Thursday, March 31, 2005
The voters spoke in 2004 by re-electing Betty Sue Morris over Tom Mielke (BIAW-Battle Ground) in the County Commissioner, District 1 race. Never one to catch a hint, Mielke is now carpetbagging into the 49th LD with his PDC C1 filing "Mielke for Commissioner 2005".
The odd thing is that the filing uses a Battle Ground address, which, last time I checked, is nowhere near the 3rd Commissioner District. I truly wonder how the Republicans in the 49th legislative district are taking this. Why would they accept a retread cast-off from the 18th legislative district??
Great, more loud flourescent orange signs to pollute the landscape, I can't wait. Oh, and could The Columbian please report on this? Last time they were just brutal on Jeanne Harris' attempted carpetbagging into the same district. Can we expect the same treatment for Mielke?
# posted by Aneurin @ 9:48 PM 0 comments
So... perhaps this clown can direct me to the post where he busts a cap in Jeannie Harris's butt for HER "carpetbagging" episode? Or that simple idiot that ran against Benton... who had never even VOTED in Clark County.
Of course he can't. Because, like always, "that's different."
No comment about whatever color signs Steve Stewart might use to "pollute the landscape." After all, THAT'S different, too.
As for how the R's in the 49th are taking this? Well, I guess the question is this: why is that any of your business?
Hypocrisy, thy name is "democrat."
A case in point is the upcoming gas tax increase to 43 cents per gallon… without the permission of the voters.
This increase will result in Washington State having the highest gas tax in the United States by AT LEAST 25% over the next highest state (43 cents to 32 in Wisconsin) at a time when we are experiencing the highest pump prices for gas we have ever known.
I’m given to understand from my contacts that many Legislative Republicans have expressed support for this increase. They also privately express support for ramming this tax down our collective throat, thereby validating the argument of the Libertarians that there really isn’t any difference between democrats and Republicans.
If ever there was a situation where the Republican caucuses should “lock up,” this is it.
In 2002, the people of this state spoke loudly and clearly. We overwhelmingly turned down a 9-cent per gallon gas tax increase, only to have a Republican-led Legislature impose a 5-cent per gallon gas tax increase in 2004 WITHOUT a vote. After all, we can’t let a little thing like the will of the people get in the way of someone’s agenda, can we?
Nailing us with an unwanted gas tax increase only resulted in the loss of one seat in the Senate: that of the chief supporter and architect of the gas tax increase, Senate Transportation Chair Sen. Jim Horn. Obviously, the loss of only one seat attributable to the gas tax vote was enough to persuade many legislators that ramming this increase down our collective throat is a fairly safe bet.
As a result, I fear that far too many Republicans have begun to buy into the idea that legislators are up there to “lead,” and to “take the tough vote.” Nonsense.
We truly have the government we deserve. But along with that, we truly have the transportation system we deserve.
I don’t dispute that our transportation infrastructure needs more money. That said, if the people of this state do not believe a gas tax increase is needed or merited, then we should not have one. If the people of this state do not desire a massive, 50% plus gas tax increase, then whatever transportation infrastructure results from that decision is the one we should live with.
But under no circumstances should such a massive tax increase see the light of day without the permission of the voters. And while Legislative Republicans ponder this situation, they need to ponder this: it is up to them to provide the voters with a reason to vote Republican over democrat in the legislative elections. And out-democrating the democrats ain’t the way to make that happen.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
1. They're becoming increasingly childless and,
2. They've all been run by the liberal left... most for decades.
See the connection?
Tip o' da hat to Sound Politics
Seattle Weekly Editor Knute Berger Is Right
At lunch, as I was finishing my teriyaki, I was startled to see that he had written an editorial making an argument about Seattle — that bad policy choices had driven children out of the city — that I had made generally for the "kidless" cities (San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, et cetera) just this morning. Berger even named busing as one of the bad policy choices, just as I had.
Now it is true that Berger didn't name the party or the ideology of the elected officials who made these choices, but I suppose he doesn't want to shock the readers of the Weekly too much. And he did list a whole series of Seattle policy mistakes that Republicans and conservatives have criticized over the years.
All in all, an amazing editorial — considering where it was published.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Fruits of democrat government control: "A thousand employees could disappear from DSHS and no one would miss them." Gregoire
We’re pretty complacent when it comes to the size of our government. Unions, of course, are all about expansion of government, cost be damned. Unions here locally are, for example, all about getting the Supercasino built (Damn the effect on the People of this county and hey, who cares what happens to the service workers after it’s built… who cares that those $5.15 an hour workers won’t be allowed to unionize?) because that’s in their own, selfish, sort-term interests.
Have any of you ever heard of anyone in government, within or without a union, who has been promoted for suggesting their budget is too big, or they have too many people working for them?
So, here we have the results of leftist government expansion, done so poorly and for obviously political reasons that even “Governor” Gregoire has to admit it. (hhhmmm…. You don’t suppose SOMEBODY thinks this might be an election year, do you?)
I will, however, give credit where due. Regardless of motivation, “Governor” Gregoire has stepped up, angering many of the Left’s political allies, and pointed out this bloat, while taking some action to address the problem.
And that’s always a good thing, no matter who does it. Now, if only the other democrats in state government would get in line and follow her example?
DSHS tops list for manager cuts
Their boss, the governor, says their ranks are bloated, too many are pushing paper and at least 1,000 of them could be cut from state government without the public's noticing.
"I think people hear 'middle manager,' and they think of a person who sits there and does the same thing an in-and-out box could do," said Evelyn Greenwalt. "I don't think they think of a person who has a lot of responsibility."
Gregoire said excessive management is inefficient and takes money and attention from the citizens who need the services the state provides.
Greenwalt, a retired Department of Transportation worker from Olympia, spent the last five years of her career in the Washington Management Service, which includes most of the state's middle managers.
