Articles & Op-Eds

Obama’s Plan for Military Action Requires Congressional Checks and Balances

September 10, 2014

Buried in the data from the much-hyped CNN poll that suggested Americans were “alarmed” by the actions of the the ISIL, and that they feel “increasingly concerned” that ISIL could pose a threat to the United States, were two key details: 1. Americans want limits placed on the US military response to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and to the broader political challenges that have developed in those countries. For instance, a majority of Americans, 61 percent of Americans oppose placi… Continue Reading

Reaction to Obama Speech a Preview of Debate to Come

September 10, 2014

In the coming days, lawmakers in the House and Senate are likely to be debating and voting on aspects of the President Barack Obama‘s plan, laid out in his Wednesday-night speech, to address the threat posed by Islamic State militants. Their reactions provide a preview of the discussion to come. Here is a collection of some of the comments from both sides of the Capitol after the president spoke. Sen. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the strategy la… Continue Reading

Obama’s Plan for Military Action Requires Congressional Checks and Balances

September 10, 2014

Buried in the data from the much-hyped CNN poll that suggested Americans were “alarmed” by the actions of the the ISIL, and that they feel “increasingly concerned” that ISIL could pose a threat to the United States, were two key details: 1. Americans want limits placed on the US military response to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and to the broader political challenges that have developed in those countries. For instance, a majority of Americans, 61 percent of Americans oppose placi… Continue Reading

College should be an option for all

August 29, 2014

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, The Daily Californian I am a proud Golden Bear, one of thousands who received a world-class education at UC Berkeley. I cherish the education I received under the guidance of fantastic faculty and in collaboration with brilliant fellow students. Here at UC Berkeley, I received my Masters of Social Work. My studies were driven by a conviction that every American should have the resources and opportunities to succeed. That philosophy must be at the heart of our n… Continue Reading

Left frets over Iraq mission creep

August 11, 2014

The president's expansion of the U.S. military mission in Iraq is conjuring up two dirty little words for anti-war Democrats: Mission creep. Just two months ago, when Obama announced he was going to send up to 300 American troops to Iraq, he emphasized that they would only have an advisory, non-combat role. On Friday, however, U.S. fighters bombed terrorist targets in northern Iraq. Hours before, the president had announced he was authorizing such strikes as well as the airdropping of aid… Continue Reading

Obama's liberal problem

August 10, 2014

President Barack Obama is pitching airstrikes in Iraq as a moral imperative, but some members of his own party on Capitol Hill aren’t sold. Liberal Democrats fear the targeted airstrikes could ultimately spiral into the kind of deep military entanglement that Obama pledged to unwind when he ran for president. And while they aren’t in open revolt, the apprehension suggests Obama might not have much cover in Congress if the operation proves not to be as limited as he hopes. Rep. Barbara Lee (… Continue Reading

Congress Accepts Obama Action on Iraq – For Now

August 08, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to authorize air strikes in northern Iraq triggered few complaints he acted without congressional consent — a surprising acquiescence lawmakers made clear could change abruptly change if the mission expands. Mr. Obama on Thursday said any U.S. airstrikes would be targeted and tied to whether Islamist militants threatened American personnel or facilities, including the embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil. That rationale focused on Mr. Obama’s co… Continue Reading

Bipartisan Support, With Caveats, for Obama on Iraq Airstrikes

August 08, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama drew bipartisan support on Friday from members of Congress for his decision to authorize military strikes in Iraq, but the backing was tempered with substantial concern — including within Mr. Obama’s own party — about his strategy for the operation. Republicans suggested that the administration had acted too slowly and timidly to confront the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and now was moving too cautiously against the group. Some said he should not rule… Continue Reading

Bringing the US and Africa closer together

August 07, 2014

This week, the first and largest U.S.-Africa summit is underway in Washington D.C. Building on President Barack Obama's 2013 trip to Africa, the summit reaffirms what is becoming increasingly apparent to more business and policy leaders every day: that the African continent is a fundamental part of our interconnected world and global economy - Africa matters. In today's global world, what happens in one place can have an immediate impact on the opposite corner of the globe. Now, more th… Continue Reading

Final Fight: Berkeley Marine’s Battle to Get his Afghan Interpreter and Family to Safety

August 06, 2014

Why do we fight? Soldiers and Marines will have varied secondary answers: for national security, or a patriotic ideal, or even because your peers were enlisting. But there is another, overriding reason. You fight for those ahead of you or behind you on patrol, for the people in your squad or platoon, for the people who are fighting for—and protecting—you. Hence, “brother in arms” is no cliché, no matter how much it’s invoked. Getting shot at not only focuses the mind: It forges bonds, as stro… Continue Reading

Mother of Ryan White Visits Nation's Capital, Urges Congress to Maintain Commitment to People with HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

