Monday, December 31, 2012

Seattle: "What We Really Want to Hear from the Candidates Running for Mayor"

The Stranger Election Control Board:
The candidates running for mayor are mostly speaking in platitudes about their "leadership" and "vision." Those words mean nothing. Like, who wants a mayor who can't lead? They must lead—obviously—but we want to hear where they plan to lead us. Here are the policies they should get specific about and what we want our next mayor to say on each topic. MORE...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Seattle: "KLAY to carry Stephanie Miller/Thom Hartmann"

Chris Chronic (BlatherWatch):
Starting Mon, Jan 7th KLAY 1180  Lakewood will begin airing the Stephanie Miller Show 3-5p and Thom Hartmann 5-7 p, tape delayed and truncated by 1 hour each.  Currently, the Dennis Miller and Jerry Doyle shows fill that time slot.  There is a listen live link for those beyond the pale of KLAY's 5k/1k watt limited day-nite signal.

"Obama Accuses Republicans of Blocking Tax Compromise"

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times-"If a deal is reached, votes in the Senate could begin Sunday."
John Broder (WaPo):
“What is it about you, Mr. President,” Mr. Gregory asked, “that you think is so hard to say yes to?” “That’s something you’re probably going to have to ask them,” the president responded, “because David, you follow this stuff pretty carefully. The offers that I’ve made to them have been so fair that a lot of Democrats get mad at me. I mean I offered to make some significant changes to our entitlement programs in order to reduce the deficit. I offered not only a trillion dollars in — over a trillion dollars in spending cuts over the next 10 years, but these changes would result in even more savings in the next 10 years.” MORE...
Howie P.S.: John Broder?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Starbucks Fiscal Cliff Cup Campaign Urges Lawmakers To 'Come Together' On Deal" (with slideshow)

Lisa Baertlein (Reuters) via Huffington Post:
Starbucks Corp will use its ubiquitous coffee cups to tell U.S. lawmakers to come up with a deal to avoid going over the "fiscal cliff" and triggering automatic tax hikes and spending cuts. Chief Executive Howard Schultz is urging workers in Starbucks' roughly 120 Washington-area shops to write "come together" on customers' cups on Thursday and Friday, as U.S. President Barack Obama and lawmakers return to work and attempt to revive fiscal cliff negotiations that collapsed before the Christmas holiday. Starbucks' cup campaign aims to send a message to sharply divided politicians and serve as a rallying cry for the public in the days leading up to lawmakers' Jan. 1 deadline to deliver a plan to avert harsh across-the-board government spending reductions and tax increases that could send the United States back into recession. "We're paying attention, we're greatly disappointed in what's going on and we deserve better," Schultz told Reuters in a telephone interview. MORE...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Most Read On Seattle radio man Marty Riemer: ‘I felt like every day, I was lying’

Nicole Brodeur (
DJ Marty Riemer talks about his exit from radio station 103.7 The Mountain (KMTT). MORE...
Howie P.S.: Marty used to live across the street; we talked and nodded but never hung out.

Michael Moore: "Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns"

Michael Moore:
While we are discussing and demanding what to do, may I respectfully ask that we stop and take a look at what I believe are the three extenuating factors that may answer the question of why we Americans have more violence than most anyone else: MORE...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Obama Preempts NRA News Conference With Video on Gun Control" (video)

ReaderSupportedNews, with video (02:49):
In the days since the tragedy in Newtown, Americans from all over the country have called for action to deter mass shootings and reduce gun violence, and hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions on's We the People platform. In this video message, President Obama responds, explaining a comprehensive effort to come up with a broader set of serious proposals and encouraging Americans to continue their participation in this important process.

(Updated) Obama's "Christmas Style" (Psy - Christmas Video)

MerryXmasBaby, video (04:20):
Psy's one-time only performance of "Christmas Gangnam Style" from TNT's annual "Christmas in Washington" from the National Building Museum for the benefit of Children's National Medical Center. December 2012.
Howie P.S.: I don't think anybody or anything is going to top this for "Says It All About 2012."

"Will Obama Cry for Inner City Youth?"

President Obama wiped away a tear during a statement at the White House in which he addressed the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in Washington, December 14, 2012. (Photo: Luke Sharrett / The New York Times)

David Muhammad, New America Media:
Like President Obama and many others across the country, I too wiped away tears as I watched the horrifying news coverage of the tragic shootings in Newton, Conn. I immediately called my children who were still in school. I sat watching the television trying to fathom how I would respond if I got a call that a shooting had occurred at my children’s school. This brought on more tears. But for the parents of 20 children and six other families in Newton, it wasn’t an exercise; it was an excruciating reality. I then watched and listened to our President, and like parents around the world, the shooting had affected him emotionally as well. Twenty children gunned down. He struggled to hold back tears. It was then that my phone buzzed. I quickly grabbed it to see if it was one of my children calling back. But it wasn’t. It was a colleague in Chicago. I had emailed her the day before asking for research into one of the mentoring programs in the city’s schools for youth with the highest risk of being shot. She provided me with the information I was seeking. Then she included a P.S.: “What a devastating horrible day in CT. But frankly I wish people cared this much when it was children on the south and west sides of Chicago.” I was snapped back into reality with the email. The tragedy in Newtown was truly horrific. But there is similar carnage carried out every day in the streets of America’s cities, especially in the President’s hometown of Chicago, where I work in Oakland, in Philadelphia, and many other cities across the nation. MORE...

