Casket Confusion -- Is it just us, or is it a little weird that the flag-draped casket of President Reagan is paraded around the country and all over the news as a kind of patriotic affirmation, but the sight of a flag-draped casket containing a dead soldier is considered distinctly unpatriotic?
We're No. 5! -- Washington state may not always get the best ratings in Forbes, but it sure did well in "America's Best Cities and States: The Annual Gold Guide to Leading Rankings," put out by the Washington, D.C.-based National Policy Research Council. The guide ranked the Evergreen State No. 1 in government, third in economic dynamism, fourth in technology and No. 5 overall. In addition to using its own ranking system, the guide is a compendium of rankings published by other institutions.
"It's great news that our state has been recognized nationally, yet again, for our many innovative programs," said Gov. Gary Locke in a statement after the findings were released. "I'm especially proud of our leadership in digital government and the improvements we've made to better connect our citizens with their government."
Crayon Power -- Art from a fifth grader at Spokane's Libby Center School will grace the cover of Washington state's 2004 Voters Pamphlet. Eleven-year old Hannah Myers competed with about 200 other elementary school students for the honor to create the voter pamphlet cover; the pamphlet is sent out to about 3 million households statewide. Secretary of State Sam Reed made a trip to Myers' school on May 21 to congratulate the winner.
"I am the federal government"
-- Rep. Tom DeLay, responding to a security guard who told him to extinguish his cigar in accordance with the law of the federal government, as recently reported in the Washington Post
Add 'em to the List -- You've heard of Soccer Moms and Nascar Dads, but now there's a new group to add to the list: Mainstreet Moms. It's a real group that's forming to make noise in the fall election. Founded by Californian Megan Matson, and inspired by Howard Dean's feisty campaign, volunteers are already working. They hold "Adopt-A-Swing-State" letter-writing parties, when they target mailing lists of unregistered mothers in battleground states.
"I started [Mainstreet Moms Oppose Bush] for three reasons: They're 1, 3 and 5 years old," says Matson. "George W. Bush doesn't care about them, but I do."
Matson cites toxic mercury in tuna fish and the federal deficit as legacies her kids can't afford. Her group was created when she learned that as many as 6 million unmarried women stayed away from the voting booths in the 2000 election. Check out www.themmob.com.