Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why Does Seattle Jewish Lobby Hate Free Speech?

The American Jewish lobby's power when it comes to scaring politicians into taking action to suppress free speech was demonstrated in King County this week. The latest example being King County actually changing the policy for acceptable political bus advertising when the advertising turned out to be counter to the message that certain pro Israel Jewish factions here wanted to hear.  The County did this even though the more American thing to do would of been to allow the people opposing the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel bus ads the right to run their own counter ads. We don't need to be protected from the truth, we are adults aren't we? Can't we make up our own minds about the validity of the ads?

Instead Dow Constantine oped to go all "mommy state" on us, having been bombarded I'm sure by the pro-Israel people in town. The county actually will lose money for changing the policy in a time of transit budget cutting. But once again any semblance of the truth about possible Israeli aggression is suppressed because reactionary pro-Israel organizations in the area and country have a hard time apparently handling the assertion that Israel may be unjustly killing people. I have often written, here, here, here and hear about the retaliation one can expect when anyone suggest that there maybe other then even handed treatment of Palestinians by Israel in the Middle East.

I for one beleive that one of the reasons that 9/11 happened and the general anti-American feelings emanating from the Middle East and Muslim world for as long as one can remember is because of this country's continuing unequal treatment of the Palestinians in favor of Israel, and whatever crazy anti-Palestinian tacked Israel wishes to take. One would have to be blind deaf and dumb to think that Palestinians have gotten anything close to a fair treatment or even handedness from the United States.

I also think the County should rethink this new policy. If for nothing else we can use the money the advertising will generate to keep the buses running. The ironic thing is the message the Palestinian group wanted to get out probably got more attention in the end because of the Jewish groups attempts to suppress it. 

Many Progressives Can't See Forest For The Trees

Definition: "unable to grasp the big picture because of a concern with small (trivial) details".

Democratic Progressive Accomplishments 2009-2010


*Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – ends official discrimination against LGBT Americans who wish to serve their country in the military. START Treaty Ratification – reduces deployed nuclear weapons by 1/3 and ensures that we are able to continue nuclear weapons inspections in Russia in order to verify reductions and help keep nuclear materials out of the hands of rogue nations or terrorists.

* Affordable Care Act (health care reform) – expands access to affordable health insurance to 32 million more Americans, ends numerous abusive health insurance industry practices, provides significant tax credits to make health insurance affordable for families earning less than $88,000 per year and for small businesses, and creates health insurance exchanges overseen by the government or non-profit entities.

* Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act - Increases student aid by at least $65 billion over next decade by shifting funding from private student loan companies to students who need assistance affording college.

* Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act - raises nutritional standards for school lunches and increases school lunch program funding by $4.5 billion over the next 10 years – expands access to school lunch program for at least 115,000 students.

* Fair Sentencing Act – reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine, which has a significant disparate impact on African Americans, from 100-1 to 18-1. Eliminates mandatory five-year prison sentences for first time crack possession convictions.

* Wall Street reform, which enables government to step in to liquidate failing financial institutions in order to prevent additional future bailouts, creates a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to curb abusive lending practices by credit card companies and payday lenders, and regulate derivatives trading.

* Serve America Act - reauthorizes and expands federally-funded national service programs, such as AmeriCorps and VISTA.

* Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) – reauthorized and expanded CHIP from providing health insurance for 7 million children to providing health insurance for 11 million children, and allows states to extend benefits to legal immigrants.

* Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act - helps ensure equal pay for equal work by enabling people to challenge unequal pay in court even if the fact that their pay is unequal is not discovered by the employee for a long time.

* Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act - gives the Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over production and marketing of tobacco products. Also limits advertising that targets children, requires disclosure of ingredients and gives FDA authority to ban some ingredients in cigarettes, and requires larger warning labels on tobacco products.

* American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - A $787 billion economic stimulus package that stabilized our economy, prevented a second Great Depression, created 3.3 million jobs, and avoided greater declines in GDP. The stimulus legislation included:

*$14 billion in funding for energy efficiency programs, including weatherization of low-income housing, state and local governments, and federal building energy efficiency retrofits.

* $25.8 billion in funding for health information technology development

* A 65% subsidy for the cost of continuation of health insurance under the COBRA program for individuals who lost their jobs

* $2 billion for Community Health Centers

* $15.6 billion increase in Pell Grants

* $2.1 billion for Head Start

* $19.9 billion for the Food Stamp Program, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

* $8 billion for high-speed rail development

* $6 billion for development of energy smart-grid

* Established meaningful limits and oversight for the use of Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) funds, thereby ensuring that virtually all of the $700 billion in TARP funds were repaid to the U.S. Treasury.

* Ended major combat operations in Iraq, and began to bring our troops home from the Iraq War more quickly than the schedule that President Obama had campaigned on.

* Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act – restricts credit card companies from raising interest rates or charging penalty fees, and requires increased disclosure of credit card terms and conditions.

* Increased automobile fuel efficiency standards to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016

* FDA Food Safety Modernization Act – upgraded food safety procedures in the U.S. for first time since the 1930s.

*Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act - authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute hate crimes and to aid state and local law enforcement in doing so.

* Established by Executive Order pollution reduction and efficiency standards for federal government buildings, vehicle fleets, and purchasing.

* Issued an Executive Order prohibiting torture of prisoners of war, requiring compliance with Geneva Conventions, and rescinding any previous inconsistent Executive Orders.

* Established by Executive Order strict new ethics standards for federal employees or those seeking federal employment to help end the revolving door between lobbying shops and government agencies.

* Claims Resolution Act – authorizes funding for the Pigford II Settlement, which provides $1.15 billion in federal funding to settle approximately 80,000 claims by African American farmers of discriminatory loan practices in the 1980s by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Cobell Settlement, which provides $1.9 billion in federal funding to settle claims regarding U.S. Government mismanagement of trust funds and water rights for Native Americans.

* Equal Hospital Visitation Rights - issued a Presidential Memorandum requiring that all hospitals accepting Medicare or Medicaid funding to provide equal hospital visitation rights for LGBT patients.

* Federal Benefits for Same-Sex Partners – issued a President Memorandum extending federal benefits for same-sex partners to all employees of the Executive Branch and the Foreign Service

* Have started us on the path toward closing the entire Medicare prescription drug coverage doughnut hole by 2020.

* Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act - reforms Pentagon procurement policies to prevent billions of dollars in wasteful spending over the next decade.

* American Opportunity Tax Credit - $2,500 tax credit for working families and students attending college – included in stimulus bill and extended through the recent unemployment benefits/tax cuts compromise.

* Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act - expands health care services, including mental health services and counseling, available to our veterans.

* Ended the unnecessary F-22 fighter plane project, saving taxpayers $4 billion.

* Have put in motion a plan to trim $100 billion in wasteful military spending over the next five years.

* Saved the U.S. auto industry through an emergency auto industry rescue package.

* Lifted President Bush’s restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

* Repeated extensions of unemployment benefits, the most recent of which will prevent 7 million Americans from losing their safety net

* Put President in office who can speak English

via: Winning Progressive

Friday, December 24, 2010

McGinn’s No Cost Overruns Position On Tunnel Project Based On Faulty Premise

The real questions concerning the tunnel project are:

1. Does the Deep Bore Tunnel, agreed to by every stakeholder in the State but Mayor McGinn, offer the best option for replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and repair of the seawall?

2. Can cost overruns be controlled and mitigated so that the tunnel option is worth the money spent for the improvements it will bring to the safety and movement of traffic in the Hwy 99 corridor, revitalization of the waterfront, surface streets, transit, business creation, and the seawall replacement?

In a recent PI blog story Chris Grygile puts forth the argument that although Mayor McGinn has pretty much alienated everybody or fallen flat on his face in most areas of governing or his handling of the tunnel issue, he should still be sitting pretty for reelection 2013. How you may ask? Grygiel and others claim that if there are cost overruns McGinn will somehow look like a genius for acting like a petulant child on the issue from the first day he walked through the door of city hall. This in spite of the fact that he appears to have dropped the ball on every other initiative he's proposed since becoming mayor.

There is one major problem with this argument. McGinn and his supporters have bought into the premise that somehow there shouldn’t be cost overruns at all when it comes to the tunnel. Or at least cost overruns that Seattle should have to pay. I support the tunnel and am old enough and done enough construction of my own to realize that when someone builds something of scale there are always cost overruns. The tunnel will be no different. This is due to massive nature of the project and the potential for additional costs due to unforeseen circumstances.

I have often used the example, when writing about the tunnel’s cost overruns, of the homeowner doing a major remodel of their home. Seldom if ever does the cost of such a project come in under budget. Tunnel planners have use a conservative approach to their estimates on the cost of the project which bodes well for the possibility of bringing the project in close to budget.

So the premise that there should be some sort of guarantee of no cost overruns that the city may have to pay is a false one from the get go. The Mayor and many of his followers have created this idea apparently realizing that it never was a real possibility and therefore I beleive, only a ploy to stop the tunnel altogether. The only other explanation being they simply have no experience with or knowledge of modern construction costs.

McGinn would of better served the citizens of Seattle by working to mitigate the impact of any potential cost overruns instead of his pessimistic approach of demanding that there be no cost overruns the city should pay, or that this or that unforeseen calamity will surely strike us down should we build the tunnel. He has instead effectively alienate everyone in state and local government that may of helped soften the blow of cost overruns because of his obsession with trying to stop the tunnel.

I have insisted that McGinn and his detractors have really always opposed the idea of a tunnel and rather then just say that have worked to spread fear in the community about the project to keep it from every being built period.

The real question is how to limit or reduce cost overruns on the tunnel project. McGinn has destroyed much of his credibility with the legislature and the Governor by the sky is falling Chicken Little style of sniping at them about the tunnel project. One legislator told me recently that in the end McGinn won’t stop the tunnel in spite of all his posturing, and that most lawmakers feel he has done Seattle a disservice by his obstruction of the project and alienation of the very people he will need for support politically in the future.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Giant Mouse Milking Contest To Take Place Tonight At City Hall Followed By Search For Light At The End Of A Tunnel

Have you ever milked a mouse? Well that's what the anti-tunnel crowd metaphorically hopes will happen at tonight's "tunnel debate". Just what we need more capitol hill hipster nerds and His Honor the Mayor talking endlessly about all the things that can possibly go wrong when you decide to get out of bed in the morning or fix a city problem.

Oh here's the handy pie chart to help put things into perspective and to outline what your probably going to hear from the anti tunnel crowd. 


Republicans With Voters Help Tell Everyone In State To Go Fuck Themselves

I think the Governor is trying to say: Okay voters you didn't want to institute a state income tax on rich people here in our state. You don't like paying the extra 3 cents for that candy bar or soda pop that helps maintain that fat ass of yours, and you agree with Tim Eyman that the minority party Republicans in the state legislature should have veto power over any tax increase proposed by the majority party Democrats so....

You'll Get Nothing!

I also think we should find if Tim Eyman attends church and then send all the people who are going to fall through the cracks over there so the congregation he belongs to can take care of them...


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

McGinn Personification Of Seattle All Talk No Action Politics When It ComesTo Tunnel Proposal

It's been more than ten years of political regimes,  planning, debating, elections, proposals, counter proposals, environmental impact studies, confrontations, posturing. begging the feds for money, promises not to obstruct construction if elected and having the Alaskan Way Viaduct continue to crumble, yet Mayor "in over my head" McSchwinn calls for the city council to "slow down" on making a decision to sign off on the deep bore tunnel project. His plan: 
"McGinn says the tunnel is too expensive and not environmentally sound. He prefers tearing down the waterfront viaduct and dispersing traffic the roughly 100,000 vehicles that use it every day on city streets." (he obviously has never lived in West Seattle or south of downtown)
The Mayor latest ploy proves beyond a shadow of a doubt he is truly in the tradition of all other modern day Seattle politicians who would rather talk a proposal to death than take action to do something about it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How To Fix For The Economy: Reorganize and Empower Labor Into A Political Force To Reject The Capitalist Crapola...

