Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Looming Danger Of Our Hemisphere's South

Reading this article gives a very important understanding of what is happening in the Americas south of us. Most of you will not be interested. But this will be a large part of our future. Show it to your children. It will be part of the history of their lives

April 23, 2010 4:00 A.M.
21st Century Socialism
By Otto J. Reich in National Review

The attempt to destroy democracy in Latin America.

The Obama administration started out on the wrong foot in world affairs. It used techniques better suited for domestic political campaigns — popularity contests — in its foreign policy. In our own hemisphere, the result was confusion for our allies and our enemies alike.

The overriding objective of U.S. policy — in Latin America and elsewhere — should be to advance U.S. national interests, not to curry favor with foreign leaders. If we can be liked while advancing our interests, so much the better. But when we try to befriend undemocratic leaders and ignore their belligerence in the process, we neither become better liked nor advance our interests. Some of the despots in Latin America to whom the Obama administration extended an open hand, only to encounter a clenched fist, include the rulers of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador, and Honduras’s former president José Manuel Zelaya.

Foremost among our national interests is security, but, caught up in trying to be liked, the administration is underestimating the threats we face. The main threat to the peace, freedom, prosperity, and security of the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere comes not from military coups, but from a form of creeping totalitarianism that calls itself 21st Century Socialism; it is allied with some of the most virulent forms of tyranny and anti-Western ideology in the world.

Following Fidel Castro’s direction, this new gang of autocrats gains power through elections, and then dismantles democracy from within. That has already happened in Venezuela and Bolivia, is happening in Nicaragua and Ecuador, almost happened in Honduras, and could happen in any other nation that falls into the grasp of something called ALBA, the Spanish acronym for the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas.

ALBA’s hostile-takeover pattern is clear: After gaining power democratically, they use force to intimidate political adversaries and the media; politicize the police and the military and place them at the orders of the ruling party; pack the judiciary with compliant or corrupt judges; rewrite electoral laws to eliminate opposition candidates and parties; seize private property or force businesses to close using bogus charges; incite mob violence to force potential opponents into silence or exile; and attack the churches, civic associations, press, labor unions, and any other civil institutions that dare to challenge the government. Their stated model is Cuba; they seek to replicate the Orwellian dictatorship that rules that island, a pauperized prison-nation whose citizens risk everything to flee.

ALBA was conceived in Havana decades ago but is financed today by Venezuela’s petrodollars. It is actually the revival of Fidel Castro’s goal of uniting international radical and terrorist movements of the developing world under his leadership, a movement that in the 1960s he organized as “The Tricontinental.”

The first foreign country Fidel Castro visited after the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship, in 1959, was Venezuela. While there, he secretly asked Venezuelan president Romulo Betancourt for $300 million (over $3 billion in today’s dollars) to “undermine the Yankees” in Latin America. Betancourt, a center-left leader but a committed democrat, flatly turned Castro down. Three years later, Castro was supporting guerrilla warfare in Venezuela and sending an armed expedition of Cuban soldiers to join Marxist rebels in an attempt to destroy Venezuelan democracy and acquire its oil wealth. Today, thanks to Hugo Chávez, Castro has achieved that goal.

Castro targeted Bolivia in the 1960s because of its strategic location and enormous mineral wealth. Bolivia has land borders with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, and Chile — more than two-thirds of South America. In 1967, Castro’s bloodthirsty lieutenant Ernesto (Che) Guevara selected Bolivia as the site on which to begin his Communist takeover of the continent. Guevara failed miserably, but today, another Castro follower, Bolivian president Evo Morales, is executing Guevara’s plan.

U.S. policy cannot be focused solely on the ALBA alliance, but neither can it ignore ALBA, because the Havana–Caracas–La Paz Axis is undermining the peace and prosperity of the rest of the hemisphere.

For example, Venezuela has played a destabilizing role in Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, and above all Colombia, where Hugo Chávez maintains explicit strategic and political alliances with the narco-terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). (The term “narco-terrorist” is not mine; it is applied to the FARC by various agencies of the U.S. and European governments.) Just last month, the Spanish government accused Chávez of supporting the Spanish Basque terrorist group ETA as well as FARC.

