Writings and observations

First takes

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Great lead on a Seattle Times front-pager today: “What problem has Republican lawmakers proposing a big spike in the state property tax, Democrats balking at a proposal to make school levies more equitable, and initiative slinger Tim Eyman begging Gov. Jay Inslee to ave taxpayers from the GOP?” The issue, of course, is school funding. Republicans in Washington are trying to avoid the accusation that they’re seriously underfunding the schools, while also avoiding raising taxes, and the conflict between the two is what, as much as anything else, caused the special session and renders difficult closure on the budget-tax mix. As long as taxes are considered so anathema, the problem will persist.

In some ways, the story we’ve heard from the Obama Administration about the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden carried with a series of oddities and questions (not least, his location in a plain-sight compound only a few miles from one of Pakistan’s main military training centers). But so too does some of what Seymour Hersh has to say – that Pakistan collaborated with the United States on the killing – seem problematic. (Among other things, it would be asking a lot a lot of Pakistan officials to conceal their own role, making them look weak instead of strong.) You get the feeling we’ve not yet gotten the whole story yet, and may not for a while.

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