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"Trumpcare" needs fixing

Republicans in support of "Trumpcare" are walking on thin ice. Democrats despise the bill (no surprise there) but even Republicans, the party of the bill's origin, differ in opinion. As a member of the latter group, I say, Back to the drawing board. Published March 19, 2017

President Donald Trump talks to the press corps inside Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Trump is returning to Washington. Standing next to Trump  is New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Trump's left hand

Some of the Democrats trying to come to terms with their new home in the wilderness have chosen Ivanka, the president's accomplished daughter, as their "lifeline" to the past. They see her as the only vestige of light in an otherwise dark, alt-right Trump administration. The London Guardian says she's a "moral compass" for her father, who "might be able to rein in some of the more extreme policies of the administration." Published March 19, 2017

The Pentagon pushed back against reports that an aggressive string of recent U.S. military sorties have killed hundreds of civilians in Iraq and Syria. Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly has been weighing a loosening of restrictions on U.S. airstrikes that the Obama administration kept in place in war against the Islamic State in Iraq, current and former U.S. officials have said. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

A job for the mad dog

When James Mattis, the retired Marine general once called "Mad Dog Mattis" by his troops for his no-nonsense combat leadership, was named secretary of Defense many senior officers were encouraged to think that at last someone would put his foot down, hard, on the use of the military as a petri dish for the social experiments so beloved by Barack Obama and Ashton Carter. Published March 19, 2017

Health insurance needs competition

We will never bring competition into the health-insurance market until we end the unhealthy relationship between insurance companies, healthcare providers and the IRS. Published March 16, 2017

President Donald Trump arrives for a St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mr. Trump's travel ban

President Trump and the lower federal courts are playing a dangerous game of ping-pong, and the nation's security is paying for it. The president, who is responsible for the nation's safety, proposes and certain federal judges, who have no such responsibility dispose. The president proposes again, and again a judge or two dispose. Published March 16, 2017

Sugar tax won't make us healthier

It looks like a food fight in Philadelphia ("When a sugar tax goes sour," Web, March 7). The way to deal with sugar is for the federal government to come clean, and there is no way that is going to happen. Sugar consumption is just the inevitable result of decades of vilifying healthy fats and creating, subsidizing and selling a food supply that is based on three grains plus sugar deep-fried in vegetable oil. And if you ask your doctor about this and how it relates to your health, be prepared for a shock. Your doctor is trained not to have a clue. Published March 16, 2017

Issa Hayatou, right, speaks to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, left, at the opening of the general assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, March 16, 2017. Issa Hayatou was voted out as president of the African soccer confederation on Thursday after 29 years in charge, losing to challenger Ahmad of Madagascar in a major shakeup for the sport on the continent. (AP Photo)

The hateful idea of hate crime

Three men were indicted this month in Washington for the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old transgendered woman, the robbing of a second transgendered woman and the assault on a third. A "hate crime" charge was added to the charges of conspiracy, robbery and first-degree murder, which could mean that the defendants, if convicted, could serve sentences half again as long as for "mere" murder. Published March 16, 2017

FILE - This Feb. 13, 2017, aerial file photo, shows a site where the final phase of the Dakota Access pipeline is taking place with boring equipment routing the pipeline underground and across Lake Oahe to connect with the existing pipeline in Emmons County near Cannon Ball, N.D. Federal Judge James Boasberg on Tuesday, March 14 denied a request by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux to stop oil from flowing while they appeal his earlier decision allowing pipeline construction to finish. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

Tubes, tunnels, pipelines and progress

The Dakota Access Pipeline that triggered the resistance of the Indians, or Native Americans as some of them want to be called, is nearly complete and ready to take oil to the refineries. The Keystone XL Pipeline project, which endured an on-again, off-again status during the Obama years, is on again. It's a new day for energy in America. Published March 15, 2017

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, right, waits for Air Force One with President Donald Trump aboard, to arrive Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Trump is scheduled to visit the home of President Andrew Jackson and later in the day speak about health care at a rally. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Health care in the balance

Lost in the partisan bluster and shouting about the future of Obamacare, and the Republican "repeal and replace" reform, is the stark reality that the nation has arrived, finally, at the point where it must decide what kind of health care it wants, and how to pay for it. Published March 15, 2017

Remove state-line limitation

To the majority in Congress: Please explain why you have not already produced a one-page bill to remove the federal limitations on selling health insurance across state lines. It remains a mystery why this is not a part of the current Republican health-care proposal, and even more why it has not already been done as a separate item. With not even an attempt to tell us why we are still waiting for it, the current majority in Congress appears to once again be the gang that can't (or is it won't?) shoot straight. You've got a lot of explaining to do. Published March 15, 2017

