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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

Case-for-Trump-over-Clinton-is-a-loser

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 



"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 



 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."  

- Abraham Lincoln 

  

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

  

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."  

- Edmund Burke  

  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

  

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Tuesday
May032016

BERNIE THE CRANK...  

     The Bern latest spin is that the nomination process is "rigged."  This is pure 100% prime Vermont bull.  The delegate selection process is the most open and fair in the game - all delegate minus super Ds are elected on a proportionate vote basis, unlike the GOP system which is rigged there are no "winner take all" contests.  And the super delegates - party leaders at the state level represent only 15% of the delegates.

     This has been the name of the game since the 1972 McGovern/Frazier reforms modified in the Clinton era by including super delegates to give some weight to party leaders.  The wild card factor which The Bern has benefited from is that many state contests are open primaries or caucuses, unlike Oregon or New York, which allow late bloomers to vote even if they are not party identifiers.  

      It's about time The Bern and his base get real - the contest is over!  I just heard Bernie on NPR coverage from Indiana claim he has won over 9 million voters...  Well Hillary had over 10 million after the East Coast primaries last week before a very tight contest in the Hoosier state.  You do the math.  But the real issue is that the Bern has won voters who are NOT traditional Democratic voters, independents and millennials.  

     If a political party means anything it galvanizes those who 'identify' with it at election time, not clueless independents who want to register their anger!  But more than half the states allow independent voters to participate - so The Bern got a large boost from those voters, just as The Donald.  This is a warning - the disaray within the GOP ranks could be replicated sometime among the Ds.  

      My solution is simple but unlikely because despite The Bern's protestations, voter registration is a prerogative of states not the federal government nor the RNC or DNC.

      In an ideal world one would prefer "same day registration" to allow disaffected or energized voters to join the party of their "current choice" as the register to vote.  This way they "officially" join the party of their choice until they re-register.  That allows both parties to grow and to honor mobilized voters who will then feel some loyalty to that party and its agenda.     

      After all a party is supposed to stand for something - more than a dimes worth a difference from each  other!  You want to play the game, you dance with those who "brung ya" - voters and parties.  It's called accountability.  

     Bernie knew the process, so his crying foul is just bad form by a losing candidate who has had a huuuuuuuuuge effect - yet seems to want more.  You play by the rules win or lose, you don't have the right to cry foul just because you're losing.  You play between the lines that's the system - fair and square.  Hillary played that way in '08 and gracefully conceded to Obama.  Let's hope The Bern does the same.  

     Bernie, as one who ran for the Democratic Party nomination, it's the height of duplicity to say you have no control over your supporters.  You have the most important ingredient - the art of persuasion plus the looming presence of The Donald.  If that's not enough - shame on you and those you brought to the dance!  

     

Saturday
Apr302016

THE BERN - KEEPING HOPE ALIVE?  

The Bern in Springfield, Oregon

     Despite Hillary Clinton's likely nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders has built a tremendous following among millennial voters and a fundraising machine powered by small donors that is broader than anything assembled by any previous candidates, including Howard Dean and Barack Obama.  

     One should not underestimate the Bern's impact but one also shouldn't overestimate it either.  In America, politics is often personal and tied to the candidates and if the candidate loses they and their ideas often fade from the scene rapidly and their claim to future fame and fortune will diminish once they are no longer in the limelight. 

     That being said, previous losers in the Democratic party have had a lasting impact - Gene McCarthy and Robert F. Kennedy - empowered a new generation of activists who became some of the most influential leaders of the party after cutting their teeth in grassroot politics, Gary Hart and Bill Clinton come to mind. 

     Hart faded in '88 after being the front runner for a few months, while Clinton became a two-term president ('92-00).  More importantly McCarthy and Kennedy inspired a youthful generation of activists among the so-called Baby Boomer group who shaped the progressive agenda in the '70s to the '90s, including Hillary Clinton.  

     The test of Sander's political legacy will not be on his influence over the party platform but on how well his star mobilizes a new generation, the Millennials, in their 20s/30s to carry the progressive torch into the future.  Party platforms have a short shelf life because the nominee who wins picks and chooses planks that fit their agenda, in this case Hillary's vision. 

     But Sanders has set a new standard of how to base a campaign on grassroots funding as opposed to superpac funding - not to say he didn't get help from such groups (he did).  But he has taken the Obama ball and run with it even more successfully.  But can his "political revolution" stay the course without him at the helm?  

