Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hong Tran for Senate

i had the chance to see Hong again, this weekend, at the annual Whatcom Democrats picnic

and then at the home of a supporter with supporters and friends attenting.

Hong once again impressed me with her knowledge of issues, integrity and willingness to fight for the people she represents. she has a law degree and she knows how to use it!!! she has stood up on her own behalf to her own party as they pushed her to the sidelines and denied her access to data her opponent recieved. she spent 14 years working for a non-profit that provided legal representation for poor and working poor people, including veterans. she saw budget cuts and bad legislation hurt the most vulnerable among us while the wealthiest enjoyed tax cuts and increased wealth. she will stand up for the people she represents and fight. she will make an excellent Senator and she will get my vote.


check her position on issues :
Jobs and the Economy
Labor Standards
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Trade Policy and the Global Economy
Health Care
Prescription Drugs
Social Security
Marriage Equality
Immigrant Workers
Iraq War and Foreign Policy

Democratic Outreach in Ferndale, WA

- Summer is the time for Parades and Festivals -
Democrats in the Ferndale Old Settlers Parade (July 29)
At left is candidate Jasper McSlarrow waving to happy supporters. To Jaspers right is candidate Jesse Salomon. On the right side of the paraders, wearing her stetson and helping carry a big 'Jasper' sign is our own jpeg.
42nd LD Democrats booth at the Ferndale Old Settlers Picnic (July 27-30)
Tucked in next to the log building that houses the Veterans Museum, Democrats handed out literature and talked to hundreds of people. Yeah, that's me (citizensteve) stretching my legs during a lull.
42nd LD Democrats booth at Ferndale Street Festival (Aug. 26)
The City of Ferndale closes down Main Street for this annual festival. About 250 endorsement palm cards were put into the hands of interested voters. (Pretty effective outreach considering last years voter turnout for the City of Ferndale was 2500)

Monday, August 28, 2006

WA-05 * Peter Goldmark Credible Threat

The more I hear about Peter Goldmark, the more impressed I am. He looks to be the kind of Progressive Western Democrat we really want to see elected. You gotta figure if Governor Brian Schweitzer (MT) is willing to headline a fundraiser Luncheon, Goldmark must be Ok..
[Note: If you don't know who Gov. Brian Schweitzer is but you like David Sirota then you like Gov. Schweitzer and just don't know it yet.]

McCranium.org has an interview with Peter Goldmark

Horsesass.org notes that Congressional Quarterly has changed the WA-05 rating from 'Republican Favored' to 'Leans Republican'.

If you've got a couple extra bucks, think about contributing

Friday, August 25, 2006

Iraq Occupation - a Huge Bowl of Chicken Sh*t

Today on MSNBC, retired General John Batiste — former commander of the First Infantry division in Iraq — said that it was “outrageous” Rumsfeld was still in charge of the Pentagon. Batiste added, “He served up our great military a huge bowl of chicken feces, and ever since then, our military and our country have been trying to turn this bowl into chicken salad.”
[source: thinkprogress.org - Watch the video]

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bad Republican and Bad Reporting.

State House Republican Floor Leader Doug Ericksen is being challenged for his 42nd Legislative District seat by Democrat Jasper MacSlarrow.

At last nite's Bill Mize political Forum, Rep. Ericksen (R-Ferndale) misrepresented his vote on biofuels.

Democrat Jasper MacSlarrow said that his opponent had not supported bio energy legislation.

During the question time, a guy got up and asked Ericksen how he'd voted. Ericksen said he'd supported the bill.

Later, when Jasper MacSlarrow had time to make final comments, he pointed out that bill votes are now available on-line at the State Legislature website. They had checked Ericksen's vote (during the few minutes after Doug's comment), and in fact he had voted "no" on the bio fuels bill. It was clear to all in the audience that Doug had misrepresented his vote.

However; in today's Bellingham Herald's four whole sentences worth of coverage, there's no mention of it.:

State Rep. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, stressed the importance of supporting Whatcom County rural lands and the farming on them.

"If we lose that (farmland), we lose our heart and soul," Ericksen said. "We lose our guiding compass on issues such as family, faith and freedom."

Ericksen's opponent, Democrat Jasper MacSlarrow, said the county could only address its growth concerns through "moderation." MacSlarrow also sought to attach himself to the work of U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens, who he served as a local aide until June.
I can't figure it out: is it piss-poor reporting or is it just that Ericksen has misrepresented himself so often that it's not news anymore.

Whatcom County Democratic Central Committee Endorsements

of special note ....THE JUDGES ........we face a targeted assault on Judges who are true to the rule of law. what their challengers have in mind is a judiciary friendly to big developement....if these special interests succeed in getting Initiative 933 passed and their judges elected it will be a big loss for the state of Washington. look for the Judges on the primary ballot.

The Whatcom County Democratic Central Committee (Whatcom Democrats) have endorsed the following candidates:

US Representative, District 2 Rick Larsen
42nd Rep, Position 2 Kelli Linville
42nd Rep, Position 1 Jasper MacSlarrow
42nd State Senate Jesse Salomon
40th Rep, Position 1 Dave Quall
40th Rep, Position 2 Jeff Morris

Court of Appeals Div 1 Dist 3 Pos 1 Mary Kay Becker

Supreme Court Justice Position 2 Susan Owens
Supreme Court Justice Position 8 Gerry Alexander
Supreme Court Justice Position 9 Tom Chambers

No endorsement has been made in the US Senate race because there is a Primary contest. The Whatcom Democrats delay endorsement until after voters have voiced their choice in the Primary Election.

Democrats Abroad wants you to exercise your right to vote.

if you or someone you know lives abroad.....they have to register again to vote in this election even if they voted in 2004. This web site is sponsored by the Democratic party so they'll know their registration won't be "lost".


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Conservative Organization Attacks Judge

Federal Judge Anna Taylor Diggs, who ruled last week that President Bush’s eavesdropping program was unconstitutional, is being attacked by The Right-wing smear group Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch spent the Nineties making false accusations against Bill Clinton. This attack on Judge Diggs is clearly just another groundless accusation meant to cloud the issue.
... Three legal ethicists interviewed said although Judge Taylor’s role as a trustee for a supporter of the civil liberties group would not necessarily disqualify her from hearing the case, she should have probably disclosed the connection in court to avoid any appearance of a conflict. ... (source)

Why Do Republicans Hate Our Freedom?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Why Do Republicans Hate Our Freedom?

08.17.06 - Washington GOP Calls on Democrats to Rebuke JudgeÂ’s NSA Surveillance Decision

08.18.06 - Dems Rejoice: Ruling Weakens Terrorist Surveillance Program
All across the Nation Republicans are having hissy fits because a Federal Judge concluded that Bush isn't King George. Federal District Court Rules NSA Wiretapping Program Unconstitutional

Part of the judgement (with my emphasis added) reads:
...We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all "inherent powers" must derive from that Constitution. We have seen in Hamdi that the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution is fully applicable to the Executive branch's actions and therefore it can only follow that the First and Fourth Amendments must be applicable as well. In the Youngstown case the same "“inherent powers" argument was raised and the Court noted that the President had been created Commander in Chief of only the military, and not of all the people, even in time of war. Indeed, since Ex Parte Milligan, we have been taught that the "“Constitution of the United States is law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace. . . ." Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2, 120 (1866). Again, in Home Building & Loan Ass'’n v. Blaisdell, we were taught that no emergency can create power. Finally, although the Defendants have suggested the unconstitutionality of FISA, it appears to this court that that question is here irrelevant. Not only FISA, but the Constitution itself has been violated by the Executive's TSP. As the court states in Falvey, even where statutes are not explicit, the requirements of the Fourth Amendment must still be met. And of course, the Zweibon opinion of Judge Skelly Wright plainly states that although many cases hold that the President's power to obtain foreign intelligence information is vast, none suggest that he is immune from Constitutional requirements. ...
It's simple and straight forward. The Constitution applies to the President. FISA and the Constitution don't interfere with tracking down terrorists.