Ana Marie Cox: "Wayne LaPierre and the NRA: so defensive it was downright offensive"

Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice-president, called reporters 'irresponsible, duplicitous and dangerously dishonest'. Photograph: Christian Gooden/AP

 Ana Marie Cox (GuardianUK):
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, came to the podium Friday with the pursed lips and furrowed brow of a banker anxious over accounting errors. Throughout the press conference, he seemed to be reaching for an emotional range that would reflect the horror and sorrow so many felt in the wake of the Sandy Hook killings. But the most effective expression he could muster was that of someone trying to remember his lines. I would like to believe that LaPierre was as anguished and confused by the events of last week as the rest of us, but the man clearly suffers from constipation of the soul. MORE...

"Kerry's Nomination And The Return Of Swift Boats"

Charles P. Pierce (Esquire):
It appears quite clear now that John Kerry is going to be the next Secretary Of State, and the whole business is already crazy-making. Reporting the news this morning, CNN mentioned that Kerry had been the subject of attacks on his military record in 2004, when he was the Democratic candidate for president in 2004. There was no mention of the fact that all those attacks were completely spurious, having had no basis in fact. If this is going to be the pattern of the coverage of Kerry's nomination going forward, we're all in for another ride on the Swift Boats, god help us. MORE...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Left, Right & Center: "Guns and the Naked Fiscal Cliff" (with audio)

Truthdig, adapted from KCRW by Alexander Reed Kelly, with audio (28:52):
Truthdig editor-in-chief Robert Scheer and others discuss the NRA’s call for armed security at schools, violent media’s relationship to gun violence and the push for new gun control legislation on this week’s ‘Left, Right & Center.’ Also in the discussion, a look at House Speaker John Boehner’s failed alternative plan to raise taxes on the very wealthy to frustrate Obama’s proposal to raise taxes broadly in the ongoing so-called “fiscal cliff” conversation. Washington Post columnist Matt Miller, Thomson Reuters Digital editor-at-large Chrystia Freeland, and Newsweek/Daily Beast editor and former special assistant to former president George W. Bush, David Frum, join Scheer to deliberate over these topics and more.

Seattle-Bellevue: KBCS Announces "Thom Hartmann Program, noon-3pm M-F"

KBCS is pleased to welcome New York Times best-selling author Thom Hartmann to our weekday line-up.
The former Air America host leads a thoughtful discussion on issues of the day, with guests representing a variety of perspectives.

The Thom Hartmann Programs starts Wed. January 2nd, 2013. Tune in!
Howie P.S.: In case you hadn't heard,  the Seattle station (KPTK) that currently broadcasts Thom Hartmann, is switching formats to sports in January, 2013.

"Demand A Plan" (video)

maigcoalition, video (01:22):
Artists Demand A Plan to end gun violence. Join them:
Howie P.S.: This is an amazing group of "celebrities" they have gathered together.

ED Show: "Howard Dean on GOP Fiscal Cliff Fail" (video)

MSNBC-ED Show, video (07:14).

Sam Seder: "Bankers Launder Billions in Drug Money, Get Slap on Wrist (w/ Matt Taibbi)" (video)

Sam Seder, video (30:05).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"The Grand Sellout Emerges"

Charles P. Pierce (Esquire):
Quite honestly, the president's willingness to tinker this way with Social Security marks his presidency in a way that nothing else ever will. There is no economic need to do this to Social Security at all. There is no need for the program even to come up in the discussions. This locks Social Security forever into being defined for all political purposes as an "entitlement," and we all know that "entitlements" need to be reformed because everybody this president considers his primary constituencies say they must. It sets the stage for more concessions down the line by any Democratic president who doesn't possess the political momentum that the current president seems hellbent on squandering. MORE...

Seattle: "Next mayor should represent the neighborhoods"

John V. Fox and Carolee Colter (Queen Anne & Magnolia News, (op-ed):
Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess has announced he’ll run against incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn in the fall 2013 election. And state Sen. Ed Murray just launched an “exploratory committee,” all but guaranteeing he’ll join the race for Seattle’s mayor after the next legislation session. Others waiting in the wings include former King County Executive Ron Sims, Port Commissioner Bill Bryant, City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, former Bellevue and Bremerton mayor Cary Bozeman and — of greatest interest to us — former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck. Why Steinbrueck? He’s the only candidate on the horizon likely to actively embrace progressive and neighborhood values and speak out against the current downtown and pro-developer bias that so dominates City Hall. Here’s why we think his chances are very good, provided he doesn’t hesitate to accept the mantle of “outsider” willing to rock the proverbial boat. MORE...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Brady Campaign: "We Are Better Than This" (video)

BradyCampaign, video (00:30):
Mark Ruffalo, Mariska Hargitay, Anthony LaPaglia, Rosanne Cash, Live Schrieber: We Are Better Than This: A national conversation on how we can prevent gun deaths and injuries. Join and sign on here:

David Corn: "Obama Commits on Gun Control"

President Obama visits Newtown for the Sandy Hook Elementary vigil. Olivier Douliery/DPA/ZUMAPress

David Corn (Mother Jones):
Yet in the aftermath of the Newtown nightmare, Obama is not equivocating. "Words need to lead to action," he said today. He recited a list of Americans who have been killed by guns in the days since the Newtown shooting, noting that this group included several police officers and a four-year-old. He pointed out that gun violence claims the lives of 10,000 Americans every year and asserted this cannot be accepted as "routine." "I will use all the powers of this office to aim to prevent more tragedies like this," Obama said. But, he added, ultimately, it "will take a wave of Americans" saying "enough." With such remarks, Obama is making it clear: He has adopted combating gun violence as a priority. And he has now placed himself in the position where he will be judged on whether he gets anything done. MORE...

