Archive for the ‘Seattle Politics’ Category

It Ain’t Over

Washington had a fabulous US Senate primary race until Dino Rossi tossed a big wrench into the works. A number of inspirational candidates were pounding the pavement and getting known by the voters. A long shadow hung over the entire affair because Dino dithered about jumping into the race.

The other candidates pledged their support to the one among them who won the primary. The campaign was gaining momentum, and voters were excited about having a chance to elect a fresh Senator with new and better ideas. All were prepared to step away from their jobs and businesses to serve their nation in a time of dire need.

Rossi entered the race at the last moment by releasing a long, dull video. He appeared to fear the questions he would face if he made his announcement in front of the press. What’s that all about? The Republican establishment is convinced that an “establishment Republican” can win in November. They’re wrong. Rossi’s entrance immediately killed 90% of the excitement and enthusiasm of tea partiers and others disgusted with politics as usual.

Rossi does not demonstrate the necessary “fire in the belly” to win the race. His performance so far, complete with a few squirmy statements and evasive answers, has been lackluster. Regardless of what Michael Steele and the Republican establishment think, Rossi is about to become a 3-time loser.

The Murray team, with help from friendly local media, is ready to rip Rossi. The man is a creature of the Bush years. Bush-like Republicans are not surviving the summer primaries. Why in the wide world of sports would Washington Republicans, and especially independents, get spooled up about Rossi? He energizes Democrats more than Republicans! Dems will flock to the polls with glee, just for the satisfaction of driving the final nail in his political career. Rossi on the ballot most likely means another 6 years of Patty Murray.

But – “Nothing is over until we decide it is.” Any fresh candidate has a better chance of beating Murray than Rossi has. Remember Bluto from Animal House? He motivated dispirited folks to get back in the fight. It is up to us to do the same!

Warning – some strong language follows.

Two terrific candidates vow to stay in the race. Both have extensive experience in the private sector, honorable reputations, and great accomplishments.

Think real hard about supporting one of these two strong contenders instead of Rossi. Neither have the establishment baggage that Rossi bears, and the Democrats do not have two campaigns worth of research against them. Bush-era Republicans’ irresponsible spending got them tossed from power in ’06 & ’08. Running one of them against Murray is a roadmap to failure.

Rasmussen has one of these men only 10 points behind Murray right now and neither is yet a household name. Give them a little more time and money and they will soon surge in the polls. Put one or both on the stage with Rossi, and he will turn to toast while his name recognition and establishment support will quickly melt into a big pool of tiger butter.

click here for Paul Akers’ Website

click here for Clint Didier’s Website

Pick one, send him a check, and make plans to attend the next event he holds nearby. You will not be disappointed. LET’S GET GOING!


Unnatural Disaster

Back in olden times, Washington had a Governor named Dixie. She is best remembered for not much of anything. One of her few redeeming social values was that she did exercise her executive power to declare a state of emergency after this happened:

This video cannot be embedded so you will have to click on the link to watch. It is a stitch!

I wish Godzilla would pop by soon and eat up the hideous City Hall and a bunch of the ugly condominiums in Redmond. The City Planners are on a fad called “modulation” along with being enthralled with festooning everything in sight with various vomit inducing pastel shades of off the wall colors. In a few years they will appear so dated that folks will wonder why in the world they were built. They are the architectural equivalent of a leisure suit.

Much thanks to artist Dave Phillips for the song, and Reaganwannabe for ginning up the video and posting it on YouTube.

Don’t do it Dino!

Will Dino Rossi enter the race for US Senate? Rossi served 6 years in the Washington State Senate. He is especially remembered for his work negotiating a bi-partisan budget in 2003 along with several bills changing criminal statutes. He ran for Governor in 2004 and initially won with a margin of 261 votes. Victory was denied him after two subsequent recounts, the last of which featured court battles and an odiferous undercurrent. He ran for Governor again in ’08, losing by a margin of 6%. That election was the beginning of a national backlash against Republicans in general, which they well deserved.

