AP Gov Current Events
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Following tea party complaints, IRS admits 'mistakes'

Following tea party complaints, IRS admits 'mistakes' | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
(CNN) -- Responding to a flurry of complaints from conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Service admitted Friday it made "mistakes" in the last few years while trying to process those requests.
Andrew Eads's insight:

The IRS is under fire recently dude to complaints from many conservative groups that the organization was discriminating against them due to political affiliations. They claim that when seeking tax exempt status, any groups with a Tea Party affiliation or name was immediately selected for further review, forcing them to undergo hours and hours of paperwork for their request to be processed. Representatives of the groups say this cost them time and money that they could not afford and claim it was designed to turn them away from seeking tax exemptions. The IRS will face serious scrutiny to determine whether or not these claims are founded.

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Rand Paul faces blowback after new drone comments

Rand Paul faces blowback after new drone comments | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
(CNN) -- Sen. Rand Paul's latest statements on the use of drones in the United States, which caused some outrage among his loyal group of Libertarian followers, aren't a shift in position, the Kentucky Republican explained in a statement Tuesday.
Andrew Eads's insight:

The ongoing debate about drone usage on American soil s continues with the question of when should drones be used lethally against Americans? Senator Rand Paul ignited controversy with a statement that seemed to contradict his earlier statements about the use of lethal force with drones. He assures that the statement was mistaken and that his position has not changed but it is still worth looking at both sides of the argument as to why lethal drone usage is or isn't okay. Engaging suspects using drones would keep police officers safe from harm as they would not be directly engaging in combat but engaging a dangerous target before he or she has fired upon or assaulted someone brings in a whole new aspect as to whether or not lethal force should be used to take them down.

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Pentagon to downgrade award for drone operators

Pentagon to downgrade award for drone operators | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
(CNN) - An award for drone operators that drew an angry response from lawmakers was downgraded to a lesser distinction Monday by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
Andrew Eads's insight:

The drone operator award is still going to be available to eligible awwinners but burn it will be downgraded to an award of lesser distinction. This should be a fair compromise between the drone operators themselves and those who go out on the ground themselves, putting their life on the line.the original plan for the medal was met with incredibly angry responses. Although, the drone operators are still very vital to the sucmissions any missions undergone by the military.

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Assault weapon ban, other restrictions pass in Maryland

Assault weapon ban, other restrictions pass in Maryland | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
(CNN) -- Maryland is set to adopt some of the nation's strictest gun laws after the state Senate passed a bill on Thursday that includes an assault weapons ban and gun magazine limits.

The legislation now goes to Democratic Gov.
Andrew Eads's insight:

Maryland's stats senate has approved a bill to be passed on to the governor that will set limits on the capacity of gun magazines and will place a ban on many assault rifles. Critics had thought that concerns such as the mental health of citizens and tougher sentences for thos involved with gun violence would be addressed but these were not included I'm the bill. The bill is expected to pass but I do not see why they fail to include the measures that directly address root concerns at the heart of ANY violence. Maryland may be setting precedents for future gun restrictions should the bill pass.

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Senate approves spending bill to avert government shutdown

Senate approves spending bill to avert government shutdown | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
The Senate pressed ahead Wednesday on a huge, bipartisan spending bill aimed at keeping the government running through September and ruling out the chance of a government shutdown later this month. 
Andrew Eads's insight:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ignited controversy with firearms associations and manufacturers by passing legislation that limits the ammo capacity of weapons, expands the assault weapons ban, establishes background checks for gun sales, requires the registration of older guns, and directs mental health personnel to warn the authorities if people pose a direct threat to themselves or others. Organizations such as the NRA claim that the legislation was passed without substantial polling and opinions from the public. They also claim that gun control does not solve the problem. Criminals are just that, criminals. They will not abide by the laws a governor sets in place for the public. The law only limits the ability for law abiding citizens to defend themselves against criminals who will not abide by these restrictions. In a city with as much crime as New York, these measure may serve to further disarm the public rather than to discourage or prevent criminal violence.

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As Sequester Looms, Obama Pushes Blame to G.O.P.

As Sequester Looms, Obama Pushes Blame to G.O.P. | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
While President Obama’s team believes Republicans will be blamed as budget cuts set in, Mr. Obama risks the possibility that Americans will shrug at the slow-rolling reductions.
Andrew Eads's insight:

As the sequester cuts begin to take effect,the president is hopeful that pressure from the public along with the full effect of the cuts will force Republican lawmakers to bend and agree to the presidents tax increases.the Republicans have promised spending cuts, and have stated that they will deliver them, either by agreeing on a budget that includes entitlement reform, or by automatic cuts. Hopefully the administration and the Congress will come to an agreement soon. The American public will pin the blame on one of the branches once the full effects are felt, but who will be blamed is unclear.

