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Monday, August 4, 2008

Jan Drago Trashes the Bag Fee…

posted by on August 4 at 10:08 AM

…on Glenn Beck!!

(Glenn Beck, for those unfamiliar with his work, is a right-wing talk show host who doesn’t believe in global warming, referred to the Republican nominee as “Juan McCain,” called Hillary Clinton a “bitch” on the air, compared Al Gore to Hitler, and suggested that the first Muslim Congressman might be “working with our enemies.”)

Anyway, here’s the partial transcript.

BECK: Wow. So you stood up to the — you`re the lone voice of the Seattle city council that stood up against the bag tax. Why?

DRAGO: Well, first of all, Seattle is a very environmentally conscious city, and people try to do the right thing. So I think we should have given them a chance through incentives versus through disincentives. And if that didn’t work, then I would have preferred a ban versus the program that the council had.

BECK: I mean, here is the thing, Jan. And as I understand your position on this, you realize that there`s a lot of people ready to sharpen their pitchforks and torches and come after the government that just keeps baby-sitting them. I mean, I’m from Seattle. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. I understand the people of Seattle.

And the people in Seattle are responsible, if they’re so darned environmentally conscious, they would do it on their own. It’s not as environmentally conscious as you think it is. It’s the — it’s the few that say, now I want to get rid of these bags, too. If everybody thought it was a good idea to get rid of bags, they wouldn’t use the bags.

DRAGO: Well, I agree with you. And what we`re doing is we`re angering a lot of people that would probably have been cooperative if we had done a public education campaign.

BECK: Tell me the thing with the plastic forks and spoons.

DRAGO: Well, that doesn’t go into effect for 18 months. And…

BECK: What are they going to replace it with?

DRAGO: NO, they are going to take some time — well, I guess it’s the meat containers. They’re going to take some time to make sure that there are suitable alternatives for that.

BECK: OK. Can I ask you, when an airplane lands and they have the plastic fork and knife on the plane, will it be legal to land the plane in Seattle?

DRAGO: I’m sure it will.

BECK: OK. Jan, thanks a lot. I’ve got to tell you. There`s two kinds of people in Seattle, that live in Seattle. There`s, you know, the people with their hemp bags and the polar bear stickers and the “save the salmon” stickers, and then those with plaid shirts and guns. When things go to hell in a hand-basket, my money is on the plaid shirts. They`ll be eating the hemp bag people within a week.

RSS icon Comments


We have people living in Seattle with guns and plaid shirts? I have never seen them.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | August 4, 2008 10:12 AM

And that is part MCXVII in the continuing series "Why liberals need to arm themselves & form well-regulated militias".

Posted by max solomon | August 4, 2008 10:13 AM

I hate you Glenn Beck, I hate you so very much.

Posted by mnm | August 4, 2008 10:16 AM

yes but all dem orgs support drago so we keep re electing her.

meanwhile Glenn leaves me out. There must be at least 3 kinds of people in Seattle.
hemp bags - no.
polar bear stickers - yes believe have an actual stuffed polar bear from NRDC or somelace
--“save the salmon” stickers - nope.
--plaid shirts-- have several.
--guns -- nope.

From wiki:
"His early life was pitted with tragedies. His mother committed suicide when he was 13, while one of his brothers also committed suicide. Another sibling reportedly had a fatal heart attack.[5]
Beck is a self-described reformed alcoholic and drug addict. [6] In the aftermath of those three family tragedies, Beck said he used "Dr. Jack Daniels" and heavy drugs to cope. He and his first wife divorced amid his struggle with substance abuse. Beck cites the help of Alcoholics Anonymous in his sobriety, and he eventually converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which teaches against the consumption of alcohol."

Posted by PC | August 4, 2008 10:18 AM

Glen Beck is a monumental asshole. Why the fuck did she even consent to do an interview with him? She's a former media person. She should know better.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | August 4, 2008 10:20 AM

Glen Beck makes Bill O'Reilly look enlightened. It's only a matter of time before he, like his other twisted conservative brethren, gets caught in some embarassing sexual situation, ala Larry Craig or Mark Foley.

