Northwest Rain: ‘How Horrible Is the Day!’

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The poet Richard Hugo wrote of "the moody damp and wanton rain."  He said: "What is harsh about this rain-soaked landscape is the bone-infecting, soul-deranging, forest-brooding damp." 

Remembering David Wagoner, Northwest Poet and Unforgettable Teacher

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David advised poets to take acting classes and study music. He said, “Control volume, pitch, register, tension, tempo, dynamics, and color as if you were a singer.”

Why Tara Henley, a Liberal Newsie, Asks: What Is Going on at the CBC?

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"To work at the CBC in the current climate is to embrace cognitive dissonance and to abandon journalistic integrity. It is to sign on, enthusiastically, to a radical political agenda that originated on Ivy League campuses in the United States and spread through American social media platforms that monetize outrage and stoke societal divisions."

SSO: Dancing Through the Dark

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Symphony supporters have had some lovely distractions from the twin menaces of cabal and COVID during the darkest days of the year over the Holidays.

Nine Reasons Joe Biden Is Down

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Steeped in D.C. Democratic politics, Biden seems more intent on serving various interest-group causes, if only in speeches and kitchen-sink legislation that can't make it to his desk.

Nicholas Kristof for Oregon Governor? Um… Buffering…

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Kristof and his campaign operatives have long contended that he should qualify as a resident based on his deep roots in the state.

What’s in a Name? Ancient Sourdough Starter

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Among the names I thought about were: Kneady, Puffy, Sour Pants, Doughbert, Sourfina, and Weirdough. It was almost harder than picking a name for one's infant.

Supreme Court: Reaffirms the Inalienable Right to Infect

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The majority Justices found that “penumbra of the second amendment” established the inalienable right to infect.

Jay Inslee’s Intriguing Side Trip to Chicago: Still a Presidential Itch?

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Is Inslee thinking about his next act, and do those thoughts extend to a possible bid for president in 2024?

The Biden Doctrine: Pummeling Putin with Words

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The Adjectival School, favored by the career diplomats, advocate strengthening Biden’s message by placing a triple adjective before every warning, for example, “further aggression against Ukraine will have massive, massive, massive, massive, massive, massive consequences and will carry a very, very, very high price.” 

Trump says Jump. Alaska Governor Dunleavy says “Of Course.”

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Such deals are rarely spelled out in public. But Trump is bluntly bent on party domination, insisting on the fealty of Republican officeholders and candidates. And he despises Sen. Murkowski.

Twelve Suggestions for Seattle’s New Mayor: Take a Councilmember to Lunch!

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Your buddy Norm Rice lunched each month with a different councilmember at a neighborhood restaurant of his/her choosing. By all accounts, it worked to cement relations.

Jayapal & DelBene: Exit Hare, Hello Tortoise…

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A Conservative columnist gloats: "It turns out that Jayapal’s master plan, which endeared her to progressives at the time, was a disaster of epic proportions for the Democrats."

Me and Kshama: Our Mad Love For “Succession”

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What's next? Will I suddenly discover that the city's resident Marxist has a taste for Dutch Babies and Fran's chocolates? That she's bought a copy of Hillary Clinton's best seller?

British Columbia Tightens COVID Restrictions as Omicron Surges

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“We have a very fragile health-care-worker work force right now. People are so tired. All of us had a ‘Here we go again’ feeling. It is really challenging looking down the line at what could happen."

Remembering Author Charles Morris, a Master Revisionist

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Reviewing a later book, the journalist Michael Kinsley (a Morris-like sensibility), noted Morris's neoconservative aspects "but with generosity and good will." There are always lots of "saints and sinners" in his histories.

The Original Douglas Fir

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David Douglas introduced over 200 Pacific Northwest plants to Great Britain, including the Sitka spruce.  At Scone Castle, near his birthplace, a large Douglas fir stands in his honor.

Julie Anderson Jumps Early in The Suddenly Important Race for Secretary of State

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The incumbent, Steve Hobbs, is not beloved by the progressive wing of the Democratic party and hasn’t shown much firepower as a statewide candidate, finishing fourth in the 2016 primary for lieutenant governor.

Seattle Waterfront Update and Working on Reviving Downtown Streets

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Downtown sidewalks coming back to pedestrian life will never be the same. On some parts of the Pike-Pine corridor, they’ll be widened and paved and planted better, according to city plans for the waterfront park and its extensions eastward into the city’s downtown.

Seattle Nice Podcast

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PubliCola editor Erica C. Barnett and Post Alley writer and public affairs consultant Sandeep Kaushik, both former writers at the Stranger, dissect the Sawant recall.

What Happened to Facts-Checked Journalism?

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It is no joke, but rather a profound danger to our democratic character and destiny and the future of journalism.

Crabby ’bout Crab

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Nearly two weeks after the Big Day, local gourmets are justified in crying out, like the old lady in 1984’s memorable Wendy’s commercial: “Where’s the crab??”

Sawant Recall: Why She Survived and What’s Next

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It's not surprising that the Seattle electorate wants to have it both ways. Throw out the radicals in the November election, but rally behind a Socialist in December.

Early Holiday Gift for the Cannabis Industry

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The departing Russ Hauge, who spent 20 years as Kitsap County Prosecutor, was a chief gripe for the association and its allies in Olympia for an approach they found, well, too prosecutorial toward the now-legal weed business.

Omicron: What we Know so Far

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Omicron is now considered likely to drive a major new COVID wave over the next few months across the Northern Hemisphere. Case rates will probably break all records, and hospitalizations and deaths will inevitably rise again, hopefully at a lower rate relative to cases in previous waves.

What, Me Happy?

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Yuval Levin writes: “A fuller understanding of flourishing would see it as achievable not by a proper sequencing of solitary choices but by a proper layering of embedded commitments to others."

Three Books Out of COVID

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I am thinking about some books I've read that use the pandemic as a main character

NBC Pollster John Lapinski: Democrats in Peril

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The response rate for pollsters is way low, about 1 percent. Take the margin of error of a poll and multiply by two, meaning most polled races are really tossups.

Pramila Jayapal, Speaker-in-Waiting?

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Rep. Jayapal has seen her power and influence grow on Capitol Hill. But she has an uneven record as power broker on the home front.

Seattle to get a New Website, Axios Local. Plus an Idaho Find

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By third quarter of next year, a Seattle site will join the Axios Local network, according to Adweek, which reports that there will be 11 new local Axios sites in 2022.