The Wenatchee World



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Obama needs GOP for TPP

Michael Froman received from a Harvard Law School classmate, Barack Obama, a job that validates the axiom that the unlikelihood of any negotiation reaching agreement grows by the square of the number of parties involved. In trade negotiations, even one’s own country is troublesome, as the catfish conundrum illustrates. And the degree of difficulty in achieving a free trade pact is proportional to the number of Democrats in Congress.

Stehekin’s reprieve

It may have seemed a minor matter outside the Stehekin Valley, but last week the Washington Senate passed out a bill to save the 107-year-old Stehekin School District from tragic oblivion.

Transport bills on the right road

It was a bipartisan effort, and an accomplishment in and of itself. The state Senate Tuesday approved a $15 billion transportation package, a series of administrative reforms, and a phased 11.7-cent increase in the gas tax. It was a difficult, but large step forward toward the ultimate goal of making an adequate investment in the state’s infrastructure, essential to our economic well-being.

The Mills’ legacy

We are certain of this: We would not know Wenatchee without Mills Bros. Without Mills Bros. mens’ clothing and its classic, inviting storefront, there would be a hole in downtown Wenatchee too large to fill. Service, quality and community commitment for 109 years, in the same location, is how you earn that standing. You become treasured and irreplaceable.

Stopping the IRS from doing that again

Rep. Peter Roskam is now chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes oversight of the Internal Revenue Service, and hence of Lois Lerner’s legacy. He knows how interesting her career was before she, as head of the IRS exempt-organizations division, directed the suppression of conservative advocacy groups by delaying and denying them the tax exempt status that was swiftly given to comparable liberal groups.

Netanyahu’s Churchillian warning

Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress was notable in two respects. Queen Esther got her first standing O in 2,500 years. And President Obama came up empty in his campaign to pre-emptively undermine Netanyahu before the Israeli prime minister could present his case on the Iran negotiations.

Research and the energy future

We need energy. All the greenhouse gas gushing, climate change and atmospheric politics notwithstanding, we need energy. We need energy for light, warmth and sustenance. We need energy to drive industry, to create wealth, to build, to protect, to push our economy higher, to lift nations from poverty. We need energy so we all might find some measure of comfort and security.

Boehner’s sorry spectacle

House Speaker John Boehner needs to decide whether he wants to be remembered as an effective leader or a befuddled hack. So far, I’m afraid, it’s the latter.

We want a primary, too

We here in Washington have felt left out. Every four years those other states are crawling with presidential candidates. They want votes in that state’s primary election, used to select delegates to their party’s national convention and so choose the party nominee.

Community means everyone

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Upper Valley Mend annual volunteer recognition function in Leavenworth. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of community.

Education brings us all a gateway

What an opportunity. We live in a community where our homes, businesses and schools are only minutes away from a portal to the natural world. For Wenatchee’s fifth-graders, it happens every year. Just a quick trip from their everyday classroom and they are in the greatest classroom of all, a world begging to be explored.

In common cause

You can gaze across the great forests of the eastern Cascades and see an unnatural landscape. After a century of fire suppression and mismanagement, in many locations the slopes and canyons are clogged with trees at densities 10 times greater than when we European descendents arrived on the scene. They are starved for moisture, dry, ready to burn.

Disaster aid justice

It was one of the great mysteries revealed in the devastation of the Carlton Complex fires that should you lose your home in a hurricane, flood, tornado or other natural disaster, you may then be eligible for federal disaster assistance. If your home burns to the ground in a wildfire, even one that began on federal land, you are out of luck.