Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Current Event Posting for December 3rd.

This week in Civics we are finishing up the Legislative Branch at both the national and state levels. Next week we will be discussing the Executive Branch. For your current event this week, you may choose an article that deals with either of those two topics...you can look for state, national or international news that relates to the branches. There should be a lot out there for you to choose from. Stick to the format and keep up the good work. :)


  1. On Tuesday President Obama met with Republican Congressional leaders to discuss a number of issues regarding finance and national security. One of the most pressing issues at them moment is whether or not the Bush-era tax cuts will continue to apply to everyone, as Republicans want, or exclude those who make more than $250,000, as most Democrats including Obama want. While Tuesday's meeting was "very nice" according to incoming Speaker of the House John A. Boehner, there is a lot of discussion left to go before common ground can be reached. Still, the goal on both sides is to come to an agreement that both sides can be happy about.

    Although I think that finding common ground is imperative, it is something that is much easier said than done. Americans have a history of taking sides with very strong opinions and I'm not sure if the Democrats or the Republicans are willing to concede enough for the other side to be happy with a compromise. With a newly elected Republican majority in the House and a Senate that remains Democratic, I can only hope that the next two years won't be wasted by a preponderance filibusters and laws blocked by opposing sides. Hopefully these meetings will get things started on the right foot.


  2. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/29/senate-to-weigh-earmark-ban/
    Kendall Simms 6th pd.

    A favorable push for a ban on earmarks is being voted on in the Senate, as it looks for ways to minimize unnecessary spending. Earmarks are basically any form of legislation that is geared towards a specific state or district at a representative’s request. This effort is one of many whose main purpose is to cut back on the wasteful spending of taxpayers’ dollars. A substantial number of Republicans are in support of the ban as shown by the nearly unanimous vote by Senate Republicans. However it was also apparent that only a few Democrats are in support of the ban since only a handful are on record as actually supporting it. Representatives believe that enforcing the ban would show constituents that their politicians are using their time and money in strictly the most efficient ways possible.

    I think this is a very smart move by the Senate. It does seem like a pretty straight forward and common sense solution to the issue but that’s not what I find interesting. It’s a pretty simple way of trying to regain citizen’s approval by simply showing that congress wants to limit unessential spending. Since the main problem that people have with the government today seems to be exactly that, misuse of appropriations, it’s not surprising that such legislation would be implicated. It also didn’t come as a shock to me that the a large number of republicans are in favor of the ban because their main push as of late has been to largely cut back on spending. I feel like that may not be as simple as people would like to think but this is a definitely a step in the right direction, getting rid of pointless and wasteful procedures.

  3. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/11/30/nat.dadt.timeline.cnn
    Mike Carney 6th period

    The policy in the military known as "don't ask, don't tell". has been debated recently. In 1993 President Bill Clinton introduced this policy and has been so ever since. Today, President Barrack Obama is Working with Congress to repeal "don't ask, don't tell". Other politicians feel the same way.

    I think that to some extent "don't ask, don't tell" is a good thing because it leaves less room for discrimination among the troops. On the other hand, it might make homosexuals feel unwelcome to serve in the military. I don't think it would hurt the military all that much if homosexuals could openly serve in the military.

  4. Shane Sater
    Pd. 7

    According to the New York Times, 2010 Census results indicate that New York state may lose one or two seats in the House of Representatives. Although the Census Bureau will not distribute data until later this month - and thus the New York Times article is at least partly speculation - it seems that the population of some southern and western states is increasing more quickly than that of states like New York. Since seats in the House are apportioned on the basis of population - and New York's percentage of the country's population may be less than before - they could potentially lose seats to other states. Since the New York State Assembly is controlled by Democrats, while their state senate is still awaiting election results to determine party superiority, it is conceivable that Democrats may be able to bias districts towards their party. Although such intentional redrawing of district lines to favor a party is illegal, it is hard to prove, because state legislatures are given the power to redraw district lines to equalize populations between districts. In any case, this loss of House seats not an isolated trend: New York has been losing seats since the 1940s, and is now down to 29 from 45.
    This gradual shift of power from states such as New York to other states has interesting implications for politics. New York has traditionally been a powerful state in terms of votes in the House and has thus been a popular voting target for both main parties. This change in voting "purchase power" from state to state may point to changes in the regional biases of the voting majority. States in the south and west have an increasing number of Latino immigrant voters. The influx of different cultural norms will undoubtedly play a huge role in politics in years to come, conceivably removing some traditional stereotypes - but possibly also replacing them with others. Regardless of political implications, I think that it is certainly vital that population information is recent. Major shifts in population over several decades certainly point to the importance of current census data to maintain a representative government - otherwise, despite a decreasing percentage of the United States' population, New York might hold more than one and a half times the its current House seats!

  5. The article talks about the Food Safety Bill, which intends to keep unsafe foods from reaching markets and restaurants less and less people will get sick.The Senate has already passed its own Food Safety Modernization,the haggling between House and Senate has been procrastinating the time of passing the bill,that President Obama urges the House to make the decision quickly.Many industry groups prefer the House version because it has more money to benefit and fewer exception of the rules.The majority of the people who work as the member of F.D.A agree with this bill that it's good to ensure people are eating healthy and safe foods,also the legislation can make more guarantees to public that the food they are eating won't make them sick like it had happened before.The raising of this bill will improve the development of technique of testing and manufacturing plants as well.
    This is a really good bill that it will benefit more people to not to get sick from their food,healthier and safer foods will be put on the market.The Food and Drug Administration will be concentrating on the safety of food and not only the production of medicine that be used to cure the people who might get sick form unsafe food.The legislation would better proceed the bill as soon as possible as the House has made the decision.(Compare with the House,the Senate seemed not fillbuster this time :) )

    Jessica Yin
    7th. period

  6. http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/01/gop.senate.demands/index.html

    All 42 Republican senators signed a letter to Majority Leader, Harry Reid, saying that they won't vote for anything, and they won't allow legislative action to take place on other issues until something is done about the Bush-era tax cuts and government funding. The two parties can't come to an agreement on how the tax cuts should be extended. Republicans believe that the tax cuts should be extended to all Americans because they say that otherwise, our economy is going to suffer more. The Democrats differ saying that extending the tax cuts even to people who make over $250,000 is a very unwise thing to do fiscally because the government could be getting roughly $700 billion from these people. House is planning to vote on permanently extending tax cuts to those who make $250,000 or less on Thursday.

