Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your Daily Morning Fizz.

1. This rumor is a week or so old, but it hasn't gotten much play: Freshman Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-6, Spokane) is thinking about setting up an exploratory committee for a run against US Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

Baumgartner established a reputation as a moderate Republican in his first session in Olympia with a few green votes (including a pro-pot vote) while sticking to his Republican principles.

And while the rap on him is all about his experience as an economic adviser in the Middle East and his Harvard credentials, the real problem for Democrats may be this: Dude is pretty.



2. The Northwest Asian Weekly filed an angry blog post on Friday criticizing Mayor Mike McGinn for leaving his own media roundtable with reporters from the minority press corps after just 20 minutes of a session that was slated to go two hours.
He walked slowly to the far side of the room to get an apple from a plate (supposedly prepared for the media), taking a bite on his way out.

Afterward, a journalist said, “He should be fired.”

3. In case you missed it over the Labor Day weekend, here's the text of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's open letter to the New York Times calling for a bipartisan boycott on campaign contributions until Congress cuts spending ... and increases spending.

We've bolded the crux of it.
Dear Fellow Concerned Americans:

I love our country. And I am a beneficiary of the promise of America. But today, I am very concerned that at times I do not recognize the America that I love.

Like so many of you, I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington. And also like you, I am frustrated by our political leaders’ steadfast refusal to recognize that, for every day they perpetuate partisan conflict and put ideology over country, America and Americans suffer from the combined effects of paralysis and uncertainty. Americans can’t find jobs. Small businesses can’t get credit. And the fracturing of consumer confidence continues.

We are better than this.

Three weeks ago, I asked fellow business leaders to join me in urging the President and the Congress to put an end to partisan gridlock and, in its place, to set in motion an upward spiral of confidence. More than 100 business leaders representing American companies – large and small – joined me in signing a two-part pledge:

First, to withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security. Second, to do all we can to break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring.

In the weeks since then, I have been overwhelmed by the heartfelt stories of Americans from across the country, sharing their anguish over losing hope in the strongest and most galvanizing force of all – the American Dream. Some feel they have no voice. Others feel they no longer matter. And many feel they have been left behind.

We cannot let this stand.

Please join other concerned Americans and me on a national call-in conversation on Tuesday September 6th hosted by “No Labels,” a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fostering cooperative and more effective government. To learn more about the forum and the pledges, visit www.upwardspiral2011.org

America is at a fragile and critical moment in its history. We must restore hope in the American Dream. We must celebrate all that America stands for around the world. And while our Founding Fathers recognized the constructive value of political debate, we must send the message to today’s elected officials in a civil, respectful voice they hear and understand, that the time to put citizenship ahead of partisanship is now.

Yours is the voice that can help ignite the contagious upward spiral of confidence that our country desperately needs.

With great respect,

Howard Schultz
Chief Executive Officer, Starbucks Coffee Company

There will be a live video stream tonight of Schultz' "Conversation with America."


4. It's not surprising that gubernatorial candidate US Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1), who's made a big deal out of fighting corporate consolidation in the digital age—fighting for net neutrality and indie internet radio—came out for the DOJ's suit against the AT&T/T-Mobile merger last week.

But Inslee's position could dull his support from a traditional Democratic ally, labor. The Washington State Labor Council is all for the merger. How come? AT&T, which would acquire T-Mobile in the deal, is unionized and T-Mobile is not.

Here's what WSLC president Jeff Johnson had to say about the the proposed acquisition when it was announced in March.
The acquisition of T- Mobile USA by AT&T is a great opportunity to bring the potential of a true voice at work to tens of thousands of T-Mobile USA workers. At a time when the middle class is under attack in the US, this merger brings the hope of greater job security and benefits for these hard working employees.

AT&T is one of the only telecom workforces in the U.S. that is unionized at this time. Currently, there are approximately 42,000 AT&T mobility employees are represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The union ensures that all workers have a voice on the job, good living standards, and training and development opportunities to help the company succeed.