Hello, it's 04:41AM March 3, 2015

Doyle McManus: The leaders of the CPAC

The fervent Republicans who throng the Conservative Political Action Conference every year aren’t representative of the American electorate. They aren’t even representative of the GOP electorate. For four of the last five years, their straw poll for president has chosen Rand Paul or Ron Paul. These are not everyday Republicans. Yet the conference, which took place Thursday through Saturday, is still an important event …

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George Will: Reading lessons from Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court frequently ponders arcane matters. But this week, however, in oral arguments concerning two cases, the justices’ task will be to teach remedial reading to Congress and to Arizona. On Wednesday, the justices will consider this: Did Congress mean what it said when, with patently coercive intent, it stipulated in the Affordable Care Act that subsidies for persons compelled to purchase heal …

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West’s failure eggs on Putin

The following editorial appeared in Wednesday’s Washington Post. When Ukraine’s president, pressed by the leaders of France and Germany, signed a peace agreement for eastern Ukraine on Feb. 12, he hoped it would purchase several months of calm during which the beleaguered government in Kiev could move ahead with economic reforms and bolster its military defenses. That didn’t happen: Russian forces launched a major …

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Esther J. Cepeda: Changing our eating habits, within reason

CHICAGO — Now that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has dropped high-cholesterol foods like eggs and shrimp off its naughty list, it’s time to completely revise our way of eating. And in addition to giving the green light to these foods, the panel of experts who revised the eating guidelines took dead aim at sugar. For the first time, the panel said that Americans should limit their added sugar — sweeteners …

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5 myths about Supreme Court and ACA

Once again, the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in the Supreme Court’s hands. In King v. Burwell, which will be argued before the court Wednesday, opponents of “Obamacare” are claiming that under the law, subsidies for health insurance should be available only to people buying coverage on exchanges “established by the state” — i.e., state-run marketplaces. But 34 states don’t have their own exchanges, so the …

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Cokie and Steven Roberts: An accord on trade? Maybe

There is a very short list of topics on which the Democratic president and the Republican Congress might actually cooperate. In fact, the list might contain only one item. Trade. The United States is the world’s second leading exporter, after China. Foreign markets already support 1 out of every 5 American jobs. And as President Barack Obama noted in his radio address last weekend, increasing trade is clearly in the n …

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George Will: Reversing course of corruption in Illinois

CHICAGO — The most portentous election of 2014, which gave the worst-governed state its first Republican governor in 12 years, has initiated this century’s most intriguing political experiment. Illinois has favored Democratic presidential candidates by an average of 16 points in the last six elections. But by electing businessman Bruce Rauner, it initiated a process that might dismantle a form of governance that afflic …

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Esther Cepeda: The captain of my family’s ship

CHICAGO — Every descendant of immigrants eventually goes through a moment of disconnection when the person who initiated their family’s move to this country dies. It is the moment when a family’s origin story becomes just that — no longer a living fact, but a story. After the passing of a trailblazing loved one, the story feels crucial to preserve so that it can be passed on to subsequent generations. This was my ta …

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Kathleen Parker: The love-America litmus test

Republicans seem ceaselessly enamored of litmus tests, but the newest one — Do you believe President Obama loves America? — makes birthers seem witty. The question arose after former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani told a private audience that he doesn’t think Obama loves America. He further noted that Obama wasn’t raised like him or members of the audience (conservative business people and assorted media), which, t …

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Doyle McManus: Islam and semantic eggshells

For weeks, Republicans have lambasted President Obama for what they claim is a major foreign policy failure: His refusal to use the term “Islamic” to describe the terrorists of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “The president and his administration dogmatically refuse to utter the words ’radical Islamic terrorism,’ “ Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Fox News. “You cannot defeat an enemy if you refuse to acknowledge what …

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George Will: Is tweeting against terrorism our strategy?

