Monday, February 28, 2005

Pouring gasoline taxes on the East-West Divide fire...

Was it political brilliance that prompted the floating of the trial balloon on the stratospheric increase in our gas tax and vehicle fees (yeah... lets jack up the gas tax to $.38 cents per gallon... after all, gasoline only costs around $2.10 a gallon... what possible harm to our economy could building in an artificial increase cause?) by an ultra-leftist neo-comm from Seattle?

Does anyone think that such an irresponsible plan well actually help heal the widening rift between the Soviet Socialist Republic of King County and the rest of the state in general... and Eastern Washington in particular?

Nothing was said about a Referendum Clause on this legislation. Does it take rocket science to figure out why?

Joel Connelly attempts to remind us that Eastern Washington has forgotten how much help they've received "from the west side." Of course, most of his examples are totally bogus, but that's beside the point.

Jacking up these taxes and fees, FURTHER penalizing larger vehicles (guess what.... heavier vehicles are ALREADY penalized... they have to buy more fuel... and therefore, they all pay more of the gas tax) without a vote... (and mark my words.... there will be NO vote... neo-comms are not interested in the will of the people if that will conflicts with their agenda) and doing so because of Seattle's $6 BILLION dollar requirement for TWO transportation projects (Alaskan Way Viaduct and yet another 520 Bridge) will do nothing but increase the divide between us... nothing but harm those on the East side who have the farthest to drive the most...

Clearly, the ultra-leftist liberals like Rep. Dave Upthegrove simply do not care. Yet, they are safe in their semi-socialist, society-engineering seats, so they do not fear the wrath of those they would injure to fix THEIR problems.

Well done, Dave. I can't think of a thing you and your fellow ultra-leftists could have done or proposed to make matters worse. Congrats.

Lebanon: Another sign Syria "gets" it?

Events are moving at warped speed in Beirut, as the Syrian-installed Lebanese government has resigned en masse. The assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri served as the nexus for this major democracy movement. But, can one deny that the fulcrum for this entire situation was the invasion of Iraq and subsequent democratic elections there? Even long-term critics are now acknowledging the positive impacts of the recent elections in Iraq that exceeded by a factor of ten the expectations of most.

"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq," Druze Muslim Leader Walid Jumblatt told the Washington Post columnist, David Ignatius. Jumblatt said this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. "I was cynical about Iraq," Jumblatt said. "But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing," he said. "The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."

As much as I hope for a peaceful and democratic outcome to this situation, the neo-comm talking heads, columnists, Kennedys, Harkins, types would rather see abysmal failure then to acknowledge a dramatic and free outcome... all as a result of Bush foreign policy. They would rather dive into a pool of warm spit than suggest that Bush was right.... and they were wrong. And that is an insult to us all.

As reported by the BBC:

Lebanese ministers resign office
Omar Karami arriving at parliament on 28/02/05
Mr Karami denies any involvement in the attack on Mr Hariri
Lebanon's Prime Minister Omar Karami has announced he and his government are resigning, two weeks after the murder of former PM Rafik Hariri.

The move came as crowds protested in Beirut, calling for Syrian troops to leave the country.
The Lebanese parliament was also debating an opposition-sponsored motion of no-confidence in the government.

"I am keen the government will not be a hurdle in front of those who want the good for this country," Mr Karami said.

"I declare the resignation of the government that I had the honour to head. May God preserve Lebanon."

His announcement came after a break in the parliamentary debate, which was being televised live.

State House democrats giddy over jacking up the gas tax and increasing fees.... Voters be damned.

As the Seattle P-I tells us, democrats are chomping at the bit to jack up our gas tax AGAIN (an additional dime) as well as jacking up fees on vehicles in an effort to engage in their favorite social engineering ploy.

The standout bizarre thing that this democrat shill told us is that "Two years ago, lawmakers raised the statewide gas tax 5 cents a gallon and "people are seeing results," Rep. David Upthegrove said. "No legislator who voted for it lost their seat."

Is he lying? Is he stupid? Does he have the memory span of a nat?

The man primarily behind sticking it to us with a nickel gas tax is Jim Horn, formerly Chairman of Senate Transportation... And now FORMER State Senator. Former Senator Horn is Former Senator Horn because he championed a gas tax increase even bigger than the one wanted by Rep. Murray last year.

And, of course, they managed to do this to us without asking our permission... Much like you can bet they're going to avoid asking our permission this time as well.

Read it and weep:

Monday, February 28, 2005


The first elements of what could be a sweeping package of new transportation taxes have begun to appear in Olympia.

A dozen members of the House have introduced a bill that would add new road-use fees, expand weight fees to cars and small trucks, restore local street-tax maintenance authority, and expand the ability of counties to raise local gasoline taxes for road projects.

And more changes may be coming.

The state Transportation Commission has floated the idea of raising the state gas tax 10 cents a gallon, and lawmakers may consider forming more regional transportation authorities to finance road and other transportation work outside the Puget Sound region.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

When they get it right, they get it right.

Sourced from Orbusmax: Saturday's Cheers and Jeers in The Columbian were essentially on target, an occurrence on par with the passage of Haley's Comet.

Highlights include smacking "Governor" Gregoire for signing the idiotic "We're special interest-union lackeys that OWN democrats in the legislature" 15% union apprentice bill and whacking Rep. Deb Wallace (D-17) for her political version of "Backbone, backbone... who's got my backbone?"

A good read... give it a look.

In Our View - Cheers & Jeers 
Saturday, February 26, 2005 
Columbian editorial writers 
This week brought plenty of positives and negatives from Vancouver to Olympia: 

Real Clear Politics: A pro-Amerca, Pro-Bush Rally in Germany?

