Labor disputes with all the ugly trimmings — strikes, walkouts, lockouts, slowdowns, threats, etc. — are often baffling to the innocent bystanders. You can’t choose sides, not knowing what makes those people so angry. You know they fight over profits and who gets what, but right and wrong are in disguise. When both sides look rich, we ordinary people will never understand.
Barack Obama’s coming request for Congress to “right-size and update” the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorism will be constitutionally fastidious and will catalyze a debate that will illuminate Republican fissures. They, however, are signs of a healthy development — the reappearance of foreign policy heterodoxy in Republican ranks.
For reasons I can’t quite explain, I recently found myself sitting in a rental car on a freeway, somewhere near the center of Houston, Texas. This is one of the biggest and busiest cities in the hemisphere and so I wasn’t surprised to be trapped in the vast regional gridlock, crammed in with a few million people on six lanes of hell. Time is money, I thought, as I tried to figure out which of a hundred dash buttons turned on the radio. Good thing for them I’m not getting ...
All right, all right, I didn’t see the wave coming. All those margin-of-error polls seemed to suggest that Democrats would likely hold their own — probably not keep the Senate but make a respectable showing overall. Wrong.
City limits are arbitrary things. There’s nothing natural about a city’s’ boundary ending at the shore of a river, for instance. If there is a natural city limit, better it be where city ends and country begins. Far better that those receiving municipal services be constituents of the municipality.
The Columbia Basin Development League held its 50th annual meeting at Moses Lake last week, and paused only briefly to dwell on a half century as advocates for an economic miracle. As is typical, the focus of the meeting quickly turned to the great work ahead. The Columbia Basin Project is not complete. Land needs water, the nation needs food.
What if we invested hundreds of millions in the recovery of a once-disappearing salmon species only to discover nearly half of the fish that return to the Columbia are eaten by rapidly multiplying, out-of-control, ravenous mammals? The fish-eaters simply ignore the Endangered Species Act, dine without regard to regulations and legal protections, care nothing about salmon survival, and spend their days feasting on some of the most valuable fish in the world.
One of the more effective local advocates for developing bicycle-friendly streets, Patrick Walker, is leaving the Wenatchee Valley Transportation Council to take on the leadership of the Wenatchee River Institute.
Speaking of money in politics, it seems obvious from this week’s election results that billionaires come in very handy. Those seven-figure supporters don’t guarantee victory, there are a few losers around who can attest to that, but they sure make things easier. If you want to run an initiative, for instance, it helps to have millions to get it on the ballot and millions to campaign. It helps to have a stockpile to avoid the time-consuming hassle of groveling for donations. On the flip side, an opponent with billionaire backers ...
Unlike the dog that chased the car until, to its consternation, he caught it, Republicans know what to do with what they have caught. Having completed their capture of control of the legislative branch, they should start with the following six measures concerning practical governance and constitutional equilibrium: