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Minnesota Senate Clears Way for Same-Sex Marriage

Minnesota Senate Clears Way for Same-Sex Marriage | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
Gov. Mark Dayton says he will sign a bill making Minnesota the 12th state to permit same-sex marriage and the first in the Midwest to do it without a court forcing it to.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

The Minnesota Senate finally passed the bill for same-sex marriage. Senate voted 37-30 to allow same-sex marriages. Same-sex couples will be permitted to wed in Minnesota starting in August, and this makes the 12th state to legalize gay marriage.

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Katie Gilbertson's comment, March 7, 2014 11:31 AM
Every era comes across a debate, an issue, something they NEED to overcome. I mean we have been through it all with slavery and our fight to equality! For women and their right to vote! Here again, we stand with yet another issue that is harming not HUMAN BEINGS, but people's pride. I think that it is good that we gave everyone the right to marry and commit themselves to someone they love. Who am I to stand in the way of someone else's beliefs?
Buster Meyer's curator insight, April 8, 2014 3:47 PM

The article relates to the government because peopler are trying to pass a law that you can have the same sex marriage in that state. The government finally passed a law saying that people that wanted to get married to another guy or a girl that you could and not get in trouble for it.

Michael Hanson's comment, April 12, 2014 12:24 PM
I believe people should get to choose, and it wouldn't be surprising to me if all states soon enough allow same-sex marriage. It's just good to see that the governor is taking the steps himself to have the law passed, instead of having the court system force him.
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Tougher drunk-driving threshold proposed to reduce traffic deaths

Tougher drunk-driving threshold proposed to reduce traffic deaths | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
A decade-old benchmark for determining when a driver is legally intoxicated should be lowered to 0.05, federal safety officials said Tuesday.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

I'm not sure how much changing the blood alcohol content limit from 0.08 to 0.05 will do, but I'm all for it. There still is a ton of deaths every year due to drunk driving, so if this helps save some more lives then I think its a good change.

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Joel Denney's comment, May 18, 2013 12:50 PM
I agree. At 0.05, I would be surprised if anyone was able to safely drive. As the commercials say, buzzed driving is drunk driving.
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17 Air Force officers stripped of authority to launch nuclear missiles

In an unprecedented action, an Air Force commander has stripped 17 of his officers of their authority to control and launch nuclear missiles.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

An Air Force commander stripped 17 of his officers of their authority to control and launch nuclear missles. The 17 are being sent to undergo 60 to 90 days of intensive refresher training on how to do their jobs. Apparently there was a potential compromise of launch codes. 

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Mississippi man makes court appearance in ricin letters case

Mississippi man makes court appearance in ricin letters case | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
TUPELO, Mississippi (Reuters) - A Mississippi martial arts instructor appeared in federal court on Monday to face charges in connection with mailing letters containing the deadly poison ricin to President...
Jacob Carlson's insight:

This court case involves a man accused of mailing letters to President Obama containing deadly poison ricin. He faces a possible life sentence if convicted. They actually at first convicted the wrong guy but they're now quite certain that they have the right man. The ricin-tainted letters were  discovered just days after the bombings of the Boston Marathon.

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By the Numbers: U.S.-Mexico relations

By the Numbers: U.S.-Mexico relations | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
President Barack Obama travels south to Mexico this week to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in the country's capital before he heads to Costa Rica to meet with other regional leaders.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

I found this article to be pretty interesting, as it goes over a number of statistics involving the relationship of the U.S. and Mexico over the years. Some of the statistics that I found to be interesting are $277.6 billion of U.S. imports from Mexico in 2012 and $216.3 billion U.S. exports to Mexico in 2012.

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Obama taking executive action on guns after Senate vote

Obama taking executive action on guns after Senate vote | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
Blocked by Congress from expanding gun sale background checks, President Obama is turning to actions within his own power to keep people from buying a gun who are prohibited for mental health reasons. ...
Jacob Carlson's insight:

President Obama is taking matters into his own hands now that the gun laws weren't passed by the Senate. Obama vowed to keep up the fight for the background check expansion but also to do what he could through executive action. He said that his administration is going to address the barriers that prevent states from participating in the existing background check system. I'm actually happy to see that Obama is going to continue to fight for gun laws to pass.


