Writings and observations

The last post was, it turned out (hadn’t noticed until after it was posted) number 3,000 for this blog. That is, since we went to WordPress in October 2005; this blog was around for years before that too, back in the days when we hand-crafted the HTML. And it’s still running, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Can’t say about the rest of the country, but in the Northwest that makes us part of an ever-smaller group. Back around the middle of the last decade the region was loaded with political blogs, a batch in all three Northwest states. Today, not so much. There are a lot more blogs operated by mass media (just about all of the larger regional papers have political-related blogs, and they’re generally of high quality). But far fewer independents than there used to be.

The cause for noting this is not just our own landmark but also the note of the passing, at least in likely considerable part, of the Horse’s Ass blog at Seattle. Highly partisan (Democratic) it also has been a top source of information on politics in Seattle and Washington, and has forged a nice sparring partnership with the Republican-oriented Sound Politics; each has undoubtedly become better because the other is there.

What’s happening, HA founder David Goldstein reports, is that he’s joining the alternative weekly The Stranger (where in recent months he’s been a regular contributor) as a full-time staffer, and as a result after February 2, “I simply won’t be writing here much anymore, if at all.” Goldstein is not the only HA writer, but he’s the core. So HA’s future is in question.

We see regular eulogies for newspapers (and it’ll be coming for broadcasters too, just watch), and there’s good reason. But we may before long need some recognition too for some of the blogs that have made a real contribution. As Horse’s Ass has.

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Otter
Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter takes the oath of office for a second term from U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge in a private ceremony in the State Capitol/photo
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Key line from the relatively brief second inaugural speech by Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter:

You all have seen it happen – tolerance for mission creep spawns an attitude of passive acceptance that government’s needs come before those of the people. The divide is increasingly drawn between those who work for a living, and those who vote for a living.

Ladies and gentlemen, that day is gone.

Frugality in the public sector should not be seen as cruel or careless, but rather as necessary to maintaining our economic and personal liberties.

As a statement of opinion, clear enough – it certainly marks the dividing line. (When life-critical services are curtailed by the state over the next year, as they likely will be, he is cautioning, that should not be seen as “cruel or careless”.)

A question about this line, though: “The divide is increasingly drawn between those who work for a living, and those who vote for a living.”

Who are these people who vote for a living? How many of them are there? Can names be put to them? Does it pay by the hour or by the vote?

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Idaho