I love it went academics say things like "any sensible person would join an anti-capitalist organiztion, and then add, "you have to". The point of his talk being that, "capitalism is CRAP" and that it is inherently headed for either boom or bust. Meanwhile the middle class suffers from the fallout and the rich speculators get richer off the sweat and labor of the workers. Outdated leftest propaganda, maybe not.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Progressive Drama Queens Willing To Throw Middle Class Under The Bus To Prove Their Point

One of Andrew Sullivan's readers writes.....
"I’m a progressive Democrat and I am bewildered, appalled and exasperated by the reaction of most of my political cohort to the tax deal. My reasons are partly strategic, along the lines of your observations that it’s far better for Obama than what could have been expected and gooses the economy leading up to 2012. But my main concern is that all these Democrats (and Bernie Sanders), who profess to care about the middle class and unemployed (and, in my experience, truly do), are willing to throw those folks under the bus for what amounts to a chance to thumb their noses at the rich. Now, I’m no fan of the rich. A 90% tax bracket for billionaires sounds just fine to me. But I’m middle class. I do not want, and really can’t afford, to have my taxes go up, even marginally.

If I were still unemployed (thank God, I’m not anymore, but that’s another story) and facing a cutoff of aid, I would have been panic-stricken as the month began, elated at the news of the deal, and horrified at the actions of the Congressional Dems to sink it. Do they really think the Reeps will OK some new deal to keep the benefits flowing and the middle-class tax cut, if the House torpedoes the current deal? That’s just insane.

What’s sure as death and taxes is that if this deal is upended, great hardships will be visited on millions of people this holiday season. And, BTW, you can kiss 2012 goodbye. The Reps used the unemployed and middle class as pawns, to pry an upper-class tax cut from Obama. But the Dems are not even affording them that measly status, ignoring them altogether. I am almost completely baffled. I know these people and I know they’re intelligent and caring. I just don’t know what’s gotten into them on this issue."
 And then there's this Washington Post/ABC poll..

Pissed Off About Economic News Photo Of The Day

British University Students protesting increase in tuition last week...



Sunday, December 12, 2010

How The Corporate Masters Won Or Where The Hell Are The Y and Z Generation Of Rebelling Youth

It seems to me that most of the so called rebellious types among our young people are not really very politically motivated or at least it could be said they lack a real focus on current events. Has this generation of America's young people dropped the ball when it comes to questioning anything really? Are they more interested in their own personal well being and getting ahead then in the betterment of society as a whole?

Yes, they make general protestations about the malaise of mind that living an unauthentic life in modern society brings, but have any of these young and energetic kids really done anything in mass numbers to protested the 2 wars or the corporate takeover of our government?

Meanwhile in France and Britain young people are at least willing to raise hell and put their ass on the line when their tuition gets tripled or social programs are cut. Hey take those earphones off I'm talking to you and asking you a question?

It maybe time for you to burn baby burn! (figuratively speaking, of course)

Bubba Feels Your Progressive Pain In The Butt About The Tax Cut Compromise Too

Can we have two Presidents at once please? Clinton loves politics you can tell, he oozes politics from his pores and he still got that steel-trap mind. Obama cuts out to go to a Christmas party with the wife and Bubba remains to meander on for a half hour because he's just having the time of his life for sure.

Got 10 Hours To Spare? Here's The Entire Unabridged Bernie Sander's Filibuster Speech

Thanks to: because somewhere on the Internet this deserves to be looping forever...

What The Mayor Should Be Talking About Concerning The Tunnel

Mayor's Weekly Question Period....

What the mayor should talk about in detail is what exactly is his vision for the replacement or demolition of the AWV.

As far as I can determine all that he and his anti-tunnel minions at the Stranger have done is snipe at this or that aspect of the DBT plan. The DBT IS THE COMPROMISE reached by every other stakeholder involved with the project. In the final analysis, if there is no tunnel or some sort of replacement for the AWV 100% of the traffic will become SURFACE TRAFFIC. Therefore, comparing how many cars are using the Ballard bridge now and that will use the tunnel in the future and the cost of present day tunnel construction is a bullshit analogy. One was built in 1917 and one has to be built for what it costs today. Plus the better comparison would be the cost of the AWV not the Ballard bridge. The replacement of the AWV with another elevated highway will cost as much as the tunnel without the benefit of recreating the waterfront or having a highway (the current viaduct) while the replacement is taking place.

The questions are:

1. What the hell is your detailed plan for the AWV replacement Mr. Mike "the obstructionist" Mc Schwinn if the tunnel is not acceptable?

2. Why don't you just say you don't want the tunnel under any circumstances and that every other government entity in the state and city of Seattle who thinks it's a good compromise can go fuck themselves because you and some wonks at the Stranger claim to know what's best for the City.

3. Do you know how many jobs the replacement of the AWV with a tunnel will create? (the answer in case you give a shit is approximately 30.000 union wage jobs)

4. How will people commute through, or to the city while whatever your plan for the AWV turns out to be, is implemented?

5. Do you really ride you bike all over the place or do you just want people to think you do?

6. Were you actually totally against the tunnel under any circumstances and trying to kill it when you said you wouldn't obstruct the tunnel construction before the election?

7. If it was just political theater and total bullshit, did you say that because your internal polling showed you'd lose the election unless you said you wouldn't obstruct the tunnel.

Please feel free enter you answers in the comments...

 

Ask An Irishman About Who's To Fault For The World Financial Crisis

I love this guy. The "Celtic Tiger" is a euphemism for the Irish economy, by the way.



Thanks AK..

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tax Cuts Comes Down To Idealistic Bullshit Versus The Reality Of What Is Best For Working Class

The Golsby......

Congressional Democrats Not Addressing Tax Cuts Before Midterms Lead To Tax Cut Compromise Fiasco

Who sold out whom?
"Once again we are caught up in the moral superiority snobbishness idealism of the elitist left demonstrated by the likes of Olbermann, Maddow, and Huffington, who tend to be more interested in minutia and finite details of the issue and who's to blame than accepting reality and moving forward to finding a solution that best serves the working class."
The question is what is the end game for House Democrats who continue to play chicken with themselves in refusing to bring the Obama tax compromise proposal to the floor for a vote. I think they will attempt to get Republicans to sweeten the package. But I don’t think that if push comes to shove that they will go so far as to reject the package.


Democrats play a dangerous game because if they do not accept the Obama compromise or something close to it and the tax cuts expire for everyone rich and poor on December 31st they will be blamed for the tax increases. The failure to get what they want when it can be argued their bargaining power was the strongest can be found in the fact that congressional leaders and the white house did not to take action to address the tax cuts before the midterm elections.


