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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

    Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

    The State of the Union Address was delivered last night; southern states are caught completely unprepared for snowfall; Congressman threatens reporter; and reading gap due to wealth increases. Meanwhile, Bieber returns to the States; Miley and Madonna sing a duet on MTV; a possible real-life love triangle surfaces in Hollywood; and a famous rock and roll band calls it quits.

    - Veronica + Maura


    State of the Union: Obama calls for action, with or without Congress: http://rtvote.com/1fwyC2L
    Last night marked the delivery of President Obama’s fifth State of the Union Address. The address called for changes to the tax code, investment in alternative energy, and equal pay for women. President Obama received a standing ovation when he encouraged Congress to work alongside him instead of against him, and brought tears to the eyes of many Americans when telling the story of Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg, an injured war veteran. Overall, a majority of viewers believed that the policies listed in the address will help the economy, and the address was generally well-received.

    Stranded, cold motorists spend nights on freeways after rare snow in South: http://rtvote.com/1k7ijfI
    Travelers in Alabama and Georgia were left in traffic, stranded on the roads- sometimes 16 hours after leaving work or school. Light snow, sleet, and freezing rain are wreaking havoc on Southern states unaccustomed to dealing with this type of weather. At the first sign of snow, people left their jobs, thinking they could deal with the weather. They couldn’t, resulting in spin-outs, accidents, and traffic jams miles long. Currently, people are trying to help stranded travelers while the government is telling its citizens to stay home.

    Rep. Grimm on why he threatened reporter: http://rtvote.com/1jJcxTW
    Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY), threatened a NY1 reporter, Michael Scotto, after last night’s State of the Union Address. Scotto tried to ask Grimm about a federal investigation pertaining to his campaign finances. This question sparked the threat. Grimm said in an email to NY1 and other news stations that Scotto took a “disrespectful and cheap shot” at the interview’s end, discussing a topic that was unrelated to the State of the Union Address, which was what Grimm was being interviewed about. Bob Hardt, NY1’s political director, was appalled by Grimm’s actions and wants a full apology.

    Reading gap between wealthy, poor students widens: http://rtvote.com/1jJfEv1
    A new report shows that 80% of fourth graders from low-income families do not read at their grade level, compared to 49% of their wealthier counterparts. Overall, 66% of all fourth graders do not read at their grade level, a figure regarded as shocking. Researchers believe that 8-year-olds, especially those living in low-income families, are not developed enough to be successful. To keep kids from falling behind, fewer children have to start kindergarten with undetected and untreated learning disabilities.


    Famous rock band Mӧtley Crüe to dissolve: http://rtvote.com/1aHIjOC

    Justin Bieber leaves Panama for LA: http://rtvote.com/1mXGEnZ

    Miley and Madonna finally duet! http://rtvote.com/1cuEE5p

    A real-life love triangle? http://rtvote.com/1fn3AMC



    Veronica Barger
    Bio: Veronica is currently studying communications, law, economics, and government at American University in Washington, DC. Originally from New Jersey, she has held an interest in politics since the 2008 presidential election. Being a newly registered voter, she understands how important it is for young people to register to vote and have their voices heard. She looks to spread that message with Rock the Vote.

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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

    President Obama negotiates on job creation; NC Governor signs abortion bill into law; Israeli-Palestinian peace talks commence; and Zimbabwe youth set to take to the polls. Meanwhile, Lea Michelle reacts to Monteith’s passing; Taylor Swift sings with Carly Simon; and preview for season 3 of Homeland is released.

    - Ally + Maura


    With deficit negotiations at an impasse, Obama offers Republicans a ‘grand bargain’ on jobs, http://rtvote.com/1632bnU
    President Obama’s Tuesday trip to an Amazon.com distribution center prompts a proposal to invest in middle-class jobs. In order to see progress, the President will drop his former insistence on an individual tax overhaul. He will offer corporate tax cuts while demanding job creation.

    More than 100 teens rescued in weekend sex-trafficking raids, FBI says, http://rtvote.com/162Z92V
    Victims as young as age 13 were rescued in a nationwide sex-trafficking crackdown across over 70 cities. More than 100 teenagers were rescued, and 159 “pimps” were arrested. This was “the FBI’s largest action to date focusing on the recovery of sexually exploited children.”

    Pat McCrory Signs Controversial Abortion Bill Into Law, http://rtvote.com/13jIOIM
    After passing the state Senate and House earlier in July, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed an anti-abortion bill into law on Monday. The bill eliminates abortion coverage for those covered by State or Federal health plans, imposes regulations on abortion clinics, and bans sex-selective abortions. During his campaign for Governor last year, McCrory said he would not pass additional restrictions on abortion.

    A guide to the 2013 Israeli-Palestinian peace talkshttp://rtvote.com/1630gQ4
    Peace talks began in Washington last night between Israeli and Palestinian officials. They are expected to last nine months. This article outlines what to expect of the process and outcomes.

