For those pressed for time as the year winds to a close, the year 2012 in 659 words:
Washington State Redistricting Commission finishes redrawing state political lines to great applause ... from incumbent politicians. Supreme Court rules, again, that state is violating constitutional demand that it fully fund basic education. University of Washington Coach Steve Sarkisian fires defensive coordinator Nick Holt and two others who will collectively be paid more than $1 million for not working. GOP presidential candidates each take turns leading the pack for the nomination. After opposing it for years, Gov. Chris Gregoire says she now supports gay marriage. Snowpocalypse/Snowmageddon/SayItAin’tSnowJoe hits Puget Sound.
Gay marriage bill passes Legislature. GOP presidential candidates storm Washington state prior to caucuses. With new arena deal pending, Seattle begins to scope out which NBA team to steal in retaliation for Oklahoma stealing Sonics. The NRA fails to get Legislature to create special commemorative license plates for the political organization. Lance Armstrong is stripped of Tour de France victories. Mega Millions jackpot hits $656 million. U.S. soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghans, mostly women and children, draws sympathy from some Americans.
Some state Senate Democrats help some state Senate Republicans take over budget process, remaining Democrats cry foul. Norm Dicks, first elected to Congress shortly after Reformation, announces retirement. In response to the first open seat in 36 years, 6th District Democrats scramble to be included on list of likely candidate so they can then defer to Derek Kilmer. Washington Legislature adjourns regular session but pledges to return because it hasn’t yet done enough damage. An earlier-than-normal start to Daylight Savings Time costs GOP presidential candidates an hour that could have been used for another debate.
Mariners start season with low expectations, end up meeting them. GOP lieutenant governor candidate suggests state senators sit in alphabetical order to increase bipartisanship. After opposing it for years, President Obama says he now supports gay marriage. Opponents of gay marriage in Washington gather enough signatures to place it on the November ballot. State Supreme Court hears arguments that requiring a two-thirds vote for increasing taxes is unconstitutional. Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee meet in Spokane for first gubernatorial debate. Private enterprise takes over the sale of hard liquor in Washington, prices increase.
U.S. Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act. CNN and Fox news report that U.S. Supreme Court overturns Affordable Care Act. J.P Patches dies. Ichiro traded to Yankees. Proving how far behind he has fallen, Michael Baumgartner actually helps his U.S. Senate campaign by dropping an f-Baum in email to reporter. 2012 Olympics are marred by tape-delayed broadcasts and notorious badminton scandal. Neil Armstrong dies. Washington holds earliest-ever primary. Clint Eastwood loses debate to a chair at national GOP convention.
Replacement referees give Seattle Seahawks a Monday Night Football win; an embarrassed NFL brings back real refs. Entire state education establishment opposes charter schools initiative. Only opposition to pot-legalization initiative is from those who think it doesn’t legalize it enough. Obama sleepwalks through first debate, loses lead to GOP-primary survivor Mitt Romney. Proving how far behind he has fallen, McKenna actually helps his campaign by dancing Gangnam Style with Korean-American schoolgirls. Second presidential debate features tough-talking Obama explaining that submarines are boats that can go underwater; Romney responds with binders full of women. National Republicans make fun of poll analyst Nate Silver for being right. Ramtha or J.Z. Knight or whoever gets caught on video railing against Catholics, Mexicans, gays and vegans, causing Democratic candidates to return contributions. Superstorm Sandy does massive damage to Northeast ... and Romney’s momentum.
On Election Day, Obama proves Nate Silver right and Karl Rove wrong. After opposing it for years, Washington voters say they now support gay marriage. Washington legalizes marijuana and charter schools. First gay weddings are conducted in Washington state. Some state Senate Democrats help some state Senate Republicans take over Senate; remaining Democrats wish them luck. Mass murder of school children in Connecticut forces politicians to pretend to talk about gun control. Congress races to the edge of the fiscal cliff.Peter Callaghan: 253-597-8657