- Presidential Candidate Game (USA Today)
"Play USA TODAY's Candidate Match Game II to find out which candidate -- Barack Obama or Mitt Romney -- you agree with most on the key issues of the day. And as you take the quiz, learn more about their positions on the issues." 08-12
- -0001 Make Your Own Campaign Ad! (PBS News)
Make your own campaign ad. 10-12
- -001 The President's State of the Union Speech (WhiteHouse.gov)
Provides the video. 01-12
- Presidential Ads (USA Today)
"USA TODAY's Political Ad Tracker takes a closer look at ads from candidates, parties and outside groups and allows you to rate whether an ad is believable and how it impacts your views on the candidates and issues in the 2012 campaign." 04-12
- Second Presidential Debate (Youtube.com)
Provides a video of the entire debate. 10-12
- -0001 Actress in Anti-Muslim Film Attempts to Get Film Blocked (ABC News)
An actress in the anti-Muslim film associated with riots and deaths in the Middle East is attempting to block the film on Google and YouTube.com as part of her free speech rights. The actress states that her words, which were not anti-Muslim, were dubbed over to create an anti-Muslim message. 09-12
- -0001 Election Results Map (Time.com)
Provides a map of election results. 11-12
- -0001 Fact Checks on the Third Presidential Debate (CNN News)
"Obama: Al Qaeda's core leadership has been decimated."
"Romney: This is a group that is now involved in 10 or 12 countries, and it presents an enormous threat to our friends, to the world, to America, long term, and we must have a comprehensive strategy to help reject this kind of extremism." 10-12
- -0001 Fact-Checking the First Presidential Debate (CBS News)
“In the first presidential debate of the general election campaign, President Obama and Mitt Romney went head-to-head over issues ranging from health care, to job creation, to tax cuts. Below, CBSNews.com looks into the facts behind those charges." 10-12
- -0001 Fact-Checking the Vice-Presidential Debate (CBS News)
Ryan claimed that Iran is an immediate threat because it has developed fissile material. "Biden emphasized that Iran has not yet produced weapons-grade fissile material, nor has it weaponized the nuclear program by securing a missile capable of delivering a nuclear strike."
"Multiple intelligence agencies, including those in the United States and Israel, have indicated that, although Iran is enriching Uranium as part of a civilian nuclear energy program, they have not yet decided to enrich it to weapons-grade fissile material, nor have they decided to weaponize the enriched uranium."
"In February, on CBS' Face the Nation, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta explained, 'Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they're trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that's what concerns us. And our red line to Iran is do not develop a nuclear weapon. That's a red line for us.' " 10-12
- -0001 Katrina Survivors to Sandy Survivors: Your Life Before Isn't Coming Back (CNN News)
"Romero became a photographer after Katrina because words kept failing her. When she tried to talk about it, her words were inadequate."
" 'Understand that the life you had before something like this isn't coming back, and that's not always a bad thing,' she said. 'Discover and make yourself anew.' "
"Writer Michael Tisserand and his wife, Tami, took damage to their home in Katrina. They and their two kids -- now 11 and 14 -- moved in with a friend."
"You're going to need lightness. Your sense of humor will be tested. Use it a lot."
"Don't be afraid to give or receive help, he said. Don't sit inside." 11-12
- -0001 Paul Ryan Thrills Republican Convention (ABC News)
"Entering the Republican National Convention to ebullient cheers, Rep. Paul Ryan stepped confidently into the national spotlight as his party's vice presidential nominee and promised that he and Mitt Romney would tackle the country's most difficult problems to fix the economy and create millions of new jobs."
"Ryan, known as an earnest policy wonk, gave a rousing address that targeted President Obama and repeatedly brought the Republican crowd to their feet. They were clearly delighted with Ryan's performance and the anticipation that he will be the one to go for Obama's jugular, a role that Romney has shied away from." 08-12
- -0001 Romney's Republican Acceptance Speech (CNN News)
"Promising his traditional conservative policies will restore America's greatness, Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination and then prepared to campaign with his running mate on Friday in two swing states vital to their chances of defeating President Barack Obama in November." 08-12
- -0001 Sandy May Be the Worst Storm Ever (ABC News)
"Recovery efforts after the widespread devastation and destruction caused by superstorm Sandy could be among the most expensive in United States history." 10-12
- -0001 Sandy Survivors Push for Normalcy (CNN News)
"A little less than 4.9 million customers across the eastern United States were still in the dark early Thursday, down from the nearly 8 million who lost power shortly after the storm hit." 11-12
- -0001 Slain U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens a Hero (CNN News)
"Stevens 'will be remembered as a hero by many nations,' his boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said this morning. 'He risked his life to stop a tyrant then gave his life trying to help build a better Libya. The world needs more Chris Stevenses.' "
"President Obama, who ordered flags lowered to half staff today, hailed the ambassador as a 'role model to all he worked with and the young diplomats that strive to walk in his footsteps.' " 09-12
- -0001 Supreme Court Rules Most of the Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional (Time.com)
"Barack Obama narrowly escaped a damaging rejection by the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday, when the Justices ruled that the health care reforms commonly known as 'Obamacare' passed constitutional muster."
"Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts ruled that the requirement that all Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014 could be upheld under the constitutional right of the federal government to levy taxes. 'Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax,' the majority opinion read. 'This is sufficient to sustain it.' " 06-12
- -0001 The Fed Takes on the Economy (Time.com)
"Here’s why you should care about the Federal Reserve’s latest round of bond-buying, announced Thursday by the central bank: One man has assumed the task of getting the flagging U.S. economy back on track. He says he’ll work for as long as it takes, all by himself if he has to. And he isn’t even an elected official."
"Chairman Ben Bernanke’s decision to make $40 billion in monthly asset purchases until the jobs market recovers marks a dramatic change of course for the Fed, which in the past has limited monetary stimulus to set periods of time. The pace of new bond-buying — or quantitative easing, as it’s technically termed — will lag behind that of similar action taken in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, but the commitment is completely open-ended." 09-12
- -0001 The Secret Cuban Missile Crisis--After the One We Know About (BBC News)
"Contrary to popular belief, the Cuban missile crisis did not end with the agreement between the US and Soviet Union in October, 1962. Unknown to the US at the time, there were 100 other nuclear weapons also in the hands of Cuba, sparking a frantic - and ingenious - Russian mission to recover them." 10-12
- -0001 U.S. Ambassador to Libya Killed (CNN News)
"The United States on Wednesday vowed to track down those behind the killings of its ambassador to Libya and three other Americans amid a regional furor over a film mocking Islam's prophet."
" 'We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act,' said President Barack Obama. 'And make no mistake, justice will be done.' "
"The slain ambassador, Chris Stevens, helped save Libya's eastern city of Benghazi during last year's revolution. He died there Tuesday night, along with another diplomat and two State Department security officers, when a mob stormed the U.S. Consulate and set it ablaze in what U.S. sources said Wednesday was a pre-planned attack."
" 'This was an attack by a small and savage group, not the people or government of Libya. Everywhere Chris and his team went in Libya, in a country scarred by war and tyranny, they were hailed as friends and partners. And when the attack came yesterday, Libyans stood and fought to defend our post. Some were wounded. Libyans carried Chris' body to the hospital, and they helped rescue and lead other Americans to safety.' " 09-12
- -0001 U.S. Ambassadors Who Have Died in the Line of Duty (Time.com)
Provides stories of past U.S. Ambassadors who have died in the line of duty. 09-12
- -0001 Who Is Igniting Outrage? (Time.com)
"The violence looked spontaneous; it was anything but. Instead it was the product of a sequence of provocations, some mysterious, some obvious. It seemed to start in the U.S., then became magnified in Egypt and was brought to a deadly and sorrowful climax in Libya—all on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. The cast of characters in this tragedy included a shadowy filmmaker, a sinister pastor in Florida, an Egyptian-American Islamophobe, an Egyptian TV host, politically powerful Islamist extremist groups and, just possibly, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya. The instigators and executors didn’t work in concert; they probably didn’t even know they were in cahoots. Indeed, some of them would sooner die than knowingly help the others’ causes." 09-12
- -001 Check Claims Made by Political Candidates or Their Campaigns (FactCheck.org)
"We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit 'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."
"FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels." 11-11
- -001 Did Obama End the Work Requirement in Welfare? (Politifact.com)
A Romney campaign ad states: "Under Obama’s plan (for welfare), you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check."
Politifact investigated the claim and found the Romney campaign ad claim was false: "The HHS memo in no way advocates that practice. In fact, it says the new policy is 'designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.' "
"The ad’s claim is not accurate, and it inflames old resentments about able-bodied adults sitting around collecting public assistance. Pants on Fire!" 08-12
- -001 Did Obama Rob $716 Billion from Medicare? (Politifact.com)
"Here’s how Romney put it in an interview with 60 Minutes shortly after selecting Ryan:"
" 'There's only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare, $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare.' "
Politifact investigated the claim and found the Romney campaign ad claim was false: "Neither Obama nor his health care law literally cut a dollar amount from the Medicare program’s budget."
"Rather, the health care law instituted a number of changes to try to bring down future health care costs in the program. At the time the law was passed, those reductions amounted to $500 billion over the next 10 years."
"What kind of spending reductions are we talking about? They were mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not beneficiaries."
"Obama and fellow Democrats say the intention is to protect beneficiaries' coverage while forcing health care providers to become more efficient." 08-12
- -001 Did Romney Propose a $5 Trillion Tax Cut? (Christian Science Monitor)
“Romney said flatly 'I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut.' He said the US should provide tax relief to the middle class, without reducing the share of taxes paid by high-income people."
"It is true that a central facet of Mitt Romney’s economic plan is a 20 percent across-the-board reduction in marginal tax rates, plus elimination of the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax (AMT). Do the math on how much money the federal government would forgo as a result of this, and it’s about $456 billion a year. Over 10 years, that rounds up to $5 trillion. That's the calculus behind the '$5 trillion tax cut' figure that Obama cites." 10-12
- -001 Do Obama Ads Twist Romney's Economic Record? (FactCheck.org)
"A new ad from the Obama campaign takes aim at Mitt Romney’s performance as governor of Massachusetts, claiming he had 'one of the worst economic records in the country.' But the ad overreaches with several of its claims."
"The ad states that job creation in Massachusetts 'fell' to 47th under Romney. That’s a bit misleading. Massachusetts’ state ranking for job growth went from 50th the year before he took office, to 28th in his final year. It was 47th for the whole of his four-year tenure, but it was improving, not declining, when he left." 08-12
- -001 Editorial: Obama's Speech to the Democratic National Convention (CBS News)
"But if the president didn't sketch a clear road map, it might not matter. The future is on its way. The budget deficits are unsustainable, the New Deal programs have to be reformed. Lawmakers are either going to do it or reality is going to do it for them. That means even if you don't put much stock in either man's plan for the future, one of them is going to be on the job when the hard choices are made about what to fund and how to reform taxes. If that's the case, then voters will need to pick the president they think will protect their way of life. 'Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace,' the president said. 'Decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children's lives for decades to come.' In that world, voters may pick Barack Obama not because they believe in his specific path, but because they trust his instincts to find a path in the messy future to come." 09-12
- -001 Editorial: What Is Authenticity? (PBS.org)
"The trap is this. Americans say they want their politicians to work together across party lines. Yet anyone who cuts a deal for what he or she perceives to be the greater good can immediately be branded as unreliable, inconsistent, inauthentic."
"Few successful politicians can really maneuver their way around this." 02-12
- -001 Editorial: Why Obamacare May Stand (Time.com)
"The individual mandate and Obamacare will sink or swim on one simple judgment: whether uninsured Americans are in the health insurance market. Everyone agrees that Congress can force the uninsured to buy health insurance if they are in that market."
"The best guide for navigating the question of whether the uninsured are in the health insurance market remains the opinion (.pdf) of Jeffrey Sutton, the former clerk of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Sutton ruled in favor of the law in the Sixth Circuit last June, and many of the questions asked this week by both sides of the court were grappling with and responding to the issues Sutton raised."
"Sutton said it seemed intuitive that Congress can’t force people to buy something they don’t want. But he then showed that the courts have already given Congress that power in other areas, like taxation. He further argued that the health insurance market is in some ways unique, because everyone will be in it at some point. Sutton concluded that 'sometimes an intuition is just an intuition' and that the mandate is well within Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution." 03-12
- -001 Editorial: Why Obamacare Supporters Are Getting Nervous (Time.com)
"The High Court appeared just as divided as the public and the lower courts whose rulings have both upheld and struck down the new health care law in the past year and a half. And when Obama’s Solicitor General Donald Verrilli stepped up to explain to the High Court that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is within congressional authority to impose, he faced far more hostility and skepticism than he probably expected."
"Throughout most of the proceedings, arguments toggled between the critics’ contention that the individual mandate is an unprecedented government power grab to force people to buy something, and the notion that the mandate is simply an attempt to regulate a health care market that already exists but functions poorly." 03-12
- -001 Electoral Vote Count (CNN News)
Provides projections by state. 09-12
- -001 Hard Questions From Judges Over Health Insurance (New York Times)
"The legal question for the justices was whether Congress had exceeded its constitutional authority in requiring most Americans to obtain insurance or pay a penalty. The practical question was whether Mr. Obama’s signature domestic achievement would survive."
"The law is the most ambitious piece of social legislation in generations. In attempting to deliver health care to tens of millions of Americans without insurance, it relied on a controversial mechanism at the center of Tuesday’s arguments -- requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty." 03-12
- -001 Has Obama Been on a Spending Binge? (FactCheck.org)
"Is President Obama’s spending an 'inferno,' as Mitt Romney claims, or a binge that 'never happened' as an analysis touted by the White House concluded? We judge that both of those claims are wrong on the facts."
"The truth is that the nearly 18 percent spike in spending in fiscal 2009 — for which the president is sometimes blamed entirely — was mostly due to appropriations and policies that were already in place when Obama took office."
"That includes spending for the bank bailout legislation approved by President Bush. Annual increases in amounts actually spent since fiscal 2009 have been relatively modest. In fact, spending for the first seven months of the current fiscal year is running slightly below the same period last year, and below projections." 08-12
- -001 President Obama Nominates Dr. Jim Yong Kim to Lead World Bank (Time.com)
"President’s Obama’s surprise choice to lead the World Bank, Dartmouth President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, is a widely respected figure with decades of experience working to tackle some of the world’s most intractable problems in public health. Obama’s nomination of Kim, who would be the first doctor to lead the World Bank, underscores the critical link between global medicine and economic development." 03-12
- -001 Republicans Looking for Voter Fraud Find Little Evidence (ABC News)
"Republican election officials who promised to root out voter fraud so far are finding little evidence of a widespread problem."
"State officials in key presidential battleground states have found only a tiny fraction of the illegal voters they initially suspected existed. Searches in Colorado and Florida have yielded numbers that amount to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all registered voters in either state."
"Especially telling, critics of the searches say, is that the efforts are focused on crucial swing states from Colorado to Florida, where both political parties and the presidential campaigns are watching every vote. And in Colorado, most of those who received letters are either Democrats or unaffiliated with a party. It's a similar story in Florida, too." 09-12
- -001 Romney Changes Strategy By Picking Paul Ryan for Vice Presidential Candidate (Time.com)
"For more than a year, Romney has framed the contest as a referendum on a failing president. Now he has made it a choice between two sharply different governing philosophies, and he touted his new running mate as 'an intellectual leader of the Republican Party' with a distinct vision for the nation’s future. Ryan 'has never been content to simply curse the darkness,' Romney said, speaking to a crowd of some 2,500 in this southern Virginia port city. 'He’d rather light candles.' "
"Ryan, 42, is a seven-term Congressman who represents a swing district in southern Wisconsin. He is the chair of the House Budget Committee, a perch from which he has played a pivotal role in shaping Republican policy on deficit reduction and entitlement reform. Ryan is best known for his 'road map' for balancing the federal budget, which prescribes deep cuts to social programs. Ryan is a proponent of privatizing Social Security, turning Medicaid into a block-grant system administered by the states, and transforming Medicare into a voucher system to purchase private insurance." 08-12
- -001 Romney Disavows Medicare Cuts Proposed by His Running Mate (Los Angeles Times)
"Mitt Romney on Wednesday unequivocally disavowed more than $700 billion in Medicare spending cuts proposed by his new running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin." 08-12
- -001 Romney Presents His Case at the Republican National Convention (BBC News)
"Mitt Romney has pledged 'to restore the promise of America', as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Florida." 09-12
- -001 The President's State of the Union Speech (Time.com)
Provides the text. 01-12
- -001 The Supreme Court to Take Up Same-Sex Marriage Laws (CBS News)
"The Supreme Court announced today that it will consider the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's ban on marriage, two cases that could have a significant impact on marriage laws across the country." 12-12
- -001 Truth-O-Meter on Newt Gingrich (PolitiFact.com)
Covers Gingrich's true and false statements. 01-12
- -001 Truth-O-Meter on Rick Santorum (PolitiFact.com)
Covers Santorum's true and false statements. 01-12
- -001 What Is an Election Caucus? (Christian Science Monitor)
" In the context of presidential politics, a caucus is a gathering of Republicans or Democrats for the purpose of stating a preference for their party’s presidential nomination. In Iowa, a caucus is held in each precinct, which means 1,774 meetings around the state." 12-11
- -01 Expenditures and Donations by Candidate (OpenSecrets.org)
Provides information on contributions and expenditures by candidate. 01-12
- -01 Green Party Response to Presidential Debate Question (USA Today)
“Third-party candidates were not invited to participate in the presidential debates. USA TODAY invited them -- and their vice presidential candidates -- to provide answers to one question from each debate. Here's Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's answer to how she would go about creating new jobs...."
"As our nation's first Green president, my mandate won't be just to "create new jobs." My mandate, if elected, will be to end mass unemployment once and for all. I will do this in my first term through a Green New Deal -- the centerpiece of my campaign -- which will create 25 million jobs through direct public works programs and support for cooperatives and community businesses. I urge voters to read about the Green New Deal on my website at JillStein.org." 10-12
- -01 How Do We Keep Candidates from Telling Lies Over and Over? (MSNBC News)
"Should the candidates be asked: As you prepare for a debate, is part of your preparation to remind yourself, whatever I say, I should play it straight with the American people? Aren't you embarrassed to repeat statements that any 8th-grader could look up in 20 seconds and discover have been proven untrue? Or do you calculate that it's acceptable to twist the facts to win an election?" 01-12
- -01 How to Fix Our Health-Care System (The Atlantic)
"It's hard to find anyone who defends the structure of American health care. Every incentive is misaligned. Patients have little incentive to be prudent in their use of services, or to pay the costs of their own unhealthy lifestyle. Under the fee-for-service model, doctors and hospitals get paid more the more they do. Fear of random lawsuits causes them to practice "defensive medicine," and chills open interaction with patients and other professionals. Insurance companies make more money by denying claims."
"These misaligned incentives, most experts believe, are largely responsible for the notorious inefficiency of American health care -- costing more than $8,000 per person, or twice what most other countries spend. The total tab -- $2.6 trillion in 2010, or 18 percent of GDP -- is substantially responsible for America's trillion-dollar deficits. The federal government pays roughly a third of the total national health care bill, mostly through Medicare (health care for the elderly) and Medicaid (health care for the poor). It also spends hundreds of billions -- $177 billion in 2011 -- in tax expenditures for employer-provided health insurance."
"Instead of aligning human incentives, the structure tries to contain costs through bureaucratic restrictions."
"About 75 percent of health care costs are attributed to chronic disease (a significant portion of which is brought on by obesity and smoking). About 30 percent of Medicare costs are spent in a patient's last year of life."
"The solution, widely embraced by providers as well as patient advocates, is to create reliable health courts."
"The way to align incentives, many experts agree, is by providing care through a single provider -- known in jargon as an 'accountable health care organization' or an 'integrated care provider.' Instead of being paid a fee for each service, the provider is paid a fixed annual price to do everything for the patient (with limited exceptions for catastrophic care). Instead of making more money by dialysis and amputation of limbs of patients with diabetes, the provider now has an incentive to keep the patient healthier by nudging them towards better lifestyles. The provider hires social workers in lieu of more surgeons." 05-12
- -01 Libertarian Party Response to Presidential Debate Question (USA Today)
“Third-party candidates were not invited to participate in the presidential debates. USA TODAY invited them -- and their vice presidential candidates -- to provide answers to one question from each debate. Here's Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's answer to how she would go about creating new jobs...."
"Everyone, including President Obama and former governor Mitt Romney, gives lip service to reducing the deficit. But when you do the math -- whether it be Obama's, Romney's or even Paul Ryan's -- there is no plan for eliminating deficits that adds up. When a politician, Republican or Democrat, tells you we can balance the budget while not reducing Medicare costs or while spending even more for defense, it simply cannot be done. And they know it can't be done." 10-12
- -01 New Preventive Health Services Now Free (Time.com)
"From birth control to breast-feeding support, American women are now eligible for eight additional preventive health care benefits without copay under the Affordable Care Act."
"Comprehensive preventive care coverage will now be provided for insured women enrolling in new health care plans or renewing their existing policies on or after Aug. 1, 2012." 08-12
- -01 Poll of Polls for "Battleground" States (CNN News)
"A CNN Poll of Polls is calculated using at least three polls that use CNN-approved methodology." 10-12
- -01 Scientist: Hot Summers Are Caused By Climate Change (Time.com)
"Hansen and his team looked at the recent past — rather than trying to model the future — to see if they could find the signature of man-made climate change through day-to-day and season-to-season weather. They used the period of 1951–80 as a base because it was a meteorologically stable stretch that also had a wealth of global weather data, unlike earlier periods. During that time period, extremely hot summers — like the one much of the U.S. is experiencing now — occurred only in 0.1% to 0.2% of the globe in a given year. But since 1981, extremely hot summers have baked about 10% of the earth’s land area annually — and in recent years, that percentage has been even higher."
"That means the odds of experiencing an extreme summer have risen from 1 in 300 during the 1951–80 period to nearly 1 in 10 now, according to Hansen’s calculations. “I don’t want people to be confused by natural variability,” he said in a statement. “We now know the chances these extreme weather events would have happened naturally — without climate change — is negligible." 08-12
- -01 Truth-O-Meter on Barack Obama (PolitiFact.com)
Covers Obama's true and false statements. 01-12
- -01 Truth-O-Meter on Mitt Romney (PolitiFact.com)
Covers Romney's true and false statements. 01-12
- -01 Unemployment Drops to 7.8 Percent (ABC News)
“With job creation at the center of the U.S. presidential race a month ahead of Election Day, the Labor Department reported Friday that U.S. employers added 114,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 7.8 percent, the first time the rate dropped below 8 percent in three years." 10-12
- -01-01-12 Peter Larson Shivers for the Homeless (ABC News)
"Abdulahi was shocked and touched when she realized that it was a boy who saved her and her children's chances at happiness."
" 'I don't know how to explain what he did," she said. "He was just a little boy and it surprised me so much. My God, it's really wonderful. We have a home where my children are safe and healthy and because of Peter I don't have to worry about them. He took a burden off my shoulders, and for my children took them out of a very, very stressful situation and showed them a beautiful world. They're inspired and they talk about Peter all the time, how they want to be good and help like him.' "
Also see Child Heroes 12-11
- -01-08-13 President Moves Ahead With Gun Control Task Force (CBS News)
"With a self-imposed end of January deadline to come up with a proposal regarding gun safety, Vice President Biden is accelerating efforts of the White House task force on gun violence with a series of meetings this week."
"The president created the task force shortly after the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., last month. He appointed Biden as the head of the task force and asked for recommendations by the end of January." 01-13
- -01-09-12 Obama's Chief of Staff Resigns (ABC News)
"Bill Daley tells ABC News that he resigned last week as White House chief of staff, as first reported by the Los Angeles Times."
