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Monday, January 21, 2019
Mary Sanchez

Mary Sanchez has spent years covering immigration, schools, and other volatile beats for The Kansas City Star. She is now an editorial columnist for the Star, where she continues to offer insightful commentary on immigration, culture, and politics.

Trumpcare, Health Care, Republicans, Trump/Ryan, Middle Class, Safety Net, GOP

GOP Health Care Bill Recycles Tired Moralizing Of The Poor

The AHCA is rightly being derided as a cruddy facsimile of Obamacare that massively shifts wealth from the lowest income brackets to the highest. The rationales for foisting this botch on the not-so-well-to-do are grounded in that old conservative disposition to blame the poor for their poverty.

March 13, 2017
Equal Rights

Why It’s Time To Revive The Equal Rights Amendment

If women were considered full equals, if they had the Constitution firmly behind them, the nation would not have seen fit to elect a man with heinously backward views of women.

March 4, 2017
Transgender students, Trump

Trump Order On Transgender Students Is Separate And Unequal

The muddled minds that now run the federal government think it’s fine to legally segregate public bathrooms. This is of a piece with the attitudes and beliefs that created “For whites only” drinking fountains in the Jim Crow South. If you don’t see the correlation, you have company in the White House.

February 25, 2017
Immigrants, United States

If You Love The United States, Thank An Immigrant

It’s a commonplace to say immigrants built this nation. They settled the prairies and dug the canals and laid the rails and mined the coal and worked in the steel mills and factories and slaughterhouses that made America rich. They continue to contribute a great deal at all levels of the economy. We can continue to enjoy this benefit, while clearing up the murk that is American immigration policy.

February 20, 2017
Refugee Policies

Taking Care Of Refugees Is A Moral Duty

It’s heartening, amid the wasteland of cynicism that our politics has become, to see church leaders going out on a limb, challenging not only Trump but all Christians in our body politic to attend to a central call of their faith — to serve the suffering — even though it involves sacrifice and risk.

February 12, 2017
DACA, Dreamers, Immigration

Stuck In Immigration Limbo, Dreamers Are Losing Patience

Former President Barack Obama used executive action to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which gave a reprieve from deportation to the Dreamers who qualify. But now the fear is that President Donald Trump will rescind that protection with his own order.

February 8, 2017
Progressive protests

Progressives Could Learn A Thing Or Two From The Tea Party

The greatest weapon the American public has to fight Trump and his minions is the central institution of our representative democracy: the legislative branch. Progressives must threaten their representatives with removal if they don’t heed the majority that finds Trump repugnant, and they must organize that majority to speak unambiguously in November 2018.

February 3, 2017

Trump’s ‘Travel Ban’ Intended To Create Chaos And Spur Fear

Donald Trump’s order was intended to create chaos, to generate fear among immigrants, and to send a message. Loud and clear it rang: The Trump administration will pontificate about terrorism and national security, but it is intentionally targeting Muslims. No wonder all hell broke loose.

January 31, 2017
Border Wall

Trump’s Border Wall Lunacy Won’t End Well

Immigrants and their families are deeply entrenched in America, which is why a wide range of interests pushed back when Trump let his orders fly. Mayors, police chiefs, legal scholars, refugee advocates, educators, and everyday citizens have all signaled their determination to resist his policies.

January 29, 2017
John Ashcroft, Constitutional Rights

When Fear Rules, Constitutional Rights Get Trampled

Erring on the side of recklessness comes at a high price. It undermines the constitutional rights America values most. It harms our international image. It hands a recruitment tool to terrorists. We know this now. Time to apply the lesson.

January 21, 2017
Obama, Race

Did We Expect Too Much From Obama On Race?

Obama’s real and lasting impact on race relations in America will be seen in less sensational policy decisions: who he brought to the federal benches, his efforts to protect the Voting Rights Act, measures to expand access to health care and quality schools.

