Pacific NW Portal

Refreshed at 6:56 AM Pacific on Friday, April 18th, 2014

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In Brief

Quotation

The utter humiliation of laying everyone off and telling them they are welcome to reapply for their existing jobs in a new location has struck everyone as a nasty corporate practice.

— Ray Goforth, executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, condemning Boeing’s idiotic decision to transfer aerospace engineering jobs out of Washington. (The Seattle Times: Boeing managers say transfer of engineer jobs damaging talent, morale)

# (Tuesday, April 15, 2014)

Quotation

This is terrible news for the Republicans… The Senate was going to be competitive anyway. Now it’s even more competitive.

— Former state Republican Party Chair Chris Vance, reacting to the sudden and expected retirement of Rodney Tom.

# (Monday, April 14, 2014)

Photo

Photo from In Brief

“In Poland, we do not have palm trees. We do, however, have extremely rich folk traditions which date back to pre-Christian times, and which have largely survived in the Catholic custom. Such a tradition is weaving palms for Palm Sunday, and it is most alive in the colourful Northeastern region of Kurpie…. Only there will you find such elaborate palms made out of crepe paper and dried flowers, so tall that they cannot be carried upright. The village of Łyse, which I visited this year, is one of those that hold a contest for the tallest and most beautiful palm. People from all over the region work hard for the fourty days of Lent to make their entries.” (Photo: Magic Madzik, reproduced under a Creative Commons license)

# (Sunday, April 13, 2014)

Aside

CBS' signing of Stephen Colbert predictably earns the scorn of Rush Limbaugh

Right wing shock jock Rush Limbaugh is (surprise, surprise!) none too pleased that media giant CBS has signed comedian Stephen Colbert to a five-year deal to succeed David Letterman as the host of The Late Show beginning in 2015.

“CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America,” Limbaugh sputtered. “No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatives. Now it’s just wide-out in the open.”

Limbaugh is wrong. Colbert’s comedy is actually a defense of traditional American values. He does our country a service by satirizing and mocking right wing talking points four nights a week. He is a talented and witty entertainer, unlike Limbaugh, who is merely capable of crudely shouting into a microphone.

Limbaugh and the Republican Noise Machine like to assert on a regular basis that the media has a liberal bias; it’s the rationale they use to justify their existence. But the traditional media actually skews conservative. Sunday talk shows, for instance, are dominated by older white men who discuss issues using right wing framing.

Limbaugh seems to consider himself to be a comedian, judging by how he explains away the dumb and insensitive things he says on air, but he’s not.

Anyone can tell a bad joke; telling good jokes is harder.

Conservatives have very few personalities that seem to be capable of telling a good joke. Perhaps that’s because comedy is an art form, and progressives are more interested in the arts than conservatives. Progressives are much more likely than conservatives to have received a liberal arts education, to have earned a college degree, and to be capable of enjoying jokes at their own expense.

This is not to say conservatives cannot be comedians, or that conservatives cannot be funny. Judging by what we’ve observed, though, there don’t seem to be many other dimensions to conservative humor beyond attempting to ridicule progressives.

# (Thursday, April 10, 2014)

Recommended Link

$772 million penalty for Bank of America over credit card practices

Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered Bank of America to pay $772 million in refunds and fines to the federal government after the CFPB caught the bank using deceptive marketing materials and unethical billing practices.

# (Wednesday, April 9, 2014)

Recommended Link

Alaska Dispatch to buy Anchorage Daily News from McClatchy

An Anchorage-based media company that founded an online news publication for The Last Frontier several days ago is buying the state’s newspaper of record, the Anchorage Daily News, from the McClatchy Company for $34 million. The new owners plan to continue publishing the paper seven days a week. No layoffs are expected, although the ADN’s publisher and editor are retiring.

# (Wednesday, April 9, 2014)

Quotation

For reasons known only to them, Senate Republicans don’t seem to be interested in closing wage gaps for working women.

— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, denouncing the Senate Republican caucus after it blocked a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act.

# (Wednesday, April 9, 2014)

Photo

Photo from In Brief

A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion flies past Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield on a mission to drop sonar buoys to assist in the acoustic search in support of Operation Southern Indian Ocean. (Photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill/Commonwealth of Australia)

# (Wednesday, April 9, 2014)

Recommended Link

Liberals rout Parti Québécois in Quebec provincial election upset

In a stunning turn of events, voters in Canada’s second largest province have swept the Parti Québécois’ minority government out of power and elected a new Liberal government, ending (at least for now) any attempt to hold a new referendum on secession from Canada, which would have caused headaches for Canada’s federal government.

