Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.
Republicans have been furious at Bradbury ever since he sketched an overtly partisan redistricting map that helped Democrats reclaim the state Senate.Read that again. It didn't say Republicans "accused" Bradbury of sketching such a map; it said he dunnit, and that it was done to help his party take control of the state Senate. Thanks to the Oregonian for confirming what the rest of us have been saying for six years.
Attorney Kelly Clark, a former Republican legislator who filed the election complaint for his clients, said he may ask a judge to examine Bradbury's decision. At least there is one place in Oregon to go in search of a nonpartisan elections ruling.My question is, how come a nonpartisan secretary of state would "presumably still have a political background, and political leanings" that could color his or her judgment, but a nonpartisan judge -- who presumably also has a political background and political leanings -- is believed when he says he can ignore those leanings and issue a nonpartisan judgment?
Court gives go ahead for dredgingFrom the Corvallis Gazette-Times, running the Associated Press version:
Appeals court refuses to block dredging of Columbia RiverFrom Oregon Public Broadcasting:
Court Refuses To Halt Columbia DredgingAnd then there's Reuters, which is off in its own little world:
U.S. court OKs study on deepening Columbia RiverThe point? Does it sound to you as if the people who wrote the AP and OPB headlines are a little disappointed in the ruling? Kudos to the Oregonian headline writer -- that headline is the least judgmental of the bunch.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Governor Mitt Romney's great-grandfather had multiple wives and two great-great grandfathers had 10 wives each. The article allows that Romney "is a confirmed monogamist of nearly four decades and polygamy has been absent from his family going back two generations." While some might note the upside of generously sharing those handsome Romney genes in the past, current history is noteworthy. Should Mitt Romney join a 2008 race that included John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich and George Allen, the only guy in the GOP field with only one wife would be the Morman.
Despite the fact that Oregon Republicans haven't had gubernatorial leadership in two decades, and despite the fact that Ron Saxton won the Republican primary by 12 percentage points in a field of eight candidates, I think Oregon Republicans are too stupid to make a good choice. Saxton is too ideologically impure. I will probably contribute to tipping the election in favor of Ted Kulongoski, but I don't care. I and my Constitution Party members are smarter than you.
Keep Wal-Mart Out!Bumper Sticker B:
Proud member of the Intellectual EliteI couldn't have made up a better story if I'd tried...
A GOP opportunity in the Pacific Northwest? The national red-blue dichotomy leads many to overlook the competitiveness of Washington and Oregon politics at the state level, which is evidenced by Republican Dino Rossi’s narrow “loss” for governor in 2004 and Democratic incumbent Ted Kulongoski’s vulnerability in this year’s Oregon gubernatorial race. After posting a less-than-stellar performance in the Democratic primary, Kulongoski still has a lead over Republican nominee Ron Saxton in most polls, but the governor’s support is only in the low to mid 40s. Saxton, however, ruptured party unity when he came out against a spending-cap initiative on the November ballot that Oregon Republican activists have endorsed. This may confuse voters on the tax issue, which Saxton has tried to use against Kulongoski by criticizing the governor’s support of a failed 2004 tax-hike measure and talk of creating a state sales tax.I'm not so sure about "ruptured party unity" over the spending limit (though I'd like to hear from Saxton why he plans to vote against the ballot measure) but it's interesting nonetheless.
I see that Arizona is toying with the idea of giving everyone who votes a lottery ticket. What an embarrassment. If we have to induce people to vote by offering them a chance to win money, then I think we are in even deeper trouble than I thought.
Kulongoski opposes the measure as an abridgment of a woman's unfettered right to have an abortion.That's a funny position to take, considering we're not talking about "women." We're talking about girls -- 15-, 16- and 17-year-old girls.
Let the resounding defeat of Senator Joe Lieberman send a cold shiver down the spine of every Democrat who supported the invasion of Iraq and who continues to support, in any way, this senseless, immoral, unwinnable war. Make no mistake about it: We, the majority of Americans, want this war ended — and we will actively work to defeat each and every one of you who does not support an immediate end to this war.The party of Michael Moore has no desire to compromise. After watching almost two dozen favored sons of the Loony Left fall short in election after election, Moore and his compatriots now taste blood, and the Democratic Party's soul -- not to mention the nation's security -- will be the victim.