I understand why Bush, and the people who do his thinking, want to claim that the President (provided he's a Republican) has magical mystical dictatorial powers. What I don't understand is why so many (Republican) people are in such a hurry to give up their Rights and Liberties.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Occupation of Iraq, a Republican partisan thing

A Seattle Times headline says "Should we leave Iraq? Major split in state". The poll of Washington voters says that 44% think the U.S. should stay in Iraq, while 50% think we should get out. A closer look at the results of the poll by Elway Research shows Republicans clinging to the "stay the course" fantasy while majorities of Democrats and independent want our troops out of Iraq.

27%22% 5%
within 12-18
44% 31%16%
Leave when
Iraqis can
keep the peace
21% 32% 66%
4% 6%16%
No answer3% 9% 3%

And there's good reason to withdraw our troops, the Iraqi people want us out of their country. Bush did say that 'as the Iraqi's stand up, we'll stand down'. Well, the Iraqi people are standing up and trying to drive out our occupation troops. It's not about 'foreign terrorists', the Iraqi insurgency is made up of Iraqi's who don't want foreigners occupying their country.
Bombs Aimed at G.I.'s in Iraq Are Increasing
This article is by Michael R. Gordon Mark Mazzetti and Thom Shanker

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 -— The number of roadside bombs planted in Iraq rose in July to the highest monthly total of the war, offering more evidence that the anti-American insurgency has continued to strengthen despite the killing of the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Along with a sharp increase in sectarian attacks, the number of daily strikes against American and Iraqi security forces has doubled since January. The deadliest means of attack, roadside bombs, made up much of that increase. In July, of 2,625 explosive devices, 1,666 exploded and 959 were discovered before they went off. In January, 1,454 bombs exploded or were found. ...

... "“The insurgency has gotten worse by almost all measures, with insurgent attacks at historically high levels", said a senior Defense Department official who agreed to discuss the issue only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for attribution. "The insurgency has more public support and is demonstrably more capable in numbers of people active and in its ability to direct violence than at any point in time." ...

... The increased attacks have taken their toll. While the number of Americans killed in action per month has declined slightly — to 38 killed in action in July, from 42 in January, in part reflecting improvements in armor and other defenses — the number of Americans wounded has soared, to 518 in July from 287 in January. Explosive devices accounted for slightly more than half the deaths. ... (full article) [my emphasis added]

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Whatcom Democrats at the Fair

Northwest Washington Fair: Whatcom (42nd LD) Democrats booth, fun and interesting.

(the Republicans booth?... not fun, not interesting)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Whatcom Democrats, Going To The Fair

Stop by and say Hi.
Mon-Sat August 14-19, NORTHWEST WASHINGTON FAIR, Lynden.
The Whatcom Democrats, in cooperation with the Democratic candidates, will have a booth at the fair. Bigger and better this year! Stop by and buy a raffle ticket (motorscooter or wild-caught salmon), learn more about the candidates, or pick up some palm cards with our endorsements to distribute to your friends.

Candidates are scheduled to be at the booth to talk with voters at these times:
Tuesday, Aug 15, 10-noon -- Jasper MacSlarrow
Wednesday, Aug 16, 2pm -- Mark Wilson representeing Maria Cantwell
Wednesday, Aug 16, 4-5:30 pm -- Rick Larsen
Thursday, Aug 17, 4-6 pm -- Kelli Linville
Friday, Aug 18, 7pm -- Jesse Salomon
Saturday, Aug 19, 10-noon -- Jasper MacSlarrow

DIRECTIONS: our booth is located between the Craft 4-H building and the Carnival Midway, in a block of blue and white striped tents. Our booth is on the south, or Carnival, side of these tents.

At its August Central Committee Meeting, the members of the Whatcom Democrats endorsed the following candidates for public office, that will appear on the PRIMARY BALLOT:

US Representative Rick Larsen www.ricklarsen.org

42nd Rep, Position 2 Kelli Linville www.kellilinville.com

42nd Rep, Position 1 Jasper MacSlarrow www.votejasper.com

42nd State Senate Jesse Salomon www.votejesse.com

40th Rep, Position 1 Dave Quall

40th Rep, Position 2 Jeff Morris www.morriscampaign.com

Court of Appeals Div 1 Dist 3 Pos 1 Mary Kay Becker

Supreme Court Justice Position 2 Susan Owens

Supreme Court Justice Position 8 Gerry Alexander

Supreme Court Justice Position 9 Tom Chambers

No endorsement was made in the US Senate race because there is a Primary contest. The Whatcom Democrats delay endorsement until after voters have voiced their choice in the Primary Election.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Venezuelan aid to the Pacific Northwest?

