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Sign petition to stop Keystone XL Pipeline

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Political clock ticking after GOP election win

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Trust in government is 'dead, Jim'

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.


The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column


Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 



Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness, hunger & health care disparities in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

Heath Care Disparities: 

•    Adults in Oregon without insurance represent 22.3% of the state’s population compared to 19.7% of the nation.  In Washington County approximately 


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

 Explore Intel emissions

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?'

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" 

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921)

 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11


"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”  

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."

- Abraham Lincoln

 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."

- Edmund Burke 

 

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”

- Jonathan Swift

 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."

- Garrison Keillor


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Friday
Nov282014

IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID, A REALITY CHECK

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."  

     Now that you've had a day to gorge on that turkey, pumpkin pie and assorted other goodies, it's time to see what we're thankful and not so thankful about.  The American Dream is a great idea but sadly for too many it's in a galaxy far, far away!    

     While the nation's macro economy has recovered from the Great Recession, there are many indicators that the good times are not evenly distributed not even in the Portland metro area - Oregon's economic hub where hi-tech is king.  

     The head of our county homeless program has reported that we are seeing a rise in poverty as reported by the American Community Survey data and increasing calls service provider agencies are receiving from people seeking assistance. 

     The Portland region continues to grow jobs at a solid annual pace of 2.6%. The unemployment rate continues to decline, though at a slower pace than previous years. Most, but not all, major industries are growing. 

     Ironically the hi-tech manufacturing industry shows essentially no job growth over the last three years.  This is surprising since Business Oregon, the Oregon’s economic development agency, has invested huge sums of SIP money into that sector. 

      By geography, we see the city of Portland itself has recovered to prerecession levels while most of the surrounding communities have not recovered similar to the pattern in rural Oregon, the so-called “other Oregon.”  

      While jobs have returned to pre-recession levels in the Portland Metro region, incomes have not. The number of high and low-income households is growing, while the number of middle-income households is declining.

      Median household income in 2013 was down to $59K about 8% below the 2008 level, adjusted for inflation.  While the ranks of upper income Oregonians earning more than $150K have grown, so too have those earning less than $25K a year. 

      There are two Oregons – urban/rural, affluent/working poor, white/non-white. The middle class in Oregon as in the nation is in decline, the source of the anger we see directed at the political establishment in elections or on the street.  

     It's about time the political class in the Metro area, Washington County, Salem and DC woke up from it's Thanksgiving stupor but visions of gridlock in DC don't give us much hope from that quarter while visions of "sugar plums dance in our heads" from the Puzzle Palace to Mahonia Hall.     

     "Keep Hope Alive..."  

Thursday
Nov272014

A THANKSGIVING WISH

This Thanksgiving at the White House picture would not be possible without the sacrifices and hard work of those who came before...  

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     With the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri one wishes the citizens of the wider St. Louis area make it their responsibility to work on the socio-economic and political conditions which have caused the civil unrest there - the peaceful protests and the not so peaceful acts of vandalism of property - ironically often of small businesses owned by African-American residents. 

     Real change will not come from endless street protests nor by a resort to violence.  To get real change will require the African-American community of Ferguson and the residents of the wider St. Louis metro area to engage in community building including registering to vote and voting.  When a city is 70% African-American yet has no significant presence in elected power structures, the sense of powerlessness merely increases. 

     The Civil Rights movement in the South showed us the way - registering voters, getting them to vote and this will bring forth members of good will to run for office to challenge the "good old boy" system which is clearly entrenched in Ferguson.  This is not easy work, as my friends and I who opposed the TROIKA here in Washington County know - it's hard to beat entrenched power especially when too few people vote! 

     The protests in Ferguson need to morph into long term civic engagement which will ultimately change the face of power including who sits on the city council, who is hired to police the community and whether all people are listened to not just the old guard of the local power structure.  Protesting injustice is the first step but the next steps are harder and more long term. 

