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Join the informed, opinionated journalists of The Times' editorial staff in lively discussions at our blog Ed Cetera.

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February 28, 2008 4:15 PM

Natural-born conundrum

Posted by Lance Dickie

No word yet from the GOP's strict constructionists - those folks who insist the country be guided by what the founders wrote - but I do not think Arizona Sen. John McCain is trying to pull a fast one.

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February 28, 2008 2:30 PM

Our prison population has finally surpassed China's

Posted by Lynne Varner

China, with its appalling lack of regard for basic human rights, will enjoy the news that the United States now leads the world in number and percentage of people in prison. China comes in a distant second, according to a report from the nonpartisan Pew Center on the States.

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February 28, 2008 1:28 PM

No Tax Break for Server Farms

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

Business taxes should be set so that industry can afford them--at least, the industry you want. But why would this region want to attract Internet server farms? Unlike my colleague Kate Riley, I am not convinced they are worth any favors from the state.

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February 28, 2008 10:32 AM

Cluelessness Squared

Posted by Joni Balter

Almost every day, I wake up and ask myself, "Is George Bush really still president?" And then I go on with the day, hoping he won't do anything too embarrassing.
Today, Mr. Bush held a press conference and proved how out of touch he can be.

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February 28, 2008 8:18 AM

So far quiet federal races in hinterlands

Posted by Kate Riley

Though the race for the east-of-Lake Washington congressional seat held by Republican Dave Reichert already is burning hot, the state's other two Republican members of Congress east of the Cascades aren't having to break much of a sweat.

It's a good bet this will be a strong year for Democrats, so Reichert's challenger Darcy Burner will give him another tough battle. But the Democrats surfacing to challenge Republican fixture Doc Hastings of Pasco in the 4th district and Cathy McMorris-Rodgers in the 5th aren't raising much money or generating much interest out of the region.

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February 27, 2008 3:49 PM

Don't know much about history or much about anything at all

Posted by Lynne Varner

A New York Times story reminds us of the delicate balance in public education to produce smart, well-rounded graduates. A national survey by an organization promoting liberal arts education found that most American students have a feeble grasp on history and literature.

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February 27, 2008 1:55 PM

Privileged Haulers of Trash

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

Ventenbergs v. Seattle came down last week from the Washington Supreme Court. The issue was whether a man who had a business hauling construction waste to city dumps had a constitutional right to do that, or whether the City of Seattle could pass a law giving all the construction-waste business to Waste Management and Rabanco. The court’s liberal wing, in a decision by Justice Pro Tem Bobbe Bridge, said the city could create a corporate garbage duopoly if it wanted.

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February 27, 2008 12:40 PM

Favoritism in economic development?

Posted by Kate Riley

Remember how ga-ga the state went a few years back when Boeing was looking around the country at other sites to assemble what become the 787? Billions of dollars in tax breaks offered, Boeing decided there was not place like home and designated its Everett facility.

Seems like House Democrats are not extending the same urgent attention to Microsoft in a proposal to give sales tax breaks on equipment for server farms in Eastern Washington. The Yakima Herald-Republic makes a good argument for breaks, while dressing down Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, D-Seattle.

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February 26, 2008 12:38 PM

That shocking photo!

Posted by Lance Dickie

There he is, all dressed up, ready to cavort with the very people enraged by the U.S. presence in Iraq. Frankly, I am appalled!

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February 26, 2008 9:00 AM

Ooh-ouch sleazy

Posted by Joni Balter

The photo of Barack Obama released on the Drudge Report this week is a sign of desperation, especially because the report's author says it was provided by the swimming-upstream Clinton campaign.

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February 26, 2008 12:07 AM

Thoughts on Hillary and Obama

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

Here is Frank Rich of the New York Times. He blames the implosion of Hillary Clinton's campaign on her inept advisers, saying they managed her campaign poorly. Maybe they did mess up; no doubt Rich has been paying more attention to the details of her campaign than I have. But I find his insider explanation entirely unconvincing.