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Joel Denney's comment, April 27, 2013 3:16 PM
Hey, this was my bill!
MsHaeussinger's comment, April 28, 2013 12:25 PM
Good story, quite relevant to our try at being the U.S. Senate!
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A false tweet heard around the web

A false tweet heard around the web | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
(CNN) - A tweet by the nation’s largest newswire about a catastrophe at the White House was nearly immediately shot down as false on Tuesday.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

This is pretty ridiculous if you ask me. The Associated Press was hacked by a group called the Syrian Electronic Army and made a tweet saying that the White House was attacked and that President Obama was injured. Just from the tweet, The Dow Jones dropped very quickly, but as soon as people found out the tweet was false, The Dow Jones quickly regained. I guess Twitter is capable of causing huge problems now.

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Joel Denney's comment, April 27, 2013 3:09 PM
One more reason that I don't trust the stock market. It's completely uncontrollable; it's legitimized speculation.
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Senate rejects expanded gun background checks

Senate rejects expanded gun background checks | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
The Senate prepared to vote on amendments to tougher gun proposals in the aftermath of the Newtown massacre.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

Even with a lot of people pushing for stricter gun laws, the senate still rejected it largely due to the NRA fighting against the laws. The amendment required 60 votes to pass but only got 54. The overall gun legislation included tougher laws on gun trafficking and straw purchases, and steps to devise ways to improve safety in schools. In my opinion this would have been something good to pass but the NRA thinks otherwise.

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Sam Bass's comment, April 21, 2013 6:49 PM
I'm fairly surprised that the background check bill didn't pass. It seemed like they were going to have plenty of people that would vote for it before the vote but then not as many people decided to vote. I would rather have better background checks enforced rather than having guns being banned in general. It will be interesting to see what happens now.
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Robin Kelly Wins Jackson Seat in Illinois

Robin Kelly Wins Jackson Seat in Illinois | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
Robin Kelly, whose stance on stricter federal gun laws brought her “super PAC” support, easily won the Illinois Congressional seat resigned by Jesse L. Jackson Jr.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

I'm not really that surprised that a Democrat with strong views on stricter gun control laws won a House seat in Illinois. With all of the crime in Chicago and gun violence, it makes sense that she would be elected because she is strong supporter of stricter gun control. I don't really understand why she would use gun control as her main campaign issue and not something like education or economic delevopment issues, but apparently it won her the election.

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Joel Denney's comment, April 13, 2013 2:24 PM
I thought Chicago already had strict gun laws. The Supreme Court came within one vote of saying that a handgun ban was Constitutional. It would be interesting to see what happened if Chicago loosened some of its gun laws. I find it hard to believe that current laws are doing much to curb gang violence.
MsHaeussinger's comment, April 14, 2013 3:47 PM
Hopefully Ms. Kelly will do better than her predecessor.
Sam Bass's comment, April 14, 2013 4:44 PM
I also don't really understand why she would use gun control laws as her main way try and get elected. It will be interesting to see if she does a good job and stays true to her word.
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North Korea nears 'dangerous line,' Hagel says

North Korea nears 'dangerous line,' Hagel says | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
U.S. and South Korean officials have warned that North Korea could carry out a missile test at any point.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

I find it pathetic that North Korea is threating to attack us. I personally don't understand their reasoning for attacking us and it seems as though no other country is taking their side. I think North Korea just likes to talk big but really cannot do half the things they say they can. I'm interested to see if they follow through with their threats.

