We’re famous again. This time, we are known for catching fire. Compared with some of the other things we’ve been famous for, that is not so bad. We are the city, the suburb, or the small rural town — it depends — that staved off obliteration by a merciless, uncontrollable wall of flame. As a member of the trade, I understand the story’s appeal.
It is an astounding, attention-getting move. No other state has had the courage to try it. It is a pay hike for the middle class, future debt relief for students and a significant boost for accessibility to higher education. The Washington Legislature has voted to cut tuition at public universities by 15-20 percent by 2016. Community college tuition will be cut 5 percent.
While our attention was diverted by smoke, flame and related destruction, we may have overlooked the news from Olympia: The Washington Legislature at long last passed and the governor signed a two-year operating budget. It is a budget with strong bipartisan support, hailed by leaders of both parties, praised in House, Senate and governor’s office, described as one of the most innovative and satisfying budgets in memory. It almost could be forgotten that the budget deal came only after an excruciating six months of stalemate, maneuver and special sessions. Success ...
Somewhere, somehow, we had it embedded in our national psyche that we must celebrate our national independence and liberty with explosions and flame. You can blame John Adams, then a signer of the Declaration of Independence and later second president of the United States, for supplying the justification. This he wrote to wife Abigail regarding the day of independence. You probably have seen it many times: “It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with ...
The devil is not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.
In 1824, in retirement 37 years after serving as the Constitutional Convention’s prime mover, James Madison, 73, noted that the 1787 “language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders.” He knew that the purport of the text would evolve “with the changeable meaning of the words composing it.”
What do you say to someone who just lost their house? Is there some small gesture, some kindness that might help? The usual condolences don’t seem to suffice. Their home, something central to their life and identity, has been erased. The artifacts of their life history have mostly disappeared. Just the memories remain. “I’m so sorry for your loss,” doesn’t rise very high.