Published: Saturday, August 12, 2006

Venezuela bids cheap oil to tribes
Others have taken deal from controversial leader

By Krista J. Kapralos and Lukas Velush
Herald Writers

Venezuela's state-owned oil company wants to offer deeply discounted home heating oil to American Indian tribes throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Representatives of oil-giant Citgo Petroleum Corp. have contacted the Tulalip Tribes, the Yakama Nation in central Washington, the Nez Perce and Coeur D'Alene tribes in Idaho and many others with information about a possible 40 percent discount on home heating oil.

Citgo is a Houston-based subsidiary of an oil corporation controlled by Venezuela and Hugo Chavez, its controversial elected president ...

... In brochures circulated among Pacific Northwest tribal leaders, Chavez said the program brings a better life to the poorest and most vulnerable people.

"This program fulfills a promise I made to the people of the United States, and it is a gift warmly given to our American friends," Chavez said.

Cantwell did not respond to questions about whether the letter she signed has attracted Chavez to the state.

In an e-mail, Cantwell said she welcomes any oil company's efforts to help low-income families pay their heating bills.

Cantwell spokeswoman Charla Neuman later said in an e-mail that what matters is that this program could help Washington state families, regardless of political motivation.

"I don't think any of us really believe oil companies make decisions from their hearts," Neuman said.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hotline Didn't Miss It - Douglas (R-VT) Busted

From: Hotline On Call
August 11, 2006

Shouldn't Howard Dean Get Credit For This?

Gov. Jim Douglas (R-VT)'s campaign sent out an In Case You Missed It, touting the fact that Vermont had the smallest percentage of uninsured children in the nation.

That's an impressive accomplishment.

But credit for Vermont's pioneering insurance system, called Dr. Dynasaur, goes to current DNC chairman and ex-VT Gov. Howard Dean, who, beginning in 1992, expanded the program (which was actually signed into law by ex-VT Gov. Madeline Kunin.)

Posted at 02:55 PM

This was so short that I've posted the whole thing and I'm still gonna claim fair use. It's not my fault Madeline Kunin is sooo to the point.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bush seeks political gains from foiled plot

That's the headline on an AFP story and boy does it zero in on this mornings media circus. It's the Republican strategy of overwhelming farce; Create campaign stunts that frighten the American people and disrupt the economy, Deride the Democrats for things they never said.

Ya! I said campaign stunts! Think about it. The English police have already detected and caught the terrorist... then at a good point in the news cycle, the terror level is raised here in the U.S.. Cheney started yesterday with his usual nonsense about terrorist not breaking the will of the American people. But hey DICK! The cat's out of the bag.
"Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won't "look as appealing" under the circumstances. - AFP, August 11, 2006
Let's take a deep breath and have a closer look.

...Peter Clarke, the head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch, said the surveillance involved in disrupting the plot had been "unprecedented" and had involved police forces in the UK and internationally.

Sources told the BBC the "principal characters" suspected of being involved in the plot were British-born, some with links to Pakistan.

A senior Pakistani security official told the AFP news agency that Pakistani intelligence agencies helped British authorities foil the plot.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said: "Pakistan played a very important role in uncovering and breaking this international terrorist network.

"There were some arrests in Pakistan which were co-ordinated with arrests in the UK."... (from BBC NEWS)

No troop movements, no air strikes, just police work. Terrorists are criminal. The police in Pakistan and the UK detected and arrested the terrorists.

The simple truth is that the Republican politicians keep trying to make the threat from terrorists look bigger so they can look bigger. Unfortunately they're so busy trying to score political points that they're not taking care of business. And that's not just my personal observation.
... FOREIGN POLICY and the Center for American Progress teamed up to survey more than 100 of America’s top foreign-policy experts—Republicans and Democrats alike. The FOREIGN POLICY/Center for American Progress Terrorism Index is the first comprehensive effort to mine the highest echelons of America’s foreign-policy establishment for their assessment of how the United States is fighting the Global War on Terror. Our aim was to draw some definitive conclusions about the war’s priorities, policies, and progress from the very people who have run America’s national security apparatus over the past half century. Participants include people who have served as secretary of state, national security advisor, retired top commanders from the U.S. military, seasoned members of the intelligence community, and distinguished academics and journalists. Nearly 80 percent of the index participants have worked in the U.S. government—of these more than half were in the executive branch, one third in the military, and 17 percent in the intelligence community.

