Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving, long time visitors to this blog will know, is my favorite holiday. It’s not about venerating one ideal (inevitably over others) or celebrating a victory (at which some must have suffered defeat) or a particular personage (who may Read more

DOW Breaks 19,000!

Ahah! The DOW has reached an all-time high! Obviously this is a confirmation that the markets support the new administration!Well, not quite. Part of it is that the economy has been throwing off healthy signs for quite some time Read more

Play: Totally Modern Shakespeare

King Charles III by Mike Bartlett, Directed by David Muse, through 18 December, Seattle Repertory Theatre.A very political play, set in an England of the very near future, where Her Majesty Elizabeth II has passed on, and Charles, her Read more

The Political Desk: After the Dust Settles

So, what do we have?This time around, there doesn't look like much that is hanging fire. Due the nature of mail-in ballots, close races sometimes need to wait days, if not weeks, for resolution. But most of the spread Read more

JAPANESE TV ADS: Halloween

Oh look! Another collection of bizarre TV commercials fresh off the Japanese air-waves. This time the bundle includes: • A bunch of “Halloween goods” commercials . . . showing that in the 20 years since I last visited Japan, Halloween Read more

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving, long time visitors to this blog will know, is my favorite holiday. It’s not about venerating one ideal (inevitably over others) or celebrating a victory (at which some must have suffered defeat) or a particular personage (who may be disliked or worse by some segment of the populace) . . . rather, Thanksgiving is just about being reflecting on the good things in your life, the things for which you are thankful.

 Certainly, in some years the thanks is more bountiful than in others. Indeed, in some years the things worthy of regret may seem, feel, or actually be more plentiful than those for which we give thanks. But when all the marks are tallied, there invariably ARE things worth venerating . . . and that in itself is worth being thankful for.

On the whole, most people I know are pretty underwhelmed with how 2016 has progressed thus far. The grim reaper has claimed a larger than usual number of influential musicians, actors, and pop cultural icons. Within my personal sphere of connectivity there have been several deaths, a handful of completely unexpected endings to long term relationships, major surgeries, chronic illnesses, and the usual collection of smaller “slings and arrows” that pepper our lives with regret and dissatisfaction. And don’t even get me started about the only recently concluded election season.

And yet, I am fully prepared to raise a glass (or a turkey leg) at today’s gathering and celebrate all that I DO have to be thankful for—friends and family, health, success in a career I love. But perhaps the thing I overlook most often, and one that I am keenly aware of this year, is that I am thankful to be living in a time and a place where I’m afforded the opportunity to try again. If life pulls the rug out from under my feet, or I make a critical error, or bad luck just settles on my shoulders for an inexplicably long period of time . . . I can roll my sleeves up and try again.

With all the problems the world is facing right now . . . with all the errors we seem to have made . . . with all the bad news we see crawling across our computer screens . . . despite all of that, we have the chance to get up tomorrow and try again. Try to fix the things that are broken. Try to steer the course of our lives (personal, public, political, cultural) into calmer, saner waters. Try to spend more time doing the things that really matter to us. Try to help those around us. Try to leave a positive mark on the world, so that when we’ve gone those who remain will be able to raise their glasses and give thanks for the legacy we’ve bequeathed them.

So whether you celebrate the American Thanksgiving holiday or not, I hope you’ll join me in this little ritual.

Stop whatever it is you’re doing. Raise the glass, cup, can, bottle, or canteen of whatever it is your drinking (or simply take a moment of silence if you’re not drinking anything), and think or speak a few quick, personally meaningful words of thanks for the truly important things in your life. Appreciate what you’ve got. Because in this life fortunes can change in an instant . . . and we should try our best never to take the good things for granted.

 Happy Thanksgiving, all!

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DOW Breaks 19,000!

Ahah! The DOW has reached an all-time high! Obviously this is a confirmation that the markets support the new administration!

Well, not quite. Part of it is that the economy has been throwing off healthy signs for quite some time now,and regardless of the propaganda off the campaign trail, we continue to see an upward trend. This is what in cooking terms is "carry-over heat" where the turkey's internal temp keeps rising even though you've killed the heat in the oven (pardon the analogy, but 'tis the season).