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February 25, 2008 2:23 PM

The Young Ones

Posted by Ryan Blethen

A new poll on voters younger than 30 found that they are pumped up about the presidential election. This is obvious to anybody that has been on a college campus recently or has been to Happy Hour with 20-something colleagues.

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February 25, 2008 11:10 AM

A Barack Obama Assassination?

Posted by Lynne Varner

The possibility, however remote, exists in enough minds to garner a story on our front page today. The story explains that many baby boomers have some recollection, dim or vivid, of the dark days following the John F. Kennedy assassination. They remember that before Americans could recapture their innocence, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were gunned down.

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February 22, 2008 5:15 PM

Health Care: the Billion-Dollar Dreams

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

Here is the first bill I’ve seen in Olympia with a projected cost in excess of $100 billion over the next decade. It is Senate Bill 6221, whose prime sponsor is Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines. Also sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle. It is a “universal coverage” medical care bill, called a bill to “establish a Washington Health Partnership.”

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February 22, 2008 4:55 PM

Ron Paul's Stronghold: By the 49th Parallel

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

The campaign of Texas Republican Ron Paul, the antiwar constitutionalist and small-l libertarian, won no states, it did the best in the states touching the Canadian border, among the caucus states in Alaska (17%), Washington (21.5%), Montana (24.5%), North Dakota (21%), Minnesota (15.6%) and Maine (18%), and among primary states, in New Hampshire (8%).

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February 22, 2008 2:25 PM

A whack job at any speed

Posted by Lance Dickie


Will someone please get Ralph Nader hooked on video games or painting little ceramic villages. Wait, I know, turn him into a Civil War buff, and he can spend weekends reenacting history.
Please, please distract him from these goofy, egotistical runs for president.

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February 22, 2008 10:38 AM

Attribution that doesn't need a xerox

Posted by Joni Balter

Sen Hillary Clinton hoped to score big points in recent days by pointing out that rival Sen. Barack Obama made a mistake when he borrowed part of a speech delivered by his friend, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

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February 21, 2008 4:25 PM

Denny's, preserved

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

So the Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board has voted to declare the former Denny's restaurant in Ballard an historic landmark, against the wishes of the owner, who wants to tear it down and build something else. I'm with the owner, on three counts.

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February 21, 2008 3:31 PM

Test Prep Cheats?

Posted by Lynne Varner

One sign that in the effort to gain the academic edge, many have lost their minds - not to mention their sense of fair play - comes from news that the College Board is suing a test-prep company for stealing SAT questions.

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February 20, 2008 3:55 PM

Bragging rights

Posted by Lance Dickie


Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is running for a third term. If he has any declared challengers they do not come to mind. For all of the sins of omission or commission any incumbent must answer for, Hizzoner has a recyclable, compostable, biodegradable claim to being the greenest mayor in the country.

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February 20, 2008 2:56 PM

Knute Berger's Big Houses

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

In Crosscut, Knute Berger opines on the affordability of housing. Riffing off the recent UW study that said the county’s growth management program had raised prices by $200,000 per house, Berger said, “I have little doubt that the GMA has been responsible for some cost increase — it does, after all, ration developable land. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to blame the GMA for the lack of affordability. For one thing, the market and consumer tastes have a lot to do with the problem.”

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February 20, 2008 1:41 PM

"The Obama Delusion"

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

Robert Samuelson, the Washington Post's economics columnist, says here what I was thinking about for a column. (It pays in this business to be first.) It is not that Barack Obama offers no specifics. He does offer them--a few in his speeches, and others on his web page, in previous statements, etc. It's just that they are not particularly new or bold. They are, for the most part, Hillary Clinton's positions, and the Democratic Party's positions. A lot of them simply amount to more free stuff from the government.

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February 20, 2008 12:40 PM

Have you thanked a school employee today?

