Saturday, October 2, 2004

First Debate to Kerry

Thursday's debate was pretty important, especially for the leaners and undecideds in the country. I think that Kerry showed that he could be a strong confindent leader, not the wishy-washy flipflopper that Bush tries to make him out to be.

This debate should have been Bush's to dominate. Foreign policy is his ONLY strength in the polls. (Ok people would rather have a beer with him but he's a teetotaler so that doesn't count.) Instead of coming out on the attack he basically just stuck to his normal stump speech points - Kerry flip-flops and Iraq wasn't a mistake. His first point is wrong but can easily be made to appear correct if you edit the footage correctly. The second point is so incredibly wrong that you wonder if Bush is in the sam universe as the rest of us. I mean obvioulsy he can't say "I made a mistake." But I really don't think he has any concept of how screwed up Iraq is. He blew his best chance to score big and grab a lead that Kerry couldn't come back from, so Kerry gets the Win for this one.

That said, I think that Kerry could have done better. He did well to get Bush on the defensive right at the start, but he kind of fumbled in the middle. If Bush hadn't been making faces at Kerry like a petulant 6 year old and unable to think on his feet, I think the debate would have been a tie more than the grand victory the Dems and most media outlets have declared it to be

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

A Day in the Life of Joe Republican

Note: Normally I like to write at least some original content when I post but this is too good to let go by and its late.


Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

See the rest here thanks to Tom Tomorrow.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Help Free Illegally Detained Iraqis

Kerrie sent me this link from Amnesty International. Many men, women and children are being held in Iraq by the new govenment in horrifying conditions for no apparent reason.

Amnesty International is trying to get people to write letters to the new Prime Minister. Read more below or just check it out via the link above.

Seriously... if you believe in really helping Iraqis be free you should send a letter.


Thousands of men, women and children are still held without charge or trial in detention facilities in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, after the official end of the occupation on 28 June 2004. Some detainees are housed in tents, and are suffering under the intense heat of Iraq's summer.

The cases of Nahla Hafez Ahmad, a mother of four, and her sister Huda are typical. Nahla was detained by US troops in the al-A'dhamiya neighbourhood of Baghdad in November 2003; when Huda went to look for her, she too was taken into detention. Others in their family are also believed to have been detained, including their brother Ayad, who reportedly died in custody in December 2003. Nahla, whose health is said to be fragile, and Huda were not seen by a lawyer for more than six months. Although Huda and Nahla were released on 17 July, thousands of others remain in detention without charge or trial.

The Iraqi authorities must act now to address the injustices inflicted on Nahla, Huda and all those illegally detained in Iraq.

Take action!

Write to the Iraqi government, urging that it respects the human rights of those held in Abu Ghraib and other places of detention across the country. You could base your letters on the following example:


I am deeply concerned that, weeks after the transfer of power to your government, thousands of people are still held without charge in your country.

Your government must ensure that all prisoners and detainees in Iraq are informed promptly of the reasons of their detention; that they are brought promptly before an independent judicial authority; that they have access to their relatives, lawyers and doctors without delay; that all complaints of torture are promptly, impartially and effectively investigated and that the methods and findings of such investigations are made public.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to your response.


Please send appeals to: *

Dr. Iyad ‘Allawi
Prime Minister
Interim Government of Iraq
Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

We're Doing Our Job in Washington State.

We're doing our job in Washington State.

How are you doing in your state?

Some new local polls came out today. Despite the huge margin of error +/- 5% and ridiculously small number of people polled (405) it is still good news for Washington State.

Kerry 52%
Bush 38%

Gregoire (D) 49%
Rossi (R) 38%

Murray (D) 57%
Nethercutt (R) 37%

Nethercutt, by the way, ran for congress in Spokane(WA-5) on an anti professional politician platform. He pledged to only serve 3 terms. Five terms later he's now running for senate. Ya gotta like a guy who keeps his word huh? With any luck though we can grab his seat away from the Republicans, its not likely but you never know.

