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Calling the Bluff on Obamacare

November 13th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Interesting.  The case before the Supreme Court on whether Congress intended to subsidize people on federally run health care exchanges, as well as the state-run ones, could prove highly inconvenient to some Republicans.

Republican governors, though not all, refused to set up state exchanges in opposition to the Affordable Care Act.  But their people got subsidized coverage anyway, through the federal exchanges.

poker_11

New Jersey’s Chris Christie for one wouldn’t do a state run exchange in his fairly progressive state, no doubt to appease national conservatives standing between him and a possible presidential nomination. If the court rules against subsidies for the federal exchange, there will be a lot of angry people in New Jersey — and elsewhere.

And governors like Christie might have to say “yes” to Obamacare and set up a state exchange.

 

 

CALLING THE BLUFF ON OBAMACARE

 

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Can you find the clown?

November 11th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

 

The Horse, the Rider, and the Clown copy

The Horse, the Rider, and the Clown

 

Go early to avoid the mobs at the Matisse cut outs show at MoMa. But go.

 

Also, read my column.

THERE’S SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT PAPER

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For progressives, election didn’t matter much

November 6th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Not much was getting done when Democrats held the Senate majority, so losing it (while keeping enough seats to filibuster) may not make much of a difference.

Actually, progressive policies have been doing fine at the state level.

Several blue-to-purple states have become the place for a future-oriented agenda, from addressing global warming to health care. And many parts of this agenda appeal to moderate Republicans as well as Democrats and independents.

PROGRESSIVES DON’T NEED WASHINGTON ALL THAT MUCH

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Deficit ignorance never ends

November 6th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

In the mail this morning, from Bob:

The progressives/Obama agenda has Double our nations deficit from 10 trillion to 20 trillion by the time Obama leaves office!!!!  $10 trillion in eight years is what progressives do – It’s easy to spend money but far harder to be responsible

 

 

Here’s my response:

Bob, Not sure this would change your mind, but the Congressional Budget office reports that the deficit has actually been going down and is the lowest its been since 2008, when George W. was president.

I hope you’ll take a look at this:

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/49450

Froma

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Canada Can Be Tough on Immigration

October 23rd, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

CanadaFlagAmerican warriors for tighter immigration and a weaker social safety net are often one and the same.

What they miss is this: Though public benefits might attract certain needy immigrants they also force a country to ensure that newcomers become exemplary taxpayers.

Canada has made that connection which is why . . .

 

CANADA CAN BE TOUGH ON IMMIGRATION

 

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Doctor-assisted suicide is least slippery slope

October 21st, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

cover-768The tragic story of photogenic 29-year-old Brittany Maynard has predictably revived the debate over physician-assisted suicide.

Suffering with an unstoppable brain tumor, Maynard moved with her family to Oregon to avail herself of that state’s law permitting doctors to help dying patients end their lives.

Foes of such laws warn of a slippery slope.  The availability of a legal means for the terminally ill to shorten their suffering with a doctor’s aid, they say, will result in pressure on very sick people to take their lives. They create an “expectation,” as conservative Michael Gerson put it.

On the contrary, death-with-dignity laws, such as Oregon’s, relieve pressure that already exists.  It’s no secret that doctors often hasten death through a variety of totally legal means — and at patients’ requests.  And it’s no secret that heirs or exhausted family caregivers might want the terminally ill to “move things on.”

Well-written death-with-dignity laws end the secrets. They pull the patient out of  he isolation that often comes with being terribly ill.

They put in place a legal framework full of safeguards that ensure, among other things, the patient isn’t suffering from severe depression, and is truly in his or her last few months. And they inform patients of alternatives, such as palliative (pain reduction) care or hospice.

Here are my arguments:

‘DEATH WITH DIGNITY’ LAWS ARE THE LEAST SLIPPERY SLOPE

 

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Millennials just not that much into cars

October 17th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop
Fleetwood

Was nice for a while, but the American love affair with the car is so over.

And who can blame them, given so many of their childhoods trapped in the ugliness of chain-store sprawl?

An interesting new report offers other reasons, chiefly economic ones, for the phenomenon.

But here’s my take:

WHY MILLENNIALS DON’T DRIVE THT MUCH

 

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Mobile, Alabama . . .

October 12th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

My geography lesson:  The Mobile River leads to Mobile Bay, which opens into the Gulf of Mexico.

It is one of America’s great transportation corridors — a giant path shared by boats, trains, cars and trucks.

Here’s the busy Mobile River at dawn seen from the Battle House Hotel:

Note the ship, the train and the vehicle traffic.

Please ignore finger.  Promise to do better next time.

 

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Joni Ernst castrates conservative principles

October 12th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

In the tight race for Iowa’s open U.S. seat, Republican Joni Ernst goes forth in full tea-party regalia.

She rails against government subsidies while peddling the most unappealing items on the right-wing menu  — for instance, she’s against raising the federal minimum wage and for privatizing Social Security.  And she wants to gut the Environmental Protection Agency.

OK, that’s who she is.  But it turns out Ernst a total phony on the government subsidy part. She defends the outrageous ethanol program, which sends freight trains of taxpayer dollars to Iowa corn growers for no good reason other than to send the freight trains. Bear in mind, this is on top of the ordinary, everyday, farm subsidy boondoggle that The Wall Street Journal has properly labeled corporate welfare.

Thus, Ernst castrates her conservative principles as easily as the pigs she claims to have desexed on her family farm.

Subsidies ‘R’ Us

We get it. This is vote-buying in Iowa.

CASTRATING CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES IN IOWA

By the way, Ernst’s Republican opponent, Rep. Bruce Braley, is also for the subsidies, natch.  But he provided otherwise reasonable contrast in last night’s debate in Davenport, sponsored by The Quad City Times. Check it out.

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Casinos Just Aren’t the Answer

September 20th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

What Atlantic City could do today with the grand hotels it saw demolished 40 years ago to make way for casinos!

Gone forever

Casino gambling was to be the magic potion lightening the load of New Jersey taxpayers.

Now the casinos are closing.  But the likes of the Marlborough-Blenheim and Traymore Hotels will not return.

Meanwhile, New Jersey pols have come up with another “bright idea”: If casinos in South Jersey are failing, let’s build casinos in North Jersey.

CASINOS JUST AREN’T THE ANSWER

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