Vilsack continues sales pitch for cap-and-trade as administration’s ‘Rural Tour’ nears an end

By Al Cross   At the next-to-last scheduled forum on the Obama administration’s Rural Tour, no one mentioned the cap-and-trade bill aimed at limiting climate change — until Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who is making all the tour’s stops, brought it up in a briefing with reporters after a community forum at the Scottsbluff National [...]

Boston Red Sox Hit the Home Run of a Lifetime: Healthcare for Veterans

By Karen St. John To the die-hard fans in Massachusetts and those of us scattered across the nation, good news about the Boston Red Sox is not a surprise.  In fact, it is downright expected when our team has so many players with awesome skills and fierce determination.  But even I, a steady Red Sox [...]

Ideas for fixing ‘brain drain’ of rural young people

By Al Cross Rural problems tend to take a back seat to urban problems that have higher visibility, but addressing rural needs could help much more than just rural America, Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kefalas report for The Chronicle of Higher Education. The two researchers found that in just over two decades, 700 [...]

Rural-Urban Partnerships at Work and Play

By Debra Kozikowski Something special is happening in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The Sisters of Providence, a religious community with deep roots in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts, donated land in June of this year to The Trustees of Reservations.  Today, a ceremony will take place to dedicate The Land of Providence, a 25 acre parcel of farm and [...]

Another Must Read

by Debra Kozikowski Just in case you missed it in yesterday’s New York Times, Paul Krugman hits the nail on the head yet again.

Baucus the go-to senator on health AND climate? Harkin predicts passage of plan with public option

By Al Cross A powerful, increasingly conservative senator from a state with vast rural areas, Democrat Max Baucus of Montana, has become the bellwether of the Senate, first on health care and now on climate change, reports Lisa Lerer of Politico. “His power play could put Baucus at the helm of the Obama administration’s domestic [...]

Broadband Applications Outstrip Available Funds

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson For every dollar the Feds grant to applicants for rural broadband stimulus funds, six dollars will go begging, at least for now.  That may well be the measure of hunger in the hinterlands for high speed Internet access. All told, communities, organizations, and corporations have filed 2,200 requests totaling $28 billion [...]

Stare Decisis, Mr. Chief Justice

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Wednesday’s extraordinary Supreme Court session will make history for two reasons: It marks Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s first appearance on the bench. It may also be the beginning of the end of American democracy as we know it, such as it is. The 69.5 million of us who voted for Barack Obama [...]

Birds do it, Rs do it, even educated Ds do it … let’s do it, let’s talk to kids.

By Debra Kozikowski 1982, Longfellow Elementary School , Oakland, California. Then First Lady Nancy Reagan made a speech and coined a phrase that became a project to indoctrinate school children into saying no to drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll. Well, not all rock ‘n roll, just the kind that advocated the drug and sex [...]

Is President Obama Finally Taking Off the Gloves?

by Debra Kozikowski to take one’s gloves off     Fig. to stop being calm or civil and show an intention of winning a dispute. After months of letting lawmakers, loudmouths and media consultants, most of whom sure seem bought and paid for by the insurance industry, dictate the national debate on health insurance reform, President Barack Obama finally appears [...]