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home : opinion

Political science, my other favorite oxymoron
There is nothing scientific about the practice of politics. And no issue demonstrates that point more effectively than the issue of climate change.

Most of our political leaders have decided that the science is settled. The votes have been counted and we are killing the planet.

No problem, they have a solution. All we need to do is set up a new tax on carbon emissions and once again the planet will be safe from the debilitating effects of human infestation.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...

New Water Regs Could Drown Small Business
Three quarters of the Earth's surface is water and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seems intent on regulating every last drop of it. The agency, as readers may know, has greatly expanded its authority over carbon emissions and thousands of new rules are forcing power producers to close all over the country. Now it's seeking to expand its authority under the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act, adopted by Congress more than 30 years ago, authorizes the EPA to regulate only navigable US waterways. No administration, Republican or Democrat, in the past four decades has sought to expand the federal government's regulation of water to include farmers' ponds, seasonal streams and accumulations of water that form temporarily after heavy rains. This administration, however, is determined to write new rules that would give to the EPA exactly that authority and the consequences could be severe for small business, consumers and the larger economy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...
Electing the state Supreme Court by districts
When the 2014 election is certified, only one of the nine justices on the state Supreme Court will be from Eastern Washington, Justice Debra Stephens. Had she not won her election, all of the state's Supreme Court justices would be from the Puget Sound region.

When a vacancy recently came open on the court, several newspapers called on Governor Inslee to bring more regional balance to the court and select a justice from Eastern Washington. Instead he appointed Justice Mary Yu from King County.

In recent years, any Supreme Court Justices from Eastern Washington have gotten their start on the Court via an appointment. Justice Stephens was appointed by Governor Gregoire and the last justice prior to her, Justice Richard P. Guy was appointed by Governor Gardner.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...
Civic duty requires more
Democracy is key to the American experience. You have the right to vote, and most of you exercise that right. This gives us equal say when choosing the persons to best represent our interests.

For many of us, voting is more than a right. It's a duty. And after weeks (or was it months?) of nonstop television ads, radio clips, and mailings, we were happy get it over with. That duty has been fulfilled.

It's now time to kick back and relax until 2016, right?

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...
The stock market is crazy
There's a very well-established economic theory that the stock market is perfectly "efficient." That means every single piece of relevant information is perfectly and immediately considered by the markets - which means stocks are properly valued at all times. In other words: The stock market is never wrong.

Here's my theory: The efficient market theory is a bunch of hooey. Exhibit #1 is the recent action of the stock market. From the middle of September to the middle of October, trillions of dollars were lost as the S&P 500 plummeted 9.8 percent, mostly because of very legitimate fears that global growth is weak.

After that painful episode, the markets promptly recovered in even more dramatic fashion and are once again pushing past record highs. You cannot convince me that any of this was based solely on any carefully calculated rationale. The only way to make sense of it is that the markets are made up of humans - and humans are crazy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...
Election and the uniformed electorate problem
Following the rout by Republicans in the last election Sarah Palin said, "Now, new Republican Congressional majority in the House and Senate, please realize that Americans were not necessarily voting for any party; they were voting against the continued dysfunction and corruption in D.C."

Palin is right. Republicans must now show that they got the message and work hard to end the gridlock and move the country forward in a positive and productive way or they will face the same growing wrath of the voters who handed the Democrats a solid thumping on Nov. 4.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 More...

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