Shoutout to Listeners of KPTK AM1090! (Interview with Norman Goldman, Wed., 12-19, at 5:06 PM‏)

Carolyn Tamler (MoveOn Whidbey Council Coordinator):
I sent a personal email to each of the progressive talkers we hear on 1090 radio, and I got a very enthusiastic response back from Norman Goldman. He invited me to come on his show  today (Wed.) at 5:06, and he is planning to talk with me about possible options to be able to continue listening to our favorite hosts. In the meantime, here is something he sent to me which I encourage you to forward to your friends (and also invite them to sign our petition if they have not done so already): A special summary from Norm:
Sports is the hot topic these days and stations are flipping to sports like mad! Clear Channel and other companies are making deals based on dollar signs - they are consigning us to "niche markets" (that is what we "liberal talkers" are being called) and not caring about the audience we have. That is simply the cold, harsh reality. Plus, we have labeled ourselves "liberal talkers" and not just "news/talk" and we are thus considered a "niche market" while commercial radio is devolving into a few formats - "news/talk" apparently includes Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest (plus the all news stations, with traffic and weather on the 8's and what not) plus sports, country, classic rock and Top 40. HOWEVER, YOU can take control of what you listen to - you are NO LONGER consigned to what the big commercial broadcasters put up there! Show your independence and TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LISTENING!! I and the other hosts have been tied and COMPLETELY dependent upon these radio stations FOREVER. The good news is this is no longer true - the bad news is it requires some technology and monetary, plus time, investment to end run the radio stations. If you don't want to be tied to a computer, where Internet streaming is free at and want to hear the show live in your car, there are "kits" that can be installed inexpensively at auto audio places.....for example, go into a search engine (like Google) and type in internet radio car kit and watch what happens! Here is just an example: But there are others. New cars have Internet radio built in. Ford’s Sync system and most other manufacturers now have Internet radio pre-built directly into your new car via their new car technology. For older cars, the “kits” can be installed quickly and relatively inexpensively at these “Al & Ed’s Autosound” type of places. A podcast is also available for delayed listening. A podcast is simply an audio file transferred from one computer to another...and then dumped onto an iPod, mp3 player or other device. The good news is that YOU are now in control...the bad news is that, to exercise that control, you need to spend some time and perhaps money, to do it. Our podcasts are $5 a month at (or $50 for a full year, which is 2 months free) and the shows have all the clutter and commercials stripped out, so a show is a LOT LESS than 3 hours! Plus, our podcast subscription includes all the “Beyond The Norm” segments (one extra segment a day, not done on the air) and that means the entire archive of legal, consumer and other information we have done! All on your schedule to your convenience! AND, we stream the show live and free through Facebook – The Norman Goldman Show on Facebook! I also have a free smartphone app for you that lets you listen on your phone, live, free and anywhere. Plus, there is the iHeartRadio app and the TuneIn app. The bottom line is, for the future of our show and the others; we need to connect with you outside the gatekeeper status of the radio stations. They have forced us into this position. Sorry, and I wish I had more control of the situation!! I hope you can tune in today.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"After Recession, More Young Adults Are Living on Street" (with video)

The Times’s Susan Saulny reports from Seattle where she talks with young adults who are struggling with homelessness as a result of the recession.

Susan Saulny (New York Times with video-04:32):
Duane Taylor was studying the humanities in community college and living in his own place when he lost his job in a round of layoffs. Then he found, and lost, a second job. And a third.
Now, with what he calls “lowered standards” and a tenuous new position at a Jack in the Box restaurant, Mr. Taylor, 24, does not make enough to rent an apartment or share one. He sleeps on a mat in a homeless shelter, except when his sister lets him crash on her couch.
“At any time I could lose my job, my security,” said Mr. Taylor, explaining how he was always the last hired and the first fired. “I’d like to be able to support myself. That’s my only goal.”
Across the country, tens of thousands of underemployed and jobless young people, many with college credits or work histories, are struggling to house themselves in the wake of the recession, which has left workers between the ages of 18 and 24 with the highest unemployment rate of all adults. MORE...
H/t to Tim Colman.

"Peter Steinbrueck to announce run for Seattle mayor"

Emily Heffter (Seattle Times):
Steinbrueck, formerly of North Seattle but living on First Hill after his recent divorce, has already gathered endorsements from Real Change Executive Director Tim Harris, City Councilmember Nick Licata, and David Bloom, the former deputy director of the Seattle Church Council, among others.
Steinbrueck's campaign manager, Justin Simmons, wrote in a letter to supporters Tuesday that Steinbrueck will be "the most progressive candidate in the race, the candidate with the most civic leadership experience, the only candidate with real urban planning expertise, and the candidate who I believe will generate the broadest base of support in the neighborhoods and in the social justice, environmental and labor communities."
One of Steinbrueck's strengths will be his long relationships in the city. He joined the council as a newcomer along with Licata and Richard Conlin — now institutions in Seattle's city government.
"Peter was known as somebody who was really known for not just being a leader, but as someone with a lot of political integrity," said Harris, who in the past has supported McGinn.
Bloom said in an interview that Steinbrueck offers a consistent set of values and would give a voice to the neighborhoods, holding the line on what Bloom called "rampant development" in Ballard and other places.
"Peter is the kind of person who I think has a consistent set of values and will stick to those values," Bloom said. McGinn, he said, has been "all over the map." MORE...
Howie P.S.: Based on my photo size evaluator, Fairview Fannie won't be endorsing Steinbrueck.