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Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent in Real Life?

Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent in Real Life? | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Do you ever play violent video games? Do your friends?
Andrew Eads's insight:

Gun activists are heavily critical of institutions such as the NRA in the wake of mass shootings at Sandy Hook and the Aurora movie theater, but another problem not many people have addressed is the violent video games that each of these young individuals seem to relish in. It could be argued that the increasing violence in video games could fuel the violent tendencies in children, until they reach a breaking point where they commit such terrible crimes, but these trends are hard to observe in the long term. In the short term, violent games have shown slightly more aggressive behavior but it is unknown if a game alone can lead a healthy person who never previously had any violent thoughts, to the point of murdering or injuring innocent people. There are other mediums that have violent content as well, including movies, books, tv shows, music, etc. If legislators choose to limit violence in video games, they will be met with opposition who say that this violent content can be found anywhere, not just in video games, and that their works are protected under freedom of expression, just like artworks, movies, books, and songs.

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Matija Sprogar's curator insight, March 7, 2014 7:47 PM

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First on CNN: Attracting minority voters a key GOP goal as Obama begins second term

First on CNN: Attracting minority voters a key GOP goal as Obama begins second term | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Washington (CNN) – Days after President Barack Obama is sworn-in for a second term, Republican leaders from across the country will assemble in the southern city where Obama accepted his party’s presidential nomination in September to strategize a...
Andrew Eads's insight:
As Obama starts his second term, Republicans must focus on how to attract the minority vote. In the 2012 election, 93% of African voters voted for Obama, along with 73% of Asians, and 71% of Hispanics. The minorities have become very important in election, and if the Republicans want to stay competitive in the future, they must convince those voters that they better represent their values, which will be very difficult considering the long history between Democrats and minority votes, as well as the Republican stance on border control.
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Boehner announces goal of balancing budget in 10 years

Boehner announces goal of balancing budget in 10 years | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Washington (CNN) -- House Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday that he supports a plan to balance the federal budget in 10 years, a goal that could require massive cuts to spending or major reforms to entitlement programs.
Andrew Eads's insight:

Speaker of the House Boehner has proposed a new conservative plan for the federal budget. It consists of many cuts to entitlement programs where spending is at its highest and the goal of the plan is to balance the budget within 10 years. Democrats are creating a plan of their own, but they would instead raise taxes, which the Republicans would be opposed to. Boehner believes that by spending less than we have, even at the expense of certain programs, we will be able to bring the debt back down most effectively.

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Push for billions in Sandy relief spending throws wrench into fiscal crisis talks

Push for billions in Sandy relief spending throws wrench into fiscal crisis talks | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Andrew Eads's insight:

While Republicans try to cut spending in any place they can and balance out the federal budget, Hurricane Sandy relief funding is forcing them to put spending cuts on hold while they attempt to aid the victims of the storm. There have been requests by the House GOP leader to cut spending elsewhere to offset the costs but with a possible 50-80 billion dollars in estimated damages and costs, offsetting is a very difficult thing to manage. The Congress plans to work together to respond quickly with a plan of action to aid the recovery of the locales most affected.

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End to tax 'loopholes' could also be tough sell for Democrats

End to tax 'loopholes' could also be tough sell for Democrats | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Andrew Eads's insight:

The fiscal cliff looms and still no real solutions have been implemented to cut the federal deficit and stabilize the economy. The Democrats have potentially agreed to closing tax loopholes in retirement plans and mortgage interest, rather than increasing the taxes on our nations highest earners. The Republicans would still like to cut entitlement programs such as Social Security so that federal spending slows down drastically. Democrats and Republicans must reach across the aisle to come to an agreement on how to cut spending and avoid forcing the tax burden on the American people.

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Obama defeats Romney to win second term, vows he has 'more work to do'

Obama defeats Romney to win second term, vows he has 'more work to do' | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Andrew Eads's insight:

Obama defeated Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney in the 2012 election to gain another 4 years in office. He has proven that despite his mediocre economic track record and the looming fiscal cliff, the American public trusts him with the job of fixing our economy. He held a healthy lead in the electoral votes but led by a narrower margin in the popular vote. Mitt Romney delivered a respectful and humble speech, praying that the president would lead the country in the right direction and urging politicians to set aside differences and put the people first, not the politics.