Look, let’s face it: Because of Betty Sue, Clark County was screwed in the casino MOU with the Cowlitz on the Supercasino deal. Even a cursory review of the MOU shows that in her haste to get the county locked in, she failed any level of due diligence by overlooking already existing agreements between Tribes and other government entities around the country.
As a result, even typically boiler-plate contractual items were left out. Agreements concerning key environmental, indemnification, legal fees, garbage, recycling, construction and demolition, drainage, easements, insurance, immunity, federal court authority, open space protect, binding arbitration, required infrastructure construction and payments, lack of a tribal-county advisory committee, required payments for community (good corporate neighbor) type payments and the like… all left out.
Why? Incompetence? What was her hurry to sign an agreement that would facilitate the terrible injury the Cowlitz would do to those of us living here?
The end result? When she signed… we, the people of this county, had no earthly idea what we were facing, because the Tribe choose to lie by omission to get those signatures on paper… to give their little project the sheen of respectability.
SO, what are we told now? The Columbian has properly deluded themselves: “It has been clear all along that county government and the Cowlitz tribe did a good piece of business for the public when they signed an agreement a year ago that governs several aspects of casino operation. It includes environmental, financial, fire protection and law enforcement issues.”
Of course, as I’ve pointed out, it contains very little of even standard contract language to protect the people, but, what the hey… it LOOKS great, doesn’t it?
Betty Sue, continuing to bask in her ignorance, seals her incompetence by telling us: “’I frankly think we are in pretty good condition compared to other places in this state that have tribal gaming. We have really protected the taxpayers.’"
Betty Sue, compared to many other agreements, the Clark County MOU, which any reasonable or prudent individual would conclude was dramatically premature, is shown to be a train-wreck when compared to many, more deliberate and well thought out efforts on behalf of many other municipalities around the country. There will be DRAMATIC reductions in revenue, both to the county AND local municipalities. And when revenues fall short… who will have to make them up? Those very same taxpayers that Betty Sue claims she’s “protected?”
The ongoing series of articles in publication in the Columbian, even today, all go to showcase the idiocy contained within the MOU. The only thing more idiotic is for The Columbian to buy into Betty Sue’s shtick, and for Betty Sue to continue the charade where she wants us all to believe we weren’t screwed by her incompetence.
There are no circumstances where the Cowlitz-Mohegan Supercasino will be a good thing for the people of this county. And Betty Sue’s white-wash doesn’t change that.
In Our View - Cutting Casino Deal
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Columbian editorial writers
A multistory casino hotel at the La Center junction could be a more dominate feature of the vista in rural northwest Clark County than mounts Adams, St. Helens and Hood. There'd be jokes about needing to change the name of nearby Tri-Mountain Golf Course to Four Peaks Links, or CASH Course (Casino, Adams, St. Helens, Hood.)
The hotel that the Cowlitz Tribe would build on the 152-acre site would have 250 rooms (www. cowlitzcasino.com). But the height has not been announced, although a tribal spokesman informally has said it might be about six stories.
In contrast, the 1,200-room hotel at the Mohegan Sun tribal casino in Connecticut is 34 stories, as reported in a Columbian series running Sunday through Wednesday this week by reporter Margaret Ellis and photographer Troy Wayrynen. The Mohegans would play a key role in developing and operating a casino here for the Cowlitz tribe. But a structure even one-fourth the Mohegan Sun's size would dwarf the rural-commercial zone maximum height of 35 feet and dominate the landscape for miles.
It has been clear all along that county government and the Cowlitz tribe did a good piece of business for the public when they signed an agreement a year ago that governs several aspects of casino operation. It includes environmental, financial, fire protection and law enforcement issues.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Few companies… VERY few companies… can claim such a fantastic outcome driven from such humble beginnings.
I, personally, rarely use Fourbucks (or any other latte’ stand for that matter, given the 600 calorie sugar hit each drink contains) for my caffeine fix. But clearly, millions around the world do and on a daily basis.
Fourbucks, or course, started from humble beginnings to become one of the top multi-nationals. For that, as a “mostly” Republican and defender of the capitalist system, they have my respect and admiration.
Lately, however, their leftist, typical-of-King-County leanings are becoming increasingly visible.
There is a certain irony attached when business leaders such as those running Fourbucks or Costco financially support those of the political party that would like nothing better than to completely redistribute their collective wealth. It’s an issue… a concept… that I have never been able to understand.
But now, Fourbucks feels compelled to spread their leftist leanings by virtue of printing propaganda on each and every cup. Jewels such as: "America's national debt is now $7.5-trillion, and it's skyrocketing, even as America's population ages," the cup read. "There will never be a better time to start paying off this crippling debt than today."
This little gem was provided by “environmentalist” Denis Hayes (Sorry… hard for me to connect the National Debt with any environmentalist cause) and faithfully reprinted those sentiments on a few million cups.
The sentiment is debatable. Freedom of speech trumps, and I have no problem with printing this on every cup Fourbucks sells.
The problem I have with all this is that of those responsible for the trite little sayings on these cups, (a total, apparently, of 31 “contributors”) a grand total of ONE is conservative. The rest? Well, they include such balanced political personalities as Al Franken, Melissa Etheridge, Quincy Jones, Chuck D and Roger Ebert.
Balance is the thing. Equal time. Would it have killed Fourbucks to add a few conservatives to the mix?
Of course not. But then, diversity of thought… Diversity of opinion… Well, those have never been the hallmark of the Left.
As stated, for those of us calorically challenged, there’s reason enough to stay away from espresso stands. Unfortunately for Fourbucks, they’ve just presented me and few million others with reason to make sure that, on those rare occasions when we DO give in to the temptation, we indulge at some other place, with someone else’s product.
Sources: St. Petersburg Times
Starbucks "The Way I See It" site.
Friday, March 25, 2005
The loyal opposition blog discusses Baird’s vote based on “reality-based writer Gregg Herrington’s” column in today’s Columbian.I can take Herrington’s position on this or leave it.
