March 6, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Guest Observer Archive

Separating Coal Miners from Their Jobs Is No Solution for Coal Communities | Commentary

By Hal Quinn

Obama and Cruz: Unexpected Directions on Filibuster | Commentary

By Jason Grumet

Valentine's Is Not so Sweet for Florists | Commentary

Florists count on Valentine’s Day revenues much like other retailers count on Christmas — a good holiday can make or break a shop’s financial year. To capitalize on an expected increase in business every February, many florists will rent vans or moving trucks to supplement their fleets, move extra stock and make deliveries. Unfortunately, when they do so, florists are forced to pay discriminatory taxes on the trucks they rent.

Protecting Medical Identity Is a Must-Win Battle in the War for Cybersecurity | Commentary

The cyberattack carried out recently against Anthem, one of the nation’s leading health insurers, is yet another stark reminder of the persistent threats American businesses and consumers face in the digital age.

A Message to Congress, Regulators: Installment Loans Work | Commentary

Traditional installment loans are the safest and most affordable way for American families to borrow small dollar amounts.

Consent of the Governed: A Principled Path to a Free and Open Internet | Commentary

Early last year, the White House announced its plans to go forward with ending any United States government oversight over Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and the World Wide Web.

Trade Policy Is Low-Hanging Fruit for a Bipartisan Win | Commentary

The president’s State of the Union address laid out the White House’s priorities for the coming year and gave policy wonks an indication of what is likely to happen, or not, in the year ahead. While several items in President Barack Obama’s remarks, including tax and energy policy initiatives, are unlikely to move ahead in the Republican-controlled Congress, there was one bright spot which may elicit bipartisan cooperation: trade policy.

Congress Needs to Follow the People on Clean Energy | Commentary

Harvesting power from the wind is about investing in long-term energy solutions that can benefit our families, communities and economy for generations to come.

Congress Should Correct Distortions in the Coal Market and Invest in Struggling Coal Communities | Commentary

Many of the hardest-working communities in America are in the Appalachian coal region that stretches from Ohio and Pennsylvania, to Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. For decades, workers have given all of their daylight hours in the darkness of mines so their families and others across the country can keep their lights on. But for decades these communities have suffered economic decline, as widespread job losses have decimated cities and towns and left families with little support. Generations of coal miners have seen their jobs disappear, from 122,000 in 1985 to just 58,000 in 2012, a reality driven largely by market forces and inequities embedded in the coal market.

You Shouldn't Have to Be Lucky to Get Paid Sick Days | Commentary

Everyone gets sick, from the common cold to a more serious illness. Recently, my 15-year-old daughter called me after school to tell me she had a bad headache and sore throat. Because my employer provides paid sick days, I was able to leave in the middle of the afternoon and take my daughter for a strep and flu test — no questions asked and no pay docked. Every parent should be able to be there for his or her sick child and have the same level of trust and economic stability that I do.

Congress: Fight for Medicare Home-Health Reforms

The entry of a new Congress last month signals a renewed opportunity for strengthening America’s Medicare program to ensure we are prepared to meet the health needs of an increasingly larger patient population with increasingly complicated and chronic care needs.

Patent Trolls Come in All Shapes and Sizes | Commentary

Mythological trolls — described as old and ugly creatures living under bridges or in caves — are known for one central feature: generally troublesome and injurious to human enterprise. Much of the same can be said for today’s patent troll — the dubious business entity again drawing the ire of Congress that exists solely to acquire patents and make claims of infringement in court.

The President Should Thank Congress for Sanctions Bill | Commentary

President Barack Obama’s argument against the Iran sanctions bill is that it will collapse negotiations, making war increasingly likely as the only available option to stop a nuclear-armed Iran. On the contrary, the bill should be endorsed as the best chance to avoid war.

The Government Can Save Lives, Right Now | Commentary

Right now, British and American scientists have developed techniques to prevent life threatening and incurable diseases that affect tens of thousands of people around the world. And this week, the Parliament of the United Kingdom voted to pass regulations that will bring clinics one step closer to performing this technique, mitochondrial replacement therapy. Yet, for the more than 12,000 women with mitochondrial diseases in the United States at risk of having children with mitochondrial diseases, they face a ban on this lifeline to have healthy children. This issue, so critical to public health, is being half ignored, half slighted by Congress, the president and the relevant agencies. This is Washington gridlock at its worst, and it has to stop.

TSCA Reform Should Embrace the Best Application of Toxicological Science -- a Perspective From its Practitioners | Commentary

The federal law governing chemicals used in commerce in the United States affects every person and business, but few are aware of its importance to their lives or that it is outdated and in serious need of modernization.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act: Reauthorize an Early Start and a Great Finish | Commentary

As Congress debates the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act —commonly known as No Child Left Behind—it’s a great time to consider better policies for all children. No Child Left Behind wasted a great deal of effort and money and produced too few benefits because it addressed problems in our educational system too late in the lives of children and removed incentives for schools to develop the full range of intellectual, emotional and social skills necessary for individuals to flourish in the 21st century economy. ESEA should be revised to start with quality early learning and continue with K-12 education that develops the whole child.

Nuclear Visions and Nuclear Budgets | Commentary

President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request continues the political gamesmanship that has plagued the U.S. government for five years. Exceeding legislated budget caps on both defense and non-defense discretionary spending by $75 billion, the president is show- boating for his core domestic constituencies while trying to undermine Republican claims he is weak on defense. The primary victims of these political games, of course, are the citizens of this country, who once again will be deprived of a government that can plan rationally for the nation’s well-being.

Our New Relationship With Cuba | Commentary

The United States and Cuba are moving rapidly toward re-establishing diplomatic ties, which raises an interesting question: What does warming relations between these two nations mean for a warming climate?

Building on Momentum to Improve Mental Health Services for Nation's Veterans

In the movie, “American Sniper,” we learn of the complexity of the invisible injuries of war U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle experienced. What weighed on his conscience is that he couldn’t save more of the troops with whom he served. After taking time to understand what bothered him, his Department of Veterans Affairs doctor realized that helping other veterans would be therapeutic for Kyle.

U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom: Muslims and Hare Krishnas are Out in Majority-Muslim Azerbaijan | Commentary

As the national debt continues to spiral, now at more than $17 trillion, Congress should be commended for investigating wastes of tax payer money such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America — both media organizations shown to have clearly gone off the rails, either working against U.S. allies or directly supporting our nation’s enemies. Perhaps the next target for Congress’ cross hairs should be the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

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