Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As usual…

Rudie's right...
While we need to take care of the outdoor occupiers, we cannot cling to slivers of land when we have a nation to take back.
Hat tip to Gordon.

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Chart of the day.

Hat tip to AFL-CIO Now.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

What digby said…

…about Barney Frank...
He deserves to retire. He's 72 and he's been fighting the good fight for decades. But he's one of the funniest, smartest people in politics and he will be missed.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011


I love me some General, in an appropriately heterosexual way, of course.

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Signs of the times.

Via Eli Sanders at Slog...

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Did I say...

Huskies, 38-21, final.

Feels great to be able to say "next"...

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One down...

...or up, I suppose, as Bellevue wins in Kennewick and comes back to meet O'Dea in the 3-A championship game next week. Go Wolverines!

The Huskies are starting strong, but the Apple Cup has offered too many surprises over the years to get comfortable early in the game. 14-0 at the end of the first is worth a WOOF!, though.

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Ready or not...'s football time! This afternoon my beloved Bellevue High School Wolverines will face off with Kamiakan for the right to face O'Dea in the state 3-A championship game next week, and before the final whistle blows in that one, the University of Washington Huskies will take on the Washington State Cougars in the annual Apple Cup. Just doesn't get much better than that.

The Wolverines have been state champs eight out of the last ten years, but championships never get old, and given the struggles of the Huskies and Hawks in recent years, have been the bright spot of many a football season here at Upper Left World Headquarters.

With six wins under their belt going into the Apple Cup, the Dawgs are already bowl eligible, while today's game is the Coug's bowl game this year. Also at stake may be the fate of Wazzu head coach Paul Wulff. That sets up a bit of a mental conflict, as I'd hate to see the outcome cost Wulff his job, but the team's got nowhere to go this year and a win might cement a better bowl berth for the Huskies, so Go Dawgs!

I'll be monitoring all the action from the perfect tavern. Come on down if you're nearby and looking for a good seat for the game.

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Music to digest leftovers to...

...randomly selected.
Drag The River - Gotta Get Drunk
Dr. John - Mama Roux
Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen - Wine Do Yer Stuff
Paul Curreri & Devon Sproule - I'm Still Here
Linda Ronstadt - Love Is A Rose
Sly & The Family Stone - If You Want Me To Stay
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Mr. Bojangles
Neville Brothers - Run Joe
Bob Dylan - Boots Of Spanish Leather
Bee Gees - New York Mining Disaster 1941

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Map of the day.

Via Graphjam...

(Of course it clicks bigger!)

A bit ago the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left assumed her alternate identity as the Queen of Thanksgiving, and the house is filling up with the bouquet of the feast to come. Just spending one more day with the BBBUL/QOT is more than enough cause for gratitude, and I have so much more than that to be thankful for.

As always, I'm thankful, too, for all y'all who hang around here with me.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Michelle Bachman: Traitor or fool?

She babbles, you decide. Yochi J. Dreazen at The National Journal...
"[H]er comments on Pakistan’s nuclear program represent either a news-making leak of previously unknown classified information or another in her recent series of seemingly-random, and highly inaccurate, public comments."
I suppose "and" should be an option...

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

From the "Why not Washington?" file.

Good news from the lower upper left...
Calling the system "compromised and inequitable," Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has stopped executions in the state during his tenure.
Our governor's a lame duck already, so there's no political cost and great human gain to be had following Kitzhaber's example, which begs the question, why not Washington?

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From the "Since you asked…" file.

Steven Thomma of the McClatchy Newspapers can't help but wonder
Is President Barack Obama worried about a surprise in the Democratic primary this January in New Hampshire?
Since you asked, Steven, no. I'd put White House confidence in the Democratic nomination at 100%, and they're 100% justified in that confidence.

Not even a nice try.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Slow but sure...

...Jesse Salomon's lead in the Shoreline City Council Position 6 race continues to grow. It's now at 90 votes, with a margin over double that required to avoid an automatic recount.

I'll keep checking in on this till they're done down at King County Elections, but I'm ready to make a call.

Congratulations, Councilman-elect Salomon!

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday funny.