What gets me is the difference in perspective and treatment of Baird in this matter.
Just a few days ago, stillwell was foaming at the mouth over this issue, quoting other ultra-leftists sniveling about the Congressional vote in the Schiavo matter.
A few days ago, it was all about “theocratic extremists,” and the “reckless Republican right,” not to mention “egregious distortions… by the far right.”
But, since we on the far left LIKE Brian Baird, he falls under the category of “pretty good congresscritter.” (He is, after all, a democrat. And as such, he could molest a girl-scout troop on live TV and it wouldn’t make any difference to the left)
(And no, this is not to impugn Baird. I disagree with his vote as well. But the whole point of this post is to illustrate the rank hypocrisy of the left. The issue here is the rabid, foaming at the mouth approach to this matter that the ultra-leftists have taken towards Republican supporters of this bill... Their convenient inability to remember that roughly half the democrats present voted FOR the bill… and the fact that while they can apply one standard to democrats like Baird, they are incapable of applying the SAME standard to Republicans!)
I just want to know this:
Why is it that it’s kinda OK for Baird to have voted for this bill… but the world is going to hell on a Dutch Ferry because Republicans voted for it? What about the Republicans who voted for it because of similar reasoning to that expressed by Brian Baird?
The haters on the left simply cannot help themselves. And they reek with hypocrisy.
Friday, March 25, 2005
The Columbian's editorial board has been strangely silent about Brian Baird's decision to vote for The Madness. But today, reality-based writer Gregg Herrington hits about the write tone:
Opinion - Congress: Schiavo isn't your case
Two days later, Baird told me, "I am concerned about Congress embarking on a slippery slope of intruding in the judiciary and into personal decisions. But, it was a choice of an irreversible decision or one more opportunity for review. Given the divisions within the family, given that the woman had already been in this situation for 15 years, it seemed to me that a bit more time for review would not adversely impact her, might offer further insight and assure her rights and wishes were protected."
"Remember," Baird said, "Congress did not vote to reinsert the feeding tube. We simply voted for further judicial review ... to make sure no stone was left unturned before decisions of such finality are made."
I have plenty of respect for Baird, (Christopher) Shays and (Dave) Reichert for thinking for themselves and breaking with their parties. Congress and our state Legislature are overrun with members whose votes and verbiage slavishly follow party lines. ("A woman's right to choose is sacred." ... "No new taxes, whatever the circumstances and consequences.")
But I like Reichert's explanation best: "Congress overstepped itself here," he told The Seattle Times. "It's been going on (for) 15 years with 19 judges. Do we know more than those judges?"
Baird's defense of his vote doesn't quite wash, but what's done is done. He obviously weighed the decision in a serious manner and at the end of the day, he was the one who had to cast a vote, and now he has to live with it.
But I'm still going to support him in 2006, because he's an overall damn fine Congress-critter.
In Our View:Border Broken
Friday, March 25, 2005
Columbian editorial writers
Polite conversations at courteous summits about North American trade, agriculture and the environment aren't entirely welcome at this point. Not unless they are coupled with a prickly chat about illegal immigration.
When President Bush and Mexico's President Vicente Fox were in Waco with Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin this week, illegal immigration should have been more in the spotlight. It was the same week that the nonprofit Pew Hispanic Center released a report that shows the United States is now home to 11 million undocumented aliens, 57 percent of them from Mexico.
More jaw-dropping stats from the report (available at www. pewhispanic.org) include these:
* The number of illegal immigrants here continues to grow at the same rate it did in the 1990s, by roughly 485,000 a year.
* Since 2000, the U.S. illegal population has grown 23 percent. In 1970 there were just 760,000 illegals living in our borders.
* Of the half-million Mexicans arriving in the United States each year, 80 percent do so illegally.
* California has the highest number of illegal immigrants, with 24 percent of the nation's undocumented population. Washington state has less than 3 percent.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Today, the Canadian Government, in a stunning pronouncement, denied Army PFC Jeremy Hinzman's bogus application for "refugee status" as he attempted to avoid doing his duty and deploying to Iraq.
Hinzman, who, amazingly enough, was Airborne qualified; voted with his feet when he discovered, much to his dismay, that being assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division occasionally led to being shot at.
In the message-sending business, this one is huge. If cowards in the military want to take an extended vacation from their sworn duty, perhaps they should try Guatamala?
Canada denies refugee status to American
Thursday, March 24, 2005 · Last updated 11:52 a.m. PT
By BETH DUFF-BROWN
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
TORONTO -- Canada on Thursday denied refugee status to a former U.S. Army paratrooper who said he would be committing war crimes if sent to Iraq, a major blow to Americans who have fled north of the border rather than fight a war they claim commits atrocities against civilians.
The government's ruling said Jeremy Hinzman had not made a convincing argument that he would face persecution or cruel and unusual punishment if sent back to the United States.
The decision, which was formally announced on a government Web site, could affect at least eight - and possibly dozens more - American soldiers seeking refuge in Canada, yet help improve strained relations between Washington and Ottawa.
Now, Initiative 200 was voted into place a few years back. We've all heard of it, right? It says this:
"The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
Can this be a clearer violation of the law?
Free LCC nursing class targets Latinos
By Hope Anderson
Mar 24, 2005 - 07:45:24 am PST
One of Lower Columbia College's fast-growing programs -- nursing -- doesn't have any students currently enrolled from the Latino community, the fastest-growing minority group in the county.
To remedy that, the school is offering a free nursing assistant class this spring for Latinos.
The program's lack of diversity "does not reflect what is going on in the community," said Helen Kuebel, the nursing program director. "We're trying to reach out."
On that point, I happen to agree. But the fact we're in a war causes me even greater concern over the President's immigration policies, proposals and ideas.
The law, it seems to me, is clear and unambiguous: If you come into this country illegally, you are an illegal alien.
