Texas is the center of the current crisis at the border. From Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, thousands upon thousands of children are pouring into the United States.
This flood of foreign children is not a problem of border security. They are not sneaking across the border illegally. Under the Feinstein Amendment of 2008, unaccompanied minors from these countries can present themselves at a legal border crossing, claim to be political refugees and seek asylum.
The argument on the left is that these three countries have violent gangs and therefore we have a moral obligation to take in their children. One Democratic senator told me that the real key was to end violence in those three countries. Read more
The third "B" in the collapse of our national security system and the State Department hit this week.
The release of five very high-value terrorist leaders as a swap for one U.S. serviceman was the third strike against the Obama administration's policy of defeat, dishonesty and self-delusion.
When Congress starts investigating the Bergdahl case it must broaden the analysis to look at the common patterns which connect it to the administration's approach on two other national security questions: Boko Haram and Benghazi. Full story
Mudslinging and feeding the homeless
Stephanie is outraged about the political fight in Mississippi and Newt is outraged a couple is fined for feeding the homeless.
Crossfire host Van Jones asks Senator Dean Heller how he would handle the VA scandal, Sen. Bernie Sanders debates.
Should the head of the VA lose his job?
Newt Gingrich asks Senator Bernie Sanders if Eric Shinseki should lose his job.
A "Benghazi-like" effect with the VA?
Van Jones and Newt Gingrich debate the politicization of the VA scandal along with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Dean Heller.
Joint outraged: Prison system failing America
Van Jones and Newt Gingrich are both outraged that the Prison system is failing America.
The numbers are arresting.
If Americans under correctional supervision counted as a city of their own, they would form the largest city in the United States after New York.
The number of people in prison, on parole or on probation, 6.9 million Americans, exceeds the populations of the second- and third-largest cities, Los Angeles and Chicago, combined. Or the size of the next four - Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Antonio - put together.
Thirty-eight U.S. states are home to fewer people than live under the corrections system in this country. There are about as many people behind bars as live in Chicago. That's one in every 108 Americans. One in 35 are under some form of correctional supervision.
Among African Americans, the numbers are even more horrifying. According to the NAACP, one in three black males born in the United States today is likely to spend time in prison at some point in his life. That's compared with one in six Hispanic males or one in 25 white males.
It would be hard to overstate the scale of this tragedy. For a nation that loves freedom and cherishes our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the situation should be intolerable. It is destroying lives and communities. FULL STORY.
Reps. Barbara Lee and Andy Harris debate raising the minimum wage with Newt Gingrich and Van Jones.
Jones: Give the President some credit on the economy!
Van Jones says the GOP is not giving Obama any credit on the economy, Newt debates.
Gingrich: Sell the Clippers to the fans!
Newt Gingrich argues that the Clippers should be sold to the fans instead of another billionaire.
Jones outraged 200 girls kidnapped by terrorists
Van Jones is outraged that about 200 Nigerian girls have been kidnapped by terrorists and no one seems to care.
(CNN) - "If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles." - Sun Tzu, "The Art of War" (circa 500 BC)
It is time to take Russian President Vladimir Putin seriously. We must develop serious strategies for dealing with a serious man.
Putin has been in charge of Russia since 1999. He is arguably the most effective leader in the world today.
The Obama administration's foreign policy, meanwhile, has variously offered Putin a "reset" photo op, likened him to a "slouch ... like that bored kid sitting in the back of the classroom," and most recently, uttered meaningless protests while he annexed the territory of a sovereign state. Monday's cancellation of the G8 summit in Sochi, Russia, was really the minimum that could be done. Of course the United States and its allies could not go forward with the meeting as if nothing had happened.
The symbolic, tactical approach which is the hallmark of the Obama foreign policy is dangerous, delusional and utterly incapable of understanding or coping with a serious leader like Putin.
Indeed, there is a growing danger that the combination of strong words and weak actions (the essence of symbolic liberalism) will lead Putin to believe he can continue to incrementally rebuild the Russian Empire by gradually absorbing various pieces around the periphery.
In the year in which we mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, danger will grow dramatically if Putin decides to put pressure on Estonia, which is a member of NATO. FULL STORY
(CNN) - If you took out a loan a few years ago to buy a flashy sports car, you could save buckets of money by refinancing at today's low rates.
But if you did the smart thing and took out federal student loans to pay for an education - sorry, you are out of luck! Federal student loans cannot be refinanced.
If that sounds insane to you, you will like the plan Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled in a speech recently at the Center for American Progress.
Last spring, Congress passed bipartisan legislation to lower student loan interest rates as of July 1, 2013. But they did little for people who already had borrowed at higher rates.
Say you took out a loan even a day earlier, on June 30. At that point, the congressionally mandated rate was 6.8%. You are locked into it. No matter what else Congress does to help new borrowers.
Unlike almost every other type of loan, federal student loans are set in stone even if rates change for the better. (There are private refinancing options but they have strict requirements and limited scope.) This might not constitute a crisis if college cost what it did in the 1970s. But with middle class wages flat for decades, the soaring cost of education has become a mammoth debt dilemma dragging down an entire generation.
Today, Americans hold an all-time record $1.3 trillion in student debt. It cannot be discharged by bankruptcy or even death. In some cases, Social Security benefits are being garnished to pay for a grandchild's debt if a grandparent co-signed. Parents are still paying off their own bills while contemplating putting their kids through college.
The solution is simple: Let Americans with federal student loans refinance to today's low rate. But the reason why Congress refuses to act may surprise you. FULL STORY
(CNN) – Monday's CNN poll results just plain surprised, almost shocked me.
When I saw the poll was due to be released, I expected the Republicans to be taking a beating considering the terms President Barack Obama and his staff have been using to describe them over the past 10 days ("extremists," "people with a bomb strapped to their chest") and the unfair, derogatory press coverage of their position.
The results are so dramatically better for Republicans and worse for the Democrats and Obama than I expected that I was curious to see just how much better Republicans are faring during the shutdown of 2013 (and how much worse the president and the Democrats are faring) than in comparable polls of the 1995-96 shutdowns.FULL STORY