    The economy is going to have a hard time recovering if the people who make over $250,000 receive tax cuts. They are the only ones who would be able to pay the taxes and still have enough money for their leisurely lives. If they are able to provide $700 billion without the tax cuts, our economy can get better and better. It just doesn't make sense to me how the Republicans want to extend tax cuts for the wealthy, who can provide the government with a lot of money, but deny benefits for those who are unemployed because our government doesn't have money. I think that the tax cuts should be just for those who make $250,000 or less so that our government can get more money and make the lives of all Americans easier. I think that the rich people should be willing to give more of the money they use for their own pleasure for those who are suffering because they are unemployed. It's amazing how hard it is for the two parties to give into each other and reach an agreement. This tax cut issue really shows how complicating the process can be.

    Jenny Jin
    7th period

  7. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/house-to-vote-thursday-on-tax-cuts/?scp=5&sq=house&st=cse

    The House of Representatives will vote this Thursday to decide whether the Bush-era tax cuts will be extended. These tax cuts, intended to help the currently struggling middle class, will expire in one month. Though it is likely that the House will get the necessary amount of votes, the bill will mostly likely have no chance in the Senate. The heavily conflicting parties in the Senate are still locked in a political battle, with the Republicans wanting to extend the tax cuts to everyone at all income levels, and the Democrats wanting to exempt those earning more than $250,000 from the tax cut. The House will very likely vote to extend tax cuts to individuals making less than $200,000 and couples making less than $250,000, suggesting that there indeed is some overlapping beliefs within Congress. Though no one believes in raising taxes for the middle class, disparities in the specifics of the tax-cut extension seems to overshadow the potential to nurture agreements within Congress.

    I definitely have faith that the House will vote to extend the tax cuts for at least the middle class. In a time of economic upheaval, job losses, and countless foreclosures affecting the middle class, extending the tax cut would be a welcome reprieve. However, I am apprehensive that the Democrats and the Republicans in the Senate will not come to a decisive agreement before the year ends; in a situation like this, it is more progressive to have a majority one way or the other, rather than to have two parties locked in a futile impasse regarding a decision directly affecting millions of Americans. In class, we discussed the struggles of getting a bill passed, and the obstacles that often come in the way. I hope that the House gets the extension passed, and that the majority of the Senate will come to an imminent, tentative compromise.

    Jessica Gao
    6th Period

  8. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/nyregion/02census.html?ref=politics

    Later in December there will be an announcement stating that New York is going to lose at least one and maybe even two seats in the House of Representatives. There has been a slight decrease in some areas of population and since the House is based upon population they might have to lose a seat or two. The loss of one seat will cause New York to have the smallest delegation since James Madison was president. The population growth in New York has just come short of that of the population growth experienced in the South and West these days. They are still unsure of which exact seats are going to go but it really depends on who controls the Legislature and clearly right now the Democrats have that under control.

    I think that by New York losing one seat in the house isn’t a big deal. I mean New York has a pretty large population and they have plenty of seats. It says in this article that by 2013 New York will have barley six percent of the 435 seats in the House. But the thing is six percent is still a fairly large amount at least in my mind maybe not in politicians. So I really don’t think they need to be freaking out about losing one seat, now if it’s two I can maybe see why New York would get mad because two seats is kind of a lot in politics.

    Leah Whitney
    period 7

  9. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_democrats_lame_duck_politics;_ylt=AjofQy5TCch2sVlZRVda3huyFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTMwMms1NWNpBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAxMjAyL3VzX2RlbW9jcmF0c19sYW1lX2R1Y2tfcG9saXRpY3MEY3BvcwMxBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcnkEc2xrA2Z1bGxuYnNwc3Rvcg--

    Andrew Cohen
    7th period

    This article is about Republicans in the Senate who are threatening to stop virtually all legislation unless the expiring tax cuts are extended and a new bill is passed regarding government funds. There are 42 Republican Senators involved. This will be a major obstacle for the Democrats who are trying to get some of their projects finished before they lose the majority. These 42 Senators wrote their intentions to Majority Leader, and Democrat, Harry Reid. Their threat even applies to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and to a new bill that would give young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military legal status. The only bill that this doesn’t apply to is a new arms control treaty with Russia. This event occurred due to an attitude that the highest priority for Republicans in the Senate is extending tax cuts and that other projects come second.
    This event is important because if the Democrats and Republicans don’t come to an agreement about tax cuts and government funding then nothing will get done as far as legislation goes. This relates to what we are studying in class because it is about Congress and how a bill becomes a law. I think that it seems childish to sort of freeze legislation until you get what you want. Politicians should be working together to try to improve America, not fighting with each other. This sort of blind refusal of action seems contradictory to a Senator’s job description, as they are supposed to make laws.

  10. The federal district lines are about to be drawn again after the 2010 census and many people think that the dominate party should not be the ones to draw the district lines. The Lines are drawn so that the majority party has more districts and the minority party is packed into as few distracts as possible. This is know as gerrymandering and can have a harmful effect on the minority party. This unfairness can be seen for 2002 to 2008 when 65 percent of the incumbents won by a 2-1 margin, and in New York 75 percent of the incumbents won by more than a 2-1 margin. According to a Quinnipiac University poll the majority of New Yorkers thought that redistricting should not be done by the dominate party but by an independent redistricting commission that would create fair equal districts
    I think that there should be a stop to gerrymandering and to raise this is to try to get the dominate party to not be able to draw the new district lines. Gerrymandering is just a way for the dominate party to stay in power and to take advantage of there power. This limits new ideas that could come in from the minority party because they are nor in office. What we need are new ways of thinking in a recession and that can only happen if new people with new ideas are being voted in. A new independent redistricting committee is just what we need to make a fair voting environment


  11. On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that extends tax cuts to America’s middle class. This was favored mostly by the Democrats. The Republican minority was in the view that the tax cuts should go not only to the middle class, but to upper class citizens as well. Representative John Boehner went so far as to call this bill “chicken crap” and accused the Democrats of playing political games to get elected next term. He believes, like many other Republicans, that the tax cuts should benefit those with incomes of more than $250,000 as well as those with less.

    I believe that it is important to treat all people equally. I don’t think that it is fair for poor people to have to pay as many taxes as rich people because they do not have as much to give. I think that instead of there being as extreme a cut off between rich and poor, however, that a sliding scale should be used that slowly lessens the cut as the person gets richer. I don’t know exactly how the taxes work, but I believe that the taxes should be directly proportional to income, without any one group being better off.


  12. Leila Doerfer
    period 6

    Many families don't have the time and money to eat healthy and nutritious food, so they make a quick stop by a fast food restaurant, such as McDonalds. This wouldn't be a problem if it was an occasional occurrence but when this turns into a everyday thing, it can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the United States. San Fransisco passed a law that says a toy can not be put in a fast food meal unless they meet certain nutritional requirements. These include dishes high in fat, sodium, and sugar and lacking fruits and vegetables wouldn't legally be able to come with a toy. According to the Corporate Accountability International, fast food restaurants sell 40-50 billion dollars worth of food to kids 12 and under per year. This law will go into effect December 1, 2011.
    I agree with this law, and am glad it was passed. Children that are eating at a fast food restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are at a very high risk of having health problems. When kids that are 13 have type 2 diabetes, it will be with them from then on. I think that having toys in fast food meals that are unhealthy makes kids want to get that meal which will make them have bad eating habits, and poor health later in life. I think that this law should be passed for the whole country, not just in San Fransisco.