"Senior administration officials confirm that Jacob 'Jack' Lew, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be the new chief of staff." 01-12
- -01-09-12 Transparent Iowa Caucuses May Reveal a Different Winner (BradBlog.com)
"Thanks to the transparent, open counting process at Tuesday's night's Iowa GOP Caucuses, and a Ron Paul supporter who was paying close attention to the results, we may now be learning that Rick Santorum, not Mitt Romney, actually won the 'First-in-the-Nation' Iowa Caucuses this week." 01-12
- -01-10-12 Editorial: Political Battles Becoming More Ruthless (CNN News)
"The whole saga is a succession of extreme acts."
"The first extreme act was the creation of the CFPB itself. Normally, federal regulatory bodies have multiple commissioners, some reserved for the minority party. CFPB has only one commissioner who controls vast and hazy powers over all American finance.The second extreme act was the Republican attempt to force changes in the CFPB by refusing to schedule a confirmation vote for the president's nominee to head the agency. Under the arcane procedures of the Senate, any one senator can indefinitely delay a vote on a nominee. This power is not found in any law. It's not found in the written rules of the Senate. It's a custom that has grown and grown and been applied ever more promiscuously by senators of both parties to advance narrow agendas." 01-12
- -01-10-12 Mitt Romney Wins New Hampshire (CBS News)
Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire with 36 percent of the vote, followed by Ron Paul (25 percent) and Jon Huntsman (17 percent) 01-12
- -01-11-12 High School Student Finds a Possible Cure for Cancer (CBS News)
"Angela's idea was to mix cancer medicine in a polymer that would attach to nanoparticles -- nanoparticles that would then attach to cancer cells and show up on an MRI. so doctors could see exactly where the tumors are. Then she thought shat if you aimed an infrared light at the tumors to melt the polymer and release the medicine, thus killing the cancer cells while leaving healthy cells completely unharmed."
"It'll take years to know if it works in humans -- but in mice -- the tumors almost completely disappeared." 01-12
- -01-11-12 Report: Nuclear Materials Are Not Secure (ABC News)
"A new report shows that President Barack Obama is a long way from reaching his goal of locking down the world's nuclear weapons material by next year." 01-12
- -01-11-12 Study Ranks Countries on Nuclear Security (New York Times)
"Now, for the first time publicly, experts have surveyed the precautions each country has in place and ranked the nations from best to worst. The study is full of surprises and potential embarrassments: for instance, Australia takes first place in nuclear security and Japan comes in at No. 23, behind nations like Kazakhstan and South Africa."
"The United States? It tied for 13th place with Belgium. Last place goes to North Korea, a police state that the report finds to be seriously deficient on issues of atomic security." 01-12
- -01-12-12 China Grumbles over U.S. Concern over Self-Immolations (Time.com)
"The Chinese Foreign Ministry has some advice for its U.S. counterpart: Stop meddling in Tibetan affairs. Earlier this week, a U.S. State Department spokesperson expressed “serious concern” over a series of self-immolations in Tibetan regions that have claimed at least 11 lives since March 2011." 01-12
- -01-12-12 Five Who Were Unjustly Imprisoned (Time.com)
"Jan. 11 marks ten years since the first detainees arrived at the U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Of the 779 imprisoned there since January 2002, only a small minority had any real ties to al-Qaeda. Many were arrested wrongly or turned in by opportunistic bounty hunters. TIME looks at a few tragic tales from the many that make up the grim Guantanamo decade." 01-12
- -01-14-12 Conservative Leaders Rally Around Santorum (ABC News)
"About 150 conservative and evangelical leaders said today they decided after a private meeting Friday night that Rick Santorum is the best candidate to support in the Republican presidential primary." 01-12
- -01-14-12 Editorial: Romney Taking Heat (PBS.org)
"Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks discuss the week's top political news, including the state of the GOP campaign, the effectiveness of Mitt Romney's defense of his record at Bain Capital, Ron Paul's young supporters, campaign financing and President Obama's re-election warchest." 01-12
- -01-14-12 FactCheck.org: Anti-Romney Ad Not Truthful (USA Today)
"A 28-minute political documentary released this week by a pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC presents a one-sided, often distorted and misleading view of Mitt Romney's years leading the venture capital firm Bain Capital." 01-12
- -01-18-12 "Old Media" Takes on "New Media" and Loses (New York Times)
"Internet protests on Wednesday quickly cut into Congressional support for anti-Web piracy measures as lawmakers abandoned and rethought their backing for legislation that pitted new media interests against some of the most powerful old-line commercial interests in Washington." 01-12
- -01-18-12 Mitt Romney Reveals His Personal Tax Rate (New York Times)
"As a candidate, Mr. Romney has also advocated for tax policies that would significantly benefit people who, like him, derive most of their income from investments."
"Assuming Congress does not act to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, the rate for capital gains income is set to return to 20 percent for the 2013 tax year, while the rate for dividend income will jump to 39.6 percent. But in his economic plan, Mr. Romney calls for making permanent the Bush-era tax cuts on capital gains and dividend income, keeping them both at the current rate of 15 percent." 01-12
- -01-18-12 Wikipedia Black Out to Protest Pending Legislation (New York Times)
"The user-created encyclopedia is one of a number of Web sites that temporarily closed at midnight Wednesday to publicize their belief that provisions in two Congressional bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act, referred to as SOPA as well as the PIPA, or the Protect IP Act, which may require search engines to block access to sites that employ copyrighted material via links or hosting, is tantamount to censorship, among other concerns." 01-12
- -01-22-12 Editorial: Things We Learned From South Carolina's Primary (CNN News)
"Though endorsements are great for generating media coverage and conveying a sense of credibility, they ultimately mattered little in the South Carolina race."
"According to exit polls of people who voted in the GOP presidential primary, 65% said the debates were important to their vote, with Gingrich winning those people by a more than 2-1 margin over Romney." 01-12
- -01-25-12 Editorial: Gingrich's Tax Plan (CNN News)
"According a new analysis, Gingrich's tax plan would reduce government revenue by a staggering $1.3 trillion -- or 35% -- in 2015, the first year the plan could be fully implemented."
"For businesses, Gingrich wants to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 12.5% -- a move that would take the rate from one of the highest in the industrialized world to one of the lowest."
"All those tax cuts mean the federal government would take in much less money. In order to balance the budget -- or get even remotely close -- government spending would have to be slashed by huge amounts."
"The highest-income individuals would see the greatest benefit. A full 99.9% of Americans with more than $1 million in income would get a tax cut. The average savings: $613,000, for an after-tax income boost of 28.7%." 01-12
- -01-25-12 Editorial: Romney Fails to Provide Details (CNN News)
"Romney wants Americans to pay lower income taxes, but hasn't said what the new rates will be, what the bracket structure will look like, or when he wants them to take effect."
"He wants to cut government spending to 20% of GDP, but is cloudy on exactly how that will happen."
"And his economic plan barely even mentions housing -- one of the economy's biggest drags." 01-12
- -01-26-12 Apple's $100 Billion Cash Surplus (Time.com)
"When Apple reported its blowout financial results this week, it disclosed an amazing fact: The company is now sitting on $97.6 billion in cash." 01-12
- -01-26-12 Apple's Outsourcing (Time.com)
"Although outsourcing and the consequent demise of the U.S. manufacturing sector is a perennially hot political issue, the economics of globalization suggest that U.S. jobs lost to cheaper overseas competition won’t be coming back." 01-12
- -01-26-12 Poll: Majority Would Vote All of Congress Out (MSNBC News)
"In a country sharply divided on almost every issue, most Americans agree on one thing: they don’t like Congress, and they would vote to replace every single member -- even their own -- if they had the option." 01-12
- -01-27-12 Another Administration-Backed Energy Company Goes Bankrupt (CBS News)
"An Energy Department spokeswoman said EnerDel had received $55 million so far under a program in which EnerDel matches federal investment dollar-for-dollar. Ener1 said in a statement that the restructuring would not affect EnerDel's operations. The company makes lithium-ion batteries for electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt."
"A CBS News investigation found earlier this month that a dozen green-energy companies - which in total received at least $6.5 billion in stimulus money from the federal government - have filed for bankruptcy protection." 01-12
- -01-30-12 Catholic Churches Take a Strong Anti-Contraception Position (CBS News)
"During church services on Sunday, Catholics around the country were read a blistering letter assailing the Obama administration for an 'assault on religious liberty' in the form of a coming requirement that most church-linked organizations - among them hospitals, schools and universities - offer birth control coverage as part of their health care plans." 01-12
- -01-31-12 Housing Prices Fall in November (CNN News)
"Home prices posted a steep, month-over-month drop in November, falling 1.3%, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city report. Prices fell in 19 of the 20 cities the index covers." 01-12
- -01-31-12 Romney Wins Decisive Victory in Florida (Time.com)
"Mitt Romney routed Newt Gingrich in the Florida primary Tuesday night, rebounding from the previous week's defeat with a commanding victory and taking a major step toward the Republican presidential nomination. Despite the one-sided setback, Gingrich vowed to press on." 01-12
- -01-31-12 The Coming U.S.-China Solar Panel Contest (Time.com)
"It's been a schizophrenic time for the U.S. solar industry. On the one hand, about $11 billion worth of solar power is set to be installed in 2012, with more than five times that figure in the investment pipeline. Demand for solar power rose eightfold between 2006 and 2011 — from 200 MW to 1,600 MW. Nationally, the solar industry employs some 100,000 Americans, a number that rose by nearly 7% last year — even as overall employment barely grew at all."
"Despite those rosy numbers, many U.S. solar companies — especially those that manufacture solar panels and modules — are struggling to survive. Most notably, the solar start-up Solyndra went under in 2011, taking with it over $500 million in government loan guarantees. The Bloomberg Large Solar Energy Index of 17 top solar companies lost more than two-thirds of its value in 2011." 01-12
- -02-01-12 Editorial: Could Birth Control Be Illegal Again? (Time.com)
"The right to use contraception seems so obvious that it is startling to realize that not that long ago even married couples could be arrested for using it. In 1965, the Supreme Court overturned a doctor’s conviction for helping married couples obtain birth control. It was not until 1972 that the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law making it illegal to distribute birth control to single people."
"Americans have been fighting for decades over abortion, but a new battle has been raging lately — and it’s one with a distinctly retro feel. This time, the war is over birth control: whether insurance companies or government should have to pay for it — and yes, even whether it should be legal." 02-12
- -02-01-12 Editorial: Gingrich's Claim of a "War on Religion" (Time.com)
"As ever, Newt Gingrich minced no words. 'I understand that there’s a war against religion,' Gingrich told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody last week, 'and I am prepared to actually fight back.' In the same conversation, Gingrich claimed that most journalists simply could not understand people of faith given the media’s purported secularism. And so Gingrich’s 'war' goes on."
"The nonbelieving, not the believing, are the ones who should feel outnumbered. According to Gallup, 78% of American adults identify with some form of Christian religion. Jews make up less than 2%; Muslims form 1%; and 15% say their 'religious preference' is 'none/atheist/agnostic.' Ninety-five percent of Americans who say they are religious are thus Christians. The President of the United States routinely invokes God’s blessing on the nation. Washington and state and county and city buildings throughout the country use religious imagery. We open our congressional sessions and our inaugurations with prayers; chaplains receive publicly funded salaries. The pagans, therefore, are not exactly at the gates."
"It is true that traditional Christianity is losing some of its appeal among Americans, but that is a religious, not political, matter. It is worth remembering that the Jeffersonian 'wall of separation' between church and state has always been intended to protect the church from the state as much as the state from the church. And evangelism is about winning souls more than it is about winning votes. For many serious believers, that’s the real war. And it’s not the one Gingrich thinks is unfolding." 02-12
- -02-01-12 Editorial: The Global Crisis of Stunting (Time.com)
"Stunting, or stunted growth, is the result of chronic nutritional deficiencies. A stunted 5-year-old is four to six inches shorter than a non-stunted peer. But lost height is the least of concerns: a stunted child, for instance, is nearly five times more likely to die from diarrhea than a non-stunted child because of the physiological changes in a stunted body. Stunting is also associated with impaired brain development. A typical stunted brain has fewer cells. The cells themselves are somewhat smaller, and the interconnection between them is more limited. This means lasting impaired functioning, which leads in turn to significantly reduced learning. Considering the severe effects, stunting has received far too little attention for far too long."
"Stunting is so common in some areas that it is sometimes mistaken for a genetic heritage, rather than a preventable condition. Just 21 countries straddling the globe account for more than 80% of the problem around the globe. In six countries — Afghanistan, Burundi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Timor-Leste and Yemen — 50% or more of all children under age 5 suffer from this condition. In Afghanistan, a staggering 59% of children under age 5 are stunted."
"How can a community, a nation or a continent ever hope to develop to its full capacity if its children cannot? In all conscience, how can those of us in societies not so afflicted withhold our help to combat stunting in the developing world? We know how to address the problem by providing expectant mothers, newborns and very young children nutrients such as proteins, fat and vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, iron and zinc." 02-12
- -02-01-12 Syrian Soldier Defects and Tells His Story (New York Times)
"Ammar Cheikh Omar recalled the first time he was ordered to shoot into a crowd of protesters in Syria. He aimed his AK-47 just above their heads, prayed to God not to make him a killer and pulled the trigger." 02-12
- -02-02-12 Congress Passes the Stock Act (CNN News)
"Aiming to restore voters' faith in Congress, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill Thursday that makes clear it's illegal for members of Congress, their staffs and many executive-branch employees to trade stocks and other securities based on inside information learned on the job." 02-12
- -02-02-12 Facebook Goes Public (New York Times)
"The social network company announced its $5 billion public offering Wednesday afternoon, which is expected to value the whole company at $75 billion to $100 billion. Ultimately, that offering will mint a lot of billionaires and millionaires." 02-12
- -02-02-12 Insurance Companies Required to Disclose Climate-Change Response Plans (New York Times)
"Insurance commissioners in California, New York and Washington State will require that companies disclose how they intend to respond to the risks their businesses and customers face from increasingly severe storms and wildfires, rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change, California’s commissioner said Wednesday."
"Last year’s level of natural disasters was unprecedented, according to an August report by the A. M. Best Company, which rates the financial strength of insurers. By late June, the estimated $27 billion in losses suffered by the American industry exceeded the 2010 total." 02-12
- -02-03-12 Komen Apologizes for Withdrawing Funds from Planned Parenthood (Time.com)
"Now that the most eminent breast-cancer advocacy group in the nation has apologized for its decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood, it’s worth looking at what went wrong. The backlash was not just grassroots and viral but reached the most senior levels. All seven California affiliates of Komen opposed the decision and Dr. Kathy Plesser, a member of Komen’s scientific advisory board, threatened to resign if they did not reverse it." 02-12
- -02-03-12 Unemployment Down (Time.com)
"Some Obama opponents are struggling to find a cloud in the silver lining of January’s jobs numbers, which estimated that there was a 243,000-job boost and a big drop in the unemployment rate, from 8.5% to 8.3%, last month."
"And when it comes to labor force estimates, the steep jump in the number of those not seeking work came entirely from the census adjustment, which added 1.25 million people to that group. If you take out the census adjustment, the labor force numbers stayed essentially the same, as reflected by the labor force participation rate of 63.7%. In other words, the spike in the number of people no longer looking for work is entirely the result of some people at the Labor Department adding numbers to their spread sheets rather than an actual observed shift anywhere in the real economy." 02-12
- -02-05-12 How President Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football (CNN News)
"A persuasive argument can be made that, were it not for what Roosevelt did during a meeting in the White House toward the end of 1905, football as we know it today would not be a part of American life. There never would have been a National Football League -- at least not the wildly popular NFL that has become such a sports, business and cultural institution -- and Americans would almost certainly be spending Super Bowl Sunday in a completely different way." 02-12
- -02-05-12 Obama Team Defends Birth Control Policy (USA Today)
"The Obama administration is defending a policy requiring religious-affiliated employers to cover birth control through its insurance policies." 02-12
- -02-07-12 House and Senate Stalled on Medicare Payments (New York Times)
"House and Senate negotiators are deadlocked over how to prevent a deep cut in Medicare payments to doctors who treat millions of Medicare beneficiaries, an impasse that could threaten broader legislation on a payroll tax cut."
"In the absence of agreement, doctors’ fees will be cut 27 percent next month, and many doctors say they could not continue treating Medicare patients under the lower payments." 02-12
- -02-07-12 Santorum Wins in Minnesota and Missouri (New York Times)
"His candidacy all but dismissed just days ago, Rick Santorum won the Minnesota caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, raising fresh questions about Mitt Romney’s ability to corral conservative support."
"Mr. Santorum was also running strongly in Colorado, a state Mr. Romney captured four years before." 02-12
- -02-08-12 The Obama Administration Birth Control Ruling (Huffington Post)
"U.S. Catholic bishops have slammed the Obama administration for a regulation finalized on January 20 that would require health insurance to include birth control and other preventative health services for women. The leaders contend the policy infringes on religious liberty because the church does not condone birth control of any kind."
"Over the weekend, Catholic clergy across the country called for congregations to pressure Obama to back down."
"The controversy centers on a provision in the 2010 healthcare bill which requires health insurance to cover basic preventative services for women. An advisory group, the Institute of Medicine, had recommended covering a fuller range of contraceptive services to help prevent unwanted pregnancies."
"Susan Wood, a health professor at George Washington University's Jacobs Institute of Women's Health who backs birth control, said religious groups should have no more control over what employees do with their insurance than with their salaries."
" 'This is an employee benefit issue. This is not the Catholic Church having to provide a service directly. No Catholic hospital is going to be required to write a prescription or provide a pack of pills.' "
"Two polls released by Planned Parenthood, which provides birth control and reproductive services, showed the majority of voters, including Catholics, support contraceptive coverage." 02-12
- -02-10-12 The Obama Administration Changes Birth Control Ruling (CNN News)
"Under the new policy to be announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works. The policy also ensures that if a woman works for religious employers with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to offer contraceptive care free of charge."
"The president will also announce that his administration will propose and finalize a new regulation during this transition year to address the religious objections of the nonexempted religious organizations. The new regulation will require insurance companies to cover contraception if the nonexempted religious organization chooses not to." 02-12
- -02-11-12 Catholic Bishops Not Happy with Obama Administration Changes (ABC News)
"The leadership of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops denounced President Obama’s contraception compromise in a letter to its membership, citing 'grave reservations' about a policy that would allow employees of religious institutions to have access to contraception at no additional cost through insurance companies."
"The revised plan, which was announced Friday, makes contraception available to employees of religious institutions who seek it, while keeping the costs of contraception from being incurred by religious institutions that have a moral opposition to it." 02-12
- -02-11-12 Saudi King Criticizes Syrian Vetoes (New York Times)
"The king of Saudi Arabia inserted himself directly into the Syria crisis on Friday, castigating Russia and China for vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution over the weekend aimed at ending the Syrian government’s deadly repression of a nearly year-old uprising." 02-12
- -02-13-12 President Obama Presents New Budget (USA Today)
"President Obama said today that his proposed $3.8 trillion budget will maintain the nation's nascent economic recovery, partly through essential spending on education and job training."
"The president also said his budget would reduce the federal debt by $4 trillion over 10 years, while increasing investments in jobs, manufacturing, transportation and education through higher taxes on the wealthy." 02-12
- -02-16-12 Abuse of Girls in Afghanistan (MSNBC News)
"Although baad (also known as baadi) is illegal under Afghan and, most religious scholars say, Islamic law, the taking of girls as payment for misdeeds committed by their elders still appears to be flourishing. Shakila, because one of her uncles had run away with the wife of a district strongman, was taken and held for about a year. It was the district leader, furious at the dishonor that had been done to him, who sent his men to abduct her." 02-12
- -02-16-12 Deal Reached on Extending Payroll Tax and Unemployment Benefits (CBS News)
"Relieved congressional bargainers say they've reached agreement on compromise legislation extending payroll tax cuts and benefits for the long-term unemployed through 2012, edging a white-hot political battle a major step closer to finally being resolved." 02-12
- -02-16-12 Gun Trafficking (CNN News)
"Mexico's president called on U.S. officials to stop gun trafficking across the border Thursday, saying the move would be the best thing Americans could do to stop brutal drug violence."
" 'The criminals have become more and more vicious in their eagerness to spark fear and anxiety in society,' President Felipe Calderon said. 'One of the main factors that allows criminals to strengthen themselves is the unlimited access to high-powered weapons, which are sold freely, and also indiscriminately, in the United States of America.' " 02-12
- -02-18-12 Editorial: Contraception Mandate Doesn't Protect Religious Liberty (US News)
"Proponents of this federal HHS mandate would like you to believe the main question is whether and how to increase access to contraception. But the real question here is whether the government can force religious organizations to either pay for activity that contradicts their religious beliefs or pay government fines. The First Amendment exists to shield believers and their institutions from exactly this kind of brute force."
"Constitutional prohibitions aside, the 'access' argument advanced by HHS's defenders is thin. Affordable contraception is already available to the majority of Americans. In fact, the federal government already spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year funding free (or nearly free) family planning services under its Title X program. Incrementally increasing consumption rates may be a government policy objective, but that misses entirely the superseding constitutional point: Whom can the government force to pay to make it 'free.' "
"There is no opting out under the federal mandate, which is unquestionably broader in scope and narrower in its exemption for religious groups than all of the 28 states' comparable laws. Religious organizations in states with a mandate—even those where there is no express exemption—may opt out by simply self-insuring, dropping prescription drug coverage, or offering ERISA plans. The federal mandate permits none of these alternatives, and therefore is less protective of religious liberty, which is the central issue in this debate."
Editor's Note: The mandate was changed from having religious institutions pay for the contraception insurance services to requiring the insurance companies to offer the services for free. 02-12
- -02-18-12 Editorial: Employees of Religious Institutions Should Have Access to Birth Control Coverage (US News)
"Family planning results in better health outcomes for women and their children—a woman who has a planned pregnancy is more likely to be in better health when she gets pregnant and more likely to seek prenatal care, and children who are born at least two years apart are healthier. Family planning is also the most effective tool we have in reducing unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion."
"Houses of worship are exempt under the Health and Human Services rule guaranteeing no-cost contraceptive coverage. But nonprofits, like hospitals, that serve the general public, employ people of all beliefs, and engage in secular, commercial activities must offer the same health benefits to their employees that any other business must provide. No right is absolute and this is a fair balancing of the competing interests at play." 02-12
- -02-20-12 Iran Warns U.S. on Syria (New York Times)
"Two Iranian warships docked in a Syrian port on Monday as a senior Iranian lawmaker denounced American calls for arming the Syrian opposition, adding to the international tensions over the nearly yearlong crackdown by the government of President Bashar al-Assad." 02-12
- -02-21-12 America Running Out of Wireless Bandwidth (CNN News)
"The U.S. mobile phone industry is running out of the airwaves necessary to provide voice, text and Internet services to its customers." 02-12
- -02-22-12 Comparison of Corporate Tax Proposals (ABC News)
Provides a "comparison of corporate tax proposals by President Barack Obama, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and GOP presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul...." 02-12
- -02-22-12 Journalists Killed in Syria (ABC News)
"A U.S. and a French journalist were killed in the central Syrian city of Homs today, the 19th day of intense shelling by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad bent on quashing a growing opposition." 02-12
- -02-24-12 Cartoons on Barack Obama 2012 (U.S. News)
Provides cartoons making fun of Barack Obama for 2012. 02-12
- -02-24-12 Cartoons on the Republicans 2012 (U.S. News)
Provides cartoons making fun of the Republican candidates for President. 02-12
- -02-24-12 Speed of Light May Still Be the Limit (CNN News)
"The contemporary understanding of how the universe works is based on Albert Einstein’s 1905 Special Theory of Relativity, which says the speed of light is a constant that cannot be exceeded - it's the universe's speed limit. To go beyond it would be to look back in time, the late German physicist said."
"Scientists at OPERA – which stands for Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Racking Apparatus – were surprised last year to find that tiny particles called neutrinos were arriving at their destination faster than expected. They were tasked with tracking tiny particles as they soar through 730 kilometers of solid rock between a particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva and the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy."
