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Senators back nuclear deal with Iran

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama scored a major foreign policy victory Wednesday after securing enough votes in the Senate to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, which has come under intense criticism from Republicans and some Democrats.The agreement to curb Iran's...

Date: 09/03/2015 | Nation & World

McCain sees potential trouble ahead for Boeing KC-46 tanker

U.S. Sen. John McCain criticized the Air Force's handling of the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker development program, which Boeing is building in Everett for the military.The longtime Republican senator from Arizona put his criticism in a letter last week to Defense Secretary...

Date: 09/02/2015 | Aerospace Blog

The need for more icebreakers

President Obama's renaming of Alaska's Mount McKinley to Denali earlier this week was just an icebreaker. But it wasn't the only one on the president's mind.The...

Date: 09/02/2015 | Editorials

Bergdahl not alone in acting dishonorably

Bowe Bergdahl is back in the news. Donald Trump, modeling the sober analysis we need in a president, delighting his Fox "news" hosts, just called him a "dirty rotten traitor" (See the Idaho Statesman:

Date: 09/02/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Republicans’ molehill-turned-mountain is named spite

Come now the Denali deniers.President Obama's conservative critics have long said there is no depth to which he will not sink in his zeal to trash the Constitution. Now, apparently, they also think there is no height to which he will not climb in that same effort.

Date: 09/02/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Enough with the shutdown games

About the time kids start returning to school following the Labor Day holiday Sept. 7, the nation's senators and representatives will return to Washington, D.C., as Congress reconvenes after a recess of more than a month.It has a significant list of items to accomplish, many...

Date: 08/27/2015 | Editorials

Did Smokey have it wrong?

Viewpoints: We need to change how we fight wildfires

Date: 08/23/2015 | Commentary

Confronting the new realities of wildfires

A hastily scrawled sign on a fence outside a Twisp home implores: "Firefighters, this is just a house — please stay safe."It's a message made more heartbreaking by Wednesday...

Date: 08/21/2015 | Editorials

Fund saves urban forests, too

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene stood in the forest with volunteers and other public officials among Douglas fir and western red cedar, sword ferns and vine maples, both Washington Democrats renewing calls for reauthorization of the federal Land and Water Conservation...

Date: 08/18/2015 | Editorials

Social Security turns 80: Changes needed to save program

WASHINGTON — As Social Security approaches its 80th birthday Friday, the federal government’s largest benefit program stands at a pivotal point in its history.

Date: 08/10/2015 | Nation & World

Even if he’s right on Iraq, Obama needs Congress, country behind him

Can an American president make big, historic changes in the country's direction with a relatively narrow base of political support? That was the challenge President Obama faced when he pushed health care reform through Congress, and it's the same problem he faces now in trying to win...

Date: 08/09/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Public turning against nuclear deal with Iran

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that the American public rejects the president's Iran deal by more than 2 to 1. This is astonishing. The public generally gives the president deference on major treaties. Just a few weeks ago, a majority supported the deal.What happened?...

Date: 08/07/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Sen. Murray introduces bill to return Kennewick Man bones to tribes

SPOKANE — The ancient skeleton of Kennewick Man should be returned to a group of Columbia Basin tribes, according to a bill introduced Thursday by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

Date: 08/06/2015 | Northwest

Sen. Warren seeks review of military student loan law

BOSTON — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is seeking a fresh examination of a student loan law aimed at providing consumer protections to active members of the military.

Date: 08/05/2015 | Nation & World

Campus rape investigations a police matter

"The price of a college education should never be the risk of a sexual assault," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, told a Senate hearing Wednesday. Too many colleges don't treat rape, she observed, as "the violent felony that it actually is." Her solution is...

Date: 08/04/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Videos forcing an honest look at abortion

It took three videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors and executives discussing the culling and retailing of aborted baby parts, but Hillary Clinton finally managed to say that she found the videos "disturbing."   For a professional politician...

Date: 08/03/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Abortion's clash of values

Viewpoints: Should Planned Parenthood lose funding?

Date: 08/02/2015 | Commentary

Abortions will only increase if funding is cut

Senate Republicans, teeming with righteous indignation, last week introduced S. 1881, "a bill to prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood of America."Here's a better name for it: the Abortion Promotion Act of 2015.No doubt the authors of the...

Date: 08/02/2015 | Opinion Columnists

George McGovern revealed he had a secret child

An academic with a forthcoming biography of 1972 Democratic presidential candidate and former senator George McGovern has confirmed that the South Dakotan fathered a child before he was married.

