Monday September 15, 2014
February 13th, 2014
On Wednesday, Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said the obvious: losing your job and choosing to work less aren't the same thing. If you lose your job, you suffer immense personal and financial hardship. If, on the other hand, you choose to work less and spend more time with your family, "we don't sympathize. We say congratulations."
One of the best arguments for health-insurance reform is that our traditional employer-based system often locked people into jobs they wanted to leave but couldn't because they feared they wouldn't be able to get affordable coverage elsewhere.
Rarely has a bad-news story offered so little real bad news. We refer to the Congressional Budget Office report that the Affordable Care Act may reduce the number of hours worked by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs. But to be precise, millions of workers will choose to cut their working hours. What's bad about that if that's what they want?
Now it seems to be the turn of the immigrants to get battered around by the GOP. Perhaps it will take the pressure off women for a time. Oops, many of those caught in this pernicious game are female.
Is immigration reform really going to happen or will it just dangle out there not quite reachable? Will the House of Representatives in what has become a habit scuttle this as it has so many proposals, leaving an estimated 11 million people living on tinder-hooks in a "No-individual's's land?"
The Republican messaging machine is at it again, cranking out scurrilous memes that defame the president and distract from the party's inaction.
The latest talking point is that the president is a "lawless" "dictator" hellbent on operating outside, and indeed above, the law.
Americans' addiction to harmful drugs is in the news again in a big way. The nation's largest cigarette-selling pharmacy firm, CVS Caremark, has decided to stop peddling them at its 7,600 stores. Larry J. Merlo, its chief executive, explained that "cigarettes and tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered."
House Speaker John Boehner has his good moments. For instance, I always enjoy it when he brushes off a question by saying: "If ands and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas."
When my kids were little, an older and more experienced mother told me that one key to raising kids safely is to limit the number of "nos" to what really matters and insist firmly on those. Motorcycles and heroin, she said, which seems like a pretty good list. I added driving drunk or getting in a car with someone who had been drinking. I left heroin on the list, even though heroin use is totally foreign to me. I have friends and family who have struggled with alcohol (mostly) and other drugs, but heroin is outside of my life experience.
Why in the world did Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, let Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina out of prison?