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A Matter Of Opinion

Archive for July 2009

Friday’s Loose Thread

Everybody’s working for the weekend. OK, that song is dated. Not only is everyone not working, not everyone gets the weekend off. But that’s only two reasons that song is awful.

Random thoughts here.

Thursday’s Loose Thread

Feel like a one-armed paper hanger.

Take this thread and run with it.


Wednesday’s Loose Thread

Fill in the following sentence: The main reason I want/don’t want health care reformed is ––?

Or pick your own topic.

Wonder if Mobile has an ombudsman?

Police pepper spray and taser a mentally disabled deaf man who locked himself in a bathroom.  Magistrate tosses all charges. Then they drop him off without contacting the parents.

Tuesday’s Loose Thread

Another day, another holler.


Monday’s Loose Thread

And the baton is passed to me. What’s up?


Friday’s loose thread

Friday’s are nice. Friday’s leading into a vacation are better.  Or, in my grandson’s vernacular, sweet!

What insights will you send me off with?

Two Rs, two decisions

U.S. Sen. Orin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said today he’ll vote against confirming Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court justice, regardless of what he called her “stellar resume.” He disagrees on principle with her record and statements, he said.

In 33 years in the Senate, Hatch has never voted against a Supreme Court nominee.

His fellow Republican, Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, has already said he’ll vote for Sotomayor, even though he has described several of the same philosophical differences with her that seem to trouble Hatch.

Nobody sees any jeopardy for Sotomayor’s confirmation, but Hatch’s stand might cause some wavering Republicans to oppose her, too. Not that that matters much, in the long run. Confirmed is confirmed, or, as athletes say after a sloppy victory, “A win is a win.” With a lifetime appointment, her Supreme Court votes and rulings won’t have any less influence because of the vote margin.

Thursday’s loose thread

When my office was in the old Chronicle Building on Sprague Avenue, I frequently had passers-by tap on the window — often school kids lined up and waiting to go on field trips.  That hasn’t happened since I moved to the fourth floor of the S-R building.

Until today.  Maybe the window washer was just being friendly, but I suspect it’s SOP to alert office occupants so they won’t be startled or do something embarrassing. Either way, it got my attention.

What’s getting your attention today? 

Ever-popular sewage

A story today reports that Airway Heights is getting $22 million in federal stimulus money for a wastewater treatment plant that’s scheduled to be operating in two years.

That’s a million gallons that no longer will go to the city of Spokane’s plant, opening up capacity there. Meanwhile, unlike Spokane, Airway Heights will discharge the treated effluent directly into the ground, not the river. 

Keep that in mind as Spokane County moves forward on its own treatment plant which still doesn’t have a license that would allow treated water to go into the river. Airway Heights’ model may be a guide to the future.

Wednesday’s (and Tuesday’s) loose thread

Whoa! I blew it yesterday and never posted a loose thread.  From the looks of the conversation that began Monday, though, you survived my oversight just fine.

OK, then, fresh start. What else is on you mind?

Editorialists to Senate: Thanks but no thanks

As you might have surmised, our editorial board is in the process of evaluating candidates in this fall’s election.  If a well-intended piece of federal legislation becomes law, however, we might not have to go to the trouble in the future.  Hence, officers of the National Conference of Editorial Writers have written to Sen. Benjamin Cardin of Marryland, asking him to amend or withdraw the Newspaper Revitalization Act.

Out of respect for the press and the financial pressures it is facing, Cardin introduced the measure that would allow newspapers to become tax-exempt educational institutions. That would prohibit newspapers from endorsing candidates or advocating for legislative positions.

OK, I can hear the feigned sobs, but save your sarcasm.  Not only would editorial writers be silenced, so would letter writers and guest columnists.  That is, so would you.

It won’t surprise you that I think the loss of those voices, all of them, would be harmful to our democratic heritage.  But what do you think?

Monday’s loose thread

I’m pondering imaginative ways to launch a loose thread discussion.  Don’t wait on me, though. Just post whatever is on your mind.

