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The Last Word
The Last Word

I read where the largest employer in Waukesha, Wisconsin — General Electric (GE) — is planning to move its 115-year-old X-Ray Division from Waukesha, to Beijing.

In addition to moving the headquarters, GE will invest $2 billion in China. It will train more than 65 engineers, and create six research centers among other things.

This is the same GE that made $5.1 billion in the United States last year, but paid no taxes — and employs more people overseas than it does in America. read more »

 
The Last Word

Here at the world headquarters of the Business Journal, we have a somewhat obscure, extremely part-time, but always on the lookout for bizarre stuff, working group we refer to as the “Truth is Stranger Than Fiction, Because Fiction Has to Make Sense” (TSTFBFHMS) department. From the bowels of their dusty, dimly lit, barely functional cubicle, comes this…

In 2012, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union address will occur on the same day. Think about what an ironic juxtaposition of events this is. One involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to an insignificant creature of little intelligence for prognostication.

The other involves a groundhog. read more »

 
The Last Word

As we go to press, the long-awaited Accenture report on Washington’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to securing the proposed assembly line for the Boeing 737 MAX, was recently released. The report was commissioned by the Washington Aerospace Partnership (WAP), which is composed of a myriad of local governments, civic, business, and labor leaders, as well as non-profit and economic development organizations from around the state. It’s interesting reading for certain.

The report enumerates Washington’s strengths, and weaknesses, in competing for what has to be the single largest economic opportunity since Boeing’s decision to site the second 787 assembly line in South Carolina. read more »

 
The Last Word

Nowhere does the law of unintended consequences rear its head higher than the current debate over medical marijuana. On one side is the federal government, which says Pot is illegal — period. There is absolutely no room for debate of any kind, nor any accommodation for its proven medical uses.

In Eastern Washington, the U.S. Attorney has been active in the prosecution of users and distributors, and made it abundantly clear that local governments allowing state law governing dispensaries and collective community gardens to prevail over federal law, puts government employees and elected officials alike at risk for feeling the heavy wrath of Uncle Sam for doing so. read more »

 
The Last Word

I was certainly surprised the Association of Washington Business (AWB) has come out against Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1125, saying it “…would jeopardize construction and funding for multiple major transportation projects, including the Columbia River crossing in Vancouver and the 520 bridge in Seattle, and that just means more delays and traffic headaches for Washington drivers.”

In my view, that’s a load of crap.

According to AWB’s Web site, its decision makers also believe variable tolling is a necessary part of today’s transportation infrastructure projects, and that it would be better to have the Legislature set up a commission to set the tolls and tolling criteria than keeping those decisions with lawmakers in Olympia. read more »

 
The Last Word

There’s no doubt that social media has changed the way we live and do business. Since the major social media sites all cross post with each other anyway, what I read about Facebook considering a merger with You Tube and Twitter just makes sense. It would create one mega social media site the likes of which we’ve never experienced. One possible name — YouTwitFace. read more »

 
The Last Word

The insensitivity and caviler attitude of Kitsap County toward local business never ceases to amaze me. The latest examples of this are how the County Department of Community Development (DCD) and the Health District have essentially put Juel Lange of Lange’s Ranch out of business, and how the Prosecutor’s Office continues to pursue what has all the earmarks of a personal vendetta against Marcus Carter of the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club.

Lange and Carter have both been particularly annoying thorns in the side of County bureaucrats for more than a decade. Lange for seemingly understanding that it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission when it comes to dealing with the county’s arbitrary and overzealous enforcement of regulations, and Carter for beating county prosecutors in court three times on an alleged gun violation — and doing it without a lawyer, by representing himself. read more »

 
The Last Word

Now that Governor Christine Gregoire has announced she won’t run for a third term, the matchup everyone knew was coming is finally official — Attorney General Rob McKenna will face off against Congressman Jay Inslee. There are some other Democratic names I’ve heard bandied about, but it will be Inslee vs. McKenna no matter who else tries to jump in — on either side.

This isn’t Inslee’s first run at the Governor’s mansion. He served four years in the State Legislature before serving one term in Congress in the early 1990s from the 4th District in Eastern Washington. read more »

 
The Last Word

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich has paid a series of recent visits to our state in anticipation of his current congressional seat being eliminated when Ohio redraws its district boundaries. Kucinich, in true carpetbagger fashion, has stated if that happens, he will consider moving to another state. So far, he has declined to specifically discuss potential locations, but Washington is gaining a congressional seat in the same census-driven redistricting process eliminating Kucinich’s seat.

Kucinich has spent an inordinate amount of time speaking on Bainbridge Island, as the guest of folks who support his ultra-liberal message. read more »

 
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