"But experts at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva said Thursday that their possible discovery might have been tainted by loose wiring." 02-12
- -02-26-12 Hillary Clinton Criticizes Syrian Regime (Boston Herald)
"Syrians in the military and business who still support President Bashar Assad should turn against him, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday." 02-12
- -02-27-12 Confidence in Obama Rises (MSNBC News)
"Amid better economic news, a declining unemployment rate, and an ongoing -- and combative -- Republican primary campaign, voter confidence in President Obama now stands at a nearly one-year high." 02-12
- -02-27-12 FBI Claims Billions in Restitution from Corporate Financial Crimes (ABC News)
"The FBI says its probes of corporate criminals led to 241 convictions and $2.4 billion in restitution for financial victims last year as agents went after insider trading and other investment crime that defrauded thousands." 02-12
- -02-27-12 Rick Santorum's Speech on Separation of Church and State (Christian Post)
" 'I don't believe in America the separation of church and state is absolute,' Santorum told host George Stephanopoulos. 'The idea that the church can have no influence or involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country. This is the First Amendment. The First Amendment says "free exercise of religion," that means bringing everybody, people of faith and no faith into the public square. Kennedy for the first time articulated a vision saying faith is not allowed in the public square.' "
br>Editor's Note: Please see John F. Kennedy's Speech on Separation of Church and State to judge for yourself whether Kennedy actually said (or implied) that "faith is not allowed in the public square." 02-12
- -03-01-12 Senate Votes Against the "Blunt" Amendment (CNN News)
"The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to kill a controversial proposal pushed by Republicans that would have allowed employers to opt out of providing health care coverage they disagree with on moral grounds." 02-12
- -03-07-12 Is Google Losing Out? (Time.com)
"The crazy, chaotic, idealistic days of the Internet are ending. Once, the Prairies were open and shared by everyone. Then the farmers arrived and fenced them in. The same is happening to the Internet: Apple, Amazon and Facebook are putting up fences — and Google is increasingly being left outside."
"The old Internet on which Google has thrived is still there, of course, but like the wilderness it is shrinking. Often these days, we sign up for Facebook or Amazon’s private version of the Internet. At other times, we use a smartphone and download an App instead of using Google search." 03-12
- -03-07-12 Romney Wins Super Tuesday, But Not the Momentum (ABC News)
"It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t impressive, but Mitt Romney came out a winner Tuesday night." 03-12
- -03-09-12 Unemployment Holds While Hiring Increases (CNN News)
"Employers added 227,000 jobs in February, the Labor Department reported Friday. While that's a pinch slower than in January, hiring was still better than economists had expected."
"Three straight months of job growth over 200,000 is considered a strong sign for the recovery going forward." 03-12
- -03-10-12 Editorial: FCC Should Take Limbaugh Off of the Public Airwaves (CNN News)
"Limbaugh doesn't just call people names. He promotes language that deliberately dehumanizes his targets. Like the sophisticated propagandist Josef Goebbels, he creates rhetorical frames -- and the bigger the lie the more effective -- inciting listeners to view people they disagree with as sub-humans. His longtime favorite term for women, "femi-nazi," doesn't even raise eyebrows anymore, an example of how rhetoric spreads when unchallenged by coarsened cultural norms."
"Spectrum is a scarce government resource. Radio broadcasters are obligated to act in the public interest and serve their respective communities of license. In keeping with this obligation, individual radio listeners may complain to the FCC that Limbaugh's radio station (and those syndicating his show) are not acting in the public interest or serving their respective communities of license by permitting such dehumanizing speech."
"The FCC takes such complaints into consideration when stations file for license renewal. For local listeners near a station that carries Limbaugh's show, there is plenty of evidence to bring to the FCC that their station isn't carrying out its public interest obligation. Complaints can be registered under the broadcast category of the FCC website: http://www.fcc.gov/complaints "
"This isn't political. While we disagree with Limbaugh's politics, what's at stake is the fallout of a society tolerating toxic, hate-inciting speech." 03-12
- -03-11-12 Editorial: Is Joseph Kony a Current Threat? (CNN News)
"And in a Foreign Policy blog post, journalist Michael Wilkerson wrote: 'But let's get two things straight: 1) Joseph Kony is not in Uganda and hasn't been for 6 years; 2) the LRA now numbers at most in the hundreds.' " 03-12
- -03-11-12 Editorial: Is Kony 2012 a Solution? (CNN News)
"Invisible Children's campaign is a well-packaged call to leave the state of affairs [in Uganda] untouched; their message seems so modern because their tools are. The point made is conformist: Fight violence with violence, dismiss intricate steps of social change and make a narrow ideology mass-compatible by having millions of unquestioning people raise their fists in support. For the U.S., Europe and other generally comfortable corners of the world, this is a worrying picture of a mass culture that easily falls for propaganda." 03-12
- -03-12-12 An Afghan Comes Home to a Massacre (New York Times)
"Displaced by the war, Abdul Samad finally moved his large family back home to this volatile district of southern Afghanistan last year. He feared the Taliban, but his new house was nestled near an American military base, where he considered himself safe."
"But when Mr. Samad, 60, walked into his mud-walled dwelling here on Sunday morning and found 11 of his relatives sprawled in all directions, shot in the head, stabbed and burned, he learned the culprit was not a Taliban insurgent. The shooting suspect was a 38-year-old United States staff sergeant who had slipped out of the base to kill." 03-12
- -03-12-12 Deadly Rampage of U.S. Soldier in Afghanistan (ABC News)
"An Army veteran of three tours in Iraq who left his base in the middle of the night is suspected of methodically killing 16 Afghan civilians, most of them children and women."
"The soldier's name has not been released, but a U.S. official told ABC News he is a 38-year-old staff sergeant who is married with two children. He is apparently based at Fort Lewis in Washington state." 03-12
- -03-13-12 Google Buys Wind, Invests in Solar (BusinessWeek.com)
"Google’s largest investment in wind power currently is in the Mojave desert, at the Alta Wind Energy Center, a project being developed by Terra-Gen Power. The Web-search company has invested $157 million in two wind-development projects. Google has also invested $100 million in Shepherd’s Flat, predicted to become the world’s largest wind farm, near Arlington, Ore." 03-12
- -03-13-12 Majority of Americans Want to Outlaw Super PACs (USA Today)
"Nearly seven in 10 Americans say super PACs should be illegal, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll."
"The strong feelings toward these groups are bipartisan, the poll shows. Seventy percent of Democrats and 55% of Republicans want to outlaw super PACs, as do nearly eight in 10 independents." 03-12
- -03-13-12 Romney Viewed as Most Electable but Not Conservative Enough (MSNBC News)
"Exit poll interviews with Republican voters in Tuesday’s Alabama and Mississippi primaries found that Mitt Romney’s positions on the issues weren’t conservative enough for most voters in both states." 03-12
- -03-13-12 Santorum Wins Mississippi and Alabama Primaries (New York Times)
"Rick Santorum captured twin victories in the Alabama and Mississippi primaries on Tuesday, overcoming the financial advantages of Mitt Romney and the Southern allegiances to Newt Gingrich on a night that amplified his argument that the Republican nominating fight is becoming a two-man race with Mr. Romney." 03-12
- -03-15-12 Arizona Wades into Contraception Controversy (CNN News)
"Women in Arizona may be forced to share certain private medical conditions with their employers if they want their contraception to be covered by health insurance, a bill proposes."
"The Arizona Senate is considering a bill that would give all businesses the option to exclude contraceptives from health insurance coverage. The only exception is if a woman can prove she is taking the contraceptives for other medical reasons.” 03-12
- -03-17-12 Editorial: Gloom We Can Believe In (Time.com)
"The last four minutes of the film are what you might have expected from the beginning: swelling music, the accomplishment check list, smiling faces. Hanks wraps it back to beginning. “Let’s remember how far we’ve come,” he says in the closing lines of the film, “and look forward to the work still to be done.” But the burden of Obama’s reelection message is not to tell people how good they have it. Americans clearly don’t feel that way, even with an improving job market. His task, if The Road We’ve Traveled is any indication, begins with reminding people how miserable they were in hopes that they look more favorably on how things are now.” 03-12
- -03-17-12 Editorial: Searching for Truth in the Afghanistan Massacre (CBS News)
"One of the houses has four rooms, a big house. Adults sleep separately from the children, if possible. They, like any couple, want privacy. The father was away. The dirt floors are generally swept clean and can even shine. The families would have slept on narrow wood cots with crossed rope bottoms and thin mattresses, or they slept on thin cushions, on the ground, or on kilims or capets."
"The shooter must have dragged them or carried them from their cots, if they slept on them, and put them all together in one room. Karzai said it wasn't possible. I don't know, but how could the soldier do this without worrying about other villagers coming? But then, maybe he didn't care. Would other villagers have cowered in their homes, afraid, or would some have come out?”
"In my view this case offers two possibilities regarding the villagers: (1) They do not like American soldiers, for so many of them to say that other soldiers were present, meaning that as a rule they are afraid of them; or (2) that they were ashamed over not responding as Afghan men, and thereby let one person massacre their neighbors." 03-12
- -03-20-12 War Games: Perils from Israeli Attack Against Iran (New York Times)
"A classified war simulation held this month to assess the repercussions of an Israeli attack on Iran forecasts that the strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead, according to American officials." 03-12
- -03-21-12 Editorial: Home Buying Is Cheaper than Renting (CNN News)
"In 98 of the top 100 housing markets, buying a home is more affordable than renting, according to the online real estate company Trulia. Only Honolulu and San Francisco buck the trend." 03-12
- -03-21-12 Venus Vows to Rise Again in Tennis (CNN News)
"The Williams sisters have not had it easy in recent years. Two of the modern era's most successful women tennis players have been beset by health problems which have deprived the game of two of its most marketable stars."
"Serena has overcome life-threatening blood clots on both lungs, while older sibling Venus is this week making her long-awaited WTA Tour comeback as she battles a debilitating illness that has sidelined her since last year's U.S. Open."
"After pulling out of her second-round match in New York, Venus revealed she had been diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome -- an incurable condition which affects energy levels and causes pain in the joints." 03-12
- -03-26-12 Weight Loss Surgery May Help End Diabetes (MSNBC News)
"Two studies find that weight loss surgery can eliminate the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in a large proportion of volunteers. That might not seem surprising, since obesity is the major risk factor for the disease. But in these studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, many of the patients got better within weeks, days, sometimes even hours after the surgery -- long before they lost any weight." 03-12
- -03-27-12 Editorial: Obama Care Is Constitutional (Time.com)
"Jonathan Cohn, one of the very best writers on this subject, cuts to the chase: If the individual mandate — the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance — is unconstitutional, then Medicare and Social Security must be unconstitutional too, and vice versa. It seems to me that this argument is dispositive — unless the distinction is made between Obamacare’s mandate of a private product and Medicare’s mandate of payment into a public health-insurance system (and, as Cohn argues, about 25% of Medicare recipients participate in private plans). You can’t allow the mandated taxation required for Medicare and Social Security and disallow an individual-mandate universal health care system." 03-12
- -03-27-12 Editorial: When Is a Biological Parent Not a Biological Parent? (Time.com)
"Social Security benefits are typically awarded to children of deceased wage-earners provided that the children were dependents at the time of death. How to handle kids not only born but also conceived posthumously?" 03-12
- -03-29-12 A Single Antibody May Cure Multiple Cancers (Time.com)
"A single treatment to cure all cancers? Scientists may be one step closer."
"In a recent study, scientists reported that they successfully tested an antibody treatment that shrank human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver and prostate tumors transplanted into mice. The antibody blocks a protein called CD47, which normally sits on the cell surface and issues a 'don’t eat me' signal that prevents the body’s immune system from attacking it."
"The researchers started by exposing tumor cells to macrophages, and the CD47-blocking antibody treatment, in a petri dish. When the antibody wasn’t present, the tumor cells survived. But when the antibody bound itself to CD47 and blocked its 'don’t eat me' signal, the macrophages destroyed the cancers." 03-12
- -03-29-12 Astronomers: Billions of "Earths" in Habitable Zone (CNN News)
If you're trying to count how many planets could be candidates for harboring life in our galaxy, this might blow your mind: Scientists now say there could be billions of them."
"Astronomers working with the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) HARPS instrument estimate that in our galaxy, there are tens of billions of rocky planets not so much bigger than Earth orbiting red dwarf stars within the habitable zones of those relatively cool stars. A habitable zone is the area in a star system where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface without boiling away or staying frozen." 03-12
- -04-04-12 Diagnosis of Autism Through Mutant Genes (New York Times)
"Teams of scientists working independently to understand the biology of autism have for the first time homed in on several gene mutations that they agree sharply increase the chances that a child will develop the disorder, and have found further evidence that the risk increases with the age of the parents, particularly in fathers over age 35."
"There are probably hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand, gene variations that could disrupt brain development enough to result in social delays. An intensified search for rare mutations could turn up enough of these to account for 15 percent to 20 percent of all autism cases, some experts say, and allow researchers a chance to see patterns and some possible mechanisms to explain what goes awry."
"In one of the new studies, Dr. Matthew W. State, a professor of genetics and child psychiatry at Yale led a team that looked for de novo mutations in 200 people who had been given an autism diagnosis, as well as in parents and siblings who showed no signs of the disorder. The team found that two unrelated children with autism in the study had de novo mutations in the same gene — and nothing similar in those without a diagnosis.
“ 'That is like throwing a dart at a dart board with 21,000 spots and hitting the same once [sic] twice,' Dr. State said. 'The chances that this gene is related to autism risk is something like 99.9999 percent.' " 04-12
- -04-04-12 Editorial: The Assault on Public Education (Truth-Out.org)
" 'In most states,' The New York Times reports, 'it is now tuition payments, not state appropriations, that cover most of the budget,' so that 'the era of affordable four-year public universities, heavily subsidized by the state, may be over.' " 04-12
- -04-04-12 The Assault on Public Education (Truth-Out.org)
" 'In most states,' The New York Times reports, 'it is now tuition payments, not state appropriations, that cover most of the budget,' so that 'the era of affordable four-year public universities, heavily subsidized by the state, may be over.' " 04-12
- -04-05-12 President Obama Disagrees With Augusta Golf Club (Politico)
"President Obama believes that women should be allowed membership in the exclusive golf club that is hosting Masters tournament this week, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday."
"The Augusta, Georgia golf club only admits male members, although women can play as guests. The issue became a topic of national conversation this year because the corporate sponsor of the Masters tournament is usually invited as a member – but this year’s sponsor, IBM, is headed by a woman." 04-12
- -04-06-12 Editorial: Disturbing Ruling of the Supreme Court to Allow Strip Searches (Time.com)
"People do not like being physically humiliated by their government. The outraged reactions of many Americans to the TSA’s post-9/11 airport screening procedures show how deeply people feel about the matter, even when the purpose is the very important one of stopping armed terrorists from getting onto airplanes. The Supreme Court majority, however, does not seem to get it — or to appreciate the fact that when the government can strip-search people who do not wear a seat belt, it can strip-search any of us." 04-12
- -04-06-12 Republican Party Makes Big Turnaround on Raising Funds (New York Times)
"Once teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and irrelevance, the Republican National Committee has raised more than $110 million over the past 15 months and retired more than half its debt, accumulating large cash reserves that could give Mitt Romney a critical boost later this spring as he intensifies his campaign against President Obama." 04-12
- -04-06-12 Unarmed Black Woman Killed by Police Officer (Time.com)
"Boyd's death comes less than a month after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, leaving many troubled by the regularity with which unarmed people of color are shot, particularly by individuals claiming self-defense. And for those left grieving, the failure of authorities to hold the shooter accountable is the greatest injustice of all." 04-12
- -04-08-12 Mike Wallace Dead at 93 (CBS News)
"For half a century, he took on corrupt politicians, scam artists and bureaucratic bumblers. His visits were preceded by the four dreaded words: Mike Wallace is here." 04-12
- -04-09-12 Bubba Watson Wins the Masters (CNN News)
"Watson would carry the day for the left-handers, becoming the fifth southpaw to win in the past 10 Masters. He had a chance to settle the matter on the first playoff hole – the 18th – but just missed an eight-foot birdie putt."
"Bubba went into the woods and came back with the trophy of a lifetime." 04-12
- -04-09-12 Warmest March in Recorded History (CNN News)
"March 2012 will go down as the warmest March in the United States since record-keeping began in 1895, NOAA said Monday." 04-12
- -04-10-12 China Is Headed for Change (New York Times)
"The dust hasn’t settled on the dramatic Bo Xilai affair in China."
"But the Bo affair is, essentially, a sideshow, a distraction from the essential challenges facing China under its changing leadership. Nobody can deny the country’s huge material achievements, and individuals live far better and freer lives than they did under the Great Helmsman. But the economic model is out of date."
"China is gripped by a major environmental crisis and an acute water shortage is building up in the north of the country. Beijing lacks a coherent foreign policy. Corruption is rife. Regulation and safety standards are weak. There is a broad lack of trust in institutions. The falling birth rate and increasing longevity mean that the demographics will shift during this decade so that the People’s Republic may become old before it gets rich."
"There is broad acceptance of the need to rebalance the economy’s excessive dependence on investment in infrastructure and real estate plus exports, moving it toward domestic consumption." 04-12
- -04-10-12 Obama Proposes 30 Percent Tax Rate for the Rich for Fairness (CBS News)
"A new report today from the White House argues that making America's richest pay at least 30 percent tax rate, is more 'a basic issue of tax fairness' than a way to generate lots of new revenue for a debt-ridden government."
"Just yesterday, White House officials conceded the Buffett Rule would only produce $47 billion over ten years in additional tax revenue for the government. That amounts to just 0.6 percent of the $7 trillion in spending projected for that period." 04-12
- -04-10-12 Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign (New York Times)
"Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday, bowing to the inevitability of Mitt Romney’s nomination and ending his improbable, come-from-behind quest to become the party’s conservative standard-bearer in the fall." 04-12
- -04-12-12 Truman - Hoover Alliance Changed the Office of President (Times.com)
"Truman had discovered in Hoover a most surprising ally, whose commitment to serving the country and strengthening the presidency was undiminished by the fact that at that point the White House was occupied by a Democrat. Hoover helped Truman sell the idea of European relief to a skeptical Republican Congress. Even more important, he oversaw that radicaloverhaul of the Executive Branch: As a result of their partnership, the Hoover Commission, which Congress created, Truman sanctioned, and Hoover chaired, produced the greatest transformation of the presidency in history, a concentration of power that ultimately yielded the CIA, the National Security Council, the Council of Economic Advisors, the General Services Administration, a unified Defense Department, and much more." 04-12
- -04-13-12 Suit Filed to Make Football Safer (CNN News)
"The players are seeking financial compensation, punitive damages and payment for medical monitoring and treatment, according to Locks Law Firm founding partner Gene Locks. Eventually, he hopes the suits will prompt the NFL to pay for monitoring and treatment for all former NFL players, regardless of whether they’re part of lawsuits."
"In May, scientists announced that an autopsy of the brain of former Chicago Bears safety David Duerson, 50, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, showed evidence of 'moderately advanced' chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE."
"CTE is a degenerative, dementia-like brain disease linked to repeated brain trauma. The disease has been found in the brains of 14 of 15 former NFL players, including Duerson, studied at the Boston University School of Medicine Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy as of last May. Their cases share a common thread – repeated concussions, sub-concussive blows to the head, or both." 04-12
- -04-19-12 Where Have the Jobs for Women Gone? (CNN News)
"Women were generally spared the worst of the recession, accounting for only one-quarter of the jobs lost. Men, on the other hand, were hit hard by the devastation in the construction and manufacturing industries."
"But the slow pace of recovery in women's employment has surprised and concerned some experts, who say it's unclear whether there will be a rebound anytime soon."
"While the private sector picked up nearly 2.9 million jobs over the course of the recovery, women secured only 23.5% of those positions."
"Women gained only 12.3% of the more than 2.3 million total jobs added to the economy during the recovery -- which include both public and private positions --according to the National Women's Law Center."
"Much of the blame lies in the steep loss of government jobs, particularly in local school districts, where women predominate. State and local governments were propped up in 2009 and 2010 by Obama's Recovery Act. But the funds largely ran out after that, prompting budgets and payrolls to be slashed." 04-12
- -04-20-12 Average CEO Pay (AFL-CIO.org)
The ratio of CEO-to-worker pay between CEOs of the S&P 500 Index companies and U.S. workers widened to 380 times in 2011 from 343 times in 2010. Back in 1980, the average large company CEO only received 42 times the average worker's pay."
"CEOs supposedly deserve all this money for increasing shareholder value. However, while the average CEO pay increased 13.9 percent at S&P 500 Index companies in 2011, the S&P 500 Index ended the year at the same level as it started." 04-12
- -04-23-12 Hypersonic Aircraft Flew Out of Its Skin (ABC News)
"It turns out that tearing through the atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound is bad for the skin, even if you’re a super high-tech aircraft developed by the government’s best engineers at its far-out research agency." 04-12
- -04-24-12 Companies Plan to Mine Precious Metals in Space (CNN News)
" 'There is clear evidence of significant platinum group metals on the moon from Apollo samples and lunar meteorites, and we've discovered evidence for localized hotspots that will help us choose landing sites to practice mining techniques,' Alan Stern, the chief scientist at Moon Express, said in a press release." 04-12
- -04-24-12 Meet the Woman Who Handled the Secret Service Scandal (Time.com)
"Leave it to a woman to keep the boys in line. According to the Washington Post, a top female member of the Secret Service was responsible for booting 11 agents out of Colombia after they allegedly solicited prostitutes while preparing for the President’s arrival in Cartagena."
"Despite supervisor Paula Reid’s best efforts to contain the situation, the sex scandal that splashed across front pages back in the U.S. completely overshadowed the agents’ mission at the Summit of the Americas. But while details of the scandal from bar to brothel to bedroom have been widely reported, Reid’s actions to stop the agents’ misdeeds has flown largely under the radar." 04-12
- -04-25-12 Donald Trump Attacks the "Windmills" in Scotland (USA Today)
"In a typically blunt display, the New York property tycoon told an inquiry into renewable energy to stop wind power efforts in the country's north."
" 'Scotland, if you pursue this policy of these monstrous turbines, Scotland will go broke,' he said. "They are ugly, they are noisy and they are dangerous. If Scotland does this, Scotland will be in serious trouble and will lose tourism to places like Ireland, and they are laughing at us.' "
"When challenged to produce hard evidence about his claims on the negative impact of turbines, Trump said: 'I am the evidence, I am a world class expert in tourism.' "
"The public gallery burst into laughter."
"Scotland's tourism agency said its own research shows 83% of UK visitors will not be turned off by wind turbines."
Editor's Note: We are reminded of another Don, Don Quixote, who sought to destroy monstrous windmills. 04-12
- -04-26-12 House Passes Cybersecurity Bill (CBS News)
"The House of Representatives passed on Thursday a controversial cybersecurity bill that would allow private companies to exchange confidential information with the federal government."
"The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which is designed to defend U.S. networks against cyber attack, passed the House 248-162."
"The White House threatened to veto the legislation, saying the bill fails to protect privacy and gives a pass to companies that do not secure networks critical to the nation's security." 04-12
- -04-26-12 Masses Sing to Annoy Mass Killer (CNN News)
"Norwegians raised their voices in unison on Thursday to get under the skin of admitted mass killer Anders Behring Breivik."
"An estimated 40,000 people turned out in central Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing 'Children of the Rainbow,' a Norwegian version of 'My Rainbow Race,' written by American folk singer Pete Seeger." 04-12
- -04-26-12 U.S. Escalates Google Case (New York Times)
"Federal regulators escalated their antitrust investigation of Google on Thursday by hiring a prominent litigator, sending a strong signal that they are prepared to take the Internet giant to court."
