Open Forum, Dec. 12 - 18




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**Occupy Our Homes Gains Support Near A Foreclosed House In Brooklyn**

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 10:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm getting tired of "occupy" everything. I'm going to occupy my recliner for the rest of the day.

hawkeye — December 12, 2011 at 2:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey all. Just a suggestion. Vary the topics a bit to encourage more folks to get involved.

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — December 12, 2011 at 3:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I see where House GOP boys are wanting to cut unemployment benefits and couple drug testing to receiving benefits. But to their credit, they're also throwing in job re-training. We need better trained, minimum wage earners? Ah, the race to the bottom....

But at least the Defense Dept got a $5B increase. Wonder where that money came from? Oh, yea...

hey, Lou. Just a suggestion. Why not allow forum users to start a thread on a topic of their choice, as was the case several years ago on this website?

mrd — December 12, 2011 at 3:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Well MRD I'd suggest you post a question or a comment on a topic to begin a thread.

For example, the Occupy movement wants to shut down Ports. Good or bad for the working stiffs?

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — December 12, 2011 at 4:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Agreement or disagreement with the occupy movement is irrelevant, supporting their constitutional right to freedom of assembly is all that matters.

frobert — December 12, 2011 at 4:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Mr Brancaccio,

Why try?
Many of us have had enough of no matter what we post as *our opinion*.. we are called illiterate, uninformed voters, Beck or whomever Fox News followers, or we are made fun of because we are Christians. Couple posters on here like to ASSume some are multiple posters and are mentally ill. They seems to take great joy in their arrogant ASSumptions. If they only knew..

"Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and simple minds talk about other people."

In this kind of atmosphere who wants to post anything or to even try to bring in a wide range of topics?

ELISI — December 12, 2011 at 4:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal

So Lou, the drug testing for unenjoyment benefits... Good or bad for the working stiffs? Good or bad for perspective employers?

I'm sure you're hip to Florida (it was the Governor's idea, I believe) requiring testing to apply for government assistance? You know that didn't work out (fiscally), right?

I haven't read the unenjoyment bill, whom's to pay for the testing?

Say I admit to using a schedule I (not prescribed) drug, does that mean both I and my employer are exempt from paying in to unenjoyment? Does it matter what drug? Should it?

Verily I query.

Drift — December 12, 2011 at 5:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal

See Lou, this is what happens when you mess with the forum, ie, restricting comments, removing people, harassing commentators and installing that damn "captcha". Next thing you know, you guys will be shutting us down due to inactivity.

Self fulfillment?

hawkeye — December 12, 2011 at 5:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift — December 12, 2011 at 5:01 p.m.

Unlike Florida, that required drug testing for welfare benefits, unemployment compensation is an insurance program that workers are forced to take part in, in short it is our money. Requiring drug testing to receive our own money is a clear violation of the fourth and fifth amendments. For those that are going to say the employer pays it not the employee, just because the employer is forced to pay it directly to the government, doesn't mean we didn't earn it, just that we never see it.

frobert — December 12, 2011 at 5:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Don't be bullied, stand your ground with facts. Red herring and straw man arguments abound here! Pick your fight, know you're right, and show your work.

Heck, you can even have a good time "playing" here. It's like the way I just set Lou up!

Have fun with it!

Or not, I guess *shrug*.

Drift — December 12, 2011 at 5:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Some good points ELISI. Victimization, and those who lay claim to it tend to be the biggest bomb throwers, and most of the time offer little substance. Who do you think throws the biggest crap bombs, Beck or Limbaugh???

Nice of Lou to drop in.

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.

Michael Moore.

frobert — December 12, 2011 at 5:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal

EXCUSE ME nailingit, but who almost on a daily basis makes snide remarks about those of us that are Christians and what we believe? Hmmmm???
Who on a daily basis make nasty remarks about those who are not like minded politically as them???? Hmmmm??
Who was it in last weeks thread throwing my name along with a few others..accusing that we are all the same person?? HMMMMM????
Want to meet me nailingit?? I can sure arrange it..
You'd find that you'd meet a person that is a pretty easy going person, mother of two, grandmom of two. Some would consider a senior citizen cause I'll be 60 in a couple weeks.
One that volunteers my spare time to help others in need, be it a neighbor, friend, family. One who instead if giving to the big Corp like Goodwill I give to the homeless shelters, to the YWCA, to the shelters for the abused.

I could care a rats patooty about Beck, Limbaugh or who ever you bring up. Don't watch them, don't listen to them, don't read them. I have a mind that works very well and I know BS when I see it and I sure don't see, hear much that isn't anymore from anyone. My opinions are mostly by the way I was raised to learning from life experiences..whats your excuse?
Seems to me nailingit you should take a long hard look in a mirror.

Who drops the biggest crap bombs? I'd say both parties do, most of the national media, about 95% of Hollywood and some on here..

ELISI — December 12, 2011 at 6:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Editor Lou,

Thanks for "stopping by" - sincerely. And thanks for providing this forum for those of us who prefer not to join the facebook side. I saw where Allen Anderson mentioned us in your article this week; if that's what got you to check up on us, then thanks to him as well.

In response to your first comment - that we vary the topics. While I'll agree that we at times go overboard with the back and forth on the political scene, I'm thinking a closer look (on your part) will show we do cover a much wider range. Please look at last week's Open Forum. We covered Black Friday shopping, unemployment benefits, Mayor Leavitt's C-Tran advisory group, the consideration being given to raising water rates vs. a $585K write off for Frito Lay, Veterans benefits, drug laws and penalties, the Keystone pipeline project, charitable giving, and some other areas.

And I think that if you really read what we write, you'll (hopefully) agree that Allen Anderson's observation that our discussions are more thoughtful (or whatever - I forget his exact words) than much of what passes for commentary on the facebook side. To be perfectly frank, much of what gets said there is David Madore and supporters grinding their axe, Lew Waters and others repeating "cut and paste" conservative doctrine, and a growing legion of people who dislike what those two camps preach and have become quite hostile in attacking everything they say. So - please - consider that just perhaps the relevance of this side is at least on par with the facebook side.

In closing, thanks again for stopping by. Don't be a stranger - some of us welcome your visits (though the reception you receive can be a bit impolite). And PLEASE ask John Laird to visit us too!!! It would be great entertainment to respond to a few of his observations.

roger — December 12, 2011 at 6:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Alright Roger-well put! I woudl like to see John Laird here also. I actually do enjoy his column.
FB side usually consists of...not much. I usually see the same old faces there also, not that many, and most of the time, not much gets said. Although today...saw a comment by Lew Waters' friend Jessica mentioning her hope that all OWS supporters gather on a boat with a leak. Pretty nasty I would say! Advocating drowning. Has she been banned for that?
Elisi - stand your ground. Nail, while I typically enjoy your comments, care to explain why you have such a bone to pick with GO? Why so paranoid thinking 10 posters are actually just one?
And Lou- our conversations here are lively and we tend to cover much ground. We like the cellar!

luvithere — December 12, 2011 at 6:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal

..and hopefully you don't have high blood pressure. Can't remember making fun of Christians for their belief though. I do discredit the modern day "conservative" movement that lay claim to "family values" and are anything but. And as for your other allegations, i do try and be respectful, when respect is shown, and even when it's not, as many times is the case with you. Peace and goodwill to u.

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 6:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal

luvit-No bone to pick. Just personal observations given the topic at the time.

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 6:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Actually, it's interesting (to me) that Lou suggested a thread on Occupy wanting to shut down ports. The early morning news mentioned this, and said the union (Longshoreman?) Pres said that while they support Occupy, they don't support this.

I'm not a fan of Occupy - I've noted before that while I agree in principle, their complete lack of leadership and direction irritates me. Last I heard, they wanted Big Business out of government. This week, they want to protest Corporate America exporting jobs overseas - this apparently ties to the shipping ports somehow. Next week???

Having said this, I think the union saying "not this issue" stinks of hypocrisy. They're perfectly content to support Occupy's "war on Corporate America", but don't like it when the change in focus causes shutdowns that affect their take home pay? Or did I miss something here?

If I'm even close, then this union's position is a "lose-lose" for both groups.

roger — December 12, 2011 at 6:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal

...and no need to exaggerate, I think it was 5 or 6. :)

The conversation was already started on this subject. More than happy to let it go.

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 7 p.m. ( | suggest removal

fro- Point taken.

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 7:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Pardon Nail, but I think we can decide for ourselves when we start or stop something. You brought it up and I was curious why. That's all.

luvithere — December 12, 2011 at 7:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal

"Pardon Nail, but I think we can decide for ourselves when we start or stop something."

Is there something in the water or what. Did I say otherwise?

Just stated that I'm more than happy to let it go.

Peace to all...

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 7:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal

if you don't want to discuss what you wrote then maybe don't start it. But I am also happy to let it go.
My water is fine, nothing added. No need to get insulting, ok?

luvithere — December 12, 2011 at 7:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal

A few of Mark Twain's quotes that may (or may not) be relevant to what's being said here today. I've always found his observations on humankind much more profound and on the mark than those put forth by the university-educated set - hence my use of his picture as my avatar.

"It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races."

"Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish."

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." (This one's for you, Mr. Basil!)

"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured."

"All generalizations are false, including this one."

And one of my favorites - "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way."

roger — December 12, 2011 at 7:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

You bet luvithere! You are 100% correct on everything. Please accept my humble apologies for saying anything insulting! Can't see where I started it, but hey, must be me! Thanks for your patience with me! I'll do better! What about this weather! Pretty cold huh?

