Sunday, November 27, 2011

7th period: Current Event due 12/2

This week in C&E we will continue our study of the Legislative Branch. Find and write about an article that deals with our legislative bodies at either the state (General Assembly) or national (Congress) level. You may write about a piece of legislation, a particular representative or any other article that deals with our legislators. Check out the News&Observer for state level government or any national news site for updates about Congress (click on POLITICS to find out more). Yay, Article I! Have a great week. :)

27 comments:

  1. Peter Norwood
    The News & Observer
    Environmental group plans protest tonight
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/11/27/1673434/environmental-radicals-plan-protest.html
    Summary: Tonight the General Assembly is meeting to discuss a bill that would speed up a fracking study and promote other alternative energy options. Fracking is a way to extract natural gas from rocks underground. Environmentalists are protesting because they believe that fracking is not a sustainable form of energy. The environmental group is name Croatan Earth First!
    Response: The reason I chose this article is because of the theme, and I was walking by the Occupy Chapel Hill protest and saw on a schedule of other protests, this was on there. I don’t see any point in this protest. The bill isn’t allowing more fracking, it’s to allow more studying of fracking and other energy options. By not passing this bill, then we wouldn’t look into new energy ideas and we would be stuck with mostly coal? Doesn’t coal pollute more than any other type of energy? I see the environmentalists want to pollute the environment! So smart.

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  2. Juno Park
    What Congress has done to fix the economy (Hint: Nothing)
    Charles Riley
    CNN.com 11/23/11
    http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/23/news/economy/congress_failure/index.htm

    It is the shared opinion of many that the 112th congress has failed repeatedly to aid in any way our perilous economy during it’s term. The list of shortcomings is considerable and shows that we’re going to need a lot more effort to change than what we are getting. Debt reduction packages failed to prosper, the super committee failed, and the AAA debt rating was lost. These were some of the things that congress did badly; they also failed through the things they failed to accomplish. For the last 33 months straight the unemployment rate has stayed above 8% leaving more than 13 million Americans unemployed. Improvement has been minute to the point where it is almost unnoticeable. However, congress has approved free trade with countries like South Korea, Panama, and Colombia, and even created a new law to fix our patent system. Even so, most of America does not like what congress has done. Only 9% of Americans approve of congresses actions according to a poll done by the New York Times. This is the lowest approval rating ever.

    After reading this article I am both outraged and disappointed. The reason why congress has made such little progress cannot solely be pinned on either the democratic party or the GOP. They are both at fault here. These two parties have such conflicting views that every time a bill is brought up they can never agree on anything and make it happen. They need to put their differences aside and choose to help the people of America in their time of need. Obama told Congress on Tuesday. "Put the country before party. Put money back in the pockets of working families. Do your job.” I agree with him completely. This relates to legislation because it directly points out the flaws and failures of our congress.

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  3. Jack Kleissler
    White House threatens veto of GOP regulatory bills
    The News & Observer November 29, 11
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/11/29/1679434/white-house-threatens-veto-of.html


    Congress is trying to pass new Republican legislation that will place greater limits on how the federal government adopts regulations. There are two bills that will come down to a vote in the near future that deal with requiring agencies to consider alternative regulations and would also place cost limits on small businesses. If the bill passes through the Democratic controlled Senate the White House has threatened to veto the bill. The White House says that the new legislation will damper the ability for government agencies to protect the public and that is why they intend to veto the bill.

    Honestly I don’t think I know enough about this particular topic to pass accurate judgment on it. All I know of it is from one little story on News & Observer. But what I do know is that this is exactly what is wrong with Congress today. The Republicans control the House while the Democrats control the Senate. Now neither one is willing to budge on any issue and this has been some of the most unproductive past couple years in our government’s history in terms of the amount of legislation that is passed. People need to put aside what their party thinks and have an opinion for themselves and get things resolved. Arguing for the sake of arguing does nothing.