Nearly every Democrat set to run for president in 2008 is responsible for this war. They voted for it or they supported it. That single, stupid decision has cost us 2,592 American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives. Lieberman and Company made a colossal mistake — and we are going to make sure they pay for that mistake. Payback time started last night.
I realize that there are those like Kerry and Edwards who have now changed their position and are strongly anti-war. Perhaps that switch will be enough for some to support them. For others, like me — while I'm glad they've seen the light — their massive error in judgment is, sadly, proof that they are not fit for the job. They sided with Bush, and for that, they may never enter the promised land.
To Hillary, our first best hope for a woman to become president, I cannot for the life of me figure out why you continue to support Bush and his war. I'm sure someone has advised you that a woman can't be elected unless she proves she can kick ass just as crazy as any man. I'm here to tell you that you will never make it through the Democratic primaries unless you start now by strongly opposing the war. It is your only hope. You and Joe have been Bush's biggest Democratic supporters of the war. Last night's voter revolt took place just a few miles from your home in Chappaqua. Did you hear the noise? Can you read the writing on the wall?
To every Democratic Senator and Congressman who continues to back Bush's War, allow me to inform you that your days in elective office are now numbered. Myself and tens of millions of citizens are going to work hard to actively remove you from any position of power.
If you don't believe us, give Joe a call.
Sometimes, in the heat of deadline, choices are made too quickly and can leave readers with the impression that we have an agenda in that selection.In fact, we have no preference. What a load of horse droppings. If Cox had said they try not to allow their personal preferences to intrude into news judgment, I could have accepted that (though I still wouldn't believe they could succeed at such a task). Instead, Cox tries to portray himself and his coworkers as robots without opinions, instead of human beings with biases that they might not even be aware are intruding into their decisions.
I can assure you, though, that these choices are not attempting to reflect in any way our preference. In fact, we have no preference. That's the arena of our editorial page folks, but not our news employees.
Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes: Look, at the end of the day, if we’re worried about too many conservatives in the White House press briefing room, this is a discussion that’s not, that’s not gonna resonate with the American public.Straight down the middle. Who do they think they're fooling?
Host Chris Matthews: You think it’s mostly packed with liberals? Are you saying most of those people who are paid to be journalists in that room are lib-labs, they’re liberals?
Hayes: Yes, of course....Is there a debate about that?
Matthews: Well, there’s Helen Thomas, who I would call liberal. But who else is in there? Seriously. There are a lot of straight reporters in that room.
Time’s Margaret Carlson: I think they’re mostly straight reporters. And I don’t think you can keep your job otherwise....Elisabeth Bumiller reports for the New York Times, which has a liberal editorial page, but she plays it straight down the middle.
There is just no question that I, among others, have a liberal bias. I mean, I'm consistently liberal in my opinions. And I think some of the -- I think Dan [Rather] is transparently liberal. Now, he may not like to hear me say that. I always agree with him, too. But I think he should be more careful.New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent, July 25, 2004:
Headline: Is the New York Times a liberal newspaper?Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman, writing on January 11, 2005:
First paragraph: Of course it is.
