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NATIONAL PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND ISSUES STRATEGIST
Bob Weiner, a national issues and public affairs strategist, has been spokesman for and directed the public affairs offices of White House Drug Czar and Four Star General Barry McCaffrey, the House Government Operations Committee and Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and the House Narcotics Committee, and was Chief of Staff for the House Aging Committee and Chairman Claude Pepper (D-FL). He also was Legislative Assistant to Ed Koch of New York and a political aide to Ted Kennedy (D-MA) for his Presidential and Senate races. Bob worked at the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate as youth voter registration director in 1971-1972 when the constitution was amended to allow 18-year olds the vote.
Since he left the White House in 2001, Bob heads up a public affairs and issue strategies company, Robert Weiner Associates. He is a regular political analyst on Radio America and has appeared on Bill Maher, CNN Crossfire, Today, Good Morning America, and the CBS, NBC, and ABC evening news. He is widely published in columns he writes on national issues in major papers throughout the country including recently the Washington Post, Denver Post, Miami Herald, Christian Science Monitor, New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Atlanta Constitution, New York Post, Washington Times, Sacramento Bee, Palm Beach Post, Salt Lake Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Adweek. He is also regularly quoted in key media coast-to-coast, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, AP and Reuters, concerning the presidential campaign and national issues.
Latest Infrastructure Plan Bleeds States, Cities, Needs Real Money
In last week's State of the Union speech, President Trump restated his opinion that infrastructure spending is a necessity. When looking ahead at President Trump's 2018 agenda, the easiest bill to pass is the one that it has always been: infrastructure. Yet here we are, one year into the Trump administration, and an infrastructure bill doesn't feel particularly close to passing or even being put up for a vote.
Friday, February 9, 2018(1 comments)
Ban of Russian team is justified
On Dec. 5, the International Olympic Committee announced that Russia would be banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea due to the nation's "systemic manipulation" of anti-doping rules, which were first exposed during the drug busts of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. However, Russian athletes who manage to prove themselves clean have been invited to compete in Pyeonchang as "neutral" athletes.
Monday, January 29, 2018(15 comments)
Mueller's End Game: Maybe As Soon As Trump Wants, But Not How He'd Like
It's important to note Mueller's history as an institutionalist. To protect the institution of the Presidency, he may call Trump an "unindicted" co-conspirator for obstruction, paralleling the special prosecutor's charges against Richard Nixon in Watergate. He may do the same with violation of federal campaign law and money laundering.
Thursday, January 11, 2018(2 comments)
Missing Conyers Already
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has been named the new Democratic Leader ("Ranking Member") of the House Judiciary Committee. It was the powerful post held by Rep. John Conyers' (D-Detroit), who was pressured to resign from the position and then retire from Congress last month due to allegations of sexual harassment and disclosure of a state-no-guilt settlement. Nadler is a strong progressive, but has large shoes to fill.
Thursday, December 21, 2017(1 comments)
The UN's Shame: Watered Down Legislation Continues UN Peacekeeper Rapes
Now in the era where even sexual harassment is considered a national crime, what happens to the annual 100+ rapes by UN peacekeepers annually? The nations that perpetrate these rarely emphasized but documented atrocities go unpunished by the world body. If we're talking about resolutions of peace among nations, perhaps it's time to stop the funding for nations that allow rapes of helpless victims they are supposed to protect.
Thursday, December 21, 2017(4 comments)
You Can Oppose the NRA and Win, Time to Defuse the Myth if We Want to End Mass Killings
Mass shootings occur so frequently in the US that they only make headlines when the death toll is high enough. It is well past time for rational gun owners to either take the NRA back or start a new organization. It's also time for Congress to stop laying in fear of the NRA when they can in fact be opposed successfully. If that doesn't happen, the US will continually be marking these anniversaries into eternity.
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Trump's New World Order is More Than Bullying Nations
At the National Press Club in Washington, former Indiana Senator and foreign policy icon, former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Richard Lugar, in an interview last week, conveyed some thoughts on Trump's UN speech and overall foreign policy: "The tone is something to pursue. When you are looking at the faces of world leaders, you should consider the impact."
