Writings and observations

Since our post some days back about some of the financial contributions and corporate ties between those involved with public school administration and strategy in Idaho – the links between Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, the education business K12, the Albertson Foundation and others – we’ve fielded a clutch of additional emails on the subject. The list of particulars has grown to an impressive length.

We may revisit it, putting some of those pieces in place. If we do, one of the main initial outlines will be an Associated Press story out of Boise by John Miller, probably the best single explanatory news article from Idaho so far this year, pulling together in clear terms how many of these pieces fit together. It’s a little longish, but click the link and take the time to read it, now. Among other things, your sense of what the high-profile, much-admired and highly-influential J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation has become and is about, may change forever.

It is compelling, essential reading – especially if you’re from Idaho. Useful even if not, because this kind of thing is going on in many more places as well.

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Idaho

Is this the first Northwest metro paper to explicitly, no question about it, call for legalizing marijuana? Believe so.

Says the Seattle Times today:

“MARIJUANA should be legalized, regulated and taxed. The push to repeal federal prohibition should come from the states, and it should begin with the state of Washington.”

It is clearly-stated and well-reasoned, not with arguments especially new but which have become increasingly undeniable. Such as this point:

“There is a deep urge among parents to say: “No. Don’t allow it. We don’t want it.” We understand the feeling. We have felt it ourselves. Certainly the life of a parent would be easier if everyone had no choice but to be straight and sober all the time. But an intoxicant-free world is not the one we have, nor is it the one most adults want. Marijuana is available now. If your child doesn’t smoke it, maybe it is because your parenting works. But prohibition has not worked.”

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Washington

After President Barack Obama released his budget, Representative Doc Hastings, of Washington’s 4th district, had this to say – a statement generally similar to that of many other Republican House members:

““In recent years, Congress and the White House grew government and spent trillions that we don’t have – from bailouts of Wall Street and the auto industry to the health care law to stimulus spending and more. Unfortunately, President Obama’s budget proposal continues down the same path of massive spending and deeper deficits. The higher taxes and bigger government included in his budget ignore the reality of the budget crisis facing our nation and will harm efforts to create private sector jobs and revive our economy. As a result of the Washington, DC spending spree, it is even more difficult to get our fiscal house in order.”

The same day, on the subject of funding for the Hanford project (which is in his district), there was this:

“In terms of Hanford cleanup, the requests for ORP and RL when taken together are certainly sufficient to keep cleanup progress moving forward. I have questions though about the tradeoffs associated with increasing funding for WTP at the expense of critical projects within the Richland Operations Office.”

He did say, later, that “a distinction can and should be made between activities that the government has a legal obligation to fund and those that are optional.” That’s often, of course, in the eye of the beholder.

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Washington