"Ronald Reagan - Social Security and The Deficit" (audio)

Norman Goldman (audio).

Howie P.S.: Norman prefaces the audio from Ronald Reagan with some "context" for his remarks.

"Peter Steinbrueck Is Running for Mayor"

PETER STEINBRUECK Son of Victor Steinbrueck, who led the fight to save Pike Place Market.

Dominic Holden (The Stranger):
You could argue that Peter Steinbrueck, who filed paperwork this week to run for mayor, has defined the city's vision over the last five years more than anyone else. During his tenure on the Seattle City Council, he wrote the preamble to the city charter—essentially the city's mission statement—after discovering "there was no preamble, there was no vision statement for the City of Seattle," he says. "Can you believe that?" MORE...

Howie P.S.: Based solely on the size of the photo, I'd say The Stranger leans Steinbrueck, at this time. 

"White House says Obama will move swiftly on gun control after Newtown" (with video)

GuardianUK with video (03:25):
First signs that Democrats are willing to take on pro-gun lobby as even NRA-endorsed senator Joe Manchin says 'we need action'---The White House promised a comprehensive series of measures, including gun control legislation, on Monday to prevent a recurrence of mass shootings such as the "horrific" attack in Connecticut that left 20 children and six teachers dead. MORE...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Burgess: "We Need Better Gun Safety Laws for Washington State"

Tim Burgess:
America is still grieving for the children and adults who lost their lives last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. That horrific event ripped deep into our national soul.
The level of violence is higher in the United States than almost anywhere else in the developed world. Why? And more importantly, what can be done about it? A lot can get done -- if our leaders in Olympia can muster the courage to strengthen safety laws for the people of Washington State.
As President Obama said at the vigil Sunday night in Newtown, “We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.”
The Connecticut shootings should enable our Governor, our Governor-elect and leaders in the Washington Legislature to focus on solutions and bring us together to do something meaningful to end this nonsense.
Economist Richard Florida has looked for causation between gun violence and various social and economic conditions. While Professor Florida acknowledges that it is difficult to establish direct causation, he does suggest that there are obvious associations that shouldn’t be ignored.
Professor Florida’s data analysis shows that states with just three gun safety regulations—an assault weapons ban, trigger locks and safe storage requirements—have lower levels of gun deaths on a per capita basis than states without these protections. MORE...

Frank Rich: "America’s Other Original Sin"

Frank Rich (New York Magazine):
New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich talks with editor-in-chief Adam Moss about the Newtown tragedy, its political fallout, and our centuries-long worship of the gun. MORE...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"What Obama Must Do About Guns"

David Remnick (The New Yorker):
Obama told the nation that he reacted to the shootings in Newtown “as a parent,” and that is understandable, but what we need most is for him to act as a President, liberated at last from the constraints of elections and their dirty compromises—a President who dares to change the national debate and the legislative agenda on guns. MORE...

Friday, December 14, 2012


Matthew Yglesias: "Obama's Meaningless Commitment to Sparing "Recreational Users" of Marijuana CO and WA"

Matthew Yglesias (Slate):
ABC's Barbara Walters tried to get some clarity from Barack Obama about his administration's attitude to the curious fact that starting next year marijuana will be legal in Colorado and Washington but not in the United States of America. His answer that "it would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal" because "we’ve got bigger fish to fry" has a lot of people excited. But I think there's less to this than meets the eye. MORE...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Bad Twinkie, and the food stamp people."

"Seventy percent of counties with the fastest-growth in food-stamp aid during the last four years voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by Bloomberg. They include Republican strongholds like King County, Texas, which in 2008 backed Republican John McCain by 92.6 percent, his largest share in the nation; and fast-growing Douglas County, Colorado."  [Source] MORE...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Sanders On Fiscal Cliff" (video)

Sanders On Fiscal Cliff (HuffPo Live), with video (11:30):
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders joins Abby to explain why he's worried Democrats will cave on entitlement reforms in the Fiscal Cliff talks.

Monday, December 10, 2012

"Corn on Hardball: Binders Full of Women, Legitimate Rape, 47 Percent, and Other Memorable Election Quotes" (with video)

Mother Jones with video (08:06)from MSNBC-Hardball:
DC bureau chief David Corn relives some of the most biting gaffes, memes, and otherwise memorable lines of the election with Chris Matthews on Hardball. Was this the year of binders full of women? Or legitimate rape. Spoiler alert: 47 percent ranks pretty high.
Howie P.S.: Let the end of year lists begin.