Date: 07/31/2015 | Nation & World

GOP senators appear ready to corral Cruz

Who's afraid of big, bad Ted Cruz?Not Lamar Alexander. The Tennessee Republican went on the Senate floor to accuse his fellow Republican of proposing actions that would "render ourselves lawless" and cause "chaos." Alexander reminded the Texan that...

Date: 07/30/2015 | Opinion Columnists

House approves highway funding bill

WASHINGTON — The House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to shore up federal highway aid and veterans' health care before heading out of town for its August recess, leaving unresolved an array of sticky issues that are sure to complicate an autumn agenda already groaning under the...

Date: 07/29/2015 | Nation & World

Export-Import Bank excluded from highway bill

WASHINGTON — The effort to reopen the Export-Import Bank, which has helped thousands of U.S. companies export their goods, lost significant ground as House lawmakers approved a short-term highway funding bill that did not include new authority for the bank.

Date: 07/29/2015 | Nation & World

Neither Dole, nor ADA, would be welcome in today’s Senate

Bob Dole, now 92 and in a wheelchair, made a rare return visit to Congress on Monday to celebrate this week's 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act — the sort of big bipartisan triumph of yore that now seems unimaginable.How, I asked Dole, can we get...

Date: 07/29/2015 | Opinion Columnists

A bill for parks and much more

The odds that Congress will reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund before it is scheduled to expire Sept. 30 improved...

Date: 07/28/2015 | Editorials

Sanity over sancutary in the U.S. Senate

July 1 was one of those evenings when you feel blessed to be in San Francisco, especially if you are strolling along Pier 14. But every reader knows what happened next: A bullet struck Kathryn Steinle, 32, as she walked arm in arm with her father. Neither knew what had happened; the...

Date: 07/26/2015 | Opinion Columnists

We can save Medicare by funding Alzheimer’s research better

Current quibbling over what Jeb Bush meant when he said it's time to phase out and replace Medicare — as opposed to "attacking the seniors," as one woman at a recent event bellowed out — will soon seem quaint against the realities of our future.Never...

Date: 07/26/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Planned Parenthood videos show what abortion does to our values

"Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you." — Barack Obama, address to Planned Parenthood, April 26, 2013Planned Parenthood's reaction to the release of a clandestinely recorded conversation about the sale of fetal body...

Date: 07/24/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Trump’s winning when he’s the focus of attention

Don't be sure the McCain episode is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump's bizarre presidential campaign. Don't even be sure it's the end of the beginning. Attacking him with censure and shame is like trying to destroy Godzilla with electricity: It might just make him stronger.

Date: 07/21/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Christmas in the Capitol? Congress’ to-do list grows

WASHINGTON — Congress’ midsummer to-do list may take until Christmas to clear.

Date: 07/19/2015 | Nation & World

Deal puts Iran on irreversible nuclear path

When you write a column, as did I two weeks ago, headlined "The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history," you don't expect to revisit the issue. We had hit bottom. Or so I thought. Then on Tuesday the final terms of the Iranian nuclear deal were published. I was wrong.

Date: 07/17/2015 | Opinion Columnists

House admits defeat, OKs road bill extension

WASHINGTON — After years of promises to find new cash for roads and transit systems, the House on Wednesday admitted failure once more, voting to use a hodgepodge of money to extend the current bill until just before Christmas.

Date: 07/16/2015 | Nation & World

GOP quickly rejects Iran deal without reading it

Negotiators in Vienna had announced the Iran nuclear deal only an hour earlier, but Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Republican presidential candidate, was already on the airwaves denouncing it."You have created a possible death sentence for Israel," he...

Date: 07/16/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Sequestration could force Army to cut more troops

WASHINGTON — In the midst of a war against the Islamic State that the Obama administration says will last many years, the Army is moving ahead with big troop cuts. And they could grow even larger unless Congress and the White House find a way to stop further across-the-board...

Date: 07/09/2015 | Nation & World

Lessons remain from Greatest Generation

On April 24, 1944, 2nd Lt. John R. Pedevillano was flying in a B-17 over Nazi territory when the fighters escorting his formation were drawn away in combat, leaving the bombers defenseless against air and ground fire for an hour.Sixteen U.S. planes went down, and Pedevillano...

