Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Current Event 12/10

Topic: your choice! There is a lot going on in the Executive Branch that you might want to check out. :)


  1. A few years ago, the town of Hooper, Nebraska ran the risk of being forgotten when the Department of Roads built a bypass on U.S. Highway 275. This made it so drivers no longer had to go through the town of 827. Founded in 1876 as a railroad depot, Hooper grew into a Midwestern farming hub. There were a number of businesses and, despite a small population, the town thrived. However, with young people leaving and the population lessening, being overlooked by those who pass by was too much to bear for the people of this small town. The locals all worked together and raised the money to buy a 24-foot tall tower that says "HOOPER" on it in order to keep their town being noticed.

    I think this article is representative of so many small towns that are being seriously hurt in the modern age. Young people want to leave and be where things are going on while the older people are dying. Communities like Hooper will slowly begin to dwindle, and I find that so sad. It is the quaint towns with soda shops and diners that represent an irreplaceable side of America. While Hooper is doing what it can to stay noticed, so many other places will turn into ghost towns and almost no one will ever know it. This, in my mind, is a tragedy.


  2. Shane Sater

    Recently, a federal panel of three judges heard arguments for and against Proposition 8, a controversial law in California that prohibits gay marriage. The case was appealed after a federal judge ruled last August that the law was indeed unconstitutional. The judge, Vaughn Walker, decided that the law violated the 5th Amendment right to due process, along with the 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law. In the hearings, Charles Cooper, the head attorney supporting Proposition 8, argued that the only reason for marriage is to raise children; therefore, marriage should only be between a man and a woman. In response to a question by one of the attorneys about the right of a state to decide this, Cooper said that while an issue like racial qualifications for marriage would be unconstitutional for a state to rule on, it was a state right to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Theodore Olson, the attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, said that marriage was an individual right, not a societal issue - any two people are therefore constitutionally permitted to marry. This appeals panel has not given an estimate of when it will rule on the case; moreover, it is easily possible that this will not be final, and the case will move to the Supreme Court.
    I think that Proposition 8 is absurd. Marriage is not merely for the purpose of raising children, but has other legal ramifications. For example, unmarried couples may not visit each other in the hospital because they are not legally family. Mr. Cooper's assertion that marriage is for the sole purpose of raising children - and should thus be limited to being between a man and a woman - is absurd. Does he also propose to only allow marriages if a couple pledges to have a child within a year? The fact that there exist old married couples without children refutes his point. Indeed, I doubt that allowing same-sex couples to marry would weaken the institution of marriage, or somehow prevent people from having children. If a gay or lesbian pair wishes to marry, I think that denying them that violates their constitutional right to equal protection under the law. Are they equally protected when, because of their sexual orientation, they are put in the "single" tax bracket instead of "married"? Are they given equal protection when they must have separate medical insurance policies, because they aren't married?


  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/world/middleeast/07divorce.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=world
    As time pass more and more couples are applying for devoices in Iran, and because Iran is built by a conservative Islamic culture, they strongly look down on divorce. The officials say that 1/7 marriages are ending in divorce, but compared to the U.S the numbers are still modest. A registry office where a lawyer had worked had recorded 70 divorces and only 3 marriages, and the next month another lawyer recorded 60 divorces and only 1 marriage. The government clearly sees this as a problem, and thinks of this as a social ill, which falls into the same category as drug addiction and prostitution. The Iranian government intends to deal with this by not giving out divorce permits.
    This clearly shows the world, that no matter how strict a culture is, it will always change with time. Its inevitable for a government to stay the same forever, even the government we have now will eventually be changed so much that we wouldn't recognize it, even if we were able to live that long. It used to be that women were merely seen as a object that was to be pampered and protected from everything, including themselves.. But, time has always been the influence of many great and horrible events, and as time pass to this moment it seems that one thing remains the same, equality. No matter what sex, creature, or type of person, one thing remains the same, we want equality for ourselves and our kids.

  4. http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/12/06/frum.obesity.military/index.html
    Kendall Simms 6th pd.

    In 2008 4,555 military personnel were dismissed for not meeting military weight standards, which reveals a new issue on the rise in the military, obesity. About 9 million young Americans are too overweight to enlist in the military. Due to this problematic statistic the military adjusted its standards so that a person can have at most 30% body fat if they commit to working out and following a nutrition plan. Anyone who is already serving and is overweight has to receive counseling and also adhere to certain dietary restrictions. The military is experiencing the same woes that the country it serves is experiencing in terms of obesity. The causes of this problem is simply that young people are spending more time inside playing video games than taking part in any physical activity. There is also a minimal number of students who actually walk or ride a bike to school. On top of that only 25% of students take physical education. The first lady has decided to personally oversee a stand against obesity in the U.S. by going after junk food retailers and manufacturers. The military agrees that obesity needs to be addressed as a serious issue.
    “Why obesity is a national security threat,” tell me that’s not an eye catcher. So apparently not only does our overwhelming obesity percentage make us look bad, it also impedes the military from being able to enlist soldiers. If only people could see more articles like these on how truly counter productive obesity is, then maybe we wouldn’t have to worry about being one of the fattest countries on the planet. Seriously though, how can we feel safe and secure when the people defending us might not even be able to run a mile in under seven minutes? I’m glad to see that the military appreciates how big of a deal it is to keep our soldiers in shape and healthy I really am. However, now someone needs to extend those dietary plans and nutrition specialist provisions further into the public so that maybe we can crack down on the number of people that cruise on over to Wendy’s on a daily basis.

  5. Jay Htut

    6th Period C & E


    A company named SpaceX was able to develop a craft that orbited earth before it splashed into the pacific ocean. This is an event of historical significance, because this is the first time that a commercial spacecraft was able to enter space and orbit the earth. Before this, only 6 other governments were able to reach space. However, SpaceX is no government, it is an independent company that recieved a $1.6 billion dollar contract from NASA to transport cargo, not yet people, into space. However, experts say that because of this accomplishment, it will not be long until commercial space travel develops. In addition, this space travel will not only by open to astronauts, but to tourists as well.

    I think this event is really cool, and will be the starting point of a new age of space travel. Soon, we will be doing things that we read and watch about in science fiction and in movies. It is expected that at the beginning of 2012, a commercial launch facility built by the company Spaceport America will be in effect. So what does this mean? I believe it means that we, normal average citizens, will end up in space faster than we expect.