Saturday, October 28, 2017(1 comments)
First Time In Years: A Real Chance to Save Healthcare
The mandatory CBO report found that the Alexander-Murray healthcare bill would cover more people and still cut the deficit. Everybody in the US goes to the hospital, sees their doctors for checkups and needs medical attention. Other long term solutions are being discussed and have a great deal of merit--public option, single payer,Medicare for all, and more. But first, we have to protect what we have.
Friday, October 27, 2017(1 comments)
Youth At the Polls: Big Impact IF They Turn Out
On November 6th 2018, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate will be up for re-election. Democrats might have a shot at flipping Congress--if they get youth to the polls. In a youth culture obsessed with celebrity and image, they need both a charismatic speech about issues they care about, and 140 characters and a filtered photograph. The future of democracy depends on it.
Friday, October 13, 2017
"Stealth Privatization" Increases Risk for Torture
The U.S. often holds itself as an example for the rest of the world. We speak up when human rights abuses take place. It is time to get back to being an example on how we treat prisoners of war. The proposal to privatize war-making was rightly nipped in the bud. But there is not yet a nail in the coffin of privatization or private contractor torture.
Sunday, September 24, 2017(10 comments)
Trump Right On China The First Time
After deferring to China for Korea and seeing no results, President Trump's return to disciplining China over trade crimes is the right position. On Aug. 14, President Trump authorized a probe on China's trade practices, with a focus on intellectual property theft as well as theft of American technologies. Trump has now come back around to the correct view.
A Call to End Youth Prisons
Unfortunately, the justice system is founded on long-term punishment and isolation. That may persuade adults but for youth, it does more harm than good. "Incarcerating youth isn't safe, isn't fair, and doesn't work," said expert witness and CEO of Youth First Initiative, Liz Ryan, "It isn't fair as it disproportionately impacts young people of color" and, "greatly increases the likelihood that youth will re-offend."
Friday, August 25, 2017
Intervals Slow Down Aging Process, New Studies Show
High Intensity Interval Training workouts, also known as HIIT, are cardio sessions paired with short bursts of interval training designed to drive out the maximum strength of the person who is exercising. Recent scientific studies are showing that HIIT workouts are better than any other form of exercise to reduce degeneration of the aging process.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Let's Finish the Job on Rough Rides
Five officers are now being disciplined internally for Freddie Gray's handling, "rough ride" and death. But the work is nowhere near complete to end the disgraceful practice that captured the nation's attention in a justifiably negative way after Freddie Gray's death in 2015. There still needs to be an outright ban of so-called rough rides.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017(7 comments)
Republicans and Democrats Should Work Together on Health Bill
Why not do what the Senate is famous for and deal with the issues that are problematic in healthcare that Democrats have admitted for some time? Just because there are problems with the bill is not a reason to blow it up. You don't buy a new car because the air conditioning doesn't work. Instead of calling it "repeal and replace," say "repair," and we can actually get something positive done.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Scams Against Elderly are Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Nearly 20 percent of Florida's population is 65 years or older, the highest in the nation. As the Baby Boomers move into retirement, internet scams against the elderly are increasing. Bottom line: With the dramatic increases in scams against the elderly, Congress, state Houses, and the private sector have a lot more work to do.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Affirmative Action Under Trump--Where Can It Go?
Affirmative action means reaching out to those disproportionately harmed and providing minorities with means to protect their legal rights and to secure their futures. Minorities can only begin to know whether they should increase their hopes once what President Trump says and does become in sync. In the courts, congress, and state and local actions, the battle will be fierce, but hopeful.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017(3 comments)
Mr. President, where's that infrastructure plan?
Missing in action amid the hoopla on the barely passed House health-care bill and the broadly supported government funding measure is the promised infrastructure package by President Trump. Infrastructure legislation can pave the way for increased economic productivity and public safety across all 50 states - if prudent legislation trumps partisan differences.
Thursday, May 4, 2017(2 comments)
Trump should keep college debt pledge
During the election, candidate Donald Trump expressed that he planned to tax wealthy universities that did not use a sizable portion of their endowment to support low-income students.The new administration's budget proposal has no such plan for higher education. When the federal budget and Congress prioritize making higher education affordable, more students will be able to attend college.