Part of the rise is that finally, for good or ill, is that things are over. The markets have been doldruming in the mid 18000s for a while now, waiting for the decision. Every investment operation had an "A" envelope and a "B" envelope, depending on the results. A lot of groups didn't have much in the "B" envelope since it didn't look likely, but still, at least there was an envelope. So systems are locked in place.

The weird thing is that no one is really sure what the "B" envelope exactly means. The new guy is fleeing the sweeping declarations he made to get elected at something approaching lightspeed, and no one is quite sure if he means what he is saying NOW or if he's going to heel-turn again. The level at which people are trying to figure out who's REALLY in charge is high, and probably will be with us for some time. This happened with the younger Bush, who conventional wisdom said was the not the brightest soul, but had his father's advisors. And look how that turned out.

So we're probably in for a period of unsettlement in the markets (and everywhere else). If asked if I know where this will go, I can only shrug my shoulders - we're in undetermined territory. I expect the usual suspects will look at this as a sign the "All Will Be Well", but most of these doofs were the same guys who have fretted with every step of the last 10,000 points on the DOW under the last guy. Perhaps I will get to the point of having to write "DOW Breaks 29,000!", which would be kinda cool, but I have my doubts.

More later,
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Play: Totally Modern Shakespeare

King Charles III by Mike Bartlett, Directed by David Muse, through 18 December, Seattle Repertory Theatre.

A very political play, set in an England of the very near future, where Her Majesty Elizabeth II has passed on, and Charles, her greying son, is finally taking the throne. And the new King goes to loggerheads with the Parliament almost immediately over a measure that would restrict Freedom of the Press. The new king is against such a measure, even though it might get the Barons of Fleet Street off his and his family's collective backs, and refuses to provide the royal signature to make it a law (no Pocket Veto in England). The Prime Minister denies that the Crown has the right to withhold its signature. And we are off to the races.

Interesting enough, but the play is written in blank verse. Which is to say iambic pentameter. Which is to say it is written in that lyrical fashion in which Shakespeare himself wrote. Which means the result feels like something off the stage of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the histories, transplanted into the present say, with rhyming couplets to end a scene that use the words "cell phone".

And much to my surprise, the entire thing works. Shakespeare stalks the halls of Buckingham Palace, where Young Prince Harry evokes Young Prince Hal, even as he fears his fate is to be Falstaff, Kate Middleton is possessed by the spirit of Lady MacBeath, and yes, a ghost of a dead royal shows up. (Or maybe two. I wrote an essay back in college about whether the ghost of Hamlet was singular or plural - it applies here as well). The language among the Brit elites and the people flows naturally for all its poetic, non-rhyming nature.

Robert Joy, as the new King, sketches out a man unprepared, even at this point, to fully emerge from his parent's shadow and take command. And when he takes command, he does so armed with traditions of the past and a willingness to dig his heels in. Ian Merrill Peakes as the Prime Minister is surprised and frustrated by a suddenly intractable monarch, and Bradford Farwell makes for an opposition leader that could have been out of an old episode of Yes, Minister.

Of the family, Christopher McLinden makes a William that is his father's son, and Allison Jean White a bright-eyed, very aware Kate Middleton. Harry Smith as bad-boy Prince Harry engages in a Prince and pauper romance with Jessica (Michelle Beck), a revolutionary with a soft spot, capable of serving as a companion on Doctor Who. The play requires that Prince Harry hasn't encountered a lot of normal life, but that is a small concession for the romance, which will not end well.

The stage is set like Westminster Abbey, with stone ancestors pressing down on the action below. The centuries of monarchy (constitutional and otherwise) weighs heavy on the heads of those who are carrying it forward. Each side believes they are right, but things quickly get out of hand and a tank is parked at Buckingham Palace while King Charles by turns stands resolute and wishes for an easier task so soon in his rule.