Now Congressional Democrats are blaming the White House and Obama for his failure to address the issue before the election. Many liberals were surprised that Democrats did not take this issue of tax cuts for the rich up before the election. It seemed like it could of set up the perfect narrative for them to use on the campaign trail against Republicans and demonstrate how Republicans are more than willing to protect the interests of the rich and privileged over that of the middle class. I suspect that Democrats in Congress for reasons that seem somewhat indefensible now saw the pre-midterm tax cut fight as a overall negative and something that would somehow hurt them at the polls. If the Democrats had brought up the tax issue before the election would it of made a difference in the outcome? Well we will never know for sure, but certainly it couldn’t of hurt given the final outcome and the lost of 65 seats in the house in the midterms.


The lame duck Congress voted on continuing the tax cut for the middle class and raising taxes on those making over $1 million. It failed due to a lack of 60 votes to break the filibuster in the Senate. This has lead to the Obama compromise now on the table which gives Republicans what they want in exchange for taxes not going up on the middle class, an unemployment insurance extension and some other simulative taxes. 80% of the taxes proposed in the compromise package benefit the middle class while 20% give tax breaks to the rich. Here’s the chart.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Liberals Going Wild Over Obama Tax Proposal Should Get A Freaking Grip

Jesus, what a pathetic self destructive temper tantrum outcry from the left over the Obama tax cut proposal. Most of this nonsense about letting the tax cuts expire to show some sort of resolve against the Republicans is unrealistic given exactly what it would mean and what may be lost if such a strategy were followed to the end. Check out the reactions from stammering progressives when ask what they would do instead of just bitching about the tax cut proposal captured in the video below from Lawrence O'Donnell's Last Word program yesterday. Realists are calling the tax package a second stimulus since most of the money spent in the proposed package will go to things that benefit the unemployed or the middle class.

I'm not saying you shouldn't be swallowing hard on this. God knows the rich should be paying more taxes. But given the circumstances Obama has at least shown the ability to pull the trigger instead of just posturing some purist position and get something in return while the Democrats still control the lame duck Congress. The alternative is a tax increase for everyone, complete uncertainty and loss of bargaining power after the Republicans retake power in the house and gain even more power in the Senate January 1st.

Frankly I think the President got the best possible package he could given the votes he needs to pass the legislation in the Senate. Liberal drama queens simply don't see that Obama is doing the best he can given the make up of the Congress and mistakenly they may be the ones buying into the anti Obama Republican narrative on the issues of the day. But what makes me mad is that I think bashing Obama is a stupid counterproductive practice, given what this man has done in the first two years of his presidency.

I may get in trouble for saying this but it seems to me that many of the most vocal critics of Obama and the tax compromise are a new class of mostly one issue prone pro DADT bloggers who have their panties all in a knot because Obama hasn't waived a magic wand and got this particular issue, although important, not made into the number one Democratic Party government priority. Their extremely pissed about it and jumping at every chance to throw a personal hissy fit at what they perceive as Obama not living up to his campaign rhetoric. I say to them, I think most Americans don't see DADT as a number one issue facing America right now.

It's the economy stupid!


Sunday, December 05, 2010

Councilman Rassmussen Calls Mayor Irresponsible and Obsessed About Tunnel Project

Here's the Seattle Channel program Inside/Out conversation with viaduct administrator Ron Paananen and Seattle City Council transportation chair Tom Rasmussen about the deep bore tunnel. One of the interesting parts of the discussion covers the Mayor's complaining about the increase of surface traffic that the tunnel supposedly will cause. Paananen and Rasmussen point out that McGinn is being irresponsible to obsessively complain about the surface traffic overflow issue because he fails to address the fact that 100% of traffic will be on the surface if the tunnel is not built. It is also interesting that the Mayor really has no alternative plan should the tunnel not get built.  Dear Mayor were will all the traffic go?


Saturday, December 04, 2010

War Is What Is Bankrupting America And Stopping Us From Putting People To Work

Talk about tax cuts and stimulating the economy this way and that is all the rage with Americans. Meanwhile we continue to miss the point that the terrorist win by making us spend billions of tax dollars everyday because of our inability to extricate ourselves from our dirty little wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bin Laden is probably sitting in his air conditioned cave now laughing at us.

It's Called A Filibuster Stupid: Slog Story Blames Obama For Coming Apocalypse In Post About Tax Cut Battle

Below is the closing line from a story entitled "It just keeps getting worse" (worse than McCain and Palin in office I guess) by Charles Mudede over at the SLOG about Obama's supposed inability to increase taxes on the rich while continuing Bush's tax cuts for the middle class.

"I honestly believe his whole presidency will be defined here and now. If he backs down on this one, he will lose an entire generation."

Please spare us this bullshit!

Breaking: Two Democratic bills, one calling for continuing the tax cut for folks under 250K and one calling for no tax increase for people under a million failed in the Senate this morning. 

Why is it Progressives don't understand that Obama is hamstrung because there simply are not enough Democratic votes to pass a cloture motion in the Senate as the majority is now constituted, and it will get worse in January. This morning's votes on the tax cuts is a prime example. The cloture vote needed 60 D's to cut off debate and it got 53 votes.

Obama certainly realizes the votes aren't there, but most liberals apparently don't. This morning's votes in the Senate to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, which expire at the end of the month, failed for this reason. This lack of action is taking place in a lame duck congress that supposedly has 60 Democrats who are eligible to vote. The reason the vote took place now is because the tax cuts for everyone expire December 31st and that the D's majority in the Senate will be weakened further when the new Congress is installed in January and the house will go over to Republican control.

Democrats wanted to make a symbolic stand in favor of the middle class on taxes. The Democratic plan, knowing they could not win from the start, was to give Democrats a narrative and cover to blame Republicans for the failure to not continue middle class tax cuts and failure to begin taxing rich people who can afford to pay more taxes in a time when the government can use the money

So Obama has had three choices all along given the present and future head counts.

1. Veto any bill that comes to his desk on tax cuts. Therefore raising taxes on everyone rich and poor. Liberal certainly would not love this choice.

2 Compromise: allowing the tax cuts to continue for everyone in exchange for extending unemployment benefits.

3. Support what every the tax advisory group he's put together recommends, which will probably be a variation of number two.

