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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Iowa Democrats only are endorsed: Vote Blue and here is why!

When Republicans achieved the trifecta in 2016, winning the presidency as well as holding the House and Senate, it seemed the country was poised to move beyond the GOP-engineered partisan gridlock that had characterized much of the previous six years.

Americans had reason to expect action from Congress, for better or worse, on a variety of issues ranging from health care and immigration to reducing government overspending.

Not so much, as it turned out. The Republican majority in Congress tried and failed to dismantle the Affordable Care Act without offering a plan of their own that a majority of their own members — let alone a majority of the American people — could support. Instead, Republicans have allowed the health system to become increasingly unstable, leading to a lack of competition and rising premiums.

Republicans in Congress have not only failed at comprehensive immigration reform, but their action allowed protection to expire on young, undocumented Americans brought here as children. They haven’t even fully funded Trump’s border wall. They stood by as the administration tried to bar Muslims from certain countries from entering the United States. 

Instead, Republicans looked the other way as the administration shocked and dismayed the nation by separating young children from their parents at the border, holding them in detention and losing track of some of the kids.

Republicans promised fiscal responsibility, yet they have punted on putting the nation back on sound financial footing. Their one major legislative success, the 2017 tax cut, is projected to add $1.9 trillion to the debt. This, after Republicans howled endlessly about the comparatively meager deficits created during the Obama administration. The Congressional Budget Office said in August that these tax cuts and spending increases would become “unsustainable” if extended. But the House GOP, including Iowa’s three Republican representatives, voted last month for another $3.8 trillion in tax cuts.

The Republican majority has twiddled its thumbs while President Trump started a trade war with China, imposing tariffs and provoking retaliation that is hurting Iowa farmers by threatening export markets. They have even allowed the Farm Bill to expire, leaving town without resolving differences.

Some have argued that this election should be a referendum on President Trump. We disagree. This is about Congress, which has abdicated much of its constitutional duty and has failed to provide a check and balance to the executive branch.

Not only has the party failed to act as a check on the president, key Republicans have been complicit in trying to obstruct and undermine the investigation of a foreign power’s interference in a U.S. election. And by their silence they have tacitly endorsed the president’s racism, misogyny, white nationalism, divisiveness and crudity.

In becoming the party of Trump, the Republicans have forsaken traditional conservatism and given voters no rational alternative to the Democrats. The party needs to be voted out of power and spend a few years becoming again the party of Lincoln, not the party of Trump.

The Register’s editorial board normally considers each congressional race individually before making endorsements. We interview the candidates, if possible, and review their backgrounds and public positions. We consider character and the candidate’s depth of understanding of issues. We have been known, at times, to endorse a candidate we disagree with on issues rather than one we doubt could follow through on promised change.

We went through the same process this year, although no Republican incumbents chose to meet with us. Some of the challengers are more prepared than others. We were especially impressed by Republican Christopher Peters’ growth as a second-time challenger to Rep. Dave Loebsack in the 2nd District.

But the stakes are too high this year to worry about whether some candidates have sufficiently detailed agendas or know enough about how some parts of the government work. Nothing short of a change in party leadership in Congress will move this country forward. That’s why we’re recommending that Iowa voters send home Reps. Rod Blum, David Young and Steve King and return Rep. Dave Loebsack to the House.

Democrat Abby Finkenauer, who is challenging Blum, is a 29-year-old state representative from Dubuque. She’s run a highly competitive race against Blum, the two-term incumbent, and has demonstrated a solid grasp of issues facing the district. If Finkenauer wins, she’ll be one of the youngest women ever elected to Congress.

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Congratulations to Martha Raddatz~ Marshall Medal recipient

Martha Raddatz, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and "This Week” co-anchor, has been selected by the Council of Trustees of the Association of the United States Army as the 2018 recipient of the George Catlett Marshall Medal for sustained commitment to the men and women of America’s armed forces.

This award, AUSA’s highest honor for distinguished public service, will be presented on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Marshall Dinner, the final event of the 2018 Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition to be held in Washington, D.C.

“Martha Raddatz is a perfect choice for this honor,” said retired Gen. Carter F. Ham, AUSA president and CEO. “She has done so much for soldiers and their families, both publicly and privately, but one of the most important things she has done is expand the visibility of the Army and its mission to the general public. She’s held the Army to task when necessary while helping the Army tell its story and helping the public know more about the honorable men and women who serve this nation.”

Raddatz is a seasoned national security and foreign policy expert who has covered the U.S. military since the 1990s when she was the Pentagon correspondent for National Public Radio. At NPR, she reported on the Bosnia crisis. Since joining ABC in 1999 as a national security correspondent, she covered every branch of the military in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan on multiple assignments. The Salt Lake City native also has been the network’s State Department and White House correspondent at various points in a career during which she has won four Emmy Awards and many other honors.

She wrote a best-selling book that became a National Geographic Channel miniseries based on a 2004 ambush of a platoon of 1st Cavalry Division soldiers in the Sadr City area of Baghdad. 

Her book, “The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family,” was her retelling of the ambush, of the dead and injured and of their families back home at Fort Hood, Texas. “After meeting those courageous soldiers and the families, I had to write about it,” she said.

One of the important messages of her book and the miniseries is that solders are “people just like us. They could be your neighbor,” she said. “You should respect them. I don’t think yellow ribbons and ‘Thank you for your service’ do enough. I think, at the very least, you should understand what it is they do and what their families go through. “

“It has been my greatest privilege to cover the U.S. military,” Raddatz said in January at a Salute to Service luncheon, thanking ABC News for sending her to cover wars and thanking her colleagues for supporting that coverage. “I know that we treat our veterans with respect, but we also cannot forget them,” she said. Many suffered life-changing events, she said. “Those wounds do not go away. As physical wounds don’t go away, emotional wounds don’t go away, and psychological wounds don’t go away.”

The Marshall Medal, awarded by AUSA since 1960, is named for former General of the Army George Catlett Marshall Jr., a former Army Chief of Staff who also served as Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and U.S. Special Envoy to China in a public service career that spanned the Spanish-American War through the Truman administration.