The problem with such a law rests with enforcement at every level.
When a prospective illegal alien (and let’s be clear here, those here illegally are “Illegal Aliens,” NOT “undocumented immigrants,” or “undocumented aliens.” The fact that we have even begun to PC the titles of illegal aliens is a symptom of this greater disease.) looks over the terrain… ponders the possible outcomes once they’ve arrived in this country… What do they see?
They see a border that puts Swiss Cheese to shame. They see communities nationwide that willingly, by legislative fiat, ANNOUNCE they will aid their efforts to violate Federal law by restricting police and other public servants from even inquiring about one’s citizenship status, let alone the duty to report illegals to INS (Or whatever they’re calling it this week)
They see, for example, the State of Washington illegally spending millions of dollars on free medical care. They see their children, if they happen to have been born inside the borders, winning the citizenship lottery by instantly becoming US citizens. They see their illegal alien children crowding out citizens from our own four-year colleges… LEGALLY. They see they have the ability and in some cases, people pressing a demand for the right to actually vote in our elections. (Yeah, I know… It’s illegal for illegals to vote in our elections. But the left doesn’t want us to clamp down on vote fraud… so they fight every effort to require citizenship and identification checks to vote… so, illegals can (and do) vote anyway)
They see a free education for their children (Thousands of whom cross the border every morning and afternoon to openly attend public schools in, among other places, San Diego, California… a state where the best estimate is that one in six K-12 students are enrolled illegally in public schools.)
The mystery to me is this: what penalty do these people pay? Why SHOULDN’T illegals flock up here in droves?
Vincente’ Fox, President of Mexico, facilitates the traffic of illegal aliens into this country. He and his government facilitate the process. They’ve even produced an informational DVD spelling out the methods, routes and benefits available to those who make the trip. Why, it’s almost a recruiting tool!
The fact is that the dollars sent back to Mexico are the second largest source of revenue to the Mexicans, second only to oil… a gap shrinking fast, even accounting for the skyrocketing cost of oil.
Fox has done, and will do, nothing to slow the cross-border traffic. He, in fact, has the unmitigated gall to demand that we, in the midst of a war, LOOSEN our border controls, when we should, in fact, be doing everything we can to tighten them… ratchet them down… making it as difficult as possible.
President Bush has a “guest worker” plan that amounts to yet another amnesty for illegal aliens… which will have the same positive effect of all the other amnesties.
More and more Americans are becoming concerned that the President’s failure to address border issues, known to be a calculated political move, is leaving a huge gap in our security, both military and economic.
While the President can easily and rapidly address the issue of border security through deployment of the National Guard, he has refused to do so. His budget adds a mere 210 agents to the Border Patrol when 20,000 are not enough. He refuses to take the necessary steps to end the “incentive programs” perpetuated by many states and municipalities around the country. He refuses to take the necessary action against those who would hire illegal aliens, sending yet another message… both to employers and their illegal alien employees.
So, citizens of this country are going to do what they’ve always done when their government fails them… and, in this instance, make no mistake: this is a failure of our government.
These citizens are setting up an organization called the “Minuteman Project.” This Project, using upwards of 1000 volunteers, will monitor the border and report the movement of illegals so the Border Patrol can come and pick them up.
That, of course, does nothing to address the attraction for illegal aliens. But it does provide an assist to at least marginally increase the number of bus tickets issued by INS to get illegals back over the border.
Because President Fox doesn’t like, or want, increased scrutiny of the border, he brought it up to President Bush, who condemned it, claiming that he wants enforcement “of the law in a rational way.”
Given everything written here… how are our immigration laws being enforced… rationally or otherwise? I, for one, would settle for ANY enforcement of our immigration laws, rational or otherwise. Because the enforcement we have now is far away from “rational.” Current enforcement is light years away from logical.
It is a matter of time until this nation suffers another huge terrorist attack. What will the President do if the route of such an attack is traced back through the border? Will it take a massive attack… a major loss of life to get his attention?
On this one, Mr. Bush is wrong. And it’s a sorry state of affairs that citizens of this Nation feel compelled to take this action.
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Bush decries border project
By James G. Lakely
WACO, Texas — President Bush yesterday said he opposes a civilian project to monitor illegal aliens crossing the border, characterizing them as "vigilantes."
He said he would pressure Congress to further loosen immigration law.
More than 1,000 people — including 30 pilots and their private planes — have volunteered for the Minuteman Project, beginning next month along the Arizona-Mexico border. Civilians will monitor the movement of illegal aliens for the month of April and report them to the Border Patrol.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
"The reckless Republicans have gone too far this time," they bleat.
Well, let me set the record straight: About one-half of all democrats present also voted FOR this bill... including our own Brian Baird. Does that make BRIAN a "reckless Republican?"
This post illustrates the finest the ultra-left has to offer. Name calling, failing to address ALL the facts... and blaming ONLY Republicans for the Congressional vote... without including the democrats who ALSO supported the bill!
Typical. All too typical.
And, by the way? I don't believe Republicans were damaged with this vote... and for the leftist nut jobs blowing a valve on this issue? Enjoy your wishful thinking.
Kos has this on the front page right now:
Poll: Keep Feeding Tube Out
Americans have strong feelings about the Terri Schiavo case, and a majority says the feeding tube should not now be re-inserted. This view is shared by Americans of all political persuasions. Most think the feeding tube should have been removed, and most also do not think the U.S. Supreme Court should hear the case.
An overwhelming 82 percent of the public believes the Congress and President should stay out of the matter.
How does such a stance address the issue of voter fraud? It enables it. This idea sanctions it.
Clearly, democrats want to foster voter fraud. The decision has obviously been made at the highest levels that democrats, as a whole, believe the fraud vote goes to them.