Friday, September 17, 2004

WA State Primary Results

Well, its not looking too good for Alice Woldt. She's about 900 votes behind and probably most of the absentee ballots have probably been counted.

Even though she didn't win I think she did pretty good coming in with 48% of the vote since Sommers has been a Rep for the 36th District for 32 years. I hope this gives a wake up call to Sommers that she isn't necessarily a shoe in and she needs to keep in touch with what her consituants want or next time she just might not scrape by.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Some Results Are In

Well it looks like Gregoire is going to trounce Ron Sims something like 70% to 30% in the Dem Governors Primary. Kind of depressing when you think a guy named Mike the Mover is going to get almost 5% if things keep up like they are.

The race between Alice Woldt and Helen Sommers looks like it is going to be so close that we will have to wait for all of the absentee ballots (lots of folks in Seattle vote that way) are in to see who wins. Right now there is a difference of less than 50 votes with Sommers with a slight lead.

I saw a bunch of people with Woldt signs down on the corner of NW 15th Ave and NW Market St. There was also one loney Sommers person. Whether that means anything or not who knows.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Washington State Primaries

The Washington State Primaries are tomorrow. This is the first time Washington has had a closed primary meaning you can only vote in one parties primary. Before this year we had what was called a blanket primary where you could vote for anyone you wanted regardless of party. I guess the Democrats and Republicans were afraid someone would sabotage their primary and sued the state to change the system and ... viola! Personally I feel if the politcal parties are so interested in demanding a certain type of system they should pay for the primary themselves.

Anyway. There are two races in the Democratic Primary that I am particularly interested in. The race for governor and our 36th District State Rep. In both races the person I'm voting for was not endorsed by the major local papers, but my picks did coincide with the recomendations of a local biweekly Eat the State. (Which is a great alternative free paper - go visit and donate to keep them going)

My recomendations are:


Both of the Democratic candiates for governor are qualified Christine Gregoire is the Attorney General of Washington so she has a handle on state wide issues, and Ron Sims is the King County Executive so he has experience running the second largest government in the state (after the state govenment. The deciding factor for me was that Ron Sims wants to try to reverse the regressive tax structure of the state by implementing a state income tax, eliminating state sales tax, and reworking the business taxes. Gregoire things the idea of a state income tax is ridiculous and will not even consider it.

My vote: Ron Sims

36th District Rep

Helen Sommers has been one of the two reps for my district for 32 years. She is the longest serving state rep and chair of the comittee responsible for writing the state budget. Alice Woldt is a former chairman of the King County Democratic Party, founding member of S.N.O.W., Puget Sound coalition for peace and justice and most recently Executive Director, SAGE (Seattle Alliance for Good Jobs and Housing for Everyone). Woldt is a little more liberal than I usually lean, a little too peacenik, but Sommers doesn't seem to have the right budget priorities. She allowed funding to be cut to important social services and didn't implement voter initiative mandated teacher salary increases. I understand that money is tight but maybe if we had planned a little bit better in the past we'd have money for these priorities now. Anyway after 32 years I think a little change is in order.

My vote: Alice Woldt

Saturday, September 4, 2004

Lies, 527s and PACs

Yet again I'm posting a letter to the editor, this time to the New York Times in response to this editorial this editorial; "Check Writing in the Luxury Suites."

But first as a little background I want to explain the basic political differences between PACs (political action committees) and what have been labeled as 527 organizations.

PACs have been around for a long time and are regulated by the FEC. They are limited in how they can collect money. Basically they can only accept $5000 per individual per year, and are bound by the same reporting requirements on donors as political campaigns. By accepting these rules PACs are allowed to actively promote a particular candidate, coordinate their ads with political campaigns and advertise up to Election Day.

527 organizations (named by the code under which they are created) can collect as much money from anybody they want without the same stringent reporting rules that PACs have. However, they are bound by some spending rules: they can’t advocate a particular candidate (although they can attack a candidate), they aren’t allowed to coordinate with campaigns, and they can’t place ads within 60 days of an election.

