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    ‘John Boehner’



    News Round-Up: December 3, 2013

    Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

    A former medical technician is sentenced to 39 years for causing a multistate outbreak of hepatitis C; an American, who has been imprisoned in Cuba for the past four years, pleads for rescue; and Seattle Seahawks fans cause (another) earthquake. Meanwhile, Paul Walker’s private vigil was a beautiful show of love and support, and Dylan Sprouse makes some pretty awesome (and wise) statements to counter Joe Jonas’ whining over Disney and fame.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Ex-hospital worker gets 39 years for causing hepatitis C outbreak,http://rtvote.com/1c9aGiI
    A former New Hampshire medical technician was convicted for causing a multistate outbreak of hepatitis C last year. David Kwiatkowski began working at the Exeter Hospital ten months after he was diagnosed with hepatitis C. He injected himself with stolen syringes of the painkiller fentanyl from patients scheduled for surgery, tainting them with his blood, and then he filled them with saline and replaced the syringes for use in medical procedures. Thirty people were diagnosed with the potentially fatal virus because of Kwiatkowski.

    Obama to launch new health care law campaignhttp://rtvote.com/1jh0cVh
    The Affordable Care Act has come under a lot of political pressure since its rollout in October. In the coming weeks, the Obama administration will highlight what they call successful aspects of the law. They plan on educating the public on Obamacare by emphasizing a different benefit each day until the December 23rdenrollment deadline for January 1st coverage.

    Prisoner in Cuba appeals to Obamahttp://rtvote.com/1cjmQJj
    Alan Gross, 64, is an American who has been imprisoned in Cuba for the past four years. He was a subcontractor within the U.S. Agency for International Development, who was arrested for trying to set up Internet access, which would have bypassed local restrictions, for Cuba’s small Jewish community. The Associated Press reported that Cuba considers USAID’s programs illegal attempts by the U.S. to undermine their government. Gross, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison, feels like the U.S. government has forgotten and abandoned him.

    Couple fined for negative online reviewhttp://rtvote.com/187UthU
    In 2008, John Palmer bought Christmas gifts for his wife off of a site called KlearGear.com. When the purchases never arrived, his wife, Jen Palmer, posted a negative review of the site on ripoffreport.com. More than three years later, KlearGear.com fined the couple $3,500 for allegedly violating its terms of use contract, which prohibits the customer from taking any negative action against KlearGear.com. The site reported the couple’s unpaid fine to a collections agency, and their credit score took a huge hit. The Palmers are fighting back and seeking justice. Legal experts warn that more companies are using this type of language in the fine print as protection.

    Seattle Seahawks fans caused an ‘earthquake’ on Monday night,http://rtvote.com/18eMxtd
    Fans inside CenturyLink Field got so excited over Michael Bennett’s 22-yard fumble return for a touchdown Monday night that their jumping registered a magnitude 1 or 2 earthquake. And this isn’t the first time. The first seismic outburst caused by fans in CenturyLink Field was in 2011 when Marshawn Lynch made a legendary touchdown run that clinched a playoff win for the Seahawks over the Saints.

     

    CULTURAL

    Natalie Portman: Chris Hemsworth’s Wife Elsa Pataky Grabbed a Wig and Stood in for Me in Thor: The Dark World Love Scene, http://rtvote.com/1jhaTac

    Paul Walker’s Private Vigil: Vin Diesel Addresses Fans, Family Members Pay Respects at Crash Site, http://rtvote.com/IJK9lk

    Dylan Sprouse Calls Joe Jonas’ Disney Grievances B.S.: He “Fell for the Allure of Fame,” http://rtvote.com/1cjuT8V

    Elan Gale Hoax: Bachelor Producer Admits He Faked Thanksgiving Airplane Travel Feud, http://rtvote.com/IEwrzo

    sandywu
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: October 15, 2013

    Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

    The House GOP’s new plan fails; a ‘zombie’ drug gains popularity; and the Supreme Court has agreed to review the greenhouse gases case. Meanwhile, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the Golden Globes for the next two years, and Brad Pitt promotes the importance of 12 Years a Slave.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Republican Leaders Back Off New Planhttp://rtvote.com/194MTlm
    This morning, House Republican leaders tried to devise a new proposal to reopen the government and alter parts of Obamacare, but it failed to garner enough support from the rest of the Republican party. Speaker John Boehner stated that “there are a lot of opinions” in his party. Everyone is aware of the October 17th debt deadline, but Republicans still appear to be unrelenting on the condition of depriving members of Congress and the White House of subsidies when they buy health insurance under the new Obamacare system.