“This award truly means more to me than any award I can imagine. My goal has always been to educate the public about the true meaning of sacrifice and service from the battlefront to the homefront,” Raddatz said.

Past recipients include Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald R. Ford and George H.W. Bush; General of the Army Omar N. Bradley; and retired Army Gens. Gordon R. Sullivan, Lyman L. Lemnitzer, Colin L. Powell, Bernard W. Rogers, Maxwell D. Taylor and John W. Vessey Jr.

Other recipients include two former defense secretaries who also served as directors of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta and Robert M. Gates; Duke University head basketball coach and U.S. Military Academy graduate Michael Krzyzewski; and comedian Bob Hope.

Last year’s recipient was Gary Sinise, the actor, director and humanitarian whose nonprofit foundation helps defenders, veterans, first responders and their families.

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Failed leadership in disaster response ~ Donald Trump

What Donald Trump Fails to Recognize About Hurricanes—and Leadership

Catastrophes, natural or man-made, can make or break leaders. They offer the ultimate opportunity to show the qualities that people seek in those whom they have chosen to take command: courage, empathy, serenity, fortitude, decisiveness. 

Under extreme circumstances, true leadership comes to the fore; if one does not possess the requisite qualities, their lack is immediately evident to all and sundry.

Few such leaders of modern times come to mind more readily than Winston Churchill, in the face of Hitler’s aerial onslaught against Great Britain, during the Second World War. As odd as it may seem to mention Rudy Giuliani in the same paragraph as Churchill, when Giuliani was the mayor of New York, he behaved well, even heroically, during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. His actions earned him a measure of public respect that, his latter-day transmogrification into Donald Trump’s chortling henchman notwithstanding, has endured, at least among certain Americans.

By contrast, after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, in late August of 2005, President George W. Bush flew back to Washington, D.C., from a four-week vacation at his Texas ranch, and was photographed looking down from the window of Air Force One, in passive detachment, at the devastation of New Orleans. It was one of the great failures of his two-term Presidency, and despite his trying to make up for it in the succeeding days—authorizing a massive aid package, sending in thousands of National Guard troops, and visiting the Gulf Coast—Bush never quite overcame the stigma of Katrina.

It is much the same with Trump and Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico a year ago next week. Evidently immune to the idea that he might be held to the same standards of judgment as his predecessors, Trump behaved with negligent condescension toward the disaster from the beginning. He had made two visits to Texas in the days after Hurricane Harvey hit that state, gushing fulsomely over the handling of catastrophe and “great turnout” for his visits. But he waited two weeks after Maria struck to visit Puerto Rico, and then spent a mere four hours there, during which time he was driven around a middle-class suburb of San Juan that was not badly affected, and appeared at a church where he cavalierly tossed rolls of paper towels to local residents. In a press conference, he appeared to issue a scolding for the cost of the assistance, saying, “Now, I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack,” and he minimized the island’s tragedy by drawing comparisons between its reportedly low death toll and the “hundreds” of people who had died in Katrina. (The official toll in Puerto Rico eventually rose to sixty-four.)

In the year since, Trump has mentioned Puerto Rico mostly to compliment himself for his performance, as he did again on Tuesday, describing his government’s response to Maria as “an incredible, unsung success.” His rosy rendition stands in direct contradiction to the opinion of most Puerto Ricans, eighty per cent of whom view his response unfavorably, according to a recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Over all, the government response, at both the federal and the local levels, is viewed as having been sluggish and inefficient, with inexplicably long delays in reactivating the island’s devastated power grid and in repairing damaged roads and homes. The crisis has also deepened the unemployment problem and accelerated an exodus of people from the island.

Meanwhile, the Milken Institute School of Public Health, at George Washington University, published a report that found that nearly three thousand people ultimately died as a result of Hurricane Maria. Trump’s reaction—against the backdrop of a new hurricane season, and with Hurricane Florence approaching the coast of the Carolinas—was to decry the report as an attempt by Democrats to besmirch his reputation. “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” he tweeted on Thursday. “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. . . . Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3,000. . . . This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible.”

Those comments elicited an unusually bipartisan condemnation. In Florida, where a large influx of Democratic-leaning Puerto Ricans have become a highly courted political constituency, Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, tweeted, “I disagree with @POTUS. . . . I’ve been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand.” Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American Republican who represents the Miami area, said that Trump’s remarks were “heartless,” and that only “a warped mind” would “turn this statistic into fake news.” In Puerto Rico, Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, who has verbally sparred with Trump since last year, tweeted, “YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING,” and “Simply put: delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality. Trump is so vain he thinks this is about him. NO IT IS NOT.”

Trump’s self-centeredness and his lack of empathy are not a point of contention for most Americans; what is more egregious, in Puerto Rico’s case, is the obviousness of the double-standard that he has applied to the island—an unincorporated U.S. territory—and the suspicion that it is racist in nature. Trump’s sign-off on his tweet denying the death toll was, “I love Puerto Rico!” That felt about as convincing as his proclamations of “I love Hispanics!”during the 2016 Presidential campaign. Indeed, the blatancy of Trump’s condescension led Ricardo Rosselló, the pro-statehood governor of Puerto Rico, to say at a press conference on Thursday, “After the storm, it is evident that the treatment that was given, say, Florida or Texas, was very different than the treatment given in Puerto Rico. We are second-class U.S. citizens. We live in a colonial territory. It is time to eliminate that, and I implore all the elected officials, particularly now in midterm elections, to have a firm stance. You’re either for colonial territories or against them. You’re either for giving equal rights to the U.S. citizens that live in Puerto Rico, or you’re against it.”Roselló’s remarks suggest that a shift of sorts is taking place in the Puerto Rican political landscape. Until recently, the governor was criticized for maintaining a milquetoast posture toward Trump, and for upholding his claims of a low death toll. But, in May, an investigation conducted by Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health found a tally of more than four thousand hurricane-related deaths. That led Roselló to commission the George Washington University study, whose results he has accepted. He has also acknowledged that he had “made mistakes.” The Puerto Rican journalist Héctor Feliciano told me, “It’s true that the relationship with the United States is changing. It’s very rare to see annexationists”—a term for pro-statehood Puerto Ricans—“taking the same side as other Puerto Ricans in criticizing the President about an important issue.”

