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A Seattle-based journal of Left-wing musings on local, national and world affairs, as well as baseball, pop culture and technology.
 
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Mr_Blog’s Left Turn
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October 30, 2007
Fake news conference: it gets worse

FEMA not even a real agency, GAO finds

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, already under fire for holding a hastily called press conference at which its staff members posed as reporters and asked questions about the agency's response to the California wildfires, received more bad news today.

The Government Accountability Office has determined that FEMA itself is not even a real agency. The GAO found that FEMA has not officially existed since 2003, when former director Michael Brown lost the agency to billionaire Richard Branson in a game of Texas hold 'em. Branson has been using the real FEMA as an event planning office for his Virgin Group of companies.

GAO investigators discovered that the post-2003 agency everyone believed to be FEMA, and criticized for its flawed response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, is really a group of 37 former students of Regence University's School Cafeteria Sciences Program.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said the Bush Administration has made FEMA a top priority. Vice President Dick Cheney will attempt to win back the agency next month, she said, when he competes on ESPN's World Series of Poker.

Perino also minimized the importance of the fake press conference. "It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House," she said.

Conservative journalist Jeff Gannon expressed outrage at Perino's remarks. The former White House press corps member asked in his online column, "What am I, chopped liver?"

Writing on his Hot Political Studs & News website, Gannon asked, "I was Scott McClellan's number one, go-to softballer, and this is the thanks I get?"

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October 29, 2007
White House links Iran to wildfires

Coded message: "Wildfire busted down its stall"

President George W. Bush today confirmed Iran is linked to the southern California wildfires that forced a million people out of their homes. The linkage was first reported Wednesday, when Fox News reported on a four-year old rumor of an al-Qaeda plot to set fires in the United States.

"Al-Qaeda, Iran -- whatever," reported Fox & Friends anchor "Alisyn" Camerota.

Bush officially confirmed the Iran-wildfire connection during his Saturday weekly radio address.

"Iran has maybe possibly amassed an arsenal of firestarting material, or could soon. In other words, materials that can start fires," said the president. "These are weapons of mass inflammation such as wadded-up newspapers, sticks of dried out wood, or even improperly extinguished cigarette butts," Bush said gravely.

The president said the U.S. and our allies in the war on terror have more than just suspicions of Iranian responsibility. "British intelligence recently learned that Iran sought quantities of fire from Africa," said Bush.

Bush said the National Security Agency has intercepted a coded radio message about wildfires. "The message spoke of a woman coming down from Yellow Mountain, on a dark, flat land she rides. On a pony she named wildfire, with a whirlwind by her side," Bush said.

The same message also had the coded phrases killing frost, blizzards and owls for six night in a row, and mentioned Nebraska. Defense Department analysts say the mention of Nebraska actually refers to California, but 'Nebraska' has two fewer syllables and scans better.

The most chilling evidence the president presented connected the wildfires to Iran and the World Trade Center attacks. Bush said that hijacker Mohamed Atta had a drink with a Tehran kindling salesman in the first-class lounge of the Prague airport.

Bush also revealed the FBI has compiled a watch list of Persian restaurants in the United States. "These restaurants use traditional charcoal-fired tandoor ovens," Bush said. "Tandoor ovens can reach a dangerous 900 degrees, turning these eateries into nests of arson."

To better guard against the threat from Iranian fire, Bush said he will create a new federal agency, the Homeland Fire Department.

"There are thousands of separate fire departments across America. While they do their best, it cannot be efficient. There must be a lot of administrative redundancy and waste."

"Therefore," said Bush, "a federal Homeland Fire Department will centralize, coordinate and oversee our anti-fire policy. It will do for firefighting what the Department of Homeland Security has done for airline travel."

"We must take preëmptive action now," Bush said in conclusion. "We can't wait for the evidence, the smoking gun that could come in the form of an Iranian woman running across America, calling wildfire. Wildfire. Willllll-illllld, wi-illd. Fire."

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October 26, 2007
Insurers deny R-67 claims

Consumer dissatisfaction is "preexisting condition"

Insurance companies preëmptively declared victory over Referendum 67 today, announcing they are denying the claims of the ballot measure's supporters because consumer dissatisfaction is a preëxisting condition.

Clay M. D'Niall PhD, a senior scholar with the insurance industry think tank Liberty Copayment Institute, said denying R-67 is just good business. "Basically, the industry feels there have always been dissatisfied people, and there always will be. Covering such a preëxisting condition is unfair to less judgmental, passive policyholders who don't appeal when we deny their claims."

