FROM Charlie W. Shaeffer
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.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
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.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.