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Posts published in “Day: January 15, 2014”

Doug Fairbanks he ain’t

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

Someone – we don’t know who just yet – but someone has pulled back the curtain on that pudgy little fella working the controls in New Jersey politics. And what we see back there is he’s just a real – and flawed – little guy like the rest of us. He’s really not “larger-than-life.” He’s really not a “different kind of politician.” And he won’t be on the presidential ballot in 2016. He’s lied. Several times. And it’s been proven.

Though a follower of things political, I’ve tried to avoid getting into this Christie mess. In the first week or two of disclosures of the abuses in the George Washington Bridge story, the whole thing seemed like a tempest in a Jersey teapot. Disgraceful actions by an overzealous staff run amok. Just the usual B.S. But Christie himself, a New York media blitz, the purely amateurish and irrational actions of some of his Republican political travelers and pictures – those damning pictures – have made it impossible to “walk on by.”

When this whole thing blew up a couple of weeks ago, I said to myself “Self,” I said. “This guy’s a pro. He’s tough. He’s a straight shooter. He’ll ream out his staff, throw out the garbage and put the whole thing to rest. Nothing to see here. Go on to something else.”

But Christie has become his own worst problem. At first, he hunkered down. Silence. Then he decided spending two hours on his feet with New York and national media would put the whole thing to rest. It didn’t. For two reasons.

First, answering questions from 60-70 reporters while staying “on message” for that time is impossible. You’re going to get the same questions 12 different ways. And, if you stray from the absolute truth just once, you’re going to screw up and contradict something before it’s over. Christie thought he could beat that. He didn’t. He screwed up several times.

Second, his lengthy appearance “on camera” was probably the longest continuous stretch he’s stood before the national public to be looked over. What he showed was not the image of a controlled, even-tempered, intelligent and wise decision-maker in command of his duties. Presidential material, as it were. He was alternately churlish, apologetic, humble, over-bearing, articulate, inarticulate, knowing, unknowing, aware of detail, unaware of detail and obviously reaching to find new answers to questions already answered. He lost me when he tried to make himself a victim going through the “cycles of grief.” (more…)

A sense of fair play

carlson CHRIS
CARLSON

 
Carlson
Chronicles

Students at Bellevue’s Eastside Catholic High School are in the process of learning the old lesson about how unfair authority can appear. In the process, though, they may turn the tables and provide Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain their own “teaching moment.”

As most parents know, each generation has an evolving sense of “fair play.” Youth is quick to spot hypocrisy and utter the phrase all parents hear too soon: “that’s not fair!”

All authority figures, whether parents, politicians, priests or the police, end up replying with some version of “life’s not fair, kid,” or “that’s tough, that’s the way life is.” And the young respond with “That doesn’t make it right,” or “That’s not the way it should be.”

Part of the problem is each generation believes it has a superior sense of justice as well as an expectation that justice is truly blind to the inequities created by money and power. Infusing this expectation is a concurrent sense that most issues are black or white with consistency prevailing, not gray and inconsistent.

The issue at hand is the forced resignation by the Archdiocese just before the Christmas break of Mark Zmuda, a beloved teacher, administrator and coach for the past 13 years. By all accounts he is a competent, professional person performing well.

His “mistake” (and sin in the eyes of the Church) was that of availing himself of his right under Washington law to marry his same-sex partner last summer. Some one complained to the Archdiocese that this was a violation of his contract which requires conformance with Catholic teachings.

Before this matter has run its course the Eastside Catholic students may indeed extract the proverbial pound of flesh by creating continuing publicity which at a minimum will embarrass an Archbishop they believe should have known better than to step into this particular cow pie. (more…)

What made the front page

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Bus accident report targets driver (Boise Statesman)
More charges for Bujak, Canyon prosecutor (Boise Statesman)
Legislature looks at dental care cost (Lewiston Tribune)
Inslee would boost minimum wage (Lewiston Tribune)
Bennett mill reopens near Clarkston (Lewiston Tribune)
Moscow review sewage temperature (Moscwo News)
Pullman plans sewer line to Airport Road (Moscow News)
Flu spreading (Pocatello Journal, Sandpoint Bee)
No gay joint tax returns in Idaho (Pocatello Journal)
Conditions good for avalanche (Pocatello Journal)
Western States Equipment builds in Pocatello (Pocatello Journal)
TF reviews Snake canyon jump cost (TF Times News)
Gay marriage, add the words at Statehouse (TF Times News)
Sage grouse meeting packed (TF Times News)

Flu rates rising, response (Eugene Register Guard)
Attorney suggests revising stadium deal (Eugene Register Guard)
Two Hermiston council members to depart (Pendleton East Oregonian, Hermiston Herald)
Hermiston police wanted growing business initiative (Hermiston Herald)
Klamath County mulls $144 jail fee for all (KF Herald & News)
Klamath Project water cut in half (KF Herald & News)
Considering dangerous dogs in Medford (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Maybe more residential in east Medford (Medford Tribune)
Vote planned for Medford teachers (Medford Tribune)
Potholes yield suit against Penfleton (Pendleton East Oregonian)
CRC officials at legislative hearing (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal)
Firearms still packed at PDX (Portland Oregonians)
Near-record low for Oregon traffic fatalities (Portland Oregonian)
Salem considers school boundaries (Salem Statesman Journal)

Inslee state of state, minimum wage (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Spokane Spokesman, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Longview News)
State might override local pot bans (Tacoma News Tribune, Yakima Herald Republic, Kennewick TriCity Herald)
Snohomish internal battle over tech department (Everett Herald)
Hanford budget may rise (Kennewick TriCity Herald)
Gun range may growth with grant (Longview News)
Longview PUD may raise manager pay (Longview News)
New Clallam prosecutor (Port Angeles News)
Port Angeles business groups unite (Port Angeles News)
Machinist union chief retires (Seattle Times)
Regional economic boost still on (Spokane Spokesman)
Senator Murray promotes CRC (Vancouver Columbian)
Oregon reviews CRC options (Vancouver Columbian)