Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Archives: Oct. 2006

Oct.
31st

New boss at Tacoma Power

gaines

We had a get-to-know-you chat today with Bill Gaines, who

took over as the new Tacoma Power superintendent on Oct. 16.


As a Wilson High School grad with family members who live in Tacoma, Gaines is back on home turf. Gaines spent most of his 25-year career as an executive at Puget Sound Energy in

Bellevue, but he was a top manager at Seattle City Light when he was tapped for the Tacoma post.


Gaines says Tacoma Power is in great shape. No

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Oct.
31st

Parliamentary politics in the 8th

This fall, Americans are getting a taste of the kind of “parliamentary” politics found in Great Britain and some of our other sister democracies.

In a parliamentary system, you don’t vote for the top dog (typically a prime minister); your representative in parliament does that. So if you want the likes of Tony Blair, you’ve got to vote for the Labor Party candidate. If you want the likes of Margaret Thatcher, you’ve got to elect a Conservative. The local candidate’s actual merits are often beside the point; it’s pure party politics.

In this country right now, President George W. Bush’s unpopularity has allowed some Democrats to turn congressional races into what amount to parliamentary contests that turn on the president’s performance. Bush won’t be unseated if they capture majorities in Congress (except in the very unlikely scenario of impeachment-and-conviction), but they will be able to frustrate many of his policies.

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Oct.
31st

Boo!

Admit it; you’re a procrastinator. Which is why you haven’t carved your George Bush pumpkin yet.


There’s still time. For inspiration, check out the Pumpkin Lady Web site, with examples of pumpkins featuring all the U.S. presidents. (A trick-or-treater who correctly identifies the Millard Fillmore pumpkin should get extra candy.)


The site offers several free downloadable patterns along political or patriotic themes, including a flag, an eagle and the dove of peace.


Happy Halloween!


bush

Oct.
30th

Al Gore, the flip side

Think we’ve had too much Al Gore worship in this blog lately? Here’s an article for you, from a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute:


“The Fate of the Earth in the Balance: The Metaphysics of Climate Change”


A close reading of Al Gore’s views on the linkages between environmental issues and broader social and philosophical currents reveals their problematic political and policy implications. Gore derives our environmental problems from deeper metaphysical and psychosocial currents, a path that will foreclose a number of productive policy approaches to the problem of climate change.




If

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Oct.
30th

Christian Coalition ratings

The Christian Coalition‘s fall voter guide landed in my email inbox today. As you might expect, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick and 8th District U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert were portrayed as more supportive on issues that matter to the coalition.

The coalition’s list of "key faith and family issues" includes gun restrictions, federal income tax rates, a balanced budget amendment and capital punishment, as well a ban on stem cell research and parental notification for abortions by minors.

The coalition’s assessment of where the candidates stand on embryonic stem cell research was a little muddy – and wrong. It showed the limitations of relying on voter guides from any interest group for accurate information.

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Oct.
30th

Tuesday editorials

GAO head David M. Walker is doing the country a great service by launching a crusade to preach the need for the federal government to practice fiscal responsibility — for the sake of our children and grandchildren, who will suffer if the government’s fiscal recklessness isn’t curbed.


An investment of 45 minutes a week in tutoring a struggling reader in the first three grades of Tacoma’s elementary schools makes a big difference. A call for tutor volunteers for Tacoma’s 18-yeaer-old Werling Reading Teams program.


About our editorials:

If you have comments or questions about these

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Oct.
30th

Winthrop plot thickens

The faithful who gathered today at the weekly 6 a.m. meeting on the Winthrop hotel efforts heard the complex saga has taken a new twist: Apparently a second potential buyer has made an offer for the building.


Tom Absher, whose Absher Construction firm is a partner in an effort to acquire the downtown landmark and restore it as a four-star hotel, said his group has little idea where it stands this week.


A.F. Evans, the Oakland firm that originally was to buy the building for low-income housing, was supposed to acquire the former hotel and resell it

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Oct.
29th

Letters you WON’T see

Most of the letters to the editor we get are thoughtful expressions of the writers’ point of view. A small number, however, are mean-spirited, racist or even filthy.

One letter we received after columnist Charles Krauthammer’s column about Barack Obama appeared is the kind we don’t approve for publication. The writer implied that only black Americans would be interested in an Obama presidency. And if he or another black candidate were elected, it would likely result in the kind of wild celebrations that occur after a city’s team wins the World Series or a Super Bowl: "gangs take over the streets, people are killed or attacked, buildings are burned, etc."

Another recent letter writer described Sen. Maria Cantwell as a "prototypical liberal slut." His language went downhill from there. It was so filthy, I asked our computer folks to please filter out future screeds from him. He did sign his name, though. Most people who send really awful letters do so anonymously. Which gives us another reason to reject them: We don’t run anonymous letters.

What kind of letters DO we run? Here are some tips for better letter writing:

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