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A Matter Of Opinion

Archive for February 2011

Feb. 28 week thread

Guess it's going to blow in like a lion. Looking forward to a lamb-like exit.

Interesting to see all of these freedom movements spring up without the help of the U.S. military.

What's on your mind?

Ten Years After

Boeing wins the big air refueling tanker a decade after it was initially awarded it. Since Washington state came out on top, the process must've been pristine. :)

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray hailed the decision as a victory for American workers. Well, not all of America:

“The U.S. Department of Defense, in not awarding the aerial refueling tanker contract to EADS North America today, has made a egregious error and America’s military men and women are ultimately the biggest losers,” the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce said in a prepared statement.

Wow, now the DOD hates the troops. Thoughts on this?

UPDATE: EADS won't challenge Boeing's “low-ball” bid. Only suspense now is whether Boeing can make money on the deal.

Region’s tax burden

According to the Tax Foundation, Washington is 29th in the country when it comes to state and local tax burden. Idaho is 28th. Nationwide, these taxes fell, on average. We already know the federal burden is lower. Note that taxes have fallen more than income. Taxpayers haven't had it this good since the 1950s.

Wonder if Mr. Eyman will continue to call Washington one of the highest taxed states. And don't fall for that old trick where federal taxes are included. That's just a reflection of the number of people with high incomes and the fed's progressive rates. They would pay those amounts regardless of where they lived (assuming the same income).

T axed

E nough

A lready?

State budgets/collective bargaining

The budget battle taking place in The Cheddar State is whipping up a sharp divide nationwide on the issue of public employee pay and collective bargaining rights. Gov. Walker could accept union concessions and call it a victory, but he's angling for more. 

Meanwhile, here's a USA Today poll that shows nationwide opposition to ending collective bargaining, a near split on whether pay/benefits for public employees should be cut, a big “no” to tax increases and another split on cutting government services.  Sure makes it hard to balance budgets with those collective sentiments. On the other hand, a majority of voters agree that their states have crises.

Your thoughts on all of this?

The Feb. 21 week thread

Open forum.

The Valentine’s week thread

Where is the love?

House GOP is hammering out a spending plan. The president released his budget plan. Looks like both sides are waiting for the other to go first when it comes to addressing the big budget drivers: SS, Medicare, defense, tax rates.

Keep your shirt on!

Sometimes the stupidity is just breathtaking.

Rep. Chris Lee, R-N.Y., resigned from Congress after a report emerged that he had sent flirtatious e-mails, including one with a bare-chested photo of himself, to a woman he met on Craigslist. Lee is married and has a child.

Once the smoke clears

Watching Spokane County commissioners Tuesday evening as they agreed to  ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors, I was struck by the fact that here you have three middle-aged male Republicans, all of whom avoided ever becoming smokers.

That's a remarkable change from my own coming of age, which is somewhat  further removed than theirs.  I could also identify with the comments Al French and Mark Richard made about living in smoke-clouded homes.  But when they recalled having to go outside to get fresh air, my memories differed.  Like a fish that doesn't realize it's wet, I was never aware that I was in a fouled environment.  That was just the way things were.

Only years later, when I was married and in my own household did I begin to notice the smell and other evidence of smoking — in elevators, on clothing, even in my wife's hair after she'd returned from a meeting or social event that included smokers.

Maybe we're making modest progress.

The Feb. 7 week thread

Open forum. What's on your mind?

Tag! You’re it

Here is a primer on how to use HTML tags, which are now available in comments.

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