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  4. ERIN PECK 7TH PERIOD
    The Wall Street Journal: North Carolina Senate to Decide Fate of Racial Bias Law

    By Sam Favate
    November 28, 2011, 12:39 PM ET

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/11/28/north-carolina-senate-to-decide-fate-of-racial-bias-law/

    This week lawmakers will meet to talk about and ultimately decide the fate of the state’s Racial Justice Act. This act lets inmates on death row argue that their sentencing to death was on the basis of race. In June the N.C. House voted to nullify the law, now it’s on to the senate where a vote will be held this week. Studies have been conducted that show that show defendants who killed a white person in North Carolina were two and a half times more likely to receive the death penalty. Republicans do not like this law and have been talking about repealing it since they came to power last year. Now they hold the upper hand and it is likely they will get this law repealed.

    In my opinion this law is there to protect the lives of potentially innocent people. In the resent years our advancements in DNA analysis have been able to clear once guilty men of their charges. We have to look at where we live and realize we are in the heart of the south. Racism was once and still is an issue we face. Not to say we are the only ones with this issue or that it is limited to the south, however we are historically marked with our opinions. With that being said, this law was put in place so that we could grow from the past. Times have changes and race plays a smaller role in our judicial decision making. The Racial Justice Act lets us go back and look at a case and decide if this was a fair ruling. Deep down I have a feeling it will be repealed but I sure hope it’s not. There is nothing wrong looking back at the past and asking ourselves if this was that right thing to do. Why take it away? I think doing so makes us look ignorant to the times we live in.

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  5. Olivia Clayton 7th Period
    N.C. school board to vote on 5 more classroom days
    December 1, 2011
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/12/01/1682821/nc-school-board-to-vote-on-5-more.html

    This article is about how in Raleigh, the North Carolina board of education wants to officially change the fact that students will be in school longer. The State Board of Education plans to vote on Thursday, if they are willing to agree with a new state law-- expanding the current 180 days to 185 days. Half of the state’s schools have asked to postpone this until later but the state education agency is ignoring their request. North Carolina legislators have approved the longer school year, saying that student will get better scores on the standardized tests, still preserving the 10 week summer vacation. The schools are complaining about having to pay extra for bus gas, heating, electricity and any other expenses they would have to pay.
    Of course, I don’t think that they should extend the school year by a week because being in school for 180 days is already enough as it is. Honestly, I don’t think that staying in school and extra 5 days will change the scores students get on their test, because it doesn’t change how they learn, what they learn, and if they take advantage of these extra days.

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  6. Everyone enjoys Christmas presents.

    Contrary to the beliefs that Democrats and Republicans in Congress are having a hard time getting along, Senators have decided to put their differences aside and do something nice for each other this Christmas. That is why they plan to draw names, Secret Santa style, and trade presents over party lines to lift spirits and leave for winter break on a positive note.
    Democrat Al Franken is extremely pleased with the idea. He reminiscences taking part in a Secret Santa gift exchange as a kid. “I remember one year I picked this kid who used to intimidate me on the playground,” states Franken. “Turns out after we got to know each other, we became friends. So, I thought Secret Santa would be a good way to cut through the partisan divide here in the Senate. And who knows; maybe it will create some unlikely friendship.”
    And that is exactly what happened as Franken joined forces with Republican Senator Mike Johanns, who quickly agreed to the Secret Santa idea. Other Democrats and Republicans were also eager to exchange gifts. In total, more than half of the chamber (21 Republicans and 37 Democrats) recently drew names from Santa hats. Although the gifts will be small (around $10.00 or so), the act of giving and receiving gifts in the Senate is going to truly be a very festive event.

    In my opinion, this is a wonderful idea! For some reason, adults figure that in order to grow up, they have to drop kid-like activities and “fun” so that they can maintain their maturity and the commanding respect that they attain from others. However, being serious and work-focused all of the time can become very tough and hard to deal with. It can even bring people to be spiteful and negative towards others, which makes it difficult to get any real work done or make decisions. Having a chance to take a break and do something that is just plain nice will be great for our Senators. They will have a chance not only to bring smiles to each others’ faces, but also to rekindle the relationships between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate--something that we can all agree on as being important. As many Christmas-lovers would say; “Tis the season to be jolly.” Let us hope that our Senators decide to take part in the good natured aspects of Christmas.


