Author: Admin

Exit from Paris climate accord is wrong

Give or take a year or two, the Industrial Revolution began in earnest in Great Britain during the last decade of the 18th century. So, a mere 227 years ago on planet Earth, a relatively small-sized but somewhat unique, rocky world circling a comparatively small star at 4.5 billion years of age, the human species started to add significantly to naturally-occurring air, water and soil contaminants, rendering them often-dangerous to the health, even survival, of many living creatures. Then, in the waning years of the last century (mainly the 1980s), humankind began to notice that human activity was causing so much pollution in every way that it was calculated as inevitable that, should the waste and wantonness continue, there’d be no certainty the planet would, before long, due to climate change and a multitude of other threatening conditions, allow its “smartest” species to survive, homo sapiens dating back by fossil-finds some 200,000 years. Down close to the present time, there have been fits and starts among the nations of the world to try to bring to a halt, or even, if possible, to reverse, the serious threat to the air, water and soil for plants and animals on the planet. This concern resulted in the Paris climate agreement, co-signed and adopted by 195 nations on December 12, 2015, to mitigate and control greenhouse gasses, scheduled to officially get underway in 2020. Now, President Trump has announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the agreement, joining Nicaragua and Syria, originally unable to sign. However, the nuts and bolts of...

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School board delays bond decision

Phone survey showed healthy support By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes No decision on a proposed $766 million general obligation bond measure was reached Tuesday, May 30, at a special meeting of the Salem-Keizer School Board. Of greatest concern to board members is the timing of an election, whether to have it on the November ballot or the May 2018 ballot. Another concern is the reaction of voters to such a measure soon after approval of a bond for new Salem police facilities. The proposed bond measure would add space at 22 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and six...

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Trump flexes U.S. muscle

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS President Donald Trump may find Washington a hostile home lurking with political foes who want payback for his harsh rhetoric on the campaign trail. Funny thing, though: On his first foreign trip as president, the one-time isolationist found forgiveness and bonhomie from leaders and nations he trolled during the 2016 campaign. In Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud Salman rolled out a red carpet for Trump and hosted meetings with Muslim and Arab leaders. In Israel, Trump had positive talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Vatican described Trump’s audience with Pope Francis as “cordial.” He accused the Saudis of blowing up the World Trade Center. He supported a “total and complete shutdown” on allowing Muslims to enter the United States. Abbas and the Saudi royal family are Muslims. As a candidate, Trump tweeted that the pontiff was “disgraceful” for questioning his faith. In Washington, there’s no getting over 2016. Democrats in Congress are loath to appear publicly with Trump. Party leaders don’t want to be seen working with his administration. After spending the last eight years denouncing Republican obstructionism, they’ve come up with a new word— “resistance”—for the same behavior, which they now find laudable. They’re can’t and won’t get over 2016, while the Saudi King, Palestinian leader and Catholic Pope can. Then again, Saudi...

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A wealthy nation’s health problem

By GENE H. McINTYRE There are 435 representatives in the U.S. House, each representing close to 733,000 of their fellow Americans. This number is derived from the U.S. population number of 318.9 million by the 2010 census.  The roles and duties of each member of Congress are understood to include representation, legislation, and constituent service and education as well as political and electoral activities. This writer expects his representative and all the others to come to grips with the dimensions of their role by developing a lawful approach to their tasks, demonstrating fidelity to those who send them. What’s happened most recently in the U.S. House of Representatives, however, does not embrace the expected standard.  Take the example of House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin.  He was gleeful the other day with the GOP health plan because it’s “us keeping our promises.” Yet, his statement is only partially true as, while he and his fellow Republicans did pass a regressive health care bill, one has to question how well he’s representing his constituents since it’s anticipated that at least 23 million Americans will find it financially impossible to afford the premiums, expected to rise by 850 percent. Then, too, Ryan, Trump and a majority of GOP representatives now find themselves in an awkward place.  They made all kinds of specific guarantees tied to their health care legislation and then proceeded to break most of them without explanation which could and should make their back-home visits before and...

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Don’t best against tax and health reform

By LAWRENCE KUDLOW If the smart money folks on Wall Street think a special counsel to oversee the Russian probes spells defeat for business tax cuts, they’re leaning well over their skis. While there’s never 100 percent probability in forecasting political risk, it seems the likelihood of health care reform by the summer and tax reform by year’s end (or early 2018) is quite high. Paradoxically, special counsel Robert Mueller will provide cover for President Trump, as it will take him many months to complete his investigation. The leaks are going to dry up. By law, information on the probe must be protected. So, whatever the outcome, Trump will have months without the attack headlines in which to sell his tax-cut plan. And Trump still has the backing of his core base, which is at least 40 percent of the electorate. These disenchanted voters may not agree with everything he says. But they still strongly believe Trump is their best chance to drain the swamp—to overturn the Beltway elites, to deliver border security, to improve trade deals and to cut taxes and regulations to deliver the full-fledged deeply rooted sustainable prosperity we haven’t seen in 20 years. Warts and all, Trump and his polices is still their vote. (He needs to go out there and rally these folks.) And all this talk of impeachment based on obstruction of justice...

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