Not satisfied with merely supporting FARC and allowing guerilla leaders and fighters to hide, train, and recuperate inside Venezuelan territory, Chávez has repeatedly closed its commercial border with, and threatened war against, Colombia. The impact on the Colombian economy has been devastating.

The U.S., Colombia, and other governments in the region have abundant evidence of massive flows of FARC-controlled cocaine through Venezuela. Senior Chávez-regime officials have been designated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as drug kingpins and active collaborators in FARC drug trafficking. These kingpins include the current head of Venezuela’s military intelligence services, Gen. Hugo Carvajal, former interior and justice minister Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, and former political-police (Disip) chief Henry Rangel Silva. Weapons are smuggled to the FARC through Venezuela with the active collusion of senior Chávez regime officials including Army Gen. Clíver Alcalá Cordones.

Last year, Peruvian intelligence services found evidence that Hugo Chávez actively supported the indigenous groups responsible for violent protests in that country. Former Bolivian presidents Jorge Quiroga and Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada have charged that the Chávez regime clandestinely financed and supported riots in that country as far back as 2002, which toppled two governments in quick succession and led to the election of the leader of the rioters, Evo Morales. Chávez also actively supports radical groups in Ecuador, which under Pres. Rafael Correa hosted a command, control, operations, and training base for the Colombian FARC until it was destroyed in a cross-border raid by Colombian forces.

In Central America, Chávez actively supports the Sandinista regime of Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega. Next door, Chávez financed and encouraged Manuel Zelaya’s efforts to violate the constitution and laws of Honduras. The disruption to the economy of Central America of the six-month-long Honduran political crisis is said to have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to those impoverished economies. Chávez used Venezuela’s oil resources to strengthen El Salvador’s Marxist FMLN party, and poured millions of dollars into both El Salvador’s and Panama’s presidential elections. (One of his favored candidates succeeded, the other failed.) Mexico’s intelligence services have found links between the Chávez regime and radical groups in that country.

Venezuela’s oil wealth has been used to influence Caribbean states through the PetroCaribe program, through which these countries can acquire oil on credit. A few forward-thinking Caribbean leaders, in Trinidad-Tobago and Barbados for example, have warned that PetroCaribe is saddling the Caribbean’s poor island nations with a debt burden they will never be able to repay. But cheap oil today is politically appealing.

PetroCaribe has allowed Chávez to manipulate the Organization of American States, as evidenced before and during the Honduras crisis. The OAS supported the ALBA position of returning the law-breaking Manuel Zelaya to power in contravention of a unanimous vote of the Honduran Supreme Court. (To be fair, the Obama administration also supported Zelaya until persuaded to reverse itself by a bipartisan group of senators and representatives. According to one Democratic member, the policy was “the most wrong-headed” he had ever seen from the State Department.)

Recently, Chávez named Honduras’s ousted would-be dictator Manuel Zelaya as the head of PetroCaribe’s “Political Council” — a body that does not yet exist. Chávez obviously created this position as an excuse to give Zelaya a salary with which to travel the Americas doing Chávez’s bidding.

There is another country, Argentina, that, although not a member of ALBA, bears watching. Agentina suffers from a lack of transparency, massive official corruption, harassment of private enterprise, manipulation of the free market and the institutions of democracy, and authoritarian tendencies. Its ruling presidential couple, Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, have close ties to Cuba and Venezuela.

It has been well documented that Pres. Cristina Kirchner received millions of dollars from Hugo Chávez for her election campaign, money taken illegally from the Venezuelan state, introduced illegally into Argentina, and given to the Kirchner campaign in violation of Argentine law. The transfer of that money in 2007 was exposed in detail in a federal trial that took place in Miami, Fla. It is well known — but not yet documented or publicized — that similar transfers have taken place in at least a half-dozen countries in this region.