In many ways the play was a wondrous cathartic experience, given the recent developments in these parts. The play was written pre-Brexit, but has the feeling of the continual stress and pull of ruler, oligarchy, and people rings true as it moves from the death of one leader to the coronation of another. It does evoke the LBJ play, All the Way, with its protagonist wanting to be validated, to be proven he is worthy for the position he holds. But unlike LBJ, the Charles is this play does not have the right tools and temperament to succeed.

Highly recommended. More later,
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The Political Desk: After the Dust Settles

So, what do we have?

This time around, there doesn't look like much that is hanging fire. Due the nature of mail-in ballots, close races sometimes need to wait days, if not weeks, for resolution. But most of the spread of votes here are wide enough to make it clear at the outset. Should it shift radically, I'll update.

I got it totally wrong about the biggest item of the ticket. In fact, I got it completely backwards - Ms. Clinton lost the electoral vote but (at the time of this writing) is winning the popular vote. I regret nothing, and continue to think that Ms. Clinton would have been a better President. But for our little chunk of Pacific Northwest, we did OK. When I got here almost 20 years ago we were out of step with the rest of the country, then became one of the leaders for progressive government, and now we're out of step again. I can work with that. (Though I was kind of looking forward to the taco trucks).

One thing I do want to call out is that yelling at supporters of  Third Party candidates for the loss is kinda off-base. I can't see someone who supported Mr. Johnson's policies suddenly becoming a Democrat if Mr. Johnson had suddenly went away. And if you were so MAD at Ms. Clinton you'd vote for Mr. Johnson instead, regardless of his policies, you'd just as likely vote for Mr. Trump in protest or not vote at all. I also think, as a Sanders supporter, that we would be looking at a McGovern/Nixon level of destruction were he the candidate.

OK, let's see what the damages are (RED is stuff I had endorsed that went the other way):

Initiative Measure No. 1433 (Statewide Minimum Wage) YES
Initiative Measure No. 1464 (Campaign Finance Reform) - NO
Initiative Measure No, 1491 (Reduce access to Firearms) - YES
Initiative Measure No, 1501 (Protect Seniors from Fraud/Reduce Transparency) - YES
Initiative Measure No. 732 Carbon Tax) - NO (This one disappoints me. If it failed because it was "not good enough", now it is our obligation to make one the IS "good enough").
Initiative Measure No. 735 Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizen's United -  YES

Advisory Vote No. 14  House Bill 2768 - MAINTAINED
Advisory Vote No. 15 Second Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2778  - MAINTAINED

Proposed Amendment to the State Constitution Senate Joint Resolution No. 8210. (Move redistricting deadline) - APPROVED

King County Charter Amendment No. 1 Nonpartisan Prosecuting Attorney.  - YES 
King County Charter Amendment No. 2 Gender-Neutral Language. -  YES

President of the United States Donald Trump
US Senator - Patty Murray
US Representative, 9th District - Adam Smith


Governor - Jay Inslee 
Lt. Governor - Cyrus Habib
Secretary of State - Kim Wyman
State Treasurer - Duane Davidson
State Auditor - Pat (Patrice) McCarthy (This one actually makes me happy. I think we need a professional to muck out the stable after the last guy).
Attorney General - Bob Ferguson 
Commissioner of Public Lands - Hilary Franz 
Superintendent  of Public Instruction - Chris Reykdal
Insurance Commission - Mike Kriedler 

Legislative District No. 11 State Senator - Bob Hasegawa 
Legislative District No. 11 Representative Position No. 1 - Zack Hudgins 
Legislative District No. 11 Representative Position No. 2 - Steve Berquist 

Justice Position No. 1Mary Yu
Justice Position No. 5:  Barbara Madsen
Justice Position No. 6: Charles (Charlie) Wiggins

Court of Appeals, Division No. 1, District No. 1 Michael J. Trickey

Judge Position No. 14: Nichole Gaines Phelps
Judge Position No. 26: David Keenan
Judge Position No. 31Helen Halpert
Judge Position No. 44Cathy Moore 
Judge Position No. 52: Kristan Richardson
Judge Position No. 53: Mariane Spearman

Sound Transit (A Regional Transit Authority) Proposition No,. 1 Light-Rail, Commuter-Rail, and Bus Service Expansion - APPROVED (This is huge)

Kent School District No,. 415 Proposition No. 1 Capital Improvement and School Construction General Obligation Bonds - APPROVED

And with that the Political Desk returns to mothballs. Until the next time (duh-duh-DUH!)

