Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, February 18, 2008

In Brief - February 18th, 2008

Last Wednesday I had an opportunity to hear Governor Gregoire address the Washington State PTA. As time ran out, a tall, ten-year-old girl in a floral dress raised her hand for one last question. If she wasn't so sweet and innocent looking, I might have suspected that she was a George Bush-style audience plant when she threw the governor a softball question, how she defines a great leader, and then thanked her for being one. Awwww.

The answer Gregoire gave her mesmerized the room and is good for food for thought in this presidential and gubernatorial election year.

According to the governor, a great leader does not focus on short-term fixes that help to get her reelected, but has a long-term vision which will allow her to accomplish big things. She is effective because she knows the best way to get things done. A great leader recognizes that the common wealth belongs to all of us and knows the efforts of many can accomplish much.

Gregoire is not afraid of difficult issues and makes decisions based on her core values, so that ultimately she can look herself in the mirror and her family in the eye and know that she didn't compromise on what is right for a quick political fix.

Does Gregoire live up to the ideals she holds? It is comforting to know that at the very least, she has a clear picture of the person she wants to be and has managed to energize and inspire one tall girl who could be tomorrow's great leader.

Let's take a look at today's headlines:

In the Pacific Northwest
  • Hoping to move bridge construction forward, a group of Eastside residents are pitching a new idea for the SR 520 Montlake interchange. On Tuesday the state Department of Transportation will show the new design to a mediation panel. The bridge replacement project has raised a number of environmental impact concerns.
  • Senator Patty Murray is crafting legislation to address military sexual assault. These attacks are an increasing problem and the military doesn't have an effective, systematic way to handle the cases.
  • Things don't look good for the Oregon GOP when conservatives start publicly begging for new blood and new ideas as found on the new Conservative Majority Party's website.
  • Readers, if you choose to take part in the largely symbolic primary tomorrow (and we hope you will), remember to check the box on your ballot or mail-in ballot envelope indicating your preferred party, and sign the oath promising that you did not caucus with the other party. Your largely symbolic vote will not count if you forget to do so.
Across the Nation
  • Uninsured Americans and those on Medicaid are more likely to have advanced forms of cancer when they are eventually diagnosed with the disease. A major factor in the delay is that these patients don't get routine screenings that could detect cancer when it is most treatable. Almost one in six Americans lack health insurance.
  • In an attempt to warm up tepid conservative support for John McCain, former president George Herbert Walker Bush endorsed him today and urged Mike Huckabee to step aside.
  • The New York Times ponders the "cult of personality" (a cult? they've got to be joking) surrounding Barack Obama and compares it to that of F.D.R. and, big surprise, J.F.K. (Will we someday be referring to Obama as B.H.O. instead?) The verdict: in the big, important presidential moments charisma has had a powerful effect, although experience too has its merits.
Around the World
  • Newly independent Kosovo has racked up the support of some powerful nations, including the U.S., France, Great Britain, Germany and Italy, however Spain and several other E.U. nations are expressing concerns about setting a precedent by supporting its independence. Spain and Cyprus worry about reigniting separatist desires within their own borders.
  • In an absence of good education and jobs, Middle Eastern youth are turning to Islam for their identity and sparking a religious revival. The burgeoning population of youth is taking its elders and government along with it in its focus on religion. Once relatively secular, nations like Egypt, Jordan and Syria are now touting their Islamic values. This is further evidence that a good educational system is a necessity for a thriving democracy.
If you have something to add, please leave a comment.


Post a Comment

<< Home