Monday, January 31, 2011

From the "Give 'em hell, Harry!" file.

Via brooklynbadboy...
"As long as I'm the Majority Leader, I'm going to do everything within my legislative powers to prevent privatizing or eliminating Social Security," Reid said. "I'll simply say it's off the table."
He's got an ideologically diverse caucus full of prima donnas to run, but his legislative powers are pretty imposing just the same.

Something tells me Harry's really going to come into his own as Majority Leader in the next couple of years. I'm guessing some folks will be suprised at how happy they are with the result.

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And the winner is…

Joel Connelly reports...
Dwight Pelz was overwhelmingly re-elected as state Democratic Chairman at a reorganization meeting in Olympia, overwhelming his opponent Natalie McClendon by a margin of 145 votes to 14.
Bet Dwight had a vote count.

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Map of the day.

The problem isn't that I think it's real, because I'm not sure. The problem is that I'm not sure...

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Have I mentioned lately…

…that I hate what they're doing to my Army...
For the second year in a row, more American soldiers—both enlisted men and women and veterans—committed suicide than were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Excluding accidents and illness, 462 soldiers died in combat, while 468 committed suicide.
When the problem's getting worse, it's time to do something different.

Taking our troops out of combat zones until we find a mission worthy of their sacrifice might be a good start.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

From the "Since you asked…" file.

Gail Collins can't help but wonder...
And do we really need a new Sarah Palin? Shouldn’t the first one be made to go away before we start considering replacements?
Since you asked, no.

And yes, also.


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More good stuff.

More good stuff.

Having dipped my toe into the lefty podcast waters at Best Of The Left and finding the water just fine, thanks, I made a long overdue visit to The Professional Left, home of the Driftglass and Blue Gal podcast, and snagged a couple of recent episodes.

It's a different kind of thing than BOTL. It's not an audio digest, it's just two liberals talking. Well, not "just." It's Drifty and B.G., each a formidable thinker, blogger and satirist in their own right (the Upper Left archives are peppered with links to things that they've said better and/or funnier than I could). It's kind of like sitting across from two of your smartest friends and listening to them give words to those ideas that have been banging around in the back of your head, waiting for the language you need to express them.

Driftglass and Blue Gal offer up lots of that kind of language, along with some that may not be safe from work but is emotionally satisfying just the same. Honest, smart and funny, they're another must hear on my list.

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Ten, then…

Bing Crosby with The Andrews Sisters - Pistol Packin' Mama
Eileen Jewell & Dan Fram - The Train That Carried Jimmie Rodgers Home
Jim Lauderdale - El Dorado
Gillian Welch - Winter's Come And Gone
George Jones - I've Aged Twenty Years In Five
The Replacements - Customer
Shawn Colvin - This Must Be The Place
The Gosdin Brothers - Georgia
Tift Merritt - The Things That Everybody Does
Townes Van Zandt - F.F.V.
Heavy on the Americana this week. How many of y'all knew that F.F.V. stands for "Fast Flying Vestibule."

Among other things, of course.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

I don't have a vote…

...on the State Central Committee anymore, but if I did I'd vote to retain Dwight Pelz as Chair of the Washington State Democrats. Given the national climate last year, holding all but one open seat in the US House and keeping our Democratic majorities in Olympia made the 2010 cycle another net positive for Democrats in the upper left under Dwight's leadership.

I expect that will be the outcome without my help, but there is a challenge from Whatcom County Chair Natalie McClendon. Her chances of an upset are, I think pretty well indicated by this...
"It is more than a symbolic gesture. "I've gotten a lot of support from people. I've been calling around to central committee members. I'm not a veteran strong-arm campaigner. People have asked, what's your vote count? … I don't know."
If you don't know, Natalie, I'm pretty sure that it's roughly "not nearly enough."

I actually have been a voter in a few of these things, and experience tells me that winners know.

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Chart of the day.

Via Ezra Klein...

Just one of the reasons gettin' old ain't for sissies.

Hat tip to digby.

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Light posting likely...

...despite the fact that when I left the house, the phone line was still inexplicably connected (who knows when I get back). I'm stealing a minute of time while my youngest grandson, Emmett the Amazing, naps. I'm pulling grandpa duty while mom, dad and big brother are off to the slopes for the afternoon, then I'm off to a late shift at work.