  6. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/health/policy/08health.html?_r=1&ref=health

    When some of the first health care laws were passed they included giving discounts to a variety of different health care providers such as local hospitals, aids clinics, and hospitals that have many low-income patience. Then a few years ago they expanded these discounts to children’s hospitals. Now they are taking away these discounts they have been providing on drugs called “orphan drugs,” which are some specialized and also common drugs. These drugs also include certain cancer medicines. This change in discounts has affected nearly 200,000 people in the United States. The children’s hospitals getting these cuts say that it is costing them tens of thousands of dollars.

    I think that this is a huge loss. I believe that they should not be doing this, even though they say they may have to. The drugs that they are taking away discounts on include certain cancer drugs that stop people from having heart attacks and seizures due to blood clots. It may just be me but I think that these are some of the most important drugs, because they are trying to keep these young children alive. I believe that there has to be some way for these discounts to not be taken away from these innocent children hospitals. Also children are one of the most important people in our society in my point of few, because they are going to be our future leaders. So I think that children should be getting some of the most medical assistance out of many people.

    Leah Whitney
    Period 7

  7. 12/8/10
    I thought since we finally got to experience the cold weather in North Carolina, it would be a good chance to do a current event on how other states are experiencing winter and other weather situations. This week my current event takes place in Atlanta, Georgia. Considering the fact that Georgia is a southern state, many of the people that reside there aren’t used to and don’t like cold weather. As soon as the weatherman even predicts snow people immediately go crazy! Rushing to the store and packing up for this rare, yet sometimes enjoyable weather. In the southern part of Georgia the daily temperature is about 60 degrees. When you’re used to temperatures like that the winter weather could be a strange adjustment. However cold weather is the least of their problems. Georgia has been in a drought due to the extreme summer heat and the drier climate. Some farmers are starting to lose their crops and are able to qualify for emergency loans.

    I think this is a great way to see how the smallest things can affect people in the smallest ways. Many people don’t realize what may be a hot summer or a cold winter could be the end of someone’s jobs and means of support for their family. It’s especially sad to see things happen that can’t be prevented. I think though that maybe if the cold weather brings a light snow then maybe it could help with the hydration of the crops around the state.


  8. Relationships between China and the Vatican are going to get worse after the election of a new head bishop that was backed by the Chinese government backed by the Catholic Church. The Vatican Says it has the right to name the Bishop and they questioned the Chinese dissection. The state backed church now picked two other bishops for the two main organization at the head of the catholic church. Ma Yinglin was chosen as the head of the Bishops Conference of the Catholic church of China during a meeting of over 300 Bishops in China. Also Liu Bainian the vice chairman of the Chinese of the Chinese catholic patriotic Association was chosen.
    I think that the Vatican should have no say in who becomes the head bishop of any country because it is that country choice to chooses who they want to. Even though the Vatican is the head of the catholic religion, they do not have say in other countries affairs. The Chinese people have the right to choice who they want to and to decide the leader of the church of China. Even tough there is still a debate going on in think that the Chinese will win it because it is there home country and

  9. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/us/politics/09immig.html?ref=politics

    On Wednesday night, the House passed a bill that would grant legal status to many people whose parents came here as illegal immigrants. Specifically, the bill will give legal status to immigrants that came here before they were 16, have lived here for five years, have no criminal background, and have graduated high school, if they either serve in the military or attend college for two years. Republicans say that this is a bill that will encourage more illegal immigration, while Democrats says it will increase tax-payers, military readiness, and allow people that have grown up in America to get an education.

    I think that it's a good thing that this has passed so far, even if it's likely to die in the Senate. It's not fair to punish people for what their parents have done, and besides, I think our country is too strict when it comes to immigration anyway. This bill could offer opportunities to people that have been stuck after graduating high school, unable to enter college or the military. There's nothing to separate these people from natural-born Americans, except for what their parents have done in the past. Usually they didn't have a choice in moving to America or not, so it's completely unfair for them to be punished.

    -Kate Boyd

  10. http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/09/tax.plan/index.html?hpt=T1

    Eric Plevy

    Today, the House Democrats had actually voted against the modified extension of the Bush era tax cuts. In my last current event, I failed to understand that Bush’s tax cuts were actually still in the bill; whereas I had misunderstood and thought that they completely took his ideas out of the bill and had just called it the Bush era tax cuts since the bill was still technically from Bush. The bill actually stated that tax cuts would be given to the middle and working class along with the upper class. The Democrats had argued against this and do not believe in tax cuts for the upper class. The Republicans, however, were in agreement on the bill since it still included what they wanted to do. This has actually started to raise concern about Obama’s political party. Even thought the bill had been a compromise, the Democrats were angered at giving any sort of tax cuts to the upper class.
    This is a very interesting situation for me. Although I support tax cuts for the middle and working class, this situation has angered me. I believe that it was a fair compromise to include what both parties wanted because the ideas could have been observed for the one that worked the best. And then they could pass a new bill that focuses all attention on the more successful idea. Also, ideas from both parties were included, so I think that it was a fair compromise between what the Democrats wanted and what the Republicans wanted. In all honesty, I strongly believe that the Democrats had approached this the wrong way. This was, in a sense, greedy of the Democrats to have declined a fair compromise (in my opinion) because it was not all about their idea, but instead contained a little bit of what the Republicans wanted. The whole idea of a compromise is to reach an agreement that favors all of the people or groups involved. Now, I do not know if this is what Obama was thinking, but to me, it seems logical. This is important because the economy is not going to get better if just given time. Something needs to be done, and quick. I think that the Democrats need to come to their senses and revisit this bill. The more time the Democrats wait to get their way, the worse our economy will become. I am not saying that I disagree with the ideas of the Democrats, in fact, I favor them largely, but this was just a waste of time that could have been used more productively if the Democrats had not have been as picky about what they wanted.

  11. http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/09/news/companies/rolaid_recall/index.htm?hpt=T2

    It is very common for many different things to get recalled. Most common of these are medical drugs, which often have minor defects wrong with them. Recently, 13 million boxes of Rolaids, a gas relief pill, have been recalled. These recalls are due to customer complaints dealing with foreign objects being present in some of these drugs. The foreign objects include wood chips and metal shards. This is not the first drug manufactured by McNeil that has had to been recalled. Other drugs include Tylenol, Motrin, and even Benadryl.