Posted by Lynne Varner

Not just teachers although they deserve our gratitude for creating informed citizens of the world. I'm referring to custodians, bus drivers, instructional aides and food service workers without whom schools could make it to the end of the week.

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February 19, 2008 8:51 PM

I love Wisconsin

Posted by Jim Vesely


Is the boulder still in the middle of the town square in Boulder Junction? Wisconsin is among the most interesting of our states and close in many ways to Washington -- without the hills or mountains. Wisconsin is a blend of farms, industry and walleye fishing,. The state is also the home of formative political waves -- an agrarian populist movement in the early half of the last century, and a senator named McCarthy in the middle of the 20th Century.

But I love the state, and the stem of towns from Elk Horn to Tomahawk, up to Rhinelander and Lac du Flambeau. Recreational Wisconsin has been affected by retirement Wisconsin north of Appleton and industrialized in the south. Wisconsin is just a bit north of the highly industrialized states of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, but it remains an American original in its character as a Great Lakes province.

The fact that Sen. Barak Obama could win this state on the Democratic side, and win with such authority sasys a great deal about the way the Midwest thinks, and what the country decides.

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February 19, 2008 8:44 PM

What's your definition of Democrat?

Posted by Kate Riley

Very early Washington state primary returns show Democratic presidential candidates Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton neck and neck -- in sharp contrast to Obama's breathtaking win in the Feb. 9 caucuses.

The state Democratic party decided it would allocate all of its all its delegates based on the desires of fired-up caucus-goers on Feb. 9. The party is completely ignoring the soccer/basketball moms and dads who couldn't get out from under their heavy Saturday plate of sporting events and birthday party chauffeuring.

People juggling stiflingly busy lives or those too shy or infirm to attend the caucuses can easily participate in the primary.

I wrote an editorial for the Times a couple weeks ago urging Washington's superdelegates to heed the caucus goers and cast their votes for Obama. Even though the primary doesn't count in delegate allocation, the message to superdelegates certainly would be a different one if Clinton widens her razor-thin lead over Obama in the state's presidential primary -- or even keeps it.


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February 19, 2008 8:08 PM

Put A Fork In It

Posted by Joni Balter

Many people expected Barack Obama to win Wisconsin, but not by the margin he seems to have nailed this evening - 55 to 44 percent. For Hillary Clinton, she is 0-and-9 in the last nine contests and all but out of gas.

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February 19, 2008 2:19 PM

A New Light-Rail Tax?

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

Mayor Greg Nickels was in to the Times editorial board today, and let out an idea I hadn’t heard. Nickels is thinking of creating some kind of city taxing district to support the construction of light rail from Husky Stadium to Northgate. Nickels, of course, is also chairman of Sound Transit, which is building the light-rail line from the airport to the north end of downtown. Sound Transit is planning to extend that line to Husky Stadium but doesn’t have the money to go farther than that. Probably it will ask voters for the money, but it may not do so as soon as Nickels would like. Therefore, Nickels is thinking of how the city might kick in some money to get construction started.

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February 19, 2008 9:33 AM

Hopping mad at the parties

Posted by Joni Balter

My Sunday column in the newspaper advocating that Washington ditch the caucuses and embrace a state primary struck a nerve.

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February 17, 2008 12:26 PM

On Needing PBS

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

A writer for the New York Times, here, questions whether the Public Broadcasting System is needed any longer, now that we have so many cable channels. It is a good question, but I would ask it in a different way: should government continue to subsidize PBS? I never liked the idea of government involvement in news and entertainment, and sometimes jokingly call PBS "State Television." Of course, it is much, much better than state television in countries in which the government directly controls the media. The programs I've seen (most lately, "Cheney's Law") have not been propaganda for the state. Still, if PBS could survive on citizen and private-sector money, including foundation grants, it would be a healthy thing.

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February 16, 2008 2:54 PM

Own Up, Progressives!