According to D'Niall, R-67 would have raised insurance rates. "You sue us, you win, we raise premiums," said D'Niall. "Heck, you lose and we raise premiums. We're even going to pass the costs of fighting R-67 on to you," he added.

D'Niall said R-67 would also have increased the ranks of the uninsured. "If you sue us, we cancel your health, auto and homeowner policies, and those of your lawyers, your children, their children, their children's children, and their children's children's lawyers. Why, in just a few generations only a few people would have insurance, and oh man would their premiums be high. All because of R-67," he said.

"Alls we're saying is -- you pay us no matter what; why fight it?"

When asked for a reaction, spokesperson Sue Evans of the Approve 67 campaign smiled. "We reject the industry's arguments because they are experimental," Evans said.

iNews Friday

From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi Headline Translator —

Headline: Cheney says US won't let Iran get N-weapons
Translation: At least not without cash up front

Headline: Rossi announces bid for governor
Translation: First day on campaign trail spent in whine country

Headline: Rossi announces bid for governor
Translation: Hopes to lose by 80, 90 votes this time

Headline: Steve Carrell - Juliette Binoche movie opens today
Translation: World ends today

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October 24, 2007
Marklar endorse Kucinich

Rep. Dennis Kucinich yesterday won the endorsement of the Marklar Core Systems Republic of galactic sector 19.

"Dennis Kucinich is the most qualified out of all the candidates, and we are proud to officially put our influence behind his campaign," said Shirley MacLaine, press secretary for the Marklar driveship Abraham Lincoln, in geosynchronous orbit above Graham, Washington.

"The Marklar? Oh great," Kucinich said upon being informed of the Marklar support. "I must remember to thank my good friend Shirley for trying to help my campaign," he said.

The endorsement by the socially and technologically enlightened species gives the Ohio congressman's longshot quest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination a much-needed boost.

Marklar Frandle, political officer for the Lincoln, said when the Marklar Council of Consensus examined the Democratic field, the choice was obvious.

"Kucinich has staked out the right positions on Iraq, health care, energy, the environment, immigration, and trade," said Frandle. "We urge the American people: ask the Marklar among you about Dennis Kucinich, and all the great plans he has for your great nation."

"The Council is confident that the American media and political system will reach the same conclusion," he said.

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Posted October 23, 2007
Stark apologizes for Iraq remarks

Rep. Pete Stark (CA-13) apologized today to President Bush's dog, Barney, over uncontroversial comments the Fremont congressman made on the House floor last week.

Stark, 75, had asserted that Republicans supported sending U.S. soldiers to Iraq "to get blown up for the president's amusement."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer called Stark's words hurtful to the First Family's faithful companion. "When you insult the man, you insult his dog," said Hoyer. "Dogs are easily amused, but Barney didn't find anything remotely amusing about what Pete Stark said," he said.

Pelosi agreed with Hoyer, calling Stark's comment "inappropriate, and something a cat person would say."

Stark narrowly avoided being muzzled by an official House censure Tuesday afternoon when it was tabled on a 196-173 vote. The censure, introduced by Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, would have declared Stark to be "a fleabag."

In his emotional apology, Stark acknowledged that "Barney, as the president's best friend, was deeply hurt by what I said about his master, and for that I am sorry."

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October 22, 2007
GOP hopefuls endorse stem cell research

Test will identify which is 'true Republican'

A skirmish among Republican presidential hopefuls over which is the most conservative has led them to an unexpected about-face on the controversial issue of stem cell research.

Shortly after Sunday night's debate in Orlando, Florida, in which Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. Fred Thompson and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani argued over which of them is the most conservative, Sen. John McCain challenged his rivals to submit to DNA testing of their stem cells in order to identify and compare their conservative genes. After a brief negotiation, the various camps agreed to McCain's idea.

Today aboard "The Straight Talk Westy," his campaign's newly acquired 1993 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van, McCain told reporters that analyzing stem cells to find the gene for conservatism will settle the issue of who should wear the mantle of the true Republican. "While science can't be believed on the age of the planet or global warming, I'm prepared to give it a chance where politics is concerned," he said. McCain, trailing badly in the polls and in fundraising, said millions in federal campaign matching funds would be needed in order to complete the work.