"The Federal Trade Commission is examining Google’s immensely powerful and lucrative search technology, which directs users to hundreds of millions of online and offline destinations every day. The case has the potential to be the biggest showdown between regulators and Silicon Valley since the government took on Microsoft 14 years ago." 04-12
- -05-01-12 Expenditures of the Recovery Act (Recovery.org)
"Estimated American Recovery and Reinvestment Act tax, entitlement, and contract, grant, and loan expenditures have been increased from $787B to $840B to be consistent with the President's 2012 budget and with scoring changes made by the Congressional Budget Office since the enactment of the Recovery Act in February 2009." 05-12
- -05-01-12 Obama Signs Agreement With Afghanistan's Karzai (CBS News)
"President Obama arrived in Afghanistan Tuesday for an unannounced visit to meet with U.S. troops stationed there and to sign a ten-year agreement with President Hamid Karzai on the role of U.S. forces beyond the end of the war in 2014." 05-12
- -05-02-12 Gingrich Ends Campaign (ABC News)
"Newt Gingrich ends his White House dream today with his political committee facing a mountain of debts -- owing about $4 million to scores of businesses and campaign workers around the country who fear they will never get paid." 05-12
- -05-04-12 Democrats Have a Voter Registration Problem (Time.com)
"Obama lost whites to John McCain by 12 points in 2008, but won Latinos by 36 points and blacks by an overwhelming 91 points. That means the effect of the drop in registration among whites is relatively diffuse, while the effect of a similar drop among Blacks and Latinos is much more pronounced for Democrats."
"Some Republican statehouses in recent years have enacted legislation imposing strict reporting requirements on groups that register voters. Compounding their problem is the fact that since 2008, 16 states have either passed new voter ID laws (four were vetoed) or strengthened requirements already on the books. That means that even if they get registered and get to the polls, some lower income and minority voters, who are less likely to have IDs, may be turned away." 05-12
- -05-09-12 How Will Hollande Lead France? (Time.com)
"Most of the world now knows François Hollande as the man who won France’s May 6 presidential election, and in so doing made incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy the nation’s first single-term head of state in 31 years. Many people have also heard Hollande described as the 'anti-Sarkozy': a self-styled Monsieur Normal who prefers low-volume discussion, consensus and unassuming behavior to the driving, head-knocking, cleaving ways of Sarkozy’s 'bling-bling' presidency." 05-12
- -05-10-12 Justice Department Plans to Sue Sheriff Arpaio (Time.com)
"Federal authorities said Wednesday that they plan to sue Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office over allegations of civil rights violations, including the racial profiling of Latinos." 05-12
- -05-12-12 Baseball Team Refuses to Play Because of a Girl on the Other Team (CNN News)
"The Arizona Charter Athletic Association state championship baseball game wasn't played Thursday night because Mesa Prep's second baseman is a girl."
"Paige Sultzbach, a freshman, is playing baseball because her high school doesn't offer girls softball. But the school Mesa Prep was to face in the final, Our Lady of Sorrows Academy, said its boys would not compete against a team with a girl and forfeited the game - and the state title - to Mesa Prep." 05-12
- -05-12-12 JPMorgan Lobbied for a Loophole to Allow Risky Trading (MSNBC News)
"Soon after lawmakers finished work on the nation’s new financial regulatory law, a team of JPMorgan Chase lobbyists descended on Washington. Their goal was to obtain special breaks that would allow banks to make big bets in their portfolios, including some of the types of trading that led to the $2 billion loss now rocking the bank." 05-12
- -05-12-12 Women Promoting Women in the Work Place (Time.com)
"Soon after lawmakers finished work on the nation’s new financial regulatory law, a team of JPMorgan Chase lobbyists descended on Washington. Their goal was to obtain special breaks that would allow banks to make big bets in their portfolios, including some of the types of trading that led to the $2 billion loss now rocking the bank." 05-12
- -05-13-12 Women Sentenced to 20 Years in Warning Shot Case (CNN News)
"Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband." 05-12
- -05-18-12 CDC Urges Hepatitis C Test for Baby Boomers (CBS News)
"All adults born between 1945 and 1965 should get a blood test to see if they have hepatitis C, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in draft recommendations issued Friday." 05-12
- -05-18-12 Facebook Debuts IPO (Time.com)
"Facebook’s public debut — the largest tech IPO in history — underperformed expectations Friday, jumping 13% to hit $43 just minutes after trading began, only to quickly retreat to the initial offering price of $38. At that point, the IPO underwriters, including the largest banks on Wall Street, stepped in and bought shares in order to support the price, according to The Wall Street Journal. The IPO faced early technical trouble, as the NASDAQ stock exchange was forced to delay the offering for almost 30 minutes. At the end of trading, Facebook shares closed at $38.23, essentially flat."
"Facebook investors are betting on steep revenue and earnings growth over the next few years. With $1 billion in profit last year, the company has an extremely high price-to-earnings ratio of 100-to-1, higher than Google’s when the search titan went public in 2004. Facebook users have given the company a treasure-trove of personal data ripe for targeted advertising. Zuckerberg’s challenge now is to use all that data to generate the kind of profit that will justify Facebook’s sky-high valuation." 05-12
- -05-18-12 WHO Report: One Third of World Has Hepatitis (CBS Nerws)
"Hepatitis takes a huge toll on health. More than two billion people - roughly one-third of the entire world population - is infected with one of the viruses that causes the potentially deadly liver disease, according to a new estimate from the World Health Organization."
"Tragically, most people infected with one of the viruses that cause hepatitis don't know they're infected. That increases the risk that they will unwittingly transmit the virus to other people.” 05-12
- -05-20-12 Editorial: Have Politicians Grown Smaller (PBS News)
"Is it just my imagination, or have politics and politicians grown smaller?” 05-12
- -05-23-12 SpaceX Opens New Commerical Path to Outer Space (ABC News)
"A privately built space capsule that's zipping its way to the International Space Station has also launched something else: A new for-profit space race."
"The capsule called Dragon was due to arrive near the space station for tests early Thursday and dock on Friday with its load of supplies. Space Exploration Technologies Corp. — run by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk — was hired by NASA to deliver cargo and eventually astronauts to the orbital outpost."
"And the space agency is hiring others, too."
"Several firms think they can make money in space and are close enough to Musk's company to practically surf in his spaceship's rocket-fueled wake. There are now more companies looking to make money in orbit — at least eight — than major U.S. airlines still flying." 07-07
- -05-24-12 Editorial: Death of the Big Box Store? (Time.com)
"This may seem a bit counterintuitive for those of us who don’t follow the retail industry closely. After all, didn’t large big-box retailers just finish putting smaller mom-and-pops out of business with their giant selection and amazing supply chain efficiency? The answer to that question is yes, they did — but the marketplace evolves quickly these days, and the narratives that defined the 2000s will not necessarily hold in the 2010s."
"So what’s behind a store like Best Buy’s headlong decline? One word: Amazon. Specialty big-box stores like Best Buy have made a killing the past 20 years by offering a huge selection of products at low prices. But there is no way the firm can compete with an Internet retailer like Amazon on those measures. Even worse for Best Buy is the phenomenon of 'showrooming,' whereby shoppers check out an item in a store and then buy it through an online competitor for a lower price. This is particularly frustrating for brick-and-mortar stores because it takes their one tangible advantage to online retailers — the in-store experience — and turns it into a way for their competitors to steal market share." 05-12
- -05-24-12 Poll: Obama's Persuasive Powers on Gay Marriage in Maryland (Time.com)
"The poll, conducted after Obama came out, found a 12-point swing toward support for gay marriage in the state. That’s not insignificant on its own, but the demographics of the shift are more telling:"
"The movement over the last two months can be explained almost entirely by a major shift in opinion about same-sex marriage among black voters. Previously 56% said they would vote against the new law with only 39% planning to uphold it. Those numbers have now almost completely flipped, with 55% of African Americans planning to vote for the law and only 36% now opposed." 05-12
- -05-26-12 Editorial: Lessons We've Learned in Afghanistan (Time.com)
"We have learned a great deal in the past 11 years. We have learned about the power of ethnicity, sectarianism and, above all, geography. We've learned of the impotence of Western imperial inventions like the cobbled-together nonstates of Iraq and Pakistan. We've learned that Southwest Asia is no more hospitable to Western expeditionary forces than Southeast Asia was. Perhaps, in the process, we've also learned something about the importance of humility as we make our way in the world." 05-12
- -05-28-12 Vatican Report Reprimands U.S. Catholic Nuns (CNN News)
"The showdown between the Vatican and America's largest group of Catholic nuns is expected to peak this week when group leaders will meet to determine a response to the Vatican's reprimand for the group's 'radical feminist themes.' "
"The church also demands major reforms from the nuns' group." 05-12
- -05-28-12 Youngest Child Ever Competes in National Spelling Bee (ABC News)
"When Lori Anne spelled 'vaquero' to win the regional bee in Prince William County in March, she set a new standard for youth in the national bee's 87-year history." Lori Anne Madison is 6 years old. 05-12
- -05-29-12 US and Other Nations Expel Syrian Diplomats (MSNBC News)
"The United States and a string of other nations expelled Syrian diplomats Tuesday, in response to a United Nations announcement that most of the 108 victims of the Houla violence had been executed."
"Images of bloodied, young bodies laid out in a shallow grave after Friday's onslaught triggered shock around the world and underlined the failure of a six-week-old U.N. cease-fire plan to stop the violence."
"Most of the victims were shot at close range. 'At this point it looks like entire families were shot in their houses,' Colville was quoted as saying by The Telegraph."
"U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded that those who carried out the killings be held to account.'The United States will work with the international community to intensify our pressure on Assad and his cronies, whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end,' she said." 05-12
- -05-31-12 Airlines Now Against Families? (Time.com)
"The fees aren’t chump change. Schumer writes that a family of four could incur $200 in seat reservations charges just so that they could sit together on both legs of a round trip"
"Now, the nonprofit Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA), which works on the behalf of travelers’ rights, has chimed in to criticize the rise of fees for seat reservations and baggage, as well as the decrease in policies allowing passengers with special needs to board planes first." 05-12
- -05-31-12 Appeals Court: Heart of Gay Marriage Law Unconstitutional (Time.com)
"An appeals court ruled Thursday that the heart of a law that denies a host of federal benefits to gay married couples is unconstitutional."
"The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston said the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, discriminates against married same-sex couples by denying them federal benefits." 05-12
- -05-31-12 Fox News Produces and Airs Anti-Obama Video (CBS News)
"Fox News is under fire for a campaign ad-style four-minute video highly critical of President Obama, which ran twice on the cable channel's morning program "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday morning." 05-12
- -06-01-12 Snigdha Nandipati Wins the National Spelling Bee (CBS News)
"Snigdha Nandipati clinched the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee title with the French word guetapens." 05-12
- -06-03-12 U.S. Catholic Nuns Reprimand the Vatican (CNN News)
"The leadership representing most of America’s nuns came out swinging Friday against the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, in the face of charges from the Vatican that the nuns are espousing 'radical feminism' and straying from church teaching." 06-12
- -06-04-12 Editorial: How About Restricting French Fries? (CNN News)
"Obesity is the result of an extremely complex interplay of factors, including dietary habits, environment, genes, etc. One of the best studies available, appearing last year in The New England Journal of Medicine, tells a more complicated picture."
"The study shows that if you increase drinking sugary beverages by one serving per day, it will lead you to gain an additional pound of body weight over four years. A similar amount of weight would be gained from eating an additional serving of red or processed meat daily for four years. But when it comes to potato chips, there seems to be a stronger relationship with weight gain (1.65 pounds). And French fries blew away the numbers (3.65 pounds)."
Editor's Note: Also try: Fast Foods. 06-12
- -06-04-12 Editorial: Restricting the Size of Sugary Drinks Is a Worthy Experiment (CNN News)
"Some object that the [New York] mayor's proposal to restrict serving sizes will restrict liberty. But the liberty restricted is not the liberty of the soda-drinker. If they wish, soda drinkers can buy a 2-liter bottle of soda at the grocery for about $1.70 and pour as much of it down their throats as they wish. The liberty that is being restricted is the liberty of the soda seller to manipulate known human weaknesses to the seller's advantage and the buyer's detriment."
"There is little doubt about the serious health effects of sugary soda. Just one soda a day doubles a woman's risk of diabetes, according to the Harvard Journals of Public Health. Two sodas raises her risk of heart disease by 40%." 06-12
- -06-06-12 Editorial: The I.R.S. Needs to Investigate "Welfare" Claims of Political Ad Groups (New York Times)
"As Jeremy Peters recently reported in The Times, that [a Crossroads] ad is part of a $25 million campaign that was based on 18 focus groups and field tests conducted by Crossroads, all to determine the most effective attack lines against the president. Is that the action of a tax-exempt social welfare group not primarily active in politics?"
"The I.R.S. generally makes that kind of assessment by examining a 501(c)(4)’s activity over a calendar year, so a full reckoning of this year’s campaign finance travesty won’t happen before 2013. But some of these groups, including Crossroads, have been operating with the tax agency’s implicit consent since 2010. Even a cursory audit would show how little they deserve to call themselves a 'social welfare group' and claim a tax exemption."
"Removing the 501(c)(4) exemption would be serious: it would force Crossroads to either retain its tax exemption by converting to a super PAC and disclosing its donors, or pay taxes on its tens of millions in donations. American voters would win either way: they might learn who is behind those millions, and the disclosure and tax requirements would reduce the shadowy money pouring into the campaign."
"If the I.R.S. had stood up to this farce last year, it would have had a hugely beneficial effect on this year’s campaign. Though it needs more resources and better legal tools, it mostly requires the will to enforce the law." 06-12
- -06-06-12 Latest Pictures of Venus and the Sun (Time.com)
"For nearly all of human history, there was only one way to observe a cosmic event: with your eyes. This was a bad thing if the event occurred on a cloudy day, and an even worse thing if it wasn’t cloudy but the event was a solar eclipse, which could wind up being, well, the last thing you’d ever see."
"A lot has changed, and that fact was spectacularly in evidence this week, as Venus made one of its very rare transits of the sun—an event that won’t come again for 105 years. All over the world, skywatchers had telescopes and cameras pointed sunward as the black speck of Venus glided slowly across the solar disk. But 22,000 mi. (36,000 km) above the Earth, another set of eyes was watching the event. Those eyes belong to the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), whose designers know a thing or two about looking at the sun." 06-12
- -06-06-12 Ray Bradbury Dies (New York Times)
"Ray Bradbury, a master of science fiction whose lyrical evocations of the future reflected both the optimism and the anxieties of his own postwar America, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 91." 06-12
- -06-07-12 Dawn Loggins, Homeless High School Student Makes It to Harvard (CNN News)
"She was homeless at the start of the school year, abandoned by her drug-abusing parents. The teachers and others in town pitched in -- donating clothes and providing medical and dental care. She got the janitorial job through a school workforce assistance program." 06-12
- -06-08-12 Exceptional Ecosystem Found Under Arctic Ice (New York Times)
"The quantities of plankton are 'truly exceptional,' says Walker Smith, a marine biologist at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., who was not part of the team conducting the research."
"If these blooms are widespread under the ice along continental shelves, the primary productivity in these regions could be up to 10 times greater than open-water productivity, the team estimates."
"In addition, researchers have noted that the Arctic ocean is becoming an enormous sink for atmospheric CO2 as the waters open up in the summer. Yet the open waters in the Chukchi Sea don't show the levels of dissolved CO2 they should if that's the case. Now, it looks as though the answer lies with the under-ice phytoplankton blooms, because they consume the CO2 via photosynthesis, just as land plants do." 06-12
- -06-11-12 Editorial: 'Anti-Business' Label Could Hurt Obama (CNN News)
"When asked, 45% of American voters agreed, 'Mitt Romney can't be trusted with our economy because he worked in the private equity industry, which profits from downsizing companies.' But 55% of voters agreed, 'Attacking the entire private equity industry for the actions of one person who worked in the industry over 10 years ago is unfair, and it's a perfect example of the Obama administration's anti-business mindset.' " 06-12
- -06-11-12 Spain Agrees To Be Assisted (Time.com)
"Knowing how bailouts doomed the governments of other countries, Spain insists it has accepted a massive 'loan' to recapitalize its banks. Others, however, are calling it as they see it." 06-12
- -06-12-12 Spain No Longer in Denial? (PBS.org)
"As Spain secured up to $125 billion from the eurozone to bolster its ailing banks, early optimism was overshadowed by worries that the amount might not be enough."
"All of this stems from the collapse of the real estate bubble in Spain and the banks holding the bag, in essence."
"And the bust breaks the back of the banks. There needs to be a bailout. Unfortunately, the Spanish government has been in denial about the true state of its banks for pretty much since the crisis began. But you could say that finally they have run out of options. So what happened over the weekend was really the end of denial." 06-12
- -06-16-12 Immigration Lessons (CNN News)
"Immigration is divisive, a wedge issue in this election year. But most Americans (73%) agree that the government is doing a poor job of managing it."
"So, how should the U.S. handle immigration? Does anyone else do it better? What can the U.S. learn from successes – and possible mistakes – from other countries?" 06-12
- -06-16-12 Romney Won't Commit to Repealing Obama's New Immigration Policy (ABC News)
"Mitt Romney appeared on CBS' 'Face The Nation' on Sunday, telling Bob Schieffer that President Obama's decision to halt the deportation of as many as 800,000 young illegal immigrants was politically-driven, but refused to say he would repeal the order if elected president." 06-12
- -06-20-12 Scoreboard for Saving the Environment (Time.com)
Recommends what should be done globally, but won't be done:
"CONFER tangible value to species in biologically diverse regions by requiring payment of royalties for the use of their genetic materials."
"FIND a way to put the brakes on the world's spiraling population, which will otherwise double by the year 2050."
"PUT an international tax on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases."
"PUT strict limits on the trade of timber from the earth's remaining virgin forests."
"SET up a recycling plan in every major city in the world."
"GIVE the United Nations broad powers to create an environmental police force for the planet." 06-12
- -06-20-12 Will the Supreme Court Consider a Campaign Finance Change? (Time.com)
"In 1912, when Montana’s “copper kings” routinely drew on their immense wealth to buy off local politicians, the state’s citizens approved a ballot initiative called the Corrupt Practices Act, which banned corporate money in state campaigns and imposed strict limits on individual donations. Today state legislators can take no more than $160 from individual donors; candidates for governor can take about $1,000. The winner of a Montana senate race spends an average of $17,000 — compare that with the $125 million–plus that’s been spent in Wisconsin on a series of recall elections since last winter. Montana’s insistence on transparency and the barriers it built to contain corporate spending have 'nurtured a rare, pure form of democracy,' wrote Brian Schweitzer, the state’s Democratic governor, in an op-ed this month."
"But such democracies have been upended by Citizens United, the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that political spending by corporations and unions is protected speech under the First Amendment." 06-12
- -06-21-12 Over Half a Million Wells in the U.S. Hold Waste With Unknown Risks (MSNBC News)
"Over the past several decades, U.S. industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation's geology as an invisible dumping ground."
"No company would be allowed to pour such dangerous chemicals into the rivers or onto the soil. But until recently, scientists and environmental officials have assumed that deep layers of rock beneath the earth would safely entomb the waste for millenia."
"There are growing signs they were mistaken."
"Records from disparate corners of the United States show that wells drilled to bury this waste deep beneath the ground have repeatedly leaked, sending dangerous chemicals and waste gurgling to the surface or, on occasion, seeping into shallow aquifers that store a significant portion of the nation's drinking water."
" 'There is no certainty at all in any of this, and whoever tells you the opposite is not telling you the truth,' said Stefan Finsterle, a leading hydrogeologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who specializes in understanding the properties of rock layers and modeling how fluid flows through them. 'You have changed the system with pressure and temperature and fracturing, so you don't know how it will behave.' "
Editor's Note: This is relevant to the extraction of natural gas through fracking. 06-12
- -06-24-12 Approval Rating of the Supreme Court Drops (New York Times)
"Just 44 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing and three-quarters say the justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal or political views, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News."
"Those findings are a fresh indication that the court’s standing with the public has slipped significantly in the past quarter-century, according to surveys conducted by several polling organizations. Approval was as high as 66 percent in the late 1980s, and by 2000 approached 50 percent." 06-12
- -06-25-12 Seniors Saved $3.7 Billion Under Health Care Act (CNN News)
"More than 5.2 million Medicare beneficiaries have saved a total of $3.7 billion on their prescription drugs since the health care reform law went into effect, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Monday."
"The Affordable Care Act -- also known as health care reform -- which passed in 2010 mandated financial relief for seniors who fall into Medicare's so-called 'donut hole.' " 06-12
- -06-25-12 Supreme Court Outlaws Limits on Spending in Montana (MSNBC News)
"The Supreme Court overturned Monday a Montana state law which banned independent political spending by corporations."
"By reversing a ruling by the Montana Supreme Court which had upheld the 1912 law, the high court re-affirmed its own 2010 Citizens United decision which held that a ban on corporate independent political spending was unconstitutional under the First Amendment." 06-12
- -06-26-12 Both Sides Claim Victory on Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona Immigration Laws (Arizona Republic)
"On Monday, after the court issued its 5-3 decision upholding the law's most controversial provision but striking down three portions that the justices said encroached on federal immigration-enforcement powers, both sides claimed victory."
"Political analysts and some law-enforcement authorities predict that little -- at least in the short term -- is likely to change as a result of the highly anticipated ruling: Politicians will try to use the ruling to their benefit, but in most cases, those who are passionate about immigration are already solidly in one camp or the other. Authorities won't begin enforcing the provision until a lower court lifts a 2-year-old injunction, and even then, federal immigration officials say they will continue to be selective about whom they deport. But legal experts say the court's ruling rendered a fatal blow to similar immigration laws nationwide and opens the door to additional legal challenges."
For more on immigration issues, click here 06-12
- -06-26-12 Both Sides Claim Victory on Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona Immigration Laws (PBS.org)
"The justices unanimously upheld the law's provision requiring police officers to check the immigration status of any individual they suspect is in the country illegally. Three other parts of the law were struck down, including one element that would have made it a crime for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job."
This article provides links to a variety of newspapers to show different headlines covering the same outcome. For more on immigration issues, click here 06-12
- -06-28-12 Supreme Court Rules Most of the Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional (Time.com)
Provides the text of the Court's decision. 06-12
- -07-06-12 Check Your Computer for the DNSChanger Virus (CBS News)
"The malware no longer circulates the Web, but your PC might be infected and you could be unaware. (Though to be honest, the odds are low -- especially if you run any sort of anti-virus or anti-malware software.) To be sure, though, visit dns-ok-us to run a quick check to see if your computer is infected. Also go to the DNSChanger Working Group's website for more detailed testing information and for instructions on how to rid your network of the malware." 07-12
- -07-09-12 Viewer Responses to Political Ads (USA Today)
Provides an analysis of reactions of voters to massive presidential ad campaigns in swing states. 07-12
- -07-10-12 Attorney General Slams the Texas Voter ID Law (Christian Science Monitor)
"Eric Holder, addressing a national NAACP convention in Houston, pledged to aggressively enforce voting and other civil rights laws and compared the Texas voter ID law to an illegal poll tax."
"The attorney general said the Texas law permits concealed handgun licenses as a valid voter ID but not student IDs."
