In The Public Interest

The left/right challenge to the failed ‘war on drugs’

More and more conservatives and liberals, from the halls of Congress to people in communities across the country, are agreeing that the so-called “war on drugs” needs serious rethinking.

The losing warfare state

The U.S.A. is still bogged down in Afghanistan (the 16-year occupation is the longest in American history) and in Iraq (since the unconstitutional, illegal invasion of the country 14 years ago).

With about 30,000 poorly equipped fighters, the Taliban has held down a U.S.-equipped and trained Afghan army eight times larger, plus the U.S. forces — fluctuating from 100,000 at its peak to 8,500 now, plus contractors — with advanced air, sea and land weaponry  that is second to none.

It’s about bringing your Congress back home, citizens

The large marches, in Washington, D.C., and around the country, calling attention to importance of science and focusing on the calamitous impacts of climate change  had impressive turnouts. But the protests would have been more productive if they concentrated more — in their slogans and signs — on 535 politicians to whom we have given immense power to influence policies relating to those issues, for ill or for good.

I’m speaking of Congress.

George H. Haddad: Unsung excellence in medicine

Ever wonder about the people who make our health care system work at a time when reports of greed, fraud, profiteering and harmful malpractice are rampant and remedies are not advanced?

Open letter to Attorney General Lynch

Dear Attorney General Loretta Lynch:

News outlets are reporting that you are about to settle the criminal case with Takata airbag defect case for nearly $1 billion and the Volkswagen emissions cheating case for $4 billion.

On the VW case, The New York Times reported that “the company or one of its corporate entities is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges as part of the deal.”

Tripwires for the Trumpsters

The Trumpsters are coming to town — led by a failed gambling czar, corporate welfare king and major tax escapee — and they are hell bent on unmaking Washington, D.C.

Hillary’s convention con: Thoughts on the Democratic National convention

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How unpatriotic is Donald Trump?

Samuel Johnson famously considered patriotism “the last refuge of a scoundrel.” His biographer James Boswell, who passed along that judgment, clarified that Johnson “did not mean a real and generous love for our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak for self-interest.”

The IRS and the self-minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz

Politicians who limit the effectiveness of government agencies for short-term political advantages cheat taxpayers and shortchange the government. I first met Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a brash young Republican, at a gathering of EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center), which challenges invasions of privacy by big business and government. Privacy was not the only issue he championed, having taken stands against corporate welfare programs, bloated corporate contracts with the government and even corporate crimes.

Commercializing elections

Our political economy — a wonderfully embracing phrase much used a century ago — has three main components: the electoral/governmental powers, the marketplace and the civil society, which is composed of we the citizens.