    This is very important because it shows us how careful we actually have to be when dealing with medical drugs. It would be very easy for many people to become endangered through a faulty drug. Therefore, it is important customers continue to present companies with feedback and complaints. Without this, i feel like many more dangerous situations would occur. By knowing this,I believe one option for quality control of products is a much more rigorous and in depth quality testing. By checking more products more often, we can eliminate the ones harmful to the population. This will help to prevent future recalls of medical drugs and other products in the future.

    Cole Shoup
    Period 7

  12. There has been huge conflict for quite a long time, but for decades this riot between Morocco and Algeria has been the most deadly protests ever. For the past month, several buildings are still destroyed from fires and streets trashed. Eleven were killed and several were injured. It has created even more tension and talk about Al Qaeda has been involved. The fights started after police broke apart a protest put together by Sahrawis. Witnesses say that knife-wielding thugs attacked. The police was said to have beaten several of those members. Many people from both areas don't feel safe in their homes at the moment. The truth came out saying the a group of thugs attacked and killed 11 Moroccan officers. The route of the problem seems to be dealing with the land issue and who should own it. Morocco controlled the area, and the people were trying to become independent over it. There has still been fights over all of this.

    I think that this is a huge problem between a lot of counties, not just Morocco and Algeria. This has to be worked out on a mature way though, and they cannot be going around and just making big fights like that even though it is very hard to stop it. I think that they should try to settle this between two people who could try to make it civil like the head of the country. They should make a compromise and try to work it out between who should own the land and who shouldn't. Conflicts like this always put a lot of stress on this area, and all they can do right now is try to stay protected for any attack.


    Stacey cutrell

  13. Gavin Welch
    Per 7
    Dec 8 2010

    December 8, 2010 marks the 30 year anniversary of the death of John Lennon. One of Rocks biggest icon of peace was shot outside his apartment by a deranged fan. This former Beatle was the seconded to go from the world famous band. Though a sad day for Beatles fans, this would have been a great to be in a cover band. Nationwide many of Lennon’s songs were played though out towns and bars. Lennon’s death was occurred only three days after an interview from rolling stone reporter Jonathon Cott. Jonathon received one of the last interviews that anyone had with Lennon and the interview lasted a little over nine hours. Jonathon had completed his Q and A cover story for the current issue of Rolling Stone at the time. This interview was not published that week but saved away in Rolling Stone Archive. This week Rolling Stone releases this historic final interview in Remembrance of one of Rock and Roll’s greatest heros.
    I myself and a pretty big Beatles fan and am very eager to read this final Interview released this week. John Lennon was one of music’s greatest influences and for him to be murdered when he was only 40 years old is tragic. To think what if he was still alive really opens up the possibility to the idea that he could have kept making more music. Lennon had written some of the best songs of the 20th century. Many of his song are still played today around the world


  14. In DC, Obama has been negotiating with republicans, attempting to improve the relation with the two parties. Recently Obama had proposed a bill that was a compromise with republicans. This law would extend Bush’s tax cuts and cut two percentage points on the payroll tax. On Thursday House Democrats voted against this bill. Apparently during their meeting, people were shouting “just say no” to their fellow representatives. Democrats believe that the bill that Obama is proposing will only benefit the wealthy. The speaker of the house, Nansi Pelosi has also reportedly voted against this bill. Nansi Pelosi said in a statement regarding the bill "Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families, to create jobs and economic growth, to assist millions of our fellow Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and to do this in a fiscally sound way,".

    Obama is in a tough position right now. The bills that he wants passed are being shot down by the republicans, and in an effort to please republicans he proposed a bill that was not traditionally democratic. But when he tried to pass this one, House Democrats immediately voted against it. I agree with the House Democrats because this bill isn’t what the country needs to improve the economy.


  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Members of Westboro Baptist Church are going to picket at Elizabeth Edward's funeral. Elizabeth Edwards, presidential canidate John Edwards life has lost a battle to breast cancer. Westboro Baptist Church is a church based in Kansas. They are infamous for their radical stance against myriad issues including homosexuality and the war in Iraq. They will go and picket at soldiers funerals saying things like God is punishing America for homosexuality. They are picking at Elizabeth Edwards funeral in regards to her personal life that they found to be offensive to them.

    This makes me absolutely sick what Westboro Baptist Church is doing. This is not the first time iv'e heard of them doing crap like this. As a Christian my self, these people are being absolutely anything but. Picking at soldiers funerals blaming homosexuals for their death? I think that's absolutely ridiculous. I understand that freedom of speech is a protected right in our country but it is completely unjust to do such a thing. Elizabeth Edwards has been through so many horrible things before she died and what Westboro Baptist Church needs to realize is that they're being unchristian and disrespectful making themselves look completely ignorant.


    6th period

  17. A bill to grant legal status to hundread of illegal immigrant. This bill was passed by the House of Representatives late Wednesday. This bill, known as the Dream Act. Although it was passed by the House but now it's the Senate which is most likely to fail. With the republicans holdig a majority in the house and adding strength in the senate in the new congress, the chances for any legislation legalizing illegal immigrants are dim.

    I think that this bill should be legalize. So that most of the student in our high school should be giving the chance to go to collage or be able to make a living. Because most of us came here with out knowing what we were getting into. In my experience I am also going through so that the senate passes the Dream Act. i would love to go and become someone out in the world. So that I can help out my familiy and get the out of what they are going through.


  18. Leila Doerfer


    Just recently a 15 year old boy was accused of the murder of a 16 year old honors student in Chicago. It only took the jury 30 minutes to convict the defendant of first-degree murder. When the boy was found guilty he and his family seemed surprised and upset at the decision. According to the police the boy who was murdered was an innocent bystander, who got caught up in a gang-related fight. the boy, Darrion Albert, was struck in the head with a wooden railroad tie, then punched in the face. He was unconscious for a little while, then woke up and tried to leave the fight but he was attacked by a teens involved in the fight. The prosecutor did a really good job prosecuting the defendant and they used a lot of graphic and detailed evidence at the trial. The defendant says that although he was involved in the fight, he didn't give Albert the hit that killed him.

    I don't think it's acceptable that things like this are happening. Teenagers killing teenagers isn't something that should be happening in today's society. I believe that when things like this start happening more often, people need to take a show and tell teens that this is not a way of solving a problem. Gang violence is responsible for so many deaths, especially teen deaths. I don't know how one could get this message across but i feel it's important to do so. It's not humane, in my opinion, for kids to be killing kids.

