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Joseph A. Califano Jr.
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Blog Entries by Joseph A. Califano Jr.

What the 2012 Election Is Really All About

(3) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 4:38 PM

More than any other candidate or issue, the election of 2012 is all about the extraordinary legacy of America's most overlooked, complicated, liberal and legislatively productive president, Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society.

Barack Obama is the first African American to occupy the highest office in the land. Can...

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The Dangerous Joker in the Presidential Political Deck

(17) Comments | Posted April 23, 2012 | 7:18 PM

If, as now seems clear, the nation is headed for a close, razor-thin presidential election, it is not (as most pundits say) jobs and the economy, or (as many pundits think but don't say) race or religion, that will decide the outcome.

Rather, the deciding factor is far likelier to...

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Increase in Youth Smoking: The Surgeon General's Pink Panther Public Health Policy

(1) Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 12:59 PM

In the recent report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, the Surgeon General sounds more like Inspector Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther than the nation's top health officer. After demonstrating beyond a reasonable doubt that menthol flavoring is the key culprit in getting children and...

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How to Permanently Reduce State Medicaid and Prison Costs Instead of Postponing and Papering Over Them

(9) Comments | Posted February 4, 2011 | 10:33 AM

There are two fiscal gluttons gobbling taxpayer dollars, threatening to starve other public needs like education, and creating budget crises for at least 46 states: Medicaid and prisons.

And there is one common tapeworm that spawns this ravenous appetite for state funds: substance abuse and addiction.

New York, California, Illinois...

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Marijuana's Role in the Arizona Shooting

(184) Comments | Posted January 21, 2011 | 7:47 AM

With President Barack Obama's eloquent speech at the Tucson memorial, Speaker John Boehner's emotional reminder to his Democratic and Republican colleagues and all Americans that "an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us," and the thousands of pundits, left and right, arguing about the meaning...

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Obama's Opportunity

(2) Comments | Posted January 19, 2011 | 11:48 AM

With the tragedy in Tucson, President Barack Obama has the best opportunity of any president to get significant gun control legislation since Lyndon Johnson pushed through a gun control bill in 1968 in the wake of the Robert Kennedy assassination. But he has to act aggressively and fast.


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Where's the Superman to Tackle Drug and Alcohol Abuse in our Schools and Colleges?

(4) Comments | Posted October 26, 2010 | 1:55 AM

If we are serious about educating our children at every level from elementary school through college, we'd better recognize that money alone will not solve the problem. We can fill our schools with all the modern gadgetry -- computers, great graphics, television screens in every classroom, internet tutoring -- and...

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Why the Great Recession is Not Another Great Depression

(67) Comments | Posted October 15, 2010 | 9:58 AM

What's keeping this Great Recession from becoming another Great Depression?

The Great Society.

That's something for those who support - or question - the role of government in bolstering our economy and protecting our people and our democracy should keep in mind.

True, things aren't great. We have seen...

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With Drug Abuse Up: "We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us"

(82) Comments | Posted September 17, 2010 | 3:31 PM

The shocking increase in all drug use by Americans age 12 and older reported by the government today threatens the health and safety of every child and family in this nation.

Now is not the time to point fingers. Now is the time for all of us to...

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Requiring Parents to Send Children to Gang- and Drug-Infected Schools Is State Sanctioned Child Abuse

(3) Comments | Posted August 30, 2010 | 1:18 PM

Parents of tweens and teens: CASA's 15th Annual Back-to-School Survey indicates that the odds are increasing that the middle or high school your children are going to is drug infected (a place where drugs are used, kept or sold), especially if it is a public school.

Are you going to...

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The Greatest Failure of the Medical and Public Health Professions

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2010 | 11:01 AM

The greatest and most costly failure of the medical profession and public health community is their failure to explain to the American people that addiction to alcohol and other drugs is a disease.

Against the scientific knowledge we now have, physicians' refusal to give alcohol- and other drug-addicted patients the...

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Medical Marijuana in the New York State Legislature: Sheep's Clothing for the Wolf of Legalization

(42) Comments | Posted June 24, 2010 | 6:05 PM

Let's hear it for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for calling the "medical marijuana" bill before the state legislature a quintessential example of political hypocrisy. Bloomberg is one of those extraordinary politicians that call actions as he sees them. And he sees this one clearly.

The United States has...

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The Tobacco Leopard

(1) Comments | Posted June 22, 2010 | 12:54 PM

We are both veterans of the tobacco wars and so are not surprised at the industry's recent attempt to block New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's effort to remind citizens of the grim dangers of smoking by requiring stores that sell tobacco products to post graphic posters of the consequences...

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