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Obama: 'Not personally aware' of security requests before Libya attack

Obama: 'Not personally aware' of security requests before Libya attack | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Andrew Eads's insight:

Nearing the election, Obama is still under fire for his administration's handling of the Sept. 11th attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. He claims that his administration was not playing politics and that they only released the facts when they initially reported on the situation. Obama said he was not personally aware of the requests of or more security and that there were aides and other groups to handle such things. He vows to find out why the requests were not met and to bring the attackers to justice. Obama is in a very tight situation on the topic of foreign policy as the election draws closer, and it is hard to put the blame on others when the president is supposed to be a leader and know what is going on in his administration.

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Toomey on gun laws: GOP didn't want to be seen helping Obama

Toomey on gun laws: GOP didn't want to be seen helping Obama | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
(CNN) - Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania blamed political polarization for the failure of last month's background check compromise he reached with Democratic Sen.
Andrew Eads's insight:

Senator Toomey accredits some of the blame for the failing of the gun control bill to Republican senators who simply did not want to be seen siding with the President. Many believe that the polarization of political parties has caused cooperation to become very rare. Many senators vote politically rather than ideologically for fear of "betraying" their party despite the fact that the majority of the public would like to see background check legislation for the buying and selling of guns.

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Public opinion gets trumped in gun control defeat

Public opinion gets trumped in gun control defeat | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Washington (CNN) -- Four months after the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, the gun-control proposal with arguably the best chance of passing through Congress went down to defeat.
Andrew Eads's insight:

4 months after the Sandy Hook tragedy, public support for gun control has drastically increased and the senate has found themselves with a gun control bill in front of them. Despite the public support for this gun control legislation, the senate has voted by six votes not to implement this bill. Many of the senators, Republican and Democrat, in traditionally conservative regions are up for reelection in the next year and they believe it would be unwise to risk losing their seat on the senate. The bill has caused alot of controversy among Americans but the aspect of gun control that this bill addressed was fairly well supported by both parties.

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CNN Poll: Worries about North Korean threat at all time high

CNN Poll: Worries about North Korean threat at all time high | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Washington (CNN) -- As North Korea increases its alarming threats against South Korea and the United States the past few weeks, a new national survey suggests that Americans are listening.
Andrew Eads's insight:

North Korean threats get more and more desperate against America, and our public opinion polls show increasing pessimism towards the situation as an outcome.this will be a true test of our foreign and military policy over the next couple weeks a especially after so much scrutiny has followed the Obama administration for the handling of the Benghazi attack.

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Seeing red? Same-sex marriage debate goes viral

Seeing red? Same-sex marriage debate goes viral | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Washington (CNN) - Scroll through your Facebook newsfeed today and there is a good chance you will be seeing red.
Andrew Eads's insight:

As the oral arguments draw near, human rights campaigns take to the Internet to gain support for their cause, one example of how media can realily highlight and draw attention to an event or movement. It will be interesting to see if the growing public support and awareness for this Internet movement will in fact affect the decisions of the Supreme Court justices on Proposition 8 amd DOMA.

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Sequester cuts hit tuition for soldiers, aid for homeless veterans

Sequester cuts hit tuition for soldiers, aid for homeless veterans | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Soldiers and veterans are among the hardest hit by the $85 billion in spending reductions that kicked this month -- from cuts to Army tuition assistance to a program that helps get veterans on their feet.
Andrew Eads's insight:

As the sequester cuts take effect, tuition assistance programs from the military are being eliminated as well as veteran housing programs to help meet the 85 billion dollars in cuts. The tuition programs give up to $4500 to students who are working toward their high school or college diplomas. Our nations greatest protectors, our soldiers, are suffering many of the effects of the sequester cut as a result of the Congress and the White House not being able to reach an agreement. As the two branches battle over who is to blame, the reality is that it doesn't matter. Neither branch conceded and now many programs are being cut. While budget cuts may be necessary to secure a balanced budget, such swift and broad cuts as the ones brought by the sequester, are doing a lot of harm to our soldiers and veterans.