“We’re here today because we all understand that in dealing with violent extremism, that we need answers that go beyond a military answer. We need answers that go beyond force.” — Vice President Joe Biden at the Countering Violent Extremism Summit, Feb. 17 WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s semantic somersaults to avoid attaching the adjective “Islamic” to the noun “extremism” are as indicative as they are …

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Safety goes off the rails: Modernize oil train fleet now

The following editorial appeared in Friday’s Washington Post. Residents near Mount Carbon, W.Va., heard a “big boom” on Monday, an explosion so forceful that it resulted in a fireball hundreds of feet high and sounded like a massive bomb exploding. Days later, toppled tank cars from a derailed train carrying 3 million gallons of oil were still burning near the Kanawha River, and officials were still scrambling to p …

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Guest editorial: Tourism means business; time for state to get busy again

Here are a few facts about Washington that not everyone knows: • Tourism is the fourth-largest industry in our state. • Washington is the only state in the U.S. that does not have a robust tourism promotion program. • Washington’s share of tourism growth has been below the national average for the past four years. We’ve been losing share of the tourism pie to other states since our Legislature closed the state to …

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Guest editorial: State Voting Rights Act lets us solve own problems

I grew up on Scenic Drive and graduated from West Valley High School. I still go home to see Mom whenever time allows. As a legislator, I represent the Olympia area, but often think how bills might affect my hometown, not just my district. That’s why I support the proposed Washington Voting Rights Act (VRA), House Bill 1745, because I understand how it will help Olympia, Yakima and our entire state. It is about keepin …

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Kathleen Parker: War of words against Mideast enemy

WASHINGTON — Channel-surfing the nightly cable news, one is reminded that certitude is the enemy of sanity. On both Fox News and MSNBC, conversation has centered lately on the proposed war against the Islamic State and President Obama’s related summit with religious leaders. On Fox, the summit was viewed as an exercise in “community organizing” that was divorced from reality. The right is also insistent that Obama c …

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Esther J. Cepeda: How migrating to a better life may be hazardous to your health

CHICAGO — Like all migrants, the estimated 5 million blacks from the Deep South who moved north during the Great Migration were seeking a better life. Many of them found it — but got fewer years of it in the process. This previously unknown phenomenon was recently uncovered by a group of economists in a study led by Duke University. They believe their paper is the first attempt to establish a link between the Great Mi …

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Scientists, Americans differ on many topics

LeftAlign.20A recent Pew Research survey shows major differences between scientists and the public on a range of subjects. LeftAlign.14• Safe to eat genetically modified foods Scientists: 88% U.S. adults: 37% • Favor use of animals in research Scientists: 89% U.S. adults: 47% • Safe to eat foods grown with pesticides Scientists: 68% U.S. adults: 28% • The Earth is getting warmer mostly because of human acti …

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George Will: War authorization’s difficult debate

WASHINGTON — Americans, a litigious people, believe that rules for coping with messy reality can be written in tidy legal language. This belief will be tested by the debate that will resume when Congress returns from a recess it should not have taken, with a war to authorize. The debate concerns an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State and also against ... Well. The debate’s difficu …

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Keep open mind on groundwater pollution issue

In my opinion, Jean Mendoza’s Feb. 1 op-ed, “Dairies and community must listen to Lower Valley,” could lead readers to believe modern agriculture is the sole cause of the nitrate contamination in Lower Yakima Valley groundwater, with dairies being the most egregious violators. The author names the Lower Yakima Valley Ground Water Management Area advisory board as co-conspirators in a process of actually increasing an …

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Kathleen Parker: U.S. again faces riddle of war

WASHINGTON — There’s a very 2001 feel to President Obama’s request for authorization to use military force and the nauseating sense that we’ll be at war indefinitely. Although we haven’t suffered a catastrophic hit as we did on 9/11, we’ve been witness to atrocities — vicious promissory notes on debts to be collected — that are tailor-made to evoke an emotional response from our allies and us. It doesn’t much matter …

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Funny, how serious Jon Stewart was



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Beware: Pact dangerously enables Putin

The following editorial appeared in Friday’s Washington Post. It was far from clear Thursday if a new accord on Ukraine would last long enough for the implementation of its first and most tangible provision, a cease-fire set to begin Sunday. If it does, Ukrainians may be spared, at least temporarily, the deaths of more soldiers and civilians and the loss of more territory to Russian aggression. However, the deal br …

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George F. Will: Americans, curb your world pessimism

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama’s tone of mild exasperation when tutoring the public often makes his pronouncements grating even when they are sensible. As was his recent suggestion that Americans, misled by media, are exaggerating the threat of terrorism. The world might currently seem unusually disorderly, but it can be so without being unusually dangerous. If we measure danger by the risk of violence, the world is unusu …

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Guest editorial: How Yakima Valley farmers can adapt to climate change

