Setting America’s Priorities for 2015

    by Walter Brasch Marci Rosenberg, a senior speech language pathologist at the University of Michigan, earns about $73,000 a year. Desmond Patton, who studies the problems of gang violence, is a professor at the University of Michigan. He earns about $80,000 a year. Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, who works with cerebral palsy children, is a professor at the University of Michigan. She earns about $136,000 a year. Ursula Jakob, a molecular biologist who is working on proteins to unlock new disease cures, is a professor at the University of Michigan. She earns about $112,000 a year Dan Habib works with children who have disabilities; Martha Bailey is doing research on the correlations between living in disadvantaged neighborhoods and criminal behavior; … Continue reading

The Fracking Boom is a Fracking Bubble

  by Walter Brasch   Gas prices have plunged to the low $2 range—except in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the prices at the pump are in the mid-$2 range. That’s because Gov. Tom Corbett and the legislature imposed a 28-cent per gallon surcharge tax. Until 2019, Pennsylvanians will be paying an additional $2.3 billion a year in taxes and fees—$11.5 billion total—to improve the state’s infrastructure. In addition to the increased tax on gas at the pumps, Pennsylvania motorists will also be spending more for license registrations, renewals, and title certificates. For far too many years, the state’s politicians of both major parties, preaching fiscal austerity—and hoping to be re-elected by taxpayers upset with government spending—neglected the roads, bridges, and other … Continue reading

Losing the White Democratic in the Deep South

    Democrat Mary Landrieu lost her Senate seat to Republican Bill Cassidy in a runoff election in Louisiana. As of 2015 there will be no white Democratic elected officials in the Deep South at the federal or state level. I lived and worked in Alabama for six years of my life. I’ve also traveled several times to Georgia and Mississippi. Honestly, I love the Deep South. The people are some of the most welcoming, thoughtful people in the world. I interned for the Alabama Democratic Party. I traveled across the state and met some of the most dedicated Democrats, both black and white. In 2008 Barack Obama became this country’s first black President. In my last two years in … Continue reading

“We Can’t Breathe” – Two Years After Sandy Hook

“I can’t breathe!” That was the cry of Eric Garner being chokeholed to death in New York City. “I can’t breathe!” That is the cry of our Earth Mother in the chokehold of manmade pollution. “We can’t breathe!” That is the cry of our brothers and sisters in the chokehold of violence and injustice and pollution and oppression in the largest cities and the smallest villages around the world. Two years ago, in Newtown, Connecticut, there was a different cry, but with the same profound implication: the first student who ran out of the Sandy Hook Elementary School, an un-named six-and-a-half-year-old, ran out of the building covered in blood from head to toe and the first words she said to her … Continue reading

Practicing Subsidized Un-Medicine

  by Walter Brasch   Clutching newspaper clippings in one hand and a medical bag loaded with seeds in the other, my ersatz friend Dr. Franklin Peterson Comstock III, knocking down pregnant ladies, students, the elderly, and two burly construction workers who were waiting for a bus, rushed past me, leaving me in a close and personal encounter with the concrete. “Medical emergency!” Comstock cried out. “Gang way!” “You’ve returned to medicine?” I shouted after him. “I’m going into un-medicine!” he shouted back. “I’m getting the big bucks not to operate!” This was a story too good to let by, so I gave up any hope of the 7:11 “D”-line bus arriving by 7:30, and chased after him. “Slow down!” … Continue reading