Hat tip to Anne Laurie.

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From the "Since you asked…" file.

Heather Taylor-Miesle inquires...
Can We Give “Job-Killing Regulations” a Rest?
Since you asked, Heather, sure. We can.

They, sadly, won't even try, not despite, but because it's a lie and lies are all they have left.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's like déjà vu all over again...

When will they ever learn?

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If I tried to do this...

...I'd probably end up with something less interesting, which is why I love random shuffles so much. This week's selection...
Rick Nelson - Stars Fell From Alabama
Wilson Pickett - Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
Unit 4+2 - Concrete And Clay
T. Rex - Jeepster
Dusty Springfield - Sunny
New Riders Of The Purple Sage - Willie & The Hand Jive
The Rolling Stones - Under My Thumb
The Highwaymen - Here Comes That Rainbow Again
Frank Sinatra - Saturday Night (Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week)
Muddy Waters - Mannish Boy

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Friday, November 18, 2011

A significant step forward…

…for Shoreline City Council candidate Jesse Salomon, whose lead has increased to 77 votes and, more notably, whose leading margin has grown to .52%, raising it just above the mandatory recount threshold.

Assuming that margin holds or, as it has done every day this week, grows, Robin McClelland would still have the option of gambling a couple thousand dollars on a requested recount (the 15 cent per vote deposit would be returned if the outcome were reversed) though I have no hint of the likelihood that she'd do so.

As it happens, the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left and my ballots are among those verified but not counted, according to King County Elections, so there's at least two more to add to Jesse's total when they open the envelopes (or not...h/t N in Seattle)

If you're a King County voter, you can check the status of your ballot with the online Ballot Tracker.

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Signs of the times.

Hat tip to Liberal Values.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inch by inch... by vote, Shoreline City Council candidate Jesse Salomon's lead has grown to 49 votes. Still in mandatory recount territory, but the bigger his margin going into the second count, the better for him, and, from my perspective, for all of us here in town.

I'm not bold enough to call it yet, but it's starting to feel like a win.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Call him "Landslide" Jesse Salomon.

In the last close one I'm following, Jesse Salomon's lead in the Shoreline City Council Position 6 race has grown by by some 27% over yesterday's report.

In raw numbers, that's six votes, increasing his actual advantage to 28, about .2%.

Congratulations are probably best held for the recount outcome.

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Dear Santa...

This. I want this.

And a pony.

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From the "Me too" file.

Me too.

Hat tip to Jen Sorenson.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cliffhanger report.

Ronald Wastewater Commissioner Arne Lind still trails challenger Bob Ransom by over 300 votes, and it's not likely they're out there, but in close elections, never give up is often good advice.

A good example of that is in the race for the open seat on the Shoreline City Council, where Jesse Salomon, after a run of bad news in earlier returns, has slipped a scant 22 votes ahead of Robin McClelland. When the election is certified, though, a scant lead is a sufficient lead.

Still reason to stay tuned...

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Monday, November 14, 2011

He's right.

President Obama...
“They're wrong. Waterboarding is torture. Anybody who has actually read about and understands the practice of waterboarding would say that that is torture. And that's not something we do -- period.”
Well, not entirely right. To our great shame, it's something we did, if we once did, we might again.

Eternal vigilance and all that...

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How many is too many?

One debate was more than the whole batch was worth, for my money, but at least they're useful for proving John Cole right...
The problem for the Republican candidates isn’t that they could be better spending the time elsewhere, the problem is that these people are disgusting...
Of course, a good deal of their audience is just as bad, cheering for blood and torture.

It really is time to fold the Republican tent.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

From the "There oughta be a law" file.

Will's Possible Partner Postulate
"A rule is when there are four women, there may be 24."

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hold on...'s random!
The Byrds - You're Still On My Mind
George Harrison - Don't Let Me Wait Too Long
Elvis Presley - Love Me
Sam & Dave - Hold On, I'm Comin'
Johnny Cash & June Carter - Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Man
The Rivingtons - Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow
Tammi Terrell - That's What Boys Are Made For
Taj Mahal - My Creole Belle
James & Bobby Purify - I'm Your Puppet
The Feelies - Louie, Louie
Woh, woh, me gotta go...

