October 21, 2017

9 Incredible Things of 2013 That are Missing in Public Debate

  In a media environment increasingly dominated by celebrity, scandal and the political horserace, many of the most important stories receive scant coverage. Here are nine hugely important things that happened in 2013 that are rarely discussed: 1. Human rights abuses in North Korean prisons reached a level not seen since the Nazi atrocities. A new report from the U.N. ... Read More »

A Journey Through Arctic Alaska

Forward a few paddles…” Joe says in a soft but urgent voice. Three of us—Joe Riis, Neal Conan, and I—are paddling 92 miles down the Kobuk River through the northernmost boreal forest in Arctic Alaska. Five rapids are looming. We can hear them, and because we’ve been cold and wet for the previous three days, we want to make sure ... Read More »

Guantanamo Bay: America’s $5 Billion Folly

Over the past three years, Congress has focused unprecedented attention on reducing federal spending and cutting the deficit. This myopia has pushed the country from crisis to crisis, slashed federal domestic and defense programs in ways that were purposefully designed to be unacceptable, caused real hardship for many American families, and severely damaged the U.S. economy.   Yet during this ... Read More »

The Different Immigration Reform Visions

Five months ago, the Senate took a historic step toward enacting immigration reform with a path to citizenship by passing S.744 — the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act — with a bipartisan supermajority. Unfortunately, the House has still not brought immigration legislation to the floor. But while many have rushed to pronounce immigration reform “dead,” House leadership ... Read More »

US Budget Deal: An Imperfect Step in The Right Direction

Budgets are about choices. The budget agreement announced by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) makes plenty of choices — many of them good, others less so — but the sum total of their choices results in a package that moves the country in a positive direction. The Murray-Ryan deal would, for the ... Read More »

The Fake US Debt Crisis

As the American people tried to celebrate last year’s holiday season while mourning the loss of 26 lives in Newtown, Connecticut, Congress and the White House were duking it out over the “fiscal cliff.”   Our leaders reached a temporary solution on New Year’s Day that averted some of the self-imposed toxic mix of mandated tax increases and discretionary spending ... Read More »

Another County Passes Its Own Immigration Bill

While the House held hearings this week on whether President Obama (D) exceeded his executive powers on immigration policies and whether there are “bio signatures” in outer space (i.e., aliens), the most populous county in Washington state is forging ahead on an immigration-related bill to fill gaps left by Congressional inaction on immigration reform. Local council members in King County, Washington,  which covers Seattle, passed a measure by a slim ... Read More »

Obama’s Undocumented Uncle Spared from Deportation

Onyango Obama, President Obama’s undocumented uncle, ducked deportation Tuesday (Nov 3), when a federal immigration judge allowed him to remain in the U.S. legally. Obama, 68, has been living in the U.S. for fifty years, but a 2011 drunk driving charge attracted the attention of immigration officials, who have been instructed by President Obama to prioritize criminal deportations. The president’s ... Read More »

America’s Retirement Deficit

Deck the halls, this holiday season, with scenes of hunger. Struggling families all across America now have less food on their tables. Budget cuts that kicked into effect November 1 have lowered the nation’s average federal food stamp benefit to less than $1.40 per person per meal. Austerity American-style is squeezing elsewhere as well, from Head Start for kids to Meals on ... Read More »

Republicans May Derail Iran Deal

Top Republican lawmakers suggested on Sunday that Congress should move to impose new sanctions on Iran despite the historic agreement reached in Geneva between the U.S., its international partners and the Islamic Republic over Iran’s nuclear program. According to the White House, in exchange for a freeze and roll back of Iran’s program, the P5+1 — the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia, ... Read More »