Wednesday, December 31, 2008

If you're going to be a Muslim racist bigot, can't you at least be a LITERATE Muslim racist bigot?

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I hope that Israel is kicking the crap out of every Hamas stooge in the Gaza. These faux crocodile tears by uber-leftists and terrorist-supporters don't move me, any more than the deaths of innocent Israelis move THEM.

That said, I urge all terrorist supporters to SERIOUSLY lay hands on a dictionary... preferably in English. Otherwise, you become a moronic punchline, and cause people to hope your sort is soon eliminated from the gene pool.


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Well Done, County Commissioners: Several issues moved to next year.

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I had heard that, based on yesterdays story, County’s new rule gives nod to unions; the unions had managed to squeak in under the wire to hose the taxpayers once again.

But then what to my wandering eyes appears THIS morning?

An article entitled "County commissioners opt to let next board decide how to move on several issues"

Intrigued, I looked it over... and buried in the article was the observation that forced apprenticeship programs (which have no more place in this day and age than "prevailing wage" rules) were among those issues punted into oblivion... that is, pushed into next year.

There is, I would venture to say, no chance this union pay-off bill will ever see another sun rise.

While our own Vancouver Firefighters Union show they're understanding of the economic realities confronting us, other unions at the state and national levels have shown a new definition for "clueless."

Arrogance is usually a problem in the political arena. Jim Moeller, who epitomizes the trait, is the exception to the rule, but his re-elections go to another issue involving the sheepfulness of the people of the 49th District. Erstwhile megacasino developer David Barnett has spent $200,000 in his efforts to buy 2 local politicians as he continues in his efforts to ram a harmful, unwanted, massive casino down our throats here in Clark County using threats and intimidation against all wise enough to oppose his efforts. These two epitomize the type of arrogance that so many with the aura of entitlement... such as these state employ unions... bring to the table.

This is not the time for entitlement. This is not the time to put a cherry on top of sweetheart deals that used to be the order of the day. The unions must realize what's happening here... and they must act accordingly.

They can be a part of the problem, as so many have positioned themselves to become; or they can become part of the solution, as the Vancouver Fire Department has proven themselves to be.


County commissioners opt to let next board decide how to move on several issues
Tuesday, December 30 10:54 p.m.
BY MICHAEL ANDERSEN COLUMBIAN STAFF WRITER

For Clark County’s outgoing board of commissioners, this looked like finals week. On their final day of service, they were scheduled to hand a favor to organized labor, hike fees for builders and landowners, and throw down a legal gauntlet to state government.

But in the end, the departing trio decided to give themselves an extension on all of it. The decisions will push all these issues into next year — and into the arms of next year’s more conservative board.

Storm runoff

* The plan: Defy a state order to tighten storm-runoff standards for new construction.* What it would mean: A likely string of lawsuits against the county.

* For it: Developers. They say the new state order is impractical and would add thousands of dollars to the cost of a new house.

* Skeptical: Environmentalists. Last month, the county’s clean water commission advised commissioners not to do this.

* The bottom line: Developers might have a point. But how much money does the county want to spend to prove it?

Labor standards

* The plan: Require apprentice workers on county projects costing more than $1 million.

* What it would mean: Want to do business with the county? Create an apprenticeship program.

More:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Vancouver Firefighters astound: They waive pay raises to help budget.

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Firefighters are amazing people. These men and woman actually charge INTO burning structures that I want to get the hell out of. Every call may put their life at risk. Every call.

I've had some harsh things to say about unions... but based on their moronic stupidity lately... the sniveling of the UAW... the despicable law suits filed by state employee unions... who can blame me?

Just when I thought all hope was lost... along comes the Vancouver Fire Department, Local 452.

The story speaks for itself. It shows the kind of common sense, understanding and empathy that we would like to think that all government unions should show during these trying financial times.

Regardless of union issues, Firefighters have always had my respect and admiration. But today, those traits have deepened and widened for me and several thousand others.

Thank you for all you do.

And thank you for showing the courage of your convictions. I won't forget it.


Comments 10 Recommend 2
Vancouver firefighters waive pay raises to help city budget
04:20 PM PST on Tuesday, December 30, 2008
By KGW Staff

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- As the economy continues to flounder Vancouver firefighters made a surprising decision Tuesday to forego salary increases.

The firefighter’s union overwhelmingly agreed to waive a 4 percent pay raise scheduled to take effect in 2009.

The vote passed by 91 percent.

Vancouver's mayor thanked firefighters, saying that on top of saving lives, they were saving city government some $700,000.

“I don't know of any time in the history of the city that any union or guild has done this,” Mayor Royce Pollard said. “It is truly a recognition of the needs of the community and I have nothing but respect and admiration for the Vancouver Firefighters Union.”

Pollard said the money will be used to make sure public safety is maintained at the same level for 2009.

Who kidnapped our Governor... and who did they replace her with: Gov calls for deportation of jailed illegal aliens

First, she comes up with a budget that looks like Dino Rossi wrote it.

Then, she comes up with the idea of actually DEPORTING illegal aliens... jailed or otherwise?

It's almost like someone kidnapped her and stuffed someone with common sense into a Gregoire Suit.



Gov calls for deportation of jailed illegal aliens

Local E-mail this Print this RSS
Last updated December 30, 2008 4:58 p.m. PT

By MANUEL VALDESASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

SEATTLE -- To save money, Gov. Chris Gregoire wants illegal aliens serving time in state jails deported.

Her proposal estimates that deporting illegal aliens - who are serving or would serve time in state jails for drug or property crime convictions - will save the state more than $9 million in the next two-year budget.

The state faces a $5.7 billion budget deficit over the next 2 1/2 years, and Gregoire has proposed a no new-taxes budget proposal laden with cuts, including about $200 million from the Department of Corrections, the Attorney General's office, and other public safety programs.

The deportation proposal is modeled after a program in Arizona that has saved the state more than $18.5 million since 2005, said Eldon Vail, Secretary of the state Department of Corrections.

"It's not an ideal choice, if revenue was there, I'd say have them do their time," Vail said. "Is justice better served? It's a tough question to wrestle with when you don't have resources."

More:

So, Mr. Obama... as the World's Political Messiah, why are you so quiet on Gaza?

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OK, Mr. "Office of the President-Elect," the world wonders: where are you on the current events of the Middle East?

During the campaign, Mr. Obama occasionally displayed a remarkable knack for political tone deafness. Yet, now.... he remains silent.

Mr. Obama, you assume the highest office in the world in 3 weeks. You're The Agent of Change(copyright 2008, all rights reserved to Barack Obama, Incorporated) the "only one president at a time" thing is wearing kind of thin.

NOW would be a great time to let us all in on your thinking... and show us how your inauguration is going to solve every problem known to man.

I don't envy you, sir. You've set the bar so high... you've raised the level of expectation on nearly every issue confronting the known world today to unheard of levels.

The problem is that many of us suspect that you are the product of clever marketing... that's there's no there, there. Your silence as this conflagration threatens to spin out of hand down there only serves to reinforce the concerns of thoser who actually pay attention.

Mr. Obama, you have to fill your empty suit, and do it in a hurry. This is no longer a game... no longer some sort of academic exercise you play with your Bill Ayre-type buddies. We need to hear from you.... now.