As expected, the GOP frontrunners differ on what they think the stem cell research will reveal. The conservative gene is believed to be on the short arm of chromosome 6 at position 66, but months of expensive research will be required to identify the precise location.

Romney said he is confident that he will be tested as genetically the most conservative. "My conservative genes won important victories over Democrat viruses when I was governor of Massachusetts," said Romney. "This will prove conservatism is in my blood, and that I am not anemic as so many think," he said.

Giuliani said through a spokesman that he is sure his conservative gene will be found on chromosome 9 near position 11.

Thompson predicted Giuliani will be found to be genetically identical to Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, the Democratic frontrunner.

Sen. Sam Brownback, who on Friday ended his quest for the GOP nomination and did not participate in the Orlando debate, said he doesn't believe in genes. "We all have Jesus Particles that race around inside our bodies at the speed of light, doing stuff," said Brownback.

Nobel laureate James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, said today that while it may be possible to identify one gene responsible for conservative beliefs, its location in Ambassador Alan Keyes, an African American, would probably be different than for the Caucasian Republican candidates.

Watson was in New York to meet Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly for lunch in Harlem.

In sports, the Boston Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 11-2 last night in Game 7 of the American League Championship, and we're never going to hear the end of it.

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Posted October 19, 2007
News roundup

Proposition 1 arrested for DUI

Proposition 1 was arrested for DUI Wednesday night, the office of the Roads and Transit ballot measure disclosed today.

"Proposition 1 regrets its actions and is taking full responsibility," said spokesperson Dusty Rhodes. "Proposition 1 asks the public not to rush to judgment. It's not like this will be the last chance for a long time to hold it accountable."

The official Seattle Police report of the incident states an officer observed Proposition 1 weaving all over the political landscape, and crossing the line separating transit and highway proponents. The officer stopped Proposition 1, smelled alcohol, and administered a breath test which registered 28 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Oil discovered under Dalai Lama

President Bush welcomed His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to Washington on Tuesday, in an event hastily organized less than 36 hours after Exxon announced the largest oil reserve in 30 years had been discovered under Tibet's spiritual and temporal leader.

"Hello, Dalai," Bush joked when he met the Dalai Lama, the first U.S. president to do so publicly. The Dalai Lama responded by smiling serenely as Secret Service agents held him down for geologists from Halliburton to perform a test drilling.

Bush then helped the living embodiment of the Buddha to stand up, and apologized for waiting to take an interest in Tibet until late in the seventh year of his presidency.

The new Dalai Lama oilfield is projected to yield up to 5 million barrels of crude oil per day.

On Wednesday the Dalai Lama received the Congressional Gold Medal in a Capitol Rotunda ceremony. President Bush stepped in front of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Robert Byrd to make the presentation.

"I welcome this man of peace, a man of great energy," Bush said in his remarks. "I plan to study the Dalai Lama's teachings, and may we all follow him on the pipeline to enlightenment," he said.

Literally the president

Rep. Pete Stark (CA-13) is not the only Beltway pol to draw outrage this week over a verbal slip.

"Pete Stark is an Osama-appeasing devil's helpmate for saying President Bush is amused by the deaths of our brave soldiers," Rev. Pat Robertson said today on his 700 Club program.

However, Robertson went on to say that Bush also uses offensive language, singling out statements made in connection with the U.S. attorneys scandal.

"The president and his staff always say that the U.S. attorneys serve at the president's pleasure," said Robertson. "Well I think every god-fearing American wants to know what kind of pleasure? With whom? Where and how often?"

The religious leader said the result is impure thoughts, even among the president's Christian conservative political base.

"The president needs to get on his knees and ask god for forgiveness for conjuring images of hot lawyer-lawyer action in people's minds, in Jesus' name I pray," Robertson said.

No iNews this week.

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Posted October 16, 2007
Bush reveals SDI to world

'Sharrows' magically shield America against attack

(Seattle) President George W. Bush surprised the world today by revealing the U.S. military's Strategic Defense Initiative missile defense system to the public for the first time. First conceived by President Ronald Reagan, it quickly became known as "Star Wars" to supporters and detractors alike. Since then, the program has been shrouded in secrecy and a series of tests with questionable results.

Over ‘Texas toast’ and coffee with reporters at Patty's Eggnest on Holman Road, Bush disclosed the expensive new technology that is the basis of SDI: the "sharrow."