Davids Medienkritik (Media Critic) Blog, tells us about a Pro-Bush Rally in Mainz (Where, oddly enough, I once commanded the US Army Postal Detachment) that went extremely well. Check out the link and have a look.

Bush´s Visit to Mainz: A Demonstration of Success

(By Ray D.)Davids Medienkritik and Medienkritik Online began the effort to put together a demonstration in Mainz, Germany little more than a week ago. The result was an incredible success that received enormous media coverage. The rally was well coordinated with local authorities and despite large groups of hostile counter demonstrators, everyone who attended felt safe and was able to express their views fully. Everything went off without a hitch. Those attending our rally were interviewed by virtually every major German television station and newspaper.

Before I go any further I want to give a very large "thank you" to Patricia and Ludwig Roess of Republicans Abroad without whom this event would have never succeeded. I would also like to thank the highly professional German police officers who provided security throughout the city of Mainz for the President´s visit.

See more pictures at the link.

Syria: Getting the message?

As reported in today's Seattle Post Intelligencer: In yet another example of political self-interest, Syria has, apparently, handed over Saddam Hussein's half brother, the "6 of diamonds" in the Iraqi deck o' cards, along with 29 other wanted Iraqi's from the former regime. Can WMD be far behind?

HHHhmmmm.... I wonder why now, all of a sudden, Syria has coughed these people up? You don't suppose it's because they want to move a few notches lower on the prospective target list, do you?

Sunday, February 27, 2005 · Last updated 10:54 a.m. PT

Syria hands Saddam's half-brother to Iraq


In this image made available by the U.S. Defense Department , Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan, a half brother of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, has been captured, officials in the Iraqi prime minister's office said Sunday Feb. 27, 2005. Hasan is No. 36 on the U.S. list of 55 most-wanted Iraqis. Officials in interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's office, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the capture but gave no details on where it took place or when. (AP Photo)

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraqi officials said Sunday that Syrian authorities had captured Saddam Hussein's half-brother and 29 other officials of the deposed dictator's Baath Party in Syria and handed them over to Iraq in an apparent goodwill gesture.

The arrests dealt a blow to an insurgency that some Iraqi officials claim Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan was helping organize and fund from Syria. The U.S. military said two American soldiers were killed Sunday in an ambush in the capital.

Al-Hassan, a former Saddam adviser, was captured in Hasakah in northeastern Syria near the Iraqi border, two senior Iraqi officials told The Associated Press by telephone on condition of anonymity. Hasakah is about 30 miles from Iraq.

They added that al-Hassan was captured and handed over to Iraqi authorities along with 29 other members of Saddam's collapsed Baath Party, whose Syrian branch has been in power in Damascus since 1963.

Israel running out of options.

Reference day before yesterday’s suicide murderer attack.

Hopes were high. Yassir Arafat could only stay afloat on a sea of blood, as any sign of true moderation on his part would have resulted in his elimination.

Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s replacement, shows at least a patina of determination towards finding the common ground necessary to establish a lasting peace. The question all along has been: what will the terrorists do to screw up the peace process?

From the perspective of the terrorist group, it is not in their best interests to allow peace. Currently, the terrorist players in the region have power and notoriety. Hamas and Hezballah are, for example, major players on the terrorist scene in the region. They receive heavy funding from the state sponsors of terror; the get featured publicity in the world media; they impact political decisions at every level in the Middle East.

They take the public position that advocates the utter obliteration of Israel. “Peace” for the adherents of these groups, doesn't have any other definition than an Israel either denuded of a Jewish population; preferably by slaughter, or subsequently occupied by Muslim people of some sort, be they Palestinian or whatever…. Or, the destruction of Israel through some other means, including nuclear, no matter the cost to the Palestinian people… no matter how many hundreds of thousands of the Palestinians may die in the process.

There are, as I see it, only two options. Option One: Abbas finds the ability to eliminate terrorist groups involved in the region. The problem with this option is that the terrorist groups are far more concerned with enlightened self-interest then they are ever arriving at a peaceful solution to the problems in the region. Any attempt to seriously hamper regional terrorist groups will be met with the cheerful elimination of Abbas or anyone else bent on removing these groups from the playing field.

Option Two: Israel wakes up one day having reached the “we've had enough” point and they begin the forcible removal of the Palestinian population.

People tend to forget that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were tossed out of Jordan… killing more Palestinians in the process than the entirety of Israeli actions in the refugee camps. People tend to forget that 80% of Palestine is currently occupied by Jordan.

Palestinian Mandate:

Current Israeli/Palestinian Map:

Palestine as viewed by many, if not most in the Middle East:

(Notice the absence of any mention of Israel?)

These are, I believe, the options available. If any other option… any REALISTIC option exists, I’d sure like to see it. Because Israel will never allow their own destruction and there is no percentage in continuing to allow themselves to be attacked by young, ignorant, (Didja ever notice how it’s only the young stupid enough to blow themselves up?) easily manipulated (you have heard of the Down's Syndrome suicide murderer, haven’t you? Check THIS out for an overview.) idiots.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

"Swann Song?" Washington Times reports Swann investigating run for PA Governor's Mansion

As reported in today's (Feb 26) Washington Post:

Swann song
Former Pittsburgh Steeler Lynn Swann has filed papers forming a campaign committee for governor of Pennsylvania — his first official step toward a potential bid to be the Republican contender in the 2006 midterm elections.
The filing allows the one-time wide receiver to begin raising money for a campaign, which he already has deemed "a conversation with the people of Pennsylvania," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette yesterday.
"I will spend time introducing myself to communities across the commonwealth. As I consider my personal decision regarding the upcoming gubernatorial race, we will also explore the potential political and financial support for my candidacy," he said.
Mr. Swann named his committee "Team 88," the number he wore during his Hall of Fame career.
He faces at least two prospective opponents for the Republican nomination next year: state Sen. Jeffrey Piccola of Harrisburg and former Lt. Gov. William Scranton. The nominee is expected to take on Democratic Gov. Edward G. Rendell in his bid for a second term.