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Connecticut assembly to vote on gun law overhaul

Connecticut assembly to vote on gun law overhaul | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
Connecticut's General Assembly votes Wednesday on a major overhaul of its gun laws in the wake of the December massacre at an elementary school there.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

I'm not surprised by the fact that Connecticut wants to ban many types of guns. Although I don't fully agree with the bill, I can't blame Connecticut for wanting to enact a bill banning a long list of guns. Later on in the article the president of the Connecticut Citizen Defense League goes on to say that a bill like this could ever stop a murderer like Adam Lanza. I agree that if someone wants to kill a bunch of people, nothing is going to stop them from finding the necessary weapons to do it.

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Blake Gatzke's comment, April 7, 2013 1:50 AM
I like that the states are taking matters into their own hands to get gun laws passed. The federal government should stop worrying about gun control and worry about more important things.
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Political parties must trust voters

Whenever a political party finds itself in a self-created crisis, the common diagnosis is that its ills are a product of the public losing trust in that party. This is true of the Conservatives in the 1990s, of Blair’s Labour Party in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion and the Scottish Liberal Democrats following their electoral annihilation in 2011.


Via Peter A Bell
Jacob Carlson's insight:

I agree that political parties must trust voters. The article goes on to say that when parties become disconnected with voters, it is because the vital conversations are not happening. This is happening because parties don't trust the public. Basically the bottom-line is that political parties must learn to trust, in order to be trusted.

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Joel Denney's comment, March 22, 2013 5:51 PM
After the last 16 years, with Presidential approval (along with Congressional approval) in the tank, I'm not surprised. Politicians have simply not been able to get their act together, and society does not trust them anymore. I think the problem is that there are very few influential people in the middle of the aisle; both parties are becoming more extreme--or at least, the more talkative/influential people in both parties are. A real centrist party would be great, but I feel as though it'll never gain political power.
Chris Grimm's comment, March 23, 2013 2:34 PM
I agree with Joel that I am not surprised that politicians don't trust voters despite the fact of how sad I think it is. I think that part of the problem is that voters don't trust most of what politicians say because we don't have the capability of understanding what they say is true and what is bent and twisted truth. Amazing the kind of mess America has been able to find itself in
Tanner Schatzel's comment, March 24, 2013 8:31 AM
I think that political parties need to trust voters because that is who elects them in to the positions that they are in. I understand why they might be weary, but I still think that they need to be trusted.
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U.S. government to fight for warrantless GPS tracking

U.S. government to fight for warrantless GPS tracking | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
The Obama Administration today will argue its case in court, saying that authorities should not be required to obtain warrants to attach GPS devices to cars. Read this article by Don Reisinger on CNET News.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

I found this article to be quite interesting. It talks about how the government wants authorites to be able to attach GPS devices to cars without having a warrant. I think this is a pretty controversial because I don't completely understand why cops should be able to place a GPS on any car they want to because I feel like that is violating our rights. In my opinion authorites should have to obtain a warrant before placing a GPS on someones vehicle.

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Report finds IRS targeted conservative groups, delayed applications

Report finds IRS targeted conservative groups, delayed applications | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
Documents show IRS offices in multiple cities may have politically targeted conservative groups.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

This article talks about how reports have found that the IRS is targeting conservative groups who were applying for federal tax exempt status, delaying processing of their applications and requesting unnecessary information. The report found that since early 2010 the IRS developed and put in place a policy that used "inappropriate criteria" to identify potential political applications.

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Justices Back State Restrictions on Information Requests

Justices Back State Restrictions on Information Requests | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
The Supreme Court ruled that states were free to let only their own citizens make requests under their freedom of information laws.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

The Supreme Court ruled that states were free to let only their own citizens make requests under their freedom of information laws. They also dismissed a case concerning the right to speedy trial for poor criminal defendants. I think both of these were good decisions for the Supreme Court.


