Editorial roundup

The Akron Beacon Journal, Dec. 3

The indictment of Michael Flynn resonated as expected on Friday, a former national security adviser and head of defense intelligence pleading guilty to one felony count of lying to the FBI. …

The turn of events is striking in view of Flynn at the podium of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland fanning, and joining, the chants of “lock her up,” Hillary Clinton, of course. Now he faces up to five years in prison.

That time could shrink dramatically if Flynn proves forthcoming about “any and all matters” related to the investigation led by Robert Mueller, the special counsel looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. …

Which is too bad, in a significant way. The Flynn deal amounts to another episode that reinforces the need for a top-notch, fully equipped, bipartisan commission to investigate and report on the Russian intervention. It would be in the mold of the 9/11 commission following the ghastly terrorist attacks. That is the kind of complete narrative necessary to help in reaching a shared understanding.


The Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 4

While Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s ties to Wall Street haunted his bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, it has proved quite useful for Ohioans.

The governor cut ties with Wells Fargo & Co. a year ago October, back when it was caught opening millions of phony accounts without customers’ knowledge.

Kasich froze for a year the state’s dealings under his authority with the bank, including future state debt offerings and financial-services contracts initiated by state agencies. This also excluded Wells Fargo from participating in debt offerings by the Ohio Public Facilities Commission.

This past October, Kasich remained squeamish about Wells Fargo’s sales practices and extended his ban through next April. He reportedly was unconvinced the internal culture — of greed and graft — had been repaired and opted to keep Wells Fargo on ice.

Some might say Kasich had great instincts. A week ago, came a new disclosure: Wells Fargo bankers were overcharging hundreds of clients on foreign-exchange fees to reap bonuses, then lied when customers raised questions, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Kasich isn’t psychic; he’s experienced; he spent nearly eight years as an investment banker with Lehman Brothers. …

Kasich was too low on the totem pole to have had any control over Lehman’s shaky practices, but he certainly came away wiser.


The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon, Dec. 3

A free and open internet should not be a partisan issue. In today’s world, the internet is not a want — it is a necessity for any business and most citizens to function on a day-to-day basis. …

Yet, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission would like to remove rules that currently prevent internet service providers from having a frightening amount of power. Without the rules — collectively known as net neutrality — nothing would stop ISPs from a host of actions most would find abhorrent. Let’s review some of the potential consequences.

ISPs could create fast and slow lanes for websites, charging a streaming service like Netflix an exorbitant rate. Those companies could also slow down speeds to Netflix in order push customers toward their own streaming services — the same with any other media companies they own. They could also do this with content providers whose ideology they don’t like — so an ISP with a liberal bent could slow speeds down to Fox News while an ISP favoring conservative ideology could do the same to MSNBC, just to name a few examples. …

While it appears the FCC board members have made their minds up ahead of a Dec. 14 vote on the subject, calling federal lawmakers still has a chance to make a difference, and we urge residents to do so.


The Sandusky Register, Nov. 30

The battle against opioid abuse and the resulting blow to families, cities and, indeed, the whole nation is being fought on many fronts.

Churches, schools, health departments, hospitals, police and EMS personnel and private facilities offer what they can to bring the deadly epidemic to a halt. …

Lawmakers have strengthened guidelines for the prescribing of opioids. …

Institutions have expanded their facilities to allow addicts to detox in an environment other than county jails.

Counseling and positive affirmation of addicts’ journey back to drug-free living all play their part in the multilevel road to sobriety.

A local couple, Melanie and Matthew Witt, believe so strongly in the need for continued help for recovering addicts, that they have committed to opening a halfway home for women.

Soon, women struggling to get their lives back on track can live in a group setting of their peers, receive counseling and learn life skills in their temporary home on Homegardner Road in Castalia. …

We commend and support the couple in their endeavor and urge others to do the same. Few families have escaped the scourge of heroin and other opioids, either directly or through friends and neighbors.

Over the years, we’ve often heard that group efforts are needed to raise children. It turns out that it also takes a village to bring the addicted back to being clean, healthy and productive citizens.