  19. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/to-help-sea-lions-noaa-restricts-fishing/?ref=science

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is going to restrict fishing for the Atka mackerel and Pacific cod on the Aleutian Islands of Alaska in order to protect the western Stellar sea lion. The two species of fish are food sources of the sea lion, so the NOAA hopes to eliminate the increasing number of sea lion deaths by protecting the two species. In some areas, the population of the sea lion has decreased by 45 percent, and the NOAA has reason to believe that food scarcity is a probable cause. On the other side of Alaska, though, the eastern Stellar sea lion population appears to be returning to the norm. These sea lions have a greater variety of food to choose from, and scientists believes that this is related to the increasing population. The restrictions will go into effect beginning in January.
    As technology becomes more advanced, I feel like more and more species become extinct because of one main reason: humans. The human population is growing at an irregular rate, one that is exponential instead of logistic. As a result, we take up more land and feed off of other species' food sources, and therefore, we are the main cause of their extinctions. I think it's important that scientists are taking action in order to prevent any more extinctions, but I feel like people will still fish for these fish illegally. I think that assigning a consequence to this offense will make the ban stricter, thus conveying the seriousness of this issue.

    Nicole Chang
    7th period

  20. Norman Archer
    Illegal Immigrant Students Await Votes on Legal Status

    The article addressed illegal immigrants whose fate hangs the hopeful passing of the Dream Act this week in Congress. The focus of the article was on a young man named Hector Lopez who was a student in Oregon. He was recently deported back to Mexico after being declared an illegal immigrant. Although his is Mexican (though he has lived in the US since he was two) he speaks no Spanish. Not being able to find work in Mexico Lopez went to the border, turned himself in to border authorities, and requested asylum in the US. He hopes that the Dream will allow him to live in the US, a place he calls his home. Congressional debate concerning the bill remains high and there are many possible outcomes.
    I think that the story of Hector Lopez is one that all people with strong anti-immigration ideal should know. Here is young man who has lived his entire life in the United States. Although he may be ethnically Latino, he is culturally American. He worked hard in school and was a good citizen. Unfortunately, none of that matter to immigration officers who shipped him back to a place where only his birth was common ground. I believe that this is unjust.
    Our country was founded on opening our borders to anyone and everyone. It is our diversity that makes this country so strong, and our citizen will to contribute towards a progressive society. How can we deny anyone who wants to contribute to our great country when our own ancestors wanted, and got the same thing?

  21. Ryan Rainey

    Saying goodbye to Elizibeth Edwards is something that will be tough for people to swallow. She was a great women who did nothing wrong. She recently passed at the too young age of 61. She had battled many adversities through her life. Her husband, political icon, John Edwars cheated on her and one of her sons died in there 20's. She still had three children. Several years ago she was diagnosed with cancer. It was her killer. The article I read was about a friend of Ms. Edwards saying how his last time he saw her was. This was published shortly after her death on CNN. They met in Japa and feared it would not happen because her health. She fought it and made it though. She and him and two of her children talked and went around tokyo. She spent most of her life here because here dad was a military leader in the navy there. Her friend and her reconected and talked about what there lives had been like. She told him of her fresturations. She was a politician too and had many causes she fought for. She wanted to fight for those causes but between her illness and her husbands now bad reputation, she was not given the time. Her children performed greatly and it showed how well she parented them. They are now in custody with John. Elizebeth Edwards will be dearly missed by all that new her the author said. She is one of those people you dont forget.


  22. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/science/space/09rocket.html?_r=1&ref=science

    Ariel Gunn

    On Wednesday, SpaceX, a private company that has signed a contract with NASA, sent up a rocket that successfully orbited the Earth twice before landing in the waters west of northern Mexico. Their launch went extremely well, seeing as they never had to use any back-up systems, and the rocketed splashed down only 52 seconds later than predicted. Many NASA employees were shocked by the level of safety the launch had, seeing as it may one day carry our astronauts to the International Space Station. They believe that the Dragon capsule SpaceX has made is just as good, and maybe better, than the Orion capsules that NASA currently uses.

    I think it's really cool that there are now multiple companies stepping up to fill the void left by the budget cuts NASA received under the Obama administration. This shows that many people still really do care about ''exploring the final frontier''. I think it's very important that we continue to do this, and I think it's a shame that the only people who really care about space exploration are the ones who grew up watching the Star Trek series. I think it's very important that we continue doing this, since it's one of the things some of the world's smartest people think is one of the most important things for us to do.

  23. http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/12/09/kansas.edwards.picket/index.html

    Members of the Westboro Baptist Church is planning on picketing Elizabeth Edwards' funeral. Elizabeth Edwards died Tuesday morning after a six year battle with breast cancer. The church is a Kansas-based congregation, and they plan to start their picket at 12:15 p.m. because some issues relating to Edwards' personal life was considered offensive to this church. The church is known for their radical stance against issues such as homosexuality, the war in Iraq , and other minority groups. They usually protest the war in Iraq at funerals for US service members. They say that the death of the soldiers are God's way of punishing us for the "sin of homosexuality," They also say that the destruction of America is caused by homosexuals.

    Elizabeth Edwards faced a lot of issues these past few years. First the cancer, and then her husband's affair which caused them to split. She is now able to rest peacefully after years of hardship, but this church is preventing her from doing so. No one deserves to be picketed at their own funeral. It is disrespectful for the dead no matter what. They should at least respect and think about Elizabeth Edwards' children. They are young children. I'm sure they are already hurting a lot from losing their mother. They shouldn't have to watch this picketing at their mother's funeral which probably will be an image they will remember for the rest of their lives.

    Jenny Jin
    7th period

  24. Wednesday, a commercial spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral carrying a Dragon capsule on top. The flight lasted for almost three and a half hours it splashed down in the Pacific Ocean a mere 52 seconds after expected. SpaceX, the company behind the rocket stated that the launch was “almost too good.” The mission displayed to NASA how a commercial company could ferry supplies and potentially astronauts to the International Space Station. The Dragon capsule was designed with a pressurized cabin that has the capability of carrying people. The Dragon capsule also carried up with it eight small satellites which it launched while in orbit.

    I believe that this demonstration went a long way in bringing the space industry into a commercial view. This demonstration proved that a private sector could design and successfully launch a spacecraft for far less than NASA. It makes space travel a real possibility. Also, I think more expansive space exploration is possible with these new rockets. For the near future, human space travel is inaccessible however, we will never be able to get there if we don't create more advanced rockets, like the Dragon capsule.