The progressive leadership crisis is in the legislative branch of government not in the executive branch. Obama is not a king.

Now that liberals have had our "symbolic" votes in the Congress on whether to extend the tax cuts for only people making under 1 million but not those over that amount I wish liberals would shut up about Obama "losing an entire generation." This it poppycock, and also blames him for something he really has no control over.

I suppose we'd all like Obama to go on a nationwide tour for the next two weeks and call Republican "heartless bastards who only care about the rich" because it would make us lefties feel better, but in the end the Republicans are going to have their way because they're heartless bastards and THEY HAVE THE VOTES.

This is not Obama's fault, liberals should see if nothing else he's a realist. The fault lies with  lame ass Blue Dogs Democrats, conservative Democrats and because of weak leadership in the Senate.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Billions For War And Millionaire Bailouts Nothing For Unemployed Workers

Republicans in Congress are heartless bastards. One of the aspects of extending unemployment benefits is that the money received by the unemployed actually stimulates the economy. Economic experts estimate that 800,000 additional jobs will be lost as a direct effect of not extending unemployment benefits.

The benefits not only keep people on the brink from starving or going without entirely, but it also puts money back into the economy immediately because it is spent immediately paying the rent and utilities or at the local grocery store, doctor's office, cafe,  or gas station. The only conclusion has to be that Republicans want the unemployment rate to rise so they can use it as political fodder to attack the administration. This is criminal and evil behavior.

We Need A New Socialist Labor Party But Let's Not Call It That

I've had it up to here with the corporate oligarchy controlled political parties, both Republican and Democratic. Blue Dogs, Centrists, Tea Baggers and the plain old angry white guy wingnuts, the whole lot of them. We need to form a new major political party boys and girls. One that will fight for the working and middle class. What do you think? Take a short survey....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Terror Alert Color Codes Released - Sort of....

The folks over at The Vigilant Lens are always a bit edgy to say the least. But they always spew with a touch of irony.  Below is their new version of Terror Alert Color Code system VL featured  in a story about how the government is not seeing the forest for the trees when the TSA is allowed to violate your rights and bust your balls, no pun intended, at the airport. They argue that government resources should be focused on what maybe the real problem, bomb factories like the one discovered in Escondido, California.
"Billions upon billions of dollars spent every year, grabbing your crotch, reading your email, hunting illegal’s and infiltrating peace groups…all in a self-serving, corporate attempt to Kabuki you into giving the rich more tax breaks."

"More Homelandians are killed every day by a lack of health care, than any Langley employed underwear bomber ever trained for. Smoking, dental decay and french fries, kill more of us than any CIA trained-Iraqi pilot ever dreamed."

Buffett You Beautiful Bastard! I Read Your Book......

Warren Buffett's interview from ABC's This Week's shame the rich into acting ethically segment. The oligarchy must hate Buffett because he's like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz and a wealthy SOB too. There is no plausible reason a tax cut for the richest should be allowed to happen. 

Never Make A Working Class Irishman Mad

Does this sound familiar...  

Ireland's current banking crisis has been blamed on the misdeeds of Banks and greedy speculators. Also the business favoring politicians now in power in Ireland have been more then willing to keep business and personal taxes on the rich low and financial regulations lax. Their reasoning being that such policies attract investors and investments in the the Irish economy. But rampant speculation, especially in real estate, and lack of regulation created banks that are too big to fail.

Now faced with a banking and financial meltdown the government has to bail out the greedy bastards, not with the speculator's or bank's assets, but with money provided by taxpayers. They've decided to pay for the bailout through tax increases, cuts in pensions and services that will predominantly impact the middle and working class.
 “The 5.8 per cent interest rate (on the bailout loan) is unaffordable , The decision to force the state to take €17.5 billion out of the Pensions Reserve Fund to pour into the black hole that is our banking system is a disaster. The costs of this deal to ordinary people will be deep and will result in hugely damaging cuts to public services, social welfare and wages.” Sinn Féin Party President Gerry Adams

What maybe different about this crisis from the one we've experienced here in the US could be that Irish voters who are angry are politically astute enough to know where the blame should be placed.  What we may see in upcoming elections in Ireland will be the election of significant numbers of candidates from left and left of center parties like Sinn Fein or Labor.  Of course in the US we saw the opposite effect in our recent elections, where the voters rewarded the greedy who caused the crisis here with the election of more of their Republican enablers.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Who Was Right Huxley Or Orwell?

This is quite good ....... Click here to get original PBH Network blog post enlarged version...


How The World Feels About Organized Religion

Here's the survey graph. It seems to me like some of the biggest troublemakers are the countries that support the idea that religion is more of a positive rather then negative force in the world. Could there be a correlation?


Via: BBC News US and Canada

Bankers: The Musical



Via: Crooks and Liars

Ten Truths That Republicans And Misinformed Americans Ignore

Ted McLaughlin over at The Best Of The Blogs likes to write on this recurring theme. Below is McLaughlin's list of truths that Republicans like to deny or ignore.

The problem is the right has apparently won the public relations battle when it comes to getting this factual information out there. They just lie about it. Many Americans have bought into the wingnut version of things that promotes the idea that none of these things happened or if they did they had the opposite outcome from what actually happened. Maybe if we keep repeating the truth a small light bulb will go on in the minds of the unwashed masses.

1. President Obama cut taxes for everyone that earns a paycheck.

The first piece of legislation ushered in by the Obama administration was a stimulus package that contained almost $300 billion in payroll tax cuts. As Nate Silver calculated, that means 98.6% of working households received a tax cut once Obama took office.

2. TARP Worked

TARP worked. And it was a Republican policy. But it actually turned out to be a hugely successful program. The most successful policy of George Bush's two terms to be exact. The program earned the American government at least $40 billion. By far the most revenue any program has ever earned the government. In all, if it were to never make another penny, the program would now only cost tax payers $30 billion. That's dramatically cheaper than the near $1 trillion it was expected to cost. Pumping tax dollars into the the private sector helped ward off a complete financial meltdown. It worked. Plain and simple.