Despite today’s highly politicized national security environment, the index results show striking consensus across political party lines. A bipartisan majority (84 percent) of the index’s experts say the United States is not winning the war on terror. Eighty-six percent of the index’s experts see a world today that is growing more dangerous for Americans. Overall, they agree that the U.S. government is falling short in its homeland security efforts. More than 8 in 10 expect an attack on the scale of 9/11 within a decade. These dark conclusions appear to stem from the experts’ belief that the U.S. national security apparatus is in serious disrepair. “Foreign-policy experts have never been in so much agreement about an administration’s performance abroad,” says Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and an index participant. “The reason is that it’s clear to nearly all that Bush and his team have had a totally unrealistic view of what they can accomplish with military force and threats of force.”

Respondents sharply criticized U.S. efforts in a number of key areas of national security, including public diplomacy, intelligence, and homeland security. Nearly all of the departments and agencies responsible for fighting the war on terror received poor marks. The experts also said that recent reforms of the national security apparatus have done little to make Americans safer. ... (The Terrorism Index)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It's Mayberry Not Maberry!

Up here in Washington States 42nd Legislative District, I've heard a rumor that I'd hate to think is true. The rumor is that even after they've been doorbelled by the candidate, people still think that Craig Mayberry is somehow related to the well know and well respected Maberry Family. If Craig Mayberry were intentionally leaving people with the impression that he's related to Whatcom County's iconic Maberry family, that would make him a Mayberry Machiavelli.

So, let's clear this up. Craig Mayberry moved to Whatcom County in 2004.
I couldn't find a picture of Craig; but while I was Googling, I ran across this from 2005:
Mike Kent Cares! Gary Lysne:Hope for the future! Mr.Mayberry Runs - www.whatcomgop.com/GOP-Candidates.pdf
And that seems to kinda sum it up. Craig Mayberry Runs. Last year, Craig Mayberry ran for Whatcom County Council and lost. This year he's running for the State Legislature... Yeap, Craig's on his second campaign even though his only lived here in Whatcom County for two years.

On the other hand, The Maberry Family has been farming here in Whatcom County since the 40's.

And Maberry Farmers has endorsed our much beloved incumbent Democrat, Kelli Linville State Representative 42nd District.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Republican Priorities - Campaigning ahead of Border Security?

So what's up with this? A Republican controlled subcommittee revokes the invitation for our Sheriff to testify about Border Security issues in Whatcom County, so that our usually invisible 42nd Legislative District State Senator Dale Brandland (R) can get some free campaign publicity.
Border security meeting planned


Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing Tuesday in Bellingham to discuss how to best secure the nation's northern border. ...

... Committee members, including U.S. Reps. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, and Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton, will arrive in Seattle on Monday. The congressional delegation will tour the Port of Seattle, Blaine's Peace Arch border crossing and the Bellingham Air and Marine Branch at Bellingham International Airport. ...

... State Sen. Dale Brandland, formerly the county's sheriff, will be the only person from Whatcom County testifying at the hearing. Current Sheriff Bill Elfo said he was invited to speak but later had that invitation revoked for time constraints. ...
Well hey! We here in Whatcom County already knew Brandlands views on Border Security and after he appeared on PBS NewsHour so did the rest of the world.
August 14, 2002
Lee Hochberg of Oregon Public Broadcasting looks at how local police are fighting the war on terrorism.

...SHERIFF DALE BRANDLAND, Whatcom County, Washington State: I'm not going to have my folks out arresting illegal aliens and illegal immigrants. We have too many other things to do.

LEE HOCHBERG: Dale Brandland, sheriff of Washington State's Whatcom County, 2,000 square miles long the U.S.-Canada boundary with some 24 million border crossings per year. He says his force already prosecutes 90% of the immigration cases generated by the federal border patrol, Customs, and DEA agents. He says Ashcroft's new mandate would cost money his force doesn't have.

