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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Op-Ed Budget for Monday, February 10, 2014

This budget is now available on the Web at, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 10, 2014 at 9:58 am •  Published: February 10, 2014


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Op-Ed Budget for Monday, February 10, 2014

This budget is now available on the Web at, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^Philip Seymour Hoffman, heroin and the war in Afghanistan<


But, there is a cruel twist of ironic fate in the drug-addicted Hoffman's recent heroin overdose death. Most of the world's heroin _ about 80 percent _ is currently produced in the country where the United States has fought its longest war: Afghanistan.

America's war in Afghanistan is finally winding down, but the long-term drug war with that country is just warming up. And many of the victims of that 21st century global opiate war will be the hundreds of thousands of Americans at every level of society, rich and poor, famous or ignored.

Irony seems to be at the heart of this issue.

750 by Markos Kounalakis, a research fellow at Central European University. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. He wrote this for The Sacramento Bee. MOVED

^How the Affordable Care Act is killing jobs<


The Congressional Budget Office just estimated the Affordable Care Act will eliminate the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs a year. Obamacare is reducing both the supply of and demand for workers.

700 by James Sherk, a senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation. MOVED

^Dogs are dogs, not dolls<


750 by Ingrid E. Newkirk, the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the author of "One Can Make a Difference." MOVED

^Virginia's 'Glory' regiment<

GLORY-COMMENTARY:MCT _ Director Edward Zwick's 1989 film "Glory" highlighted the organization and early service of the justly famous 54th Regiment Massachusetts Infantry (Colored) _ its official name. The thousand or so brave men who served in this regiment were just a fraction of the nearly 200,000 African-Americans who wore Union blue, mostly infantry.

Many served as Lincoln had anticipated in the Emancipation Proclamation; namely, "to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places." A small number entered combat, and many of those demonstrated the courage, determination and willingness to give their lives for a cause that marked a true "glory" outfit such as the 54th.

1250 by Noah Andre Trudeau, the author of eight Civil War histories, including "Like Men of War," about African-American soldiers in combat. He wrote this for The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va. MOVED


^Doyle McManus: Bill Gates _ the world is better than ever<


"By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been," Gates wrote in his annual letter chronicling the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through which he plans to give away most of the fortune he made from Microsoft.

"People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient," he wrote. "By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world."

By then, he added, the child mortality rate in the world's poorest countries should be as low as the U.S. child mortality was in 1980. And the world's population will soon stop growing too, his wife, Melinda Gates, wrote in the letter. Once parents no longer fear losing children to starvation or disease, she explained, they'll choose to have fewer babies.

Does the Gates' letter do a little bit of overselling in the service of their optimism?

800 by Doyle McManus. MOVED


^Dan K. Thomasson: For better or for worse, women reach foul-language equality <


While this is a scene that always has been dominated by men, more and more women are breaking through the vaunted glass ceiling to assume important roles in public and corporate affairs. In the process, however, the traditional reserve in language and attitude when women are present is slipping away. A major reason is women themselves who beginning in the 1960s became comfortable with the "good old boy" profanity laced language of the all-male board room. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

800 by Dan K. Thomasson in Washington. MOVED

^John M. Crisp: The death penalty _ abolish it or embrace it<


Federal prosecutors have announced that they will seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the young perpetrators of last April's Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 260.

Also, states that still permit capital punishment are having trouble finding the drugs that they customarily use to execute criminals. Their suppliers _ European countries that abolished capital punishment some time ago _ are reluctant to provide their products for purposes they disapprove.

As a result some states have executed criminals with novel combinations of drugs with sometimes unseemly results.

700 by John M. Crisp. MOVED

^Andres Oppenheimer: Venezuela's biggest enemy _ hyperinflation<


Alejandro Werner, the senior IMF official, said there is a "high" probability that Venezuela, which already has the world's highest inflation rate, will see even higher rates this year.

Noting that Venezuela's annual inflation rate reached 56 percent last year, I asked him whether a country can maintain such inflation rates without falling into hyper-inflation _ a situation in which the local currency becomes virtually worthless, merchants close down their stores, the entire economy collapses, and in many cases governments end up falling.

850 by Andres Oppenheimer. MOVED


^Carl Hiaasen: Muddying the waters far from home<


The state of Florida has joined a lawsuit aimed at blocking a massive cleanup plan for Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay.

And, no, you can't make this stuff up.

Last week, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a brief _ paid for with your taxes _ attacking the legality of the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint.

The plan was devised by six bay area states, the District of Columbia and the federal government. Its mission is to improve water quality in the rivers, streams and estuaries of the Chesapeake region.

A federal judge upheld the terms of the so-called blueprint, which will limit the amount of pollution being dumped, but the ruling is being appealed.

Why would the state of Florida try to obstruct the cleanup of public waters hundreds of miles away from our own? Because Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott are complete tools.

850 by Carl Hiaasen. (For subscribers only) MOVED

^Mitch Albom: Why the Beatles are still the best<


It's a fair question. To you, young person, this must seem like your parents (more likely your grandparents) waxing on about something that is totally outdated, like rotary phones or customer service.

So let me explain why the Beatles actually are worth commemorating. Let's start with this: Fifty years later, their music is still better than today's.

900 by Mitch Albom. (For subscribers only) MOVED



These columns are for subscribers only. They are sold separately and are not included in your MCT News Service subscription. To subscribe, please call Rick DeChantal at Tribune Content Agency, 800-245-6536 or; or, you may purchase individual columns a la carte on MCT Direct.




750. MOVED



450. MOVED



500. MOVED



750. MOVED



350. MOVED


^Photo galleries<

MCT is now offering photo galleries for use on your websites and apps available at

In our stuffed photo gallery files you will find hand-picked groups of 10-20 hi-res jpgs, complete with slideshow-ready captions.

For a limited time, these galleries are being offered as part of your MCT Photo subscription or are available for download a la carte.

If you have content questions or suggestions, please contact the MCT Photo Desk at (202) 383-6099 or

^Stay connected to MCT<

There are many ways to stay connected to MCT in addition to visiting our websites. Check us out on social media:; follow us on Twitter:; and Facebook:, and sign up for Op-Ed budgets and Graphics and Photo advisories by contacting E. Ray Walker at


MCT News Service is now available on MCT Direct, our Web site ( On MCT Direct, News Service subscribers can have access to budgets with clickable links to stories and art; 30 days' worth of budgets and stories; and a searchable online archive of more than 1 million items _ stories, photos, graphics, illustrations, paginated pages and animations.

Subscribers who now receive the News Service via AP DataFeature can also have access to these new Internet features for a small additional fee. To obtain a user ID and password, please call Rick DeChantal at Tribune Content Agency, (866) 280-5210.

MCT Op-Ed Editor: E. Ray Walker, 202-383-6084,

MCT News Desk: 202-383-6080,

MCT Photo Service: 202-383-6099,

MCT Graphics: 202-383-6064,


2014, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


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