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Think again

The power of un-reality: Propaganda overwhelms public debate

Naturally, last week’s tragedy in Newtown has inspired a revival of America’s attempts to discuss the problem of gun control. What many people fail to consider when the nation is faced with such soul-searching tragedies (or natural catastrophes) is how much of our debate is predetermined by the ability of powerful interests.... Read more»1

How dark money helped Republicans hold the House

In the November election, a million more Americans voted for Democrats seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives than Republicans. But that popular vote advantage did not result in control of the chamber. Instead, despite getting fewer votes, Republicans have maintained a commanding control of the House. Such a disparity has happened only three times in the last century.... Read more»1


Gun rhetoric vs. gun facts

The mass shooting in Newtown has reignited a national debate on gun control. Some facts are clear — there has been a massive increase in gun sales. Some things are not so clear — such as whether there is causation between more guns and more violent crimes. And some are contrary to the general impression — for example, the rate of gun murders is down, not up.... Read more»

Q&A: Does 'gun culture' influence gun-related violence?

How much do the laws and social norms surrounding guns — in other words, "gun culture" — influence how violent a society is?... Read more»

Faith & values

Searching for answers after Sandy Hook shootings

It feels wrong to speak of children in the past tense. Their lives are just unfolding, with so many years ahead. But the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last Friday stopped short the lives of 20 young children, erasing their future, breaking the natural order of birth and death—and breaking the hearts of their families and community.... Read more»

Smart v. Stupid

Regulating assault rifles: A how-to guide for non-shooters

We can regulate rifles to reduce their potential for mass murder. And we can do it without harming the shooting sport. Here's how...... Read more»3


Deferred action requests continue to rise in 4th month

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security', for the fourth time, data on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Today there are an estimated 950,000 people who are immediately eligible to submit a request under the program. And in just four months, a remarkable 39 percent of these aspiring Americans have had a request accepted.... Read more»


Newtown shootings: America’s moment of truth

As parents and loved ones struggle to come to terms with unimaginable grief, a nation, with its president in the forefront, is trying to understand what in its makeup leads so regularly to scenes of mayhem and death. The answers will not be easy to uncover, but at last, it seems, Americans have the will to begin.... Read more»


Domestic violence is down, but why?

The issue of domestic violence seldom features good news, but a new national report provides a happy exception. A study finds that the national rate of reported domestic violence dropped by 64 percent from 1994 to 2010.... Read more»

Flawed background checks don't contain firearm sales

Guns galore, inadequate checks: The background check system is supposed to keep firearms away from potentially dangerous people, but the system is plagued by data problems, loopholes and disputes over just who should be barred. "There is a problem with a system like that. It is harder for a high school kid to get a job at McDonald’s." (with video)... Read more»


Potter: The behind-the-scenes battle that could subvert Obamacare

Complex state level battle over stop-loss coverage could eliminate crucial consumer protections. ... Read more»


Potter: Health insurance needs tougher regulation

I've often said that the Affordable Care Act is the end of the beginning of health reform. It addresses many problems associated with health insurance, but more must be done to control costs and access real universal coverage. And flaws in the law need to be fixed.... Read more»1

Smart v. Stupid

Can Republicans rebrand?

Smart v. Stupid: The Republican Party is re-branding. Will voters forget the old, white, boys club that it is today? The current party cannot survive in a multicultural America where a whites-only election strategy can no longer win national elections. ... Read more»

Think again

Will the Times' terrific tax reporting matter?

My “Think Again” column last week addressed how conservative politicians’ professed theories about job creation in the (endless) process of seeking tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are in direct conflict with real evidence of the actual behavior of individuals.... Read more»

Think again

Tax cuts: The faith and the facts

If there’s one thing that unites conservative politicians, it’s the economic value to all of society of tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy. While the arguments in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy have been known to change over time, the bottom line never does.... Read more»

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