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Guest Observer Archive

Conventional Wisdom: Choose Brooklyn | Commentary

The Democratic Party is pondering locations for the 2016 Convention, including Brooklyn, New York. Why would any political party want to hold a convention in Brooklyn? I can give you millions of reasons, starting with its famous sons and daughters, from Jimmy Durante to Mel Brooks to Jackie Gleason, from W.H. Auden to Norman Mailer to Arthur Miller, from George Gershwin to Lena Horne to Barbra Streisand, from Winston Churchill’s mother to Shirley Chisholm to Elizabeth Holtzman to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, from Sandy Koufax to Vince Lombardi to Michael Jordan, from Isaac Asimov to Carl Sagan. It’s a constellation of luminaries, a who’s who of America’s history and heritage, not to mention so many of your relations and friends that it often seems as if everyone is from Brooklyn.

Electrify Africa, Energize Africa and Power Africa: Partnering With Africa for the Long Run | Commentary

Monday, 30 June, was the first year anniversary of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, the President’s signature initiative for the continent which seeks to expand electricity to address poverty alleviation and economic growth.

Electrify Africa, Energize Africa and Power Africa: Partnering With Africa for the Long Run | Commentary

June 30 was the one-year anniversary of Power Africa initiative, President Barack Obama’s signature initiative for the continent which seeks to expand electricity to address poverty alleviation and economic growth.

Obama Administration Moves to Deny Justice for Camp Lejeune Veterans | Commentary

America’s veterans deserve better. The growing scandal that has engulfed the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs overshadowed other actions by the Obama administration that further call into question its policies to protect the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Behind the scenes, the U.S. Department of Justice is actively working to avoid compensating military families who were sickened by contaminated water at the U.S. Marines’ Camp Lejeune base in Jacksonville, N.C. …

Congress Should Consider Reality Over Rhetoric in Copyright Reform | Commentary

Nearly every sector of the recording industry has been outspoken about their desire to increase the royalty rates. Of late, the music publishers have been particularly active pressing their case in public and in Washington, D.C. Last week, representatives from the industry testified before Congress as part of an ongoing review of copyright laws being undertaken by the House Judiciary Committee.

Lessons From Mississippi on Obamacare: It’s Not Just the Words, It’s the Music | Commentary

There are some important lessons for upcoming Republican primaries to be drawn from last week’s runoff in Mississippi — and not just that Democrats put Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., back in office for another six years.

President Obama Can (and Should) Embrace the FOIA Improvements Act | Commentary

On June 24, Sens. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, unveiled the FOIA Improvement Act of 2014, a bill that would deal with some of the long-standing issues the public faces when trying to use the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain government records. The common-sense reforms included in the bill are changes that President Obama can, and should, embrace in order to meet his goal of unprecedented levels of openness in government.

Obama Administration Moves to Deny Justice for Camp Lejeune Veterans | Commentary

America’s veterans deserve better.

Congress Should Consider Reality Over Rhetoric in Copyright Reform | Commentary

Nearly every sector of the recording industry has been outspoken about their desire to increase the royalty rates. Of late, the music publishers have been particularly active pressing their case in public and in Washington, D.C. Last week, representatives from the industry testified before Congress as part of an ongoing review of copyright laws being undertaken by the House Judiciary Committee.

Lessons from Mississippi on Obamacare: It's Not Just the Words, It's the Music | Commentary

There are some important lessons for upcoming Republican primaries to be drawn from last week’s runoff in Mississippi — and not just that Democrats put Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., back in office for another six years.

President Obama Can (and Should) Embrace the FOIA Improvements Act | Commentary

On June 24, Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, unveiled the FOIA Improvement Act of 2014, a bill that would deal with some of the long-standing issues the public faces when trying to use the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain government records. The common-sense reforms included in the bill are changes that President Obama can, and should, embrace in order to meet his goal of unprecedented levels of openness in government.

Even Amid Losses, the Liberty Movement Grows Stronger | Commentary

Chris McDaniel’s narrow loss to 41-year incumbent Senator Thad Cochran, R-Miss., will undoubtedly fuel wishful thinking about the death of the grassroots liberty movement. But even in the wake of defeat, the sheer enthusiasm and grassroots dedication we saw over the last few weeks proves that our community is now a permanent force in American politics — the most successful social movement since the Civil Rights movement in the fifties and sixties.

Why the EPA Reversed Its Position on Renewable Fuels | Commentary

In late 2013, the oil industry scored a major victory over ethanol producers when the Obama administration proposed decreasing the level of biofuel that must be blended into gasoline. A 2007 law supported by both the Bush and Obama administrations requires biofuels, such as ethanol, be blended into fuel supplies. Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency mandates the “renewable fuel standard” — the amount of biofuel that must be blended into fuel — and every year since the law was enacted, that amount has increased, never decreased.

Cutting Through the Buzz: Pollinator Numbers Are Up | Commentary

For some time now, the media has been issuing dire warnings of the coming “bee- pocalypse.” Time magazine ran a cover story titled, “A World Without Bees.” A headline in the London Telegraph proclaimed “Honey bees in US facing extinction.” CBS warned of the drastic threat to our food supply if these essential pollinators are lost. Yet reports of bees’ catastrophic demise are greatly exaggerated.

Even Amid Losses, the Liberty Movement Grows Stronger | Commentary

Chris McDaniel’s narrow loss to 41-year incumbent Senator Thad Cochran, R-Miss., will undoubtedly fuel wishful thinking about the death of the grassroots liberty movement. But even in the wake of defeat, the sheer enthusiasm and grassroots dedication we saw over the last few weeks proves that our community is now a permanent force in American politics — the most successful social movement since the Civil Rights movement in the fifties and sixties.

Why Did the EPA Reverse Its Position on Renewable Fuels? | Commentary

In late 2013, the oil industry scored a major victory over ethanol producers when the Obama administration proposed decreasing the level of biofuel that must be blended into gasoline. A 2007 law supported by both the Bush and Obama administrations requires biofuels, such as ethanol, be blended into fuel supplies. Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency mandates the “renewable fuel standard” — the amount of biofuel that must be blended into fuel — and every year since the law was enacted, that amount has increased, never decreased.

Cutting Through the Bee Buzz: Pollinator Numbers Are Up | Commentary

For some time now, the media has been issuing dire warnings of the coming “bee- pocalypse.” Time magazine ran a cover story titled, “A World Without Bees.” A headline in the London Telegraph proclaimed “Honey bees in US facing extinction.” CBS warned of the drastic threat to our food supply if these essential pollinators are lost. Yet reports of bees’ catastrophic demise are greatly exaggerated.

The Underground Epidemic: U.S. Female Genital Mutilation | Commentary

It’s officially summer in the U.S. and that means it is “cutting season.” While some women begin prepping for bathing suit bodies, others fear the violent practice of female genital mutilation. The procedure involves the removal of the clitoris and/or the sewing up of the labia, sometimes until marriage, for non-medical reasons. Young girls across the country are being sent to their ancestral homelands for a “rite of passage” procedure to discourage premarital sexual activity.

Congress Needs To Act To Keep The Internet Tax-Free | Commentary

Internet service is an essential staple of everyday life, with over 80 percent of Americans able to access the web at home and work and nearly 60 percent carrying smartphones with mobile broadband service. Smart government policies forbidding Internet service from being taxed have helped make broadband available and affordable for Americans of all ages and incomes, but a critical piece of federal legislation, the Internet Tax Freedom Act, is set to expire in November.

Don't Delay Immigration Reform for Another Year | Commentary

On June 27, 2013, it looked like immigration reform advocates finally had what we used to call in politics “the Big Mo.”

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