    Source: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/secret-santa-in-the-senate/?ref=congress (The New York Times)
    Published: November 30, 2011
    Article: Secret Santa in the Senate
    By: Jennifer Steinhauer

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  7. Jason Cohn Period 7
    Boehner suggests supercommittee ‘trigger’ could be re-worked By: Felicia Sonmez
    Nevember 30, 2011 Washington Post
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/boehner-suggests-supercommittee-trigger-could-be-undone/2011/11/30/gIQAcTgJDO_blog.html

    The United States Speaker of the House, John Boehner suggested that the cuts to be enacted in 2013 could be re-worked. These cuts are due to the failure of the debt supercommittee. Earlier, Boehner said that he felt "morally bound" to abide by the cuts, but in a Capitol news conference, he said otherwise. He said they still need the $1.2 trillion cuts, but it should be done in a more responsible way. President Obama's Secretary of Defense says that it would be irresponsible to hollow out our force. Boehner says that it is the President's job to work with Congress to find a better solution. We don't know when the "re-working" process will begin, but the cuts will definitely affect our spending plans no matter how they are re-worked. "Lawmakers have got to find more common ground if we’re going to be successful,” Boehner said.
    While reading this article, I was glad to see that Boehner is willing to compromis and work with other lawmakers. I think it will help a lot if each party can come to somewhat of a compromise in order to fix our deficit. I think it is a good start for Boehner to try to re-work the cuts in order to compromise with the President and the Presidential Cabinet.

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  8. Luthfi Bustillos
    The News and Observer
    Chapel Hill to hold hearing on cellphone ban
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/11/30/1679584/cellphone-ban-for-drivers-discussed.html

    Chapel Hill will have the chance to ponder over the option of Chapel Hill becoming the first town in North Carolina to ban cell phones while driving. The Town Council voted 6-2 to bring a public hearing on Feb.20. If caught talking on cellphone while driving one would be violated 25$. There are exceptions though, if you are talking to a family member, spouse or making an emergency call. This law may be hard to enforce since many of the roads are state owned. Town attorney Ralph Karpinos thinks that this law would be unenforceable.
    I don’t think this would be a bad law because it is hard to tell whether someone is talking to their family member or to someone else. I think they have the right idea but the track they are right no is not the way to go. I think though the debate in Feb. 20 will be good for a new flow of ideas. This debate will also allow the Town Council to see if most people agree with their thoughts on the subject. Also a 25$dollar fine is a bit low for me and I don’t think be will stop talking because they might get a 25$ fine. Also this would be wasting the departments recourses by having cops watch out for people talking in their cellphone and pull them over for just 25$ when there’s a chance that the person they pulled over is talking to their family member.

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  9. Kabir Kumar-Hardy Period 7
    Clock Ticks Down on Super Committee By: CNN Wire Staff
    12/1/11 CNN
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/18/politics/super-committee/index.html
    The “super committee”, which was originally formed to create a bill that would reduce spending, is running out of time. They have been charged with the task of decreasing the national deficit. Negotiations thus far have been partisan to say the least. The committee consists of twelve members, six Democrats and six Republicans. The committee must find a way to reduce our deficit by 1.2 trillion over the next decade. So far, member haven't been able to agree on anything. If the committee fails to pass anything, and automatic spending cut will take place. The automatic cut will cut 1.2 trillion dollars from programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and Veterans' affairs.

    When it comes to a dire situation like this one, our lawmakers need to be able to compromise and come up with a solution. Republicans think if we cut enough spending, we can reduce our deficit. This seems fine until you look at the programs on the chopping block. Democrats want to raise taxes in order to gain revenue. A large percentage of America doesn't even like how much they pay Uncle Sam right now. If you ask me, a hybrid plan needs to be passed. A plan that consists of spending cuts and tac increases. I think the men and women of congress are acting like children. They need to grow up and agree upon a solution that will benefit the American People.