July 30, 2014

WASHINGTON, July 30 -- AIDS Institute issued the following news release: As the fight against HIV/AIDS turns a new corner with growing evidence of the importance of AIDS treatment and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Jeanne White-Ginder - the mother of Ryan White - the namesake of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, today returned to our nation's capital to remind lawmakers of the continued importance of maintaining and fully funding the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. White-… Continue Reading

Federal contract workers protest for seat at the table

July 29, 2014

More than 100 federal contract workers and their families protested in front of Union Station Tuesday, telling morning commuters, Congress and the president they want the right to unionize. The protestors were low- wage workers hired by private contractors to toil in federal buildings, serving food, cleaning, and doing similar jobs. They believe a minimum wage hike only begins to get at the core of their problem. Though President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to raise the federal m… Continue Reading

Ryan White’s mother, others urge Congress to continue AIDS programs

July 29, 2014

Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of Ryan White, the Indiana teenager who became an internationally recognized advocate for people with AIDS until his death in 1990, urged Congress this week to continue funding the AIDS program that bears her son’s name. At a news conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday, White-Ginder joined leaders of the AIDS Institute, a national AIDS advocacy organization, in calling on Congress to approve a $2.3 billion funding package proposed by President Obama … Continue Reading

Congressional Black Caucus Blasts GOP Lawsuit

July 29, 2014

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus took to the House floor Monday night to slam the House GOP lawsuit against President Obama. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said the lawsuit was really a means to accommodate the most conservative members of the House GOP who have called for Obama's impeachment. "This lawsuit is nothing more than a political ploy designed for those who really want impeachment without cause," Lee said. Lee argued the lawsuit demonstrated the GOP's fundamental disres… Continue Reading

BART awarded $17.4-million federal grant to better secure Transbay Tube

July 28, 2014

Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) and a group of others in Congress have led a successful effort to obtain a $17.4 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security secure the Transbay BART Tube that connects the East Bay and San Francisco against a potential terrorist attack. Swalwell, a member of the Homeland Security Transportation Security Subcommittee, led a letter to DHS urging support for BART's request for transit security funding. "My priority is protecting the millions of… Continue Reading

Federal Contractors Strike to Demand Higher Wages

July 28, 2014

Low-wage federal workers walked off the job Tuesday morning across Washington, DC, to demand an executive order for higher wages—building on a successful push earlier this year to raise the wage of federal contract workers to $10.10. President Obama announced during this year's State of the Union address that he would indeed raise the wage of federal contract workers, after a lengthy pressure campaign—but Good Jobs Nation, a group leading the earlier strikes, now believes $10.10 isn't high en… Continue Reading

Rep. Paul Ryan Promotes New Safety Net Plan

July 27, 2014

Rep. Paul Ryan is promoting the proposal he made last week to overhaul the nation's social safety net by giving states greater control over federal poverty programs. "The federal government's approach has ended up maintaining poverty, managing poverty," the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee said on NBC's "Meet the Press," The Washington Post reported. "In many ways, it has disincentivized people from going to work." The plan would consolidate existing anti-poverty programs and extend m… Continue Reading

Democratic Congressmen Are Trying To Live On Minimum Wage And Finding It Very Hard

July 25, 2014

It was 4:25 p.m. and all Representative Tim Ryan had eaten so far were the few peanuts he foraged in a U.S. Capitol cloakroom. His congressional salary is $174,000. But on Thursday, the six-term Ohio Democrat couldn’t afford lunch. In a Congress thick with millionaires, Ryan and three other Democratic representatives are trying to live on the budget of a minimum wage worker this week in an effort to stir up attention to raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Congressional Re… Continue Reading

‘POLICY AND POLITICAL SCHIZOPHRENIA ON STEROIDS’: Critics Quickly Blast Paul Ryan’s Big Plan To Defeat Poverty

July 25, 2014

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) unveiled his plan to defeat poverty on Thursday but many left-leaning advocates told Business Insider they were unimpressed with the measures, which they said would actually result in support being cut from needy families. Ryan’s plan is broadly based on refocusing the distribution of social services funds from the federal level to the states. The plan would also impose work or job training requirements on aid recipients and, in the name of competition, req… Continue Reading

‘POLICY AND POLITICAL SCHIZOPHRENIA ON STEROIDS’: Critics Quickly Blast Paul Ryan’s Big Plan To Defeat Poverty

July 25, 2014

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) unveiled his plan to defeat poverty on Thursday but many left-leaning advocates told Business Insider they were unimpressed with the measures, which they said would actually result in support being cut from needy families. Ryan’s plan is broadly based on refocusing the distribution of social services funds from the federal level to the states. The plan would also impose work or job training requirements on aid recipients and, in the name of competition, req… Continue Reading

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