Just think of where we could be as a nation if some of the people spending years in prison for a nonviolent drug offense could have, instead, studied sustainable architecture or climate change adaptation?
The Republican majority's Homeland Security shutdown is a staggering display of legislative incompetence, which could have concrete and severe impacts for New York City and its surrounding areas.
The current congressional stalemate over funding the Department of Homeland Security past the end of the week has real-world implications for everyone in this country. DHS's primary responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all U.S. residents. Anything that disrupts that mission puts all of us in danger.
The GOP wasted no time in creating yet another self-induced government shutdown showdown. Not even two full months into their control of Congress, and they are pushing a critical federal department towards shutting down, all in an effort to make a political point.
A federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of President Obama's new immigration policy, which has thrown a curve ball into the Republican congressional strategy of having a big political battle over immigration next week.
A national movement is needed, as it will be America's manufacturers that will produce the chemicals, vehicles, protective gear, weapons, measuring devices, medicines and countless other products that will be used to prevent catastrophic events from becoming cataclysmic ones.
Barack Obama is the second Honorable Mention recipient this week, for his impressive public opinion polling on job approval in January. He had his best month (measured by month-to-month improvement) of his entire second term, and the fourth-best month he's ever had as president.
If the first 15 years of the 21st century were defined by the so-called Axis of Evil -- the phrase George W. Bush applied to Iraq, Iran, and North Korea for their support of terrorists -- the next 15 years will likely be defined by the Access of Evil, as state and non-state cyberterrorists use technology to bypass our defenses in ways that damage businesses, lives, and nations.
Republicans in Congress have, once again, successfully painted themselves into a corner. Even though they've done exactly this previously (in exactly the same way), they now have absolutely no idea how to get out of this dilemma (which they created for themselves).
Short of flying giraffes in the chamber of the House, nothing should surprise Americans about their Congress. The latest chapter in the GOP's high dysfunction as the "governing" party is the suggestion by some Republicans not to fund the Department of Homeland Security so as to stick a knife in President Obama's immigration actions.
From the point of view of the U.S. military and the national security state, the period from September 12, 2001 to late last night could be summed up in a single word: more. What Washington funded with your tax dollars was a bacchanalia of expansion.
This was a busy week in politics, as the Republicans in the new Congress began a bout of legislating and President Obama ramped up his agenda in preparation for next Tuesday's big speech to Congress and the country.
Personally, I'm not holding my breath waiting for rousing choruses of "Kumbaya" to be echoing through the Capitol any time soon.
There are plenty of metaphors to choose from, as we all breathlessly watch the Republican Party make their latest attempt at semi-rational governing.
At the first Thanksgiving 383 years ago, Native Americans and Pilgrim immigrants gathered with mutual respect to share a bountiful harvest they'd produced together. This Thanksgiving, though, there's no respect or sharing in the homes of GOP nativists.
Wherever I go, the question is almost always the same, and it's to be expected, considering my past co-chairmanship of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, more commonly known as the 9/11 Commission. The question: Are we safer now?