• Top Line

    Can Congress be fixed?

    Two former congressmen – Republican Tom Davis of Virginia and Democrat Martin Frost of Texas – have joined forces to make the case that it can be. In a co-authored book, “Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis,” the bipartisan pair lay out a series of recommended steps that Congress could take to ease the gridlock of Capitol Hill.

    But there’s a catch: Congress can’t do it alone.

    “I think it’s unlikely, if Congress is left to their own devices, that they'll do any of this,” Frost said during an interview with “Top Line.” “The only way that can be changed is if the public demands some change.”

    But there are two things Congress can do right away, they said, even if the public won’t have the chance to make their voices heard in an election for another two years.

    “If they could pass legislation requiring every congressional district in the country to draw congressional districts into bipartisan commissions,” Frost, 73, said. “Secondly, they could pass one thing

    Read More »from A bipartisan duo has a plan to fix Congress (no, really!)
  • Top Line

    While there may be little to laugh about when it comes to the gridlock and dysfunction of Capitol Hill, Rep. Steve Israel used the world in which he works as a source of comic inspiration for his new satirical novel "The Global War on Morris."

    But the book’s humor doesn’t just leave its readers laughing at the lunacy of Washington. It also leaves them blushing from the awkward sexual encounters – described at times in vivid detail by Israel – of the main character, Morris Feldstein.

    “There is flesh in the book, but at times I compare some of that flesh to walking beef jerkies,” the New York Democrat told “Top Line” in an interview. “So, anybody who's ever been to a swimming pool at a hotel resort in Florida has seen all forms and all kinds of flesh.”

    While Israel didn’t let his standing as a member of Congress preclude him from broaching the topic of sex in his novel, he points out that it’s not the main thrust of his book.

    “There is a scene that deals with a dalliance. … It's

    Read More »from Why a congressman is writing about ‘fleshy breasts’ and ‘walking beef jerkies’
  • Power Players

    Nearly three weeks after President Obama announced that the U.S. will begin to thaw a half-century-long freeze in diplomatic relations with Cuba, what stands to change?

    Peter Kornbluh, the co-author of “Back Channel to Cuba” and the director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C., spoke to “Power Players” during a recent trip to Havana and said that tourism will be the most immediate and obvious change.

    “The first change you're going to see is U.S. citizens who come to Cuba going back with a couple of bottles of rum and a box of cigars that they haven't been able to do for years now,” Kornbluh said.

    Kornbluh said the United States’ long-standing embargo with Cuba has not only cut off the flow of goods, capital, and tourism between the two nations. It has also cut Americans off from an opportunity for cultural exchange.

    "They are missing their opportunity to spend time on a beautiful Caribbean island, they're missing their

    Read More »from Cuba Libre: Rum, cigars and a trip to Havana

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