A truly historic breakthrough

E ighty-three is a pretty impressive number. That’s the percentage of Americans who favor empowering the federal government to negotiate prices with drugmakers. Even 7 of 10 Republicans agree, according to polling from KFF, a respected source of health news and statistics.

The Washington fantasy world

An odd atmosphere has descended on Washington, D.C. At the precise moment the government announced that the economy shrank for the second consecutive quarter – the popular definition of a recession – Washington pundits began talking about what a great week President Joe Biden was having. And they meant it sincerely, not ironically.

The United States and its allies are leaning heavily on economic sanctions to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. But a key element in that strategy, restrictions on Russian oil exports, mostly appears to be causing pain for ordinary people in other countries. European nations, in particular, are causing considerable damage to their own economies without reducing Russia’s oil revenue.

DO JUST ONE THING

Buying in bulk is a good way to cut back on waste and save money, but be careful what you purchase. Items like nuts, coffee and flour shouldn't be purchased in large quantities, because their quality quickly deteriorates and they can go rancid or taste stale. Instead, opt for shelf-stable, long-lasting staples like oats and dried beans, which will last for over a year if stored in cool, dry places in your kitchen. If you do have excess items that spoil quickly, store them in your freezer to extend their shelf life.

Engaged reader doesn’t want bridal party

DEAR HARRIETTE: My fiance has a large group of friends. I do not have many friends at all, so I was hoping to skip having a bridal party altogether. My fiance is disappointed by this because he was excited to be able to have all of his friends be a part of our wedding. I understand, but I just don't have enough friends to match his groomsmen, and it honestly makes me feel bad. Am I being unfair by asking that we skip the bridal party tradition? – Short Guest List

Lulu the housekeeper

My husband, Peter, and I are back in our little place in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Of course, it is not really "our" place. We don't own it and have no desire to own anything here larger than a pressure cooker (yes, Peter bought one). When we arrived, Pepe at the front desk said, "Welcome home!" in English, and that is exactly how it felt: as if we had been away from home and were now returning.

Son’s social snub dumbfounds mother

DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to college orientation with my son, and he ran into a few students from his high school. He immediately began to talk to them, and at the same time, he completely ignored me. He did not introduce me to them or anything. When I asked him to introduce me, he told me it felt awkward because he knew the name of only one of the students. I explained to him that he could figure out a way around that by simply stating that I am his mother and saying my name. He could add that he went to high school with these students, but saying nothing at all was rude. He seemed flabbergasted by it. I'm dumbfounded now. I have been teaching him manners his whole life. How could he think that it's OK to ignore his mother when I'm standing right next to him? How do I remedy this? – Dissed Mom

Can Trump really be trusted?

As the Congressional inquiry into the Jan. 6, 2020, insurrection paused for a summer recess, Rep. Liz Cheney insisted: “Every American must consider this: Can a president who is willing to make the choices Donald Trump made during the violence of January 6th ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again?”

Pages