Caffeinated news & gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.

1. Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner has an article on US Rep. Dennis Kucinich's highfalutin speech at this weekend's Hempfest. Brunner reports:
During his speech, Kucinich told the blissed out crowd at Myrtle Edwards Park they could transform America through a shared awareness and activism.

"Open America! Show yourself! Mass action! This is why, and how, recent movements for freedom in Tunisia and Egypt gained momentum," Kucinich said, to warm, if not overwhelming applause.

"This is how Gandhi's march to the sea cast off the British Empire. This is how America's suffragettes gained for women the right to vote. This is how Dr. Martin Luther King's March on Washington became a pivotal moment in the history of the civil rights movement."

Kucinich also denounced US involvement in Libya.

Also on the Hempfest bill:  Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, City Attorney Pete Holmes, city council member Nick Licata,, and state Reps. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-38, Seattle) (who sponsored last session's bill to legalize and tax pot) and  Roger Goodman (D-45, Kirkland) (who already has next session's medical marijuana pot legislation queued up).

Goodman is in the crowded field for US Rep. Jay Inslee's open seat, as will be, many believe, Kucinich, who is likely to be redistricted out of his seat in Ohio.[pullquote]No, you weren't high if you happened to see giant red helium balloons hoisting a class warfare sign over Seward Park on Sunday.[/pullquote]

2. No, you weren't high if you happened to see giant red helium balloons and an exposed butt in float-size trousers hoisting a class warfare sign over Seward Park on Sunday. But perhaps the organizers of the event were.

The Backbone Campaign, a local lefty agitprop group, along with the Citizens Action Network, staged the Sunday event, calling for an income tax on the rich—which voters rejected 64-35 last year and which Democratic leaders in the state legislatures say isn't going to happen any time soon. The banner was visible from Paul Allen's Mercer Island home.



Washington CAN's Rachel De Cruz noted that the wealthiest 1 percent  of Washington taxpayers pay less than three percent of their income in state taxes, while the poorest 20 percent pay 17 percent of their income in state taxes.

3. Every local election a bunch of City Hall insiders—including council members, staffers, and consultant types—do an election predictions pool. Among the gamers this year were City Council members Tim Burgess and Sally Clark, consultants Cathy Allen, Rollin Fatland, city council spokeswoman Laura Lockard, and business lobbyist Joe Quintana.

Whoever gets the most guesses right (out of seven election-night-related questions) wins. And this year's tie-breaker: Guess the exact percentage on the tunnel vote.

Clark, Lockard,  UW student lobbyist Quinn Majeski, and Burgess staffer Nate Van Duzer tied for first with six correct answers. Van Duzer won the whole thing, guessing a 54 percent win for the tunnel (of the four, he came closest to the tunnel's current 58.4 percent.)

A lot of folks had the tunnel winning in the mid-50s. Brian Hawksford, a longtime staffer for tunnel advocate council member Tom Rasmussen, was right on the money, guessing 58 percent.