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Economic policy in the United States is ruled by gridlock. That’s the common belief, and it’s easy to see the evidence for it in the daily headlines. Immigration reform didn’t even come up for a vote in Congress this year, and the budget deal approved by the Senate this month managed to amend the sequestration but was far from a “grand fiscal bargain.” It was the best that…

Many on the far right appear to lack empathyAs this season of giving, sharing and feeling comes to a close, there is continual bombardment of “others” from right-wing media. Others are any groups different in orientation, skin tone or socioeconomic status. It is sad to see or to hear. It’s frightening to a majority in our country that their audience is so widespread.It’s p…

A&E is not obligated to endorse prejudiceI endorse the opinion of the Amherst letter writer “Duck Dynasty patriarch is entitled to his opinion.” I’d add just two points. First, Phil Robertson’s opinion is ludicrous, fact-free, disgusting neo-Confederate offal. (That’s my opinion, to which I am as entitled, as he is to his). And second, he’s not entitled to have some corpor…

Most people have lost true spirit of ChristmasI was watching the media coverage of the problems encountered by the package delivery services during the last week before Christmas. I was not at all shocked by the negative and spiteful attitudes of those late shoppers who didn’t get their packages. Not surprised because we have become self-indulgent, spoiled, entitled people…

Christmas Eve column was a treat for readersThe Buffalo News on Christmas Eve morning held a special surprise: Veronica Hogle’s My View column magically transported us to 1940s and ’50s Ireland, as she and her family celebrated this festive holiday.I couldn’t help but wonder whether Hogle realizes what a wonderful writer she is. You felt like you were experiencing first-ha…

Buffalo needs to be prominent in UB logoI was proud to see the University at Buffalo Bulls in a nationally televised bowl game, notwithstanding the final score.How curious that the winning team was identified in bold lettering on each jersey: “San Diego State.” I suppose that if Danny White had been San Diego’s athletic director, its shirts would have read “California.”Ang…

Public financing of elections would level the playing fieldSurprise! News flash! The rich don’t want our democracy to be on a level playing field. They like the status quo, where their political donations determine who makes the laws that give them tax breaks and special treatment.A recent Another Voice, written by a representative of Unshackle Upstate, attacked the Morela…

I spent 40 years as an operating room nurse trying to suppress my funny side in the arena of a sterile environment. This is not healthy. I had to bite my tongue so many times that my swollen tongue didn’t fit in my mouth anymore. Good thing I wore a mask. But sometimes, the urge proved to be too much.It all started in the lab at nursing school when I named my hairless cada…

Well, he did it. President Obama finally came through on his promise to sign up for Obamacare. Republicans had been pushing the president to sign up for his own signature health plan, officially known as the Affordable Care Act, since it was enacted in 2010. And now he’s a card-carrying customer (well, the card’s probably in the mail … somewhere).Obama selected the bronze …

By Karen ScharffThere is an easy way to tell what is the biggest threat to corruption in Albany. The big money interests and others who want to maintain the pay-to-play culture are attacking only one of the many reforms suggested by the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption: public financing of elections. If the people who benefit from the current system are…

Editorials

And, so, here we are again. The Buffalo School District submits a required form to the State Education Department, which kicks it back as unacceptable – and for reasons the district knew about ahead of time. What gives?This is a continuing problem for Superintendent Pamela C. Brown, and it is becoming tedious. Either she is politically naive, and doesn’t understand the dam…

“I am mostly love now.” These five words of the poet Hayden Carruth grabbed my attention. The words broke through the grief and sadness that followed the death of my parents one week apart this past September. That simple poetic thought was like sunshine burning off a thick and suffocating fog.My parents were married just a few days shy of 65 years. In many ways the two of…

SAFE Act encourages responsible ownershipI am writing in response to a letter printed on Dec. 17 regarding the NY SAFE Act. The State Legislature passed the SAFE Act in response to the public call for responsible gun ownership. The Senate approved the measure 43 to 18 and the Assembly 104 to 43. The writer states that the legislators did not have time to “read and understa…

More than 54,000 homeowners in Western New York are about to forego a $500 gift from New York State. There is still a little time, however, to claim the windfall. All it will take is a few clicks of a computer mouse or a phone call.What is this manna from heaven? It’s the basic STAR property tax exemption, available to those earning less than $500,000 and who own and live …

Civility is a better word for political correctness“Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson has come under criticism and been suspended from his popular reality show for incendiary speech against homosexuals. Also, although not creating as much of a firestorm, he suggested that African-Americans were happy working cotton fields in his home state of Louisiana, before any of …