Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: Sep. 2008

Sep.
30th

Addicted to financial drama

During the Enron era, I read the Wall Street Journal for the crime news — accounts of high-flying CEOs and companies brought low by scandal. Now I read it for drama.

As you would expect, the Bible of Wall Street is covering America’s biggest financial crisis since the Depression with an all-hands-on-deck sense of urgency and thoroughness. In retirement, I have time to devour it all every morning.

During the September week that Morgan Stanley and AIG both disappeared, the Journal’s page ran two-line banner headlines — what I call “end of the world” headlines — on four of the five weekdays.

Another end-of-the world headline appeared Monday:

“Bailout Plan Rejected, Markets Plunge,
Forcing New Scramble to Solve Crisis”

Historic stuff. And some superb and provocative commentary has shown up on the Journal’s oped pages. A worthy example is economist Judy Shelton’s Monday oped headlined, “Loose Money and the Roots of the Crisis.”

The root of the current crisis, Shelton declares, is funny money.

Read more »

Sep.
30th

Smith and Reichert explain their $700 billion yea and nay

U.S. Reps. Adam Smith of the 9th District and Dave Reichert of the 8th District stopped by today, fresh from yesterday’s momentous House defeat on the $700 billion economic rescue plan.

Smith was a yea vote; Reichert a nay.

Smith said the bill was tainted the moment it got packaged as a “Wall Street bailout.”

“This is not a Wall Street bailout,” he said. “It’s a bailout of our credit system.”

Smith said his office was deluged with protests against the bill: “For every 500 calls we got against it, we got one in favor.”

On that point, Reichert agreed. His office got about 2,500 emails and calls on the issue, he said, and the sentiment was “overwhelmingly no.”

Read more »

Sep.
30th

Wednesday editorials: Hyperexpensive highway; worthy emergency service measures

Transportation dollars are hard to come by these days. We hope House Speaker Frank Chopp isn’t in no-dissent-allowed mode on his proposal for a very expensive box for Alaskan Way along Seattle’s waterfront.


We recommend voters support seven tax increases for fire and emergency medical services, as well as the proposed annexation of the Puyallup fire department into Central Pierce Fire and Rescue.


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

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Sep.
30th

Why Palin is important

If John McCain is elected president, what are the chances that he would need to be replaced by Vice President Sarah Palin?


According to the Associated Press, an Atlanta company that specializes in estimating life and health expectancy says there’s a 1 in 4 chance that Palin would need to replace McCain as president due to death or bad health – if he’s elected to a second term. McCain, 72, has a “health expectancy” of 8.4 more years, compared to 21.9 years for Barack Obama, who is 47.


Factors that went into McCain’s health profile include his history

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Sep.
30th

Bipartisan political cowardice in Congress

We let Democrats off the hook too easily today in our editorial on the U.S. House of Representatives’ rejection of an economic rescue plan yesterday. A majority of House Republicans did vote against the plan – but so did 40 percent of House Democrats. The failure to address the financial crisis was thoroughly bipartisan.


Some of the lawmakers were voting their conscience, but many have simply been spooked by their constituents’ anger about the plan. It could turn out to be a national tragedy that this decision is being made so close to the election. And a shame

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Sep.
29th

Wall Street ruin: Read all about it

Book recommendation: “The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers and the Great Credit Crash” by Charles Morris.


This was published early this year, but it presents the whole cast of villains and idiots behind the present Wall Street disaster: Pirates, swindlers, shills, evil geniuses, sophisticated dupes, predatory mathematicians.


A great line: “As a general rule, only the very smartest people can make truly catastrophic mistakes.”

Sep.
29th

Letter writers award debate to . . .

. . . Barack Obama in a landslide.


We’ve gotten some criticism from Republicans for running more pro-Obama letters than ones for John McCain. But this morning’s e-mail shows why that sometimes happens.


Naturally, we want to run some letters Tuesday about the Friday night debate. But of the 14 debate-related letters we’ve received, not a single one was pro-McCain.


We’ll run a few of the pro-Obama letters Tuesday, but if we ran all 14, we’d catch all sorts of heat from McCain supporters.


As it is, we’ll probably get some calls complaining that

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