  13. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/01/hoyer-to-allow-vote-thursday-on-middle-class-tax-cuts/

    The floor leader for the Democratic Party in the House announced Wednesday that the House Democrats would push through a vote Thursday over the issue of extending tax cuts. Present legislation provides tax cuts for American families making $250,000 a year or less. Democrats are looking to extend these tax cuts. Republicans argue that tax cuts should be extended to everyone, including the wealthy. Both parties agree that there should at the very least be no tax increases for those making less than $250,000 a year. “We have agreement on that. There is not agreement on other aspects of issue, as you all know. But it is a shame that we have agreement on is being held hostage by that on which we do not have agreement”, stated Democrat Steny Hoyer. Republican Party House Whip Eric Cantor believes that tax cuts should be extended for everyone.

    I understand the position of both parties in this situation. The Democrats believe that the people making less money should be allowed tax cuts in order to make their financial situations more stable. I also see the Republicans view that if legislation is going to be implemented, it should be done so for everyone. However, I tend to agree more with the Democratic point of view in this situation. People making less money should be allowed tax cuts so that they are not burdened by crippling debts. People making more than $250,000 a year have achieved a financial stability so the tax cuts for them would be welcomed, but are not necessary to support them financially.

    Zach Visco
    December 2, 2010
    Period 6

  14. http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/12/01/illinois.civil.unions/index.html

    One very controversial subject among Americans these days is same sex marriage. In some states, it has been legalized. However, in many others, it is still not allowed. In Illinois, a recent act has been passed to allow same sex marriage. The House for the Illinois legislature voted and passed this bill on Tuesday, November 30th. This bill is titled The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. In this act, it is stated that a civil union is a legal relationship between two people of the same sex. This allows homosexual partners to become legally bonded as well.

    I feel that this act is very important. WE should allow all people to express themselves however they wish. If this happens to take the form of a same-sex marriage, then so be it. It is important to recognize a bond between two people in all forms the same as all the rest. Also,with the passing of this bill, it also may have an impact on many other decisions. Now that other states see that Illinois has legalized gay marriage, they too may take it in to account. It is a big possibility that these states that haven't legalized gay marriage will see how other states are doing it, and they may too. This would be a huge step for the gay population and would help to bring all citizens closer together. This is so because all would have the same opportunities, no matter what sexual orientation you may be.

    Cole Shoup
    Period 7

  15. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/us/politics/03baker.html?_r=1&ref=politics

    The Senate is in the process of debating the New Start treaty, which proposes the reduction of nuclear weapons between the United States and Russia. Former president Ronald Reagan was brought into the debate. Why Reagan? The New Start treaty is a continuation of the Start I treaty, which was initiated by Reagan. People who formerly served the former President have contradictory claims -- some say Reagan would have signed it, while others say that he wouldn't have signed it. Due to these claims, people are curious about who truly represents the opinion of Reagan. Reagan's involvement in this debate captures his importance in the political world, even after his death.

    Personally, I believe that the contradictory cerebrations of the Senators reveal something important: they possibly think that Reagan's opinions reflect their own. As a result, the Senators who formerly served Reagan, have unconsciously created a fictional Reagan in their minds. The Reagans in their minds reflect their own views and opinions, thus causing opposing positions. I do not think it was right for them to bring up Reagan's opinion during the debate because only he, himself, will know where he stands. Instead of worrying about Reagan's opinion, I think that the Senators should focus more on which decision will better benefit the United States today.

    Nicole Chang
    7th period

  16. http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/02/tax.vote/index.html?hpt=T1&iref=BN1

    Eric Plevy

    Today, the House Democrats have extended the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class (people making $250,000 or less). They hope that this will help to create more jobs. The Republicans responded to this by literally saying that it is “chicken crap” because they think that the upper class needs it so they can hire more people from the working/middle class. The Democrats had won the vote so it has been extended, and they also plan to give tax cuts to businesses that hire unemployed workers and extending college tuition loans. This extension is intended to allow the majority (the working/middle class) of people to be able to start spending more money which will go to businesses and eventually create more jobs.
    Honestly, at first, I had favored the Republicans’ views. However, after figuring out how giving tax cuts to the middle class are supposed to help create more jobs, I now agree with the Democrats. The reason why I agree is because of this: the middle/working class is the majority of the people, and giving them tax cuts will allow them to go out and spend more on various items. This money coming from the majority will be given to the businesses that the middle class spends their money on. With this increased profit, the businesses will be able to hire more employees. These employees will then make money and spend it as well, thus resulting in a strong economy. I believe that this will have a much greater effect than if tax cuts were given to the rich so they could hire people. This is a smart and seemingly well thought out plan to help our economy thrive as it did before it crashed. Since we are learning about the Legislative Branch, I thought that this story is closely related to what we have recently learned, since this story involves a bill becoming approved. This story, in my opinion, is extremely important because our nation’s economy is one of the largest issues that our country needs to overcome. And with a well thought out plan like this, it could be a major step in improving the condition of the economy.

  17. http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/02/child.nutrition/index.html

    Congress has just passed a bill that will allow the government to more strictly regulate what is sold in vending machines and cafeterias on school grounds. It will also let more students get a free lunch, and will make schools sell more nutritional food. However, to fund this (as the plan costs $4.5 billion), they had to take $2.2 billion away from the food stamps program. The food stamps program has also had money taken away from them to give to schools so teachers can keep their jobs. The bill is now ready to be sent to the president for his signature.

    I think it's good that schools will be offering more healthy foods and more free lunches so kids can afford them. However, I don't really like how much money is being taken away from the food stamps program. That is important too, as so many people in America can't afford to buy food and take care of their families without them. Though I think funding schools is important, I feel like just offering more healthy alternatives isn't worth taking money from the food stamps program. Food stamps guarantee people will be able to eat, while just offering fruits in school doesn't prevent kids from eating unhealthy food out of school.

    Kate Boyd
    7th pd

  18. http://www.npr.org/2010/12/02/131763785/house-votes-to-censure-rep-rangel?ft=1&f=1001

    Today, the United States House of Representatives voted on the censure of Charles Rangel (NY-D). Censure is the most extreme punishment in the House, besides expulsion of course. Rangel had not payed taxes on a Dominican Republic villa that he owned and rented out. He also had allowed two large corporations to pay for trips to Caribbean conferences. The vote was 333-79, although Rangel had pleaded that censure is only for corrupt politicians, and that he was not that. He has repaid the U.S. Treasury and New York state for the taxes he owes them. The last time there has been censure in the house was in 1983, when two Representatives were caught having intimate relations with teenage pages.