The newest oldest man

Reading Sunday’s story about the death of Henry Allingham, the world’s oldest man, I got to wondering about his successor.  Allingham, who died in England, was 113.

As an aside, I’m pretty skeptical about the authenticity of the claim.  There’s an excellent chance that there’s someone, in someplace like Tibet, who’s older but whose birth records, if kept at all, aren’t accessible through the database used to keep track of the “world’s oldest person.”

Still, what a tough break to be the official holder of such a distinction, knowing the only time it will be big news is after it’s too late for you to bask in the attention. Who, I wondered Sunday morning, is the new world’s oldest man.

Congratulations to Walt Breuning, 112, Great Falls, Mont.  An Associated Press  story posted today on identifies him as the current claimant to the title. I hope he enjoys it for a long time.

Forty years later

This probably isn’t the first time you’ve thought about it, but what do you remember about the moment Armstrong stepped on the moon. Me, I was with my wife and a few other people in Sue and Charlie Mitchell’s apartment in an old house on Corbin Park. (Sue was a fellow reporter for the Spokane Daily Chronicle where I’d started work about three months earlier.) I seem to recall a few of us went out and ran a lap or two around the park while waiting for the big moment. That’s fuzzy, though. Mainly I remember being awed by what I was seeing.

Friday’s Loose Thread

Aha! The moon landing was faked! I’d like to hear you sheeple explain this!

Thursday’s Loose Thread

Any thoughts about today’s editorial on City Hall pay?

Or anything else?

Wednesday’s Loose Thread

Hump day. Hope yours is small.



Tuesday’s Loose Thread

Put it here.


Monday’s Loose Thread

What’s that Carpenters’ song again? Something about rainy days and Mondays? Don’t tell me.

What’s on your mind today?


Ensign pulverized

This cracked me up. Thought others might be amused. It’s like a sit-com. To think U.S. senators spend time on this stuff. And that living arrangement is kinda weird.






Friday’s Loose Thread

Have a nephew who benefited greatly from the Shriners many years ago, so I was glad to hear that they’re working on a way to stay open in Spokane.

What’s on your mind today?


Statehouse loses another reporter

This time, it’s ours. The invaluable Rich Roesler is taking a job with the state insurance commissioner. Here’s his farewell comment from his Eye on Olympia blog.

I know the editorial board will really miss his reporting in Olympia. Best of luck to a super reporter and a very nice guy.


Large health insurer raises rates 17%

Regence BlueShield follows other private insurers with a double-digit increase. Why? Health-care costs are out of control. Hey, no problem. We’re all  getting 17 percent pay raises, right?

There’s your status quo. Enjoying it?


Thursday’s Loose Thread

Apparently,Michael Jackson died. I’ll try to find out more about this and get back to everyone.

So, what’s on your mind today?

Wednesday’s Loose Thread

it is what it is.

So what is it?

Tuesday’s Loose Thread

The news that jumped out at me was the death of former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. Now, there’s a polarizing figure in American history.

Thoughts on this man or any other topic?


Monday’s Loose Thread

That didn’t take long. A few chemtrails and it starts raining. Guess the government has really perfected that. What? Haven’t heard of chemtrails? Well, get busy.

Hope you had a nice Fourth. We had some zany party in the ‘hood. Jell-o twister, anyone?

What’s on your mind today?

Palin to resign

Don’t know if she’s a Nixon fan, but she has that victim thing down. All that’s missing from her statement was a “You won’t have Sarah Palin to kick around” line.

Why do you think she’s resigning? Is this the end of her political career?

Here’a an Anchorage blog that should keep you current as this develops.


The Long Weeeknd Loose Thread

This thread is your thread, this thread is my thread.

What are your grand old thoughts for the long holiday weekend?


Wednesday’s Loose Thread

About this painkiller news. Wonder if blog managers can get a waiver? I kid, I joke, I pop another pill.

What’s going on?



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