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Ask not what your cat can do for you

April 21st, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Bastet, the Egyptian cat goddess

I’d like to offer cat owners better news on how deeply their cats worry about them but cannot, having read “Cat Sense.”

My column on the subject:

ASK NOT WHAT YOUR CAT CAN DO FOR YOU

As I find out every time I write a playful column about cats, not every cat owner has a sense of humor.

Sample correspondence, name withheld:

Dear Froma, I feel sorry for you that you have never had the pleasure of having been owned by a loving cat.  I am tired of reading your hate cat articles in the paper, as I know of this is the second of such lately and I did not get any pleasure out of the article at all.  There are many readers out there who appreciate the company of having a cat for a pet.

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Appalling Pultizers

April 17th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

The Guardian coverage of Snowden and his NSA revelations was riddled with errors and the Washington Post’s a lesson in abject sycophancy  –  but neither flaw stopped journalism’s elders from awarding these publications their shiniest trinkets.

One of the best authorities on the subject has been John Schindler, an intelligence expert at the U.S. Naval War College and former NSA analyst.  His blog is sophisticated reading (and entertaining in a dark-humor way).

On Washington Post sycophancy.

On Guardian ignorance or lying?

Full disclosure: I’ve served on four Pulitzer juries, one as chair.  That won’t happen again

My column:

LESSONS NOT LEARNED IN BOSTON BOMBING

@FromaHarrop

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The real redistribution in health reform

April 10th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Thank you, thank you, Medicare for publishing the amount various doctors bill you.  Apparently, one eye doc in South Florida collected $21 million from Medicare in one year.

Today’s NYT lists Democrats on the receiving end of these doctors’ generosity.

Now fraud investigators have data to work with, insurers can question doctors who prescribe a CT scan for every headache, and consumers can avoid getting cut open for no good reason.

Of course, the American Medical Association opposes such disclosure for (mostly) obvious reasons.

CMS news release

LET THERE BE LIGHT ON HEALTH SPENDING

@FromaHarrop

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US and Canada: Together at Last?

April 8th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Mountie and Trooper 1941

Diane Francis at the National Post in Toronto makes a very persuasive case for the United States and Canada to become one country.

Set aside the cultural similarities (and differences). The economic and security issues — as China, Russia and others try to carve up Canada’s very rich but poorly defended natural resources — make this marriage an imperative.

US AND CANADA: TOGETHER AT LAST?

And Mexico?  What about Mexico? Stay tuned for thoughts on that.

@FromaHarrop

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Obamacare is not a losing issue

April 1st, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Listen to Bill Clinton, you guys.  When you are afraid to defend the good you’ve done, you leave voters believing you didn’t do good.

Face the flaws and praise the rest.

DEMS SHOULDN’T RUN AWAY FROM OBAMACARE

TWITTER:  @FromaHarrop

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Pregnant in spikes

March 22nd, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Did you get a load of the spike heels on the pregnant-lady fashion model?  Surely, I was not the only one to choke at the high-heel torture cages featured with the “bump-friendly designer duds” in today’s WSJ.

Still looking for a date?

The  article talks of the scandal caused in the ’50s when Lucille Ball appeared pregnant on “I Love Lucy.”  Women have come such a long, long way since then, haven’t they?

Why would a woman already carrying the extra weight of a pregnancy wear back-and-foot-killing vixen footwear? Perhaps she’s still looking for  a date.

TWITTER:  @FromaHarrop

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GOP Florida win not broad vote against Obamacare

March 14th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Pelosi makes her point

Nancy Pelosi happens to be right.  Alex Sink’s loss in this week’s Florida special election said little about how most voters feel about Obamacare.

Republican David Jolly appealed to a generally older electorate that, frankly, already has government health coverage through Medicare.

Had the Republican vowed to do to Medicare what he’d do to Obamacare, he would have lost big.

Part of the spiel is that Obamacare takes away from Medicare. Though believed by many, this happens to be not true.

If anything, Obamacare will  make Medicare more politically palatable to younger voters. After all, they’re paying most the bills.

TWITTER: @FromaHarrop

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A federalist for only some seasons

March 13th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Hello?  Aren’t you federalists — a group to which nearly all Washington Republicans vow allegiance — supposed to be for enhancing state powers?  Recall Reagan’s “devolution revolution,” a call to move power from Washington to state and local governments.

Well, just as there are Sunshine Patriots there are Sunshine Federalists. These are partisans purporting to believe in federalism, except when they have the opportunity to meddle in the affairs of state and local governments.

Dave Camp, R-Mich., has put out a pretty courageous blueprint for tax reform, so let’s not come down too hard on him.  But his plan would repeal the deduction for state and local taxes on federal tax returns, thus making it harder for states and localities to raise the revenues needed to operate.

Conservative pundit Ramesh Ponnuru argues that ending the deduction would force state governments to get smaller.

But any real conservative federalist would hold that

THE SIZE OF STATE GOVERNMENT IS NOT WASHINGTON’S BUSINESS

@FromaHarrop

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Who belongs downtown?

March 13th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Successful American cities would be nuts to turn away the hipsters gentrifying formerly poor or blue-collar neighborhoods.  There’s a loss, of course, when venerable gritty streetscapes get overrun by shops selling artisan pizza shops and hand-embroidered jeans.  But (a) the cities desperately need the tax revenues that come with the monied “creative class,” and (b) these newcomers are living in them.

Billionaire needles invade Manhattan

The people (or rather things) that don’t belong downtown, however, are the billionaire needle towers — new residential skyscrapers used by Russian tycoons, Chinese industrialists and other rich foreigners merely as a safe place to park their money.  The condos go for $20 million, $50 million, $80 million and are typically empty most the time. The result is dead, ugly space squatting in the middle of a precious downtown.

I expand on this in:

WHO BELONGS DOWNTOWN?

@FromaHarrop

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Happy Fat Tuesday from the “Louisiana of the North”

March 4th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Me and my sister Marsha at Mardi Gras ball

Here’s me and my sister Marsha partying at the Mardi Gras Ball, held last Saturday in Cranston, RI.

An appropriate venue. Rhode Island has been called the “Louisiana of the North” for its exotically corrupt politics and the good food.

The zydeco prince C.J. Chenier provided more joy than even the booze.

My selfie with C.J. Chenier

BTW, my new column contrasts the week’s two big dress up events, Mardi Gras and the Oscars.

Here it is:

TAKE ME TO MARDI GRAS

TWITTER: @FromaHarrop

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