WA Budget Crisis Averted: Dems and Republicans shook hands over on a $33.6 billion state budget that would put an additional $1 billion into public schools over the next two years and keep state offices open Monday. Legislators are expected to vote on the budget deal today.
Bikini Baristas Defend Their Business: Two Everett bikini baristas working for the drive-through coffee shops that were raided by police earlier this week are speaking out, saying that they've never participated in or seen anything illegal going on at their stands.
David Chase Remembers James Gandolfini: Go read his moving eulogy.
Idiot: A Marysville man (and convicted sex offender) has been arrested after allegedly hitting a toddler with a fly swatter. Frank Moore reportedly told the child's father that he hit her because "she hit him first."
Immigration Reform Bill: The Senate passed it yesterday but will the GOP-controlled House vote on it? Read all the speculation over here!
A List of Places You Still Can't Smoke Pot in WA: Don't bring pot onto federal property, like federal buildings, national parks and forests, courthouses, and military bases, as one unfortunate guy learned the hard way.
Throw in a Pony While You're at It: Lon Snowden, father of Edward Snowden, says his son might be willing to return to the US to stand trial for espionage charges if he's not imprisoned before his trial, can choose where his trial is held, and isn't subjected to a gag order.
Pre-Teen Murder-Suicide? Autopsies indicate that a 12-year-old boy shot his 9-year-old brother in Ohio yesterday before turning the gun on himself.
Warrior Women Are Coming for You, GOP: Ohio State Senator Nina Turner warned her GOP peers yesterday that "warrior women" all over the country will continue to fight their anti-abortion agenda. "Women in Texas, all over the country, and right here in Ohio are fed up. This isn’t about one bill or one state, it is about the unrelenting obsession with regulating a woman’s womb. Over 700 bills in 42 states in just the last few months have been introduced to regulate a woman’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to choose.”
McCaskill Brings the Brass: US Senator Claire McCaskill (MO-D) slaps down a Wall Street Journal reporter's claims that she's promoting a "war on men" by holding the automatic promotion of Lieutenant General Susan Helms, nominated for vice commander of the Air Force Space Command, because the Lt. General recently reduced the aggravated sexual assault conviction of an Air Force captain to that of a simple "indecent act." Here's a small sample of McCaskill being a badass:
It’s notable that [Journal reporter] Mr. Taranto spends little time discussing the actions of Lt. General Susan Helms—the commander in question, whose lifetime of service to the U.S. Air Force is worthy of our gratitude and appreciation. Instead, he re-litigates the facts of a case he didn’t witness, comparing the recklessness of sending a text message or having a drink, to the “recklessness” involved in sexually assaulting another person.
... Under current military law, Lt. General Helms had the power to substitute her own judgment for that of the jury’s. She ultimately did so, vacating the jury's guilty verdict against Capt. Herrera, against the advice of her own legal counsel, and despite not having attended the trial.
What she did was not a crime. But it was an error, and a significant one. I’m hopeful that our work this year will remove the ability of a commander to substitute their judgment, and sometimes also their ingrained bias, for that of a jury who has heard the witnesses and made a determination of their credibility and the facts of the case.
I believe we’re all accountable for the power we exercise and the decisions we make, even if we have the legal right to make them.