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

In response to my Feb 14 posting, “The Cost of Land Restriction,” Barrett writes, “All this balderdash about government regulation adding to the price of housing is, at its root, a big lie.” No, it is not. His logic is typical of Seattle progressives who have taken a class in economics and still don’t get it.

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February 15, 2008 3:45 PM

Grass may not be greener, but house prices are lower

Posted by Kate Riley

Today, I received an interesting email from the state's Tri-Cities labor market economist that contained some data about eye-poppingly low housing prices in southeast Washington.

Economist Dean Schau's "Tri-City Economic Update" for February was particularly interesting after the Seattle Times' page 1 story Thursday about a UW economist that found housing regulation can dramatically boost the cost of housing. In the Puget Sound area, the impact is as much as $200,000 in Seattle.

Read this report excerpt and weep, potential Seattle homebuyers.

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February 15, 2008 8:08 AM

Zeroes in Zimbabwe

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

The Arab news channel Aljazeera has this story on the planet's newest hyperinflationary state. The inflation rate in the African dictatorship is 66,000 percent a year. What is amusing in the story is the final paragraph, in which the writer lists what the government in Harare is doing about it.

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February 14, 2008 12:42 PM

Numbers that bite

Posted by Joni Balter

A delicate dance is under way between Washington State Democrats and the Washington State Republican Party. Democrats are eager to release the number of voters - a big number - who participated in last Saturday's presidential caucuses. "200,000',' bellowed Democrats shortly after caucuses concluded. No, wait, 250,000, they said as the week dragged on.

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February 14, 2008 10:40 AM

The price of not regulating land

Posted by Lance Dickie

Happy Birthday, Oregon. Happy 149th. The timing is a nice segue with the Page One story in The Times about the link between land-use regulations and expensive Seattle housing prices.
Oregon pioneered many of the progressive growth management tools eventually employed by other states. Lost in the dim history of Oregon's Senate Bill 100 is the high cost - actual dollars and cents, not spiritual burden - of unregulated growth.

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February 14, 2008 8:23 AM

The Cost of Land Restriction

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

The Times’ page-one story today is hugely important: our zoning, land-use regulations, and especially the urban growth boundary instituted in the early 1990s, are major causes of the run-up in house prices, which went from a median of about $140,000 to about $485,000 in 17 years. Most Seattle progressives, who have supported the increased control of land use for environmental reasons, don’t get this. They look at the house prices, they point to the increase in population, and their brains stop. Population growth did it. Microsoft did it. The Growth Management Act is innocent.

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February 13, 2008 2:33 PM

To the finish line

Posted by Joni Balter

The presidential election is 264 days away. I don't know how any candidate sustains interest and enthusiam until November.

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February 12, 2008 4:55 PM

Is the Seattle School District suddenly awash in money?

Posted by Lynne Varner

The answer is no, but someone must think taxpayers are. The agenda for Wednesday evening's School Board meeting includes eye-popping requests for enormous sums for school construction.

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February 12, 2008 2:23 PM

Clinton, Bill that is, lacks press coverage

Posted by Ryan Blethen

The latest index of press coverage by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) shows that former President Bill Clinton is receiving significantly less coverage since the South Carolina primary.

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February 12, 2008 10:02 AM

Intervene in Kosovo?

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

Let's not. In 1999, in the Clinton administration, the United States committed acts of war against Serbia--bombing--for more than two months, over the Kosovo question. One of Clinton's aides--Sandy Berger, I believe it was--said later that Clinton had come very close to sending in U.S. troops. All of this over a matter that did not concern U.S. security or any U.S. vital interest, as Sen. Slade Gorton said at the time.

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February 11, 2008 5:42 PM

The Indefensible Sex Offender

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

In his syndicated column Monday, Neil Peirce criticizes sex-offender laws that restrict where a released prisoner can live, and that put a scarlet letter on him. I’m glad to see Peirce’s argument.