The Federal Reserve's missed mandate: jobs
The Fed seems to forget the "maximum employment" piece of its mandate, instead deciding to focus all of its energy on interest rates to assure big business profits. The unemployment rate is down but the bar is set at complacency. If the Fed remembers its mandate of maximum employment, it can help the country see unemployment rates it hasn't seen since the 1960s.
Saturday, January 14, 2017(1 comments)
Richie Neal now in leadership, new challenge: keep Social Security safe
If we've learned anything about Trump, it's that not only doesn't he shy away from fights, he embraces them. One of the first fights he has as president will be with his own party over Social Security. Whoever wins the fight will determine whether or not the elderly, now and in decades to come, live in poverty.
Sunday, December 18, 2016(1 comments)
America's scandalous way of paying women
You would almost think that something as basic as gender equality would long be established in our society. Far from it. Especially when it comes to getting paid the same amount of money for the same work, the inequality between men and women is dramatic. As long as we do not accept that women are worth just as much as men, the gap will never close, and we will forever be stuck in the archaic age of inequality.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Democrats, Trump and Congress: surprising common ground
Although Democrats in Congress don't agree with most of Donald Trump's policies, there are some surprising areas of common ground in infrastructure spending and even concerning the Affordable Care Act. Congressional Democrats can either whine, curl up with a good book and their dogs as Hillary says she was tempted to do, or get to work.
Saturday, November 19, 2016(1 comments)
People to people approach is the best solution for Syria
The war in Syria is tremendously complicated and its overlapping layers require a multi-layer solution. The USA's best relations with Latin American and African nations have been when the Alliance for Progress, Vista, and Peace Corps were at top usage. Syria could be a similar success story with a people to people approach.
TPP is failing because we are learning what makes a bad-or good-trade deal
What we do know about past trade deals is that with the secretiveness of the issue, voters cannot decide who is right or wrong and why. If America has "lost millions of jobs" as Trump contends because of them, perhaps that explains why we are no longer at full employment, meaning no longer with 3% unemployment as past decades but now consider 5% as a good "bar".
Friday, October 21, 2016
Risking Small Boat Migration to Europe: Why Egyptian Teens Risk Their Lives
Egypt needs the education and skills to better the lives of its young people, and make the dangerous decision to try and flee less appealing. The truth is, Middle Eastern nations need to spend some of their money from billions of dollars in military aid and use it instead for education and training of their young people.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Enthusiasm for Federal Service and Politics Despite Cynics
Amid the cynicism and criticisms of the media and the politicians who use the federal government and the political system as a scapegoat lie the five million federal employees who chose to join the government workforce. Politics and government are incredibly gratifying when you can work on issues that help the American people. That should be our response the next time someone disparages your local elected official.
Friday, September 2, 2016(2 comments)
A plague on both our houses on torture
The nation is divided as it continues to debate torture of terror detainees. Yet as much as torture is condemned by many, even the President, there really is "a plague on both our houses", since Trump wants "worse" but Democrats have prosecuted no one who created the program or CIA officials (and their administration high ups) who condone and contract it out to foreign countries.
Friday, July 15, 2016
Sen. Leyva's bill would protect child victims of sex abuse
The Justice for Victims Act, which has gained traction by passing the state Senate before the summer recess and is ready to be voted on by the Assembly, gives California the chance to take a strong stance against the Catholic Church's ongoing cover-up of child sexual abuse. Why must the true victims -- the victims of sexual assault -- be haunted by their abuse while the Church sweeps its wrongdoings under the rug?
Sunday, July 10, 2016(1 comments)
The U.N.'s Shame--Stop UN Peacekeeper Rapes of African Victims
Rapes by U.N. peacekeepers in Central Africa, in the hundreds, are repeated year after year. The victims are the very people the peacekeepers are supposed to protect. The United Nations has announced over 100 new cases of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic this year. Now, Human Rights Watch reports that the U.N.'s Congolese peacekeepers were responsible for at last 12 deaths. This is the U.N.'s shame.
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Benghazi myths: what Hillary can say to Trump and Gowdy
The Benghazi investigation has only confirmed that there is little new information. On October 22, 2015, after his eleven-hour Clinton grilling, Gowdy said, "I don't know that she testified that much differently today."
