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BY 4/3 -- Obama's Tuesday's Address about ACA Enrollments (NBC News Video)

BY 4/3 -- Obama's Tuesday's Address about ACA Enrollments (NBC News Video) | Max Lau GOPO |
Watch the latest news videos and episodes of the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. - NBC News
Max Lau's insight:

Obama is celebrating the success of Obamacame and is making a public figure of it to impress the American citizens and attack the Republicans. However, this is only on the surface level; there are still unknowns on the type of people that signed up for the insurance. I believe that it is too early to make a decision on whether Obamacare has succeeded or not.

Colin Shi's curator insight, April 4, 2014 11:34 PM

At this moment, president Obama is extremely pleased about the progress in the Affordability Care Act since last October. More than 7 million have signed up, and many problems, both technical and logistical, have been diagnosed since the launch. Obama sees this progress positively and accuses Republicans for obstructing progress, that history only remembers those who promote progress. Obama, like any politician, but remain confident in his own agenda, even though he may know the program is overly complicated, and has a huge potential for chaos in the coming years.

Mel Mountain Du's curator insight, April 6, 2014 6:56 PM

With 7.1 million sign-ups at, it appears that Obama is recovering from his disastrous opening. It is still unclear if enough young, healthy people have signed up, in order to balance the healthcare budget. What he really needs now, though, is Democratic support.

Nathan Hiransomboon's curator insight, April 7, 2014 10:32 AM

Healthcare is a basic human right guaranteed by the United Nation's Deceleration of Human Rights. At the point that the United States is one of the only developed nations in the world that doesn't have a universal healthcare system, the 3 million people that got Medicare through Obamacare allows the US to reach this goal.

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BY 4/3 -- 5 celebs who sold Obamacare best

BY 4/3 -- 5 celebs who sold Obamacare best | Max Lau GOPO |
The White House has recruited more than 40 celebrities, and some of their moms, to encourage Americans to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. These celebs sold it best.

Via Teresa Herrin
Max Lau's insight:

Those celebrities make signing up for the health care a very natural act that common people should do. Their conversations with Obama really appeal to the people. Celebrity status clearly was a major factor in selling Obamacare to the people.

Colin Shi's curator insight, April 5, 2014 4:23 PM

These five celebrities have successfully promoted the Affordable Care Act. While effective, these means are often frowned upon because they seem more like doing a commercial for a piece of government legislation, and should be counted as propaganda. You should be going for the product, not the celebrity name.

Mel Mountain Du's curator insight, April 6, 2014 6:53 PM

This is a very intelligent and effective way for the President to endorse and the Affordable Care Act, as well as gain the public's admiration. This reaches out to the young demographic, especially.

Nathan Hiransomboon's curator insight, April 7, 2014 10:53 AM

President Obama's attempt to gain support for the ACA by having famous celebrities like Ellen and Jennifer Hudson support it, help the ACA reach its goal. As the younger generation would be the population that would pay the most in the system for the proportion that they take out, then President Obama aiming to have the younger generation join with the support of celebrities is very strategic.

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BY 4/3 -- Everything you need to know about McCutcheon v. FEC

BY 4/3 -- Everything you need to know about McCutcheon v. FEC | Max Lau GOPO |
A giant campaign finance case gets decided.
Liang Xiao's curator insight, April 4, 2014 12:12 AM

The case is about the Campaign donation limitation. People can only donate limit amount of money for certain candidate right now, which around $2500. McCutcheon, a business man stated that the limitation of campaign donation was violation to the first Amendment, which about the free expression. He said that donation was part of people's right of expressing. For my own opnions, I don't support the idea which take out the limitation of donation. It will increase the power of rich, which they can be more influential than weak. I think it break the balance between people.

Mel Mountain Du's curator insight, April 6, 2014 7:09 PM

McCutcheon says laws setting donation limits are a violation of the First Amendment: Free Speech and Expression. Backed by the Republican National Committee, he opposes the notion the FEC argues, that the laws are there to protect against corruption. This may very well be the next Citizens United.

