• The (Canton) Repository, March 4
In breathtaking fashion Thursday, the Republican Party’s most recent presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, stood before a throng of news cameras and reporters and lambasted the party’s current presidential front-runner Donald Trump, calling the bombastic reality television star and billionaire businessman a “phony” and a “fraud” who’s taken the American people for suckers…
Trump has enlivened an angry electorate with substance-free policies and a marketing catchphrase. But his rhetoric has been bigoted, misogynistic and nationalistic and his proposals so vague that many Republicans are now denouncing his candidacy. Romney, in an ultimate stroke of political panic, made a last-ditch effort to right the party ship.
At a rally in Portland, Maine, Trump countered with a brash and un-presidential response. “I don’t know what happened to him,” he said of Romney “You can see how loyal he is. He was begging for my endorsement (in 2012). I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees.’ He would have dropped to his knees.”
It was a sign that the Republican establishment has little hope of stopping Trump during the primaries and that they see him emerging with the most delegates ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. The tactic now will likely be to ride out the storm by keeping Trump’s three remaining challengers in the race…
• The Akron Beacon Journal, March 4
Deaths caused by heroin overdoses have risen to alarming proportions across Ohio, with local agencies and police departments straining to cope with the devastation. That has fueled an understandable sense of urgency to confront the problem and find solutions. Unfortunately, the state legislature is on the wrong track with its consideration of a bill that would increase criminal penalties for heroin possession…
What’s needed is a comprehensive approach that puts far more emphasis on prevention and treatment rather than harsh sentences. In that way, a better balance is achieved, counties currently lacking, if anything, adequate access to detox and treatment programs. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be a legislative priority. As pointed out by Kari Bloom of the state public defender’s office, legislative support for addiction services is insufficient.
Taking some dealers off the streets without resolving the underlying problem of addiction just leads to more frustration. Steering addicts into treatment instead of prison is not a sure thing. Increased education and awareness are key, too. At the same time, medical treatment and counseling are more promising than the path to expanded incarceration.
While it is tempting to believe that locking up more suppliers might prompt addicts to turn toward treatment and recovery, the spike in heroin deaths indicates otherwise…
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