Still, I couldn't let the day pass by without noting that this is doesn't sound like the ordinary crazy we're getting used to, it's crazy, cruel and downright un-American
Tea party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has unveiled a plan for cutting $400 billion in federal spending that includes freezing Veterans Affairs Department health care spending and cutting veterans’ disability benefits.

Her proposed VA budget cuts would account for $4.5 billion of the savings included in the plan, posted on her official House of Representatives website.
Maybe Bachmann hasn't heard there's a war on, a couple of 'em actually.

The fact that she can be described as a "Tea party favorite" should tell you everything you need to know about those folks and their agenda, too.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The stuff they say…

There's this...
BOEHNER: Well, they -- they've refused to talk about America exceptionalism. We are different than the rest of the world. Why? Because Americans have -- the country was built on an idea that ordinary people could decide what their government looked like and ordinary people could elect their own leaders.

And 235 years ago that was a pretty novel idea.
Other than the outright lie about the content of President Obama's speech, a lie ably debunked by Barbara Morrill over at Daily Kos, Boehner's grasp of American history seems pretty weak for a man holding the country's third highest Constitutional office.

Just to be clear, this country was, in its inception, built on the idea that ordinary white men of property could decide who would administrate the government decided upon by an elite committee of white men of property who were drawn from an elite assembly of white men of property who were selected to represent the interests of white men of property.

235 years ago, that wasn't a bad foundation to build on. One of the best parts was that building on it, improving it, making it more habitable for more folks, was a considered part of the design. As a result, our country is a better place than it was, and holds out a promise to become better yet. That's the core of American exceptionalism to me.

Then there's former half-term governor of a large but largely empty state, Sarah Palin, making Boehner sound like David McCullough...
GRETA: Governor, last night there was a lot of discussion about the Sputnik Moment the President wants us to have. Do you agree with him? Is this our moment?

PALIN: That was another one of those WTF moments, when he has so often repeated, the Sputnik Moment, that he would aspire Americans to celebrate, he needs to remember that what happened back then with the former communist USSR and their victory and that race to space, yeah, they won, but they also incured so much debt at the time that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union so I listen to that Sputnik Moment talk over and over again and I think, no we don’t need one of those.
To which one can only respond, WTF?

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Congratulations are in order…

I suppose, but between caucus leadership, the DSCC and now this, my own personal senior US Senator has a full enough plate to evoke a bit of sympathy to temper the celebration. Still, this is very good news for America's military veterans. Via VetVoice...
Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, an 86-year-old veteran of World War II, appears to have lost his seat as chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Senate Democrats are expected to vote this week to give the veterans committee post to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Akaka will become chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, according Senate and outside sources.
Senator Akaka has been a good friend to vets during his four years as chair, but there's really nobody better than Patty on our issues. Her support of veterans across the board was one of the reasons veterans rallied to her campaign across ideological and generational lines.

Akaka, a champion of achieving full federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, gains a new platform for that cause and brings a deep understanding and genuine passion for the issues he'll be managing as chair of the Indian Affairs Committee, so this looks like a win-win to me.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On the other hand…

…while I like the "yes we can" spirit that the mention of the response to Sputnik - big dreams and big investment around a common purpose - conjures, at least to me, the earmark veto pledge is just silly pandering to a constituency that's not going to appreciate it.

Well, it's more than that, I suppose. It's an executive branch power grab, too. The ability of Congress to write the budget pretty much any way they please is one of their Constitutional prerogatives, and one that I doubt either party in either house is eager to yield easily.

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Worth repeating…

…everywhere, every day, to everyone. Jamelle Bouie at Tapped...
...we should remember that unemployment -- not the debt -- is the country's most pressing economic problem. With a stronger economy and more workers, most of the deficit takes care of itself.
People you know don't know that. Strike a blow for liberty. Tell them.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

OK, then…

…I admit I like this...
This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.
The guy does have a way of breaking through the old ennui.

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While this thing's still on…

…I suppose I should say something about the impending State Of The Union speech, but I've seen dozens of these things and stopped taking them very seriously years ago. I'm sure whatever Obama has to say will be said well and neither satisfy my fondest hopes nor propose my worst fears. Besides, the way the media narrative shapes up over the next couple of days will have more impact in the near term than anything the President actually says.

Me, I'll miss it. Left my pocket radio at work yesterday, and when the speech starts I'll be in transit from here to there for my weekly act of sedition via public performance of folk music. Might slip Steve Earle's "Rich Man's War" into a set tonight. That usually separates the reds from the blues for a minute until somebody asks "Where'd that come from?" and I tell 'em "Steve Earle. From Texas. Made an album with Del McCoury." and everybody nods and relaxes.

I may or may not be able to check in when I get home, but I'll be back...

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From the "Sharing the good stuff" file.

Following a tip from Dave Johnson, I used the company broadband to download a few installments of the Best Of The Left podcast. Dave was right. It's great. It's an information rich audio digest with professional production values.

I can tell after just a taste that it deserves a space on my must hear list.

Yours too, I bet.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Just in case...

...I figure I better give y'all a heads up. While some things are a bit more secure than they were a month ago, phone service is in pretty immediate jeaopardy, and my dial-up connection will go with it, so things may suddenly slow down around here. I'll do what I can to get where I have to to check in as much as I can, but I don't have any idea when we'll get the line back. The gas company's right on the phone company's tail and will have to be taken care of first...

I'm off to get what I can to post while I can.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oh well... least I can root against the Steelers with more enthusiasm than I could have rooted against the Jets.

Let's go, Green Bay!

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One done...

Congrats to the Packers. Now, let's go Jets!

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Let's Go Green Bay!

I'm pulling for a Packers-Jets Superbowl. The Lombardi era Pack was my team as a kid and they've tugged at my football heart a bit every since. Football's always a better game when the Pack is back.

On the AFC side, I haven't cared much about the Jets since the Broadway Joe days, but I'll never forgive the Steelers for Super Bowl XL.

Of course, both games will be on all three screens at the perfect tavern, so if you're nearby, drop in and watch some football with me. Mention the blog and you just might win a prize...

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Meanwhile, in Olympia…

…Maralyn Chase, my own personal State Senator, continues to offer creative ideas that can improve life for Washingtonians regardless of current budget constraints. Her latest offering is one of those ideas so good and so obvious that I imagine a lot of folks already think it's the law...
Sen. Maralyn Chase has just introduced legislation authorizing public utility districts to request voluntary contributions to assist low-income customers with payment of water and sewer bills.

Senate Bill 5362 has been referred to the Senate Environment, Water & Energy Committee for further review. Keep checking back for more information about this bill.
A list of committee members and contact information is here. At a time of declining public resources, tapping private giving may be the only source of assistance available to people struggling with their utility bills. If your own personal State Senator is on the list, please consider a quick call or email in support of SB 5362.

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Once again...

...a random ten.
Donovan - To Sing For You
Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers - The Highwayman
Guy Clark - Texas 1947
Tennessee Ernie Ford - Rock City Boogie
Richard & Linda Thompson - I'll Keep It With Mine
Yonder Mountain String Band - It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
Squirrel Nut Zippers - Little Mother-In-Law
Scott Walker - On Your Own Again
Kris Kristofferson - Beat The Devil
Alex Chilton - Baron Of Love, Part II
Nice chronological mix, I think. About eighty years of musical history in there somewhere.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

As usual…

…what digby said...
But let's not kid ourselves about one thing. Policing of the left by our putative leaders against those who are calling out The Big Lie will only result in liberals saying nothing while the right carries on with its program.
The program, of course, being little more than The Big Lie.

That may not be "civil," but it's true.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

If we can't get rid of 'em…

…at least we can get control of 'em. It's my conviction that whatever value the initiative process had as a populist reform has been lost in the era of full time initiative shops and paid signature gatherers. The impulse behind modern initiatives is often more profit than populism.

Repeal of the process would require an amendment to the state constitution and would involve a risky and expensive election if it could clear the legislative barriers to the ballot in the first place. The best immediate path forward isn't repeal, but reform through regulation. This sounds like a good start...
State Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-West Seattle, is sponsoring a bill this session that would place new requirements on the ballot-initiative process aimed at reducing the chances of fraud in paid signature-gathering.

