Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.

Bessent: Supreme Court takes a pass on affirmative action

The Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. on

(Credit: Getty Images)

Anyone who hoped for a blockbuster affirmative action ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court Monday has to be horribly frustrated. The court took a pass.

With the hot issues of same sex marriage, the Defense of Marriage Act and the Voting Rights Act, all queued up for decisions in the next few days, court watchers now have to entertain the possibility that what has the makings of an historic court...

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Bessent: GOP and Democrats should get together on student loan rates

The dome of the U.S. Capitol. (April 15,

(Credit: Getty Images)

A Congress that can't manage to do much of anything should avoid the need to do some things over and over again. That includes what's become an annual fight to make sure the interest rate on college student loans doesn't double.

Nobody wants that to happen, least of all the millions of students with little choice other than to pile on debt. But the rate on subsidized Stafford loans will bound...

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McKinstry: Is the Women's Equality Act the beginning of the end for the IDC?

State Sen. David Carlucci speaks with the media

(Credit: Susan Stava)

In a show of support for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Rockland Democrats are blasting one of their own: New York Sen. David Carlucci. They’re particularly peeved at the Independent Democratic Conference's role in blocking the governor’s Women’s Equality Act from being voted on.

They’re calling Carlucci a sellout. It's this kind of hardball pressure tactics that just might force the Senate to have...

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Up on the Board: Albany, ugly as ever

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) during a news

(Credit: AP)

The New York State Legislature tends to crash a lot of decisions into the final days of its annual session – an outcome known to Albany-watchers as The Big Ugly. And so it is this year.

Even as some major legislation, such as the Women’s Equality Act, remain in the stew of today’s legislative work, the editorial board is talking about what the legislature did that we like and don’t like –...

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Up on the Board: Flight 800, Obama’s approval rating, LIRR track care

Calls made to reopen TWA Flight 800 investigation

The editorial board is fascinated by a push to reopen the investigation of the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800, which exploded minutes after taking off from JFK Airport, killing all 230 people aboard. An upcoming documentary, to be released July 17, questions the government’s official explanation: faulty switches. We want to watch the documentary before commenting.

We note that President Barack...

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Ciolli: Andrew Cuomo's abortion reform push will come down to the wire

Opponents to expanded abortion rights in New York

(Credit: AP)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo promised in his January State of the State Address that a women’s equity agenda would be his signature legislative initiative this session. Despite an aggressive push, such as the one he used to get a vote on same-sex marriage in 2011, he may wind up with only nine laws -- and the 10th turned into a potent weapon for the 2014 election.

Cuomo’s original omnibus bill addressed...

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Bessent: Immigration reform hits a stumbling block in the House

The Capitol Dome silhouetted against the rising sun

(Credit: Getty Images)

The immigration bill moving through the Senate would reduce federal budget deficits and boost the nation’s economy if it becomes law. That’s what Washington's respected, nonpartisan bean-counters said in a report released Tuesday.

Despite that good news immigration reform is on the road to oblivion in the House.

The bill negotiated by the Senate’s bipartisan “gang of eight” would cut...

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Up on the Board: A hush in Albany, LI video slots, Chief Burke’s temper

Chief of Police James C. Burke speaks as

(Credit: Steve Pfost)

The editorial board is talking about what an unusually stagnant atmosphere pervades Albany at this end-of-session time. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is weakened by the inquiries into how he handled sexual harassment claims against former Assemb. Vito Lopez. And Sens. Jeff Klein and Dean Skelos, sharing the leadership of the Senate, also don’t seem to be moving much legislation forward.


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Bessent: Supreme Court clears the way for cheaper generic drugs

The Federal Trade Commission says deals delaying generic

(Credit: iStock)

If you buy prescription drugs, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling announced Monday will likely save you money. The top court's decision allowed federal regulators to go after pharmaceutical companies that pay their rivals to temporarily keep less expensive generic drugs off the market. The Federal Trade commissiion estimates so-called pay-to-delay deals cost consumers about $3.5 billion a year. Brand...

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Up on the Board: Albany deals, NYC graduation rates, more traffic for MacArthur

"May the force be with you" was Kim

(Credit: Frank Posillico)

Again today, the editorial board is keeping a watch on the end-of-session developments at the state capitol. At the moment, the proposal to reorganize the Long Island Power Authority isn’t strong enough for us. It doesn’t give Long Islanders enough of a break in terms of tax certioraris paid by LIPA to school districts where plants are located.

Ditto the deal on binding arbitration – what...

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