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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (April 25, 2016)
Founded in 1873
STEPHEN A. FORRESTER, Editor & Publisher
LAURA SELLERS, Managing Editor
BETTY SMITH, Advertising Manager
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2016
very own Mickey Mantle
Washington Post Writers Group
CARL EARL, Systems Manager
JOHN D. BRUIJN, Production Manager
DEBRA BLOOM, Business Manager
HEATHER RAMSDELL, Circulation Manager
for Circuit Court judge
udges are a largely unseen, but essential part of local gov-
ernment. Our democracy relies upon judges’ impartiality as
well as their competence in running a trial. The judges of the
Clatsop County Circuit Court — Phil Nelson, Paula Brownhill
and Cindee Matyas — are widely praised for their competence.
A rare vacancy on the court his of¿ce, Marquis said: “She
is coming, because Judge was the best child abuse pros-
Nelson is retiring at the end of ecutor ,’ve seen in the
a distinguished career.
years ,’ve practiced law.”
The three candidates for this Judge Brownhill has endorsed
open position have one thing in Mc,ntosh, saying: “She is
common. They have worked smart, she is analytical, and
or are working as deputy pros- she knows the law. We should
ecutors in the of¿ce of 'istrict take advantage of this oppor-
Attorney Josh Marquis.
tunity to elect a skilled law-
'avid *oldthorpe is a yer who can hit the ground
deputy district attorney. running.”
*oldthorpe has suggested
'awn Mc,ntosh is partner
in a *earhart law ¿rm. 5on that Mc,ntosh would have
Woltjer serves as municipal to recuse herself from cases
judge for Warrenton, Seaside involving former clients. But
we must remember that Judge
and Cannon Beach.
,t is e[ceedingly rare to ¿nd Nelson and Judge Brownhill
a prosecutor who has been a both came to the bench from
corrections of¿cer. *oldthorpe private practice, and this was
has done that, in an ,daho not an impediment.
Woltjer’s strength is that he
medium security prison. Of
his judicial candidacy, he says: has courtroom e[perience as
“You shouldn’t send someone a lawyer and as a municipal
to a place you haven’t seen.” court judge. But the leap from
That is a valuable perspective. municipal court to circuit court
Marquis has endorsed is considerable.
This is a good ¿eld of can-
*oldthorpe, saying he e[hib-
ited qualities essential to judi- didates. With differing levels
cial temperament — “compas- of readiness, it is safe to say
sion, fairness, commitment to that each of them could do the
equal justice, decisiveness.” job. Since they are all gradu-
*oldthorpe is also endorsed ates of the Josh Marquis grad-
by law enforcement of¿cials, uate school, we know they
would bring the prosecutor’s
such as Sheriff Tom Bergin.
Mc,ntosh has the most perspective.
Our recommendation is
e[tensive legal e[perience
of the three. She has been 'awn Mc,ntosh. +er acknowl-
a prosecutor and a lawyer edged e[cellence as a prose-
in private practice. Prior to cutor and her private practice
being recruited by Marquis, e[perience in the courtroom
Mc,ntosh worked in the make her the most versatile of
Multnomah County dis- these candidates. All three are
trict attorney’s of¿ce. 8pon prepared, but she is the most
Mc,ntosh’s departure from prepared.
*ood riddance, Jim Crow
t is dif¿cult to think of
a name that white peo-
ple would react to with the
same distaste many African-
Americans feel for Jim Crow:
Osama Bin Laden? Adolf
+itler? 9ladimir Lenin? +ow
would we feel about having
anything around with one of
these names attached to it?
For most of the nation, Jim
Crow is code for a set of rac-
ist attitudes and formal laws
that were designed to enforce a
regressive racial caste system.
,t encompasses obno[ious ste-
reotypes and American apart-
heid — the whole hateful pat-
tern of separate and unequal
facilities for whites and non-
whites that ¿nally began to be
dismantled in the 1960s.
A Washington state senator
has initiated a campaign to strip
Jim Crow and other racially
derisive names from geograph-
ical features in the state, includ-
ing three instances of Jim Crow
in Wahkiakum County.
Local leaders appear to
have no intention of joining
the renaming campaign, and
are dismissive of concerns. ,t
is cringe-inducing to hear any
contemporary elected of¿cial
refer to African-Americans as
The time has passed for
this naming issue to be a local
option. 5esidents are free to
think of Jim Crow Creek/
Point/+ill however they wish.
