I genuinely believe that human beings wake up each morning wanting to be good people, to do the right thing. Some of us even have lofty - maybe even cliché - aspirations of leaving the world a better place than we found it. Which is why it is baffling to witness U.S. leaders callously turn away refugees.
The image we remember when someone has climbed a mountain is the photo at the top: the exhausted and exhilarated climbers planting the flag at the summit. What we don't often think about is the long descent back to safety.
I've been asked many times what success will look like in Paris. Here's my scorecard and my predictions of five key elements that -- if all were achieved -- would constitute an exceptionally successful 21st Conference of the Parties:
Two thousand of those eligible for early release are non-citizens, facing continued incarceration and deportation. This, in spite of a determination made by an independent federal agency that concludes they have served a complete fair sentence and now qualify to be free people.
For individuals with serious mental illness, the time has come for a better deal. Congress must focus on enacting reforms that deliver housing and effective services in our communities rather than behind bars, where we know the results are appalling.
The United States is a peculiar sort of empire. Americans have been in what might be called imperial denial since the Spanish-American War of 1898. The U.S. not only denies its imperial ambitions, but shrouds them in a curiously American brand of Christianized liberation theology.
According to current White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, a popular TV show and reality aren't completely different. Earnest says that some days seem "like an episode of The West Wing."
At some point, the economy will fall into another recession or even experience another financial crisis. When either or both occur, policymakers must be ready to use the resources of government to restore a weak economy to health, not stand aside.
If nursing homes are permitted to continue opting out of the civil justice system, we can expect to see lower levels of care, and higher numbers of preventable injuries and deaths.
The continued refusal of the Obama administration to sanction the sale of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) aircraft to Jordan provides a kind of window into the confusion and incoherence of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
Congress decided to stop reauthorizing IOGCC every three years and instead introduced an amendment giving it de facto permanent reauthorization. For an entity of its clout, the public knows very little about IOGCC's inner-workings. And that's not without reason.
Barack Obama was, in 2008, the anti-torture candidate. It's a sad comment on the state of U.S. democracy that such a thing ever existed. After all, it would be startling to hear appeals from a pro-oxygen or an anti-apocalypse candidate. Still, it was refreshing. So what happened?
Back in 2007, a panel of scientists decided that to protect public health the national ambient air quality standard for ground-level ozone standard should be between 60 and 70 parts per billion. Last week, their recommendation was finally acted upon. But does the science still say that 70 ppb is enough?
This action by the Obama administration ends decades exclusion of farm workers from the same pesticide rules that have safeguarded other U.S. workers for years. The new rules for pesticides now include the workers most susceptible to pesticide poisoning.
CDFIs do not always get the public attention they deserve, but without them, communities and people in need would have one less reason for hope.
In stunning testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, a Pentagon general informed shocked senators that the $500 million investment from the coffers of American taxpayers has led, thus far, to "4 or 5" Syrian fighters being trained and actually deployed in the fight against ISIS.