Over the years, I've attended several parties that featured confessional booths with video cameras. In the footage at the end of one such party, my friend Nick showed up and sat drunkenly in front of the camera, casually smoking a cigarette. He then took his beer and poured it on his head. After a long pause, he declared, "That went about how I thought it would."
Well, the same thing's happening to Washington state. Facing a giant budget shortfall and a tax structure that barely touches our richest citizens, we decided that taxes are evil but cutting poor and old people off from necessary services is not. (Such decisions may be another reason the Times editorial page is suddenly so in love with Christine Gregoire.)
Bringing the point home, ElderHealth Northwest held a press conference yesterday to announce the closure of two of its six facilities and introduce some of the people who would be affected. ElderHealth is the state's biggest provider of adult day-health services--things like insulin management, or therapy to relearn skills like walking or writing after a head injury. Six more adult day-health services are slated to close. As Joel Connelly puts it, "The Washington Legislature seems to have embraced a disgustingly low definition of what our progressive state owes its physically and mentally disabled."