In the past, referenda have shown Puerto Ricans to be split roughly into three groups—the smallest being in favor of independence, the next largest in favor of the current relationship, and an apparently growing majority in favor of statehood. 

Wherever the debate heads next, it seems likely that judgments about leadership will be key, and that, in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and the continued offensiveness of Trump’s response to the crisis, fewer Puerto Ricans will want to stick with the status quo.

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Describing the hypnotized Trump cult - echo letter from Las Vegas

Trump cult followers amplify the Trump caustic message like they have been hypnotized to respond.
An echo letter to the editor published in the Theresa Maue Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper: 

Donald Trump declared during his campaign that he could shoot someone in the street and there would be no repercussions. He was right. Only he didn’t kill a person, he killed civility and honor.

But, Trump didn’t do it all by himself. The (MaineWriter - right wing! *hypnotized*) hordes who cheered him on, did it. 

Indeed, the Trump cult cheered when he mocked a handicapped reporter. And they have cheered his every divisive, destructive, demeaning statement all the way through to this last mocking of a sexual assault survivor.

Donald Trump and his administration have actually achieved some good things, but it will not matter if we live in a cesspool. 

I learned in school that the end does not justify the means. Life has taught me that the end is the same as the means. If the means are poisonous, the end will kill us.

I beg our politicians to stop the name-calling, stop fomenting us versus them. Respect each other and work together. It’s useless to ask our president to change his ways. Congress must show the way. Voters, please keep this in mind when you go to the polls: You cannot drink poison, no matter how good it tastes, without getting sick.

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Mario Garcia Sierra: ICE creates panic instead of keeping the peace in Wisconsin

When we leave our loved ones in the morning, we expect to come home to them at night. This is particularly true for children. This unspoken truth is the foundation of safety and security.

That foundation was shaky for Wisconsin immigrant families during four tense days in September, 2018, when armed federal agents conducted an unannounced operation. They detained 83 Wisconsin residents, including 20 in Dane County. Only 44 had criminal convictions. Other residents were detained for offenses that posed no danger to public safety, including those whose offense is a byproduct of our broken immigration system.

Some children came home to find a loved one was gone. Some children witnessed their loved ones taken from their homes by federal agents. Some children had opened the door to agents, unaware of how their world was about to change.

The agency responsible is Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), formed after 9/11 to protect national security. ICE previously has taken actions to arrest criminals in the Madison area, following the agreed-on protocol for advance notice to local law enforcement. This step was designed to keep communication lines open and the community safer. In September, ICE did not follow protocol with the Madison Police Department, which includes a call to a specific number staffed 24/7 by a ranking member of the force.

Instead of keeping the peace, ICE created panic. Instead of protecting the most vulnerable, ICE traumatized children. Instead of sharing information with local law enforcement, ICE worked in secret.

As a result, parents were afraid to take their children to school, to go to work or even go to the grocery store. While parents remained strong for their children, and while Centro Hispano staff and allies rallied in support, no one should have to live in fear of federal agents summarily tearing their family apart.

No parent should have to teach a child what to do if they suddenly disappear.

Instead of threatening hard-working families who contribute so much to communities across the United States and right here in Wisconsin, let’s support fixing our broken immigration system.

Garcia Sierra is president of the Centro Hispano of Dane County, Wisconsin, Board of Directors. The rest of the board signed on in support of this column:

Dane County Wisconsin will be a community where Latino families can aspire upward, to reach their personal goals and dreams because they feel engaged and strengthened with the tools for success.

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Confessions of a Republican ~ echo essay by Leonard Pitts

Vote Blue! Be a proud Democrat!

An editorial essay published in The Hutchinson News, a Kansas newspaper; written by Leonard Pitts.

The other day, a woman confessed to me (MaineWriter~ Ahh? Like she was in a confessional?) that she’s a Republican. (!)

Republicans may bristle at the verb, but it’s used advisedly. In fact, the lady admitted her party affiliation the way you would some personal failing. “I don’t tell a lot of people,” she said, “but . . .”

To be fair, the reticence might have been in part because we met in a blue state. But she also made clear her disenchantment with the GOP on its own merits -- or lack thereof. 

And who can blame her? 

In genuflecting before a rabid rabble of vulgarians, hyper-nationalists and flat-out bigots -- the “base” -- her party has embraced stealing Supreme Court seats, “alternative” facts, alienating allies, kissing up to enemies, “good people on both sides,” tax breaks for billionaires -- and Donald Trump. 

Republicans are a moral train wreck.

She’s hardly the only Republican who feels estranged. Another woman told me, “The Republican Party has clearly lost its way. Actions speak louder than words in politics. You cannot campaign and say you’re a fiscal conservative when you allow the debt to increase to the degree that it has or to provide the types of giveaways in the tax bill that the Republicans have given away.”

This person was not simply a Republican voter, but a former elected official, Claudine Schneider, a Rhode Island congresswoman who left office in 1991. 

“I am astounded with the lack of backbone,” she told me by telephone. “My assessment is, the Republicans keep hearing how popular Donald Trump is and I think the House and Senate members are just inclined to go along to get along. . . . It’s all about holding on to power. It’s essentially, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes to get re-elected.’ ”

So Schneider has assembled a group of like-minded former GOP officials, Republicans for Integrity, to hold the party to account. “Though we are lifelong Republicans,” she wrote in a Miami Herald op-ed, “we are urging you to vote only for candidates who will restore the kind of integrity and constitutional accountability that our nation’s forefathers intended.”

“I’m not going to be one that’s going to argue that we should defeat all Republicans,” RFI member and former Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe told me. ”. . . .But I do believe Republicans need to stand up for principles and for integrity and they need to stand up to a president when he’s not following those principles.”

And doesn’t the group’s name speak volumes? Like “Jews for Jesus” or “Blacks for Trump,” it’s an implicit acknowledgment that what it describes is a departure from the norm. In “Republicans for Integrity,” then, we have a group of Republicans conceding that integrity has become rather rare in the GOP.

That’s something the party has yet to face. One recalls Sen. Lindsey Graham, in the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearing, yelling at his Democratic enemies -- another word used advisedly -- about their supposed willingness to do anything to achieve their goals. “Boy, y’all want power,” he sneered. “I hope you never get it!”

