1. Seattle's new Police Chief John Diaz, who sailed (relatively) smoothly today to unanimous confirmation by the city council (minus council president Richard Conlin, who was absent), will be sworn in by the full council next Monday.

Which brings us to today's loser. The city of Seattle had an opportunity---in Sacramento police chief Rick Braziel---to effect radical change at a police department that's been shaken by scandals and lackluster community satisfaction for years. With public safety on top of people's to-do lists, it was Mayor McGinn's first big assignment. However, Seattle came up short.

No offense intended to Diaz—who, as SPD's 46th leader, will be Seattle's first-ever police chief of color—but Braziel had the potential to shake up a department that has recently been rocked by racially tinged scandals.

Under Braziel, serious crimes in Sacramento decreased 8 percent in 2008, 7.3 percent in 2009, and 7.5 percent so far in 2010. Not surprisingly, he is popular throughout his city, including in communities of color, where Diaz has sometimes struggled. (At a recent series of confirmation hearings, members of Seattle's African American community stood up to condemn Diaz's handling of two racially charged incidents, one involving an innocent Latino man who was beaten by two officers, and another involving a jaywalking stop that ended in an officer punching a teenage girl in the face). Braziel is also a nationally recognized expert on community policing, which has been successful at reducing low-level crime in Seattle.

In June, Braziel dropped out of the running, saying the job didn’t seem like “the right fit”—a poor reflection on Seattle’s political climate, by which Braziel was reportedly alarmed. Seattle was left with no  Plan B except for Diaz and the chief of a small town, East Palo Alto.

Diaz will be competent, but the search for and hiring of  a new chief was a missed opportunity for the city.

2. Today's winner? US Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1). The wonky congressman's once-obscure fight to reclassify the Internet so it can be regulated by the FCC (which can enforce net neutrality) has become a front-page cause thanks to today's dystopian headlines about the Google-Verizon deal.

With the deal—which Internet advocates believe may create a pay-to-play landscape for web content (the opposite of net neutrality's equal access principles)—Inslee's 15 minutes have arrived.

On cue, he released a statement today:

This afternoon's announcement from Google and Verizon falls far short of the net neutrality principles necessary to protect consumers online. I'm disappointed that such esteemed leaders would put forward a policy proposal that fails to protect the very foundation of the Internet's success - open access for all.  Many of us have been warning for a number of years that broadband service providers would begin to use a lack of net neutrality regulations to prioritize their increasingly diverse business offerings and content, thereby jeopardizing open Internet access.  Today's announcement is one more reason that the FCC must act to reclassify broadband and protect consumers online.  The American people deserve nothing less than a free and open Internet where ideas and innovation are allowed to flourish, and today's proposal has made it even clearer that we cannot rely on industry alone to do just that.
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