Like Castro’s before him, Chávez’s ambitions are global, and the principal goal of his international activities is to undermine or cripple U.S. strategic interests in the world, not just in the Americas. Chávez is very open about his determination to bring down what he calls the U.S. Empire.

To this end, Chávez has forged strong bonds with undemocratic states such as Russia, Belarus, and Iran. Chávez has signed numerous economic and military agreements with all three countries. For example, up to this year, he had purchased over $4 billion in Russian military equipment, including state-of-the art SU-30 fighter-bombers (similar to our new F-22 Raptor), hundreds of thousands of AK-47 assault rifles, and a factory in which to build untold numbers more of that iconic Russian weapon. He invited the Russian navy to maneuver in the Caribbean for the first time since the end of the Cold War. Russia’s hard-line prime minister, Vladimir Putin, visited Venezuela in April and signed an additional $5 billion arms deal with Chávez, plus oil agreements said by experts to be very favorable to Russia.

Chávez has visited Tehran numerous times, signed many commercial, financial, and other agreements with Iran, hosted Iranian leader Ahmadinejad in Caracas, and facilitated Ahmadinejad’s travel to ALBA members Bolivia and Nicaragua. He has supported Iran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons capable of striking targets in Europe and throughout the Middle East. He is a vociferous enemy of Israel and a supporter of regimes dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the U.S. and the sponsorship of terrorism, such as Iran and Syria.

During Chávez’s eleven years in power, Hamas and Hezbollah have established a presence in Venezuela. Israeli military intelligence recently disclosed that a shipment of arms seized last November by Israeli commandos departed from a Venezuelan port and docked in an Iranian port before sailing through the Suez Canal bound for Lebanon. The weapons, including missiles, reportedly were to be delivered to Hezbollah.

Chávez has turned Venezuela over to the Castro regime. Today, there are between 40,000 and 50,000 Cubans in Venezuela on official missions, by the Chávez regime’s own admission. Since 2005, Venezuela’s armed forces have been obliged to embrace Cuba’s national-security doctrine, which considers the U.S. the greatest external threat to the survival of the 21st Century Socialist revolutionary regime in Caracas.

In spite of all this, there are policymakers in Washington, D.C., who maintain that the Castro-Chávez-Morales alliance is no more than a nuisance. But Chávez, because of his bottomless oil-money barrel, is the principal source of subversion in Latin America today. It is time to confront him. It is time to care less about what others think of us and focus more on what they do to us.

— Between 1981 and 2004, Otto J. Reich served Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush in the National Security Council, as assistant secretary of state, U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, and special envoy for Western Hemisphere affairs. This article is adapted from Congressional testimony he delivered on March 10 before the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What Happened To Lilly?

Coming up next will be the status of Lilly.

These are hard stories to tell. Whenever government lies to get what they want.... it is a hard story.

Here my son is a military attorney...This family was raised to tell the truth, respect the law, and to seek justice based on Constitutional principles.

Then the government is allowed to lie without consequence. Yeah...that is tough to know. It is a burden, actually.

Honduras Back In The News...Watch For Activity In The Western Hemisphere

Reader Writes: A new look at one of your old articles regarding Chevez:

Please cut and paste if this link does not work. And, it probably doesn't! Blogspot needs a special tutorial for me, I guess :o)

Significant information?
Son, Captain John learned when he signed up that the military pays $500 a month more for people who speak a foreign language. having spent 2 years on an LDS mission to Brazil, he is fluent in Portuguese.

But, that was not a language that they wanted. OK. The military was interested in Punjabi, Mandarin, Arabic, Russian...

A couple of months ago word went out that they now wanted Portuguese speakers. Really? Why? I don't think the interest is Portugal. The Portuguese held Azores is the location of a U.S Air Force Base. Friendly there.

But, Brazil is an interesting political subject. (Remember it was Brazil that smuggled President Mel Zalaya back into Honduras after he had tried to run an illegal election.) By the way...there are more people in South America that speak Portuguese than speak Spanish. John passed the test, of course. And, maybe someday he will be stationed again in Brazil. First for his church and then for his country.

