Paul Ryan is using the deficit as an excuse to shrink the government via tax
relief for the rich and program cuts that largely target the poor—while
sparing military spending. That isn't courageous; it's simply wrong.
Today is the 150th anniversary
of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, which began the U.S. Civil War. In a
fascinating entry from the New York Times "Disunion" series, which has been "covering"
the war since last fall, Adam Goodheart describes how Maj.
I'm late to this, but I can't
let it pass by: I'm really going to miss Bob Herbert's op-eds in the New York Times. I think E.J. Dionne
edges him out as my favorite big-paper columnist; I appreciate Dionne's faith-based angle and elegant prose.
Herbert's writing is more workmanlike--some would say formulaic.
Pundits have been praising Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin
Republican who chairs the House budget committee, for the courage displayed in
his 2012 budget proposal. But their definition of "courage"
must be different from mine.
In order to write about the inner workings of a private prison, journalist Shane Bauer took a prison guard position at a Louisiana prison for four months, at $9 an hour. The prison is operated by Corrections Corporation of America, whose CEO made $3.4 million in 2015, nearly 19 times the amount paid to the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. During Bauer’s time as a correctional officer, the federal Department of Corrections temporarily took charge of the prison due to a rash of stabbings among inmates. Thirty-four percent of prison guards suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder, a rate higher than that for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Correctional officers commit suicide two and a half times more frequently than the general population (Mother Jones, July/August).