    I think it's very important that the House punishes people for doing things like this, and I'm glad they stuck with what they decided to do in the beginning. I think it's terrible for the people in charge, well even normal people, to break the laws we made for this country. I'm just glad that it wasn't some political scandal that they let slide with minor punishment. I think it's very important, especially now when the government seems more corrupt, for our leaders to follow all rules that were made for us to like by.

    Ariel Gunn
    Period 7

  19. Gavin Welch
    Per 7
    december 2

    Former President Bill Clinton was speaking in Greensboro NC this week on the topic of Wiki Leaks. This is a website that not too long ago disclosed a conversation held between Politian’s. Bill Clinton was among one the unlucky ones. While speaking to a group of people at Guilford College Bill Clinton said that he would be surprised if no one was to lose their lives over the Wiki Leaks. A former Arkansas Gov. stated that those responsible for the website Wiki Leaks should be executed and that those who leaked this information should be charged with treason. This conversation should did not directly go to Wiki leaks. The conversation was published in a few European Newspapers. This is damaging to our country’s trust of other countries says former President George Bush.

    I believe whoever did this should have a very serious punishment. This is very damaging to our country and our relationship. I agree with Bill Clinton’s punishment. The person responsible for this act of treason should be sentenced to death. This leak will cause many career losses and endanger many Americans


  20. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/us/politics/03military.html?ref=politics

    Mr. John McCain; the man who ran for president, and now the man who wants to repeal the “don't ask, don't tell” law, telling the military's leaders that many combat troops foresaw problems if gay men and women were allowed to serve openly. Citing the results of a pentagon survey of 115,000 active duty and reserve serviece members, M. McCain, Republic of Arizona, said that 58% of Marines in combat units and 48% of Army combat troops thought repealing the 17 year old law would have either a negative or a very negative impact on the ability of their units to work together. The officials also made another survey, which found that 70% of all service members responded that allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the military “would be postitive, mixed or of no consequence at all”. The Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said “with time and adequate preparation, we can mitigate their concern,” and Mr. McCain shot back “I couldn't disagree more,”. He said “we send thses young people into combat, we think they're mature enough to fight and die. I think they're mature enough to make a judgment on who they want to serve with and the impact on their battle effectiveness.” and he says this from personal experience. Also Admiral Mike Mullen, the chair man of the Joint Chiefs on staff appeared along side Mr. Gates and made a personal appeal to the panel. He says “I've been serving with gays and lesbians my whole career,” “I went to war with them aboard a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam. I knew they were there. They knew I knew it. We never missed a mission, never failed to deliver ordnance on target.”.
    Once again I'm surprised they want to repeal this law again, is it not the people's rights to die for their country, and how many gays have saved the lives of people inside and out of the military, I'll tell you how many, we don't know. We have pushed them into the dark, and now we're telling them “oh I'm sorry you're not allow to fight and or die for your country and love ones because your gay.” What exactly are they doing over there? Are these the kinds of things they debate about? Are they so against gays that they're willing to weaken our countries military power? I once heard marine say “I don't care what sex, or what kind of person is beside me, I only care about whether or not they can save me.”

  21. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/napolitano-backs-immigration-bill/?ref=politics

    This article s about Janet Napolitano wanting to pass a bill that will grant legal status to illegal immigrant students. She says that it would help the immigration authorities to focus on dangerous criminals rather than young kids. She told reporters that children and teens who were brought here by their parents should have no fault being in the US. She also said “no one who poses a threat to public safety will be able to adjust their immigration status”, if congress passes a revised version of the Bill which is known as the Dream Act. This is one of the many bills which the Democrats are have a tough time putting into their calendar during the lame-duck session. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama says that he will resist it “with every strtength and every ability that I have.”
    I agree with Naapolitano’s bill and the idea behind it. I feel that the students and kids coming into the USA because of their parents should not be faulted and should gain legal status. I hope that this bill will become a law. As for Senator Sessions comment, I do not understand what is wrong with this bill because most likely kids will not do anything wrong and the immigration authorites can focus on some of the real dangerous immigrants rather than harmless kids.

    The Bassmaster
    7th period

  22. Thomas Nguyen
    12.2.10 Period 7

    In October, President Obama gave orders to NASA to restore its space program. This includes stopping the program of sending astronauts to the moon. Replacing this would be rockets that will be used to reach deep into the outer space. However, the Senate committee on Commerce & Science and Transportation held hearings. The Senate believes that NASA is slowing down on changing its space program. The moon program, known as Constellation, had been sought to be stopped. The orders given by Obama on the other side allows NASA to design a crew capsule as well as designing a new type of rocket that can reach farther into outer space. The Senate was perturbed that NASA was trying to delay the creation of the new rocket or possibly using an alternative rocket instead. NASA is scheduled to present a plan for the rocket in January. NASA has been limited in designing the new rocket because it has not been given a budget figure for next year.

    I think it is a good idea to start having astronauts reach deeper into outer space. I think some people are getting bored from all of the news on the moon in recent years. They probably want to learn more about what's beyond the moon and Mars. This will increase our knowledge of the universe. The down side of expanding our space travel is that it requires more money to travel further. If NASA can't receive enough funds from the government for space travel, then sending rockets into outer space will be limited. The safety of astronauts also has to be increased. I don't blame NASA for trying to delay President Obama's law for NASA if it tried to delay. It's hard to research or spend money that the government gives you without the budget set.

  23. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/12/02/131761469/house-passes-bill-to-upgrade-school-lunches?ft=1&f=1001

    Jenny Vaughn
    6th period

    The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday. The act’s aim was to promote a healthier lifestyle by cracking down on school vending machines, making free healthy lunches for poor children and making regular school lunches healthy. The Senate unanimously voted for this bill months ago and now that is set on the president’s desk it is as good as gold. The president and his administration have been campaigning this for a while and Michelle Obama is thrilled to have this piece of legislation passed through. The only problem in this act is its cost which is 4.5 billion dollars but in general, congress believes this is a good sacrifice to pay.

    I am glad that Congress chose to pass this legislation because it will really help against our countries growing obesity problem. If we want to have a happy healthy society, we need to establish good habits for everyone. This is obviously a bill that Congress wants to pass because the House Democrats dropped their own more generous bill just so it would pass. Even though it is expensive, it should be worth its cost.