Hillary, arguably the leading democrat candidate for President in ’08, has made a serious, strategic error in taking this stance. Her sponsorship of a bill fostering voter fraud will be pivotal in her loss of the nomination, or, assuming the usual democrat stupidity on a nation-wide basis, the loss of the Presidency.
And emerging Poli-Sci 101 student could beat her to a pulp with this bill, so why she’s involved in this kind of nonsense maybe the political mystery of the next election cycle.
Hillary bill: Just show up and vote
Critics see new measure as open door to fraud
Posted: March 22, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
A bill proposed by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., would enable anyone to register to vote on election day and cast a ballot without a photo ID, proof of citizenship or other personal identification.
Clinton calls the Count Every Vote Act of 2005 "critical to restoring America's faith in our voting system," but critics see it as an open door to fraud.
In a column in The Hill newspaper, Byron York called the measure "the most wide-ranging assault ever on the idea that there should be minimum enforceable standards for voters."
Democrats. You’ve GOT to love them.
The Children’s Administration, part of the Department of Social and Health Services, overspent their budget by a paltry $12 million.
“Governor” Gregoire tells us she’s “…irritated as I could be.”
But what she DOESN’T tell us is what she’s going to do about it.
What, exactly, are “Governor” Gregoire’s plans to hold those responsible for this fiasco accountable? Who gets fired? How much is CA’s budget going to be cut to make up for this irresponsibility?
Need we even ask?
A few weeks back, WADOT vaporized $54 million in funding (Gee… am I watching THOSE nickels ‘at work?’) when they discovered they were building a $100 million project in conjunction with the Hood Canal Bridge project.
Who was held accountable? Who was fired? Where was WADOT’s budget cut to make up for this colossal waste of money… an amount roughly equal to $9 for every man, woman and child residing in this state.
A few years back, WADOT resent hundreds of thousands of vehicle registration notices out, costing about 1/3rd of a million dollars…. Wasted. Who was held accountable there? Who was fired? What kind of a budget hit did WADOT take for THAT?
I, frankly, don’t give a damn how irritated “Governor” Gregoire is about this. If she doesn’t fire Uma Ahluwalia, assistant secretary of the Children's Administration, who acknowledged “inadequate controls on spending, inaccurate cost projections, increased telecommunication costs and years of unpredictable fiscal management,” then what difference does it make how “irritated” “Governor” Gregoire may be?
And what kind of budget CUT did CA sustain as a result of this malfeasance?
Are you kidding me? “Governor” Gregoire proposes to INCREASE CA’s budget by almost $5 million!
All “Governor” Gregoire wants to do is have a “nice, long conversation” with the people responsible.
Typical. How many millions have to disappear? How many millions have to be wasted? How much negligence? There is NO excuse for not firing those responsible. In fact, FAILING to fire those in charge of this mess sends a message to the rest of state government. Unfortunately for the taxpayers of this state, it’s the WRONG message.
It’s the message that government efficiency doesn’t matter. It’s the message that Brian Sonntag’s efforts are worthless.
I wonder what it takes to get fired by a democrat. God, apparently, only knows. Because it’s pretty clear that “Governor” Gregoire does not.
Thanks to orbusmax.com
The agency that cares for some of the state's most vulnerable children has overspent its budget by $12 million.
The Children's Administration, part of the Department of Social and Health Services, is responsible for the state's foster care system.
Is it reaonable to expect this kind of nonsense if this thing gets built?
Pork Barrel Business Park
The Tulalip tribe's Quil Ceda Village Business Park, a combination casino/shopping mall, may be getting a $2 million annual cut of state sales tax revenue, diverted from Snohomish County, courtesy of the Democrat-controlled state legislature.
Quil Ceda Village asserts its claim on the municipal portion of the sales tax from its legal status as a "municipal body". But unlike a bona fide municipality, it has no residents and therefore no voters. Its "Village Council" is appointed by the Tulalip Tribe. The "Village Manager" is John McCoy, who also happens to be ... Rep. John McCoy (D-Marysville) and who, go figure, doesn't seem terribly interested in being held accountable for how he spends his gift of public funds:
McCoy, whose legislative district contains the Tulalip Reservation, said Quil Ceda Village meetings are open to the public, though he wasn't sure whether the tribes released budget documents and other records. He said the public would be able to tell its dollars were being spent well because of the services the tribes would provide.The enabling legislation, HB 1721, easily passed in the House and is on the way to the Senate floor. Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at 06:22 PM Comments (12) Email This
For whatever the reason, every Southwest Washington Representative except Rep. Curtis voted "yes" on this.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
This is a good read and I highly recommend it.
Monday March 21, 2005
HAS CONGRESS LOST ITS WAY?:
I'm beginning to wonder. Consider that in just the past few years we've been treated to legislation dictating to us what is and what is not to be considered political speech and what is and what is not to be considered "decent" and "indecent" material for consumption over the airwaves.
Last week we watched members of Congress devote their time and energy to examining the chemical intake of certain professional athletes and justifying it under the guise of an archaic anti-trust exemption.
This past weekend we saw members of Congress, displeased by the ruling of a Florida state judge, marshall the resources of the federal government to pass legislation intervening in an individual case involving the right of a family to make decisions about one of its members.
At the Congressional level, that position places me in a distinct minority. In the House, of those voting (and by no means did everyone vote on the matter) only 58 present voted “no,” which is a fairly overwhelming defeat to those sharing my perspective. But opposing this effort places me directly in the middle of the political mainstream of this country, where 60% of those polled yesterday in a FOX News poll opposed congressional/presidential involvement.
In an unlikely turn of events and a sign that they vote their respective districts extremely well, Congressmen Brian Baird (D –WA3) and Dave Reichert (D-WA8) crossed party lines and voted against their respective caucuses (Baird voting “yes” and Reichert voting “no.”) on the matter.
That huge silence from our esteemed ultra-leftists in the Senate notwithstanding (Great moral courage there, eh?) the involvement of Congress in this matter was of extremely questionable Constitutionality. It indicates a Congress that is willing to go places they have no business going.
