Archive

Date

February 20th, 2014

Pizza, beer and health coverage

    Wrong. Incorrect. Erroneous. Fallacious. Bogus.

    Choose your modifier for the headline-a-palooza the other day that alarmed (much of) a nation.

    Breathless were the reports: “Obamacare to cost 2.3 million jobs.” It took many variations, through the Wall Street Journal, through UPI, Politico, and of course the foamy tea partisans of Fox News.

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The Romance in Your Past

    My family has one member of the Greatest Generation left. Aunt Shirley suffers some frailties of old age, but her mind is totally sharp. Her role of late has been as wise matriarch -- to advise the rest of us on our revolving and evolving relationships, messes and issues.

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Will work for insurance

    The left-right battle that erupted over last week's Congressional Budget Office report showing that Obamacare reduces work incentives was, on the surface, yet another argument about the health-care law's impact on the U.S. economy.

    On a deeper level, however, what's at issue are long-standing American assumptions about government assistance and who deserves it.

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A Human Face

    "On Aug. 4, he's an Eagle Scout and has the highest honor," Pascal Tessier's mother, Tracie Felker, told a reporter. "Aug. 5, all of a sudden, he's no longer good enough to be a Boy Scout."

    Pascal Tessier is not the first gay Eagle Scout. He is the first openly gay Eagle Scout, just as Michael Sam, if drafted, would be the first openly gay football player to play in the NFL.

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Bipartisan Fecklessness

    Those who complain about the absence of bipartisanship in the nation's capital are sorely mistaken. When it comes to caving to a powerful constituency and bestowing benefits, bipartisanship is flourishing.

    Today's exhibit: military pensions.

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Boxing Us into Poor Job Prospects

    You know what America needs? More jobs, that’s what.

    Not Walmart-style “jobettes,” but real jobs. We need more stable employment with a good salary and benefits, union jobs so workers have a say in what goes on, and jobs that have strong protections against discrimination.

    This country needs more jobs that help launch workers into a career, in which you do useful work, take pride in it, earn promotions, and are respected for what you do.

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Don't overreact to celebrity drug deaths

    As a long-time fan of Philip Seymour Hoffman's work, I view the widespread reactions of grief over his death with a mixture of appreciation and dread.

    As a fan, I appreciate the recognition that this Oscar-winning actor's astounding talents richly deserved.

    But I also brace myself for the sort of anger-driven, self-defeating, lock-'em-up antidrug crusades that too often have followed shocking drug-related celebrity deaths.

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Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

    Finding true love, philosophers have always understood, can get complicated in deeply unequal places. Grand fortunes tend to give Cupid a hard time not just on Valentine’s Day, but all the time.

    “If you gain fame, power, or wealth, you won’t have any trouble finding lovers,” as the late social critic Philip Slater noted years ago. “But they will be people who love fame, power, or wealth.”

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Scandal Reporting Turns Newspapers Into Tabloids

    My absolute favorite tabloid newspaper headline ever appeared in something called the Weekly World News: "3-Breasted Gal Joins Clinton as His New Intern." I still have a copy somewhere. Supposedly, the former president hired the "three-bosomed bombshell" after Hillary got caught cuddling with a space alien.

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The Best Way to Keep Our Water Safe

    2014 has been a bad year for drinking water. First, a coal industry chemical spill left West Virginia residents in nine counties with water so polluted they could only use it to flush their toilets. And now 82,000 tons of coal ash have found their way into a river that supplies drinking water to parts of North Carolina and Virginia.

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