  24. http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/12/01/illinois.civil.unions/index.html

    A bill that gives same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples passed last Wednesday in Illinois. The Illinois House passed the bill on Tuesday, and the Senate approved it on Wednesday. Currently, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act only recognizes a civil union f it is between two people of the opposite sex. Upon passing of the bill, same-sex couples will have many of the same responsibilities, benefits, and protections acknowledged by Illinois law. Democratic Governor Pat Quinn pledged to sign this bill in his campaign for re-election.
    Gay rights has been hotly debated in recent years, especially the right to a same-sex marriage. Personally, I believe that any two people may get married, regardless of gender, and I commend the Illinois legislation for passing this bill. The passing of this bill stands as another step forwards for the gay rights movement.

    Maria Yao, 6th

  25. Jay Htut
    6th Period


    "The house of representatives censured veteran New York Representative Charlie Rangel."

    Charlie Rangel was once considered to be one of the most powerful members of Congress. However, due to 11 counts of violations of house rules, Rangel was formally censured by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Some of the violations that Rangel committed included failure to pay taxes on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic and improperly using his office to raise money for an educational center bearing his name. Rangel became the twenty-third House member in history to be censured.

    "Censured" - a process by which a formal reprimand is issued to an individual by an authoritative body.

    "Reprimand" - a severe, formal or official reproof.

    When Rangel was censured, he was merely condemned for his actions. Fortunately for Rangel, being censured has no direct effect on his validity as a politician. However, it must have been shameful for him to be openly criticized for his actions. Even though he will keep his job, i think that his reputation will be greatly diminished. Not only was being censured bad for Rangel's reputation, but he has to face the fact that he is only 1 out of 23 Americans in the History of the House to have been censured!

  26. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/us/politics/03child.html?_r=1&ref=politics

    Riley Hutchison
    7th period

    Congress has just approved a bill that will expand lunch school progrms, and include more fruits and vegetables in lunches. Michelle Obama is in support of this bill, and she believes it is a way to combat both obesity and hunger. The bill was put to a vote in the house and it passed 264 to 157. The bill is on its way to President Obama, who intends to sign it. Some advocates for the poor have rallied against the bill saying that child nutrition programs cut the availability of food stamps, leaving poor adults defensless. President Obama stated that he would work on fining a way to pay for the bill without taking away the food stamp budget. Mrs. Obama has been highly praised also for fighting to cut child obesity, and better nutrition. School lunch programs are already helping over 31 million children every day. Some Reublicans believe that the bill is being passed to expand the control of federal government, and borrows too much money that only puts us into greater debt. The reality is that the bill would require more furits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products to be introduced into schools. Although this would require lunch prices to be raised. This bill is supported by health education groups, religious groups, labor unions, and the food, beverage, dairy and supermarket industry. This will benefit all of America's children, and Nancy Pelosi is in support of the bill, she declared it pased herself.

    The fact that we even need to pass a bill to improve the nutrition of our nations school systems is sad. We should know what foods are healthy, and what foods arent, and feed childrent the best food available. I am surprised that some people are so opposed to this bill. It will benefit the children of America, and if we dont do something soon the future generations will be unhelathy. Schools often have chips, cookies, candy, and soda available for the children to eat, and they arent in limited quantities. This bill would make children eat healthier, and essentially learn what foods are good for them. If the school only has certain foods, a child will eat them, because they dont want to go hungry all day. I agree with Mrs. Obama when she says that this bill will fight the lack of nutrition, and our obesity problem. Another comment was that this will make us more military ready, because it will produce more fit young adults. I am in agreement with what this bill has set out to accomoplish, and i hope it meets all of the goals it has set.

  27. http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_exclusive/20101202/pl_yblog_exclusive/house-passes-bush-tax-cuts-but-real-action-elsewhere;_ylt=ArlqmXk6leP4h.tOxeC73p.yFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTQyZWQ5MzU2BGFzc2V0A3libG9nX2V4Y2x1c2l2ZS8yMDEwMTIwMi9ob3VzZS1wYXNzZXMtYnVzaC10YXgtY3V0cy1idXQtcmVhbC1hY3Rpb24tZWxzZXdoZXJlBGNwb3MDMQRwb3MDMgRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNob3VzZXZvdGVzdG8-

    Today the House of Representatives voted on extending the Bush tax cuts for another 2 years. It passed by a vote of 234-188 but was just an illusion. The bill has almost no chance of passing in the senate and was never considered a “serious” attempt to extend the cuts. It was appropriately referred as “chicken crap” by Minority Party Leader and soon to be Speaker of the House John Boehner. The democrats are trying to say they’re for the middle class and Republicans are for millionaires, which would be damaging in the 2012 election.
    I think it’s a smart move on the Democrats’ part to damage the Republican’s reputation especially since now the Republicans have a majority in the House and are really close to getting the Senate. It also shows how badly the Democrats want to make the Republicans look bad in the eyes of the people, who decide who’s in congress in two years. In the end, who knows? We’ll just have to wait and see.

    Mark Stouffer
    Period 7

  28. On Thursday a new bill was passed by The House of reps. Say that schools should have health lunches and that it should also be easier for poor children to be able to get free lunches. Also that the junk food and vending machines should be banned form all the schools. Now the senate is just waiting on president Obama's signature. The frist lady Michelle obama said that she was "thrilled about the imporvements , the were going to add to the schools.

    This makes me really happy that United State government is taking care of the kids of the new world. It has been a long time since iv'e seen this happen. When I was younger they really did not care about the "stuff' they gave us for what they thought was food. But to us it was really bad tasting "stuff". When solving this Problem there is going to be less and less cases of children that are over weight.


  29. Norman Archer


    Senate Republicans Threaten Tax Dispute Blockade

    This article addresses the recent actions of the GOP Party concerning tax-cuts and bipartisanship. Senate Republicans sent a letter to majority leader Harry Reid stating that they would block all legislatures until the Senate agreed to extend the Bush-Era tax cuts. The statement came less than twenty-four hours after Republican Congressional leaders had meet with President Barack Obama to discuss partisanship.
    The actions of the GOP party make me very frustrated with our government. First off, they (republicans) don’t have their facts straight. They say that all Americans will see a tax increase, but that is not true. Couple making less than $250,000 annually or individuals making $200,000 annually will not be affected and will see no tax increase. It is only the wealthiest American (who can afford it) that will see their taxes restore to normal values. No raise, just restoration. With the democrats plan the US will owe 3 trillion dollars in debt after ten years. With the republicans plan the US will owe 4 trillion dollars in debt after ten years. Why add a trillion dollars more so that the wealthiest people can keep their tax cuts. It just doesn’t make sense. All of this legislative blocking just leads to an unproductive congress that doesn’t help the people

  30. Recently there has been a bill proposed that dealt with the problem of child hunger and also obesity. The bill says that children will be able to access more lunches and dinners at their schools. The house has just voted on the bill and passed it to the president. For the bill to be passed, the president has to agree with it. This has been one of Michelle Obama's projects for a while trying to remove greasy food and high calorie food in the lunch rooms. There has also been a controversy between both parties. The Republicans think it is too expensive and the Democrats think that the legislation should be risen to help support the bill through this rough economy. There woulds have to be new standards written by the Agriculture Department. They would keep the popular food but try to reduce the amount of unhealthy food and things like bake sales. This bill would create the access of food and meals much more easier. There will also be more after school meals. The discussion about the bill is that it is a good idea, but there will not be enough money given to schools to actually work. A lot of people think it will cause more problems because there is already a shortage of money in school systems. This bill could really help the school and the children in the area, but there is a lot of work to do to make sure it is running properly.

