1. Isn't it weird that ... Majority Coalition Caucus leader Sen. Rodney Tom (D-48, Bellevue) didn't participate in the response to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee's inaugural address today?

Where's Rodney? Sen. Schoesler responds to Inslee speech

Yes, it was billed as a Republican response, but didn't the Republicans just vote to change the rules so that they could make Sen. Tom the senate majority leader and govern as the MCC? They even changed their website and turned over the Republican side of the building to the MCC.

Ha. Not today.

This raises a question: Are there three caucuses?

Tom's absence undermined the MCC's message that the new governing coalition is bipartisan, especially given that at their response press conference they denounced Inslee's push for the Reproductive Parity Act, legislation Tom supports.

Tom has assured Democrats that by empowering the GOP under the umbrella of his coalition, he was not jeopardizing his own party's agenda. Today's Republican response to Inslee undid that message, and with Republican leader Sen. Mark Schoesler at the table instead of Tom, made it clear that Tom is not calling the shots.

"The Republicans still caucus," Rep. Richard DeBolt (R-20) said when asked about the mixed messaging. That raises a question: Are there three caucuses?

2. Isn't it weird that ... City Council member (and mayoral candidate) Tim Burgess just introduced legislation that could reduce his powers if he's ultimately elected mayor?

Burgess' proposal, which the council's government-oversight committee approved unanimously, gives the city auditor extra money to evaluate every new and expanded program proposed in future mayoral budgets. 

Then again, maybe it isn't so weird: The proposal has the implicit effect of portraying some of current Mayor Mike McGinn's budget choices as ineffective and McGinn as unaccountable.

3. Isn't it weird that ... along with education secretary Arne Duncan, energy secretary Stephen Chu, and agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack—'90s rapper MC Hammer (or, as the press release describes him, "Rapper 'MC Hammer'" is among the scheduled speakers at the US Conference of Mayors tomorrow?

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