Archive

Date

February 26th, 2014

Gridlock's growing victims

    In an election year, there are always winners and losers. Rarely, however, are there so many victims.

    Legislative gridlock, which was already bad enough, has devolved into a cynical, poisoned stasis. With a few obvious votes, Congress could improve the lives of millions of people -- the unemployed, the undocumented, the uninsured.  But instead of being helped, those in need are punished for reasons that are nakedly political.

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Honoring the 'Accomplices' to Truth Who Caught Clapper in a Lie

    The tide is turning. Yesterday's traitor is today's hero, and the brave journalists who helped Edward Snowden get the word out are at last being honored for their public service. Or so one hopes.

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Politics vs. human rights

    I’ve never been one to dwell on anniversaries. But what the heck.

    Last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act came in the sesquicentennial year of the Emancipation Proclamation.

     Lincoln wanted the latter a year earlier. He made a preliminary declaration in 1862. He said it would take effect officially in 1863 if the Confederate army kept fighting. It kept fighting.

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Stop Insulting Minimum Wage Workers

    Beating down low-paid workers is not only not nice but also not necessarily good for business. And though some arguments against raising the minimum wage are debatable, others are simply insulting.

    The national minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour. Back in 1968, it was $10.77 in today's dollars. So President Obama's proposal to raise the minimum to $10.10 is hardly radical.

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A modern American success story

    The deal, for a company you've probably never heard of, is worth at least $16 billion. To put this number into perspective, the market value of Xerox is less than $13 billion, Sony, just $18 billion.

    WhatsApp indeed.

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Back In Clintonland

    Back in 1993, a Washington Post reporter asked me which Clinton was smarter, Bill or Hillary. As a magazine journalist long residing in Arkansas, I'd never covered state government and would have described the president and first lady as friendly acquaintances, nothing more.

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Buying More Than a Piece of the Rock

    One thing about the tea party Republicans in Congress is that they do know who butters their biscuits. Several have recently rushed forward with an anguished plea in defense of Wall Street barons, CEOs, and billionaires: Stop the vilification of wealthy people!

    I’m concerned about those poor rich people too. Especially the very richest.

    Did you know that the wealthiest one-hundredth-of-1-percenters rake in an average of $30 million every year?

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Is That Sausage Worth This?

    Modern factory farms have so much wrong with them, but a starting point is the practice of turning pigs into cannibals.

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Keeping Sludge Away from Your Seedlings Is Harder than You Think

    Spring is so close we can almost taste it. If you’re a gardener, you’ve already counted how many weeks until the last frost, ordered your seeds, and perhaps even began starting your seedlings indoors.

    And if you’re like some gardeners, once it’s warm enough, you’ll take them outside and plant them in sewage sludge.

    Yes, that’s right. I said sewage sludge.

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Needed: Another GOP declaration of conscience

    The political equivalent of schoolyard bullying seems back in vogue to a degree seldom seen since the days of the late Sen. Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin, who used bare-knuckle intimidation to cow a whole country into viral anti-communism in the 1950s.

    Despite New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's assurance that "I am not a bully," more accounts of his strong-arm methods to get his way, strongly hinted in what's now known as Trafficgate, have cast him in that light.

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