"Obama's corporate charm offensive: wooing the Republicans' beloved base"

Barack Obama with Boeing CEO Jim McNerney. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty  

Heidi Moore (GuardianUK):
Two years ago, Bloomberg ran a survey of American investors. Three-quarters of them believed Obama was against business. Ivan Seidenberg, the CEO of Verizon, was moved to declare the president hostile to investment and job creation. Today, it's a different picture. The president, after blasting fat cats and the self-interest of Wall Street for years, has made a landmark move in his relationship with companies: he is taking corporate donations to fund the parade and parties of his second inauguration. Someone has to pay for the party, so you might as well invite the people with money. MORE...

Patty Murray: "Murray Continues to Urge Passage of Middle Class Tax Cut Act" (video)

SenatorPattyMurray, video (06:55).

FYI: Tonight is the 3rd Night of Hanukkah. (with photo)

More about Hanukkah here.

"McDermott, Becerra predict fiscal cliff deal" (with video)

Politico, with video (02:28):
At POLITICO Pro's P2012 Policy and Politics Tax Luncheon, Rep. Jim McDermott and Rep. Xavier Becerra said they expect a deal to be done on the fiscal cliff.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Micah Sifry: "Jeremy Bird on the Future of Organizing for America, 2012 and Beyond"

Micah Sifry (TechPresident):
Could OFA become the backbone of a revitalized version of former DNC chairman Howard Dean's "50-state strategy"? That is one possibility. But it's not clear yet if that would mean providing resources and staffing to state parties, or it would be more up to former OFA staff and supporters in those states to do the heavy-lifting. Interestingly, one top Obama campaign official told me that Dashboard, the campaign's ballyhooed and somewhat maligned digital field organizing platform, could be an important piece of such a local push. "It could be more important in 2013 and 2014 than it was in 2012," this person commented, "in the same way that it was for a volunteer in say, Tennessee, who didn't have a local Obama office, than it was for one in Ohio who did." MORE...

Seattle: "Watch Couples Marry at City Hall" (with live streaming video)

The Stranger with live streaming video:
The Seattle Channel will be live streaming from two locations in the interior of City Hall from 10 am until 5 pm on Sunday, December 9, 2012 as 140 couples get married.
H/t to the West Seattle Blog for the photo.

Melissa Harris-Perry: "Is the War on Drugs finally going to pot?" (with video)

Melissa Harris-Perry, (MSNBC) with video (11:29):
Washington state on Thursday became the first in the nation to allow adults the legal recreational use of marijuana. Colorado will soon join the Evergreen state in enacting marijuana legalization laws after voters in both states approved ballot initiatives that defy federal laws deeming pot illegal. Saturday in #nerdland, host Melissa Harris-Perry took a look at Washington’s historic step, as well as the possibility of how regulated marijuana could provide a boost to the recovering American economy. MORE...

Saturday, December 08, 2012

"Gore to Obama on climate change: Talk is cheap, it’s time to act"

Chris in Paris (AMERICAblog):
Just as we’re discovering that the tough talk about the “fiscal cliff” is false, and that President Obama and the Democrats appear to possibly be folding, again, on the important topic of climate change, what we’re hearing from the Democrats is more talk than action.
Al Gore spent a lot of time in Washington, so he has to be well aware of the ability of the political class to talk a lot, yet do nothing.
As we saw with Hurricane Sandy, the problem of climate change is getting worse and we can’t afford to keep letting the party of ignorance dictate the discussion.
The Hill:
Al Gore is calling on President Obama to make climate change a higher priority in his second term.
“I deeply respect our president and I am grateful for the steps that he has taken, but we cannot have four more years of mentioning this occasionally and saying it’s too bad that the Congress can’t act,” Gore said in New York City on Thursday, Reuters reports.
The remarks come three weeks after Obama pledged to focus on climate but offered no specific second-term plans and noted political hurdles to legislation.
“I don’t know what either Democrats or Republicans are prepared to do at this point, because this is one of those issues that’s not just a partisan issue,” Obama said at a post-election press conference on Nov. 14.
If the pathetic “deal” on the fiscal cliff is accurate, there’s little reason to believe that the political class will do anything about climate change either.
Until the Fox News studio is underwater, the Republican flat-earth society will continue to mock Al Gore, and mock climate change, and pretend that it’s not a problem. And the Democrats will continue talking as though they care, but still will do nothing, because they don’t.

Eli Sanders (TIME)-"Mellow in Seattle: Washington State’s First Day of Legal Pot"

More than 600 people showed up for Seattle's first Cannabis Farmer's Market, held at the Little Red Bistro in South Lake Union on Feb. 27, 2011.  

Eli Sanders (TIME):
Clouds of celebratory pot smoke went up at a few quiet outdoor celebrations yesterday, Day One of Washington State’s legalization of possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. But the people who pushed the groundbreaking new law to victory stayed conspicuously dull. “So boring,” is how Alison Holcomb, lead writer of the decriminalization measure that 55% of Washington voters approved in November, described her day. Her one indulgence: a private dinner with friends that was “a very mellow occasion” with “very tasty” food. MORE...

"Adam Sandler - Hanukkah Song" (with video)

taserwon12, video (04:07).

Howie P.S.: Yes, it's that time of year again!

"Obama's Pot Problem"

Tim Dickinson (Rolling Stone):
Now that states have started legalizing recreational marijuana, will the president continue the government’s war on weed?---When voters in Colorado and Washington state legalized recreational marijuana in November, they thought they were declaring a cease-fire in the War on Drugs. Thanks to ballot initiatives that passed by wide margins on Election Day, adults 21 or older in both states can now legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana. The new laws also compel Colorado and Washington to license private businesses to cultivate and sell pot, and to levy taxes on the proceeds. Together, the two states expect to reap some $600 million annually in marijuana revenues for schools, roads and other projects. The only losers, in fact, will be the Mexican drug lords, who currently supply as much as two-thirds of America's pot. Drug reformers can scarcely believe their landslide victories at the polls. "People expected this day would come, but most didn't expect it to come this soon," says Norm Stamper, a former Seattle police chief who campaigned for legalization. "This is the beginning of the end of prohibition." MORE...

Friday, December 07, 2012

USA TODAY Column: "Obama's chance to change (political) climate"

Dan Becker and James Gerstenzang (USA TODAY OP-ED):
9:00AM EST December 2. 2012 - Hurricane Sandy and the 2012 drought drove home the need for President Obama to lead the fight against global warming. Freed from the political constraints of the re-election campaign, he holds three tools. Wielding them successfully, he will make bold action against the world's most pressing environmental problem a legacy of his second term. The president can sharply curtail power plants' emissions of carbon dioxide, the largest global warming pollutant, by using existing law to require that utilities start converting from coal to cleanly extracted natural gas and introduce more renewable energy. To cut demand for electricity, he can set standards that increase the efficiency of power-gobbling appliances. MORE...

"Two Laws Are Welcomed After Midnight in Seattle"

Jane Lighty, left, and Pete-e Petersen received the first gay marriage license in Washington State.

 Stacy Solie (New York Times):
The King County executive, Dow Constantine, operating on one hour of sleep, was on his way to the restroom with a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste. It was Mr. Constantine who made the decision to open the doors at midnight and to get staff to volunteer to work through the wee hours. “People have waited years for this,” he said. “They should not have to wait a minute longer to take advantage of their rights.” As at the Space Needle, the atmosphere was celebratory. There were flowers, people blowing bubbles and supporters who serenaded those in line with “Going to the Chapel.” “People are brimming with optimism,” Mr. Constantine said. By midday, the party atmosphere had dissipated a bit, as had the line. The more than 400 licenses handed out, though, handily beat the previous single-day record of 212, Mr. Dow said. MORE...
Howie P.S.: It's going to be hard to refrain from teasing "Mr. Dow" the County Executive about this the next time I see him. And another thing: shouldn't the headline have referenced "Washington state," not Seattle?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

"Ed Murray Wants to Be Seattle's First Gay Mayor"

HIS BIG VICTORY Ed Murray, 57, and his partner of more than 20 years, Michael Shiosaki, celebrate marriage equality on election night.

Dominic Holden (The Stranger):
The Man Behind Marriage Equality Sets His Sights on City Hall----Ed Murray isn't running for Seattle mayor as the gay guy. "It can work both ways," says Murray, who on Wednesday filed an exploratory committee for his campaign. "If people see me just as the gay candidate, they will vote against me. Even gay people will vote against me. I have to be the gay who did something." MORE...

"Frequently asked questions about Medical Marijuana (Cannabis) in Washington State"

Washington State Department of Health:

Are current medical marijuana recommendations still valid with the passing of I-502?

Yes. The laws relating to authorization of medical marijuana by healthcare providers are still valid and enforceable.

Will the passing of I-502 affect the amount of medical marijuana that authorized patients can possess?

No. The current medical marijuana law allows authorized patients to possess 24 ounces of useable cannabis, instead of just one ounce allowed in I-502.

Will medical marijuana patients still be able to grow their own marijuana without a license to grow?

Yes. The current medical marijuana law allows authorized patients to grow up to 15 plants.

Will medical marijuana patients need to purchase their marijuana from a taxed retail store?

No. They can still grow their own marijuana or participate in a collective garden if they don’t want to purchase from a retail store.

Will there be an age requirement for medical marijuana patients now that I-502 passed?

No, healthcare providers may recommend it for any patient where it is medically appropriate under the law and the profession’s standard of care.

Are dispensaries now legal with the passing of I-502?

No, I-502 authorizes the sale by retailers licensed by the Liquor Control Board only.

Will there be an exception for medical marijuana patients driving under the influence of marijuana?

No, there is no stated exception in I-502 for medical marijuana patients.

Does I-502 remove all criminal penalties for adults possessing one ounce or less of marijuana?

No. Possessing, growing and distributing marijuana are still illegal under federal law.

Is medical marijuana (cannabis) legal in Washington? I've heard conflicting answers to this question.

Some states may allow use of a medical marijuana recommendation from Washington. Washington medical marijuana patients should check with other states before traveling and comply with the laws in the other state. Healthcare provider recommendations, ID cards, and other documentation from other states are not legal in Washington.

I heard the current federal administration legalized medical marijuana (cannabis). Is that true?

No. U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced updated formal guidelines for federal prosecutors in states that have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana (cannabis). The guidelines do not legalize medical marijuana (cannabis). The president directed federal prosecutors to consider appropriate medical use when making criminal charging decisions. The guidelines only provide direction for prosecutors when reviewing medical marijuana (cannabis) cases.

How can I find out if I qualify to be a medical marijuana (cannabis) patient?

Talk to your healthcare provider. The law includes a very specific list of qualifying conditions you must have before a doctor, physician assistant, advanced registered nurse practitioner, or naturopath can recommend medical marijuana (cannabis). In addition to those conditions in the law, chronic renal failure was added by petition in 2010.