Happy Birthday Pam

I had a fun day working on my reelection campaign. And, with 2,000 Face Book friends I felt well loved! Thanks everyone for the kind messages.

I also took many calls. Sweetest was from granddaughter Sadie (5) who called from Germany. And the biggest surprise was a call from my good friend Jose ____ who was calling from his home in La Cieba, Honduras, where I do my work with the rural poor.

There was little time to recap the past decades. I know I am happy.

The biggest question for the future tonight as I write is: "Will Jack Bauer actually die?" My present to myself is an hour with the computer in front of TV's "24." This is the best of multi-tasking!

Contributions for my reelection may be sent to:
Citzens for Pam Roach
P.O. Box 682
Auburn, WA 98071

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Short Pam Roach Bio

The following were the introductory remarks before speaking to the women's group.

Pam Roach was elected 31st District State Senator in 1990 and has just finished serving in her 20th legislative session. She started as a citizen activist and now, with a smile, she says she was a "community organizer!"

Senator Roach is known for her stanch defense of our State and Federal Constitutions, her work to make government more open and accountable, and her consistent votes to protect taxpayers.

As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee she led the efforts to reform our state's DUI laws and our juvenile justice system. She was the legislative sponsor of the successful "Hard Time For Armed Crime" and "Three Strikes You're Out" initiatives.

As chair of the Governmental Operations and Election Committee Senator Roach ushered in election reforms after the infamous Florida Primary by sponsoring the "Help America Vote Act."

Pam is currently working to make DSHS more accountable. Every month at least one child dies under the auspices of Child Protective Services. CPS also takes children from qualified relative families. Senator Roach brought the story of grandparents Doug and Ann Marie Stuth to KING 5 TV which eventually led to the Stuths adoption of their granddaughter after the state had falsified records.

Senator Roach is also working to save Rainier School for the developmentally disabled from closure. For her efforts she was the only incumbent Senator running for reelection this year to be endorsed by the Federation of State Employees at their meeting last week.

In her spare time Senator Roach works with La Escuela de Esperanza (School of Hope) a non-profit organization which she founded to aid the children of Honduras. Besides Honduras she has enjoyed travel to 34 countries including five trips to China. During one trip to China she represented Gov. Gregoire in the earthquake area of Chengdu. In another she organized and led a delegation of 14 state legislators to study Chinese culture and languages instruction. She has championed the including of foriegn language instruction in our elementary schools.

Pam and her husband Jim have been married 39 years and have five children. Son, Dan, is currently serving in the State House of Representatives. Pam and Dan are the only mother-son duo to serve in the legislature from the same district, at the same time, in U.S. history. Son, John, is currently serving as a captain in the United States Air Force and recently returned from assignment in Qatar.

Pam and Jim live on a 7 acre farm near Enumclaw and enjoy gardening and barbecues with their children and 13 grandchildren.

Letter To WA Federation Republican Women

I wrote this as a fundraising letter but have pared out that part. What is left is the crux of the speech sans all the fun stories.

Dear Fellow Republican Women,

Thank you so much for having me as your guest speaker this evening. It is an honor to be here and I look forward to meeting many Federation members tonight.

I will be speaking on political activism and how women can be involved in electing Republicans to office. It is a subject that we often hear about. But, it is like going to church I suppose. We need to touch base with why we are here and be motivated to do the right things.

Core of any motivation to political action is our system of beliefs. You and I have the right core values. What we need to do is touch base with those values...feel the danger that has been brought to them.... and then get moving to defend and assert our beliefs though helping in campaigns. Motivation to work on campaigns ….is brought on by a desire to “make things right” according to our own value systems.

And, we share common values. We want less big government, less government waste, and more legislative respect for the Constitutional rights we were given and have protected through the years.

We work together. We win or lose together. This year is the year to win...and we must put all our efforts into capitalizing on the failures of the Obama and Gregoire catastrophes! When they give you the ball....you run with it!

We run with the ball and flame of our Republican beliefs and hope the crowd of cheering voters wants us to win. But, we cannot win just on the failings or ire against others. We must clearly articulate what we stand for and why Republicans should be elected....

