Richard Elfers

Why such a polarized process? | Rich Elfers

“While American politics has always been a shrill, partisan, and ugly business going back to the Founding Fathers, we have rarely been so polarized and so unable to execute even the basic functions of the government, much less tackle the most difficult and divisive problems facing the country.”

‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War’ | Rich Elfers

In his memoir, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” former secretary of defense under both Bush and Obama, Robert M. Gates, states that he fought four wars at the same time

Gates likely glad his job is done | Rich Elfers

Robert M. Gates is probably the only secretary of defense who can claim to have had a “honeymoon” for his entire four and one-half years of service.

Cash still flowing to pockets of a few | Rich Elfers

This is Apple’s eight-word business plan found on the back of your iPhone.

Enumclaw Welcome Center a twisted tale | Rich Elfers

Enumclaw City Administrator Chris Searcy recalled in his May 27, 2014, staff report that it was the year 2000 when state Route 410 from Enumclaw over Chinook Pass to Naches was designated as an “All American Road.” The name of that section of highway eventually became the Chinook Scenic Byway.

Expect sparks to fly in the 31st district races | Rich Elfers

Watch for sparks to fly in the Cathy Dahlquist/Pam Roach state Senate battle. The campaign will be long, contentious and expensive. Adding to the interest is that both candidates are Republicans.

Not sharing the wealth in D.C. | Rich Elfers

The last time I visited Washington D.C., was in the 1980s. On my most recent visit a few weeks ago, I was shocked by the changes that have occurred.

China at the crossroads: Part 2 | Rich Elfers

“Reform is China’s second revolution,” and “To get rich is glorious.” These are words from China’s communist leader, Deng Xiao Ping, who led China from 1978 to 1992. He set out to undo all the damage Mao Zedong had done to China with his Great Leap Forward (1958-61) and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) as I discussed in last week’s column.

Hazards of unfettered power | Rich Elfers

“Every man did what was right in his own eyes” is a quote from the book of Judges in the Old Testament. It sums up what Mao Zedong did after he took control of China in 1949 and how he imposed his brand of socialist utopianism on the people of China. This was the first of three major crossroads or turning points in Chinese history since the Communist takeover. The two other major crossroads will be discussed in a future column.

Seas will rise, costs will to up | Rich Elfers

In 2012, something amazing happened: Republicans and Democrats came together during a bitter election-year campaign and fixed the National Flood Insurance Program.

We need help to face our elephants | Rich Elfers

Is there an issue in your life, in your job or in your family that you are ignoring? Are you hoping it will just go away?

Sometimes government works | Rich Elfers

Carol Smith, resident of Enumclaw, was called to be in Arlington, Wash., at 6 a.m. on March 28 to help manage the aftermath of the March 22 Oso mudslide.

Enumclaw City Council risking PSE relationship

In 1626, Native Americans sold Manhattan Island to the Dutch for $24 worth of beads. Today, Manhattan’s assets number in the billions if not trillions of dollars. What if Native Americans were to come back, having seen the value of Manhattan today, and demanded “just” compensation?

New technology under the hood | Rich Elfers

A funny thing happened to me on my way to an oil change.

Your personal data is shopped around | Rich Elfers

Most of you are familiar with Edward Snowden, the government employee who stole thousands of secret files from the National Security Agency and then fled, eventually ending up in temporary refuge in Russia. The secret data collecting the government has been carrying out appalled many Americans.

Enumclaw City Council correct on fee for streets | Rich Elfers

Last week the thesis for my column was: taxes are not always bad. This week I’m going to tackle an issue the city of Enumclaw has been dealing with for at least seven years – raising taxes to fix our streets. Let me give you some background.

Shiny outside, but poor quality | Rich Elfers

The definition of a plutocrat is “a person who derives power from wealth.” Warren Buffet fits in that category.

Supreme Court could set new direction on labor| Rich Elfers

What if, in June, the five conservative Supreme Court justices strike down the Noel Channing National Labor Relations Board case against the Obama administration’s recess appointments? They might do so on the grounds that the original law that created the National Labor Relations Board in 1935 is unconstitutional. Let me give you some historic background and then explain the political and constitutional implications.

Appointments bring Washington D.C. political battle | Rich Elfers

Another major confrontation between conservatives and the president is currently being argued before the Supreme Court. Since 2009, when Barack Obama took office, there has been a battle over confirmations between Senate Republicans and the president.

Nations profiting with NAFTA | Rich Elfers

Do you realize NAFTA has been in existence for 20 years? Don’t know what NAFTA is and why it’s important? NAFTA stands for North American Free Trade Agreement.