Instead, you play golf. Man... THAT'S showing the world leadership. Gee, I bet the world is REALLY impressed.

Thanks for nothing.

(H/T Drudge)

Shhhh! As the world waits for Obama to voice his opinion on Gaza, America's president-in-waiting hits the golf course
By Mail Foreign ServiceLast updated at 3:54 PM on 30th December 2008
Comments (31) Add to My Stories

Barack Obama remained silent over the violence in Gaza as Israel today threatened to continue its attacks for weeks.

Instead, the president-elect is continuing his 12-day Christmas holiday in Hawaii and was seen enjoying a round of golf.

He joined a group of friends at a private club near his £6million rented, beach-front holiday home in Hawaii yesterday.

Meanwhile, 9,000 miles away in the Middle East, Israel rejected any truce with Hamas today and said it was ready for 'long weeks of action' in the Gaza Strip.

Observers said that at least ten people were killed and another 40 injured as up to 16 bombs were dropped by Israeli warplanes during early morning attacks.

The targets included the offices of Hamas prime minister Ismael Haniyeh, police stations and Gaza’s treasury and foreign ministry buildings.

Shh: Mr Obama, who is staying silent on the Israeli attacks, asks the crowd to be quiet as he finishes his putt

More:

Monday, December 29, 2008

It seems that others are asking the question: Say goodnight, Caroline: How JFK's daughter flubbed the audition to become the next Senator Kennedy

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I had already asked the question a couple of weeks ago: what on earth qualifies Caroline Kennedy to be a US Senator?

Well, you know, it seems, you know, that a great many people are, you know, asking that same question.

I'm not suggesting that, with some of the right experience, Kennedy couldn't BECOME qualified, but as of this writing, she is no more qualified to be a Senator then she is to perform a small-bowel resection.

You know?

H/T to Drudge.


Say goodnight, Caroline: How JFK's daughter flubbed the audition to become the next Senator Kennedy Updated Sunday, December 28th 2008, 1:02 PM

In the beginning, just three long weeks ago, the idea of Caroline Kennedy being a United States senator had a certain ring to it. The Camelot myth still has shelf life and a merger with the historic Obama presidency provided an intriguing story line.

Kennedy would replace Hillary Clinton, one leading lady following another on a stage where name recognition often substitutes for merit. The narrative was tailor-made for the fever chambers of celebrity-obsessed media and the bandwagon quickly picked up speed.

Some top Democrats were certain Gov. Paterson, a close-to-the vest electorate of one, would find Kennedy irresistible now and as a running mate in two years. All others were chopped liver next to her sudden star power.

But a strange thing is happening on the way to the coronation. The wheels of the bandwagon are coming off. Fantasy is giving way to inescapable truth.

That truth is that Kennedy is not ready for the job and doesn't deserve it. Somebody who loves her should tell her.

Her quest is becoming a cringe-inducing experience, as painful to watch as it must be to endure. Because she is the only survivor of that dreamy time nearly 50 years ago, she remains an iconic figure. But in the last few days, her mini-campaign has proved she has little to offer New Yorkers except her name.

Her handlers and family enablers insist she feels no entitlement to the Senate job, yet there is no other possible reason to give it to her. Her name is the sole reason she even dares go for it. Camelot must be Gaelic for chutzpah.

New York can do better.

There is no denying the situation is odd. No one quite knows how to garner Paterson's approval or what his vetting process is. He hasn't even endorsed the sensible idea of public forums and debates, which would give voters a way to participate.

More:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Looks like Israel has taken off the gloves... and it's about time.

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I've frequently wondered why Israel continues to show such high levels of forbearance against the terrorists infesting it's border region.

Proportionally, the death of one Israeli (with a population of 5,542,000 Jews; 1,477,000 Israeli Arabs and the remainder a mixtures of others (318,000.) for a total of 7,337,000) would equal the deaths of roughly 45 Americans. (Our population is roughly 45 times that of Israel.)

45.

So, every day, Israel is on the receiving end of terrorist missiles, mostly supplied by Iran. They have put up with it and put up with it and put up with it, until the last few days.

A note for you leftists opposed to our effective border fence: since the Israelis have put up their border fence, suicide murders/bombings have become practically unknown.

What is it that Sean Connery said in that movie about Elliott Ness In the Untouchables?

"if one of them pulls a knife, you pull a gun; if they put one of yours in the hospital, put one of theirs in the morgue."

Israel needs to go back to this policy. Being the nice guy has availed them nothing. Making concession after concession has accomplished zip.

EVERY time ANY missile flies into Israel, they should mount massive and devastating counter attacks immediately. That means they should flatten towns and villages around the border region. This should become a policy, an automatic default setting.

Destroy enough of the region and I guarantee you that the people will rise up and throw off the yolk of the Hamas and Fatah terrorist oppression.

I hate to sound callous about it, but I care no more about the deaths of Palestinian civilians, including the deaths of Palestinian children; then the Palestinians care about the deaths of Israeli civilians, including children.

In short.... not at all.

Israel's situation is desperate. The are surrounded by hundreds of millions who would celebrate their destruction much like they celebrated the damage we suffered on 9/11.

They must make it so expensive to attack them that the attackers will simply not even consider it as an option.

And that also means attacking Iran. And soon.

Enough is enough. How much would we take? How much would you take if your neighbor started firing into your house? And what would you do to defend it?

"The carnage has inflamed Arab public opinion, and the diplomatic fallout came swiftly."

So... how come firing missiles in Israeli civilian targets doesn't "inflame Arab public opinion?"

This has been going on for months... and how outraged has the Arab street been about that?

And where's the "diplomatic fallout" for the terrorist supporter countries?

There isn't any.

So, Israel must ignore what others have to say. They must do what is right for their survival. And we must stop supporting those who would destroy them.


Comments (155) E-mail article Print view
Israeli troops mobilize as Gaza assault widens
Israel widened its deadliest-ever air offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers Sunday, pounding smuggling tunnels and a central prison, sending more tanks and artillery toward the Gaza border and approving a reserves callup for a possible ground invasion.

By IBRAHIM BARZAK and KARIN LAUB
Associated Press Writers
Related
Pope calls for truce in Gaza Strip
Suicide bomber hits Iraqi Gaza protest

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel widened its deadliest-ever air offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers Sunday, pounding smuggling tunnels and a central prison, sending more tanks and artillery toward the Gaza border and approving a reserves callup for a possible ground invasion.

Israeli leaders said they would press ahead with the Gaza campaign, despite enraged protests across the Arab world and Syria's decision to break off indirect peace talks with the Jewish state. Israel's foreign minister said the goal was to halt Gaza rocket fire on Israel for good, but not to reoccupy the territory.

With the two-day death toll climbing above 290 Sunday, crowds of Gazans breached the border wall with Egypt to escape the chaos. Egyptian forces, some firing in the air, tried to push them back into Gaza and an official said one border guard was killed.

Hamas, in turn, fired missiles deeper than ever into Israel, near the Israeli port city of Ashdod, and continues to command some 20,000 fighters.

Yet Hamas leaders were forced into hiding, most of the dead were from the Hamas security forces, and Israel's military intelligence chief said Hamas' ability to fire rockets had been reduced by 50 percent. Indeed, Hamas rockets fire dropped off sharply, from more than 130 on Saturday to just over 20 on Sunday.

