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Matter of Opinion Gary Crooks

WEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 2010

TUESDAY, JULY 6, 2010

July 6 Loose Thread 40 

Recently finished "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis. He also wrote "Liar's Poker", another excellent book about Wall Street. This one is about the oddball characters who saw through the housing bubble and bet big that it would burst. One of them has Asperger's Syndrome...

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MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2010


THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2010

Supremes say no hiding names on petitions 24 

Court rules 8-1 against those seeking to keep their names from public view. The name of the lone dissenter was withheld. Just kidding. It was Clarence Thomas. Justice Roberts, writing for the majority, said the Protect Marriage Act folks can try for an exemption at...

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MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2010

The June 21 Loose Thread 

Just back from a June wedding, which means I can post a favorite Ogden Nash poem:"Here Usually Comes The Bride""June means weddings in everyone's lexicon,Weddings in Swedish, weddings in MexicanBreezes play Mendelssohn, treeses play Youmans,Birds wed birds and humans wed humansAll year long the gentlemen...

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TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 2010

Kids of lesbians do well 

That's according to this 25-year study.The study was commissioned by advocates, but I don't find the results surprising. The pregnancies are planned. The parents are generally older and more mature. And there is two of them.Wendy Wright, of Concerned Women for America, doesn't buy it,...

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MONDAY, JUNE 7, 2010


Gulf Coast clean-up 19 

I drove up the West Coast from Arizona in the late 1980s and stopped for a short stroll on the beach in Santa Barbara. i was amazed to see the tar on the bottom of my shoes. It was a remnant from a spill that...

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FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 2010

Benton bows out 

GOP primary narrows.Don Benton, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, last week on staying in the race despite Rossi's entry:“We can no longer look to the establishment to turn our economy and our country around. The people want an independent voice that will take on both...

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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2010

Tea Party and Washington state 132 

This University of Washington Poll is pretty interesting, because it segregates Tea Party diehards from those who are somewhat sympathetic on some issues. Thought the libertarians here would be interested in this observation from Bruce Bartlett.What I think this poll shows is that taxes and...

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TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2010

America held hostage, by ignorance 20 

Only 1 percent of respondents could name all nine Supreme Court justices. Two-thirds could not name a single one.In a related note, "Nightline" scored its highest ratings since its re-launch in 2005 with its interview with Jesse James. You know, the guy who cheated on...

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THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2010

Police ombudsman back in the news 

Here is our editorial on the topic.Here is what the reports look like on the Boise ombudsman's Web site.Here is the Monday council meeting (click on "City Council meetings:, then select May 24th), which had a lot of emotional comments from citizens about their interactions...

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MONDAY, MAY 24, 2010

Ex-SR photographer shoots amid danger 

Holly Pickett, a former staff photographer here, has one of the best blogs I've seen. Helps that she shoots such compelling photos in such newsworthy hotspots as Afghanistan and Iraq. She's in Iraq now and recently had a photo on the front page of The...

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Rossi, income tax and more 

Looks like Dino Rossi will challenge Patty Murray, though Tea Party appears to favor Clint Didier. Should be interesting. Meanwhile this Washington Poll has fodder for discussion, including:1. Murray edging Rossi, though it's early and he hadn't officially announced.2. State income tax initiative holding wide...

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The May 24 Thread 14 

According to my calendar, it is Victoria Day in Canada, which is pegged to Queen Victoria's birthday and is the official start of summer up north. So, happy Canada Summer Day!This is an open thread.

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 2010

TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2010

Social Security tweaks 101 

Congressional report shows what it would take to sustain it. Here are some options. Doesn't look so daunting to me. For instance:Modify the Social Security tax cap. Workers pay into the Social Security system on earnings up to $106,800 in 2010. About 83 percent of...

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MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010

Is everything political? Miss USA? 10 

Blogger notes frequency of Muslim winners. Commenters take it from there. Who is Daniel Pipes? Noted here.Some liberals critique the very fact that these events take place. This neocon doesn't mind that, but he wonders about the process for picking winners.To repeat the title: Is...

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"Cruel and unusual punishment" 

That's the rationale for the Supremes striking down state laws that put people younger than 18 in prison for life without the possibility of parole for crimes that come up short of murder.Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, speaking for the court, said a life prison term...

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THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010

Health Care Reform 645 

Put your thoughts on the health care debate in this thread here. I'll update this as needed and keep it on the blog's "front page."UPDATE: Here is a handy chart on how the health care bill might affect you.UPDATE: UW Law School holds debate on...

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Education reform 135 

What is "basic education?" What should be included/excluded? How to fix it? How to pay for it? Should the feds have a role?Put your education thoughts here, and I'll keep in on the front page.UPDATE: Only two states -- Delaware and Tennessee -- are awarded...

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2010

Portland mayor fires police chief 

Why? Probably for the way the department handled an in-custody death of a mentally ill man. That saga lasted 3 1/2 years. Sounds familiar. It didn't help that the chief criticized some budget cuts.So there's that intersection of mental illness and criminal justice again.Jason Renaud,...

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Gary Crooks
Gary Crooks joined The Spokesman-Review in 1997. He is editor of the Opinion section and a member of the Editorial Board.

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