     One hopes the citizens of Ferguson can have a "time out " today and then come to grips with the long term needs of that community just as citizens of Washington County Oregon must do the same despite the fact that the "old guard" rules county government.  Elections don't always work out the way you want to but they hold more promise than riots because every two years we get a chance to throw the bums out!  

     In Portlandia the multi-racial march in sympathy with Ferguson had two components...  the vast majority of the 2000 who marched peacefully and a splinter group headed by 200 or so "hot heads" who wanted to display "attitude."  Representative Lew Frederick (D. Portland) referred to the smaller group as "provocateurs" whose approach is ineffective and a distraction.  His conclusion was that "they need to grow up."   

     It's easy to show "attitude" which alienates the silent majority, it's much harder to do the work of bringing about change.  The Pilgrims showed that persistence was the way not bemoaning one's fate.  Maybe we should add a bit of humble pie to the menu today...    

 

  

Wednesday
Nov262014

LESSONS FROM FERGUSON?

     As the nation tries to understand the lessons of Ferguson, one realizes how broken our criminal justice system is and how little we've learned from the "long hot summers" of '67/68 when the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, known as the Kerner Commission concluded that...  

     "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal."

     I've posted two interviews from today's NPR program The Takeaway.  I commend them to you as additional views by which to deconstruct the events of Ferguson since August. 

     Portland had a march yesterday of a thousand or so marchers who paraded in downtown protesting the Ferguson grand jury findings.  A hundred split off to do their own thing including engaging in provocative behavior with the Portland police assembled for crowd control. 

     One picture I saw on last night's TV 11 p.m. news was a young white woman running up to confront a cop. The cop and his fellow officers kept their cool.  They didn't take out their guns or batons.  I guess a young white woman isn't as scary as an 6'4" African-American fellow...   

     But it makes one pause when Portland in the Bush I and II eras was considered "Beirut City" and the local cops reacted as such when either visited Portland with mounted horses, helmets and shields et al but no gun action.  

     Restraint even when provoked is helpful to de-escalate confrontations which can get easily out of hand.  


 

 

 

Tuesday
Nov252014

FERGUSEN - FIRE IN THE STREETS, AGAIN!  

A firefighter walks past the burning Little Ceasars restaurant in Ferguson Missouri, USA, 24 November 2014. According to St Louis County Prosecuting Attorney, the Grand jury decided that Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson will not be charged in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. (EPA/TANNEN MAURY)

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EDITOR'S NOTE: 

     I watched tonight's CNN coverage of the events in Ferguson, Missouri with great sadness.  I've never sat on a grand jury but in listening to the DA's presentation of the "facts" given to the members of the grand jury it seems to me there was "probable cause" to move ahead with a trial of officer Darren Wilson who shot Michael Brown.  

     It appears that Michael Brown was not without culpability but how walking out of a convenience store not having paid for a pack of cigarilloes should lead to the death of a young man headed to college and burning of buildings in a suburb of St. Louis plays like a Greek tragedy. 

     Since he called for back up why didn't officer Wilson not wait for backup to show up instead of confronting Brown and his friend by himself? 

     Such events for somebody of my age, 72 - brings back troubling memories of the long hot summer's of '67/68, the Watts Riots and all too many cases where young African-American men are "profiled" by police daily in the US as possible felons just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

     I wonder if we've learned anything over the years! 

     The events tonight sadly underscore the "great perception divide" between African-Americans and White Americans when it comes responding to such events as we found out during the trial of OJ Simpson.  What the nation requires is an honest conversation about race in the US and it must begin with Barack Obama...    

     Reverend Chuck Currie, a former student of mine - speaks eloquently of how we need to approach these tragic events.  I take some comfort in that the Justice Department is carrying on a parallel investigation of the events surrounding Michael Brown's shooting although I felt President Obama's comments tonight were tepid at best.   


A Message from our University Chaplain

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

     The grand jury investigating the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has issued a controversial decision. How we respond will help determine whether or not Michael Brown’s death carries meaning.

