Viewpoint

With all that is going on in the world - like the death of Osama bin Laden and massive devastation in the South from tornados - one can be excused for not knowing that a number of states have passed or are considering passing important educational reforms. This comes at a time when the Congress is considering an overhaul of the much-disdained Bush education law, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA). The overarching question facing American education policy is whether centralized planning in education works better in the United States than it did, let's say, when the Soviet Union manufactured tractors.
Many have called for addressing the projected long-term shortfall in the Social Security Trust Fund by reducing benefits.  Some have suggested increasing the retirement age, while others have suggested reducing the annual cost-of-living increase. Now press reports indicate that AARP is open to benefit cuts as part of a deal for long-term program solvency.  This would be a serious mistake. Any cuts would have dire consequences for millions of older Americans who are already living on the edge of financial disaster. What is often ignored in policy discussions about this strategy is that for two-thirds of older Americans, a modest Social Security benefit averaging $1179 a month, is more than half of their income. 
Despite soaring deficits, cuts in social services, worker layoffs and tornado-devastated communities, Alabama's first Republican-controlled government in 136 years has turned its focus on undocumented immigrants, raising questions about policymakers' priorities. Governor Robert Bentley recently signed a tough anti-immigration law, the latest in a patchwork of similar legislation that has spread through Republican-dominated states this year, just as the importance of Latino voters in the 2012 presidential election is becoming clear.
War is obsolete  responded Congressman John Lewis as he was pressed by leading members of the African Diaspora to push the U.S. government to stop the funding of the illegal war on Libya, Africa and to work with the African Union (AU) to expedite the establishment of an union government of Africa to promote, protect and empower Africa and African people in the world. On highlighting the African Diaspora historic bond with Africa for peace, justice and development, Min. P.D. Menelik Harris speaking on behalf of Rev. Dr. Ndugu TOfori-Atta, reminded the civil rights icon of Dr. King's timeless proclamation for African Americans to support Africa, stating that the Diaspora has a special relationship with Africa.
As the United States Representative for Florida's 17th Congressional District, I am writing to request your urgent support in addressing the current jobs and economic crisis permeating throughout the United States, particularly in District 17. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) recently introduced the "For the People" Jobs Initiative (H. Res. 348) to directly address the lack of jobs in underserved communities.  To adequately implement this initiative, we thought it necessary to engage members of the private sector in addition to our public sector supporters.
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