It is widely assumed that Texas Governor Rick Perry will soon announce plans to seek the Republican nomination for president. The governor's announcement may come this weekend, a week after his large prayer rally in Houston — which drew almost 30,000 attendants — where he prayed for divine intervention to the assist President Obama's judgement.
As one of the hallmark pieces of education legislation passed by President George W. Bush, The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 aimed to reform the American education system by giving schools standard and measurable goals that 100 percent of all students needed to meet. But, by promising to leave no child behind, did the act set its goals too far?
The American political system has rarely been successful at fostering a third party. In recent history, voters in the ballot booths have mainly conformed to one of two parties: Democrat or Republican. But by 2012, the U.S. may see a centrist third political party, thanks to an Internet-based movement called Americans Elect, which is helmed by Democrats, Republicans and independents who are frustrated with the current two-party system.
With the chances of Congress reaching an agreement on raising the debt ceiling uncertain, politicians, economists, and members of the business community continue to fear a "doomsday scenario" in which the United States defaults on its debt on August 2. Among the economic catastrophes predicted to occur is the possibility that the U.S. will see its credit downgraded, losing its AAA credit rating for what is being said to be the first time in history. But what exactly is a AAA credit rating, and is it really so important for the nation to have one?
Later today, President Obama plans to announce a major agreement between the White House and the nation’s top automakers. By 2025, cars sold domestically will have to drive 54.5 miles to the gallon. The president hopes this move will dramatically decrease the country’s need for foreign oil, but this agreement may also dramatically change the face of the American highway as we know it.
The mental side effects of a drug withdrawal are often debilitating, and can include anxiety, confusion or mild to severe depression. This is true of cigarettes, alcohol, and heroin. But could it apply to the internet as well? According to a study conducted by the London based behavior research company Intersperience, 53 percent of people feel upset when they are separated from the internet, and 40 percent feel "lonely." Do these withdrawal symptoms mean that the Internet is a drug? And if so, what should be done to curb our national addiction?
The recent debt ceiling debate between Democrats and Republicans has invited dissident voices within the GOP, fracturing the party's image of solidarity. House Republican leaders delayed a vote on their plan to raise the debt ceiling Monday night after opposition from dissenting conservatives in the party. Last night House Speaker John Boehner was reportedly able to convince a growing number of House members to get behind the plan — but only reluctantly.
Minnesota's state government is poised to re-open after an almost three-week shutdown. Lawmakers agreed late in the night on a budget. It could mean some 22,000 state workers will return to work as soon as Thursday, and ends a political impasse between Democrat Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders. So what's in the deal, and how will it affect taxpayers?
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger will be arraigned in a Boston District Court later today. The onetime federal informant is facing 19 counts of murder, dating back to 1999. At today’s court appearance, several family members of Bulger’s victims will meet the alleged crime boss, who inspired Jack Nicholson’s character Frank Costello in "The Departed."
Google announced last week that they would close the doors on their medical project, Google Health, leaving an opening for a new player in the medical record tech industry. Google Health was designed as a “personal health record service," a place where patients could voluntarily store all of their health records, in hopes of centralizing their treatment information. The medical industry has limitless room for growth, considering that almost 80 percent of medical records are on paper.
The youngest sister of Thailand’s ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra is poised to become the country’s sixth leader in under five years. Introducing herself to our partner the BBC as "just a simple lady, and a lady that will be willing and sincere to help the country," Yingluck Shinawatra is Thailand's president-elect following Sunday's elections, which gave a resounding win to the Puea Thai political party.
As the 2012 presidential election looms closer on the horizon, a debate over possible voting rights and voter fraud is heating up. Fifteen Democratic Senators, lead by Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, issued a joint statement to Attorney General Eric Holder questioning the legality of the voting identification laws in place in 29 states. The senators argue that these laws — which require voters to present photo identification when they head to the poll — unfairly disenfranchise African-American, Latino and poor voters. But is that really the case?
On Wednesday June 22nd, President Barack Obama promised the nation that he was ready to bring home 10,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan. In a year's time, the president hopes to extend that number to 33,000 troops. At home and abroad, not everybody believes that the mission has made enough progress to end its military engagements in the region. Veteran BBC reporter Hugh Sykes has been spending his time in Afghanistan, Pakistan investigating Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, providing safe havens to the Haqqani Taliban, a group most likely responsible for the Hotel siege in Kabul last Tuesday night.
China celebrates its 90th year of Communist rule today; but in the background, the nation is playing deeply capitalist games with international debts. China owns a large portion of US debt, but a Reuters investigation shows that they may have more than the Treasury could previously report. By buying up US debt through internationally disparate financial intermediaries, Chinese entities hid exactly how much US debt they had acquired—estimates say it is above $1.13 trillion.
In the upcoming edition of The New York Times Sunday Magazine advice columnist Dan Savage has some words of wisdom for married couples, gay or straight. Savage, the sex-advice columnist best known for his "It Gets Better" project to help gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens deal with the cruelties of fellow high school students, says that married couples should not put so much stock in fidelity and monogamy, and should focus instead on honesty.
Months ahead of the 2012 primary elections, wars of words are heating up between political rivals, some of whom aren’t even running for office. Right now, Michele Bachmann landed herself in some legal hot water when she chose to use Tom Petty's song "American Girl," without the artist's permission. This isn’t the first time artists have taken offense with the political appropriation of their work.
Tomorrow, the Obama administration will shuffle its top civilian military position when Leon Panetta, 73, replaces Robert Gates as the secretary of defense. For a nation stretched thin by three ongoing military engagements, the new Secretary of Defense is going to have little time for on-the-job training. Instead, he can hope to learn from the example left behind by his out-going colleague.
Angry protesters gathered in the streets of Athens yesterday, following a vote on austerity measures which the parliament backed with a vote of 155–138. Was any of this avoidable? Is it possible that Greece’s economy was undone by the structure of the Eurozone’s financial rules that demand strict fiscal requirements, but no political unanimity?
Last week, President Barack Obama unveiled his strategy for a staged troop withdrawal out of Afghanistan. He followed the announcement with a plan to focus more attention on rebuilding the home front. We asked our listeners how they would put the estimated $10 billion per month that the country currently spends in Afghanistan to better use here at home. We received a ton of great responses, many of them focused on the exploration and development of green technologies.