Is this a great country, or what? Lynn Swann has been an African-American Republican for years... whn they have been a group with few members and a lot of flak aimed their way.

But minorities are meeting increasingly greater success under the Republican banner. I, for one, will be sending Mr. Swann a check.

Brian Maloney, The Radio Equalizer: "Recipe for Rossi Success" Lacks a crucial element.

Brain Maloney, the Radio Equalizer, puts together a great take on the current situation concerning Rossi, Gregoire and Cantwell.

The only problem I have with his conclusion is a reliance on the State GOP organization:
"What the poll really shows is that Cantwell is in deep doo-doo, so the GOP should be lining up a credible candidate and kicking off fundraising efforts, now." (my emphasis added)
It is impossible to adequately inform the reader of the utter worthlessness of the State GOP organization. With incompetent leadership, leadership that was given a RAISE after his abysmal showing in the last election (Where the democrat vote percentage went against the trend nationwide and actually INCREASED here in Washington, where we lost contrition of the Senate and where the number of seats in the House DECLINE to 43 and where his failure to anticipate, plan and ACT in the Rossi election has put us where we are) no vision and no fund-raising ability, reliance on the GOP here for anything is a pipe dream.

The State GOP SHOULD ALREADY have candidates in EACH of the congressional districts. County level organizations should ALREADY have leads on candidates, with a view towards locking them in by June for the 2006 election.

How much of that has happened?

We already know. And because the answer to that question is "none," counting on the State GOP for ANYTHING is foolish.
WA: Nice Poll, But Point Missed

Should Dino Rossi run for Washington Senator Maria Cantwell's seat in 2006? Could he be elected? Yes. Is this missing the point? Yes again.

Courtesy of OrbusMax is a new poll taken by Rasmussen showing 2004 gubernatorial candidate Rossi winning in a head-to-head match-up, 47%-44%.

The same survey shows Rossi with higher positive ratings than either Cantwell or Governor-For-Now Christine Gregoire.

Two issues are apparent here: first, Cantwell is in very big trouble as the incumbent should have much better numbers at this point in the term (and this close to the 2006 election). Cantwell has consistently been less popular than Patty Murray, who coasted to reelection in 2004 against Rep. George Nethercutt, after the latter ran a lousy campaign.

Second, doesn't this survey miss the point? Washington voters intended for Dino Rossi to be their next governor. Tyrant Christine Gregoire used a variety of tactics with help from friends in the right places to take that away from him. Rossi has governor written all over him and the US Senate is a whole different ballgame.

Rossi needs to continue this fight, not get distracted by another campaign. Hopefully there will be a new gubernatorial election ordered for this year which Rossi will win by 5-10 points or more. Only 42% of Washington voters believe Gregoire won the election fair and square, according to the same survey. Wow! That does not bode well for Gov.-For-Now Gregoire.


It's not that the democrats are engaging in payback.... it's just that they do it so badly.

Here's the take from the Longview Daily News: .
Feb 25, 2005 - 07:24:05 am PST
Dems off to a bad start fixing workers' comp

Washington Democrats wasted no time flexing their political muscle after taking control of the Legislature and governor's mansion. In January, Rep. Bill Fromhold, D-Vancouver, offered legislation aimed at defunding the Democrats' most vocal critic, the Building Industry Association of Washington.

Fromhold's bill, which would have halved the amount of money the BIAW receives from employers for handling their worker compensation obligations, couldn't survive the firestorm of criticism it sparked. The legislation's purpose --- to undercut a powerful conservative voice in Washington politics --- was just too transparent.

The Democrats have since come back with new legislation that would make several changes in the state's retrospective rating program through which the BIAW and other private sector associations help employers handle worker compensation duties. Sen. Mark Doumit, D-Cathlament, sponsor of the Senate version, says his bill is about ensuring the integrity of the state's public trust funds.

The problem isn't the BIAW. The problems is Labor and Industries. But the d's are so hell-bent on destroying anyone wise enough to oppose their neo-communism that they aren't even looking at L&I.

It would even be better if they would, perhaps, look at both... but their focus.... their entire focus... is pay back.

Friday, February 25, 2005

State House gets stupid over Canadian drug bill.

House democrats rammed an idiotic drug bill through the house earlier today, adding fuel to the fire that will soon result in the end of Canadian drug exports.

As mentioned in an earlier entry below, the Canadian government subsidizes drug purchase for prescription drugs in Canada. When Americans purchase drugs in Canada, we are sucking Canadian tax dollars out of their treasury. The end result will SOON be the end of ALL Canadian drug sales to Americans and the end of Canadian drug exports.

House democrats seem unable to grasp the concept. Further, this bill tasks a foreign government with requirements placed on them by a state of the United States, an issue that may both be unconstitutional and Federal in the foreign policy arena. The result? This bill is worthless, fixes nothing and, in fact, just makes a bad situation worse. By failing to address this issue now with an in-depth proposal that addresses the causes for the high price of drugs, this sorry effort merely puts off the inevitable.
House passes bill to license Canadian pharmacies


OLYMPIA, Wash. -- In an effort to make it easier for people to buy cheaper prescription drugs in Canada, the state House passed a bill Friday directing the state Health Department to license Canadian pharmacies.