But as far as of¿cial maps and
nautical charts are concerned,
change is overdue. The sim-
plest solution would be to just
strip off “Jim.”
This isn’t “political correct-
ness.” ,t’s simple good man-
ners and good sense.
AS+,N*TON — We all
have our ways of marking
, know it’s spring when in early
April , start my morning by skipping
The Washington Post front page and
going right to the sports section.
until ,’ve fully
scores that ,
friends are for-
ever puzzled by
my devotion to
the game. , agree
entirely with them about the irrational-
ity of fandom. Why should a grown
man with a house, a family, two jobs
and a cat named Will Feral (brought in
from the cold and now largely domesti-
cated, like the 'anish .ing Canute by
the English) care about a bunch of mil-
lionaire 0-something strangers playing
a boys’ game in baggy uniforms?
,t’s ridiculous. Yet when the home-
town Washington Nationals win, my
mood brightens. Can’t help it.
When they ¿rst came here a decade
ago, they didn’t win much. ,n 00-09,
the Nats lost 0 games. , went to the
park anyway. When your team is good,
you go to see them win. When they’re
bad, you go for the moments — the
beautiful moments, like the perfectly
e[ecuted out¿eld assist, that grace
every dif¿cult athletic endeavor from
the balance beam to the giant slalom.
The Nationals, being a very good
team now, practically guarantee such
moments every game. Their newly
acquired second baseman, the one with
the impossibly level swing and no leg
kick, leads the league in hitting. Their
star pitcher tossed two no-hitters last
season, something done e[actly ¿ve
times in the previous 11 years. And
then there’s Bryce +arper.
+e’s the best baseball player on the
planet, probably in the entire Milky
Way. (Those bo[ scores are slow in
coming in.) And for the ne[t three
years, he’ll be playing at Nats Park.
AP Photo/Nick Wass
Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper pumps his fist as he takes a cur-
tain call after he hit a grand slam during the third inning of an baseball
game against the Atlanta Braves, April 14, in Washington, D.C. It was
Harper’s 100th career home run.
It’s spring. It’s
After that, he becomes a free agent and
will command the largest contract in the
history of professional sports. +e might
very well end up with the money-bag
'odgers or Yankees and 00 million.
*ive or take.
So be it. By 019, we could all be
underwater or living under Sharia law,
depending on whether your dooms-
day is of the 'emocratic or 5epublican
Àavor. ,n the interim, ,’m going to eat,
drink and watch +arper.
At 16, he graced the cover of Sports
Illustrated as the “Chosen One.” At 19,
when most elite players are starting col-
lege ball, he was the National League
rookie of the year. At , he was unan-
imously voted the NL Most 9aluable
Player, the youngest to score such a
sweep. That was last year. This year,
he’s even better.
+e came in as a brash, hyperener-
getic, often reckless rookie who in his
eighth major league game stole home
off a former World Series M9P pitcher
who had deliberately plunked him min-
utes earlier just to teach him a lesson. ,t
obviously didn’t take.
These days, +arper plays with more
controlled fury. No longer crashes into
out¿eld walls. And has tamed his vio-
lently e[plosive swing with such pitch
recognition and plate discipline that in
the age of the strikeout — up per-
cent in the last decade — he has (as of
this writing) fewer strikeouts than home
And it’s those home runs that turn
every +arper at-bat into an event. Like
Thursday last week. +arper comes to
the plate with 99 career home runs.
Bases loaded, two outs, Nats trailing
1-0, crowd rocking.
,t was a movie moment and he did
his 5oy +obbs — a rocket to right ¿eld
that seemed to be still rising when it
hit the scoreboard on the upper-deck
facade. And broke it. .nocked out the
“r” in the *ood +umor ad running at
the moment of impact. Place went nuts.
+arper’s ¿rst-ever grand slam. What
does he do the very ne[t time he comes
up with the bases loaded, just ¿ve days
later? Need you ask?
,n spring training, +arper hit two
home runs in a game off Cy Young
winner Justin 9erlander. The second
cleared a -foot wall at the 0-foot
mark in dead center. Said the Nats’ new
pitching coach, incredulous, to the man-
ager: “We get to watch this every day?”
,f you live in Washington, you get to
watch this — our own young Mickey
Mantle — 1 times a season. +ow then
can you get too despondent about our
presidential choices, the kowtow to
Cuba or the decline of the California
smelt? ,t’s spring. ,t’s warm. There’s
baseball. There’s +arper. Why, even the
Cubs are good this year.