More later,
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JAPANESE TV ADS: Halloween

Oh look! Another collection of bizarre TV commercials fresh off the Japanese air-waves. This time the bundle includes:

• A bunch of “Halloween goods” commercials . . . showing that in the 20 years since I last visited Japan, Halloween has grown to be something that they celebrate . . . somehow. I throw that last part in because aside from wearing costumes, it’s unclear what the Japanese to mark the holiday. For one thing, all the ads show adults (or young adults) dressing in costume, but none of them show kids. And none of them show anything that looks even a little bit like trick-or-treating. So how DO the Japanese celebrate Halloween? I guess we’ll just have to wait until next year to try and suss it out.
• Pen-Pineapple-apple-pen . . . yeah . . . I don’t get it either.
• Magic gaijin Tommy Lee Jones is a river taxi driver who not only saves a man’s day with canned coffee, he shows some real-world pictures of a section of Tokyo that was featured in the anime “Miss Hokusai” (which I just saw the other night).
• An ad for a live-action Death Note film.
• An oily personification of credit card transaction fees. (Ooo! I wanna bop him right in the snoot!)

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Play: In the Blood

Roz and Ray by Karen Hartman, Directed by Chay Yew, until 13 November, 2106, Seattle Repertory.

The first thing you notice is the stage backdrop - a chaos storm of chairs, rockers, cribs, and children's toys, all in shades of white. A preschool Guernica. It doesn't get any easier from there on out.

Roz and Ray is about the spread of the HIV Virus among hemophiliacs in the 70s and 80s. Roz (Ellen McLaughlin) is Dr. Roz Kagan, specializing in pediatric hemophilia. Ray (Teagle F. Bougere) is Ray Leon, father of hemophiliac twins. In the opening scenes, Ray is hailing Roz as a savior, as a new blood product will give his kids a shot at a traditional life. Moments later it is ten years later and he's standing outside the hospital with a sign, bellowing that Roz Kagan killed his sons. The play is linking those moments.

It is complicated. The encompasses a time when AIDs was burgeoning into our blood supply and our national consciousness. What seems to be a miracle cure for hemophilia turns into a nightmare, and the relentless forces of medicine and markets forces decision-making in real-time with no redemption for a wrong choice, and no chance for a right one.

There is something else going on as well - Roz and Ray hook up. Her marriage is falling apart and he sees her as the mom his kids don't have. And that snakes through everything as well. Like I said, it is complicated.

Bougere has the more volatile role, spinning on a dime to transverse the decades. Sometimes equally overwhelming and overwhelmed, his Ray is a force of chaos dedicated to his unseen kids. Roz is a sense of order, and goes from eager and overloaded to just tired and worn out over the course of the years, dealing with the plague among her charges, a plague she had aided in spreading. Remorse and responsibility stalk through the play, and if the writing is a bit earnest in places, it tries to bring things back to the crisis at hand.

Its a tough play, and jumping through time gives both a sense of inevitability and a feeling of closure. Both actors swing for the fences with their parts, and is a good, tight, play for the Rep.

More laterm,
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The Political Desk: The Jeff Recommends

OK, we are a week away from election day, and the vast bulk of you in Washington State who pay attention to such  have already put together your ballots, mailed it/dropped it off at nearby ballot drops, and then bragged about it on the Facebooks. So let me summarize the past week or so (You can dig through the previous posts for the reasons - if particular, you can find links to other people's endorsements and information here):

Initiative Measure No. 1433 (Statewide Minimum Wage) - YES
Initiative Measure No. 1464 (Campaign Finance Reform) - YES
Initiative Measure No, 1491 (Reduce access to Firearms) - YES
Initiative Measure No, 1501 (Protect Seniors from Fraud/Reduce Transparency) - NO
Initiative Measure No. 732 Carbon Tax) - YES
Initiative Measure No. 735 Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizen's United) -  YES