I reiterate that neither the Congress nor the President should get involved in this matter.
Life is important. But no individual life is more important than the rule of law.
It’s 4:10 a.m. as I write this. My thoughts now are for Terry, her anguished parents and her publicly vilified husband. Her family has been forced to cope with what for most of us would be an unimaginable horror.
And it’s time to let her go.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005 · Last updated 3:48 a.m. PT
Judge won't order Schiavo tube reinsertion
By VICKIE CHACHERE
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
TAMPA, Fla. -- A federal judge on Tuesday refused to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, denying an emergency request from the brain-damaged woman's parents.
Bob Schindler, lower left, looks on
in this artist rendition as George
Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo
addresses Judge James Whittemore,
right, during a Terri Schiavo hearing
Monday afternoon March 21, 2005 at
the United States Courthouse in Tampa,
Fla. Judge Whittemore didn't rule on
whether Terri Schiavo's feeding tube
should be reinstated or not. Man above
Bob Schindler is unidentified. (AP
Monday, March 21, 2005
I’m not big on the expansion of branch campuses in Washington State. For me, that plan seems to be much more an ego-trip for local government officials than a necessity for our higher education program.
Is there a shortage of slots in our college system? Perhaps. But have we explored the idea of reducing our foreign student and out of state load… as well as revisiting the quaint little program that allows illegal aliens to receive the in-state tuition rate?
Year after year, the demand to expand these branches into 4-year campuses continues… though those making that demand almost uniformly have a title in front of their name.
Now, we'll have a scenario where WSU Vancouver will offer English 101… exactly like Clark College will offer English 101… just for a great deal more money.
The question is this: will an expanded program at WSU Vancouver result in a better student? A cheaper, more efficient higher education system?
Of course not.
So, in this era of scare economic resources, why do we emphasize expanding our branch campuses… which will require the expense of expanding the physical plant at these campuses… and the costs related to that expansion… so they can, in effect, compete with our community colleges?
With scarce higher education dollars available, the sensible course is to utilize the funds available for improving what we already have… not attempting to worsen the funding problem by engaging in a pound-foolish expansion program.
Mar 21, 2005 - 07:05:24 am PST
The presidents of the state's six public universities have warned Washington legislators of a looming crisis in higher education, absent increases in state funding. But significant funding increases are unlikely with the Legislature facing a $1.5 billion budget gap. It's been clear for some time that the best we might expect from lawmakers this session is that they do no harm.
It may well be too much to expect. A little more than a week ago, the state House approved and sent to the Senate a bill allowing the University of Washington's Tacoma branch campus and Washington State University's branch campus in Vancouver to begin adding freshmen and sophomore courses to the upper division course offerings.
This proposed expansion of the WSU and UW branches to four-year institutions is troubling only because of its timing. We've long favored establishing a four-year university in Southwest Washington, but not at the sacrifice of quality at existing institutions. And we fear that's what this legislation could mean.
Washington colleges and universities are hurting from years of inadequate state appropriations. They've been starved for well over a decade of the public resources needed to maintain quality and grow with the state's population.
The virulent opposition to such a plan evidenced here begs the issue: does this mean the radical left supports the idea of registered sex offenders hanging out at libraries with our children?
I actually haven't formed a position on this yet, but the issue is, I believe, worthy of discussion and study.
In yet another attack on ideas, the left loses its collective mind about the issue because, one, Marc Boldt (whom the left dispises due to his political success and the fact that they just can't seem to defeat him in an election... not to mention the fact that Marc, is, well.... a conservative.) is making the issue public and, two, they can't sdtand anything having anything to do with either internet filtering or reducing access, no matter the cause.
The main problem with democrat liberals (Note, I said “main problem,” there are so many others) is their total lack of diversity on ideas. If you stray from the democratic centralism they’re known for, they’ll politically crush you.
When, for example, was the last time a pro-life speaker appeared at any of their conventions? Here in Washington State, how have they treated legislators that don’t toe the line they lay down?
And now, we have yet another example liberal response when they discover one in their midst is a Republican (Gasp!) and their reaction to that discovery.
'PLAYGIRL' EDITOR FIRED AFTER OUTING SELF AS REPUBLICAN
Mon Mar 21 2005 10:09:48 ET**Exclusive**
PLAYGIRL editor-in-chief Michele Zipp has been stripped of her duties after she revealed how she voted Republican in the 2004 election.
Zipp, in an e-mail, claims she was fired after an onslaught of liberal backlash.
"Hello Drudge, "After your coverage of my article about coming out and voting Republican, I did receive many letters of support from fellow Republican voters, but it was not without repercussions. Criticism from the liberal left ensued. A few days after the onslaught of liberal backlash, I was released from my duties at Playgirl magazine. "
After underlings expressed their disinterest of working for an outed Republican editor, I have a strong suspicion that my position was no longer valued by Playgirl executives. I also received a phone call from a leading official from Playgirl magazine, in which he stated with a laugh, "I wouldn't have hired you if I knew you were a Republican."I just wanted to let you know of the fear the liberal left has about a woman with power possessing Republican views."
Friday, March 18, 2005
Measure 37 poster child allowed to subdivide her land
3/18/2005, 8:02 a.m. PT
The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Multnomah County officials have unanimously agreed to allow Dorothy English, the public face of a controversial land-use measure, to divide her property into eight parcels.
The 92-year-old English scored the unexpected victory Thursday, when the county's Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 to waive land-use restrictions on her 19-acre property, allowing the widow to build additional homes.
I’m a very big believer in the Constitution of the United States. Within that document is the 10th Amendment.
That Amendment states as follows:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
For me, the 10th Amendment is not the 10th Suggestion. Morality of this situation aside, the fact of the matter is that Congress has no right, by way of the Constitution of the United States, to intervene in this matter.
