Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: Dec. 2008

Dec.
31st

The viaduct as Gregoire’s downfall

Here’s another tidbit from our meeting yesterday with Skip Priest and Mark Miloscia. The Federal Way lawmakers hail from different parties, but they were unanimous in their assessment of Gov. Chris Gregoire. Both think she hasn’t lived up to her potential, and both traced her abdication of the bully pulpit to the Alaskan Way viaduct.


Priest suggested – and Miloscia nodded in agreement – that Gregoire hasn’t shown true leadership since 2005, her first year in office when ironically she was at a disadvantage after getting a late start following a contested election. She pushed through a gas

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Dec.
31st

Racial jokes: Proceed with extreme caution

The hubbub over “Barack the Magic Negro” needs some context. And then the context needs some context.

The song is a parody – a distinctly offensive one – that GOP chair-apparent Chip Saltsman passed out for Christmas.

But the song’s title, the most offensive thing about it, is also the title and theme of an essay published in the Los Angeles Times last March by a part-black writer. It’s a case of “The sensitive liberal guy said it, so I get to say it, too.”

Here are some on-target observations from sensitive liberal guy Tim Rutton.

An excerpt:

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Dec.
31st

New Year’s Resolution #11

I will not keep checking my Facebook for updates. I will not keep checking my Facebook for updates.

If you have never heard of Facebook count yourself as lucky and slowly step away from the computer. This is Internet crack and you want no part of it.

For the rest of you who have Facebook you understand the addiction. Keep in mind denial is the first sign of someone who is saying no.

I tell myself I am new to Facebook, that soon the novelty will wear off and I’ll forget it’s even there. That’s what I tell myself.

So far I have 50 friends on Facebook, a paltry and rather embarrassing sum in comparison to most, but I like all my Facebook friends and that’s what matters. Included in my little group are my best friend from second grade, my high school geometry teacher and a presidential press secretary, all people I have known and worked with in both recent and long ago chapters.

I liken Facebook to having all your favorite literary characters in one room:

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Dec.
31st

Out with the old, in with the new

One of the favorite clichés used by editorial cartoonists this time of year shows the old year – portrayed by a wizened, tired codger – handing off to the young pup who symbolizes the new year.


One such cartoon appears in today’s print edition, and former News Tribune cartoonist Chris Britt has worked up a special version for Northwest sports fans that will appear on Jan. 1. It will accompany a roundup of humorous (we hope) “Headlines we’d like to see in 2009.”


Here’s another one in the genre by Jeff Stahler of the Columbus Dispatch.


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Dec.
30th

Needless fighting in Gaza? Tell Hamas

This editorial will be published in tomorrow’s print edition.


A simple question suffices to figure out who’s to blame for the fighting that’s broken out between Israel and Hamas:


Which side would stop attacking if the other side stopped attacking it?


The question has been answered. Hamas has been firing rockets at Israel – in increasing numbers – for years. It unleashed a barrage on Israel after it unilaterally junked a cease-fire on Dec. 18.


Yes, Israel had been cutting off shipments of goods to Gaza. But that’s precisely because Hamas has been relentlessly smuggling

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Dec.
30th

Looking back at the 2008 agenda

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Transit the big winner
on the 2008 agenda
A tough economy slowed progress in other important areas.

On Sunday, The News Tribune editorial board will publish its annual civic agenda for 2009. But as 2008 draws to a close, it’s time to look back at the progress – or lack of it – made on this year’s agenda.

Invest in transportation infrastructure

This was our top agenda item – and the one that met with the greatest success in 2008, thanks to voters in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.

Even though gas prices were still high and the economy spiraling down, voters recognized the importance of expanding mass transit in the Puget Sound region. On Nov. 3 they voted – resoundingly – to increase the sales tax to pay for a $17.9 billion Sound Transit ballot measure.

That investment, which will pay off in more bus, train and light rail service in the South Sound, is crucial to the region’s economic development and quality of life. Voters were wise to acknowledge that.


Repair urban centers

Given the state of the economy – it turns out that the nation was in recession the entire year – it’s not surprising that only incremental progress was made in this area.

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Dec.
30th

Mark Miloscia’s vision thing

You cannot accuse state Rep. Mark Miloscia of ignoring the big picture.


The Federal Way Democrat and his Republican seatmate Skip Priest were in this morning to talk about the looming threat of another legislative session. We wanted to find out what dogs the Federal Way area might have in the looming battle royal over the busted state budget.


Miloscia spent the better part of a half hour giving us a stemwinder that covered: health care costs, the wage gap between rich and poor, the “disappearing” middle class, the decline of the two-parent family, poverty as a root

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Dec.
30th

The Boston Globe: Ignoring history in real time

As something of a spin practitioner myself, I can only admire the chutzpah of whichever Boston Globe editorialist wrote the response below to the blowup in Gaza.

Arguments over who started the fighting “seem beside the point”?

Does that gem of denial also apply to, say, the mysterious entity that started bombing Poland in 1939, or who might have attacked whom in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, or the inconsequential question of who invaded Iraq in 2003?

THE GAZA CALAMITIES
The Boston Globe

AS ISRAELI bombing raids over Gaza kill and maim civilians along with Hamas militants, arguments about which side caused the collapse of a cease-fire that prevailed since last June seem beside the point.

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