3. The Stimulus Worked

It warded off complete collapse. Stopped the flood of job losses. And boosted GDP back to positive territory. Economists agree the stimulus "raised GDP by about 3.4 percent, holding the unemployment rate about one-and-a-half percentage points lower, and adding almost 2.7 million jobs to U.S. payrolls."

4. Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt

This simple fact is regarded as pure fantasy by conservative and Republicans alike. But the truth is, if you turn down your Fox News teevee set that is, you'll learn that the national debt exploded under Saint Ronnie. Here's the scorecard:

After 8 years of Reagan the national debt went from roughly $900 billion to $2.6 trillion. That's a 186% increase, the most since WWII. That is an incredible amount of debt from the so-called small government, fiscally responsible party.

5. George W. Bush doubled It


Then without a second thought, or a single gripe from the fiscally conservative, deficit hawk crowd, George W. Bush and his GOP took a government that was running surpluses and created the largest deficits in human history. As a result, the national debt went from $5.7 trillion to more than $11 trillion when you add in all his bailouts including TARP.


6. Obama Inherited the Worst Scenario Any Elected President Ever Has

Simply and factually stated, no elected president in the history of America has ever inherited two ongoing endless wars with an economy on the verge of collapse. It's never happened before. But it did when President Obama inherited the country from Bush.

7. Obama Has Shrunk the Deficit

According to the U.S. Treasury, for the 2010 fiscal year that ended on September 30, the government had a budget shortfall of 1.294 trillion dollars, down 122 billion dollars from the previous year's record-setting high.

The 2010 fiscal year was President Obama's first federal operating budget. The previous year's budget was the final Bush budget which set a record for the largest deficit in American history. The budget deficit shrunk by $122 billion since Obama has taken office.

8. Obama Inherited a $1.4 trillion deficit, He Did Not Create It

It's amazing that some people believe American history began on Jan. 20th, 2009-- BUT IT DIDN'T. The day Obama took office the budget deficit was $1.416 trillion. He did not create it.

9. All the Bailouts Were Republican George Bush Policy

TARP was passed in October of 2008, over three months before Obama would become president. The original legislation was submitted to Congress by President George Bush and passed with both Republican and Democratic support of which Bush signed into law. Prior to TARP, the Bush administration had already committed $30 billion to Bear Stearns, $400 billion to Fannie and Freddie, $180 billion to AIG, $25 billion to the Auto industry, $85 billion to AIG, and billions more to the airline industry after 9/11.

Even the GM bailout in 2009 came from TARP funds and was structurally in place before Obama took office. It was the continuation of a Bush plan already moving forward, much like the surge in Iraq can't be credited to Obama either.

10. Republicans Have NEVER -- NOT ONCE IN MODERN HISTORY -- Shrunk Government, Cut Spending, or Reined in the Deficit

Is there anyone that still believes Republicans have ever governed with their so-called "principles" in mind? If so, consider this:

Since the ushering in of the modern Republican "Reagan Revolution," the GOP has never done any of the above. Frankly put, in the 20 years of modern Republican rule-- 8 years of Reagan, 4 years of Bush, and 8 years of Bush-- spending has never decreased, the deficit only grew by leaps and bounds (see #'s 4 & 5) and never did government shrink. There is no factual record they can point to that would in any way whatsoever suggest they are a fiscally conservative lot.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shoppers Gone Wild

Something is wrong with this behavior my gut tells me.  These poor, mostly working class, people seem to have lost their dignity and been duped once again into nearly killing one another over a TV set. The Walmart door buster sale on Black Friday reminds me of starving people attacking a food truck in some famine ravaged African country instead of a sale on flat screen televisions or a toaster.

This relatively new shopping experience in America ironically follows Thanksgiving Day, which has become more a day to feed ones face and plot your position in line the next morning than considering the fact your lucky to have a roof over your head, a job or anything to eat at all.

"Advertising defines "the good life" in terms of buying rather than of doing, of acquisition rather than of accomplishment, of consumption rather than conservation." Thomas Hines

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Another Republican Lie: The Stimulus Didn't Work

Unfortunately, most Americans bought that Republican BS bill of goods too. The only problem with the stimulus is it probably wasn't big enough and should of contained more shovel ready infrastructure repairing projects than tax cuts.

So instead of a 11.6% unemployment rate we have a 9.6% rate because of the stimulus according to the impartial Congressional Budget Office. The Republicans have proposed we rescind the remaining $12 billion of the Recovery Act that remains unspent, even though many of them actually voted for the original legislation or made sure they could claim credit for the jobs it created in their home districts or states even though they originally opposite the Recovery Act.

"The stimulus created the equivalent of 2 million to 5.8 million jobs during the third quarter as part-time workers shifted to full-time work, or employers offered more overtime work."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Southern Poverty Law Center Lists Top 18 Anti-Gay Groups

The SPLC, the long established and respected civil rights advocacy group,  has published a list of the top 18 anti-gay groups. We couldn't help but notice that the creeps over the the American Family Association, who we just happen to expose yesterday in a previous post, also made the list.

Video: Climate Change Denial Wackos Wrong Again

Climate change is real and the evidence of the lose of sea ice, a key indicator, is undeniable according to most objective scientists who are experts in the field.  But the wackos continues to politicize the issue. Their motives apparently based on greed,  hokey-poky and other assorted crapola. Their theories usually follow the pattern of something like, there's more snow in the front yard this year so how could the the planet be warming. 

Much of the misinformation campaign is spewed out from the website watts up with that, which claims to be "the world's most viewed climate website". The site is authored by deaf former TV weatherman Anthony Watts. I think that Watts real end game is motivated by using his notoriety to sell his weather widgets and website ad space. It's comparable to the deceased Seattle's KIRO TV weatherman Harry Wappler coming back from the grave and suddenly being anointed a climate change expert.



Via: Little Green Footballs

Power Hungry America's Quadrillions of BTU's

Texas is the biggest hog and Washington leads in renewable energy.....

 
 Click here for full sized look via GOOD infographics

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Republicans Playing Politics With START Will Ultimately Strengthen Iran and North Korean Position

Republicans playing politics with START is just plain stupid and threatens to embolden Iran and North Korean efforts to develop nuclear weapons, and George Will is a pencil neck twit.

I Just Balanced The Federal Budget Now It's Your Turn

The New York Time has a groovy interactive budget puzzle that let's you "fix the budget" by choosing what taxes should be collected  and cuts made to balance the budget. One of my major cuts was the funding for our wars. Boy it felt good selecting that option.