Free speech means tolerance

As a professor, I was shocked to read the article detailing how a mob prevented free speech at Middlebury College and injured a professor there ("Middlebury College professors stand up for free speech after Charles Murray debacle," Web, March 8). The essence of democracy is the free exchange and expression of ideas. Democracies require educated citizens to thrive and a significant portion of that education entails being exposed to differing points of view. Published March 15, 2017

Get government out of health care

I don't want Ryancare, I don't want Trumpcare and I definitely do not want Obamacare. The latter has wrecked the economy and therefore many people's livelihoods. House Speaker Paul Ryan says we have to save the system. What system? Ryan says he's been working on it for 20 years. That just makes him even more of a fool. Published March 14, 2017

Obamacare worse than GOP fix

I am no fan of the GOP's Obamacare replacement plan, but as an engineer I always must evaluate the 'do-nothing' option. The Congressional Budget Office has said that under the replacement plan, 24 million people will lose health-care coverage by 2026. But how many people will lose their coverage under Obamacare by 2018? Published March 14, 2017

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks with reporters as Democrats criticize the Republican health care plan, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March, 14, 2017. The White House and Republican leaders in Congress are scrambling to shore up support for their health care bill after findings from the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 14 million people would lose insurance coverage in the first year alone under the GOP replacement for Obamacare. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Taking brickbats to the wall

Barack Obama is gone from the White House, but his malign influence hangs over Washington like a blue haze. He failed to "fundamentally transform" America, but Democrats who made his slogan their own refuse to surrender the defeated cause. Despite the fact that Donald Trump has occupied the Oval Office for nearly two months, the opposition party stubbornly acts in concert with the "not my president" crowd. Their tune sounds dangerously close to "not my nation." Published March 14, 2017

In this Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 photo, President Donald Trump speaks on the telephone with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

'Enforcement matters, deterrence matters'

Perhaps it's a variant of Mitt Romney's notion of "self-deportation," but President Trump's tough talk on illegal immigration is discouraging the waves of illegal immigration even before the first brick or cinder block is laid in what he calls his "big, beautiful" wall on the border. Published March 14, 2017

Health care bill on life support

The Republican health-care bill, the American Health Care Act, faces opposition from not only the Democrats, but from the Republicans themselves. The interparty division can be seen on both ends of the spectrum, from the moderates to the ultra-conservative members of the party. The Republican leadership insists it has the support needed to get the bill to the president's desk even without a single vote from the Democrats. That road appears to have been harder than anticipated, as the hearings in the House burned the midnight oil to escape the various committees responsible for vetting the bill. It won't get any easier once the bill hits the Senate floor, either. Published March 13, 2017

Planned Parenthood in it for cash

Many thanks to Kelly Riddell for her excellent Commentary piece, "Why Planned Parenthood must be defunded" (Web, March 9). Ms. Riddell points out that Planned Parenthood is an abortion organization that gets 86 percent of its non-government revenue from abortions. In fact, President Trump offered to continue the group's federal funding if it stopped doing abortions. It refused. Published March 13, 2017

FILE- In this Sept. 17, 2015 file photo, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara speaks during a news conference in New York.  On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, two days before Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave dozens of the country's top federal prosecutors just hours to resign and clean out their desks, Sessions gave those political appointees a pep talk during a conference call. Bharara said on Saturday, March 11, 2017, that he was fired after refusing to resign. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Gamesmanship in Gotham

Preet Bharara is making a career of being one of 46 U.S. attorneys who was routinely asked to resign by President Trump, who, like his predecessors in the White House, wanted to install his own lawyers in these jobs. Mr. Bharara, who was appointed by Barack Obama for U.S. attorney in New York City, thinks life handed him a lemon and he dreams of making lemonade. Published March 13, 2017

President Trump is working with Mick Mulvaney (left), director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and other members of his team to prepare for a government shutdown in case Congress can't reach a budget deal by the end of the week. (Associated Press/File)

What to do about the debt

The federal government collects plenty of money. The problem is that the government spends too much of it. The government wouldn't have this headache if it had heeded the advice of Thomas Jefferson: "Never spend your money before you have earned it." Published March 13, 2017

Not so paranoid after all

The latest WikiLeaks dump tells us that the CIA, everyone's favorite assemblage of spooks, can commandeer our televisions and smartphones in order to spy on us — and if discovered make the culprit appear to be not the CIA but an obese 14-year-old transgender individual in Eastern Europe ("WikiLeaks outs CIA for turning smartphones, TVs into spy cameras and audio bugs," Web, March 7). Published March 12, 2017