Israel's intense bombings - some 300 air strikes since midday Saturday - wreaked unprecedented destruction in Gaza, reducing entire buildings to rubble.

Shlomo Brom, a former senior Israeli military official, said it was the deadliest force ever used in decades of Israeli-Palestinian fighting. "Since Hamas took over Gaza (in June 2007), it has become a war between two states, and in war between states, more force is used," he said.
European leaders called on both Israel and Hamas to end the bloodshed.

More:

More spew from the Moron Zone - John Laird Dec. 28: Sacagawea would be ashamed of us

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Every once in a while, a community is cursed with putting up with a bully. Bullies come in many guises, from the playground variety, through the boss or co-worker variety up through the newspaper variety.

John Laird is one such example, and we are not fortunate to have him here.

Unfortunately, in a sign of total cluelessness that has helped to lead the local fishwrapper down the road to ruin, this clown is given barrels of ink to sling his peculiar brand of poo around a community voting with their feet: people and their money are staying away from this rag in droves.

This moron leads off with this article headline: "Sacagawea would be ashamed of us"

Perhaps, but it would come no where close to the shame that we feel for Laird... and the shame that we feel for that increasingly worthless junk pile he works for.

That this individual is given anything more then a letter to the editor access in the newspaper is simply beyond me.

I don't want him silenced; after all, the First Amendment even extends to the privilege of making yourself out to be a blithering idiot, which Mr. Laird does on a weekly basis.

"Name-calling" is what passes for journalism in his neck of the woods, continuing on with the tradition of Koenninger. But Laird does it so badly and so senselessly, he engages in the hallmark of someone who is down right mean.

This week's babble, extolling the virtue of how tough he is, is a case in point. It's garbage, start to finish, and it is all too typical of the level of journalism this newspaper is reduced to.

When this rag folds, hopefully soon; Laird will not be missed.


John Laird Dec. 28: Sacagawea would be ashamed of us
Sunday, December 28 1:00 a.m.
BY JOHN LAIRDCOLUMBIAN OPINION EDITOR

The Broken Clock Syndrome (III) - In our view Dec. 26: Ill-Timed Greed

I may have mentioned on occasion my disdain for unions generally and the state employee unions particularly.

That disdain does not and never has extended to the rank and file.

But unions buy and sell politicians like I do tee-shirts. They take money from their members and use it to pay union salaries... and to support primarily democrats... particularly those democrats that widen, lengthen and deepen the public trough.

PAC 48's involvement in our county's recent election was purely an effort to buy a commissioner who they believed would do two things extremely important to local unions: build an unwanted, unneeded and massively expensive I-5 Bridge replacement loot rail portal; and to build an equally unwanted, unneeded and massively expensive megacasino where the developer guaranteed union support with his labor agreement. For me, these two particular landmarks of "screw-the-community" have helped cement the union concept of one of greed, political corruption and disdain for the communities that pay the bills.

An even more recent example is the unbridled greed of the United Auto Workers, who would rather see the Big Three go under then to even consider wage and benefit cuts to help this struggling industry survive to some level of profitability. True, the executives of the Big 3 took political tone-deafness to a level not seen since the first single digit popularity polls of our democrat-controlled Congress with their private jet arrivals to beg for billions. But that does not now excuse the UAW from acting responsibly while every effort is made to keep the American economy from going under.

And now, that economy and hundreds of thousands of people in this state are suffering pain. Genuine, every-waking-moment pain. We have a government that exists to serve US. And part of that painful reality is that this state's Legislative budgets have skyrocketed since the advent of the collective-bargaining pay-back for the state-employee unions infesting us. Now is the tyime for a reality-check.

WE now face a budget deficit, warned of by Republicans in past legislatures, of $6 Billion.

Stunningly enough, Gov. Gregoire's budget, on the surface at least; addresses this humongous fiscal hole primarily with cuts to various programs, pretty much across the board. I have some nigglies with her transportation projects locally (No, Governor, we do not need to waste $53 million on the St. John's intersection, just like we didn't need to waste $93 million on a bogus study with a pre-ordained outcome for the I-5 Bridge (Everyone alive knew 2 things: the entire purpose of this bizarre project is nothing more nor less than to get loot rail into the county and that the ONLY reason to replace the I-5 Bridge instead of building a 3rd Bridge is to accomplish that purpose... thus, negating the need, and the wasted expenditures... to take us to a place we all knew, ultimately we would achieve: The Downtown Mafia wants loot rail; they will waste absolutely any amount of OPM (Other People's Money) to get it, and we will wind up with a new bridge, loot rail, and absolutely no improvement in congestion or freight mobility.)) but I am emboldened by her decision to provide no further waste for the bridge project.

That said, Gov. Gregoire seems to have shown at least a basic understanding of that most obvious of fiscal tenets: No society has ever taxed itself into prosperity. Most people get this.

State unions, showing a tone-deafness not out of place with Helen Keller, do not. They are actually suing the Governor to FORCE her to get them their pay raises.

This would be a PERFECT time to run a campaign to make Washington's government union free. We could stand as a shining light to every OTHER state who will not allow their unions, who, after all, are there to serve the people; to engage in political extortion at the expense of the millions forced to finance their greed and avarice.

Sue and be damned, I say. The question is this: will the Governor cave to these people like she did the Tribes, since she owes them at least as much of a political debt? Is the budget eyewash? Or does she mean it? Time will tell.

The Columbian deserves some credit for stating the obvious in this editorial, even if a few days late.. The leftists that commented under the editorial show a basic inability to understand either the role of state employee unions or our role as taxpayers in funding their efforts. Some write as if we face no fiscal difficulty of any kind, and therefore the unions shouldn't "suffer."

Of course they should. At a time when all are in pain, government employees deserve no special cache' in pain avoidance. When the people suffer... they must suffer as well.

To believe otherwise is to show a level of ignorance and cluelessness that would astound even the most casual observer, and the unions and the idjits commenting on the Columbian editorial addressing this matter manage to pull it off brilliantly.

But cluelessness is an essential element of becoming a leftist... or one would avoid that particular malady.


Editorials
In our view Dec. 26: Ill-Timed Greed
Message from state workers’ union: ‘Give us our money; never mind your problems
Friday, December 26 1:00 a.m.

Labor unions have improved the American way of life in many ways for more than 130 years. Working conditions, wages and benefits all are better because of unions.

But in a modern America, sooner or later unions must decide to become part of the solution or continue to be part of the problem. To date, the latter seems to be the case, as evidenced in this state by the Washington Federation of State Employees suing Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday. In the budget that Gregoire released last week, she proposed dropping raises of about 2 percent for the union’s 40,000 workers in state agencies and colleges.

In so doing, Gregoire essentially declared that times are tough for everyone, including union workers. That’s not persuasive enough for union officials. Their lawsuit accuses Gregoire of unfair labor practices. How can that be, when Gregoire wants union workers to be treated like everyone else? Everyone else, that is, lucky enough to have a job.

She’s also accused of breach of contract, an argument that loses steam when union spokesman Tim Welch says his group simply wants the issue taken to the Legislature. “If they vote it down, then we go back to negotiations. We don’t understand why the governor couldn’t do that,” he said.