    Child hunger is a huge problem in areas even where we live. Kids come to school daily with no lunches sometimes. We all want to do something about it, but sometimes it is hard to figure out what to do. This bill is a really good idea, and I think it would benefit a lot of kids. The problem with this bill is that it is hard to give all that money to schools. It could cause more debt problems in the future. It seems wrong that people don't want to pass this bill, but I also agree with them because it would be very expensive. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices with money though and give it to people that really need it. I hope the bill is passed for the future, but they have to make sure there is enough money before it becomes a law

    Stacey Cutrell Period 7

  31. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/nyregion/03rangel.html?hp

    On Thursday, Representative Charles B Rangel was given a formal censure for bringing discredit to the House by Nancy Pelosi.
    Ms. Pelosi issued the punishment minutes after the House voted 333 to 79 for the censure, the most severe sanction the House can administer short of expulsion.
    The vote makes Mr. Rangel, a Democrat, just the 23rd member of the House to be censured, and the first in nearly three decades.
    After receiving his punishment, Mr. Rangel, 80, asked for a minute to address his colleagues and told them: “I know in my heart I am not going to be judged by this Congress. I’ll be judged by my life in its entirety.”
    Mr. Rangel and his allies had pleaded for mercy, arguing that his transgressions, which included failure to pay income taxes and misuse of his office to solicit fund-raising donations, deserved the more lenient punishment of a reprimand. But that effort failed, 267 to 146.
    The censure marks a staggering fall for Mr. Rangel, who has represented Harlem for half of his life, and had risen to become one of the most prominent and well-liked members of Congress. Ms. Pelosi seemed uncomfortable as she called upon Mr. Rangel to appear before her, and read, with an almost clinical tone, the one-paragraph resolution noting his 11 violations of Congressional ethics rules.

    I think that he deserved the censure. When you're in that position, you hold the fate of a nation in your hands. You need to be morally and ethically perfect. Rangel was in every way that kind of ideal Representative. He had represented his people for half of his life, until it was noticed that he was using his office to get money from fundraising and also dodging taxes. Even though he's not out of the House, this is going to hurt him politically and morally for the rest of his life.

  32. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/02/AR2010120206050.html
    Alex Grosskurth
    6th period
    At the end of December the Bush tax cuts will expire at the end of the year and so conservatives in congress are in a hurry to extend these tax cuts. These tax cuts are for all levels of income, but this includes the rich. Republicans continually press president Obama to extend these tax cuts and they're saying that if Obama doesn't extend these cuts they'll stop voting. Democrats have offered a deal to the republicans that if they extend the tax cuts then the republicans must vote with them on some other economic reforms. The republicans wouldn't agree to this deal but continue their threat not to vote in congress until these reforms are passed.
    This is possibly the most pathetic display of politics i've ever seen in my life. We have senators that we elect that are in congress whining like three year olds and slamming their feet down. Since Obama isn't doing what they want, they're just going to whine about it and resist any advancements until they get their way. Honestly, if i were Obama, i wouldn't try reasoning with these people, its obvious that nothing is going to be accomplished. If 42 people in the senate don't vote, that means that the 58 democrats can use this as an opportunity to pass the bill. I also don't agree with these Bush tax cuts. Our economy is failing and the country is deep in debt, so why would we give the rich tax cuts. Why should people with plenty of money to spend get tax cuts but people with barely enough money to buy food have to pay inflated taxes. When a country is in debt, its the duty of the rich to jump start the economy. The way to do that is throwing money into the system, not saving the rich money. Overall this entire article made me just upset because no government should be run by petty little whiners that give up the second that something they like isn't passed. If Obama and the democrats think that these tax cuts aren't a good idea, they should stand up to these republicans and just let them fade away. Obama and his administration are working too hard to please people that will never be pleased, even if he does what they want so he should just do what he wants and move our country forward.

  33. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/us/politics/03child.html?ref=politics

    Congress gave final approval on Thursday to a child nutrition bill. This will expand the school lunch program and will set new standards to improve the quality of school meals. School lunches will include more healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables. By a vote of 264 to 157, the House on Thursday passed the bill, which was approved unanimously in the Senate in August. President Obama intends to sign the bill.

    I truly think this bill is needed. School lunches are so unhealthy in this country, usually fried or of bad quality. This can cause obesity in young students, and may even affect their future. Children will get used to unhealthy foods and may start to order them in other places where there are healthier selections, and this can cause long-term problems. Fruits and vegetables need to be more incorporated into school lunches so students will get used to them, and not the fried, unhealthy food being given today. The passing of this bill will be a good decision.

    Chris Barth

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. This week the Obama Administration had to once again discuss the issue of unemployment, an issue facing many Americans since the early start of the recession. In addition to an extension in unemployment assistance they were also discussing tax breaks for the lower to middle class citizens. On Thursday a bill was approved by the house to continue lower tax rates for the “middle class”, put in place during the Bush Administration. The bill we not be passed through Senate, where a lot of Democrats are arguing the point that tax breaks should be extended to everyone, but they want to end tax cuts for the “rich”.
    Basically I think all of America is struggling a little bit. Everyone needs assistance in these sorts of time, especially the middle to lower class. It’s a hard time for America and the government has to acknowledge that at some time. Unemployment will need to be continuously distributed until our economy is stable enough to secure jobs for most of the unemployed population. A lot of people who were put out of their jobs due to the recession depend heavily on unemployment checks, so if that’s taken away all means of support for them and their family will no longer be available. Once there is a god system for the unemployed, then it will be a good time to consider taking the payment system away.

  36. Monday, President Obama made an attempt to help restore the economy by freezing pay to civilian federal workers for a two-year period. He believes that getting the economy "under control is going to require some broad sacrifices," and that these workers are "patriots who love their country" as though these people should be proud of submitting to this. Although such action is being taken, the $5 billion likely to be saved over this period is fractional compared to the $1 trillion that has added up in debt over the past two years.