Advisory Vote No. 14  House Bill 2768  (Does it really matter?) - MAINTAINED
Advisory Vote No. 15 Second Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2778  (Seriously, I mean, advisory as in no one in charge has to pay attention) - MAINTAINED

Proposed Amendment to the State Constitution Senate Joint Resolution No. 8210. (Move redistricting deadline) - APPROVED

King County Charter Amendment No. 1 Nonpartisan Prosecuting Attorney.  - YES 
King County Charter Amendment No. 2 Gender-Neutral Language. -  YES

President of the United States - Hillary Clinton
US Senator - Patty Murray
US Representative, 9th District - Adam Smith


Governor - Jay Inslee 
Lt. Governor - Cyrus Habib
Secretary of State - Tina Podlowski 
State Treasurer - Duane Davidson
State Auditor - Pat (Patrice) McCarthy
Attorney General - Bob Ferguson 
Commissioner of Public Lands - Hilary Franz 
Superintendent  of Public Instruction - Erin Jones (with a respectful nod to Chris Reykdal)
Insurance Commission - Mike Kriedler 


Legislative District No. 11 State Senator - Bob Hasegawa 
Legislative District No. 11 Representative Position No. 1 - Zack Hudgins 
Legislative District No. 11 Representative Position No. 2 - Steve Berquist 

Justice Position No. 1Mary Yu
Justice Position No. 5:  Barbara Madsen
Justice Position No. 6: Charles (Charlie) Wiggins

Court of Appeals, Division No. 1, District No. 1 Michael J. Trickey

Judge Position No. 14: Nichole Gaines Phelps
Judge Position No. 26: David Keenan
Judge Position No. 31Helen Halpert
Judge Position No. 44Cathy Moore 
Judge Position No. 52: Anthony Gipe 
Judge Position No. 53: Mariane Spearman

Sound Transit (A Regional Transit Authority) Proposition No,. 1 Light-Rail, Commuter-Rail, and Bus Service Expansion - APPROVED

Kent School District No,. 415 Proposition No. 1 Capital Improvement and School Construction General Obligation Bonds - APPROVED

A few other notes from the peanut (or pundit) gallery:

1) I expect Ms. Clinton to win with a decisive number of electoral college votes.
2) I expect the popular vote to be much closer than that. In fact, with the third party votes floating around, Ms. Clinton may get a plurality (most votes), but not a majority (more than 50% of the votes). This will be seized upon as a reason why her opponents should stand in the way on all legislation. As if they need a reason.
3) I expect the Republican Party to survive this, much like the Democratic Party survived its blowout in 1972. In the Democrat's case, the result was met with a move towards the center. For the Republicans, I think that they will just dump the current candidate into the memory hole with the previous GOP Administration (As Homer Simpson once said "Alright, we're here. Let us never speak of the short cut again.").
4) If I'm wrong, the Republican party will split into three, not two. There is already a flight among Republicans to the Libertarian movement (Socially liberal, Economically conservative) - the bulk of Libertarian candidates running in Washington State were Republicans until recently. The other party is socially conservative and economically liberal - call them Caring Conservatives, Dan Evans Republicans, Good People, or the Ned Flanders party. Religious but with outreach programs and soup kitchens. Finally there will be the Rump (not a typo) Republicans. We've had to deal with these folks for years - they were the Democrat's headache up to the Sixties, when Nixon recruited them in his Southern Strategy. Call them Tea Party, call them the American Independent Party, call them Dixiecrats, they will remain a challenge for whoever is putting a government together.
5) Ms. Clinton's administration will be incredibly investigated. Somewhere, someone will find that she ripped tags off of mattresses, and that will be the end of it.
6) Finally, should the Reps break up, the Dems well may follow. The Democrats have always been a big. squabbling tent, gathered together by a common foe, but the stress between the Corporate-supporters and the Progressives will be strong. Lack of a coherent opponent, and creation of new opportunities, may create their own fracturing.