The union is looking for kinder treatment from legislators than they’re receiving from Gregoire. She promised not to raise taxes, and she kept that promise, by proposing tough cuts in programs, salaries and virtually all other aspects of state government.

When union officials squawk about pay during the worst economic crisis in memory, it only fuels the suspicion that all they care about is the union. They can attach euphemistic words to their title (the teachers union is the Washington Education Association) but repeatedly union leaders and members embrace their selfish sole priority. That’s their job, of course, but it does nothing to solve the economic problem.

State workers are being laid off left and right. A hiring freeze has been imposed, to the detriment of many citizens who rely on vital state agencies and services. Overall, Gregoire has proposed more than $3 billion in spending cuts over the next 2 years. More than 2,000 state workers could be laid off. Classrooms likely will become more crowded. Highway projects will be postponed. Yet what do we hear from the state employees’ union? “Give us our money. Never mind your problems.”

More:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

There are lies, damned lies, and the Columbian: In our view Dec. 25: A Dozen Crocks

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Clearly, as the Columbian continues its downward death spiral into bankruptcy, the clowns running the paper have yet to ascertain the wisdom of an old adage that has stood the test of time:

"When you find yourself at the bottom of a hole.... stop digging."

This newspaper has violated every journalistic tenet known to man as they continue on in their stuck-on-stupid mode over scamming us for billions of dollars all so they can get their loot rail project into Clark County.

It is this kind of violation of the public trust that makes it easy for me to refuse to give them a dime.

It is this kind of violation of the public trust that has caused me to do everything I can to avoid shopping in those stores that advertise in this abattoir of journalistic tenets.

It is this kind of violation of the public trust that sickens me every time I read anything about the I-5 Bridge, because I know that chances are, these scum are lying... all so they can get what they want.

These carbuncles on the ass of journalism use this picture:


And then, they use this heading:

The Interstate 5 Bridge’s two spans, built in 1917 and 1958, were constructed on timber pilings that still support them 70 feet under the river bottom. Experts say recent studies show that the sandy soil beneath the spans is likely to liquefy to a depth of 75 feet during a significant earthquake.

"Experts" also "say" that newspapers are obsolete and should all go out of business... and in the case of the Columbian, sooner rather than later.

We've HAD "significant earthquakes."

Did the Bridge fall down?

One of the many despicable arguments these morons use is the "earthquake argument." Hey.... maybe we can segue' that into the rogue asteroid argument! You know, something like this:

"Experts say recent studies show that if we get hit by an asteroid of any size, all life on planet earth will end."

So what?

What anyone breathing in this community knows is that the "earthquake argument" is worthless.

Even if such a thing were true, retrofitting the bridge as opposed to replacing it so the Downtown Mafia can get their loot rail into town for wasted billions of dollars would be the wise course monetarily.

What makes the "earthquake argument" DESPICABLE, though, is that the clowns at the Columbian who are pushing their agenda do so in violation of their charter, and because they KNOW it to be false. Their purpose is to report the news.... not to make it, or to act like the PR arm of the democrat party (as they did in this last election cycle) or the unions who want the jobs that replacing this bridge would provide.

Today's editorial was just another chapter in the Columbian's continuing and sickening effort to force their world view and social engineering on a population that does not want it... and based on their recently abysmal circulation figures and near-bankruptcy, does not want them.


In our view Dec. 25: A Dozen Gifts
No partridges in pear trees, no turtle doves, no pipers piping, no drummers drumming
Thursday, December 25 1:00 a.m.

The Interstate 5 Bridge’s two spans, built in 1917 and 1958, were constructed on timber pilings that still support them 70 feet under the river bottom. Experts say recent studies show that the sandy soil beneath the spans is likely to liquefy to a depth of 75 feet during a significant earthquake.

Yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.

More, if you can stomach it:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Think beef's been a little expensive? Try Costco's 15 pound roasts... only $2,299.00!

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Well, over the past few years, it's seemed to me that beef has become... well... just the tiniest bit expensive. I will admit that I got a great score a few days ago when I scored some rib roast at WINCO for $2.99... it was amazing!

That said, I'm an "Executive Member" at Costco, so they're sending me these ads, pretty much daily... and today, they sent me this beaut:

Japanese Wagyu Beef
Ribeye Roast 15 lb. Average
BonelessGrade A-5
Item # 369614
Be the first to write a review.
$2,299.99
Shipping & Handling included *

"Shipping and handling included?" For this kind of cash, they ought to fly you over to Japan so you can PERSONALLY pick out the cow that you want to grab a chunk of... right off the hoof!

Look... I know all about Kobe beef, beer fed, hand massaged, all natural, etc, etc.

But I'm NOT interested in buying the guy that actually RAISED this cow.

Here's the description:

One week lead time due to rarity and freshness of product.

One bite and you’ll know why chefs and connoisseurs alike love D’Artagnan’s (THERE'S a fine old Japanese name!) Japanese Wagyu Beef!

The real deal—100% authentic Wagyu of the highest grade possible, raised in Japan according to the strict standards that have made its Kobe Beef world-famous for its unsurpassed tenderness and flavor.

Our genetically traceable cattle are raised on a diet of soybeans, wheat barley and beer, with no antibiotics, growth hormones or animal by-products ever used. A strictly followed diet rotation and traditional Sake massage are key factors in the development of the Wagyu’s characteristic marbling and taste.

The result is a superbly flavorful meat that is well marbled, extremely tender and mouthwateringly juicy.

100% authentic Wagyu beef

Product of Japan

No antibiotics

No hormones

No animal by-products

Sake-massaged cattle are raised to 30-36 months

Special order - please allow up to 1 week for delivery

________________________________________________________

Doing the math, here, we're talking about a paltry $170 a pound or so.... for a roast.

A brief internet search yielded a cost of $800 or so for a fully grown cow; some much, much higher.

Compared to $2,299.00 for a 15 pound roast, well.... bon' appetite'!

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Fox News pays tribute to Brit Hume

This well done and well-deserved tribute to Brit Hume is worth the 8.5 minutes or so to watch.

Brit was not always impartial, but compared to the leftist shills masquarading as news reporters and newspaper reporters and columnists like the local version of Pravda, he has at least made a concerted effort to present both sides.

Those infested with Bush Derangement Syndrome will laud his exit, because the leftist ideal of diversity does not extend to the diversity of ideas.

And we are worse off because of it.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

State union thugs: now SUING the Gov for their pay raises.

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The people of this country generally and this state particularly are hurting. We're hurting big time in a wide variety of areas. On December 18th, I wrote about Gov. Gregoire's stunning effort to balance the budget without raising taxes, and mentioned my belief that the unions don't give a damn about anyone but themselves.

So, what do the union scum do?

They sue the Governor. Here's the Seattle Times' take on it... and here's the PI's effort.

These selfish clowns are actually suing the Governor as outlined here:
The lawsuit asks Thurston County Superior Court to compel the governor to submit a request to the Legislature to fund the pay raises and other economic parts of the five contracts negotiated by the Federation. The pacts cover 30,000 General Government workers and 10,000 employees at 12 community colleges and all four-year universities and The Evergreen State College.