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  10. Eric Reinstein, period 7
    35 new state laws take effect today in NC
    Gary D. Robertson, Raleigh News & Observer
    December 1, 2011
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/12/01/1681789/35-new-laws-take-effect-today.html

    Today, thirty-five bills that have passed through the North Carolina General Assembly and approved by Bev Perdue officially become law today, mostly dealing with crimes involving murder. The main one, which has been pushed for years, states that prosecutors can charge someone with not only the murder of a pregnant woman, but their unborn child, a guaranteed life sentence. Others include placing more serious consequences on repeat drunk-drivers and felony offenders released from prison. Some laws give more leeway to other people, one stating that people can legally fire their weapons to protect themselves if it has been proven that the target has illegally entered their homes, cars, or businesses, passed with the encouragement of gun-advocate groups. And finally, investigators of crime are forced to turn over all evidence in court, whether or not the jury has requested it, avoiding possible missed evidence.

    In my opinion, these are all much-needed laws. Hopefully, they will do their job by preventing unfairness in court and enforcing the law by making sure criminals end up where they should be. I’m glad to see that, even though these aren’t economy-fixing laws, they will attempt to make our state a better place. It’s true that criminals often get away with serious crimes and minor consequences, and these laws will help in stopping that. This is a result of the General Assembly doing their duty to the government, and I hope this continues in the near future.

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  11. Heading:
    -Stefan Steiner/7th period
    -NC legislature comes back into session Sunday/The Associated Press
    -charlotteobserver.com/December 1, 2011
    -http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/11/26/2806689/nc-legislature-will-come-back.html


    Summary:
    -The NC General Assembly could have their last chance to pass legislation this year when they come back into session this Sunday. The possible repeal of a controversial death penalty law involving racism is on the possible agenda for the lawmakers. Other topics include limiting the state gas tax which would be detrimental to funds for building and maintaining roads. The mini-session, one of many that have become typical of this year’s complex agenda, might involve Republican attempts to override vetoes of Governor Bev Purdue. The most notable of these would require voters to show picture identification before voting. Republicans blame the numerous short-sessions and seemingly purposeful inconvenience of this year’s legislature’s meetings on the once-in-a-decade task of redrawing voting maps.

    Reflection:
    -This current event directly relates to our studies of the legislative branch in class and is a perfect representation on the politics of this branch. Although they blame it on the gerrymandering that has to be done this year, it seems as though the Republicans, which control the NC legislature, are purposefully complicating the schedule in order to pass large amounts of legislation in their favor. Also, the checks and balances system is being demonstrated as the Governor fights this legislation with vetoes and the general assembly tries to override her authority. I hope that the exciting yet crooked politics of our lawmakers does not do too much damage this year.

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  12. Published December 01, 2011

    Senate Backs Proposal to Let Military Chaplains Decline Performing Same-Sex Marriages

    The senate is backing a bill that allows military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages among its members. The amendment stating this was added to a massive must pass defense spending bill on its way to a vote on the house floor. The proposed amendment allows chaplains to perform a marriage for same-sex couples as long as the state they are in allows it. The military does not support this proposal and is hoping that the house will not pass it, although there is a very good chance they will. Some military officers are comfortable with it although the Obama administration says that it is not nesecary.
    Personally I do not have a problem with this bill and I do not understand why such a big deal is being made about it. I would understand if the bill said that everyone involved with the military had the right to marry their partner, but it does not. Since it just says military officers who are in a state where gay marriage is already allowed are allowed to get married, it just does not seem very important. They are not making any drastic changes that would effect the lives of gay couples a lot.