    Florida boy, 6, drowns in Carnival cruise ship poolhttp://rtvote.com/1ghJki7
    A 6-year-old boy, who was in the pool with his 10-year-old brother, drowned aboard cruise ship Carnival Victory. The poolside DJ first saw the child struggling in the water, and a guest pulled him out of the pool. He was pronounced dead after unsuccessful attempts at reviving him. Carnival Cruise pools do not have lifeguards; the cruise line’s policy requires children under 13 to be supervised by parents.

    Flesh-rotting ‘krokodil’ drug emerges in USAhttp://rtvote.com/1fA9uLP
    A cheap heroine knockoff drug, called Krokodil, began gaining popularity in Russia in the early 2000s. The drug has started to be used in the United States. Krokodil gives the user a high, and then rots his or her skin soon after, sometimes even deteriorating the skin all the way down to the bone.

    Supreme Court to Review Greenhouse Gases Casehttp://rtvote.com/1ghMLW2
    The Supreme Court has agreed to review a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s unprecedented regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gases. The High Court will determine whether the EPA overstepped its authority and whether the EPA’s ability to regulate automobile emissions of greenhouse gases also applies to power plants and factories.

    Madeleine McCann case: 1,000 responses to new police appealhttp://rtvote.com/194NtiR
    Madeleine McCann was three years old when she was abducted from her family’s holiday villa in Portugal in 2007. The investigation has continued ever since then, but a new TV appeal has triggered almost 1,000 responses. New leads have emerged, as two different people have given the police the same name based on computer-generated sketches of the suspect. London’s Metropolitan Police Service is offering a reward of $32,000 for information that can lead to the identification, arrest, and prosecution of the person who abducted Madeleine.

    PUNDITS

    Steven Bellovin blames Washington politics for HealthCare.gov’s glitches in “Why healthcare.gov has so many problems,” http://rtvote.com/194OW8S

    Journalists weigh in on the upcoming Supreme Court case on Michigan’s Proposal 2 in “Affirmative action vs. voters: Opinionline,” http://rtvote.com/194PJXB

    CULTURAL

    Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Hosting Golden Globe Awards in 2014 and 2015, http://rtvote.com/1ghSjzL

    Brad Pitt Talks About Turning 50 and the Importance of 12 Years a Slavehttp://rtvote.com/194Qoby

    Natalie Portman Talks Moving to Paris, Dealing with Drunk Fans, and Avoiding Confrontation,http://rtvote.com/1fA4FlJ

    Miley Cyrus Raps With French Montana in “Ain’t Worried About Nothin’” Remix, http://rtvote.com/1eoopFN

    sandywu
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: October 2, 2013

    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

    Obamacare’s online market experiences setbacks; the government shutdown continues as Republican hardliners and Senate avoid compromise; and Treasury discusses taking ‘final extraordinary measures’. Meanwhile, famed author Tom Clancy passes away; Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting are engaged; and Jodie Foster dates Ellen DeGeneres’ ex-girlfriend.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Internal Server Error: Scenes from Obamacare’s Glitchy Rollouthttp://rtvote.com/1dUH8Zj Almost as soon as Obamacare’s online marketplace opened, shoppers started encountering technical errors. Glitches within the system were predicted, but nobody thought they would be so widespread. Federal and state governments are working to improve the newly launched system, so patience and understanding from shoppers are much appreciated.