SHERIFF DALE BRANDLAND: To start suggesting this is our war and you've got to be part of the team, well, part of the team means everybody gets paid. (Laughs) We're not getting paid. We're just getting stuck with the work here. Of catching illegals is important to them, they need to go hire the people and do it themselves. ...

Good News - Happy News

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Melmac is still pretending to be optimistic, but the experts say it could be an electoral rout for the Republican Party.
GOP pooh-poohs dire election predictions

By Steven Thomma
McClatchy Newspapers

... Independent political analyst Charles Cook warned this week that Republicans face the threat of "an electoral rout."

"First, the political climate will be extremely hostile to Republican candidates. Second, while Republicans benefited from turnout in 2002 and 2004, this time voter turnout will benefit Democratic candidates. And third, the advantages that the GOP usually has in national party spending will be significantly less than normal."

Republicans would have to lose a net of 15 seats to lose control of the House; six to lose the Senate.

Cook lists 15 Republican-held House seats — and no Democratic seats — as tossups.

"In a very large tidal-wave election, as this one appears to be, it would not be unusual to see all tossups go to one party, along with a few out of the leaning column as well," Cook said, referring to races that "lean" in favor of Republicans, but not by much.

"Republicans might lose their House majority just in the seats in which they are behind or in which their edge is within a poll's margin of error," Cook concluded.

At the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, analysts Sabato and David Wasserman said polls suggest "that Republicans are headed for their most serious midterm losses in decades."

They likened the anti-incumbent mood to the one in 1994, when anger swept Democrats out of power in both houses of Congress. Sabato and Wasserman also increased their predictions of Democratic gains in the House and Senate.

They said they expected Democrats to gain 12 to 15 seats in the House, up from a forecast last month of a gain of six to eight seats. In the Senate, they said they expected Democrats to gain three to six seats, up from a July forecast of two to three seats.

"In this inhospitable climate, the GOP could well get burned worse than initially expected," Wasserman and Sabato wrote. ...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Senate Rejects Republican Tax Travesty

Good News for us ordinary folks.
Breaking: Senate Rejects Trifecta

Moments ago, the "Trifecta" fusion legislation died in the Senate.

The Senate fell four votes short of cloture, virtually guaranteeing that the November election will come and go without a minimum wage increase, the tax extender legislation, and a permanent reduction of the estate/death/inheritance/family farms/Paris Hilton tax. ...

...Jim Manley, spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), sent along this statement: "Americans are too smart to be tricked into cutting the wages of 136,000 Nevadans, so 8,100 multi-millionaires can enjoy $800 billion in tax breaks. Americans are too smart to be tricked into forgoing middle-class tax relief, so America can borrow hundreds of billions of dollars to give tax breaks to a wealthy few. And Americans are too smart to accept anymore debt and deception from this Do Nothing Republican Congress." (Source = Hotline On Call)
Earlier this evening over at NPI Blog Senator Cantwell explained why she would vote against the Republican tax plan.
... "I am not buying this cynical Republican ploy."

It isn't, however, the first time Republicans have tried to convince us that we can't have strong businesses and a living wage. In Washington State we have been proving them wrong for almost a decade. In 1998, Washingtonians overwhelmingly voted to raise our minimum wage for every worker to one of the highest in the country, and our economy continues to thrive. Why would we change course now?...

... The Republican proposal is a bait and switch. They wrote the language so that it preempts our state law. What they're calling a minimum wage increase is in fact a minimum wage penalty for 122,810 workers.

The Republican proposal would cut these workers minimum hourly wage by $5.50. That means workers who earn $7.63 an hour plus tips could see their wages drop to $2.13 an hour plus tips.

The Republican plan directly targets Washington families already struggling just to get by. Many of the workers who would be most affected are already juggling multiple jobs just to make ends meet. These workers' average annual income is only $16,000. That's the poverty line for a family of three. The Republican proposal cuts these workers' income to $4,400 annually plus tips. ... (full source)
Although I've never thought much of M!ke McGhastly, his comments to an AP reporter makes him sound even more ridiculous and out of touch than usual.

...McGavick immediately denounced Cantwell's announcement, charging that she was siding "with her party's leaders over the interest of our state."

