Two-year state operating budgets are seen as a cause for stalemate, but don’t forget what follows — an essential package of transportation projects and a gas-tax increase large enough to pay for them. This is necessity, to invest in infrastructure, maintain it, and keep the state and its economy moving.
A functioning government is not possible without compromise. Unfortunately, we in Washington once again are getting too close to proving that theory. Unless the seemingly polarized and frozen factions of our Legislature reach agreement on a two-year operating budget, a good share of our state government will shut down by sunrise July 1.
It doesn’t seem possible two years could pass so quickly. The Pybus Public Market celebrated its second anniversary with a gala cake-filled celebration Saturday, and we continue to be thrilled by its success. At what once was a rusted, abandoned, nearly forgotten industrial site now stands a bustling, thriving community marvel. There is no sign that our collective enthusiasm for Pybus is fading. Quite the contrary.
Now come Greeks bearing the gift of confirmation that Margaret Thatcher was right about socialist governments: “They always run out of other people’s money.” Greece, from whose ancient playwrights Western drama descends, is in an absurdist melodrama about securing yet another cash infusion from international creditors. This would add another boulder to a mountain of debt almost twice the size of Greece’s gross domestic product. This protracted dispute will result in desirable carnage if Greece defaults, thereby becoming a constructively frightening example to all democracies doling out unsustainable, growth-suppressing entitlements.
Maybe it was white rage that provoked a young man to kill nine innocent worshipers as they prayed. Maybe it was mental illness or some other twisted motivation. The one thing about which there can be no debate is that he had a gun.
The flow of immigrant workers to the United States is subject to unbreakable rules of supply and demand. First, there is demand, evidenced by a worldwide shortage of workers, specifically agricultural workers in the United States, generally filled by immigrants. There are two systems to meet the demand. One is the traditional let-it-happen system, which produces a workforce that is predominantly illegal. Second is a system of legal immigration, which in the case of agricultural requires temporary guest worker visas under the category known as H-2A.
In January, McDonald’s, leaning against the winds of fashion, said kale would never replace lettuce on its burgers. In May, however, it said it will test kale in a breakfast meal (breakfast is about 25 percent of McDonald’s sales). Kale might or might not cause construction workers to turn at 6 a.m. into McDonald’s drive-through lines, where approximately two-thirds of McDonald’s customers place their orders.
Frankly, I don’t care if Rachel Dolezal is white, using that adjective for racial identification. I don’t care that she is not black. I don’t care that she was a person of northern European descent serving as president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP.