In 2019, we as a nation need to bring the defense spending issue to the forefront -- at least HAVE the discussion! Who are the politicians (or even pundits) that can speak intelligently on this subject -- and distill it down to the basics? You? I am glad to see you've started the ball rolling. There are many dimensions to the investigation that may hopefully lead to enlightenment. But it is complicated... jobs, technology -- as well as a measure (in many ways) of our own scientific/engineering, manufacturing/industrial, and project management capabilities (i.e., international competition). Do we really know the fully story?
John CPM, Washington State
On: Should government pay for college?
I disagree emphatically concerning free college and or debt forgiveness. Why? Any money for educational betterment should go to teachers K-12, period. Education optimally occurs for 5 to 7-year-old children. By the time they reach HS, they are pretty much the kind of person they will be and set on their overall commitment to learning. You HAVE TO GET TO THEM IN GRADE SCHOOL!
This would be my proposal. You get free tuition as long as you stay in school and maintain a 2.0 average—plus, you must graduate. You flunk out or get thrown out you pay back whatever it cost in the first place. Talk about motivation to stay in school. Debt forgiveness would ONLY be given if you agree to 1) Serve in the military for two years or 2) Work for at least two years in a community service job or teach in a public school.
Free college is utterly pointless until the system is fixed at the K-12 level. Higher pay, better teachers, smaller classes and better resources mean better and more educated children. One doesn’t build a structure from the top down. The foundation is the key to everything--always has been and always will be. It will never change.
The Coach, Florida
In this whole debate about college loan forgiveness, nobody is investigating the root cause, which is the obscene escalation in the cost of college over the last 30 years. It far outpaces inflation.
Here is a real-life story from last week. I went in for my annual wellness check-up and my doctor said she has a junior in high school, so this summer is college visit time. She is Canadian and as a result her kids have dual citizenship. She said she had done an online review of U.S. colleges that cost up to $75k per year. I suggested she look at Canadian schools, and she said she had. Magill University near Montreal would cost only $10k per year, and if her son moved there and worked first for six months, the cost would only be $4k per year. There may be a few U.S. colleges better than Magill, but not that much better.
Like the costs of our healthcare system, there is something drastically wrong here and we should spend less time trying to figure out how to help people pay for both of these services and focus on why costs are so high.
George, Washington state
On: Biden’s “gaffe”
I am with you on this. Makes total sense. But who are the bridge builders in the current Congress? I suppose part of the argument from the "identity" folks is that even if someone (on their side) reached out a hand, it seems that nobody "on the other side" will reciprocate. So... what is the point of trying? There is nothig to gain from this approach because everyone is standing on opposite sides of the room, unwilling to move. We need leaders.
John CPM, Washington state
On: Iran War
I agree wholeheartedly with your thesis. George W had Cheney. Trump has Bolton. Despite his denials, Trump loves the idea of war in Iran. Since none of their families or friends serve, they will not be in harms way.
On: Democrats and Polling
Maybe the educated/academic primary voters would place the environment as the number one issue in the election. The majority would probably place medicare and gun control above the environment.
On: How Presidents Win
Not really knowing all of the candidates fully, the only guy who would get two checks in each column from me is a fictional character, Josiah Bartlett. What does that say about all the real (candidates)?
the Coach, Florida
On: 3 Things: American Pessimism
The number that jumped out at me is the small percentage of people that felt government or corporations could fix things. In our capitalist, democratic culture aren’t those supposed to be the ones we go to?
And, the three biggest worries. Health care, educational spending, national debt—aren’t those in the opposite direction of Republicans and their “leader”? Such a disconnect. Voting against one’s best interests, while directly feathering the nests of those they detest. Thank god racism draws them together and gives them that feeling of connection.
Jesus of Arlington, Illinois
On: Ayn Rand
The Rand article made me think... "What am I doing and WHY?" Often it feels like I am being overrun and consumed by the American busines treadmill. Produce this. Deliver that. Now. Yesterday! Moreover, the business treadmill would seem to occupy a central place in the Rand philosophy (in order to supposedly buy happiness) -- wouldn't it? But it does not create happiness. There is seemingly never enough time to step back and do the things that make the world a better place -- things that give me joy.
John CPM, Washington State
Can we assume that Trump is a Randian?? or does he go past pure selfishness and narcism to a whole new reality?
Gary Tudor, Washington State
Lawrence O'Donnell, Joy Reid - faves, Chris Matthews, Nicole Wallace, Stephanie Ruhle, Chris Jansing - next tops;
Mika B and Ali Velshi -least liked; Joe Scarborough better w/o Mika
would like to see more of Elise Jordan;
Katy Tur and Hallie Jackson- unimpressive as hosts, better as reporters; Lawrence O'Donnell, Joy Reid - faves, Chris Matthews, Nicole Wallace, Stephanie Ruhle, Chris Jansing - next tops;
Mika B and Ali Velshi -least liked; Joe Scarborough better w/o Mika
would like to see more of Elise Jordan;
Katy Tur and Hallie Jackson- unimpressive as hosts, better as reporters.
We concur 100% on Katie Tur. She is in over her head. How does she remain the anointed one? We do like Chuck Todd more than you.
Jesus of Arlington, Illinois
On: The Midterm Election
1 - at this point, the House is not decidedly Blue, but is on the way.
2 - Ms. Pelosi, if indeed the House swings Blue, is not the proper helms(wo)man for the job. Yes, Ms. Pelosi has been an effective consensus builder in the past. However, the past is the past. It's time for new leadership.
3 - I hope for their own sake the Dems do NOT spend all of their efforts on inquiries and probes. Let Mueller do his job. If Dems spend the next 2 years investigating and probing and nagging and whining and crying then there will be no way 2020 will go Blue. Create a message, deliver on that message, and make sure the message is positive. Work for positive change. Don't give Trump a leg to stand on in 2020. Health Care is a Blue cause. Don't let the Republicans usurp that message. Make the Republicans own up to their fiscal conservancy core. Taxes need to be raised or spending needs to be reduced.
By the way Mitch, cutting Medicaid won't balance the budget. Math is fact, rhetoric isn't.
Vitruvian Man, Colorado
Georgia breaks your heart every time.
Texas is all folly.
Tennessee is just another Alabama.
While the fools chant “Arizona”.
They’ll tempt you with their faulty polls.
While “live at ten” they purge the rolls,
You tell me there’s hope in the red.
“This time is different”, you said.
But this time--like last--I know what I know.
They’ll break our hearts once again,
And again, and again.
Fool me once, the saying goes…
Fool me twice…fool me thrice.
They’ll break our hearts every year.
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.
They’ll break our hearts. Every time. Every year.
Shawn Ross, Washington
Hello Friends. Thanks for voting, which I hope means all of you. Extra appreciation for those who canvassed, phone banked, donated. I have never seen so many friends and colleagues pounding the pavement in the hard work of democracy. For those of you who didn't, I urge you to look inside yourselves. Passive participation and Facebook posts just aren't going to cut it in our deeply divided country. I believe we are just at the beginning of a 20 year battle to salvage our democratic institutions and the values they represent. If we forestall the forces of greed and intolerance, demographics can deliver us from evil. But without our intense involvement, that is far from a forgone conclusion.
Right now I am thanking the people of Bozeman MT, including a member of my staff, who spent 9 hours door-belling in a snowstorm for Jon Tester. Tester just was declared the winner after trailing overnight. His comeback was almost completely due to the high turnout in Gallatin County (where Bozeman sits). Targeting today is incredibly sophisticated and social media incredibly opaque. But at the end of the day, democracy is pretty simple.
Scott Miller, Seattle
It seems to me that the vitriolic speech used by the President in his campaign, the racist ads, the racist attacks in Florida and Georgia, the attempt to limit the voting rights of minorities in this campagne has opened a pandora’s box which will be difficult to close. This President has made racist remarks acceptable. White supremicists seem to be coming out of the woodwork. How can the Government be expected to work with someone like this as our leader? I fear more deadlock and two more years of of nasty politics further dividing our country from important work ahead. Trump’s continued attack on the media only adds to my concerns as they hold him to his inaccuracies and outright lies.
Gary Tudor, Kirkland, WA
It wasn’t the blue wave Dem’s were hoping for, but winning back the House restores a badly needed check on Trump. The Republicans have made it clear they will follow the despot no matter how detrimental his policies to both Americans here at home and our reputation abroad. Mitch McConnell has already said his push now is to get as many federal judges appointed as possible– an effort to further coopt the judiciary to his conservative agenda. Now is not the time for Democrats to be tentative. I hope Pelosi and the Dem’s go after this administration with a vengeance!
Through Our Looking Glass of a Nation
Smoldering in the wreckage of our current democracy are the angry souls who are not living their lives free. They are bewildered by the events of a self-proclaimed lion, a media spellbinding witch and an inauthentic congressional wardrobe.
The plot sickened when it was all playing out in a reality which many of our citizens refuse to accept…and can’t change the channel fast enough to escape unsullied.
Our greatest writers have forshadowed this story in so many plots and twists of old. The twisted tale of of wizards and sorcerers within the Looking Glass, the path to Oz and a man lost in a Neverland of Beliefs with the un-sacred, unseen and unloved. When I speak of wizards and sorcerers I speak of those talented enough to mislead and misshape what is real and wanted “to cast such (magic) out of thin air.”
Dorothy has arrived through our midterm elections and they who will serve us all are now wearing the ruby slippers which will find us home in a land truly free.
Kildo, New Jersey
On: What Now Is
Our democracy rests upon the mantle of the Constitution, that peace, dignity and justice for all are her foot stool. If we have ever believed, or if we wish to believe these truths, they are not fully in evidence as the truth of today.
This mindset of dominating and intimidating our populace and its representatives is, by definition, shameful. My point is those who have conscious awareness will understand the following:
• Shame on those of us who have grown to adopt the credo that "greed is good."
• Shame on us who choose not to share safe harbor to the world’s "huddled masses.”
• Shame on those who have tried to use character assassination, intimidation and bullying to get our way.
• Shame on those who are knowingly playing the pawn to greedy, resentful politicians who govern in such a cold manner--shrill sirens calling us to rockier shores.
• Shame on you who would go to war with a cultural religion which has at its heart peace and self-preservation.
• Shame on us who do not applaud our peacemakers, and further the division of our house thru fear and prejudice.
Kildo, New Jersey
I watch the talking heads every day reacting to the latest outrageous tweet and discussing a fantasy rescue by the 25th amendment. More important to focus on the future, reigning in gerrymandering, putting up good candidates and getting out the vote. It's embarrassing that less than 50% of citizens vote in our elections. Who are we to promote democracy around the world when more than half of us don't even participate?
I'm what used to be called a Rockefeller Republican, fiscally conservative and socially liberal. It feels like now there is no place for me in the Republican party but there is also no place for moderates in the Democratic party as everyone seems to flee to the fringes to pander to the base. Mid-terms are important, but it is not too soon to tee up a new generation of Democratic presidential candidates (sorry Joe Biden) that can energize the millennials.
We'll survive this. The country survived Andrew Johnson, Warren Harding and a host of other mediocre presidents.
To effectively advocate for responsible gun control we need to boycott the firms that make the money off the weapons that are killing our children: Sturm, Ruger, Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:AOBC), and even privately-owned Bushmaster all make various versions of the AR-15. And while Bushmaster is not publicly traded, Sturm, Ruger and Smith & Wesson most definitely are. These companies are the beneficiaries of the surging demand from assault weapons. Check your portfolio’s— don’t invest in the companies that profit from killing children.
Dee, Washington State
On: The Red Cape
I’ve often said that I like “living in the bubble” of the Pacific Northwest—where we believe that environmental protection is crucial to economic success, where we tote our re-usable bags to the grocery store, compost our food waste and buy Hybrid cars because it’s the right thing to do. I’ve been lulled into complacency—expecting, hoping, believing that if we showed the way, others would follow. It’s not enough. I was driving through Utah when the president announced he was drastically shrinking Grand Staircase-Escalante: and Bears Ears National Monuments, to give the land back to “the people.” To justify opening these treasures to greedy corporations (that have been eyeing the gas, oil, coal and uranium deposits for decades), Trump is invoking the environmental equivalent of the landmark Citizen’s United Supreme Court Ruling--corporations are people too! We’ve been played. And we need to fight back.
There have been rumors for some time that he is planning a tactical nuclear strike to set back their program. It would sure change the headlines for a time.
What Congress would impeach a president at war? The congressional elections are our best hope to find some hope to blunt Trump’s efforts. There are very few checks on a President’s authority to launch an attack. I’m afraid as Trump feels more and more cornered, with no way out, he will do the unthinkable.
