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Why We Should Expand the Fulbright Program

 The Fulbright program was created in 1946 through the efforts of Senator J. William Fulbright, with the intention of using surplus war goods to fund the “promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.”  It is in the best interest of the United States to shift funding from defense spending, to areas of soft power, such as the Fulbright Program.

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The link between inequality and poverty in our schools

Much as I admire Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, I think he received poor advice in calling standardized testing a civil rights issue, as reported in the front page of The Washington Post on April 11. I understand where he’s coming from: shame states into doing something about the poor education received by poor, minority children.  

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Why UNCLOS Matters

Despite the arguments of a select group of conservative senators, ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is in the best interests of the United States.

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The Yemen Crisis

Yemen could be the next huge destabilizing factor in the Middle East. Despite airstrikes conducted by a Saudi-led coalition of Arab countries this week, Houthi rebels have continued to make territorial gains throughout the country, as the sitting president Abdu Rabu Mansour’s position looks increasingly tenuous.

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Southern States fight back against Marriage Equality Rulings

In several states throughout the deep south, the issue of marriage equality is front and center as legislative and judicial branches stand up against federal court rulings. 

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The largest trade deal in history isn’t really about trade.

 In 1840, President William Henry Harrison said in a speech that “All the measures of the government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer”. If President Harrison were alive today, he just may have been discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, better known as the TPP (if it’s known at all).

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Scott Walker’s Freeloaders’ Freebie law

What’s with the industrial heartland of the old Northwest? Governors Scott Walker and Bruce Rauner are taking their stand as stalwart defenders of freeloaders, joining Michigan and Indiana as “Right to Work” states. Let’s review some history, which goes a long way to explain why the income of working people has stagnated over the past 40 years, while the 1% have prospered.

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Grassroots Efforts Will Overturn Citizens United

This last week ADA Iowa Organizer Chris Schwartz along with Tracy Leone, an Organizer for the Iowa Federation of Labor and members of the Quad City Next Up Young Workers Group met to organize the Quad City area in preparation of the respective counties and cities to introduce resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the US Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee ruling.

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Republican Governors Aren't for Fair Taxes

Eight Republican Governors aren’t really bucking their party line, as Sunday’s New York Times news story implied (Jan.25, 2015). Substituting a sales tax for an income tax is the same old regressive Republican way to soak the poor.

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President Obama should fire John Brennan

President Obama says torture is not who we are. He should begin the slow process of proving that by firing John Brennan, his chief torture apologist.

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Beware of that Empty Word “Reform”!

“Reform” has become an empty word into which different sides pour different meanings, while inequality is something everyone talks about, and nobody does anything about. Unlike the weather, inequaIity is something we can do something about, and our unfair tax system is one place to start by distinguishing tax fairness and tax “reform.”

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Gas Prices Low – So Raise the Gas Tax Now

The Transportation bill that usually had broad bipartisan support is stalled in Congress. Our roads won’t be repaired; public transit won’t be funded; states will be starved for transportation funds; millions of jobs will be lost. All because Republicans in Congress are averse to increasing taxes to pay for anything at all, and too many Democrats are playing along.

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Iraq is No Reliable Ally

What a hash we’ve made of the Middle East! Why does the American government alone think the Iraqi government and army can effectively help combat the murderous Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)? And why do we think we should meddle in every country’s internal politics?

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The Outrage of “Tipped Wages”

Chances are that most people think waiters and waitresses endure a minimum wage of $7.25, so our 20% tip might help lift them out of poverty. Wrong! 

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Why You Should be Asking Where Candidates stand on the EITC and the Child Tax Credit

Each of us should question where all candidates for federal office stand on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). These are benefits received by low-wage working families. Especially if Congress fails to raise the minimum wage, the EITC and CTC are both vital to prevent low-wage working families from drowning. Unless Congress acts to make the EITC and CTC permanent, it will expire in 2017, leaving 17 million people, including 8 million children, deeper in poverty.

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Congress Needs to Act Now to Halt Corporate “Inversion” Schemes

Walgreens wants to renounce its U.S. “citizenship” and become a Swiss firm. Pfizer has been attempting to become a U.K. firm. Mylan, a long-time stalwart of the Pittsburgh economy(who’s CEO was recently named “Patriot of the Year”) wants to become a “citizen” of the Netherlands. Chicago-based AbbVie is paying $54 billion to buy Shire, so that it can become an Irish company. Corporate "inversion" is a growing problem!

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ACA's Winning Outcomes

Now that Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in full effect, we are beginning to see genuine results.  This controversial piece of legislation now covers 9.5 million people who did not previously have health insuranceNow that Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in full effect, we are beginning to see genuine results.  This controversial piece of legislation now covers 9.5 million people who did not previously have health insurance.  Even though Republicans still want to repeal the law, millions of Americans are benefiting from the new health care law. 

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The Moral Crisis at the Border

The recent influx of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border is one of the greatest moral tests ever faced by the United States. So far, we’re failing.

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The ACA Backlash is Ridiculous and Costly

Republicans are still doing everything in their power to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Just to show their disapproval of the ACA, Republican governors are coming up very similar plans to the Medicaid expansion, and simply calling it by a different name.  States are now suffering economically by the GOP’s continued efforts to undermine the ACA.  When will it stop?

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What’s Lost in States Refusing to Expand Medicaid?

To date, 24 states have refused to take advantage of the opportunity that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides for extending Medicaid coverage. Either through legislative or gubernatorial refusal, these states are turning down huge federal subsidies, and depriving millions of their citizens from getting access to health insurance coverage.

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