America is in Hamilton’s debt
By PAUL KRUGMAN
New York Times News Service
he Treasury 'epartment
moment to announce a revision
in its plans to change the faces on
the 10 bill
in favor of a
— one of the
most heroic ¿g-
ures in the his-
tory of our nation, or any nation —
will move onto the face of the 0
She will replace Andrew Jackson,
a populist who campaigned against
elites but was also, unfortunately,
very much a racist, arguably an advo-
cate of what we would nowadays call
white supremacy. +mm. 'oes that
make you think about any currently
prominent political ¿gures?
But let me leave the 0 bill
alone and talk about how glad , am
to see +amilton retain his well-de-
served honor. And ,’m not alone
among economists in my admiration
for our ¿rst Treasury secretary. ,n
fact, Stephen S. Cohen and J. Brad-
ford 'eLong have an e[cellent new
book, Concrete Economics, arguing
that +amilton was the true father of
the 8.S. economy.
Full disclosure: , know ne[t to
nothing about +amilton the man and
his life story. Nor, ,’m sorry to say,
have , managed to see the musical.
But , have read +amilton’s pathbreak-
ing economic policy manifestoes, in
particular his 1790 First Report on
the Public Credit, a document that
remains amazingly relevant today.
,n that report, +amilton proposed
that the federal government assume
and honor all of the debts individual
states had run up during the 5evolu-
tionary War, imposing new tariffs on
imported goods to raise the needed
revenue. +e believed that doing so
Washington University Law School
Alexander Hamilton portrait by
John Trumbull, 1806.
around to help
would produce important bene¿ts,
which ,’ll get to in a minute.
First, however, , think it’s interest-
ing to ask how such a proposal would
be received today.
On the left, it would surely be
denounced as a bailout — a give-
away to speculators who had pur-
chased devalued debt for pennies on
the dollar, and would reap large cap-
ital gains. ,ndeed, a fair bit of the
report is devoted to e[plaining why
trying to prevent such windfall gains,
via “discrimination between the dif-
ferent classes of creditors,” would be
impractical and unwise.
Meanwhile, on the right —
well, +amilton was calling for a ta[
increase, which modern conserva-
tives oppose under any and all cir-
cumstances. Luckily for him, there
was no Club for *rowth to demand
But why did +amilton want to
take on those state debts? Partly to
establish a national reputation as a
reliable borrower, so that funds could
be raised cheaply in the future. Partly,
also, to give wealthy, inÀuential
investors a stake in the new federal
government, thereby creating a pow-
erful pro-federal constituency.
Beyond that, however, +amilton
argued that the e[istence of a signi¿-
cant, indeed fairly large national debt
would be good for business. Why?
Because “in countries in which the
national debt is properly funded, and
an object of established con¿dence,
it answers most of the purposes of
money.” That is, bonds issued by the
8.S. government would provide a
safe, easily traded asset that the pri-
vate sector could use as a store of
value, as collateral for deals, and in
general as a lubricant for business
activity. As a result, the debt would
become a “national blessing,” mak-
ing the economy more productive.
This argument anticipates, to a
remarkable degree, one of the hottest
ideas in modern macroeconomics:
the notion that we are suffering from
a global “safe asset shortage.” The
private sector, according to this argu-
ment, can’t function well without a
suf¿cient pool of assets whose value
isn’t in question — and for a variety
of reasons, there just aren’t enough
such assets these days.
As a result, investors have been
bidding up the prices of govern-
ment debt, leading to incredibly low
interest rates. But it would be better
for almost everyone, the story goes,
if governments were to issue more
debt, investing the proceeds in much-
needed infrastructure even while pro-
viding the private sector with the col-
lateral it needs to function. And it’s
a very persuasive story to just about
everyone who has looked hard at the
ers won’t do the right thing, largely
because they keep listening to ¿scal
scolds — people who insist that pub-
lic debt is a terrible thing even when
borrowing costs almost nothing. The
inÀuence of these scolds, their vir-
tual veto over ¿scal policy, somehow
persists even though their predictions
of soaring interest rates and runaway
inÀation keep not coming true.
The point is that Ale[ander +amil-
ton knew better.
8nfortunately, +amilton isn’t
around to help counter foolish debt
phobia. But maybe reminding policy-
makers of his wisdom is one way to
chip away at the wall of folly that still
constrains policy. And having his face
out there every time someone pulls
out a 10 can’t hurt, either.