March 7, 2013 | Vol. 116 -- No. 46

March is for a lot of things besides politics

Write to the Point

I don’t have any special beefs or concerns to write about this week. At least nothing I want to mentally exhaust myself over that is.

The sequester is in place, like it or not, and we are awaiting the affects. It was a dumb idea, one that while signed into law by President Obama was also passed by Congress, including 174 of 240 House and 28 of 47 Senate Republicans, with 85 House and six Senate Democrats voting nay.

But, you can blame who you like, if it helps you feel better. Really, the only way something like that would have worked to strike a “grand bargain” on deficit reduction would be to not only have had automatic spending cuts, but automatic tax increases as well.

That way, those who viewed spending cuts as the only way to deficit reduction would have had something they didn’t like.

But as the Fabulous Freak Brothers cartoon character Freewheelin’ Franklin used to say, “Onward through the fog.”

In our neck of the woods, the Washington Supreme Court finally ruled on the constitutionality of citizen initiatives to regulate the Legislature’s approach to taxes, the five-times passed requirement for a two-thirds supermajority approving tax increases, and decided such a regulation required a constitutional amendment.

I think it’s the right decision. While there are precedents for supermajority votes, I think it’s also clear from the federal level on down that changing the rules about how government operates should be a drawn out, publicly debated process requiring a higher level of approval rather than that of the mob.

So, onward through the fog towards a constitutional amendment, if that’s what happens.

These issues and others will be ongoing and there’s plenty of time to get one’s dander up, as they say. It’s not that there’s anything to discuss. It’s actually just the opposite – there’s too much.

So instead, we are now entering March, and there are a lot of things taking place this month. Yes, St. Patrick’s Day, NCAA tournament basketball, a.k.a., March Madness, and of course locally, spring sports.

But there are other things taking place in March you may not know about, but might like to be aware of. For instance, March 3 was the official observance of the establishment of the Star Spangle Banner as our national anthem by act of Congress and President Herbert Hoover’s signature in 1931.

There’s still time to get in a good rendition.

March is also American Red Cross month, Irish-American Heritage month (which probably should have gone without saying – see above), national kidney, nutrition, and women’s history month. It contains weeks for food safety awareness, national consumer protection, national school breakfast, poison prevention, save your vision and tsunami awareness.

I don’t know how to comment on that last one except it is something I’d like to be aware of – especially living over 300 miles from the ocean.

There is the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the vernal equinox – first day of spring – and days to observe women and girls HIV/Aids awareness and world tuberculosis, but not at the same time. You can Google these to find out more.

And of course, there’s plenty of politics with the state Legislature hitting its stride and the Congress’ ongoing debate about deficit reduction. I find it interesting in this regard that those who say we don’t have a revenue problem spend a lot of their time trying to institute public regulation of how we raise money rather than how we spend it.

Anyway, March is a rather busy month with plenty of things other than politics to pontificate on.

And don’t forget, set you clocks ahead Saturday night as daylight savings time begins. Onward through the fog.

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