Inside Opinion

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

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What will Romney and the president talk about over lunch? Here’s a suggestion

This came in late in the afternoon – way past our deadline for the Thursday print edition.

I’d sure like to be a fly on the wall listening in to the lunch conversation between President Obama and Mitt Romney. I’m guessing it’ll be a little awkward. Anyway, writer Matt Miller has an idea for what they should talk about.

By Matt Miller
Special to The Washington Post

I don’t know whether Emily Post has any tips for breaking the ice over lunch with your just-vanquished foe. But I have just the thing if President Barack Obama was serious about asking Mitt Romney to “work together to move this country forward.”

Romney was once a world-class management consultant with a legendary appetite for “the data.” His private-equity success was due partly to his knack for identifying and purging inefficiencies from bloated, underperforming enterprises. It’s time, therefore, to set him loose (analytically speaking) on the mother of all domestic challenges: America’s radically inefficient health-care system. Read more »


Open season on trolls

Fair warning.

People who follow our blogs will note that comments must now be shifted to Facebook. Love it or loathe it, Facebook requires commenters to post actual names. We’ve already noticed a big improvement in the quality of the conversations, which is exactly what we were hoping for.

Our letters blog in particular had turned into a nest of vipers. Writers with the courage to sign their names were being spattered with noisome fluids by small souls hiding behind idiotic handles.

When you see a troll’s post, picture a 47-year-old loser living in his mother’s basement, hunching over his

Read more »


Online ‘trolls’ are just one headache for comment moderator

For the past week and a half I’ve been moderating the online comments on the letters to the editor blog because our regular moderator has been on vacation.

I have to figure out how to make sure she never goes on vacation again. Moderating the comments is time-consuming and frustrating, but not for the reason you might think.

Sure we get a lot of “trolls,” commenters who apparently don’t have anything better to do than look for ways to be negative about anything and everything. But not everything they write should be deleted from the letters blog, even if their comments are reported by several other commenters.

My main headache has been all the challenges from people who just want a comment deleted because it’s a strong, sometimes ridiculous opinion that apparently they don’t share. “Ban this troll!” they plead. Read more »


Why some letters don’t run

This letter to the editor came in today via our online form. I have not edited it, nor will I. It actually makes an interesting point, but it would take too much editing time to get it in shape to run, even as an online-only letter.

Sadly, this letter is not an exception; many come in like this. And unlike this one – which I’m using for illustration only – they’ll never see the light of day.

i am a 23 year old male who is considered homeless, because i couch surf i have been recieving food stamps on and

Read more »


Union president avoids thorny issues

Today we’re running a Viewpoint by Denise Jagielo, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 367. It’s a response to the editorial I wrote about the union picketing the only grocery in Tacoma’s downtown core because it’s not a union shop.

Originally it came in as a long letter to the editor. I told her she had the option of cutting it to our 250-word limit or expanding it slightly to run as an op-ed. She chose the latter.

Since she was criticizing the editorial, I suggested one way to lengthen the submission was

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Question for the Inslee campaign

Don’t you have any supporters in the South Sound?

We’re getting a lot of letters to the editor supporting Democrat Jay Inslee for governor – all from Seattle. We won’t be running any of them in print; one was approved for online only.

We’re trying hard to get in all the letters written by people who actually live in our circulation area; if we started running Seattle letters we’d have to devote most of our print space to letters. Plus, if you think about it, running a bunch of pro-Inslee letters from Seattleites probably would hurt him more than help

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The election letters are flooding in

We’ve been running letters to the editor favoring one candidate or another for a few weeks now. Many of these will be online only – especially when we get the sense that an aggressive letter-writing campaign is under way, which has already happened this election cycle.

We try to run a representative sample, and when possible run letters together in print when they are about different candidates in the same race. That’s not always possible due to space and letter flow, but we do try.

One rule: We don’t run letters from candidates themselves. Sometimes one slips through if

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Impressive Supreme Court candidates

The editorial board is on the home stretch with our candidate interviews for endorsements. In the remaining days, we’ll be focusing on state Supreme Court and Pierce County Superior Court races.

Today we talked with the four candidates hoping to replace retiring Justice Tom Chambers on the state Supreme Court: former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, former Justice Richard Sanders, King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer and Bainbridge Island attorney Sheryl Gordon McCloud.

There was a lot of legal and cerebral firepower in the room, and we were impressed with the cases they made for themselves. We haven’t talked

Read more »