Wrap Up: Looking back, moving forward into the week ahead

nation_buildingIn case you missed it, here is the latest episode of “West Wing Week” posted by the White House. Whether one agrees with the politics or policies discussed, it’s a great way for citizens keep abreast of the decisions made by the President and power brokers in Washington. If you agree with what’s going on in Washington then request more of the same but, if you don’t agree, then raise your voice and make sure that your representatives are aware that the needs of their constituents are not being met. Some us need reminders that our involvement in the nation’s progress shouldn’t stop on election day.

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During this past week, some of the items that made the news included the President’s nominees for various administration positions. One of those prospective cabinet-level placements includes business executive and environmentalist Sally Jewell for the Department of the Interior. With much of the media focused on sequestered spending cuts and the senate (confirmation?) hearings for Chuck Hagel and John Brennan for the Department of Defense and the CIA, respectively, little attention is paid to the Department of the Interior despite the fact that the department is responsible for managing the nation’s wide array of natural and cultural resources. Given that the country’s environmental future is at stake, shouldn’t the mainstream media pay more attention to the agency that handles land management, ocean energy management and surface mining, in addition to fishing, wildlife and geological issues? Priorities…right? Perhaps we’ll hear more about this agency and Ms. Jewell more in the near future, especially since several GOP senators have vowed to block the president’s nominees.

Speaking of which, on Tuesday the President will deliver his first State of the Union address since winning his reelection bid against Mitt Romney. It is expected that topics to be covered will include gun control and jobs. In light of the recent punting by Congress of the budget issue looming in the form of sequestration cuts, just as it was with the fiscal cliff debate at the end of 2012, the nation’s financial issues must take centre stage – past bipartisanship –  in order to steer the country in the direction of prosperity. But focusing on economic issues doesn’t mean we can’t talk about the environment. After all, jobs and a clean, healthy environment can walk hand-in-hand.

 

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For live streaming of the State of the Union, watch here.