News & Features

McCain’s Health Battle Casts Ugly Glare on GOP Healthcare Assault

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The high-risk pools that McCain touts supposedly would move thousands of medically indigent persons in pools to ensure low cost access to coverage. In fact it would do just the opposite. The bulk of those in the pool would be the sickest and most in need of continuous medical treatment. They would pay more, not less for that coverage. To cover the high cost of maintaining these pools, states would have to pony up more tax dollars or impose premium assessments on insurers who in turn would simply hike their prices to cover the assessments. 

Why We Need Thoreau Now More Than Ever

Hasan Zillur Rahim

Thoreau is relevant today because we continue to confirm his observations. He taught us that treating the environment with respect not only made economic sense, it made even more sense as a moral imperative. “We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander,” he wrote. “In Wildness is the preservation of the World.”

Donald Trump’s Populism Decoded

Leonard Steinhorn

Politicians may troll the white working class for votes, but except for an occasional art deco version of working-class heroes and their machines, our cultural arbiters have deemed them benighted and even bigoted throwbacks to a rusted-out, less enlightened era. Much as farmers of the earlier populist moment resented their own loss of status as our culture drifted away from the agrarian ideal, today’s white working-class men stew over their diminishing place in the contemporary American pantheon.

Trump's Ugly Midyear Record on Civil Rights

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

His first nomination out the box was Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to head the Justice Department, the umbrella agency that the Civil Rights Division is under. The total remake of the department was a top priority for Trump. Sessions hit the ground running. He demanded the delay, if not the end, of federal consent decrees on police misconduct, a new war on low-level drug offenders, silence on criminal justice reforms, and a full-throated endorsement of private prisons. Given Sessions’ intense dislike of the Voting Rights Act, enforcement of the law is even more imperiled.

Where Slang Words Go to Die: The Dictionary

Russel Morse

Now hella has gone where slang words go to die: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. I admire Webster for having the courage to change the spelling of colour to color all those years ago in an attempt to create an American vernacular, but plucking an obscure Northern California slang modifier from the internet (along with TMI and FOMO) and putting it in the dictionary (what even is a dictionary anymore?) is only chasing it to the grave. 

The GOP Healthcare Mess

Paul Kleyman

Starr worries that congressional Republicans are not only acting to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), but aim to restructure Medicaid into a program with federal-budget caps so tight it would break down one of the principal Great Society health protections of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Medicaid and the Medicare program have been fundamental to health care in the United States since 1965. 

How the First Amendment Trumps Political Correctness

Hal Gordon

According to Mr. Tam, the name worked because it allowed these young, cutting-edge performers to talk about their “slant” on life as musicians of color, and also to pay tribute to those Asian Americans who had been using the racially-loaded term in a “re-appropriated, self-empowering way for about 30 years.” Mr. Tam argued, sensibly enough, that “irony and wit can neutralize racial slurs, because it shifts the dynamics of power.”

The Opioid Crisis in Black and White

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

There’s one final great cruelty in the glaring racial double standard on drugs. The reports and statistics on opioid and heroin addiction, the wrath of news stories and features on it, and the calls for legislative action to deal with the problem, have not changed one whit the deeply embedded perception that drugs in America invariably come with a young, black face. 

The Pride of Black Lives Matter

Angelo Franco

Exit polls showed that as many as 70 percent of African-American Californians voted in favor of Proposition 8. More in-depth studies have since shown that religion, more so than race, was a better indicative of constituents voting for or against the legislation; the study stipulated that African-Americans, being the most religious group in California, accounted for approximately 58 percent of the votes in favor of Proposition 8, while Latin-Americans almost paralleled that with 59 percent voting in favor of it. 

Duterte’s Net Worth Increases by P3 Million in First Six Months in Office

AJ Press

In his SALN, Duterte declared a net worth of P27.43 million as of December 2016, which is higher compared to P24.08 million, as of June of last year when he assumed the presidency. His SALN attributed the increase of his net worth to his cash on hand or bank—which rose from P15.31 million in the first half of 2016 to P18.45 million by the end of the year. Duterte’s net worth, however, is about P1 million less from his P28.43 total declared assets.

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