    Zach Visco
    December 9, 2010
    Period 6


  25. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_congress_spending;_ylt=ArvO0DPaBoehjjVpxrvXOfayFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTJwazBmNm1sBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAxMjA5L3VzX2NvbmdyZXNzX3NwZW5kaW5nBGNwb3MDNwRwb3MDNARzZWMDeW5faGVhZGxpbmVfbGlzdARzbGsDbWFzc2l2ZWJ1ZGdl

    Yesterday a bill having to do with the federal budget passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 212-206. The bill has to do with capping how much federal agencies can spend, in this case $1.2 trillion, which is actually a $46 billion dollar cut from Obama’s request. A food safety bill that passed in the Senate but was called back because it included provisions that have to originate from the House is a rider on the bill. The bill includes freezing some civilian federal worker’s salaries. The Republicans want to delay the bill until next year, when they have the majority in the House. This bill is not expected to be passed in the Senate.
    I think that we do need a cap on how much agencies can spend. The national debt is already over $14 trillion and still rising so the country needs to put a stop to it. Besides, $1.2 trillion is plenty to spend. The Republicans also smart in trying to delay the bill until they get a majority. That way it’s more likely for them to get the bill the way they want it. And the adding of the food safety rider is smart because you get two things accomplished for the price of one. But all of it will be done only if the bill passes in the Senate. And that’s unlikely.

    Mark Stouffer
    Period 7

  26. A nuclear arms pact with Russia is about to be passed. This agreement involves commercial nuclear trade and joint research between Russia and the United States. Another publicized arms treaty is being pushed by President Obama right now, also, although this one is possibly just as important and has been in the works for four years. It has been a long time because it was put on hold when Russia went to war with Georgia. Many people believe that this pact will be important for our nuclear economy. Russia will be able to more freely sell uranium, and the United States will be able to send back nuclear waste to Russia. Some, however, are against the idea.

    I think that it is a good idea to improve our foreign relations as much as possible. Russia is a large, powerful country and I think that this program will strengthen the friendship between our countries. This pact will also allow us to remove the hazardous waste material left from nuclear power manufacture from our country. We have programs like this with many other countries and I see no reason why we shouldn’t have one with Russia as well.


    Chiara Salemi

  27. Geoff Thomason - Period 7

    With just one puff of a cigarette, more than 7,000 chemicals rapidly spread through the body to cause cellular damage in nearly every organ. Most people fear lung cancer but aren’t worried because it usually takes years to develop, but a new report was released this morning stating that there is no doubt that tobacco smoke begins poisoning the body immediately. That one puff on that cigarette could be the one that causes your heart attack, or someone else’s. That’s right, inhaling someone else's secondhand smoke could be enough to block your arteries and trigger a heart attack. About 443,000 Americans die from tobacco-caused illnesses every year. While the smoking rate has dropped dramatically since 1964, there has been no sign of progress since then. About 46 million adults still smoke; that’s one out of every 5 adults. Also, tens of millions more are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke. The government had hoped to drop the smoking rate to 12 percent by this year, a goal not only missed, but that's now been put off to 2020.
    I think cigarettes are much more harming than the majority of people realize. Who in their right mind would do something that WILL eventually kill you? There is absolutely no plus side to it, and the downsides are horrible. I do think it’s a good thing that fewer public places allow smoking now, because unwanted secondhand smoke indoors affects many different people. One puff can kill, so why even take the risk for one puff?

  28. Tanner Gardner
    6th Period


    Speaker Joseph Straus has recently come under fire for the fact that he is Jewish. Straus' opponents cite the need for a "Christian conservative" as a more appropriate leader. An email from Nov. 30 sent by John Cook reads as follows, "We elected a house with Christian, conservative values. We now want a true Christian, conservative running it." Cook later said the two Christian conservatives who are challenging Straus (Rep. Ken Paxton and Rep. Warren Chisum) have "pro-life values" and "pro-family values", possibly suggesting that god, as if by divine providence, would want a Christian leader and the entire coalition of conservative Christians to expand. Other opponents of Straus like Ray Myers and Peter Morrison pointed out his race as a reason that he should be replaced, then tried to save face later in an attempt to retain political correctness.

    I don’t mean to generalize, but it's obvious that most conservatives in Texas would prefer a theocracy, especially Cook. The way they blend the words 'conservative' and 'christian' shows a severe lack of secularity in the government. Cook has professed Christianity the religion of Texas, not bothering to mention any other minorities-indicating a lurking bigotry. Honestly I think these people are full of shit.

  29. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/us/08edwards.html?scp=2&sq=elizabeth%20edwards&st=cse

    Elizabeth Edwards died at age 61 in our hometown of Chapel Hill, on Tuesday, December 11th. Her incurable cancer had spread to her liver on Monday, and she posted on Facebook that she has "been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces — my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope.” When she died, she was surrounded by relatives, all with the knowledge that though she would be the one passing away that day, she had reminded them that everyone's days were numbered. After several momentous life reversals, including Mr. Edward's infidelity, one son's tragic death, and the final attack of her cancer, Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards finally rests in peace.

    I actually was watching another rather vapid episode of Oprah when "breaking news of Mrs. Edward's death" obscured the program. She was such a strong woman that lived through so many crippling experiences. What inspires me is the fact that she found away out of her own mental and emotional labyrinths, and was only stopped by something she physically had no control over. It is definitely bittersweet to see her lose her batter with cancer surrounded by relatives and loved ones.

    Jessica Gao
    6th Period

  30. This week a supposed new procedure was presented on world news concerning donor hearts for transplants. The new procedure will keep the heart beating and well for twenty-four hours opposed to the six hours its could be kept in just ice. The study also showed that the machine was like a visible test drive for the heart to see if it is viable for the patient. The heart is placed in a box with all of the major arteries and vessels connected to a machine that keeps it beating. Then, the heart can be flown all over the world as long as it stays within the time limit.

    The funny thing about this procedure is that similar things have been around for years but only now that the FDA approved it is it called revolutionary. People have been experimenting with keeping the heart beating for a while and though the study was presented as though UCLA presented the idea, Penn State was really the first one to come up with it. Overall it is a good thing. This procedure will save many move lives now that it is approved and the general society is now benefited from the work of many different doctors across the country.


