Archive - 2014

Date

July 20th

Virginia free clinic addresses misery that shouldn't exist

    A gravel parking lot deep in the green hills of Virginia coal country was packed to capacity by 4 a.m. Friday. More than 1,500 people with canes, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, bleeding gums, black lungs and other ills had come to the Wise County Fairgrounds, camping in tents, sleeping in pickup truck beds or scrunched up in their cars, hoping to see a doctor.

    At midnight before the clinic opened, there were 1,204 people in line. And over the weekend, thousands more will come.

Republican first round pits Paul against Perry

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky are the first would-be contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination to go mano-a-mano.

Obama finally lashes out on downed plane

    On the day that saw the double whammy of the downing of a Malaysian Airlines over Ukraine and the Israeli invasion of Gaza, President Obama seemed at first conspicuously unengaged for a man customarily regarded as the leader of the "free world."

    He had started the day in Delaware making a pitch for more bridge and other infrastructure repair, and then went blithely on to New York for more political fund-raising.

Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality

    Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.

Why doesn't Dick Cheney just shut up?

    Among former presidents, there's an unwritten rule: Once you leave the game, you don't stand on the sidelines and criticize the man who took your place. You never heard George H.W. Bush attack Bill Clinton. Never heard Clinton slamming George W. Bush. And, to his credit, you haven't heard a peep from George W. Bush ever since he went back to Dallas.

Addicted to Inflation

    The first step toward recovery is admitting that you have a problem. That goes for political movements as well as individuals. So I have some advice for so-called reform conservatives trying to rebuild the intellectual vitality of the right: You need to start by facing up to the fact that your movement is in the grip of some uncontrollable urges. In particular, it's addicted to inflation - not the thing itself, but the claim that runaway inflation is either happening or about to happen.

The $300,000 Drug

    Kalydeco is truly a wonder drug.

    Developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, it is the first drug that attacks not just the symptoms but the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, a genetic lung disease that usually kills victims by the time they reach their 40s. It doesn't work for every sufferer of the disease but rather for a small subset - probably around 2,000 people - who have a specific genetic mutation that the drug targets. But for those it helps, it is life-changing.

A Popular President

    The thing about him is, he just keeps going.

    At 67, he continues to be, as Anna Quindlen once wrote, like one of those inflatable toys with sand weighting the bottom - you knock him over and he pops back up.

    As Hillary stumbles and President Obama slumps, Bill Clinton keeps getting more popular.

Who's Right and Wrong in the Middle East?

    With Israeli troops again invading Gaza and the death toll rising, some of the rhetoric from partisans on each side is oddly parallel. Maybe it's time to correct a few common misconceptions among the salvos flying back and forth.

    - This is a struggle between good and evil, right and wrong. We can't relax, can't compromise, and we had no choice but to act.

And Now for a Bit of Good News...

    From Ukraine to the Middle East, some bad actors - Hamas, Vladimir Putin and Israeli settlers to name but a few - are trying to bury the future with the past and divide people. Instead of focusing on them even more, I prefer to write about a company that is burying the past with the future, and actually bringing strangers together.

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