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Obama Turns Up Pressure for Deal on Budget Cuts

Obama Turns Up Pressure for Deal on Budget Cuts | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
President Obama turned the powers of the presidency toward shaming Republicans into a deal to avoid broad cuts, but they were declining to engage.
Andrew Eads's insight:

Obama warns people about the impending sequester which would automatically cut billions of dollars from the budget, resulting in a lowered readiness for the military, thousands of layoffs, and less funding for emergency first responders. He has called out the Republicans saying that they will not compromise for higher taxes and therefore put the country at risk. Unfortunately, I don't quite agree with this. Neither, Obama, nor the Republicans are being very cooperative, and Obama could just as easily concede his tax increases if he thinks avoiding the sequester is more important. The Republicans believe that we must cut spending if we want to practice fiscal responsibility, and I believe we must limit our budget before we go spending more and pulling money out of the pockets of the highest earners, simply because they have more money to give.

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Obama to give white paper on targeted killings to Congress

Obama to give white paper on targeted killings to Congress | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Senate Intelligence Committee will get a classified document that seeks to justify the administration's policy of targeting Americans overseas via drone attack.
Andrew Eads's insight:

Obama has turned over classified documents to seek to justify the killing of American citizens. The hearings will be very controversial. On one side, the argument is that the president should not be able to authorize lethal strikes against US citizens, but on the other side, the argument is that these US citizens have given up their rights as US citizens by joining the enemy we are fighting overseas. When they left and decided to join our enemies, they forfeited any rights they had under the Constitution and under our laws.

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Obama wants immigration reform in first half of the year

Obama wants immigration reform in first half of the year | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
(CNN) -- President Barack Obama said Wednesday he wants to get an immigration reform package passed as soon as this summer.
Andrew Eads's insight:

A large talking point of both his first and second campaign, Obama is planning to propose major immigration reform to help any immigrants living within the United States, as well as potential immigrants living outside of the U.S. His goal is to tighten up the enforcement of immigration laws, to help clear a path for undocumented aliens to receive citizenship, and to reform the current legal immigration system. It would most likely be of use to  immigrants new to the system, and immigrants who have already become citizens.

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Michigan approves right-to-work legislation amid intense protests

Michigan approves right-to-work legislation amid intense protests | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Andrew Eads's insight:

The Michigan legislature approved right-to-work laws which forbid union requirements that workers pay union dues or join a union to work a certain job. Governor Rick Snyder is giving the optiom for workers to choose whether or not they would like to join a union and he points to Indiana as am example of the success of similar laws. More surprising, is that Michigan is the first democratic state to pass into law such legislature, yet it was still able to pass. This could provide for an interesting social experiment regarding how the laws will affect the economy and the unions in the heavily manufacturing and union-oriented state.

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Obama warns Republicans rejecting tax offer will spoil Christmas

Obama warns Republicans rejecting tax offer will spoil Christmas | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Andrew Eads's insight:

President Obama proposed a return to the Bush era tax cuts, with the exception of the 2% who make more than 250,000$ a year. He states that should the Republicans refuse, retailers and consumers would be hit hard, right in time for Christmas. The Republicans may concede to a tax increase despite a long-standing pledge to never increase taxes, in the hopes that it would avoid the fiscal cliff in the beginning of the new year, but Republicans are still criticizing Democrats from not giving any thought to cutting or reducing expenditures on entitlement programs. It seems as though the Democrats are willing to take some but not give any concessions back.

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Justice Alito defends high court's 2010 decision in Citizens United case

Justice Alito defends high court's 2010 decision in Citizens United case | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Andrew Eads's insight:

With the 2012 election just having concluded, the highly controversial Citizens United v FEC case is under fire once again, with opponents claiming that corporations should not have the same rights as people, in this case, referring to political speech. Samuel Alito defends his position saying media corporations have the right to political speech and why should any other corporation be different just because they aren't a media power? Corporations have the right to place their money behind the candidates they choose just as Fox News and CNN can say what they please about government. The logic may be there but it may be a scary thought for some to equate a corporation with political speech to a person with the same amount of political speech.

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Obama, Romney stay public during storm, but with focus on victims, not politics

Obama, Romney stay public during storm, but with focus on victims, not politics | AP Gov Current Events | Scoop.it
Andrew Eads's insight:

With the destruction that occurred as a result of Hurricane Sandy, political talks have taken a temporary pause and focus is being put on relief efforts. This could be a good opportunity for Obama to get a jump ahead in the polls as the current president. While Romney's camp can offer financial and volunteer help, Obama has the ability as president to aid the victims in any way possible. By sending in the national guard and by providing aid to the state governments, Obama can look like a hero even though it is in his job description to do so. Romney holds none of these powers and the media will be much more focused on the government's (Obama's) response to the storm.

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