Here’s some stuff you might like.
Business: Two Bend shopping centers anchored by Albertsons grocery stores have sold for a combined $20 million. The Wagner Mall at the north end of town and the Pinebrook Plaza at the south end of town originally housed Wagner’s grocery stores (sold to Albertsons in 1994), and the fact that I didn’t need the linked news story to tell me that, means I’m getting old.
Politics: Friends, allow me to relate a story that demonstrates the defining characteristic of Oregon politics:
1. The main Oregon chapter of the Service Employees International Union (“SEIU“) represents over 22,000 employees of the State of Oregon.
2. SEIU members pay it 1.7% of their salary in the form of dues.
3. SEIU’s primary political action committee spent $2 million in 2018 (Click, search for CAPE and go to the account summary for 2018) to help elect Democrats to the legislature and the governor’s office.
4. Democrats won the governorship and supermajorities in both houses of the legislature.
5. The Democrat-controlled legislature enacted a bevy of tax and fee increases, including a multi-billion dollar gross receipts tax.
6. It also increased the pot of money set aside for state employee pay raises from $100 million to $200 million.
7. State negotiators, who work for the Democrats the SEIU helped to elect, this week agreed to give state employees up to a 15% raise over the next two years, while preventing employees from paying anything more for health insurance.Fifteen percent.
8. This raise will generate more dues and bigger political contributions for SEIU, which it will use to continue to elect legislators and governors who are favorable to more raises and benefits for SEIU members.
You see, the primary function of state government in Oregon is to wrench the most possible tax revenue from the general population and to distribute as much as possible to the unionized public employees whose dues elect the politicians who run the government. It is corrupt and disgusting.
Et cetera: When Notre Dame cathedral burned, I thought immediately of 9/11. Both involved burning, symbolic and instantly recognizable buildings, with the destruction helplessly viewed in real-time. The New York Times has run an informative story on the effort to save Notre Dame that day, and just how close the entire building came to collapsing, saved only by the heroic efforts of firefighters.
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Have a great weekend!