Month: July 2017

The unknowns of the eclipse

Depending on whom one talks to there could be as many as one million people pouring into Oregon for the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The eclipse, which has fostered a number of multi-day events along the path of totality in Oregon, has led the state, counties and cities to hope for the best and expect the worse. Marion County’s emergency management office is expecting 50,000 to 200,000 visitors to the county. There are too many unknowns so every municipality, including Keizer, must plan for a crush of people, cars and recreational vehicles. Are the throngs expected in...

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Impeachment calls ill-conceived

Calls for impeachment of President Trump are whiny and ill-conceived. A political remedy, impeachment has been used against only two of the 44 people who have held the presidency—Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. A conviction by the U.S. Senate, after impeachment by the House of Representatives, removes the person from office. There are no criminal penalties, that would come from prosecuters. Groups call for Trump’s impeachment because of his Tweets, for his boorish behavior, or for his treatment of women and others. These alone  cannot be considered impeachable offenses. Calls for his impeachment are as effective as pundits and...

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A gerrymandering of virtues

By MICHAEL GERSON If we have learned anything from the last few years in our politics, it is that civility is for suckers, that compromise is a sign of weakness, and that moderation of temperament is boring and unmarketable. It is time to level with our sons and daughters. Winners—real winners, of the kind blessed by religious authorities and trusted with the highest office—are rude and belittling. They always insist on getting their way. And they are the angriest, neediest people in the room. Just forming these words causes revulsion. Why does such cynical and chaotic moral messaging bother us so much? For one, we suspect that political arguments, over time, seep into our common culture, determining the boundaries of acceptable discourse. Recalcitrant toddlers, truculent teens, disagreeable co-workers and egotistic exes across America can plausibly claim that “the president is on my side.” But the main consequences are more public. What is the first law of political dynamics? Boorishness has an equal and opposite reaction. My favorite example is that subset of Democrats (including the head of the Democratic National Committee) who believe that populism is demonstrated by profanity. What our sad and desperate politics really needs, in this view, is more f-words. The reaction, however, reaches beyond language. A portion of the Democratic Party views “resistance” as an excuse for ideological purification —a franker socialism in economics, a...

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Businessman for president? Make it Buffett

By GENE H. McINTYRE I am sure there are a great number of Americans who recognize the name Warren Buffett. Those who know of him know that, currently, he is the world’s second-richest man, after Bill Gates.  Last week he appeared on the Public Broadcasting’s NewsHour and was interviewed by anchor Judy Woodruff.  Some of his most salient comments are worthy of readers’ attention and consideration. Before his wisdom is shared here, we may wish to remember that Buffet has been an extraordinarily successful businessman.  The 86-year-old Nebraskan is the chief executive of investing house Berkshire Hathaway with a net worth, according to Forbes, at $76.6 billion.  Berkshire Hathaway also owns a major share in Wells Fargo and the BNSF Railroad. Incidentally, he’s never been a politician or elected to public office although his father was elected to four non-consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Omaha while the family lived in Washington, D.C. during those years. Regarding the pending Republican healthcare proposal, Buffett says “it amounts to a tax cut for the rich” while “the U.S. economy would benefit far more from establishing single-payer health care as that is the best system” and “we are such a rich country, we can afford it.”  Also, “bringing down the costs of healthcare would do more to help American business than cutting corporate taxes” but “there is no incentive to bring down costs.” On the economy, “the U.S. economy has recovered since 2009 but the lion’s share of the benefits...

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