Some highlights of the Senate Bill 5297 include:
· Paid signature gatherers would need to register with the Secretary of State; failure to register would incur a fine.
· Those convicted of fraud, forgery or ID theft would be prohibited from gathering signatures in Washington for five years.
· The initiative filing fee would increase from the current $5 to $500, with a $450 refund if the measure qualifies for the ballot. The $500 fee would be waived if the initiative was filed with 1,000 valid signatures.
· The affidavit on the back of petitions must be signed by the signature gatherer, attesting that the signatures were collected in accordance with state law. If not, the initiative sponsor would have to pay the cost of checking the validity of every signature.
Tim Eyman, predictably, hates SB 5297. That might be the best reason to support it.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From the "Me neither" file.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)…
"I don't think calling out liars is uncivil."
Me neither.

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Fair to middling?

Is that the best we can do? Because that's what a #24 ranking on the Daily Beast's list of the most and least tolerant states would make us.
24. Washington
Tolerance score: 56 out of 100
Hate crime score: 22 out of 40
Discrimination score: 22 out of 40
Gay rights score: 6 out of 10
Religious Tolerance score: 6 out of 10
Hate crime incidents per 100,000 residents:: 3.1 (32 out of 50 states)
Discrimination cases filed per 100,000 residents:: 20.6 (36 out of 50 states)
Population in support of same-sex marriage:: 54%
Population that believes many religions lead to eternal life:: 68%

A little better than Oregon.

A little worse than Alaska.

No where near good enough.

Much of the score is based on the scope of legal protection. At a time when most of the budget news from Olympia is relentlessly negative, this might be the time for the civil rights and civil liberties constituencies in Washington to organize around a legislative agenda they can sell to the Democratic caucus as the best hope for good news in this session.

There's obviously work to be done.

Hat tip to Skippy.

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From the "Compare and contrast" file.

Via Taegan Goddard
…it's interesting to note that at this point in Ronald Reagan's first term, the unemployment rate was 10.4% and his approval rate was 37%.

In contrast, the unemployment rate today is 9.4% and President Obama's approval rate is either 53% or 54% according to two polls released today.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When he's right, he's right.

Very far right, in fact, but just the same, credit where it's due to Rep. Steve King (R-IA)...
"They can't help themselves; it's in their DNA. These people are Leftists," King said of Democrats. "They don't see this country the way that we do. Their idea of American Exceptionalism is yet to come."
I imagine he managed to vocally capitalize leftist when he said it, too, but he reveals an important truth, just the same. My idea, and I think most Democrats' idea, of American Exceptionalism is, and will always be, an idea of something "yet to come."

Democrats believe that if we pull together, we can continue to make progress toward that more perfect union. We can have more justice, more tranquility at home and security in the world, more prosperity and greater liberty if we work together as We The People. We believe that part of the brilliance of the founders was the creation of a system of government that would not only allow, but encourage that progress.

Republicans, on the other hand, see things differently. As related by Rep. King, their message is that that we've come as far as we can come, done all we can do, are all we can be. Things are as good as they're going to get, even if they're worse than they were. It's time to hunker down, cut your losses, conserve your resources and plan your escape route. They're afraid to imagine, let alone confront, what might be "yet to come."

Just another reason...

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Even on MLK Day…

…we should remember that as potent a symbol and as powerful a spokesman as he might have been for peace, civil rights and economic justice as Martin Luther King. Jr. may have been, he was a symbol and a spokesman for something larger than any individual.

In that spirit, my own personal State Senator, Maralyn Chase, has introduced Senate Bill 5174, under which… districts are encouraged to prepare and conduct a program at least once a year to commemorate the history of civil rights in our nation, including providing an opportunity for students to learn about the personalities and convictions of heroes of the civil rights movement and the importance of the fundamental principle and promise of equality under our nation's Constitution.
People just a little younger than I am have no memory of the days when assassination and lynching, dogs and fire hoses, blazing crosses and terror were all commonplace aspects of race relations in America. Though we're not where we want to be or where we ought to be, we've come a long way from where we used to be in the realm of civil rights.

If future generations are allowed to forget where we've come from, and the sacrifices made to achieve the progress we've made, we not only dishonor those sacrifices and those who made them, but risk slipping backward and losing the precious gains we have made.