    Swiss train crash: Driver’s body recovered after head-on train collision leaves 26 injuredhttp://rtvote.com/162Zt1A
    After two trains collided in Switzerland on Monday, 26 people were injured and one driver was killed. Switzerland is thought to have one of the safest rail systems in the world, but the event is striking, especially following last week’s deadly train crash in Spain.

    Youth, rural voters may hold key to Zimbabwe electionhttp://rtvote.com/19uSsvQ
    The influence of young voters is expected to be significant in tomorrow’s presidential election in Zimbabwe. In the first round of elections, neither candidate won a large enough margin of votes, thus leading to a second vote. Leading up to this second round, nearly 750,000 new voters have been registered (the country’s population is approximately 13 million). A representative of the Election Resource Centre says that “the winner will be whoever captures the new youth voters.”


    Lea Michele Breaks Her Silence: “Cory Monteith Will Forever Be in My Heart,” http://rtvote.com/13jJXQs

    Lindsay Lohan to Guest Host Chelsea Lately August 5!, http://rtvote.com/1630maG

    Taylor Swift Brings Carly Simon On Stage To Sing ‘You’re So Vain,’ http://rtvote.com/1630w1N

    1990 Things From The 90s To End The Nostalgia Once And For All, http://rtvote.com/1631jzG

    Homeland Season 3: First Trailer Teases Brody Trying to “Survive,” http://rtvote.com/1631Wcn

    Bio: My name is Ally Filler and I am a Field Intern at RTV this summer! I recently graduated from McGill University where I studied Linguistics. In addition to marveling at the linguistic hotspot that is Montreal and eating many croissants, I assisted hundreds of American students in their quest to vote from abroad. I'm excited to be a part of such an amazing team here at Rock the Vote!

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

    Election Guide Weekly Post – Taxes

    Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

    Rock the Vote is pleased to announce that we will be releasing a 2012 Election Issue guide for young voters to use a reference to cast a well-informed vote. Each week we will post one of the issues from the guide until its release. This week’s feature is the tax debate.

    One of the most divisive areas of American politics is raising taxes or offering tax breaks. At the center of this debate is raising the income tax by tax bracket to raise revenue to pay for the massive debt that has already been built. Some believe that raising taxes for the wealthiest Americans may be a solution; while others contend that raising taxes is the last course of action an already too-expanded government should take. A further examination of the fundamental problem of a poor economy has led some to believe that lowering the high corporate tax rate would support business creation in the U.S. and allow for greater competition abroad. One aspect of this debate is in non-partisan agreement; the tax code is convoluted, and requires some degree of reform. However, the method and direction this reform should take is a point of contention between parties seeking to advance the wishes and philosophies of their constituents.

    This debate effects young voters in much the same way as the other age demographics in the U.S. yet with, if possible, even more significance. For one, young voters leaving college with debt and preparing to construct a stable career are often under mild to serious financial strain, meaning that each tax increase could cause immense difficulties. Furthermore, young voters have the most to lose from a poorly constructed policy that does not strike a balance between raising money for the government to reduce the budget deficit and supporting growth in our floundering economy, as young voters will be inheriting the 15.5 trillion dollar national debt. As bickering creates deadlock in Congress and prevents meaningful progress, it is vital that young voters provide a push for their representatives to cast aside the bickering that has been dominating policy discusion and make the right decisions for our future.

    Alex Meyer
    Bio: Alex Meyer is a sophomore at Colorado College planning to major in Political Science and History. He believes strongly in the importance of maximizing voter participation in order to provide the check on concentrated power that the founding fathers envisioned when they wrote the constitution.

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

    News Round-up: Monday, April 18, 2011

    Monday, April 18th, 2011

    REMINDER: File those taxes today if you procrastinated!

    In today’s news, the wealthiest Americans are paying less income tax than ever before, the GOP is gearing up to take down Dems in 2012 with a new strategy and a new RNC chairman, the drug wars in Mexico may see a bump as a new Attorney General is put into place, and The Hill sneaks a peek and Vice President Biden’s bookself. Meanwhile, it’s not just your exes trolling your profile page: Advertisers may be Facebook stalking you to hit their target audiences, college sports fans lobbying recruits to attend their fave colleges may be breaking NCAA rules, and Princess Kate designs her own wedding dress!


    Super Rich See Federal Taxes Drop Dramatically, http://yhoo.it/g0CUQv

    The richest of America’s taxpayers have seen their tax rates drop significantly over the past several decades, and almost half of US households do not pay income tax at all.  Both Republicans and Democrats are calling for new tax laws to be passed, as President Obama has introduced a plan to raise taxes, generating an additional $1 trillion in revenue in the next 12 years.

    GOP wave reshapes nation’s agenda state by state, http://apne.ws/fEzyHQ

    Since the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans have been moving quickly to enact changes as they take over state legislatures across the country.  Not only are Republicans pushing for fiscal change, they are also moving forward on social issues, leading some to wonder whether they are pushing too far too quickly.

