Of pharmacists, tax cuts and good conduct

ITEM — John McCain, the likely Republican nominee for president, says there will be no new taxes “under any circumstances” during his administration if he is elected the nation’s chief.

Democrat Barack Obama says if he’s elected, “I’ll be a president who puts a middle-class tax cut in the pockets of Americans.”

COMMENT — There isn’t much difference between “under no circumstances” and “read my lips, no new taxes,” and I’m sure the Democrats will recreate the specter of Bush 41. But every time they do, remember that Democrats asked him to sign their tax increase with their pledge to use the money saved from downsizing of defense to reduce the federal deficit.

He believed them and did it, and they promptly double-crossed him and put the savings right in the old pork barrel.

Bill Clinton just forgot all about his middle-class tax cut pledge, and so did the media.

ITEM — Pharmacists and drug store owners in Washington can still refuse to sell the “morning-after pill” if they have religious objections to the emergency contraceptives, a federal judge has ruled.

COMMENT — The state, which adopted rules last year saying a patient’s right to purchase the medication superseded a pharmacist or drug store owner’s moral objections concerning prevention of pregnancy, should take it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which, I believe, will not agree that the constitutional religious rights of pharmacists are being violated.

If druggists are against preventing conception, why do they sell condoms?

ITEM — Edward E. Scott, 44, once the highest-ranked enlisted man at Naval Base Kitsap as command master chief, was allowed to retire honorably with benefits despite his arrest and conviction for attempted child rape.

Scott was arrested in a sting operation in which an officer posed as the mother of young twins in an on-line forum.

He was met by police at a Bremerton motel where he had arranged to have sex with what he believed was the mother and the twins.

Convicted and sentenced to nine months in jail and three years of intensive sexual deviancy treatment, he retired from the Navy Jan. 31, after being demoted one rank to senior chief petty officer.

The Navy declined to comment.

COMMENT — I agree with those Navy personnel who say this sends the wrong message to servicemen and women everywhere that the higher up in pay grade you are, the more you can get away with. The least they could do is take back Scott’s Good Conduct Medal.

ITEM — Naming the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge after the late Sen. Bob Oke, R-Port Orchard, who lobbied long and hard for it, apparently is not going to be ordered by the Legislature, since the bill to do so didn’t survive cutoffs.

COMMENT — That doesn’t mean the Transportation Commission can’t do it on its own. That’s how my name got on a highway overpass near Poulsbo, and how many such bridges have been named in the past, including the William Bugge bridge, more familiarly known as the Hood Canal bridge.

Bugge was a former state highway director and the naming was instigated by his good friend, commission chair and former Congresswoman Julia Butler Hansen of Cathlamet.

ITEM — Thieves have stolen about $375,000 of copper wire from highway light fixtures and junction boxes in the state in the past two years, and authorities say they don’t know how to stop it.

Motorists are endangered when vandalized traffic lights don’t work.

COMMENT — There can’t be too many places to sell the stuff, so why not require the middleman to get names and addresses from driver licenses and inspections by cops before resale.

Or is that too easy?

Adele Ferguson can be reached at

PO Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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