Sharrows were first developed in the transportation field, as a pavement marking intended to show where bicyclists can ride on the street without being hit by a suddenly opened car door. Sharrows work even though they are just a suggestion to share the road -- drivers are not obligated to obey.
Sharrow
Magical protection

"I don't know how sharrows work, they just do, like magic," Bush said.

It is this powerful protection that caught the attention of Pentagon contractors developing SDI. President Bush, a bicycling enthusiast, quickly gave the go ahead.

Seattle, site of SDI contractor Boeing, was chosen for final sharrow field testing. The symbols were painted on several Seattle streets, and their protective effect was judged a success. This despite one cyclist being hit by a car door and the rest of the pickup truck it was attached to, which also ran over his arm before leaving the scene. "That was a hit and run, the sharrow didn't fail," said Mort Frandle, a Boeing spokesman.

In summer of this year, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates certified SDI to be operationally ready, and crews began deploying sharrows across Seattle.

Today President Bush praised the sharrows, saying their record has been perfect in the one area that counts. "In the months since sharrows were deployed around Seattle, Seattle has not been attacked by nuclear missiles," Bush said. He also officially renamed the program the Sharrow Defense Initiative.

"Sharrows provide a suggestion of safety to those on two wheels," he went on to say. "Now all Americans can enjoy this suggestion of safety, as the humble sharrow works its magic to keep the homeland safe."

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Posted October 12, 2007
Bush nominates celebrity amnesiac

Jan-Michael Vincent will be #2 at Justice

Following public revelations of actor Jan-Michael Vincent's personal battles with alcoholism and health problems, President Bush today nominated the former "Airwolf" star to fill the post of Deputy Attorney General under Attorney General-designate Michael B. Mukasey.

Vincent, 63, was one of Hollywood's most sought after actors until a 1997 drunk-driving accident broke his neck, damaged his vocal chords, and left him with large holes in his memory. If confirmed by the Senate, Vincent would succeed former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who stepped down in May amid the now-forgotten U.S. attorneys scandal.

"I can't think of a more fabulous person for the job than Jan-Michael Vincent," the president said today at a brief press conference introducing the former star.

"He is the most qualified to forget important policy and personnel decisions," said Bush of Vincent. "He's forgotten entire years of his life, that's the kind of forgetfulness we need at Justice," he said, referring to a recent Government Accountability Office report. The GAO found the Justice Department's ability to avoid accountability had been severely hampered due to resignations of forgetful high-level officials, including McNulty, Monica Goodling, Kyle Sampson, Bradley Schlosman, and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales himself.

Bush said it is likely Vincent will also be assigned to some anti-terrorism cases, due to his extensive experience in 'black-ops' work. "When necessary, I'll have him and Dominic Santini use Airwolf to go after the evildoers," Bush said. "I might even get into my Mission Accomplished flightsuit and join 'em," he said with a wink.

iNews Friday

From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi Headline Translator —

Headline: Thompson Says During Debate He Doesn't Expect a US Recession
Translation: Wants to be surprised - recession should greet Thompson at front door wearing only Saran Wrap

Headline: Ann Coulter calls for Jews to be 'perfected' by converting to Christianity
Translation: Coulter plan includes circumcising bottom point on Star of David

Headline: Ann Coulter calls for Jews to be 'perfected' by converting to Christianity
Translation: Coulter changes name to Ann Medinejad

Headline: Bush faces GOP foes on budget cuts
Translation: Bush wins staring contest

Headline: Supreme Court Won't Hear Torture Appeal
Translation: CIA cleared on technicality - el-Masri failed to fill out comment card

Headline: Lindsay Lohan - No more LA clubbing for me
Translation: Schwarzenegger declares LA clubs economic disaster area

Headline: Marine Corps want exit from Iraq
Translation: Negotiating trade to Royal Marine Corps

Headline: Nobel Peace Prize for Gore
Translation: Booby Prize for Bush - White House celebrates coveted Lead-Plated Trial Balloon

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Posted October 9, 2007
Obama flag pin stance draws fire

"Not enough items of flair," say critics

Republican Party officials today criticized Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama for not wearing an American flag lapel pin and other patriotic buttons, which conservatives call "flair."

Republican image consultant Francis F. "Fifi" Frandle wants to talk to the Illinois senator about his flair. Frandle -- known to many as 'the Mr. Blackwell of the Right Wing' -- said flair is a must for any serious candidate.

"Items of flair are de rigeur political fashion accessories for anyone who wants to be taken seriously as a politician," said Frandle.