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Friday, November 11, 2011

All gave some..

...and whatever you gave, in whatever way, in whichever branch, during during or between whichever wars, from one vet to another, thanks.

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Words to live by…

…from John Aravosis...
Remember, everything the Republicans propose is for some rich donor.
Everything. Which is, of course, another reason that...

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

An update…

…on our local cliffhangers. Both City Council candidate Jesse Salomon and Ronald Wastewater Commissioner Arne Lind have closed their deficits slightly in the latest report from King County Elections, but the lack of remaining votes makes them increasingly improbable victors.

In both cases I think my description of the local outcomes as a status quo election holds. Though Salomon was running for an open seat, his opponent, Robin McClelland, was positioned as the 'establishment' candidate, the representative of the current controlling faction (not party - as I've noted elsewhere, what we have is closer to uni-partisan than non-partisan government) at City Hall. That's not awful, really - as I've said, our local races are, for the most part, between well intentioned and generally liberally minded folks - but I was hoping this election might stir the pot just a bit, and it appears it won't.

Bob Ransom, Arne Lind's opponent in the sewer commission race, was pretty transparently the agent of that controlling faction. His campaign was based on putting himself out of office by transferring the responsibilities of the Commission to the city government. The notion isn't without merit, but I agree with Lind that it should be the result of an open debate and public vote, not the administrative shift that Ransom advocates.

There'll be another count tomorrow, and it will probably be pretty definitive in favor of McClelland and Ransom, which isn't the way I voted, but isn't enough to make me contact Canadian immigration, either.

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Chart of the day.

Via Laura Conway

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What if they had an election…

…and our side won? Won a bunch. All over the place.

Like I said, yesterday was a good one for the good guys.

Key Republican issues and political strategies took hits from coast to coast. Voter suppression? Maine offered the first blow for liberty of the day, restoring the same-day voter registration that Republican legislators had taken from them. Mississippi, of all places, scored a hat trick of sorts, setting back the Republican anti-science, anti-choice and anti-woman agendas when they rejected Amendment 26, which would have granted "personhood" to embryos.

Republican ant-unionism was dealt a critical blow by Ohio voters, with 82 of 88 counties rejecting Gov. John Kasich's attack on public-sector workers right to organize and bargain collectively. Republican anti-immigrant champion Russell Pearse, President of the State Senate, was removed in a recall election after sponsoring legislation that provided a blueprint for devastation of agriculture in several states. (Another noteworthy Arizona outcome - both Tucson and Phoenix have Democratic Mayors for the first time in decades.)

Here in the upper left, voters approved stronger training and regulation requirements for home health care workers, took the state out of the retail liquor business (a probably good thing accomplished in a highly dubious fashion) and, so far, are rejecting Tim Eyman's effort to cripple our transportation infrastructure.

Our local elections have turned out to be a pretty status quo affair. Where the results are clear, they're clearly in favor of incumbents for the most part.

Sherril Huff will continue as King County Director of Elections with over 75% of the vote against a patently unqualified challenger. Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton has a margin of 33,000 votes over her opponent, but apparently won't be joined by fellow reformer Dean Willard, who trails incumbent Bill Bryant by a margin of 37% to 62%.

Here in Shoreline, that pro-incumbency trend holds, with City Councilmembers Chris Eggen and Doris McConnell having margins of over 60% after the second day of ballot counting. I'm afraid that means my friend Janet Way won't be returning to the Council, but the Janet I know is indefatigable, and it won't be long before she sets her eyes on a new target for her effective activism.

In the open seat for Shoreline City Council, Jesse Salomon is less than 500 votes behind former Planning Commissioner Robin McClelland, still too close to call in my view.

Our School Board incumbents, Mike Jacobs and Richard Potter, appear safe at this point.

After the Huff/Greene and Willard/Bryant races, the campaign that brought generated the most search engine interest according to my logs was for our local sewer service, the Ronald Wastewater District. Bob Ransom, a fixture in local politics for decades and a former School Board member and City Councilmember, took on longtime sewer commissioner Arne Lind, largely over the question of whether and how the city should absorb the district. Ransom says it's time, and that it can be done administratively. Lind is not so sure, and favors a public vote before any change is made. Ransom, with an overwhelming advantage in name recognition, is leading by a scant 311 votes in another race I won't be ready to call for a while.