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 7:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**Grover Norquist Reminds GOP Lawmakers Of His 'Naughty Or Nice' List**

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal

For whatever it's worth, a very good friend of mine just completed some sort of training at a Catholic seminary - I gather this qualifies him to be something beyond your run of the mill church goer.

I am completely nonreligious - I just don't accept the importance of the whole topic (I hesitate to use agnostic or atheist, as I think those terms commit me to a belief).

We have a tacit agreement that the other person has a right to be wrong in what they choose to believe - that this is not something that requires attempts to force one to agree with the other, and it certainly doesn't require hostility.

Live and let live.

roger — December 12, 2011 at 7:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal

So be it.

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 7:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I take umbrage with politicians who use and twist religion to achieve a political end. No more than that, and I have always shown respect and advocated for freedom of worship, and never discredited one for their personal beliefs.

Statements made otherwise are false. It's too bad people use their faith to persuade a discredited and invalid argument.

It gives their religion a bad name.


nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 7:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh yes nailingit, play the victim...wah wah..

When have I EVER accused you of being more than 1 poster?


When have I EVER made fun of or made nasty snide remarks about your religious or nonreligious beliefs?


When have I called YOU names because your political views are different from mine?


When have I EVER blamed all the mess this country is in solely on Democrats?

**Never**, in fact I have stated more than a few times I blame all parties involved.

If you say something I feel is wrong I will call you on it. Plan and simple. I give my opinion as I see things, don't EVER sit there on a pious pedestal and think you are more correct in your thinking than I or anyone else is. That is the whole trouble with a good deal of the people in this country today.

ELISI — December 12, 2011 at 7:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Just taking umbrage with ELISI's 6:10 remark. Not to take the bait, but sometimes personal accusations get old. Here's one of many posts that speak to what I believe, and the respect that I show. are something else! I hope you enjoy the holidays.

"What better day than today than to inquire? I know some think even questioning the bible is wrong, and we need to take it at face value. It's the face part I'm not understanding, which speaks to value."

"If no one comments it's cool. I understand faith is a personal issue. Until it's brought into society for temporal gain, as is in politics, business, stature etc."

Again, I don't mean to be argumentative for the sake of argument here. Sincere questions.

nailingit — November 13, 2011 at 10:46 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal | Ignore User )

I have spent way too much time with this. Lies, unfortunately, need to be addressed.


Where's Basil? I miss his subject matter and well thought posts.

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 8:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Where's Rodney King when we need him?

roger — December 12, 2011 at 8:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**Mitt Romney vs. Newt Gingrich 2012: Bell rings on GOP slugfest**

Read more:

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 8:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**Rodney King: 17 Years After The Riots**

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 8:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 8:08 p.m

This is PERFECT, they are going to take each other out. What a couple of jerks.

On another note, on this captcha thing, how do I type in UPSIDEDOWN NUMBERS?????

hawkeye — December 12, 2011 at 9:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal

*Well MRD I'd suggest you post a question or a comment on a topic to begin a thread.*

Do you mean to ask Matt to start a thread about the Occupy movement? If so, consider it done. Matt, how about it? Please note Lou, I do enjoy this forum and the ability to freely (the price is right) post here.

*For example, the Occupy movement wants to shut down Ports. Good or bad for the working stiffs?*

Bad for the working stiff, I'd say. But I'd also say that's a pretty singular point, and doesn't address the larger concerns of the movement nor the government's response or the actions of the police dealing with some facets of the protests.

mrd — December 12, 2011 at 9:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal

ELISI — December 12, 2011 at 7:56 p.m.

Merry Christmas, EL.

Happy New Year, EL.

( Oh and happy birthday to me ..... soon)

hawkeye — December 12, 2011 at 10:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye- The first tier of Republican presidential hopefuls is bad enough. OMG! Newt Gingrich could get the nod! This is as bizarre as politics get.

'On another note, on this captcha thing, how do I type in UPSIDEDOWN NUMBERS?????"

I think it might be like playing Stairway To Heaven backwards. I tried turning my laptop upside down and playing captcha tunes. It sounded like middle eastern techno, then I had that left right issue and the whole thing went to hell and I had to start over. ahctpac. captcha backwards translates to Klingon for unnecessary!

nailingit — December 12, 2011 at 10:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal


I just lost one LONG POST and I am not going to rewrite the whole thing.

**LOU, LOU,**

The Columbian is the one that starts the threads in the Forum not the users

**Open Forum, Dec. 5 - 11**, **Open Forum, Dec. 12 - 18**

We can not post under a news article like the FB people do. One would have to know couple of days in advance what is going to be the "HOT" news item and request that be a title for a new thread.

I had other stuff about people I have conversed with here and some that are no longer here, things that I learnt and why I started to post here. But it's all gone now "In the Bit Bucket". I was just rereading my post and the screen refreshed, I was logged out and my "Post a Comment" window was blank.


BTW maybe we should start on a thread called "CAPTCHA Agony or Ecstasy"

pdxtech91 — December 12, 2011 at 11:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I had a very nice conversation with a Columbian rep the other day. I brought up two points of contention about the paper.

One was the change of the layout on the e-edition. It was OK when you click on the main page but if you click on a particular article now it is a sure chance you will not get some of it.(what happened to just expanding the article itself) When I expanded the size of the overall page I found that the article had some words that were missed when you expand on that particular item. Besides you lose the flavor of the layout when you try to just go to a print format. An example would be the two minute drill in the sports section. It's just not right now. Theres no space between subject matters and having the pictures at the end is just plain dumb.

I called after a week of this and canceled the e-edition because, in my opinion, I was not getting a good product anymore.

Two was a more pointed one. I have noticed that the forum section, provided by the establishment, has once again been hi-jacked by some who just don't have much to do during the day but sit by and see what kind of crap they can stir up. I will be pointed here. Nail, please give it a rest. You have posted 15 times out of the first 45 comments so far. That is in just ONE day. (note to the editor: you had better let that word stay because you get it a lot on FB and worse)

Personally I don't give a rat's potootie about any of the comments on here that are just meant to stir the pot. Oh and nail, don't bother to comment on my post I won't be reading it anyway.

Another note to the editors: Get rid of the program that uses this GD CAPTCHA. Buy a quality product that has a respond to feature and a like or dislike feature. You don't get enough spam to make it worth it to keep using this CAPTCHA one.

JohnCasey — December 13, 2011 at 5:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Please consider another viewpoint -

Sometimes people fish around looking for news articles, and post things they find here in an attempt to get a conversation going. That what they post reflects their personal beliefs is only natural. And because others believe otherwise, the conversation occasionally gets heated.

I'm not sure saying the forum has been hijacked by Nail is accurate. Maybe there's some "pot stirring" going on - definitely some button pushing - but hijacked? We're all free to ignore the comments and go our own way with what we put up here.

I just wish I could get more interest in local politics going - something besides slamming David Madore. All this incessant chattering (I think Mika used that term today or yesterday) about Newt, Mitt, The Pres,, does get old. But that's what we have to live with here on our community playground.

And I really miss the Alleycat rants that used to set Goldie off. Those exchanges got really entertaining!!

roger — December 13, 2011 at 6:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Johncasey- I know you have affectionately discoursed many times in the past with the one I take "umbrage" with. Interesting you chime in on this subject, and give a "rat's potootie" about it. Odd expression and was just used by..someone else. :) I mostly post articles to stir conversation, and some of the time with brief commentary, not to stir old "patooties". But you know this.

Please source your accusations. Since you take the time to count each individual post, this should be an easy task.

nailingit — December 13, 2011 at 7:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal

**Dick Cheney Praises Newt Gingrich, Has Concerns On Iraq**

nailingit — December 13, 2011 at 7:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal

"Rat's patooty or rat's patootie"

You will find was used from 30's to 70's
By the mid 70's it changed to.."give a flying ...."

I'll leave the last word blank for you to fill in.

ELISI — December 13, 2011 at 7:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Merry Christmas to you and your family and a Happy New Year!

That's right Hawkeye we do share a birthday this month don't we?

Happy Birthday to you!

ELISI — December 13, 2011 at 7:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Roger- I found this (local) article to have value. I'm glad the majority of seniors who responded felt a small revenue increase is warranted.

**Seniors give their two cents on half-cent sales tax increase**
Blog: All politics is local

About 79 percent of Washington state AARP members who joined Gregoire on a teleconference town hall meeting Friday said they would support the three-year tax boost to help offset a $2 billion state revenue shortfall.

nailingit — December 13, 2011 at 7:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Elisi @ 6:10 p.m. last evening,

I agree with your take on funding local charities vs. the national ones. Also on the volunteering - money is easy to give, while time and effort shows real commitment.

And to all - don't forget the 4-legged crowd!!! SW WA Humane Society, Furry Friends, Columbia Gorge, Paws and (I forget full name) and others are all hurting for support.

Another Twain quote (for whatever it's worth): "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. That is the principal difference between a dog and a man."

roger — December 13, 2011 at 7:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal

House, Senate Negotiators Agree On $662 Billion Defense Bill

**Language Still Allows Indefinite Detention Of U.S. Citizens**

nailingit — December 13, 2011 at 8:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Guess the Gov forgot to call Lew Waters!!

I'm in agreement that we can afford a penny on the dollar to save social programs. But I also see the other side of the issue - a penny here and a penny there adds up. If not challenged we'll be working to support the collective vs. our own desires/needs. I also don't like the politics Gov Gregoire is playing - her message has been if we don't find 10.5 billion, then we'll axe the people programs - not the Seattle viaduct, CRC, and the other projects that she and the special interests support.

roger — December 13, 2011 at 8:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Be careful out there. It is *realy* cold!