January 9, 2017
Rockettes, Trump, Inauguration

Rockettes Balk At Dancing For Our POTUS-To-Be

The ongoing saga of whether or not members of the Rockettes will dance at Donald Trump’s inauguration is a taste of the next four years. When and how will it be appropriate or pragmatic to react to the latest Trump offense or to recall the heinous rhetoric of his campaign?

December 30, 2016
F. Glenn Miller Jr, Hate Crimes

Why Do Some Hate Crimes Fail To Resonate?

In America, deranged people can kill with racial, ethnic, religious or any of a wide range of hatreds and receive far differing reactions from the national media, the general public and seemingly even from the forces of justice.

December 24, 2016
Immigrants, Donald Trump

Anti-Immigrant Bias Has Already Cost America Plenty

While low-skilled, undocumented immigrants are often the targets of abuse generated in our increasingly nativist political climate, educated immigrants who are legally present catch a lot of flak, too. Many Americans can’t or won’t make the distinction.

December 18, 2016
Puzder to head Labor Dept

Trump’s Labor Choice Is Not A Friend Of Workers

Raising the minimum wage, granting overtime pay, inconvenient questions about why so many burger flippers are also on public assistance — it all receives a dismissive wave from Puzder. Too much federal regulation, he says. Not good for business.

December 10, 2016
Fidel Castro dead at age 90

For Some Cuban Expats, Castro’s Death Means Little

Hatred of Castro can make people lose perspective. The economic blockade did not budge Castro from power — and did much to harm the Cuban people.

December 3, 2016
Millennial voters

#WhatNow? Millennial Voters Want To Bring Empathy Back

Five college students, all 20-somethings from around the Kansas City area, started #WhatNow to connect communities through empathy, education and advocacy following Donald Trump’s shocking win.

December 2, 2016

CEO Of America: A Seductive But Dangerous Idea

The government does not and should not function like a business. The public good cannot be reduced to profit and loss. Many of government’s functions are costly yet essential despite their great expense; think of national security, justice and education.

November 25, 2016
Kabul Grand Hotel

Making Foreign Reconstruction Efforts Count

The Kabul Grand Hotel was supposed to be a symbol of America’s reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. Instead, it’s an empty mothballed structure that’s heavily guarded courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.

November 23, 2016
Obama, Trump

Will Trump Feed ‘Dreamers’ To The Wolves?

Trump will need to throw a tasty morsel to supporters, something to prove that he’s still their man. The easiest group to cast into that den will be the young people flourishing under Obama’s executive action on immigration.

November 13, 2016
presidential campaign

After The Presidential Campaign, Our Toxic Politics Will Endure

Like all traumatic events eventually do, the U.S. presidential campaign will end. Polling places will close, votes will be tabulated and a new electoral map will be drawn up that shows how our 45th president-elect got elected. Unfortunately, the stink of this campaign season will stick around much, much longer

November 6, 2016
Election offices prepare polling stations for Election Day

Behind The Scenes Of The Bipartisan, Politically Neutral Election Offices

An inside look at a bipartisan election office in Kansas City. Here the talk is politically neutral with the goal of safeguarding the vote. It might seem counterintuitive, but the staff’s biggest concern isn’t necessarily who wins and who loses.

November 4, 2016

‘Patient Zero’ And Other Myths About HIV/AIDS

What is the future of AIDS prevention in the U.S. and the world? And what will it take to move people to care about this still-thriving epidemic?

October 29, 2016
Gun violence

Extremism On Second Amendment Violates Common Sense

Keeping a loaded gun unsecured and within easy reach of a toddler ought to be considered a criminal act of negligence. It’s time to admit that upholding a person’s right to own a gun doesn’t need to conflict with efforts to keep young children’s tiny hands away from pulling triggers.

October 21, 2016
Stand up for women, Washington March

It’s Time To Stand Up For Women

Sexual aggression — the behaviors, the attitudes, the excuses that support them — has to stop. America is deciding now if it has the courage to fight back.

October 20, 2016