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  13. Luke Ciocca
    Balance Budget Amendment Push Sparks Debate
    Gregory Korte, USA Today
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2011-11-29/balanced-budget-amendment/51480066/1
    This article describes the U.S. government attempting to propose a balance budget amendment to the Constitution. This amendment has been debated over and repeatedly denied. In fact, in the past month the amendment fell 23 votes short in the House of Representatives. With this failure and the repeated failures in the past, it seems the only way the balanced budget bill will pass is through the states. To amend the Constitution, two thirds of the states must call for a national convention. Then two thirds of the states must vote to amend. With fifty two states, they would need exactly thirty-eight votes to pass it. There has not been a convention since 1787, (To change the Articles of Confederation) and there are many questions about it. If it were to happen, how would it be done? Would this be a single topic or a many topic convention? If this were to happen it would be history in the making.
    This article poses some intriguing topics. It shows the people attempting to use the government to their advantages. This also shows how hard it can be to amend the Constitution, but also show that it is not impossible. It has only happened 27 times, but this amendment has been discussed for decades and at this point has 17 of the necessary 34 states to call a convention. Unfortunately, prediction show that they will fall just short of 34 states at 33. Even if they got to 34 they would still need 4 more states to pass. It may look like a longshot, but if it passes it will a great moment in our nation’s history. This budget could do a lot of thing for our country; it could revive our government or send it into more of a recession. All in all, this article show the great ability of our nation to be flexible.

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  14. Brian Mack/ 7th period
    Republican leaders shifting stance on payroll tax cut/ Tom Cohen
    CNN.com/ December 1, 2011
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/01/politics/congress-payroll-tax-cut/index.html

    The Republicans have finally agreed with the Democrats that a payroll tax cut will indeed help the economy. Even though both parties have agreed to a tax cut they haven’t yet decided how to get the money. Democrats want to raise taxes a little bit on Americans that run small businesses that make over 1 million dollar income a year. Republicans on the other hand believe that raising taxes isn’t the solution; but that the money should come from: decreasing governmental spending, cutting federal jobs, and by raising Medicare costs for Americans that make over $750,000 a year. President Obama told the Republicans to "fight as hard for middle-class families as you do for those who are more fortunate." By taxing 300,000 wealthy Americans more money it would allow middle class citizens with up to 1,500 dollars more in their paychecks next year.

    I believe that the Republicans should agree with or come to a reasonable compromise with the Democrats that taxes should be raised for the 1% of Americans that have the money to spare. I don’t understand why a slight pay raise to the wealthiest Americans is such a huge deal when they have more than enough to support their families where most of Americans are of the middle-class and need some extra money to raise their families. No matter what happens I think that the two parties need to agree on something soon because people are getting restless.

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  15. Salomon Ariza/7th
    Senate passes defense bill with detainee policy compromise/Ted Barrett
    Cnn.com/ Dec 1, 2011
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/01/politics/senate-detainee-policy/index.html

    The article talks about how the Senate passed a defense bill for detaining and trying suspected al Qaeda terrorists as well as other things. These things included funds for the war and the protection of the US. The bill was passed through a vote of 93 to 7 which was very uneven. Some senators are not in favor of the bill due to the fact that people could be detained for undeterminable amounts of time by the military. Other Senators however are deciding on amending it to show that citizens can just be detained for an undeterminable amount of time by the military. They also believe the President will veto the bill.
    I believe in protecting the people of this country; however I believe that this bill is a little ridiculous. The reason why is because while trying to protect the citizens is important people can’t just be detained for no reason. I believe that if this bill is approved by the President then the military will try arresting people based off of how they look. This is a country who has tried to avoid discrimination by the way people look, however I believe this bill would go against all that the US has shown to believe in and that the bill should be amended to improve it.