Thank you for SB 5174, Senator. You've made my MLK Day a bit more meaningful.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oh well...

...29 days to pitchers and catchers.

Go Mariners!

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It's 1737 miles to Chicago…

...we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses (because our future's so bright.)

Nothin' left to say but..

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

How 'bout them Packers!?!

Though I suppose Bears fans are just as happy, and maybe a bit more confident, than I am right now.

But Yay Packers! and Go Hawks!

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I hate to say I told you so…

...for about a billion reasons.
The Department of Homeland Security on Friday canceled a project to build a technology-based “virtual fence” across the southwest border, saying that the effort — on which $1 billion has already been spent — was ineffective and too costly.
Hat tip to Cookie Jill

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Random relevance?

I don't usually try to read too much into what pops up when I do these, but the first track this week seems a fitting kick off to the MLK holiday weekend. Nice sprinkling of more contemporary (by my standards, at least) stuff, too...
Gladys Knight & The Pips - Friendship Train
The Flying Burrito Brothers - Sin City
Emmylou Harris - Roses In The Snow
Carbon Leaf - Raise The Roof
Johnny Cash - Redemption Day
Blind Corn Liquor Pickers - Once In A Lifetime
Yo La Tengo - If It's True
The Stone Poneys - Different Drum
The Grateful Dead - When I Paint My Masterpiece
The Monkees - Pleasant Valley Sunday

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Friday, January 14, 2011

There was a union maid, who never was afraid...

Cincinatti child care provider Ella Hopkins...
Every time we hear unions put down, we should hold our heads up. Dr. King did, and so must we.

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Another mission accomplished...

...another village saved. Via Obsidian Wings...

Not a pesky insurgent in sight!

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

The endless quest…

…for a better press corps continues. An AP headline...
Some question pep rally atmosphere at Obama speech
Well, sure, inevitably. Especially when "some" = Rich Lowery and Michelle Malkin, the cited sources of complaints.


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A star is born!

My own personal State Senator makes her video newsletter debut...

Good job, Maralyn! Great message, too.

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From the "Good things happen…" file.

The last time we checked in on the case of U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers, suspended by the Bush II administration for telling the truth, she'd been abruptly fired in circumstances that could be seen as retaliation for her appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

I confess that I had lost track as the case moved out of the headlines and into the realm of bureaucrats and attorneys, but Chief Chambers, with the confidence of a righteous cause and a faith in our system of laws born of years of service to that system, pressed on. Mike Licht reports the outcome...
The Merit Systems Protection Board has ordered the Park Police to reinstate Chief Chambers by month’s end. The Board also ordered NPS to reimburse her for legal fees and restore her pay retroactive to July 2004.
Congratulations to Chief Chambers! Her confidence was clearly well founded. It's good to see her faith rewarded.

I urge the Obama administration to accept the justice of this result and implement it with dispatch.

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From the "Just the facts, ma'am" file.

US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are firing 250,000 bullets for every insurgent killed.
Didn't know they had so many road signs and jackrabbits over yonder.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

From the "Signs of the times" file.

Founder of 'Civility Project' Calls It Quits

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Boehner Boner of the day.

Via Roll Call...
Speaker John Boehner will host a cocktail party for the Republican National Committee at the same time that President Barack Obama will be addressing the nation at the memorial service for victims of the Tucson shooting.
Mmmmm, cocktails!

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A public service announcement.

Tbogg watches Sarah so you don't have to...
Speaking from Her Most Awesome Pretend Hello Kitty Alaskan White House Oval Office, President-In-Exile Sarah Palin confesses to America that she is a jew, everyone else is a Nazi, and an attack on Sarah Palin is an attack on our cherished Freedoms and Liberty and Jesus and also too the freedom to impishly put gun-sights which DON’T MEAN ANYTHING YOU GUYS! over the locations of people she thinks are subhuman.
Pretty much what you figured she'd say, isn't it?

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Not all local news…

…is good news. My own personal Congressman can't be touched electorally, but that doesn't protect him from the crosshairs...
A California man accused of threatening to kill Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott has been arrested and charged in federal court.