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — December 13, 2011 at 8:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- I guess it's all about finding that monetary balance. I see the other side also and appreciate where they are coming from. Lots of government waste, and at the same time raising revenue. One reason I was hoping the Bears deal would happen. I'd finally see my tax dollars at work and enjoy them at the same time! :)

nailingit — December 13, 2011 at 8:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

It is cold Lou, and a bit slick on the roads. Thanks for joining us!

nailingit — December 13, 2011 at 8:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger — December 13, 2011 at 7:59 a.m

There are so many local charities and programs that one can volunteer at, support via money, or donations.

If everyone would volunteer at just one of them each week think how much better our community would be?

One could be an advocate for a child who has no voice in court.
Be a big sister or brother to a at risk youth.
Donate clothing to an abuse center or homeless shelter.
(I had a neighbor that would find out how many kids are in one of shelters and bought happy meals for the kids once a month)
If one can't volunteer at an animal shelter, one can always buy food for them and donate it.
Heck one can even donate pet food for seniors that can no longer afford to buy food for their pets.
Volunteer to rock sick babies at the hospital.
Volunteer to read books to children at the schools.
One can even go in their own neighborhood, knock on doors of the seniors and see if they need a ride to the drs, or store or even go pick up their medicine or groceries for them.

Many, many things one can do to help in the community these are just a small list..

I have a meeting and luncheon I must attend, everyone have a great day, drive safe and smile someone out there might be having a bad day could use a friendly smile today.

ELISI — December 13, 2011 at 8:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Sorry Christine, I didn't join in on your conference but you can count me in on that three year tax. I don't mind as long as you don't extend it any longer AND you don't look to increase it. Also, it would be great if the state congressional people could find a way to hold costs down for another five years or so, so that the population could get a little ahead of the game. I know things need to be done, but we don't need to be buying caviar when cheddar will do.

hawkeye — December 13, 2011 at 8:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey guys, wanted to share a little info for you some of it you likely know. The Captcha device was set up to eliminate spam. It was coming in hot and heavy.

I don't much like it either but one gets used to it.

Also, the forum numbers here have held steady for the last three months. Frankly I like the idea that some folks leave and some other folks join. The change is good. Not the same ol' same ol' all the time. Still we have some steady customers and that's good as well.

We do think some folks have decided that Facebook isn't that bad after all and have joined us there. And, yes, some folks have gone to other blogs. It's all good.

For those here, you should know that our web site -- by far --is the number one local web site. What's that mean? Well if you're commenting on something here (there are a number of places to comment on our site) you reach many, many, many people. Now that only matters if you're interested in reaching people. If you're interested in having a good conversation with a few good friends, there are plenty of places in the community where you can do that as well.

Both are important. And I'd encourage everyone to do both.

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — December 13, 2011 at 9:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal

...and the caseycount is @ 22. :))

nailingit — December 13, 2011 at 9:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

mrd, a forum has been set up for basement dwellers to discuss the "Occupy" movement. You can find it here: [][1]

Thanks for reaching out to us.


Matt Wastradowski — December 13, 2011 at 9:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Editor Lou: So good to see you back here. I mean that!

Here's a suggestion that I try to use to encourage new posters and new threads:

*positively acknowledge a poster who has returned after an absence (many of us did that with roger) or welcome a new one when they venture into this foray.

*comment on a new thread that someone introduces, if only to thank them for the variety. :)

The downside of electronic conversations, in my view, is that they lack the feedback that our facial expressions, vocal tones, and body language give. So, we have to work very hard to make our words show we are good listeners and interested communication partners.

manthou — December 13, 2011 at 9:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal


So you DO refer to us as "basement dwellers". **I knew it!**

Just messing with you, Matt.

hawkeye — December 13, 2011 at 9:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal

On the subject of "hype":

I don't know if this has been propagated by the media, law enforcement or both. I'm speaking of the "shots fired" while that house in Washougal burned. The media insists that the alleged perpetrator fired for 90 minutes while the house burned.


He fired at the first responding officer, that we are sure of. The remaining shots heard were ammunition in the home cooking off. Other than the one police car, no officers, no civilians (outside the home) and no neighborhood homes give evidence that another shot was intentionally fired.

The incident is bad enough. I don't think the hype about the individual firing hundreds of rounds while the house burned down around him is credible. I find this type of hype quite distasteful.

Drift — December 13, 2011 at 10:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hawk, I made the suggestion the C change "Forums" to "The Basement." Is there no humor in journalism anymore?

Drift — December 13, 2011 at 10:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Talking about Sales Tax increases....

I can see where the Governor thinks this is a good idea and it just might be, to generate revenue back into state coffers. But as a local politician in Clark County I might be opposed to it because my constituents and businesses border a state that has no sales taxes at all.

And this is why I wonder about local politicians asking for additional increases in the sales tax for such projects as C-Trans, Port, Light Rail, ETC.

As I have seen in other places I've lived, how local politicians tried to calculate how much revenue would be lost by local retailers if the sales tax in one county increased by .5% over a neighboring county. We are getting close to putting local retailers at a 10% disadvantage over businesses in Portland.

How many people do we know will drive to another store to save a dime on a can of tuna. Or because motor oil in on sale at another store? Lets not even talk about TVs, Computers and other services.

And the calculating part is being made so easy. Want to know your savings? Move the decimal point.

Speaking of Christine and Sales Taxes...a thought just popped in about when Olympia decided to raise the tax on gasoline. The price of gasoline went up (for a lot of reasons) but the tax revenue went down, because citizens slowed their purchases of fuel. (found alternatives)

pdxtech91 — December 13, 2011 at 10:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Lou B @ 9:38- Again thanks for your time in the basement. Good column Saturday. I hesitate to ask a question not knowing when you'll be checking in. Might I suggest (if you have time) you take a half hour every couple of weeks (once a month) for some basement Q & A/interaction? I know your political opinions have to be muted to some degree given your job/responsibilities, but your positional nuances on CRC, The Bears, Occupy etc. are much appreciated. The basement could become your "get away from it all"! Pull up a chair and I'll make sure I vacuum in advance!

Drift- Most excellent subject to engage Lou with. I wonder if the hype began with law enforcement?

nailingit — December 13, 2011 at 10:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift — December 13, 2011 at 10:02 a.m.

about that, I heard or read that there was someone, I think it was a cop, that said he could tell the difference between rounds fired through a gun and rounds cooking off. He's the one that said for sure that they were fired through a weapon. Actually, it would be easy to tell by looking at the remaining shells, the expansion of them would be different. The ones cooking off would be fatter and the ones fired would be longer.

hawkeye — December 13, 2011 at 10:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh, and just because I'm feeling generous this cold morn, I'll toss the C a bone. Two actually.

The first is, there is no such thing as a "shell casing." The bucket in the photo(s) contain(s) spent cartidges.

The second; I'll take a wild guess and postulate there were thousands of cartridges in that house. Many (if not most) of the bullets would have been lead. When a cartridge "cooks off" typically the bullet, weighing more than the case, doesn't go far. It's the case that gets flung. It's a physics thing.

So then, all of that lead melted within the dwelling. What are the ecological implications?

You're welcome. Drop me a line and I'll give you an address to send the check to. ;^)

Drift — December 13, 2011 at 10:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Of course, they could also just look at the primers.

hawkeye — December 13, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I'd have to question the officer's expertise, given the evidence. Dude fired weapons for 90 minutes... and didn't hit anything? Not in my reality.

Drift — December 13, 2011 at 10:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Manthou @ 9:43a

RE: the downside of electronic media...Unless there are some exceptional writing skills I find that sarcasm usually does not come across very well. Even with emoticons or at the end.

I was going to add a quote about Ideology and Idiots but I don't think some would understand the humor

pdxtech91 — December 13, 2011 at 10:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Well, after taking another look at the bucket photo, those that I can see *do* appear to have been struck.

Still, firing for 90 minutes from a burning building just doesn't pass the smell test.

How hot does a burning house get 1/2 hour into the burn? What of the smoke? Though a mask could mitigate that I would have to wonder about availabe oxygen. And again, shooting at what? Obviously, nothing outside of the home.

Naw, Hawk, it doesn't add up.

Drift — December 13, 2011 at 10:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal

"Hawk, I made the suggestion the C change "Forums" to "The Basement." Is there no humor in journalism anymore?

Drift — December 13, 2011 at 10:05 a.m."

Sure there is, they still let Lou comment, don't they?

hawkeye — December 13, 2011 at 10:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Regarding post @ 10:36A.

I just found out the using the "less than" and "greater than" symbols just blanks out what is in between. It should have read ..."Even with emoticons or (sarcm) at the end."

pdxtech91 — December 13, 2011 at 10:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Nail regarding post @ 8:25A

Yeah, I was looking forward to sitting in the stands watching the Bears in action. Something else besides condos being built and (I'll stop now before I start talking about the CRC again).
But near the end I too started to lose my enthusiasm for the project and the funding. Not so much with the franchise involved but with Clark College. When the head of the college came out and stated that they would not put a dime into the project, Why? They have the start of a new baseball sports program need facilities. They could benefit greatly from this stadium. But they wanted no part in the financing. Now we are reading about CC's financial woes and see that they were already looking at cuts to funding from the state.

