Commentary

June 25, 2014

Not long ago, my cousin was asked by his children if he might lose his job. They had overheard him describing how several people in his neighborhood had recently lost their jobs, and they became worried that dad might be laid off, too.

Thankfully, my cousin is in no danger of losing his job, but millions of others are not so fortunate.


June 17, 2014

There is no doubt that the takeover of large parts of Iraq and Syria by the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) presents a major security issue for the United States and the entire region. But let's not make the mistake of labeling ISIS a mere terrorist group that can be addressed with the same counter terrorism tools that have been used against al Qaeda and its affiliated groups since bin Laden and his supporters were dislodged from Afghanistan in 2001.


June 9, 2014

Former U.S. ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci, who lost his struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease a year ago June 8, may not be a household name today in Canada. But during his tenure in the turbulent years from 2001-2005, he became the poster child for what some Canadians saw as the overly aggressive and even bullying administration of president George W. Bush.


May 1, 2014

People who care about American democracy have recently been paying a lot of attention to new research by Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, which shows that for decades wealthy Americans and business interests have consistently gotten their way in public policy – even when their views conflict with what the vast majority of Americans want.


April 24, 2014

People have criticized The Affordable Care Act for amounting to a large transfer of wealth, from wealthy Americans to those not as well off. But the real transfer of wealth has been from United States to other developed nations, whose healthcare costs we have subsidized for many years by paying so generously for many of our healthcare services. No better example of this comes to mind than the price we pay for pharmaceuticals in the US versus elsewhere.


April 23, 2014

Last week, the Obama administration again delayed a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.


April 18, 2014

After the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, I wrote a book that asked why America had never developed much of a gun control movement. To answer the question, I looked at similar life-and-death issues around which vigorous movements had arisen and found three common elements: funding from wealthy patrons, incremental strategies that delivered momentum-building victories and maternal calls to action.


April 14, 2014

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing one year ago, many commentators and public officials called this tragedy a harbinger of more homegrown terrorist attacks to come.


April 14, 2014

It rarely makes sense to draw big conclusions or make public policy on the basis of anecdotes. But the plural of "anecdote" is data, and sometimes one-off events are useful in crystallizing lessons to guide policymakers and inform the public. So it was with the Pittsburgh-area rampage this week in which a teenager bearing two kitchen knives is accused of injuring 21 high school classmates and a security guard -- but none of them were killed. It's hard to imagine an anecdote that better illustrates what decades of data show: that for purposes of life and death, the weapon matters.


April 8, 2014

Let’s put our hands together for North Carolina. Among the 36 states that used the federal health care exchange, North Carolina came in third – with more than 200,000 residents enrolling in Obamacare as of last week’s deadline.


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