Do I have to register with or obtain a card from the state?

No. If you are a qualifying patient with a valid written recommendation from your healthcare provider, that’s all you need.

What type of healthcare providers can recommend marijuana for qualifying conditions?

The following providers may recommend marijuana:
  • Medical doctors (MDs)
  • Physician assistants (PAs)
  • Osteopathic physicians (DOs)
  • Osteopathic physician assistants (OA)
  • Naturopathic physicians (ND)
  • Advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs)

Can a healthcare provider from another state recommend marijuana (cannabis) for me?

Not unless the provider is also licensed in Washington. The law says the healthcare provider must be licensed in Washington.

Can I get a list of providers in my area that will recommend marijuana?

The Department of Health doesn't have this information.

What is a valid written recommendation?

As of June 10, 2010, recommendations must be written on tamper-resistant paper. They must include an original signature by the healthcare provider, a date, and a statement that says in the healthcare provider's professional opinion the patient may benefit from the medical use of marijuana. The 2010 law change also prohibits the use of a copy of the patient's medical records in lieu of a recommendation.

Is my recommendation still valid if it was written before June 10, 2010?

Yes. It is still valid unless your healthcare provider has included an expiration date.

Is my recommendation considered a prescription if it is written on tamper-resistant paper?

No. Healthcare providers cannot write prescriptions for medical marijuana. They may only write recommendations that a patient has a medical condition that would benefit from the medical use of marijuana.

How do I get medical marijuana (cannabis)? Can I buy it?

The law allows a qualifying patient or designated provider to grow medical marijuana (cannabis). It is not legal to buy or sell it.

Are dispensaries legal?

No. The law does not allow dispensaries. The law only allows qualifying patients and designated providers to possess medical marijuana; the new law allows qualifying patients and designated providers to participate in collective gardens.

How much medical marijuana (cannabis) can I have?

A qualifying patient or designated provider may have a 60-day supply of medical marijuana. A 60-day supply is defined as 24 ounces and 15 plants under RCW 69.51A.040. The law says that a patient may exceed these limits if he or she can prove medical need. However, the law only allows for an affirmative defense (and not protection from arrest or prosecution) if the limit is exceeded and the patient is complying with the law.

How do I become a designated provider?

A designated provider must be at least 18 years old and must be designated in writing by the qualifying patient. A designated provider can only be a provider for one patient at any one time. Chapter 69.51A sets limitations on becoming a designated provider and ending a relationship as a designated provider.

Can I be a patient and a designated provider?


Why are bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety not included in the list of qualifying conditions?

The Medical Quality Assurance Commission, in consultation with the Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, has the authority to add qualifying conditions to the current list. The commission has received petitions to add these conditions to the list of qualifying conditions. The commission has denied the requests, citing a lack of scientific evidence supporting improved health outcomes from the use of medical marijuana for those conditions. You can find the commission's and board's decision on the latest petition in the Final Order.

How do I request to add a condition to the list of qualifying conditions?

Anyone may petition the commission to add a condition to the list. By law, the commission will consult with the Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. For more information about this process, you may contact the commission at:
Medical Quality Assurance Commission
P.O. Box 47866
Olympia, WA 98504-7866

Is medical marijuana (cannabis) legal in Washington? I've heard conflicting answers to this question.

Marijuana possession is illegal in Washington. The medical marijuana law, Chapter 69.51A, provides protection from arrest or other criminal sanctions for qualified patients and designated caregivers who are complying with the law. People who qualify have a valid reason to possess a 60-day supply of marijuana. However, medical marijuana (cannabis) is not legal under federal law. There is no protection for people who are arrested or charged under federal law.


I have questions that the Department of Health cannot answer. For example: Can I rent my house to a medical marijuana (cannabis) patient? Do I have rights as a tenant? What about using medical marijuana (cannabis) around children? Can I be fired from my job if I use medical marijuana (cannabis)? How do I get help finding the answers?

There may be other laws that apply to some situations. We suggest obtaining legal advice if you are not sure what the law says. You may also consult groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Commission. All state laws are on the Washington State Legislative webpage.

Hendrik Hertzberg: "Why a Carbon Tax Should Replace the Payroll Tax"

Hendrik Hertzberg (The New Yorker))
By all means let’s have a stiff carbon tax—a whole carbon-tax package, one that folds in levies on other pollutants and on the wasteful or dangerous use of natural resources in general. And, at the same time, let’s make the carbon tax the source of the trust fund. Call it the Dignity for Seniors tax, because that’s what it would provide. Or the National Patrimony tax, because that’s what it would preserve. Or the Social and National Security tax, because it would underwrite both kinds.MORE...

John Nichols: "The Secret of Bernie Sanders's Success"

John Nichols (The Nation):
Sanders bristles when pundits who don’t know Vermont dismiss his approach to campaigning as a regional deviation that might work in what is often portrayed as a quirky liberal state that couldn’t possibly have relevance for the rest of the country. “It wasn’t that long ago that Vermont was one of the most Republican states in the country. MORE...

Papantonio: "Wall Street's Role In 'Fiscal Cliff' Missing From Media Coverage" (video)

golefttv, with video (04:00):
Mike Papantonio appears on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann to talk about the current debt talks being held in Washington between Democrats and Republicans, and how the media has completely missed the role that Wall Street played in causing our current problems.