Charles Turner Habermann -- a 32-year-old Palm Springs, Calif., resident with a $3 million trust fund -- was arrested Wednesday morning on allegations that he made threatening phone calls to the office of the Seattle Democrat late last year.
A millionaire anti-tax zealot this time, not a crazy kid. I wonder what a review of his reading and viewing habits would reveal...

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Elsewhere in Olympia...

....Cindy Ryu's predecessor in the House, Maralyn Chase, becomes my own personal State Senator, sworn, sealed and delivered...

More photos here.

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Looking at Olympia...

...State Representatives from the 32nd District are making news. As part of a re-organization that has eliminated four House committees, the Committee on Early Learning and Children's services has been merged with the Human Services Committee under the leadership of Rep. Ruth Kagi. For Kagi, longtime chair of Early Learning and Children Services, it's a dramatic expansion of responsibility. According to Shoreline Area News, the new committee is charged with...
...early learning, temporary assistance for needy families (welfare), child welfare, developmental disabilities, drug and alcohol treatment issues, children's mental health, disability lifeline and vocational rehabilitation and juvenile rehabilitation.
It's a tough portfolio in a time of tight and tightening budgets. These are areas where dollar decisions can be life and death decisions for some Washingtonians. Credit the Democratic leadership and caucus for choosing the right leader for these issues in these times.

My other State Rep. (we get two Representatives and a Senator each up here in the upper left), Cindy Ryu, is being recognized as the first Korean-American woman to serve in the legislature. She was preceded by Senator Paul Shin (D-21), our state's first Korean-American legislator. While serving on the Shoreline City Council, Cindy also earned the distinction of being the first Korean-American woman to serve as mayor of an American city.

Congratulations to Cindy and the Korean-American community in Washington.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Seems to me...

...that even if over-heated right wing rhetoric isn't the direct cause of the Tuscon massacre, that's a scant excuse for over-heated right wing rhetoric.

Off to commit a public act of folk music. Left-wing rhetoric may ensue, but I'll try to keep it on the moderate end of the spectrum.

More later...

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Amidst the recent tragedy...

...a brighter note...
AUSTIN, Texas — Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, once considered among the nation's most powerful and feared lawmakers, was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for a scheme to influence elections that already cost him his job, leadership post and millions of dollars in legal fees.

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Good question...

Michael Moore, via Dan Savage...

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

I think it's time to say... 'bout them Hawks!?!

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It must be true...

...I read it on the internet!
Year-to-date statistics on airport screening from the Department of Homeland Security:

Terrorist Plots Discovered 0
Transvestites 1,133
Hernias 1,485
Hemorrhoid Cases 3,172
Enlarged Prostates 8,249
Breast Implants 79,350
Natural Blondes 3

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The usual random ten...

...and a quick howdy to the folks checking in from Balloon Juice and TBogg. Howdy!
The Foundations - Build Me Up Buttercup
Mercury Rev - The Dark Is Rising
Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues
Marissa Nadler - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Kate Wolf - Who Knows Where The Time Goes?
Paul Simon - Duncan
Mark O'Connor - Amazing Grace
Chuck Berry - Nadine
Patsy Cline - Crazy
The Rolling Stones - Wild Horses

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Dear Representative King…

Next time, look it up first.
men·dac·i·ty (noun)

1. Telling of lies
Deliberate untruthfulness

2. Lie
a lie or falsehood
Just so ya' know…


Upper Left

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Friday, January 07, 2011

From the "Credit where it's due" file.

Every once in a while, even a Republican gets something right...
Voters should face a deadline of 8 p.m. on Election Day to get their ballots in to county election officials, Secretary of State Sam Reed said Friday, as he submitted a set of reforms to the Legislature.
It's not really his idea, of course. It's the way things are already done, for instance, in Oregon. It's a good one just same, though, and Reed's backing should help make it happen.

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Chart of the day.

What the worst of all looks like, via Paul Rosenberg...

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Prediction of the day.

From Steve M. ...

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From the "Hope springs eternal" file.

Steve Benen
At a certain level, Republicans just have to hope the public isn't paying any attention to reality at all.
If that's what they're hoping for, I'm afraid they may be in luck.

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

The crazy commences.

Don't get me wrong. I'm fully in favor of reading the Constitution, publically and completely. Too bad they didn't.