    Jacksonville airport evacuated for ‘suspicious packages’http://rtvote.com/1dW7NF8 Zeljko Causevic, 39, was arrested early Wednesday morning after forcing the shutdown of Jacksonville International Airport for several hours Tuesday morning. Causevic refused to be screened by airport security, and he falsely claimed he had a bomb in his backpack. Two mysterious packages were also found in the airport’s terminal and parking garage. The terminal closed as the bomb squad investigated.

    Collision Course: CR and Debt Ceilinghttp://rtvote.com/1eZR6LS As the October 17th deadline to raise the $16.7 trillion national debt ceiling approaches, the two policy disputes of keeping the government funded and raising the debt ceiling become increasingly connected. If House Republicans don’t accept a Senate plan of reopening the government until mid-November, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unlikely to accept any budget deal that does not raise the debt ceiling. Obama and Reid remain firm on rejecting any Republican budget bill that will defund or delay Obamacare.

    Treasury Begins ‘Final Extraordinary Measures’ As Debt Ceiling Deadline Loomshttp://rtvote.com/18t8PWS In anticipation of the October 17 deadline, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday, informing him that the Treasury Department has begun using final extraordinary measures. Lew’s letter emphasized the urgency surrounding the proposed increase of the debt ceiling, but he also stated that the government shutdown will probably have little effect when the government hits the debt ceiling. The measures Lew cites are fairly technical.

    Staunch Group of Republicans Outflanks House Leadershttp://rtvote.com/1eZSFcH The government shutdown does not seem like it will be ending anytime soon. The Republican hardliners in the House believe they can end Obamacare, and they have no intention of compromising until they can defund or delay the Affordable Care Act. This group of two dozen or so far right Republicans are angering their fellow moderate and institutional party members. The latter group is pressuring Speaker John Boehner to stand up to hardliners so they can reopen the government and reach bipartisan accommodations.

     

    PUNDITS

    Senators Chris Murphy and Brian Schatz talk about bold reform of federal higher education policy in “Making College Affordable”, http://rtvote.com/1fJagXS

    Cecile Richards discusses House Republicans’ stance against Obamacare and women’s preventive healthcare in “The House’s War on Women”, http://rtvote.com/1fJaTk9

    Thomas Friedman voices concern over the government shutdown and the power of a small minority in Congress in “Our Democracy is at Stake”, http://rtvote.com/1f043Wb

     

    CULTURAL

    Tom Clancy Dies at 66 – Author Remembered for Best-Selling Jack Ryan Novels, Thrillers, http://rtvote.com/1f04Syg

    Jodie Foster Dating Ellen DeGeneres’ Ex-Girlfriend Alexandra Hedison, http://rtvote.com/1dWklwc

    Katie Holmes: “Excited” to Shoot The Giver with Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift, and More, http://rtvote.com/1f05Ydj

    Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting Step Out Separately After Announcing Engagement, http://rtvote.com/1f07b4m

    sandywu
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: September 27, 2013

    Friday, September 27th, 2013

    The U.N. Security Council passes a resolution on Syria; U.S.-Iran relations reach highest point since 1979 during nuclear program talks; Senate passes spending bill; and Obama explains the new online health insurance market, which opens on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Joseph Gordon-Levitt nails a lip-sync battle with Jimmy Fallon; Miley graces the cover of Rolling Stone magazine; and Jimmy Kimmel addresses Kanye West twitter rant on his show.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    U.N. Deal on Syrian Arms is Milestone after Years of Inertia, http://rtvote.com/1fv3kxr The U.N. makes the most significant move thus far on the Syrian civil war. As a compromise between the U.S. and Russia, the permanent five members of the Security Council have passed a resolution, forcing Syria to eliminate their chemical arms program. Failure to do so would allow the Security Council to take measures under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which could mean imposing economic sanctions or using military action against Syria.

    $300 Million in Detroit Aid, but No Bailout, http://rtvote.com/1avJBr9 The Obama administration offers Detroit $300 million in federal and private aid. The financial package, which has been a divisive topic between the GOP and Democrats, will go toward Detroit’s transportation systems, the police force, and property redevelopment. However, the aid money from Obama’s administration is far from being enough to bail Detroit out of bankruptcy, and Congress is unlikely to pass such legislation due to Republican opposition to Obama’s spending initiatives.