.... Let's run together as a team to take back this state! .....

Faithfully Yours,

State Senator
31st District Candidate

P.S. Jim and I visited with our son, United States Air Force Captain John Roach. He and his family are stationed half way around the world. We visited Normandy Beaches. We walked through the hallowed cemetery along the cold coast. We stood on ground where American blood was shed to save the world. Motivation comes pretty easily when you touch base with your values.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Valley Professional Fire Fighters Endorse Pam Roach

I am very blessed to have so many friends and among them I count the Auburn fire fighters.

Today, I was notified that the Valley Professional Fire Fighters unanimously endorsed my reelection to the State Senate! Thank you, guys!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pam Roach ... Keynote For Federation Of Republican Women Annual Meeting

I had a great time Friday night as the keynote speaker at the annual board meeting and banquet of the Washington Federation of Republican Women held in Chelan.

I spoke about touching base with our core values...to be motivated...to political action. Also covered was the role of women in mentoring children and grandchildren to loving and protecting our country. Lots of laughs and fun as we took a look at ourselves and our level of commitment.

And, it was great to have the support of women from across the state.

Thanks again Republican Women. In the morning I will post my notes and the bio given. I want to get some things on the record for my grandkids.

How Some People Announce They Are Leaving The Senate....Sen. Fairley Seeks Happiness

This falls under the "love those that persecute you" section. I have many chances to work on this virtue :o)....Sen. Fairley never liked me...she was kind to the younger guy senators. I think it was a mother love thing. But, she always wanted to punish me for enjoying the state of being....Sen. Fairley reads this blog. Darlene, I hope you find happiness.

My husband Jim committed the following to memory when we were in college. I memorized it too.

"The fountain of content springs up in the mind. And he who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste away his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove." (Samuel Bozwell cir. 1700)

Senator Darlene Fairley (D) sent the following to all Senators:

To Everyone:

Around Christmas time last year I was griping and groaning about having to go back to Olympia soon. My husband (who had just about had it with my complaints) said I should wait until the end of this session to see if I felt the same.

If anything, my feelings are more negative than before.

I’ve always believed that if you hate what you’re doing, and you can't give it your best, stop doing it. Life is too short to waste on things you don’t enjoy doing.

We never know what’s going to happen next, but I do know that I’m not running again. 16 years is enough.

To all of you—take care,


Pam Roach...Endorsed By Washington Federation Of State Employees

Last Saturday the Washington Federation of State Employees met for the purposes of endorsing candidates in the 2010 elections.

Not only was I endorsed...but I was the ONLY incumbent Senator running for reelection who was! It is an honor to have been voted the endorsement. And, I thank those who are appreciative of my efforts to save Rainier School, provide a safe work environment, and always have an open door to concerns of workers. See the reaction of some over the endorsement: Wow!

The one Republican we endorsed is the one the Republicans don’t want (Pam Roach). We want her; we like her a lot." Washington Federation of State Employees' spokesman Tim Welch said Monday.
BRAD SHANNON; Olympian Staff writer, April 20, 2010

One of Washington's largest state-worker unions withheld endorsements for incumbent Democrats in the state Senate, delivering a swift rebuke over the weekend to its traditional friends.

The Washington Federation of State Employees took the rare step Saturday at its early endorsement convention in Seattle and said it was over employee health care coverage and cuts in the just-passed state budget. The move hits a traditional political ally of the union in what could be a tough election year.

The federation, which represents about 40,000 workers, also endorsed 18 House members and 16 of the 61 Democrats in the majority. Its lone senatorial endorsement was a maverick Republican, Sen. Pam Roach of Auburn, who is often at odds with her own party on internal issues.
“We hold the entire Senate responsible for how they handled the budget. ... That is why there were no Democratic (Senate) incumbents endorsed,” federation spokesman Tim Welch said Monday. “The one Republican we endorsed is the one the Republicans don’t want (Pam Roach). We want her; we like her a lot.”