Posted by TCO | August 4, 2008 10:27 AM

"...and then those with plaid shirts and guns. When things go to hell in a hand-basket, my money is on the plaid shirts."

Sad but potentially true. I'm going to go ahead and agree with max solomon on this one. If (when) a major natural disaster hits, we could easily be overrun by armed, plaid-wearing hordes from Marysville in a matter of hours.

Posted by Hernandez | August 4, 2008 10:27 AM

What's this? We have to pay for something we leave the store with? What a freakin' concept . . .

Posted by Zelbinian | August 4, 2008 10:33 AM

Who's selling the hemp shopping bags? I'll take two.

Posted by Toe Tag | August 4, 2008 10:41 AM

All this whining from a fellow that was sobbing like a little baby about the care he got after a botched hemorrhoid surgery.

Posted by demo kid | August 4, 2008 10:44 AM

Jan Drag-on needs to retire.

Posted by DOUG. | August 4, 2008 10:47 AM

PC - that's good. You don't like the guy so instead of pointing out substanitive issues you disagree with him on you assasinate his character by quoting from unfortunate events in his past.

Reverse Polarity - so your advice would be what? If you disagree with someone you shouldn't debate them? That's a mighty open minded approach. I guess if we disagree with someone we should just silence them. Maybe put them in boxcars and ship them off to camps with "showers"? It's so ironic that you liberals love to call us Republicans/conservatives/George Bush/etc. Nazis when it is all of you who are the ones running around imposing your values on the rest of the world. Case in point, when I was at the Fremont Fair a few weeks ago I actually had someone tell me that I didn't have the right to be there. Jan Drago is right. If people of Seattle are so environmentally conscious then why not let them quit using plastic bags on their own? Why does government have to force its will on the masses. Again, it's reminiscent of fascism.

And as for you Zelbinian, don't be stupid. A plastic bag doesn't cost 20 cents. It doesn't even cost 2 cents. And furthermore, the grocery stores aren't getting a penny of them. It all goes to the government. Don't you get it? We conservatives just want to be left alone. We don't need anyone babysitting us. We can decide what's right for us. It's no more right to tax plastic bags than it is to force people to use plastic bags.

And while I'm on the subject, look at it this way. Maybe the city council should start slapping a 20 cent tax on every copy of the stranger that you pick up? What do you think of that?

Posted by WFP | August 4, 2008 10:50 AM

I'm no fan of Glenn Beck, but he's spot on here:

And the people in Seattle are responsible, if they’re so darned environmentally conscious, they would do it on their own. It’s not as environmentally conscious as you think it is. It’s the — it’s the few that say, now I want to get rid of these bags, too. If everybody thought it was a good idea to get rid of bags, they wouldn’t use the bags.

Could have been said a bit more eloquently, but the point is solid (and after all, you can't expect verbal eloquence from TV news personalities anyway).

Still...thanks to Jan Drago for going on national television and showing that not everyone in Seattle is an overbearing environmentalist busybody. We deserve to be laughed at by the rest of the country for this absurdity, and perhaps she realized this appearance would help facilitate that when agreeing to go on Beck's show.

Posted by Seattle Crime Blogger | August 4, 2008 10:54 AM

I'll trade you a plastic bag for some freon. Who gives a shit? The anti folks are acting like this is some sort of new thing. There are hundreds of products banned for environmental reasons. least we can agree that democracy sucks.

Posted by daniel | August 4, 2008 11:23 AM

Jan's right - incentives (such as a refundable bag tax) would have worked a lot better than this farce of a measure.

While I'm sure you don't get it, the reality is that this just pissed off a lot of Seattle voters who usually support green programs, mostly because it hits EVERYONE.

Want to cut pollution waste of plastic bags in the ocean? Stop shipping them overseas for recycling and realize 99 percent of the source is OUTSIDE THE USA.

What a frickin waste of time.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 4, 2008 11:23 AM

@12 Okay I'll bite.

I understand that you conservatives just want to be left alone and make your own decisions, but what you have to understand is that until you come up with a market economy that factors in externalities such as air pollution, water pollution, oil dependance compromising our security, and wholesale destruction of our only home for the sake of your "convenience", then you'll need to be willing to tolerate my "nanny-state" to tell you when you're being selfish fucking idiot.

