Congress once again failed to lift a ban on federal funding for syringe exchange programs, despite overwhelming evidence that exchanging used needles for new ones can saves lives and millions of dollars in health care costs. Fortunately, activists on the ground have never waited for lawmakers to act.
In recent weeks many labor, environmental, and consumer groups have stepped up their criticisms of the Obama administration’s plans for pushing fast-track trade negotiating authority. The purpose of fast-track is to allow the administration to negotiate to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Pact and then hand both deals to Congress on a take it or leave it basis. Under the fast-track rules there would be no opportunity for amendments or delays.
As we end another year of endless war in Washington, it might be the perfect time to reflect on the War That Started All Wars - or at least the war that started all of Washington’s post-Cold War wars: the invasion of Panama. Twenty-five years ago this month, early on the morning of December 20, 1989, President George H.W. Bush launched Operation Just Cause.