// March 26, 2012 by sgwhites
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments around the Obama administration's health care reforms. At the center of the debate is the individual mandate. If found unconstitutional, the loss of the mandate could result in higher premiums and more people uninsured.
Could health care reform survive without the individual mandate?
// March 23, 2012 by sgwhites
The debate over vaccinations is an emotionally charged argument colored by fear and politics. "The Greater Good" takes a look at families whose lives have been changed by vaccinations and scientists examinging ways to create a safer and more effective vaccine program.
"The Greater Good" premiered on Current TV Saturday, and will air again on April 22 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. Click here to see the transcript of our live chat during the premiere.
What is it about the vaccine program that continues to spark such intense debate?
click here to continue reading
// March 23, 2012 by Victor_Balta
On Thursday night's edition of "The War Room," Jennifer Granholm welcomed Stephanie Miller -- host of one of Current's two new morning shows, "Talking Liberally: The Stephanie Miller Show" -- to discuss gay marriage and whether the Democratic Party would make it part of the 2012 campaign platform.
Elizabeth Warren has called upon President Barack Obama to complete his "evolution" on the issue, and embrace gay marriage. Miller and Granholm were joined by comedian Kamau Bell to posit the question. Here's what they had to say:click here to continue reading
// March 21, 2012 by winrosenfeld
Using satellites to explore the earth’s surface is nothing new, but using infrared satellites to explore the past sounds like science fiction. Dr. Sarah Parcak, an archaeologist from the University of Alabama, is using infrared imaging technology to see changes in ground density to uncover ancient cities and dwellings from hundreds of miles above the earth.
What are some other ways that infrared satellites could be helpful in scientific discovery?
// March 21, 2012 by Carrie_Mihalcik
President Obama plans to announce on Thursday that he will direct federal agencies to fast-track the southern portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, CNN reports.
In January, the administration denied a permit for the 1,700-mile long pipeline, which would carry oil from the tar sands in Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Republicans criticized Obama for this decision saying he was not doing enough to decrease the cost of oil.
Obama is announcing his decision to expedite the permitting and review process for the pipeline in Cushing, Oklahoma – the starting point of the 485-mile southern stretch of Keystone XL that will run to Texas' coast.
Why is President Obama approving part of the Keystone XL pipeline now? Is he caving to Republican pressure or does this decision fit into the administration's energy plan?click here to continue reading
// March 20, 2012 by Carrie_Mihalcik
George Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, may find protection under Florida's 2005 "stand your ground" law.
The law, which was strongly endorsed by the NRA, allows a person to use deadly force away from the home if they have reasonable fear an assailant will harm them. It also eliminates a person’s "duty to retreat" during a confrontation.
Since the law went into effect the number of justifiable homicides reported in Florida has skyrocketed.
Does Florida's "stand your ground" law take self-defense too far?click here to continue reading
As more ultrasound bills and a potential blocking of the Violence Against Women Act surface, what's driving Republicans' continued war on women?// March 16, 2012 by Victor_Balta
With reports that Republicans are attempting to block renewal of the Violence Against Women Act for the first time since it originally passed, and more bills surfacing in states that will require an ultrasound before an abortion is performed, Republicans are either out of control or strategically making decisions that appear to be anti-women.
See Molly Ball of The Atlantic discussing these developments
on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" Thursday night:
What's driving Republicans' continued war on women?
// March 14, 2012 by winrosenfeld
We’ve all been there as kids, examining rocks under a magnifying glass, making volcanoes explode with baking soda, but how many of us got to control the actions of a live insect? Gregory Gage’s neurosurgery kits for kids called, Backyard Brains, allow little scientists to explore the inner-workings of the brain. By conducting small amounts of electricity into its antennae using tiny electrodes, kids can control the basic actions of a cockroach, such as making it turn left or right.
Encouraging children’s love for the sciences at an early age is important for their passion of discovery. How old were you when you first became interested in science?
// March 14, 2012 by sgwhites
Regulations have been used to reduce risk and inform consumers. But lately, an anti-regulation, free-market rhetoric has dominated political conversation.
