Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blogworthy, September 25th, 2007

Here's the latest edition of our occasional review feature touching on news and developments that we couldn't get around to writing about previously, as well as items we have accidentally overlooked.

The Progressive States Network has an overview of new polling that suggests overwhelming public support nationally from both Democrats and Republicans for legislation to guarantee workers the right to sick days, paid family leave, and longer term care of family members from employers.

Highlights from the poll:
  • Eighty-nine percent of poll respondents favor a basic labor standard that would guarantee all workers a minimum number of paid sick days, including 83% of Republicans who agree that such a standard is needed.
  • Seventy-five percent of poll respondents favor extending current unpaid leave laws to provide for paid family and medical leave.
The City of Seattle has filed suit in King County Superior Court to force the Sonics franchise controlled by Oklahoma tycoon Clay Bennett to honor its lease at KeyArena, which runs through the year 2010. Bennett, who wants to get out of the lease, last week demanded the city agree to arbitration to resolve the matter.

Despite interest from a number of local investors who have signaled they'd be interested in buying the team, Bennett says the Sonics aren't for sale. He and his ownership group have made it paninfully obvious that they have no interest or intention of keeping the team in Seattle.

Their approach has been hostile, their actions unfriendly, and their demands unreasonable. They seem to be purposely asking for what they know they won't get, so they can have an excuse to leave town. They would be wise to drop the pretense and admit, as Aubrey McClendon said in a moment of candor that cost him $250,000:

We started to look around and at that time the Sonics were going through some ownership challenges in Seattle...So Clay, very artfully and skillfully, put himself in the middle of those discussions and to the great amazement and surprise to everyone in Seattle, some rednecks from Oklahoma, which we've been called, made off with the team.


We didn't buy the team to keep it in Seattle, we hoped to come here. We know it's a little more difficult financially here in Oklahoma City, but we think it's great for the community and if we could break even we'd be thrilled.
Seattle P-I columnist Joel Connelly took a look yesterday at the 2008 gubernatorial race (a likely rematch between Chris Gregoire and Dino Rossi) analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each candidate.

Governor Gregoire, who has not officially confirmed that she will seek reelection (but is obviously preparing to do so) yesterday threatened to sue the Bush administration if Dubya insists on federally-imposed restrictions on children's health care. Congress has been working on reauthorization legislation for SCHIP, the State Children's Health Program. Bush has threatened to veto the legislation as written by congressional Democrats.

The United Auto Workers are on strike against General Motors because the American automaking giant is not guaranteeing that future vehicles will be built at American manufacturing plants. Talks are continuing as picketing union members voice their concerns about job security outside of factory gates. The UAW's website has more information about the strike and the union's position.

TorrentFreak has released some great anti-digital restrictions management t-shirts following a reader contest. The designs are pretty clever; you can see the winners here and also order one if you want something good to wear.

And while we're on the subject of DRM, has just unveiled a new MP3 store that allows millions of tracks to be purchased free of digital restrictions management. It will compete against a number of smaller services such as eMusic, but its main rival will be iTunes. If any company has the clout and muscle to challenge Apple's dominance in the digital music market, it's Amazon.


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