"Pay raise?" They need to be forced to take a substantial PAY CUT. Or do they find the idea of unemployment intriguing?

Apparently, these thugs, including those employed at our universities, lack the ability to grasp the impacts of our troubled economy.

Or, alternately, they simply don't care because they're greedy pigs.

Remember the good old days, before the dems paid these scum off with collective bargaining?

Were it up to me, I'd fire off a bill to decertify the state employee unions. I would hammer them like nails, since they clearly don't give a damn about those they allegedly serve.... that is, us.
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Update: Someone at Kroger has seen this - Why Fred Meyer Stores piss me off.

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I just got back from one of my increasingly infrequent trips to Fred Meyers stores, this one on Highway 503 and 72nd, just up the street from the 500/503 and 4th Plain intersection.

One of the more annoying, and questionably legal things they do there is lie about the regular price for an item they charge and then make you believe that their normal, usurious, daily price is some sort of a "deal."

My wife is very big on Sobe Lean drinks. Now, at WINCO, they go for 99 cents. Always. Every day, literally for months.

Tonight at Fred Meyers, those lying scum wanted the customer to believe that the REGULAR price of Sobe Lean products is $2.99 per bottle... so their $1.59 "sale" price looks like a hell of a deal.

The problem?

I have NEVER seen them at Fred Meyers selling this stuff for anything approaching that price.

Ever.

I do remember last week or so that their "regular" price for this product was a somewhat LESS absurd price of $2.69 per bottle.

So, their REGULAR price went UP 30 cents (meaning it WASN'T their "regular price") so they could bump UP the dealio and make people think they're getting a GREAT price at $1.59... even though Freddies was charging 50% more with their so-called sale price than WINCO charges every damned day.

In short, their sale price is a scam... and the way they're shilling it is also a scam.

I also noticed that Freddy had 12 packs of Coke products on sale for ONLY $5 per half rack... an ABSURDLY high price. And, once again, they were lying through their corporate teeth when their little sale sign indicated that FM REGULARLY sold this stuff for.... $7.98.

Bull.

I HATE that kind of crap.

If the weather hadn't been in the toilet, I wouldn't have made the stop there in the first place. I pray that WINCO gets their 503 and 119th store built and open.... soon. Because when they do, I will never set foot in that rip off known as Fred Meyers, ever again.
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Update:

This entry has been reviewed by someone at Kroger in Cincinnati... at 10:38 last night (Monday) and again at 9:30 this morning (Tuesday)... and Kroger owns Fred Meyers.

Maybe someone will do something about this now.... but I doubt it.

The organized crime of loot rail: Latest Portland light rail project 25% over budget.

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My guess is that this will never see the light of day in the Columbian, so I'm sticking it up here as yet another example of the organized crime that is loot rail.



Portland’s Westside commuter rail is $33 million over its planned budget of $133. Although just $8 million of that is due to the cost of the commuter rail cars, a recent article in The Oregonian blames the manufacturer of those cars for having “cost TriMet millions.”

The Westside commuter rail line goes from nowhere to nowhere. Actually, it goes from Wilsonville to Beaverton, but neither endpoint is a major job center. That means commuters who use the commuter rail will probably change in Beaverton to a light rail train. Faithful Antiplanner ally John Charles says this line is a loser. It is so bad that Oregon’s congressional delegation had to pass a law exempting it from Federal Transit Administration cost-effectiveness criteria restricting funding to projects that only waste a lot of money instead of a whole lot of money.
Colorado Railcar’s original demonstrator unit.


Flickr photo by AaverageJoe.

Engineering, design, construction, right of way, and signals for the project cost about $22 million more than expected, which The Oregonian mentions only in a tiny chart. Instead, the story focuses on Colorado Railcar, a company that has been promoting the idea of Diesel multiple units (DMUs), which more or less means a light-rail-like car powered by a Diesel engine powerful enough to also tow one or two unpowered cars.

I’ve never met Tom Rader, the owner of Colorado Railcar, but as a railfan I’ve known some of his associates and products. Under the name Rader Railcar, he rebuilt old passenger cars into some interesting cars for various tourist rail lines in Alaska, Canada, and elsewhere. Some of these cars were great, but others were late and overbudget, leading to financial problems for both his customers and his own company.

Due to these problems, Rader was forced to reincorporate under a different name. He then decided to jump into the transit business and actively promoted Diesel commuter cars as a cross between conventional commuter rail (which typically operates only during rush hours) and light rail (which operates all day long but in shorter trains than commuter rail).

The utter cluelessness of Sam Reed.

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Lew Waters over at Clark County Conservative gives us his take on the moronic disaster that is our Washington State Secretary of State, Sam Reed.

Lew tears into Reed in a variety of ways. I leave it to the reader to go over to his blog and check out his take. I mention Lew here essentially to give credit for reminding me about this issue, since I, too, read Reed's garbage in the LTE section of the Columbian, but failed to address his self-delusion essentially because out here in the hinterland, Qwest (aka the Prince of Deafness) decided to have an unspecified internet outage for unknown reasons for an unspecified duration and it just slipped my mind.

Lew's gentle slap at the moronic political protestation of Mr. Reed, which I discovered yesterday, reminded me to take my Fulda Tanker's Boot out and bury it in the Secretary's political butt.

Here it goes.

Reed is arguably the worst elected official in government today, and that's saying something.

In the most important elements of the domain of the Secretary of State, those elements concerning our election system, he is an utter, abysmal, failure.

Reed's failures make electoral fraud a fact of life in Washington State today. His failure to reform the state electoral system combined with his staunch support of the democrat position of giving convicted felons the vote while they encourage every other form of illegal voting since they know they, the left, benefit from the fraud vote.

The drive for reform stems from the disaster that is the 2004 election. Reed, caught in the glare of examination much like a deer caught in the headlights of a semi, has never adequately explained how it is, for example, that there could be 100's more votes then voters who cast them in King County.

The steps to reform the system are straightforward and simple: pick a date far away from the next general election.... say, February 1. On that date, invalidate every voter's registration in this state.

Require everyone to re-register USING PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP TO PROVE THEY ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS. Democrats hate this idea because they know of the thousands of people illegally registered because they don't HAVE to prove citizenship, they directly benefit and most of those illegal votes go to their candidates.

Require everyone applying for mail-in or absentee ballots to show, in addition to their proof of citizenship, PROOF OF THEIR RESIDENCY. We all saw that nonsense in Ohio and all the ACORN fraud that so helped democrats in the last election.

Continue the requirements of keeping felons from voting and restoring their right to vote WHEN THEY HAVE COMPLETED EVERY ELEMENT, INCLUDING RESTITUTION AND PROBATION, OF THEIR SENTENCE.

These are, as I said, simple and straightforward steps. Secretary Reed heard these demands over, and over, and over again at the 4 or 5 bogus dog and pony shows they put on around the state after the debacle that was the 04 cycle.

Reed has ignored all of it. In fact, even though this waste of skin has held the office for 8 years, he deliberately continues to violate the law by sending out ballots to 24,000 convicted felons.

And what do we get from this election disaster of a Secretary of State? It's too hard to separate felons out. Our computers don't talk to Department of Correction's computers. It's too complex. The weather's wrong. My pony has a loose shoe.

That this idiot has had 8 years to FIX all this and has done NOTHING to accomplish that task seems to have fallen through the cracks.

