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Defense cuts are needed

While odds are that we will sacrifice our women, children, elderly and infirm first, the budget sequester holds the faint possibility of reducing our second-most sacred cow: our bloated military budget.

Dollar for dollar, military expenditures create the fewest jobs or useful products, yet take the largest piece of the pie, and are fiercely defended by every congressperson because each district enjoys the largess of a fat contractor and/or a fat base; barrels of pork to grease the rails of the money train.

Washington’s sacred cows include Boeing Co., Fairchild Air Force Base and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, to name a few.

Each has value to someone, no doubt, but do we really need a military budget equal to or larger than rest of the world’s military budgets combined? A budget supporting more than 800 overseas bases? A budget larger than it took to win World War II? By sacrificing our most vulnerable, exactly whom are we defending?

Oh yes, our most sacred cow? I’d tell, but not after what that lobby has recently done to war hero and Secretary of Defense nominee former Sen. Chuck Hagel.

Michael Poulin



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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.