Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: April 2009

April
29th

For Thursday: Tacoma joins recession, lottery pilot plays to it

The City of Tacoma certainly wasn’t alone in misjudging the depths of this economic crisis, but City Hall is just now getting around to trimming things like travel and subscriptions? It’s not lost on citizens who have already had to tighten their belts several more notches that they are footing the bill.


Giving people an extra nudge to buy lottery tickets would be unseemly during good times. But during bad times, when people are more desperate than ever for an economic boost and may be more susceptible to a glitzy marketing campaign, it’s just wrong.


UPDATE: With

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April
29th

Notes from The Mothership…

Notes from the Mothership….

In my primary occupation I spend a great deal of time driving. I guess you could say I’m in the pick up and delivery business. I’m either delivering children or picking them up. An occupational perk of being in the van- which by the way, my kids have nicknamed "The Mothership" or " Mo’ ship" is that I spend a great deal of time listening to the news. Stop me on the street and I can rattle off the day’s headlines- current Dow Jones numbers included. I say this without a hint of pride. It just comes with the territory.

So yesterday, I’m driving my usual route, coffee in hand, with one extra delivery (son forgot his lunch,) listening to the news as usual: "Swine flu, potential worldwide pandemic, banks in need of more capital, Arlen Specter switches parties, Dow up 87 points …"and then this: "Astronomers see oldest object in the universe yet."

The announcer goes on to say, "The ten second blast astronomers witnessed ("witnessed"!) happened when the universe was only 630 million years old."

The fact that scientists even know what a gamma ray burst looks like is pretty impressive, considering we didn’t know the earth was round until a short time ago, relatively speaking.

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April
29th

The next 100 days

Now that President Obama has made it through the first 100 days, what should he focus on in the second 100? The Washington Post
asked former officials, strategists and others for their advice.

ALLAN J. LICHTMAN
Author of "The Keys to the White House" and "White Protestant Nation"; history professor at American University
Forget about the first 100 days of a president’s term. Since Franklin Roosevelt established that artificial benchmark in 1933, newly elected presidents have accomplished more in their second 100 days than in their first.

Dwight Eisenhower signed the armistice ending the Korean War on July 27, 1953. Ronald Reagan steered his landmark 25 percent across-the-board tax cuts through Congress on Aug. 4, 1981, and George W. Bush gained passage of his signature $1.35 trillion tax cut on May 26, 2001.

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April
28th

Blame on both sides of Puyallup divide

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Some on the Puyallup City Council have argued that the group doesn’t deserve the rap for being dysfunctional.

Sure, they say, a few troublemakers occasionally make a scene – but the city’s business is still getting done and isn’t that what matters?

Yes and no. Governing by faction is certainly possible – the Supreme Court does it all the time – but open hostilities are rarely conducive to sound decision-making, if for no other reason than they tend to scare off cooler heads.

Dysfunctional is as dysfunctional does, and the Puyallup council is looking like a prime candidate for intervention.

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April
28th

Fix those bills before the special session

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Fast-tracking a special session of the Legislature can be justified if there’s an urgent need to correct some injustice. But the session proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire might actually produce more injustice.

The governor wants lawmakers to come back to Olympia briefly for some unfinished business. Her office identified three failed bills that do in fact need revisiting.

One would allow expedited deportation of criminal illegal aliens; another would allow $60 million to be cut from levy equalization; the third would revise an initiative that currently is forcing some utilities to buy renewable power they don’t need at their customers’ expense.

The deportation bill is not controversial. The other two are.

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April
28th

For Wednesday: Puyallup council, legislative overtime

Some on the Puyallup City Council have argued that the group doesn’t deserve the rap for being dysfunctional. But dysfunctional is as dysfunctional does.


A special session of the Legislature can be justified if there’s an urgent need to correct an injustice or save the state from going broke. The session proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire meets neither test.


If you have comments or questions about these topics, please email them to patrick.ocallahan@thenewstribune.com. Editorials represent the consensus view of The News Tribune’s editorial board.


Want to sit in on a daily ed board meeting? Email

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April
28th

Letter writers are ticked off

If the letters to the editor are any indication, the four-person Puyallup City Council majority has ticked off a lot of folks in that community. (See our editorial on the subject Wednesday in the print edition and later today on the blog.)


We’ve received five letters criticizing the council majority for actions that include abruptly deciding to take a vote on changing council district positions to at-large. One member of that majority, Mike Deal, has now reversed course, so it’s unlikely that the change will be made.


Whenever we receive that many original letters on one

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April
28th

No country for old men…

Hot off the press: Arlen Specter, the Republican senator from Pennsylvania, comes out of the closet and declares, " I am a Democrat."

He can now put his elephant ties on eBay and toss out his orthopedic footpads ’cause this 79-year-old man no longer has to stand and filibuster. He’s joining the majority party – that is if Al Franken of Minnesota ever gets seated. Specter, a man who has professionally stood under the Republican Party banner since 1966, is finally calling himself a progressive.

Friends, family, co-workers are all thinking the same thing: "He was the last to know." Ever since Specter was seen cozying up to President and Mrs. Obama at the White House Super Bowl party, Republicans have had their suspicions.

Specter hasn’t exactly marched in lockstep with fellow conservatives. His voting record shows he voted pro-life, but also pro embryonic stem cell research. The ACLU gave him a 60 percent rating, indicating a mixed civil rights record. Although Specter stood against gay marriage, he helped vote out a Republican-backed constitutional amendment that would state marriage was exclusively between one man and one woman. He’s one of the few Republicans in favor of civil unions.

But even though he wasn’t what you’d call a neo-conservative, the Republicans could count on him for some things.

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