Specifically, Article One of the Constitution indicates that Congress may not get involved.
Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed."
A Bill of Attainder is defined as “a legislative act that singled out one or more persons and imposed punishment on them, without benefit of trial. Such actions were regarded as odious by the framers of the Constitution because it was the traditional role of a court, judging an individual case, to impose punishment."
The US Supreme Court has twice refused certiorari on this issue. The law in Florida is quite clear: the husband has the say.
I recognize that the parents and siblings here feel differently. But there is no good outcome when Congress feels compelled to usurp judicial authority like they did with the passage of their unconstitutional bill for Dr. Elizabeth Morgan.
The Constitution is greater than any one of us. I have taken an oath to uphold it. And my take on this is that the system has run its course… and it’s time to let go.
I’m also driven by the fact that were I in her position, there is no doubt in my mind that I would not want to be treated that way.
Let it go. And Congress or Mr. Bush?
Stay out of it.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
The Simple Majority. Is it nearly as “simple” as it seems?
Here in Washington State, bonds and levies need to pass with a 60% majority. That requirement has been in place, put there by the people of this state, since the 40’s.
Almost all bonds and levies pass the first time around. But some fail.
So, the WEA and their democrat lackeys have been trying to eliminate the supermajority to make school systems even LESS accountable than they are already.
The entire purpose of the supermajority was/is to protect taxpayers from special-interest groups such as the WEA. The entire purpose of school districts holding bond and levy elections at any time except November is to magnify the effect of special interests on the outcome of those elections.
Adding bonds and levies to the November ballot is a frightening prospect to democrats and their WEA masters. Increased voter turnout may mean increased voter scrutiny… and we. Apparently, can’t have that.
So, the Republican position on this issue is what they believe to be the best of both worlds.
Keep the supermajority in place for any election EXCEPT the November ballot.
That is what’s known as a “compromise.”
But the democrats can’t have that. The WEA won’t allow “compromise” on their issues. So, what happens?
Nothing. Nothing gets changed.
And man, the democrats HOWL. Seems they’re all about “letting the people decide.”
Pity they don’t extend that same courtesy to other areas of government. Democrats are ALL about “choice.” Unless the result of the choice happens to be something they don’t like. THEN, they’re all about “leadership,” which is a legislative euphemism for “jam it down their throats.” You know… like tax increases? Or getting rid of I-601? Or gutting I-200? Or yet another gas tax increase on top of the highest fuel prices in history?
Not a lot of choice there, is it?
Thursday, March 17, 2005
By DON JENKINS, Columbian staff writer
OLYMPIA - A bid to let school levies and bond measures pass by a simple majority failed in the Senate Wednesday after most Democrats rejected a GOP proposal to require school districts to run such elections in November, when voter turnout tends to be highest.
Hoquiam Sen. Jim Hargrove, one of two Democrats who agreed with the Republican amendment, lamented his colleagues' unwillingness to yield.
"With a little compromise, this would have passed," he said.
Senate Joint Resolution 8202 would have asked voters to eliminate the supermajority (60 percent) requirement for school-funding measures to pass.
The resolution received 25 yes votes to 23 no votes. But a constitution amendment needs 33 votes, two-thirds of the Senate, to be put on the ballot.
I arrived at this position initially when the UW arbitrarily and without legislative authority, provided married student housing to gay or lesbian students to the detriment of, well, married students. Not only did the UW provide this housing, subsidized by the state, but they also put the first "couple" ahead of everyone else on the list and provided this scarce commodity with great fanfare and publicity.
I thought then and believe now that the UW has lost focus as a STATE institution, as opposed to an institution based entirely on the liberal-think of the elite of the city of Seattle.
As part of the Cascade Curtain issue, the UW has needed to moderate its position on a variety of social issues. It needs to support the views of the people who, in turn, use their collective tax dollars to support them.
Clearly, McCormick's replacement, Mark Emmert, was vetted for his liberal views in addition to his administrative abilities.
He needs to mute those views as do the rest of the Regents, who should have, but rarely does, reflected a political cross-section of the state.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Racial profiling not a UW mission
By NICHOLAS O'CONNELL GUEST COLUMNIST
The timing of University of Washington President Mark Emmert's recent column against Initiative 200 could hardly have been worse. At a moment when the state's flagship university is in crisis, Emmert chose his first significant public pronouncement to talk not about academic achievement but about repealing a law endorsed by 60 percent of the state's voters. Nero fiddles; Rome burns.
The challenges confronting the UW are legion: A cash-strapped Legislature is not about to write the UW a blank check; faculty and staff are quitting because they can't get even cost-of-living raises; community college transfer students sit in academic limbo because there is no room for them.
Meanwhile, the institution reels from a parade of scandals: Former President Richard McCormick was forced to resign because of an extramarital affair; former football coach Rick Neuheisel was fired for betting and allegedly lying about it; the medical school was forced to pay $35 million to settle a five-year federal investigation into billing fraud.
In Portland, Light Rail construction was months over schedule and millions over budget. Ridership has yet to approach the projected (aka lies used to justify construction) levels.
In Seattle, voters approved a 21 mile, $2.2 billion Light Rail project that has now “grown” to a 14 mile, $4 Billion project, a bait-and-switch by government that the state Supreme Court found perfectly OK. (One aficionado in the region has coined the phrase “Loot Rail.”) Sound Transit Light Rail supporters PROMISED they would not require state funds for their little project. That was the reason the legislature gave them authority to raise these funds in the first place.
In Vancouver, Light Rail lost county-wide, roughly 70% to 30%. Eight million dollars was wasted on a fake consultation that rubber-stamped Identity Vancouver’s “The-only-light-rail-route-that-will-work-is-through-the-I-5-corridor” nonsense. Directly after the destruction of their plan, lobbyists came back up to Olympia to beg for an ADDITIONAL $8 million to do ANOTHER study. I suggested that they get a refund from the first firm that had ripped them off.
The Light Rail disease is firmly entrenched in the lesser lights of Vancouver. Along with other bizarre, absurd and ridiculous ideas such as putting tolls on the two interstate bridges to support City of Vancouver transportation projects, light rail continues to hang around in the feverish minds of those who support the idea of ramming tax increases of all kinds down our collective throats without our permission and failing that, going so far as to bring suit against their own citizenry to KEEP them from expressing an opinion.
The FACT is that LIGHT RAIL DOES NOT WORK. The most recent rating of traffic congestion indicates that Portland, with an extensive light rail system, has WORSE traffic congestion than Seattle, which hasn’t put a foot of light rail into operation! Sound Transit, in a fit of sobriety a few years back, ADMITTED that the completed, $4 BILLION light rail line will have NO impact on congestion!
Which tends to beg the question: why are they building it?
If light rail made a difference, I could support it. But the facts are in and the only difference it makes is in our wallets and those of the unions and contractors that would build this thing… hardly harbingers of what’s best for us… over what’s best for them.
Ted Van Dyke lays out a column concerning the Discovery Center's take on the transportation issue, a rational and well-explained alternative. Worth a read.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
We're on the wrong road for traffic fixes
By TED VAN DYKSEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER COLUMNIST
Unnoted by the general media, the Discovery Institute's Cascadia Center conducted a highly informative two-day leadership forum late last month at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond. It attracted transportation policy-makers and professionals from the United States, Canada and all levels of government and covered the full range of issues facing both the West Coast and our own neighborhood.
The conference proceedings, if read and heeded by local officials, would alter drastically the transportation priorities and projects being pursued here. So, for that matter, would the report presented earlier in February to Gov. Christine Gregoire and legislative leaders by the Cascadia Center's Transportation Working Group.
To read the Cascadia/Microsoft conference proceedings, or the working group report, is to enter a realm of transportation rationality contrasting with the absurd realm in which we live. Multibillion-dollar public works mistakes are generating red ink and eroding public confidence in all proposals involving new transportation expenditures. Yet, four years after the Nisqually quake, state and local officials do not have an approved plan or money to replace or repair the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Evergreen Point Bridge and other dangerous local bridges, roads and highways.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
What a concept.
Government has a nasty habit of changing the rules whenever and however they desire. Never mind that these rule changes frequently decimate land values AFTER purchase, gutting retirement plans, causing dramatically increased housing costs and the like.
Here, the government of the state of Oregon has taken a first, simple step to redress this issue. While I believe that Oregon Governor Ted "Taxandgougeme" will break his wrist vetoing the bill, nevertheless the gesture is not lost on millions in the Pacific Northwest.
Tip o' da hat to ORBUSMAX.
House OKs `right-to-build' bill
3/16/2005, 3:49 p.m. PT
By CHARLES E. BEGGS The Associated Press
SALEM, Ore. (AP) Landowners could build houses on their property if they could have done so when they bought the land but later had their plans blocked by government regulations.
"This sends a message to the people that we've heard their pleas" for land use law changes, said Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, sponsor of the bill.
Some people who have bought land with plans for a home on it have had their building rights revoked without notice or hearings, Richardson said, "because the government decided it knew best."
He said the bill is a narrow measure that just restores people's rights to build single-family homes on their land.
By H. Josef Hebert
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Amid the backdrop of soaring oil and gasoline prices, a sharply divided Senate today voted to open the ecologically rich Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling, delivering a major energy policy win for President Bush.
The Senate, by a 51-49 vote, rejected an attempt by Democrats and GOP moderates to remove a refuge drilling provision from next year's budget, preventing opponents from using a filibuster — a tactic that has blocked repeated past attempts to open the Alaska refuge to oil companies.
"Simple. I will never buy a UAW-built car again. Ever.
And somehow, in a market where the American car manufacturer's share is getting smaller and smaller, it is this kind of short-sighted stupidity on the part of unions that serves NO other purpose except to hurt American manufacturing even more.
Did those Marines "deserve" special parking privleges? As a veteran, I find that reasoning debatable. We do, or we did, what we do or did, for service to country... not for free parking.
But one thing they absolutely without exception deserve is the respect for their diversity of opinion that ultra-leftist organizations such as the UAW demand when the issue is union related. As pointed out, restricting parking is their "privlege." But in this day and age, exercising the variety of "reasoning" behind this decision and thus, exercising that "privlege," gained those in that organization nothing but contempt on the part of millions now aware of this idiocy, for their union and everything they stand for.
For yes, what does it profit a union, if they shall gain the whole of a few parking spaces but lose the good will of millions?
Recognizing how much of a train wreck these people achieved via their public relations disaster, cooler union heads (if such a thing actually exists) have prevailed, and that idiotic, absolutely indefensible decision has been rescinded.
Now, the Marines wouldn't be caught dead in that parking lot. And I STILL have no intention of EVER buying a UAW built car.
Marines snub UAW olive branch: Reservists will park elsewhere, although union admits mistake banning nonunion cars, Bush stickers.
By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News
Get results and comments
Previous report Marines driven out of UAW lot
Facing intense criticism, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger reversed his decision to ban Marine Corps reservists driving foreign cars or displaying pro-President Bush bumper stickers from parking at the union's Solidarity House headquarters in Detroit.
"I made the wrong call on the parking issue, and I have notified the Marine Corps that all reservists are welcome to park at Solidarity House as they have for the past 10 years," Gettelfinger said in a statement.
Wounded by what they consider an unpatriotic ambush, the Marines rejected the union's olive branch and secured an alternative parking lot.
"I talked to Ron; I let him know that I understand he has rescinded his decision," said Lt. Col. Joe Rutledge, a top-ranking officer at the reserve infantry rifle battalion. "However, I've made my decision -- either you support the Marines or you don't."
The Detroit News reported the controversy Sunday.