    A Recruit’s Friend, A Team’s Fan, and a Headache for Colleges, http://nyti.ms/evjI3E

    Passionate Duke Fan Chris Grace has a habit of Facebook friending potential athletes to show them just how great their career could be at Duke.  However, the NCAA prohibits using social media to recruit athletes, putting schools in a tough position in having to regulate such use.

    Drug War: Mexico’s weak rule of law, http://lat.ms/goYHfM

    As Mexico’s drug war rages on, President Felipe Calderon has appointed his third Attorney General in four years, Marisela Morales.  Calderon hopes Morales will help to stem the violence, especially as 140 bodies were discovered in one northern Mexican state in the past two weeks.

    Facebook Looks to Cash in on User Datahttp://lat.ms/gdRNSO

    Facebook is using all voluntary user provided data, such as interests, status updates and wall posts to track users and target them with specific advertising. Some users find the advertising invasive, while those advertising have seen a leap in sales after targeting specific demographics on Facebook.

    What’s Donald Trump really after? http://politi.co/hbZQIc

    Even though established Republican figures and the media refuse to take him seriously, Donald Trump remains very serious in taking the first steps toward forming and announcing a presidential campaign. Over the past few weeks, he has interviewed two candidates for a campaign manager position and has been in talks with several well-known media consultants.

    Emily Heil reveals what’s on Vice President Biden’s bookshelf, http://bit.ly/flctqI


    Lady Gaga Reveals Surreal Born This Way Cover: http://on.mtv.com/ijhWxk

    Dog the Bounty Hunter bails Nicolas Cage out of Jail: http://eonli.ne/gDPrDs

    Heidi Klum’s Earth Week tip? Watch your Waste: http://eonli.ne/ehqvlZ

    Say Aloha to Owen Wilson’s Son, Robert Ford!: http://bit.ly/gM1LhI

    Coachella 2011 recap album: http://bit.ly/eB4o9v

    After a trying week, Justin Bieber calls Israel Concert an Amazing Night: http://on.mtv.com/dNBRxg

    Kate Middleton designs her own wedding dress in the style of Lady Diana http://bit.ly/fGoX2K

    Heather Reid
    Bio: Heather is Rock the Vote's Field Intern.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

    Hey Rockers,

    In today’s news we have Obama beginning the push to reengage young voters, Rahm Emanuel likely leaving by week’s end, and did Sarah Palin get booed watching Bristol on Dancing with the Stars?!


    Rahm Emanuel leaving soon – who will replace him?: http://bit.ly/cNNENJ

    Speculation continues as Rahm Emanuel is expected to leave his position as White House Chief of Staff on on Friday.

    Democrats Facing Serious Challenge With Youth Vote: http://bit.ly/bLb6AY

    ABC News breaks down the challenges Democrats face as Obama begins his campaign to try and reenergize his young voter base for the midterm elections.

    How new laws are creating more opportunities to vote early: http://nyti.ms/9d1niR

    While a state having early voting does not necessarily increase turnout, it certainly could in the future as more and more voters begin take advantage of it.

    Obama’s new interview with Rolling Stone: http://bit.ly/cRjZI1

    In an interview with Rolling Stone, the president addresses the Tea Party, the economy, the war, and what’s at stake in November.

    Obama holds a conference call with college journalists: http://bit.ly/99IxFK

    The president told the students that their energy from 2008 is needed even more in 2010.

    Local Taxes Sway Congress Races: http://bit.ly/awXRMU

    While the debate over the Bush tax cuts continues in Washington, many voters are more concerned about new state and local taxes hitting closer to home.

    Biden tells Democrats to “stop whining”: http://bit.ly/8WZoX1

    Joe Biden says Democrats can retain the House and Senate, only if they start fighting back against attacks from Republicans.

    Words of encouragement to vote from a fellow student: http://bit.ly/dvgnX4

    In a letter to the editor of Arizona State’s student newspaper, this student encourages her peers to make sure their voices are heard on November 2nd.


    Was Sarah Palin booed on Dancing with the Stars?: http://bit.ly/d0qfJQ

    Palin was there to watch Bristol, but some think the booing was actually not for her but for the judges’ scoring of a different contestant.

    This fall’s must-see movies: http://bit.ly/aaMhD0

    You know the Facebook movie comes out this Friday, but what else is there to see before the holiday blitz?

    Khloe Kardashian Marks One-Year Wedding Anniversary With Lamar: http://bit.ly/cVyJYp

    Khloe wrote a public love letter to Lamar you can read online.

    George Lopez and Wife End 17-Year Marriage: http://bit.ly/9RMUnQ

    The couple has one child and will continue to work together for their philanthropic organization The Lopez Foundation.

    Tom Yarnell
    Bio: Tom is a former Rock the Vote communications team member who now works for an intellectual property law firm in DC. He loves sports and coming back to blog for RTV!
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com