    Suddenly, Great Expectations for U.S.-Iran Relations, http://rtvote.com/1avLV16 Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as well as the foreign ministers of Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. Although the U.S. has doubted Iran’s assertion that their nuclear program stood for peaceful purposes, this meeting marks the highest-level talks between the U.S. and Iran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

    Senate votes to move ahead on spending bill that House Republics vow to reject, http://rtvote.com/1avS9hN To avoid a federal government shutdown, the Senate passes a short-term spending bill to restore funding for Obamacare. However, House Republicans refuse to support further funding Obama’s healthcare law, as evidenced by their determination to block Speaker John A. Boehner’s attempts at holding a series of deadlines to prevent the nation’s first default. Tensions remain high as the spending bill passes with 54 Democrats voting in favor and 44 Republicans voting against.

    Years after signing it into law, Obama explains Obamacare to the public , http://rtvote.com/1fvoYl8 Obama explains how uninsured Americans can find, compare, and purchase affordable healthcare plans online once the six-month enrollment period opens Tuesday. Although there are still a few glitches in the online system, like small businesses’ inability to apply online until November, the administration is determined to fix these issues as they come. Despite House Republicans’ criticisms and Americans’ weariness of the new system, Obama hopes the wide selection of plans with subsidies and lower premiums will garner support.

    CULTURAL

    The First ‘Glee’ without Cory Monteith Was Blissfully Joyous, http://rtvote.com/1eMQCc2

    This Week in Photos: September 27, 2013, http://rtvote.com/1fv1VH4

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s lip-syncing will put yours to shame, http://rtvote.com/1fv2ctD

    Miley Cyrus Doesn’t Like Cocaine, Thinks “Weed Is the Best Drug On Earth”, http://rtvote.com/1fv2II1

    Jimmy Kimmel Talks Kanye West Twitter Rant: “Finally, I’m in a Rap Feud”, http://rtvote.com/1fv3bd7

    Rock the Vote
    Bio: Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 to organize artists and fight against censorship of musicians. Since then we've evolved to focus on empowering young people to get involved in the political process. We use pop culture, peer-to-peer organizing, and the latest technology to raise visibility of politics and demystify the process of registering to vote.
    @rockthevote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Last Night’s State of the Union Address

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

    John Boehner’s attempts to look enthused, the many faces of Joe Biden, and a plethora of awkward bipartisan interactions were not the only highlights from last night’s State of the Union. President Obama took a more aggressive stance than usual in his annual address. He asserted that the public had voted in favor of his agenda and hinted that he would not be as willing to compromise in his second term.

    The president promised to wind down – by next year — a conflict that has defined my generation. He announced an end to the war in Afghanistan as his headline issue. This spring, he promised, American forces would draw back into a support role and allow Afghan security teams to take over the brunt of the effort. “Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change,” the president said. Beyond the war’s end, he claimed, the administration will work with the Afghan government to train its forces, as well as to allow Americans to proceed with counterterrorist efforts focused on al Qaeda.

    As was to be expected, the president allotted much of the hour to speaking about his economic agenda. Most notably, he addressed the subject of minimum wage, an issue frequently neglected over the past few years.  You may see a little extra cash in your pocket at your summer job, as the president plans to advocate for raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour “so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on”.

    As a college sophomore, I am all too familiar with the seemingly unreasonable price tag stuck on a university education and was glad to hear the president address the importance of bringing down higher education costs. Obama highlighted how his administration had used tax credits, grants, and better loans to make college affordable, but noted that taxpayers could no longer bear the burden of “subsidizing higher and higher costs for higher education.” He called upon Congress to improve the Higher Education Act, altering it to account for college affordability and value. Universities would then receive federal aid based on their ratio of affordability to value.

    The president also found time to touch briefly upon reforms that could ease your voting experience come the next election. He announced the creation of a non-partisan presidential Voting Commission designated to improve the American voting process. The Commission would be chaired by top attorneys from both the Obama and Romney campaigns. “When any Americans–no matter where they live or what their party—are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying out ideals,” Obama said on the right to vote.

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com