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A Matter Of Opinion

Archive for April 2009

Joe Biden’s ill-advised comment

VP Biden handed out some alarmist advice this morning on the “Today Show” regarding swine flu. Now he's back-pedaling. And to think some people wanted to flip that ticket. Sure glad the cool customer is the president.

Did he get it right the first time? Or is this another example of speaking before thinking?


Thursday’s Loose Thread

My daughter is attending a tea party this weekend. But there will be no politics or tea (for her).

Isn’t my life fascinating? What fascinates you today?



Wednesday’s Loose Thread

I know we’re not supposed to compare anything to the pain of childbirth, but these economic contractions sure hurt. I guess the good news is that consumer confidence is on the rise. But now swine flu is having a negative impact.

Thoughts on this or anything else?



Tuesday’s Loose Thread

Just saw that Sen. Arlen Specter is switching parties. That means when Al Franken is seated, the Democrats will have a filibuster-proof 60 senators. Specter said:

“Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”

Thoughts on this or any other topic?


Monday’s Loose Thread

Well, that was a short spring. What’s on your mind today?


Looks like an all-cuts budget in Wash.

Income tax plan dies. Looks like the sales-tax plan is dead, too. What will be cut? Read on.

All cuts, no new revenue. Thoughts?



Thursday’s Loose Thread

They still have the Miss USA pageant?

Thoughts on this bring-your-kids-to-work day?



Wednesday’s Loose Thread

After my daughter’s dance class at the Y, we strolled over to the footbridge to see the falls. Wow! That’s about all we could say. Wow!

Thoughts on this blustery day?


1 job; 1,400 applicants

Glut of applicants for meter reader job forces city to move hiring to the Tacoma Dome. Read all about it.

Sign of the times?

Tuesday’s Loose Thread

If you get a chance to check out the falls, do so. Beautiful sight on a beautiful day.

What’s on your mind?


Monday’s Loose Thread

If you happen to find yourselves indoors today (pity), you could comment here.


WEA president blasts Legislature

Via Publicola, here is the letter WEA President Mary Lindquist sent out to teachers after the Senate adopted a reform bill.


This bill is a travesty and an insult to the education profession. The groups behind it are vested interests masquerading as concerned citizens who care for children. Yet they’re denigrating and dismissing those of us who actually educate our state’s children!

Contrary to what you may hear or read, HB 2261 is a bogus education “reform” bill that blames educators instead of focusing on the REAL problem facing our schools: The nearly $2 billion in cuts to K-12 and higher education.”

So parents, the PTA and League of Education voters are among the “vested interests” faking their interest in the education of children. Interesting take.


UPDATE: My view on the matter is here.


Home game II

Shawn Vestal’s story on today’s front page will make a lot of heads spin.  Has a legitimate law, intended to protect tenants’ rights in disputes with their landlords, become so distorted that a couple of senior citizens could lose control over their own property, just because their son (said to be in his 50s) invited squatters in without permission?

Home game I

Not that anyone should be surprised to learn that money drives the decisions around big-time college athletics, but how will Seattle go over as the permanent home of the Apple Cup?  WSU has more alums in the Puget Sound region than they do in Eastern Washington, so getting a crowd won’t likely be a problem. And you’d have to be a dewy-eyed romantic to think home fan enthusiasm could outweigh a lucrative gate.  But off in the future, when today’s students’ kids and grandkids are students in Pullman, is it crazy to think that alumni loyalty (as measured by financial donations) might be dented just a tad?

Friday’s Loose Thread

Bring sunscreen.

The popular thing to do

A brief news item out of Olympia this morning reports that the governor is about to get a measure by which Washington state would join the states pushing for a popular vote in presidential elections.

Only four other states have signed on so far, but the idea is that once states representing 270 electoral votes  have joined the compact, they would begin alloting all their votes in the Electoral College — enough to elect a president — to whichever candidate won the national popular vote.  Advocates of this national movement say only about a third of the states are truly competitive in presidential elections, meaning the others get minimal campaign attention.

Backers cite a 2008 poll that showed 77 percent of Washington state voters like the idea. Support was 77 percent among independents, 85 percent among Democrats and 68 percent among Republicans.

More information is available at

This issue has escaped much attention so far, but if Gov. Gregoire signs Senate Bill 5599, the number of electoral votes committed to this plan will still be only 61. If the tally gets closer to the magic 270, the clamor is going to pick up.


Thursday’s Loose Thread

Coffee, TEA or whatever.

Comment here.



Wednesday’s Loose Thread

The unemployment rate has doubled in a year. It’s 9.2 percent in Washington and 12.1 percent in Oregon. If that’s a solution, we should be well on the way to recovery.

Stay busy by posting here.


Tea parties — anyone going?

Tax-and-spend protests are scheduled across the state on Wednesday. There will also be a rally at the Capitol. The Spokane party will be outside the Convention Center. Here is the forecast — not that a chance of rain should stop a revolution.

Anyone going?



Monday’s Loose Thread

Have at it.


Friday’s Loose Thread

Does anyone here Twitter? Anyone just read them?

Thoughts on this or the topic of your choosing?



Thursday’s Loose Thread

Bring it on!

The soap opera

Smart Bombs does the dishes.

Here’s the LA Times article.

Thoughts on crusty plates and dying river life?




Law enforcement roundup

Image is sullied, in Our View.

City reopens Bunch case.

Internal review suggests prosecutorial double standard.






Wednesday’s Loose Thread

A guy could get used to this sunshine.

What bright ideas do you have today?



How may we help you today?

I’m working on an article for the National Conference of Editorial Writers’ trade journal, The Masthead, about the relationship between today’s downsized newspapers and their communities. I’m eager to hear from anyone — in Spokane or anywhere else — who’s ever approached a newspaper editorial board to appeal for action or assistance on some matter.  And even if you haven’t had a personal experience, what would your expectations be if you did? Feel free to post your comments on the blog or e-mail me directly at

Monday’s Loose Thread

Great day — finally! — for a long walk. When you get back, post your thoughts here.


Friday’s Loose Thread

Marshall Chesrown, Black Rock North and  Kendall Yards, oh my.

What’s on your mind today?



Thursday’s Loose Thread

The GOP has released a more detailed federal budget proposal. Mounting deficits in that one, too ($6 trillion in borrowing over 10 years).  Yes, those deficits are smaller than Obama’s, but to accomplish that the government would have to slash health and welfare programs in a way it didn’t when the GOP was in charge and end stimulus spending.

Are deficits a given as we climb out from this hole? The two major parties seem to think so. How about you?

You can comment on that and other topics here.



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