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Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:00 PM
This week, author, political columnist, jazz critic and – to quote his wife – “social mischief maker” Nat Hentoff passed away at his apartment in Greenwich Village “surrounded by family listening to Billie Holiday,” according to his son, Nick Hentoff, on Twitter.
  • JAN. 15, 1937

    Dr. C. H. Harrison was named as School Trustee here by the Board of Aldermen at the January meeting, his term being for five years. He succeeds Mrs. N. A. Johnson, whose term expired Jan. 1, 1937.
  • HARPER/Obamacare on life support
    “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan,” President Obama made those promises on multiple occasions while trying to sell the Affordable Care Act to the American people. We now know that neither of these statements turned out to be true. Obamacare has done the opposite of what the president promised when he said, “You’ll find more choices, more competition, and in many cases, lower prices.” What we are seeing across the country is fewer choices, less competition, and skyrocketing premiums. But the full story of Obamacare is more than a string of broken promises - the onerous rules and regulations are causing the law to collapse under its own weight. The simple truth is that it is hurting more people than it is helping. Just two months ago, 8 in 10 Americans told Gallup they want Obamacare either significantly changed or replaced altogether.
  • LOWRY/Obama’s ‘Russian reset’ failure
    President Barack Obama has finally had it with Russia. It only took eight years of cold reality — topped off by the Russian interference in the November election — to make the outgoing president almost cleareyed about the Kremlin.

    Not that Obama is ready to admit error. Asked by George Stephanopoulos on Sunday if he underestimated Vladimir Putin, Obama said no, he had only missed how cyberhacking could be used to meddle in our electoral system — in other words, it was a technical mistake, rather than a fundamental misassessment of a foreign adversary.
  • GETTING THE MESSAGE/2nd Timothy 4:6-8
    Our Lord came into this world in order to give men new life with God. The apostle Paul is the model of this new life. We see here Paul’s summary of his Christian life as death approaches. He says: “I am already being poured out like a drink offering and the time has come for my departure.”
  • BROOKS/The Snapchat presidency
    Normal leaders come up with policy proposals in a certain conventional way. They gather their advisers around them and they debate alternatives — with briefing papers, intelligence briefings and implementation strategies.

    President-elect Donald Trump doesn’t do that. He’s tweeted out policy gestures in recent weeks, say about the future of the United States’ nuclear arsenal. But these gestures aren’t attached to anything. They emerged from no analytic process and point to no implemental effects. Trump’s statements seem to spring spontaneously from his middle-of night-feelings. They are astoundingly ambiguous and defy interpretation.
  • LOWRY/Defund the UN
    We’ve come a long way from Daniel Patrick Moynihan excoriating the U.N.’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution in one of the finer exhibits of righteous indignation in the history of American speechifying.

    The Obama administration acceded to — and, reportedly, assisted behind the scenes — a less notorious but still noxious Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements. By the administration’s lights, the action is clever — it will be extremely difficult to reverse and will increase Israel’s international isolation.
    As we enter into the New Year we look at this familiar passage in Luke about the birth of Jesus. We might use it as a challenge for us in this upcoming year. So I want to look at the passage from that point of view.

    First, we can be intentional about serving the Christian King. That of course is the Lord Jesus Christ who reigns over all. In verse one we read about the great Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar. He was born Octavian, a distant relative of Julius Caesar. After Caesar was assassinated, Octavian was named in Caesar’s will as his adopted son and heir. A struggle for power ensued, but Octavian won when he defeated Antony and Cleopatra at Actium in 31 BC.
  • PERRY/Helping others helps us
    The days before and after Christmas inspire gratefulness for the love and generosity of others, and celebrations for a year concluded.

    Generosity always plays a defining role during this time of year, but the specific word “generosity” has floated in my mind for the past few weeks because, of all things, a marketing campaign by a liquor company.
  • KRISTOF/Pastor, am I a Christian?
    What does it mean to be a Christian in the 21st century? Can one be a Christian and yet doubt the virgin birth or the Resurrection? I put these questions to the Rev. Timothy Keller, a Presbyterian (PCA) pastor in New York City and best-selling author who is among the most prominent evangelical thinkers today. Our conversation has been edited for space and clarity.
  • LOWRY/The conventional threat to Trump
    Donald Trump was supposed to take over the Republican Party, but the question going forward will be whether the Republican Party takes over him.

    So far the early legislative agenda of Republicans after the Trump revolution is shaping up to be what you would have expected prior to the Trump revolution. It’s a cookie-cutter GOP program that any Republican who ran for president in the past 40 years would feel comfortable signing, with its prospective centerpiece being another round of across-the-board tax cuts.
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