Welch said Roach, who has built one of the least labor-unfriendly records among Senate GOP members, made a behind-the-scenes effort to save Rainier School from closure in Buckley.

The leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus campaign committee, Sen. Karen Keiser of Kent, took the rebuke in stride Monday.

“I consider it a spanking or a slap in the face. It doesn’t hurt me personally. I can take a hit or two,” Keiser, the chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, said.

“If they like to play with fire, that’s fine. I wonder if they had a different majority to work with, if they’d be doing real well next year,” Keiser added with sarcasm. “There were several (GOP) initiatives to do all sorts of nefarious things from the other side of the aisle (on employee benefits and labor issues). If that’s what they prefer, then they’ve made their bed.”

And as for endorsing Roach, Keiser said: “I think that it’s ridiculous and stupid. Because Pam Roach is a good 26th vote, OK? It means diddle squat. It is lip service and it isn’t consequential to the outcome” on specific legislation....

My reaction? I will continue to do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of individuals living at institutions such as Rainier School in my district. We, as a society, have a responsibility greater than we might understand to help those who may be the "least among us."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dr. Phil Takes On CPS

This comes to us from Barbara Mowrey. Thank you Barbara:

Dear Friends,

Please take a few moments to view today's compelling show RE: family courts in our states; please view this show to better understand who we are, and what we are fighting for. Dr. Phil states in this show, "This is only scratching the surface of the problem," and he "vows" to make this issue his priority for future shows.

Thank you for your time. We are working very hard to get our information out to all that matter, which caused this show to be aired. And, you matter to us.



Barbara Mowrey
Foster Parent
Executive Secretary
Former Councilmember

Jack Turns Three

Jack...you have the guy thing walk down pretty well!

Happy Birthday Jack! You are our puzzle whiz kid. Sandwiched between two sweet sisters you sometimes struggle for attention. I love the way you know what you want (like the cake with the strawberries on top) and how you take time to tell us the detail of things that happen.... and how you haven't learned to share some of your toys yet. There is greater joy in giving if you have a firm belief that you are giving (even if just for a few minutes) something that is actually yours....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

DSHS....Breaking Up Is Not Hard To Do

During '91 -'92 I chaired a Senate committee that was dissolved when the Democrats took control. I was one of only two chairs of the Senate Children and Family Services Committee. DSHS was under the purview of this committee.

At that time budgets were busting and I was chairing an issue area with much need. Then Senator Linda Smith (later a Member of Congress) was the first chair and I was the only other one. She moved into leadership and I took the chairmanship as an incoming freshman. Smith stayed on the committee along with Sen. Phil Talmadge.

During that time I proposed legislation to break up DSHS. I suggested four new departments and moving of some of the administrative offices to other existing agencies. I mention this as a reminder that the concept of breaking up this sometimes dangerous monolith is not a new one. Heck...I new this needed to be done BEFORE we began counting the bodies of children, the mistreatment of the elderly, and the escape of a wacko at the fair grounds.

And, the breakup may be coming.

This comes via an AP story in MYNorthwest.com, April 12th. Kessler is the retiring House Democrat Caucus Chair but has an eye to the future and next session's cost saving needs. DSHS is so big that the people at the top can not control it. They could...but their purposes are better served by turning an eye at what goes on there. Kessler said of DSHS:

"It's such a monolithic agency and the people we serve may be better served if we broke that up." Kessler said.

There it is...a glimmer....

(Breaking up DSHS is the suggestion. Not contracting out...not giving the jobs to private industry. The agency is too big to "fix." There is no leadership that wants to do that or has the skills in the first place. So...to the reader who wanted to add to what I clearly said...please just read the text.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Business and Occupation Tax Coming Down The Pike

I thought I would bring forward a comment from my FB account:

"Bev R. is correct but it is not 'do not want' the B&O tax, it is we 'can not afford'
the increase in the B&O tax. It is WA State' punishment to local business for
daring to produce revenue with or without a profit!

Dear Readers...part of this is punishment. Small business backed Rossi...so "out the door with you!" We are killing the goose that lays the golden egg. We are in a great recession! Take a look at the downtown areas of YOUR town!