This has been like something else "that flows downhill".
The feds have been cutting aid to the states.
The states have started cutting aid to local communities.
Throw in an economy that shows little signs of recovery and I can see where we are probably going to need to tighten our belts a little. I was just listening on the news about how 2012 will be the year we will see a sharp rise in municipal default rates. It could be.

I guess what I am getting at is maybe give it another year and lets see if we can hear the yell "PLAY BALL".

BTW...Roger I also noticed ,so far, none of Christine's expensive pet projects have been cut or pushed back.

pdxtech91 — December 13, 2011 at 12:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal

MATT - (not to yell; just trying to get your attention)

Reference the new Occupy thread -

There needs to be some sort of archiving for the weekly forums - something we can refer back to if needed, but will clear the main page for our threads.

Kindly refer back to others that we've asked for here. Over time, they get pushed back to page 2, then page 3, then.... And we quit using them, reverting back to using the Weekly Forum instead.

I'm also wondering about managing other old threads - all of which remain. Some tend to run their course and never get revisited, while others go dormant for a while, and then people start using them again.

roger — December 13, 2011 at 1:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift and Hawkeye,

Looks to me like casings from at least two different caliber rounds were recovered.

I suppose this incident will resurrect calls for gun control.

roger — December 13, 2011 at 1:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal


I'm curious about what you mean regarding archiving. I don't totally follow. Right now, you can find threads going as far back as September on the main page. At some point, old threads just kind of have to get pushed back to the second or third page.

Are you saying that we shouldn't have weekly threads? That we should keep the same thread up for longer? Or are you referring to the subforums, like the C-Tran forum?

I think the hope is that there is always one current place for people to discuss current issues, hence the weekly format. The older ones are kinda supposed to go dormant so that the meaty discussion stays in the current forums. That's why we brought that format up in the first place.

Am I misunderstanding you here? Trying to help!


Matt Wastradowski — December 13, 2011 at 1:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal

But Roger (1:27) what about matches and lighters?!

Drift — December 13, 2011 at 2:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Like you note, we go back 3 pages.

As an example, Editor Lou's Press Talk column. If I click on Press Talk, with the 45 degree arrow next to it, then a screen loads with his past columns. If we had something like that for the weekly forums, we could refer back when wanting to challenge contradictions (or whatever) but still see the other topics on our main page.

roger — December 13, 2011 at 3:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift — December 13, 2011 at 2:13 p.m

I was thinking about this guy today while I was driving and thought that maybe he was all prepared for this standoff. It could be he had many clips all loaded and ready to go, some kind of protection from the flames and even an oxygen bottle to help with air to allow him to shoot for as long as possible. That would also explain the large explosion coming from the center of the house (the oxygen bottle). My guess is that he really didn't want to turn himself in on the sex charges.

hawkeye — December 13, 2011 at 3:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Could be, Hawk... could be. Where are the bullet holes? By the way, not clips, Hawk, "magazines." Well, I suppose he could have had stripper clips. I'm sure you meant magazine though. Pretty sure...

Drift — December 13, 2011 at 4:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Got this from a friend, origins unknown, I thought it was pretty funny..

The 12 days of Christmas on Facebook

On the 12th Day of Christmas my Facebook gave to meeee... 12 people I'm blocking, 11 friends just watching, 10 corny topics, 9 busted liars, 8 friends complainin', 7 stalkers stalking, 6 party invites, 555555555555 Drama Queeeeeeens! ... 4 game requests, 3 photo tags, 2 friends-a-pokin & a psycho who won't stop inboxing meeee! -

ELISI — December 13, 2011 at 5:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal

ELISI — December 13, 2011 at 5:02 p.m

I think I know them!!!!

And they all used to be HERE!

Yes, Drift, magazines/clips, (generally interchangeable) brain fart.... duh

hawkeye — December 13, 2011 at 7:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal

pdxtech91 @ 12:25- Hopefully in another year. I remember your well informed posts speaking to the matter. It would benefit our community in so many ways. It would have been nice if a few wealthy local business people picked up the tab. :) I suggested it before the FB move and was slammed as a liberal wanting something for nothing! It would be great PR, tax write-off, creating jobs, family entertainment, community involvement, Vancouver's Identity etc.

99% ers could coalesce and pool some capital I suppose. Could be a legal mess.

I will take this opportunity to volunteer my assets and time for duties relating to procuring cheerleading assets. I promise to interview and conduct tryouts in a timely manner free of charge.

nailingit — December 13, 2011 at 7:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal

pdxtech91 and nailingit: I mourn the loss of the Bears dream and stadium. I would have gladly paid the damn entertainment tax, but I can only speak for myself, I realize. I predict they will head for Milwaukie OR. We will have to wait for another team another time another tax.


This is really off topic, but just a suggestion that will make you all smile, I guarantee it. Rent "Love, Actually." If you have already seen this movie, give it another go around.

manthou — December 13, 2011 at 7:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Matt: re roger — December 13, 2011 at 1:08 p.m.
re Matt Wastradowski (Columbian Staff) — December 13, 2011 at 1:56 p.m.

A few thoughts, when we click on the forums page the forum with the latest update should be the one on top. All of the entry's should have a "latest update (posting) (whatever) assigned. Then the lessor known topics, rather than the topic of the week will show up. All topics should have a "last date posted" entry so we can see what's the latest. I really get tired of looking at the numbers,i.e. 50 reply's or what ever when they're not, or no longer 50 reply's this happens when ever you banish anyone to the pits of whatever, which is, incidentally censorship. Under your TOS you may delete anything you want if it violates your terms of service or your posting rules but deleting everything that that person has ever written is censorship. Delete the postings that don't meet your TOS but you have no right to delete the postings that don't violate your TOS.

Now before I go and try to figure out what the captch says so I can post this let me say that one of the extremely irritating things about your captcha is the "type the two words" that it says. Listen up, they aren't two words, they are two character strings, they have nothing to do with words! As I recall you once said as a reason for the captcha you were getting around 15 spams a week, is this accurate? If so why are you subjecting us, in the basement, to your aversion of deleting two, maybe three spams a day?

dfsadfh — December 13, 2011 at 8:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal

re: dfsadfh's post -

I like the idea of "latest update" - especially when The Columbian's server is loaded down and pages are opening slowly.

While I don't challenge The Columbian's right to set rules for participating here (it is their sandbox), I would like more consistency in enforcement and perhaps an explanation to all about why someone gets banned.

One thing I've noticed is that when someone from The Columbian staff or some members of local government are insulted/subjected to nastiness, then Matt is all over them. But others (e.g. Mielke) can be subjected to ridicule (often by All Politics Local), and when it's Lew Waters or David Madore - they're fair game for anyone who chooses to go after them. (And I'm also guilty - though facebook side's rabid chihuahua Jessica has toned down lately.)

Side note for Matt - can we start calling you Marshal Matt? You may be a little young - ask Lou or John who Matt Dillon was.

roger — December 14, 2011 at 5:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal

A bill expected to pass Congress will allow the indefinite detention of American citizens by the military on US soil.

*But a Gallup poll reveals that more Americans now believe that civil liberties should be protected. In January, 2002, 49 per cent of respondents answered 'no' to the question: "Should the government take all necessary steps to prevent additional acts of terrorism in the US even if it means your basic civil liberties would be violated?" In August of this year, **71 per cent said the government should prevent attacks without affecting civil liberties***

Kinda makes me wonder who our representatives are representing.

mrd — December 14, 2011 at 7:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

mrd — December 14, 2011 at 7:42 a.m

And some say the government isn't big enough..

ELISI — December 14, 2011 at 7:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal

**Time Person Of The Year 2011: 'The Protester'** (VIDEO, PHOTO, POLL)

nailingit — December 14, 2011 at 8:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal

One of the few things that democrats and republicans agree on, is that civil liberties get in the way of government.

frobert — December 14, 2011 at 8:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal

frobert, I am finding that to be all too true daily.

ELISI — December 14, 2011 at 8:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger, regarding your comment from yesterday, you can find past forums both here ( and by clicking the arrows at the bottom of the list. Those arrows will get you to more of the archived threads.

dfsadfh and roger, I appreciate your feedback on how the forums should be displayed. Given the system we use for this, I'm honestly not sure what's possible. But it's worth checking into.

As for banning, we don't control the aspect of it where all posts are removed once a user is banned.

As for the spam/CAPTCHA comment, here's the thing: It was 15 spammy comments/week, up from 7/week in the weeks before that, up from 2-3/week in the weeks before that. Spam was getting worse.

And when someone gets banned, do you really need explanations? No one is banned for no reason. Some comments are flagged, or other posters complain about constant personal attacks or inappropriate posts. Posters are always warned AT LEAST once before being banned. It really shouldn't be a mystery when commenters are banned; they've exhibited some pattern of inappropriate posts, and they've raised the ire of fellow posters for one reason or another. I'm not going to rehash the exact comments that violate the guidelines.

As for the commenting and enforcement, I'm doing the best I can. I don't think I'm holding the basement to a different standard than I do on Facebook. There are fewer comments in the basement, and the process for reporting in appropriate comments is admittedly easier. So it's easier to keep an eye out than on Facebook. But I do regularly remove comments on Facebook -- it just might not seem as obvious because there are so many more.

And if you see comments on the Facebook side that you feel are inappropriate ... tell me! Seriously, if you think it's not equitable, put your money where your mouth is and report violations. E-mail me: with a link to the story to which the comment is attached. I'll take the appropriate action just as soon as I can.

