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  • Smart Bombs: Fenced in on immigration

    In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s gutting of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, it’s tempting to let Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer declare victory and move on. In response to the …


  • Smart Bombs: Heed side effects of repeal

    Now that Dr. House has vanished from his TV practice, it would be nice if he could turn his attention to this puzzler: What would Republicans do if the U.S. …


  • Smart Bombs: Price of ignorance goes up

    The prices for many brands of hard liquor have gone up as a result of Initiative 1183, which closed state-run stores. Some shoppers are acting as if they’ve been scammed, …


  • Smart Bombs: Greatest generation? Not us

    The Congressional Budget Office toted up the consequences of the scheduled year-end budget cuts and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, then delivered the bad news. The economy would …


  • Liberty can be deadly

    So when the nation was engaged in that big, messy health care reform debate, did some people really not understand that this was a life and death matter involving actual …


  • Smart Bombs: Frontier integrity shot down

    What in the name of John Wayne is going on in the Idaho primary? In the Old West, if you had a disagreement with someone, you settled it face to …


  • Smart Bombs: Not for lack of initiatives

    While exercising in the basement, I watched some of the televised debate over the ordinance to change Spokane’s initiative process. I thought this was about tweaking it to provide for …


  • Smart Bombs: Health care models here, too

    If you spend any time reading up on health care solutions, you find yourself bumping into the same names. Two medical centers, the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic, and …


  • Smart Bombs: Politics produces puzzlers

    What state am I? The lowest 20 percent of earners have the highest tax burden. Tax revenue as a share of the economy has dropped from 7.6 percent in the …


  • Smart Bombs: Mormon vs. ‘Muslim’ – really?

    It’s astonishing that amid the thermonuclear blowback to the election of Barack Obama, a conservative won’t be on either major party ticket for the presidency. The rise of the tea …


  • Smart Bombs: Global look a healthy idea

    When I wrote about Germany’s health care system two weeks ago, a couple of people referred me to T.R. Reid’s book “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, …


  • Smart Bombs: Mandate mavens turn mad

    In last week’s episode of “Mad Men,” Roger Sterling watches Don Draper’s slinky new wife perform a French serenade, and then quips, “The only thing worse than not getting what …


  • Smart Bombs: Tax cuts under the shell

    On Friday, Spokesman-Review columnist Shawn Vestal explored Olympia’s budgetary shell games, finding that both parties use gimmicks to avoid some spending cuts. In Boise, the game is played differently, with …


  • Smart Bombs: You booze, you still lose

    My emotions have weaved between outrage and resignation since the news broke about the drunken Spokane police officer who was awarded a job and back pay after challenging his 2009 …


  • Smart Bombs: Too many dogs in this fight

    On Feb. 10, more than 250 people crammed into a Boise hearing room to listen to lawmakers discuss a bill that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation …


  • Smart Bombs: Politics propelled pink slips

    Imagine a wife seeking a divorce because somebody who hates her husband accuses him of cheating. She doesn’t pursue the truth. She rebuffs his attempts to meet with her. But …


  • Smart Bombs: Why handcuff worker tools?

    It’s become quite evident that public safety unions are different from any other. Among the reforms suggested for the Spokane Police Department are body cameras, which would provide a record …


  • Smart Bombs: Get rich without a ‘job’

    The reaction to Mitt Romney’s tax burden of 15.5 percent is predictable. Distressing, but predictable. The rich are not like you and me, according to the tax code. Why is …


  • Smart Bombs: Not by soot alone

    (SCENE: FBI headquarters, Washington, D.C. The year is 2112. Frank Columbo III, head of the Cold Case Unit, enters the office of the director carrying a thick manila folder.) FRANK …


  • Smart Bombs: Avoid political Twinkies

    Skip the political junk food. Exercise the mind. Tighten up that thinking. New Year’s resolutions or a political pledge? Doesn’t matter; just sign on the dotted line. Here are some …


  • Smart Bombs: Docs, weigh in on obesity

    You’ve probably heard of the obesity epidemic among children, and the likely causes: junk food, video games and a general lack of exercise. But here are a couple more reasons …


  • Smart Bombs: A hill you can’t take

    The press wants to know the real reason U.S. Rep. Barney Frank is leaving, but I’m more interested in why incumbents want to stay. With Congress’ approval rating at a …


  • Smart Bombs: At home in our hearts

    In this book report about a girl waiting to hear from her working mother who is away from home, my 11-year-old daughter delivers a Thanksgiving message. Her fifth-grade teacher handed …


  • Smart Bombs: Citizens ready to salute

    We keep hearing that it isn’t right to judge an entire police department based on the actions of a few. True, but it would sure help if this alleged good-cop …


  • Smart Bombs: Shake that groove thing

    Prediction: The next “freedom” issue will be tire studs. November rolls up on Tuesday, meaning it’s the first day motorists can drive around on the little road rippers. In Idaho, …


  • Smart Bombs: Peons of prosperity

    So what’s the difference between letting the economy breathe free, and crushing its sternum with the anvils of Marxism? A few percentage points in marginal tax rates, if you listen …


  • Smart Bombs: CEOs cultivate pay myth

    The Occupy Wall Street protests carry different meanings for different people. Lately, I’ve been mindful of a Clinton-era slogan that was tailored for frustrated people who “work hard and play …


  • Smart Bombs: Frequently made mistake

    Rather than field questions from the media on the Otto Zehm case, the mayor’s office decided to grill itself. This leads me to my own frequently asked questions on FAQs. …


  • Smart Bombs: Let’s clear the air on jobs

    Apparently one of the big constraints on the U.S. economy is its inability to produce sufficient levels of soot and mercury. As part of a jobs initiative, House Republicans are …


  • Smart Bombs: They’re no Ronald Reagan

    The Wednesday debate among Republican presidential candidates was held at the Reagan Library, which features the airplane the Gipper flew on as president. It’s no surprise that all of the …

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