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Joel Denney's comment, May 11, 2013 2:55 PM
I didn't quite understand the full specifics of the case, but I would have thought that the Freedom of Information Act, being federal, would apply universally regardless of state citizenship.
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Survey indicates troubling trend in military sexual assaults

Survey indicates troubling trend in military sexual assaults | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
The number of service members anonymously reporting a sexual assault grew by more than 30% in the past two years, according to a Pentagon report released Tuesday.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

I found this article to be quite interesting. It says that the number of service members that reported sexual assault grew more than 30%. The Defense Department estimated that more than 26,000 troops experienced unwanted sexual contact, a huge jump from the 19,300 figure in the 2010 report. I wan't really aware that sexual assault was this prominent in our military and is pretty pathetic. 

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Obama Renews Effort to Close Guantánamo

Obama Renews Effort to Close Guantánamo | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
President Obama said he would try again to close the Guantánamo prison, a goal that he all but abandoned in the face of opposition in Congress and that still faces steep challenges.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

This article talks about how President Obama wants to try and close the Guantanamo prison. He has vowed to do this for many years now, but still hasn't made any progress on the issue. I just feel that this problem is often overlooked and needs to get resolved once and for all.

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CNN/Time Poll: Cutback civil liberties to fight terror?

CNN/Time Poll: Cutback civil liberties to fight terror? | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
Washington (CNN) -- Although worries about terrorism have edged up following the Boston Marathon bombings, a new national poll indicates only four in ten Americans say they are willing to give up some civil liberties to fight terrorism.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

CNN did a poll on public attitudes toward terroism and civil liberties, and the poll suggests that attitudes have changed dramatically since 1995, when the deadly bombing of a federal office building in Oklahoma City occured. Back in 1995, 57% of the country said that they were willing to give up some civil liberties if that were necessary to curb terrorism. Today, that figure is down to 40%, and it appears that the biggest change is in attitudes toward cell phones and email. This statistic doesn't really surprise me at all since people now days want their privacy with technology. The poll also has some other interesting statistics about government monitorinig and the publics feelings on restriction of civil liberties.

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Official: Suspect says Iraq, Afghanistan drove Boston bombings

Official: Suspect says Iraq, Afghanistan drove Boston bombings | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
Residents and business owners near the site of the Boston Marathon bombings are slowly being let back in Tuesday.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

The surviving suspect in the Boston bombings is now saying that the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are motivating factors in the bombings. He also told investigators that his brother and himself were self-radicalized via the Internet. I still don't completely understand the reasoning behind the bombings; probably never will.

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Sources: Possible suspect sought in Boston bombing

Sources: Possible suspect sought in Boston bombing | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
Investigators working the fatal bombing at the Boston Marathon have made "significant progress" but no arrests, a federal law enforcement source said.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

Its definitely going to be a tough search to find who did the bombings. Its good to see that they're at least starting to find suspects. Boston law enforcement told CNN "We've got him". I guess we'll have to be patient and just wait for more details as they come.

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Joel Denney's comment, April 20, 2013 2:48 PM
I'm glad that they finally got the two guys. I'm also glad one of them is alive; it'll give us a chance to see why they did it. That is, if they make it to trial. The police are definitely going to have to be on the lookout for a Jack Ruby-style vigilante. It'll also be hard to find a fair jury for him. I forget which brother was naturalized; is the living one a citizen? If not, does he get the full trial rights that citizens get?
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Obama says he doesn't believe North Korea has nuclear missile

Obama says he doesn't believe North Korea has nuclear missile | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
President Barack Obama has said he doesn't think North Korea is currently able to fit a nuclear warhead on a missile
Jacob Carlson's insight:

So its looking like North Korea doesn't have a nuclear missile after all. According to President Obama, North Korea doesn't have the capacity to put a nuclear weapon a ballistic missle. I really hope North Korea doesn't just get away with the threats they made. I'm interested to see what we do in retaliation to the threats.