"He added that a recent national study had shown that while roughly 8 percent of white voting-age citizens lack government issued photo ID, 25 percent of prospective voters who are African-American do not possess acceptable identification." 07-12
- -07-10-12 Poll: The Presidential Contest Will Be Close (ABC News)
"Economic discontent and substantial dissatisfaction with Barack Obama’s performance in office are keeping Mitt Romney competitive in the presidential race – but not by enough of a margin to overcome Obama’s stronger personal profile. The result: A dead heat in voter preferences at the midsummer stage, with the prospect of an epic battle ahead." 07-12
- -07-11-12 Melinda Gates Launches Global Effort for Contraception (Time.com)
"Decades of research shows, conclusively, that improving access to contraception is good for women, good for children, good for countries. Yet over the last 15 years, support for family planning programs has plummeted. The redirection of development funds to HIV/AIDS programs explains some, but not all, of the drop. Coercive campaigns like China’s one-child policy and forced sterilizations in India have fostered suspicion about state-backed population programs. Conservative religious groups, particularly in the United States, have tried to link family planning to forced abortion. In 2002, President George W. Bush cut funding to the United Nations Population Fund completely, turning birth control into a bad word. The cause has yet to recover. Support from Gates, a Catholic who enjoys support from conservatives and liberals alike, could turn this around." 07-12
- -07-11-12 Republican Governors Vow to Turn Down Expansion of Medicaid Services (PBS.org)
"In Texas, Governor Rick Perry has said he will not accept up to $76 billion dollars in federal funds to expand his state's Medicaid program, money that would help around 2 million low-income Texans."
Editor's Note: Federal funds not accepted by states will be sent to other states willing to accept the funds. 07-12
- -07-12-12 DNA Study: Most Early Americans Arrived 15,000 Years Ago (BBC)
"The biggest survey of Native American DNA has concluded that the New World was settled in three major waves."
"But the majority of today's indigenous Americans descend from a single group of migrants that crossed from Asia to Alaska 15,000 years ago or more." 07-12
- -07-12-12 Investigator Blames Penn State for Not Protecting Children (BBC)
"Louis Freeh's report, released on Wednesday, laid much blame in the hands of four of Penn State's 'most powerful people': President Graham Spanier, Vice-President Gary Schultz, athletic director Tim Curley and head football coach Joe Paterno."
"They 'failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade. These men concealed Sandusky's activities from the Board of Trustees, the university community and authorities,' Mr Freeh wrote." 07-12
- -07-15-12 Cities Consider Seizing "Under Water" Home Mortgages (ABC News)
"Mortgage Resolution Partners will focus on mortgages where the borrowers are current on their payments but are 'under water,' meaning their mortgage costs more than the home is worth. After being condemned and seized, the mortgages would be rewritten based on the homes' current values. The borrowers would get to stay, but with cheaper monthly payments. The city or county would resell the loans to other private investors, so it could pay back the investors who funded the seizure and pay a flat fee to Mortgage Resolution Partners." 07-12
- -07-15-12 Egypt's Military Raises Stakes in Control (CBS News)
"The military, which ruled after the fall last year of Hosni Mubarak, and the Brotherhood, the country's strongest political force, are in a competition over power that has intensified with Morsi's winning of the presidency last month. Days before Morsi was sworn in on June 30, the Brotherhood-led parliament was dissolved and the generals gave themselves legislative and budgetary authority and control over the process of drafting a new constitution, put severe limits on the president's authority." 07-12
- -07-16-12 Sheldon Adelson, Top Republican Donor (Wikipedia.org)
"Sheldon Gary Adelson (born August 4, 1933) is an American business magnate. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. He also owns the Israeli daily newspaper Israel HaYom. Adelson's initial public offering of Las Vegas Sands occurred in December 2004. He is listed in the Forbes 400 as the eighth wealthiest American. His personal wealth is estimated to be $24.9 billion as of March 2012." 07-12
- -07-18-12 Blast Against Assad in Syria Changes the Situation (Time.com)
"Once he has ordered his security forces to exact a bloody revenge for the assassination of four key members of his inner circle in a spectacular bomb attack on the Syrian regime’s counterrevolutionary nerve center on Wednesday, President Bashar Assad will face the challenge of replacing those slain comrades."
"But by killing four of the key figures in security structure (curiously enough, they included two Alawites, a Christian and a Sunni) that has overseen the 18-month crackdown on the uprising that has claimed 16,000 lives, the rebels have struck a devastating blow at a critical moment — and challenged the regime’s coherence." 07-12
- -07-18-12 Kim Jong Un Takes Over in North Korea (Time.com)
"Many analysts have openly questioned whether Kim Jong Un was anything but a front man in North Korea. Shortly after assuming power, a senior U.S. official told TIME that the military would effectively run and control North Korea, given Kim Jong Un’s utter inexperience. His father had practiced 'military first' politics in the North, in order to keep the generals happy, and there was virtually no one who thought Kim Jong Un would do anything other than what he was told by the generals. Now, in the span of two days, the country’s senior military figure — Ri — is out, and Kim Jong Un is the titular head of the military, as well as the ruling party. Cheong Seong-chang, senior fellow at Seoul’s Sejong Institute, viewed the Ri sacking as a clear collision between the military and the ruling party. The KWP has plainly won and so too, apparently, has young Kim Jong Un." 07-12
- -07-19-12 Representative Michele Bachmann Refuses to Back Down on Accusations (CBS News)
"Former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and four other conservative members of Congress are charging that people with ties to Muslim extremists have infiltrated the federal government."
"It's rare for a senator to publicly rebuke members of his own party. But that's just what Arizona's McCain did, saying on the Senate floor, 'These attacks have no logic, no basis and no merit, and they need to stop,' after the five House Republicans questioned whether Abedin has ties to terrorism."
" 'When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it,' McCain continued."
"This isn't the first time that Bachmann has let her suspicions outpace the facts."
"Last year, she suggested, falsely, that HPV vaccines might cause mental retardation." 07-12
- -07-19-12 Representative Michele Bachmann's "Evidence" that Clinton's Aid Is an "Infiltrator" (HuffingtonPost.com)
"In her letter, Bachmann tells Ellison that she is concerned about Abedin's familial connections to the Brotherhood, and raises concerns over her security clearance."
"As evidence, she pointed to Abedin’s late father, Professor Syed Z. Abedin, and a 2002 Brigham Young University Law Review article about his work. Bachmann points to a passage saying Abedin founded an organization that received the 'quiet but active support' of the the former director of the Muslim World League, an international NGO that was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe in the 1970s through 1990s. So, to connect Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood, you have to go through her dead father, to the organization he founded, to a man who allegedly supported it, to the organization that man used to lead, to Europe in the 1970s and 1990s, and finally to the Brotherhood." 07-12
- -07-19-12 Republicans Denounce Michele Bachmann's Accusations (CBS News)
"Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann continues to draw fire for charging that a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ties to Muslim extremists. The criticism is coming from Republican lawmakers like House Speaker John Boehner, as well as Democrats, and includes a scathing response from her own former presidential campaign chief, Ed Rollins." 07-12
- -07-19-12 Senate Republicans Kill Bill to Reduce "Outsourcing" (ABC News)
"The bill would forbid companies from deducting the expenses of moving workers or operations overseas from the U.S., and would offer a 20 percent credit for the costs of shifting workers back home." 07-12
- -07-22-12 Largest Group of Immigrants Now Asian (New York Times)
"Asians have surpassed Hispanics as the largest wave of new immigrants to the United States, pushing the population of Asian descent to a record 18.2 million and helping to make Asians the fastest-growing racial group in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center." 07-12
- -07-23-12 NCAA Imposes Sanctions on Penn State (CBS News)
"The NCAA imposed a harsh set of sanctions on Penn State Monday, less than two weeks after an independent investigation found that football coach Joe Paterno and other senior school leaders failed to stop former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky from sexually abusing children on campus."
"NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that the association was banning the football team from all post-season play and bowl games for four years, reducing the program's number of scholarships from 25 to 15 per year for four years, and fining the program $60 million. The association also vacated all of the program's wins between 1998 and 2011."
" 'Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people,' Emmert said." 07-12
- -07-23-12 Sally Ride, First Female Astronaut, Dies (USA Today)
"Streaking through a cloud-flecked Saturday morning sky, the space shuttle carried Sally Ride into history, the first American woman in space on June 18, 1983." 07-12
- -07-24-12 Long-Haul Truck Driver Jobs Go Unfilled (CNN News)
"During tough economic times with high unemployment, Americans should be jumping at any chance to work, but trucking companies are struggling to hire drivers."
"There are as many as 200,000 job openings nationwide for long haul truckers, according to David Heller, director of safety and policy for the Truckload Carriers Association." 07-12
- -07-25-12 Star of Romney's "My Hands Didn't Build This" Ad Makes Obama's Point (ABC News)
"Speaking in Roanoke, Virginia on July 13 about the necessity of government for services such as infrastructure, the president said 'If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help…Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that.' "
A Romney ad deleted all but "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that," changing the meaning from "the business didn't create the roads and other infrastructure" to "the business person didn't build his own business."
"In a new TV ad, Romney features an offended New Hampshire businessman, saying, 'My father’s hands didn’t build this company? My hands didn’t build this company? My son’s hands aren’t building this company?' ”
"The New Hampshire Union Leader’s John DiStato today reports that in 1999 the business in question, Gilchrist Metal, 'received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority "to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment"…' ” 07-12
- -07-26-12 Editorial: Where Was God in Aurora? (CNN News)
"The underlying concern here has vexed theologians for centuries: How can evil happen in a world that is lorded over by a good and all-powerful God? As CNN's readers struggled to make sense of God's presence (or absence) in the Aurora, Colorado, massacre, I counted seven different answers to this question:” 07-12
- -07-26-12 The Man Who Made the Crosses for Aurora's Victims (CNN News)
"In a vacant lot across from the site of last week’s movie theater shooting, 12 white crosses stand solemnly, their arms covered in messages of hope and the ground around them full of flowers."
"For the loved ones of the 12 killed in the Aurora, Colorado, theater, the crosses have become a focal point of remembrance, a place to memorialize victims and pray for their families and friends. But for the man [Greg Zanis] who built the white crosses, each just over 3 feet tall, the crosses are something more: symbols of his own survival since tragedy struck his family 16 years ago.” 07-12
- -07-27-12 British Papers Harsh on Romney (CBS News)
"In his first trip abroad as a presidential candidate, Mitt Romney intended to show off his strength as a statesman. Instead, he made a number of bungles - and in their traditional fashion, the British press tore him apart for it.” 07-12
- -07-27-12 Debate Continues on Breaking Up "Too Big to Fail" Banks (Los Angeles Times)
"The call by former Citigroup executive Sanford 'Sandy' Weill to break up big banks continued to reverberate through the industry Friday as two leading trade associations said that large banks were crucial to the U.S. economy.” 07-12
- -07-27-12 Legally Blind Archer Sets World Record in the Olympics (Los Angeles Times)
"Legally blind archer Im Dong-hyun broke the world record in the 72-arrow mark with 699 points and led South Korea to a team record in the ranking round at the London Olympics on Friday.” 07-12
- -07-27-12 Lipor Rate-Rigging Scandal Intensifies Pressures (Los Angeles Times)
"It's an obscure statistic with an unwieldy name, but the furor over alleged manipulation of a key global interest rate is mushrooming into one of the worst-ever scandals to hit Wall Street."
"The London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, is a benchmark used to set interest rates for trillions of dollars of consumer loans, including mortgages and credit cards. Criminal prosecutors in the U.S. and other countries are investigating whether major banks rigged Libor to boost profits."
"Aside from potentially costing the banks tens of billions of dollars in penalties and legal settlements, the scandal is tarnishing the banking industry's already soiled image. Analysts worry that it is further eroding the faith of investors and consumers whose confidence in Wall Street has been worn thin by repeated scandals and punishing stock-market losses.” 07-12
- -07-30-12 Surprising New Information on President Obama's Ancestry (CBS News)
" 'President Obama is the 11th great-grandson of John Punch, who was the first documented African to be enslaved for life in the American colonies,' says Joseph Shumway, a genealogist at Ancestry.com."
"He says the president's white mother is a direct descendant of the first known slave in the American colonies through a family by the name of Bunch.”
" 'Because of the color of his skin and his father's background, he was African-American,' Maraniss points out. 'But culturally, he was not. He had to learn it. ... He's never been easy to pigeonhole. That's part of the attraction and mystery of Barack Obama.' " 07-12
- -08-02-12 Half of U.S. Counties Are Drought Disaster Areas (CBS News)
"Nearly 220 counties in a dozen drought-stricken states were added Wednesday to the U.S. government's list of natural disaster areas as the nation's agriculture chief unveiled new help for frustrated, cash-strapped farmers and ranchers grappling with extreme dryness and heat."
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture's addition of the 218 counties means that more than half of all U.S. counties - 1,584 in 32 states - have been designated primary disaster areas this growing season, the vast majority of them mired in a drought that's considered the worst in decades." 08-12
- -08-03-12 Agriculture Chief: Congress Needs to Act on Drought Disaster (ABC News)
"U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says his department is using its limited tools to help farmers facing widespread drought conditions, but it needs Congress to pass legislation to provide better disaster relief." 08-12
- -08-04-12 Corn Production Is Important to U.S. and World Economies (EPA.gov)
"In round numbers, U.S. farmers produce about $100 billion worth of crops and about $100 billion worth of livestock each year."
"The United States is, by far, the largest producer of corn in the world. Corn is grown on over 400,000 U.S. farms. In 2000, the U.S. produced almost ten billion bushels of the world’s total 23 billion bushel crop. Corn grown for grain accounts for almost one quarter of the harvested crop acres in this country. Corn grown for silage accounts for about two percent of the total harvested cropland or about 6 million acres. The amount of land dedicated to corn silage production varies based on growing conditions. In years that produce weather unfavorable to high corn grain yields, corn can be 'salvaged' by harvesting the entire plant as silage."
"According to the National Corn Growers Association, about eighty percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is consumed by domestic and overseas livestock, poultry, and fish production. The crop is fed as ground grain, silage, high-moisture, and high-oil corn. About 12% of the U.S. corn crop ends up in foods that are either consumed directly (e.g. corn chips) or indirectly (e.g. high fructose corn syrup). It also has a wide array of industrial uses including ethanol, a popular oxygenate in cleaner burning auto fuels." 08-12
- -08-04-12 Most Farmland Has No Irrigation Systems to Combat Drought Disaster (CNN News)
"More than half of all U.S. counties have been designated disaster zones, the Department of Agriculture reported, blaming excessive heat and a devastating drought that's spread across the Corn Belt and contributed to rising food prices."
"According to the agency, only 27% of U.S. farmland has irrigation systems." 08-12
- -08-09-12 Editorial: A Conservative's View on Why Romney Is Losing (CNN News)
"Romney's failure to surpass Barack Obama this summer stems in no small part from his reluctance to make any bold moves on policy, and this reluctance is a direct product of the beating he's taken from conservative critics for much of the last year." 08-12
- -08-09-12 Stein, Jill: Green Party Candidate for President (Wikipedia.org)
"Jill Stein (born May 14, 1950) is an American physician and nominee for President of the United States in 2012 with the Green Party of the United States." 08-12
- -08-10-12 Grain Prices Soar Amid Drought (NBC News)
"The worst American drought in more than half a century is driving up grain prices and deepening worries about global food shortages." 08-12
- -08-13-12 Editorial: Is Israel Growing Closer to War With Iraq? (Time.com)
"Clearly, someone wants Israelis and the world to think Israel is moving closer to launching a fateful attack on Iran. Whether such a scenario has really become more likely than it was two weeks or two months ago, or the agenda is part of some game of bluff designed to change either Iranian or Western behavior, there’s a growing danger that the Israeli public’s expectations of war are being raised to a critical point. After all, as many in the security establishment have long warned, you can’t keep telling Israelis that there’s a grave and gathering danger of annihilation looming on the horizon without creating overwhelming pressure to act." 08-12
- -08-13-12 Editorial: Sen. McCain Stands Against Bigotry Again (CNN News)
"He rightly spoke of American values as well."
" 'What makes America exceptional among the countries of the world is that we are bound together as citizens not by blood or class, not by sect or ethnicity, but by a set of enduring, universal, and equal rights that are the foundation of our constitution, our laws, our citizenry, and our identity,' McCain said. 'When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.' " 08-12
- -08-13-12 Paul Ryan, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate (CBS News)
"Paul Ryan has represented the state of Wisconsin in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years." 08-12
- -08-13-12 Paul Ryan, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate (Wikipedia.org)
"Born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, Ryan earned a B.A. degree from Miami University in Ohio. Following his studies, he worked as an aide to United States Senator Bob Kasten of Wisconsin, as legislative director for Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, and as a speechwriter for former U.S. Representative and 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp of New York. In 1998, Ryan won election to the United States House of Representatives, succeeding Republican Mark Neumann. He is now in his seventh term."
"As chair of the House Budget Committee, Ryan has focused on fiscal policy and has proposed privatizing Social Security and replacing Medicare with a voucher program for Americans under 55. Ryan introduced a plan, The Path to Prosperity, in April 2011 which included significant changes to Medicare. He then helped introduce the similar The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal in March 2012." 08-12
- -08-13-12 Why Some People Are Heroes (Time.com)
"During the shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Oak Creek, Wis., some people confronted danger and saved lives, while most others scampered for the exits. What explains the difference?" 08-12
- -08-14-12 The Medicare Difference Between Republicans and Democrats (Time.com)
"Both Ryan’s most recent plan and Obama’s most recent budget strive to contain the growth of Medicare expenses to the same rate—GDP +0.5%. The difference is in how those costs are contained. This is incredibly important—Klein frames the debate as being over an effort to save money by improving quality (via the Affordable Care Act on the Democratic side) versus trusting the free market to reduce prices (on the Republican side). Neither of these approaches have been proven to lower costs, as noted by Klein." 08-12
- -08-15-12 Undocumented Immigrants Line Up for Relief from Deportation (CNN News)
"Long lines formed at help centers and lawyers' office across America Wednesday as thousands of young, undocumented immigrants began applying for relief from deportation."
"Under the new policy, people younger than 30 who arrived in the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military, can get a two-year deferral from deportation and apply for work permits." 08-12
- -08-16-12 New Pill Adds Months to Lives of Prostate Cancer Patients (Time.com)
"A new drug helps men with advanced prostate cancer live longer, even after they have not been helped by other treatments, researchers reported Wednesday. The drug, called enzalutamide, is a pill that tackles prostate tumors from several different directions, interfering with molecular pathways that help them grow. It does not cause the nausea, hair loss and other side effects often associated with chemotherapy." 08-12
- -08-16-12 Obama's Medicare Cuts (Time.com)
"First, the context. The Congressional Budget Office estimates Medicare spending over the next 10 years will be about $7.5 trillion. This means the ACA’s Medicare cuts account for less than 10% of overall Medicare spending. The program is not being gutted. Even with the ACA cuts, the CBO says the cost of Medicare is expected to grow from about $500 billion in 2012 to nearly $900 billion by 2022."
"As for the cuts, they come from eliminating a massive subsidy to private insurers and gradually reducing the rate of growth in payments to some providers. These changes, while not catastrophic for Medicare, are important." 08-12
- -08-20-12 Editorial: Cautious Response to Housing Crisis a Key? (New York Times)
"After inheriting the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, President Obama poured vast amounts of money into efforts to stabilize the financial system, rescue the auto industry and revive the economy."
"But he tried to finesse the cleanup of the housing crash, rejecting unpopular proposals for a broad bailout of homeowners facing foreclosure in favor of a limited aid program — and a bet that a recovering economy would take care of the rest."
"The bailouts of banks and automakers are now widely regarded as crucial steps in arresting the recession, while the depressed housing market remains a millstone." 08-12
- -08-20-12 Editorial: Two Views of Medicare's Future (U.S. News)
"Total Medicare expenses last year thus were $550 billion, with the government footing nearly half that bill. Over the next 11 years, this deficit will dwarf the $716 billion figure. So whether these cuts are a good or bad thing, they don't begin to get us out of our spiraling entitlements deficits."
"Making these larger and sustainable cuts is a long-term challenge. The more immediate decision that voters must confront in November is how much of our rising Medicare deficit should be paid for by Washington and how much should be shifted onto individuals. Fiscal experts in both parties agree that spending on defense and other government programs is being squeezed more and more each year by healthcare spending."
"Obama's view of future fiscal policy is that health reform can restrain future healthcare cost increases and permit government to maintain important safety nets. Romney says the programs have caused the problem in the first place and that the best way to fix them is to reduce government's role and return responsibility and control (and a big piece of the price tag) back to individuals." 08-12
- -08-20-12 Wal-Mart Cuts Ties with ALEC (Bloomberg News)
"Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) is the latest company to withdraw from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-funded public policy group under attack for pushing voter-ID and 'Stand Your Ground' state laws." 08-12
- -08-21-12 Foundation Helps Vets with Medical Problems (ABC News)
"Faced with tighter budgets after the Iraq War but still in charge of treating tens of thousands of injured troops, the military is getting a hand from a private foundation that is building medical centers specializing in the signature physical and psychological injuries of Iraq and Afghanistan."
"The Pentagon has a partnership with the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which is raising $100 million to build clinics on military bases. The clinics will form a network aimed at treating and researching traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, two areas the military has focused on since roadside bombs became a common weapon in Iraq and Afghanistan."
"Army officials say the foundation, which grew out of the philanthropic efforts of the late New York real estate businessman Zachary Fisher, has been highly effective because it can sidestep government bureaucracy on construction projects and provide a financial boost for medical advances that are desperately needed for injured soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors." 08-12
- -08-22-12 Affordable Care Act (Government Printing Office)
Provides the text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 08-12
- -08-22-12 Food Waste in the U.S. (NBC News)
"Americans are not cleaning their plates. Instead, they are tossing away 40 percent of their meals – “essentially every other piece of food that crosses our path” – or the equivalent of $2,275 a year for a family of four, according to a new report."
"Food waste has swelled by 50 percent since the 1970s in this country. A total $165 billion annually in leftovers gets trashed by homeowners and in unsold or unused perishables or scraps dumped by grocers or restaurants, according to research compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council released Tuesday." 08-12
- -08-22-12 Lessons from the Mass Murder of Sikhs in Wisconsin (CNN News)
"Amardeep Kaleka is the youngest son of Satwant Singh Kaleka, the president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin who was shot and killed on August 5. He is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker who was born in India and raised in the United States."
"It is a sad and backward situation because immigrants are the lifeblood of this country, as John F. Kennedy wrote so eloquently in his book, 'A Nation of Immigrants.' "
" 'This was the secret of America: a nation of people with the fresh memory of old traditions who dared to explore new frontiers...,' Kennedy wrote. 'Every ethnic minority, in seeking its own freedom, helped strengthen the fabric of liberty in American life. Similarly, every aspect of the American economy has profited from the contributions of immigrants.' "
"How does 'freedom' apply to hate speech, gun control, or the history of violence in America?" 08-12
- -08-23-12 Climate Change Pushes Farmers to the Brink (PBS.org)
"Mother Nature been unkind to farmers this year. Last week, the NewsHour talked to cherry farmers in Michigan who lost 90 percent of their crops when an early spring warm-up meant trees were battered by frosts after blooming early. A drought sweeping the Corn Belt killed crops and raised food prices this summer, leaving farmers without profits and ranchers without feed for their livestock."
"These are just some of the new normals for farmers around the world, said Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute for the Environment at the University of Minnesota." 08-12
- -08-23-12 The People Most Likely to Live Paycheck to Paycheck (BusinessInsider.com)
"According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, those between the ages of 45 to 54 are most likely to live paycheck to paycheck (43 percent), followed by those between the ages of 35 and 44 (42 percent), then those between 18 and 34 (40 percent)." 08-12
- -08-24-12 USADA Strips Armstrong of Tour de France Championships (CBS News)
"The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency erased 14 years of Lance Armstrong's career Friday — including his record seven Tour de France titles — and banned him for life from the sport that made him a hero to millions of cancer survivors after concluding he used banned substances." 08-12
- -08-26-12 Time Talks to Mitt Romney (Time.com)
"The rationale for your candidacy is, I’m a businessman. I know how to fix the economy. I’d love for you to talk about the kind of perspective you have as someone who wasn’t a businessman in the way your dad was, the CEO of a manufacturing company, but someone in private equity and a consultant. What are those attributes that you have that will help you as President in a way that’s different than the conventional view of the businessman?" 08-12
- -08-28-12 Israeli Court Rejects Lawsuit in American Activist's Death (NBC News)
"An Israeli court rejected on Tuesday accusations that Israel was at fault over the death of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a 2003 pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza."
