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August 13, 2008 12:36 PM

The R-word v. the N-word

Posted by Kate Riley

Some of today's best comedic actors -- Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. -- are starring in a movie that makes fun of egotistical actors. Clever device, actors making fun of actors.

But the movie, Tropic Thunder, also uses a slur repeatedly at the expense of people with developmental disabilities. The movie's repeated use of the word "retard" has stirred protests from disability rights organizations, including the Special Olympics and the American Assocation of People with Disabilities.

As the mother of a child with disabilities, I can't help but wonder why the R-word still does not have the same stigma as the N-word. Can you imagine a movie that uses the N-word in a similar way and the producers defend its use as "satire?" No. Such a movie would not be made.

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August 13, 2008 11:37 AM

Don't expect too much!

Posted by Joni Balter

Much of politics is about expectations. The expectation game for next Tuesday's primary has begun with a clear attempt to lower anticipated results for Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi. In the past, Rossi and many other candidates have used polling to gin up enthusiasm for fund-raising and all-around voter support. Now the Rossi camp is busy trying to lower expectations for the Aug. 19 primary with a press release that says, in essence, Democrats are better primary voters than Republicans.

"August 12, 2008
To: Interested Parties
From: Afton Swift, Dino Rossi Campaign Manager
Re: Washington state’s top two primary
With the top two primary a week away, no one quite knows what to expect or who will actually be turning out to vote. Other than the nonpartisan SPI race, the 3-way race for State Treasurer, and a few legislative primaries, there is nothing on the primary ballot this year to drive voter turnout. Secretary of State Sam Reed is projecting a 48% turnout for the primary, although early returns show the number may be lower.
In June our campaign sent out a memo that looks at historical voting trends in the Washington primary. We found in looking at past primaries that there has been a proportionately higher turnout by Democrats than Republicans. In 2004, Dino received only 34% of the total primary vote. In fact, since 1972 no Republican gubernatorial candidate has ever gotten the most votes in a primary, even though two have gone on to win the General Election.
Based on historical data and recent polling data, our campaign does not expect to win in the primary.
You will recall the July 9-10 Moore Information poll had the race at 45-45 for both candidates. In that same survey Christine Gregoire had a nine point lead among voters who have cast ballots in each of the last four elections: so called “perfect” or “four of four” voters. Obviously these are the voters most likely to vote in this primary:''

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August 13, 2008 8:36 AM

Gas pains

Posted by Lance Dickie

We all owe a great big debt of thanks to the oil companies, emerging economies, Wall Street speculators and political enablers who sent gasoline prices blazing past $4 per gallon. Thank you to the petro-bandits who had crude oil selling for $143 a barrel.

They changed things forever. No amount of nickel & dime erosion of prices at the gas pump will erase the hard lesson learned with $100 fill-ups. Consumers know their pocketbooks are vulnerable, and that $5 gasoline is as likely as $3.50 gasoline. The nasty spike in prices exploded the hypothetical and replaced it with grim reality.

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August 13, 2008 1:00 AM

Relax, an apology for slavery doesn't have to cost money

Posted by Lynne Varner

Much of the debate over a national apology for slavery comes down to fears that it would open America up to a strong case for monetary reparations. Well, you can keep my check.

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