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Sam Bass's comment, April 21, 2013 6:24 PM
I had a feeling that North Korea doesn't have the capability to have the nuclear missile. I agree with Jacob that I hope that North Korea doesn't get away with the threats they made. It will be interesting to see how Obama handles this situation.
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First on CNN: King, Thompson to intro background checks in House

First on CNN: King, Thompson to intro background checks in House | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
(CNN) -- Republican Rep. Peter King of New York said he doesn't want to be "reinventing" the wheel on the gun bill in the Senate and plans to make a similar background check proposal in the House with Rep.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

Even though the NRA doesn't seem to think that background checks will solve the problem, I still think it will at least prevent some problems. I agree with the NRA that background checks may have not prevented the Newtown or Aurora shootings, but I honestly don't know what could prevent those shootings. So overall, I'm glad to see Peter King try to pass this bill. Basically the bill will expand background checks for gun purchases online and at gun shows.

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Sam Bass's comment, April 14, 2013 4:30 PM
I also agree that this is good that background checks will be taken more seriously. I'm glad to see that this bill is trying to be passed. Hopefully it will help prevent some crimes later down the road.
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Looking Ahead to the 2014 Senate Races

Looking Ahead to the 2014 Senate Races | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
The seats up for election next year, and the outlook for several key races.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

This article went over the states that will be important to keep an eye on in the 2014 Senate Race. Some races currently held by democrats were Minnesota, Alaska, and Arkansas. As far as races held by republicans, Georgia and South Carolina were a couple of the states noted to watch in the Senate Race of 2014. It is pretty interesting  to be looking forward at the 2014 Senate Race and what may or may not happen.

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Joel Denney's comment, April 6, 2013 3:45 PM
Ugh, more elections. Hopefully Minnesota's election isn't as awful as last time's. The article was right in saying that Franken has kept his head down; I think that any challengers will have a much more difficult time attacking him than last year. He hasn't turned out to be the know-nothing blabbermouth than many (myself included) thought he would be; he actually seems to have done a decent job.
Blake Gatzke's comment, April 7, 2013 1:45 AM
Even though Franken is a democrat, I still like him. I don't really look at the political affiliation of a candidate, I look at the kind of person they are. He seems like a humble guy and I will definately vote for him if the republicans can't find someone better to run against him.
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Obama will give up portion of his salary

Obama will give up portion of his salary | Gov. & Law Current Events | Scoop.it
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will put 5% of his paycheck back into the federal government's coffers in a show of unity with furloughed federal workers, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
Jacob Carlson's insight:

I found this article to be quite interesting. Apparently President Obama is willing to put 5% of his paycheck back into the government to show unity with federal workers. As weird as this is I guess I find it cool that he is willing to put part of his own paycheck back into to the government. I'm not sure how much this will actually help things out but either way I found it to be interesting.

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Sam Bass's comment, April 6, 2013 6:28 PM
I also find this interesting. I'm not a big fan of President Obama, but I think that this is interesting that he is willing to put down 5% of his paycheck. Like Jacob said, who knows how much this will actually help, but if he actually follows through with this, it helps show someone like me that he's actually trying to help out. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Blake Gatzke's comment, April 7, 2013 1:55 AM
WOW! 5% of his $400,000 paycheck. that means he is only giving back about $20,000. He should give back a little bit more than that. I think all elected officials should be required to do this, they are usually rich to begin with and it wouldn't hurt them at all. CHEAPSKATES!
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Congress tries to beat new shutdown deadline - CNN

Congress tries to beat new shutdown deadline CNN Washington (CNN) -- Members of Congress will try this week to lock in a spending plan while softening the blow of sweeping, forced cuts -- a goal that must be reached in coming days to avoid a...
Jacob Carlson's insight:

I am very interested to see what the Senate will decide for the spending resolution. I'm also interested to see what they will decide to cut and what the new budget will be. If all goes to plan the Senate will have the budget plan this week, which will ease the impact of the sequester cuts. 

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Sam Bass's comment, March 24, 2013 1:37 AM
It will be interesting to see what they decide to cut, and what they decide the new budget will be. Hopefully they make good decisions and can figure things out to make the sequester less impacting.
MsHaeussinger's comment, March 24, 2013 1:58 PM
Thankfully it appears they have again avoided the shutdown!