     Clearly the issues that mobilized The Bern and his youthful minions was an outgrowth of the Occupy Movement and Black Lives Matter.  Again the historical precedents were there in the '68 campaigns as well - the anti-war movement and civil rights movement - largely northern based mobilizations as MLK's impact faded with his assassination.  

     So the question is will millennials who are hot for The Bern carry to torch for a new generation?  Polling suggests they are aligned to do so - most of them identify with the Democratic Party - however uncomfortably they may be with the "establishment."  I've been there, done that as have many of my left leaning political generation of activists. 

     Mucking around in opening up primaries and caucuses to independent voters is boring and tedious work done state by state.  Besides, most states unlike Oregon already have open primaries/caucuses.  Frankly, I like the balance in the current system between open and closed primaries.  Same day registration is a better tool for opening up the process.  

     Donald Trump was enabled by open primaries - his success suggests some limits are good.  After all political parties have a history and their delegate selection process should reflect that while remaining open to change.  The Democrats having a more open and fair system have benefited from the reforms that came out of the '68 debacle in Chicago. 

     The GOP has been less reform minded and now is faced with a likely electoral disaster.  Had the RNC mirrored the DNC rules by having proportional delegate selection and no winner take all contests it would have likely slowed The Donald's momentum giving more traditional GOP voices a chance for a brokered convention. 

     The GOP's dilemma is deeper than The Donald - it's the fracturing of the Grand Old Party into incompatible factions - pro-business Rs, foreign policy neo-cons, Tea Party zealots, social conservatives and the remnant of moderate Rs. 

     Will the Bern's work end big money - not really.  That will take a new Supreme Court to reverse Citizens United.   And it will take TV and radio media to give free air time to candidates.  That will be a heavy lift.  Public financing of political campaigns has never worked where it's been tried and it simply advantages the candidate who opts out as Barack did. 

     What hopefully is The Bern legacy is that the lexicon of American politics now includes the term "democratic socialism" something that Fanny Lou Hammer, Michael Harrington, Tom Hayden, John Conyers, Ron Dellums et al nurtured.  The Bern's most important impact is forcing Hillary to the Left and ending the monopoly of neo-liberalism.  

     While millennials et al organize for the "political revolution" the most immediate and unifying agent for progressives is the nightmare of The Donald "occupying the Oval Office."   That's the "fierce urgency of now."  


    

    

 

Thursday
Apr282016

POKER ANYONE?  

Wednesday
Apr272016

THE DONALD AKA "DR. STRANGELOVE"  

    The results of the recent East coast primaries over the last two weeks, make it clear that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will square off against each other in November.

     This will pit a candidate steeped in foreign policy expertise vs a novice who acts like a bull in a china shop. America has a choice - to vote for hope or vote for fear/competence or megalomania.   

     Will we elect our first woman POTUS or a con artist who has mastered so-called reality TV.  The video below illustrates the media's complicity in the voodoo candidacy of The Donald.  It would be funny if it wasn't so scary.    

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“Trump’s Television Takeover.”

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     Donald Trump in a so-called 'major' foreign policy speech proved he could read from a teleprompter instead of just rambling on and on. He didn't scream or throw out invective at his audience.  It demonstrates he can be disciplined when he wants to be. 

     But the speech was superficial and lacked the detail of how he would accomplish his objectives - in that regard it was the same old "trust me, I'm a smart guy" and can make America great again. 

     The speech lacked nuance.  It's like so much of The Donald's rhetoric - high on verbal bombast, low on details.  I think the man is intellectually dyslexic - he can't go from one idea to another in any logical way.  But his illogic sadly has appeal to the pissed off voter.  Trump as a political 'clear and present danger' raises the stakes for November.  

     More importantly the speech must be viewed in the larger context of his campaign which has maligned Muslims and immigrants from Latin America, promised to build what amounts to an 'Iron Curtain' between the US and Mexico while humiliating them by somehow making them pay for the wall.  Trump has also made wild assertions of how he'll destroy ISIS and make China behave itself.  And he feels his "art of the deal" can be applied to foreign policy like it does in his own business enterprises. 

     The 'art of the deal' must be placed in context as must this hastilty prepared speech by his foreign policy team.  As much as one can criticize the neo-con or neo-lib foreign policy establishment types who have dominated US foreign policy since the end of WWII - at least they have expertise and experience whereas Trump's team are thin at best, amateurs at worst. These are not this generation's "best and brightest" they are a hastily put together gaggle of foreign policy light weights with short resumes.  

The Donald's talking points: 

  • How can anyone be against "America First" unless we know the origins of this phrase which came out of the neo-isolationist/fascist ideas of Charles Lindbergh?

