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    The Daily Troll: Cap-and-trade: Divided opinions. Ex-Microsofter helping Obama website. Boeing to announce 777X finalists.

    Plus, safer biking in Ballard.
    Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess

    Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess Seattle City Council

    Climate decision delay 

    Gov. Jay Inslee's climate panel is deadlocked (two-to-two) over how to deal with carbon emissions. Given the stalemate, the committee is postponing what was supposed to be its final meeting on Wednesday. Committee members will convene behind the scenes to hash out some of the differences over recommendations they are supposed to submit to the state Legislature by Dec. 31. A new Gallatin Public Affairs poll shows 400 likely Washington voters split on a cap-and-trade system: the 44-to-40 percent approval of cap-and-trade falls within the poll's margin of error. — J.S.

    DelBene (Mr.) to the health rescue

    Kurt DelBene, the husband of U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, will head the final stages of repairs to the federal government's troubled online health insurance website. Kurt DelBene is a former Microsoft executive, and Bill Gates tells The New York Times that his selection is a good fit. We're guessing that the president (of the United States, that is) will be watching. Closely. — J.C. 

    Boeing to narrow 777X list soon

    Nest week, Boeing will narrow the list of sites it's considering for assemby of the new 777X airliner down to a handful, according to The Seattle Times. (How many is a handful? We don't know.) The news comes as dissident members of the local Machinists Union go ahead with their plans for a march; Machinists want the chance to vote on a now-dead Boeing contract offer. The company has dismissed the offer as history, and mainstream union leaders work themselves into a lather over the nerve of a Democratic governor asking for a contract vote. Washington ought to be a finalist shoo-in for 777X assembly. So, what explains the nervous feeling over the expedited timing? — J.C. 

    Ballard bike improvements

    The so-called "missing link" gap in the Burke-Gilman Trail, which extends from the Ballard Fred Meyer to the Locks, is about to get a little safer. SDOT announced today that it would be converting NW 45th Street into a one-way eastbound lane for motor-vehicle traffic between 11th Ave NW, where the trail currently drops off, to just past the Ballard Bridge. That's where 45th turns into Shilshole Avenue before intersecting with NW 46th Street. They'll then add a two-way bicycle lane — which isn't a trail, but is pretty close. 

    This area is the Bermuda Triangle of Seattle bicycle collisions, and the improvements, which will be happen this weekend, are a victory for bike safety. The battle between SDOT and a few Ballard businesses over completing the trail's missing link continues. — E.M. 

    Another budget battle brewing?

    The U.S. Senate is moving ahead quickly with final passage of the budget deal brokered by Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan. Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com reports that Patty portrayed completion of the agreement as a step toward fixing our "broken Congress." But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that he "can't imagine" raising the debt ceiling limit early next year without attaching some — unspecified — conditions. — J.C.

    Inslee budget: Marching in place

    Gov. Jay Inslee is proposing a supplemental budget, one that he describes as a "hold-steady" approach. It includes an extra $11 million for fighting wildfires and $8 million to improve mental health services for young people. Longer term, he calls for "more sustainable" budgeting that avoids one-time revenue transfers and other gimmicks and focuses more money on meeting the mandates for school improvements under a court decision. Still to be heard from on that score: The state Supreme Court, which is expected, any day now, to issue an assessment of the school funding decisions made by the legislature and Inslee. John Stang will have a full story on Inslee's budget later. — J.C. 

    President Burgess

    Tim Burgess, a key ally of incoming Mayor Ed Murray, will serve as president of the Seattle City Council for the next two years. Outgoing (and outstanding) President Sally Clark will chair the housing and human services committee. Publicola has a full list of appointments here. There's no guaranteeing good mayor-council relations — it's at best a difficult relationship — but Murray has to be happy about Burgess. — J.C. 

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    Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.

    John Stang covers state government for Crosscut. He can be reached by writing editor@crosscut.com.

    Erica Meurk, a Crosscut editorial intern, is a Seattle native and a 2005 graduate of Whitman College. She has several years' experience in nonprofit communications and development, having served most recently as grant writer at Cascade Bicycle Club. Her interests include keeping local bookstores in business, eating as many vegetables as possible and riding her bike uphill in the rain.

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