Day: January 15, 2016

Obama promised hope, but…

By MICHAEL GERSON    Now let us praise laundry lists. Every year at State of the Union time, the president and his staff say the speech will not include them. But the laundry won’t keep track of itself. The union is varied and expansive, and so are the responsibilities of its chief executive. Enumerating accomplishments and objectives amounts to lists, which Obama had in plenty Tuesday night. The interesting thing is why this particular laundry was chosen. By what principle does the president want personalized medical treatments, paid leave, pre-K for all, the cure for cancer, a transition away from dirty energy, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Obama advanced no ideological claim of what government should do; no technocratic vision of how its performance might be improved. The lists exist because Obama, who sees the “next frontier,” chose them. His person unites his agenda—not quite in the leadership league, he admits, of Lincoln or Roosevelt, but he has obviously thought hard and long about the comparison. This was the way Obama was introduced to the country eight years ago. His victory in the Iowa caucuses had little to do with an ideological vision or policy agenda (which was, in fact, the utterly predictable liberalism of a backbench senator). That giddy night, he claimed that a “divided” and “disillusioned” country found “a common purpose.” His 38 percent in the caucus proved...

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KPAC, SKEF work for student art

To the Editor: Regarding the article regarding the All Student Art Show (Questions arise over student art show at KPAC meeting, Jan. 8 Keizertimes) I want to clear up any perceptions that the Salem Keizer Education Foundation (SKEF) or Krina Lee were in any way part of the concern.  SKEF and Krina have been nothing but gracious, patient and flexible in working with Keizer Public Arts Commission (KPAC), our citizen volunteer committee, and the City of Keizer. Our Community Gallery is only a few months old and KPAC is having growing pains determining processes and procedures that accommodate each unique situation and art show.  We want to be a great community partner with SKEF and serve all of our kids by providing an exceptional location for their annual art show.  That said, we do not have all of the processes in place to accommodate this in a seamless fashion. We feel we have accomplished this now and that the All Student Art Show will move forward and become a great success.  As the chair of KPAC, I want to personally apologize for the frustration, fits and starts that getting to this point has caused any of our public educators, SKEF staff and students. Please forgive our inexperience and growing pains while we endeavor to serve the people of Keizer and local artists by providing an exceptional public art gallery for...

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Who encourages Harney militiamen?

Kate Brown became governor by Oregon’s law of succession. She wants to be governor in her own right by the election this year. However, she has not impressed this voter by her apparent reluctance to do anything that’s not in her electable interest.  Case in point here has been the standoff in Harney County by a bunch of criminally-minded invaders from other states. The dispute is mainly about the use of federal lands by out-of-state ranchers out for private gain.  Any Oregonian or any American living in or visiting Burns or Harney County is not necessarily living on federal land and therefore should be looked after for their safety by Gov. Brown.  After all, Brown’s in charge of the Oregon State Police and the Oregon National Guard. Meanwhile, letter writers to newspapers all over the state are writing to say they are fed up with what’s going on in Harney County.  Here are but a few examples from the Oregonian of what they are writing: “This collection of traveling gun nuts is just looking for a reason to go into their ‘government-is-after-us’ paranoid psychosis that fuels their insanity.” “Ammon Bundy and his self-styled militia cohorts are misinformed, misguided and mistaken. Their occupation of the Malheur (r)efuge has nothing to do with the Constitution.” “I’m writing to express my frustration and anger over the ongoing armed robbery and theft of public lands by the Bundy gang of terrorists and traitors.” “You...

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New rules for 2016 presidential races

It is 2016 and we’re doomed to a full nine months of presidential election campaigning.  There will be no avoiding the hip-deep toxic sludge of campaign ads but I wonder if we might at least set one or two basic ground rules.  The first and most basic rule ought to be that you can’t say stuff that’s not true.  There should be some consequence if you do. Donald Trump claimed in an interview that he saw, (from Manhattan), thousands and thousands of Muslims in Jersey City, N.J. celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11.  That never happened and the televised coverage he claims to have seen doesn’t exist. When confronted with those facts he simply doubled down and said yes, it did.  So he is either a liar or has invented a memory.  Why is he still viewed as a serious candidate?  Why was he ever?  More than any other candidate he has been factually incorrect and more than any other candidate his fabrications have been just shrugged off.    As a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement a War on Cops campaign has surfaced.  Two thousand-fifteen was the second safest year in history for police fatalities by gunshot, and one of the safest years overall for fewest police giving up their lives in the line of duty.  Gov. Chris Christie’s analysis of this...

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