" 'She was standing on top of a pile of earth,' fellow activist and eyewitness Richard Purssell, from Brighton, U.K., said at the time, according to the Guardian. 'The driver cannot have failed to see her. As the blade pushed the pile, the earth rose up. Rachel slid down the pile. It looks as if her foot got caught. The driver didn't slow down; he just ran over her. Then he reversed the bulldozer back over her again.' " 08-12
- -08-29-12 Four Themes of the Republican National Convention (CBS News)
"As Republican leaders flock to Tampa this week to take part in the party's national convention, speakers are tasked with a multi-faceted challenge: Not only do they want to put their best faces forward, they also have to pump up the Republican nominee. No doubt a result of their attempts to do both, some topical threads have emerged so far." 08-12
- -08-29-12 Obama Administration Doubles Fuel Standard (CNN News)
"The Obama administration finalized new fuel economy rules Tuesday that within 12 years will almost double today's standard for cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon."
"While the automakers have signed off on the rules, their dealership organization expressed concern. The National Automobile Dealers Association estimates an average $3,000 increase in the price of each vehicle to comply with the rules. It says that will put a new car out of reach to an estimated 7 million potential buyers." 08-12
- -08-29-12 The Lance Armstrong Scandal (CNN News)
"Armstrong announced Thursday that he would no longer fight the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's charges, not admitting wrongdoing but rather saying he's tired of having to prove his professed innocence for years without any lasting success."
"The USADA responded Friday that it was giving him a lifetime ban and disqualifying him from all events since August 1998. Still at issue is whether the USADA has the power to strip him of his victories; more about that in a bit."
" 'Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation,' Nike's statement said."
"Lance Armstrong Foundation Vice Chairman Jeffrey Garvey said he supported Armstrong's decision."
"Lance’s legacy in the cancer community is unparalleled. Lance could have left cancer behind him and never looked back. Instead, before ever winning the Tour de France, he established a foundation that today has served 2.5 million cancer survivors with its free patient navigation services. ... Lance has unfailingly stood by the cancer community and we will always stand by him." 08-12
- -08-30-12 Isaac Storm Surges (CNN News)
"Authorities warned people in a handful of towns outside of New Orleans to get out early Thursday ahead of rising water brought on by hurricane-turned-tropical storm Isaac, which dumped more than 20 inches of rain in some areas." 08-12
- -08-31-12 Editorial: Having a Clint Eastwood Moment (Christian Science Monitor)
"Movie icon Eastwood was the 'mystery speaker' on the convention’s final night, in case you haven’t heard. He was on-stage at the top of the hour prior to Romney’s long-awaited acceptance speech. Convention planners probably expected he’d deliver a short, growling quasi-commercial composed of references to his past movies."
"Instead he delivered a rambling monologue to an empty chair that represented Obama himself."
"It was fun, though. 'It wasn’t something to like or dislike; it was just something to appreciate, and marvel at, and to remember to thank television, in its twilight years, for all the great moments it’s given us,' wrote Jonathan Bernstein on his A Plain Blog About Politics." 08-12
- -08-31-12 Editorial: Rights of Rapists (CNN News)
"It would not be long before I would learn firsthand that in the vast majority of states -- 31 -- men who father through rape are able to assert the same custody and visitation rights to their children that other fathers enjoy. When no law prohibits a rapist from exercising these rights, a woman may feel forced to bargain away her legal rights to a criminal trial in exchange for the rapist dropping the bid to have access to her child." 08-12
- -08-31-12 Texas ID Law Rejected by Court (CNN News)
"A federal appeals court in Washington Thursday struck down the Texas voter ID law requiring photos for voters at the polls, calling it racially discriminatory."
"Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed the voter ID measure into law last year, but it had yet not gone into effect because the federal Voting Rights Act requires changes in Texas voting laws to be pre-cleared by the U.S. Justice Department."
"Attorney General Eric Holder denied the pre-clearance of the measure in March, concluding that Texas failed to show the law will not have 'the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race.' " 08-12
- -09-01-12 Republicans and Democrats Play Loose With the Truth (New York Times)
"Every four years there are lies in campaigns, and at times a blurry line between acceptable political argument and outright sophistry. But recent events — from the misleading statements in convention speeches to television advertisements repeating widely debunked claims — have raised new questions about whether the political culture still holds any penalty for falsehood."
"Brooks Jackson, the director of FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, said that at various points this year both sides have blithely gone on repeating statements that were found false."
" 'They don’t care,' he said, 'because it gets votes.' " 09-12
- -09-02-12 The Silver-Collar Economy (Christian Science Monitor)
"More companies are hiring people 65 and older because they believe they are reliable and productive, while the seniors themselves need – and want – to work. But is the trend squeezing out young people?" 09-12
- -09-02-12 Voter ID Laws Overturned by Courts (Christian Science Monitor)
"In case after case, federal judges are siding with the Department of Justice’s claims that tougher state voting rules discriminate against the poor and minorities. But states vow to appeal to the Supreme Court, which has viewed voter ID laws favorably." 09-12
- -09-05-12 Editorial: Did Obama Keep His Campaign Promises? (CBS News)
"Four years ago, when President Obama accepted the presidential nomination at the Democratic convention in Denver, he made several specific policy promises -- in addition to general promises of hope and change. Here's a look at the specific promises from that speech and whether or not he's followed through." 09-12
- -09-06-12 Clinton Makes the Case for Obama (New York Times)
"Former President Bill Clinton and President Obama hugged onstage Wednesday night after Mr. Clinton delivered an impassioned plea on behalf of Mr. Obama’s re-election, the 42nd president nominating the 44th to a second term with a forceful and spirited argument that Democratic values would restore the promise of the middle class."
"The former president delivered a point-by-point rebuttal of the arguments made during the Republican National Convention last week, warning against Republicans taking back the White House and declaring, 'We can’t let it happen.' "
"He offered an equally detailed affirmative case for the re-election of Mr. Obama, saying there was no question the country was in a better position than it was four years ago." 09-12
- -09-06-12 Clinton's Quotes from the Democratic National Convention (Politico.com)
"Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday night delivered a very long speech filled with off-script riffs that thrilled the Charlotte crowd. Here’s POLITICO’s round-up of Clinton’s 15 memorable lines from his address at the Democratic National Convention...."
An example: "We believe ‘we’re all in this together’ is a far better philosophy than ‘you’re on your own.’ " 09-12
- -09-06-12 Clinton's Speech to the Democratic National Convention (New York Times)
Provides the text. 09-12
- -09-06-12 Editorial: The Elevator Speech for Obama by a Republican (New York Times)
Since 2010, "Obama has been reactive. He has been defined by the various negotiating positions he has taken in his confrontations with Congress. He’s used a more partisan political style to mask his small-bore policy substance. It’s not clear what he is passionate to do if he is elected for another four years."
"The Democratic convention is his best chance to offer an elevator speech, to define America’s most pressing challenge and how he plans to address it."
"He has three clear options." 09-12
- -09-06-12 How the CIA Got It Wrong on Iraq's Weapons (Time.com)
"Bottom line, from the CIA’s point of view: Saddam used to lie about possessing WMD, so we believed he still was."
"Unfortunately, the nation went to war based largely on that false intelligence. Four thousand, four hundred and eight-six U.S. troops, 318 allies, and untold thousands of Iraqis died in the ensuing conflict." 09-12
- -09-06-12 Romney Shared Top Billing With Eastwood at the Republican National Convention (Pew Research Center)
"And while there has been a modest increase in the percentage saying they view Mitt Romney more favorably in the wake of the convention, his acceptance speech was not the highlight of the event: As many of those who watched at least a little convention coverage cited Clint Eastwood’s speech as the convention highlight (20%) as named Romney’s speech (17%)." 09-12
- -09-07-12 Fact-Checking 7 Claims by Bill Clinton (CBS News)
"Clinton's assertion, then, is true: For whatever reason, Democratic presidents have added approximately 42 million private sector jobs, cumulatively, while Republicans have added approximately 24 million."
"After the 'Making Work Pay' tax cut expired at the end of 2010, it was replaced with a payroll tax cut in 2011 and extended in 2012. It reduces a workers share of Social Security tax contribution from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. It also cut employers contribution by 2 percent as well. According to the Congressional Research Service, 159 million workers - or 94 percent of people collecting a paycheck - received the tax cut at an average of $717 per employee."
"Romney says that if elected, he would restore the $716 billion in Medicare savings implemented by the Obama administration, and that Ryan, would fall in line with that plan. That means that, as Clinton said, repealing those savings would give money back to the insurance companies." 09-12
- -09-08-12 Climate Change Is a New Campaign Topic (Christian Science Monitor)
"Climate change had been virtually absent from the campaign until Mitt Romney and President Obama traded jabs at their conventions. Some polls say it could be a vote-getter for Democrats."
" 'President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,' Mr. Romney told GOP delegates in Tampa, a smile on his face. 'My promise [long pause – audience laughter] is to help you and your family.' "
" 'Yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet – because climate change is not a hoax,' the president shouted to delegates in Charlotte, N.C. 'More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They're a threat to our children's future. And in this election, you can do something about it.' "
"That high-profile statement, political analysts say, may have marked a major turnabout for the president, who has scarcely mentioned global warming – or the more scientific designation of 'climate change' – in recent months." 09-12
- -09-08-12 New-Home Market Recovering (Wall Street Journal)
"Six years after the U.S. housing market tumbled into the abyss, demand for brand-new homes is picking up. Sales are on the rise, and prices in many areas are inching higher." 09-12
- -09-08-12 Ohio Elections Chief Reverses His Early Voting Ban (CBS News)
"Ohio's election chief is taking back an order that prohibited county officials from setting any hours during the final days of in-person, early voting." 09-12
- -09-10-12 Editorial: Clinton's Ad-Libs Provide Freshness (CNN News)
"Clinton's improvisations are instructive because they show how the nation's most popular political figure (69% approval rating, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll) still serves as extemporizer-in-chief. While most speakers ad-lib anecdotes, Clinton also explains complex issues off-the-cuff."
"By improvising so often, and using so few freeze-dried and focus-grouped applause lines, Clinton continues to keep his speeches fresh, friendly and factual in the hope that his listeners will open their minds to what he says." 09-12
- -09-10-12 Editorial: Michelle Obama's Personal Story (CNN News)
"After Michelle Obama's speech Tuesday night, it will be very difficult for her critics to portray her as angry or aggrieved. She rarely raised her voice. She smiled, she charmed, she seemed to tear up. She said not an unkind thing about her political opponents. Indeed, she never mentioned them." 09-12
- -09-11-12 IRS Pays Whistleblower Over $100 Million (CBS News)
"The Internal Revenue Service has awarded an ex-banker $104 million for providing information about overseas tax cheats - the largest amount ever awarded by the agency, lawyers for the whistleblower announced Tuesday."
"Former Swiss banker Bradley Birkenfeld is credited with exposing widespread tax evasion at Swiss bank UBS AG. Birkenfeld himself served roughly two and-a-half years in prison for a fraud conspiracy conviction related to the case, which resulted in a $780 million fine against the bank and an unprecedented agreement requiring UBS to turn over thousands of names of suspected American tax dodgers to the IRS." 09-12
- -09-11-12 Moody's Warns U.S. on Credit Rating (CBS News)
"Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday said it would likely cut its 'Aaa' rating on U.S. government debt, probably by one notch, if federal budget negotiations fail."
"Despite the rating cut last year from S&P and the warnings from Moody's and Fitch, the U.S. has been able to continue borrowing at very low rates. That's because investors are still buying U.S. government bonds, as economic turmoil in Europe and uncertainty in other parts of the globe have left U.S. debt and U.S. dollars looking like safe bets. In contrast, bond investors demand high rates from troubled countries like Spain and Italy."
"The stock markets plunged when the downgrade happened in August 2011, but Moody's warning on Tuesday did little to ruffle traders. The major market indexes were all modestly higher in morning trading." 09-12
- -09-14-12 Editorial: What Does the Attack in Libya Mean? (CNN News)
"The images of the American embassy burning in Benghazi might have conjured up memories of Tehran in 1979 but the analogy is false."
"In Libya, the government is not fomenting Anti-Americanism, it is fighting it, openly declaring America an ally and friend. The country is pro-American by a 2-to-1 margin, and the violence there appears to have been the work of small, extremist elements that lack much popular support. But the storm has spread from Libya."
"What can we say about these places and protests? First, in many of these countries - particularly those that have toppled dictatorships - the most important reality is not of bad government but of weak government."
"Second, what we are witnessing is indeed the consequence of the Arab Spring. Arab societies were locked down for 50 years. The lid has come off them and we're seeing what's inside."
"If the United States pulls out, the crazies will only get stronger." 09-12
- -09-14-12 Traits Successful Presidents Have in Common (CNN News)
"The study, which was based on presidential performance ratings and personality assessments by hundreds of historians and biographers in several different surveys, found that one psychopathic characteristic in particular was linked to success in presidency: fearless dominance." 09-12
- -09-15-12 Fossil Fuel Ads Dominate (CNN News)
"With nearly two months before Election Day on Nov. 6, estimated spending on television ads promoting coal and more oil and gas drilling or criticizing clean energy has exceeded $153 million this year, according to an analysis by The New York Times of 138 ads on energy issues broadcast this year by the presidential campaigns, political parties, energy companies, trade associations and third-party spenders."
"That tally is nearly four times the $41 million spent by clean-energy advocates, the Obama campaign and Democratic groups to defend the president’s energy record or raise concerns about global warming and air pollution. "Some of the mightiest players in the oil, gas and coal industries are financing an aggressive effort to defeat him, or at least press him to adopt policies that are friendlier to fossil fuels. And the president’s former allies in promoting wind and solar power and caps on greenhouse gases? They are disenchanted and sitting on their wallets." 09-12
- -09-16-12 How Science Is Changing Political Campaigns (Wall Street Journal)
"Welcome to the modern science of politics, where voters have become lab rats in an ongoing cycle of controlled trials informed by principles from behavioral psychology. Once dominated by superstition and guesswork, campaigns today are now awash in data and insights that allow them to act on that data." 09-12
- -09-18-12 Charts on Who Are the 47% of Voters Romney Calls "Dependent?" (TheDailyBeast.com)
"Romney’s claim: The 47% “are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."
"Reality: Few of these people probably think of themselves as entitled takers because they paid taxes in the past (seniors), will pay taxes in the future (students), or already pay payroll taxes on subsistance-level income." 09-12
- -09-18-12 Editorial: Romney Reveals His Views Toward 47% of the Voters (Time.com)
"The most incendiary clip posted by Mother Jones is likely to be Romney’s characterization of Obama voters as an 'entitled' cohort, 'people who pay no income tax' and are 'dependent on government, who believe they are victims.' It appears to reflect a Randian view of the country, in which Romney’s supporters are the producers and Obama’s are the moochers."
"In general, it’s not great for a presidential candidate to make unsympathetic generalizations about 47% of the U.S. population." 09-12
- -09-18-12 Editorial: Who Are the 47% of Voters Romney Calls "Dependent?" (TheDailyBeast.com)
Conservative David Brooks asks " 'Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?' "
"And as Ezra Klein pointed out yesterday, more than 60% of the 47% pay payroll taxes. At 15.3%, the payroll tax rate represents a higher rate of tax than that paid by Mitt Romney himself.Only about one-fifth of taxpayers are non-elderly people who pay no tax at all, and they are paying no tax mostly because they are unemployed in the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, a crisis that candidate Romney blames on the president and promises to correct. It seems a hard saying to call these promised beneficiaries of a Romney recovery people who don't take responsibility for their lives." 09-12
- -09-18-12 Who Are the 47% Who Pay No Taxes? (Mother Jones)
"By now you've no doubt heard Mitt Romney's thoughts about the '47 percent' of Americans 'who pay no income tax.' But are you one of them?" 09-12
- -09-19-12 Justice Department Reports on Fast and Furious (PBS.org)
"Two top government officials have stepped down in the wake of an internal report that cites Justice Department failings in a probe of illegal gun sales in the Southwest."
"It was the latest turn in a story that's provoked a confrontation between congressional Republicans and Attorney General Eric Holder." 09-12
- -09-22-12 Achievements of Congress in Its Final Week (ABC News)
"The 112th Congress has been one of the least productive in recent history. Here is a look at what Congress has accomplished and left undone in its final week before leaving for the election campaign...."
"Congress early Saturday completed its major task for the week with Senate passage of a six-month stopgap spending bill to keep federal agencies running past the end of the budget year and the elections. The House approved the legislation last week. Action was needed before the budget year ends on Sept. 30 to avoid a partial government shutdown." That's pretty much it.
"The current five-year farm and nutrition bill, which sets policy for farm safety net programs and funds the food stamp program, expires Sept. 30. The Senate passed a new five-year bill in June and the House Agriculture Committee approved its version in July, but the full House has yet to act. The two chambers also have not been able to agree on disaster relief for farmers hit by the drought." 09-12
- -09-26-12 NFL: Packers Should Have Won (CNN News)
"Replacement referees missed a penalty that would have rendered moot a controversy over whether a Seattle Seahawks receiver caught a game-winning touchdown pass a moment later, the National Football League said Tuesday."
"The Green Bay Packers would have won the game had offensive pass interference been called against Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, but the missed penalty wasn't reviewable. So the officials' controversial on-field ruling that Tate subsequently scored a touchdown by having joint possession of the ball with a Packers defender stands."
"The touchdown – which over the last day has become a symbol of player and fan frustration over the NFL's replacement referees – gave Seattle a 14-12 win. 'The result of the game is final,' the NFL said in a news release Tuesday." 09-12
- -09-27-12 Lessons About CEO Pay (NBC News)
"One problem is that the definition of what constitutes a 'similar' company can be manipulated to skew pay higher by including larger companies or ones in different industries. Institutional shareholders are 'very, very suspicious' of that practice, Hodgson said."
"Companies would do better to look within their own ranks than to cast a wider net, they said, since even a CEO who displays talent running one company usually can’t export those skills to a new corporation. They pointed to earlier research showing that, although CEOs brought in from outside often earned more, the companies they led subsequently performed on par with or worse than those that promoted from inside."
"Even without manipulation, Elson said companies should decide how much to pay a CEO based on performance, not how much his or her counterparts earn. 'If you don’t have that internal benchmark you’ve made a mistake to begin with,' he said." 09-12
- -09-27-12 The Libya Debacle (Wall Street Journal)
"None of the initial explanations offered by the White House and State Department since the assault on the Benghazi consulate has held up." 09-12
- -09-29-12 Who Can Claim to Be a Native American? (CNN News)
"Many tribes use parentage as a means of defining membership. Known as 'blood quantum,' the practice defines tribal membership according to the degree of 'pure blood' belonging to that tribe. For example, a person with one grandparent belonging to one tribe and three grandparents not belonging to that tribe would be considered to have a 'blood quantum' of one-quarter. The minimum amount of blood quantum required can be as little as one-thirty-second (equivalent to one great-great-great-grandparent) or as high as one-half (equivalent to one full-blooded tribal parent)."
"Many tribes began using blood quantum after the passage of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, which allowed tribes to establish their own governments. But others continued to define membership in other ways- including by lineal descent (being able to prove that you had an ancestor listed as a member of that tribe, regardless of your actual percentage of tribal blood), residence on tribal lands, knowledge of tribal language and culture, or membership in a recognized clan."
Editor's Note: See Multicultural Toolkit for more information on ethnic identity. 09-12
- -10-01-12 American Food Waste (NBC News)
"The best estimate is that 40 percent of food in this country is never eaten."
"The sheer waste is bad enough, a mindless squandering of calories, nutrition, energy and water. But that uneaten food also rots in landfills, generating as much as a quarter of this country’s emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas."
"This trend is relatively new. Americans waste half again as much food as we did in the 1970s. And systemic food waste and rates of obesity have climbed together."
Editor's Note: Food waste can be used as biomass fuel for cost-effective energy production and to create biochar to improve agricultural land. See biomass fuel for more information. 10-12
- -10-01-12 How the Election May Change Medicaid (PBS News)
"President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have vastly different approaches to the program. Medicaid is the backbone of the 2010 health law -- considered Obama's signature legislative achievement -- which, starting in 2014, expands coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans. As many as 17 million of those newly insured citizens will be on Medicaid. Romney would turn over much control of the program to states and give them new powers to tailor benefits and eligibility to their own budget needs. Romney says such a move would begin saving $100 billion per year by 2016." 10-12
- -10-07-12 Editorial: Obama's Failure to Communicate (Time.com)
"The real mystery was Obama. Where on earth was he? Why was his debate strategy unilateral disarmament? Why did he never speak in plain English? 'Mitt, you’re selling a fantasy. Bill Clinton proved it. He raised taxes on the wealthy and the economy boomed. George Bush lowered taxes drastically and the economy tanked. How’s your plan any different than Bush’s?' Actually, the President did say something like that, but it was well past most of America’s bedtime, about an hour into the debate — and he didn’t do it clearly, concisely or directly."
"You may also have noticed that when Romney deftly compared the $2.8 billion in oil subsidies to the President’s $90 billion in green energy, Obama didn’t have a response. This was truly remarkable. He didn’t talk about the world’s largest sun and wind farms. He didn’t talk about the failed energy investments that Romney had made. My colleague Michael Grunwald spent nearly 500 convincing pages in his book The New New Deal describing the accomplishments of the stimulus package, and the President couldn’t even defend it." 10-12
- -10-07-12 Editorial: Obama's Failure to Defend His Policies (Time.com)
"He rarely explained what he has done."
"I’m not just talking about my beloved stimulus, although Obama didn’t mention that the $800 billion recovery package he passed during his first month in office helped stop the swoon, producing the biggest quarterly jobs improvement in 30 years. He certainly didn’t mention that the stimulus included an unprecedented $90 billion for clean energy, and when Romney did, Obama didn’t explain how it launched a quiet green revolution or correct Romney’s egregious suggestion that thousands of stimulus-funded companies have failed. I can’t even think of a half-dozen. Romney talked about 'losers' like Solyndra and Ener1; why didn’t Obama respond with winners like Envia Systems, which has developed the world’s most powerful electric-vehicle battery, or Silver Spring, which is building millions of smart meters for a modern electric grid? Romney mocked wind and solar; why not mention that wind has doubled, solar has increased over 600%, and they now combine to power 15 million homes with clean domestic electricity?" 10-12
- -10-08-12 Editorial: The Cultural War Over Fairness (Time.com)
"Both candidates are essentially saying, Vote for me because the other side destroyed a fair America in which hard work paid off. Vote for me because I’ll restore fairness and the American Dream. But if we dig a little deeper into what the two sides mean by fairness, the similarities melt away."
"For Obama, the government offers a helping hand, making the American Dream accessible to anyone willing to work for it. For Romney, a good government hangs back and lets people succeed or fail on their own merits."
"If you accept Romney’s history, the good ol’ days ended with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs. America’s urgent priority is therefore to undo those programs, roll back the welfare state and restore the vigorous virtues of hard work and self-reliance."
"If you accept Obama’s history, the good ol’ days ended when George W. Bush tilted tax and regulatory policies to favor businesses and the wealthy. America’s urgent priority is therefore to undo the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, roll back the rising inequality and expand federal programs that might help people succeed." 10-12
- -10-08-12 Editorial: The Magical Negro Falls to Earth (Time.com)
"While some may think it complimentary to be considered 'magical,' it is infantilizing and offensive because it suggests black excellence is so shocking it can only come from a source that is supernatural. To accept a black leader who is extraordinary yet so human that he cannot be magical is an entirely different prospect than electing a black superhero. Anyone would vote for a superhero who lived up to my mom’s standard of having to be twice as good. But for it to embrace a nonmagical black person who cannot promise anything but hope, intelligence, sweat and experience, now that comes closer to equality. Equality is freedom from having to be twice as good to get ahead." 10-12
- -10-11-12 Jobless Claims Fall to Four-Year Low (CNN News)
"Claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to their lowest level in more than four years, but the drop was due mostly to a technical issue."