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  16. Zunzun Aung
    “Republican leaders shifting stance on payroll tax cut”
    Tom Cohen
    Cnn.com / 12-2-11
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/01/politics/congress-payroll-tax-cut/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    On Thursday, the republicans agreed with President Barack Obama and democrats that extending the payroll tax cut would help the economy, but the parties remained divided over how to pay for the move. The Democratic plan to extend and expand the payroll tax cut set to expire at the end of the year would assess a 3.25% tax on income over $1 million to pay the cost of more than $200 billion for the extension. Taxpayers with an income of $50,000 would benefit by $1,500 a year. However, the president did blamed the Republicans saying that it make no sense to be raising taxes on the middle of a time where a million of people are trying to get back on their feet. In addition, the democrats are opposing republicans plan on payroll tax cut, and republicans are opposing the democrats’ plans, too. However, both parties came to an agreement and are now publicly acknowledge the benefits of the payroll tax cut. Obama challenged Republicans on Wednesday to "fight as hard for middle-class families as you do for those who are more fortunate," a dig at the GOP refusal to consider the longstanding Democratic push for higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans. In addition, the plan would require Americans earning $750,000 a year or more to pay higher premiums for Medicare, and prevent millionaires from getting food stamps or unemployment compensation. According to a Republican aide, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the Medicare, food stamp and unemployment provisions would save $9 billion over 10 years, mostly from Medicare.
    I think it make sense to extend the payroll tax cut to benefit the economy. However, the workers do all the work, and they work really hard. The rich people are just like there being rich. Therefore, they should really be extending the payroll tax cut on them. And 53% of Americans disapprove of Obama, so I don’t think he will be re-elected; especially with this whole over extending the payroll tax cut. It would make more sense for both parties and the president to agree on something that will benefit both classes of citizens and the economy.

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  17. Katie Alexander Period 7 Barney Frank not seeking re-election in 2012 By Alan Silverleib, CNN Mon November 28, 2011 http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/28/politics/ barney-frank/index.html

    U.S. Representative Barney Frank, a 16 term democrat from Massachusetts, announced that he does not intend to seek re-election in 2012. Frank, who is 71 years old, is known for becoming one of the first openly gay members of Congress. Frank’s decision to retire was caused by losing his favorable gerrymandered district. President Barack Obama praised Frank for being a "fierce advocate for the people of Massachusetts and Americans everywhere who needed a voice."

    Representative Barney Frank announced his retirement because he was not looking forward to a hard fought campaign after losing his gerrymandered district. Even though Frank is 71 years old, within retirement age, I feel his decision to retire could be detrimental to the Democratic Party and gay rights. Republicans are probably highly optimistic about taking Frank’s seat, because of their favorable distinct. Gay marriage is “hot topic” right now. Frank retiring could cause issues such as these not to be addressed.

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  18. CNN
    Jeremy Howell 7th
    http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/02/news/economy/jon_corzine_subpoena/
    House panel to subpoena Jon corzine

    On Friday CNN reported that Jon Corzine, the former CEO of MF Global, was unanimously voted to be given a subpoena by the house agriculture committee. Recently MF Global went bankrupt and now the FBI is investigating whether or not the trading firm illegally mixed customer and company funds. The subpoena will compel the testimony of the ex-CEO in a hearing next week. In addition to this hearing Corzine has been called by the senate financial services to appear on a later dat.
    I think that what congress is doing is very appropriate. This company needs to be investigated to ensure other companies do not feel as though they can get away with whatever they want. On the other hand with the anti American occupy Wall Street movement infecting the nation, one has to wonder whether this hearing will be legitimate or just a Wall Street witch hunt.

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  19. Aaron Smith/7th Period
    December 2, 2011/ CNN
    Pam Benson, CNN.com
    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/01/cyber-security-proposal-changed-to-meet-white-house-privacy-concerns/
    The House Intelligence Committee recently made some changed to its cyber security bill to satisfy the White House. This bill is supposed to make sharing information between the government and private industries so that computers can be better protected. After hearing the bill, the White House was concerned with some privacy issues and those issues were solved with the new amended bill. The Inspector General is required to report back to the government all the information that he receives about the cyber threats. The White House is still currently reading over the new bill, nothing has been decided yet.
    I found this article to be very interesting and informative. It was interesting because we’ve been going over all this stuff in class and I finally got to see an example of the process of how a bill is made. Although I’m not really sure what the bill is about, I learned about the bill process.

