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Rekha Basu — What Trump’s success says about us

Last month, after Donald Trump had called undocumented immigrants drug smugglers and rapists, tweeted that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush likes “Mexican illegals because of his wife,” who was born in Mexico, declared Arizona Sen. John McCain was no war hero because he was captured, and said former Texas Gov. Rick Perry wore glasses to appear smart, Trump addressed an overflow crowd in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He derided rivals Perry and Lindsey Graham — “the senator from South Carolina, who South Carolina doesn’t even like” — for criticizing him. And, the New York businessman noted gleefully, after criticizing him, both slid in the polls.

Jim Walsh — Democrats’ stance on early primary was less than democratic

During the recent Grays Harbor County Fair, the local GOP ran a presidential straw poll. In a bit of a surprise, Dr. Ben Carson won. He was followed — in order of support — by Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker. Interest was very strong; the number of votes cast was far larger than for similar polls in years past. There were even a few write-in votes for Bernie Sanders.

How dry, how long?

California in the Great Drought is a living diorama of how the future is going to look across much of the United States as climate change sets in. Like hippies and “dude,” wine bars and hot tubs, mega-churches and gay rights, what gets big in California goes national soon enough. Now, the large dark bruise spreading across the state on the U.S. Drought Monitor map is a preview of a bone-dry world to come.

Doyle McManus — Can Hillary Clinton win the angry voters?

While Donald Trump has kept the political world transfixed, Hillary Rodham Clinton has spent her summer methodically rolling out a long list of policy proposals. They add up to a platform you might call “soft populism.” It’s not the insurrectionist socialism of Bernie Sanders but still progressive enough to keep most Democratic primary voters on her side.

Learning to live with fire

The 2015 fire season is poised to become among the worst in American history. More than 6 million acres have burned nationwide, most of that in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, and the season has just come into its prime in drought-plagued California, where more than 50 blazes have prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents. By the end of summer, thousands of firefighters will have risked their lives and billions of dollars will have been spent in an attempt to control the flames. Despite the effort, towns and watersheds may well turn to ash.

Doyle McManus — Is Obama’s strategy against Islamic State working?

One year ago this weekend, President Obama launched airstrikes in Iraq to prevent the insurgent armies of Islamic State from advancing to the gates of Baghdad and conquering the country. Within weeks, American aircraft began bombing Islamic State’s bases in neighboring Syria, too, and Obama declared his war aims: “to degrade and ultimately destroy” the militant group. A year later, who’s winning the war? The answer depends on whom you ask.

GOP debaters fall short on addressing US economy

The long-awaited inaugural Republican debate of the 2016 primary season resembled a low-gas flame — generating a degree of heat, but little light in terms of what voters are looking for: a real, live, practical plan to create good jobs and boost middle-class incomes.

The Cascadia earthquake and tsunami — what are we to do?

The articles recently presented in “The New Yorker Magazine” by Kathryn Schulz, “The Really Big One,” (July 20, 2015) and “How to Stay Safe When the Big One Comes,” (July 28, 2015), have caused a tremendous amount of discussion throughout the nation. For the most part, her information is right on the mark as to what could occur during a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake and resulting tsunami. However, while understanding her wish to channel her article’s “emotion into action,” it is apparent Ms. Schulz neglected to report on specific types of mitigation, prevention and safety plans which are in place in all coastal communities, to provide citizens and visitors the best chance of surviving an earthquake and possible tsunami.
 

Let’s not demonize those who disagree with gay marriage

In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, there was sentiment that the court’s opinion could ignite a new culture war — a Roe v. Wade for a new generation — and polarize parties (and the American electorate) for decades to come. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Is farming a public service?

A bill recently introduced in Congress, the Young Farmer Success Act, would make farmers eligible for federally subsidized student loan forgiveness — just as teachers and nurses are now — on the grounds that agriculture is a public service. But is it?

Spin Control — This isn’t the way to do budgets

Shortly after dawn Wednesday, as the state Senate descended into recriminations about who was reneging on their word and who was being mean to school kids, the chamber’s chief budget writer made an impassioned plea to stick with the deal because that is the way budgets are done. Perhaps truer words never were spoken.

Jen Gillies — Supreme Court ruling just one piece of the puzzle

On June 26, 2015, millions of Americans celebrated as the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. I walked into work that morning and a student ran up to me, jumping up and down and asked if I was as excited as she was. I was confused until she told me the news; we hugged and cried a little. I had co-workers asking me all day about how excited I must be, as they were telling about how they felt when they heard the news. I saw in my Facebook feed many posts of support of the ruling from friends and family members, as well as twice as many re-posts of pictures and articles throughout the past few days.