Selfless sacrifice in Afghanistan and selfish immaturity in D.C.

Last week, four U.S. soldiers were killed in the Zhari District of Kandahar, Afghanistan when their vehicle drove over a Taliban emplaced improvised explosive device.  Having driven over the same road while serving in the same exact district in Afghanistan where these soldiers died, I am particularly struck that these soldiers, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, returned home last week to a nation that initially refused to pay their families the military death benefit used for funeral expenses.  This was one of a string of political casualties caused by the recent government shutdown that finally just ended.


Time for Supreme Court to stand firm on campaign donation limits

On both ends of the political spectrum, and the middle as well, there’s a sense that the political system is broken—and not just this week.

While there’s plenty that Americans on the left and right disagree about, they and almost everyone in between are convinced that in Washington and in state capitals across the country, those with big money to throw around get attention the rest of us could only dream of.


GOP is losing the health care debate

This week saw a new low in the House of Representatives, as the Republican leadership was once again rebuffed by its hard right membership.  In trying to determine how to fund the government past Sept. 30, House Republicans are tied in knots over how to address conservative demands for defunding “Obamacare” without leading to a government shutdown. In an interesting twist of fate, Republican opposition to the president’s health insurance reform is leading them into a trap they’ve set for themselves.


RNC doesn’t want you to hear from their presidential candidates

Last week the Republican National Committee (RNC) unanimously passed a resolution to prevent NBC and CNN from hosting Republican primary debates unless those networks halt production of films about former first lady, senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In response to this news I have three words, “get over it.”


Grant highlights municipal government efficiency

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, President Obama signed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013, into law, allowing for the disbursal of $16 billion dollars in block grants to communities ravaged by the hurricane. In May 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved the distribution plan for the $1.773 billion that had been allocated to New York City. The grant was entitled the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan (CDBG-DR).


India honors – not dishonors – patent laws

India has experienced transformational economic growth over the past two decades. Thanks in large measure to reforms that opened India’s markets to global commerce, its Gross Domestic Product has zoomed from $189 billion in 1980 to $1.84 trillion in 2012. Innovation and entrepreneurship have been fostered by vigorous enforcement of trade agreements and patent laws.


Congressional action on worker centers is overdue

Big Labor’s decline is well documented, but its new strategy to utilize “worker centers” to perpetuate its own existence is not. Thankfully, on July 23, Reps. John Kline (R-Minn.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez asking for clarification on why worker centers are not regulated like the labor unions that found and fund them.


American dreams on summer break

As children across the country prepare to go back to the classroom, our nation’s leaders are on recess until September.  While Congress is on summer break, the future of 5.5 million children is in limbo. One million unauthorized immigrants under the age of 18, and 4.5 million U.S. born children of undocumented parents, are anxiously awaiting immigration reform.


Sen. Durbin’s vendetta against supplements

Are you responsible enough to make your own decisions regarding whether to consume energy drinks or dietary supplements? Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) doesn’t seem to think so. On Aug. 1, Durbin reintroduced legislation -- the Dietary Supplemental Labeling Act -- which he advanced in the last Congress before it failed to make it out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.