Vigilante Politics Musical Interlude

Jesus Freak Says Medal Of Honor Should Require More Killing And Less Life Saving

This is just beyond the pale. Christian spokesman from American Family Association says Medal of Honor recipient not deserving because he saved lives rather then killing the enemy. These fascists would make a controversy out of anything if they felt in some strange way it serves their twisted political agenda.

Christians Who Don't Believe In The Separation Of Church And State Are Not Really Being Christ Like

I respect atheists who lead a good life because they simply choose to, rather than because of the fear of some sort of atonement should they not behave themselves. Often atheists believe there is no god because it is a belief that is both logical and intelligent, especially given the alternatives demonstrated in the myriad of evil doing that has transpired in the name of organized religion. I believe strongly in the separation of church and state, something that in present day America seems to be a dying concept even though the idea surely demonstrated the often ignored brilliance of some of our country's founders.

I was raised an Irish Catholic and now generally think of myself as more agnostically or open theism inclined then Catholic when it comes to matters of spirituality. One of the main reasons I stopped being a practicing Catholic was because I had a difficult time reconciling how religious people, especially Christians and Catholics could justify violence, vilifying the weak, poor, killing, hating gays, war and all the other evil they promote in the name of Jesus as being something that Jesus would approve of under any circumstances. In my limited understanding of Christ's teachings modern Christian dogma seems to be completely contrary to Christ's actual teachings and more often than not a justification for widespread hypocritical behavior. Like other progressives I have often wondered how all this hypocritical behavior, lying, killing and promotion of violence by these righteous Christian folks could ever be justified as being Christ like.

Gregory Boyd is a theologian and failed Catholic who now preaches and writes extensively on how Christians have it completely wrong if they believe that the mixture of church and state is acceptable behavior. Boyd in fact says that mixing the two is the opposite of what Jesus would want them to do. Boyd's book, The Myth Of A Christian Nation: how the quest for political power is destroying the church, caused quite a stir when it was first published in 2006. He was called a heretic by his fellow Christians and generally attacked by those on the political right, a sign that he must be preaching something intelligent. Boyd believes that Christians who think Jesus would approve of war and violence of any kind are missing Christ's message.

Although I don't agree with everything Boyd says during the three part interview below from the Charlie Rose's show in 2006, I think that most of what he says about present day politically involved Christians if pretty much directly on point, and worth the time to watch.







Saturday, November 20, 2010

Patty Murray Tabbed To Head Senate Campaign Committee?

Les Blumenthal, McClatchy's Washington State correspondent, writes that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the White House are trying to convince Senator Murray to head up the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2012 campaign.

The Impersonal Nature Of Modern Warfare

"Wonder weapons... my God, I don't see the wonder in them. Killing without heroics, nothing is glorified... nothing is reaffirmed? No heroes, no cowards, no troops, no generals? Only those who are left alive... and those who are left dead. I'm glad I won't live to see it." George C. Scott from the Movie Patton

Yes, a made up quote from a Hollywood movie, yet quite fitting I think when it comes to the American war policy of using drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I remember being in the Army during the Vietnam War and receiving a fellow soldier's letter from Saigon that talked about how impersonal war had become in the modern world.

Carpet bombing in the Vietnam War was common place and the collateral damage it inflicted  caused thousands of innocent civilian deaths, all in the name of more efficiently killing the enemy. War is truly evil, most people agree, but modern warfare has turned war into the likes of a government sanctioned video killing game. Americans driven by misinformation, fear and preoccupation with our personal lives appear willing to turn a blind eye to the killing of humans randomly and impersonally by our government, often divorced from the the true reality of what it really means.
"While the United States might be at war in Afghanistan, many of the people we are trying to fight seem to be taking refuge in Pakistan. While the government won't acknowledge it, there is a massive operation using unmanned aircraft to hunt and kill militants in Pakistan. The New America Foundation has been tracking these operations since 2004, and their numbers show that as the war in Afghanistan winds down, our attacks in Pakistan are increasing." 
Click here for larger interactive graphic via: Good Infographics

Friday, November 19, 2010

Over 100,000 Jobs The GOP Didn't Want To Save

Think Progress has a nice piece on the success of the GM bailout and their successful IPO.  GOP leadership at the time ranted on about the destruction of the free market and how the bailouts of the auto industry would be, “the road toward Socialism."

I always like it when the Republicans talk about the destruction of the free market. Right wing free market dogma speak doesn't apply when it's some monopoly the wingnuts wants to protect from competing in the so called free market.  In fact the existence of free markets is pretty much a total bullshit lie when it comes to the way multinational corporations operate in today's world.

I wonder what the more than 100.000 auto industry workers, who's jobs were saved or created by the bailout, feel about the Republican fears of Socialism and destruction of the free market now.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is It Fascism Yet Mommy.......?

Best of the Blogs always has something thought provoking. This particular article points out that many of the "stages" of becoming a fascist state are already present in America. Boy are the rally for sanity crowd going to hate this. Well there may come a point where being politically correct and nice may not work anymore.

Hyperbole you say, it couldn't happen in America could it. Well, I say given the great unwashed masses of the uninformed liberals, yes maybe even you, and ignorant uniformed rednecks that inhabit this land I'm not so sure. Maybe you'll  realize it has happened when you hear that knock on your door when they come to take you away.

Timeless Tea Making Tips (1941)

Now for something completely different Darling......

Deadly Amounts Of Radioactivity Found 1000 Feet From Columbia River

Meanwhile down at the Plant..... (that's what the locals call Hanford, by the way)

Workers have found a nasty surprise beneath a Hanford building just north of Richland - they found highly contaminated soil from an previously undiscovered leak.

"This is extremely high radiation. Nothing else compares in the river corridor," said Mark French, Department of Energy project director for environmental cleanup in the river corridor, the 75 square miles of Hanford along the Columbia River. 

Radioactivity has been measured at 8,900 rad per hour, which would be about 10 times the lethal dose on contact, according to Hanford officials. The building where the leak was found is about 1,000 feet from the Columbia River.

