Opinion

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- The Wal-Mart Moms were pessimistic, bordering on despondent, about the state of the country. Like, well, moms dealing with bickering children, they were exasperated by Washington lawmakers seemingly incapable of learning to get along.

  • Sep 24th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- It was a jarring moment from an ordinarily smooth pol. Haley Barbour, governor of Mississippi, chairman of the Republican Governors Association and 2012 presidential prospect -- which helped explain the big turnout at a breakfast Wednesday sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor -- was asked why so many people seem to believe that President Obama is Muslim.

  • Sep 17th, 2010

So what’s my incentive?

The cast of characters here at Energy Matters suffer from a clear obsession for saving energy.

  • Sep 12th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- I left the Glenn Beck rally worried that I didn’t have much of a story.

  • Sep 3rd, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- There are times when I flirt with the notion that the country would be better off with divided government.

  • Aug 27th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON — Congress has acted, after a cruel delay, to renew the extension of unemployment benefits. Those who are unemployed through no fault of their own will be eligible to collect benefits for as long as 99 weeks. This is an awfully long time, and it raises the question: Is Congress subsidizing slackers? To put it in a slightly less provocative way, do the beefed-up benefits encourage people not to work?

  • Aug 20th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- Elena Kagan, no surprise, did not live up to the Kagan standard of openness in answering questions during her confirmation hearing. Mitch McConnell did not live up to the McConnell standard of deference in voting against her.

  • Aug 13th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- Stop procrastinating. That is always good advice, and always hard to heed. But in some situations procrastination is more damaging than others. One of those involves getting the country’s fiscal health in order. The latest advice to stop procrastinating -- or, perhaps more important, the latest explanation of why procrastinating will only make matters worse and the fix that much more painful -- comes courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office, and its new report on the long-term budget outlook (http://tinyurl.com/25a7chn).

  • Aug 7th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- If I were President Obama, I’d be seriously rethinking James Clapper’s nomination to be director of national intelligence. At the very least, I’d call him in -- along with the umpty-ump other intelligence chieftains -- and order up another look at the serious problems with the sprawling intelligence bureaucracy exposed by The Washington Post.

  • Jul 30th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- I owe Sarah Palin an apology.

  • Jul 24th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- As a matter of policy, President Obama’s nomination of Donald Berwick to oversee Medicare and Medicaid was inspired: Berwick, co-founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is the country’s leading evangelist for the proposition that it is possible to deliver higher quality medical care at a lower cost. He’s not only preached that gospel; he’s shown that it can be translated into reality.

  • Jul 16th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- And sometimes, life imitates farce.

  • Jun 26th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- What is this, middle school? I was all set to sit down and write about women in politics, and applaud Tuesday’s results, when off pops the new Republican nominee for senator from California, Carly Fiorina, with a comment that takes you back to the cattiness of the school cafeteria.

  • Jun 11th, 2010

A letter from Leyardia Black

To my dear friends and patients of my Lopez and San Juan Island communities (Orcas and Shaw please don’t feel left out, it’s just I don’t know as many of you.)

  • Jun 4th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- “You don’t have to drink. You just have to pay.”

  • Jun 4th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- Has Sarah Palin learned anything since she was plucked from obscurity almost two years ago? Not that I can tell.

  • May 28th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON — She’s not gay, OK?

  • May 21st, 2010

Ruth Marcus

PHOENIX -- “What’s the matter with Arizona?” is the obvious question about the state’s new immigration law. There are a few obvious answers -- and a not-so-obvious one that I was surprised to hear from observers across the political spectrum here.

  • May 14th, 2010

Energy matters

We used to live in a simpler world. It was a world in which we were blessed by an abundance of cheap hydropower and fossil fuels. It was a world in which  our pursuit of low-cost electricity and fuel was not complicated by our mounting impact on the environment, natural resources and habitat. A world of seemingly endless economic growth and opportunities. Now that world is not so simple.

  • May 7th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- I am so going to miss Justice Stevens.

  • May 7th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON — It isn’t easy being a caucus of one.

