We detect a troubling development in Washington state politics. Call it the rise of extortion politics – as in, give me what I want or I’ll really hurt you. First case in point is professional initiative promoter Tim Eyman. He’s back this year with hardball tactics on a tax-restricting proposal, Initiative 1366. Similarly, Senate Republicans put a ‘poison pill’ in the new transportation tax package to block certain executive actions on climate change.
The Republican Party has a bigger problem than Donald Trump: It hasn’t figured out what it wants to be. GOP candidates still worship the legacy of Ronald Reagan, and cast themselves as Reagan’s heirs; there’s hardly a GOP stump speech in Iowa or New Hampshire that doesn’t invoke the 40th president’s name. But there’s little consensus among conservatives about what Reaganism means in 2015 beyond small government and lower taxes.
In my view, America is in a state of decline and, while I retain at least a modicum of hope, I am at a point where I will avoid expectations. A major issue is the overwhelming inclination to be politically correct.
I am writing to encourage the Olympia School Board to fund a 0.4 position for the Alki middle school program at Reeves. Alki is a multi-age, team-taught, interdisciplinary program which focuses on collaborative and experiential learning.
An effort to reauthorize the more than 40-year-old Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act is making its way through Congress, and if approved, one particular piece of it would affect Washington more than any other state.
Current quibbling over what Jeb Bush meant when he said it’s time to phase out and replace Medicare – as opposed to “attacking the seniors,” as one woman at a recent event bellowed out – will soon seem quaint against the realities of our future.
Washington state is at an economic crossroads. With more than 94,000 new jobs created over the last year and unemployment holding around 6 percent, it is imperative we keep this positive momentum going. As a leader of the Washington State Building Trades Council, I was pleased our statewide representatives passed a resolution supporting the Gateway Pacific Terminal expansion project (GPT) at our state convention.
Most people would probably agree that low-wage workers, like those working at retail stores and fast-food restaurants, aren’t being paid enough to make a living – at least to American standards. From there, there’s not much agreement. Should you even make a living wage while working at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart, or should such a low-skill job be reserved for high school kids looking to earn a few dollars?
Medicare turned 50 this week, and it has been a very good half-century. Before the program went into effect, Ronald Reagan warned that it would destroy American freedom; it didn’t, as far as anyone can tell. What it did do was provide a huge improvement in financial security for seniors and their families, and in many cases it has literally been a lifesaver as well.
The Olympian wrote an article about my personal records and the Planning Commission’s secret meetings with developers that I exposed. I’m writing to correct as many factual errors and omissions as space allows.
I first met Cheryl Selby in her terrific retail store, and was impressed immediately by her positive energy, business acumen, and eagerness to contribute to a positive future for our community. She understands the importance of a healthy downtown as the center for business, retail, and entertainment, and she recognizes it will take new ideas, persistence and collaboration to make important improvements.
Gov. Jay Inslee is now taking a victory lap around the state, visiting editorial boards to point out – in his characteristically cheerful way – that this was a year of big progress despite deeply partisan differences that kept the Republican-led Senate and Democrat-led House at loggerheads for so long. The broadest strokes of Inslee’s story – that the Legislature finally managed many “bipartisan, bicameral” triumphs – are largely true.
This will not be a column about Sandra Bland, although it could be. Certainly there is cause for outrage over the way a Texas state trooper escalated the routine traffic stop of an indignant African-American woman into a violent arrest; she died of an apparent jail cell suicide three days later. But Chuck would say that in habitually defining police violence as a black problem, we make it smaller than it is.
Some members of Congress are rushing to enact legislation to deal with a supposed threat to religious liberty posed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex civil marriage. But the grandiosely titled First Amendment Defense Act is unnecessary and could allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.
This year our community has the great opportunity to elect Joe Downing to the Olympia port commission (district 1). Joe brings a welcome, balanced perspective to the position. His skill set includes a strong analytical background in finance, years of working in logistics and transportation, experience in both the public and private sector.
We all want Olympia to be a vibrant, energized, and environmentally friendly city. We also need to support a new generation of young leaders to speak out and advocate for the people of Olympia. Jessica Bateman is a progressive young leader who will help lead the way to a better Olympia.