Today, I will be delivering that message at the King County 31st District caucus and at the Pierce County Republican Convention. After that I will be down the road and at my floor desk to take the votes. Presumably there will be some. Tuesday is the last day of the 30 day special session called by the governor to pass a budget. The majority party has not been able to come to agreement. There are so many of them. In the Senate of 49 members there are only 18 Republicans.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Spokesman Review's" Jim Camden Forgets What Is Possible...Snyder Bellows And Roach Learns About Discrimination First Hand

In an article reporting the Democrat controlled WA State Legislature may have an agreement on the budget that will be finalized by the end of the 30 day special session, Spokane journalist, Jim Camden, had a few rough edges.

Camden writes:
"It’s not clear yet whether they would send the {budget} bill to a conference committee for a hearing, and anything that comes out of the committee must have a 24-hour wait 'on the bar' before it could be voted on."

First, there are no hearings in a conference committee. Two members from each majority caucus and one member of each minority caucus are appointed to a conference committee and they are suppose to haggle it out. But...in this state one party controls...the chairs just get together and by-pass the process by agreeing among themselves. There will be no hearing on the budget unless it is transferred back to a standing committee for the purpose of hearing.

But, it was "the committee must have a 24-hour wait 'on the bar' before it could be voted on," that caught my eye. The majority can do what it wants. It has the votes to change the rules. So, they have the power to suspend the 24 hour rule and vote immediately after a suspension of the rule if they want to do that. It is like creating an extra day...if you will.

To almost no one's memory but my own, this has happened before. The day it happened was one that is etched in my memory.

The Republicans held the majority in the Senate. Senator Dan McDonald of Bellevue was the majority leader and Republicans wanted to end session early to send the message that we could get the job done! (That concept was not around this year, apparently.) Long time democrat majority leader, Sen. Sid Snyder, was now relegated to the minority. Snyder was seated in the middle of the floor about where Sen. Eide sits today. His job was to fight. No matter the likely outcome...his job was to fight to the end. We see House Republicans doing that even to this day.

Sen. McDonald moved to suspend the rules...take the budget off the bar (before 24 hours) and vote the bill. This absolutely infuriated Snyder. He stood to action and .... absolutely bellowed into the mike! His face was red and he blustered at the top of his lungs. "This is outrageous...this is unpresedented...this...this...this....He continued his little boy triad and culminated with..."I quit! I will no longer be a member of this body!" And, after waving his arms he stormed off the floor to go pout in his office.

Yes, Dear Reader, this happened and it is for all to see on TVW.

The next day was a Sunday and top of the fold in the Seattle Times it read, "Sen. Sid Synder Quits Senate" or something like that. But the article began..."He started as an elevator boy...blaw...blaw to the message of what a great loss this man would be...etc.

On Wednesday of that week Governor Gary Locke returned Sid Snyder's letter of resignation. Yes, Dear Reader, he had sent it. But...why did he quit? Well, because he couldn't change the rules. He decided to storm off the playing field....He couldn't have his way and so he said, "I quit!"

Why would I remember the details of this so well?

I will tell you why.

This was the beginning of my understanding of discrimination against women and particularly conservative women. My father had told me I could do anything I wanted to and he did not mention to beware the wolves.

That same Saturday morning I walked onto the floor and a huge array of roses that had been given to me were no longer on my desk. I looked high and low. I talked with security guards.."they were here earlier," I was told. I checked with the Lt. Gov., I did everything that I could to find them. Someone had stolen something.

For the prior three days I was taking four birth control pills a day to correct a condition sometimes experienced by 50'ish year-old women. The pills worked but I was pumped. I rose to a matter of personal privilege to state that my flowers had been taken and that I demanded to have them back. (After the speech I quit taking the pills! I knew immediately what had happened.)

So...how did this end up?....The man who couldn't control the rules that he had defended for years as Secretary of the Senate....gets mad...bellows...quits...and he is venerated, honored, extolled, begged to come back....The woman who has something taken is vilified, repeatedly embarrassed, and used as media fodder for days and years on end.