I'm also fully in favor of following the Constitution. Too bad they didn't do that, either.

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Chart of the day.

Via digby...


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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Yes, you can.

And you should. Via the DNC blog...
You can send an e-mail to Speaker Pelosi at to thank her for her hard work over the past four years and to give encouragement for all that she will do during the next legislative session.

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The truth…

…according to Robert Reich...
The truth is our economic problems stem from the biggest concentration of income and wealth at the top since 1928, combined with stagnant incomes for most of the rest of us.
…and, yep, me too.

Hat tip to Howie.

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From the "Time files" file.

John Amato dips into the memory hole...
How quickly the Villagers forget about Boehner's transgression in Congress, when he handed out checks for the tobacco industry on the floor of the House.

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From the "On the other hand…" file.

Richard Wolffe in the L.A. Times...
For someone who is supposedly cool and detached, President Obama has triggered outraged and outsized reactions on both sides of the political spectrum in the last year. Conservatives loathe his health-care reforms; progressives hate his tax compromises.
On the other hand, progressives loathe his health-care compromises and conservatives loathe his tax reforms.

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Good question...

…from Ari Melber.
What are we to make of the fact that two of the top priorities for the 112th Congress, convening for the first time today, involve an irrelevant charade and an irresponsible threat?
I'm not sure it can be answered in words appropriate to a typically family friendly blog, but it's a good question.

Hat tip to Fixer.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

From the "Every schoolboy should know…" file

David Neiwert explains where the crazy came from in aught-ten...
So who WAS the mastermind of the 2010 Election? If anyone, it was Roger Ailes -- a reality that hardly anyone seems to want to acknowledge, including Democrats. Indeed, this was the Fox Election in every respect. Nearly every candidate who won got major a push from Fox. The most energy came from a Tea Party "movement" almost wholly engendered by Fox's relentless and unapologetic propagndization campaign.
Yep, though Rupert Murdoch's role deserves mention, too. Every schoolboy should know that a non-American billionaire financed the latest un-American movement, too.

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Monday, January 03, 2011

Chart of the day.

Via The Incidental Economist, eh...

(If you click it bigger you can see the itty, bitty red line.)

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Only a year old...

...but a must-read around here from day one, Of Paramount Importance is celebrating a blogiversary, too.

Congrats, Janet!

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May I say... 'bout them Hawks!

Record, schmecord. We're goin' to the playoffs, baby!

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Happy blogiversary…

…to N in Seattle, who's been posting at Peace Tree Farm for eight years, which is approximately forever and ever in blog years.

Congrats, and know that there's an eager audience here for that long promised ballpark series.

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Chart of the day.

Via Oliver Willis...

The investment class seems to be doing fine. Maybe it's time to tax them just a bit more. Ike's rate's would be a fine place to start negotiations.

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For the very first time...

...this year, a random ten.
Roseanne Cash - Long Black Veil
Loudon Wainwright III - Ragtime Annie
Roy Hamilton - Tore Up Over You
Hot Tuna - Bank Robber
Bill Monroe - I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky
Jim Kweskin - Eight More Miles To Louisville
The Stone Poneys - Different Drum
The Rolling Stones - Wild Horses
Blind Boy Fuller - Baby You Gotta Change Your Mind
Les McCann - With These Hands
The last is personally meaningful, because one of the highlights of my "career" as a music journalist was an afternoon spent chatting with the incomparable and unforgettable Les McCann.

Hope the new year has arrived safely and happily for all y'all.

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Starting today…

…because of President Obama and the Democratic Congress and years of effort by millions of Americans...
Seniors who've been stuck in prescription-drug "doughnut hole," will, for example, receive a 50% discount on the price of brand-name prescription drugs starting today. On a related note, seniors will also be eligible, starting today, for free "preventive services" screenings, including cancer tests like mammograms, and annual check-ups.

Of particular interest, on a systemic level, is the introduction of the new "medical loss ratio," which sounds more complicated than it is. This new rule forces private insurers to spend 80% to 85% of the money we pay them in premiums on paying for* actual medical care to its customers, rather than everything else (profit, marketing, executive salaries, overhead, etc.). In recent years, some insurance companies were spending as little as 50% of their premium dollars on their customers.
Hat tip to Steve Benen.

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