     We plan to hold a community forum at noon tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 25) in Old College Hall on the Forest Grove Campus to discuss the decision. All students, staff and faculty are welcome. Various faculty members and staff will be on hand to facilitate the discussion.

     Because grand jury proceedings are secret, we do not know what evidence was considered; but through media leaks, we do know the evidence was conflicted. There is some wisdom in approaching the grand jury decision with a level of humility.

     Still, step back from the particulars of this one case and it becomes easier to see why there is so much distrust of the justice system from African-Americans, other people of color and allies. African-Americans are arrested and incarcerated at rates grossly disproportional to their numbers or to crimes committed, according to studies conducted by the National Institute of Justice, a federal agency.

     This is rightfully a cause for protest and anger. When Michael Brown was first killed, the National Council of Churches released a statement expressing the belief that, “A peaceful, healthy society requires trust and positive relationships between citizens and law enforcement. That can best occur in circumstances in which deep-seated social problems such as racism and inequality are being addressed.”

     Local religious leaders in the St. Louis area, representing various faith traditions, said this week:

     "We do not seek to demonize police officers, but rather challenge and hold accountable a system of policing and criminal justice that stigmatizes black and brown people. We support and defend the rights of all, no matter their rhetoric or level of anger, to participate in non-violent protest.

     For this reason you will see us and hear from us in the days and weeks ahead… While we yearn for justice to be served in this case, we also believe that God's purposes transcend this moment, and call all of us to work for systemic justice and healing in our community."

     In 2006, I helped lead the memorial service for James Chasse, a Portland man suffering from mental illness, who was brutally killed by members of the Portland Police Bureau. James was white but his death, plus a series of deaths that followed of African-Americans in Portland by Portland Police, led to a U.S. Department of Justice review of the Portland Police Bureau that has mandated reforms. A similar process is now underway in Ferguson that has the potential of bringing real change to Ferguson and the nation.

     If you feel called to speak out, do so with a spirit of love in your heart even if you feel hurt and angry. We must be about the work of building a better world. There is an ongoing need for Oregonians to address racism just as much as there is a need for those in Missouri to address racism.

     If you feel called to protest, act with non-violence because violence only perpetuates violence. We can break the cycle and create that “newer world” so long sought.

     Offer your prayers, hopes and actions in the pursuit of justice that unites all people.

In Peace,
 
Rev. Chuck Currie
Director, Center for Peace and Spirituality
University Chaplain
Pacific University
pacificu.edu/cpas

Sunday
Nov232014

KITZHABER, DEJA VU...

     EDITOR'S NOTE:  The unOregonian's main political junkie Jeff Mapes interviewed Gov. Kitz producing a "puff" piece on the upcoming 4th term. 

     There is nothing new here just a rehash of the same old spin from Kitz.  It's safe to say, Mapes didn't push too hard - then again the unOregonian is not Willamette Week!

     Here's my own deep dive via "deconstruction" of this interview plus the Mapes interview with video:     

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     JM:  Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber sat down with The Oregonian's Jeff Mapes on Friday to talk about a variety of issues leading up to the beginning of his fourth term.

     Newly re-elected Gov. John Kitzhaber has something that any politician would envy: a growing economy that he says will allow him to propose a budget next month to significantly increase spending on education. 

     RAD:  Oregon has a growing economy where the gap between the metro area and the "other" Oregon continues to increase as does the gap between affluent Oregonians and the working poor.  And this has been happening since the mid 1980s which is related in part to the timber economy disappearing in Oregon.  

     The governor acknowledges the income gap in the video but his belief that the Oregon Business Conference has an understanding of poverty is ludicrous.  As a social service advocate since 1991 I've NEVER seen corporate Oregon step up to the plate to end poverty in Oregon - their position is "no new taxes."   

     JF:  But the Democratic governor acknowledged in an interview with The Oregonian on Friday that the revelations that dogged him and first lady Cylvia Hayes during the campaign continue to cast a shadow on his governorship.