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February 11, 2008 12:55 PM

Obama wins a Grammy, can an Oscar be far behind?

Posted by Lynne Varner

During a whirlwind weekend in which the U.S. Senator from Illinois won contests in Nebraska, Louisiana, the Virgin Islands, Maine and here in Washington state, Barack Obama won a Grammy last night.

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February 11, 2008 11:50 AM

State GOP no (heart) Huckabee?

Posted by Lance Dickie

An apology is simply not sufficient to make amends to presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. A recount is in order. Perhaps two.
The state Republican Party's performance during the caucuses was shocking - shocking, I say. The arrogant imperium of unelected officials who tamper with the will of the people is breathtaking!

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February 11, 2008 9:18 AM

New TVs for Romney supporters

Posted by Joni Balter

Ok, so democracy is messy and imperfect, caucus voting even more so. But can somebody tell me what happened to the caucus goers who showed up Saturday and gave former Massachusetts Gov.Mitt Romney 17 percent of the Republican delegates?

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February 10, 2008 6:11 PM

Obama sweeps up states

Posted by Kate Riley

Barak Obama cleaned up this weekend, not just here in Washington either. On Saturday, while Washington Democrats were voting 2-1 for Obama over Hillary Clinton, Democrats in Louisiana and Nebraska followed suit.

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February 10, 2008 1:41 AM

A Ferment Among Republicans

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

The Democratic caucuses are getting the most attention, because the Obama-Clinton race is closer and also, I think, because more news people are interested in that race, because they sympathize with it and think the Democratic ticket will win in November. Probably it will. But for my money the more interesting outcome of Saturday’s caucuses was in the Republican Party. That party has a putative nominee already, John McCain, who was flanked in newspaper photos by our state’s highest elected Republican, Attorney General Rob McKenna, and by former Sen. Slade Gorton. And McCain won the caucuses’ preference poll, as follows, with 87.2% of the precincts counted:

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February 8, 2008 5:34 PM

Update on Property Rights

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights, a group originally formed to fight land-use regulations in rural King County, had its first annual banquet Thursday night. Some 340 people showed up. The group ate a chicken-and-roast beef dinner under a big banner that read, “Private Property is the Basis of Freedom.”

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February 8, 2008 2:05 PM

Oh-Bah-Mah!, Hill-A-Ry!

Posted by Lance Dickie

Oh-Bah-Mah!, Hill-A-Ry!

Two impressive presidential campaigns sent lightening bolts of political charisma through Puget Sound. Too bad the outcome is not about the most capable charm offensive.

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February 8, 2008 12:46 PM

Shame on 37th Legislative District Republicans

Posted by Lynne Varner

First, I'm stunned they exist. The district spanning Capitol Hill and Seattle's South End isn't a GOP base or even a gleam in the party's eye. So caucus organizers should be embarassed for trying to bully college students seeking to cover their event.

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February 8, 2008 11:36 AM

Really breaking the glass ceiling

Posted by Kate Riley

Today Gov. Chris Gregoire became the third female governor to endorse Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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February 8, 2008 9:51 AM

Robo Redial: Gregoire backs Obama

Posted by Joni Balter

You can practically hear the tires screeching at state Republican Party headquarters. The campaign to stoke Republican passions by linking presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and incumbent Gov. Christine Gregoire should be coming to a halt. Gregoire is not synonymous with Clinton. This morning, she endorsed Barack Obama.

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February 7, 2008 1:57 PM

Islam in the West

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Can Islamic communities work in the West? An important question that Peter Hopkins raised on the Big Think blog today.

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February 7, 2008 12:51 PM

The Downside of Biofuels

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

A couple of new studies, written about here, here and here, have concluded that biofuels—meaning ethanol and biodiesel—put more stress on the natural environment than people had thought. It's a slow-down signal for the biofuels movement.

