Right From the Start
Last Saturday elements of the Turkish military, intent on removing President Recep Erdogan from power, staged an attempted coup. It failed primarily because, for the first time in a long list of Turkish coups, the military failed to act as a unified body.
President Barack Obama called upon people to resist the attempted coup and to support the “democratically elected” government of Mr. Erdogan. Mr. Obama’s decision will continue an unbroken line of mistakes and missteps on both the foreign and domestic fronts.
First, let’s understand that Turkey is far from a model democratic government. Mr. Erdogan is just the latest in a long line of democratically installed Turkish governments that almost immediately engage in corruption and repression until the military stages a coup and throws them out. While it appears that Mr. Erdogan enjoys popular support in Turkey so did now deceased President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. It did not prevent Mr. Chavez from engaging in a systematic repression of dissent – including imprisonment and execution of his opponents – and it has not prevented Mr. Erdogan from doing likewise. Continue reading
Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli
House Republican Leader Mike McLane
Salem, Ore. – Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) released the following statement following Governor Kate Brown’s announcement Friday of her gun control plan that includes requiring Oregon State Police to retain firearms transaction data for five years:
“Kate Brown’s reckless attempt to politicize gun control while tension is significantly heightened across the country may propel us into a debate on the confiscation of private property and criminalization of law-abiding citizens and cause the kind of provocation almost guaranteed to produce more violence and anger. Continue reading
By Kathryn Hickok
Since 1999, the nonprofit Children’s Scholarship Fund has empowered more than 152,000 low-income children nationwide to receive a quality education in private and parochial grade schools through privately funded partial-tuition scholarships.
Children’s Scholarship Fund parents value high-quality education as the way out of poverty for their children and sacrifice financially to give them that opportunity. It is a feature of the CSF program that all families pay part of their tuition bill themselves, ensuring a family commitment to education.
The investments of both parents and scholarship benefactors are reaping great rewards. Over time, studies of college enrollment and graduation rates of scholarship alumni are showing that, despite coming from socioeconomic backgrounds associated with lower rates of college enrollment, CSF alumni enroll in college at an average rate that is similar to or higher than the general population. Continue reading
by Dan Lucas
Gov. Kate Brown announced today “‘Oregonians United to End Gun Violence,’ a plan to reduce gun violence in Oregon and across the country.” She is joining other anti-gun officials “to release new policies and legislation that protects Oregonians from gun-related acts of violence.”
According to OPB, “Brown is calling on the legislature to pass three new laws to improve gun safety in the 2017 session.” Her proposed legislation would 1) allow the Oregon State Police to further delay background checks for gun sales, 2) expand the types of relationships that qualify as domestic violence and 3) prohibit the purchase of expanded capacity magazines. KTVZ has additional detail on Gov. Brown’s three anti-gun legislative priorities.
In her announcement, Gov. Brown states “In Oregon, 2,280 Oregonians – an average of 456 people each year – died from firearms-related injuries between 2010 and 2014.”
Those are extremely deceptive and misleading numbers. Continue reading
by NW Spotlight
Reuters is reporting that “Donald Trump abruptly postponed his planned announcement on Friday of his vice presidential running mate because of a deadly truck attack in France, but Republican sources said his choice was expected to be Indiana Governor Mike Pence.”
At lease 84 people were killed when a truck driven by Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove through a crowd in Nice, France – the crowd had been watching fireworks on Bastille Day – France’s equivalent of our Fourth of July.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said via Twitter “The city of Nice has been hit by terrorism on the day of our national holiday. Immense pain, the country is in mourning. The French will face it,” and French President Francois Hollande said “We cannot deny that it was a terror attack” in a national television address, according to CNN.
UPDATE 7/15/2016: CNN is reporting that Trump tweeted “I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow [Sat 7/16/2016] at 11:00 A.M.”
by Sen. Doug Whitsett
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change (Agreement) is being hailed by its proponents as a huge step forward in reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and saving the environment. However, further review of what the Agreement will actually accomplish raises several questions about its effectiveness, true costs and impacts on energy availability, grid reliability and the average citizen’s standard of living.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) director Gina McCarthy called the Agreement “an incredible achievement” during recent testimony before the Congressional House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. But in response to direct questioning by committee members, she was unable to even estimate its potential cost and repeatedly failed to explain how much its implementation would delay any increase in global temperature. Continue reading
Right From the Start
“Yes officer, I know I was going 80 miles per hour but I did not intend to violate the law.”
TJH (circa 2016)
On last Thursday, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, delivered up a whitewash of the latest Hillary Clinton scandal – the use of an unsecured private server and email account to transact State Department business including the sending and receiving of classified documents accompanied by the destruction of records properly belonging to the State Department. While Mr. Comey provided direct and damning testimony about Ms. Clinton’s conduct, including a litany of the lies told by Ms. Clinton to the public and to the United States Congress – the latter being under oath – he swept it all under the rug by claiming that Ms. Clinton was merely careless and not criminally liable.
by NW Spotlight
CNN reported yesterday that “President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush on Tuesday will speak at an interfaith memorial service in Dallas for five police officers slain late last week, as well as meet with the victims’ families.”
The interfaith memorial service will be held today at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, with the Arlington Police Department providing security for the memorial. Continue reading
By Steve Buckstein
Now that the massive Gross Receipts Tax measure IP 28 will be on Oregon’s November ballot, we likely will see many estimates of its impact on the state economy.
An economic research center at Portland State University just came out with its report on the measure, funded by the measure’s sponsor, union-backed Our Oregon.
Too bad that the sponsors picked a center headed by a respected former Oregon State economist who said publicly in March that their proposal would be “like a sales tax on steroids.”
Dr. Tom Potiowsky now chairs the PSU Economics Department and directs the Northwest Economic Research Center at the university. While the new PSU report doesn’t include the “sales tax on steroids” language that he personally used in March, it does confirm that such taxes “share many characteristics with sales taxes, and thus a greater burden on lower income households.” Continue reading
by NW Spotlight
A poll conducted in Oregon in late June found that IP28 currently enjoys majority support, Hillary Clinton has a double-digit, 14-point lead over Donald Trump, and Governor Brown takes a 7-point lead into the summer against Bud Pierce. The poll was conducted by icitizen.
Key findings for 2016 November General Election Races:
Democratic candidates currently lead four of the marquee races, but some leads are slim and there are sizeable percentages of swing voters at this stage in the race. Among registered voters:
Hillary Clinton owns the most commanding advantage over Donald Trump, 14-points, due in large part to her consolidation of the Democratic base (89% of Democrats currently support her compared to 70% of Republicans for Donald Trump). Independents are split. Clinton outpaces party identification in the state by three points. The ballot stands at 46% Clinton, 32% Trump, and 22% undecided. Continue reading
From MSNBC’s Morning Joe: FBI debunks Clinton’s email claims
by Sen. Doug Whitsett
Oregon has been spent into a monumental, multi-agency, multi-billion dollar budgetary hole during the past several legislative sessions. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is among the state agencies facing the worst financial challenges for the 2017-19 biennium and beyond. Most of the agency’s financial woes are the result of legislative and agency management decisions made over the past dozen years.
The lion’s share of ODOT’s state highway division funding is raised by the fuel and weight-per-mile taxes, as well as certain vehicle license and registration fees. That highway fund revenue is constitutionally dedicated to the maintenance, preservation and construction of Oregon highways and bridges.
ODOT’s budget has traditionally been done on a pay-as-you-go basis. Prior to 2002, the agency was not authorized to spend more revenue than it collected during each budget cycle. Continue reading