     "I think I have to prove myself on a number of fronts with Oregonians," he said, "and I'm anxious to roll up my sleeves and get started."

     RAD:  Having dropped the ball on the CRC, CoverOregon and the scandal of Cylvia-gate plus giveaways to Nike and Intel, the governor will have to do more than "role up his sleeves" to regain the moral authority to govern.  The denizens of the Puzzle Palace will be watching....  

     JM:  In a wide-ranging interview in the state's economic development offices in downtown Portland, Kitzhaber talked about everything from his relationship with Hayes to his latest plans for revamping the state's tax system.

ON HAYES

      JM:  "We're still engaged and we still intend to get married, but we haven't set a date," said Kitzhaber.

     The governor said he had to plunge into his next budget proposal to the Legislature right after the election and hasn't had time to talk in-depth with Hayes about the revelations that came up during the campaign – particularly involving her 1990s marriage-for-money with an Ethiopian immigrant and time living on a planned marijuana farm in Washington.

     RAD:  To claim they haven't had time to talk "in-depth" is simply not credible.  They are engaged and one assumes they see each other regularly - don't they live together?  It just mirrors more of a "cover-up" than an honest answer to the question. 

     JM:  "Cylvia and I are going to take some time off Thanksgiving week and kind of get off and sort things out," he said. "I need a little time to process everything that happened...Obviously, some of those were revelations to me, and it's not going to ruin our relationship. But I think there's a little processing we have to do."

     RAD:  Kitz has had several months to "process" what happened.  How long does it take a person to get it that his fiance used his office for personal gain - a public issue and wasn't honest about her life before Kitz - a private issue which impacts Kitz's image. 

     JM:  Kitzhaber said he still doesn't know what kind of role, if any, Hayes will play in his administration. First, he said, he wants to find out how the Oregon Government Ethics Commission deals with two complaints filed against Kitzhaber and Hayes questioning whether she improperly used state resources to benefit her private work.

     RAD:  Everyone in Salem knows Hayes played a big role on human services issues.  She was the go-to person on a wide range of social services issues from homelessness to the human services reorganization process. She played a prominent role in the OBC poverty discussion!  

     But she is such damaged goods now - there is no way she can play such a role in the 4th term.  She simply wouldn't be credible.  

     JM: The commission staff is expected to present its preliminary findings to the commission in January, and commissioners could decide to authorize a full-fledged investigation that could take another six months, Kitzhaber said.

     "It's not optimal from a personal standpoint" if the investigation drags on, Kitzhaber said, "but I don't think it's going to interfere with the work" as governor.

     At the same time, Kitzhaber insisted he's not trying to stall journalists and other organizations that have filed a raft of public records requests seeking documents related to Hayes and her activities.

     RAD:  The more this "great unknown" bleeds into the 2015 session, the more compromised the governor will be.  It will force the legislature to take the lead.  Even with a super majority of 18-12 in the Senate and 35-25 in the House, only the governor can chart a path.  The more distracted he is by "Cylvia-gate" the less time he will have to do his job. 

     JM:  "The problem is volume," said Kitzhaber, arguing that his office has had 80 records requests and no more staff budgeted than before to handle them. "We will get them all out," he said, insisting that he is a "strong supporter of our public disclosure laws."

     RAD:  And we all believe in the Tooth Fairy...  

ON TAX REFORM

     JM:  Kitzhaber has talked about revamping the state's tax code ever since before he began his first term as governor back in 1995.

     But he said there's particular urgency in getting legislators and key interest groups to come up with a plan to present to voters in 2016.

     Early this year, Kitzhaber persuaded union and conservative business interests to  back off taking dueling initiatives to the ballot.