Matt Wastradowski — December 14, 2011 at 9:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Matt- Thanks for your input. I think the threshold for censoring should be higher than what it is so's to allow free speech/sharing of ideas without restriction that is subjected to one persons interpretation. To be frank, I wish your job didn't exist! :)) (at least the need) Your instinct for determining censorship would be better served editing the C's stories! All stated with good humor btw. :)

"...being banned"......"and they've raised the ire of fellow posters for one reason or another." I do have to ask...what is the reasoning here? Outside of profanity laced posts, should thin skin be in play? I've been called everything from Satan to a liberal scumbag, evil incarnate and worse, but never have requested censorship.

I don't envy your job. I can guess who's knocking on your door to censor others...

nailingit — December 14, 2011 at 10:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Roger @ Dec 14 5:17am

You said
"...- though facebook side's *rabid chihuahua* Jessica..." apropos

But now watch out! Jessica will read your comment. Then Matt's reply. And the next thing you know you will get your first warning e-mail. ;-)

pdxtech91 — December 14, 2011 at 11:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Your right..Government today has never been bigger since the Franklin Rosevelt days..

Who are the people saying Government isn't big enough, in my mind that would be the progressive left folks...I had an opportunity to see Jane Fonda speak a couple nights ago. It made me gag.. The question asked of her was what she thought of the R candidates. She resonded... Terrified.. Well our current president has terrified me from the first time I heard he was the front runner. He was able to sway the votes of more than half that voted due to his Promise of change..Well we got change and it's still changing..
Slick willyism is what I call it.. He a sweet talker without substance nor experience.. Those are the folks I would run from..IMHO

vanwadreamer — December 14, 2011 at 1:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal

pdxtech91 — December 14, 2011 at 11:57 a.m.

He didn't say Jessica "WHO". Could be more than one.

He IS right, though. LOL

hawkeye — December 14, 2011 at 1:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal


I doubt Jessica reads our side. When facebook started, it was Lew Waters and Bob Larrimer who jumped there and started representing the neoCon crowd. And shortly after all these others started showing up. They usually jumped in and seconded Lew's observations. Jessica is supposedly from Seattle. Lew and his Clark County Conservative (or whatever his site is called) is linked with a few neoCon sites up north - I figured she was a regular on one of them.

roger — December 14, 2011 at 1:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Marissa Harshman has an article today worth reading, under Live Well, about the number of uninsured (medical) in Washington hitting 1 million.

From the article -

"Currently, about 14.5 percent of Washingtonians are uninsured, up from 11.6 percent in 2008. In Clark County, 13.3 percent of residents — 56,747 people — do not have health insurance. That’s an increase of two percentage points since 2008, according to the new report. Still, the Clark County rate is lower than many other Washington counties — only six counties have lower percentages."

"Dr. Lisa Morrison, medical director for Columbia United Providers, which manages Medicaid programs in Clark County, suspects the low number is due to more local people qualifying for Medicaid. Countywide, nearly 68,000 people are eligible for Medicaid, she said. “I bet we have more people that are poor so they meet the qualifications of getting on (Medicaid),” Morrison hypothesized."

So what happens when health insurance becomes mandatory, with penalties for those who don't buy it? At somewhere around $600 per month to insure a family, I don't see too many of the current uninsured buying it.

roger — December 14, 2011 at 1:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal

No problem, nailingit. I genuinely do enjoy discussing the ins and outs of this job. It's a lot of fun to talk about various aspects of how we view these forums, what's appropriate, free speech, and so forth. This is fun for me, and I appreciate your thoughts on it. I'm always looking for ways to help the community grow and thrive, so thoughts from posters are always appreciated.

Regarding where a line should be drawn, there are some examples that are easier than others. Most violations are pretty cut and dry. And when you get a pattern of poor judgment or behavior, it becomes easier to say "this person should no longer be a part of the community." It's never a decision I make lightly.

And I will say this on the threshold for banning -- with most people, you fire off a warning e-mail, and they're generally contrite. The number of folks who continually and willingly defy the community guidelines is really quite small.

Matt Wastradowski — December 14, 2011 at 1:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Here's the roll call from the House's NDAA vote tonight:

Now it goes on to the senate..

ELISI — December 14, 2011 at 5:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal

A recurring theme on The Daily Show, as well as with some of the liberal hosts on MSNBC, is that the deep hatred of Pres Obama by many on the far right is due to racism.

Is this a valid observation? Part of me says 'Yes' - but then I recall the crap thrown at First Lady Hillary Clinton (to include accusation of murdering Vince Foster) and I wonder. I guess one bond they share is universal health care - is this something that would cause people to turn on them so viciously?

roger — December 14, 2011 at 6:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal

vanwadreamer @ 1:13- Here's a site that lists a good part of our Presidents accomplishments. I suppose "accomplishment" depends on ones viewpoint. Since 2010 he's had his hands pretty much tied by the lowest rated Congress in history. If our President continues to terrify you, think back to the last year of Bush's presidency. We were losing over 750,000 jobs per month, while bailing out corporations to stave off a great depression brought on by republican rule. It was so bad in 2006 that dems took the houses back. A side note, Bush used his veto power eleven times in his eight years in office. All eleven 2006-2008.

We know things could be worse.

Because they have been.

nailingit — December 14, 2011 at 7:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal


It may be his skin color for a very little segment of the population, but I really beleive it's been his handling of the job of president from day one that has most republicans and now a growing segment of centrist democrats scratching there head as what is he going to do and say next. He is not the leader many thought he might be, he has not reached out to repubilcans like he said he would and could, he has tried to force legislation through even though the cost far outways the benefits proposed...I wouldn't let him watch my kids, look at his smile, it says it all.. He has made way to many gafs when he thought he was off mike.. I don't know who he trusts or respects IMHO..

vanwadreamer — December 14, 2011 at 7:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal

git — December 14, 2011 at 7:43 p.m

I love your propaganda site, do you have anything based on the universe that WE live in.

frobert — December 14, 2011 at 7:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal

fro- Please, feel free to correct any points that are invalid. Good springboard!

nailingit — December 14, 2011 at 8:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal

"...I wouldn't let him watch my kids, look at his smile, it says it all..."

Please walk us through why vanwa.

I believe you just provided a good example of the unwarranted right wing hate of our President.

nailingit — December 14, 2011 at 8:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal

...and fro, in your universe Newt Gingrich would be president. I'll stick with my space.

nailingit — December 14, 2011 at 8:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal

There are many sites like this one that feed into the 'Barack Hussein Obama' mindset. Personally, I'd be proud to have the President watch my kids, and the thought of Newt Gingrich becoming president isn't half as scary as the mindset that would put him there.


View the news on Obama here that the news media does not let you see!

Could Barack Hussein Obama be part of the "Anti-Christ?"

This site deals with Biblical Prophecy and some of the "Anti-Christ" actions of Barack Hussein Obama.
Obama is placing us in the perfect position to allow "Full Anti-Christ control of the U.S."
He will be a puppet for the "Anti-Christ" - Not the Anti-Christ as One!
Blood on the Streets? US Communists Prepare for Conflict, 'Hellraising'
Violence and intimidation are coming to the streets of America if the Communist Party USA gets its way.

Emboldened by their 'friend Barack Obama's' Labor Day speech in Detroit, the communists and their labor and 'social movement' allies are preparing to confront the "Tea Party" and the GOP in the streets of America in an attempt to intimidate their way back into power in 2012.

The plan is simple. Obama and the Democrats will create large Federally funded jobs programs, which will be controlled by the unions and the left. This will create large armies of desperate and easily manipulated people who will owe their living to the 'great helmsman'.

nailingit — December 14, 2011 at 8:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Good evening.. I don't need prpaganda of any sort to form my own opinion. I will admit he is not the only politician that plays that game... Many do... It's not only the body language they portray but what they are saying. His minion of followers took the cool aid and voted him into office. He will talk with someone while being filmed and seemingly off "mic" better spelling I hope and say something totaly opposite of what he just said to millions of viewers.. I don't need the wool pulled over my eyes twice to smell a fake and in my opinion he was and is totally unsuited to be our president.. My son in the army has changed his views as well even though he voted for him.. As have many in his unit he says..

vanwadreamer — December 14, 2011 at 9:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I was just reading the article about the Evergreen School District and now I have a question.

Why are there 2 separate school districts in Vancouver Evergreen and Vancouver?
I'm not trying to be snarky, just questioning the reasoning.
I was thinking maybe at one time, before Vancouver went into it's expansion, that there was a school district for the city and another for the rest of the unincorporated parts of the county.

I would think that within the city limits they would have unified the schools into one district.
Just asking

pdxtech91 — December 14, 2011 at 9:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — December 14, 2011 at 8:01 p.m.

"fro- Please, feel free to correct any points that are invalid."

"Legislative Prowess"

And what did this legislative prowess do for the American family besides fine us if we cannot afford health insurance.

"Fiscal Responsibility"

How much as our debt exploded too?

"Improving the Economy, Preventing Depression"

Is this a joke? our economy is wrecked, all this administration has done for the economy is bailouts so banks could avoid free market consequences for their actions. Without bailouts banks would have been forced by their need for solvency to renegotiate loans, in short the Bush/Obama bailouts are responsable for the high number of foreclosures.

"Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection"

How is this helping?

"Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination"

Naming hate crimes legislation after a Klansman, now that's funny.

"Improved Foreign Relations and American Status Abroad" and "Better Approach to “Defense"

By attacking more nations than Bush?