The notion of a neutral, non-partisan mainstream press was, to me at least, worth holding onto. Now it’s pretty much dead, at least as the public sees things. The seeds of its demise were sown with the best of intentions in the late 1960s, when the AMMP [American Mainstream Media Party] was founded in good measure (and ironically enough) by CBS. Old folks may remember the moment: Walter Cronkite stepped from behind the podium of presumed objectivity to become an outright foe of the war in Vietnam. Later, he and CBS’s star White House reporter, Dan Rather, went to painstaking lengths to make Watergate understandable to viewers, which helped seal Richard Nixon’s fate as the first President to resign. The crusades of Vietnam and Watergate seemed like a good idea at the time, even a noble one, not only to the press but perhaps to a majority of Americans. The problem was that, once the AMMP declared its existence by taking sides, there was no going back. A party was born.Former New York Times reporter Steve Roberts, on CNN’s Reliable Sources, March 27, 2005:
I worked for the New York Times for 25 years. I could probably count on one hand, in the Washington bureau of the New York Times, people who would describe themselves as people of faith....I think one of the real built-in biases in the media is towards secularism....You want diversity in the newsroom, not because of some quota, but because you have to have diversity to cover the story well and cover all aspects of a society. And you don’t have religious people making the decisions about where coverage is focused. And I think that’s one of the faults.ABC News correspondent Terry Moran, on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, May 17, 2005:
“There is, Hugh, I agree with you, a deep anti-military bias in the media. One that begins from the premise that the military must be lying, and that American projection of power around the world must be wrong. I think that that is a hangover from Vietnam, and I think it’s very dangerous. That’s different from the media doing it’s job of challenging the exercise of power without fear or favor.”As blogs and other alternative media gain power and credibility, it will take more than a few candid admissions for the public to trust the Old Media. A good start would be something that is happening in the blogosphere -- complete transparency about the writer. And that includes party affiliation and voting history.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Jennifer Holder says its Oregon employees make $10.44 an hour on average, which would work out to about $18,450 a year for a "full-time" employee (as Wal-Mart views anyone working 34 or more hours per week). About 70 percent work full-time, and benefits are available after a six-month waiting period. Wal-Mart critics say the company drives up average-wage data by including managers' salaries and exaggerating its percentage of full-time workers.Comment: That $18,450 figure is for a 34-hour worker; someone working 40 hours would earn $21,715 a year, which is almost 20 percent higher than an IKEA salesperson; even a 34-hour worker earns more than those salespeople.
IKEA doesn't release pay or benefit information, but spokesman Joseph Roth says, "Co-workers are paid a living wage," with no waiting period for benefits. Fortune magazine reports that IKEA salespeople earn $18,300 a year. Unlike Wal-Mart, IKEA regularly makes Fortune's "Top 100 companies to work for" but slipped from No. 62 to No. 96 this year.
A side note: Both list China, nobody's top choice for worker-friendly conditions, as their No. 1 supplier.
IKEA's Portland store will be 280,000 square feet, making even Wal-Mart's largest Supercenters (185,000 square feet) feel downright cozy by comparison. But the combined total of all seven Portland-area Wal-Marts is 959,000 square feet.Comment: IKEA's Portland store will be 50 percent larger than the biggest Wal-Mart store, and if IKEA had seven stores in this area, the total would be twice as large as the Wal-Mart running tally -- not counting parking. But really, the footprint of these stores is irrelevant -- the store locations are zoned for commercial use, so it's not like someone will try to grow a managed forest on any of the lots.
IKEA gets enviro props, proclaiming it "only buys wood from managed forests, never from natural forests." Roth says all new IKEA stores, including the one in Portland, will seek LEED green-building certification by meeting energy and environmental standards. Wal-Mart has moved recently to improve building and truck fleet efficiency and has become the world's biggest seller of organic milk and organic cotton. IKEA doesn't offer organic cotton in its line of bed-wear.
Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer, employing 1.3 million in the United States and more than 10,000 in its 29 Oregon stores alone. IKEA has about 10,000 "co-workers" in all its 28 U.S. locations.Comment: Just a question: how much does Wal-Mart -- with 130 times the number of employees as IKEA and 96 times the earnings -- pay in taxes to the various state and federal entities compared to IKEA? Wanna bet who pays more? A ton more?
On its biggest day, the day after Thanksgiving 2002, Wal-Mart grossed $1.43 billion, nearly as much as IKEA took in that entire year. IKEA's U.S. earnings were $2 billion last year, barely 1 percent of Wal-Mart's $191.8 billion.
IKEA offers salmon plates and Swedish meatballs in its cafeteria-style restaurants; Wal-Mart rents out space to McDonald's and Subway. IKEA toys include "Ratta," the stuffed rat, and "Krabba," the stuffed crab. Wal-Mart offers "Barbie's Jammin' Jeep Wrangler" and John Deere toy tractors.Comment: What the hell is a "cachet," anyway? And how is this category relevant to the discussion? Actually, it is helpful -- the definition is "an indication of approved or superior status," and that word beautifully illustrates the elitist attitude of Wal-Mart's opponents.