    Jenny Vaughn
    Period 6

  31. http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/news/20101209/surgeon-general-no-amount-smoking-safe
    This is an interesting article to me because it has to do with a lot of people in America. Tons of people smoke in America and i believe that most don't know this. Everyone knows that smoking can cause cancer and other problems but most people don't know how short these routes can be. Another shocking fact is most of these can be brought on by second hand smoke, not even direct smoking. This makes smoking even more unhealthy for everyone because it can affects those around you as well. The side effects can be early heart attacks, cancer, emphysema and cardiovascular disorders as well. Hopefully the surgeon general can make these facts known to the world becase that'll help people stop smoking and help people never start.
    I found this article fascinating because it has to do a lot with laws in NC. NC made laws this year about banning public smoking and this research shows that that was a very good decision. Im glad that we're doing research into these things so that people can see the actual side effects. Many smokers claim they should be able to smoke anywhere but this shows one of the reasons they aren't, because second hand smoke can be just as bad as regular smoking. Ive always avoided smoke because i have asthma and i know that it wouldn't help my asthma at all, but this shows a great reason to keep smoking much more private and less public because deterioration can start almost immediately. According to the US almost 20% of people smoke and hopefully this stat will help some new smokers make the right choice and stop never smoke tobacco.
    Alex Grosskurth
    6th period

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/us/08edwards.html?scp=2&sq=elizabeth%20edwards&st=cse

    On Tuesday morning Elizabeth Edwards who is the wife of former senator John Edwards passed away in Chapel Hill at her home, surrounded by relatives. She was 61 years old. Her cancer had spread to her liver on Monday when she posted a facebook status saying “I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces — my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope.” Mrs Edward was an accomplished lawyer but fought through many difficulties in her life such as the death of her 16 year old son, getting cancer at 55, and Mr Edwards having an extramarital affair. The article goes on to talk about John Edwards affairs and how Mrs Edwards handled the situation, but as of right now, she rests in peace.
    I think that this loss is very unfortunate to the Edwards family, and the world in general. Mrs Edwards was a good human being. She was very strong to have been fighting cancer for 6 years while also going through the many losses and tough experiences in her life. Its inspiring to see what this woman has gone through and how she stayed tough throughout the years. It is saddening to see that she has lost her battle against cancer.

    Basriul Haque
    7th period

  34. Riley Hutchison
    7th period


    Currently in Hati the preliminary presidential election results have just been released. The results were so controversial that protests broke out in the streets, and bulidings were destroyed, and some set on fire. The current president Rene Preval has chosen a successor, but the people of Hati dont seem to agree with his choice. The United Nations peacekeeping troops had to fire tear gas, fire rubber bullets, and throw flash-bang grenades in order to attempt to control the protestors. The streets were barricaded with earthquake rubble, and things were set on fire. The three canidates with the highest precentage of the votes were Ms. Manigat with 31.4%, Mr. Celestin with 22.5%, and Mr. Martelly with 21.8%. All of these canidates claim that they question the accuracy of the results, and 12 out of 18 nominees wished for the election to be canceled. The three canidates all fear that the people cant be controlled. Senator Lambert claims that "if we cannot hold them back, prepare yourself for civil war." The people have lost their faith in the government, and claim that the government rigged the elections. Jean-Claude Gouboth who owns a Soft-drink shop, which was destroyed in the earthquake, than rebuilt, and destroyed again in hurricane Tomas. He claims that "Politicians have always devieved us, and its not worth burning down the town for them.

    Living in the USA the elections dont seem like a big deal to me. We have them about every couple years, and people dont start protests in the streets. We have had our share of messed up elections, but you dont see people running out into the streets or burning down buildings. We seem to have a more systematic way of dealing with fraud issues, and i hope that Hati will gain some tollerance for mistakes. They have had some terrible things happen, but they really need to try to work together in order to make things better. The current election seems to be causing more turmoil, so i would just have the current president appoint a successor. This would eliminate the people's claims that the government rigged the polls, and the current president has a pretty good idea of who would be best for the job. It seems like if the elections were canceled (which would be terrible) people wouldnt have anything to fight about because there would be no elections for the government to rigg. If the people dont stop the fighting it will force the government to use violence to control them, and that will only make the situation worse. I just dont see why people can get so angry about a preliminary election.

  35. Thomas Nguyen
    10.9.10 Period 7

    The Obama administration has decided to delay the expected tougher emission regulation rules. These rules affect smog and toxic emissions released by industrial boilers. The E.P.A. has decided to run more research and studies on the effects of smog; they expect the research to wrap up in July 2011. They also want to study boiler regulation and expect to stop in April 2012. Environmentalists do not like the delayed regulation rules. They think that the regulation on Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases will also be delayed. The National Association of Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute like the decision because they believe that the superfluous rules will stop the economy and kill jobs. The E.P.A. has announced that it will regulate carbon emissions from power plants and other major sources starting the day after Jan. 1.

    I don't see how more strict rules on toxic emissions released by industrial boilers will affect the jobs in the Manufacturing and Petroleum industry. The rules are just making the boilers have to upgrade to be greener. This delay allows boilers and the Petroleum industry to keep releasing the toxic emissions. The E.P.A. would have to make tougher rules because the same amount of pollution is going into the air for an extended amount of time. the Eco-friendly people have longed to see tougher rules set by the E.P.A., but they will have to wait longer because of the delay. I am not sure if the E.P.A. wants to study smog more; I think they are headed in the wrong direction to make our country more environmentally friendly.

  36. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2010/0324/Busing-to-end-in-Wake-County-N.C.-Goodbye-school-diversity

    The Wake County school district has decided to change its income-based integration plan to develop school zones closer to students’ homes. Advocates say the new plan will spare children long bus rides, while opponents claim it will lead to racial resegregation and more concentrated poverty in certain schools. “There’s a lot of cachet right now around the idea of neighborhood schools ... but if the community is segregated residentially, what you are gaining in proximity, you are losing in diversity and in integration,” says Mark Dorosin, an attorney at the Center for Civil Rights at UNC.

    In my opinion, even though it may be more efficient to have school districts based on address, it is unfair to impoverished children living in impoverished communities and it will most likely end in the resegregation of schools. This would be a major setback for the advancement of minorities because it’s harder to attract good teachers to schools with the majority of its students impoverished, and students tend to do better academically if many of their classmates plan to attend college and have other supports common among wealthy families. If the Wake County Schools decide to return to neighborhood schools, kids will get unequal education which can ultimately lead to the suppression of certain groups of people.