"Politics is about media, and media is about image," he explained. "If Obama goes on TV without flair, he'll be a bland, flair-less island in the middle of a screen filled with sparkly animations, captions and news-crawls. He'll clash," warned Frandle.

Obama dismissed the controversy over his flair today in comments to reporters. He had worn flair after 9/11, he said, but stopped because he believed it had become a substitute for true patriotism.

He said he would not start wearing flair again. "I don't really like talking about my flair," Obama added.

Even if Obama did start wearing a flag pin again, it is not likely to satisfy critics.

"The patriotic minimum for flair is actually 15 items," said former Senator Mel Martinez, general chairman of the Republican National Committee.

"It's up to Obama whether or not he wants to just do the bare minimum. Rudy Giuliani, for example, has 37 pieces of flair. And a terrific smile."

Martinez urged Obama to look to others within his own party for leadership. "Why can't Obama be more like (Senator) Joe Lieberman?" wondered Martinez.

"Lieberman always wears at least 25 items of flair."

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Posted October 8, 2007
Council may ban hogs

Mayor would have to leave city

Fresh from allowing goats as domestic animals, the Seattle City Council may do the opposite with pigs. The move to ban porkers within city limits followed reports on Friday that hogs had taken over a large part of city government.

The biggest problem is Greg, an alpha hog who loves the taste of legislative oversight.

"The other day I turned around, and Greg had his snout in the bucket by my desk where I keep my legislative authority," said outgoing Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck. "He took most of it," Steinbrueck said.

Another time, Council president Nick Licata reported Greg tunneled his way under a fence and raided the garden where Licata raises state fair prize-winning public defender contracts.

Some blame Greg's bad habits on Councilmember Jean Godden, who is said to scatter leftover policy-setting authority outside her office door.

Deputy mayor Tim Ceis says he understands the council's concerns. "I understand the council's concerns," Ceis told reporters, "but we in the mayor's office doesn't want them to micromanage. And by 'micromanage' we mean 'exist'," he said.

"Mixing oversight of city departments with potato peels, apple cores, corn cobs and the like is a careful veterinarian-approved procedure. Once that formula is set and we turn Greg loose on it, we can't take it away from him," said Ceis.

"Believe me, you don't want to come between Greg and his departmental oversight," Ceis said. "He has tusks."

In response, the council is considering an ordinance that would ban hogs that don't enforce council-approved legislation or have their tusks blunted.

Ceis called that unfair, and said it would require moving the mayor's office outside the city, to rural land in Enumclaw or North Bend.

Ceis proposed a compromise. Let Greg continue gobbling up council authority to his heart's content, and the members will receive all the delicious truffles he digs up.

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October 5, 2007
Larry Craig plans for future

Will handle GOP outreach to blue bastion

Larry Craig will serve out his current Senate term and then retire, the Idaho senator's office announced yesterday. Previously Craig had said he would leave office at the end of September.

A Minneapolis judge yesterday denied the besieged Idaho lawmaker's request to withdraw his accidental guilty plea in a June airport sex sting, in which he was charged with disorderly conduct. Craig's claim — that he did not intend to slide his foot under a men's room stall partition and touch the foot of an undercover officer, but rather slipped on wet tile while doing the pee-pee dance — was rejected by the judge.

Spokesman Francis F. "Fifi" Frandle, a Republican image consultant, today told a news conference that Craig still denies being gay, and will seek to clear his name in the Senate Ethics Committee. "Larry remains defiantly heterosexual, he's so hetero he's butch," Frandle said.

Frandle also announced Craig will head a new Republican outreach organization. Called the American Committee for Republican Outreach to New York Metrosexuals (ACRONYM), it will seek to recruit voters to the GOP in that overwhelmingly Democratic metropolis.

ACRONYM is hoping to rent office space in the East Village, Chelsea or Meatpacking District areas.

"New York City is a fabulous hunting ground for urban, upwardly mobile, financially successful and hot young voters," said Frandle. "They are the ideal target audience for ACRONYM's conservative pro-business agenda of low-taxes, right to privacy and freedom from police entrapment. All that message needs is the right bearer."