Date: 07/09/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Make parks fund permanent

If Congress were seeking a vote on a valuable program that would allow it to pat itself on the back and celebrate its ability to work in a bipartisan fashion, it could do no better than renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Date: 07/07/2015 | Editorials

Chemical safety bill may have good shot

Most Americans believe the chemicals in products they buy in the supermarket have been tested for safety. But the scandalous truth is our main chemical safety law is so badly broken that no one has the authority to ensure the safety of chemicals used in everything from cleaning products...

Date: 07/05/2015 | Commentary

Resisting court ruling will only lead to regret

After the Supreme Court's historic 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Southern politicians adopted a strategy that became known as "massive resistance." It doomed the South to a losing battle not just against the court, but a majority of Americans.Some...

Date: 07/02/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Why no vote on export tool?

It might only be temporary, but Congress' failure to reauthorize the charter of the federal Export-Import Bank by yesterday's deadline offers an alarming look at the potential effect of its absence.The federal export credit agency, frequently shortened to Ex-Im Bank,...

Date: 07/01/2015 | Editorials

Rights tilting to corporations in trade deal

In promoting a proposed trade pact covering 12 Pacific Rim nations, President Obama has cast the initiative as an instrument of equity. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would, in his words, "level the playing field" and "give our workers a fair shot." But critics...

Date: 06/29/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Get behind trade, worker bills

The path toward trade bills that would allow the U.S. to secure pacts with 11 Pacific Rim nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership has had more uphill climbs and switchbacks than the Silk Road.Trade issues, specifically trade authority for President Obama and related worker...

Date: 06/23/2015 | Editorials

State’s farms, businesses need trade deal

Opening foreign markets to American agricultural exports has provided strong returns to rural communities. When the high-quality products grown and made in rural Washington have a chance to compete on a global scale, every Washingtonian benefits.Expanded exports mean more...

Date: 06/22/2015 | Commentary

Congress can set Obama’s war powers, but won’t

This is what it's like inside a vacuum:A half-dozen members of Congress and perhaps twice as many staffers sit quietly on the floor of the House. Two reporters sit in the press gallery, and a few dozen tourists, mostly in shorts and T-shirts, fidget in the public gallery.

Date: 06/19/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Recognize medical cannabis

In 2014, Congress quietly ended the federal government's prohibition on medical cannabis with a provision buried in the 1,603-page federal spending bill, The Los Angeles Times reported at the time. The...

Date: 06/19/2015 | Editorials

Obama, GOP work to rescue trade pact

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and top Republicans in Congress joined forces Wednesday on a quick, bipartisan rescue attempt for the administration's trade agenda, left for dead in the House last week in a revolt carried out by Democrats and backed by organized labor.

Date: 06/17/2015 | Nation & World

Two years after Snowden, what has changed?

Two years ago this month, a 29-year-old government contractor named Edward Snowden became the Daniel Ellsberg of his generation, delivering to journalists a tranche of secret documents shedding light on the government's national security apparatus. But whereas Ellsberg released the...

Date: 06/16/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Chase, other state senators argue against high-stakes testing

Democratic State Sen. Maralyn Chase and seven other senators recently argued against high-stakes testing as a requirement for high-school graduation.

Date: 06/15/2015 | South County Politics

Want to reduce abortions? Increase access to contraception

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Thursday — the very day the bachelor senator was dubbed a "bro with no ho" by his fellow Senate Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois — proclaimed himself to be "on the right side of history."It ain't so,...

Date: 06/15/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Leveling the showroom floor

Most of us would probably say that we want to see the downtowns and small businesses in our communities thrive. They provide jobs. They provide goods and services we need. And it's enjoyable to buy something from someone you become familiar with, an exchange that adds to our sense of...

Date: 06/15/2015 | Editorials

Federal lands should be kept for benefit of all

The federal government owns large chunks of the West. It owns 65 percent of Utah, 69 percent of Alaska and 83 percent of Nevada. Some Westerners see unfairness in that. They should not.Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska recently slipped an item into a nonbinding budget...

Date: 06/14/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Congress won’t be there for Obamacare

Things clearly had gotten off on the wrong foot.Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, wanted to know whether President Obama is going to work with Congress to rewrite health care law if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare —...

Date: 06/14/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Trade bills must pass Congress

Three votes yet to be taken in Congress — two in the House and one in the Senate — will have a significant impact on jobs and the economy in Washington state and for the rest of the nation.And both are meeting resistance from a bipartisan coalition in both...

Date: 06/08/2015 | Editorials

Trade bill a boon to state’s businesses

In our global economy, every state needs international trade in order to generate growth and create good jobs. But some states are especially reliant on foreign trade to maintain a robust economy; Washington is without question one of these states. That's why Washington state businesses...