And now... now, who does he think he is? Why, he thinks because HE won statewide, that HE actually knows something about politics and how Republicans, apparently, can regain political prominence.

So, to show his high level of political ability, he reminds us that he "is one of two Republicans left standing state wide." Big whoop.

To set the table, here's his spew on the LTE front:

Put party division aside

In the aftermath of the Barack Obama tsunami, Republicans are correctly analyzing what appened. As secretary of state and one of two statewide Republican elected officials left standing (the estimable Attorney General Rob McKenna is the other), I hope party leaders will resist the self-defeating instinct to move toward ideological dogma, negativism and government-is-bad rhetoric.


I hope the party will increasingly be the idea-rich home of pragmatism and reform, inclusion and problem-solvers. We are, after all, the party of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Dan Evans.

We have thrived for 148 years by championing individual freedom and responsibility, equal rights, fiscal conservatism, strong local and state governments, free enterprise, conservation of natural resources, and a strong national defense. To move away from the practical, common-sense middle is the wrong impulse.Yes, Democrats have won the White House, the governor’s mansion and legislative majorities, but we must put division aside and get on with collaborative governing. Voters want results.

Sam Reed
Olympia

First of all, the main purpose of this is not to set Republicans straight.

The main purpose is so Reed can brag, period. "Egomaniacal" doesn't begin to cover it. But what Mr. Reed seems incapable of grasping is this: nobody cares.

Nobody cares that he won. Our local county commissioner races resulted in $460,000 spent... just in one county.

The statewide costs for Reed's election?

$186,000.

All of 14,162 people didn't bother to vote in this particular county for this statewide race.

The low amount of money goes to the utter lack of importance of this office and the fact that Reed's positions on electoral reform come straight out of the democrat playbook. Why take this idiot out when he's doing what the democrats want? And in the critical area of election reform, Reed acts like he's taking his marching orders from Comrade Dwight Pelz, chair of the Washington State Democrat Party.

That said, Reed is a member of a democrat front group known as the Mainstream Republicans. Essentially, Mainstreamers are democrats who, for some unfathomable reason, want to have an "R" appended after their name.

The irony and hypocrisy of Mr. Reed's letter cannot be overstated.

The first paragraph of Mr. Reed's letter is this:

"In the aftermath of the Barack Obama tsunami, Republicans are correctlyanalyzing what happened. As secretary of state and one of two statewideRepublican elected officials left standing (the estimable Attorney General Rob McKenna is the other), I hope party leaders will resist the self-defeatinginstinct to move toward ideological dogma, negativism and government-is-badrhetoric."
First of all, the so-called "tsunami" was, like Mr. Reed, a lot of hot air.

Here in Clark County, we gained Republican control of the County Commission and lost but one of 12 legislative seats, where Republicans now hold 7 positions. The legislature as a whole gained both one House and one Senate seat.

Yes... we lost the governor's race, but then, I predicted Rossi's loss from the moment he came out in favor of a taxpayer-funded bailout of the Sonics... for only $75 million taxpayer dollars.

So, Reed, in an effort to exaggerate his own success, exaggerates the climate within which that success took place. That is defined as "self-aggrandizement."

Government IS "bad." As the multi-hundred billion dollar bailouts continue, it can only get worse. But at the state level, there are PARTS of government that are "bad," such as the moronic and worthless Secretary of State's office. And as a party, Republicans shouldn't ignore that. And that he would claim that government ISN'T bad shows how dramatically out of touch and moronic his perspectives are.

Next, he spews:

I hope the party will increasingly be the idea-rich home of pragmatism and reform, inclusion and problem-solvers. We are, after all, the party of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Dan Evans.

Let's see.... Evans endorsed and did ads for Rossi.

And how'd that work out for him?

If pragmatism as practiced by Mr. Reed means the abandonment of Republican principles, then I say "screw pragmatism."

I would rather lose each and every year standing up for something then to cave into the politics of expediency and wimp out by adopting democrat party positions as a tool to become re-elected. And THAT is the recipe for Mr. Reed's success.

"We have thrived for 148 years by championing individual freedom and responsibility, equal rights, fiscal conservatism, strong local and state governments, free enterprise, conservation of natural resources, and a strong national defense. To move away from the practical, common-sensemiddle is the wrong impulse."
Again, cluelessly, Reed would have us believe that conservative principles include these tenets. Just for one example, the Soviet Union used to have the strongest imaginable "state government."

And how do these massive and moronic bailouts equate to "free enterprise?"

Rossi OWNED the "common sense middle." What good did that do him in a state so blue it borders on black?

None.

"Yes, Democrats have won the White House, the governor’s mansion and legislative majorities, but we must put division aside and get on with collaborative governing. Voters want results."

If "results" got people elected... or unelected... then Reed would be long gone and Gregoire with him, given their disastrous tenures in office.

Mr. Reed is so dangerously ignorant, so politically inept, so moronically guilty of misfeasance and so unqualified to hold elective office that his election is proof that you can, in fact, fool all of the people, all of the time.

And it certainly does NOT give Mr. Reed the gravitas that he thinks it does with his blown up sense of self-importance.

I look forward to actually watching Mr. Reed ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Broken Clock Syndrome (II) - In our view, Dec. 21: A Bad Bailout

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As I mentioned here, here and here, the bailout was and is a bad idea generally, and the UAW bailout a terrible idea specifically. This massive fraud perpetrated on the taxpayers re-enforces a moronic business model while keeping the mortal enemies of this country alive.

Economically and politically, it's the equivalent of sending troops to KEEP Saddam in power while sending cash to the al Qaida.

Unions generally and the UAW specifically, as shown by their whining and sniveling about Bush's nonsensical "goals as opposed to requirements" statement that they would maybe want to become wage-competitive in an effort to keep their jobs; are a carbuncle on the butt of American capitalism.

That said, on those infrequent occasions when the phantom editorialist at the Columbian falls and hits their collective head, thereby showing something approaching common sense (In the midst of their lying, bogus "The people support a 3rd bridge and loot rail system" articles) they again illustrate the Broken Clock Syndrome by nailing President Bush for his violation of free-market principles, if nothing else.



In our view, Dec. 21: A Bad Bailout
GM, Chrysler get a big boost from Bush, but the plan is packed with potential for failure

Sunday, December 21 1:00 a.m.

Now Americans understand why the Big Three automakers — though desperate when appearing before Congress last month — were not more yielding in those discussions. They knew that President Bush likely would come to their rescue. That’s what happened on Friday when Bush presented $17.4 billion in rescue loans to General Motors and Chrysler. (Ford doesn’t need emergency assistance … yet.)

Although this plan offers hope for survival of domestic automakers, there remain numerous areas of skepticism that should cause Americans great concern:

One of the conditions this relief plan forces upon GM and Chrysler is mystifying, if not absurd. Here’s how The Associated Press explains it: “If the carmakers fail to prove viability by March 31, they will be required to repay the loans, which they would find all but impossible. A firm will be deemed viable only if it can show positive cash flow and can fully repay the government loans.

”Say what? Imagine your bank threatening you with this laughable scenario: “If you can’t come up with any money, we’ll force you to pay back this loan!” Only in this case, it’s billions of public dollars.

