Obama Pushes for House Passage of Immigration Bill
President Barack Obama has called for passage of a Senate-backed immigration bill that would strengthen border security and offer a pathway to earned citizenship for people who are currently in the country illegally. Obama said Saturday that the bill passed by the majority-Democratic Senate would provide "a big boost" to the nation's economy.
A Balanced Approach to Averting the Fiscal Cliff
Just weeks away looms the ‘fiscal cliff,’ a combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that everybody in Washington claims they want to avoid. We have a huge national debt because Washington spends too much, not because it doesn’t tax people enough.
Minding the Minority
As the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) once noted, James Madison said at the Constitutional Convention that the Founders intended the Senate to be ‘a necessary fence’ that could ‘protect the people against their rulers.’ In contrast to the House of Representatives, which was set up to represent the people’s passions, the Senate was conceived to both represent the states and serve as a chamber of sober reflection.
Republicans Say Fiscal Talks Still Stalled
U.S. President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress appear to remain far apart in talks to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of $600 billion in automatic government spending cuts and expiring tax cuts. The latest U.S. jobs figures played into the debate. With days dwindling for a compromise, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, bluntly accused the White House of wasting time and deliberately pushing the economy closer to the precipice.
Speeding Space Junk Poses Risks for Spacecraft
The amount of space junk floating around the Earth grows every year, and increasingly can pose risks to spacecraft orbiting the planet. In the United States, NASA’s Orbital Debris Program (ODP) at the Johnson Space Center in Texas, keeps an eye on the ever-expanding junkyard of space.
Headed Toward the 11th Hour Compromise
As the year draws to an end, America faces yet another Congressionally-manufactured crisis which will likely end in yet another 11th hour compromise, resulting in more government growth touted as "saving" the economy. While cutting taxes is always a good idea, setting up a ticking time bomb with a sunset provision, as the Bush tax cuts did, is terrible policy.
Stopping Fraud Before It Happens
How upset would you be if someone stole $350 million from you? Pretty angry, right? What if a whole bunch of people were stealing $60 billion? Waste, fraud and abuse are rife in government health care programs. Annually, Medicare alone loses between $60 billion and $100 billion in "improper payments." This can include simple mistakes such as inadvertently billing a procedure twice,*or it could be criminal schemes.
The Philosophers and the Partisans
Many lament the state of affairs in Washington today. The Congress doesn’t seem to function as it should. President Obama issues executive orders that bypass the normal legislative process and evade democratic accountability. Everyone, it seems, is arguing rather than listening. To some, the solution to this challenge is obvious -- compromise. But it’s not that simple.
Secession: Are We Free To Go?
Is all the recent talk of secession mere sour grapes over the election, or perhaps something deeper? Currently there are active petitions in support of secession for all 50 states, with Texas taking the lead in number of signatures. Texas has well over the number of signatures needed to generate a response from the administration, and while I wouldn't hold my breath on Texas actually seceding, I believe these petitions raise a lot of worthwhile questions about the nature of our union.
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