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  20. Cameron Baker
    "Senate passes defense bill with detainee policy compromise"
    Written by Ted Barrett on December 12/2/11
    CNN
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/01/politics/senate-detainee-policy/index.html

    The Senate recently passed a significant defense bill including a new policy for detaining and trying suspected al Qaeda terrorist. This policy attracted much controversy during the debate and may even result presidential veto. The bill passed by a vote of 93-7. Along with budget cuts across the government, the $662 billion bill diminishes Pentagon spending by $43 billion from last year. It includes funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, also sets policies for weapons systems and personnel programs at the Defense Department. Senate debate on the detainee matter was at times volatile and emotional. After years of struggling with issues of who should investigate, detain and try suspected terrorists, civilian authorities and courts or the military and its tribunal system, Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and ranking Republican John McCain of Arizona reached a long-sought compromise to codify the process. Critics complained the deal was weighted toward the military because it required any suspected al Qaeda terrorists, even those captured inside the U.S., to be held potentially indefinitely by the military.

    Terrorism plays a huge role in America, and is a well discussed issue. Because of of past experiences with terrorism we a rightfully cautious. I think that the military deserves to deal with suspected terrorist threats, since it is them fighting for our country overseas. I am glad a compromise was made, and the bill could pass.

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  21. Aaron Smith/7th Period
    December 2, 2011/ CNN
    Pam Benson, CNN.com
    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/01/cyber-security-proposal-changed-to-meet-white-house-privacy-concerns/
    The House Intelligence Committee recently made some changed to its cyber security bill to satisfy the White House. This bill is supposed to make sharing information between the government and private industries so that computers can be better protected. After hearing the bill, the White House was concerned with some privacy issues and those issues were solved with the new amended bill. The Inspector General is required to report back to the government all the information that he receives about the cyber threats. The White House is still currently reading over the new bill, nothing has been decided yet.
    I found this article to be very interesting and informative. It was interesting because we’ve been going over all this stuff in class and I finally got to see an example of the process of how a bill is made. Although I’m not really sure what the bill is about, I learned about the bill process.

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  22. Kiara Luna / 7th period
    Bill filed to prohibit congressional insider trading/CNN
    November 16
    http://www.wtsp.com/news/article/220868/81/Bill-filed-to-prohibit-congressional-insider-trading

    The bill filed Republican Sen. Scott Brown would make it illegal for elected congressional officials, their staffs and executive branch employees to use information about pending bills that's not available to the general public in making investment decisions. It also forbids them from making such information public for personal purpose. Brown's bill, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, would clarify insider trading regulations that do not clearly identify whether the use of inside government information constitutes insider trading.I think it is a fair bill. Its wrong for members to use such information for personal gain. I agree with Brown’s statement that Members of Congress should live under the same laws as everyone else and If they trade on inside knowledge to line their own pockets, they should be punished.

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  23. Briana Noel
    Period : 7

    The report says that the 112th congrss failed on multiple occasions to aid in way to our economy during it’s term. The list shows that we need a lot more effort and stability to change this. This document states that congress has done absolutely nothing to change our ecomony. Congress could not pass a REAL budget, which was the possible termination of the government “shutting down” on various occasions. The AAA debt rating was lost as well as the committee failing. These are important factors in which they failed to complete/accomplish. At least foe the last 33 months13 million Americans have been out of work.

    This is dissapointing for more than one reson. This is disappointing because it’s not entirely the democrats fault, it’s the democratic party as well as the Grand Old Party (GOP). They buttheads so much that they can never agree upon anything. So whenever, if ever something is conveyd to them they bicker about it. When you hold a position like they do, you have to do whats in the best niteerst for the PEOPLE not for you. Fussing over irrevelvant stuff gets nothing accomplished.They were put there not to argue, but to help they Americans, and now is when they need help the most.