Canadian price controls and favorable exchange rate enable U.S. consumers to buy some medications there for half-price or less.

Rep. Sherry Appleton, who sponsored the bill, said the monthly drug bill for her 88-year-old mother, a cancer survivor, dropped from $836 to $300 when she started buying medications over the Internet from a Canadian pharmacy.

"I think people will feel more comfortable going across the border, knowing we have said as a Legislature that it's all right," said Appleton, D-Poulsbo.

If the bill passes in the Senate and is signed by the governor, the state Health Department will try to create a reciprocal licensing agreement with Canada, such as Washington has with other states - saying that both accept and recognize the other's pharmacy licenses. Failing that, state workers would personally visit, inspect and license Canadian pharmacies that do mail-order or Internet business with Washington residents. 

Wallace Caves on unfair PUD Appliance Service Bill

Showing the guts and character that many democrats are known for, neo-comm state Rep. Deb Wallace (D-17) caved to leftist interests and changed her position on the bill put forward by her fellow neo-comms, Sen. Craig Pridemore (D-49) and Rep. Bill Fromhold (D-49).

Somehow, Wallace managed an abrupt about face when she switched from the common-sense, business-friendly position of stating she couldn't support sanctioning a public entity competing with private enterprise, to one of not giving a damn about that same "private enterprise."

Suddenly, the concept of public agencies competing with private business has no meaning for her.

This writer praised her courageous stance in opposing what best could be called an onerous, special-interest bill. Her lack of integrity in caving so fast to the incessant whining of her fellow democrat socialists shows how wrong I was.

And for that, I apologize.

Legislature: Constituent outcry convinces Wallace to back utility bill
Friday, February 25, 2005
By DON JENKINS, Columbian staff writer

OLYMPIA After being deluged by nearly 200 phone calls and e-mails, Vancouver Rep. Deb Wallace said Thursday she will support legislation authorizing Clark Public Utilities' repair service, reversing a stand she took last week.

"The difference the public input has made is that this bill is one I have to actively work because this is one my constituents are interested in," said Wallace, a Democrat.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

So.... Canada doesn't want any part of the missile-defense shield, eh?

Bunch a hosers. That said, this decision means, essentially, that Canada will become the impact area for incoming nuclear missiles that we shoot down on their way to the US. So, perhaps, Canada will become the NEW "Land of the Midnight (24 hour a day for 5,000 years) Glow like the Sun."

Canada Opts Out of U.S. Defense Shield
Email this Story

Feb 24, 7:12 PM (ET)


TORONTO (AP) - Prime Minister Paul Martin said Thursday that Canada would not join the contentious U.S. missile defense program, a decision that will further strain brittle relations between the neighbors but please Canadians who fear it could lead to an international arms race.

The Bush administration has tried to make a public show of understanding that Martin heads up a minority government that could fall over such a contentious debate. But after the announcement, U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci told reporters he was perplexed over Canada's decision, which he said effectively allows Washington to decide what to do if a missile was headed toward Canada. 
"We simply cannot understand why Canada would in effect give up its sovereignty - its seat at the table - to decide what to do about a missile that might be coming towards Canada," said the outgoing ambassador, who had vigorously urged Canada to sign on the plan.

Ocassionally, the planets align, and I actually agree with the "loyal opposition."

Noted in the "loyal opposition's" blog, this tidbit concerning the idiotic bill championed by the 3 musketeers of the House in the 49th District (Moeller (sponsor) Fromhold and Wallace) on the issue of Annexation.

The bill, which SHOULD be entitled "An ACT relating to How can we speed up Vancouver's effort to suck up every square foot of unincorporated Clark County," is all about making annexation easy(er) so that Vancouver's "leaders" can realize their "dream" to become the Big City.

Stillwell hits it directly on target when he says "Let it go."

Let it go

The Oregonian has an article about an annexation bill that is causing severe consternation in parts of Clark County:
Annexation bill stirs alarm

Neighborhood leaders north of Vancouver are fuming over a state House bill, sponsored by three legislators from Vancouver, that could smooth the path to annexation into the city.

Legislative officials say the bill is unlikely to get out of a committee, let alone reach the full House for a vote. But leaders in unincorporated areas aren't taking any chances. They are making plans to protest House Bill 1285 and start discussions about possible changes in their future governance.

The legislation would let cities annex outlying areas if they form agreements with their respective county governments. It would require cities to hold public hearings about a proposed annexation, but it would not require an election.
Stillwell goes on:
The article lists Rep. Jim Moeller (D-49) as the sponsor with support from Rep. Bill Fromhold (D-49) and Deb Wallace (D-17.)

There's just no tap-dancing around this one: this thing should die in committee, as the article hints it might.

You can argue about the wisdom of having urban areas stay unincorporated, and have experts tell you about efficiency until the cows come up, but the depth of feeling against being part of Vancouver is very deep in the discussed areas. There's no way a vote for annexation would pass in those areas, probably ever, and an attempt to do it without a vote would be an outright disaster.

And citing the east side of Vancouver as an example of how great it is to be annexed without a vote is downright absurdist. Go tell the parents of children in the Evergreen School District how great annexation was for them. You can stop by some of the hundreds of portable classrooms while you are there, once you navigate the newer, more efficient concurrency-controlled traffic signals.

If there is a possible positive out of this, there might be more discussions about what is ultimately going to happen in the heavily populated unincorporated areas. The move to form a city called "Salmon Dell" or whatever it was failed several or more years ago, but it would be sensible to talk about the future again. The area has all the attributes of a suburban city except for one: the legal definition.