# (Tuesday, April 8, 2014)

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Progressive Thought

The latest analysis and policy briefs from progressive think tanks focused on both regional and national politics.

  • The EU after European elections
    (Policy Network) — Policy Network, the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom and Normura UK will host a conference on EU affairs on the 5th of June.
  • The rise of the service economy
    (Policy Network) — Anne Wren will lead this interactive roundtable examining the policy choices and opportunities for new coalitions adapted to the dynamics of post-indust....
  • Baby Boomers and Welfare State Distribut....
    (Policy Network) — Bruno Palier will lead this interactive roundtable examining the case for social investment in Europe.
  • Progressive Governance Conference
    (Policy Network) — Political leaders, experts and policymakers from across Europe and North America will gather in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 24-25 April for a Progressive ....
  • Daily Digest - April 18: Inequality Was ....
    () — Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email. We Built This Country on Inequality ( The Nation ) Mychal Denzel Smith writes that the U.S. economy wa....
  • The Health Care Exchanges Need Healthy P....
    (Beat the Press) — The NYT again obsessed about the number of young people signing up for the exchanges, telling readers they "tend to be healthier." Yes, everyone knows t....
  • NYT Says Doctors May Not Talk About Expe....
    (Beat the Press) — Yet again the NYT has given us a piece talking about trade-offs between the cost and quality of health care. The piece reports that some doctors may not....
  • The Business Case for Paid Leave and Pai....
    (Center for American Progress) — As states continue to pass paid leave and paid sick days legislation, evidence shows that these policies are a win-win for both employers and employees.
  • Tax-Credit Bill Would Help Low-Income Fa....
    (Off the Charts Blog | Center....) — House Ways and Means Committee member Charles Rangel (D-NY) has introduced legislation to establish a new federal tax credit to help low-income renters ....
  • White House Ups Cost Estimate For Income....
    (Articles and Op-Eds) — April 16, 2014 Jason Delisle April 16, 2014 URL:  http://www.edcentral.org/white-house-ups-cost-estimate-income-based-repayment/
  • Ukraine And Russia Seem to Be Edging Per....
    (Articles and Op-Eds) — April 16, 2014 Steve LeVine April 16, 2014 URL:  http://qz.com/199647/ukraine-and-russia-seem-to-be-edging-perilously-close-to-war/
  • CBO Finds Third Consecutive Year of Good....
    (Articles and Op-Eds) — April 15, 2014 Jason Delisle Clare McCann April 15, 2014 URL:  http://www.edcentral.org/cbo-finds-third-consecutive-year-good-news-pell-costs/
  • Joe Scarborough and His Band of Space Al....
    (Beat the Press) — The Huffington Post really deserves to be called on the carpet for this piece . It implies there is a debate going on between Paul Krugman and Joe Scarb....
Occupy Radar

Occupy Radar tracks the latest dispatches from the Occupy Movement in cities across the Pacific Northwest. We are the 99%!

  • Occupy eugene general assembly (Occupy Eugene) — Occupy Eugene continues to hold GA's at Growers Market. It is now being held 6:00 pm on the third Friday of each month. Please join us at our General A....
  • February 11th 2014 is the day we fight .... (Occupy Eugene) — Why is there a US news blackout on Edward Snowden's January 27 interview (in English) on German TV? Maybe because he accuses the US Director of Nationa....
  • Whoville granted reprieve through febru.... (Occupy Eugene) — On January 27, 2014, the Eugene City Council granted Whoville and its advocates 30 days to find a new location for the Whoville Unhoused Sanctuary. Cit....
  • System status as of jan. 9th at 11 pm pct (Occupy Tacoma) — The Occupy Tacoma / Assembly Tacoma site has been rebuilt and the temporary site at Tacomatest2.us is now abandoned,  We are still experiencing DOS att....
  • System status as of jan. 7, 2014 (Occupy Tacoma) — The Occupy Tacoma website was hacked (probably after Dec. 3, 2013 and most likely during the Christmas – New Year period).  Over the last 2 weeks....
  • System status as of dec. 29, 2013 (Occupy Tacoma) — The site has been experiencing very poor performance on an intermittent basis.  We have been unable to determine the cause, but we continue to investig....
  • System status as of dec. 23 2013 (Occupy Tacoma) — The following improvements have been accomplished over the last few days: When a new idea (proposal, article, vision, whatever) is published, the ratin....
  • System status as of dec. 17th 2013 (Occupy Tacoma) — On Sunday, Dec. 15th, 2013, in respect of the Jul. 22, 2013 vote to create the On Line General Assembly, the Occupy and Assembly websites now share a c....
  • Systems status as of nov. 5, 2013 (Occupy Tacoma) — The Occupy Tacoma web site is and will probably remain the “display site” for Occupy Tacoma. But the Assembly Tacoma site is the controllin....
  • Film showing & discussion: “growthbusters” (Occupy Portland) — Occupy Portland Elder Caucus presents a provocative documentary GrowthBusters, where one man takes on City Hall, Wall Street, and The Pope as he questi....
  • The start of something new: transitioni.... (Occupy Portland) — The OPDX Info Team and the Friends of Occupy Portland (FOOP) have been in discussion over the decline in General Assembly (GA) attendance and whether i....
  • Occupy eugene launches sustaining donor.... (Occupy Eugene) — Occupy Eugene is asking for your sustained financial support to help our organizers and activists to achieve the change the 99% wants to see.
  • In time for the giving season – our bit.... (Occupy Portland) — Do you use Bitcoin? Touted as a collective, public, peer-to-peer alternative currency subverting the authority of big banks, it is gaining widespread p....
PNW Topic Hotlist