Nathan Hiransomboon's curator insight, April 7, 2014 10:28 AM

After having a debate topic on the implications of Citizens United v FCC last January on the impacts of political process, a similar court case intrigues me. While I feel like the implications of Citizens United v FCC gave more ground and power in regards to the wealthy having power.

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DUE BY 3/13 @ 11:59 pm -- Feinstein Is Right. The CIA’s Out of Control.

DUE BY 3/13 @ 11:59 pm -- Feinstein Is Right. The CIA’s Out of Control. | Max Lau GOPO |
Five years of frustration boiled over when Sen. Dianne Feinstein flayed the CIA on the Senate floor Tuesday. She accused the agency of lying, cheating and stealing to block a 6,300-page report on the CIA’s secret prisons and torture from seeing the light of day. In essence, she said, the CIA was spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s...

Via Teresa Herrin
Max Lau's insight:

Senator Feinstein is the liberal senator of California and has been since 1992. She is also the head of the Intelligence Committee. She is accusing the CIA of lying and stealing to prevent their own misdeeds and failure from being exposed. This is newsworthy because a section of the intelligence committee is going against the law and overstepping the limitations of which they are granted. I feel that Feinstein is right in accusing the CIA of these misdeeds. The CIA certainly needs to do dirty work and break morals of which most citizens are accustomed to; however, they are attempting to hide their own failures to their leaders by committing even more crimes. This could even be considered treason in a broad sense.

Laura Ojinnaka's curator insight, March 18, 2014 10:13 PM

Senator Feinstein is a democratic senator from California and the head of the intelligence committee. She is accusing the CIA of criminal activity in improperly searching a computer network set up for lawmakers investigating allegations that the agency used torture in terror investigations.

This is newsworthy because the CIA is over stepping their boundaries, and engaging in illegal behavior.

I agree with the senator and believe that Senate committee should have access to the CIA's files, if they are indeed committing crimes, and should be monitored. 

carly johnson's curator insight, March 22, 2014 10:47 PM

Feinstein is a senator to California and has led the intelligence committee for 5 years. She claims that CIA agents have been spying on hearings and going through their files. She believes they are using this to cover up things that they have done. Accusing the CIA of this is a big accusation, so the media is widely covering this. This could cause a big investigation, and regulations to be changed. I think when the government starts spying on itself to cover things up that the deceit and spying has gone too far. The CIA should be investigated and be held accountable.

Tiffany Sabbaghi's curator insight, March 23, 2014 3:47 PM

(Absent on 3/13 and 3/14)

Senator Feinstein is the senior United States Senator from California and member of the democratic party, she is also head of the intelligence committee. 

She has accused the CIA of lying, cheating, and also stealing to block 6300 page report on the CIA's secret prisons and torture. She has said that the agency is guilty of spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee's staff in order to cover it's own misdeeds.

This information is newsworthy because of the fact that President Barack Obama banned the prisons due to the torture. According to her, they are essentially breaking the law and working on their own agenda.

I think that Senator Feinstein is doing the right thing by exploiting the actions of the CIA, since their tactics of getting information has always been controversial due to all the senseless torturing and spying. I think she is doing her part in trying to protect her constituents. 

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Unit 4 -- DUE 3/10 -- Young Guns gear up for next fight

Unit 4 -- DUE 3/10 -- Young Guns gear up for next fight | Max Lau GOPO |
The Republican “Young Guns” are ready to rule, if they get the chance. Since they first got the name seven years ago, allies and enemies of Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy are now beginning to jockey to prepare for potential changes at the top of the Republican power structure in the House. Though publicly Speaker John Boehner...

