Can’t end the filibuster? Then modify it, now!

statepress.com After the failure of last week's Senate vote on creating an independent commission to review the events of January 6th, attention has increased on the need to do something to end or modify the filibuster. Sadly, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the Democrats' crucial 50th vote in the Senate, still isn't yet …

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Democrats struggle with knotty filibuster problem

In what rational universe could a democratic institution have 54 votes to advance an idea and 35 votes against, and the proposition fails? It would also have failed if there were 59 votes for it and just one against it. Sound crazy? Yes, but that's how the United States Senate operates because of its self-imposed …

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Gun stores in Newton: ban v. regulate not an either/or proposition

Signs opposing a gun store proposed for this largely residential Boston suburb are sprouting like daffodils across the lawns in Newton, Massachusetts. The store in question would be just spitting distance from a marijuana dispensary! No wonder so many in my hometown are, pardon the expression, up at arms. Nor is it surprising, perhaps, that …

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Book ideas for spring, pt 2 – fiction

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips is a first novel set in the isolated Russian peninsular community of KamChatka, after the demise of the Soviet Union.  It’s hard-scrabble living even in its principal city of Petropavlovsk.  The story grabs you from the outset with the kidnapping of two little girls, ages eight and five.  The novel …

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Book ideas for spring, pt. 1 – non-fiction

Will in the World : How Shakespeare became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt This impeccably researched book has been called one of the best books ever about William Shakespeare.  I haven’t read them all, or even most. Still, I can attest to the brilliance in the recreation of how this modestly educated genius emerged from provincial …

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Four months later, how soon we forget

Today marks four months since the US Capitol was stormed by a mob intent on blocking Congress from accepting the Electoral College win for President Joe Biden. Inside the Capitol, a smaller mob of 147 Republicans, also seeking to de-legitimize Biden’s victory and keep Donald Trump in power, voted to overturn the 2020 election results. …

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Biden: damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead

If you expected President Joe Biden to be a stuttering old man with a puzzled look on his face and wearing Depends, you may be disappointed. In his first 100 days and in his first speech to a joint session of Congress, Biden's clear vision for the country has shown his potential as a transformational …

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Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts!!

It’s amazing to think that just yesterday, when the Chauvin jury began its deliberations, it was so easy to fear the worst:  that, despite the infamous video and compelling witness testimony, there would be a hung jury, a split decision or even a finding of not guilty on all counts. We’ve seen this story too …

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Biden to exit the “Graveyard of Empires.” What’s next?

The April 9, 2010 cover of Time Magazine still shocks. Eighteen-year-old Aisha, her nose cut off, was an all-too-common example of why we were told then that the United States should not leave Afghanistan. After Aisha had run away from home to escape an abusive husband and in-laws, they caught her, sliced off her ears …

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Immigration, pt 2 – Addressing Root Causes

The pictures grip our hearts; the policies spin our heads.  Curbing the current flow of migrants at our southern border requires massive coordination, especially with the Northern Triangle nations of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. This means thinking creatively and applying  wisely a variety of carrot-and-stick incentives, both there  and here. It won’t be easy, …

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