Good afternoon. Here’s a look at opinion content published since Friday, Oct. 1:
Friday, Oct. 1
Sept. 11 responders: Editorial
We comment on news that the House passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. We write:
The thousands of rescue workers who rushed to the fallen World Trade Center to help in the hours, days and weeks following 9/11 and suffered respiratory ailments after breathing in the toxic clouds of dust were finally given their due by the House of Representatives, which passed a far-reaching health bill on Wednesday. The Senate should follow suit, without delay.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which passed the full House by a vote of 268 to 160, would provide a $7.4 billion fund to monitor health and treat injuries, including those suffered by lower Manhattan residents who lived near the site. It would reopen the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund to those whose illnesses developed after the fund was closed in 2003, and provide for research into 9/11-triggered health conditions. …
Matt Davies comments on Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino’s whirlwind week.
Saturday, Oct. 2
Education achievement gap: Commentary
David Kirp, professor of public policy at University of California, Berkeley, offers a commentary on the need to close the educational achievement gap for African-American and Latino students.
Tax cuts: Commentary
Jacob S. Hacker, professor of political science at Yale, and Paul Pierson, professor of political science at University of California, Berkeley, offer a comment on the need to repeal tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Tax hikes and small businesses: Commentary
Tom Wright of Stony Point argues that increasing taxes on small businesses discourages economic growth.
Sunday, Oct. 3
Rutgers tragedy: Editorial
We comment on news that Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who took his own life after a sexual encounter he had with a fellow student was recorded and posted on the Internet via social-networking sites. We write:
… The lesson isn’t for us to become Luddites, and deny the valuable role of technology. We, especially young people whose lives are filtered through social networking, need to learn the power of posting personal information. It’s the whisper of gossip shouted worldwide in an instant. We must all understand the damage that comes from temptations to misuse such tools.
Matt Davies compares the state of the American banking industry in 2000 and 2010.
Edward Wasserman, Knight professor of ethics at Washington and Lee University, comments on the state of contemporary American journalism.
Medicaid reform: Commentary
Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch makes his case for reforming the state’s Medicaid spending. He writes:
… Authority over Medicaid rate-setting and payment is so fragmented that the state lacks the capacity to take the actions needed to control costs in these areas. For one thing, New York stands virtually alone among major states in the extent to which its methods of calculating payments to health care providers are spelled out in statutes that the state Legislature passes as part of the annual budget negotiations. Even minor adjustments require legislative action. As a result, the state has found it exceedingly difficult to control costs by updating its payment methods. The executive branch should have the flexibility to set and improve such methods.
GOP and the Tea Party: Commentary
Dick Polman, a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, comments on the uneasiness of a shotgun marriage between the Republican Party and the Tea Party.
Yonkers budget cuts: Reisman
Phil Reisman explores how budget cuts in Yonkers schools have affected one student who has a beautiful voice.
Monday, Oct. 4
Bed bugs: Editorial
We comment on the recent conversation about the proliferation of bed bugs. We write:
… Even if Cimex lectularius Linnaeus has not yet invaded your corner of the Lower Hudson Valley, the fear of the bug probably has. But we’re hardly alone. Internet forums devoted to bed-bug issues abound, with these virtual support groups focusing on the stress of getting rid of the critters, and the anxiety of anticipating their return. Short of buying your own bug-sniffing dog and going off the grid, it seems there’s really little one can do to ensure bedbugs don’t land in your sheets.
If you’re someone whose scalp itches at the mere mention of lice, who zips up all cereals and grains in large plastic bags to combat the dreaded pantry moth and worries whenever the family pet scratches at fleas, take a deep breath, buy extra calamine lotion and hope for the best. At least you don’t have to worry about stink bugs — though they are invading the eastern United States as we speak — yet.