Via Teresa Herrin
Max Lau's insight:

The article presents a detailed examination of the three major ‘Young guns’ political life. This article helps to introduce these three major politicians to people who are unaware of them as well as provide a thorough analysis on their political situation. Reading this article, I feel that all three have achieved great progress in politics. I found it interesting how McCarthy has quite a stable position, most likely not having any competition for his position. Paul Ryan was the closest to achieving the position of president, but he probably wait it out till 2020 or 2024 before competing. Cantor, like McCarthy, is also interestingly in a safe position. From the situation of these three that the article tells me, people who aren’t involved in politics can understand their importance and influence.

Colin Shi's curator insight, March 10, 2014 2:58 AM

Speaker John Boehner and his other Republican leaders of the House, dubbed the "Young Guns", plan to revamp the party power structure. Eric Cantor, the Majority Leader, is from Virginia, and he is the next most powerful man in the House. The right respects him as he's taken serious action on fiscal matters, yet has garnered criticism from the party as well. Meanwhile, McCarthy, the Majority whip, is an affable leader, able to unite a divided GOP, and is confident that the party is headed to a more effective future. The last of the three, Paul Ryan, has risen the fastest, planning to either lead the Ways and Means Committee or run for the presidency in 2016. He's young, motivated, and well known, which should give him a strong support base against opponents. These "Young Guns" pledge loyalty to Boehner, and are willing to serve as long as Boehner remains speaker.

Matt Philipps's curator insight, March 10, 2014 11:30 AM

The article talks about the future of these 3 promising republicans who are referred to as the Young Guns. Gives insight to the future of the 3 and what the possibilities of their next move  may be . If Boehner leaves office, Contor is a shoe in for the Speaker spot. Kevin McCarthy may become majority leader and Paul Ryan may take the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee or take a run for president. This article gives a great look at their current positions in the ranks of the GOP and gives an excellent and accurate look of what the future for these young men holds.

Ashley O.'s comment, March 11, 2014 11:00 PM
Oops... I didnt realize this till now but two of them are currrently ymajority leaders. That picture quiz helped me realize that.
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BY 3/10 -- Nine questions about Ukraine you were too embarrassed to ask

BY 3/10 -- Nine questions about Ukraine you were too embarrassed to ask | Max Lau GOPO |
Yes, the first question is "What is Ukraine?"

Via Teresa Herrin
Max Lau's insight:

I believe that the US should try to keep a neutral stance in the situation and continue to act as a mediator. A strong interference by pushing for one side or by using military force could easily sway public opinion against the US and leave them with enemies. This might also result in a severe case of public disorder in Ukraine or might incite Russia to outright invade. By continuing to stay neutral, the US will avoid a major crisis.

Steven Han's curator insight, March 10, 2014 12:15 AM

The US has very little to gain from Ukraine. All that the US can do here is just hopefully just let the situation play itself out. If the Crimea region really votes and agrees to become part of Russia, then that is a decision that they have made. America's relationship with Russia would only become more strained. Ukraine's economic situation is pretty bad so it is quite understandable that some people in Ukraine want a way to get out of the situation. This should be taken slowly and closely monitored, but the outcome I think will be for the most part peaceful. There will be many changes in Ukraine, but this was bound to happen given their economy, so it should play out without any US intervention.

Weiyi Wang's curator insight, March 10, 2014 1:27 AM

Based on the strict cultural and political divide of the eastern and western portions of Ukraine, conflicts like these are to be expected. Foreign meddling is what caused the conflict in the first place, so it probably won't be the solution. US intervention would put even greater strain on the US-Russia relationship, and will probably be unnecessary seeing how the Yanukovych has not used military force against the protesters as of yet. Since the deal with the EU was so important both economically and politically, the unrest was inevitable, but will probably play out without instigating a civil war.

Colin Shi's curator insight, March 10, 2014 2:35 AM

This article has shed light on the historical and cultural context that served as the backdrop of this current conflict. The US has been put in a rather difficult situation: to either intervene on the West's behalf to protect its own interests while risking sour foreign relations and perhaps outright conflict with Russia, or to watch Russia attempt to regain its fallen empire, as Russia would gain valuable natural resources and a strategic coastline along the Black Sea. Thus, I believe that to best preserve US intentions, the US must not immediately deploy troops into this hotly-contested nation, nor should it merely watch the situation unfold. Through the UN, NATO, or other global and western alliances, the US should hope to limit Russian encroachment through sanctions, compromises, or treaties. Seeing the obvious dichotomy of the nation, I don't mind seeing Ukraine split, an action that would reduce tensions in either half. Military force should be used only as a last resort in case the established agreements are violated.

