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Keystone Pipeline: The Agenda of the Koch Brothers

(Letter-to-the-Editor) Let’s see if I have this correct. A foreign oil company wants to build a pipeline across American land to transport Canadian tar sands crude to American ports to export it overseas to make money for themselves.
Mitch McConnell stated that building the Keystone XL pipeline is the first item on the Republican agenda.  Why would this pipeline mean so much to the Republican Congress? Let’s look at some facts.
We know the Koch brothers are the largest lease holders in in Alberta.
We also know the oil companies would get to build their pipeline across our land and use American ports, yet we don’t get a drop of that oil without paying for it.
We know the cost of oil is down.
We know the potential damage to our environment is tremendous.
We know we have safer methods of obtaining energy for our country.  We know initially there will be jobs available to build the pipeline, but after completion an estimated 50 permanent jobs will have been created.
So why is Keystone XL so important  to our Republican Congress? To quote  Shakespeare, ” How now? A rat?”.”

Pat Bates
Clarkston, WA

Vote for Joe Pakootas

(Letter-to-the-editor) So the Republican House of Representatives leadership now wants to sue President Obama over certain executive orders, even though he has made less of them than most other presidents.  But the real ethical, if not legal, offense is that the Republican leadership, including our Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, won’t allow a vote of the full House on the Senate-passed immigration bill S.744 even though it has enough House votes to pass and thus become law with Obama’s promised signature.

Please join me and vote for Joe Pakootas who will represent all of the people with an independent voice rather than simply echo the political leadership.

 

Norm Luther
Spokane, WA

Washington State’s Dental Access Campaign

I received this email regarding Washington State’s Dental Access Campaign.

Hello friends,

[Below] is the story of a young person, Steve, who lost his life because he wasn’t able to access oral health care. As some of you know, I nearly lost my life to infection due to tooth abscess because I was not able to access oral health care.

I have a friend who’s brother died from abscessed tooth infection, like Steve.

I have many friends and neighbors and family members who suffer because they cannot access oral health care.

All of us have friends, neighbors and family members suffering because they cannot access oral health care.

Valley Hospital Spokane Valley

Photo credit to Harvey Brown

It took long enough to happen.  However, after months of nurses and other medical workers performing their jobs without a contract, the management at Spokane Deaconess Hospital and Spokane Valley Hospital have given a bargaining date to employees. Nurses and other medical workers represented by SEIU local will be negotiating on workplace issues and other matters to agree on a new contract between their collective bargaining unit and Community Health Systems. The quality of patients care at Valley and Deaconess Hospitals and safe staffing levels will be a key part of the talks.

Nurses and other medical workers await a bargaining date for long-awaited contracts with the Deaconess Hospital, Spokane, Wa. and Valley Hospital, Spokane Valley, Wa. Their key demand for more staffing to improve patient health and safety goes unanswered by the hospitals’ for-profit owner Community Health Systems Inc. Read the rest of this entry

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is Over Paid

(Letter-to-the-Editor) Interested in a job for $174,000 a year, all the benefits and only 126 days of work? Cathy McMorris Rodgers has found it’s worked well for her since 2005.

The  House of Representatives‘ work schedule for 2013 was 126 days. For 2014, they  decided to cut it to 113 days. That’s about 50 days of work for $174,000…or $3480.00 per day. For the remainder of 2013, they will work 8 days in November and 8 days in December. They’ve even commented that they might have trouble filling their schedule for all those days. Evidently there is nothing important happening in our country.

As of August 1, 2013, only 22 out of 4315 introduced bills have been enacted into law. (0.5%), making this the least productive Congress ever. That could be because the GOP faction of the House of Representatives has spent their 126 days obstructing our government and the people as much as possible. Maybe it would be money better spent to have them work zero days, and we could take their salaries to help move our country forward. Or, we could get involved and elect people who care for and will work hard for our country .

Patricia Bates

Clarkston, WA

Gasland II: We are all Getting Fracked


Exploding kitchen sinks and contaminated drinking water, that is what happens when you get fracked by the natural gas industry.

I just saw Gasland II by Josh Fox. The showing was hosted by Ron Reed of Pacificad, Spokane, WA.  It is the muckraking expose’ of the petroleum industry’s use of fracking to obtain natural gas from the earth and leaving scraped landscapes, contaminated aquifers, and destroyed communities. Fracking has even caused earthquakes and has put homes at the risk of  exploding.