"Much of the drop last week was caused by an anomaly, a Labor Department analyst told CNNMoney. One state posted a large decline in claims, which is not typical during the last week in September."
"The drop probably occurred because that state didn't fully process end-of-quarter claims, the Labor Department analyst said. If that's the case, it's possible initial claims could shoot back up next week, once those claims are processed." 10-12
- -10-14-12 Editorial: Should Nike Be Supporting Lance Armstrong? (Time.com)
"A USADA report on Armstrong’s doping habits included eyewitness testimony from eleven former teammates, and gory details about refrigerated blood, secret roadside meetings and canceled races to avoid drug testing. And yet Nike’s position did not change." 10-12
- -10-14-12 Former Senator Arlen Specter Dies (Time.com)
"Former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who died Sunday of cancer at age 82, leaves a complex political legacy behind – one that has flummoxed both parties in a career that spanned nearly 50 years."
"A fixture in some of the most divisive and closely-watched events of his time, Specter perhaps had the biggest and longest-lasting impact on the Supreme Court. By shaping the court's membership, Specter indirectly influenced issues from abortion to racial preferences to the death penalty." 10-12
- -10-16-12 Global Outpouring to Help Young Advocate for Education (Time.com)
"When the time came to choose medical treatment for Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who defied the Taliban and then was gunned down by them, her family and doctors faced a world of possibilities after a global outpouring of advice and offers of assistance." 10-12
- -10-17-12 Editorial: Obama Finally Makes His Case (Time.com)
"The argument for reelecting President Obama is not obvious, since the economy is bad, but it’s not all that complex either. I’d say it’s a five-part argument. And tonight, the president finally made all five parts." 10-12
- -10-17-12 Editorial: What We Need to Hear in the Second Presidential Debate (New York Times)
"The housing/credit markets exploded, creating a systemic banking crisis and a painful recession, which coincided with our sharpening education deficit, which coincided with two wars and a big tax cut that dramatically worsened our national deficit. The result is a deep hole."
"That hole requires us to now cut spending, raise and reform taxes; stimulate the economy by investing in infrastructure, research and teachers; spur more start-ups; and offer more people postsecondary vocational or college education. So, first, listen for anything like that diagnosis from the candidates."
"And, second, listen for a plan that rises to the true scale of that challenge, one that proposes job-creating infrastructure investments tied with a program to stimulate more start-ups (which have slowed) tied with a credible deficit-reduction plan — that would be phased in as the economy recovers — tied with a plan to get more Americans postsecondary education. Yes, I know, Obama has many such initiatives, but he has not made them the centerpiece of his campaign, or highlighted them in his commercials, or tied them together into a compelling package that gets people out of their chairs, saying: 'Yes, he’s got the answer!' Instead of campaigning on how good is his plan, he has campaigned on how bad is Romney’s." 10-12
- -10-18-12 Mississippi Rejects Expansion of Medicaid (ABC News)
"Mississippi has long been one of the sickest and poorest states in America, with some of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease and more than 1 in 7 residents without insurance. And so you might think Mississippi would jump at the prospect of billions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid."
"You'd be wrong."
"Leaders of the deeply conservative state say that even if Mississippi receives boatloads of cash under President Barack Obama's health care law, it can't afford the corresponding share of state money it will have to put up to add hundreds of thousands of people to the government health insurance program for the poor."
"That's $1 from the state for every $23 from Uncle Sam."
"Supporters of the expansion say turning down the money for doctors' visits, prescriptions and other care would itself be foolish fiscal policy, not only hurting the poor but jeopardizing the jobs of thousands of people at hospitals and other institutions that rely on Medicaid money."
"Ultimately, pressure from politically powerful health care groups might make it difficult for Mississippi leaders to reject the money. Hospital administrators worry that without a Medicaid expansion, they could be saddled with rising costs from treating uninsured patients." 10-12
- -10-21-12 McGovern, George (CBS News)
"He was tapped by three presidents to represent the U.S. at the United Nations on issues ranging from disarmament to world hunger. He launched a program with former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole in 2002 to provide education and food to poor children in the U.S. and around the world."
"He was tapped by three presidents to represent the U.S. at the United Nations on issues ranging from disarmament to world hunger. He launched a program with former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole in 2002 to provide education and food to poor children in the U.S. and around the world." 10-12
- -10-21-12 What Happened in Benghazi, Libya (Time.com)
"More than a month after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, U.S. officials have yet to talk to many of the Libyan guards on duty at the American mission on that fatal evening. Fearful of reprisal from the still unknown perpetrators of the attack, the guards have gone into hiding; and their vivid recollections are giving way to a sense of abandonment by the American government, which offered them no protection from the attackers the guards believe want them dead. TIME’s Steven Sotloff has talked to the guards for their account of what happened on the night of Sept. 11, 2012 and the early hours of the day after. Five of the guards were employees of the British security company Blue Mountain, and three others were members of the Islamist-leaning February 17th militia who were tasked with providing diplomatic security for foreign missions. To protect them from possible retribution, their names have been changed. What is clear is that, as others have reported, there was no protest, simply a sudden siege of the compound; U.S. security forces–including U.S. Marines who arrived at an American safe house outside the consulate grounds–were overwhelmed and stymied; and that the looters apparently came upon the body of a still-breathing Ambassador Chris Stevens." 10-12
- -10-22-12 Cutting Government Waste (Truth-Out.org)
"We saw the costly absurdity of defense contracting run amok during the war in Iraq. That exercise in conservative outsourcing orthodoxy by the Bush administration resulted in as much as $60 billion in waste, according to the congressional Commission on Wartime Contracting. That in itself should be a lesson to be wary of the fear-mongering from the right and the military-industrial complex that if we dramatically cut defense spending we will compromise our security and put hundreds of thousands of people out of work."
"Sen.Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has sponsored an amendment to the 2013 defense authorization bill that would cap the taxpayer-paid salaries of defense contractor workers at $230,700, in line with the cap on salaries of federal employees. The contractor could pay that employee a higher salary, but it couldn't do so out of federal funds." 10-12
- -10-27-12 Neo-Nazi's Web Posting Ruled Not Protected Speech (ABC News)
"A white supremacist solicited violence against a juror by posting the man's address, phone number and other personal details on his extremist website, an appellate court ruled on Friday, overturning a lower court's decision to toss the neo-Nazi's conviction on the grounds that his posts were protected by the First Amendment." 10-12
- -11-02-12 Bloomberg Endorses Obama Based on Climate Change (New York Times)
"Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent in his third term leading New York City, has been sharply critical of Mr. Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, the president’s Republican rival, saying that both men had failed to candidly confront the problems afflicting the nation. But he said he had decided over the past several days that Mr. Obama was the better candidate to tackle the global climate change that he believes might have contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage." 11-12
- -11-02-12 Jobs Numbers Improve but Unemployment Up in October (NBC News)
"Hiring sped up in October, showing a labor market that picked up a bit of steam in the waning days of the presidential campaign."
"The Labor Department reported Friday that non-farm payrolls increased by 171,000 last month versus expectations of a 125,000 rise. The government also said 84,000 more jobs were created in August and September than initially estimated."
"The unemployment rate was 7.9 percent, up slightly from the 7.8 percent reported in September." 11-12
- -11-02-12 New York Harbor Reopens (NBC News)
"New York Harbor reopened Friday for the first time since Superstorm Sandy roared in and scattered debris into the waterway that is a vital conduit for the city's commerce, including the tankers that bring fuel for New York and New Jersey."
"The Port of New York and New Jersey's reopening raised hopes that the fuel shortage that has caused the worst gas lines in the Northeast since the energy crisis in the 1970s would end soon." 11-12
- -11-02-12 Obama's Jobs Record (Wall Street Journal)
"Private-sector payrolls are up 759,000 since January 2009. Government jobs are down 565,000 under Mr. Obama’s tenure." 11-12
- -11-08-12 Editorial: Obama's Economy (CNN News)
"Job losses peaked in early 2009, and steadily declined throughout the year. The economy finally started creating jobs in the beginning of 2010, but then employers pulled back in the summer. A similar trend occurred in 2011, and then again in 2012, when strong momentum early in the year stumbled in the spring." 11-12
- -11-08-12 Editorial: Romney's Contradictions (CNN News)
"It was the debates that allowed him to regain control of the narrative. In that first debate he was clever, funny, energetic and passionate -- and in many ways outclassed Obama."
"His performance was so good that it was historic, transforming the election in a way that few have ever done. It worked because Romney did what the GOP was waiting for him to do all year. He appealed to the center by sounding reasonable and moderate but he also fired up the base by saying things to Obama that they wanted to hear said. This was Romney at his very best -- and it's difficult to image an alternative candidate who could have done better."
"But, ultimately, the contradictions inherent within both Romney and his party simply couldn't be overcome. The need to be both conservative and moderate confused and frustrated the electorate who were never quite sure what they were voting for." 11-12
- -11-08-12 Priciest Election to Date (CNN News)
"A big chunk of the money is coming from the uber-wealthy, according to election experts. Some 149 super-rich donors gave $500,000 or more, contributing $290 million of the funds raised so far, according to analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics and the Center for Public Integrity."
"When all the numbers roll in, some $6 billion could be spent on the election."
"The jump in large-dollar spending harkens back to a 2010 Supreme Court decision that corporations and unions have the right to political speech and their contributions can't be limited. That Citizens United decision opened the floodgates to unlimited spending by independent groups, and gave rise to super PACS, which have become more of a tool of wealthy donors." 11-12
- -11-09-12 Meeting Set to Address the Fiscal Crisis (ABC News)
"President Obama invited Congressional Republicans and Democrats to the White House next week to begin talks to resolve the country's impending fiscal crisis, but he insisted on raising taxes on the wealthiest." 11-12
- -11-28-12 Political Parties Polarized on How to Avoid the "Fiscal Cliff" (CBS News)
"For a Republican lawmaker, angering the Club for Growth and other anti-tax groups could result in an influx of outside money that could sink your reelection bid. It's no wonder that when CBS News' political director John Dickerson asked a senior House leadership aide if a majority of House Republicans what the chances were that a majority of House Republicans would vote for a tax increase, the response was 'pretty close to zero.' "
"Yet House Republicans cannot simply vote against any tax hikes and be on their way. That's because if lawmakers do not take action on the 'fiscal cliff,' Americans will face a tax hike at the end of the year - when the Bush-era tax cuts, the payroll tax cut, and other ostensibly-temporary tax breaks expire. These Republicans are in a box: If they vote in favor of a deal that raises revenues, they could face a primary challenge. But if they vote against any deal, they'll be partially responsible for an across-the-board tax hike - and polling suggests Americans will place the blame largely on the GOP's shoulders. Meanwhile, Democrats have no intention of agreeing to a deal to avert the 'cliff' that does not include an increase in revenue." 11-12
- -11-29-12 U.N. Recognizes Statehood for Palestine (CBS News)
"The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Thursday to recognize a Palestinian state, a long-sought victory for the Palestinians but an embarrassing diplomatic defeat for the United States."
"The resolution upgrading the Palestinians' status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations was approved by a more than two-thirds majority of the 193-member world body -- a vote of 138-9, with 41 abstentions." 11-12
- -11-30-12 Proposals to Raise Taxes on the Rich (CNN News)
"The line in the sand in the fiscal cliff talks is clear: Democrats will only agree to a deal that raises the tax burden on high-income households."
"Democrats want to accomplish that goal largely through higher tax rates. Republicans hate that idea and say any new revenue should be raised by curbing tax breaks." 11-12
- -11-30-12 U.N. Recognition of Statehood for Palestine: The Meaning (CBS News)
"With its new status as an official 'observer state,' Palestine will be able to apply to join specialized U.N. agencies and international organizations."
"There are also new untested waters, such as whether or not the 'statehood' status at the U.N. will give the Palestinians the right of self defense under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter."
"So, is Palestine now a State?"
"Here's what the U.N.'s own charter, and international law have to say on the matter:"
" 'The recognition of a new State or Government is an act that only other States and Governments may grant or withhold. It generally implies readiness to assume diplomatic relations. The United Nations is neither a State nor a Government, and therefore does not possess any authority to recognize either a State or a Government,' according to the United Nations." 11-12
- -12-01-11 An Activist Stands Her Ground in Bahrain (New York Times)
"During a protest in Bahrain on Saturday, an American journalist named Matthew Cassel reported on Twitter that he had just witnessed something remarkable: a lone female protester who refused to move as police officers in riot gear charged past her, firing tear gas shells just a few feet from her head." 12-11
- -12-01-11 Arctic Getting Worse: A Tipping Point? (CBS News)
"A new report card from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rates the polar region with blazing red stop lights on three of five categories and yellow cautions for the other two. Overall, these are not good grades, but it doesn't mean the Arctic is doomed and it still will freeze in the winter, said report co-editor Jackie Richter-Menge."
"The Arctic acts as Earth's refrigerator, cooling the planet. What's happening, scientists said, is like someone pushing the fridge's thermostat much too high."
" 'We've got a new normal,' said co-author Don Perovich, a geophysicist at the Army Corps of Engineers Cold Research and Engineering Lab. 'Whether it's a tipping point and we'll never recover, who's to say?' " 12-11
- -12-01-11 Bono Extols U.S. Leadership on AIDS (Time.com)
"Bono spoke glowingly about the United States' leadership in the fight against AIDS, calling this country's efforts the 'greatest heroic act since America jumped into the Second World War.' It is an 'extraordinary thing that the United States has done, which is in the war against this tiny little virus, which has caused so much destruction and heartache, American leadership has been the turning point,' Bono says, mustering all the Irish charm that propelled U2 through decades of rock stardom. 'Five million lives have been saved around the world because of American leadership.' "
Also try: HIV and AIDS. 12-11
- -12-01-11 Chevy Volt Tops Consumer Ratings (CBS News)
"The electric Chevrolet Volt may be prompting worries about battery fires after crashes, but the people who already own Volts love them. Volt topped all models in the owner satisfaction survey released today by Consumer Reports."
"A whopping 93 percent of Volt owners said they would definitely buy the car again, edging out sporty contenders Dodge Challenger and Porsche 911, each with a 91 percent buy-again rating." 12-11
- -12-01-11 Deputies Refuse to Evict 103-Year-Old Woman (MSNBC News)
"A 103-year-old woman and her 83-year-old daughter got a last-minute eviction reprieve when sheriff's deputies and movers decided they couldn’t uproot the women from their longtime Atlanta home." 12-11
- -12-01-11 Editorial: Gingrich Is "My Man" (New York Times)
"Franker than ever as he announced plans to retire from Congress, Barney Frank told Abby Goodnough in The Times that Gingrich was 'the single biggest factor' in destroying a Washington culture where the two parties respected each other’s differing views yet still worked together."
"Maybe the ideal man to fix Washington’s dysfunction is the one who made it dysfunctional. He broke it so he should own it. " 12-11
- -12-01-11 Editorial: Gingrich Reveals How He Would Do It (CBS News)
"Newt Gingrich is the only candidate who talks about how he would actually enact some of the promises he makes and the changes he would bring to the office of the presidency. Whether you agree with him or not, this is a useful and laudable thing. Candidates should be able to show that they have some concept of how to engage the massively complex organization they hope to take hold of. This would tell us something about them, and force those of us casting votes to be more realistic about what presidents can accomplish." 12-11
- -12-01-11 Senate Approves Defense Budget (Time.com)
"Ignoring a presidential veto threat, the Democratic-controlled Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a massive, $662 billion defense bill that would require the military to hold suspected terrorists linked to al-Qaida or its affiliates, even those captured on U.S. soil." 12-11
- -12-01-11 Syria Now in Civil War (CBS News)
"The U.N.'s top human rights official says Syria is now in a state of civil war with more than 4,000 people killed.”
"Syrian President Bashar Assad has been trying to crush an 8-month-old revolt against his autocratic rule." 12-11
- -12-01-11 The Occupy Expression "99 Percent" Still Stands (New York Times)
"Whatever the long-term effects of the Occupy movement, protesters have succeeded in implanting “We are the 99 percent,” referring to the vast majority of Americans (and its implied opposite, “You are the one percent” referring to the tiny proportion of Americans with a vastly disproportionate share of wealth), into the cultural and political lexicon." 12-11
- -12-02-11 Unemployment Falls Sharply (BBC News)
"The US unemployment rate dropped sharply to 8.6% in November, its lowest level in two-and-a-half years, from 9% the month before, official figures show." 12-11
- -12-07-11 Wheeler, Rachael: Builder of Homes in Haiti (MSNBC News)
"The 12-year-old Florida resident has done more to aid others than many grown-ups do in a lifetime."
"Three years ago, when she was only nine, Rachel tagged along with her mother to a very adult meeting about charity work in Haiti. She listened as Robin Mahfood, from the aid agency Food For The Poor, describe children so hungry that they eat cookies made of mud, so poor that they sleep in houses made of cardboard." 12-11
- -12-07-12 November Unemployment Down to 7.7% (CBS News)
"The U.S. economy added 146,000 new jobs in November and the employment rate slid to 7.7 percent from last month's reading of 7.9 percent. The results were far better than expected. The Labor Department noted that while Superstorm Sandy caused severe damage in the Northeast, the 'survey response rates in the affected states were within normal ranges. Our analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November.' " 12-12
- -12-08-12 Egyptian President Gives Up Sweeping Powers (USA Today)
"A national dialogue committee said a referendum on a disputed draft constitution will be held on schedule, but President Mohammed Morsi has agreed to rescind the near-absolute power he had granted himself." 12-12
- -12-08-12 Facebook's Most-Liked Photo (Slate.com)
"Just four years ago, it would have been almost unfathomable that a private photo shared by the campaign directly with its supporters—as opposed to a candid shot snapped by a press photographer—could become the most iconic of a presidential election. But such is the power of social media." 12-12
- -12-09-11 Editorial: Why Rick Perry's New Ads on Religion Are Wrong (Time.com)
"Let’s start with Perry’s statement that he’s not ashamed to 'admit' that he’s a Christian. We’ll set aside the suggestion that there is typically some barrier that discourages politicians from being open about their religious affiliation, because that’s clearly absurd. The more relevant charge underlying Perry’s remark is that Barack Obama won’t talk about his faith. Anyone who has paid attention to Obama’s speeches and language would have to concede that the charge is false. Obama’s remarks at the White House Easter prayer breakfast this year–in which he spoke of Jesus’ 'unfathomable gift of grace and salvation through his death and resurrection'–are arguably the most explicitly Christian that any President has uttered at an official White House event."
"In fact, Obama has confounded conservative expectations by retaining and expanding the faith-based initiative started by George W. Bush. His refusal to overturn the executive order allowing faith-based organizations to discriminate in hiring for positions paid for by government funding has frustrated and infuriated his supporters on the left."
"It would be easy to dismiss Perry’s message as just a typical appeal to social conservatives or the desperate strategy of a candidate who may have slipped out of contention. But this is new. The casualness with which Perry tosses off the charge about 'Obama’s war on religion' is at odds with how corrosive the accusation really is." 12-11
- -12-11-11 After the Climate Conference, Still Grave Danger (Time.com)
"The hard-fought deal at a global climate conference in South Africa keeps talks alive but doesn't address the core problem: The world's biggest carbon polluters aren't willing to cut emissions of greenhouse gases enough to stave off dangerous levels of global warming."
"Figures from the U.N. weather agency show the three most powerful greenhouse gases reached record levels last year and were increasing at an ever-faster rate."
"And the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the total heat-trapping force from major greenhouse gases has increased 29 percent since 1990, the benchmark year in the climate talks. 12-11
- -12-11-11 Web of Prisons for Terrorism Inmates (New York Times)
"Today, 171 prisoners remain at Guantánamo. As of Oct. 1, the federal Bureau of Prisons reported that it was holding 362 people convicted in terrorism-related cases, 269 with what the bureau calls a connection to international terrorism — up from just 50 in 2000. An additional 93 inmates have a connection to domestic terrorism." 12-11
- -12-11-12 Editorial: Can the Estate Tax Solve the Fiscal Cliff? (Time.com)
"According to a recent analysis by The Wall Street Journal, current policy — which mandates a maximum estate tax of 35% — would raise $161 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. By contrast, reverting to a pre-2001 estate tax would raise $532 billion in the same time period, while the President’s proposal would raise $276 billion." 12-12
- -12-12-11 Iran Gains U.S. Drone (Time.com)
"U.S. experts are split on whether or not Iran actually has the drone – one of which the U.S. has publicly acknowledged went missing while flying over western Afghanistan, without specifying what kind of drone it was."
"While U.S. officials considered destroying the drone, one said, the government elected not to take that action. That suggests, he says, that Washington was not as concerned about the drone falling into Iranian hands as some commentators have suggested." 12-11
- -12-12-12 North Korea Launches a Long-Range Rocket (CBS News)
"South Korean and Japanese officials confirmed that liftoff took place Wednesday morning. Each nation had been urging North Korea to refrain from a launch widely seen as a cover for a test of banned ballistic missile technology."
"The White House condemned the launch calling it 'a highly provocative act,' that was both a threat to regional security and a violation of U.N. resolutions." 12-12
- -12-13-12 Health Insurance Costs Set to Rise Greatly (NBC News)
"If trends continue at their historical rate, the average premium for family coverage will reach nearly $25,000 by 2020." 12-12
- -12-13-12 President: Ambassador Rice Withdrew Bid for Secretary of State (Time.com)
"Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State." 12-12
- -12-13-12 Stars Raise Funds for Sandy Victims (CNN News)
"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently said the latest estimates of Sandy-related storm costs in his state were $36.8 billion, while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters the total cost in his state was $41 billion."
"Concert organizers said the event was accessible to 2 billion people worldwide, through television and Web sites. 'We are having high donation volume on the web,' they said on the concert's Twitter page late Wednesday." 12-12
- -12-14-11 Chinese Village in Standoff (The Wall Street Journal)
"A fishing village of about 20,000 people in southern China is in open revolt against the local government after it announced the death in police custody of a villager who had led protests over an alleged land grab, according to local people." 12-11
- -12-14-11 Fewer Marriages Now (USA Today)
"The most dramatic decline in marriage has occurred among adults ages 18 to 29. Just 20 percent of them were married last year, compared with 59 percent in 1960."
"The median age at first marriage is also at its highest -- 26.5 years for women and 28.7 years for men -- and over the past 50 years has risen by about six years for both women and men." 12-11
- -12-14-11 Post-War Iraq: A Shiite Nation (MSNBC News)
"Regardless of President Bush’s intent in waging this war, what it wound up doing is replacing a dictator with a Shiite-run state that is close to Iran. This could not have been the plan." 12-11
- -12-15-11 Church Leaders Join "Occupy" Movement (CNN News)
"A group of African-American church leaders announced Wednesday their intention to join ranks with the Occupy movement in the nation's capital, bolstering what some consider a mutual message of condemning income inequality and social injustice." 12-11
- -12-15-11 Federal Government Shutdown Avoided (MSNBC News)
"Congressional negotiators reached agreement Thursday on a compromise spending bill to avert a weekend federal shutdown. They also worked toward a deal renewing the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for another year but prepared a shorter version as a fallback." 12-11
- -12-15-11 Justice Department: Arizona Sheriff Guilty of Racial Profiling (MSNBC News)
"The U.S. government said Thursday that the man who called himself the toughest sheriff in America ran an office that has committed wide-ranging civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged complaints."
