FROM Carla Haas
Proposition 86: Should Smokers Save ER's and Provide Healthcare for Children? Proposition 86 would triple the cigarette tax, from 87¢ to $3.47 a pack, bringing the total cost for a cigarette pack to about $6.60. The estimated $2.1 billion raised every year would give health insurance to kids who don't have it and reimburse emergency rooms for serving the uninsured. Most of the $50 million raised to fight Prop 86 comes from the tobacco companies. There's $13 million against it, mostly from hospitals. Would Prop 86 make California a healthier state? Is it fair to smokers? Would it encourage cigarette smuggling by criminal gangs?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."