So what happened where you are?

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H/T Anne Laurie.

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A pretty good day for the good guys...

...across the country yesterday, though, as expected, some of the local races I'm interested in are too close to call after the first ballot drop. By the time I have time to add 'em up and write 'em down we should know more. Off to the salt mine perfect tavern for a bit. See ya'll later...

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Can't help but wonder...

...when Herman Cain will cite his interest in blondes as more evidence that he's "blacker" than President Obama...

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Happy Election Day!

Go vote. If you're hereabouts and you haven't, fill it out and mail it in.

There are some things I'm learning to like about universal vote-by-mail. Election day isn't one of them, because many if not most of the races I'm tracking won't have a definitive result tonight. The margins in some of the municipal races on the ballot will be in the dozens, not hundreds, of votes. There will be enough votes in the counts between now and the weekend to bring dismay to election night leaders.

Still, the convenience of voting at home, the way vote-by-mail eliminates many of the Republican voter suppression strategies and the continuing promise of higher voter interest and participation when parties and campaigns master the challenges of a new GOTV enviroment are meaningful trade-offs compared the demands for instant gratification from return junkies like me, I suppose.

I'll still look 'em up and try to read the tea leaves, of course, so stay tuned.

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sunday funny.

Via Hart Williams...

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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Make mine...

Girls From Mars - Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen
Bob Crew Generation - Music To Watch Girls By
Chuck Berry - Memphis, Tennessee
Marty Stuart - Little Things
Los Lobos - Bertha
Townes Van Zandt - Tecumseh Valley
Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman
Ken Stringfellow - Never My Love
Melanie - Any Way That You Want Me
The Lovin' Spoonful - Do You Believe In Magic

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Friday, November 04, 2011

Yes, Virginia...

...there is a difference...

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

I may not like it...

...but I've come to grips with the reality that the viaduct's gonna go. I dunno about the off-shore demolition contractor, though...

H/T artistdogboy.

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From the "Me too" file.

"We are veterans and we are the 99%. We swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. We are here to support the Occupy movement."

Me too.

Hat tip to Business Insider, where there's a slide show worth your attention.

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No question. Not really. Steve Benen...

...there's no real question as to whether the country is better off now than in January 2009.

Then the nation was hemorrhaging jobs; now it's gaining jobs.

Then the economy was shrinking; now the economy is growing.

Then the American automotive industry was on the verge of collapse; now it's starting to thrive.

Then taxpayers were sending money to Wall Street; now taxpayers are being paid back.

Then Osama bin Laden was targeting Americans and our allies; now he's dead and al Qaeda's leadership has been decimated.

Then U.S. troops were headed into the Middle East in greater numbers; now they're headed home with their heads held high.
Yep. Individually, some of us may be treading water and some of us may be sinking, but as a nation, we're doing better.

No question.

Not really.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Occupy freeways.

Hat tip to none other than the Freeway Blogger, natch.

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Just a data point…

…from Atrios (emphasis added)...

I've added incumbent Brad Miller, a lonely sensible voice on housing issues, and Darcy Burner, who is running in WA-1, to the 2012 fundraising page.
Don't know what it means, but it seems like it means something more than nothing...

(Another big shout out over at Hullaballoo. Sounds like Darcy's finding it pretty easy to put the band back together.)

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Since I live to serve…

…and since the questions just keep coming…Barbara Morrill is curious about the House Republicans' legislative strategy...
What's next? Affirmation that our flag is red, white and blue and that mom makes the best apple pie ever?
Since you asked, probably.

At best.

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May I see your papers please?

Hat tip to Blue Gal.

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From the "Since you asked…" file.

Zandar wonders
At what point do we just admit Herman Cain is just as staggeringly ignorant as the rest of the Clown Car Kids?
Since you asked, a while back would have been appropriate, but now would be fine.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Caffeinated meat?

I'm so there.

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