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On Other Blogs Today: Phone Books, Rhetorical Backflips, and the Scandal that Keeps on Giving

Our daily roundup.

By Erica C. Barnett February 22, 2013



1. The Seattle Times reports that State Republican Party chair Kirby Wilbur thinks Tim Eyman should apologize for calling Gov. Jay Inslee a "lying whore." (Inslee has said he's open to a new gas tax after running on a no-new-taxes platform; however, he never ruled out increasing transportation taxes.) ". No matter what the issue is, it’s uncalled for, and I would condemn such a thing,” Wilbur said.

2. The Times also reports that the city of Seattle will pay half a million dollars to settle a lawsuit filed against it by Yellow pages companies, who argued that the city's law allowing consumers to opt out of receiving the largely useless phone books several times a year violated their right to free speech. A panel of the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, effectively consigning Seattle residents to recycling (or tossing) an additional 1,000 tons of paper every year.  

3. The Spokane Spokesman-Review's editorial board gives the mike to Republicans opposed to legislation that would require insurers that cover maternity care to also cover abortion. In a series of increasingly impressive rhetorical backflips, they argue that private companies should have the right to deny their employees abortion coverage based on religious beliefs because, as Rep. Norma Smith (R-10), puts it, "If women have the intelligence and capablity to determine whether to abort a pregnancy…why would we choose to take away my choice not to."

As far as I'm aware, no one in the United States has ever introduced legislation to force women to have abortions. The same cannot be said for laws requiring women to carry pregnancies to term. 

4. Framing changes everything: Check out the difference between the anti-light-rail Bellevue Reporter's take on the proposed light rail line through the city, which uncritically repeats residents' claims that light rail will literally "go through their kitchens," and the pro-light rail Seattle Transit Blog's, which notes that complaints like the ones the Reporter noted are likely to delay the (already long-delayed) rail line, which Bellevue voters approved, for months or even years.

The issue at the heart of both stories is a set of proposed changes to Bellevue's land use code that would force Sound Transit to buy more properties or alter the line's route; make it harder for the agency to apply for city permits; and set new height restrictions on light rail facilities. 

5. Can't get enough of the Aaron Reardon drama? The Everett Herald has a comprehensive timeline of all the soon-to-be-former Snohomish County Executive's shenanigans, from his energy drink commercials to his affair on the county dime to his staffers' alleged cyberbulling of his political opponents. 

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