RFL Blog


RFL Blog

Focusing on national and regional politics with a healthy dose of sports and entertainment, the RFL Blog offers readers a chance to further explore today'’s headline news through the writings of industry insiders, commentators and special guests.


"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

– Noam Chomsky 


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Posted by David Laska on February 21, 2013

During his State of the Union address, the President proposed raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour.

Like so many of his economic proposals – stimulus spending, healthcare for all, tax the rich! – a minimum wage increase is great politics for Obama, but terrible policy for Americans.

It’s simple math: a higher minimum wage means a higher hiring cost for businesses, and a higher hiring cost means fewer jobs. The unintended consequence of employment reductions is very real, and felt most by those with the least amount of education and experience.

Posted by Andrew Whitman on February 19, 2013
Shirley Li/Medill

Dear Sen. McCain:

Once again, your nation looks to you in our moment of need.

You have made service to our nation the calling of your lifetime, demonstrating time and again that during our most difficult moments, you have been willing to sacrifice so much of yourself, and to do so for the benefit of the nation you love. Whether it was your service in Vietnam, your resilience and grit during five-plus years in the Hanoi Hilton, or your more than 30 years of service as a Congressman and Senator, you have always acted (or appeared to) in a way that put the needs of our nation above your own.

Sadly, today, that same selfless approach is needed – perhaps more than ever. And once again, that need arises with you squarely in the center of the fight.

Posted by Tania Fuentez on February 11, 2013
Nathan's banner on display at Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

President Barack Obama signed a $50.5 billion emergency relief bill last month for Hurricane Sandy victims affected by the Oct. 29 storm blamed for more than 130 deaths in the U.S. and widespread property damage. Three months later, communities hardest hit, especially in New York and New Jersey, are gradually rebuilding their homes, businesses and livelihoods with the help of state and local government. But, it can't stop there with many still left to cope with massive loss and bureaucratic red tape.

Posted by Tania Fuentez on February 8, 2013
Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal speaks volumes without saying a word to thousands of travelers passing through its majestic halls every day. This year, the architectural wonder in the heart of Midtown Manhattan celebrates 100 years of public service, with official centennial festivities held on Feb. 1, which marks date the iconic landmark opened in 1913. Poignancy of an all-day re-dedication ceremony was felt as news quickly spread about the death of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch last week.

Posted by Rich Coutinho on February 5, 2013

So, Alex Rodriquez thinks the Yankees and Major League Baseball are conspiring against to get his contract voided. Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry was being coached by George on how to beat a lie detector test. George said, "Remember it is not a lie if you believe it."

Posted by Dominic Carter on February 1, 2013

I will always remember my friend Ed Koch. He made all of us proud to be a New Yorker.

The fact of the matter is they don’t make politicians like Koch anymore. Koch was not a phony. You knew exactly where you stood with him. Over my 30-year relationship with the mayor, he was the same person in private as he was in public.

Every week for many, many years I interviewed Koch on Television. I saw him at his best, and when his health started failing over the years, but Koch would always bounce back.

Posted by Rich Coutinho on January 31, 2013
Jackie Robinson

It was 66 years ago that the single biggest moment in baseball took place on a little patch of green grass in Brooklyn known as Ebbets Field, a moment that transcended the sporting world and continues to have an impact on society. Of course, it was the day Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color barrier and with it, lifted the curtain on the era of civil rights in the United States.

Posted by Rich Coutinho on January 29, 2013
Performance Enhancing Drugs

As we embark on the 2013 baseball season which begins with spring training report dates in a few weeks, another Performance Enhancing Drug scandal has been put on there for all the world to see. According to published reports, some notable major league players have been linked to a drug supplier who handed out PEDS on a regular basis. Those players include Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez as well as Bartolo Colon and Gio Gonzalez.

Posted by Anthony Figliola on January 25, 2013
Weapon of Mass Destruction

Last week, New York State passed the most sweeping and restrictive gun laws in the nation - In the wake the Newtown tragedy that killed 20 innocent children.

I ask… will this law completely solve the problem?

I acknowledge you don’t need a machine gun to protect your home. However, it is a Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Effective gun laws are necessary to protect innocent citizens. There are some people that act recklessly and they should be punished – But not responsible gun owners.

We live in a society that is becoming increasingly more evil.

Posted by Tom Doherty on January 24, 2013
Reagan and Gorbachev

It seems like yesterday that I was in Parkersburg, West Virginia. A bunch of friends from the University of Charleston had driven a few hours to hear President Ronald Reagan speak. This was the fall of 1984 and Reagan was our guy and we knew the Republican Party was where we wanted to be. The GOP was the Party of big ideas, less government interference and fighting Communism at every turn. Most important to me was the fact that Reagan made me feel like no matter what problems we confronted Americans always had the ability, with a smile on our face, to make tomorrow better.



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