There are nine candidates declared in the Primary scheduled for August 27th. The filing deadline is June 10th. So far, Rossi remains uncommitted. He is the elephant in the room, who has the instant capability and power to enter the race, sweep all opposition from the field, and run against Murray. Maybe so, but is it the right thing for Republicans and above all, for Washington State?

Rossi was a good State Senator, but an ultimately unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate. No matter what one thinks about the close election in ’04, Rossi still has two straight losses on his record. Would the third try be a charm, or a curse? Rossi is also viewed as an establishment Republican, somewhat tainted by his reputation of being too willing to vote with liberal Democrats. Keep in mind that such dealing at the national level has saddled this nation with incomprehensible debt and unsustainable entitlement programs over the past 75 years.

Most of Washington’s past “Republican” senators have suffered from a mealy-mouthed wimp complex, and voted more like Democrats than Republicans. A second coming of Slade Gorton would not do in today’s political climate. An opponent considered by the electorate as weak on important issues would be little different than the incumbent. Thousands of highly motivated voters would recognize the false choice, lose enthusiasm, stay home, and Murray would win by default.

Democrats and Murray’s team fear Rossi. They have been going to great lengths for years to dig up any dirt they can find and planting little news stories in a compliant media. None of these arson attempts have really taken off, but the constant drip of negative insinuations has hurt Rossi over time. You can bet that Murray’s campaign will release everything in an effort to make Rossi into cannon fodder.

Looking across the Atlantic and the unraveling of the Greek socialist economy, Americans are beginning to understand that a similar future awaits them if present policies and trends are not reversed. We must swamp Congress with fresh leadership and ideas. There are several candidates in the primary who have these attributes. They have been sacrificing time and money; criss-crossing the state to get their messages out. Meanwhile Rossi dithers and teases, seemingly enjoying his status while coyly playing with the press and his supporters.

Dino is a Dinosaur

Dino the Destructive Dinosaur

Rossi is obsolete today, tainted with too much “go along to get along” history and the baggage of two major electoral losses. He would be wrong to think he can depend on name recognition and erstwhile supporters, many of whom have enthusiastically embraced one of the present candidates. Many of us have followed this primary race closely and gotten to know the candidates. A late Rossi filing would be viewed as a narcissistic entry that would fracture the emerging groundswell of support for a truly strong opponent to Murray. The backlash against Rossi could sink any chance of defeating Murray in the fall.

Our nation’s future is in great peril. We need new leadership in the Senate that is not afraid of being accused of breaking some legislative china. Rossi is not the man to handle that job.

Spike the Tunnel

Mayor Mike McGinn, fresh off bollixing up the 520 bridge replacement, just announced he was prepared to do the same with the deep bore tunnel which is being planned to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  Both the 520 bridge and the viaduct are decrepit and ready to sink, collapse, or pancake.  225,000 vehicles use them daily.  A catastrophe on either would seriously disrupt the local economy and probably result in loss of life.

Common sense tells us that a new viaduct is the smartest and cheapest way to solve the problem. Unfortunately, Seattle dreamers continue to fight for either a surface replacement, which would gridlock the entire waterfront area, or an expensive tunnel bored through unknown soil conditions.  The surface “solution” would do more harm than good, choking commuter and pier traffic.  The tunnel is a two billion dollar financial crapshoot.

McGinn, a former Sierra Club lawyer, wants everyone else to live in a rabbit hutch and ride public transit.  He hates personal, private mobility unless it is on foot or bicycle. He and his circle of elitists know what is good for us.  As far as they are concerned, we better take it and shout out “Thank you Sir – Can I have another”?