"Treating Soldiers and Veterans with Respect"

Sending them to die in a foreign war is NOT treating them with respect. Keeping them here to defend their country would be treating them with respect. Don't you even wonder why Paul receives more donations from military families then all other candidates combined(including Obama).

"Greater Transparency and Better Government"

Secret meetings to assassination citizens, and their minor children?

I could go on but just his decision to extend the patriot act and to sign the defense authorization act and there by seizing unprecedented power to the administration should cause any thinking person to realize we have the wrong president.

Then again it is amusing that the same people that were crying "impeach bush over illegal wars" are fully willing to support another war criminal simply because he has a (D) behind his name.

frobert — December 14, 2011 at 9:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal

fro-The bailouts happened on whose watch? The economy failed on whose watch?

If our President continues to terrify you, think back to the last year of Bush's presidency. We were losing over 750,000 jobs per month, while bailing out corporations to stave off a great depression brought on by republican rule. It was so bad in 2006 that dems took the houses back. A side note, Bush used his veto power eleven times in his eight years in office. All eleven 2006-2008.

It's a bad nite when I repeat a post. Sorry. Our world is ever changing and hurried. From instant texting, the overnite pill, TV dinners, tweeting and republican ideology, we sometimes forget Rome wasn't built in a day. Hell, it took a Republican administration more than 6 years to screw it all up, it's taking awhile to clean up. With the lowest, poorest, laziest and craziest rated congress in United States history, it's even more of an uphill battle.

The wars, the economy, healthcare, the patriot act...all the problems you mention began on whose watch? I'm not trying to play a mindless blame game, just allocating blame and providing perspective. Obama's far from perfect, and it's not all about him anyway, It's about the direction our country should be headed in, and what the alternative is.

How soon we forget.

nailingit — December 15, 2011 at 12:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Well, after just giving Channel 6 News their usual 15 minutes (0600 - 0615) I'd like to put forth that just maybe whoever it was that didn't want light rail because Portlanders would come to Vancouver was right.

First was Araksia at the Rose Quarter with some carolers and a drive through present drop off. Santa was there - drinking HERBAL TEA. Look Portland - Santa drinks hot cocoa, or just maybe a nip of the hard stuff. I can accept coffee. But herbal tea?

Next was an item about some guy at the Jantzen Beach Toys 'R' Us taking on the world with a light saber. He even held off 3 of Portland PD's finest and their Tasers - they had to resort to a good old fashioned gang rush to take him down. Crazy times. I just wish Portland PD had played the moment to its fullest and brought the riot police in with their Darth Vader get-up. "Luke - my son...." I'll have to tell my son that WalMart isn't the only place to watch the late night freak shows.

Time to get ready for work.

roger — December 15, 2011 at 5:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Should have been 0500 - 0515. Time for more coffee. NOT herbal tea, Mr. Santa imposter.

roger — December 15, 2011 at 5:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal

LOL @ roger — December 15, 2011 at 5:31 a.m

Thanks for the morning chuckle! I'm with you, Santa drinks hot cocoa or warm milk..maybe even a cup of coffee with a dash of bourbon..

ELISI — December 15, 2011 at 9:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal

vanwadreamer — December 14, 2011 at 9:19 p.m

Exactly on point. When he smiles and does nice talk to leaders of other countries to their faces..then behind their back disrespects them with catty remarks to other country leaders, shows no respect at all. and this drives people of other countries to be leery of us even more...gets up and leaves a leader of a country sitting waiting for hrs so he can have dinner with his family..he should have asked that leader to dinner.. later makes catty remarks about the same leader to another with a mic still on..

Don't get me wrong, other presidents have done the same, but not to the point it's been heard by so many others or picked up over mics for the world to hear.
Bush and Clinton done it, but they learned quickly to watch what they said, where, when and to who.

Someone on here has said, one needs to show respect in order to receive respect, if Mr Obama wants respect as a leader then he better learn to give respect.
The military has to carry out the orders of the president when given, cause he is after all the commander in chief, but it doesn't mean they have to like him or vote for him.

ELISI — December 15, 2011 at 9:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal


I'm sure were not the only ones who have witnessed this behavior. You are so right about respect as well, it must be given to be earned for sure.You are also right in that he isn't the only one but "golly Gee" couldn't he do that behind doors, or maybe those conversations are even worse..

He is just not the type of person I would vote for in any position let alone our president... I saw this from him during the debates and found him to have these huge Character flaws.. Now i know everyone one of us have flaws but these stood out to me and said buyer beware..

OBTW, I think we might see more flurries tonite.. Ho Ho Ho..

vanwadreamer — December 15, 2011 at 12:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal


What stands out the most with me is his arrogance.

So far there's not a one that is in the race for president would I vote for. None impress me or has shown me they have backbone enough to be president.

ELISI — December 15, 2011 at 12:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal

So what do you all think of the 3.5 percent raise given to the Vancouver City Manager? He makes well over $150,000 a year not counting benefits and a rich pension.

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — December 15, 2011 at 2:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal


What do you think of John Huntsman? I just find him to be somewhat different than most of the candidates. First off I find him trustworthy, intellegent and answers a question immeaditely without the political answer....If it comes down to newt or romney vs Obama I will vote for them..It's not voting for the lesser of two evils this time either. I truly believe people will not continue to stand for this Bi partisan BS any longer.. But if Obama stays in it will continue and I would hate to see how rough it gets then.

vanwadreamer — December 15, 2011 at 2:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — December 15, 2011 at 2:10 p.m.

How much do you make, Lou? Better yet, how much does your company President make? How often does he get a raise? How often do you get a raise and how much is it?

I guess I would need to know more about the City Manager's situation. Has he had a raise in the past 5 years? Does this raise cover this year only, or does it cover more time?

Just throwing out a question like that is irresponsible without more info. Don't you think?

hawkeye — December 15, 2011 at 2:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

here is my take for what it's worth. How about you put on here how much you make and see how many comments are written..I would think we would have many more opinions on your salary than our city manager's.. This is my reasoning..
The job he took already had a compensation package that was approved.. Many candidates applied for the job and the pay was posted so we all new what it was. I have no problem with what people make. The people who do have a problem with what people make probably don't think the position is worth it or the person isn't doing a job worthy of the pay...
As for the raise. It's probably spelled out in his contract what it could be and how meritorious it could be worth. If I told you I made 150K it wouldn't generate the posts our city manager or your position would because I'm not out in the public like you and the manager.. I'm sure many would think your over paid..LOL not me though.:):) Hope you get some reaction to your question, should be interesting fodder for sure..OBTW post your salary and compensation..

vanwadreamer — December 15, 2011 at 2:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal

We are not forced to pay Lou's salary, we are forced to pay the city managers salary.

frobert — December 15, 2011 at 2:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal


I'll bite...

Whatever he is getting paid...that was stipulated in a contract before he got the job. As for the raise, I think it is foolish to be handing out raises at this time. A great man might even give back or defer the raise till a later date.

Bigger question is why does Vancouver have a City Mayor and a City Manager?

Many Cities larger than Vancouver manage to make do with one or the other.

pdxtech91 — December 15, 2011 at 2:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Lou, dropping down into the dark, dank basement and setting bait is most disingenuous in my opinion.

Would you care to engage in an actual discussion? How about we go back to 12-12 when I asked -you- about -your- opinion on drug testing for unemployment insurance?

Show me yours, man... I'll show you mine.

Phht (the sound of spitting the hook)

Drift — December 15, 2011 at 2:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I know but we still pay LOU's salary in a way if you subscribe to the C..Or buy it off the street...But you are right the city Mgr is different.. I just think nobody carred 2,3,4 years ago much what any of our elected officails, Fire cheif or Officers made and now it's like OMG, he makes how much.. Sorry but I'm probably in the minority, If that's what the position makes so be it..It's like the OWS people who are barking up the wrong tree. If you want to affect change , go hang out on that persons door step ... IMHO..if you don't like what Ms. JHB is doing , go protest out in front of her office until you get some of your questions answered.. Go OCCUPY her office LOL

vanwadreamer — December 15, 2011 at 2:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Excellently stated Frobert, once again.

The Left does not distinguish between public and private.

(Certainly, the contract terms are all important here).

kn_dalai — December 15, 2011 at 3:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal


I haven't taken the time as of yet to really dig in and check Huntsman out. So as I see it I have no right to comment on him yet.

ELISI — December 15, 2011 at 3:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — December 15, 2011 at 2:10 p.m

I agree to reward those who work hard for the whole of the community and City Manager seems to have gone above board in working for the City of Vancouver. Reward when the funds are there to use.

But..since there has been cuts, values of homes down but taxes staying high, job losses, the cost of CRC looming over all our heads, utilities on the rise.. was it wise to give a reward of 3.5 right now? Maybe break it up into installments of 3 to 4 over a period of time be a wiser thing to do?

frobert, no we are not forced to pay Lou salary. But we do pay it by buying the Columbian, by submitting ads, and by buying from the advertisers that use the Columbian.

ELISI — December 15, 2011 at 4:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal


As I recall from the article, the City Council rated him and 8.something out of 10. They noted he tended to move too fast on things they wanted to talk about first. And if I remember correctly, no one else in city gov't got more than something like 2%.

But you're asking for an uninformed opinion. How many hours does he put in per week? How much money is he responsible for allocating? What functions does he manage? What has he done to make the city run more efficiently? Etc.

This is the same argument/discussion as upper level managers getting hefty raises and bonuses while jobs are being eliminated and workers are seeing their pay go down or remain the same. Very unfair, if you're looking up. But if his responsibility and performance deserve a raise - OK.

