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April 4th, 2014
thesmithian

'…our growing geopolitical divide—between the part of America where officials are trying aggressively to help poor people get health insurance, and the part where officials are not.'

April 1st, 2014
thesmithian
April 1st, 2014
thesmithian

'…stories about female veterans are nearly absent from our culture. It’s not that their stories are poorly told. It’s that their stories are simply not told in our literature, film and popular culture.Women have the same issues as men upon return, from traumatic physical injuries to post-traumatic stress disorder.'

more.

March 21st, 2014
thesmithian
It certainly makes a difference in how you do and how you feel when you are in a community with high quality amenities…You’re less stressed and often you’re more engaged.

Amado Padilla

a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education

March 12th, 2014
thesmithian
…why do these smart, quantitatively trained engineers, who could help cure cancer or fix healthcare.gov, want to work for a sexting app?
March 12th, 2014
thesmithian

Erika Harold doesn’t fit neatly into the taxonomy of today’s Republican factions: She is not a middle-of-the-road Republican. Nor is she a neocon, a Tea Partier or a strict libertarian cribbing Ayn Rand quotes. She calls herself a constitutional conservative. She is anti-abortion rights, pro-gun, believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. She does not support marijuana legalization. She wants to repeal Obamacare. She also is against the death penalty…

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February 2nd, 2014
thesmithian

the Obama who appeared before Congress a few nights ago missed history’s memo that his presidency is over. It was the same Obama who missed the 2007 memo that Hillary Clinton was going to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, the same Obama who missed the memo in late 2009 that health-care reform was doomed, the same Obama who missed the bulletin in the fall of 2012, following the first presidential debate, that Governor Mitt Romney was overtaking him in the campaign and on the way to defeating him.

more.

the Obama who appeared before Congress a few nights ago missed history’s memo that his presidency is over. It was the same Obama who missed the 2007 memo that Hillary Clinton was going to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, the same Obama who missed the memo in late 2009 that health-care reform was doomed, the same Obama who missed the bulletin in the fall of 2012, following the first presidential debate, that Governor Mitt Romney was overtaking him in the campaign and on the way to defeating him.

more.

January 25th, 2014
thesmithian

'…while to be against “the Internet” is unhelpful, it’s perfectly okay…to be against “because the Internet”…

…a mode of argumentation…that seeks to replace political argumentation—about the future of education or publishing or healthcare—with just one reductionist argument: “Because … the Internet.” Thus, we are invited to accept MOOCs, the disappearance of high-quality journalism, the threat to serious literary publishing, the constant push to get citizens more anxious about their health based on the same argument: all these sacrifices must be made because the “Internet” is here and it’s taking no hostages. This is an argument that might boost the public importance of “Internet experts” but it’s weak tea as far as public deliberation is concerned.

more.

January 4th, 2014
thesmithian

Four decades before Obama’s ACA, Hawaii enacted its own health-care mandate…the state has poured billions…into rebuilding highways and infrastructure, bringing the unemployment rate down to an enviable 4.4 percent. Gay marriage is legal, immigrants are welcomed, labor unions are strong and—if the governor gets his way this year—universal pre-kindergarten will be the law of the land…there are no tea party stars to bicker with and no Congress to stand in the way. There’s hardly a viable GOP…The Aloha State, with its liberal governor and overwhelmingly Democratic legislature, has succeeded in achieving much of the vision Obama has yet to accomplish on the mainland.

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art: watercolor map by Irina March

December 10th, 2013
thesmithian

'These are poor people. They mostly represent families making less than $20,000 per year. And yet in many cases, they greet the news that they're completely excluded from access to health care with weary acceptance…'

November 30th, 2013
thesmithian
…of the more than a million Americans who are infected with HIV (there are fifty thousand new cases a year), many have no decent health care, and nearly a third are not even aware they are infected. Racism, homophobia, and poverty continue to drive much of the epidemic. Minorities have the highest infection levels and are least likely to have access to satisfactory medical attention or drug treatments. Obamacare will help, but how fast or how well, nobody yet knows. This should be repulsive to us all; those people need education immediately, but there is little public funding available to teach young gay African-American men how to have sex with each other safely. That’s the society we seem to have become.
Michael Specter, in response to this, about the rise in unprotected sex.
November 30th, 2013
thesmithian

The Affordable Care Act depends on richer people paying higher taxes to finance health insurance for lower-income people…

…Starting this year, a healthcare surtax of 3.8 percent is applied to capital gains and dividend income of individuals earning more than $200,000 and a nine-tenths of 1 percent healthcare tax to wages over $200,000 or couples over $250,000. Together, the two taxes will raise an estimated $317.7 billion over 10 years…the justification is plain: We are becoming a vastly unequal society in which most of the economic gains are going to the top. It’s only just that those with higher incomes bear some responsibility for maintaining the health of Americans who are less fortunate…This is a profoundly moral argument about who we are and what we owe each other as Americans. But Democrats have failed to make it…

more.

November 24th, 2013
thesmithian

…as Obama is finding, it’s hard for one party to make government work when the other party is determined to make government fail. Yes, the healthcare.gov debacle is manifestly “on us,” as Obama had to concede last week. But it happened in the face of a relentless campaign by the G.O.P. to do everything possible to prevent the law from taking effect, or from working if it did.

more.

November 23rd, 2013
thesmithian
Cooking attracts roaches. Nobody realizes that. I’ve spent a lot of hours impaling roach bodies and leaving them out on toothpick pikes to discourage others from entering. It doesn’t work, but is amusing. “Free” only exists for rich people. It’s great that there’s a bowl of condoms at my school, but most poor people will never set foot on a college campus. We don’t belong there. There’s a clinic? Great! There’s still a copay. We’re not going. Besides, all they’ll tell you at the clinic is that you need to see a specialist, which seriously? Might as well be located on Mars for how accessible it is. “Low-cost” and “sliding scale” sounds like “money you have to spend” to me, and they can’t actually help you anyway. I smoke. It’s expensive. It’s also the best option. You see, I am always, always exhausted. It’s a stimulant. When I am too tired to walk one more step, I can smoke and go for another hour. When I am enraged and beaten down and incapable of accomplishing one more thing, I can smoke and I feel a little better, just for a minute. It is the only relaxation I am allowed. It is not a good decision, but it is the only one that I have access to. It is the only thing I have found that keeps me from collapsing or exploding. I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term.
more.
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