The intersection of banking regulations and federal policy makes opening a banking account much more complicated than you might think for marijuana-related businesses in states that have legalized it for recreational or medical purposes. Our latest memo lays out 8 things policymakers should know—but may not—about the complicated intersection of banking regulations, federal marijuana policy, and state legalization laws.
The Administration has been negotiating with Iran and the other members of the UN Security Council to reach a comprehensive agreement to end Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. They decided to extend the interim agreement, known as the JPOA, another four months.
The extension of the JPOA, while not acceptable as a permanent solution, is the only path to the possibility of a comprehensive agreement.
2014 marks the first time in history that a majority of Americans live in a place where gay couples’ relationships are legally recognized.
Our 4th annual State of Relationship Recognition Report documents the astounding progress we’ve made over the last year:
- 7 more states have legalized marriage for gay couples;
- 54% of Americans now live in marriage states, up 27% since last summer;
- That’s the biggest annual increase ever, and all indications point to even faster growth over the next year.
We hope you’ll take a look!
By Benjamin Freeman and Michelle Diggles
The foreign policy civil war inside the Republican Party is spilling onto the op-ed pages. The latest battle began Friday when Texas Gov. Rick Perry tried to brand Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul as anisolationist for Paul’s stance on Iraq. The senator was quick to reject the label.
Why was the senator so eager to dodge the isolationist moniker? Because it’s electoral kryptonite with the American public, whom, despite what you may have heard, do not support isolationism. Americans are not asking for a retreat from the world. They’re a pragmatic public that’s rejecting neo-conservative interventionism, but they’re also opportunistic, engaging and diplomatic. And, they’re looking to Washington for a foreign policy that matches those traits.
By Jonathan Capehart, The Washington Post
With the world seeming to come apart at the seams over the past 24 hours, I want to point to some good news here at home. The fourth annual State of Relationship Recognition report will be released on Monday by the centrist think tank Third Way with this key joyful nugget: “44 percent of Americans now live in states where gay couples can marry; 54 percent live in a jurisdiction that legally recognizes gay couples’ relationships.” According to Sarah Trumble and Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, authors of the report, 2014 is “the very first year an American is more likely to live in a place with relationship recognition than in a place without it.”
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama tapped Vice President Joe Biden to “lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now.”
To assist with this effort, Third Way spent the last four months working to uncover the secret sauce that makes workforce programs go from good to great. We examined hundreds of programs as we searched for unique training innovations with external validation to support their efforts. Based on this comprehensive research, we identified seven key traits of successful programs. As policymakers work to remake the federal workforce system, it is imperative that grant programs and other federal support incent and reward these characteristics.
- Actively Engage Local Business: Graduates of training programs are more likely to land jobs and earn higher wages when their training is specifically designed to meet the needs of employers.
- Use Labor Market Data to Drive Decisions: Successful programs use labor market data and job projections to tailor training to growing industries and eliminate irrelevant programs.
- Treat Education Like a Job: Training programs work best when they simulate actual work conditions as closely as possible, from the topics studied to the actual learning environment.
- Connect People to Careers: Effective programs clarify the skills employers want for a series of progressively more advanced jobs in an industry, bringing transparency to the job market and building career tracks.
- Provide Wrap-Around Student Services: Successful programs provide a host of comprehensive—or “wrap-around”—support services for job seekers, from assistance with childcare and transportation to academic advising.
- Tap Innovative Funding Sources: Effective workforce development providers are creative in seeking funding, often tapping a diverse array of financial resources to deliver their services.
- Embrace Evaluation: Strong workforce development providers identify their strengths and weaknesses and constantly use data and evaluations to improve.
To learn more, check out our full report here.
By Martin Matishak
Despite the increasing hyper-partisanship over the once politically neutral topic of national security, Mieke Eoyang contends there are still analysts and lawmakers out there who want to engage in pragmatic discussions about the country’s defense.
There is a “tremendously receptive” audience in Washington and around the country that’s “hungry” for more moderate stances on national security matters, according to Eoyang, director of Third Way’s National security Program.
Why do House Republicans have such a hard time passing immigration reform, even in the face of bad politics? Third Way’s Senior Political Analyst Michelle Diggles explains why it’s a matter of head vs. heart.
In our poll 72% of Republicans were conservatives. And conservatives overwhelmingly support traditional authority and social order. These voters might pragmatically believe there is a policy response to undocumented immigrants that isn’t deportation.
But in their hearts, they view undocumented immigrants and the young people fighting for their lives as usurping traditional hierarchies and sowing the seeds of disorder. And whatever the true cause of the current influx of unaccompanied minors on the border, for conservatives chaos and instability are the results when you permit even an inch of lawlessness.
Today Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO) have introduced a bill to restore the Affordable Care Act’s contraception rules to the balanced compromise that existed before the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.
This bill clarifies Congress’s intent, solidifies the generous accommodation for non-profit religious organizations, and ensures that no woman’s access to contraception is thwarted because of the beliefs of her boss.
My country, ‘tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!
Happy Independence Day from all of us here at Third Way!
So who are all these new Independent voters? Hispanics, Asian Americans, & Millennials are more likely to identify as Independents rather than Democrats or Republicans.
Check out our recent report on the new American Electorate to learn more.
Approval ratings for Congress, the parties, and political leaders are all down sharply this year. So it’s no wonder that the number of self-identified Independents in national polling continues to rise.
To learn more about this Independent swell, check out our recent voter registration update.