Gary, Washington State
On: Coda #1
What a mess we have. Even within a society, the strong will always dominate the weak to some degree (regardless of the underlying economic “system” in place). The key is how “humane” that imbalance will be. Is America a good example? The problem is… everyone goes about their daily existence (consciously or unconsciously) acting like there is not enough fat to go around -- especially the fat cats (but also the lower-echelon cats since it is all relative) -- even though there are tons of fat laying around. This is simply human nature.
John, Washington State
On: Becoming Hillary
Hilary is undoubtedly brilliant, tough and well prepared. She was a great Secretary of State, I suspect she outworked and impressed everyone she met and worked with. As a candidate, the Clinton machine tried to own the process. She was unlikeable and difficult to listen to. I, like many other progressives, plugged my nose and voted for her. Perhaps it was Comey's statements two weeks before the election. She was a poor comparison to a brilliant 8 years with Obama. Were we just spoiled and felt there was no way someone like Trump could win?? As a Democrat Im not sure where we stand and what we will put forward as policy. Seems like we spend all our time in pure outrage at Trump. Midterms are nearing, time for leadership in our party and I dont think it's her or Bill. Where is Obama? We have a chance for a huge turn around. But....where is our leadership??
Gary, Kirkland, WA
On: The (Michele) Wolf at the Door
Wolf is a comedian. She stuck to her style, and that is her job to provoke thought and comment. I think she did her job. We are all talking about it. And Huckabee and Conway need to buck up. It’s part the job.
Darcia, Kirkland, WA
On: Original Sin(clair)
Excellent piece by Scott Miller and the suggested response makes sense. I agree: hit them where they will feel it the most. But there were only two entities on the list of advertisers that I patronize. And of course... those are the two that would be the toughest to "quit" -- Fred Meyer and Comcast. However, once PCC opens their new store, I believe a major portion of our current FM grocery spending will be shifted (although I doubt Kroger or KOMO will feel it). But I'll feel better.
John Franzen, Burien, WA
On: Homeless in Seattle
This issue seems to be shoved in our face daily, we drive by it, read about the increased crime and then see people who clearly need mental health counseling unable to find even minimal shelter. When Regan stopped federal funding for mental health I can still remember the immediate effects on Seattle streets with folks that needed help where none was to be found.
The head tax is regressive and a sledgehammer approach to something much more complicated. The other 599 companies, that are not Amazon, are going to be looking for the exit if Seattle continues to be a place where business is the enemy. The State is now considering legislation to end the head tax and seems to have the votes to do that. Good for them Washington needs an income tax but that is like the thirds rail in our state politics. A federal approach to housing makes a great deal of sense and could be on the scale to really impact the situation. But, how do you get folks who dont want help to move on or take the housing? The low bar housing seems to be a disaster for local neighborhoods who report huge increases in property crime, open drug use and prostitution. At some point we need a realistic plan that deals with 1) those that need housing and just need help and will take it. 2) mental health issues that are unmet and need federal funding, and 3) those who dont want help and want to continue their lives on our sidewalks.
Gary A. Tudor, Kirland, WA
On: Bullet Points: The NRA
To effectively advocate for responsible gun control we need to boycott the firms that make the money off the weapons that are killing our children: Sturm, Ruger, Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:AOBC), and even privately owned Bushmaster all make various versions of the AR-15. And while Bushmaster is not publicly traded, Sturm, Ruger and Smith & Wesson most definitely are. These companies are the beneficiaries of the surging demand from assault weapons. Check your portfolio’s— don’t invest in the companies that profit from killing children.
Darcia Tudor, Kirkland
On: They Are Coming
Couldn't agree more with the points made. And, another reason Trump needs to be voted out, not impeached. His crazy, unthinking, don't confuse me with the acts followers would likely riot.
On: Winning in November, Part 1
By covering every Trump event in order to document his latest outrageous/false/malicious claim, the media are giving him just want he wants--attention. What Trump fears most is being ignored. He has the emotional IQ of a toddler. Yes, journalists should truth check Trump and point out falsity and hypocrisy, but stop responding to every tweet. Don't attend events where he is solely pandering to his base and recycling his campaign rhetoric--we've heard it. There is REAL NEWS out there: the deficit, gerrymandering, voter suppression, gun violence, health care.