May 20, 2016
ISSUE | TRANSGENDER RIGHTS Local schools should make their rules The Obama administration issued a directive Friday to all public schools to grant transgender students equal access to all activities and facilities ("U.S. Call for Transgender Rights," Saturday). School districts that do not comply could face a loss of federal funds. This directive will permit transgender students to use the restrooms of students of the natural-born opposite sex. Again, the federal government is delving into the operation of local public schools.
May 15, 2016 |
As promised, the Obama administration on Friday sent letters to school districts across the country outlining the civil rights of transgender students, including access to bathrooms and locker rooms. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities that receive federal funds, the letter said, saying schools should allow transgender students to use bathrooms consistent with their chosen gender identity. The sweeping guidance does not have the force of law, but it warns that schools that do not comply could face lawsuits or lose federal aid. It ups the ante in the debate over bathroom laws, which are the subject of a charged lawsuit between North Carolina and the U.S. Department of Justice.
May 4, 2016 |
After months of intense advocacy by families of victims of the 9/11 attacks and aggressive pushback from the Obama administration, the U.S. Senate is nearing a vote on a bill that would broaden the basis for suing Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the plot. The bill has been pushed by 9/11 survivors and their families and by insurers that paid out tens of billions of dollars as a result of the hijackings and the losses at ground zero. It is intended to bolster a 13-year-old lawsuit against the Saudi kingdom alleging that government-supported Islamist charities helped finance the 9/11 attackers.
April 18, 2016
Catherine Kelleher is the College Park professor of public policy at the University of Maryland and was the secretary of defense's representative to NATO in the Clinton administration Scott Warren is CEO of Generation Citizen, a civics education nonprofit Following Donald Trump's repeated expressed desire to end NATO, the future of the alliance is relevant and urgent for perhaps the first time in the Obama administration. With NATO's Warsaw Summit looming in July, coupled with the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels, Trump's criticism provides the opportunity for an overdue strategic reboot, and President Obama should take it. The administration should provide a forceful leadership stance and articulate a new NATO that focuses on the challenges of long-term security, the role of Russia in Europe, and the principles of deterrence and defense in the 21st century.
April 13, 2016
By H. Sterling Burnett President Obama is hostile to open debate and research that contradicts his opinions and policies. The most recent evidence of this came last month, when Attorney General Loretta Lynch gave testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and said the Department of Justice has discussed pursuing legal action against companies, research institutions, and scientists who debate whether humans are causing catastrophic climate...
April 7, 2016
ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016 Sestak offers experience, leadership I've been a strong supporter of the Obama administration, but I was surprised to see President Obama and Vice President Biden jump into the Pennsylvania Democratic primary for U.S. Senate ("Obama and Biden endorse McGinty," Thursday). Snubbing Joe Sestak was a big mistake. He served two terms in the House of Representatives for the Seventh District, which traditionally is held by a Republican. Sestak was a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act and other progressive bills, and he knows the issues.
March 1, 2016
ISSUE | MIDDLE EAST U.S. must help allies Much of the U.S. success in Afghanistan and Iraq has been due in part to the native civilians who served as translators for U.S. military and civilian officials and provided intelligence, knowing they were putting a bull's-eye on their heads. ("U.S. abandons wartime allies," Thursday). If the United States wants to continue to use these allies, we must keep our promises of expeditious visa processing or risk going it alone. The Obama administration, unfortunately, cannot figure out the bigger details of carrying out a plan, such as whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should stay or go. How can it be expected to consider smaller details such as refuge for its allies?
February 4, 2016 |
THIS COLUMN is a limited tip of the hat to Congressman Brendan Boyle. Boyle represents Northeast Philadelphia and parts of Montgomery County. He was on my show last week voicing his opposition to bringing the "unaccompanied minors" to Northeast Philadelphia. These kids from Central America and Mexico were brought to our borders by coyotes or others and are in various spots in our country waiting for their legal status to be decided. Boyle confirmed to me that the Obama administration has briefed him on the fact that the Naval Support Activity complex in the city's Lawndale section would house those minors.
January 16, 2016
What boxer Sonny Liston's manager said of him (Sonny had his good points, the trouble was his bad points) is true of Marco Rubio. His strengths include intelligence, articulateness, and, usually, cheerfulness. His misjudgments involve, in ascending order of importance, the Senate immigration bill of 2013, sugar, Libya, and S-590. Together these reveal a recurring penchant for ill-considered undertakings. Rubio's retreat, under withering political heat, from the immigration bill was undignified but not reprehensible.
August 1, 2015 |
U.S. Sen. Robert Casey (D., Pa.) on Thursday asked the Obama administration to hire more railroad bridge inspectors because of growing concerns about the transport of crude oil by freight trains. Railroad companies are responsible for inspecting and maintaining their bridges, with oversight by the Federal Railroad Administration and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The FRA has one bridge inspector for Pennsylvania's 919 rail bridges, including 261 in the five-county Philadelphia region.