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A Matter Of Opinion

Archive for January 2009

Friday’s Loose Thread

You may lose your mind, just to keep your sanity. — John Prine

What’s on your mind today?

Thursday’s Loose Thread

Open invitation to let ‘er rip on the topic of your choice.

Wednesday’s Loose Thread

Q. Why won’t Obama release his real birth certificate?

A. It shows he wasn’t the product of a virgin birth.

Got any good political jokes? Anything else on your mind? As always, keep it clean.

Tuesday’s Loose Thread

Man, it’s colder than a well-digger’s …

So what’s on your mind today? Keep it clean.


Monday’s Loose Thread

What’s on your mind today?

Parents and Schools

Are you doing your part to ensure that children get a high quality education?


Friday’s Loose Thread

Another cold, foggy day. Ennui go!

What’s on your mind?


Thursday’s Loose Thread

Sorry the late appearance of this thread. Busy, busy.

What’s up?



Kennedy drops Senate bid

Caroline Kennedy tells the New York governor that she won’t be seeking the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, who, by the way, was confirmed as secretary of state.

Kennedy says her uncle’s decline factored into the decision. Strikes me as a decision looking for a reason. The resistance and criticism she received probably had more to do with it.

So, will this end the Kennedy Era for good? Thoughts?


Portland is having a Spokane moment

The Oregonian calls for Mayor Sam Adams to resign after he confesses to lying about a relationship with a teenage boy. Unlike Jim West, Adams is openly gay. The age of the boy when the affair started is a point of contention: 17 or 18?

The Willamette Weekly was about to break the story, which forced Adams’ hand. That’s the paper that also nailed former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt for his affair with an underage girl.

Just Out, a gay-oriented magazine in Portland, is also calling for Adams’ resignation.

Does this bring back memories? I think one of the similarities to the West episode is that voters thought they were getting someone else. In West, a conservative who championed anti-gay legislation. In Adams, a guy who was the victim of campaign smears.

Should he stay or should he go?




Wednesday’s Loose Thread

Have to say the flocked trees look eerily beautiful.

What do you have to say?


Tuesday’s Loose Thread

Almost called it Monday’s Loose Thread. Four days’ work in five days. Ready, set, go!

(Obama citizenship comments should go in Friday’s Loose Thread for continuity. Thanks)



The 44th President

Did you watch? What did you think?

Friday’s Loose Thread

Let’s cut through the fog. Get down to brass tacks. Lay our cards on the table.



Spokane Public Schools to make up snow days

Unlike last year, the district has decided to extend the school year. Be prepared for some cranky kids.






Thursday’s Loose Thread

Started working out again. How long has it been? Well, let’s just say I was surprised to see that none of the women were wearing leggings and those carefully torn sweatshirts.

What has you sweating today?


Wednesday’s Loose Thread

You know, the nearer your destination the more you’re slip-sliding away. But enough about my adventure on the fog-shrouded  roads.

What’s on your mind today, besides that Paul Simon song I just embedded into your brain.


Election reforms

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed has submitted a package of election-reform measures for the legislative session that began this week. Among his proposals:

-Allow online voting by military and overseas voters

-Require that mail-in ballots be received by elections officials on election day, not just postmarked

-Move registration deadlines back to eight days before Election day (rather than 15) for in-person registrations and to 29 days before Election day (rather than 31) for mailed or online registrations.

-Specify the major parties that a candidate could use on the ballot and provide a process for creating alternative parties.

I’m in the minority on our editorial board, but I’ve never cared for the push for all-mail balloting, although that’s the direction our society is headed.

What are your thoughts about the proposals that have been summarized above?


Tuesday’s Loose Thread

The streets keep getting wider and wider. If this break in the weather doesn’t end soon, houses will be swallowed by asphalt.

What’s on your mind today?



Don’t report on wars, says reporter

As you might have heard, Pajamas Media has sent Joe the Plumber to report in Israel. Joe tells the media there that he wants to return to yesteryear, when we got our war news from the movie theater reels (long after events had transpired.). Yeah, just report what the government tells us, because that always works out well (See: The Five O’Clock Follies in Vietnam.) Then go to the theater to see the propaganda on film.

Do you agree with Joe?

Monday’s Loose Thread

Wore my regular shoes today, but brought the boots just in case. I trust this weather, like I trust Bernie Madoff.

What’s on your mind?