Date: 06/07/2015 | Commentary

Get court OK for eyes in the sky

Sometimes it can seem as if we're playing a game of surveillance whack-a-mole.Just days after the U.S. Senate voted to adopt the U.S. Freedom Act rather than renew the Patriot Act, ending the National Security Agency's far-reaching collection of Americans' telephone...

Date: 06/05/2015 | Editorials

GOP candidates muck up already mired Congress

Mike Lee of Utah is part of a vanishing breed — Republican senators who are NOT running for president — and in this role he rose on the Senate floor Tuesday morning pleading for his ambitious colleagues to stop embarrassing the party."The American people...

Date: 06/04/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Who’s afraid of the NSA?

Do I trust the federal government? Hell no. President Barack Obama's Department of Justice is happy to spend years investigating a foreign soccer organization for corruption and former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert for allegedly paying off a blackmailer — but...

Date: 06/03/2015 | Opinion Columnists

End of Patriot Act restores some privacy

I made a phone call at 12:01 a.m. Monday, and it felt good. For the first time in years, the number I dialed on my iPhone was not captured and stored in a massive government database.Since it was an inconvenient hour, I called my office phone, knowing it would go to...

Date: 06/02/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Surveillance powers lapse with no deal in Senate

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency lost its authority at midnight to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk, after GOP Sen. Rand Paul stood in the way of extending the fiercely contested program in an extraordinary Sunday Senate session.

Date: 05/31/2015 | Nation & World

GOP pledges to ‘rein in’ Obama on EPA rules, global warming

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says a new federal rule regulating small streams and wetlands will protect the drinking water of more than 117 million people in the country.

Date: 05/31/2015 | Nation & World

Senate must act quickly to adopt compromise at heart of the USA Freedom Act

On the contentious issue of bulk phone metadata collection by the National Security Agency, the big story is remarkably positive. Two years after Edward Snowden revealed the program and charged that it exceeds the agency's lawful authority under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, a...

Date: 05/31/2015 | Commentary

Rand Paul vows to force expiration of Patriot Act

WASHINGTON — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., vowed that he would force the Patriot Act to expire Sunday when the Senate reconvenes after not taking action last week to extend or replace a controversial surveillance program.

Date: 05/30/2015 | Nation & World

Texan targets ‘crony capitalism’ Ex-Im bank

WASHINGTON — Texas is the nation's No. 1 exporting state, yet the No. 1 opponent of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which finances American exports, is a Texan.House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, a Republican, is leading an effort...

Date: 05/29/2015 | Business Wire

Clear rules for cleaner waters

The Obama administration's issuance this week of the Clean Water Rule to restore safeguards under the 1972 Clean Water Act will help keep our waters clean — from stream to sea and...

Date: 05/29/2015 | Editorials

Opposition to medical marijuana in Senate softens

The Senate Appropriations Committee did something last week the Senate has never done; it passed a marijuana reform measure. It was the narrowest of proposals, an amendment co-authored by Sens. Steve Daines, R-Montana, and Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, to a military spending bill that would...

Date: 05/28/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Freedom Act would rein in NSA's offenses

Once in a great while, House Republicans get it right. So let me praise them for leading a bipartisan effort to curtail the National Security Agency's bulk collection of data on the phone calls of innocent Americans.The USA Freedom Act, which the House passed earlier this...

Date: 05/25/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Ample warning before Amtrak disaster

In the public eye, the disaster on the rails last week in Philadelphia was not only tragic but also shocking. As a crowded Amtrak train approached a bend in the track, it was barreling along at more than 100 miles an hour — twice the mandated speed for that section. The resulting...

Date: 05/24/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Senate clears trade pact, highway funding

WASHINGTON — In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation Friday night to strengthen the administration's hand in global trade talks, clearing the way for a highly unpredictable summer showdown in the House.

Date: 05/22/2015 | Nation & World

Democrats demand cash for Amtrak repairs

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Thursday demanded that Republicans provide more money for Amtrak so the railroad can tackle a $21 billion maintenance and repair backlog, including replacing tunnels more than a century old.

Date: 05/22/2015 | Nation & World

Federal gas tax increase is long overdue

The image of Congress kicking the can down the road again comes to mind, except this time lawmakers are running out of good road.Earlier this week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a two-month extension of the federal Highway Trust Fund. With the trust fund set to...