The PNW Topic Hotlist curates blog posts from local blogs based on current events. Posts categorized under the top three topics of the moment are shown below.

  • Tim Eyman
    • NPI Advocate: Dino Rossi, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Tim Eyman to join NPI’s Advisory Council - We have some exciting news to share today on this glorious first day of April. As I mentioned a few days ago, on Saturday, NPI’s board appointed four outstanding individuals to serve as the founding members of our Advisory Council: Steve Zemke, Martin Chaney, Rob Dolin, and State Representative Luis Moscoso. Today, ... April 2 at 0:47 Pacific Time
    • HorsesAss.org: Seattle Lid Lifts Occurring Within Context of I-747 Levy Limits - It’s as if the editors at the Seattle Times live in a world entirely free of context: The proposal now before the Seattle City Council is to double the existing property-tax levy devoted to parks, to $54 million a year, raising the annual cost for the owner of a $400,000 home from $76 to $168. It is not a ... March 31 at 9:11 Pacific Time
  • Health Care
    • Majority Rules Blog: Targeting Democratic Voters to Win in the 2014 US Senate Races - Non-presidential election years like 2014 can be tough for Democrats who have tended to do better in years when more voters turn out. Will 2014 be better? A lot is at stake for Democrats on the national level with the Republicans pushing to take over the US Senate and keep control of the House. The New York Times published ... March 30 at 21:0 Pacific Time
    • HorsesAss.org: Worker Owned Cooperatives - This Sunday’s New York times had a story about worker owned cooperatives. The main example that they use is in San Francisco, but If you happen to be looking for your morning coffee near Golden Gate Park and the bright red storefront of the Arizmendi Bakery attracts your attention, congratulations. You have found ... March 31 at 19:13 Pacific Time
    • The Stranger Blog: A Suit That Simulates Old Age - There's a futuristic suit designed to make young people feel what it's like to be in the body of an old person—it slows you down, makes bending down harder, makes hearing more difficult, and impairs vision. Guardian reporter Josh Halliday tried it out: Young @JoshHalliday tries out an age simulation suit and finds ... April 2 at 15:0 Pacific Time
  • Minimum Wage
    • HorsesAss.org: April Fools: Seattle Times Does Not Hire Goldy - I was thinking of doing an April Fools post in which I announced that I had been hired by the Seattle Times as a political blogger and columnist. But every time I sat down to write it, it never came out funny. The fact is, and as immodest as it may sound, there is no media outlet in Seattle that could profit more from my ... April 1 at 11:22 Pacific Time
    • The Stranger Blog: City Hall Starts to Give a Shit About Women's Pay Equity Again - [Image] The StrangerCouncil Member Jean Godden speaks at City Hall on the city's next moves to address pay equity. This afternoon, Mayor Ed Murray announced the first public steps the city has taken since mid-2013 to address the pay disparity between women and men employed by the City of Seattle, a big issue during last ... April 2 at 13:52 Pacific Time
    • PERRspectives Blog: Hobby Lobby Hobnobs with Ken Starr and Rick Warren - [Image] The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hold oral arguments in two cases (Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius) challenging the Affordable Care Act's requirement that insurance plans cover contraception. But with the Court's precedents and the legislative history of the ... March 24 at 20:55 Pacific Time
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