    Cerys Humphreys
    7th period

  37. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20025205-503544.html

    Westboro Baptist Church said that they are going to protest at Elizabeth Edward’s funeral this weekend. The group is known for protesting at events and against homosexual rights. They also have their own website with very oppressing views. This group is led by Reverend Fred Phelps. He is known for protesting at Soldier’s funerals. He has even gone so far as to protest at high school events and theatre productions. The group is against what they Edwards have done politically and socially so they will protest.

    Honestly, I think this whole thing is absolutely awful. I could go on a rant for this for hours. The fact that a Christian group is saying such things about other people makes me so angry. Some of their arguments include that God hates homosexuals. The fact that they would say this makes no sense at all, because it specifically says in the Bible that God loves everyone. Ignorant people like this make me so angry. The fact that you would even disrupt someone’s funeral disturbs me. The whole thing is crazy and I know we have freedom of speech, but this is going too far. I hope the funeral this weekend is peaceful and undisturbed by these protestors.

  38. http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/08/tax.cut.comments/index.html

    It seems like everyone is gaining up on President Obama lately. After negotiating with the Republicans, they decided to extend the tax-cuts and unemployment benefits. Many Democrats and others are very upset with this decision. They say Obama should have just extended the tax-cuts to those who make less than $250,000 a year. Representatives battered the President by saying he has no negotiation skills, and he didn’t stay true to the promises he made Americans during his election. During his election, Obama promised to let these tax-cuts expire for the richer Americans, but he seems to have done the opposite. Some Americans are also very upset about extending the unemployment benefits because they feel it is allowing the unemployed people to continue to get paid while they do nothing. They feel it is not encouraging the unemployed to go out and find jobs, and many hard working Americans don’t think this is fair. One person said, “"Did someone tell him his job was to improve the economy, get spending under control etc. -- not making sure Republicans are happy? They, like the rest of the world, read him for the weak 'leader' he is and so more will be sure to follow." Americans have said that Obama is going to be a one term president, and the only way there could be a Democrat in charge is to elect a different president in 2012. Citizens are really not happy with President Obama right now.

    I agree that Obama has gone back on the promises he made during his campaign, but I’m sure there is good reason for it. Things were probably different when he actually got in office, and changes to his original plan had to be made. I don’t think its fair for Americans so be beating Obama up with insults and disrespect because he is trying. Our country is in such big crisis that it is going to be hard to fix all the problems with the blink of an eye. I don’t think Americans understand how much pressure he is under, and if people disagree with the decisions he makes, they should just turn around and say he’s a bad president. I believe Obama is doing the best he can with regard to the state of our nation.

    Laura Musalem
    6th period

  39. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/us/politics/10military.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

    The tradition of continuing discrimination via filibuster seems to only be continuing in the senate today. A bill that would not only repeal the policy of "don't ask don't tell" that applies to homosexuals in the military, a major step in combating the discrimination that homosexuals face in America, but also would improve benefits for all soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan--regardless of sexuality. I can't help but be reminded of Strom Thurmond's ridiculous filibuster of the civil rights bill of 1957 when these things happen that impede the rights of our citizens. To me, the worst part is that it impedes the rights of the defenders of our nation itself, the ones who deserve most to be supported by our nation and people. My feelings are well-put in the words of Harry Reid: "We can no longer ask our troops to die for a flag that represents justice and ask them to be false to themselves while they do it." Perhaps the way we run the senate should be changed so you no longer need a supermajority to pass a controversial bill...

    Liam Dalton
    6th Per.

  40. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/to-help-sea-lions-noaa-restricts-fishing/?ref=science

    The western Steller sea lion has faced a recent rapid decline in population. In some areas, the population has decreased 45 percent from 2000 – 2008. Scientists believe that this is mostly due to over fishing the sea lions’ main sources of food (Atka mackerel and Pacific cod). Consequently, fishing restrictions have been implemented off parts of Alaska’s western Aleutian Islands. A sea lion usually weighs about 1,500 pounds and eats 6% of its weight in fish daily (90 pounds!). Last year, commercial fishermen took 2.6 billion pounds of these fish and made up to 1 billion dollars. The restrictions can cause up to a 3 million dollar loss in revenue.

    I believe that humans do not have the right to knowingly jeopardize an animal’s survival. The western Steller sea lion is seen as an endangered species, and fishing restrictions have the potential to protect and save them. Although the loss in revenue is unfortunate, three million dollars is worth the survival of an entire species. It is likely that these sea lions play a crucial role in the environment, and their extinction would cause further problems that would cost much more to fix.

    Maria Yao, 6th

  41. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/world/europe/10nuke.html?ref=world

    A nuclear pact with Moscow cleared its final hurdle on Thursday. This agreement opens the door to greater civilian nuclear cooperation between the United States and Russia. President Obama hopes this will be another step toward strengthening the Russian-American rapprochement. The pact lifts longstanding limitations to allow extensive commercial nuclear trade, technology transfers, and joint research between Russia and the United States. This doesn’t include restricted data, but it is still bringing the United States another step closer to Russia.

    This is a really good idea in my eyes. If we cooperate with Russia, only good things will happen. Both of our countries will get stronger and have more information about nuclear fuel and other subjects in the nuclear industry. Our countries need to keep making progress like this. The more information we share with each other, the more advanced we will become.

    Chris Barth


  42. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/us/politics/10cong.html?_r=1&ref=politics

    This Thursday, the tax cut package that was worked out between the White House and Republicans was unveiled to the Senate. Democrats immediately began debating the bill, and threatened to filibuster. The bill would extend all Bush era tax cuts. Democrats strongly oppose the bill, but have been able to fit a few tax cuts into the bill that would add a tax break for ethanol production, and extend a grant program that would promote alternative energy. As a whole, the Democrats believe that the bill is way too expensive (package costing $858 billion) for how few people it will actually benefit.

    I don’t think they should pass this bill. I know that President Obama was making a compromise with the Republicans to get the unemployment benefits extended, and I support the idea of both parties working together, but the bill is simply too expensive for how few people it’s truly benefitting. The Bush tax cuts were made to benefit the extremely wealthy, and to extend the Bush tax cuts would primarily only benefit the extremely wealthy again. Extending the Bush tax cuts will cost the nation $68 billion in lost tax revenue, and with a huge national deficit on our hands, reducing the deficit by $68 billion would make more sense.

