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Guest Observer Archive

FAA Playing Fast and Loose With Passenger Safety and Flight Delays | Commentary

At a time when U.S. airline passengers are experiencing the highest rate of flight delays in more than 20 years, the Federal Aviation Administration is proposing radical changes to its air traffic control management programs that could lead to further flight delays, cancellations and jeopardize aircraft and passenger safety.

Containing Epidemics Like Ebola: Lessons From Nigeria's Success | Commentary

For the sake of public health preparedness here in the United States, as well as humanitarian assistance in West Africa, Congress should approve President Barack Obama’s request for $6.18 billion in emergency funding to combat Ebola.

The Surgeon General Nominee Doesn't Make the Grade | Commentary

Many Democrats are hoping to use their last days of Senate control to install President Barack Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy. The young doctor has been awaiting confirmation since the president tapped him for the post last November. And this week is the chamber’s last opportunity to act before the GOP majority takes the helm in January.

No College Degree? No Problem: Why Education Policy Needs to Focus on Career Planning | Commentary

There is no doubt about it: Statistically speaking, a college degree will offer the average worker a significant wage premium over workers with only a high school diploma. But does that mean that workers with no education beyond high school do not have a chance at well-paying, fulfilling careers? Far from it.

Gracias, Mr. President. Congress, Now It's Your Turn | Commentary

As I sat in the Del Sol High School gym, I saw people all around me in tears of joy following President Barack Obama’s announcement of doubling down on immigration executive action. A day later, I witnessed the exhilaration of a 6-year-old Guatemalan refugee who had just been released from immigration detention as he spoke with his father about their reunification.

Energy and Commerce Hearing an Important Step Toward a National, Consistent Labeling Standard | Commentary

As the 113th session of Congress winds to a close, activity on Capitol Hill is bustling, with members of Congress working to address the most critical issues facing the country. To that end, members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a critical hearing this week on a subject important to all Americans: food safety and labeling.

Congress Must Pass the ABLE Act | Commentary

With the lame-duck session set to wrap-up this week, the clock is ticking for Congress to rise above Washington gridlock and give millions of Americans with disabilities a chance for a better financial future.

Workers Need More Than Canned Goods This Holiday Season: They Need a Raise | Commentary

Like communities across the country, Capitol Hill is pitching in for a time-honored tradition this holiday season: a canned food drive to benefit the local food bank. Stepping up to donate and volunteer are members of Congress, their staff and the Hill’s other major inhabitant — corporate lobbyists. This is also a popular time of year for elected officials to volunteer at food pantries and soup kitchens, and highlight the good work of private food assistance in their districts.

Obama's Executive Order Does Harm to American Workers | Commentary

The most frustrating part of the debate over President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty program is that the conversation is almost entirely centered on what is good for illegal immigrants, rather than what is beneficial to legal American workers. There are substantive constitutional separation of powers concerns and national security implications in the president’s decree, but it seems that no one wants to talk about the nearly 20 million Americans who woke up this morning either unemployed or underemployed. At long last, isn’t it time someone stood up for American workers?

Let's Give Our Students a Chance to Compete in the Digital Age | Commentary

Across the nation, the powerful combination of broadband, affordable devices and increasing opportunity for cloud-based content is transforming education. Traditional teaching tools like blackboards and books are giving way to interactive digital content delivered directly to students’ devices. We have moved from a world where a connected computer lab down the hall was a luxury, to one where high-speed broadband delivered directly to the classroom is a necessity. Indeed, we have graduated into the digital age.

Ebola: Who Bears the Cost of Keeping Us Safe? | Commentary

The Ebola virus, which has now touched our shores and taken the lives of two victims in the U.S., is a threat lethal enough to demand full mobilization of our health care resources, which is what federal officials have urged. Consequently, hospitals in recent weeks have been arming themselves with the necessary knowledge, supplies and resources to confront the danger and ensure it is contained and managed skillfully.

Congress: Support Higher Level of Press Freedoms, End Propaganda | Commentary

It seems that recently, U.S. media took a turn for the worse. In 2013, Reporters Without Borders noted a profound erosion of press freedom, which included a year of attacks on whistleblowers and digital journalists, and revelations about mass surveillance. The U.S. plunged 13 spots on the group’s rankings to No. 46.

Internet, Email Taxes Could Become Reality if Lawmakers Fail to Act | Commentary

If certain members of Congress and President Barack Obama have their way, 2014 may very well be remembered as the year we started taxing the Internet. The good news is that the passage of Internet sales tax legislation appears unlikely — at least for the moment. The bad news is there are still two far reaching and potentially expensive measures under consideration that pose a serious threat to the Internet as Americans now know it.

Lift the Oil Export Ban to Avoid Crude Awakening for U.S. | Commentary

In Congress, there are essentially three kinds of laws: Those that achieve their intended goals; those that don’t; and those that — by flaw of design or implementation — somehow do the complete opposite of what they intended.

Ashton Carter, North Korea and Missile Defense | Commentary

Ashton Carter, the nominee to serve as the next secretary of Defense, recently generated headlines for his past suggestions on how to deal with North Korean missile threats.

Timeless Management Advice for Congress | Commentary

For 30 years, the Congressional Management Foundation has published a handbook on how to run a congressional office. “Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide” was first published in 1984, and provided advice to the 99th Congress on everything from budgeting, to staffing the office, to buying computers. The guidance is not the same as the formal instructions provided by the committees and institutional offices which assist in the management of Congress. Instead, “Setting Course” addresses the mechanics of being a member of Congress or senior staffer and leader of what amounts to a small business.

Now You See Them, Now You Don't: Banks' Misdirection on Data Breaches | Commentary

A staple of the illusionist’s trade is “misdirection” — distracting the audience with the movements of one hand while using the other hand to make an object “magically” disappear.

The U.S. Should Strive to Protect Its Intellectual Property Abroad | Commentary

The Chinese government recently announced it will establish its first independent court in Beijing for adjudicating intellectual property (IP) rights disputes. Officials plan to create two more in other key commercial hotspots within the next couple years.

Former House Members Unite to Curb Federal Prison Growth | Commentary

In recent years, public awareness of our nation’s overcrowded and inefficient state prisons has grown considerably. But what is often overlooked is this country’s bloated federal prison system, which continues to operate beyond capacity, endangering staff and inmates alike and costing taxpayers nearly $7 billion in fiscal 2014. That’s one-quarter of the Justice Department’s entire budget. Although the federal prison population recently decreased for the first time in more than three decades, we are far from declaring victory.

Congress' HITECH Act and Good Patient Care | Commentary

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act’s incentive to encourage “meaningful use” of electronic health records has helped hundreds of thousands of eligible providers begin using EHRs to store patient data, coordinate and communicate about their patients’ care, engage in data measurement, quality monitoring efforts designed to improve outcomes and lower costs. Unfortunately, behavioral health and substance-use treatment providers were never fully included in this program. As a result, they have limited access to EHRs and the essential tools they provide.




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