It was a moment of sheer moral disconnect that brought to mind a verse from Matthew: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own?”

Republicans should heed that injunction. Especially given that it comes not just from “leftists,” “libtards” and “Demwits,” but from inside their own tent. Party stalwarts such as George Will, Jeff Flake and Bill Kristol have all complained about the stench of rotting elephant. Now “Republicans for Integrity” is a thing.

“I don’t tell a lot of people . . .” the woman said. And it was sobering.

“I’m a Republican” should not be something you confess (Perhaps, only in a Confessional?).

Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald, 

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It happened everywhere - Vatican and clergy cover ups

The Catholic Church’s grim history of ignoring priestly pedophilia – and silencing would-be whistleblowers
MaineWriter ~ As a Roman Catholic woman I demand that the lay leaders in the Church take charge of administration and bring about cultural changes including removing the oath of celibacy. There is precedent for married clergy in the Greek Catholic rite.

Essay by Brian Clites ~ Instructor & Associate Director, Case Western Reserve University published in The Conversation
Widespread public shock followed the recent release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report that identified more than 1,000 child victims of clergy sexual abuse. In fact, as I know through my research, the Vatican and its American bishops have known about the problem of priestly pedophilia since at least the 1950s. And the Church has consistently silenced would-be whistleblowers from within its own ranks.

In the memory of many Americans, the only comparable scandal was in Massachusetts, where, in 2002, the Boston Globe published more than 600 articles about abuses under the administration of Cardinal Bernard Law. That investigation was immortalized in the 2015 award-winning film, “Spotlight.”

What many Americans don’t remember, however, are other similar scandals, some even more dramatic and national in scope.
Doubling down on secrecy

While the problem of priestly pedophilia might be centuries old, the modern paper trail began only after World War II, when “treatment centers” appeared for rehabilitating abusive priests. Instead of increased transparency, bishops, at the same time, developed methods for denying and hiding allegations of child sexual abuse.

During the 1950s and 1960s, bishops from around the U.S. began referring abusive priests to church-run medical centers, so that they could receive evaluation and care without disclosing their crimes to independent clinicians.

Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, who began his ministry in Boston and Quebec, was among those who advocated prayer over medicine. 

In 1947, Fitzgerald moved to New Mexico and founded the Servants of the Paraclete, a new order of Catholic priests devoted to healing deviant clergy.  (Mission of the Paracletes * below)

His belief in faith healing reflected a vocal minority of Catholic leaders who still viewed psychology as a threat to Christian faith.

Fitzgerald based the Paracletes in New Mexico. From 1947 to 1995, the state became a dumping ground for pedophile priests. As Kathleen Holscher, chair of Roman Catholic studies at the University of New Mexico, has observed, this practice forced New Mexico’s parishes to absorb, in effect, abusive priests from across the country.

Other priests sent to the Paracletes were returned back into ministry in their home diocese, reassigned to new parishes that had no way of knowing about their abusive past.

This system was sustained, in part, by the fact that few diocesan personnel files recorded past accusations by children and parents. As Richard Sipe, a psychologist who worked at a similar Catholic treatment center later revealed, bishops generally masked past accusations by instead recording code words like “tickling,” “wrestling” or “entangled friendship” in personnel files.

By 1956, Fitzgerald became convinced that pedophilia could not be treated, even as he continued to believe that prayers could cure other illnesses, such as alcoholism. 

Therefore, he petitioned U.S. bishops to stop sending him their child abusers, advocating instead for firing abusive priests and permanently removing them from ministry.

Fitzgerald eventually appealed directly to the Vatican, and met with Pope Paul VI to discuss the problem in 1963.
Hush money

It is unclear when the Church began using hush settlements to silence victims. The practice, however, was so widespread by the 1980s that the Vatican assigned church lawyers to adjust their insurance policies in order to minimize additional liabilities.

These included Fr. Thomas Doyle, a nonparish priest who specialized in Roman Catholicism’s internal laws; Fr. Michael Petersen, a trained psychiatrist who believed that priests with abusive disorders should be treated medically; and Roy Mouton, a civil attorney who represented one of the church’s most notorious pedophile priests.

Together, they authored a 92-page report and submitted it for presentation at the 1985 meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Church’s apparatus for controlling and governing American priests.

The document estimated that American bishops should plan to be sued for at least US$1 billion, and up to $10 billion, over the following decades.

Several of the nation’s most powerful cardinals buried the report.

In response, Doyle mailed all 92 pages, along with an executive summary, to every diocese in the United States. Yet there is no evidence that any bishops headed the report’s warnings.
1992: The nation’s first scandal

During the 1980s, victims began to speak out against the church’s systemic attempts to mask the scope of the crisis. In 1984, survivors of Fr. Gilbert Gauthe refused to be silenced by hush money, instead choosing the painful path of initiating public lawsuits in Louisiana. Gauthe ultimately confessed to abusing 37 children.

As these stories became public, more and more victims began to bring lawsuits against the Church. In Chicago, the nation’s first two clergy abuse survivor organizations, Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse Linkup (LINKUP) and the Survivors’ Network for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), were created in 1987.

In 1992, survivor Frank Fitzpatrick’s public allegations led to revelations that Fr. James Porter had abused more than 100 other children in Massachusetts. Widespread shock followed at the time as well as after Fitzpatrick’s appearance on ABC’s “Primetime Live,” when news anchor Diane Sawyer interviewed Fitzpatrick and 30 other Porter victims.

The national outcry forced dioceses across the country to create public standards for how they were handling abuse accusations, and American bishops launched new marketing campaigns to regain trust.

In spite of internal pledges to reform their culture of covering up abuses, the Pennsylvania grand jury report demonstrates that the Church’s de facto policy remains unchanged since the 1950s: Instead of reporting rape and sexual abuse to secular authorities, bishops instead continue to transfer predatory priests from one unsuspecting parish to the next.
Victims with no hope of justice

The issue of clergy sex abuse has also unleashed broader questions about justice and faith: Can courtrooms repair souls? How do survivors continue to pray and attend Mass?

