1. Isn't it weird that ... Mayor Mike McGinn cut the ribbon at the opening of the new Museum of History and Industry, after he opposed a deal to fund MOHAI's new South Lake Union facility?

Back in 2010, over McGinn's objections, the council agreed to pay MOHAI $47 million in state reimbursements for its old land and building, which is being demolished for construction of the 520 bridge.

McGinn wanted the city to keep $7 million of that $47 million to help close a $67 million city budget gap, arguing that MOHAI got more money from the state than the city was initially led to believe and that MOHAI should share its windfall with the city. The city council worked out a deal in which MOHAI loaned the city $8.5 million instead. 

2. Isn't it weird that... Tim Eyman's latest initiative, which is ostensibly aimed at protecting the free-speech rights of people gathering signatures to put initiatives on the ballot, accomplishes that goal by restricting the free-speech rights of everyone else?

Tim Eyman's latest initiative, which is ostensibly aimed at protecting the free-speech rights of initiative signature gatherers, accomplishes that by possibly restricting the free-speech rights of opponents?

Specifically, the initiative, I-517, would ban everything from assaulting signature gatherers (which, as assault, is already banned) to "yelling" to "maintaining an intimidating presence withing twenty-five feet of any person gathering signatures or any person trying to sign a petition."

It also bans so-called "tumultuous conduct" in the presence of a signature gatherer. We have a call out to Secretary of State Sam Reed's office to find out the precise definition of "intimidating presence" and "tumultuous conduct." 

3. Isn't it weird that... while the state house has already prefiled a long list of bills—more than 30—for the upcoming legislative session, which begins in less than two weeks, only two bills have been prefiled in the (admittedly topsy turvy) senate?

The one worth noting was filed by Republican Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-15, Sunnyside). Honeyford's bill would require senate approval of Growth Management Hearings Board appointments (currently the positions are only subject to the governor's approval.)

The bill is basically Republican vengeance over former dissident Republican state Sen. Cheryl Pflug's appointment to the board, which the Republicans (and Rodney Tom) harbor all sorts of conspiracy theories about. (Pflug resigned her senate seat too late for the GOP to field a solid candidate, endorsed the Democrat, who went on to win, and then got appointed to the Growth Management Hearings Board by Democratic governor Chris Gregoire.)

Weird: We don't remember Tim Eyman's I-1185 voters making an exception for gas taxes.

And on the house side of pending bills:

4. Isn't it weird that... the Republican bill to put the two-thirds vote requirement for raising taxes in the constitution explicitly does not include gas taxes for roads, keeping those special gas taxes "that must be used exclusively for highway purposes" at the simple majority threshhold.

Basically, this is the Republicans admitting that they're a-okay with gas tax increases (they need transportation fixes in their districts too), while allowing room for GOP orthodoxy by making sure gas taxes can pass simply with Democratic-only votes.

Weird: We don't remember Tim Eyman's I-1185 voters making an exception for gas taxes.