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Archive

Date

February 20th, 2014

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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The myth of maximizing shareholder value

    In a well-intentioned op-ed in The Washington Post, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales recently extolled his new phone venture, which has pledged to devote a quarter of its profits to "good causes" selected by an independent foundation. Now, I support good causes as much as the next fellow, and I have nothing negative to say about this initiative. I am compelled, however, to note that in delineating the obligations that corporations must meet, Wales made an error at once so common and so fundamental that it screams for correction.

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The politicizing of Hillary Clinton's marriage

    How responsible is a wife for the betrayal of her husband?

    In the case of Hillary Clinton, the answer is, a lot, according to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Senator Rand Paul.

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The Ultimate Captive Market

    Now here’s a heads-they-win, tails-we-lose situation: Three of the contracts Arizona signed with private companies to house its prisoners require 100 percent occupancy.

    That’s right: If the state fails to send along enough jailbirds to fill all the beds, it pays a penalty. Nationwide, similar arrangements in two-thirds of these contracts either guarantee high prison occupancy or penalize taxpayers when there aren’t enough convicted criminals to keep behind bars.

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When Emily Was Sold For Sex

    Emily, a 15-year-old ninth-grader, ran away from home in early November, and her parents are sitting at their dining table, frightened and inconsolable.

    The parents, Maria and Benjamin, both school-bus drivers, have been searching for their daughter all along and pushing the police to investigate. They gingerly confess their fears that Emily, a Latina, is being controlled by a pimp.

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Inequality, Dignity and Freedom

    Now that the Congressional Budget Office has explicitly denied saying that Obamacare destroys jobs, some (though by no means all) Republicans have stopped lying about that issue and turned to a different argument. OK, they concede, any reduction in working hours because of health reform will be a voluntary choice by the workers themselves - but it's still a bad thing because, as Rep. Paul Ryan puts it, they'll lose "the dignity of work."

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John Boehner's sunshine band

    From now on, it's the Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah House.

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Legislation Still Is Akin To Sausage Making

    There will be no shutdown of the government at this point. We may even have a year of relative peace on the subject. This time it was the Senate that played the big game. It will surprise no one that it was Senator Cruz, the bad boy from Texas, who stirred the pot.

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Losing Our Third Places

    A story that captivated New York City: A group of elderly Korean-Americans had been gathering at a McDonald's in Queens for conversation and fellowship. They'd sit there all day long, sometimes sharing a $1.39 package of fries. The hangout was so popular that friends from other neighborhoods would travel to join them.

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