COMMENTARY

By Andrew J. Hoffman, University of MichiganWe are a divided nation; that is an understatement. What’s more, we increasingly hear we are living in our own “bubble” or echo chamber that differing views cannot penetrate. To correct the problem, many are calling for people to reach out, to talk...
By Simon F. HaederMedical bankruptcy has been a talking point for many Democratic candidates as they make their individual cases for health care reform. This begs a few questions about how widespread these bankruptcies are and what causes them. 1. How big a problem is medical bankruptcy? Medical bankruptcy, which refers to...
Her time has come.Never have women enjoyed as much electoral success in Virginia as they achieved in this month’s legislative election.A record 30 women (six newly elected) will hold seats in the House of Delegates when the 2020 session convenes. And, for the first time in 400 years, a...
Mercury commentary ICYMI: Bob Lewis delved into whether Democrats will stick to the plan on a new redistricting commission to thwart gerrymandering or abandon it now that they have the keys to castle in 2021. Roger Chesley drew disappointing parallels between the the pair of gun-related reports released earlier...
By Sarah R. Sherman-StokesThe Trump administration wants to make people fleeing persecution in their home countries pay for something they’ve long gotten for free: the right to apply for asylum in the United States.As an immigration attorney and a law professor who has represented people seeking asylum for over a decade, I...
Making policy is often pretty bland and frustrating. Long hours and detailed analyses often lead to an endless spool of problems to solve, and results that can take decades to fully grasp. A hundred years ago, Max Weber called it the “strong and slow boring of hard boards,” and...
Two reports involving guns were released in the past week – one on possible firearms legislation in Richmond, the other studying the horror of the massacre at the Virginia Beach municipal complex this spring.After reading both, call me bewildered. The lack of recommendations from the former, and the absence of...
Has Virginia’s new Democratic legislative majority painted itself into a corner on redistricting? Can Democrats resist the temptation to derail a long-sought nonpartisan reapportionment commission already well on the road to becoming real? Back when they were the minority party (just two weeks ago), Democrats criticized majority Republicans for muscling...
The Weekender: a round-up of opinion and commentary from across Virginia In Mercury commentary you might have missed, Bob Lewis noted that Virginia is increasingly looking more like two states than one because of growing "economic, cultural and demographic differences." Guest columnist Irène Mathieu, a pediatrician, listed the risks of the...
By Irène Mathieu, MD As a pediatrician in Central Virginia, I see evidence of how environmental contamination can threaten children’s health, which is why I am opposing the Green Ridge mega-landfill that has been proposed in Cumberland County. Every day in my clinic, I encounter children with severe asthma or babies who...