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February 6, 2008 3:26 PM

Universal Coverage: What It Costs

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

What would medical coverage for the uninsured cost? Its advocates often talk as if it would cost little or nothing. They say we are paying already, that getting preventive care would save billions, etc. Well, here is Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s universal-coverage bill, House Bill 2640, as sponsored by Reps. Eileen Cody, D-Seattle, Steve Conway, D-Tacoma, Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, and others, as calculated by the state’s Office of Financial Management:

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February 6, 2008 9:09 AM

Winning the big one

Posted by Joni Balter

The beauty of a presidential primary or caucus lies in an individual voter's right to pick a favorite candidate. Part of the calculus also has to be: Can this person win in November?

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February 5, 2008 10:17 PM

Historic moment in the West

Posted by Joni Balter

Did you ever think you would live to see the day that Barack Obama would win big in Idaho and Utah, and a variety of other states?
Did you ever think a man who is half African American would get the nomination for president from Democrats in two states with such huge populations of white voters?

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February 5, 2008 10:01 PM

re: VeePee Huckabee

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Not sure I agree with you Lance. Huckabee might bring McCain some of those Southern votes, but he might drive away the moderates McCain will need to beat the Democratic nominee.

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February 5, 2008 9:08 PM

VeePee Huckabee

Posted by Lance Dickie

So who is the smoking hot Republican coming out of mind-numbing Stupor Tuesday? No, not John McCain with his hefty delegate count. (Too obvious.) Certainly not Mitt Romney, the walking debit card.

Give it up for the Jenny Craig of the GOP, Mr. I-lost-the-weight-and-kept-it-off, the lean, the affable, the former governor of Arkansas and future vice presidential nominee...


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February 5, 2008 9:01 PM

re Washington matters

Posted by Kate Riley

Joni called it early. Washington absolutely still matters after Super Stupor Tsunami Tuesday or whatever you want to call it.

Who would have thought? Washington is a biggie in the next batch over the next two weeks. Expect the candidates to be beating a path to our state.

From the National Association of Secretaries of State, these are the next decision opportunities.

Chief among my questions for the candidates is:
Where will international trade fit in your priority list? That's especially for Democrats who bashed trade agreements through Midwest and South.

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February 5, 2008 8:44 PM

What a glorious day

Posted by Jim Vesely

What a glorious day that was. The day was a sunshine of colors in the western Sierras, east of Sacramento but close to the state's capitol and the emerging Republican majority that would change a country.Cong. John Dolittle spoke that morning of changing the image of the Californina flag from the Golden Bear to a 1849 miner, swishing for gold in the golden state. California's 4th Dist. is a sweep of glory, from the foothills, to Lake Tahoe to the Oregon border.

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February 5, 2008 8:42 PM

Barack Pie

Posted by Lynne Varner

Food is my passion. I read cook books the way others read novels. Checking out a new blog, The Root, I found a recipe in honor of Barack Obama

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February 5, 2008 8:12 PM

A national primarty -- not

Posted by Jim Vesely


Tonight, Super Tuesday, proves to me we don't need or want a national primary. The argument is the individual character of the states vs. national hemogeny. We are still a united country, but Nevada is different than Alabama, and the individual states' primaries have the effect of distinguishing us from the custard pie of a single political carapace.

The states are wonderful and different, we don't need to fold them into the same stew.

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February 5, 2008 8:11 PM

re: Furball

Posted by Kate Riley

Jim, you are right about no apparent victims. I'm struck by the number of apparent victors. The parade of candidates giving victory speeches -- so far, Huckabee, Romney and Clinton -- seems timed to send East Coast voters off to bed with the impression that whoever they voted for or are rooting for has the nomination in the bag.

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February 5, 2008 7:41 PM

Furball

Posted by Jim Vesely

Air Force pilots and Naval aviators describe what happened tonight on Super Tuesday as a "Furball", a dogfight that is whirling around without apparant victims -- yet. I find the rise of Gov. Huckabee amazing, and am willing to concede that Arkansas is indeed the home of presidents. But, and it's a very big but, if Conservatives can swallow their anguish and follow McCain, I believe they will still have a voice in the November election; otherwise, they will be sidelined by the progressives and the independents.