As a scholar who studies communities of clergy abuse victims, I have asked Catholics to share their thoughts about the current crisis. Many of them tell me that “at least” Boston’s Cardinal Law “went to jail.” That leads to an awkward moment when I have to refresh their memory.

Cardinal Law was neither indicted nor arrested. Instead, Pope John Paul II transferred Law to run one of the Vatican’s most cherished properties, the Basilica of Saint Mary, essentially rewarding Law for his deft cover-up of the abuses in Boston.

In fact, no American bishops or cardinals have ever been jailed for their role in covering up and enabling child sexual abuse. Civil settlements have held the Church accountable only financially. A combination of political complacency and expired statutes of limitations has prevented most survivors from obtaining real justice.

Outraged by this lack of justice, survivors urged the International Criminal Court at The Hague to investigate the Vatican for crimes against humanity. The International Criminal Court declined, citing the fact that many of the alleged crimes occurred before the court was formed, and were thus beyond the scope of the court’s “temporal jurisdiction.”

To date, the highest-ranking priest tried in an American court is Philadelphia’s Monsignor William Lynn, who was charged with conspiracy and two counts of endangering children. His 2012 convictionfor one count of endangerment was vacated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2016. He now awaits an unscheduled retrial.

Even as scholars and theologians have called for all of the American bishops to resign, there has been little talk of criminal prosecutions. If yesterday’s survivors do not find justice, tomorrow’s children will not know safety.

As the Pennsylvania grand jury emphasized:

“There have been other reports about child sexual abuse within the Catholic church… For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away. Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere.”

*The Servants of the Paraclete is an international religious community founded by Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald, sP, in 1947 with a specific ministry to serve fellow priests and brothers who are facing particular challenges in their vocations and lives. Located near St. Louis, Missouri, and offer the St. Michael Renewal Program, a carefully integrated program for growth and healing, and Vianney Center, a residential faith community for priests and brothers who wish to live their vocation at its core of prayer and fraternity.

Dedicated to renewal for those who seek vocational and psychological assistance. 

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Jamal Khashoggi was last seen October 2, 2018, entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul

Apple watch worn by Saudi journalist may have transmitted evidence of his death, Turkish paper reports-Turkish government told US officials that it was in possession of audio and video recordings proving that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, citing unnamed US and Turkish sources.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has sadly posted the news about another violent death caused by enemies of a free press. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has not taken a harsh position against the Saudi government or the national leader Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud 

Committee to Protect Journalists- Mission: Promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. CPJ ensures the free flow of news and commentary by taking action wherever journalists are attacked, imprisoned, killed, kidnapped, threatened, censored, or harassed.

Saudi leader Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

CPJ report: The Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was last seen October 2, 2018, entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, his fiancée told his employer, The Washington Post.

A former editor-in-chief of the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan, Khashoggi has been a columnist for The Washington Post since he moved to self-imposed exile in the U.S. in September 2017. Khashoggi wrote critically about Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He criticized politically motivated arrests and was one of the first to report the arrest in the country of Saleh al-Shehi, a prominent columnist, in January 2018.

On October 2, Khashoggi had gone to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork certifying that he had officially divorced so he could marry his Turkish fiancée, according to news reports. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, wrote that Khashoggi visited the consulate for the first time September 28 unannounced and the staff received him cordially. According to Reuters, the consulate staff told Khashoggi he would need to return to complete the process; Khashoggi called the consulate on the morning of October 2 and was told to collect his paperwork at 1 p.m. the same day. He arrived with Cengiz, gave her his two mobile phones, and told her that if he did not return she should call Yasin Aktay, his friend who works as an aide to Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdoğan, according to Reuters.

Cengiz wrote in The Washington Post that after three hours she asked consulate staff about her fiancé’s whereabouts, and when they claimed that he left the premises without her noticing, she immediately called Aktay.

On October 6, Turkish intelligence sources claimed that a team of Saudi intelligence agents killed Khashoggi and dismembered his body, according to The New York Times. They did not offer any proof of the claim. The Daily Sabah, a Turkish newspaper close to the government, and The New York Times both reported that a group of 15 Saudi intelligence officials arrived on a private jet from Riyadh early on the morning of October 2, checked into two separate hotels near the consulate for three nights, and later all left the country the same day.

Saudi authorities denied that Khashoggi was abducted or killed at the consulate and said that he left on his own, Reuters reported. They did not offer proof that Khashoggi left the consulate.

The Washington Post reported October 10 that U.S. intelligence had intercepted communications indicating that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had previously ordered Khashoggi to be detained and rendered from the U.S. back to Saudi Arabia.

On October 11, the Turkish government told U.S. officials that it has audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, The Washington Post reported. The paper quoted one unnamed official as saying of the audio recording: “You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic. You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.” A second person briefed on the recording said men could be heard beating Khashoggi, according to The Washington Post.

Khashoggi, who was 59 years old at the time of his disappearance, has long-standing ties to the Saudi royal family, The Washington Post reported. However, he was fired from Al-Watan twice, once in 2003 over his criticism of a 14th century Muslim theologian and again in 2010, after the paper ran a piece critical of the Saudi state’s governing religious ideology, according to a BBC report

In between his stints at Al-Watan, he was an adviser to Prince Turki al-Faisal while the prince was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.K., and became his media aide when the prince was later appointed ambassador to the U.S.

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Kentucky letter writer calls out Senator Mitch McConnell

Letter to the editor ~ echo published in the Kentucky newspaper, the Lexington Herald-Leader

Senator Mitch McConnell is rightly criticized by his Kentucky constituent who called our the power move hypocrisy in the Supreme Court nomination process

Before bragging that he would “plow through,” did Senator Mitch McConnell overlook the parallel violent image of that deadly car plowing through the crowd at Charlottesville or the aggressive violence of a sexual bully?

McConnell’s shameful choice of strategy describes Republicans’ power grab and abdication of their responsibility to investigate and elevate only the best citizens to our Supreme Court

As Senator Charles Grassley frantically rushed to ram Brett Kavanaugh onto the high court, new bombshell allegations against Kavanaugh suddenly halted Republicans’ fast-action confirmation.

