February 12, 2014 |
The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline may look like just another example of the partisan divide on Capitol Hill. If only it were that easy. President Obama's dilemma over whether to approve the 1,600-mile pipeline, which would move oil from Canada to Texas, has more to do with disagreements within the Democratic Party, and with foreign relations. Environmentalists, including some of the Democrats' biggest donors, have seized on Keystone as a test of Obama's commitment to halting global warming.
February 11, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama will launch an initiative aimed at improving the lives of young black and Latino men by bringing businesses and foundations together with government agencies to change what an administration official called the "school-to-prison pipeline. " Obama plans to unveil the initiative, called My Brother's Keeper, on Thursday. The move is the latest in a series of efforts by the president to spur social change outside the stalemated legislative process, and represents an escalation of his efforts to target the problems faced by young men of color.
February 5, 2014
Re "The future of Keystone XL," Editorial, Feb. 4 The Times writes: "If developed nations had started earlier … oil pipelines and Arctic drilling rigs would hold little attraction. " Given no credit, Jimmy Carter did start early. He is responsible for federal standards to increase fuel efficiency, and he invested in green energy, putting solar panels on the White House. (Ronald Reagan promptly removed them.) Now, about that pipeline. Severe water shortages are inevitable in the next decade, as reservoirs and aquifers are quickly depleted.
February 4, 2014 |
Welcome to the "year of action. " In last week's State of the Union address, the president vowed to do whatever he has to to help the economy, even if that means working around Congress: "What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require congressional action, and I'm eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do. " The White House has touted the fact the president has a "phone and a pen" and he's not afraid to use them.
February 3, 2014 |
This post has been corrected, as indicated below. When the State Department released its environmental report on the Keystone XL pipeline Friday, the timing led me to fear the worst. It's a strategy bordering on tradition in politics that if you want to minimize the fallout from a controversy, you release the details late on a Friday, preferably leading into a holiday weekend. The theory is that by the time the next workweek rolls around, most people will have forgotten about it and the notoriously short and fickle public discourse will have moved on to something else.
December 26, 2013 |
Recent headlines bemoan the fact that, in the city of Los Angeles, only one woman - recently elected to a City Council with 14 men - holds elected office in City Hall. As for L.A. County, with 9.9 million residents, a lone woman sits on its five-member Board of Supervisors. California is not alone. Across the United States, only 73 women hold statewide elected offices - less than a quarter of available positions. That percentage has been declining for 12 years, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.