Yakima Valley farmers are losing the supply of water they rely on for irrigation during summer, but they can do something about it. Most Yakima River water comes from snowmelt, and measurements in the Cascades show that the Cascade snowpack has decreased 20 percent over the last five decades. Analyses of precipitation and temperature measurements show that most of that decrease came from warming. This caused more pre …

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Guest editorial: Vaccine origin is cause for legitimate concern

On Feb. 4 the Washington Post (also online at yakimaherald.com) added to the collective insult-slinging against the vaccine hesitant in the article “Seeking a Vaccine for Ignorance.” This followed shortly on the heels of a USA Today article (Jan. 28) titled “Jail ‘anti-vax’ parents.” Now the Yakima Herald-Republic Editorial Board (Feb. 10) has piled on some of its own remarkable claims in these one-sided publications. …

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5 myths about violent extremism

Citing the “tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney and Paris,” the White House on Wednesday is convening a summit on violent extremism. Its goal is admirable and ambitious: neutralizing terrorism’s root causes by stopping people from radicalizing in the first place. Yet the causes of violent extremism are poorly understood, and programs are often targeted at the wrong audiences. So to help the world leaders at the summit do …

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George Will: The Republican Party’s Pence paradox

WASHINGTON — Although he is always preternaturally placid, Mike Pence today exemplifies a Republican conundrum. Sitting recently 24 blocks from Capitol Hill, where he served six terms as a congressman, and eight blocks from the White House, which some Republicans hope he craves, Pence, now in his third year as Indiana’s governor, discussed two issues, Common Core and Medicaid expansion, that illustrate the following: …

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Esther Cepeda: A nation surrendering to racial satire

CHICAGO — “Let’s make fun of white people.” Are you jarred by that proposition? Or do you feel it is, if not entirely merited, at least worth a laugh? And can you ever imagine it being socially acceptable for whites to make fun of black people, Asians or Hispanics and it being seen as hip, funny and click-worthy? Some context: In the last few months I’ve been seeing a lot of what I call “Let’s Make Fun of White People …

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Kathleen Parker: Brian Williams’ drifting anchor

These are tough times for NBC’s Brian Williams — and tougher times for journalism. The NBC newsman was suspended Tuesday night for six months amid charges that he misremembered or conflated wartime incidents he reported on from Iraq and Israel. He has also come under scrutiny for possible conflations in reporting from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Williams told stories that, among other things, misrepresented h …

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Doyle McManus: The enemies of our enemies are Yemenis

The Houthis, Shiite Muslim rebels who announced that they were taking control of Yemen’s government last week, don’t seem much like natural allies of the United States. One of their favorite slogans is “Death to America, death to Israel, damn the Jews.” U.S. officials say they’ve received money, weapons and training from Iran. An Iranian official boasted recently that thanks to the Houthis, Yemen’s capital is now “in …

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George Will: Leave education to the states

WASHINGTON — In 1981, Tennessee’s 41-year-old governor proposed to President Ronald Reagan a swap: Washington would fully fund Medicaid and the states would have complete responsibility for primary and secondary education. Reagan, a former governor, was receptive. But Democrats, who controlled the House and were beginning to be controlled by teachers unions (the largest, the National Education Association, had bartered …

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At last: GOP has a realistic plan

The following editorial appears on Bloomberg View. A viable Republican substitute for the health care act used to be the yeti of Capitol Hill: often talked about, never seen. But it has suddenly become real. This week, three leading Republican members of Congress offered a realistic plan for reform, one that accepts the need to provide all Americans access to health insurance. True, the proposal, from Sens. Orrin …

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Candidates, welcome to the wild media primary

On a single day — exactly a year before the Iowa caucuses — look what happened to two Republican presidential hopefuls. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, while visiting a vaccine laboratory in London, said that parents should have “some measure of choice” over whether their children get immunized. With health officials reporting more than 100 cases of measles in 14 states, Christie’s casual comment touched off a barr …

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Yakima teachers union officials grab tax subsidy

The Yakima Education Association collects more than $1,000 from each full-time teacher for a total of more than $800,000 yearly for union services. However, union officials have demanded that taxpayers in the Yakima school district contribute at least another $70,000 to that total. In its collective bargaining agreement with YEA, the school board has agreed to a contract provision requiring the district to pay most of …

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Esther Cepeda: The grass is always greener on this side of the cliche