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BY 4/3 -- Ruling on limits means campaign contributions could soar (great graphic)

BY 4/3 -- Ruling on limits means campaign contributions could soar (great graphic) | Max Lau GOPO |
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned an additional limit on the aggregate amount that an individual could give to candidates, party committees and PACs. Here's what it changes.
Connor Carter's curator insight, April 2, 2014 8:07 PM

I believe that with this new piece of legislation, the wealthy will have more control over the election process, therefore making the powerful more powerful and denying the poor a voice in political decision-making.

Laurence Zhang's curator insight, April 4, 2014 12:40 AM

US Supreme Court's new ruling allows for individuals to donate to as many candidates as they want. I disagree with their ruling. This will only lead to money playing a larger role in politics.

Nathan Hiransomboon's curator insight, April 7, 2014 10:47 AM

The ability for someone to pay for multiple candidates gives particular parties more power over others. I believe this will disproportionately support the Republican party as I would tend to lean towards the assumption that Republicans are typically the "Top 10%" and would thus be more likely to donate more money to have a politician support their point of view. 

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BY 4/3 -- READ SCOOP INSTRUCTIONS BELOW -- Death of the White House Press Corps

BY 4/3 -- READ SCOOP INSTRUCTIONS BELOW -- Death of the White House Press Corps | Max Lau GOPO |
With a Twitter-savvy president and their own ailing media companies, Lloyd Grove finds the boys in the briefing room more depressed than ever.
Max Lau's insight:

1. 4/3/10

2. The press corps is a group of journalists that cover events related to the White House and the president

3. A filterless presidency is the method of the president giving news to the people and media without having any of it edited or adjusted; it comes out exactly as the president said it.

4. Twitter- 42.3 million, Facebook – 39 million

5. The author is concerned about the increasingly lack of communication between the president and the press corps. With technology making communication to the people much easier for the president, he is becoming less reliant on journalists to convey his messages. This makes the job in the press corps seem useless and obsolete.

6. I believe that there is truth in what the author is saying. Technology may allow easy access to communicating with important figures, but it lacks the professionalism that is needed to be conveyed to the people. As the article says, anyone can post pictures and spread news through smartphones and such, but a professional journalist is needed to correctly convey the message. The masses often have misconceptions about what people are saying; the journalists posses the ability to interpret the message and give it to the people. Jobs as journalists are necessary to give the ordinary man the true meaning behind a message.

Colin Shi's curator insight, April 4, 2014 11:09 PM

1. April 3, 2010

2. The white house press corps is the group in charge of media coverage of the president, that interprets and presents the president's image to the public.

3. The president can directly present himself to the public without a middleman that filters and interprets the information.

4. 42.4 million followers on Twitter, 39 million likes on facebook

5. The author is concerned that the job of the white house press corps is going obsolete. This trend may have significant consequences because the president will likely present himself with a personal bias, sometimes even called a "hagiography". Not having press conferences also presents a problem because it will no longer give the public a clear picture of the president.

6. I am pretty concerned about an age in which the president is able to present himself freely to the public. I feel that the president's use of social media outlets to communicate often gives us an attitude of insincerity. With this lack of professionalism, traditional values unravel, and the general public loses trust in the president. One may argue that the media filter distorts his message, but provided that they have reliable expertise, they should still be able to do the job better than the president himself. Although bias is prevalent regardless of who presents the president in the media, having an outside source should mitigate bias to some extent. Score: 3.

Mel Mountain Du's curator insight, April 6, 2014 6:44 PM

1. 4/3/14

2. Media correspondents and journalists deployed in the White House who's job is to cover events and announcements by the POTUS.

