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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Mayor’s Race Update: Art Langlie is a Likely Latecomer

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A prediction: Council winners will be Mosqueda and Brianna Thomas, cementing the current council status quo. Such an outcome would make life very difficult for a Mayor Bruce Harrell. A Mayor Gonzalez would complete the ideological takeover of city hall by the progressive-agenda council.

Seuss Saga: Time to Stand Down the Culture Wars

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Right now, the Democrats have (more or less) called a retreat or moratorium on the culture wars and are actually facing into and solving the problems people care about.

Bitter? Me? (Well maybe just a little…)

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The GOP has done all of this backsliding for what? The wavering loyalty of Tea Party voters, the obstructionist idiocy of the Freedom Caucus, and that sad excuse for a merchant-prince they elevated to a level far above his competence? Whatever happened to the idea of loyal opposition, one that opposes without destroying?

Between Religious Liberty and Gay Rights

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For the past eight years, a coalition of moderates, representing both LGBTQ and religious advocates, have been working tirelessly on a roadmap that’s reflective of both sides.

Going Rogue: Two Renegade Northwest Congressmen on Key Votes

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The left politics of Portland has not picked up more support beyond the city, in trying to primary Blue Dog Rep. Schrader, any more than Seattle’s litmus-test left.

City Hall Scrambles to Continue its JustCARE Program for Downtown Homeless

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Earlier this month, Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis, who chairs the Council’s committee on homelessness, began sounding the alarm on the soon-to-expire funding for the program. This week he raised the decibel level.

Challenge from the Hard Right: Sen. Murkowski in for another Bruising Election

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Murkowski is likely to face off against the far right again, as the lone Republican senator up for reelection in 2022 who voted to impeach President Trump. The state Republican central committee will meet on March 12 to consider revenge.

Take 3: Rating the Seattle Mayor’s Race (PLUS Special Bonus: City Council Races)

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The crowded mayor's race means that a splinter candidate needs only to get 17-20 percent to make it through the primary. An open seat and a very open race.

Propaganda 101: Trump’s Tools of the Trade

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Trump had early proven himself a master at using a BANDWAGON strategy, flaunting physical trappings at his rallies: forests of flags, red MAGA hats, and Trump banners. He used not-so-subtle dog whistles to SCAPEGOAT and demonize immigrants, minorities, and Jews.

Judge Grants Temporary Reprieve for Northwest Federal Archives

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The legal effort to keep the federal archives close at hand, led by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, scores an important partial victory.

Washington’s Jamie Herrera Beutler Stands Up

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The lowest-profile lawmaker in Washington’s Congressional Delegation, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., briefly occupied the national spotlight Friday night and Saturday morning. She “outed” an angry exchange between then-President Trump and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.

How Ranked-Choice Voting Would Change How We Elect Seattle Mayors

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Proponents of ranked-choice voting argue that it drives greater voter turnout and better enfranchises traditionally marginalized groups. It also theoretically encourages a more congenial style of campaigning, because candidates would want their opponents’ supporters to like them well enough to rank them next.

Have Seattle Parks Become a Permanent “Solution” for Homelessness?

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Seattle’s politics and our City Council mirror national trends of short-term thinking and using one’s office as a platform to draw attention and for self-promotion.

Judge to Tim Eyman: Do Something Else with the rest of your Life!

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AG Ferguson has been unrelenting in pursuit of Eyman’s initiative empire, brushing off ceaseless hyperbole, self-pity, and baseless attacks from the initiative promoter.

How you could end up Paying a State Billionaire Wealth Tax (uh-oh!)

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If the state Supreme Court invalidates the billionaires' clause, a severability clause might pertain, meaning a wealth tax for all of us.

Raised Voices: Researchers Plead for National Archives to Stay in Seattle

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Those who spoke at AG Bob Ferguson's remote public hearing illuminated reasons why removal of the records would do incalculable harm. Among the speakers was Seattle City Councilmember Deborah Juarez who is registered with the Blackfeet Nation said, "Our history lives here. Let's keep it here."

Can You Fire a Cop for Showing up at Trump’s Insurrection?

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Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz has said, "If any SPD officers were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, I will immediately terminate them.”

Biden in the Breach: COVID Bill Will Set the Tone

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Joe Biden has a lot on his plate at the moment. Hopefully, he has found time to read Obama’s memoirs, A Promised Land, in which the 44th president eloquently describes being repeatedly stymied and snookered when he sought bipartisan compromise.

Thanks to Andrew Johnson, There’s Another way to Bar Trump from Future Office

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Because Lincoln was a Republican and Johnson a Democrat, they formed a new party, called the National Union Party. (You can thereby reject the Republican party’s cherished epithet “The Party of Lincoln.”)

This Year It’s Reigning Women in Political Leadership

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It's probably not a surprise that it took some unusual factors to help bring so many women into power positions. The year-long pandemic likely played a role in changing voters' outlook on who and what matters. Social unrest also may have been a factor.

Retribution: Will GOP Reps. Newhouse and Herrara Beutler Be ‘Primaried’?

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Hell hath no fury like that of blue or red party loyalists when one of their own deviates from the party line. They pass resolutions, go on talk radio, and send off angry letters. Still, it’s usually mainly noise, justifying a wise observation by the late Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Chuck Noll: “The empty drum bangs loudest.”

Cooking up a budget

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Access is not transparency. We may be able to look in on our Legislature's proceedings thanks to the internet, but the language in which business is conducted and budgets written is opaque.

Biden’s Success Depends on Making People Believe in Government Again

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To get his program adopted—and have a chance for Democrats to keep their majorities—I think Biden needs to organize a massive public campaign of persuasion along with his quieter attempts at bipartisan diplomacy.

Deprogramming: A Better Way to Address Addictions of the Radical Right

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The addiction model provides a compassionate, interventionist approach that matches the seriousness of the delusive and self-destructive disease. It accords dignity, a Biden watchword, to those locked into weirdness.

Second Take: Handicapping the Race for Seattle Mayor

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As Seattle politics veers left and the state is worried about jobs and taxes, some ambitious Seattle figures may want to avoid the stigma of being Seattle mayor, which is a political albatross in the county or statewide.

Inauguration Theme: ‘We Have Been Humbled’

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We were humbled on Inauguration Day by the need for so many troops and so much security, such that the Capitol was turned into a “fortress,” in the words of a news reporter. And, finally, we had been humbled by the Trump presidency itself, by how close we had come to a subversion of our institutions and of our collective sanity. Humbling has, however, had positive effects.

An Inauguration Like No Other

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At times it looked like almost any other inauguration -- except we saw the first woman, first person of color, sworn in as vice president. And everyone was masked except when singing, taking an oath of office or giving an inaugural address that emphasized "decency and dignity, love and healing."

State GOP Tells Its Moderate Wing to Stop Using the R-Word

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Along with other King County Republican leaders, Joshua Freed ought to show up at the Cascade Conference and learn how to win elections. The GOP has been hemorrhaging legislative seats in the state’s largest population center.

Is it 1861 again?

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And here we are, just days from what was once a powerful symbol of democracy, of American strength - its peaceful inauguration of a new president - looking at rows and rows of uniformed troops, as with Lincoln so long ago, gathered to protect that sacred moment from armed disruption. In this year of 2021.

Madison On Your Side: The Historical Case for Majority Rule

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If you are like me, you grew up amongst people who, when discussing some minor choice like what TV show to watch, would often fall back on the phrase, “Majority rules!” and smugly grab the remote. I heard it a lot, in many different contexts, as I’m sure you did too. Now I ask you, did anyone ever yell out: “Plurality rules!”?