Opinion

Guest Opinions

Before his terrible act, Benjamin Barnes walked peacefully among us

Benjamin Barnes often wore camouflage and a hat, he usually carried a backpack and a fishing pole. Ben was polite and soft-spoken — in a homeless shelter, you notice these traits in people, you appreciate them. Ben did not spend a lot of time at our shelter, he would come in to take showers and to pick-up his mail — Ben got a lot of mail. I don’t know where Ben slept, but I assume it was outside mostly, based on what he carried with him.

Guest Opinions

Gorsuch correctly defines the job of a judge: Judicial duty is to follow the law

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee with jurisdiction over U.S. Supreme Court nominations, I have had the opportunity to meet with Judge Neil Gorsuch, whom President Donald Trump nominated to serve as associate justice. Judge Gorsuch’s comments during our talk still resonate. He said, “My personal views are irrelevant as a judge.” That is the ideal illustration of a judge steadfastly committed to our law and upholding the separation of powers defined in our Constitution.

Opinion

Democrats’ argument against Gorsuch misguided

I’m not sure who decided that the Democratic critique of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch would be that he doesn’t side with the little guy. It’s a truly terrible idea. Like other liberals, I’m still shocked and upset that Judge Merrick Garland never got the vote he deserved after his nomination by President Barack Obama, and I’d rather have a progressive justice join the court. But the thing is, siding with workers against employers isn’t a jurisprudential position. It’s a political stance. And justices — including progressive justices — shouldn’t decide cases based on who the parties are. They should decide cases based on their beliefs about how the law should be interpreted.

Guest Opinions

GOP Congress flunking ‘Health Insurance 101’ with ‘Ryancare’

The fundamental principle of “insurance” is sharing risk across a “risk pool.” The larger the pool, the more the risk is shared and premiums are lower; the smaller the pool, the greater the risk and premiums are higher. Risk pooling applies to health insurance, whether it is a pool of 10 people or 318 million U.S. citizens: “Health Insurance 101.”

Guest Opinions

Republicans are making Obama’s mistake

Early in his presidency, Barack Obama met with several economists, many of whom stressed to him that the most pressing problem facing the nation was our extreme level of income disparity. Somehow Obama missed the message and decided to focus on health care reform instead, eventually passing the Affordable Care Act. Our income disparity problem still hasn’t been addressed.

Guest Opinions

Idaho logging salvage project could be national model for wildfire job programs

In the last 30 years, the amount of federal timber available for sale in most of America’s national forests has been reduced between 70 and 99 percent. A University of Idaho study suggests that forest and wood product production jobs in this state have diminished from nearly 20,000 in 1991 to 12,479 in 2016. An unreliable and constricted supply of logs has been the largest factor forcing mill closures in Idaho towns like Kamiah, Orofino, Coeur d’Alene and Elk City. Over that quarter of a century, some 7,500 Idaho forest-dependent families have lost the employment, homes and lifestyle they once lived and loved.

Guest Opinions

If Idaho doesn’t expand Medicaid, the failure is here, not in Congress

As a fourth-year medical student from Idaho and a future family physician, I regularly care for uninsured patients living in the coverage gap. These folks make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford insurance through the Your Health Idaho exchange. Many of them are struggling to live making the minimum wage. Their compelling stories motivate me to advocate for access to affordable, effective health care for all. In addition, this issue will soon become personal when I turn 26 next month.

Videos

Sikhs in Boise and U.S. say: "We are Americans."

Though Mehar and Paramvir Singh of Boise are U.S citizens, their ethnicity and outward expressions of their faith often result in more intense scrutiny from people who don't understand their Sikh religion and who wrongly profile them as would-be terrorists.
rehlert@idahostatesman.com
Sikhs in Boise and U.S. say: 0:55

Sikhs in Boise and U.S. say: "We are Americans."

Interior Secretary Jewell recounts events that kept her up at night 4:17

Interior Secretary Jewell recounts events that kept her up at night

Why the Idaho Statesman endorses political candidates 1:48

Why the Idaho Statesman endorses political candidates

Boise Sanders supporters hold firm 2:32

Boise Sanders supporters hold firm