I'm fine with the bag tax, I think they should make it even bigger personally, then invest the money into paying people to pick up trash and development of more efficient recycling methods. I think they should make trash pickup like jury duty and make everybody do it, just to keep people from throwing shit out their car windows. I'm fine with the gas tax, I even think they should increase it to factor in all the fucking money we have to spend propping up dictators and puppet governments on the other side of the planet. I ride a bike, I don't use gas, why do my tax dollars have to go towards attacking another country to secure gas for your car? Plastic bags are a by product of car driver's massive support of the petroleum industry and should be taxed just like gasoline. Plastic anything, I don't care, tax it, stop hiding the costs, stop subsidising the true cost of these things and let people decide if they really want them.

They should stop calling it the "bag tax" and start calling it the "endless state of war tax".

I respect your desire for individuality but until you start making better decisions and stop being such a lazy selfish asshole you need to respect everybody else's need to give you suggestions about what you should and shouldn't do.

Posted by Super Jesse | August 4, 2008 11:39 AM

[i]There`s two kinds of people in Seattle, that live in Seattle. There`s, you know, the people with their hemp bags and the polar bear stickers and the “save the salmon” stickers, and then those with plaid shirts and guns. When things go to hell in a hand-basket, my money is on the plaid shirts. They`ll be eating the hemp bag people within a week.[/i]

I note that Glenn already moved away from Seattle. I wonder whose going to be eating him when things go to hell in a handbasket, because blowhard talking heads never fare well in the Hobbsian future.

Posted by tiktok | August 4, 2008 11:46 AM

I'm not a conservative. I don't like conservatives. In fact, I think conservatives suck and conservatism sucks.

But this sorry episode proves only that the "left" and the "right" all have their assholes, and that nanny-state-ism is not the sole property of any particular ideology.

Glenn Beck and ECB are just opposite sides of the same coin. Beck makes more money, that's all.

Hats off to Jan Drago, the only person on the City Council with the backbone to call bullshit on this idiocy.

This misbegotten ordinance will not do jack shit to solve the problem of plastic waste in this city. If the Council had been serious, it would have banned even the plastic produce bags, and all "blister pack" packaging.

But the stores would have raised merry hell about that, and the Council knew it. This is just behavior modification, like the Bushies have foisted on us at the airports.

Clueless lackwits like Super Jesse who are "just fine" with this are today's "Good Germans."

I have been carrying my own bags for years, so this is no skin off my pasty white ass. But the bag decision should have been left to the store and the customer.

Posted by ivan | August 4, 2008 12:09 PM

@12: writing "you liberals" is an ideal way to start a fight on Slog. keep it up.

don't "you conservatives" have a very liberal firearm position (everyone gets as many guns as they want), and believe in liberal economic policies (markets should be free to do whatever they want)? this nation is founded on the principles of Liberalism.

Posted by max solomon | August 4, 2008 12:11 PM

@18: you seriously consider Beck & ECB to be equals in their distortions, tactics & power?

CNN & nationally syndicated radio vs.

white boy, please.

Posted by max solomon | August 4, 2008 12:14 PM

Aren't you kind of compelled, when like Bill Clinton or Jan Drago, you go on the show of some gigantic right-wing douchebag to advance your own agenda, to say, "Hey Glenn, glad you're with me on this, but most of everything else you say is disingenuous, hateful and misleading"?

Posted by Grant Cogswell | August 4, 2008 12:26 PM

Why are these kooks always obsessed with some class-war spin on End Times stories? A guess a paranoid listener base is a faithful listener base.

For the record - I've got some plaid shirts, think shootin' guns is pretty fun actually, and also think libertarians and the GOP can suck it.

Posted by Dougsf | August 4, 2008 12:41 PM

@18 Oh, please, don't get yourself confused here. Me being okay with coercive tactics to compel selfish assholes into changing their behavior is a far cry from lying down and taking shit from the government.