    I do not agree with this because of what it refuses to these federal workers. Annually, pay increases to accomodate for living expenses. This prevents these pay increases from occurring for two years. Although this is helpful in that money will be saved up to help pay of various debts, are not there other ways of raising money other than "stealing" from these people

    Jacob Harris
    7th Period

  37. Geoff Thomason
    Period 7


    After tainted food products caused thousands of Americans to be sick throughout the past few years, the United States Senate met Tuesday and passed (by a vote of 73 to 25) the legislation concerning the nation’s food safety system. The national sickness caused major food production companies to join consumer advocates in demanding stronger government oversight. A stronger oversight is definitely needed, because the current practice mainly involves cracking down on outbreaks after they occur, not on preventing them. The bill is intended to keep unsafe foods from reaching markets and restaurants, and eliminate the risk of national sickness. The bill would also help to strengthen specific agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration. In the past, this administration has focused more on policing medical products than ensuring the safety of food.
    I think that this legislation is great, and necessary. I can’t believe that the policy is to react to a problem rather than predict it and prevent it. This probably should have been changed long ago, and could have prevented multiple problems. All in all, I think that this bill rightly passed through the legislative branch, and will hopefully be approved by the executive branch next.

  38. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/us/politics/03child.html?_r=1&hpw

    This Thursday, Congress gave final approval on a bill about child nutrition. This bill will improve school lunches for children across the nation, and help to get fruits and vegetables into their diets. Michelle Obama referred to this bill as a "groundbreaking piece of legislation", and lobbied for it as a way to take a stand against obesity and hunger. In the end, 247 Democrats and 17 Republicans voted for the bill, and now it is heading to President Obama, who has been reported to intend to sign it. One problem many people are having with this bill is that it may cause many schools to raise their school lunch prices, but President Obama says that he will do everything he can to make the price raises as un-drastic as possible.

    I absolutely agree with the passing of this bill. If there is anything that can be done to stop child obesity, then I think we need to do it. This is a big issue which really hurts children later in life, and responsible adults need to take a stand against it. Many children don't realize how truly bad most school lunches are, so they eat them every day and don't even give a thought to trying to find something moderately healthy on the menu. If children aren't given unhealthy options at school, then it will lead to them being much healthier i general, and positively affect them later in life.

    Kim Rubish
    6th Period

  39. http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/02/child.nutrition/index.html

    A bill was passed on Thursday December 2, 2010, to help promote healthier nutrition for children at school. This child nutrition bill is intended to support healthier eating habits by allowing the federal government to set standards for the foods offered in vending machines on school grounds. Another this bill would do is give more funding to poorer areas to give financial support to giving out free meals and make schools follow health guidelines provided by the US department of Agriculture. To accommodate for the expenses of fruits and vegetables, the bill will increase the prices of school lunches. The bill passed in both Houses and is now on its way to the presidential desk to be signed as a law. The First Lady Michelle Obama is in full support of this bill because it will support her “Let’s Move” campaign to end child obesity in the US. However, some Democrats were apprehensive about the fact that this child nutrition bill would take $2.2 billion away from the federal food stamps program which provides food for so many people that can’t afford it. Administration officials said they would do their best to reinstate the funds this program lost.

    I think this bill is a great idea because child obesity is a huge problem here in the US. I think this bill will allow children to create better eating habits that would have a positive impact on them in the future. I’m glad the bill passed in both Houses and I’m sure the president will sign it as a law because he and his wife strongly believe in decreasing the amount of obese children in America.

    Laura Musalem
    period 6

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/us/politics/02ensign.html?ref=senate

    Wednesday, Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign was cleared of all criminal charges. Senator Ensign was under suspicion because of his affair with a campaign aid and his attempt at getting lobbying work for the woman's husband. This decision was surprising to many ethic lawyers not in the system. Senator Ensign was a possible republican canidate for the 2012 presidency before scandal broke last year. After an investigation lasting over a year he is cleared of all charges, but still could face action from the Senate ethics committee. One citizen said that the judges were "gun shy" and that this action will make other rankig officials assume the laws do not pertain to them. After the events last year the Senator stepped down from his position but now plans on running for re-election.

    I think that this situation would not have been handeled the same way if the Senator was not in such a high position. The fact is, he broke the law and should have to face the consequences. I think that this is just another case of a corrupt man of power. I think by now that men in power need to learn an important message: stop having affairs! It only leads to no good and it compromises their positions. If I was in the state of Nevada and were able to vote I would not vote for him.

    Jessica Batson

  42. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/us/politics/03child.html?hpw

    Hannah Blackburn pd. 7

    One of the latest bills passed by our Congress is a nutrition act that focuses on children’s school lunches. It was largely supported by the Democrats, while the Republicans in the House felt it was just another facet through which the government could tax and control us. Michelle Obama was an enthusiastic advocate for the new bill. It would standardize, and in many cases increase, the price of school lunches, but it would also make more students eligible for free lunches. The goal of the bill is to reduce obesity and hunger, which Representative McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says, “Are two sides of the same coin.” One of the controversial parts of the bill was that it would get be funded by the money that will be cut from the food stamps program in a few years. There was a separation between some liberal Democrats and the other party members. The liberal Democrats thought it was foolish to take money from the poor sponsored by the food stamps program to fund school lunches. However, the Democrats put aside their differences to pass the bill and get something more done before this Session of Congress ends.

    I think the idea of the bill is good, although I would agree with the liberal Democrats that it seems silly to cut one food-related program’s budget to start a new program. School lunches are notoriously unhealthy and unsavory, which needs fixing. The bill included that more fresh, unprocessed food should be served, which I agree with completely. The bill needs to be followed by others like it if we are going to address obesity and hunger at the federal level. In my opinion, sometimes people don’t make good choices, especially about food, and could use some guidelines from the government. They should make a program to advertise for fresh and healthy foods. There could be commercials on TV that seem like they’ll be about a junk food item, but end up actually being about broccoli or spinach. Billboards could advertise local businesses selling healthy food, or rest stops could be required to have healthy food options as well as the usual processed foods. Freshening school lunches is a good starting point, but alone it’s not enough.

  43. House Representative is Censured

    On December 2, 2010, Representative Charles B. Rangel was censured for violating Ethic Rules. A censure is the worst punishment you can receive after expulsion. The House of Representatives voted 333 to 79 for the censure. In 2008 information was released that Rangel hadn’t been paying income and taxes and taxes on his home in the Dominican Republic. It was also reported that he misused his office to receive money for fundraising for a City College School. Rangel believes that he warrants a lesser punishment for his misdemeanors, a reprimand, and that the house’s decision reflected a political vote.
    I agree that Mr. Rangel’s actions were wrong and that they deserve some sort of punishment. But Rangel’s transgressions were far more innocent then others who received a censure. Rangel was quoted speaking of the crimes that other censured representatives had done “I did not curse out the speaker. I did not have sex with minors. I did not steal money.” I understand both sides actions, but I agree with Rangel that he deserves a lesser punishment.