"A patron, a fatherly mentor, to show them what the Republican Party has to offer. Larry Craig is just such a man, and he's up for it," Frandle said.

iNews Friday

From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi Headline Translator —

Headline: Bush proclaims National Child Health Day
Translation: "So don't come crying to me tomorrow"

Headline: Alabama judge made prisoners drop pants for spankings
Translation: No word on height of judge's pants

Headline: Berkeley puts courses on YouTube
Translation: Writing workshops taken down, watchers still in comas

Headline: Berkeley puts courses on YouTube
Translation: YouTube crashes after intellectual masturbation seminars get gazillion hits

Headline: Berkeley puts courses on YouTube
Translation: Beowolf flagged as inappropriate for all ages

Headline: Ozone hole has shrunk by nearly a third
Translation: Annoying "O-Face" guy from Office Space still working

Headline: Bush vetoes child care bill
Translation: "Shoulda sent it to me on Child Health Day"

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Posted October 4, 2007
Nickels changes name to NickelsSeattlesGreenMayor

Saves time, more sustainable

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels has filed papers in King County Superior Court to legally change his name to Greg NickelsSeattlesGreenMayor. It will still be pronounced "nickels," with the SeattlesGreenMayor silent.

Relentlessly promoting Mayor Greg Nickels' leadership in creating the "U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement" in 2005, in which hundreds of cities aross the nation are pledging to reduce greenhouse gases in part by creating a smart, clean energy future, has taken up so much space on city brochures, press releases and signs, that the city's printing expenses have skyrocketed to $54 million over budget.

"Relentlessly promoting Mayor Greg Nickels' leadership in creating the "U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement" in 2005, in which hundreds of cities aross the nation are pledging to reduce greenhouse gases in part by creating a smart, clean energy future, all over the City of Seattle website is cheap — just ones and zeros," says Nickels spokesperson Marianne Bichsel. "But the need to relentlessly promote Mayor Greg Nickels' leadership in creating the "U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement" in 2005, in which hundreds of cities aross the nation are pledging to reduce greenhouse gases in part by creating a smart, clean energy future, on as many official documents and signs as possible is turning out to be too costly," Bichsel said.
Not sustainable
Relentlessly promoting Mayor Greg Nickels' leadership in creating the "U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement" in 2005, in which hundreds of cities aross the nation are pledging to reduce greenhouse gases in part by creating a smart, clean energy future, adds a minimum of 10% to city signs, publications.

For example, the interpretive sign next to the City Light-commissioned mural "Stir", by artist Mary Iverson (1312 Western Avenue), was to have been 11 x 18 inches. After text was added to enhance the public's art experience and relentlessly promote Mayor Greg Nickels' leadership in creating the "U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement" in 2005, in which hundreds of cities aross the nation are pledging to reduce greenhouse gases in part by creating a smart, clean energy future, the sign's dimensions increased 10%.

Multiplied across all the city's signs, that adds up to a lot of paint that releases fumes. Plus, signs are made of wood, plastic or metal — one a limited natural resource, one a petroleum product, and one created in a smelting process. Combined with ink and paper for press releases and pamphlets, relentlessly promoting Mayor Greg Nickels' leadership in creating the "U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement" in 2005, in which hundreds of cities aross the nation are pledging to reduce greenhouse gases in part by creating a smart, clean energy future, in print at least, is not sustainable.

This past summer Nickels convened a citizen advisory panel, tasked with finding a catchy yet sustainable method for relentlessly promoting Mayor Greg Nickels' leadership in creating the "U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement" in 2005, in which hundreds of cities aross the nation are pledging to reduce greenhouse gases in part by creating a smart, clean energy future. After 29 meetings the panel came up with 12 alternatives, contained in a six volume report presented in August to the mayor.

"The mayor's team carefully evaluated every option," said Bichsel. "Most suggestions were eliminated as infeasible due to anatomical impossibility. Of the remainder, the name change was both elegantly simple as well as inexpensive," she said. Nickels had an attorney draw up papers for the name change in September.

"From now on, when people see the name Greg NickelsSeattlesGreenMayor, they know exactly who they're dealing with and what he's about," Bichsel said.

Related: Mossback (Oct. 9, 2007)

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Posted October 3, 2007
Compassionate Bush of 2000 returns

Will outsource domestic programs to France

George W. Bush has filled many roles during his presidency: commander in chief; carrier pilot; diplomat; terrorism fighter; reader of stories to children; lead guitarist for Katrina and the Waves. Now add to that time traveler. Sort of.

For last weekend a weary president entered the White House movie theater, and when he emerged it may as well have been the year 2000. Bush had undergone a return to the 'compassionate conservative' roots of his 2000 campaign — and all because of a simple misunderstanding.

