July 28, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Guest Observer Archive

Cuban American Group Explains Why It's in Washington | Commentary

The chorus of voices clamoring for changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba has been growing louder and more varied in recent months. Whether it’s Hillary Rodham Clinton saying she favors normal relations with Cuba or former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte signing a letter calling for greater engagement with the island nation, the momentum for a new approach to Cuba is undeniable.

When It Comes to Autism, Everyone Can Advocate, Everyone Can Help | Commentary

Everyone is an advocate. Everyone can make a difference.

Renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act for America's Businesses and Workers | Commentary

Thirteen years after the terrorist attacks on America, many of the lessons seem to be fading.

The Far Right's Assault on Science Won't Help Economy | Commentary

It wasn’t too many years ago that the Environmental Protection Agency came under fire for promulgating regulations that critics claimed had insufficient scientific validity. The pendulum now seems to have swung the other way, if a policy provision in the “Department of Energy Research and Development Act of 2014” is any indicator.

Cantor's Loss Was Result of Unforced Error | Commentary

A lesson for centrist candidates: stay positive.

Today's Data-Driven Campaigns Go Back to 1970 and Father Drinan | Commentary

In the spring of 1970, the Rev. Robert F. Drinan was organizing his campaign to run against the incumbent Congressman, Philip Philbin, in the primary for the 3rd Congressional District of Massachusetts. This campaign would give raise to the modern usage of “data” in political campaigns to ensure effective and targeted messaging to the base voters or particular constituencies.

Air Travel Passengers Crave Efficiency Most of All | Commentary

Congress has immersed itself in a nettlesome debate over the advertised cost of air travel — whether ticket sellers should be forced to display the full cost of a ticket with all taxes and fees, or, as airlines desire, they should be able to separate add-ons and only show the base price. Competing bills in the House and the Senate embrace these two very different approaches. Prickly rhetoric has flown back and forth across the Capitol. Each side claims the mantle of “transparency,” and asserts that the best interest of the consumer is their principal motivation.

Congressional Baseball Is More Than a Game | Commentary

In the three years I’ve pitched in the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, I’ve put these numbers up: 1.7 ERA, 34 K’s, 10 hits allowed, and a WHIP of 0.8571 in 21 innings pitched. These are numbers I am looking to improve upon in this year’s contest.

Senate Republican's Bait-and-Switch Fundraising | Commentary

Hundreds of thousands of conservatives receive National Republican Senatorial Committee fundraising letters that would be considered “bait-and-switch” or even money laundering in the commercial world.

Now Is the Time To Take Kidney Care in America to the Next Level | Commentary

For those of us working on behalf of the millions of Americans with kidney disease and kidney failure, it’s a proud fact that we’ve come such a long way in a relatively short period of time.

'Mad as Hell' Just Isn't Good Enough This Time | Commentary

Once again, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is in the news. Several media outlets are covering the scandal, which includes allegations that VA staff falsified data to create the appearance that veterans were receiving timely appointments at VA medical facilities. In some cases, not only did senior, regional and local VA leaders know these practices were occurring, evidence suggests they may have helped to orchestrate and cover up the scheme. CNN revealed that “at least 40 veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Health Care System.” If true, this is the clearest example yet of systemic problems in the VA.

After Failing to Renew Unemployment Insurance, Congress Is a Culprit in Foreclosure Crisis | Commentary

In the immediate aftermath of the nation’s 2008 foreclosure crisis, Congress played a constructive role in keeping Americans in their homes. Lawmakers supported loan modification programs and sweeping financial reforms, and — while many rightfully demanded more action — these efforts eased the effects of the crisis.

President Must Do What Congress' GOP Leaders Can't Do on Immigration Reform | Commentary

In the continuing legislative disarray that has marked the current session of the Republican-controlled Congress, House GOP members have elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as their new Majority Leader. The job is an important one, as the leader decides which legislation will go to the full House for a vote.

PBGC Premium Increases Punish the Good Guys | Commentary

Here we go again. The insatiable Highway Trust Fund needs replenishing and, as CQ Roll Call’s David Harrison reported June 13, “House Republicans now are looking at another round of ‘pension smoothing’ combined with another increase in premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which guarantees the pensions of workers with defined benefit retirement plans.”

Newly Named Housing Secretary Needs to Clean Up Contracting | Commentary

As President Obama’s nominee for secretary of Housing and Urban Development begins his confirmation process in the Senate this week, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro has the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective and embrace policies that save money, improve services and set a positive example for the entire federal government.

Next Majority Leader Should Bring Back Pen-and-Pad Sessions | Commentary

To the next Majority Leader,

STELA Provides Immediate Opportunity to Bring Video into 21st Century | Commentary

With every passing day, our video laws grow more outdated and unable to keep up with the amazing changes in technology. Our current system of TV rules was created in 1992 and is based on decades of antiquated communications law.

Great Websites Win More Than Awards, They Win Trust | Commentary

In 2014, the World Wide Web hit its 25th anniversary. For the past 25 years, communications have been moving, changing and evolving at warp speed. Congress has struggled to find footholds, and many offices have found themselves in over their heads. In the rush to take advantage of new communication tools, many members of Congress (and staff) merely adapted the old rules to the new century. Websites were simply the new billboards. Facebook became the new delivery system for press releases. And Twitter was just an updated version of bumper stickers. Rather than change their styles and practices for the new media, they merely wrapped old media methods in new technology.

Elected Officials Should Pay Attention to Their Employers | Commentary

The recent surprising news of the primary loss of Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, contains a mighty lesson for all incumbents, especially those in leadership: never forget the special interest group (voters) that sent you to Congress.

A Supreme Court Ruling in Favor of Hobby Lobby Could Lead to More Abortions

It’s a difficult reality, but it needs to be stated: a ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby could lead to more abortions. We recognize that this is a provocative statement. Our intention is not merely to get your attention, but to provoke thought. As an evangelical Christian, political science professor and a Jewish, family-planning physician we hope to shed some light on the consequences of an issue that has been at the center of too much partisan rancor and division.

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