    Brady Strine
    6th period

  43. A bill that repeals the ban of gay in the military passed in the Senate this Thursday.Susan Collins,the only Republican who voted for the bill, thinks that there will be limited prospect this year if they repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.President Obama was disappointed that yet another fillbuster has prevented the Senate from moving forward with the National Defense Authorization Act.The House is going to keep defending;such a fillbiuster this time caused the difficulties of making decisions for the Congress for the first time in early 50 years.The majority leader, Harry Reid did not discuss further with his colleagues because he thinks that discrimination has never worked well for the U.S. Some members that veto the bill also because of the long time that they thought this policy "probably should" be ended.The main idea from the democrats is that everything we need for our military is less important than making sure you get that tax break for everybody's second million.
    I've been keeping asking myself the same question again and again,that if I agree with the policy of "don't ask, don't tell".Ultimately I found that I totally agree with what Mrs. Collins said that if we repeal this bill, our national prospective will be lessened over this year.I thought that the perspective of the people who vetoed against the bill have an extreme idea that the gays in the military will will not be organized.This bill is going to be kept discussed and voted until it has the clear points.

  44. Addendum:
    Jessica Yin
    7th. period


  45. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/obamas-light-national-christmas-tree/?ref=politics

    This year, a forty-two foot tall Colorado blue spruce was lit by the Obama’s. Yesterday, President Obama and his family lit the National Christmas tree. This tradition is one of the Presidents for eighty-eight years now. This year the tree was covered in energy efficient bulbs. This is related to the fact that some trees went without lights during World War 2 in an attempt to save energy. Obama stated that the story of Christmas was dear to him and his wife as Christians, but the message itself was universal. The ceremony closed with wishes for himself, his wife, his children, his mother-in-law and Bo, the First Dog.

    I am really glad that during these hard economic and political times that Obama still honors the tradition to light the Christmas tree. I also like the thought behind it, because as Obama said even if you aren’t a Christian the message of Christmas is a good one. Also, I’m really excited for Christmas, and lighting the Christmas tree means it is getting really close to time. I thought this was a good article because we talked about this in class!

    Jessica Batson
    7th period

  46. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/world/africa/10sudan.html?_r=1&ref=africa

    Sudan is Africa’s largest country. But on January 9, 2011 South Sudan will hold a vote to secede from the North. South Sudanese have been third class in Sudan, and racial and religious divides have made the North and the South practically two different countries. The North is primarily Arab-Muslim, while the South is predominantly Christian and animist. Sudan has been locked in civil war for a long time, and the South hopes to end this by seceding and becoming their own country. The capital will be Juba, which has become the center for politics in the South. Citizens of Juba have been marching on the 9th of every month to encourage voters to register and vote for separation. On December 9, 2010, the march across the city was a celebration and a rally both. The political leaders in the South are so desperate for voters, that they have made the ballot friendly to all voters. Sudan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, so the ballot shows symbols as well as words.

    I think separation is a great idea for the South. It will separate warring communities and hopefully lower the number of deaths Sudan sees. Their civil war has been brutal and both sides wish the killings would stop. I doubt that this will solve all the area’s problems. For example, South Sudan may try to take revenge on the North once they are established as their own country. An official border may not mean as much to North and South Sudan, especially as many Southerners work in the North. I hope most of the registered voters do show up to vote on January 9th. There must be at least 60% of registered voters voting for the vote to be accepted.

  47. (That's Hannah Blackburn 7th period)

  48. http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/12/02/new.york.fracking.moratorium/index.html?npt=NP1

    Andrew Cohen
    7th period

    Democrats in the Senate failed to open debate on a bill that would potentially give health benefits to emergency workers who were involved in the rescue and recovery effort following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. A Republican filibuster defeated this bill. The motion for cloture needed 60 votes and fell 3 votes short. This bill is likely to be brought up again but with the congressional session ending soon, the defeat of this bill becomes even more crucial. The bill is called the James Zadroga 9/11 Health Bill. It is named after an N.Y.P.D. detective who died a few years ago at ground zero from breathing in toxic plume caused by the 9/11 attacks. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that this was "a tragic example of partisan politics trumping patriotism.”
    I agree with Mayor Bloomberg. I find it disturbing how these Senate Republicans are loyal to their political party before their country. Upon further research, I learned that James Zadroga, the man who died at ground zero, could have been treated and cured through extensive medical care. I think that those who were involved in one of the most important rescue and recovery effort in American history should at least be given health benefits. The fact that this bill was killed is very important because with the congessional session ending, it will only get harder to pass bills that are mostly favored by Democrats. This relates to what we have been studying in class because it relates to how a bill becomes a law, and the legislative process.

  49. This story is referring to the Bush era tax cuts that Obama wants to end.  Obama opposes the tax cuts because the conservative ideas of a trickle down economy have not done much at all to support the economy and him the other democrats support the liberal ideas that the more you make, the more you pay.  Instead of the top 2% receiving tax cuts, he believes that the top two percent owe the country the most for allowing them to make so much so they need to flow the most of their cash back into the economy.

    I support Obama on these regards because it would flow more cash to my family through lower taxes and it will help our economy. So I hope Obama does not compromise with the republicans on this and he holds strong as a democrat.

    Jackson wright

  50. ryan hegedus
    Call of Duty: Black Ops shatters industry sales record

    Call of Duty: Black Ops, released on November 9, 2010, had more opening-day sales than any other videogame, or for that matter, anything in the entertainment industry. 5.6 million copies of Black Ops were sold, beating it’s closest competition handily, which was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with 4.7 million copies. Although the number of copies sold was a staggering amount, many expected this kind of debut for the game. Many expected this because, not only was there a considerable amount of hype built up for this game, but there were also more midnight release events than ever before, giving it a competitive edge. It is believed that no game will outsell this one in its openeing day, until the next Call of Duty game comes out, that is.
    I am one of the people who was expecting the large amount of units sold for this game. I was an adamant COD MW2 player, and my expectaions for the qualit of Black Ops were huge. Fortunately, I was not let down by the latst installation in the Call of Duty series. With new ways to customize online and Nazi Zombies now having more maps, the game makes for hours of fun. My favorite feature about Black Ops would have to be online split-screen, because now I can play with my friends in the same room wile being online, not one or the other.