1. Black is white, up is down, 2+2=5, and voting for a socialist you "don't support" makes sense, according to Ted Van Dyk at Crosscut, who says he checked the box for Kshama Sawant because he wanted to "send a message to a complacent, go-along City Council" in thrall to "downtown developers" and corporations, whatever that means.

At any rate, after talking to plenty of voters and looking at the results, it does appear that a Van Dyk-esque protest vote—not for socialism per se, but against the perceived entrenchment of "City Hall"—may well push this once-unlikely-seeming candidate over the edge to defeat council incumbent Richard Conlin. 

(More on Sawant's surging numbers from pollster Matt Barreto at KPLU's web site.) 

2. Thin-skinned state Sen. (and failed Republican U.S. Senate candidate) Michael Baumgartner (pictured) thinks the Washington state legislature should reconvene for yet another special session to make Washington a right-to-work state, Q13 reports, after the Boeing Machinists rejected a contract that would have required major benefit and pension concessions last night. 

 

According to the station's web site, Baumgartner said that changing the law so Boeing employees could opt out of the Boeing union would lead to more jobs, higher manufacturing growth, and more affordable wages for employers. 

3. In what looks, for all appearances, like a pretty conscious effort to eke out a local angle on the anti-Obamacare story (the latest conservative narrative is that people should be allowed to keep their overpriced coverage even if it offers virtually no benefits, because Freedom) the Columbian reports on a Vanvouver couple who had to give up their high-deductible, high-premium insurance under the new national health-care rules.

The story—complete with a photo showing pharmacy student Lindsey McChesney with her head on the shoulder of husband Jesse McChesney, looking close to tears—reveals pretty quickly that the pair would actually pay just $30 more a month for far better health care than their current catastrophic plan, which requires them to pay $7,500 out of pocket every year before they start collecting benefits. The new plan would reduce their out-of-pocket annual costs by $3,000.

But better health care for almost no more money is apparently a bad thing, because, as the Columbian reports, it will mean McChesney will become "just another person on welfare." Instead of taking the more-generous plan at $30 more per month, the paper reports, the McChesneys may just pay a fine and forgo health care entirely. Such is the logic of "welfare" opponents: Inadequate health care provided by private corporations is better than government subsidies for low-income people to go to the doctor when they need to do so.

4. The conservative Seattle Times editorial board wholeheartedly "embraces" Seattle voters' adoption of district elections, which, they point out, will give existing residents more power to keep "ill-advised" density out of their neighborhoods.

The seven new districts were drawn up by far North Seattle neighborhood activist Faye Garneau and UW professor and activist Dick Morrill, who has written that "the preservation of existing single-family zoned housing" should be "an overriding priority" and argued that the only way to "save Seattle" is to prohibit any new zoning changes that would add density in neighborhoods.

The way the districts are drawn—splitting the U District from Capitol Hill, for example, and giving the south half of Seattle just two districts out of seven—the anti-density agenda seems likely to see a rejuvenated voice on the city council. 

 

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