Why should we be shocked about McConnell’s latest tactics and brazen arrogance after he previously stole a court seat? This time, McConnell planned to plow-through Kavanaugh’s accusers, cover up the truth, and steal a second court seat. 

This is a darkened era in America when power-obsessed McConnell gets away with ripping apart the fabric of democracy and decency, while congressional Republicans remain silently complicit.

From Michael Gregoire, Louisville Kentucky

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Where was Donald Trump during Hurricane Michael's devastation?

Leadership includes being relevant in times of national disasters- but Trump failed
The Las Vegas Sun editorial
 ~ In 2012 Donald Trump was critical of President Barack Obama because of events occurring post Hurricane Sandy. Yet, in 2018, Donald Trump ignored the suffering caused by the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael and he had the ugly audacity to attend his own campaign rally in Pennsylvania, but never mentioned the Gulf Coast storm disaster. 
Friday, Oct. 12, 2018- editorial

On Nov. 6, 2012, Donald Trump issued the following tweet:
Yesterday Obama campaigned with JayZ & Springsteen while Hurricane Sandy victims across NY & NJ are still decimated by Sandy. Wrong!

So what was President Trump doing Wednesday after Hurricane Michael slammed into Florida with Category 4 force?

Leading a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

And what was he doing Thursday, as the nation began seeing images of absolute devastation from the hurricane?

Having lunch with - (MaineWriter- "crazy") - Kanye West. (Seemed like a scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest!)

Trump’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. Nor does his disregard for the well-being of anyone but himself. Keep in mind that when Trump bashed Obama in 2012, the tweet came two weeks after Sandy hit the East Coast, and that both Obama and Mitt Romney had just resumed their campaigns after suspending them in the immediate aftermath of the storm. 

Ye,t amid the staggering destruction of Michael, including some communities being completely wiped out, Trump didn’t cancel his campaign event or his lunch.

Then, in an added insult, came Melania Trump’s comment that she was “the most bullied person in the world.” Amazing. With the world filled with real suffering, this is what she thinks about — whether people like her outfits.

This is what Republican leadership means.

The people of Florida should be paying attention. So should all Americans.

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Utah view about failed Donald Trump leadership

I have appreciated reading columns by Michael S. Robinson Sr, published in The Salt Lake City Weekly:
Another writer documents Donald Trump's failures

"Trump's (failed) meetings at NATO and his badly mannered height-of-rudeness visits with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II, demonstrated that, just when we think we've seen the worst of his behavior, he is soaring to new heights as the ultimate negative superlative. True to form, Trump insulted May, broke every protocol during his audience with the Queen and managed to get caught in yet another of his well-documented lies"

Robinson writes:

While his mini-ninnies huddle beneath the White House tables like a Midwest clan awaiting the touchdown of an EF5 tornado, the storm of President Donald Trump's verbal and behavioral abortions continues to wreak havoc in the civilized world.

I find myself asking, "Why couldn't he have just stopped at the familiar boundaries of his sick little world—grabbing pussies and frolicking with hookers in his Moscow hotel room while his "stellar" art-of-the-deal business interests crumbled and burned in the bankruptcy courts?

That's what Trump was; that's what he is today. The only thing that's changed is his title, expanding the audience for his theatrics and inviting the scrutiny of 300 million Americans and the duly-disgusted billions around the world.

At least Trump was in his own element back then, before his Soviet buddies got him launched into shoes too big to fill. For Trump, there's no growing into that mantle of presidential dignity. He needs to go back where he belongs.

The most disturbing truth is not that he is a monster. That's bad enough, sure. He doesn't seem to be able to do anything but stir controversy and sow misery and pain. But, even more horrific, is the matter of inexcusable congressional abdication in dealing with a president who has become the worst blow to America since its inception. Trump's reckless diplomatic missteps and his bull-in-the-china-shop antics have precipitated international tragedy, tortured the innocent young, insulted all of our friends, threatened the demise of our democracy and ensured highly-predictable political and economic repercussions for our allies.

We elected our senators and representatives—not to kowtow to their suspected Russian-operative-president, but to take stands on issues that are important to the future of our country. 

Well, Sen. Orrin (Hatch), Mike, Rob, Chris, John, Mia, now's a good time to take the appropriate action for your constituents. 

Somehow transformed into a sorry-ass bunch of deaf-mutes, even the otherwise seemingly-respectable most honorable congressmen aren't saying "boo." You'd think that, in an organization so large, at least a few would stand up and be heard. That simply isn't happening. Congress is a disgrace to the values of our Founding Fathers, and Utah's own senators and representatives are as bad as they get. Instead of forging ahead to drain Washington's ugly swamp, they are swimming with the crocodiles and mating with the swamp's ugliest residents. Every one of them should be sent packing in the November elections for failing to stop Trump's ongoing carnage.

Stuck in the clear understanding that their country is now led by a gigantic juvenile ego driven by a pea-sized brain, Congress is silently hoping, like the rest of us, that this hideous nightmare will somehow end. 

Congress has the power but lacks the integrity to rein in the president. Even the eternal optimists' hopes are being dashed by the events of the past month—a time during which Trump has solidly completed the alienation of other world powers. While the matter of NATO countries underfunding the defense coffers is largely legitimate, Trump essentially told our allies to go fuck themselves. 

In his usual Whack-A-Mole style, Trump offered no suggestions for compromise. He seeks no resolution. (I guess that's the art of the deal.)

Late and truant from some of his scheduled meetings, he didn't even have the decency to apologize. Trump's meetings at NATO and his badly mannered height-of-rudeness visits with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II, demonstrated that, just when we think we've seen the worst of his behavior, he is soaring to new heights as the ultimate negative superlative. True to form, Trump insulted May, broke every protocol during his audience with the Queen and managed to get caught in yet another of his well-documented lies. While he claimed #FakeNews over a London newspaper report of his demeaning censure of May, his denials were derailed. This time he can't point his finger, accusing the American press of alleged dishonesty. The publication responded with a tape of Trump's interview. Bingo, gotcha! And, in Trump's characteristic worship of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, he muzzled the mainstream American press at a briefing, claiming that he would only respond to questions from his own news service: Fox.