Washington Supreme Court rejects Obama challenge

Just got an email from the Secretary of State’s Office:

FYI: The Washington State Supreme Court has declined to hear a lawsuit brought by James Broe of King County and 12 others asking that the Secretary of State set aside the votes cast in Washington for Senator Barack Obama. The suit had questioned whether the president-elect is a “native born” American, suggesting that he was born in Kenya, rather than Hawaii, as Obama has said.

Obama carried the state by 17 percentage points and received the state’s

11 electoral votes on December 15. Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, in a one-page order attached here, said the court declines to take up the case. The challengers will have 90 days if they wish to file a petition for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

King County Superior Court dismissed a similar challenge brought by Steven Marquis just before the election.

The state’s position is that the Secretary of State has neither the authority nor the requirement to investigate the candidates’

qualifications for president and vice president, which are spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. Eight tickets were on the ballot in Washington. Under state law, the Republican and Democratic tickets are automatically placed on the fall ballot after the national party conventions. Other tickets can qualify by having 1,000 registered Washington voters sign petitions at conventions. The state Elections Division examines the signatures, but does not investigate the qualifications of the candidates.

Reed and the voters of Washington are represented by the state attorney general. Reed said he’s pleased that state courts have now dismissed the challenge.

I’m beginning to think he’s going to be the next president.


Epic job losses; goodbye, P-I?

The U.S. recorded the most job losses in 2008 than in any year since 1945. The jobless rate is now over 7 percent.

Do you feel safe? What should be done?

UPDATE: Looks like Seattle is about to become a one newspaper town.  Wow, that’s awful news for readers and the journalists who are about to become unemployed.


Friday’s Loose Thread

Sun is out. Kids are in school. Commute was a breeze. And I just jinxed it.


Cell phone ban has a hang-up

We all see people flouting the cell-phone law as they drive. So do the police, but they can’t act on that offense, because it is considered secondary. Solution? Make it primary. That’s Our View.

What’s yours?



Hibernation Blues

Every time I think I can write, I read something from someone like Timothy Egan, who works for the New York Times and lives in Seattle. Humbling.

Here’s his take on the weather (with a mention of Spokane) and his effort to ward off the gloom, which is not all weather-related..


Thursday’s Loose Thread

Any Buffett fans here? No, not the long tables of warmed-over food. The drunk, Caribbean music. I recommend it during the winter. “Boat Drinks” is particularly apt:

“This morning, I shot six holes in my freezer. I think I got cabin fever. Somebody sound the alarm.”


“Boat drinks! Waitress, I need two more boat drinks. Then I’m headin’ South ‘fore my dream shrinks. I gotta go where it’s warm.”

Have a song in your heart. Or a thought to share?







stylings of

Wednesday Loose Thread

Mr. Dumb Bombs jinxed it! Wrote about schools reopening, then they closed again. Back to typing in jammies until the child-care reinforcements arrive.

How are you — or your roof — holding up? Have you had to climb up and shovel, like Mayor Verner?


Fewer eyes and ears

TWN, the journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, reports in its current issue that the number of print and broadcast journalists covering the Washington Legislature full time has dropped by about 70 percent.

This over a 15-year period when the state’s population has increased by 25 percent.

It’s another sign of the cost-cutting that’s going on throughout the news industry.

Who cares? Harvard’s Alex Jones apparently does.  He’s the director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, and he put it this way in the TWN account:  “When reporters leave the state Capitol, the mice play.”

The Spokesman-Review is lucky in this respect.  We’re represented by top-drawer reporters in both Olympia (Rich Roesler) and Boise (Betsy Russell).  You can follow their reporting in the pages of the paper and on their blogs, Eye on Olympia ( and Eye on Boise (

But what about this trend?  Do you share Alex Jones’ anxiety?

Tuesday’s Loose Thread

Apologies to Alice Cooper (and to those whose kids are still home):

School’s in for winter!  I’m gone till dinner!

What’s on your mind today?

No school today. Really?

I’m a little surprised that so many schools are closed today. As of yesterday, it looked like Spokane Public Schools was set to open. Then Sheriff Knezovich advised against it. Then the overnight snow. Given the problems laid out by Knezovich — high berms, poor access to buses — I don’t expect schools to open tomorrow either. It’s not like those berms will problems will disappear in a day.


UPDATE: Knezovich is now leaving it up to individual districts.


Monday’s Loose Thread

More shoveling. Yay.

What’s on your mind today?

Friday’s Loose Thread

More snow. What a difference a year makes. Oh well, at the end of the day, it is what it is.

What’s up in your world?


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