Should any of this happen, I will be as surprised as you, but in the meantime, get you ballots in!

More later,

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The Political Desk: Initiatives, Advisory Votes, Amendments, and Other Weighty Matters.

Clickbait TLDR: Yes/Approved/Maintained on all except one. You'll be surprised by the one that doesn't get recommended!

We have a slew of things to vote upon that are not people here: We have Initiatives to the People. We have Initiatives to the Legislature. We have Advisory Votes (which really don't matter at all). We have an amendment to the State Constitution (which is less dire than it sounds). We have two amendments to the King County Charter. We have a Transit Proposal, and, most locally, we have School Construction Bond.

Initiative Measure No. 1433 - Raising the minimum wage state-wide. YES. When Seattle raised its minimum wage, doomsayers stated categorically that it would be the demise of the city's small businesses and chain restaurants. Instead businesses are doing even better and unemployment is down. Now that the same idea is posed statewide, the same doomsayers declare that such actions can ONLY succeed in Seattle, which is successful and, um, has a higher minimum wage. Like I said, YES.

Initiative Measure No. 1464 - Campaign finance reform. Creates a campaign finance system that will allow residents to send state funds to candidates and thereby reduce the power of PACs and special interest groups. Paid for by closing a loophole involving non-resident sales-tax exemptions.  This is a very experimental idea, and I say YES.

Initiative Measure No, 1491 - Court orders to prevent access to firearms by individuals"exhibiting mental illness, violent or other behavior indicating they may harm themselves or others." This is a good step to taking guns out of the hands of those who may pose a direct threat to themselves and others, and addresses it from the "It's not guns, its people with guns" side, which I keep hearing about as a reason NOT to do anything after every major shooting. YES.

Initiative Measure No, 1501 - Increases penalties for people defrauding senior citizens. NO. What? What do I have against old people (bordering on that demographic myself)? The fine print with exempt certain individuals, like in-home caregivers, from public disclosure searches. This last bit is to keep union-busters at bay by not letting them access files. Don't like union-busting, but really do not like to fog up our transparency laws. Still like old people, though. Seriously, take one out to lunch. Or call you Mom. Either one works.

Initiative Measure No. 732 - Carbon Tax. YES. This is a revenue-neutral proposal to reduce the among of carbon pollution pumped into the atmosphere. Some of the ecology groups are not fans of this, because it does not go far enough, but I say it is a beginning. Others point out that the new tax will raise gas prices to ... much lower than we were paying nineyears ago. In addition it reduces our regressive sales tax by a point and eliminates some B&O taxes. Reduces taxes, you say? I find your pamphlet interesting and would like to know more.

Initiative Measure No. 735 - This one proposes that the state pushes an federal constitution amendment that overturns Citizen United, which has done SO much to screw our recent elections. Doesn't have as much teeth in it, but pushes our Legislature in that direction. YES.

Advisory Vote No. 14  House Bill 2768. - Advisory votes cheese me off only because they are there because of a free-pony initiative that forces the legislature to check with the people about their financial arrangements. Not to listen to the people, just to check. Plus these are written in the scariest manner possible. This one will extend an existing tax on some online insurance plans for dental plans. It is maintaining a tax, but is still called a tax increase. I say its broccoli and I say the hell with it. MAINTAINED.

Ditto Advisory Vote No. 15 Second Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2778, which states (according to our scary-language law) that it will cost 2 million dollars in ten years, which means it with RAISE 2 millions dollars by closing a loophole on alt-fuel vehicles. Hell, I OWN an alt-fuel vehicle, and I think it should be MAINTAINED.

Proposed Amendment to the State Constitution Senate Joint Resolution No. 8210. moves the due date for redistricting up 46 days, putting it right after the election. when we are still paying attention to stuff and are cheesed off about gerrymandering. Its a nuts and bolts thing that makes sense since we now have computers and cars and stuff these days that make the process faster. APPROVED.

King County Charter Amendment No. 1 Nonpartisan Prosecuting Attorney. All the offices of King County are supposedly non-partisan - why not this one? I'm a little leery on this, only because it forces folk to dig down deeper into the Voters' Guide to figure out where the County Attorney is getting his support, but I'll go with YES.