In opposing the bill, Cantwell "is voting against a permanent solution to the federal estate tax, against extension of state sales-tax deductibility, against tax relief for our timber companies and against extension of the research-and-development tax credit," McGavick said.

Cantwell also is voting against an increase in the federal minimum wage, McGavick added, calling her position "profoundly disappointing."...

But fortunately for McGhastly, a National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesbozo stepped forward to make even stupider pronouncements.

Brian Nick, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, also criticized Cantwell's decision.

"When given a chance to deliver for the people of Washington state, Cantwell instead folds like a cheap tent and bows to her party leadership's wishes. She should look no further than this vote when given her pink slip in November." ... (source)

Although, Cong(R)essman (and Doug Roulstone contributor) Zack Wamp was crowing about a Republican trifeca:
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) went on the House floor to brag about this ploy, which has little chance of passing the Senate. Wamp said to his opponents, "I know why you're so mad and why you say things you don't really mean. It'’s because you have seen us really outfox you on this issue tonight." ...(source)
It appears in the end, he's the one who got whomped.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Jesse Salomon for WA State Senate 42nd LD

Jesse Salomon is running for Washingtons 42nd Legislative District State Senate seat. He was a Dean delegate to the Democratic National Convention. I've crossed path with Jesse often in the past few months and I've been very impressed. The other day, I had the chance to interview Jesse.
Q: What moved you to become a candidate for the State Senate?

Jesse: I was tired of hearing myself complain about the direction the radical right (Bush and company)are taking our Country. By dedicating myself to running for office I feel like I am channeling the sorrow I feel in a positive direction.

Also, on a local level, we are dealing with a changing Whatcom County. I really love it here and I want to make sure we do a better job managing growth and preserving open space and farmland. I also think we need to invest more in early childhood learning, lower the cost of college tuition, and find a comprehensive way to make health care more accessible and affordable for everybody.

I have also made clean and renewable energy a centerpiece of my message. I will discuss that more shortly.

Q: What qualities make you a progressive candidate?

Jesse: I want to unite people in a positive way across the ideological spectrum with issues like clean and renewable energy. Developing a clean and renewable energy industry will help create living wage jobs for liberals and conservatives, ensure clean air and water, and help us move towards energy independence. This is populist and progressive.

The Republicans use wedge tactics and scapegoating of the less powerful (e.g. immigrants) to divide people and implement regressive changes that benefit only the wealthy, under the guise of creating opportunity or keeping us safe. I loath that kind of cynical politics, and feel that the best way to fight it is with positive and community building politics.

Q: You've just doorbelled all across Whatcom County, what did you find were voters biggest concerns?

Jesse: Mostly, people talked about the need to increase accessibility and affordability of Health Care, prevent urban sprawl, strengthen our public education system, ensure we have clean air and water, and the need to add more living wage jobs. On the conservative side, people were angry about illegal immigrants, and gay marriage. Of course, people are also concerned about the war in Iraq.

Q: Do you have (progressive) answers for the things that most concern the voters?

Jesse: Let'’s look at a couple things that concern voters: the war in Iraq and a clean environment. It is my conviction that if we develop clean and renewable energy in Whatcom County and the US, we will decrease the perceived need among some to "secure oil fields abroad." At the very least, there will be a compelling political argument against oil interventionism if we have a secure supply of energy at home. Additionally, we are seeing shrinking ice caps here in the Cascade Mountains as a result of global warming. Clean and renewable energy will help us move away from fossil fuels and the warming it creates.

George Lakoff, alternative political strategist author of Don't Think of an Elephant and Moral Politics, who I think can help lead the left out of the political wilderness, writes alot about strategic initiatives. This is the opposite of Republican Wedge tactics, where they create hatred of one group (e.g. gays and lesbians) to unite other groups. Strategic initiatives from the left will unite left leaning groups such as environmentalists with right leaning groups like farmers in a positive way.

For example, the development of clean and renewable energy on farms through bio-digesters (driven by methane from cow waste), bio-diesel and wind power will;

A. help boost the farm economy

B. help the environment by decreasing pollution and helping stop the conversion of farmland into urban sprawl

C. contribute to national security by decreasing our dependence on foreign oil.

In doorbelling, I am finding that clean and renewable energy has support across the ideological spectrum, which is exactly what I am hoping for.

