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Guest Observer Archive

LNG Exports Will Bring Environmental and Other Benefits | Commentary

A new wave of momentum is building behind expedited U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports as the European Union faces supply concerns heading into cold winter months.

A Lame Bill for a Lame Duck: Senate Eyes Sneaky Strategy for Internet Taxes | Commentary

As a general rule, the less you hear about a particular political strategy, the more you should worry about it. So it’s telling that an effort by the Senate to impose a radical new Internet sales tax regime during this year’s lame-duck session is being planned in secluded Capitol hallways, far from public scrutiny.

A GOP Agenda for Economic Growth | Commentary

As Election Day nears, polls consistently show that Americans are waking up to the realities of the past six years of President Barack Obama’s failed leadership.

Erosion of Federal Statistical Agencies Puts Sound Policy at Risk | Commentary

Government statistics not believed by the public are useless. It is in the interest of no one — no interest group, no party — to threaten their credibility. Hence, governments around the world strive to choose technically accomplished, independent leadership to fend off any hint of political interference in government statistics. It is a bedrock principle of democracies.

Privately-Funded Space Research Leverages Scarce Public Funding | Commentary

Roll Call recently reported on Sen. Tom Coburn’s final “Wastebook” with negative descriptions of two of my company’s customers’ use of the International Space Station. Coburn went on to call for canceling the ISS entirely, which he claimed would save $3 billion, not understanding these two projects are mostly privately funded.

Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee's Other Virtue | Commentary

When Benjamin C. Bradlee was a young reporter in 1950s Washington, the District was a Jim Crow town. Black journalists were discouraged from covering Congress and the White House until 1944 when Harry S. McAlpin broke the color line and was grudgingly accepted by peers. By 1947, a handful of black press journalists were credentialed by the congressional press galleries and the State Department. One of them, Ethel Payne of the Chicago Defender, famously annoyed President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the white male press corps for asking pointed questions at news conferences.

A To-Do List for the Next Sandy | Commentary

Two years ago, Superstorm Sandy exposed long-standing holes in our preparedness for natural disasters, sounding a massive alarm that more acute climate catastrophes were already at our doorstep.

Recalling the Injustice Done to Sen. Ted Stevens | Commentary

Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska was among the more powerful men in Washington exactly six years ago, as he wound down his seventh term and began a run for likely re-election. He was the longest-serving Senate Republican in history and his reputation among those who knew him well was impeccable.

Sen. Durbin: Right Issue, Wrong Focus | Commentary

For some years now, Sen. Richard J. Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, has waged a war against for-profit colleges and universities. More than almost any member of the United States Congress, he has targeted these institutions of higher learning with the goal of regulating them heavily or putting them out of business altogether.

Time Is Running Out to Help Victims of Child Sex Trafficking | Commentary

The headlines are often filled with political battles and partisan attacks lobbed from one side to the other. But on May 20, both parties in the House set aside their differences and stood in support of thousands of young girls in our nation. With a recorded vote, the House passed the Justice for Trafficking Victims Act unanimously. Since then, the bill has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee but is awaiting a vote in the full Senate. Now is the time to move this bill forward, and send it to the president for his signature.

Use Common Sense to Save Cents | Commentary

From time to time, we seem briefly aware of our skyrocketing national debt, but usually we forget we’ve been on the largest spending spree in American history. And without a strong economy to help generate tax revenues to pay the bills, our national debt has grown by trillions of dollars in only a few short years.

Rethinking a Negative Perception of Drones | Commentary

Much of the coverage of unmanned aerial vehicles — more commonly known as drones — has been against using the aircraft. Look no further than the piece that ran on John Oliver’s HBO show a few weeks ago to see how the media is savaging, and the public is receiving, these aircraft.

Puerto Rico at a Crossroads | Commentary

America’s sunniest place, Puerto Rico, faces dark days, and the likelihood is rising that Washington will be asked to step in. While the rest of the United States recovers economically, the commonwealth’s economy remains stuck in a decade-long recession. Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate is double that of the mainland U.S., despite one of world’s lowest labor participation rates. And with such prospects, nearly 10,000 Puerto Ricans every month leave the commonwealth for the mainland.

For Low-Income Children, Findings Reveal CHIP to Be a Vital Resource | Commentary

Between 1997 and 2012, uninsured rates among low-income children fell from 25 percent to 13 percent despite recession conditions that separated many families from employer-sponsored coverage and left them with fewer resources to purchase coverage on their own. Our findings attribute this persistent decline to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, whose coverage rates among children increased from 41 percent to 63 percent over the same 15-year period.

Congressional Hawks Weaken an Iran Nuclear Deal | Commentary

Late last November, when the U.S., its P5+1 partners, and Iran agreed to curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief, Congress responded with draft legislation imposing new sanctions. This threatened to spoil the first break in the decade-old nuclear dispute with Iran and return the parties to the path of confrontation. It was only after significant White House outreach on Capitol Hill that the bill was defeated and negotiations allowed to proceed.

Should Congress Reconsider TTIP? | Commentary

Recently there has been discussion over whether the United States should enter into a free trade agreement with the European Union known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. There are several major issues with TTIP that make it not in the interest of the United States to enter into the agreement.

Jobs Index Shows Dismal Outlook for US Workers| Commentary

This month, the first-ever global ranking of countries based on the quantity — and quality — of their jobs was released. The JustJobs Index uses empirical data to provide workers around the world with a simple answer to the question, “Where can I find the best job?” Unfortunately, the index only highlights just how much work the United States must do to improve the outlook for our workers — we didn’t even break into the top 20.

E-Commerce, Taxpayer Rights On the Line in Lame Duck | Commentary

Most everyone in Washington is fixated on Election Day: November 4. But another date just around that corner also looms large for taxpayers and the Internet: December 11. On that day, the federal ban on Internet access taxes is scheduled to expire. If it’s not extended, states and localities across the country could immediately begin assessing taxes that would make it more expensive for Americans to check their email, read blogs, or watch online videos.

Alice Ruling Not Enough to Stop Patent Trolls | Commentary

Imagine this scenario: You’re an app developer, trying to create a small business in your free time. You push your app to the Apple iTunes store and the Android Marketplace and you start seeing some modest success. Then comes the patent troll threat: a dense 100-plus-page document, full of legalese and nearly impossible to understand, threatening a lawsuit for “patent infringement” in federal court if you don’t pay up, either in cash right away or by promising away a percentage of your future profits.

Tick Tock: The Time for Electronic Privacy Reform is Now | Commentary

In 1986, Top Gun and Crocodile Dundee were packing movie theaters. Peter Gabriel and The Bangles were putting out hit music. Microsoft held its initial public offering of stock shares.

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