Giving McGinn the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he means well and is sincerely trying to save us from ourselves.   Tunnels can be full of surprises.  Just think about those two Brightwater boring machines that went kaput a couple hundred feet below Bothell & Lake Forest Park.  The Boston “Big Dig” created a cut & fill tunnel that went 400% over budget, taking 15 years to complete.  It killed a woman shortly after it opened and had to close for rework of shoddy construction.  There is a similar tunnel in Russia that gets wet and icy occasionally and makes for some gruesome entertainment:

Don’t hold your breath for anything sensible to ever get done with transportation around Seattle.  The “Seattle Way” drags out planning and agreement interminably and always results in solutions similar to a camel, said to be “a horse designed by a committee.” Billions are flushed down the rat hole of light & heavy rail while the obviously cheapest and most integrated solution – Bus Rapid Transit, sharing infrastructure with motor vehicles – is ignored. Bridge and viaduct plans have been fought over for years with no appreciable result.  Top these attitudes off with a fruitcake mayor who has the power and will to toss a wrench into everything, and you have gridlock.

The Puget Sound area experiences a serious earthquake about every 300-400 years. The last real doozie was in 1700.  The clock is ticking.  Here is a movie clip dramatizing the collapse of a highway viaduct in San Francisco.  After our viaduct ends up like this, perhaps a solution will be implemented.  In the meantime we must amuse ourselves reading about idealistic dithering, posturing, and hissy fits among our elitist “leaders.”

Here is a computer generated slow motion description and animation of the viaduct and how it would behave in an earthquake.  It will make you think twice about driving on or under it.

We have known for years what has to be done, and frittered those years away bickering.  Those in public office who delayed the obvious solution will be held accountable by the citizens – the same citizens who voted similar loons into office again and again.

Meet Paul Akers

What attributes, abilities, and principles do we want in our next Senator from Washington? Who should we select to defeat Patty Murray in November? There are several strong candidates and Paul Akers could well be the one to get the job done.

While Patty Murray has been in the Senate, Congress has spent our tax dollars like Monopoly money. We need a Senator with practical real world experience – not someone who spent their life in a classroom, law office, or stepped up from some state legislature. Paul meets that requirement nicely. He started in his garage and built his company, FastCap, into a $12 Million dollar international business. He manages people, makes payrolls, and deals with government bureaucracies and regulation on a daily basis. He will know instantly many of the unintended consequences of proposed legislation because he has been on the receiving end of such laws for years.

Effective Senators must be adept at patient, civil, negotiation. They must be able to work with people who think radically differently from themselves. We hope their work results in doing more good than harm. Akers’ interesting history shows that he has experience working with diverse populations to get good things done. He served as a pastor in a church in LA for three years. He taught industrial arts to Asian and Hispanic students at Mark Keppel High School. Akers experienced a wide range of attitudes, cultures, and ideals while successfully leading congregations and classrooms. He’s a man of diplomacy and empathy – both necessary to working with folks who have different opinions and desires.

We expect our Senators to compromise on minor issues, but to hold fast to their core beliefs and principles. Akers was raised to live within his means, and pay his bills. As he worked his way up, he dutifully repaid his college loans, but was then too poor to buy the house he wanted. His father turned him down for a loan, commanding he buy only what he could afford. He and his wife ended up with a small home in a blue-collar, Hispanic community. This invaluable experience taught Paul that the American Dream is available to any who wish to work for it; even if one has to start out basically from scratch. He gained the appreciation of self sufficiency, personal responsibility, and contagious optimism; values he holds strongly to this day.

Character and courage are sadly lacking in many Senators today, but Akers has vast reserves of both. Starting and building a successful business from nothing takes character traits like honesty, hard work, and perseverance. FastCap is “Example A”; Akers has done that. Courage can be demonstrated in many ways. There is the quiet courage of facing a political, legal, personal, or business crisis and successfully overcoming it. Akers has been through his share of such challenges. Then there is the raw human courage of placing oneself in harm’s way of necessity. Early in his efforts to build up his business, he flew himself to Europe for meetings several times – alone, in winter, across the North Atlantic, in a single engine airplane. Few individuals in the world have the courage to accomplish that.