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Flags lowered, but guns still raised: Orlando proves mass shootings still happen
Friday, June 17 marks the one-year anniversary of the shootings and murders of nine victims at Emanuel AME Church.
While the Confederate flag has been taken down throughout South Carolina, mass shootings haven't stopped, as the June 12 horrific mass killing of 49 in Orlando shows once again. Guns and assault weapons aren't any harder to buy. The flags are lowered, but guns are still raised.
Saturday, June 11, 2016(1 comments)
Ryan's new Congress agenda is wrong, safety net has not failed
Speaker Ryan's new agenda will be titled, "A better way." In fact, Ryan's premise of "failure" is wrong. He'd at least partially privatize Social Security, which has reduced seniors' poverty from the 44% it would be to just 9%, according to the Center for American Progress. It is the most successful social program in American history.
Monday, May 23, 2016(3 comments)
Ban Russian Track Team from 2016 Rio Summer Olympics
The Olympics in Rio could turn out to be the dirtiest Olympics ever. A documentary March 6 on German TV station ARD showed that Russian coaches who have been banned for doping still have their jobs, and claimed that Russian officials are tipping off athletes prior to what are supposed to be random drug tests. USA Track and Field (USATF) is an important member of IAAF. The world organizations and we should vote to keep the ban.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Iowa case shows age discrimination persists, despite law
People 50 and older will be 35 percent of the workforce by 2019, according to the Urban Institute. With more cases coming in, there is pressure for Congress to act against discrimination and for the Department of Justice to put in place protections for seniors' job security. Seniors vote in the highest percentages of any age, so this not only makes good sense, but good politics.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Politicians need to find way to reach millennials
In 1972, with the Vietnam War raging, voter turnout reached a still unmatched height of 55 percent for 18- to 24-year-olds, and 68 percent for all under age 30However, by 2012, 45 percent of 18-29-year-olds voted, down from 51 percent in 2008. The problem was even worse in the 2014 midterm, with only 20 percent of 18-29-year-olds voting nationwide -- the lowest ever in a federal election.
Monday, April 25, 2016(4 comments)
'Lack of political will' strains space program Mission to Mars? When?
Neil Armstrong declared that his landing was, "One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind." That joy of science and exploration is a great hope. However, since those first steps, the U.S. has barely crawled toward anywhere else. Every major power in the world has some form of interest in Mars. With so many countries showing so much enthusiasm towards the "Red Planet, the new space race is on.
Friday, April 15, 2016(1 comments)
Fighting ISIS: Arabs Need More Involvement to Keep U.S. Support
Many believe that the main reason why we entered Iraq was to arrange access to Iraq's oil, which is not happening. The Middle East has the ammunition and ample resources to take charge. Now they need to direct them at ISIS. If they see they have no other choice, and they act, then we can support them. In fighting ISIS, U.S. efforts and dollars should match Arab self-interest in leading.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Parity was supposed to mean treatment -- until insurance companies got in the way
Despite the ongoing opioid crisis, insurance companies are skirting the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Both the Affordable Care Act and the MHPAEA require insurance companies to provide parity for mental health and substance use disorders, but the insurance companies are coming up with every possible excuse not to do it.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016(2 comments)
Spiking health care costs under ACA is a myth
One of the biggest issues in the presidential election is a recurring Republican critique of the Affordable Care Act: the supposedly massive healthcare price spikes. A smart consumer can both achieve health care coverage and save money, without succumbing to the naysayers who either have not done their homework comparing plans or, for political purposes, do not want to credit the President for a major achievement.
Friday, March 18, 2016
China, U.S. and Climate Change: "Amazing model for negotiating meaningful action"
The U.S.-China climate-change agreement experienced a long, tough process until the two countries led the 195 nations who agreed on December 12, 2015, in Paris. If these two countries, who were so far apart on any climate-change agreement not too long ago, can come to this historic agreement, it is not only a model for other treaties throughout the world, but international cooperation of any kind.
Friday, January 22, 2016(1 comments)
Westminster Dog Show: big business, why one subjective judge?
