I hope our president in his State of the Union gives a voice to all Americans suffering from the disease of addiction. The millions of citizens affected by this disease deserve our attention and our action on the national stage.
It is unconscionable that the United States is the only major country that does not mandate some form of paid family leave.
Let me suggest one area where the two parties should easily find agreement: ending violence against women and girls. Truth is, if politicians can't agree that violence against women -- rape, domestic abuse, so-called "honor killings" -- should be eliminated, what can they agree on?
Either Obama will be the president whose initiatives to address income inequality and wage stagnation helped rebuild America's middle class, or he will prioritize a trade agenda that will offshore more good-paying jobs, destroy what is left of the American manufacturing sector, increase income inequality and speed the demise of America's middle class.
We are drowning in "news." The proliferation of cable channels coupled with online news is akin to having an enormous hole into which "producers" need to shovel to fill space. The sheer volume of news sources creates a tsunami of information but does not necessarily leave anyone better "informed" but simply "aware."
Another year has come and gone, and 2015 presents an opportunity to start fresh. With that in mind, it's time for the newly minted 114th Congress to make the right choices for the public's interest in its New Year's resolutions, and making the tax code fairer is a good place to start.
We're raising our voice to ensure that the president knows we and the organizations and communities we represent are holding him accountable to promises he has made about improving government transparency and engagement, making money-in-politics reform, upgrading government technology, updating the Freedom of Information Act and more.
The U.S. Constitution calls for a State of the Union Address. It doesn't call for fact checkers on these, but they exist anyway. Do they show that U. S. Presidents lie, or do they find that they generally tell the truth?
Immediately after he was inaugurated six years ago today, President Obama started passing measures to help revive the economy -- over Republican opposition: the Recovery Act, the auto rescue, and significant investments in our education system. His opponents and their allies predicted that his policies would lead to further economic disaster, but they were wrong.
Today, as he makes his sixth State of the Union speech, the president faces a solidly Republican Congress, and he never has to face the electorate again. So we are seeing a stronger and more forceful president than ever before. He is challenging Congress to act and outlining again the principles he ran on in 2008. This is Barack Obama unleashed.
Republican leaders have chosen recently elected Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to deliver the party's response to President Obama's State of the Union address. Ernst is a veteran who grew up on an Iowa farm. She is also a pistol-packing, anti-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), anti-Clean Water Act politician.
Imagine how refreshing it would be to hear a State of the Union Address that is a list of shared goals instead of the all-too-typical wish list developed in a White House vacuum. Imagine a State of the Union in the voice not of "I," but of "we" -- meaning we, your elected leaders.
Unless the president gets trade policy right, and starts to tackle some uncomfortable truths about trading partners like China and Japan, America will be stuck with little more than a marketing campaign in place of serious manufacturing policy.
President Obama begins his seventh year in office in good position. At this point in his eight-year term, the unemployment rate is a) lower than Reagan's at the same time; b) lower than Romney/Republican targets for the end of 2016 and St. Ronnie's for his entire term; c) Medicare is now solvent at least through 2031; and, d) ~10 million more people are covered by health insurance.
Looking forward to Tuesday's State of the Union address, we are seeing a somewhat bolder Barack Obama. The White House has already pre-announced or leaked several "fourth-quarter initiatives," in the president's words. Some of these can be accomplished by executive order; most will require legislation. The measures that can be achieved by presidential order include reducing the down-payment or interest on federally insured mortgages to stimulate home ownership. Among the measures requiring legislation is a tax plan that would increase taxes on the wealthiest in order to finance the tuition help for community college students and more generous child tax credits for working families. Obama also wants an excise tax on large banks and he is calling on Congress to pass a law giving all workers seven days of annual sick leave. All this amounts to a salutary whiff of class warfare, of the sort that identifies the president with most Americans, against the one percent. And there will probably be a few more surprises in the actual address that have not yet been leaked.
If President Obama talks about his Cuba policy on Tuesday night, his State of the Union Address could be unlike any our nation has experienced. Tuesday night offers Obama a unique platform for giving power and voice to the new ways in which Cuba and the United States can engage with and relate to each other respectfully.