Allow me to echo pdxtech91 - why does Vancouver need a city manager and a mayor?

roger — December 15, 2011 at 6:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I fail to see the reason for attacking Lou - in fact, I find it counterproductive if we want to ensure that this side remains. We (some of us - many now gone) complained he was treating us like stepchildren - good for keeping numbers up, but otherwise ignored.

He's asked for opinions on two topics - the Occupy one now has its own page and is thriving. This is also a timely one. Yeah - I'd like him to address certain things too - like the allegations his "good friend" David Madore made a while back about criminal activity with the CRC. But it is Lou's sandbox, so....

roger — December 15, 2011 at 6:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal

BAGHDAD (AP) — After nearly nine years, 4,500 American dead and 100,000 Iraqi dead, U.S. officials formally shut down the war in Iraq — a conflict that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said was worth the American sacrifice because it set Iraq on a path to democracy.

Democracy in Iraq - or anywhere else in the Middle East? This country has one of two futures - and returning to being a military dictatorship is the more preferable one.

roger — December 15, 2011 at 7:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal


In my opinion, the most important drug question is why the governmental antipathy toward marijuana, while the continued manufacturing of addictive pharmaceuticals goes unchecked?

I can't believe the Portland grower who had his operation robbed the other day was so willing to be on TV. Seems to me to be an open invitation to the FBI to visit him.

roger — December 15, 2011 at 7:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I was just trying to make a point. What his salary is and or raise was is not controlled by us the tax payer even though we pay his salary.. I felt he was trying to raise a little mud and get people stirred up or appaulled that he recieved a 3% raise in these more difficult economic times.... Good for him. I hope my income goes up next year by 3%.. I think it may if I work harder and smarter.. What people make doesn't intrest me very much as much as what they do..I'm not that materialistic or jealous either. I thought it would be better fodder to see how Lou would like it if he stuck his salary up on this website.. I bet we would get plenty of comments.. ABTW he is the editor so he is open game as far as i'm concerned.. He is not some simple pencil pusher .....

vanwadreamer — December 15, 2011 at 9:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal

vanwadreamer — December 15, 2011 at 9:27 p.m.

I have a hard time saying "good for him" when I am forced to pay for his raise. Has he done anything stellar? My income has gone down for the last few years, but because his income is extorted out of the taxpayers he deserves a raise.

frobert — December 15, 2011 at 9:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal


It wasn't your comment that triggered my response - and I do agree with a lot of what you said.

I've been posting to this site for less than a year, so perhaps there's some past history I'm not aware of. I do know that a lot of people (to include me) weren't happy with how the facebook transition happened - but it did. Ever since then, whenever someone from The Columbian commented here they were attacked. (Alleycat was the most outspoken, but many others were also pretty hostile.) I don't buy into that - as I keep saying, at the end of the day The Columbian runs this site. Dogs don't bite the hand that feeds....

My take is that we who remain here should want to maintain, and even increase, the relevance of the Basement's conversations. I could also jump to facebook (I have an account, but I prefer to use it for family and friend conversations). Frankly, I find the majority of the commenting there a joke - there are a few good participants who say something worth reading, but for the most part I see the name and move on. And I'm thinking Editor Lou just might want to keep this side alive for that reason. I see his throwing a topic out for consideration as an attempt to keep this side vibrant (maybe a better term, but I'm in a hurry - I205 jam). We have been getting bogged down in the same ol' same ol' political discussions.

And I do wish John Laird would pop in - he likes to get "loud" arguments going.

roger — December 16, 2011 at 6:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Responding to Roger 12-15 7:32 p.m.

You sort of answer your own question. Remember, Roger, we live in the United Corporations of America. G.W Pharmaceuticals is currently in phase III FDA trials with it's patented product called Sativex. Sativex will be marketed for cancer patient pain relief.

The active ingredients of Sativex are THC and CBD. Not synthetic analogs, but true phytocannabinoids.

I've been taking a capsule, that I've concocted, for the last several months. I take one every other evening just before bed. The "0" sized veg cap contains various parts of the cannabis plant. Since I began administration of the cap my Vicodin requirement has diminished by 30%. The package of empty capsules cost me more than the material I stuff them with.

I'm also working on a cannabis based topical spray for nerve pain. Presently, the biggest drawback with it is it might stain fabric (I'll know at the next washing).

These homemade remedies cost me pennies. And they work.

For folks holding cannabis recommendations (playing by the rules) and growing their own, law enforcement isn't an issue, thieves are. Due to prohibition, a plant anyone can grow, has an inflated monetary value -- ridiculously so.

Drift — December 16, 2011 at 6:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal

A follow up to my 6:27 post. Check the Columbian editorial on today's Opinion page - it's about the pay raise. The Columbian comes down against it.

Hmmm...So, is the fact that Lou asked us what we thought on the subject the day before they printed their piece just coincidence - or can more be read into it? One can take this in a few directions - all positive (in my opinion, anyhow). I'm not sure whether any of our comments that answered his question yesterday are actually reflected in the column - maybe it was already written and we were being used more as a sounding board. Either way - I personally like that it happened.

Please continue this practice, Editor Lou.

roger — December 16, 2011 at 8:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I wouldn't let him watch my kids... *Sounds like running post presidency daycare centers might not be in the cards for barack, say it ain't so!*

smell a fake... *He must be fake. A half black man that wasn't born into money becoming President? No way! That's not the American dream!*

he better learn to give respect... *Is this a Republican call for the return of shoe-shine workers?*

catty remarks... *I'll tell ya, there's been so many one needs a doggy bag for take home!*

shows no respect at all... *I couldn't believe one of his first "accomplishments" was passing the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act, and then he has the "audacity" to try and make health care affordable!*

not the type of person I would vote for in any position let alone our president... *Thank God we don't vote for dishwashers, maybe he can do that!*

What stands out the most with me is his arrogance... *Sounds like our President is a little bit too...............*

*..................uppity. ;)*

nailingit — December 16, 2011 at 8:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

knd_-_ "The Left does not distinguish between public and private."

Such a blanket statement!

That's like saying the right does not distinguish between corporations and people.


Thanks for joining the conversation Lou B. I'll piggyback pdxtech91 @ 2:52's response, as well as reiterate a great question for you to answer...

...*Bigger question is why does Vancouver have a City Mayor and a City Manager?*

Lou B- Will you give us your perspective?

nailingit — December 16, 2011 at 8:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal


I won't pretend to know the science, but if what you're working on works - I'm guessing one of the big companies will try to patent the idea and have a cease and desist order issued against you.

My take is that recent history has federal law overruling state law in this whole area. And unless you, and the guy in Portland who was robbed, are one of the few licensed by the FDA to do R&D; in this area - you're in danger of being visited by the feds. No different than the guy with his own still who I knew back in NC many years ago.

Good luck. I like the topical spray idea - I'm tearing my stomach up with aspirin type drugs due to the pains running down my right side. I'm not a fan of prolonged use of pharmaceuticals like Vicodin - but I'd jump at the chance to go the natural route you're working on.

roger — December 16, 2011 at 8:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal

**Christopher Hitchens Dead: Legendary Writer Dies At 62**

Say what you will about Hitchens, we lost a brilliant mind. He was like William F. Buckley (one of my favorite all time politico's) in a parallel universe.

Rest in Peace Christopher Hitchens, you will be missed.

nailingit — December 16, 2011 at 8:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal

OK, this story on the raise for the city manager, Eric Holmes, is getting ridiculous. I read the "Opinion" piece and that's all it is, opinion. How about some real information. Give me some actual FACTS and if there is blame, put it where it belongs. The City Council voted him the raise, wouldn't THEY be the ones to blame? And did anyone ask Eric if he was going to take the raise, or how he feels about it?

Thanks Lou for planting the seed, except for the fact that when you do that it feels like you are playing the part of some kind of trouble instigator.

Oh wait, you are!

hawkeye — December 16, 2011 at 9:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Roger, my concoctions are not for marketing. The feds are cracking down on "store fronts." They have explicitly stated (in several memos) they've no interest in the likes of me. Also, I've no fear of local law enforcement, being 69.51a (Wa. medicinal cannabis laws) compliant.

Orally ingesting cannabis for pain relief ('specially nerve related) is not new. Neither are topicals.

It took me about six months of trial and error to develop both the capsules' ingredients and the dose rate -for me-. BTW, I take the caps before bed so that I don't experience any psychoactive effect. i.e. I don't take them to get stoned.

My point was, Merck or Pfizer (some outfit) is losing a few bucks every month because I'm using only small doses of Vicodin to treat pain (see; synergy/opiates/cannabis). And, I'm doing it with a plant any horticultural hobbiest can grow.

If I owned stock in a pharmaceutical company, I'd dump it the day before cannabis becomes wholly legal.

Drift — December 16, 2011 at 9:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Eric Holmes' raise: Probably not the best PR move in these lean times. I am sure that he earns every penny, however.

I do know that the city council lost their last city manager to the private sector. Maybe they are worried that, if they do not show their appreciation of his hard work, he will follow suit.

I am a lucky public servant and know that we are seeing the best and brightest managers/administrators looking and leaving when they are given a better offer. Can't blame them. Private corporations are opportunistic headhunters! Can't say that I blame them.

manthou — December 16, 2011 at 10:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I want to add: while it feels good to join each other in whine tasting, we need to watch out for its addictive risks.

Media, I believe, has helped fuel this craving because it tends to focus on conflict and sensational stories.