We need a candidate who is electable. Akers’s positions are along conservative lines, but not so adamant as to alarm the majority of Washington voters. He is strong on national defense, Second Amendment issues, and spending. He favors the Fair Tax, and has very productive ideas on how to reduce government waste. Akers does not favor abortion, but maintains that the best approach is through persuasion and example rather than draconian prohibitions. He feels it is more a societal problem than a legal one and that driving it underground would cause more harm than good. In a state with thousands of single issue voters who chose candidates on this subject alone, this is a strong advantage.

Please take a few minutes to learn about Paul Akers. He has two great websites; both of which are full of information and easy to navigate. His campaign website link below spells out all his positions on issues, why he is running, and some personal background. His company website is absolutely fascinating – especially for anyone interested in craftsmanship and manufacturing. Click on “Kaizen FastCap Style” on the right and watch true innovation and creativity at work. The man is not only brilliant, but also highly motivational. He will make a wonderful Senator for our State and nation.

Campaign Site:

FastCap Company Site:

The Seattle Way

The Seattle Way is a Brick Wall

Seattle and its surrounding environs have a rather odd method of doing things in government; locally nicknamed “The Seattle Way.”  In endless efforts to obtain a consensus by pleasing all, very few decisions get made in a timely manner. Many of the projects that actually get started often lead to loopy results instead of practical solutions. Below is but one glaring example:

Seattle’s two ancient roadways — a viaduct and a floating bridge — carry 225,000 vehicles per day, from Smart Cars to 53-ton truck combinations.  Both are ready to collapse in a good earthquake.  While these long known dangers imperil the entire local economy, billions of dollars have been sunk into 19th century technologies like commuter heavy rail, light rail, and streetcars serving in total less than 18,000 riders per day, each perhaps burdened with a sack lunch and a laptop.

How does Seattle do it, one might ask? Below is a satirical announcement from a “Study Group” which closely resembles the reports we routinely see in the local press:

Group to Promote New Rapid Mass Transit Formed

Air Ships in New Innovative Novel Environments (ASININE) announced today that it is moving forward to create commuter dirigible service between Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett. ASININE is a coalition of grass roots activists formed to find ways to cut greenhouse gasses and promote eco-friendly transportation alternatives. Spokesperson Dilarine Lightpockets announced that ASININE was founded by feminist paralegals seeking inclusiveness and consensus in the process of system specific planning.

The group has a proactive “zero tolerance policy” on road construction and demands an immediate statewide moratorium on such plans. A coordinating task force chaired by Wilhelmina Broom-Wickersham will interface with a steering committee that will in turn organize workshops, panel discussions, and neighborhood roundtable groups. Rignalita Ramos-Hoogerwerf has been named to dialog with state, county, and city officials on diversity issues, and seek opportunity grant money to initialize the planning stages. Ramos-Hoogerwerf will also establish a resource sharing forum to provide outreach to various advocacy groups with common goals and author a manifesto/position paper based on their input and throughput. “The solidarity with other groups will lead to synergistic diversity, tolerance, and empowerment as ASININE evolves” according to Lightpockets.

Civil engineer Buskirk Brubacher studied alternative transportation and did his PHD thesis on airship design in Europe.  “The drawings of the Hindenburg are all in good condition and can easily be scanned into AutoCAD files. The US has the world’s largest supply of helium and a simple switch to that gas would make the airships safe for commuter transportation” he said.  Additionally, Brubacher mentions that this transportation mode can be adopted between large buildings thereby eliminating any use of roadways.  “The Empire State Building was built with a mooring mast and it is still in place. We can do the same with the Columbia Center here.”

Bids for planning, design, and construction of the airships will be sought from Asian and European firms. “Nearly all our present transit equipment from the monorail to hybrid busses were sourced outside the US” said Brubacher. “There is no reason to work with a Boeing or GM when we can purchase everything from abroad.”

Cartoon Credit:  Shiers, Jr., published in Bellevue Reporter Newspaper on February 24, 2010, page 4.