  • Apr 30th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON — The public is zero for seven at the Supreme Court this term.

  • Apr 23rd, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON — There is something weird going on in the Republican Party when Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is the voice of reason.

  • Apr 17th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- My heart aches for the parents of Phoebe Prince, the 15-year-old Massachusetts high school student who committed suicide in January after being relentlessly bullied at school and online.

  • Apr 9th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- A woman did it.

  • Apr 5th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON — Here’s a phrase you can expect to hear a lot in the next few days: “According to the CBO.” The CBO is the Congressional Budget Office, the official scorekeeper of the costs of proposed legislation. Rarely has a CBO report been more anxiously awaited than the analysis released Thursday of the proposed changes to the Senate health care reform bill. Democrats are delighted with the bottom-line analysis that the measure would save $138 billion over the next 10 years, and as much as $1.2 trillion in the second 10 years -- all this while expanding coverage to 32 million people who would otherwise be uninsured.

  • Mar 26th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- The chief justice is a big crybaby.

  • Mar 19th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON—Sometimes I think I’ve gotten too cynical after so many years in Washington.

  • Mar 13th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- Boy, you could see that one coming. It was a pivotal moment earlier this month when Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates backed repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Pivotal, but not enough. I don’t spend a lot of time chatting up military officers, but enough to know that, just below the top-most ranks, there remains an enormous, if incomprehensible, amount of squeamishness about letting gay men and women serve openly in the military.

  • Mar 6th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- How big a deal was Marco Rubio’s speech to CPAC Thursday? If you are asking, as former President George W. Bush did jokingly the other day, “Who the hell is Marco Rubio?” you probably won’t be for long. Rubio is the 38-year-old former speaker of the Florida House and a conservative challenger to the state’s Republican governor, Charlie Crist, in the GOP Senate primary. If you are asking, what is CPAC? you probably aren’t a conservative Republican. CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, is, for several days every winter, the epicenter of the conservative movement; Ronald Reagan spoke before the group a dozen times.

  • Feb 27th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON — The most striking part of Sen. Evan Bayh’s retirement announcement was his on-air job application. He’d be interested in managing a business, Bayh suggested, heading a university, or maybe running a charity.

  • Feb 23rd, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON— Jenny Sanford was my role model, until I read her book. Well, not role model, exactly, but improbable heroine. When her cheating, blubbering, disappearing-with-his-soul-mate husband turned up on national television to confess that he had not been hiking the Appalachian Trail, Jenny Sanford was neither standing by his side nor crawling into a hole.

  • Feb 13th, 2010

The health care debate

One morning, at the breakfast table, while eating a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, your chest begins to hurt. The pain worsens and you feel breathless. You briefly consider the possibility that what you’re eating really are pebbles.

  • Feb 6th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON — My husband and I were away last week — working, but away. My mother was watching the kids, but she also works. So it was particularly important, I told my new but already somewhat spotty baby sitter, that she turn up on time, every day.

  • Feb 6th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- This won’t comfort Democrats mourning the loss of their filibuster-proof…

Ruth Marcus

Weekly Note: Ruth Marcus will be replacing Ellen Goodman’s column. Goodman retired…

  • Jan 25th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

Weekly Note: Ruth Marcus will be replacing Ellen Goodman’s column. Goodman retired…

  • Jan 16th, 2010

Participate in the U.S. Census | Editorial

2010 is an important year. We will participate in the 23rd U.S. Census to determine our nation’s population. The census is mandated every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution; the results are used to allocate congressional seats, electoral votes and government program funding.

  • Jan 12th, 2010

Homeless count scheduled for January 28

San Juan County Health & Community Services will participate in the state’s annual Point in Time Count of Homeless Persons (PIT) on Thursday, January 28. Prior to that date it will contact and enlist the cooperation of local agencies and organizations that come in contact with homeless members of the community.

  • Jan 11th, 2010

Weekly Note: Ruth Marcus will be replacing Ellen Goodm

Weekly Note: Ruth Marcus will be replacing Ellen Goodman’s column. Goodman retired at the end of 2009.

  • Jan 11th, 2010