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Federal

It's Friday and it might be black

With the financial bailout package still undefined and House Republicans, in particular, opposed to the present draft, financial markets almost certainly will fall during the day. How far they fall, and for how long, will depend on White House-congressional progress toward a package which can pass and President Bush can sign. WaMu's failure Thursday was no surprise. Many, including myself, had predicted it for weeks. But few in Seattle were prepared for the reality of it when it came. Other weak institutions could follow. Things to watch:

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Sausage Links, budget deficit edition

David Goldstein at Horse's Ass wrote over the weekend – post gubernatorial debate – that "there is no state budget deficit," prompting me to wonder what the hell he was talking about. I thought, "Did I miss something?" As Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire said in Saturday's gubernatorial debate, the state is currently generating a surplus. But it has been widely reported – even by Horse's Ass blogger Josh Feit – that the state faces a projected $3.2 billion deficit in the coming years. Gregoire even told The Seattle Times on Friday that she expects a deficit next year. So what gives? The folks at Washington Policy Center Blog put it another way:

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A crash course

All Americans are waiting and watching anxiously for presentation of the full details of the Federal Reserve/Treasury/regulatory agency package intended to stabilize financial markets and keep the real economy from plunging into deep recession. Congress, remember, must review the whole thing and may add some items of its own — no doubt making the package even more expensive than its intially estimated $700 billion-$1 trillion cost. Final congressional action can be expected toward the end of the coming week.

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Clicker

The latest from news outlets and blogs around the Northwest and beyond, chosen by Crosscut editors.

Tax Day: chances of getting audited lowest ever

Fewer auditing agents will be policing Americans' tax returns due to budget cuts and new IRS responsibilities. 

SEATTLE TIMES

Obama: Republicans trying to rig midterm elections

"President Obama deplored on Friday what he called a Republican campaign to deny voting rights to millions of Americans as he stepped up efforts to rally his political base heading into a competitive midterm campaign season."

NEW YORK TIMES

NRA: Second Amendment covers knives too

Gun rights advocates expand their Second Amendment ideology to encompass knives, too.

THE ATLANTIC

Federal judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage

And "clerks could start issuing licenses on Monday unless a higher court intervenes." 

WASHINGTON POST

Federal detainees stage hunger strike in Tacoma

The 750 people at the detention center are demanding better conditions.

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