Fracking

Fracking, as you have probably heard, is the practice of injecting water and chemicals into wells to force the natural gas out of the gas bearing shale.  It is called fracking because it fractures the shale to releases the natural gas.  Read the rest of this entry

A volunteer for Eastern Washington Voters wrote a poem lamenting about Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and her effort to destroy Medicare and such.  I thought I would share it with you. The full poem can be found here.

Alas, Ms. Rodgers, we fear as a career politician your job is soon going to be over for you.

As the wise and angry people of the 5th district of Washington State clearly see what you do.

Partisan politics and climbing to the top are your goals; representing the people is just not you.

It’s clear that caring or knowing what we want, Ms. Rodgers, you just haven’t got a clue.

 

Like a lemming you blindly follow your party; too self-absorbed, uncaring and blind to see.

That with your personal and political desires the people in the 5th district no longer agree.

We no longer are willing to accept your lies, your hiding from us and spinning what you say.

Eight years of misrepresentation, the people of the 5th district are tired of you being this way.

.

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Hey Pastor Mark Hamilton, Isn’t Lying a Sin?

Mark Hamilton's Home in question

Someone is lying it appears.  It is either Pastor Mark Hamilton, candidate, for Spokane City Council or it is his handyman.  However, I don’t know what motivation George White would have for lying and a church member vouches for the laborer’s integrity.

Mark Hamilton’s legal problem

What motivation would Republican Mark Hamilton have for lying?  Well, let’s see.  He is running for Spokane City Council and the law is that he must have lived in he City Ward for which he is running to represent for at least one year.  However, as the Spokane Review notes, utility bills and his handyman George White call that into question.   Mark Hamilton is being challenged in court for his right to appear on the ballot.

The story is also being covered at Spokane Watch which can be found here.
Read the rest of this entry

610x(crop)(Letter to the editor) We know Mother’s Day is a day in which we honor women for the good they have done. However, some Congressional folks just don’t agree.  Ironically, one of those Congressional women is Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington State’s 5th district.

McMorris Rodger’s has shown her lack of caring of women by : Opposing raising the minimum wage, voting to stop overtime pay for working families and opposing the Lily Ledbetter Paycheck Fairness Act. She was adamantly against the Violence Against Women Act until 10 minutes after her amendment against it was defeated, then voted for it. She is against any background checks for gun purchases.  She supports decreasing funding for Head Start and education as well as supporting the layoff of thousands of teachers, most of whom are women. In healthcare she  opposes the Affordable Care Act and supports decreasing funding for Planned Parenthood.  She solidly supports the sequester, which will cost Americans 750,000 jobs.

We now know what she gave us for Mother’s Day; I wonder what she got?  For more on Rep. McMorris Rodgers, see this website.

Patricia Bates
Clarkston, WA

DAVIDI met  Dr. David Warner while we were both graduate students at Washington State University.  It appears that the assault that left him unconscious and near death was initiated because he tried to do the right thing and “keep the peace” when a fight broke out.  However, I cannot help to wonder.  Was it because David Warner was an out spoken Native American with articulate views on the rights of Native Americans that his attackers beat him as brutally as they did?  Even if (when) the assailants are caught, we may never know.

However, I do know from my experiences with David Warner that he is a peace loving man.  He has strong political views, but I have never seen him do or say anything out of anger.   He is a friendly, ,jovial guy.  Whenever David talks to people about politics, he always does so with a smile and joke along with way. Read the rest of this entry

Washington State Republicans Penalize Workers

Conservatives have been waging class warfare on working class Americans for decades. Here in the State of Washington, they are at it again with bills to lower minimum wage and weaken workers compensation.

However, first, on the national scale over the last few decades, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer.  The rich used their increased wealth to create the dot.com bubble, real-estate bubble, and Wall Street bubble.  As we all know, those bubbles burst and much of that wealth disappeared from our economy that could have used to build schools, pay for Medicare, or lower the national debt.   Of that wealth which did not go into creating bubbles, the rich loaned much of it back to us in the form of mortgages, credit card debit, and student loans and siphoned even more money from the middle class through high interest rates.  Would not it have been better for the average American for our country to merely leave that money in the hands of working class so they would not have to borrow  so much to pay for homes, consumer items, and college education? I know so. Read the rest of this entry