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February 5, 2008 7:16 PM

The Sanchez sisters hold the key in California

Posted by Lynne Varner

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February 5, 2008 7:12 PM

Split vote in California governor's mansion

Posted by Kate Riley

I went poking around to see what California newspapers are saying about the primary there and was surprised to learn that Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's endorsement for John McCain didn't hold much sway even in his own house.

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February 5, 2008 6:59 PM

GOP tag team??

Posted by Kate Riley

I'm fascinated by what seems like a tag team between Huckabee and McCain supporters that showed up in West Virginia.

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February 5, 2008 6:06 PM

Washington matters

Posted by Joni Balter

Early returns from around the country prove what a lot of people have been saying - Washington's upcoming Feb, 9 caucuses matter.

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February 5, 2008 3:24 PM

Yes They Can

Posted by Lynne Varner

It takes a star to know one. It takes many stars to translate the zeitgeist of Barack Obama. And they do it well.

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February 5, 2008 1:57 PM

Got Veggies?

Posted by Lynne Varner

Local school districts are right to err on the side of caution and scrap beef until the U.S. Department of Agriculture completes its investigation. A videotape showing downer cows tortured on the way to slaughter has likely quelled appetite for beef anyway.

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February 5, 2008 12:00 PM

A recession? Probably yes

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

CNN reports that some economists are calling a recession. Probably this is so, and if it's not a recession, meaning two quarters of "negative growth," it's an almost-recession.

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February 4, 2008 4:00 PM

The OTHER primary

Posted by Kate Riley

Though Washington's Feb. 19 presidential primary is getting all the attention, Washington's other primary -- for local and state races -- might make some news on the same day or soon after.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected soon to announce its decision in the Washington State Grange v. Washington State Republican Party case it heard the first Monday in October. I'm hoping the Supremes side with Washington voters. In 2004, they overwhelmingly approved Initiative 872, embracing a ballot where the top two votegetters advanced to the general election, regardless of party.

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February 4, 2008 1:59 PM

Ooh-ouch Sculpture Garden

Posted by Joni Balter

Developer Martin Selig plans to build a 14-story apartment building along the northern edge of Seattle's new Olympic Sculpture Park. No doubt his new building will dramatically change the backdrop to the park's amphitheater, and in some ways, the feel of the park.

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February 4, 2008 7:00 AM

Wolf at the door

Posted by Jim Vesely

Here's an interesting comment from a reader on the national debates:

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February 1, 2008 12:20 PM

A Righty for Hillary

Posted by Lance Dickie

Ann Coulter, a grizzled laborer on the conservative-commentary production line, either has another book coming out or she needed a talking point. Those are the best explanations for her nod toward Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican John McCain.

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February 1, 2008 11:43 AM

The Kennebec Journal endorses...

Posted by Ryan Blethen

There has been a lot of debate among editorial writers about primary and caucus endorsements. Some editorialists argue that it is madness to endorse in both a Republican and Democratic primary and or caucus. I fall in the camp that editorial pages should endorse in both contests.

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February 1, 2008 10:36 AM

A Lefty for Obama

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

On behalf of the political left, Christopher Hayes argues for Barack Obama in The Nation. It frustrates him that Obama is running as a safe liberal, not an open progressive—the same, in other words, as Hillary Clinton. Neither Democrat is calling for an end to empire or the war on drugs. Neither, he points out, is saying that “America's suburbs and car culture are not sustainable modes of living in an era of expensive oil and global warming.” But the Chicago left remembers Obama as a kindred soul, a community organizer and a supporter of their causes in the Illinois legislature. When Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, their thought was, “He is one of us, and now he's in the Senate.” They thought they had their very own Paul Wellstone.

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