the point of view of the poster?

  58. 72

    JCH spews:

    70…….Rush “doesn’t Goldy have any standards or code of conduct?” Goldy, Rush asked a valid question. I think he deserves an answer. “this Don guy just sounds bitter, however. every post I’ve read directed to a republican is profane and derogatory.” I agree. Goldy…Respond!!

  59. 73

    K B spews:

    K @ 65

    Would you agree then that unconstrained bureaucracy can also cause significant problems? How do we find a balance between the bureaucracy (that grows out of these regulatory requirements) – and the business/corporate interests (that fuel a healthy economy)? Who gets to decide? We have elected representatives, but whose interests are they supporting? Every penny the legislature spends comes out of citizens’ pockets. Every tax increase on business is, ultimately, paid by us, the consumers. Every fee, fine, license, etc… paid by all of us.

    I’m sick of people on the Left saying that Republican/conservative/right wing (or whatever pejorative one may choose to use instead) are all selfish people, unwilling to pay our fair share, don’t care about children, healthcare, schools, elderly, handicapped, the environment, etc. etc. etc…

    Being fed up with paying more & more & more to bureaucracies (at all levels) is NOT the equivalent to being selfish. I take care of my family and my responsibilities, and contribute what I can afford to charities, and pay my taxes. Where does it end???

  60. 74

    JCH spews:

    K…….Conservatives also believe in high quality air and water. “The Jungle” [Sinclair] starring DON in the meat packing industry needs to be balanced with “Atlas Shrugged” [Rand], also starring DON as a worthless “guvment” hack who runs the productive out of town through idiot rules and taxes, and proceeds to ruin society. You write well, and I enjoy your views. At times we will disagree, but you present your viewpoint well. Regards,

  61. 75

    JCH spews:

    K…….Conservatives also believe in high quality air and water. “The Jungle” [Sinclair] starring DON in the meat packing industry needs to be balanced with “Atlas Shrugged” [Rand], also starring DON as a worthless “guvment” hack who runs the productive out of town through idiot rules and taxes, and proceeds to ruin society. You write well, and I enjoy your views. At times we will disagree, but you present your viewpoint well. Regards,

  62. 76

    K spews:

    I stated in my post:
    We can certainly discuss what level of regulation is appropriate.

    The problem many in this blog have reflects the tenor of so many discussions in our society today- I am absolutely right and you are an idiot. I’m afraid that doesn’t do much to advance either side’s position and quite frankly leads to boring reading.

    Finding the balance requires believing that there is one. That there is a place for government and a place for business. The problem with our elected representatives is that we mostly belive ours are good because they look out for our narrow interests. It’s the rest of them who are bums.

    I’m afraid I must sign off now so I can be a productive cog in the government machinery tomorrow- and I do recognize many of you believe that is an oxymoron.

  63. 77

    JCH spews:

    75…….DON, You really need to start hanging out with K. And don’t take him to your favorite ga……er, “happy” bars. He seems normal. You are……..DON!!!

  64. 78

    Aaron spews:

    Bureaucracy is certainly not exclusive to public sector organizations, and neither is paper shuffling. None-the-less, most people want to be productive. When they are not, it’s often due to systemic issues beyond the control of any individual. Frankly, work is something most people would prefer to be productive in, be it for a profit making enterprise, or for the public interest.

    The arrogance displayed by some self satisfied and very well compensated members of private enterprise is truly sickening. Get over yourselves. You want government to work better; just like we all do I’m sure. That takes leadership and dedication, not de-funding. Don’t like how public and private organizations are working these days? Then maybe you should get behind adequate school funding, so that the high schools that most future employees and entrepreneurs attend are as good as they can be (and no, I don’t mean unfunded mandates like performance testing).

  65. 79

    reggie spews:

    What we want is for someone to be accountable. We just elected a governor that was only accountable for the good things her office did and never the bad stuff.

    speaking of accounting….noticed the WSDP got poppped again for cheating during this last election. Berendt played his usual “I don’t know how that could’ve happened” line again.

    Paul if you can’t run your party ethically, how can you run the state ethically?

  66. 80

    Aaron spews:

    The problems the state democrats had in properly reporting to the PDC were the result of incompetence, not poor ethics. Once again a symptom of a general lack of leadership, which I think originates in our under funded schools.

    I think its true that the leaders who are successful are often those who don’t paint an accurate picture of the facts, and who engage in selective “nest feathering”. This happens again because our schools are lacking, not only in teaching leadership, but also in teaching critical thought.