Kitzhaber on timber, marijuana and Monica Wehby
Kitzhaber also weighed in on these issues:
MARIJUANA: An opponent of the legalization measure, Kitzhaber said he intends to weigh in on legislation he expects the Legislature to pass tweaking provisions of the initiative.
In particular, Kitzhaber said he wants to look at whether the state needs to find better ways to detect and prosecute drivers under the influence of marijuana.
TIMBER: Kitzhaber said he supports Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden's efforts to pass a bill that would boost timber harvests in federal forests in western Oregon.
But he said the Democratic senator should put in stronger provisions to ensure those harvests actually occur.
MONICA WEHBY: Kitzhaber said he hoped to find an unpaid commission role in state government for Wehby, the pediatric neurosurgeon who ran unsuccessfully against Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.
Wehby called Kitzhaber after the election and mentioned the vacancy at the helm of the Oregon Health Authority, the governor said.
-- Jeff Mapes

     A union-backed group threatened to seek measures raising taxes on high-income-earners and on big corporations. Activists critical of the unions were working on a measure that would allow public employees to opt out of paying union dues.

     Unless he gets an agreement next year, Kitzhaber said, "what we are going to see in 2016 is a series of divisive measures."

     RAD:  What does "unless" mean?  One assume this work is being done now behind the scenes with the interested parties.  Kitz has had 4 years to bring the groups together. 

     In the past 3 terms he's simply "kicked the can" on tax reform.

     
JM"  Kitzhaber has long supported a sales tax but has said for months that polling shows it is not politically viable.

     RAD:  What does polling have to do with exercising leadership.  Tom McCall didn't take a poll to save Oregon's beaches, do Senate Bill 100 and pass the bottle bill.  Vic Atiyeh didn't need pollsters to tell him what to do in the recession of the '80s.  

     JM:  Instead, he said Friday, he's focused on several smaller changes. They include easing income taxes on poorer Oregonians who are just beginning to climb out of poverty and downsizing the state's "kicker" tax rebates so they don't cut so deeply into increases in state revenues. For businesses, he said, he's interested in providing some kind of tax cut for capital gains.

     RAD:  The governor is in effect playing "small ball" here.  Why not get rid of the corporate and personal kickers?  Why not deal with Measure 5, 11, 47 and 50 which are the cause of our budget problems?  But no the guv is going for the low hanging fruit. 

GETTING BACK ON TRACK

     JM:  At his victory party on election night, Kitzhaber said "we have some healing to do" after a difficult campaign.

     Since then, he said, he's reached out to Republican legislative leaders and has started calling incoming legislators to introduce himself.

     More important, Kitzhaber said, he's put together a budget that allows him to "accelerate" investments in education, including financing all-day kindergarten, literacy programs and vocational education as well as science and math-oriented fields.

     RAD:  How is Kitz going to pay for these "investments" when he's given away the farm to Nike and Intel, when he's grown the SIP program for big box firms and when he has used Connect Oregon to subsidize general aviation air which uses leaded gas?  

     JM:  "We're in a really good place," said Kitzhaber, adding that savings from revamping health care spending on the poor, pensions for public employees and on public safety will free up billions of dollars over the next decade – if the overall economy doesn't take a dive.

     "I think you will see an acceleration of our progress," he said, toward meeting the state's   goal of getting at least four-year degrees for 40 percent of students, two-year degrees for 40 percent and a meaningful high-school degree for the remaining 20 percent.

     It's visible progress of this kind that will play the biggest role in helping rebuild his relationship with Oregonians, Kitzhaber said.

     RAD:  The key word here is "visible progress."  The PERS deal could get derailed in the courts like a similar deal did in Illinois last week. That would put the budget in chaos.  So far Obamacare is costing more because patients under it while having access to a physician are still going to the ER.  And the education gap grows.  Kitz's promises are "pie in the sky" projections.  More spin...  

     JM:  In some ways, he said, it's like when he was elected to a third term in 2010 with a razor-thin victory over Republican Chris Dudley.

     "I needed to prove myself" after that election, he said. "I didn't get a mandate in 2011. I didn't get a mandate this time."

     RAD:  Kitz won an historic 4th term, what more of a mandate does he need?  Leadership creates mandates not rolling thunder from heaven!  It's deja vu all over again....