KIROTV: "Pot could be next Washington state bumper crop" (video)

KIROTV7, video (01:58).  

Howie P.S.: KIRO also has this full page of information about the new law.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sen. Patty Murray: "Poor Getting 'Lost In Shuffle' During Fiscal Cliff Talks"

Dave Jamieson (HuffPo):
With legislators focused on looming cuts to defense spending and entitlement programs, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) told a gathering of progressives on Capitol Hill Tuesday that she is worried the most vulnerable groups depending on domestic programs may get “lost in the shuffle” during the deficit negotiations. MORE...

KUOW: "Naomi Wolf On Sexuality And Creativity" (audio)

Steve Scher, Weekday-KUOW, audio (55:51):
Naomi Wolf, author of "The Beauty Myth," has written a cultural and scientific history of the intersection of sexuality and creativity. She joins us to talk about "Vagina: A New Biography."
Also this hour: Congress is busy working on an agreement to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Slate's Matthew Yglesias makes the argument for diving off. We check in with state Rep. Marko Liias on a plan to add commercial flights to Paine Field. Plus, Michael Fagin joins us with this week's recommended hike.

"Offer versus counter-offer" (with video)

NOW (Alex Wagner), with video (10:24):
The Washington Post's Ezra Klein joins the NOW panel-- including Joy Reid of The, the New York Times' Frank Bruni, The Nation's Ari Melber, and Irin Carmon from the fiscal negotiations going on on Capitol Hill between Democrats and Republicans.

"The Barack Obama Story (Updated)"

Tom Englehart (The Nation):
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,
Nothing you don’t know, but let me just say it: the world’s a weird place. In my younger years, I might have said “crazy,” but that was back when I thought being crazy was a cool thing and only regretted I wasn’t. I mean, do you ever think about how you ended up where you are? And I’m not actually talking about the Oval Office, though that’s undoubtedly a weird enough story in its own right. After all, you were a community organizer and a constitutional law professor and now, if you stop to think about it, here’s where you’ve ended up: you’re using robots to assassinate people you personally pick as targets. MORE...

POLITICO: "Left-Leaning Columnists Annoyed Journalists Not Pressing Obama To Be More Progressive"

Noah Rothman (MEDIAite):
To his credit, The Nation columnist Ari Melber told POLITICO that “there is no reasonable argument that criticism will result in the defeat of Barack Obama.” MORE...
Howie P.S.: I was just surprised to recall that I have spent a fair amount of time with Ari and Rick at different times in my life.

WA: "Election Day’s referendum revolution"

(Photo: Washington United for Marriage Facebook page)

 Jake Olzen (Waging Nonviolence):
On December 6, two historic new laws in Washington State take effect. A majority of voters chose last month to legalize marijuana and pass measures for marriage equality, thanks to community organizing efforts and social change movements concretely focused on policy issues. Referendum 74, which would allow same-sex couples to marry, passed with 53-percent approval. Meanwhile, Initiative 502 passed with 55 percent of voters assenting to legalize the production, processing and selling of marijuana in the state. Several other states passed similar measures at the same time, but Washington was the only one to claim both. MORE...
Howie P.S.:
Money Quote: "The intersection between electoral politics, ballot initiatives and social change is hardly straightforward. But one thing is clear — movement-based campaigns that take advantage of big election cycles with clear messaging and broad coalitions can be a vehicle for landmark policy reform."

"Trusted Aide to Obama Faces Test in Budget Showdown"

Jacob J. Lew, center, with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gene Sperling and Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters)

Sheryl Fay Stohlberg (New York Times):
When President Obama was locked in painful spending negotiations with House Republicans last spring, his exceedingly meticulous budget director, Jacob J. Lew, went to the Oval Office to propose some complex budget changes. As Mr. Lew delved deeper and deeper into the numbers, Mr. Obama put up his hand, signaling him to stop. Jack, it’s fine,” the president said, according to Gene Sperling, Mr. Obama’s economics adviser, who witnessed the exchange. “I trust your values. I trust your judgment on this.” MORE...

Monday, December 03, 2012

"Marriage, marijuana, charter schools: How West Seattle voted"

West Seattle Blog:
With final election results certified last week, analysts are digging deep into the official numbers. Our partners at The Seattle Times have drawn up maps showing how the vote went on three key ballot measures – marriage equality, marijuana, and charter schools. With permission, we’ve excerpted the West Seattle views – for marriage Referendum 74 (approved with a 7-point margin statewide), above, and marijuana Initiative 502 (approved with an 11-point margin statewide), below, dark green meant 60 percent or more voted to approve, light green meant 50 to 60 percent, and as you can see, both measures were very popular in West Seattle. (Click any image to get the full zoomable regional view as a PDF.) MORE...

Greenwald: "Progressive media claims they'll be 'tougher' on Obama now"

Glenn Greenwald (GuardianUK):
Last week, the Huffington Post's media reporter, Michael Calderone, wrote a long article on the widespread perception that MSNBC isn't so much a progressive network as it is "simply pro-Obama". Citing a new Pew study that found that MSNBC was actually more negative toward Romney than even Fox News was against Obama "and offered mostly positive coverage about Obama" - most remarkably, during the last week of the campaign, MSNBC did not air a single story critical of Obama: not one - Calderone wrote: "post-election, the question is whether MSNBC continues cheering Obama on - or takes him on." MORE...