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Inslee to brief Obama on fires

July 22, 2014 10:27 a.m. - Updated: 10:27 a.m.

Gov. Jay Inslee will brief President Obama on the fires in Central Washington as the two drive into Seattle this afternoon.

Obama, Air Force One and the traveling White House press corps are due in to Boeing Field at mid-afternoon, and the president will motorcade into Seattle for a fund-raiser. Inslee will ride in the car with Obama to brief him on the progress of fighting the wildfires, which have torched a record amount of area east of the Cascades.

The president is due to leave Seattle right after the fund-raiser to fly to San Francisco. Seattle drivers are being warned to expect traffic days for Obama's coming and going. 

Inslee, who has made several trips to the east side of the state to check on firefighting efforts, plans to stop at the Camp Murray Emergency Operations Center to thank workers on his way up to Boeing Field, his staff said.

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Sunday Spin: Some advice for Obama on this trip to Seattle

July 19, 2014 6:21 p.m.

President Obama’s campaign apparatus e-mails almost every day asking for money, but perhaps because I never give him any, he never calls to ask for advice. That’s OK. I have some for him anyway, unsolicited.

Don’t pop in and out of Seattle this week like some guy stopping at the ATM for cash on the way to pick up pizza and a video. If you’re intent on coming for a fund-raiser at some Seattle fat-cat’s home – thus making the city’s usually terrible traffic abysmal for everyone not in an escorted motorcade – it ought to be for something more than just the money. This is particularly true if half the state is still either on fire or choking on smoke.

The White House said last week the president will stop in Tuesday on his way to California, where he’s got even more money-makers later in the week. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

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Obama coming next week. Will WA still be burning?

July 18, 2014 12:26 p.m. - Updated: 12:26 p.m.

President Barack Obama is planning a fund-raising visit to Seattle on Tuesday. Quick in and out on the way to more fund-raising in California.

As with previous visits, it's likely to tie up traffic in the Puget Sound during his coming and going to the event, which is at an as-yet-undisclosed residence in Seattle. Motorists already dealing with summer construction season can expect even more delays.

But the fires in Central Washington — which Gov. Jay Inslee labeled a firestorm today — might still be burning by Tuesday, and even if they are under control, there will be plenty of scorched earth and former homes that are not much more than a foundation and a chimney. 

So the question for Obama and all his political planners is this:Do you cancel the Seattle stop out of respect for the disaster? Do you pop in and out of Washington like a person hitting their favorite ATM? Or do you extend the stay to acknowledge the disaster, possibly making a trip to the devastation and talk about the effects of climate change? 

Gov. Jay Inslee said today he hadn't talked to Obama about the fires and his upcoming visit.

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Edible pot rules: No to lollipops, yes to brownies

July 16, 2014 11:04 a.m. - Updated: 2:16 p.m.

OLYMPIA — Legal marijuana stores won't be able to sell lollipops, gummy bears or other candies infused with the drug, but will be able to sell properly labelled brownies and cookies, a state agency decided today.

The Liquor Control Board approved rules for marijuana-infused food products, also known as edibles, designed to limit items that may appeal strongly to children. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to continue inside the blog.

 

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Today’s fun video: We’re all guilty of some word crimes

July 16, 2014 7 a.m. - Updated: 9:26 a.m.

 

How many of these infractions, misdemeanors and felonies have you committed?

And yes, Weird Al probably made better use of this tune than Robin Thicke.

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Ex-Im Bank: How vital is it?

July 15, 2014 5:13 p.m. - Updated: 5:27 p.m.

Govs. Jay Inslee and Butch Otter signed on to a letter Tuesday urging Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, but the owner of a Palouse company sometimes listed as a local beneficiary of the institution says the United States should let it go out of business . .  .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to continue inside the blog.

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Ballots start to go in mail tomorrow

July 15, 2014 1:16 p.m. - Updated: 2:43 p.m.

County elections offices around the state will begin mailing out ballots Wednesday to the state's voters. Spokane County elections officials say they will be mailing out more than 275,000 in two batches, Wednesday and Thursday.

If you are registered to vote and don't get a ballot by the following Friday, July 25th, call the elections office, which in Spokane is 509-477-2320 about a replacement ballot. (Live in another county and need their number? Click here.)

If you aren't registered to vote, but would like to be (and are a qualifying Washington resident) you have until July 28th to sign up in person at the Elections Office, which in Spokane would be at 1033 W. Gardner. Can't do it online, or by mail. Have to show up in person. Sort of the price you pay for putting it off too long.

The ballots must be marked, placed in the signed envelope and returned, either by depositing them in a drop box before 8 p.m. Aug. 5, or by mailing them back so they are postmarked no later than Aug. 5. Yes, if you mail your ballot you will have to put a stamp on the envelope. No, we will not listen to complaints about how this is unfair or as unconscionable as the poll tax. 

Your best bet for a drop box is probably the closest public library. For a list of drop box locations go inside the blog.

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Today’s fun video: Calm v. a screamer on CNBC

July 15, 2014 12:33 p.m.

 

If you're tired of watching two people trying to shout over each other on cable news, this CNBC clip shows what happens when you don't fight fire with fire.

When you fight fire with water, and keep it up, water wins.

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Inslee talking up WA in UK

July 15, 2014 11:39 a.m. - Updated: 11:39 a.m.

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee is returning from the Farnborough Air Show in Great Britain, but it would seem none of the British reserve rubbed off on him during his short stay there.

Asked during a telephonic press conference this morning how the air show was going Inslee offered this observation:

“It's hard being humble when you win the Super Bowl and have the best airplanes in the world.”

Asked what he was doing for fun, Inslee produced an all-business answer: “The pleasure was watching our airplanes fly.”

Clearly, the governor needs to get out more.

He also put in a plug for Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, currently the subject of some debate within the House GOP majority. He said he doesn't see any need for big reforms, which Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers recently said are needed before she'd sign on to re-upping the Ex-Im, but he'd be open to some changes as long as the bank can keep helping the state's exporters.

The fight is along ideological lines, he said, but shouldn't be. “This is a meat and potatoes issue.”

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Today’s fun video: A candidate, a shotgun and an elephant pinata

July 14, 2014 5 p.m. - Updated: July 15, 11:50 a.m.

 

Firearms may be a great accessory for campaign ads, but apparently not if you are a Democrat running for Congress in Central Washington's 4th Congressional District.

Estakio Beltran, one of two Democrats and 12 candidates overall running for the open seat in the 4th, announced a TV spot last week, then abruptly pulled it.

The 30-second commercial has Beltran in an arid open space, blasting away at an elephant-shaped pinata with a pump action shotgun. He racks out an empty while saying the standard “… and I approve this message” tagline before riding off on a burro in a direction that a sign suggests Congress is thataway.

A little loud, but in a crowded race that has one of the Republican candidates offering a gun giveaway with an AR-15, not totally out of the box. It did draw criticism from gun control groups, and from Republicans who contended that Democrats would be incensed by one of their candidates blasting away at a donkey, the traditional symbol for Democrats.

The ad had a very short shelf life and was pulled after a few days, which seems like a lot of trouble to go through for such a short run.

Asked why, Beltran spokesman Grady O'Brien sent out a prepared statement, explaining: “The purpose of the video was to call attention to a do-nothing Congress in need of a kick in the butt. Now it’s time to move forward and focus on the issues that are important to the people of this district: jobs through innovation, education, and accountability in Washington, D.C.”

The official campaign version was pulled from Youtube, but nothing really dies on the Internet. The above version, which features the ad twice, is still available elsewhere.

Decide for yourself: Clever ad by a young campaign or out-of-bounds rookie mistake.

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