It's the "Let's you and him fight" game. Throw something controversial out there and watch the fur and feathers fly. It works because it sells. It is a fun way to entertain each other with dueling opinions. People do it all the time now. It is a habit that we all need to balance with remembering what works and what is good.

We all eat it up, so you cannot blame newspapers and TV and radio from cashing in on our addiction to complaining.

manthou — December 16, 2011 at 10:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Thanks for the education. Things have definitely gone beyond trying to decide between the Oaxacan or the Red Bud. Of course, that was the early 70s....

roger — December 16, 2011 at 11:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Interesting opinion of what you read into what some of us wrote. Twisting is what I call it.. I do think he has tried to bring affordable health care to all.. But the fact remains it will cost more....Do you have any evidence as to what healthcare will cost a a family of lets say 3 making 30K a yr, family of 4 making 50K, and a family of 4 making 75K... Is it really going to be affordable for them??? Then if you already have health Insurance now, how much more in taxes will each of us pay to fund this new health care program...I respect your opinions and find many of your posts interesting as they bring a perspective that I find interesting..

vanwadreamer — December 16, 2011 at 12:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou @ 10:02,

Public servants leaving for the private sector? Horrors - I though we were riding the gravy train and living the good life while everyone else suffers.

roger — December 16, 2011 at 12:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou @10:11,

But we learn from conflict. If we "listen", anyhow. Your post the other day hit the nail on the head.

"The downside of electronic conversations, in my view, is that they lack the feedback that our facial expressions, vocal tones, and body language give. So, we have to work very hard to make our words show we are good listeners and interested communication partners."

A problem is that there's something else getting in the way. Our society programs us to want to win - with the caveat that the other side has to lose. So "I hear you to say such and such, but have you considered...." has degenerated to "You stupid so and so, you're drinking the kool-aid...." Which pretty much eliminates the chance for compromise, or some other mutual gain.

Another problem is the time factor. It seems like everything has to be 30 second sound bits, 50 words or less, or whatever. Real communication suffers.

At any rate, I don't see an issue with the media, a discussion group moderator, or whoever, throwing a controversial topic out and then sitting back to see what transpires. My problem is with the people who refuse to play nice together.

roger — December 16, 2011 at 12:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal

The following is from an article in The Columbian on a bar's sanctions being overturned.

"Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis has ruled that liquor control board agents conducted an unlawful sting when they employed an 18-year-old to enter the Top Shelf bar, order a beer and see if bartenders asked for his identification. A Top Shelf bartender served to the teen. The business was sanctioned."

The reasoning seems to be that if The Law contributes to the law breaking, then it isn't a good bust.

So, will this continue over to vice cop prostitution stings, undercover cops buying drugs from dealers, etc? Can we take it a step further and say that if a highway patrol car breaks the speed limit to chase someone down, then that's a bad stop?

Sorry, Judge Lewis, but you're not making sense.

roger — December 16, 2011 at 12:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal

That book I mentioned here a while back? The one Matt said I could post about?



If'n you do happen to read it, and like it, a kind word at the vender's site would sure boost an ol' crippled veteran's hope for financial security.

Yeah, that was kinda thick, huh? Think I oughta go into politics?

Drift — December 16, 2011 at 3:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Lou: I loved your Press Talk topic this morning. Well-deserved focus on your hardworking journalists giving back to the community they serve.

The Kmart story is, indeed, a heart warmer, too. We all need to step up and give what we can, especially of our time and talents, to support others.

I do mourn the return of the Layaway Plans. I had not seen those words for years and years until recently. Some stores, not all, charge predatory rates to hold these items. Bah! Humbug!

manthou — December 17, 2011 at 7:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger @ 12:37 PM: How right you are about our need to WIN! There is a little bit of truth in every perspective.

manthou — December 17, 2011 at 7:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I agree with manthou - that was a nice thing the crew at The Columbian did.

roger — December 17, 2011 at 7:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal

My grandson is getting ready to do the Polar Bear Plunge for the Special Olympic in a few minutes in Alaska.

Then this afternoon he is going to work at the food bank.

I'm very proud that at age 13 he knows and understands the importance of doing for others in the community.

ELISI — December 17, 2011 at 10:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal

My daughter has a gym and all the families get together and sponsor one family each year. We all donate everything they will need and then some so they have a nice Christmas. It's a great way to give to someone that REALLY needs the help without the interference of an agency taking their cut.

On another note, Has anybody been following Doonesbury, this week? Funny stuff.

hawkeye — December 17, 2011 at 12:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal

vanwa @ 12:08/16- I hope these projections are right. I do know if we continued the way we were going, health care was to make up 40% of our GDP by 2018. That's pretty insane. Something had to be done. I hope this crashes and we go to single payer or some "socialist" :)) type of health care. American greed v the welfare of Americans has reached the tipping point. Didn't mean to twist anyone's words, just to give my take on how these statements came across to me. As incompetent and destructive a president Dubya was, (I believe most dems, indep., and quite a few republicans would agreei with this premise), terms such as I pointed out were few. Stupid, ignorant, destructive, challenged yes. :)) And then some. :)) It's almost as if the right tries to dehumanize Obama, question his patriotism and citizenship constantly. Michele Obama has been one of the classiest first ladies ever, and the right wing media is nothing less than vicious. I don't remember Laura taking any heat because of her idiot husband. (sorry, I left out idiot on my list. :)) Oh, good evening btw.

Title I. Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans
This Act puts individuals, families and small business owners in control of their health care. It reduces premium costs for millions of working families and small businesses by providing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax relief – the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history. It also reduces what families will have to pay for health care by capping out-of-pocket expenses and requiring preventive care to be fully covered without any out-of-pocket expense. For Americans with insurance coverage who like what they have, they can keep it. **Nothing in this act or anywhere in the bill forces anyone to change the insurance they have, period.**

CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation will produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period. About $124 billion of that savings stems from provisions dealing with health care and federal revenues; the other $19 billion results from the education provisions. Those figures do not include potential costs that would be funded through future appropriations (those are discussed on pages 10-11 of the cost estimate).

nailingit — December 17, 2011 at 9:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Speaking of which...

Romney Snags Critical Iowa Endorsement Ahead Of First-In-The-Nation Caucus.. Paper: Romneycare 'Strikingly Similar' To Obama Health Plan

nailingit — December 17, 2011 at 10:05 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal | Ignore User )

nailingit — December 17, 2011 at 10:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — December 17, 2011 at 10:07 p.m.

I'm telling you, Newt is going to be neutered before long. Flavor of the month is about to sour.

hawkeye — December 17, 2011 at 10:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal

John Laird,

Don't know if you ever visit here, but Thanks.

roger — December 18, 2011 at 7:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger: You beat me to it in your comment above!

John Laird's column gave words to my thoughts lately. I will echo roger's thank you!

Send him an email, roger. I have done that in the past to personally appreciate journalist's stories to which we cellar dwellers have been denied forum commenting access.

My family is turning off the consumerism this year and spending time appreciating what we already have, which includes each other. It feels right.

manthou — December 18, 2011 at 7:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye- You are probably right. The republicans will have to settle on someone who in their minds worships a false deity. I believe voter turnout on the right will be low, and really low in the bible thumping belt.

After all, how could any "good" Christian support someone that denies the godliness of Jesus Christ? Someone who believes Jesus and the devil are actually brothers, and among other things, believe that Paradise is buried under Mizzou!

nailingit — December 18, 2011 at 8:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal

The Repubs will have a decent turnout and will vote for whoever their party nominates. First, their dislike/hatred of Pres Obama trumps what they think of Romney (or whoever). Second, the Repub party's primary goal is to keep the House and try to gain control of the Senate. Actually winning the Presidency will be a bonus.

The low numbers will probably come from independent voters. For example, its a good thing we have mail in ballots here in WA - if I had to stand in line at a polling booth, I'd probably say "why bother?" - frankly, I'm having a hard time getting excited about any of the races. Maybe Tim Eyman will come up with another initiative, or maybe Evergreen school district will ask for an outrageously property tax bond (and I believe the latter is being discussed).

roger — December 18, 2011 at 10:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Fareed Zacaria from CNN on the shift in the Republican Party decsribes it to a "Tea". This is why I feel the newt would be a total disaster.

*These forces elevated Rick Perry and Herman Cain before the candidates petered out. Now their enthusiasm is propelling Newt Gingrich. Today, you can see the split between the old, hierarchical Republican Party and the new party in the contest between Gingrich and Romney.
Gingrich - partly because he knows how to speak to them - has been able to energize the grassroots base of the Republican Party. All Romney has going for him is the traditional establishment of the party that says, “Look, this guy is* *sensible; he’ll play well in the general election; he’s a good manager.” He is the unthreatening candidate they can agree on. In the past that would have been enough. But you have a new Republican party that is driven much more by the new centers of power in the South and the Southwest and much less by the old establishment.*

*If Gingrich does win the nomination, it is not just the story of one guy doing well; it is the story of a very different Republican Party than the one we have been familiar with for the last 30 or 40 years.*

*It would result in a Republican Party with greater energy, enthusiasm and street cred, but also one that is more extreme, uncompromising and much less concerned with being dismissed by the mainstream media or characterized as irresponsible by people like me. It will make for a more difficult political system because these are the forces that have been very reluctant to compromise. We may find that the debt showdown was just the beginning.*

But I do give the R's credit. Telling the Senate their 2 month payroll tax extension ain't gonna fly is right. Revisit this in 2 months? Leave everyone hanging, including the "doc fix"? End it or go longer seems more practical.

mrd — December 18, 2011 at 2:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal

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