What do poor people look like?

Can we have an honest conversation about the nation’s poor and near-poor? Can we discuss the subject as if we want to find solutions and not just pass judgment on the less fortunate? If we were to have an honest conversation, one based on verifiable facts, hard data, empirical evidence, we wouldn’t use the “inartful” [...]

Rejecting Adegbile, Senate mocks the US Constitution

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Last week, the floor of the U.S. Senate was the scene of a bi-partisan travesty, an affront to the principals of the Constitution, an assault on the notion of American exceptionalism. With the help of several Democrats, Republicans refused to confirm Debo P. Adegbile, President Obama’s nominee to head the Civil Rights Division of the [...]

Bar the poor from emergency rooms?

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During a Republican primary debate in the last presidential election cycle, there was a dispiriting moment in which tea party audience members cheered at the idea that a comatose uninsured American — unable to afford health insurance — would be left to die. That infamous outburst, among others, has prompted GOP bigwigs to try to [...]

Stand your ground laws give bigotry free rein

Jordan Davis

It’s been a harsh February, and I’m not talking about the weather. As the annual celebration of the accomplishments of black Americans, replete with references to President Obama, was winding down, the month presented a stark reminder of the casual bigotry that still haunts the lives of black citizens. The verdict in the Florida shooting [...]

USA needs those young immigrants

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If you think the only reasons to welcome undocumented workers are generosity and compassion toward the “other” — to be welcoming to the stranger — you’re wrong. There is a very selfish reason to offer legal residency to the men, women and children who arrived here without papers: The United States needs all the younger [...]

The folly of marijuana prohibition

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By the time my five-year-old daughter leaves for college, it’s quite likely that marijuana use will be broadly decriminalized. Alaska has become the most recent state to move toward legalization, placing an initiative on the ballot for an August vote. If it passes, Alaska would join Washington and Colorado, which have already made recreational use [...]

GOP’s hypocrisy on food stamps

Congress has left me confused. Stunned, actually, as well as bewildered, chagrined and slightly depressed. The GOP-dominated House has passed a bill that defies compassion, mathematics and common sense. OK, so there’s nothing unusual about that. Point taken. But the recent passage of a farm bill, after months of delay, is an especially sharp example [...]

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