Archive - 2014

Date

June 4th

Iraq's Best Hope

    I am a sucker for commencements, but this one filled me with many different emotions.

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Massachusetts, Not VA, Is Obamacare's Future

    Obamacare foes have portrayed the VA hospital scandal as a dystopian glimpse into the future of the Affordable Care Act. The temptation is understandable if one regards health care policy as just another battlefield for partisan strife.

    Not that the troubles at the Department of Veterans Affairs don't offer tough lessons for the other side. Supporters of government programs have an obligation to insist that said programs be efficiently run.

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Right step on coal plants

    Even for people who don't believe in it, climate change just got real. It's about time.

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Fast Food Giants Picking Their Workers’ Pockets

    No matter how small the haul, a thief is a thief, right?

    If a poverty-wage fast-food worker sneaks out a couple of burgers to take home to the kids, the bosses yell: “Thief!”

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Forging a Secret Legacy

    Edward Snowden is trying to set the record straight about what exactly he was doing before he blew the whistle on widespread government snooping.

    Back when he made headlines by sharing his revelations and opting to stay stuck in Russia rather than serving time in a U.S. prison, most journalists described the 29-year-old computer jock as some kind of geeky peon engaged in government contracting work. He says he was higher up the national security food chain.

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Give killers coverage, not a soapbox

    Who deserves more attention in news coverage of mass killings: the victims or the killers? The question has risen with new heat after the rampage in Isla Vista, California, which resulted in six murders and 13 injuries.

    After Elliot Rodger's mass shooting in that town near Santa Barbara, many families of victims and law enforcement officials have urged journalists and public officials to avoid using the gunmen's names and photos in public.

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Let's Give Mississippi Less

    When was the last time the nation turned its attention to Mississippi?

    "Normally, we just get coverage for natural disasters," said Joseph Parker, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Southern Mississippi.

    Good news, Mississippi! This is your week. On Tuesday, the state had the most dramatic election of this primary season, and we are all looking your way. Actually, we are fascinated to know exactly what you had in mind.

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On presidential firings

    President Obama's firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, transparently dressed up as a resignation under congressional pressure, seemed somehow out of character for a chief executive known for patience and dislike of wielding the knife.

    The retired Army general and Vietnam combat veteran had matched Obama's own style of cautious deliberation in coping with the VA scandal that left thousands of patients waiting interminable months for medical treatment, some even dying while they waited.

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Therapy Benefits Us All

    In 2008, I went to therapy. By then, I’d needed it for a long time. I had a terribly difficult, incurable condition — one I’d had for 28 years without treatment.

    My condition? Being human.

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There's a Kind of Hush

    Few people have fought as courageously for human rights as Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize-winning democracy advocate who stood up to the generals here in Myanmar.

    Suu Kyi should be one of the heroes of modern times. Instead, as her country imposes on the Rohingya Muslim minority an apartheid that would have made white supremacists in South Africa blush, she bites her tongue.

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