Unfortunately, parts of our local Democratic delegation have stepped in the dog-doo with this bill. The smart political play is to let this one fade away.
Do you think that Stilwell would be happy to find out that almost as soon as the gigantic and idiotic Cascade Park annexation went through, then Rep. Marc Boldt was the first to drop a bill requiring a vote for annexation?


Weed "Regrets"

So, I'm crusin' the news... and stumble across this article that headlines "Author Regrets Secretly Taping Bush Talks"

I thought to myself.... "Yeah, I'll bet he 'regrets' it.... but if he regrets it so much, does that mean he's not going to take any of the money?" So, reading the article, I come across this:
"I am asking my attorney to direct any future proceeds from the book to charity and to find the best way to vet these tapes and get them back to the president to whom they belong. History can wait."
If true.... well, yeah.... that pretty much would indicate some level of "regret," except for the clever little phrase "any future proceeds." What about past and current "proceeds?" This kind of thing smacks of a, "Well, I've made a pile, so let's call 'er good and make this gesture so my own family will start speaking to me again" gambit. 

His "regret" is a step. But not nearly big enough. He needs to divert every dime and make the same talk show circuit he made before, apologizing for his abysmal, despicable conduct at every stop. That, of course, won’t happen.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Are the neo-comms just the tiniest bit upset about the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth?

Do you get the idea that the ultra-left neo-comms are just the tiniest bit upset about the efforts of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's efforts in exposing John Kerry for the lying, politically inept weasel he is? In this example, proving no level of hypocrisy is beyond their reach, yet another whiney sniveling little democrat throws a tantrum.

From the "loyal opposition blog"
"Someday, the pathetic story of the Swift Boat Liars will be as well-known as the McCarthy era, and will stand in the same hall of shame. Political thuggery of this magnitude is obnoxious and wrong in any age."
Unless, of course, it's the "political thuggery" of, right? THEN the "thuggery" is, well.... swell.

The fact is that Kerry was a liar. He lied repeatedly about his military record, his wounds, his tour of duty. His campaign was guilty of the very action this hypocrite whined about within the past day.... using the images of others without their permission or approval, another action "OK" when it's done in the neo-comm cause.

The Swift Vets are the largest single reason that Kerry has been so rightfully relegated to historical footnotes status along with such other pathetic losers like Dukakis.

My suggestion? Your lying, pathetic hero lost. Get over it.

The Columbian gets it right on their state tax editorial

Out-of-state workers pay income tax to the states they work in across the country... and have done so, essentially, since there's been a state income tax to pay. This issue has gone up to the US Supreme Court, which has ruled, essentially, that employment is voluntary... so if you don't like paying the state tax as an out-of-state resident... then don't work in the taxing state.

While simplistic, that response is sensible. Given Clark County's amazingly small industrial base, our population has limited options for employment, and pretty much must go where the jobs are.

Senator Cantwell's effort here, as noted by the Columbian Board, is obviously motivated by politics. If it were not, then the bill would have been introduced by 3 term Senator Murray, who at least brings some level of seniority to the table, no matter how much in the minority her party in the senate might be.

Congressman Baird has wisely hitched his wagon to this program because, first and foremost, he publicly votes his district well... but unlike Murray, Baird faces no serious political opposition for his re-election run.

That said, the bill, no matter how little chance of passage it may have, is a job well done. The State of Oregon has treated Clark County like its bastard step-child long enough..
In Our View: Unfair to Commuters

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Columbian editorial writers

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird and U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell deserve thanks and praise for their announcement this week that they'll ask Congress to ban Oregon from collecting state income taxes from Washingtonians who work south of the Columbia River.

But don't hold your breath or bet a nickel that this effort to do what's right and fair will go anywhere. Cantwell and Baird are like good guys in a Western-movie shootout, but with no bullets in their Colt .45s. A cynic might even say the two lawmakers are going through the motions because it's what elected officials do to stay in the hearts and minds of voters. That's certainly on the mind of Cantwell, who barely won her first Senate election in 2000 after a recount and is gearing up to seek a second six-year term next year.

But regardless of political motivations, Cantwell and Baird are right, and perhaps there'll be some long-term value in making noise about the inequities suffered by commuters to Oregon.

Think about it: In 2002, some 51,000 Clark County residents paid $104 million in Oregon state income taxes. On most days, the vast majority of those 51,000 commuters use no Oregon state services to speak of besides the roads over which their buses and cars travel to get to work. Statewide, about 150,000 Washington residents worked in Oregon in 2002 and paid some $150 million in state income taxes.

The same dynamic is at work on Washington's eastern border, where 20,000 residents paid more than $18 million in Idaho income taxes in 2002.

The bills Cantwell and Baird plan to introduce would require all states to levy income taxes only on working residents of that state, or offer out-of-state residents who work there some other tax and fee breaks while still levying the income tax on them.

That makes sense and sounds fair and their bills probably don't have a ghost of a chance. But there is precedent for Congress tweaking the tax policies of states. In 1977 it exempted its own members from paying income tax in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland if they are already paying taxes in the states they represent.

But if Washington residents must pay Oregon income taxes, shouldn't they get to pay the lower in-state tuitions at Oregon public colleges, and pay resident rates for hunting and fishing license fees and so on?