More:
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Light rail fans: more proof that light rail is a waste of money.

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So, we get a little snow. What else do we get? Almost the entirely of Portland's loot rail system down and being replaced with.... buses.

Imagine what Portland COULD have done with the wasted hundreds of millions they've blown on this unnecessary and unwanted pig.

oregoncatalyst.com is reporting that most of Max is down and so's AmTrak.

Man, that kind of thing just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about the $4 BILLION waste the Downtown Mafia want to ram down our throats to get their light rail across the river... even though they know we don't want it.

Fast, efficient, COST EFFECTIVE transportation systems would be welcomed. Since light rail is none of those, then we shouldn't add to the stupidity inherent in replacing a bridge that doesn't need replacing so special interests deaf to the pleas of the people can get what they want over our objections.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

The buzz increases: the buses are circling Rahm

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As I mentioned here on the 17th, I believed that Rahm Emanual, President-Elect Obama's Chief of Staff, would be thrown under a bus in an effort to deflect scrutiny from his own actions in the Blago mess.

Well, it looks like Obama may be circling the buses. Expect Rahm to be gone... and soon.

Senate-for-sale case threatens new chief of staff

By BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE and TAMMY WEBBER, Associated Press Writers Brett J. Blackledge And Tammy Webber, Associated Press Writers – Sat Dec 20, 6:41 pm ET AP – In this Dec. 1, 2008 file photo, White House Chief of Staff designate Rahm Emanuel listens to President-elect … CHICAGO – Gov. Rod Blagojevich is legendary in Illinois political circles for not picking up the phone or returning calls, even from important figures like the state's senior senator, Dick Durbin.

But there was always one call Blagojevich regularly took, say his aides, and that was from Rahm Emanuel — his congressman, his one-time campaign adviser and, more recently — and troubling for Emanuel — one of his contacts with President-elect Barack Obama's transition staff.

The friendly rapport Blagojevich and Emanuel shared over the years has suddenly become a troubling liability for Emanuel and the new president he will serve as chief of staff.

Emanuel and Obama have remained silent about what, if anything, Emanuel knew of the governor's alleged efforts to peddle Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Emanuel did contact the governor's office about the appointment and left Blagojevich with the impression that he was pushing Valerie Jarrett, a close Obama friend, so he wouldn't have to compete with her in the White House for Obama's attention, said a person close to Blagojevich. The person was not authorized to talk about the governor's discussions regarding the vacancy and requested anonymity.

AP – In this Dec. 1, 2008 file photo, White House Chief of Staff designate Rahm Emanuel listens to President-elect …

It was not clear whether Blagojevich inferred Emanuel's motive for advocating Jarrett, or whether Emanuel discussed the appointment with Blagojevich directly or with John Harris, the governor's then-chief of staff who also is charged in the case, according to the source.

Emanuel's refusal to discuss the matter publicly, and the few comments offered by Obama to date, have prompted questions about Emanuel's ties to Blagojevich and what fallout he'll face as the criminal case unfolds, although sources have said he is not a target of prosecutors. Even so, any hint of scandal for Emanuel threatens to tarnish Obama's promise of new political leadership free of scandal and corruption.

More:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nope, it was too much to hope for: Bush caves in to the UAW.

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Just yesterday, there were hopeful signs that Mr. Bush was going to use his head and let the auto manufacturers go under.


I'm sitting here watching the President put a foot-thick layer of lipstick on the UAW pig.

The American people do NOT want ADDITIONAL BILLIONS wasted. And the UAW deserves to collapse.

True colors, Mr. President. You're showing them.
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Gregoire throws "No-Choice Royce" a bone: A few bucks for the waterfront, but nothing for his light rail project.

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It's bizarre and ironic that Royce Pollard would waste $4 Billion to get a $700 million dollar, "camel's-nose-under-the-tent-flap" light rail project that nobody wants, but that's the cold, harsh, reality confronting us all today.

For whatever the reason, the Mayor of America's Vancouver would saddle each resident of Clark County with an equivalent tax debt of $10,000 or so each, so that the brochures for this thriving metropolis could have a picture of a light rail train on the cover; in this instance, a train unable to move because of weather.

The plan is to replace a bridge that does not need replacing, and then to charge the 60,000 or so people that need both the I-5 and I-205 bridges to go to work only an additional $100 or so per month for the privilege, all to get light rail in here.

This plan will do absolutely nothing to address congestion; Portland's congestion issues even with their massive, over-budget and criminal-laden light rail system is legendary and worse then Seattle's, which acknowledges that a completed, multi-billion dollar waste of money known as light rail will do nothing to reduce congestion. Nor will it have any impact on freight mobility, the only other justified reason to expend transportation dollars outside of safety... and no one has shown where the I-5 bridge is unsafe, or certainly unsafe to the point where it needs to be replaced as opposed to repaired or retro-fitted.

No, in the minds of the Downtown Mafia, the bridge has to go in favor of something light rail compatible. Never mind that we're in an economic meltdown or that officials everywhere have been told their isn't any money for this. They keep chugging away, wasting $10's of millions for planning that could go elsewhere and actually make a difference besides in consultant's Porsche payments; all for a bridge that will never get built.

Yesterday, the Governor released a budget that will hopefully drive a stake through the heart of this waste monster... for in the budget was absolutely not one dime for the bridge, if our erstwhile bridge/light rail, cheerleaders, aka the Columbian, are to be believed.

Hopefully, between the lack of cash and the new GOP majority on the county commission, we can bury this steaming pile of waste once and for all... and start looking at 3rd bridge possibilities that reflect the changing demographic of our county.



Plan includes money for waterfront but not bridge
Thursday, December 18 9:27 p.m.

BY JEFFREY MIZE
COLUMBIAN STAFF WRITER

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget includes money for the Columbia River waterfront and a state Highway 500 interchange, but nothing for a new Interstate 5 bridge.

“We assume it continues, but we don’t have additional dollars to fund it,” Gregoire said about the Columbia River Crossing during a conference call with The Columbian Thursday.

Gregoire, a Democrat who begins her second four-year term next month, promised three months ago to include $3.1 million in her budget for infrastructure improvements to open up the former 32-acre Boise Cascade site.

Gregoire said she put that amount in her capital budget for the coming biennium, money the city of Vancouver could use to support a large-scale project that could attract $1.2 billion in private investment and generate millions in tax receipts for state and local governments.

The city has identified $38.6 million in rail, road and utility improvements and pledged $15.5 million to the project. Developers have agreed to chip in $8 million, and state lawmakers already approved $910,000.

More:

Now, chances that the waterfront project will attract $1.2 billion worth of anything are only exceeded by chances of common sense prevailing at both city hall and the newspaper; in short, zero.

The city's moronic tax structure; their strong arm tactics on local projects, their wasteful spending on subsidizing the Hilton for millions of taxpayer dollars (so far) with millions of taxpayer dollars to go; their head tax and all the nonsense that goes with it... all of that combine to give pause to anyone investing in the new and improved (but still largely vacant) slum that is downtown Vancouver, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Southwest Washington.

The only bone I have to pick with the Governor's budget is the waste of $52 million on an unneeded (compared to, say, the 134th Ave debacle in Salmon Creek, which didn't seem to get any money, or none that was mentioned, at least) new SR 500 interchange at St. Johns.