Taking a stand on this issue is the dumbest thing I could possibly think of for somebody who is "pro personal freedom". Shouldn't you really be attacking the TSA for their over the top security theatre? Or maybe how the feds can bust down your door and haul your ass off to guantanamo and never have to tell you or anybody else why. No due process, no habeas corpus. The conservative movement wants you to get worked up about this so you'll turn a blind eye to the way more scandalous shit they pull all the time.

Thanks for evoking godwins law, that train's never late.

Posted by Super Jesse | August 4, 2008 12:44 PM

Plaid shirts and guns make for some good bar fightin backup.

Posted by Bob | August 4, 2008 12:44 PM

Max Solomon @ 20:

ECB and Glenn Beck are not equivalent quantitatively, no. Qualitatively? Yes.

Super Jesse @ 23:

Shouldn't I be attacking the TSA? Or the erosion of habeas corpus? Who says I'm not?

And maybe "Good German" was a little inaccurate, now that I think of it. "Green Taliban" is more like it, I think.

Posted by ivan | August 4, 2008 1:07 PM

Glenn Beck, the Lauren E. Maxey of the right...

Posted by Blue Angel | August 4, 2008 1:22 PM

@25 As long as we're name calling, how about "People for a more complete factoring of externalities into cost of goods and services who are meanwhile okay with coercive tactics in lieu of a fully revised economic model"? Or perhaps you would like to be the "pro-pollution apathetic"?

Posted by Super Jesse | August 4, 2008 1:23 PM


Well, we did have ONE plaid-wearin', gun-totin' guy - a Kurt or Carl something, I believe - but he went and off'ed himself a few years back.

Posted by COMTE | August 4, 2008 1:44 PM

@ 27:

"Pro-pollution apathetic?" Fuck you, you moron. What part of "I have been carrying my own bags for years" did you fali to read?

Posted by ivan | August 4, 2008 3:21 PM

@29 Ouch. Moron...

Yes, you are pro-pollution and apathetic if you're okay with letting everybody else do whatever they want and polluting as much as they like with no incentive to do otherwise save mere chioce. You could be the greenest motherfucker around but as long as you don't care what anybody else does about it too, then you may as well be doing it yourself.

Leading by example is great, but sometimes you need to shame others into following you.

Don't tell me you honestly think that the grocery stores and gas stations would have come up with this idea on their own. Please.

Posted by Super Jesse | August 4, 2008 5:48 PM

Who in hell would follow a sanctimonious asshole like you, Jesse?

Posted by ivan | August 4, 2008 9:04 PM

Seattle bag tax is health hazard especially for low income families

When meat is carried home in a reusable bag one day (and it leaks) and then vegetables are carried home the next day you get cross contamination. With reusable bags, you create a breeding ground for bacteria which will quickly build up to extremely dangerous levels (especially if the bags are kept in warm areas between uses) which can also contaminate other customers food items. Since the poor are less likely to pay the 20 cent bag tax, they are the ones most at risk - as well as those who are buying groceries behind them.

The King County Health Department should stop the bag tax as it causes people to put their health (and their children's health) in jeopardy. In fact, the health department should REQUIRE disposable bags for meat and produce to prevent cross contamination.

This is a health issue and by Seattle charging a tax on bags (which it has no right to charge) the city is placing peoples' health in danger.

It will be unfair for the stores to be held accountable when someone becomes ill from cross contamination because their customers used reusable bags. I would hate to think that the King County Health Department (as well as the city of Seattle) could be held liable if nothing is done to stop this health hazard.

If Seattle can charge bag taxes, what about taxes on plastic water bottles, newspapers, etc.? And if Seattle can do it, then so can Tukwila, Renton, Bellevue, SeaTac, Tacoma, (etc.) Next thing you know you will be in a double taxing free-for-all as cities discover it is a great way to collect more taxes from their residents (and visitors) And why stop at twenty cents when you can charge any amount you want for anything you want to charge it for?

When the smokers are stopped from holding cigarettes out of their car windows forcing others to breathe what they do not want to breathe then I will be willing to listen to the environmental concerns of others

Posted by Kim | August 11, 2008 11:39 PM

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