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September 12, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Morning ideas: Vladimir Putin, UW economic engine, traffic woes

Bill Gates Sr., left, received the Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus award from UW president Michael Young Saturday at the 138th University of Washington commencement in June 2013. (Photo by Alan Berner / Seattle Times)

Bill Gates Sr., left, received the Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus award from UW president Michael Young Saturday at the 138th University of Washington commencement in June 2013. (Photo by Alan Berner / Seattle Times)

UW as an economic engine: Looking forward to seeing a report about the University of Washington from former University of Washington regent Bill Gates Sr., Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith and former U.S. Sen. Dan Evans, among other heavyweights. They are set to present a report, “Washington Futures,” saying the UW must admit more state students and the state must direct more money to make the school an engine for economic growth, according to a Seattle Times news side story by news reporter Katherine Long.

Vladimir Putin: Check out the New York Times op-ed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He writes about Syria, the importance of the United Nations as arbiter of military action on a sovereign nation and ends with giving Obama the back of the hand:

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at his meeting with elected region leaders in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on Sept. 10, 2013. (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev / Associated Press)

And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.

Also this morning, Syrian President Bashir Assad said, “the U.S. threats hadn’t influenced” his government’s decision to give up chemical weapons, according to an AP news story.

Traffic woes. Sounds like Interstate 5 will be clogged all weekend through downtown Seattle, according to a Seattle Times news story by news reporter Mike Lindblom. The Highway 520 bridge will be closed all weekend. And the Seahawks home opener is Sunday. Don’t plan on leaving your house.

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