Heart of America NW, a Hanford watchdog group, had this to say about the contamination:

"Now, the question is how could USDOE have promoted use of the building for years without knowing about radiation levels so high in the sumps and soil under the building that they would kill in minutes??? What is needed Now: an emergency cleanup effort is needed due to proximity to the River and public, and an investigation as to how this was ignored or not found for years. This is going to be very expensive because of the incredible risk from the gamma radiation, and shielding needed. However, this comes at a time when Congressional pressure and the President’s announced response is to cut Hanford Clean-Up budgets in 2012. The waste should not be disposed at Hanford in landfills, it is so hot it should be treated as High-Level Waste, which is what it originated as." 

Wonder what the Republican majority in the House of Representatives thinks about providing  money to clean up this deadly mess. Maybe they will be swayed into paying for the cleanup because it more directly effects their redneck base supporter who live and work in Eastern Washington, or would  that be considered an earmark? Ouch!




Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why Doesn’t Disingenuous Mayor McSchwinn Just Come Out and Say He’s Against the Tunnel Under Any Circumstances

Sometime in the utopian future Mayor McSchwinn wants all of us to ride our bikes or take public transit if we're going through town for business or pleasure. These are lovely and lofty ideals that the city of Seattle should strive for, but as I’ve said before they are highly unrealistic for most people who are living in the present.

Apparently he is more concerned with where to locate Nickelsville than getting started on replacing the crumbling viaduct and seawall. Publicola had a story yesterday that says the McSchwinn has not made a measurable effort yet to lobby Seattle’s legislators about controlling Seattle's share of the cost overruns that he's got his panties all in a knot about controlling.  Of course, the issue will come up in the next session of the legislature. You'd think, as mayor of Seattle, one of his top prioities would be to exercise do diligence and communicate his concerns to lawmakers about cost overruns on the tunnel project, but I guess not.

McSchwinn talks a good game and does a lot of posturing about tunnel cost overruns being the problem.

He gives the impression that if the city had certain guarantees that cost overruns could be controlled and not the responsibility of the city taxpayers he’s start construction tomorrow. But his actions demonstrate his real political agenda is no tunnel being built ever.

Even Goldy over at Horsesass argues that McSchwinn and his allies at the Stranger and elsewhere are only eclipsed by Tim Eyman when it comes to their anti-roads ideology.  All caught up in their personal agendas about bicycle ridding everywhere for everybody acted out behind the wizard of Oz tunnel cost overrun smokescreen.

Dear Mayor McSchwinn can you please come out and just say that your against the tunnel no matter what the circumstances are and quit being the typical politician that you are who's more concerned about protecting your bicycle riding back side than making the hard choices.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Baird Moving To Edmonds Hints Of Possible Run For 1st CD Seat

In a wide ranging interview with McClatchy News outgoing 3rd Distirct Congressman Brian Baird spreads the blame for the Republican takeover of his seat, and indicated he may run again.
"Baird has roughly $450,000 in his campaign account. He can't keep it personally, but can donate it to charity or other campaigns. There's one other alternative." "I could use it for another race," said Baird
"Baird is moving to Edmonds, Wash., in the 1st Congressional District north and east of Lake Washington currently represented by Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee. If Inslee were to run for governor in 2012 as many expect, the congressional seat would be open."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Things Deep Bore Tunnel Opponents Don't Talk About

My Graphs better illustrate, I think, the concerns about the surface traffic issues that they won't talk about, and How Time Is Spent By Opponents Of The Deep Bore Tunnel, as far as we can determine: (Note: click on image for larger resolution)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Class Warfare And Trickle Down Economics My Ass

Every time someone argues for the elimination of the Bush tax cuts for the rich the right hauls out their "class warfare" talking point. If that doesn't work they go to the "less taxes on the rich will create jobs" trickle down rant. Really it's about tax equity and fairness and the fact that higher taxes on the rich really don't create the jobs that they claim they do.

The elephant in the closet in all the arguments about deficit reduction and taxes that almost always fails to get addressed is the fact that we are conducting two very expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are draining this country's coffers and are essentially unfunded mandates.

Real class warfare is what's going to happen sometime in the future if the middle class wakes up to the fact that they've been getting screwed for years by the corporate and financial oligarchy and their political enablers.



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Get Out The Rye Bread Grandma It's Grand Salami Time In Baseball Heaven


Dave "Voice Of The Mariners" Niehaus 
1935 - 2010
click on above link to hear his famous grand slam call

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Boy Was I Wrong: No Gravel Pit On Vashon Island Opponents Devise Plan To Buy Mining Operation


In early 2009 I wrote a post that pointed out that it looked like the Glacier Northwest no gravel pit on Vashon environmentalists had reached the end of the line in their attempts to stop the multinational Corporation from expansion of it mining operations on the Island. After a 10-year battle I reasoned it appeared to me that the company had in fact jumped through all the governmental hoops and should probably be allowed to run their business as they saw fit. I offered the opinion that perhaps the protesters should accept the fact and open up lines of communication with the company for the overall betterment of the community.

Boy was I wrong. 

Instead of accepting my call for a retreat the opponents of the expansion of mining redoubled their efforts. The turning point in the battle royal came with the election of a new State Land Commissioner Peter Goldmark. The new Commissioner Of Public Lands had, during his run for office, promised that if elected he would review the granting of the lease to aquatic areas surrounding the project that previously had been granted to Glacier Northwest by the outgoing Commissioner Doug Sutherland.  Sutherland’s granting of the lease was controversial because it was done at the end of his term and appeared to be a quid pro quo to the mining company in return for their campaign contributions.

Goldmark won the election and he fulfilled his promise. He informed the company that he had “grave concerns” about the project and had called for a complete review. That action put the company once again on the defensive and probably turned the tide in favor of the opponents of project. The other factor was the election of County Executive Dow Constantine. The new executive, and former 34th District State Senator, which includes Vashon Island, had been an opponent of the project for years.

Today the County Executive announced an agreement to purchase the property from its present owners CalPortland Materials Group. Large parts of the property will be converted to a park open to the public. The purchase is contingent on the Cascade Land Conservancy Group raising 2 million of the purchase price total of $36 million dollars and the approval of the King County Council.

Is this the end of the fight? Maybe it’s the beginning of the end. But what will we do if we don’t have the Vashon gravel pit controversy to kick around anymore?