And every (non-)story is careful to note that WindStorm 07 (cue catchy graphic and sounder) won’t be nearly as bad as last December’s storm. But that doesn’t prevent any of them from playing on people’s fear of a repeat.
In other news:
To nobody’s surprise, Seattle City Council member Richard McIver entered a plea of not guilty yesterday to fourth degree assault in connection with a drunken late-night fight with his wife last week that landed the councilman in jail for two days. He has been absent from council chambers since, but will return to work today.
McIver’s wife, Marlaina Kiner-McIver, was in court for the hearing, and told the judge both that she wanted the two-week no-contact order with her husband lifted (the judge kept it in place, but allowed third-party contact) and that she did not wish to press charges. Interestingly, none of the multiple local TV and print stories on the hearing mentioned what any social worker will tell you: that when a partner in a domestic abuse case doesn’t want charges filed, it’s no real indicator one way or another as to what happened.
Greg Nickels has quietly proposed to city council a reform that, if enacted, would ensure his re-election for life: a city government call system that, rather than dumping citizens into impenetrable jungles of voice mail, would be answered by live operators 24/7. No more publicly popular administrative idea is imaginable.
Of course, there’s no word as yet as to which country the live operators will be answering from.
The state capitol announced that it will allow a nativity scene in the rotunda this year, joining a menorah and a “holiday tree” (whatever the hell that is) that were displayed last year. A “War On Christmas” type advocacy group complained after being denied a nativity scene last year (the capitol says they simply filed their application too late), and this year they get to set up their display as well.
Most curious is the last sentence in the P-I’s article on this, which addresses the rather salient question: is any religion-specific display in the capitol legal? The “answer”:
[The General Administration Department] vetted the idea [of the nativity scene] with the state Attorney General’s Office because of the religious content of the display and was told there was not enough time to research the issue.
The holiday displays have been a controversy for a year, and religion displays on public property are a perennial issue across the country, and Rob McKenna’s office didn’t have time to look up whether it was legal? So the bureaucrats are assuming it is legal.
Doug Honig. ACLU of Washington. Lawsuit. Bill O’Reilly wet dream. Tempest in holiday teapot. You read it here first.
In D.C., it looks like the Democrats have sold us out again on warrantless domestic spying, giving the Bush administration its desired legal immunity for telecom companies now being sued for secretly turning over customer records to the illegal program. News flash: Congressional approval numbers just dropped another point.
Internationally, Turkey’s parliament voted 507-19 Wednesday to authorize military force in Northern Iraq. While Turkish leaders say they have no immediate plans to act on the authorization, Turkish troops are already massed at the border and the Turkish military has already struck across the border in recent weeks against Kurdish rebels operating from Iraqi Kurdistan. The confrontation pits Turkey, a key US ally and NATO member, against the Kurds, America’s most reliable ally in Iraq, in yet another complication to the Iraqi clusterfuck. And say, whatever happened to the George W. Bush dictum that we won’t tolerate governments (like the government of Kurdistan) that harbor terrorists?
Has anyone else noticed that there’s been virtually no meaningful local news stories in our local news this week? Which raises the imponderable question: if a tree falls on a slow news week, does the gust of wind that caused it qualify as a natural disaster?