Date: 05/22/2015 | Editorials

Cantwell helps advance Obama trade pact

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's trade agenda cleared a key Senate hurdle and advanced toward likely passage Thursday despite opposition from most Democrats.The 62-38 vote capped a long, tense roll call on a measure that would allow Obama to negotiate trade deals...

Date: 05/21/2015 | Business Wire

Freedom Act would roll back NSA’s abuses

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, isn't worried that, absent a Senate vote, key provisions of the Patriot Act are slated to sunset May 31. The GOP presidential hopeful told "Meet the Press" on Sunday that a federal appeals court found the data-gathering authorized under the...

Date: 05/20/2015 | Opinion Columnists

End sweep-up of phone data

Americans cherish their privacy — as much as they value their security.Those two values are in some conflict as Congress considers the fate of the Patriot Act, the legislation passed to strengthen national security controls following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist...

Date: 05/17/2015 | Editorials

A moral difference between waterboarding and drone attacks?

Dianne Feinstein of California arguably used to be the CIA's best friend on the Democratic side of the Senate. I think it's fair to say that San Francisco voters were not enthusiastic about her pro-intelligence posture during the George W. Bush presidency. One thing Feinstein has going...

Date: 05/17/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Protect the law that protects wildlife

Since President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law, more than forty years ago, the United States has been committed to protecting its wildlife and plants from extinction. Thanks to the ESA, American alligators have recovered, grizzly bears roam through Yellowstone...

Date: 05/17/2015 | Commentary

How long can Clinton avoid taking a stand?

President Obama, so often cool and cautious in his language, gave a full-throated roar on trade last week, saying that Sen. Elizabeth Warren was "absolutely wrong" in her criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and that "her arguments don't stand the test of fact...

Date: 05/17/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Move forward with trade bill

It still faces a long slog, but after a defeat on a procedural vote in the Senate earlier in the week, a trade bill that could be a major benefit to Washington state jobs appears to again be moving forward.

Date: 05/15/2015 | Editorials

If Democrats won’t, GOP should back Obama on trade bill

That free trade is advantageous to both sides is the rarest of political propositions — provable, indeed mathematically. David Ricardo did so in 1817. The Law of Comparative Advantage has held up nicely for 198 years.Nor is this abstract theory. We've lived it. The...

Date: 05/15/2015 | Opinion Columnists

On so many points, left is wrong on trade

The left's success in denying President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership is ugly to behold. The case put forth by a showboating Sen. Elizabeth Warren — that Obama cannot be trusted to make a deal in the interests of American workers — is...

Date: 05/14/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Populists find voice in Senate trade bill vote

Could this be the populist moment?A seemingly unstoppable coalition of the powerful assembled to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bill: A Democratic president aligned with the Republican majority in both chambers of Congress and the full lobbying might of...

Date: 05/14/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Dems may block Obama trade deal

WASHINGTON — Democratic infighting has left in limbo President Barack Obama’s highly sought special authority to close global trade deals, with opponents believing they have the votes to block the measure.

Date: 05/12/2015 | Nation & World

Senators press new postmaster general on troubled rural mail service

Slow mail delivery and poor service are hitting rural America hard, and the U.S. Postal Service needs to pay attention, a bipartisan group of senators from rural states told Postmaster General Megan Brennan this week.

Date: 05/10/2015 | Nation & World

Filibuster threatens trade bill

Losing the substantive argument over President Obama's bipartisan trade agenda, opponents are now resorting to procedural legerdemain. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has declared that he'll attempt to filibuster pending trade-promotion authority legislation, which is...

Date: 05/10/2015 | Commentary

Warren ‘absolutely wrong’ on trade deal, Obama says

President Barack Obama made his case for his free trade pact with Asia by directing tough words at a traditional ally: Sen. Elizabeth Warren.“She’s absolutely wrong,” Obama said of the Democratic senator from Massachusetts in an interview with Yahoo News that was posted Saturday.

Date: 05/09/2015 | Nation & World

Fan boys in Senate fawn but ignore Elton John's AIDS plea

Sir Elton John, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, flew into Washington to testify Wednesday before members of the United States Senate — or, as they might more accurately be described, the Madmen Across the Water.He had been called before an...

Date: 05/08/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Senate OKs bill to let Congress review Iran deal

WASHINGTON — In a rare bipartisan accord, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill Thursday that would give Congress power to review any nuclear deal with Iran, ending months of tense negotiations with the White House.

