How the American people would fix Social Security

WASHINGTON — For some time now it has been known that America’s Social Security program is in trouble. According to the Social Security trustees, if no steps are taken, its trust fund will be exhausted in 2033, and after that the program will only be able to deliver benefits based on current receipts. Read more about it HERE

Holder and Republicans Unite to Soften Sentencing Laws

WASHINGTON — Shortly after Senator Rand Paul filed suit last month against the Obama administration to stop its electronic dragnet of American phone records, he sat down for lunch with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in his private dining room at the Justice Department. Read more about it HERE

How grass-roots peace can take hold in South Sudan

SANTA CRUZ, CALIF. — South Sudan is facing a critical test of endurance that no nation should have to undergo, let alone the world’s youngest country and one of its poorest. Read more about it HERE

Syria: What – and who – it will take to end the war

NOTRE DAME, IND. — Conditions in Syria have worsened significantly in recent months. President Obama declared more than two years ago that “Assad must go,” but the hard reality today is that the regime of Bashar al-Assad remains in power and has gained ground militarily. Neither the United States nor rebel forces has the power to dislodge him. Read more about it HERE

A model for hold-your-nose dealmaking in Congress

WASHINGTON — In October, the US legislative process hit rock bottom in setting fiscal policy. Yes, there have been other low points: the downgrade of the US credit rating after the 2011 debt-limit debate, nearly going over the “fiscal cliff” last January, and then allowing the mindless “sequester” cuts to go into effect in March. Read more about it HERE

Fighting back against incivility in politics — Rem Rieder/USA Today

Journalists are not exactly perceived as heroes these days. Poll after poll finds the public is soured on them, ranking them down toward the bottom of the list with lawyers, congressmen, ax murderers and other lowlifes. It’s no wonder. Read more about it HERE

I am interested in the views of the opposition — by Peter Wehner

Over the weekend, while doing research for an essay, I re-read Catherine Drinker Bowen’s wonderful book Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention from May to September 1787. In it she quotes George Washington (a strong Federalist) on the value of the opposition. Read more about it HERE

Budget negotiators take heed: The art of the deal, according to Reagan and Tip O’Neill

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are running out of time to avert another government shutdown and possible credit crisis. While both sides have written off a “grand deal,” they have committed themselves to a $100 billion cut in the current year deficit – enough to avoid the second stage of the painful “sequestration” set for January. Read more about it HERE

Let the public help draw voting districts

CLAREMONT, CALIF. — One factor contributing to polarizing politics in Washington is the widespread partisan gerrymandering of America’s voting districts. Many people, on both sides of the aisle, think one way to break the stalemate is to find a solution to gerrymandering – the drawing of district boundaries that heavily favor one party and keep incumbents safe. Read more about it HERE

Five bipartisan fixes for US debt crisis

As the baby boomer generation ages and Americans continue to live longer, Social Security will become increasingly financially strained. Adopting a series of reforms could both improve the program’s solvency and more adequately support those individuals who are most in need. Two such changes, which could be part of a larger package, include adopting a new measure of inflation and updating the threshold for earnings that are taxed for Social Security. Read more about it HERE