Jesse's looking for grassroots support. If you're impressed with what he has to say, please sign up.

Jesse's opponent incumbent Dale Brandland (R) is well funded, but I wonder just how hungry for re-election he really is. You might remember that back in April Brandlands offered to hand his job over to someone else:
"I've had enough," he said on the (Senate) floor, which was mostly empty because Democrats were still in caucus. "You don't like the way we do this job, then come down and do it yourself. I'm outta here."

He seems to have done his best to be the invisible Senator. Last weekend at Ferndale's Old Settlers Picnic, I talked about the upcoming election with dozens of people and most of them only knew Brandland as the guy who used to be Sheriff.

There are plenty of reasons to put Brandland into retirement. He's not our friend. He's regularly opposed legislation that protects citizens.
Dale Brandland:
  • Opposed 2005 Senate Bill 5452 (Prohibiting genetic testing as a condition of life insurance).
  • Opposed 2005 Senate Bill 5327 (Creating an office of privacy protection).
  • Opposed 2005 Senate Bill 5275 (Prohibiting the use of consumer credit histories for personal insurance renewal decisions).
  • Opposed 2006 Senate Bill 6508 (Requiring minimum renewable fuel content).
  • Opposed 2005 Senate Joint Memorial 8014 (Requesting that the privatization of social security be rejected).
  • Opposed 2006 Senate Bill 6185 (Modifying the Family and Medical Leave Act).
  • Opposed 2005 House Bill 1636 (Adopting a wage ladder for child care workers).
  • Opposed 2005 Senate Bill 5069 (Establishing a family leave insurance program).
Brandland hasn't sponsored much legislation, but the bills he has sponsored are awfully unappealing.
Some of the Bills Brandland sponsored
  • SB 5133 To take away privileged communications between spouses.
  • SB 5553 a pilot program for electronic fingerprinting technology.
  • SB 6063 Limiting damages against health care providers.
  • SB 6072 Providing for omnibus civil liability reform.
  • SB 6106 disclosure of health care information for law enforcement purposes.
  • SB 6680 a biometric matching system for driver's licenses and identicards.
  • SB 6719 the exchange of criminal history records for noncriminal justice uses.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Will M!ke McGavick go to jail instead of Congress?

Shareholder to sue Safeco, McGavick for big payday

[NOTE:] To the persistent anonymous commenter; You don't get that it's just a catchy headline and you think I'm stupid??? Of course M¿ke won't go to jail.

how terrorists are made

out of human beings ...... riverbend is watching it happen...i see my grandchildren in the broken bodies of "their" grandchildren......"we have one planet and it's for all of us" from the movie "the power of community" how Cuba survived peak oil community solutions

Qana Massacre...
Although the sun is blinding this time of year in
our part of the world, the Middle East is seeing some of its darkest days…I woke up this morning to scenes of carnage and destruction on the television and for the briefest of moments, I thought it was footage of Iraq. It took me a few seconds to realize it was actually Qana in Lebanon. The latest village to see Israeli air strikes. The images were beyond gruesome- body parts and corpses being hauled out from under tons of debris. Wailing relatives and friends, searching for loved ones… So far,
according to humanitarian organizations, 34 were children. They killed them while they were sleeping inside their bomb shelters- much like the Amriya Shelter massacre in 1991.

........Where is the Security Council??? Why haven’t they stopped Israel? Ehud Olmert recently told Condi that he needs 10 to 14 more days of bloodshed- and nothing is being done about it! Where are the useless Arab leaders? Can’t the pro-American, spineless emirs crawl out of their gold palaces long enough to
condemn this taking of lives? Our presidents/leaders are only as influential as their oil barrels are deep.

full post

Democratic Politicians catch up with The People

Hill Democrats Unite to Urge Bush to Begin Iraq Pullout

By Charles Babington and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, August 1, 2006; Page A01

After months of struggling to forge a unified stance on the Iraq war, top congressional Democrats joined voices yesterday to call on President Bush to begin withdrawing U.S. troops by the end of the year and to "transition to a more limited mission" in the war-torn nation. ...(full article)