    Having said that, I have to note that it is not just the current governor who has dodged some responsibility for bad things that have happened under her watch. That phenomena extends to the highest office in the land… And no book on contemporary ethics in public office wouldn’t be complete without several chapters dedicated to what’s going on in the Republican controlled House of Representatives.

    All in all, Gregoire dodging responsibility for a missed deadline that was in fact delegated to someone who should have been able to carry that responsibility doesn’t bother me nearly so much as a President who lies and lies again until the lies themselves are believed to be true.

    What the hell were we talking about again? Oh yeah, if the Surgeon General should simply investigate the issues around problem gambling, and how that leads to other destructive behavior, such as alcohol consumption in an industry that is apparently not subject to adequate oversight and enforcement. Parents have a job to do, but it would be appropriate that the laws of the land intended to help make it possible to do that job were not ignored. It also seems appropriate for a very profitable industry to fund mediation of some of the problems created by the intended use of their products (which is to say that you anti-government types can stop worrying about how this will effect your wallets).

  67. 81

    G Davis spews:

    I’m late to this thread and I’m not going to wade through all the trash to get to the meat, so please forgive me if I am repeating what others already have stated.

    reggie @ 79 you say:
    speaking of accounting….noticed the WSDP got poppped again for cheating during this last election. Berendt played his usual “I don’t know how that could’ve happened” line again.

    Think Paulie got his cue from DeLay and gang? I think at this point in history, there are very few pots that should be calling any kettles black.

    Aaron @ 80 I’m not sure we can hang every wrong on the schools. Folks need to take personal responsibility for themselves and their own. And again at this point in history, one person’s irresponsibility seems to be another’s life guide. We go through these sorts of cycles historically, and hopefully this one will be short lived.

    To the youth gambling issue…if there is as serious a problem as has been said then I agree with Aaron that the tribes and anyone else engaging in gambling for profit should kick in for solving their industry’s problems.

    But until there is some control mechanism for online gambling, there is little hope for any solution from any quarter to the addictive behavior some see.

    Addicts are very crafty. They’ll find somehow to feed their drug of choice. And gambling is an addiction. To say it isn’t, and particularly to ignore or poo-poo gambling problems with our youth, is dangerously head in the sandish.

    And we wonder why we have a couple of generations of mememe people. They’ve been indulged and we’re now paying the price for sticking our heads in past buckets of sand.

    Oh and JCH…stfu

  68. 82

    Don spews:

    reggie @ 79

    “What we want is for someone to be accountable”

    I like this concept, and for starters, I would like to see it applied to

    1) The Bush administration ignoring warnings about Al Qaeda;
    2) The Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq on false pretenses;
    3) The Bush administration’s mess in Iraq;
    4) The Bush administration’s false cost estimates of its drug prescription legislation;
    5) The Bush administration’s irresponsible fiscal policies;

    this list could go on forever, but this is a good start.

    If you’re really into responsibility and accountability, and would prefer to start with a more manageable task a bit closer to home, then I recommend all you Republicans hold Chris Vance accountable for wasting money and blowing your party’s credibility after Rossi’s election contest lawsuit gets dumped by the courts.

  69. 83

    reggie spews:

    Aaron @ 80..

    If it was me I rather be unethical than incompetent. Paul Berendt is a lot of things but incompetent is not one of them. He’s not high on my list of ethical people tho’ (for the record Chris Vance is just as slimy) One of the things we learn in Kindergarten

    If you read the entire article in the Seattle Times (which goldy did not post on this blog) Paul also can’t figure out why the PDC needs to know that the WSDP also went into the red.

    Gee, maybe because it was in the rules? just a guess.

  70. 84

    Jpgee spews:

    CynicalIdiot @ 64 and everywhere else. If you knew how to read you would realize that Don has not come out against people that made it in life. He has been quite fair to all in this blog. One gets what one deserves…and you have turned into a complete imbecile during these past two months. Back in December your posts were decently written….a little off the mark but somewhat thought out. Now you and your girlfriends, JCH, Chardonay etc…have become senile queens. I can see why Mrs. C feels you are in such emotional turmoil….

  71. 85

    Jpgee spews:

    Rush @ 71 go back on these blogs a month or so and you will see a different Don. The neocon trolls have taken their toll on him and many other useful posters here. Goldy lets them spew their poison because he wants the blog to be ‘open’. Time will tell if he can maintain that….seems that many decent bloggers have dissapeared…..mainly from abuse of the troll brigade