Other Commentaries

‘Proud he was my president’

Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, who created the international scholarship program that bears his name and that has produced 59 Nobel Prize winners among its estimated 360,000 alumni, was not, for entirely legitimate reasons, a humble man. Admitted to the University of Arkansas at 15, ...

Pa. hurts small business for casinos

In the spring of this past year, the Pennsylvania House passed a bill allowing liquor license holders in the state of Pennsylvania the opportunity to install up to five video gaming terminals (VGTS) in their place of business. Our lawmakers had the chance to gain substantial, recurring ...

Papers should be exempt from tariff

The viability of local newspapers, including the Mirror, is being challenged by the proposed newspaper tariff on the import of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada — the type that is used to print this newspaper and others across Pennsylvania. Simply put, newspapers in the commonwealth ...

Voucher plan bad for public schools

Someone once said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” When I think about some legislators’ latest tuition voucher scheme, that sentiment comes immediately to mind. For the third or fourth time in the last quarter ...

Police shooting probes: Report favors rethinking

Pennsylvania State Police, who deserve praise and support for the work they do every day, have good cause to take another look at their approach to investigating troopers’ use of deadly force. A Northampton County grand jury that looked into the agency’s investigation of the May 20 death ...

Button, button, who’s got the button?

In the early evening of Jan. 2, the president of the United States tweeted this boast: “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear ...

No farewell for a real non-statesman

The longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history announced this week that he will finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally retire. That’s seven “finallys” — one for each of the consecutive six-year terms Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, served. He begin his ...

Partison battle over CHIP is shameful

Of all the bargaining chips called into play by congressional Republicans and Democrats over budget differences, the worst and most inexcusable is health coverage for kids. The all-but-depleted Children’s Health Insurance Program was brought back from insolvency last month when the House ...

Habits of effective resisters

Cleaning up the cultural and civic debris left by Donald Trump and his right-wing helpers will require concerted effort. The “resistance” is determined to do that, but to succeed, its members must develop some effective strategies and drop counterproductive ones. Here are seven ...

Try a little tenderness this year

DUBLIN, Ireland — “Try a Little Tenderness” is a song written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Harry M. Woods. According to Wikipedia, it was first recorded on Dec. 8, 1932, by the Ray Noble Orchestra (with vocals by Val Rosing). Probably these names are as unfamiliar to us today as ...

Tip revenue should belong to the workers

Distribution of tips is a major issue among restaurant workers but there is a consensus that should continue to be protected by wage laws — tips belong to workers rather than to the restaurant. Yet proposed regulations by the Department of Labor, ostensibly to improve compensation for ...

Vigilantes trash due process

New York’s Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is spearheading a McCarthyite purge of sexual harassers from Congress, throwing the nation’s capital into turmoil. What counts as sexual harassment? Good question. Men accused of boorish gestures or vulgar remarks face the same disgrace as outright ...

History unlikely to repeat itself

On Aug. 9, 1974, Richard Nixon bowed to the inevitability of impeachment and conviction by a Democratic Senate and resigned. The prospect of such an end for Donald Trump has this city drooling. Yet, comparing Russiagate and Watergate, history is not likely to repeat itself. First, the ...

It’s past time for state to fund CHIP program

Families of nearly 180,000 children in Pennsylvania have an extra worry this holiday season. They are waiting for a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services telling them that the state has no funding left for CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Pennsylvania’s ...

Can Trump survive Trump?

The past two months of electoral losses for the Trump GOP feel very familiar. Newly elected president Barack Obama’s party lost off-year gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey and suffered a stunning upset in a Senate race it had no business losing, in Massachusetts. Trump’s ...

Who to thank for strong economy

A president deserves partial credit for a strong economy. The current economic numbers are good, so to the extent that gratitude is due, let us offer it. Thank you, President Obama. The economic gauges have been improving steadily for the eight years of the current recovery. Barack Obama was ...

Improving retirement important

These days, a secure retirement increasingly is out of reach for many working adults, especially those employed by small businesses. That’s because here in Pennsylvania, 44 percent of private sector employees ages 18 to 64 — roughly 2.1 million individuals — work for an employer that ...

Federal tax reform time finally here

The year was 1986. Ronald Reagan was in the White House; the average gallon of gas cost 88 cents; and the average income per year was $17,321. A lot of things have changed since then, but one thing that hasn’t is our federal tax system, as 1986 marked the last time that it was ...

Sharing a bit of Thanksgiving wisdom

By James F. Burns Some surviving family writings from the 1800s provide perspective on being thankful for a wide variety of things. Thus we may be thankful: For natural beauty—Cumberland Gap, 1895: Since the train tunnel through the mountain had collapsed, Mary Hosbrook found herself ...

Groper’s gallery of grotesque

WASHINGTON — It seems more than coincidence that the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency coincides with a trend that was heretofore unrecognized — groping. Gropers abound, it seems. From Harvey Weinstein to Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore to Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al ...