We're still looking to make up for the wasted time during the OTHER $50 million blown on the VanMall and Andresen interchanges; unneeded, unwanted and unnecessary to those of us who use them every day... just like we used them every day BEFORE they were tore up and replaced with feats of engineering instead of traffic light coordination.

But all in all, I'll settle for this over the massive, colossal and unnecessary waste advocated by the downtowners in favor of their massive boondoggle known as the I-5 Bridge replacement.
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

But not by me: Frugal state budget hated by almost everybody

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I've publicly stated in the past, though not on this blog, that there was no way that Gov. Gregoire would not raise our taxes to balance the gapping maw of a budget deficit.

I stand corrected.

Our taxes will definitely be raised, because as this article points out, many (and unions in particular) are incapable of understand that our economy is a shambles. They could care less that thousands are becoming unemployed every week... they want what they want, no matter how badly the rest of us have to suffer for them to get it.

Unions don't give a damn about anyone or anything but themselves. If they did, there would at least be a spirit of compromise... a pragmatic understanding that our entire state is suffering, and as public servants, unions have to share in that pain.

I have yet to see anything that indicates they get it.

The question I have is this: Is this budget political eyewash?

Gov. Gregoire HAS the ability to make sure that this budget, substantially unaltered, becomes the financial plan for this state.

All she has to do is hold a press conference tomorrow and tell the world the following:

"I will veto any budget that doesn't closely match my proposals."

If she FAILS to do that... and soon... then we'll know that this effort was eyewash.

We'll keep a close watch on her. Will she get testicular on Frank and Lisa's buttocks?

Frugal state budget hated by almost everybody

By CHRIS McGANN
P-I CAPITOL CORRESPONDENT

OLYMPIA -- Unacceptable.

That's what advocates for education, health and social programs called the $3 billion in cuts Gov. Chris Gregoire proposes in a no-new taxes plan for bridging a $5.8 billion budget shortfall.

"For low income individuals and families, this is sort of the nightmare before Christmas," said human services lobbyist Nick Federici. "The elimination of the General Assistance- Unemployable program, which is financial assistance for the lowest of the low income -- along with their mental health and health care benefits, elimination of a substantial portion of the basic health plan, cutting housing assistance by one half -- I think this is going to be devastating for not just the low income but working families that rely on a lot of these type of programs particularly in these tough economic times."

The criticism of Gregoire's budget comes as no surprise. Gregoire said of her own budget: "I hate it ...Nothing went untouched, and I've told people whom I respect and admire and who have folks that are going to be dramatically by this budget, 'You're going to hate it.' I've told Legislators, 'You are going to hate my budget. There's something in there for everybody not to like.'"

More:
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Is he finally using his head? Bush may let Detroit go bust.

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I've had a word or two to say about what looked like the utter folly of Mr. Bush bailing out the United Auto Workers, the union equivalent of Iran as the GOP is the equivalent of Israel.

Bailing out the UAW makes absolutely no sense. Toyota sold 9.3 million cars and made $17 billion. As has been pointed out, last calender year, GM sold 9.3 million cars and lost $37 billion.

Bailing out such an organization makes no business sense at all.

Finally, apparently, Mr. Bush has figured it out: there is precisely no percentage; either business or political, in saving this particular political foe from committing fiscal suicide.

Bankruptcy would effectively break the UAW. And that would be best for the automobile makers specifically and the country as a whole.

Bush may let Detroit go bust
President weighs option of 'orderly' auto bankruptcy
By JENNIFER LOVENTHE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is looking at "orderly" bankruptcy as a possible way to deal with the desperately ailing U.S. auto industry, the White House said Thursday as automakers readied more plant closings and a half-million new jobless claims underscored the deteriorating national economy.

With General Motors, Chrysler and the rest of Detroit anxiously awaiting a White House decision on billions of dollars in emergency federal loans, press secretary Dana Perino said it wasn't simply a choice between government rescue and the disastrous collapse of a major industry.

"There's an orderly way to do bankruptcies that provides for more of a soft landing," she said. "I think that's what we would be talking about."

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Gays throwing a fit over Obama's choice of Warren... and why it doesn't matter.

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Look.... President-Elect Obama has been trying to get us to believe that he will govern from the center.

Now, that's as likely as Vlad. Lenin trying to get a 7-11 franchise, but he's at least going through the motions. And who knows? If Mr. Obama can avoid indictment, at least for awhile, we may get the opportunity to find out.

That said, the more gullible among the left (which means almost every leftist, since to be a leftist speaks to a high level of gullibility to begin with) actually believed that their support of The One would translate into something akin to power. Any thinking sentient being would have known that at about 8:01 pm election night, the left would be kicked to the curb precisely like they were in 2006, when democrats promised the left the moon AND $2 to support them, because, for example, THEY would "end the war in Iraq."

How's that working for them?

The President-Elect's choice of Rick Warren was a brilliant political stroke in a regime that has, so far, shown little brilliance in their handling of the more mundane issues confronting us, such as the Blago Affair, high political buffoonery that even my degree in government couldn't prepare me for.

Warren, author of the massive best-seller "The Purpose Driven Life," was an element of the campaign cycle by virtue of the candidates appearances at Saddleback Church... an appearance that highlighted Mr. Obama's lack of substantive courage of his particular convictions when he indicated that the question of abortion had to be "settled by someone above my pay grade."

By choosing Warren, Mr. Obama hopes to extend the facade of center-governance... for at least awhile.

Leftists generally, and gays specifically, have been throwing a hissy fit since the people of California re-established the "one-man, one-woman" definition of marriage with Prop 8.

So... what's it all mean?

Gay leaders furious with Obama
By & 12/17/08 5:59 PM EST

Barack Obama’s choice of a prominent evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that — in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California — is looking for a fight.

Rick Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, opposes abortion rights but has taken more liberal stances on the government's role in fighting poverty, and backed away from other evangelicals’ staunch support for economic conservatism. But it’s his support for the California constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that drew the most heated criticism from Democrats Wednesday.

Rick Warren, Obama’s pick to give the inaugural invocation, backed the California ban on same-sex marriage.
Photo: AP


“Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans,” the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, wrote to Obama Wednesday. “[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.

The rapid, angry reaction from a range of gay activists comes as the gay rights movement looks for an opportunity to flex its political muscle. Last summer gay groups complained, but were rebuffed by Obama, when an “ex-gay” singer led Obama’s rallies in South Carolina. And many were shocked last month when voters approved the California ban.

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The "why it doesn't matter" aspect is simple political math.

First, the left has, once again, been hosed. That's what they're there for: to get hosed. The fact is that 4 years from now, no one will care who gave the invocation at Mr. Obama's inauguration.

Second, the gay community is neither all that large nor all that powerful.

Third... where else do they really have to go?

Gays are taken for granted as much as minorities when it comes to the vote. The GOP's idiotic lack of focus with minority outreach cedes the minority vote; year after year, election after election.

But in the end, the gay voter has no place else to go. Mr. Obama and the democrats know that; even the faux outrage of the gay community over the Warren selection does nothing to cover that fact.

It's pragmatic politics, folks. And kicking the gay community to the curb after each election is just par for this particular course.

Simple, really.