The Kansas City Star: Ukrainian victory turns toward tragedy
The stakes are changing rapidly in Ukraine. The people have spoken in Kiev. But now Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken more loudly.
By Sunday, Kiev’s new interim leaders charged that Russians had invaded. Putin asserted that his forces were merely protecting Russian interests in Crimea. He appeared undeterred by his 90-minute talk with President Barack Obama on Saturday, leading experts to question if Ukraine’s regime could stave off a military conflict and possible partition.
President’s budget a disappointment
Last month, President Obama filed his annual budget blueprint for fiscal year 2015. While the contents of his proposal have been a major topic of discussion in the news since then, its official release on March 4 will determine the next steps for lawmakers, who must work together to ultimately find a common agreement.
40 modernization proposals win approval
Last week presented the first major legislative deadline. Proposals that didn’t receive committee approval by last Thursday are no longer eligible for additional consideration.
As the chairman of the Government Modernization committee it was my responsibility to sort through a large number of proposals and work with the authors of those proposals to make them both politically viable and practicable for implementation if approved.
This year, the committee considered more proposals than in any other year.
Here are just a few:
HEY HINK: War redefined: Don’t fall for the con job
This week, I’m thinking about shell games and war. Let’s start with war. This is probably the most damaging social convention ever devised by the mind of man. But war is a phenomenon that’s touched the lives of every American. We owe our freedoms to those who won the “Revolutionary War.” The political and economic face of America was forever changed by “The Civil War.” The pattern for the international stage as it exists today was largely defined by “World War I.”
Bits about Bitcoin and why you should care
Many people have no clue about this thing called Bitcoin. This week’s collapse of the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange demonstrates, it’s time they do.
Los Angeles Times: From the FDA, a mixed bag of food labels
The U.S. Food and Drug administration broke new ground in consumer protection when it required, more than 20 years ago, the now-familiar nutrition labels on virtually every bit of packaged food. Now, the labels are being revamped — in ways that have both benefits and downsides.
Another health-care crisis: Closing hospitals
Lower Oconee Community Hospital in southern Georgia closed its doors this month, eliminating 25 hospital beds and up to 100 hospital jobs. This was the fourth Georgia hospital to fold in two years and the eighth rural hospital in the state to close since 2000. Although Lower Oconee’s shutdown may not have registered much media coverage, those in search of medical attention in Glenwood, Ga., should be mindful that the closest hospital is now 30 miles away. When faced with a medical emergency, no one fancies a long road trip.
Whether viewed as the fallout of modern health-care’s transition from cost-based to performance-driven measures or simply as collateral damage from the effects of partisan politics, the growing trend of hospital closures in the United States has failed to command the attention it deserves. Across the nation, both rural and urban areas are struggling daily to maintain the necessary infrastructure to provide support for residents. The loss of even the smallest facility places additional strain on the already tenuous existence of neighboring institutions.
Israel remains a valuable friend, ally
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have been a strong supporter of Israel and its right to exist. Like the United States, Israel is committed to living peaceably, fighting terrorism, defending freedom and protecting democracy. As we remain grounded in similar ideals and aware of the threats in our midst, we must continue fostering our relationship with Israel, our valuable friend and only democratic ally in the Middle East.
Sidewalk chalk can earn an artist money
The name “Banksy” is used by a mysterious street artist from the United Kingdom who frequently comes to the United States to draw in public places on walls and sidewalks. Banksy has been to New York City and New Orleans and in recent years his reported presence in those communities resulted in a what appeared to be treasure hunts that were covered by the media in which groups of people went out and searched for the work he had done.
Chicago Tribune: The Olympics can’t disguise Putin’s quest for dominion
With the Olympics in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped to rivet the world’s attention on the New and Improved Russia, a rising-again world power to be reckoned with, a country on the road to global glory.
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- The Kansas City Star: Ukrainian victory turns toward tragedy