Tag Archives: united states senate

News Roundup – Grand Theft Auto, Affordable Care Act, Food Stamps

The newest version of Grand Theft Auto is now in stores. Before you blow this off as one of those things, this videogame was released on Tuesday. It sold over $800 million on Tuesday alone. I don’t play Grand Theft Auto, but maybe I should. Almost a billion in sales in one day. Holy millionaire, Batman.

A few years ago there was a lot of discussion over whether cancer screening is worth it or not. It appears that cancer screening for colon cancer is effective.

Guess what? The GOP has voted to defund the Affordable Care Act again. Congressman John Boehner, standing in front of a sign which reads – #SenateMustAct – stated, “The House has listened to the American people. Now it’s time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well.” Basically, this is a stopgap spending measure that also defunds the Affordable Care Act and sucks oxygen out of the economic recovery. Then again, what’s new? If I’m not mistaken, this is the 43rd time the Republicans have voted to defund the Affordable Care Act. But, hey, what’s in a number? Let’s be clear. The Democrats in the Senate basically have two options. First, they could pass the spending measures and restore funding for the Affordable Care Act. Or, they can simply not bring the bill to the floor and declare it dead on arrival.

Food stamps? We don’t need any food stamps. At least, the House GOP does not believe that we need any food stamps. Once again, Americans need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, according to the GOP. Too many Americans are simply sitting around and enjoying food stamps. From economist Robert Greenstein (Center for Budget and Policy Priorities), “The House’s passage today of the Republican leadership’s bill to cut SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) by almost $40 billion over the next decade marks a new low for an already dysfunctional Congress. It would increase hunger and hardship all across our country. By cutting food assistance for at least 3.8 million low-income people in the coming year — including some of the very poorest Americans, many children and senior citizens, and even veterans — this cruel, if not heartless, legislation could jeopardize a vital stepping stone to many families who are still struggling to find work or who depend on low-wage jobs. As the nation slowly climbs out of the deepest recession in decades — with 22 million people still unemployed or underemployed — millions of families rely on SNAP to help feed their children.”

Although the new iPhone 5 received a very lukewarm reception, the iPhone 5S seems to be something special. ExtremeTech looks at iOS7 and Android 4.3. Guess who is stagnating?

Obama on Syria

Transcript of speech:

My fellow Americans, tonight I want to talk to you about Syria — why it matters, and where we go from here.

Over the past two years, what began as a series of peaceful protests against the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad has turned into a brutal civil war. Over 100,000 people have been killed. Millions have fled the country. In that time, America has worked with allies to provide humanitarian support, to help the moderate opposition, and to shape a political settlement. But I have resisted calls for military action, because we cannot resolve someone else’s civil war through force, particularly after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The situation profoundly changed, though, on August 21st, when Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people, including hundreds of children. The images from this massacre are sickening: Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons, and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off-limits — a crime against humanity, and a violation of the laws of war. Continue reading Obama on Syria

Fighting for the free internet

Congress is on the wrong path. Several major websites are standing up to tell congress NO.

From Wikipedia:

Imagine a World
Without Free Knowledge
For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Learn more.

Contact your representatives.

SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. SOPA is short for the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” and PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act.” (“IP” stands for “intellectual property.”) In short, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in our opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet. Detailed information about these bills can be found in the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act articles on Wikipedia, which are available during the blackout. GovTrack lets you follow both bills through the legislative process: SOPA on this page, and PIPA on this one. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the public interest in the digital realm, has summarized why these bills are simply unacceptable in a world that values an open, secure, and free Internet.

From Google:

Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S.
Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.

The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.