Cantwell said Southwest Washington residents who work in Oregon "are getting a raw deal." Baird said, "The injustice of this situation could not be more obvious." He said he could see a justification for Clark County commuters paying Oregon income tax if some kind of tax equity deal is worked out, perhaps including commuters' families being allowed in-state tuition rates at Oregon colleges. Under such a deal, Oregon would be exempt from the don't-tax-nonresidents part of the proposed law. 
However, don't count on the bill passing. Without some leverage or something to offer Oregon in return, commuters are stuck with taxation without commensurate representation or services.

Ramsey of the Seattle Times gets it right on democrat neo-communist attempts to gut I-200

You all remember I-200, don't you? What a battle THAT was. Leftist neo-coms beating themselves with chains over the idea that helpless minorities would be denied entrance to our esteemed institutions of higher learning if they were not given privileges based on the accident of their birth... by gender or race. Huge companies, such as Boeing (whose racist policies have caused them a great deal of heartburn in various civil/federal courts) came out swinging against I-200.... huge media conglomerates such as those owning the ABC affiliates in both Seattle and Portland shed blood against this initiative. The owner of the Seattle Times, violating every ethical standard concerning newspaper ownership. forced his editorial staff to blast I-200 at every opportunity, joining with the opposition to use fake facts and figures concerning enrollment, and predicting total gloom and doom results... none of which were determined to be true, should this Initiative pass.

I admit, I have a peculiar position on this issue... my 19 year old son is a sophomore attending the University of Washington in Seattle, majoring in computer science and computer animation. He is also... half Asian.

In the world of the leftist neo-communist, my son needs all the assistance he can get. Why, the very idea that he would be considered for admission to the UW based entirely on merit... is PREPOSTEROUS! (Or, "outrageous," as my learned neo-com colleagues say)

I suppose it helped that he was an honor graduate of his high school... that he was in the top 5 percent of his class. Imagine... he managed all of that in SPITE of being a "minority!" Will wonders never cease? Despite the burden of his racial heritage..... he got in ANYWAY.

I wonder why.

But you know what? The answer to that question really doesn't matter. What matters is that the people of this state have spoken. What matters is that, without our permission, a bunch of do-gooder ultra-leftists are going to ignore the loudly spoken word of the voters of this state, and gut the intent of Initiative 200 vis the issue of enrollment into college.

In ignoring the will of the People, these ultra leftist democrats strike a blow for voter apathy. In ignoring the will of the People, these ultra leftist democrats, all in the name of political correctness, reach out and SOLVE A PROBLEM THAT ISN'T EVEN THERE! Every minority classification at the UW shows the same, or greater participation by minority populations... a feat deemed impossible by the regiments of politically correct naysayers a few short years ago.

That said, times have changed at the Times. Bruce Ramsey, editorial columnist for that newspaper, spells it all out far better then I ever could.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.

Diversity, preferences and the race/class debate

Bruce Ramsey / Times staff columnist

The spokesmen for state colleges gathered in Olympia Feb. 10 to testify for the return of affirmative action. They came from the University of Washington, WSU, Evergreen State, the community colleges and the HEC Board. They all said the same things, in the same, odd language.
They were for diversity, a thing that was warm and unthreatening.
"This legislation would benefit all students," said the woman from the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges.

An admissions officer quoted Abraham Lincoln. A professor waxed lyrical, saying the return of racial preferences would be "a gift to our students, a gift to our state, a gift to our state's future."

How was this to be done? Through setting aside certain seats for certain races? By giving points for certain chromosomes? Absolutely not.

"Not points. Not quotas," said Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez-Kenney, D-Seattle. The bill only authorized state colleges to consider race and ethnicity as a factor.

I have little doubt this sorry effort will not pass, brought to you by the same people who ignored the will of the voters when they jammed a gas tax down our throats. But that doesn't make it right... or necessary.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Decimating the democrat idiocy on Social Security Reform

(Thanks to Tim Goddard at Sound Politics)

The democrats are losing their collective minds because President Bush has hijacked one of their center-piece issues: Social Security. They are, rightfully, terrified that he's going to find a way to fix Social Security in the face of democrat opposition... the political fallout for success in this endeavor doing almost incalculable harm to the leftists.

Tim Goddard provided a few hundred words of wisdom for us all by excerpting Eric Earling's fine effort in the Everett Herald this past Sunday:

Published: Sunday, February 20, 2005

Don't run from a healthy debate

By Eric Earling
A recent article in The Herald cited the concerns of a retiree opposed to Social Security reform because it's "too complicated." Unfortunately, younger workers like me don't have the luxury of relying on that answer - which is an excuse symbolic of the shoddy arguments of those reflexively opposing such reform.
One clear indication those opponents have erred is left-leaning elements of the press are opining against them. The Washington Post's editorial page and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof have both chastised nay-saying partisans for obtusely refusing to debate the issue.
These partisans have been relying on two disingenuous claims to defend their refusal:
1) "Social Security will be fine until 2042." In reality, Social Security's trustees have said the program will begin running a cash deficit by 2018, meaning more benefits being paid out than payroll taxes coming in. Opponents claim at that point we'll simply tap the Social Security Trust Fund, which will be solvent in theory until 2042. One problem: the Trust Fund is functionally empty.
True, it holds special U.S. Treasury Bonds. But turning those bonds into cash for Social Security to make up its deficit would require money from the annual federal budget (national defense, homeland security, Medicare, etc.). At the same time we read stories about current deficit challenges it is ridiculous to think we'll simply dig deeper into the regular budget to pay for Social Security. 2018 is the date that matters.
2) Opponents describe personal accounts invested in mutual funds of stocks and bonds as "gambling" - a stunning, direct insult to every American who relies on a 401(k) or IRA for their retirement savings.
Such slander is intended to scare older generations, among whom personal investments in stocks and bonds were more rare and pensions in both the public and private sectors were more commonplace. Yet the true beneficiaries of such reform, younger workers, are already employed in a workforce where pensions are commonly unavailable, except for government employees whose unions are ironically opposing reform.


