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Fri, Mar

Want to Save Obamacare? Find an Antidote for the Poison Pill

CORRUPTION WATCH--Eons ago, I was involved in group health insurance. One day in 1968, I was speaking with an Aetna senior vice president in San Francisco. His desk was most impressive – it had not a single piece of paper on it, only some objets d’art. The views of San Francisco (he had a corner office) were breath taking. Obviously, I was interviewing with an important person. 

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The Alt Left and Alt Right: Two Sides of the Same Coin

POLITICS--On a crisp winter day in early February, a white-haired man with a thick New York accent, ranted to MSNBC decrying the influence of fat-cat political donors and superPACS. He promised the American people that he would be different than the other politicians they had grown tired of, arguing that he was the true voice of the people. 

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Single Payer, Why Wait?

THE COHEN COLUMN--The good news is that, at least for today (Wednesday, Jun 28th), health care did not get dramatically worse in America. The Republican controlled Senate will not pass, or even vote on, a health care killing bill . . . today.

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Russiagate vs. Watergate: Not Much to Compare

YES, RUSSIAGATE-I’ve been reading lots of words comparing Trump’s situation to Richard Nixon’s. Some pundits say the most recent iteration of presidential campaign scandal and what happened 45 years ago is more or less identical. And some claim one is very much unlike the other. 

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Kansas Tax Cuts Are a Spectacular Failure. Meanwhile, in California

TAXATION POLITICS-Republican legislators in Kansas did the unthinkable this month: They voted to raise income taxes, ending a painful five-year experiment with an extreme anti-tax agenda introduced by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. The Republican-held Legislature had to override a veto by the governor to pass the emergency tax increase, now crucial to prevent deep budget cuts for schools and other essential public services. 

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Netanyahu to American Jews: Drop Dead

GUEST PERSPECTIVE--You can almost feel sorry for Reform and Conservative Jews. After all, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bamboozled them, led them up the garden path and took them for a ride. He once waxed lyrical about how important they are to him, how critical the relationship between Israel and American Jews is, how he has their best interests at heart and so forth and blah blah. 

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ACA Cutoff Date Missed … Dems, GOP Point Fingers

EASTSIDER-Largely uncovered by our 24/7 news media, Wednesday, June 21 marked a critical date for next year’s health care premiums under the Affordable Health Care Act. The 21st is the revised cut off for health insurers to say whether or not they will participate in the ACA Marketplaces, which are federally subsidized, and what their premium increases will be for 2018. It’s a very big deal, since millions and millions of people are enrolled in these plans. 

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The Donald: Under His Own Bus

THE COHEN COLUMN--Trump has always cultivated the reputation of been excessively vengeful.  Back in New York he would brag about getting even, multiple times over, against anyone he perceived to have slighted him. 

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The Opioid Crisis in Black and White

URBAN PERSPECTIVE-On March 29, 2017, the mood at the White House was somber when #45 Trump signed an executive order establishing a commission charged with making recommendations on dealing with the opioid crisis. At the signing, all the talk by Trump and other administration officials was about a big ramp up in treatment, counseling, addiction recovery programs, and health services to alleviate the crisis. They and the media used the term, “epidemic.” This suggested that it’s an illness, a sickness, a condition, but not a criminal offense. There was not one word from Trump or White House officials at the signing about more arrests, tougher sentencing and incarceration for offenders. 

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Unwanted Influence: The Real Cost of PBS

COMMUNICATION POLITICS-Anyone listening to National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) can hear no more insightful, well-produced, or entertaining news programming anywhere...except when it comes to reporting anything that might contradict the perceived financial or political interests of one of NPR's large corporate/foundation donors. 

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What’s Really Behind the Dem’s Special Election Losses?

SPECIAL ELECTION POST-MORTEM-Democrats around the country were hopeful that they could win two special elections Tuesday in what had long been “safe” Republican districts in Georgia and South Carolina. Instead, both Democratic candidates — Jon Ossoff and Archie Parnell (photo above) — narrowly lost. Why did they lose? 

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Humpty Trumpty

SEMANTICS, SCHEMANTICS-“‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean-neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master-that’s all.’”

Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll. 

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Ride Out the Tweet Storms … and Get Ready to Vote!

THE COHEN COLUMN-Never mind the man waving his arms behind the curtain, the White House now says. After telling us over and over that Trump's tweets are the most important channel of communication he's got, not sullied by the "filter" of the "lying" news media, now it's pay no attention when he insists on Twitter that his travel ban was always and forever will be a ban…a Muslim ban.

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