Date: 05/07/2015 | Nation & World

Progress made on oil trains, but more should follow

Some in the railroad and oil industries may believe the recent legislative and regulatory attention paid them is unwarranted. But the news keeps getting in the way of their point:Federal investigators reported late last week that 16 cars in a 100-car Burlington Northern...

Date: 05/05/2015 | Editorials

State lawmakers call newly released rail-safety rules inadequate

Rail-safety rules announced Friday would phase out older tank cars used to transport crude oil and impose new restrictions on oil shipments, but several federal lawmakers from...

Date: 05/02/2015 | Local News

A minimum wage that works

At $9.47 an hour, Washington state has the highest minimum wage among the 50 states, well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25. But even at that rate, a family of three with one wage-earner grossing a little less than $19,700 a year would still fall below the federal poverty level...

Date: 05/01/2015 | Editorials

How a tax on the rich is sold as tax on death

Republicans in Congress recently voted to repeal the estate tax, and it's perfect. By which I mean it's the perfect demonstration of the mystifying current state of political affairs, a master class in what's happening at all levels of right-wing "governance" today.

Date: 04/29/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Let trade talks move forward

Let's start with why this is important. In Washington state, 4 in 10 jobs are tied, directly or indirectly, to trade, according to the Washington Council on International Trade. And the value of goods and...

Date: 04/28/2015 | Editorials

Tie trade deal to training and infrastructure

No, President Obama, Elizabeth Warren isn't wrong. Obama told MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday that the populist Democratic senator from Massachusetts is in error in opposing a free-trade agreement his administration negotiated with 11 other Pacific nations.Warren is right:...

Date: 04/27/2015 | Opinion Columnists

A fast-track to trade or a fast-track to bad deals?

Pro  (Jump to the con argument)Approval would allow the U.S. to negotiate in our best interests

Date: 04/26/2015 | Commentary

Senate aide sought "sexual favors" for drugs

WASHINGTON — Agents from Homeland Security Investigations raided the Northwest Washington home of a Senate staffer Thursday morning, in a drug bust prompted by Customs and Border Protection officers in Ohio, who intercepted a 1.1-kilogram package of gamma-Butyrolactone, or GBL,...

Date: 04/24/2015 | Nation & World

Senate thaw, brief as it was, shows promise

They were rolling the credits on the Senate floor Tuesday morning.Harry Reid thanked Patrick Leahy and Patty Murray, who praised Amy Klobuchar, who gave a nod to Mitch McConnell, who credited John Cornyn, who touted Chuck Grassley, Mark Warner, Heidi Heitkamp and Susan...

Date: 04/23/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Senate GOP refusal on Lynch keeps Holder in office

In a sane world, the Republican-led Senate would have confirmed Loretta Lynch as attorney general months ago. But sanity hasn't been seen around here in some time.No one has raised the slightest question about Lynch's qualifications. No one disputes that she has been a...

Date: 04/21/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Trafficking deal clears path for attorney general vote

WASHINGTON — Senate leaders announced a deal Tuesday to move forward on a stalled human trafficking bill, clearing the way for a vote on President Barack Obama’s attorney general nominee within days.

Date: 04/21/2015 | Nation & World

Keep our public lands public

For nearly 50 years, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund has invested nearly $17 billion nationwide and $500 million in Washington in state and federal land conservation projects and matching grants for state and local...

Date: 04/21/2015 | Editorials

Democrats line up against trade legislation

It was another one of those rallies on Capitol Hill where lawmakers line up to take shots at the Obama administration. But this time the lawmakers were all Democrats.A quartet of senators and a dozen members of the House took the stage in a park across from the Capitol...

Date: 04/19/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Pacific trade deal on a fast track?

WASHINGTON — Top congressional lawmakers struck a long-sought, bipartisan agreement Thursday for the broadest trade policy pact in years, allowing President Barack Obama to negotiate trade accords for Congress' review and move forward with talks on a sweeping partnership with...

Date: 04/17/2015 | Business Wire

Reforms would add state, local control

With a flicker of bipartisanship, work has begun on a significant reform of the nation's main education law, No Child Left Behind, which could end a lot of the frustration among students, parents and teachers with...

Date: 04/15/2015 | Editorials

Opposition grows to corn ethanol mandate

Imagine a government energy program that is such a disaster that the Environmental Working Group and the American Petroleum Institute both oppose it. The anti-poverty group ActionAid USA wants to get rid of it, as does the pro-business Competitive Enterprise Institute. Sen. Dianne...

Date: 04/07/2015 | Opinion Columnists

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