I continue to love what I do. And to my children and grandchildren for whom this blog page is written:

I love you all dearly. No one can really understand why a woman would work in a field that can be so brutal. But, unlike some...I do not quit. I will continue to work to protect the Constitution and the liberties we enjoy as long as the people want me to do that. Our liberties are above any other nation on the face of the earth. I want to help individuals like you, Drew. We have an obligation to "be there" for you at a time when maybe your parents are no longer around to care for you. I want to work for the best education possible for all 13 of you and all the children of our state. I want jobs for you all. I want you all to have a chance at joy. And, I will tell you right now that I experience joy everyday. Everyday I am grateful for my blessings and for the work I have and for the future that I hope to make better. God Bless Us All.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New KING Reporting On DSHS ...Children Continue To Die!

Go the KING5.com for related links.

Posted on April 6, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Seattle...Updated yesterday at 4:42 PM

Read DSHS external review Executive Summary
Entire external review
DSHS response to review

In 2008 there was an unusually high number of maltreatment related child fatalities in Pierce County.

Four children who were all in the DSHS system in order to protect them from harm died in the first six months of that year. That prompted an outside reviewer, Dr. Benjamin de Haan, to be hired to look at the Pierce County (Region 5) DSHS management culture and effectiveness.

Dr. de Haan found that Region 5’s child welfare practices are not in line with statewide norms and that a renewed emphasis on child safety in the region should have occurred long ago.

Other findings include that the region historically is being resistant to outside ideas and that it operates in a "crisis-oriented culture - one that is more focused on fixing mistakes than preventing them."

Dr. de Haan also found there is a great deal of fear among DSHS workers in Pierce County who are worried that if they make mistakes their supervisors won’t be able to help manage the consequences.

Dr. de Haan gives the region three high-priority recommendations to help prevent future child fatalities: immediately focus on providing better quality social work, creation of a community outreach program, and development a system to guide better decision-making in what should happen to children who are at risk of being abused or neglected.

Here's an idea...why don't we take the resources currently used to take kids from families when there is no abuse....and use that money to save lives? As in the case of the Stuths there were lies and tricks...though never an accusation of any kind of abuse. Yet they fought tooth and nail to take Alexis.

Like the Stuths...the Willards provided well for their granddaughter but the department is still unrelenting....There is plenty of money to take children who are safe...but never enough (maybe we just need better management) to keep kids from getting killed. Where are the priorities? It is all about power.

Boys And Girls Club Auburn Breakfast

I have just returned from the Boys and Girls Club Annual Breakfast hosted in part by King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer. It was a fun event and two John Carlsons were there...KVI talk host and Seahawk tight end who was the featured speaker.

With 10% unemployment it is a difficult time to ask for donations but the community has been stepping up to the plate.Elected officials were there to lend support. U.S, Congressman Adam Smith, State Reps. Mark Milocia and Skip Priest, Sen. Tracey Eide and were seated at my table. I will see Tracey on the floor of the Senate Friday at noon when we begin the wind down of the 30 day special session.

I will soon report on the Willards and their granddaughter, "Lilly." I have had several contacts regarding this case over the holiday and the following two days including exchanges of conversation with top administrator Denise Revels Robinson.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Brown Eggs

OK...it is Easter weekend and we have 31 Rhode Island Red laying hens in full production. These brown chickens lay brown eggs. And, we get a couple of dozen a day.

We are a family that has the deviled eggs all made up BEFORE the Easter egg hunt!

In the past the kids would hunt the eggs...Mom begs a few back after the hunt...and then does up the deviled eggs for dinner. That's what I used to do anyway. But not any more!I will have two huge platters filled to snack on when everyone comes in the door.

These eggs taste the same...but they dye up a little different. Yellow is not something a brown egg does well!

Have a wonderful Easter celebration. Our family will have the church service, dinner, the hunt, and the fun. At the core of the activity will be the message of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and... the memory of grandma's brown-yellow eggs.