Guest Opinions

Guest Opinions

Is 2017 the year you will compete in Idaho Senior Games?

New Year’s resolutions. Many of us make them. Sometimes we are successful; probably most of the time they are forgotten by the time the snow melts in March. My question to you, and you know who you are, is why is it so difficult to establish a lifestyle change that will truly be a lifestyle change?

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.

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

Justice Jones, the 9th Circuit, Trump’s travel ban and bashing judges

I would like to make several observations about former Justice Jim Jones’ comments made under the headline “Judge bashing harms our system of government” (Feb. 14). Although Judge Jones was supporting the “disheartening” and “demoralizing” comments of Judge Gorsuch directed at President Trump’s tweets regarding federal Judge James Robart’s decision on the TRO (temporary restraining order) on Trump’s travel ban, the same two words could just as well have been ascribed to Robart’s decision, as well as the 9th Circuit’s affirmation of that decision. The decisions were not in accord with either federal statutory law or the Constitution, and neither court’s decision mentioned either the statutory law or the Constitution.

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

Trump betrays insecure paranoia with U.S. attorney replacements

Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions summarily fired all of the presidentially appointed U.S. attorneys who were holding over in their jobs. Having served as U.S. Attorney for Idaho in the Clinton administration and having worked for the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys in the Obama administration, I have a few thoughts on this development.

Guest Opinions

Closing the Medicaid gap can’t come at the expense of programs to fight tobacco

State legislators are introducing multiple bills that would reallocate Millennium Fund dollars, funds from the Master Tobacco Settlement currently used for tobacco prevention, education, and cessation, to help close the health coverage gap in Idaho. Unfortunately, these efforts simply shift funding from one area of health to another, leaving both inadequately funded, and leaving Idahoans’ health at risk. Clearly tobacco use and healthcare coverage are critical health issues that our state needs to address, and this legislation forces a choice between them, to the detriment of both.

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

Inside "The Pit Crew" with Boise State gymnast Diana Mejia

Boise State gymnast Diana Mejia is a member of "The Pit Crew." She sets up the spring board for vaults at each meet, having memorized each gymnast's desired specifications. Mejia is an All-American on the uneven bars, but she still loves helping her teammates in any way she can.
mkatz@idahostatesman.com
Inside 1:57

Inside "The Pit Crew" with Boise State gymnast Diana Mejia

Ada County Sheriff: Officer-involved shooting occurred as deputies served a warrant 1:18

Ada County Sheriff: Officer-involved shooting occurred as deputies served a warrant

0:40

"Ten to fourteen" shots were fired in Boise shooting, says neighbor

New owners, same Garry's Automotive 1:20

New owners, same Garry's Automotive