Now here it is:


In your August 31 editorial "Check Writing in the Luxury Suites" you correctly condemn the Swift Boat attack ads coming from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which is indeed a 527 organization. You also say that Kerry has profited from the Democrats pioneer work in the 527 campaign ads.

The only unauthorized ads coming from the left that I have seen have come from MoveOnPAC; which as you might assume from its name, is a campaign finance regulated political action committee. By not being more specific in what 527 organization ads you feel benefited Kerry you inadvertently paint all anti-Bush ads not authorized by the Kerry campaign with the '527 brush.' Whether you agree with them or not, the MoveOnPAC ads just aren't in the same category as the Swift Boat 527 ads.


Scott M Taylor

Note: There are plenty of 527s including Voter Fund and ACT that produce anti-Bush ads but none of them have proven to be full of lies and distortions like the SBVfT advertisements

Friday, August 27, 2004

Tort Reform

I really don’t want to make a habit of just posting letters to the editor but I've been sending quite a few lately. So:

In Wednesday's letters to the editor, Steve Klein, MD argues that tort reform has been proven to lower medical costs. Unfortunately this isn't true. California is often used as an example to champion medical tort reform. They passed a cap on non-economic damage back in 1975 and not only did malpractice premiums not decrease, they increased at an average rate much higher than inflation. It wasn't until 1988 when Proposition 103 was passed rolling back insurance rates and making the insurance companies justify their rate increases did the malpractice rates go down.

So, instead of arbitrarily capping damages awarded to injured patients in an effort to keep sky high malpractice premiums down maybe we should be looking at the insurance companies to justify why their rates are so high.

Scott M Taylor

This letter was in response to a letter from a doctor published in the 8/25/04 Seattle P-I. The doctors who are pushing for tort “reform” are really starting to get on my nerves. They say that doctors are leaving certain states and leaving risky specialties because malpractice insurance is too high. I’m sure this is true. However they blame the hideously expensive premiums not on insurance company greed but on trial lawyers the outrageously high malpractice payouts. Of course there is no proven correlation between malpractice payouts and rate hikes. In fact the rate hikes can be related to down turns in the economy. (Of course this is not necessarily a causal relationship.) Insurance companies invest the premium money and of course when their investments tank instead of sucking it up like most people they can just jerk their rates up to compensate.

I did about a few hours worth of research for the letter to the editor mostly focusing on California, which seems to be the darling of the tort reform folks. Most of the papers and documents report the same general facts but the tort reformers hail the 1975 non-economic damages claims as being the cause of California success. However the trial lawyers and consumer advocates say that the 1975 act didn’t work. They say that only in 1988 when Prop 103 was implemented to keep an eye on the insurance companies did malpractice and indeed all medical insurance rates come down.

I think the lawyers and consumer advocates have it right in this case. There are crooked lawyers out there and there are unreasonable lawsuits, but you don’t fix the system by punishing the legitimately injured parties, you fix the system by punishing the people who bring the truly frivolous lawsuits and regulate the insurance companies so they don’t overcharge for insurance just because they can.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Unpublished Letter to the Editor


John Kerry has been repeatedly tagged as a flip-flopper by President Bush and his supporters by taking his statements out of context. A great example of this is his supposed flip-flop on maintaining the troop strength in South Korea.

On August 1st on 'This Week', Sen. Kerry said, "If the diplomacy that I believe can be put in place can work, I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops, not just (in Iraq), but elsewhere in the world. In the Korean peninsula perhaps, in Europe perhaps."

On Wednesday, Kerry said that he was concerned about Bush's "hastily announced" plan because it would be "withdrawing unilaterally 12,000 troops from the Korean Peninsula at the very time that we are negotiating with North Korea, a country that really has nuclear weapons"

Is there a flip-flop here? No. Kerry said that he would perhaps pull troops out of South Korea if he could use diplomacy to defuse the situation there. He is worried that Bush is pulling out troops out and weakening our hand against the threat of North Korea without first defusing the situation. Sounds pretty consistent to me.


Scott M Taylor