3. A filterless Presidency is when the Whitehouse can directly communicate with the public without a 3rd party in media.

4. Obama currently has 42.3 million Twitter followers, and 39 Million Facebook Followers.

5.The Author's concern is that the Press Corp's niche is dissapearing due to social Media such as Twitter and Facebook. This means that the President can dictate the direction of the conversation, instead of being asked questions by the media. The author fears that this will lead to the President becoming too favorably viewed and unquestioned.

6. I am a (2), only somewhat concerned. A very large part of Obama's appeal is his charisma. The Press Corp will be the most upset about it, and that is fine by me. I believe this will at least be positive in the sense that the President will have a more personal dialogue with the American Public. This is an adaptation of the Obama Administration to keep up with the times.

Nathan Hiransomboon's curator insight, April 7, 2014 11:10 AM

1. 04.03.10

2. Members of President Obama's staff that would typically cover his actions and deal with public relations

3. A Presidency where there is an unprecedented level of transparency

4. Facebook: 39,767,002

Twitter: 42.4M

5. President Obama is a unique President in how he addressed social media. Not only does he want to a lot of PR himself, but this puts his Press Corps  in danger. He strays away from the norm of other presidents.

6. (1) President Obama was elected for his first term for his connection that he made with the youth. Not only was he able to have the youth come out and vote, although they typically wouldn't, but he also gained the support of African Americans to vote as well. This is extremely strategic in how he was first elected. This trait if being personable is a trait that wouldn't necessarily be something needed by other Presidents, thus the need for the Press Corps to exist. However just because they roles and jobs may be in danger doesn't mean that any concern should exist. 

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BY 4/3 -- Supreme Court strikes down limits on campaign donations

BY 4/3 -- Supreme Court strikes down limits on campaign donations | Max Lau GOPO |
A split Supreme Court Wednesday strikes down limits on the total amount of money an individual may spend on political candidates, parties and political action committees but keeps limits per candidate and per committee.
Max Lau's insight:

I would agree with McCutcheon that corporations shouldn't be limited in donating money to candidates. While it was nice that the Supreme Court removed the limit for the number of candidates allowed to donate to, I believe they should have also removed the limit cap for the amount of money each candidate can receive from a single corporation. The limiting of money prevents the corporations and people from giving their full support toward their wanted candidates, thus limiting their freedom to express their opinions, which violates the first amendment.

Henry's comment, April 2, 2014 5:01 PM
I would agree with McCutcheon because an individual should have the right to donate as much money as they want to candidates that they support and shouldn't be limited to it. Limiting them to a certain amount of donation violates the first amendment of freedom of speech and I totally hella against that.
Colin Shi's curator insight, April 2, 2014 7:26 PM

I agree with McCutcheon's decision to donate as much as he wants because this is a completely legitimate way to show support for a candidate. The donation amounts are all public information, so it's not like this is illegal activity. The amount you give is proportional to the amount of support you have, although there could be given limitations of financial resources for some candidates. 

Benjamin Dischinger's curator insight, April 3, 2014 10:28 PM

I feel that there should not be any limits set on the amount of money one person can give because when it comes down to it, money plays an important part in the game of politics, but in the end it's not the money that wins elections. What wins elections is the drive of the candidates to make a better place for their constituents and their non-constituents alike. 

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DUE BY 3/13 @ 11:59 pm -- Edward Snowden looms over Pulitzer Prizes

DUE BY 3/13 @ 11:59 pm -- Edward Snowden looms over Pulitzer Prizes | Max Lau GOPO |
Next month, the trustees who oversee America’s most distinguished journalistic award could face their toughest decision in at least four decades. The issue before the Pulitzer Prize Board: Does it honor reporting by The Washington Post and The Guardian based on stolen government documents that are arguably detrimental to the national security...