The week's steady faux pas stream was crowned by his bungled and abrasive visit to the U.K., but the damage Trump did at NATO will live in infamy for years to come. While I quite like the moniker, "The Rabid Orange Raccoon," his awful behavior has inspired yet one more: From now on I'm going to call him "The Dictator," but I'm dropping the last two syllables.

I can't wait until Americans finally take action, delivering Trump's favorite line to the man himself: "You're fired!"

Retired business owner Michael S. Robinson Sr.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Worry about the costs of surprise medical bills - a Kaiser Family Foundation survey

This article is published in the newsletter PatientEngagementHIT and the author is Sara Heath

67% of Patients Worry About Surprise Medical Bills, Healthcare Costs

Rising patient concern about surprise medical bills and healthcare costs are calling into question healthcare price transparency practices.

September 10, 2018 - Unexpected medical bills are the biggest healthcare and financial concern on patients’ minds, according to a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The survey, which included responses from nearly 1,200 adult patients, found that 58 percent of healthcare consumers are concerned about general out-of-pocket patient cost increases across the healthcare spectrum.

Chief of those concerns was the concept of unexpected medical bills, or healthcare charges that patients believed would be covered by their healthcare payer.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents reported that they are very concerned and 29 percent saying they are somewhat concerned about surprise medical bills. Only 16 percent of patients said they are not at all worried about surprise medical bills.

Unexpected bills proved an even larger concern than high premiums (18 percent), high deductibles (24 percent), and rising drug costs (22 percent).

Worry about surprise medical bills also override financial worry about paying for other lifestyle needs such as rent or mortgage and grocery bills, the survey revealed.

Surprise medical bills are an increasingly prevalent issue in the healthcare industry, the survey noted. Forty percent of insured adults ages 18 to 65 said they have received a surprise medical bill in the past 12 months. Of those respondents, 10 percent said their bill stemmed from out-of-network care.

Out-of-network care can include visiting a hospital or clinic that is not within a patient’s insurance coverage network, or seeing a clinician who is not a part of the patient’s insurance plan but who practices in an in-network facility.

Most of these surprise bills totaled to less than $500 – 50 percent of all patients who received a surprise medical bill said as much.

But smaller cohorts of patients saw astronomical surprise bills. Sixteen percent of respondents reported unexpected bills reaching up to $999, 12 percent received a bill between $1,000 and $1,999, and 13 percent were billed over $2,000.

58 percent of respondents said they are very concerned about general healthcare costs.

Separate studies have likewise indicated that surprise medical bills are of utmost concern for patients.

A 2018 analysis from NORC at the University of Chicago found that 57 percent of patients have received a surprise medical bill, and 58 percent of patients perceive these unexpected charges to be their insurers’ faults.

Seventy-nine percent of the patients who received a surprise bill said it came from an encounter with a provider that was within the patient’s payer care network. The surprise bill may have come from a provider who was not within network but was practicing in a facility that was in network, or for healthcare services that are not a part of a patient’s coverage plan.

These issues point to a need for better patient education about their payer benefits designs, the NORC* researchers said.

“Most Americans have been surprised by medical bills that they expected would be covered by their insurance,” Caroline Pearson, senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, said in a statement. “This suggests that consumers may have difficulty understanding their insurance benefits or knowing which providers are included in their plan’s network.”

Payers may consider being more transparent about healthcare services that are and are not covered under a specific plan, or the providers whose services would not be covered. Additionally, clinics and hospitals may consider being more transparent about the total cost the patient will incur prior to the care encounter. Price transparency should take into consideration the patient’s insurance benefits.

But the Kaiser Family Foundation poll suggested that the solution to surprise medical bills goes beyond more patient-centered billing practices. As noted above, 58 percent of patients believe there is a fundamental issue with rising healthcare costs.

Determining ways to cap out-of-pocket patient spending or make costs more transparent could reduce the “sticker shock” that comes with a surprise medical bill.

*NORC at the University of Chicago is one of the largest independent social research organizations in the United States

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Rising health care costs and shopping for sales under Donald Trump's administration

MaineWriter: Donald Trump and the rising costs of health care.  In 2017, the Republicans passed a tax cut for the rich while middle class and working poor are forced to pay higher health care costs.
This opinion echo is factually cynical and fun to read.

An echo opinion written by Michael S. Robinson, Sr., was published in the Utah newspaper The Salt Lake City Weekly.

From Salt Lake City, Utah: Owing largely to big pharma's predatory gouging and the exorbitant charges of doctors and hospitals, U.S. health care costs have soared into the stratosphere. 

Donald Trump, the Rabid Orange Raccoon, hasn't improved the situation. His wrong minded policies have partially dismantled Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. In fact, President Trump's self-avowed destructive agenda has escalated health care pricing, fueled in part by the added burden of millions of citizens who've elected not to buy insurance and have instead become charity cases.

In an effort to take control of the ever-worsening situation, many Americans have chosen non-domestic medical providers as a money-saving alternative. For prescription drugs, they've tapped into the discounts of India and Canada. And for medical and surgical procedures, thousands have flocked to other countries in search of better prices—discovering that some of the best surgical care in the world is not necessarily statewide. The price difference is really a jaw-dropper; surgical candidates are often so shocked at the disparity that their own friends confuse them with Jay Leno.

Take, for instance, the cost of an aortic valve replacement. In the U.S., you'll pay around $170K, including surgeon, anesthesiologist and hospitalization. But wait a minute. You could book reservations for you and your spouse and take a medical vacation instead. In India, you can have the same procedure, done by U.S.-trained heart surgeons, for a mere $9,500, and it's only $5,300 if you decide to go to Warsaw instead. Think about the fun you can have with the leftover money. It's mind blowing, and a sad indictment of American health care. Medical tourism has brought the reality poignantly home: It's not about the cost of medical services; it's about the price.

As a service to supporters of our Clown President, I've compiled a list of useful medical procedures and pricing for the adventurous medical tourist.

•Corrective rhinoplasty for Republicans: U.S. price is $6,500, but it's only $3,600 in Singapore. Expect remarkable results: The olfactory-impaired will suddenly be able to smell a rat.