This is yet another in the series of obstructive efforts on the part of the democrats. They oppose this... not because it isn't right... but because President Bush wants it. That appears to be the entire motive they need to act like spoiled punks on the playground.

As yet another example of their bogus fear mongering, Tim goes on to tell us:

"Take, for example, Democrat Rick Larsen of the 2nd District. This Saturday, Larsen is having a town hall meeting on Social Security reform--at the Everett Senior Citizens Center. That's right, he's having a discussion of a reform plan that will not affect anyone over the age of 55 at a senior citizens center. There's only one reason to do this--to scare the elderly into thinking that the mean ole' Republicans are going to take their Social Security away. But I'm not going to let them get away with it--and I hope you'll help."
Amazing. And, despicable... or "outrageous," as our ultra-leftist colleagues tell us.

No sense.

The loyal opposition blog has an entry where some ultra-leftists whine about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth doing an ad in support of President Bush's Social Security Reform. Seems they used their image... taken by some means from the Portland Tribune.

This idjit closes off this snivel fest with the following words of "wisdom,"
"That is just utterly low-down and wrong. The Swift Boat Liars[sic] (how juvenile) have no shame at all. Outrageous."
It's "outrageous," all right. It's outrageous that this neo-communist forgot his hero, John Kerry, repeatedly used the images of roughly 20 of his fellow sailors in his campaign, even though many of them repeatedly requested... then demanded that he cease and desist.
The "outrageous" part of this is the sheer, unadulterated rank hypocrisy of someone who so strongly supported a candidate guilty of the same "crime" he condemns in another.

More of the brain-damaged, ultra-leftist thought process of the democrats.

If this scenario plays out, Hillary might as well stay home.

Here's Hillary's and the dem's worst nightmare.
Condi to replace Cheney next year?

Report: Vice president likely to step down 'due to his health'
© 2005

Vice President Dick Cheney likely will step down next year due to health reasons and be replaced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to a report by geopolitical expert Jack Wheeler.

On his website, To the Point, Wheeler reports there's a "red-breasted rumor bird" flying around Capitol Hill that has whispered the same thing to most congressional committee chairmen. 
"We all know that Dick Cheney has been the best vice president of modern times, perhaps in American history," one such chairman told Wheeler. "And we know that he absolutely will not run for president in 2008. Further, he has an unfortunate history of heart trouble. So let's just say none of us will be surprised if, sometime next year, he will step down from the vice presidency due to his health."
What a scenario! Imagine the "wailing and gnashing of teeth!"

What a seismic political shift! Maxine Waters, the ultra-leftist neo-communist from LA could never dream of such a scenario happening to her under ANY circumstance.

Let's hope it's more than a rumor.

Can the democrats in the legislature do us all a favor and use their collective heads for once?

The state House passed a bill out placing the question of the supermajority on the ballot. The vote was 73-25. Now the bill goes to the Senate, where the democrats have a choice: they can watch this thing go down to yet another flaming defeat.... or....

Or, they can compromise. They can, for once, tell their WEA puppet-masters to take a hike and accept the Republican position that will allow a simple majority for bonds and levies if the election takes place in Novemeber along with the general election already scheduled.

The choice is stark and clear. Democrats can continue to insist on their unrealistic demands in hope that one day, the public will actually give a damn about the WEA position on this matter... when clearly, they do not.

In the alternative, democrats can show some actual statesmanship and utilize the time-honored tradition of the "camel's-nose-under -the-tent-flap" approach, and at LEAST get THIS much.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.
House votes to end need for 60% on school levies

By Andrew Garber
Seattle Times Olympia bureau

OLYMPIA — The state House of Representatives yesterday passed legislation, for the third year in a row, that could make it easier for school districts to get property-tax levies approved by voters. 

The constitutional amendment now goes to the state Senate, where it has died in past years. It would allow school levies to be approved by a simple majority of voters instead of a 60 percent supermajority. The amendment would go before voters in November if approved by a two-thirds majority in both houses.

Monday, February 21, 2005

How democrats "think."

My erstwhile colleague and inspiration for my lowly effort here, has given us a stark glimpse of the thought process of the species "democrat."

Posted on his blog:
"Also in Jenkins' column today is a bit about Deb Wallce [sic](D-17) getting calls from constituents asking her to defend Clark Public Utilities' repair program. She says she hopes to find a compromise, which is probably legislator-speak for "Look what dog-doo I stepped in." Well, she's still kind of green, so maybe she will figure out the thing to do is help other Democrats so that they will help you someday."
There you have it. Don't support or oppose this bill because it's the right thing to do... support it so you can get a favor from someone else down the road.

Oh, yeah... by the way... screw the private companies that the PUD is directly and illegally competing with.

Why, yes... I'm a "no" on thre Battle Ground School District levy.

Soon, those of us living in Battle Ground and its environs will be voting, again, on a levy that I earnestly hope will fail, again.

Can't the clowns running the District "get" it?

First, the levy failed last time. So, do they do what they should, and re-refer the levy with a smaller price tag... a less ambitious (Read "less expensive") cost?


Second, have they fired the superintendent, who is only here because, her best efforts notwithstanding, no one else would have her?


Do these people even bother to communicate with the elementary school parents when it was discovered that one of the teachers had been molesting little girls there?


