Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sound Transit lied to Legislature and voters and ...

Sound Transit lied to the Legislature, lied to the public and violated the Washington Constitution.

According to a study by the Washington Senate when they got permission for the huge Sound Transit 3 tax increase. Dow Constantine (King County) and other board members told the Legislature in 2016 that the highest amount it wanted was $15 billion, then asked the public for $54 billion - more than 3 times as much. Constantine lied. Sound Transit exec Peter Rogoff coordinated lobbying by multiple groups to the Legislature, violating the prohibition of lobbying by public agencies.

Marilyn Strickland (Tacoma) and the ST board mislead voters about the size and scope of tax increases. And what has the public seeing red: ST misrepresents the value of your car in calculating the annual car tax. That is hitting people this year, and hard!! Their schedule is based on manufacturers suggested retain price, which is more people pay. The difference is often 10% and sometimes much more.

Tim Burgess’s predecessor Mayor Murray (Seattle) and the ST board improperly gave the Yes campaign the emails of 172,000 people. They said it was an accident. Yeh… they know better. But  no ST employee was disciplined for that violation of law … oh it's just a convenient mistake. The State Public Disclosure Commission joins in the guilt on this one. Lead by Anne Levinson, they said “Oh, maybe the disclose was unintentional.” But for people like you and me the intent doesn’t matter, just the violation.

The violation of the Constituion is too technical to be of interest. My source for this is a Senate committee chair, but many Demos feel violated also.

Senator Padden

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Medicaid has big troubles - now!

Politician logic: Since Medicaid is going broke let’s put more people on it. Man on the street: But won’t that double the crisis? Politician: Yes, I mean maybe. But… I get points for covering more people. (Even if they don’t get the care they need, I get to say “they have gained insurance.”)

The intent of Medicaid was to help the poorest Americans. Its costs were rising before Obamacare. but Obamacare caused the increases to be even steeper. And the needy are getting poor care and poor availability.

Meanwhile it is not serving those it was intended for. While Illinois expanded the population eligible, 800 of those previously eligible died - died - while on waiting lists, according to Foundation for Government Accountability.
A start would be refocusing Medicaid on its original mission of caring for the poor and those unable to do it for themselves. That means changing the program’s incentives to allow people more responsibility for their own health outcomes. It also means giving states the freedom to explore options like health savings accounts, direct primary care for Medicaid patients, and systems to remove enrollees who abuse the program.
WSJ Requires subscription, I am afraid.

What’s particularly perverse is that ObamaCare pays states more for the able-bodied adults newly covered under the Medicaid expansion than for people with serious disabilities under the original program.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Founders of the US. Original documents

For American history lovers Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard highlighted the current online resources for documents of the founders. Article: Founders’ Keepers. The occasion is the new or newly completed Founders Online at US National Archives. And he gives some other valuable sources.

The big one: Founders Online at US Archives

Three more important ones:

And one university press digitizing books:

Friday, March 17, 2017

The ban of DDT killed millions of people

The US banned the use of DDT in 1972 and millions have since died due to that decision. Seattleite William Ruchelshaus was EPA administrator and made that decision. He did do despite the science. Yes, despite the science, not because of it.
EPA appointed Administrative Law Judge Edmund Sweeney to evaluate DDT. In 1971-2 he conducted a seven-month hearing. EPA actually participated, testifying against DDT! 
Judge Sweeney, after 80 days of testimony from 150 expert scientists, ruled that DDT “is not a carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic hazard to man” and does “not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wild life. There is a present need for the continued use of DDT for the essential uses defined in this case.”
Ruckelshaus in April 1979 told American Farm Bureau Federation that he imposed the ban for political reasons. And millions died. 

The UN World Health Org allowed limited use of DDT in 2006 and several African countries are using it to combat malaria, so Ruckelshaus’s damage now continues at a lower level.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Alabama Democrats support Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

President-elect Donald Trump chose Senator Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general. Senate hearings have started today.

The headline charge against him is over 30 years old and very thin. That he had called a black man “boy,” and said positive things about the Ku Kux Klan. Sessions denied the charges and there was no supporting testimony at that time. in 1986 - 30+ years ago.

In Alabama there are a lot of good words about him. A group of black pastors from Alabama held a press conference Monday saying they know him, have worked with him for years and that Sessions is a good man who has done good things. Quote from CNS News:
 … “We know in Alabama who Jeff Sessions is,” Bishop Kyle Searcy, senior pastor of the multi-racial, nondenominational Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery, Ala., told CNSNews.com.
“And it’s important to me that the truth comes out about him,” he added, “that he’s known for who is, he’s known for the good things he’s done in Alabama. 
… Also speaking at the event organized by the Family Research Council (FRC) was Rev. Dean Nelson, director of African-American outreach for FRC's Watchmen on the Wall, a ministry to pastors, and chairman of the board for the Frederick Douglass Foundation.
Nelson noted that Sessions helped prosecute and insisted on the death penalty for Ku Klux Klan (KKK) member Henry Francis Hays, who had abducted and killed a black teenager. 
“Senator Sessions has consistently demonstrated respect and care for people of all races while serving in his home state of Alabama,” Nelson said. “He has, in fact, worked relentlessly on the side of desegregation and justice.”
And at my favorite blog they have found similar support.

Power Line has several testimonials at - The down-home truth about Jeff Sessions

Power Line has more at Son of civil rights leader prosecuted by Sessions endorses him. Even though Sessions prosecuted his father he says Sessions was always fair.

He has been in the Senate for a long time. The Demo senators know him. I hope they will treat him fairly.