"The U.S. Justice Department's expert on measuring racial profiling called it the most egregious case he has seen, the department's civil rights division chief told reporters." 12-11
- -12-15-11 U.S. Officially Ends War in Iraq (New York Times)
"Almost nine years after the first American tanks began massing on the Iraq border, the Pentagon declared an official end to its mission here, closing a troubled conflict that helped reshape American politics and left a bitter legacy of anti-American sentiment across the Muslim world." 12-11
- -12-16-12 Are Single-Parent Homes More Prone to Violence? (Time.com)
"Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, College Park, is not convinced that getting people married is the answer [to violence]. On his blog, he provides a helpful chart in which he compares the number of violent crimes (which has been going down since 1990) with the number of single moms (which has been going up in the same period)."
"Experts vary on how proactive parents should be: some recommend against bringing up the subject unless curious or frightened children ask, although most advise parents to initiate a conversation. Either way, the key is to reassure kids and answer their questions without providing information overload. Be honest, keeping in mind your child’s age, adjusting your explanations to your children’s ability to understand. And continue with your family’s regular routine, advises Maidenberg."
"It’s also a good idea to empower kids who feel helpless by brainstorming ways to be useful. Have your kids write letters to the students at Sandy Hook (912 Dickinson Dr., Sandy Hook, CT 06482), suggests Dodge. Make signs of support. It will help up shore up morale in Newtown, Conn., and make your kids feel useful, which in turn relieves some of the stress and fear they are feeling." 12-12
- -12-16-12 Kids Ask: "Am I safe?" (Time.com)
"It’s hard to distill the Connecticut tragedy for little kids when it doesn’t even make sense to adults. But at dinnertime, bedtime, during carpool and everywhere in between, children will be turning to mom and dad for reassurance that they are safe."
"Experts vary on how proactive parents should be: some recommend against bringing up the subject unless curious or frightened children ask, although most advise parents to initiate a conversation. Either way, the key is to reassure kids and answer their questions without providing information overload. Be honest, keeping in mind your child’s age, adjusting your explanations to your children’s ability to understand. And continue with your family’s regular routine, advises Maidenberg."
"It’s also a good idea to empower kids who feel helpless by brainstorming ways to be useful. Have your kids write letters to the students at Sandy Hook (912 Dickinson Dr., Sandy Hook, CT 06482), suggests Dodge. Make signs of support. It will help up shore up morale in Newtown, Conn., and make your kids feel useful, which in turn relieves some of the stress and fear they are feeling." 12-12
- -12-17-11 Senate Votes for Short-Term Extension of Payroll Tax Cut (New York Times)
"In the ultimate cap to a year of last-minute, half-loaf legislation, the Senate voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to extend a payroll tax cut for a mere two months, with the chamber’s leaders and the White House proclaiming victory, even as they punted the issue of how to extend the tax cut and unemployment benefits into the new year." 12-11
- -12-18-12 Clinton Accepts Benghazi Findings (BBC News)
"US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accepted all 29 recommendations in a report into a deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya."
"The report found that systemic failures at the state department led to insufficient security at the consulate."
"But it found no individual official ignored their duties, and the review has not suggested disciplinary action."
"In a letter to congressional committees, Mrs Clinton said she had ordered the state department to implement the investigation's findings "quickly and completely". 12-12
- -12-18-12 Investors Turn Against Gun Makers (ABC News)
"Investors shunned some of the nation's largest gun makers Tuesday, putting up for sale the manufacturer of the Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle used in the Connecticut school shooting and worrying that the attack could soon bring stricter gun laws." 12-12
- -12-18-12 Teacher's Fund Reviewing Firearm Holdings (ABC News)
"The nation's largest teachers' pension fund announced Tuesday that it was reviewing its firearms holdings after determining that its investment in a gun maker was linked to one of the weapons used in last week's Connecticut school massacre."
"The California State Teachers' Retirement System, which manages $155 billion in assets, was reviewing whether those investments comply with the fund's own social and ethical standards." 12-12
- -12-19-12 Malala Yousafzai Advocates Education for Girls (Time.com)
"She has become perhaps the world’s most admired children’s-rights advocate, all the more powerful for being a child herself. Her primary cause — securing Pakistani girls’ access to education — has served to highlight broader concerns: the health and safety of the developing world’s children, women’s rights and the fight against extremism. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is now the U.N.’s special envoy for global education, declared Nov. 10 Malala Day in honor of her and the more than 50 million girls around the world who are not at school. Nearly half a million people have signed petitions on Change.org to nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize. That is not how the Taliban intended things to turn out." 12-12
- -12-20-12 Editorial: The Gun Business Is Doing Well (Truth-Out.com)
"The gun business in America is booming, despite the decline in households that own guns. As the Washington Post glibly noted this week, "The U.S. gun industry has been one of the brightest spots in the U.S. economy in recent years, even through the recent downturn. This year, it racked up $11.7 billion in sales and $992 million in profits, according to the research firm IBISWorld." Almost 17 million people applied for a background check to purchase a gun in 2012. More than 156 million people have applied since 1998." 12-12
- -12-21-11 New "Third" Party to Break into the 2012 Elections (Time.com)
"It’s hard to predict the role Americans Elect might play in 2012 until the Republican primary wraps up and the group taps a nominee of its own. Americans Elect will not promote a candidate, but the group is briefing potential contenders about the process. Among the names that have surfaced are Michael Bloomberg, Jon Huntsman and Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks."
"Even the members of Americans Elect aren’t sure how the process will play out. “We are going to present the American people with a third candidate,” says Sragow. “If they decide that Americans Elect is somehow a process they don’t trust, they don’t have to vote for our candidate.” But trust is a commodity in short supply. And though Americans are weary with Washington and craving comity, a band of insiders backed by Wall Street money may not be the type of change voters have in mind." 12-11
- -12-21-11 Obama Pushes for Payroll Tax Cut Extension (CNN News)
"House members headed out for their holiday break without agreeing on a payroll tax cut extension. The tax cut saves the average American family $1,000 a year." 12-11
- -12-21-12 CNN Young Heroes (CNN News)
At the age of 10 Cassandra Lin "decided she wanted to do something for the environment and help the less fortunate in her Rhode Island community. She gathered her friends and created Project TGIF -- Turning Grease Into Fuel. The organization collects used cooking oil from restaurants and homes, refines it and then distributes a percentage of it to families who can't afford to heat their homes." 12-12
- -12-21-12 NRA Demands an Armed Security Officer in Every School (NBC News)
"National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre blamed Hollywood, video games music, the courts and more on Friday for creating a culture of violence in the United States."
" 'The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,' he said at a Washington press event, adding, 'With all the money in the federal budget can’t we afford to put a police officer in every single school?' " 12-12
- -12-22-11 Congress Agrees on Payroll Tax Cut Deal (CBS News)
"House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that his fellow GOP congressmen have agreed on a deal to extend payroll tax cuts that would have expired at the end of the year. The announcement ends yet another episode of political brinksmanship in Washington that has contributed greatly to Congress' abysmal approval ratings." 12-11
- -12-24-11 Gingrich and Perry Fail to Qualify for Virginia Ballot (CNN News)
"Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich failed to collect enough signatures to appear on the Virginia primary ballot, the Republican Party of Virginia announced Saturday morning, leaving the longtime Virginia resident without a place on the state's ballot and raising questions about his campaign's organization."
"Gingrich, as well as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, did not meet the state's requirement of 10,000 signatures and, therefore, did not qualify for the ballot, the Virginia GOP said via Twitter." 12-11
- -12-25-12 Changes that Going Over the "Fiscal Cliff" Will Create (CNN News)
"Absent a fiscal cliff deal that includes a so-called "doc fix," Medicare physicians are facing a nearly 27% cut in their payments for treating Medicare patients."
"A federal extension of unemployment benefits is set to expire. If Congress does not renew it, workers who lost their jobs after July 1, 2012, will only receive up to 26 weeks in state unemployment benefits, down from as many as 73 weeks in state and federal benefits that have been available in 2012. As a result, more than 2 million of the long-term unemployed will run out of benefits in January, according to the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group." 12-12
- -12-29-11 Professors Synchronize Days and Dates (CNN News)
"As the people of the world prepare to hang their 2012 calendars, two professors at Johns Hopkins University are proposing one you can keep forever, as each date falls on the same day of the week as it did the year before." 12-11
- -12-29-12 Housing Market Rebounds (Time.com)
"Without a doubt, the U.S. housing market has been the most successful sector of the economy this year, and Wednesday’s Case-Shiller home-price index report — which showed a fifth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in home prices nationwide — was a late Christmas present for homeowners across the country." 12-12
- -12-29-12 Senate Leaders Try Last-Minute Deal (New York Times)
"At the urging of President Obama, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate set to work Friday night to assemble a last-minute tax deal that could pass both chambers of Congress and avert large tax increases and budget cuts next year, or at least stop the worst of the economic punch from landing beginning Jan. 1." 12-12
- -12-31-12 Agreement on Threshhold (CNN News)
"Multiple congressional sources tell CBS News that the two sides have agreed on an income threshold for the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans: $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for families. For weeks, Democrats have pushed for letting the cuts expire for those making over $200,000 and families making over $250,000 while Republicans have wanted to renew the cuts for all Americans, including the wealthiest."
"Additionally, agreement has been reached on the estate tax, which was set to increase from 35 percent to 55 percent in 2013. Instead, the compromise sets the new rate at 40 percent with the first $5 million exempt from being taxed."
"Other items that could be included in a deal include an extension of unemployment benefits and reimbursement rates for doctors who treat Medicare patients. As both of those items are costly, Republicans are worried that the new deal could raise the deficit instead of cutting it." 12-12
- -12-31-12 Hillary Clinton Hospitalized with Blood Clot (CNN News)
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized Sunday after doctors discovered a blood clot during a follow-up exam related to a concussion she suffered this month, her spokesman said." 12-12
- 05-04-12 Obama's Economic Plan Compared to Romney's Plan (Time.com)
"The Obama campaign came out with a nifty, interactive online graphic Thursday that guides America through the life of Julia, a hypothetical young web designer who appears to have been drawn by Chris Ware or Dan Clowes. She has two paths: One in which she benefits at every stage of her life from the policies of Barack Obama, and one in which she is hurt at every stage of her life by the policies of Mitt Romney. But all is not what it seems." 05-12
- 05-05-12 Full List of ALEC Members Revealed (Truth-Out.org)
"The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been under fire lately after the 15 major corporations and organizations pulled their support for the conservative organization, which helps quietly implement corporate-backed legislation in statehouses across the country."
"Now, the watchdog advocacy group Common Cause has released a complete list of corporations on ALEC’s task forces."
"Not surprisingly, four of the five major oil companies are members, as are many other energy companies." 05-12
- 05-09-12 President Obama Supports Same-Sex Marriage (CNN News)
"President Barack Obama said Wednesday he supports same-sex marriage, raising the political stakes on an issue in which Americans are evenly split."
"The announcement, long sought by supporters of same-sex marriage, puts Obama squarely at odds with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney." 05-12
- 05-12-12 The Gas Fracking Debate (ABC News)
"Drilling hasn't been allowed since 2008, when the state began an environmental review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which frees gas from shale by injecting a well with millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals and sand. After drillers poured into Pennsylvania in 2008, environmental problems including methane-contaminated private water wells, salt in rivers from wastewater dumping and spill-polluted streams prompted regulatory reforms in that state and touched off a vocal opposition movement in New York."
"About 25 municipalities have enacted bans on gas drilling, and about 75 others have enacted moratoriums. Dozens of other communities are considering them."
"The majority of those communities are outside the region most likely to see development. Only one, the city of Binghamton, is in one of the prime counties, Broome."
"The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, which represents about 70,000 landowners seeking to lease land for gas drilling, is working to counter the push for municipal bans." 05-12
- 06-05-12 Poll: Partisanship Growing (CBS News)
"When it comes to political ideology, Americans are more divided than at any point in the last 25 years, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press."
"Thirty-eight percent of the survey's respondents said they identify as independents, while just 32 percent of called themselves Democrats, and 24 percent identified as Republicans." 06-12
- 06-06-12 Austerity in Greece Making It Harder, Not Easier, for Self-Reliance (New York Times)
"The budget gap is widening as the so-called troika of lenders — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission — withholds 1 billion euros in bailout money earmarked for government financing while it waits to see whether new leaders elected June 17 will honor Greece’s commitments."
"Even if the troika delivers that money, Greece will struggle to cover its obligations. It underscored a harsh reality that is playing out in other troubled euro zone economies. Prolonged austerity is making it harder, not easier, for governments like Greece to become self-reliant again." 06-12
- 06-06-12 Editorial: How a Supreme Court Ruling Is Helping the Wealthy to Influence Elections (New York Times)
"This kind of influence in judicial elections is a direct result of the Citizens United decision, which allows corporations and unions to make unlimited so-called independent expenditures in campaigns. In a dissent in that case, Justice John Paul Stevens predicted that such spending would overwhelm state court races, which would be especially harmful since judges must not only be independent but be seen to be independent as well. North Carolina is proving him right."
"A Federal District Court in North Carolina last month, citing a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that rests on Citizens United, struck down a state law that provided additional matching funds to judicial candidates who accepted public campaign money if they faced greater spending from privately financed opponents, including independent expenditures."
"By the Supreme Court’s upside-down logic, matching funds violate the free-speech rights of independent groups because their spending triggers additional money for a publicly financed candidate." 06-12
- 06-12-12 Insurers: Some Health Care Provisions Will Stay (PBS.org)
"UnitedHealthcare, one of the country's largest health insurers, said Monday it would keep several provisions of the federal health reform law intact, whether the Supreme Court rejects it or not."
"Well, the ones that United said today it was keeping and that other insurers echoed are exactly those that have already gone into effect, first of all, for example, coverage of certain preventive measures, mammographies, colonoscopies without any cost-sharing or co-payments or deductibles by individuals, coverage of dependents, adult children, up to the age of 26, another very popular provision that most insurers have already implemented."
"In addition to that, a requirement that there be a very expedited, very clear appeals process. Abolition of lifetime limits on insurance policies, so you can't max out at a million dollars of total coverage and then have no insurance -- in fact, no more lifetime limits. And then, in addition, a rule against rescissions of policies, so that, for example, if you sign up for a policy, you testify that you're healthy, but then it's suddenly discovered that you have cancer, it used to be the case that insurers could actually rescind the policy."
"Now many of them have essentially decided not to do that. And, in fact, under the law, they don't do that, they cannot do that. And instead they will only basically cancel a policy if it's found that you somehow applied for it on a fraudulent basis. So, those are the core provisions that are already in effect and that these insurers have said that they will continue." 06-12
- 06-13-12 Census: 49 Million Americans in Poverty (PBS.org)
"And I think you can also conclude that their work effort, which millions of them exert, and they work for low wages, they would be much worse off if it weren't for government programs. So the most effective solution -- and you can see this in all the data that the Census Bureau publishes -- is for folks to work, even at low wages, and then government to support them, which we're doing a much better job of since roughly the mid '90s with the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, child care, lots of programs that help low-income working families."
"That's the key, work, plus the government support." 06-12
- 06-16-12 Obama Administration to Stop Deporting Some Young Immigrants (CNN News)
"In an election-year policy change, the Obama administration said Friday it will stop deporting young illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children if they meet certain requirements." 06-12
- 06-22-12 Catholic Church Official Convicted of Child Endangerment (MSNBC News)
"Monsignor William Lynn is the first Roman Catholic church official in the United States tried for his role in protecting predator priests. He's charged with conspiracy and two counts of child endangerment for allegedly keeping accused priests in parish work around children."
"Lynn said he did more than his colleagues to help victims and advance the church's response to both accusers and the accused priests, who were often sent for evaluation or treatment before transfers to new, unsuspecting parishes. Lynn said that only Bevilacqua had the power to remove priests from ministry."
"But prosecutors say Lynn could have quit or called police. Instead, he stayed in the job for 12 years -- and acknowledged he never once contacted authorities." 06-12
- 06-24-12 Muslim Brotherhood Candidate Wins Egypt's Presidency (CBS News)
"Mohammed Morsi was declared Egypt's first Islamist president on Sunday after the freest elections in the country's history, narrowly defeating Hosni Mubarak's last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in a race that raised political tensions in Egypt to a fever pitch." 06-12
- 06-27-12 Nora Ephron Dies (MSNBC News)
"Nora Ephron, the celebrated screenwriter and director, died of leukemia Tuesday evening in New York, according to The New York Times."
"Ephron, best known for penning the screenplay for 'When Harry Met Sally' (1989) and then writing and directing 'Sleepless in Seattle'... and 'You've Got Mail' (1998), had not been reported as ill prior to a story from gossip columnist Liz Smith -- which repeatedly referred to the 71-year-old in the past tense while never pronouncing her dead." 06-12
- 06-29-12 Taxes Related to the Affordable Care Act (Internal Revenue Service)
Provides the tax-related provisions. 06-12
- 07-14-11 Poll: A Majority Favors Taxes for the Wealthy for Debt Reduction (CNN News)
"A full 67% of Americans favor a deal to raise the debt ceiling that includes taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations, according to a poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University."
"And according to Gallup, only 20% of Americans want a deal that consists only of spending cuts. That's the position of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and many of his colleagues." 07-11
- 07-18-11 Poll: 71 Percent Disagree with Republican Approach to Debt (CBS News)
"Americans are unimpressed with their political leaders' handling of the debt ceiling crisis, with a new CBS News poll showing a majority disapprove of all the involved parties' conduct, but Republicans in Congress fare the worst, with just 21 percent backing their resistance to raising taxes." 07-11
- 08-01-11 Editorial: Ransom Paid (Truth-Out.com)
"Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics nor politics."
"The deal does not raise taxes on America’s wealthy and most fortunate — who are now taking home a larger share of total income and wealth, and whose tax rates are already lower than they have been, in eighty years." 08-11
- 08-01-11 Editorial: What Liberals Will Like in the Debt Ceiling Deal (Time.com)
"In a world where the Tea Party didn’t exist, would this be a good bill for Democrats? Absolutely not. But considering that the trigger, commission, two-step process and discretionary budget cuts could’ve been a LOT worse – and actually were in Boehner’s version of the bill – this deal will be easier to swallow. The commission will likely mean a long-term win for Democrats: they’ll get either their revenue increases or achieve significant Pentagon cuts." 08-11
- 08-01-11 House Liberals and Tea Partiers Dislike the Debt Deal (CBS News)
"President Obama has landed a deal with Republicans to make sweeping cuts in government spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. The deal was brokered with literally hours to go before the U.S. exhausted its ability to borrow money, but its success in the House is still uncertain." 08-11
- 08-04-11 Liberal Debt Deal Revolt (Wall Street Journal)
"Liberal economists such as Cornell's Robert Frank had been arguing that the 'spending problem is too little, not too much.' He believes the debt package is a job killer because 'cutting spending now would make the downturn worse.' "
"Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin labeled the budget pact 'the final interment of John Maynard Keynes.' That would be quite an accomplishment if he's right." 08-11
- 10-31-11 Measuring Success for the Occupy Wall Street Movement (CNN News)
"There's no easy way to define Occupy Wall Street. That's part of what's made it hard for the media – and those involved in the protests – to wrap their arms around the movement." 10-11
- Philadelphia Catholic Church Official Charged With Not Stopping Child Abuse (CNN News)
"On trial are the Rev. James Brennan, who is accused of the attempted rape of a 14-year-old, and Monsignor William Lynn, who is accused of knowingly allowing dangerous priests to continue in the ministry in roles in which they had access to children."
"The trial represents the first time that U.S. prosecutors have charged not just the priests who allegedly committed the abuses, but an official who stands accused of failing to stop the assaults. Lynn had been responsible from 1992 until 2004 for investigating reports that priests had sexually abused children." 07-07
- Romney Wins Nevada (MSNBC News)
"Mitt Romney is projected to win Nevada's Republican caucuses, adding to the political momentum the former Massachusetts governor has built for his campaign." 02-12
- -03-03-12 The Mitt Romney -- Rush Limbaugh Connection (Wikipedia.org)
Mitt Romney is a co-founder of BainCapital. BainCapital owns Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel Communications is the parent company of Premier Radio Networks, Inc. and Premier Radio Networks syndicates the Rush Limbaugh radio show. 03-12
- -03-06-12 Mom Loses Parts of Legs Saving Children in Tornado (CBS News)
" 'I grabbed the kids and I wasn't letting go,' Decker told CBS News from her hospital bed in Louisville, Ky. 'If they were going to fly, I was going to fly with them. It happened so quickly - the tornado, but the rest of it felt like an eternity' " 03-12
- -How Clinton Communicates (Politico.com)
"Well might Obama be grateful: In 48 minutes, the 42nd president had stated the case for the 44th president’s reelection in language that was crisper and more compelling than the case Obama so far has made for himself." 09-12
- -Michigan Emergency Management Law Referendum Not Certified (HuffingtonPost.com)
"Michigan's Board of Canvassers deadlocked on a vote Thursday and failed to certify more than 200,000 signatures seeking a referendum on the state's emergency manager law, Public Act 4."
Editor's Note: Public Act 4 allows the state to take over local governments. 04-12
- A Fact Check on the Republican Response to the State of the Union Speech (FactCheck.org)
"The president’s State of the Union address got the facts right — mostly." 01-12
- Republican Candidate Rick Perry Accepts the Most Federal Funds for Jobs (Christian Science Monitor)
"Over the last few years, government jobs have been awfully consequential in Texas: 47% of all government jobs added in the US between 2007 and 2010 were added in Texas."
"In fact, as the table shows, the nation as a whole added 264,000 government jobs, 2007-10, meaning public-sector jobs added in Texas account for almost half of the nation’s public-sector jobs over these years."
" 'Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very [federal] stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.' ” 08-11
- Republican Candidate: Jon Huntsman (Wikipedia.org)
"Jon Meade Huntsman, Jr. (born March 26, 1960) is an American politician who served as the 16th Governor of Utah. He served in the administrations of four United States presidents and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination." Visitors sometimes misspell as John Hunstman. 06-11
- Republican Candidate: Rick Perry (New York Times)
"Rick Perry succeeded George W. Bush as governor of Texas in December 2000, and was elected to full terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010. In December 2008, he became the longest-serving governor in Texas history." 08-11
- Republican Candidate: Rick Perry (Wikipedia.org)
"James Richard "Rick" Perry (born March 4, 1950) is the 47th and current Governor of Texas, having held the office since December 2000. A Republican, Perry was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1998 and assumed the governorship in December 2000 when George W. Bush resigned to become President of the United States. Perry was elected to full gubernatorial terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010. With a tenure in office to date of 10 years, 231 days, Perry is the longest continuously serving current U.S. governor, and the second longest serving current U.S. governor (after Terry Branstad of Iowa)." 08-11
- The Roberts Ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act (Christian Science Monitor)
"In effect, Roberts and four members of the court’s liberal wing ruled that what Congress called a 'penalty' in the ACA was really a 'tax.' "
"The distinction is huge. It means that Congress intended the payment as an incentive for Americans to buy health insurance, not as punishment for those who failed to obey the federal command."
"While Congress had never before tried to use its Commerce Clause power to compel Americans to buy a product they did not wish to purchase, there is nothing new about Congress using taxes or tax credits to encourage Americans to buy something they may not want."
" 'Sustaining the mandate as a tax depends only on whether Congress has properly exercised its taxing power to encourage purchasing health insurance, not whether it can,' Roberts wrote."
" 'Upholding the individual mandate under the Taxing Clause thus does not recognize any new federal power,' he said."
"Power was the whole point of the legal challenge to the health-care reform law." 06-12
- Things You Need to Know about West Nile Virus (Time.com)
"Apply insect repellent to exposed skin when going outdoors. Make sure repellents will last for the full time you plan to remain outside; products with more active ingredients will last longer. Don’t let kids handle repellent on their own, and don’t let them get it on their hands. Click here for the repellent ingredients that have been reviewed and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency."
"Since mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing, it’s a good idea to spray your clothes (and shoes, bed nets and camping gear) with insect repellents that contain permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent. But don’t apply permethrin directly to your skin or under your clothes." 08-12
- Time's Greatest Toys (Time.com)
Time editors describe their list of 100 greatest toys. 12-11