Next month (February 15-16), labs and lap dogs will rule the land at Madison Square Garden. For most who watch on television, the Westminster Dog Show is a time to tune in to see a version of the cuddly dog lying next to them. However, with Americans spending $330 million annually to compete in dog shows, why does only one judge make a completely subjective decision on who gets crowned Best in Show?
Monday, January 4, 2016
A History of Bowing to Energy Companies
The District of Columbia promises to keep consumer prices low but caves to oil and power companies for dubious reasons and pie-in-the-sky promises. Instead of setting a national model for consumer protection, the Nation's Capital is showing how to bow to powerful interests.
Sunday, December 20, 2015(2 comments)
War and peace: Congress must exercise its Constitutional role
As Congress now considers the pros and cons of new military action against ISIS in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, both the House and Senate are reluctant to pass any war authorization despite the Constitution's requirement to do so. Not adhering to this process set forth by the Constitution can result in colossal failure. History does repeat itself.
Monday, November 9, 2015(7 comments)
Vets shouldn't have to start with charities
It's Veterans Day time and all the candidates talk about wanting to do more for veterans. From Trump's "They're our greatest people. They're being treated terribly." at his veterans event on the USS Iowa, to Hillary Rodham Clinton's veterans roundtable in Nevada, we hear campaign statements honoring our veterans. While talk is nice, the campaign bluster to help veterans should become action by Congress and the next president.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Despite 'Clearing the Barn', Boehner Leaves Legacy of Loose Ends for Ryan
Before turning over the Speakership, outgoing speaker John Boehner said he was "clearing the barn." However, infrastructure continues to be funded by a series of temporary stopgap measures. Progress on immigration reform also screeched to a halt under this Congress. Ryan has proposed "bold" changes in entitlements--a foreboding action that Democrats will properly oppose if they are an alias for cuts.
Friday, November 6, 2015(4 comments)
Health law's big numbers of jobs and insured should quiet opponents
Unchallenged at the latest Republican debate, all candidates said they would repeal the Affordable Care Act. Not asked by the moderators were any questions about new studies that confirm the ACA has significantly increased the number of Americans with insurance coverage, created jobs, and reduced the deficit.
Escape from Clinton Correctional Facility exposes the need for reforms
New York spent a million dollars a day in the three-week manhunt for convicts Richard W. Matt and David Sweat. The escapees' fiasco exposes a national prison corruption crisis that requires immediate action in all of America's prisons, not just Clinton, to vet and stop the corruption and prison gangs that support it.
An Agenda for America's Elderly
The White House Conference on Aging must respond to half of Americans over 50 with under $25,000 in retirement savings and investments. Cutting Social Security is not the answer.
Monday, July 13, 2015
With FIFA Corruption Outed, Are Olympics Next?
The FIFA criminal corruption indictments were huge developments with worldwide repercussions. However, FIFA could not be alone for bribes from countries for the privilege to host a world championship.With FIFA outed, are the Olympics next? Could Chicago and the U.S. have lost the Olympics for the same reason the U.S. lost hosting the World Cup?
Sunday, June 21, 2015(4 comments)
Time to ban "rough rides"
The federal, state, and local reports on police abuse reform present a host of actions needed, including training, body cameras and improved vetting of officers. But thus far, no one has called for an outright ban on "rough rides." Apparently, innocent until proven guilty does not apply to the back of a prison van; there is no innocence to be found inside its metal interior, which has bruised and broken many a prisoner.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015(3 comments)
Massachusetts' Blueprint to Fight Legislature Extremism is Lesson for Nation
For over thirty years, the tax-exempt American Legislative Exchange Council has stood in the shadows, pushing state legislatures across the country to move policies to the extreme right on voter suppression, women's reproductive health choices, and gerrymandering. Massachusetts' education blueprint is a must-follow in other states if citizens want to fight back and maintain an even keel. How to fight ALEC? Education.
Saturday, June 6, 2015(14 comments)
Supreme Court's 5-4 decisions can be reversed with even one new Justice
All it takes is one vote. We are not forever stuck with a Supreme Court that has ruled some of the worst decisions by 5-4 votes. Here's the kicker: It's not just the liberals who are old or potentially sick, but the conservatives. Few know that Bush-nominated conservative Chief Justice John Roberts has had two reported seizures since 1993, even though it was in the media when he was first appointed.