And THEN, they hang Amboy, in the far northern part of the district, out to dry, holding passage of the entire levy hostage as a condition of building their badly needed high school, thus keeping kids off the bus 1.5 hours each way.

$1.6 million for a new stage with retractable seating in one of the high school's auditoriums?

I don't think so.

So..... yes.... I'm a "no," and I hope you readers in the BGSD will join with me in that decision.

Changing voter laws: Real change, or cosmetic?

Elections in this state are headed for a change… the question: How much?

Republicans want a broad-based overhaul, including the voiding of all current voter registrations with a requirement that everyone re-register, while proving citizenship and address. They also want to end registration to PO boxes, as well as closer coordination on purging voter roles of felons and deceased voters.

Democrats, partial to illegal voters, don’t want to go nearly that far, claiming that such requirements would “disenfranchise” voters, although they seem incapable of showing how that would happen. It WOULD “disenfranchise” illegal aliens from voting, which, come to think of it, they shouldn’t do anyway.
Monday, February 21, 2005

Elections in state are headed for change

By Andrew Garber
Seattle Times Olympia bureau

OLYMPIA — Lawmakers say the way Washington votes is about to change. The question is how much. 

In the aftermath of the closest, most chaotic governor's race in state history, Democrats are pushing a package of changes that includes moving the primary to an earlier date and shifting the state toward a system in which all votes would be cast by mail. 

The bills have broad support among Democrats, who control both the House and Senate, but Republicans say they're not enough. 
"We're not opposed to the stuff that's coming out. We just feel there should be a lot more," said Sen. Bill Finkbeiner, R-Kirkland, the Senate minority leader. "We want to fix the problem and not just say we passed a bill."

Joel Connelly, PI Columnist of The Left: In the Northwest: Inflexibility on Abortion Issue Hurting Democrats

In today's PI, Joel Connelly, hard-left columnist for the Seattle PI, hits the target when he focuses on the inflexibility of democrats on the abortion issue.

Similar to the typically nonsensical slate of candidates democrats put up here locally for legislative elections, democrats as a whole despise anyone, and I emphasize ANYONE who happens to disagree with this mainstay of the nationwide democrat platform: rabid pro-choice at-all-costs candidates.

While I believe Pam Brokaw would have lost to Richard Curtis under almost any circumstance, her dogged insistence on supporting ALL abortion, to include late-term, partial-birth abortion; a stance so desperately needed for her to have local party support, simultaneously doomed her chances within the conservative 18th District.

This serves as a cautionary tale for the democrats, and Connelly has picked up on it and figured it out. Regardless of your position on the abortion issue, democrat intolerance on the issue hurts them, badly, (Much like Republican intolerence on a variety of issues hurts Republican causes.) and will continue to do so as long as they continue their bigoted position on the issue.

Republicans, as a whole, do not support the pro-choice position. But they rarely deny pro-choice Republicans the right to speak as a matter of policy. Democrats talk about their "Big Tent," but on this pivotal issue, the Republicans are light years ahead of their democrat colleagues.

Democrats frequently win the battle for purposes of determining their candidates... and then, with equal frequency, proceed to lose the War post haste.

Connelly picks up on that and sounds the alarm. This is a good read for democrats locked in their "Our way or the highway" mind set, as well as for Republicans who need to understand that their grasp on this issue may be slipping. But here locally, at least, the only thing that will change the mind set of the rabidly ultra-leftists in charge of the democrats will be their deaths from old age... which will serve to continue the majority representation of Clark County by Republicans for years to come... assuming local Republicans do not become even more organizationally incompetent than they are currently.... but that's for another entry.

Monday, February 21, 2005
In The Northwest: Inflexibility on abortion issue is hurting Democrats


As teams report for spring training, it's time to pitch a nugget of advice to victory-starved Democrats: Send Casey up to bat!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Canadian Free Lunch is about to end...

Canadian efforts to ratchet up barriers to American use of their subsidized drugs are starting to boil.

These timely efforts on their part come a few days after the democrats in the Washington State House turned up the heat by approving a "Canada-dependent" prescription program in the face of increasing Canadian resistance.
OTTAWA — The Canadian government is considering a total ban on exports of price-controlled patented over-the-counter drugs as a way of preserving the country's lower prices for medicine, Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said yesterday.
It is the newest of several options the government is studying that could severely crimp Canada's billion-dollar mail-order pharmacy market in the United States, although the emphasis previously had been on limiting prescription-drug sales by such tactics as requiring Canadian physicians to establish a relationship with a patient before signing a prescription, putting a halt to Canadian doctors who co-sign thousands of U.S. prescriptions without seeing the patient.

When the Bush Administration is wrong... they're wrong.

Former American POW's from Desert Storm/Desert Shield have sued Iraq, successfully, over their treatment while in captivity.

While I have some heartburn with the concept of "suing" former captors that were members of a foreign government, the fact is that the court has ruled in this matter, and it's not up to the Administration to ignore a court's order... particularly given the fact that there wouldn't BE an Administration if not for the courts of 2000.

Much like the concept of the Second Amendment, if you don't like it.... change it. If the Administration doesn't like the outcome of the POW case, they should (if they can) get standing and appeal it. Otherwise.... pay up.

We are, after all, a "Nation of laws.... not suggestions."

U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Clifford Acree, a POW tortured in the Gulf War, shown on Iraqi TV.
WASHINGTON — The latest chapter in the legal history of torture is being written by U.S. pilots who were beaten and abused by Iraqis during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. And it has taken a strange twist.
The Bush administration is fighting the former prisoners of war in court, trying to prevent them from collecting nearly $1 billion from Iraq that a federal judge awarded them as compensation for their torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein's regime.