Hope everyone’s had a great summer. Since our state Legislature left Salem in July, I’ve been mostly readin’ and snoozin’ and tending to my garden.
The Oregon Legislature got out of Dodge quickly, leaving a lot of unfinished business. No transportation plan, no real plan for higher ed funding, no minimum wage reform, no affordable housing — all left on the table. Some blame Senate President Peter Courtney, some blame Speaker Tina Kotek. No one seems to be blaming Gov. Kate Brown or the Republicans — at least until next year’s elections. Ballot measures will abound.
Not only did legislators dodge the whole issue of recreational pot legalization and how to tax it, they failed abjectly in dealing with, guess what, the kicker! $470 million out the window in tax cuts, mostly to the wealthy. And they knew it was coming. Everyone in the building kicked the can down the road; we’ll fix it in the 2016 session, right before primary elections. Yeah, right. So, it’s u-pick season in our gardens, it’s that time of year, what do you pick: K-12, higher ed, public safety, Senior and Disabled Services, veterans' services? What would $470 million fund in the next biennium?
Anyway, I’m enjoying my first couple of months of retirement, but I think Jeannie’s a bit irritated with me just hanging out — reading, gardening, sleeping in occasionally. Otherwise, why would she keep insisting that I put Afghanistan on my bucket list to visit solo next month while she continues to work?
I don’t even tell most folks I’m a retired (public) employee anymore. You get the roll of the eyes from anyone who’s in the private sector and the “wish I had that” whine. The first few times I responded: If you were a prudent private employer you probably put away a nest egg; and if you were a prudent and fair employer, you calculated in a pension plan for your employees as well. If you did the first and not the second, you can understand why God created the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). So these days, I’m using the same medical excuse for retirement that my local chainsaw shop owner gave me recently: “Tony, I’m retiring because my doctor just informed me I’ve been diagnosed with rectal glaucoma; I just flat out cannot see my ass going to work anymore!” The ultimate OSHA workplace hazard.
Speaking of recto-cranial disabilities: How about that Kentucky clerk and Oregon’s own, Judge Vance Day? They are so damned convinced that they’re right about the abomination of gay marriage because of their Christian religion that they won’t even let straight people get married! Damn! And they both receive a publically financed salary based on tax dollars to do it! WTF! Well, at least Vance made an exception to preside at one heterosexual marriage last year, for a friend, then ceased doing marriages altogether. What a pompous clown. Does Judge Day dye his hair orange as well? I have to rethink my previous opposition to a bill banning Sharia law in Oregon. At the time, I thought it was an ugly showboat bill by Republicans aimed at their bloodthirsty, right-wing constituents about a problem that didn’t exist in the first place. But here it is, Christian Sharia: U-pick your law.
Day, former chair of the Oregon Republican Party, pulled a self-serving political stunt. He knows he’s violating state law. You shouldn’t confuse his background with that of the self-serving, thrice-married Kentucky bimbo who doesn’t understand the difference between her God’s law and the law of the state that pays her salary to marry people in civil (not religious) ceremonies. Read your bible, sister, but not on the clock. If you don’t want to render unto Caesar, then don’t run for office, and don’t take the pay. Day, on the other hand, takes it one step further; he violates Oregon law for his own political gain. That’s why he’s being investigated by the state’s Ethics Commission.
Great to see State Sen. Floyd Frank Prozanski survived that damned recall effort. I’m glad Patricia Michaelson-Duffy, the chief petitioner of the recall, and OFF, the Oregon Firearms Federation, pissed away over $50,000 to prove how inept they were. We all know Floyd would have prevailed anyway if an election had taken place. But it will be entertaining to review the list of contributors to Michaelson-Duffy’s efforts. And where is Monica Wehby these days? And did you know Jeb Bush’s real name is John Bush? Gosh, I can’t wait for 2016!