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    The Daily Troll: The 1000 clam Seahawks wager. Seattle, unequal? Comment troll perils.

    Today's Olympia news. KUOW's Trans-Pacific Partnership decoder ring.
    The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute.

    The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute. Art work by Noel Franklin

    Betting on the Seahawks

    Last week, the governors of Louisiana and Washington made an unusual bet on the 'Hawks v. Saints game: If the Seattle Seahawks won, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would donate 100 pounds of seafood to a Washington food bank. If the Saints emerged victorious, Gov. Jay Inslee would be on the hook for 500 cups of clam chowder, to be frozen and shipped to a food bank in Louisiana. Of course, our 'Hawks came through — but Ivar's sent the chowder anyway.
    Reportedly, Gov. Inslee has upped the ante for this weekend's face-off between the 'Hawks and the 49ers. If the Seahawks lose, Inslee will be sending 1,000 cups of chowder and 1,000 10-pound bags of Washington potatoes. There's been no word as to what California Gov. Jerry Brown is wagering. Here's hoping for some sunshine. — E.M.

    In equality we trust?

    The Seattle Times has an interesting comparison of income inequality in major U.S. cities today. The takeaway about Seattle, which has suddenly become minimum wage central, is pretty uninspiring: We're in the middle of the pack. (Hard to build a motivational campaign around that one.) It's when you drill down to real numbers that Kshama Sawant starts salivating: The bottom 20 percent of Seattle households subsist on a paltry $13,000 a year, while the top 5 percent earn an average of $423,000. That makes us the "fifth most affluent" city in America. Socialists, start your engines! — B.A.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership Decoder Ring

    For the average bloke, the Trans-Pacific Partnership — that controversial goliath of international trade agreements — is perhaps best described in the words of Winston Churchill: "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." Luckily, KUOW holds the TPP decoder ring, publishing a segment yesterday on what it will mean for Washington state. Washington Council on International Trade President (and occasional Crosscut contributor) Eric Schinfeld and engineering labor rep Stan Sorscher weigh in. — B.A.

    Today in Olympia

    • Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, and Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, introduced bills to restore long-ago voter-approved cost-of-living raises for teachers, which have been suspended for several years.
    • Rep. Kathy Haigh, D-Shelton, introduced a resolution aimed at making it easier for school districts to pass bond levies.
    • Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, introduced a bill to make oil refineries ineligible for a current tax break, originally meant for sawmills.
    • The openly gay Rep. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds, introduced a bill aimed at determining whether so-called "gay conversion therapy" works, whether it is harmful and whether its use with minors should be regulated. — J.S.

    Comment trolls

    We love Seattle's Matthew Inman for his insouciant style, rotund cartoon people and utilikilt ridicule. But, like many of Crosscut's writers, his job is to put himself — and his ideas — out there in the Internet's soupy opinionated messy sea on a regular basis. And, some of the comments that that soupy opinionated sea sends back can be downright soul crushing — a fact that Inman captures perfectly in his latest cartoon on "making things for the web." Crosscut's no YouTube, (In fact, many of our commenters are downright impressive in their encyclopedic civic affairs knowledge.) but we'd be lying if we said we didn't commiserate. — B.A.

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

    Berit Anderson is Managing Editor at Crosscut, where she follows tech, culture, environment, media and politics. Previously community manager of the Tribune Company’s Seattle blogging network, her work has also appeared in YES! Magazine and on the Huffington Post, Geekwire, Q13Fox.com and KBCS 91.3 radio. She served as Communications Director at Strategic News Service, a weekly newsletter that predicts global trends in tech and economics, and Future in Review, an annual tech conference which gathers C-level executives to solve global problems. You can find her on Twitter @Berit_Anderson or reach her at berit.anderson@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.

    Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!


    Posted Fri, Jan 17, 5:28 p.m. Inappropriate

    Apropos Matthew Inman's "Making Things for the Web": Extremely well done and incisively relevant to anyone who has ever written, photographed, drawn, painted, sculpted, danced, performed music or otherwise made art for public consumption. As we old hipsters used to shout in response to especially moving riffs of music or compelling lines of poetry: YES MAN YES! (And thank you for being.)

    Posted Fri, Jan 17, 6:55 p.m. Inappropriate

    The bottom 20 percent of Seattle households subsist on a paltry $13,000 a year, while the top 5 percent earn an average of $423,000. That makes us the "fifth most affluent" city in America.

    The state democrats' new taxing policies over the past quarter-century ALL were designed to increase the gap between the rich and the poor. This new study shows those relentless local sales tax hikes and car tab tax hikes are accomplishing that goal.


    Posted Sat, Jan 18, 6:20 p.m. Inappropriate

    I'd be happy to vote for an income tax under three conditions.

    1. The income tax and sales tax percentages were fixed in the state constitution.

    2. All other state-level, broad-based taxes on individuals were banned, i.e. no state property tax -- other than estate taxes, which I favor. (I'd be willing to be educated on this, because my phrasing is probably wrong.)

    3. The income tax and sales tax together was no more than 10%.

    The third provision is what the "progressives" would never support. For them, a state income tax has never once been about equity. They simply want to tap into another artery, period.


    Posted Sat, Jan 18, 7 p.m. Inappropriate

    I'd be happy to vote for an income tax . . ..

    There are lots of non-regressive revenue sources used around the country for transit. Taxing income for transit is not what any of the peers do though. But you knew that.


    Posted Fri, Jan 17, 7:20 p.m. Inappropriate

    So Hans Dunshee wants to restore COL raises for his wife?

    How nice. NOT


    Posted Fri, Jan 17, 7:35 p.m. Inappropriate

    A lot of what I see on Crosscut pisses me off, but I give you a lot of credit for not doing the censorship thing a la the "progressives" at the Seattle Bike Blog, the Seattle Transit Blog, Publicola, The Stranger, Sightline, and the Cascade Bicycle Club. In return, I try to keep my profanity to a minimum, unless "progressive" is a curse.


    Posted Mon, Jan 20, 10:54 p.m. Inappropriate

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