Via Teresa Herrin
Max Lau's insight:

Snowden is a former member of the CIA who leaked documents concerning the NSA’s surveillance over the American people. The controversy concerning him is his decision to expose these documents to the world and let everyone know that the US government had been spying on people’s conversations and messages. This action has caused many to praise him for exposing actions that went against people’s privacy; however, it has also earned him the ire of many who believe his leak has damaged the United States’ national security. 

Laura Ojinnaka's curator insight, March 18, 2014 9:59 PM

Edward Snowden is a government contractor that worked at an NSA center. He was a three-month employee of a government consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton. His controversy was that he leaked information regarding top-secret government surveillance programs. He leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents to The Guardian and The Washington Post regarding top-secret government surveillance programs.

carly johnson's curator insight, March 21, 2014 5:04 PM

Snowden revealed many of the NSA's documents to the media and other countries. He was charged with stealing government property and basically treason, because he revealed information to other countries. He was in another country when he was found out and has been in Russia on a one year asylum. Many americans view him as a traitor while others view him as a hero. Some think that the people had a right to know what he has disclosed and the government shouldn't of hid it. 

Tiffany Sabbaghi's curator insight, March 23, 2014 3:29 PM

(Absent on 3/13 and 3/14)

Edward Snowden is known for being an American computer specialist and the former employee of the CIA, as well as a former contractor for the NSA. He became "famous" for disclosing extremely classified documents to other media outlets. The documents he leaked revealed classified details of global surveillance programs run by the NSA. The controversy surrounding Edward Snowden concerns whether what he did was right or wrong and whether the issue of national security vs. information privacy is taken into account and if he should get punished, even though he has been charged. 

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Unit 4 -- DUE 3/10 -- The Case for Corruption

Unit 4 -- DUE 3/10 -- The Case for Corruption | Max Lau GOPO |
Why Washington needs more honest graft
Max Lau's insight:

With the recent closing of the government having wasted billions of dollars and upsetting the plans of both parties, the government decided to go back to machine politics and pork barrel legislation. Using this method, leaders will have far more influence in affecting party members’ votes by threatening to absolve them of financial and political support. It will be a system in which followers are rewarded and opponents will be punished. Despite the seemingly cruel nature of this system, it is necessary for stronger centralization of power for politics to run smoothly.

I believe that the House should return to their pre-2011 methods. The use of pork barrel legislation will ensure that party centralization will be stronger and enable both party leaders and party members to cooperate. The majority and minority whips will have an easier time convincing straggling party members to vote for the party’s interests, keeping situations smoother and less rough. Also, the situation of a divided government will be less likely with party members being more cooperative. Gridlocks between parties will grow scarcer as compromise increases.

Alex Sherman's curator insight, March 9, 2014 12:00 PM

The article explains the shift of how government operates in the past few years. In the past we used pork-barrel legislation to get anything passed, by giving each key voter in congress a bonus for voting attached to the bill as an earmark. This resulted in a few happy constituents, but that is in no way worth the billions of dollars it costs the U.S. Now, at a time where the economy is on everybody's political agenda, that logrolling form of legislation is simply fiscally irresponsible. However, we are in a new age that has "solved" that problem, and that solution is political gridlock. This means no party cooperates with the other and nothing gets passed. I believe we need to fix this system, but not revert back to the old one. Bipartisan compromise is the only solution to the vast majority of U.S. problems. This means the hardcore liberals, and the hardcore conservatives need to meet at a more moderate ideological interest for the greater good of America. The reason the majority of American's are moderates is because that is the only way to solve the problems we are facing, a mixture of both Republican and Democratic ideas. Compromise is the key to ending this gridlock.

Matt Philipps's curator insight, March 10, 2014 11:21 AM

The articles talks about our transition from pork barrel legislation to the grid lock we have now in Congress. In the past logrolling was used to assure votes by promising incentives. This in a way can be compared to bribing and caused useless spending to please a few constituents of the voters. Now we currently have gridlock and we can't get anything done because of disagreements between both parties. Compromise is needed if we wanna move forward.