When Oprah speaks, millions listen. Sunday night she spoke at the annual Golden Globes ceremony as the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement and brought the crowd to its feet with her conclusion that "a new day is on the horizon."
Millions watched live and millions more will be talking about it for some time. This is the case not only because she addressed the hottest topic in the nation today, abuse and discrimination in all forms, but because of her own credibility.
As a true self-made billionaire, a successful brand, she has the respect of the business world. As a star she has the affection and attention of millions. As a woman who rose from poverty to power, she provides the kind of example that Americans have long cherished, one that we could use even more today.
No doubt there will be those who dismiss this as Hollywood talk. They would be mistaken.
She reminded Americans of the importance of a free and aggressive press:
"We also know it's the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and to injustice. To tyrants and victims, and secrets and lies. I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times."
She broadened the horizon:
But it's not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It's one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace. ... They're the women whose names we'll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they're in academia, engineering, medicine and science. They're part of the world of tech and politics and business. They're our athletes in the Olympics and they're our soldiers in the military."
— The Times-Herald Record, Middleton
Two years ago, the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative was held up as a "successful" model for the entire state to follow.
In his 2016 State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed replicating RMAPI in 10 other cities across Upstate New York. He committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to help them begin combating poverty the Rochester way. That followed his 2015 address, in which he announced the creation of RMAPI.
This past Wednesday, however, there was no mention of RMAPI or the statewide anti-poverty effort in Cuomo's 2018 State of the State address. He mentioned the word "poverty" a half dozen times, and "Rochester" came up more than twice that. But the two words never appeared in the same sentence, or even in close vicinity.
Sometimes what goes unsaid speaks volumes.
No one expected Rochester's latest anti-poverty initiative to be easy. When Cuomo labeled it a success in 2016, this Editorial Board cautioned it was far too early to make that call. Significantly reducing poverty will be a long process, and hard work is being done behind-the-scenes.
And, to be fair, there appears to be slight forward motion on several fronts. In those same reports obtained by Singer, Brock outlined some of RMAPI's accomplishments: the city has made at least one policy change based on RMAPI recommendations, there are a few pilot programs underway, a handful of local businesses are beginning to hire and train people who live in poverty, and the idea of "collective impact" — the notion that all of us can do something about the problem — is taking hold in some corners of the community. RMAPI officials say other cities setting up anti-poverty initiatives remain eager to gain insight from Rochester.
Today, we do challenge every government, business, nonprofit, and community leader who rallied around the initiative three years ago — to come back to the table with the same energy and commitment to having a collective impact on poverty.
— The Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester
Children from lower-income families could soon lose access to affordable health care because the Republican leaders in Congress have failed to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program. This is a travesty.
After passing a lavish tax cut for corporations and wealthy families, Congress hastily left town last month without reauthorizing the federal-state health insurance program, which benefits nearly nine million children. Authorization expired in September, and so far states have kept CHIP going with unspent funds carried over from previous appropriations. Before Christmas, Congress allocated $2.85 billion to the program, saying that the money would take care of the children's needs until the end of March. But that appears to have been a gross miscalculation, because the Trump administration said on Friday that some states would start running out of money after Friday, Jan. 19.
CHIP was created in 1997 and has helped halve the percentage of children who are uninsured. It has been reauthorized by bipartisan majorities of Congress in the past. But Republican leaders in Congress all but abandoned the program last fall and devoted their time to trying to pass an unpopular tax bill that will increase the federal debt by $1.8 trillion over the next decade, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis released last week. By contrast, CHIP costs the federal government roughly $14.5 billion a year, or $145 billion over 10 years.
Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, the Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.
You agree to receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times's products and services.
Republicans have held children's insurance hostage to force Democrats to accept cuts to other programs. Last year, House Republicans insisted that they would reauthorize CHIP only if Democrats agreed to offset spending on the program with cuts to Medicare and a public health program created by the Affordable Care Act.
— The New York Times