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Guest Observer Archive

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Preparedness Issues Linger as Ebola Worries Intensify | Commentary

With each passing day, unfortunately, comes more and more uncomfortable, gloomy, even downright terrifying news about Ebola, which the Boston Globe recent exclaimed in a headline as “the next great American panic.”

The Audacity of Political Women: Why Is Ambition a Bad Thing? | Commentary

The “ambitious” woman in politics is a contrived caricature. Forget the cold, calculating lady stepping on those in her way (in high heels, of course) as she marches to the top, with identifiers such as “bossy,” “aggressive” and “shrill” in cartoonish word bubbles around her.

By Sending Mixed Signals to Industry, White House Imperils Growth of Clean Energy | Commentary

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. recently told an energy conference on Wall Street, “I’m no investment banker, but I wouldn’t go long on investments that lead to more carbon pollution. I’d bet on clean energy.”

Not All Climate Pollutants Are Created Equal | Commentary

Not all climate pollutants are created equal. While carbon dioxide shoulders a lot of the blame, it’s not the only bad actor when it comes to the climate. Short-lived climate pollutants, or the soot, methane and refrigerants that we call “super pollutants,” can warm the climate at a rate thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide. To tackle this important and far-reaching problem, we’ve introduced bipartisan legislation called the Super Pollutants Act of 2014.

It's Time to Rethink Education Policy and Consider Pre-K Plus | Commentary

Democrats support universal pre-K because we recognize the value of early childhood education and want every child to have the benefit of it — not just the wealthy ones whose parents can afford to send them to private preschools. But a new report released earlier this month shows that “universal” policies aren’t actually doing a good job of helping the low-income children who need pre-K the most and get the greatest benefits from it. Instead, New York City’s recently-enacted universal policy is disproportionately benefiting middle- and upper-income children. University of California researchers found that the rate of expansion of universal pre-K slots is more than twice as large in zip codes where families earn more than the city’s average income than in zip codes home to families in the lowest income quartile. So while universal pre-K is a laudable goal, it may not be the best policy for the kids who really need it.

It's Time for Congress to Make Integrated Care Central to the Nation's Patient Experience | Commentary

The primary objective of our health care system is to ensure that quality health care is readily accessible for patients. However, as health care becomes increasingly entangled in a web of networks, insurers, and providers, the patient’s best interest can get lost.

It's Time to Export American Energy | Commentary

Try, for a moment, to imagine the world today without the United States oil boom. If the picture seems dire, you’ll know you’re on the right track.

Turning Up the Volume on Music Issues | Commentary

When you think of the great music cities of America, what comes to mind? Los Angeles? Nashville? New York City? Brookside, Rhode Island?

Medicare Needs to Step Up, Ensure Patient Access to Home Dialysis Treatment | Commentary

As people whose lives have been touched by kidney disease, we are committed to making sure kidney patients have the chance to live a normal life on dialysis, something we believe wholeheartedly is made possible through home hemodialysis. With the support of members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, we have made some good progress — but there is more work to be done.

Banning Inverted Companies From Government Contracts Could Backfire | Commentary

Recent announcements of planned mergers of U.S. companies with non-U.S. companies in Europe and other offshore locations with more favorable tax regimes has prompted frustration within Congress, as well as within the Obama administration. Such transactions, called inversions, have raised concerns over the erosion of the U.S. tax base and what President Barack Obama called a lack of “economic patriotism” on the part of U.S. companies that make use of these transactions to lower their tax bills.

What Congress Should Know About EPA's Control Over Electric Power | Commentary

As the national debt looms over our anemic national economy and the geopolitical order teeters, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to dismember the country’s finely-tuned system of electric power.

Congress Needs to Act Now to Save Lives | Commentary

As war again rages in the Middle East and the public’s attention pivots to the U.S.-led battle against the Islamic State terrorist group, it is critical this nation remembers to keep faith with those who risked their lives alongside us in the war on terror: our Afghan and Iraqi allies.

Time for Congress to Level the Playing Field | Commentary

As business owners in Washington, D.C., we believe in something that most brick-and-mortar retailers do — free and fair market competition. That’s why we ask that e-fairness legislation be passed without further delay. Unfortunately, online-only sellers continue to enjoy an unfair, government-sanctioned advantage over local community shops through a loophole that allows them to avoid collecting and remitting sales tax. This tax disparity puts our local businesses at a significant economic disadvantage and stifles the overall economy.

Congress: Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement | Commentary

In the past month, Reps. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., and Raúl R. Labrador, R-Idaho, introduced the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act in the House, accompanied by Sen. Tom Coburn’s, R-Okla., version in the Senate. This swift, bipartisan action is just in time, because the American police officer appears to have transformed into a soldier.

What the McDonnell Verdict May Mean Going Forward | Commentary

The successful prosecution of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell last month was a huge win for the Department of Justice in general, and the Public Integrity Section in particular.

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