Governor Cuomo last week unveiled his proposed $140-plus billion budget for New York State. The goals of the governor’s budget were to close a $1 to $2 billion deficit without raising taxes, as well as to offer his blueprint for spending federal dollars expected to flow to New York to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy.
On the health front, there was some good news: the governor proposed full implementation of the federal health care reform law – aka Obamacare – and to expand Medicaid coverage to tens of thousands of uninsured New Yorkers.
While being sworn in for a second term earlier this week, Barack Obama made history by being the first president to refer to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community in an inaugural speech. In what that some pundits are calling ‘Lincoln’s third inaugural address,’ the President laid out a civil rights agenda that placed the fight over gay rights on equal footing as battles against racial, ethnic, religious and gender discrimination.
Although conservatives reflexively assume race, class and gender dominate American history, there is now incontrovertible evidence that this assumption is true. In a careful study of U.S. history courses at the University of Texas and Texas A & M University, the National Association of Scholars recently released report indicates that race, class and gender tend to crowd out the teaching of other perspectives. This form of thematically skewed teaching leads to an incomplete knowledge of American history, an ignorance transmitted from one generation to the next.
The suicide of Aaron Swartz made me focus on what he’d been fighting for – free access to knowledge on the internet. Swartz’s methods were misguided and illegal but his purposes are nevertheless worth thinking about. He was part of a movement devoted to giving us all free access to government documents, research papers and much else, believing that it should all be available on the internet at no charge.
Tom Brokaw, being widely recognized as having coined the title: “The Greatest Generation” and this commentator, a bona fide member since his enlistment in 1942, was glad to see him as a guest on a recent public affairs TV program; although the host did seem, somehow, to be more excited about the fact of this, than why its members were. It would have been helpful for the current, younger TV audience, for Tom to have had an opportunity to explain the ‘why’ of the generation’s origin.
It’s often hard to know how things are going on the cancer-fighting front without looking at health statistics over the long haul. Annual statistics reporting from the American Cancer Society provided that insight last week. In its report, “Cancer Facts & Figures,” the death rate from cancer in the US has fallen 20% from its peak in 1991.
The interview won’t air until tomorrow, but the story that Lance will admit to Oprah of using performance enhancing drugs makes us all ask the same question. Does Oprah still have a network?
That’s really the only revelation likely to come from the dialogue, since only the most ardent disbelievers still imagined Lance rode clean all these years. He’ll tell the public limited facts about the process, although allegedly he won’t admit to being the so called “ring leader” of the sophisticated drug program. He’ll simply admit to being just another guy in the peloton who doped to stay relevant, just like everyone else on the road. He’s part of the gang, just no Al Capone. Given Armstrong’s actions over the years, it’s hard to image this to be true. But truth seekers will have to settle for this for the time being.