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  24. Lizzy Stompel/7th
    Legislators Squabble over Extending the Payroll Tax Cut
    11.27.11
    CNN
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/27/politics/congress-payroll-tax-cut/index.html

    Republicans are resisting the Democrats on making a bigger taxation for millioners.Senate Democrats this week will propose extending the payroll tax cut and imposing a surtax for all people that earn one million or more. That proposal will be brought up again if the Republicans turn it down. Everyone's concern is whether to increase the payroll tax from the current 4.2% to 6.2% on the first $106,880 of wages into Social Security. If they don't do it now then the taxes will increase during a difficult economic period.

    I believe that the Republicans are right to resist. Millioners worked really hard to get where they are right now. I think that it's wrong to tax them more just because they earn more. I also believe that lower classes are trying to buy something they can't afford and then when they realize it they start asking for money from wealthy people.

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  25. Colin Schenk 7th period
    12/1/11
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/22/politics/super-committee/index.html What's next after 'super committee' failure?
    By Ted Barrett, Kate Bolduan and Deirdre Walsh, CNN
    updated 5:15 AM EST, Tue November 22, 2011

    President Obama and congress were trading blame on Monday for the failure of the “super committee” to forge a deficit reduction deal. Late on Monday the leaders of the committee made a statement saying "after months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee's deadline." After the failure of the super committee was announced on Monday the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 248 points. Because of this failure there is an automatic spending cut of 1.2 trillion that will be enacted in early 2013 unless the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction can agree to a deficit reduction package.
    I find it very funny that this “super committee” failed to come up with any sort of deficit reduction bill in the time they had. I feel that it shouldn’t be very difficult to come up with a bill that would make a compromise between spending cuts and increases in taxes. I think that the members of congress need to grow up and start to make some compromises before the sequestration is enacted in 2013.

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  26. ERIN PECK 7TH PERIOD
    The Wall Street Journal: North Carolina Senate to Decide Fate of Racial Bias Law

    By Sam Favate
    November 28, 2011, 12:39 PM ET

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/11/28/north-carolina-senate-to-decide-fate-of-racial-bias-law/

    This week lawmakers will meet to talk about and ultimately decide the fate of the state’s Racial Justice Act. This act lets inmates on death row argue that their sentencing to death was on the basis of race. In June the N.C. House voted to nullify the law, now it’s on to the senate where a vote will be held this week. Studies have been conducted that show that show defendants who killed a white person in North Carolina were two and a half times more likely to receive the death penalty. Republicans do not like this law and have been talking about repealing it since they came to power last year. Now they hold the upper hand and it is likely they will get this law repealed.

    In my opinion this law is there to protect the lives of potentially innocent people. In the resent years our advancements in DNA analysis have been able to clear once guilty men of their charges. We have to look at where we live and realize we are in the heart of the south. Racism was once and still is an issue we face. Not to say we are the only ones with this issue or that it is limited to the south, however we are historically marked with our opinions. With that being said, this law was put in place so that we could grow from the past. Times have changes and race plays a smaller role in our judicial decision making. The Racial Justice Act lets us go back and look at a case and decide if this was a fair ruling. Deep down I have a feeling it will be repealed but I sure hope it’s not. There is nothing wrong looking back at the past and asking ourselves if this was that right thing to do. Why take it away? I think doing so makes us look ignorant to the times we live in.

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  27. Jonah Horwitz
    11/28/11
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/27/politics/congress-super-committee/index.html
    “GOP senator calls for changing automatic spending cuts”
    CNN Wire Staff

    Republican Senator, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who was a member of the “super-committee”, is calling for the automatic spending cuts to be changed. The committee did not meet its deadline for finding a compromise for budget cuts, which put sequestration into effect. Sequestration is the process of cutting budgets for all government programs equally. The cuts will take effect in 2013, which gives congress a year to find a consensus. President Obama has threatened to veto any attempt to lessen the severity of the cuts, which leaves very few options for congress.
    This annoys me that they are focusing on stupid things instead of getting anything done. Especially in times like these, politicians need to come to a consensus and stay with it.

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