King County Charter Amendment No. 2 Gender-Neutral Language. - Shall we make the Charter gender neutral in its language? Sure, why not. If they need some editors to do this, and to push for clarity, I have some suggestions (mimes holding a phone to his ear and mimes the words "call me"). YES.

Sound Transit (A Regional Transit Authority) Proposition No,. 1 Light-Rail, Commuter-Rail, and Bus Service Expansion. This is a biggie - $53.8 billion for improved light rail and buses - a 20 year plan for an overstressed transit region. When they rolled out the preliminary plan, a lot of suburbs looked at it and wanted more for their particular part of the woods, so it's grown. The argument against is that we should be spending the money on education (Cool! Are we going to spend it on education? No, they're just saying they SHOULD spend money on education, but will still block all attempts at that as well). My neighborhood is so off the grid we don't even get an improved transit stop (That's cool - I was holding out for Stargates, myself), but I think that coming to grips with our highways (bad now and worse as more people want to live here) is vital. Vote APPROVED.

And finally,

Kent School District No,. 415 Proposition No. 1 Capital Improvement and School Construction General Obligation Bonds. This is permission to go out and sell bonds to build two new elementary schools, 20 new classrooms, and fix a bunch of roofs. $252 million worth of bonds. If you're voting AGAINST the previous one because of education, you'd damned well be voting FOR this one. Vote APPROVED.

Ugh. That's the list. It has been a long journey. Summary coming up next:

More later,
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The Political Desk: Judges.

This one requires a bit of work. I know a good deal about the candidates running for the State Supreme court, but after that, we get down in the weeds about credentials, experience, and opinions. For that reason, I have turned to Voting For Judges to help out here. And, I am supplemented by a friend who has been taking up Facebook time starting at the low end of the ballot and moving upwards, who has waded in on these guys (thanks, Janice!).

First off, the Supremes:

Justice Position No. 1: Mary Yu
Justice Position No. 5:  Barbara Madsen
Justice Position No. 6: Charles (Charlie) Wiggins

All three have done excellent work in their terms of office. Of the three, Mr. Wiggins is getting the biggest challenge, with a lot of last-minute money being dumped into scare-tactic television ads that I don't watch, but are so loathsome that the Times editorial board, who endorsed his opponent, is calling them out.

Gettings down into lower courts, I have Court of Appeals, Division No. 1, District No. 1 Michael J. Trickey, who despite his name is running unopposed. Congrats on the win!

In the Superior Court Races, we have a lot of people I've never heard of before I opened the ballot. Most races pit a exceptionally well-qualified candidate against one that is less so, making the decision easy. For the couple that were close I turned to my Facebook researcher as a tie-breaker. Let's see what I have:

Judge Position No. 14: Nichole Gaines Phelps
Judge Position No. 26: David Keenan
Judge Position No. 31: Helen Halpert
Judge Position No. 44; Cathy Moore (this one is a split decision on the endorsements - I look towards my tie-breaker - she tips the balance towards Moore on real-world experience. Sounds good to me.)
Judge Position No. 52: Anthony Gipe (another split decision in endorsements, my tie-breaker supports Gipe. So let it be written, so let it be done).
Judge Position No. 53: Mariane Spearman

More later,
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The Political Desk: State Legislature

This will be a short one. While I have heard gripes and moans about two Republicans running against each other for State Treasurer, there are districts in Washington State where you can't get a Republican (or Democrat) even into the race. And that includes the 11th District, which occupies the bulk of my commute to downtown Seattle, stretching from Maple Valley all the way up to S. Holgate St, verging on SoDo. We have three strong Democrats running for the offices, all incumbents, and all should be returned to office:

Legislative District No. 11 State Senator: Bob Hasegawa (running against a Libertarian candidate)
Legislative District No. 11 Representative Position No. 1: Zack Hudgins (running against a GOP candidate)
Legislative District No. 11 Representative Position No. 2: Steve Berquist (running unopposed).

More later,
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