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Friday, October 30, 2020

Floyd McKay

Floyd J. McKay, emeritus professor of journalism at Western Washington University, covered Pacific Northwest politics as a reporter and opinion writer for four decades, primarily in Oregon. He was commentator/news analyst at KGW-TV (King Broadcasting) from 1970 to 1987. Previously a print reporter, he returned to print and online reporting and commentary from 2004 to 2017 with the Seattle Times Op-ed page and Crosscut.com. He is the author of Reporting the Oregon Story: How Activists and Visionaries Transformed a State (Oregon State University Press, 2016). He lives in Bellingham.

Goooooooal! (Not)

Biden talked of kids “torn from the arms” of parents; Trump went on about coyotes and cartels, murderers and rapists. Biden promised a “path to citizenship” for millions and preservation of DACA. It went downhill from there, Trump declared himself “the least racist person in the room” and appeared totally incoherent on climate change.

Republicans Smell Blood in Oregon’s Fractured 4th Congressional District

Put at its most basic, the university communities of Eugene (Oregon Ducks) and Corvallis (Oregon State Beavers) keep Democrats in power. The rest of the district votes Republican, even in areas where blue-collar workers voted Democrat at mid-century.

A Presidential “Debate” like No Other

How a decent man like Joe Biden weathered the 90 minutes deserves a medal. I felt for Chris Wallace, knowing that I would not have been able to take control of Donald Trump, either.

The Coronavirus Pandemic Adds New Twists to ‘The Good Death’

Everything is being affected in wrenching ways -- telemedicine, volunteers for hospice, family conversations, overwhelmed professional services, palliative care, death-with-dignity options.

Veepstakes: Vetting the Spouses

Vetting what was surely a small pool in 1984 did not uncover problems with the business connections of John Zaccaro, Geraldine Ferraro’s husband. In time, the couple were forced to reveal their tax records, producing yet more questions and allegations and preventing Ferraro from gaining a real footing on the campaign trail.

Earth Day At 50: Present At The Creation, Anxious At The Birthday

Fifty years later, we seem to be approaching another important transition, pushed by the dual threats of a second Trump term and fear of global pandemic. Democrats have been slow to mount an aggressive climate-change agenda, and the dominance of pandemic news and fears does not bode well for climate to influence the November election.

Vote Safe: A Vote-By-Mail Presidential Election?

The proposal, popular in the Northwest, got entangled in big-money politics in the Senate. But Vote-by-Mail could still emerge as a solution to the 2020 general election.

Oregon Politics: Quorums on the Great Divide

Shared values seem to be in short supply as the urban-rural split becomes a chasm in the new century.

70 Ex-US Senators Sign Letter Rebuking Present-Day Senators

It was heartening to see all four living ex-senators from the Northwest—all Republicans—on this list.

Killer B’s: Buttigieg Too Soon, Biden Too Late, Bloomberg Too Vulnerable. So Bernie Or…

Mike Bloomberg showed what happens when you have so much money and power that people don’t talk back to you; you’ve lost the ability and the edge to debate.

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A New Funder Invests in the Future of Seattle Arts

All philanthropic support is not equal. And the pandemic lockdown demonstrates different approaches.

Want to end the Pandemic?

In a a rationally governed world it could be done, thereby opening up the enormous range of coordinated actions available to policy makers ready to look at hard facts before making hard but firm choices.

Demons and Devils: Halloween and its Growing Popularity

There’s something bigger, more malevolent, going on here. Something demonic.

More Consensus: Time to move to Ranked Choice Voting?

It induces candidates to build broad coalitions to win elections. They can’t win by just energizing their base. Instead, they must appeal to a wide coalition of voters to win second and third choices.

After Trump-Solving: Seattle Needs Problem Solving

The situation calls for local politicians to walk (fight Covid's spread) and chew gum (salvage the local economy) at the same time.