  44. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/us/politics/03child.html?_r=1&ref=politics

    Congress just passed a bill that will improve school’s food and make it more nutritious. The new bill will add more healthy choices like fruits and vegetables to the menu. This bill was introduced by Michelles Obama. Mostly democrats voted on the bill with 247 of the 264 in the House that voted for it. Many representatives love the idea of this bill and thank Michelle Obama for being such an active lobbiest for it. Some advocates for the poor disagree with the bill though because they think the money should be spent on food stamps rather than improving nutrition.

    I think that having this bill passed would be great. I think that it will really bring down obesity in our country. Being a student, I see the foods that public schools serve and some of the choices are very unhealthy. Many of the fruits and vegetables were even rotten and browing. I cant wait until this law comes to effect because then I might be able to buy lunch more often considering the more appealing choices.
    Tristin V.

  45. http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/12/01/illinois.civil.unions/index.html

    This past week, the Illinois state senate approved legislation that will give same sex couples many of the same rights as opposite sex couples. The bill will provide same sex couples with the same protections and benefits that different sex couples have. Governor Pat Quinn even pledged in his reelection campaign to sign the bill. This piece of legislation deals with same sex partners' shared financial assets, end of life decisions, and visitation abilities of a critically ill partner.

    I am happy to see this legislation pass. I feel that same sex partners deserve the same rights as opposite sex partners. I’m glad that the government is recognizing bonds between two people whether they are the same sex or different sex. I hope that other state legislatures follow in the footsteps of the Illinois state senate. It would be a huge step for gays across America if other states recognized same sex civil unions too. Illinois took a huge step forward in passing this piece of legislation, and I feel that it wont be long before many other states pass their own, similar, piece of legislation.

    Brady Strine
    Period 6

  46. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/health/policy/01food.html?_r=1&ref=congress

    Jackson Wright
    6th period

    The article I have found is one dealing with the new law passed by senate to allow more FDA regulations and inspections on our food. This is after a recent boom in after market implemented food. The senate passed this bill pretty comfortably with decently strong support from both major parties. Senate did well in speedily passing the bill so that the FDA can stop these food companies from releasing these unhealthy and unsafe foods for their profit without inspection.

    I agree with this because I think that food companies should be inspecting often even if they don't like it because they should care about customers safety not just profit and I think this was a great for the people bill to pass.

  47. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/us/23insure.html?ref=health_care_reform

    The Obama administration issued a new federal Law this past Monday that requires health insurance companies to spend more of their revenue on customer’s medical care and set aside less to profits. According to the new rule, insurers must spend at least 80 percent of their premium revenues on medical care and activities to improve the quality of care. This will enable Americans to get much better health insurance for their money. Though some states already had similar requirements, Monday’s announcement is the first charge by the federal government expands the new national health care law to all states. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said that the rules would protect nearly 75 million people. starting in 2012, insurers that do not meet the standards next year will have to pay rebates to customers. It has been estimated that up to nine million people could get rebates worth up to $1.4 billion.

    Im very glad that these new rules have been made. In my opinion, health insurance in the United States costs way more than it is worth. It is unfair to low income families who may not be able to afford health insurance to live without anything to fall back on if something were to happen. This new law protects the citizens from monopolistic health insurers robbing them of their hard earned money by making health insurance worth the money they pay.

    Cerys Humphreys
    7th period

  48. On Saturday, November 27th, the Senate voted on a pair of bills that could extend Bush-era tax cuts. Republicans are in full support of the Bush-era tax cuts while Democrats are not. Earlier the previous Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure to allow tax cuts created under G.W. Bush to expire on December 31st, for Americans that have annual incomes above $250,000. Most Democrats supported the legislation while Republicans strongly opposed it.

    I think I am in favor of getting rid of the Bush-era tax cuts. I think that if you are making $250,000 annually, or more, you certainly have enough money for everything you need and a lot more, meanwhile, there are 3.5 million homeless Americans, almost half of which are children. However, I also think it's not fair to increase taxes for people who have worked hard all their lives to enjoy such wealth. I, myself, am not a tax payer yet, so I don't think I have as much of a feel on the conflict. I could see how this could be such a controversial issue though. I think it's unfair for people to have reduced taxes if it's due to dropping out, or pure laziness, but I also believe there are people who have just suffered from pure misfortune. So at the end of the day, I support abolishing the Bush-era tax cuts, however I think that the cut-off income should be something like $500,000 annually rather than $250,000 annually.

    Julie Wulforst
    Period 6


  49. Tanner Gardner-6th Period


    Proposition 19, which would have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana, was squelched in the recent election. Supporters of the bill argued that the drug is less harmful than alcohol and the legalization of its use would cut back on superfluous arrests of pot dealers and users, alleviating budget problems in America's prison systems. They also said it would raise tax revenue. As Richard Lee put it, "The fact that millions of Californians voted to legalize marijuana is a tremendous victory. We have broken the glass ceiling. Prop. 19 has changed the terms of the debate." He called the failed bill a "tremendous moral victory" setting the stage for another legalization bid.

    An overwhelming number of statistics suggest that, indeed, the majority of people in America's prisons were incarcerated for drug-related charges, often for a simple felony. This bogs down the system tremendously. Besides, what's so wrong with marijuana anyway? Marijuana only makes one mellow, unlike alcohol which leads to violence, and it's mot addicting. Why should any substance be outlawed? Where do we draw the line?

  50. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20024974-10391704.html

    This article was bout how Elizabeth Edwards had [passed yesterday on Tuesday. We both also just found out about him cheating douchebag of a husband cheated on her while she was going through this trauma. Her doctors only gave her a few weeks to live but it turns out she only had a couple of days. The anchor women on good Morning America had had breast cancer also but recovered. Elizabeth was the one that was there for her when she needed it the most. She loved that she was able to encourage the anchor women as well as herself as they both went through it together. On the news it was saying how the Edwards could have lost a son to a car accident in 1996. After 30 years of marriage he should have known better than to treat her the way he did. Now he is trying to gain or is gaining full custody of their two youngest children. The 28 year old had come back for Thanksgiving and never left her mothers side since. I think that she is going to try and fight for her sibling if they want otherwise from their dad.
    Candidate for what ever it was that she was doing
    I think that this is a sad sad case. I honestly think that the cancer was there but the cheating is the thing that killed her. She acted as a second mom to everyone and she didn’t deserve to be cheated on. Other than that she is a good person and. I think that he will now have to feel what he had lost physically, emotionally and mentally. He will always have to think about his possible involvement in her death. You never know what you had and what it is truly worth until it's gone.