August 18-25, 2014
Gaza is being reduced to rubble while the world watches on YouTube and CNN. It has been as dispiriting a display of inhumanity and failure as one can imagine, yet it has not been enough to compel either side to accept a halt to the carnage. Each night new images of what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as “telegenically dead Palestinians” are paraded across television and computer screens.
August 4-11, 2014
The evidence is piling up that too many Americans are wasting away in prison. The National Academy of Sciences, for example, recently concluded in a major two-year study that the United States “has gone past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by the social benefits.” Other groups, like Human Rights Watch, the Brennan Center for Corrections, Corrections Today and the University of Chicago Crime Lab, have also raised their...
July 21-28, 2014
The fireworks had not yet filled the sky, but the week of July Fourth started with a celebratory explosion for those who hold close one of the same civic values as our revolutionary forebears, namely the free exercise of religion. In a 5-to-4 decision on June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the so-called Hobby Lobby case that the federal government cannot force the owners of closely held corporations to provide, through employee health plans,...
July 7-14, 2014
Though a comprehensive immigration reform package was passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate more than a year ago, the legislation has completely stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives—not least because of the efforts of the House majority leader, Eric Cantor of Richmond, Va. Ironically, that did not prevent his opponent in the Republican primary from bludgeoning him with accusations of equivocation on immigration.
June 23-30, 2014
During a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on May 28, President Obama continued to make his public case for a new role for American power abroad. At first blush, there is much for critics of recent U.S. military action to appreciate in the president’s remarks. His speech included a strong rejection of U.S. isolationism in a technologically and economically integrated world, but promoted new restraint in the use of America’s...
June 9-16, 2014
‘Greedy” and “expensive,” “money” and “profit”—these were the dominant answers when researchers hired by the public policy website The Morning Call asked average Americans what words come to mind when they thought about health insurance companies. While insurers are likely to treat this outcome as a public relations problem, more evidence that U.S. consumers simply have it right was included in a recent investigation of rising health care costs.
May 26-June 2, 2014
On April 22 the United States Supreme Court, by a vote of 6 to 2, declined to overrule an amendment to Michigan’s state constitution that says its public universities, in the admission of students, “shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.” The amendment had been passed by a majority of voters in 2006 in order to shut down an admissions...
May 19, 2014
Few subjects stir up and polarize national discussion quite like capitalism in general and inequality in particular. Recent evidence is the English-language publication of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which has ignited a firestorm of opinion and debate.
May 12, 2014
Climate change is an issue of unusual complexity that requires attention, discipline and international cooperation. Unfortunately, these are exactly the virtues that are in short supply among the world’s leaders at this moment in history. In a country suffering from political paralysis, where our leaders cannot see beyond the next election cycle, climate change demands bold, far-reaching initiatives.
April 28-May 5, 2014
When asked about immigration on April 6, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida made a distinction between those who overstay visas and those who enter the country illegally “because they had no other means to work” and were concerned about providing food for their children. “Yes, they broke the law,” he explained, “but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love.” With immigration reform legislation at a standstill in Congress and the number of deported immigrants...