CHICAGO — I am an unashamed appreciator of cliches. Maybe it’s because I started out in life as an English language learner, clinging to familiar idioms, or because I was thrilled to hear the language of school spoken at home when my parents practiced their English. Apparently I’m not alone. Lexicographer Orin Hargraves wrote in “It’s Been Said Before: A Guide to the Use and Abuse of Cliches”: “Not all expressions de …

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Trudy Rubin: U.S. policy muddle aids the Islamic State

When Islamic State thugs burned a Jordanian pilot alive inside a cage and released a video of the murder Tuesday, it could have marked a historic turning point in the fight against the jihadis. The grisly video enraged the victim’s tribe, along with Arabs across the region. Even Jordanians who opposed their king’s participation in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State condemned the depraved killing. Promine …

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Brian Williams makes reporters cringe



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U.S. must find way to stop losing generations of young black males

In education, employment, economics, incarceration, health, housing and parenting, we have lost generations of young black men. The question that remains is will we lose the next two or three generations, or possibly every generation of black males hereafter to the streets, negative media, gangs, drugs, poor education, unemployment, father absence, crime, violence and death. Most young black men in the United States …

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George Will: Defining economic failure down

WASHINGTON — Two phrases that Daniel Patrick Moynihan put into America’s political lexicon two decades ago are increasingly pertinent. They explain the insufficient dismay about recent economic numbers. Moynihan said that when deviant behaviors — e.g., violent crime, or births to unmarried women — reach a certain level, society soothes itself by “defining deviancy down.” It de-stigmatizes the behaviors by declaring t …

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Esther J. Cepeda: Which is the real Jeb Bush?

CHICAGO — If Jeb Bush intended to run for the Republican presidential nomination, one has to wonder why in the world he wrote “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution,” with Clint Bolick in 2013. And why would the co-author of a very even-keeled and pragmatic book about immigration so casually contradict himself on such a hot-button issue when every immigration-related comment he makes will be checked against w …

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Kathleen Paker: Seeking a vaccine for ignorance

WASHINGTON — Flashback: Galileo is under house arrest pondering the unyielding ignorance of The Church for refusing to consider his heliocentric proposition that the Earth circled the sun. We find this historical anecdote preposterous today, but people were persecuted for lesser heresies in Galileo’s time. Though we are now centuries removed from such dim-wittery, we find ourselves in a not-dissimilar pickle. After …

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Doyle McManus: U.S. needs Plan B in Iran nuclear talks

The news from U.S. negotiators who are trying to persuade Iran to accept binding limits on its nuclear technology was not good last week. Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, still say they’re willing to make a deal. But the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, insists that any agreement must commit the United States and other countries to lift all economic san …

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Byron York: Obama comes on strong, knowing he’s weak

Politically, President Obama has never been weaker, after losing both House and Senate. At the same time, he has never talked tougher. There is a connection between the two. Obama recently told Democratic lawmakers that he’s going to “play offense” in coming months. Coming from a man with a history of occasional trash talk — “I’m LeBron, baby” — it’s tempting to dismiss this as just more chatter. What is Obama doing, …

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Esther Cepeda: ‘Daily Show’ contributor’s wonderful burden

CHICAGO — It’s hard enough being a minority, dealing with bias and misunderstanding from those unlike you. But this can be child’s play compared with being a highly successful one, coping with the pressures of being America’s designated representative of an underrepresented culture. The pressure starts internally. But once you attain some degree of fame, it is magnified by members of groups who very rarely see themse …

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ACA tax repeal hurts United States

The following editorial appeared in Friday’s Washington Post. Once again, Congress seems set to prove it can be bipartisan — when the challenge involves caving in to special interests. Republicans and Democrats look set to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax, a 2.3 percent excise on manufacturers of everything from sutures to pacemakers to MRI machines. The winners would be an influential lobby and …

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Dairies and community must listen to Lower Valley

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” — Mark Twain By law, the Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Management Area (GWMA) advisory committee is supposed to represent all stakeholders in the area. In reality, 35 percent of the members have direct financial ties to the dairy industry. (Strangely, in a community where the majority of the population is Hi …

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George Will: Only government rivals today’s wretched excess

WASHINGTON — Beer, Benjamin Franklin supposedly said but almost certainly didn’t, is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Without cannonballing into deep theological waters, perhaps Deflategate proves the same thing. This scrumptious NFL pratfall — think of someone insufferably self-important stepping on a banana peel; hello, Donald Trump — has come to lighten the mood of America’s annual Wretched Excess …

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Five myths about Super Bowl ads



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