Lasik eye correction special for Trump lovers: U.S. price is $4,000, but it's only $1,000 in Delhi, India. Anticipated benefit: The refraction-created illusion of Trump's wings will disappear and his halo will sink to his midriff. As an added bonus, Biblical text regarding the treatment of others will become clear and crisp.

•Knee replacement special for the Christian right: U.S. price is $35,000, but only $7,700 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Anticipated benefit: "Get down on your knees and pray" will suddenly be a viable option.

•Anal sphincter repair: U.S. price is $13,500, but it's only $2,500 in Mexico. Anticipated benefit: The accompanying brown trails that occur simultaneously with the "OMG" and "WTF" responses to Trump's frequent verbal abortions will abruptly cease. (Sadly, carpet sales are likely to decline.) Note: All ASRs will include a complimentary rectocephalectomy if required.

•Fusion of lumbar vertebrae (Republican Congressional special fall sale): U.S price is $110,000, but in Amman, Jordan, you can have it done for $10,000. Anticipated benefit: Senators and representatives will be able to stand and be counted, thus ending their existence as spineless invertebrates.

•Lingual nerve repair: Here, it costs $8,700, but you can have it done in Pyongyang, North Korea, for only $57.95. Benefit: Relief from epidemic tongue-biting and the joy of finally having your voice heard. "If you can't say anything nice," as Thumper entreated us in Bambi, "shout it."

So go ahead, my friends. If this list of discounted medical procedures has reminded you of what's wrong, launch yourself into the real world and get yourself fixed at a bargain price. It's a chance to cure America, one procedure at a time, and restore the health of an ailing democracy, Trump be damned.

Author Michael S. Robinson Sr. is a former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. 

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America needs news, data and informed decisions - opinion echo

Echo opinion by Gene Policinski published in the Utah newspaper the Standard ExaminerPolicinski, a founding editor of USA Today, oversees all programs of the Freedom Forum Institute and also is a longtime proponent of diversity in journalism as an essential characteristic of a free press.
Gene Policcinski opinion published in the Utah Standard Examiner newspaper
The power of the press rests in the ability of journalists to hold government accountable, to mobilize public opinion on matters that are important to individuals, communities or the nation, and to provide necessary information of value.

Notice in those words not a mention of celebrity content, mobile devices nor “aspirational” reportage that feels good without doing any good.

But also notice in those words the key to the future for newsrooms across the nation: A visible role in the daily life of the nation rooted in real benefit and sustained credibility.

Newsprint may not be the medium-of-choice today for many readers, and perhaps certainly not the one for the desired next generation of readers. 

Yet, the news organizations behind what certainly will be a blend of printed and electronic pages must be again the mediums-of-choice for that group, whether they be thought-leaders in society, officeholders in government or voters.

The nation – our audience – needs facts, presented clearly, accurately and completely. For those who are help rapt by the comings and goings of the Kardashians and turn away from discussion of policy in the Keystone Pipeline System debate: Well, perhaps it’s time to say “goodbye” and leave them to vacuous talking heads, unreal “reality” shows and the assortment of cable TV geek-fests that offer a chance to feel superior just by sitting on a sofa.

“Targeted circulation” indeed. Let’s leave behind the prideful ignorant who proclaim little faith and demonstrate even less actual consumption of news, and target those readers and users who want news and data and informed decisions – and who will pay a reasonable fee to get it.

Ok, not as easy to gather in and report out as feature items and single-interview chats. It means bucking the system to place journalists in seats where daily decisions are made and social issues discussed – from City Hall to church pews. It means bringing the news of the day in new ways, but with the same old standards that separated opinion from fact, news pages from editorials and commentary from reporting.

The Newseum Institute’s latest State of the First Amendment national survey, published on July 4, showed that 70% of respondents disagreed with the statement that “overall, the news media tries to report the news without bias.”

To be sure, the change of bias has been leveled at journalists since the nation began – and was, in fact, welcomed by many in the first “journals of opinion” and later by media moguls making no pretence at publishing anything but “news” filtered through their own views.

But over time, and by dint of the hard work and credible reporting by tens of thousands of journalists – in newspapers, and later in radio, television and now online – readers, listeners, views and users gave their loyalty to news operations that brought them what they needed.

As emotional as one can be when waxing about ink-on-newsprint, it was the information that was printed with that ink, on those pages, that made newspapers strong and powerful – and that information was the stuff – not the fluff – of life.

Of course there is room for entertaining, uplifting stories and reports on that part of the day that makes us chuckle, smile or simply shake a head. But editorial decisions ought not to start and end there. “Click-bait” ought not to squeeze out real debate. “Metrics” ought not to rule over meaning. And the challenge in thorough reporting on the county’s budget next year ought to mean finding a new way – perhaps through the new studies of gaming technology as applied to news reporting – of telling a complex story. 

Decades ago, USA TODAY showed us how color weather maps and national sports rankings could be fun while still bringing needed information to commuters, gardeners and golfers – and while also reporting on AIDS, national security issues and unsafe military vehicles.
Consider that most news today still originates with mainstream media – and that the value for those aggregators was simply in finding a new way to package and deliver the content. A simple text-and-photo site called Craig’s List wreaked havoc on the financial underpinnings of a massive industry just by finding an easier way to post and peruse the same information. Cannot we collectively continue to find such innovation within newsrooms as well?

Journalists have learned many hard lessons over the last two decades: Nobody really loved us because of our nameplates, innovation was not just a good idea but a daily consideration on survival, and we no longer are the gatekeepers anymore between news makers and news consumers.

But in those tough, even brutal, decades, we’ve also discovered how to make our pages come alive – literally, via the Web – and found new ways to know about and be in contact with those interested in news and information. To the old axiom about being “Clear, concise and accurate” those who have survived have added “responsive.”

The power of the press was, is now, and will be in the future, bringing consumers the news they need – and having the fortitude to seek and report the news they don’t even yet know they need, but will.

Ignorance and apathy is the challenge. Credibility and necessity are the means to overcome those challenges.

Oct. 7-13, 2018 is National Newspaper Week. 

Gene Policinski is chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and of the Institute’s First Amendment Center. A veteran multimedia journalist, he also writes, lectures and is interviewed regularly on First Amendment issues.

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