March 2, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Guest Observer Archive

How to Conduct a Congressional Customer Service Survey | Commentary

Everyone knows Congress has an extremely low approval rating in the eyes of the American public. Yet, that rating is based on but a sliver of members of Congress covered by the news media and only a fraction their work. The media and the public are fixated on Congress legislative responsibilities and ignore legislators direct interactions with constituents, or their customer service work. Just think if we judged Amazon.com by its coverage in The New York Times instead of the services it delivers.

Collaborative Cybersecurity Action Needed to Help Thwart Attacks | Commentary

President Barack Obamas call for legislation to strengthen cybersecurity may be one of the few points in his State of the Union address that has some bipartisan support, according to the morning-after pundits and analysts. And it should because the threats are real and imminent.

A Big Week for America's Arctic | Commentary

A final Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that recommends wilderness protection for the highly valued coastal plain. A draft five-year oil and gas leasing plan for the U.S. outer continental shelf that would protect 9.8 million acres of ecologically vital areas of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Last week was a big week for President Barack Obamas conservation legacy: bold steps on the Arctic Refuge, and important ones for the Arctic Ocean. Taken together, they represent a thoughtful and rigorous approach to balancing our nations energy needs with the conservation of Americas Arctic, one of the wildest places on earth.

Is the IRS Ready for Some Football? | Commentary

The IRS has a tough job ahead. The agency is in the process of writing a rule that could clarify the definition of political activity for nonprofits, making it harder to game the system and push millions of undisclosed dollars into our elections while also making it easier for nonprofits to navigate and easier for the IRS to enforce the rules.

Now Is the Time for Action on Children's Health | Commentary

Timing is everything, they say. And when it comes to extending federal funding for the Childrens Health Insurance Program, its absolutely true.

We Built the Middle Class, and We Can Rebuild It | Commentary

Most members of Congress today are millionaires. Their wealth has increased 28 percent since 2007, while that of the average American fell 43 percent.

Checking the House Science Committee's New Subpoena Power | Commentary

What is Congress asking of scientists?

Clinton V. Warren: Who Do Democrats Really Want? | Commentary

Fast forward. Its the last night of the 2016 Democratic Party nominating convention. The first woman presidential nominee takes the stage to claim her hard fought prize. Balloons drop and confetti fills the air as the crowd begins to chant wait for it Win, Liz, Win.

Hammerin' Harmon Marches On | Commentary

Natitude was a potent force last fall, and with every new season, Washington becomes more of a baseball town. Again. Once upon a time, the District was a madhouse for everything that happened between the foul lines. The Washington Senators, the towns first franchise, became a team in 1901, one of the American Leagues Original Eight, and captivated the mid-Atlantic with six decades of baseball magic. The team moved to Minneapolis for the 1961 season, and brought with it a young slugger named Harmon Killebrew.

Congress Should Pass the President's 'Kill List' | Commentary

President Barack Obamas penultimate budget will be delivered to Congress Monday. Per the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the presidents budget will enumerate recommended spending levels for nearly every federal program, project and activity.

How New Orleans Ended Veteran Homelessness | Commentary

In New Orleans, we are all too familiar with the feeling of homelessness. After Hurricane Katrina, literally all of us were without a home.

Will Biofuels Be Foreign Investment Golden Egg or Cooked Goose?

While its only been a month, few Washington observers expect an exceptionally cooperative relationship between the new Congress and the White House. No shock there. What is surprising, however, is the fact that President Barack Obama is still failing to capitalize on one particular opportunity to advance his economic policy agenda one that doesnt require the approval of Congress. In fact, hes actually getting in his own way.

It's Time to Pass the Lee Balanced Budget Amendment | Commentary

With the presidents recent lawlessness on executive amnesty and GOP efforts to beat it back, its easy to forget that just three and a half years ago, we were on the cusp of a grand bargain. President Barack Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner would tackle a range of ever-present fiscal crises, everyone would make tough concessions, and the nation would be on sound fiscal footing for a generation.

5 Years after the Spill: What BP Owes the Gulf Coast | Commentary

Its been nearly five years since BP slimed the Gulf Coast, taking the lives of 11 men, wrecking livelihoods and killing tens of thousands of helpless coastal birds. Finally, federal Judge Carl Barbier is heading into the final stretch, deciding how much the third largest oil company in the world will have to pay in pollution fines for the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

The Case for Year-Round Pell Grants | Commentary

As Congress takes up reauthorization of the Higher Education Act this year, it will have to address several policy concerns, including the rising cost of college and the need to increase degree attainment rates in the U.S. Notwithstanding those concerns, college access will continue to be a major issue. How can our nation expand college opportunities to those who have long been underrepresented, including lower-income students, minorities, and those who are the first in their families to attend college, ramping up the number of degree earners?

Doctors Know: Abortion Is Safe and Must Remain Legal | Commentary

Having grown up in Washington, D.C., I know all too well what it means when quality health care options are too few and far between. Communities such as the one I grew up in experience higher rates of chronic medical problems and decreased access to health care. These racial and ethnic disparities include disproportionately increased unintended pregnancy rates and higher rates of maternal and infant mortality. These experiences shaped me as an individual and led me toward a career in womens health.

Corporations Won't Wait for Tax Reform, So Why Should Congress? | Commentary

President Barack Obama last week called on Congress to close tax loopholes that allow some corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes at the expense of hardworking Americans.

Time for the ECPA to Get an '80s-Style Remake | Commentary

The 1980s were a decade to remember. Advancements in the 80s became the foundation for many of the technologies that have become a part of our daily lives wireless phones, video game consoles and, of course, the foundations of the Internet. And just like our favorite 80s TV shows are remade into new movies (such as Transformers and The A-Team) lets add a 28-year-old online privacy law deserving of a remake too: the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Congress Needs To Free U.S. Energy Resources | Commentary

For Americans, the steep increase in U.S. supply of oil and gas has brought with it a bounty of benefits. The energy sector has increased employment in states that otherwise saw economic decline, and the growth in direct jobs has indirectly benefited communities throughout the country. At the same time, the taxes paid by the energy industry have helped bolster our national economy.

How Congress Can Protect Americans' Email Privacy | Commentary

Did you lock your front door when you left for work this morning? Rest easy, then, knowing your papers are secure. But what about your emails? Not so much. Because right now, an outdated law threatens the Fourth Amendment protections of every American who uses the Internet. Whether you are a committee chairman or an unpaid intern, your digital privacy is currently at risk.

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