"I've had the hardest six years a C student ever had,so lately I've been watching a lot of movies," Bush explained to Fawn Craven, last night on her Fox News program "Craven Journalism."

He had heard whispers about a movie called "Sicko," but could not find out much about it. "I'd look it up in the newspaper, but the reviews and ads for it were always cut out," said Bush. Guessing it to be a horror movie, he requested a White House screening.

"When I realized it was a documentary, I thought, oh crud, bor-ing. But then I saw the star was my friends the health insurance industry, so I kept on watching."

What he saw during the film's 113 minute running time affected him deeply. "I had no idea there were people so sick that even our number-one health care system is helpless to help them," Bush said, telling Craven that he wanted to make a special announcement on her program: a plan to provide coverage for all uninsured Americans.

"I'm calling it my Compassion Thing," Bush said proudly. He said the plan will be led by Secretary of State Condolezza Rice. "I've told Condi to phone up Nicky Sarkozy, and offer France a contract to provide uninsured Americans with free health care, paid time off, baby sitting, housekeeping, 35 hour work weeks, five week vacations -- all that stuff that was in the movie," the president said enthusiastically.

"I've always said I want to run the government like a business, and this will be the biggest outsourcing ever. And this time it will actually help people," he said. "Health for the uninsured is just the first step, if it goes well we'll do the same with Social Security, food stamps, college loans and the legislative branch," Bush said.

Asked by Craven if the health care crisis had affected his own life, Bush replied in the affirmative. "Because of the health care crisis, I didn't enjoy this week's episode of “Heroes.”" The president explained that the new subplot about two South Americans trying to sneak into the U.S. to obtain medical treatment didn't make any sense. "I kept yelling at the TV, ‘Cuba serves poor peoples, you should be going to Cuba’."

Craven asked if this initiative signals the end of strained relations between the U.S. and France, and Bush nodded emphatically. "The motto of France is ‘Liberty Eagle-Eyed Fraternity’ — frat boys are my kind of people."

The health insurance industry has adopted a wait and see attitude about the the president's new Compassion Thing. However, Dr. Clay M. D'Niall of the insurance industry think tank Liberty Copayment Institute expresses cautious optimism. "If we like what we see, the insurance industry will be glad to increase the number of uninsured Americans," D'Niall said.

At the White House officials had no comment today on the president's plan, save for Vice President Dick Cheney.

"The intern who runs the White House theater has torn his last ticket stub," Cheney growled at reporters.

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October 1, 2007
Federal bailout for Texas execution industry

Bush cites 50 percent decline in output

President Bush intervened in the Texas capital punishment controversy today, responding to concerns about executions with a $400 million package of grants and tax incentives to assist the troubled industry.

In announcing the aid plan, Bush pinned the blame for capital punishment's problems on judicial interference. "There is no doubt that excessive government regulation is bad for justice," said Bush.

"The Supreme Court's meddling in the justice system is the last straw, already execution productivity has dropped 50 percent," he said. Bush was referring to last Thursday's high court ruling that stopped the execution of Charles Turner. Turner's attorneys had filed an appeal claiming Texas lethal injection to be unconstitutional.

The president expressed no sympathy for the Turner appeal. "The court, in cahoots with the trial lawyers, are acting in a way that cripples this important Texas industry," said Bush. "Costs will go up, and be passed on to consumers on death row, who cannot afford higher prices, not to mention the added delay. It would be like a death tax."

Bush said too much regulation could also make American executioners less competitive. "No one wants to see our executions sent overseas, which is what'll happen if the courts keep interfering. We already learned that lesson with terrorist detentions," observed Bush.

In the Texas capital Austin, industry officials welcomed federal aid. "Over-regulation was killing us," said Kenneth K. "Ko-Ko" Frandle, CEO of corrections contractor Eye4Eye Inc. "We were nearly dead, this aid will inject much-needed life into the death penalty."

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There are 3 comments
October 23, 2007 - 00:42
Subject: GOP hopefuls endorse stem cell research

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

It's absurd but this is also how absurd politics have become. Conservatives: "my stem cells can beat up your liberal stem cells"

RE: Boston

Suddenly I'm a Rockies fan...

October 19, 2007 - 23:34
Subject: News roundup

Really? I always thought the Dalai Lama would be solar powered. :-)

Reply to Fashiongirl
Editor
October 20, 2007 - 01:03
Subject: Re: News roundup

Good point. Although my guess would would have been: fusion.

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