          We don't live in isolation or fortress America, we live in a global geo-political and economic village where for every action there is an equal reaction which must be carefully calibrated lest we fall over the abyss or into a military quagmire.  World leadership requires humility not bluster.  

  • How can any not feel we need to stand up against China for not playing fair in the global economy unless we realize we don't want to unleash a global trade war against one of our biggest trading partners?   

          China doesn't play fair but it occupies the largest land mass in Asia, is the world's second largest economy and has a huge economic posture in the US.  One can't threaten them without shaking the foundations of the world economy and risking gun boat diplomacy in the nuclear age. 

  • How can anyone not agree that American foreign policy has been a disaster, unless we realize it's a disaster Obama inherited from George W. Bush whose party The Donald has captured in a hostile takeover?   

          It's taken the Obama administration two terms to settle the dust created by the failures of the Bush II era's hubris.  It will take a careful strategy to unravel the chaos of the Middle East that must be led by the people of that region not a return to Pax Americana.  We can't bomb our enemies into submission. 

  • How can we not feel that our NATO allies should share more of the financial burden for European security unless we realize that NATO was created to halt the spread of communism after WW II and now Putin's Russia?  

          Bush II looked into Putin's eyes and saw a friend he could "trust."  Putin didn't reciprocate did he?  Quite the contrary Putin is trying to reassemble the shattered pieces of the old Soviet Empire despite Russia's economy being in tatters. This makes NATO even more important, we can't simply walk away!   

  • How can we disagree with The Donald when he wants to make America Great again, unless we realize this masks a xenophobia towards the "other" whomever The Donald would target - ISIS now, Iran next up? 

         Trump has tapped frustration over an economy that has sacrificed generations of Americans.  But pointing to "the other" abroad or at home is not the answer.  Turning to a thugish member of the 1% is the most unlikely of solutions imaginable as Trumps employees in Atlantic City or Dubai know well.  

     What Trump did is splice together the badly sutured body parts of his campaign rhetoric.  He's like the TV anchor on Network who goes mad on air saying "I'm mad as hell and I'm not taking it anymore."  This was not a foreign policy speech but a toned down primal scream without any coherence or rationale. 

     in fact he proudly claims in a globally unstable world "America should be unpredictable."  That's a prescription for creating more global chaos and as a businessman Trump ought to know better - "uncertainty" is our worst enemy whether it in foreign policy or global markets.  What we need is a  POTUS who is Cool not Madmax!  

     Trump has endorsed waterboarding which is against the law and talked about using tactical nuclear weapons in the Middle East.  His inflamed rhetoric is causing members of the Pentagon, CIA, NSA and State to ask themselves what they would do if a President Trump ordered them to carry out an order that violates the Geneva Convention's rules of war.

     What The Donald proved today is that he totally unfit - intellectually and psychologically to be the most powerful person on earth, one trigger finger away from the nuclear football. He's Dubya and his henchmen on steroids.  He makes one have sympathy for our military industrial complex.  Wow.  

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Reactions to The Donald's speech.  If I was grading it as a class paper - it would get a C- due to content incoherence, D for a lack of historical depth/understanding and a C- for poor drafting/writing...   But then, he's a college drop out...  so one can't expect much.      

Tuesday
Apr262016

FREE COLLEGE TUITION, HOPE OR HOAX?  

     EDITOR'S NOTE:   I've opined that The Bern's promise of free college tuition for those attending public universities is a pipe dream.  Here are two articles which back up my argument.

     The first article explains how the cost burden of a college education would be shifted to lower income students and their families...  

     The second article explains how "merit" scholarships cause a similar shift.  As a faculty member at Pacific I saw this happen.  At my 50th alum reunion at Whitman much more endowed, I heard the same rationale... 

     At Pacific I was proud to teach mostly first generation college students compared to their more affluent counterparts at sister colleges like Lewis & Clark and Willamette.  But are my successors in a new normal now?  

     This is another way that "income inequality" is increased when everyone is told that getting a college degree is the entrance fee to a good job and a middle class life.  As usual old myths die hard...  

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Gail MarksJarvis, Chicago Tribune

Sun, Apr 24, 2016

How could anyone be against free college tuition?...  Millennials, suffering from debilitating student loans, love it.  Parents, who can’t... save for college and retirement, see it as salvation...

Sun, Mar 20, 2016

Are you getting gouged on college? If you come from a... low-income family, there’s a strong chance you are. In fact, you may be subsidizing the education of a student from a more affuent family...