In the run-up to the Great Budget Sequester of 2013, a deeply indebted America once again learned what every American knows from birth: your government program got us into this mess, not mine. As evidence, look at the red-hot reaction by ag forces to the rumor — not fact, but rumor — that the White […]
When you’re sick, nothing—not money, politics or even religion—matters more than getting well. And, yet, when you’re healthy, those items matter more in any health care policy debate than the goal of the policy being debated: healing you when you’re sick. This disconnect isn’t just personal, it’s national, regional and local and it continues to […]
The stakes are high in the dispute over rights to genetically modified seeds. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today (Feb. 19, 2013).
A recent New York Times headline whetted the proverbial whistle: “Justice Dept.’s Fight Against Modelo Brings in Familiar Face.”Modelo, the name of a lovely Mexican beer, drew me into a brief story that related how the company’s outside counsel, Christine Varney, is “squarely at odds” with the U.S. Department of Justice in its lawsuit to […]
The stroll to the U.S. Capitol is leisurely despite a soft winter sun and hard northwest breeze to encourage a quicker pace. Treasuring the moment I resist the farm urge to hurry; I take my time because this may be my last long walk in Washington, D.C. for a while and I want to savor […]
Last October, several University of Illinois alums sent a letter “to encourage [me] to … join [them] by making a contribution to a scholarship fund that has a personal meaning to you.” College cost What, I toss a pebble-sized check into the Big U’s pond and that “C” in Math 111 nearly 40 years ago […]
There are ways to write a letter and then there are ways to write a letter. One way includes pleasantries, ideas, even artful persuasion. Another features anger, bile and bricks. These differences were on display recently when two members of Congress wrote and sent letters of withering dissent. One, from Collin Petersen, the ranking member […]
In an almost endless stream of post-vote analyses Jan. 2, Capitol Hill pundits focused mostly on who the political winners and losers were in the Christmas-to-New Year’s Grinch-vs.-Grinch brawl to “save” the nation from a “fiscal cliff.” </p><p>That’s to be expected because it’s a lot more fun to read about sandbox fights between 7-year-olds than […]
Alan Guerbert discusses 2012 and readers’ reactions to his column.
Neither the outcome of the federal election nor the fast-approaching budget “fiscal cliff” bothered any of the 250 gawkers and bidders at a 1,170-acre land rental auction Nov. 10 in Thurman, Iowa. That’s right, an auction where the right to crop one family’s five parcels of Fremont County, Iowa, the absolute southwest corner of the […]