Today is Friday, Nov. 16, 2018

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Slouching toward overshoot

Slouching toward overshoot

First, Lisa Murkowski. The senior senator from Alaska merits our attention on two counts: She holds the lonely distinction of being the only Republican senator to oppose Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s appointment to the United States Supreme Court, and she chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Murkowski, who interrogated Kavanaugh privately, did not...
Was democracy a mistake?

Was democracy a mistake?

Last fall the local Unitarian Universalist Fellowship invited me to speak about coping with our dysfunctional democracy. My message to the Unitarians was, in essence, that the dysfunction is their own fault. The Founders knowingly took an unthinkable risk when they put the power to govern into the hands of the governed. It’s on us....
Let’s pretend

Let’s pretend

Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening. — Donald Trump in a July 2018 speech in Kansas. Let’s pretend, just for the sake of implausible argument, that a goodly portion of the nation is being consumed by fierce wildfires. By Aug. 17, 2018, say federal officials, 40,880 fires had...
President Putin hits the jackpot

President Putin hits the jackpot

We’re used to Donald Trump’s pitiful chest-thumping claim that he’s a strong leader. Which is why we never expected him to disprove it with the whole world watching. But last week Trump stood mano a mano in the glaring spotlight on the global stage with Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and showed us, bigly,...
Invasion of the government baby-snatchers

Invasion of the government baby-snatchers

So, people, how are we liking the new, improved United States of America? Not so much, you say? Is it the unending White House chaos and blatant lying of its inhabitants that you find wearisome? Or is it life under a president whose governing goal is dividing the nation into warring camps? Perhaps it’s just...
Cry me a river, Facebookers

Cry me a river, Facebookers

If you’re gullible enough to have posted your personal information and photos on Facebook but now realize you’ve been betrayed, don’t come crying to me. I have no sympathy for your loss. Caveat emptor, people. And don’t go crying to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. He has no sympathy for your loss either, despite his many...
Legislators should obey state’s Public Records Act

Legislators should obey state’s Public Records Act

“A free press … is not the enemy of the American people; it is the protector of the American people.” — Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, April 6, 2018 Outraged citizens recently helped persuade Gov. Jay Inslee to veto an ill-considered bill to limit public disclosure of legislative records. But your right to know...
Putting on our big girl pants

Putting on our big girl pants

“Oprah for president!” some women are shouting. Empowerment guru Oprah Winfrey is a national treasure — and seems smart enough to remain one. (Presidents don’t get much “national treasure” adulation.) Want real political empowerment, ladies? Do it yourself. Oprah would approve. American women have been exceedingly slow to grasp that to get more female-friendly governance,...
What’s the matter with women?

What’s the matter with women?

When my grandmother was born in 1880 in Finland to an unmarried indentured dairymaid named Marie, the men of the Finnish Lutheran Church knew exactly what to do. First, Marie was ostracized for 40 days. As with all new mothers, married or not, she was deemed morally unclean. To prevent spread of the contagion of...
Turkeys bearing tax tricks emerge from the swamp

Turkeys bearing tax tricks emerge from the swamp

A pair of tricked-out turkeys, gobbling nonsense, waddled ashore from the murky swamps of the Potomac this Thanksgiving season. We used to rely on Republicans to flap their wings and throw squawking hissy fits whenever federal spending promised to outrun income. But now the Republican-led House and Senate propose tax bills creating deficits of at...