Frequent "Young Turks" guest David Sirota wrote today on Salon that regulations can be effective; Coke and Pepsi just changed their formulas in response to a requirement to label an ingredient as a possible carcinogen. But corporations and politicans continue to push against all regulations, even those that require disclosure of information to consumers.
The idea of free markets is that consumers can influence corporations by their choices; but how can consumers make educated decisions without information?
Why has informing consumers become a controversial issue when it comes to discussing regulation?
// March 13, 2012 by Carrie_Mihalcik
Controversy is swirling around the "Homeless Hotspot" experiment at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
Knowing there would be a demand for high-speed internet, New York based advertising agency Bartle, Bogle and Hegarty equipped 13 homeless people with WiFi devices and t-shirts that advertise: "I'm Melvin, a 4G Hotspot." In turn, the homeless participants were paid $20 a day and got to keep all donations from people who chose to connect to their hotspot.
Are "Homeless Hotspots" a unique effort to help the homeless or an inappropriate marketing stunt? What can be done to raise awareness of homelessness in America?click here to continue reading
// March 12, 2012 by Carrie_Mihalcik
The Justice Department objected to a new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas, saying the law would disenfranchise thousands of Hispanic voters who lack state-issued identification.
Now it's up to a federal court in Washington D.C., to decide whether Texas -- and South Carolina, which has a similar law -- will be allowed to enforce it's new voter identification requirements.
Should states be allowed to enact voter identification requirements? Are Republican efforts to limit voting rights starting to backfire?
// March 09, 2012 by Carrie_Mihalcik
The United States added 227,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent.
This is first time in six months the unemployment rate has not dropped, but the Associated Press attributes this to the fact that a half-million Americans started looking for work in February.
How will the unemployment rate, which remains at 8.3 percent, affect President Obama’s re-election chances? Is the economic recovery going too slow?click here to continue reading
What do the events of the last week say about women's standing in our culture and what can be done to halt the war on women?// March 08, 2012 by sgwhites
March is women's history month, and the GOP seems determined to turn back the clock on women's rights. In just the past week, we've seen:
- Rush Limbaugh call law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" for speaking up in defense of birth control coverage
- Women being charged with murder over the death of an unborn child
- The Virginia governor signing into a law a bill requiring an ultrasound before an abortion
- The Arizona Senate passing a bill that would allow doctors not to inform women of prenatal issues to prevent abortions
Watch Jennifer Granholm's call for women to run for public office
and otherwise serve their country.
What do these events say about women's standing in our culture? What can be done to halt the war on women?
// March 07, 2012 by sgwhites
Five Lakotas on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation were arrested after attempting to block tar sands pipeline trucks from passing through their land. The trucks claimed that the corporate rights took precedence over other laws.
Even the state troopers told the trucks they have to turn around and cannot bring their…pipeline or other materials on to our reservation. The XL Pipeline trucks are refusing to turn around claiming they have corperate rights that supercedes any other laws. Olowan Sara Martinez, Debra White Plume, Grandma Marie Randall and others are there holding their ground.
Should corporate rights ever supercede other laws?
Will Super Tuesday end the GOP presidential primary race or begin a prolonged fight for the nomination?// March 06, 2012 by Carrie_Mihalcik
More than 400 delegates will be awarded to the winners of Tuesday's Republican presidential primaries. That's more than the combined total off all 12 states that have voted so far, The Washington Post reports.
Will Super Tuesday be the end of the Republican presidential primary race or just the beginning of a prolonged, bitter fight for the nomination?
* * *
Track the results on our election hub at current.com/2012.
What should Obama do to defend his transgendered nanny, who is facing persecution in Indonesia, and others like her?// March 05, 2012 by sgwhites
President Obama's transgendered former nanny is living in fear in Indonesia, where she has given up her identity and is living as a man, despite identifying as a woman. She says she hopes the boy she helped care for will now use his power to help fight for people like her.
Obama has been openly supportive of the LGBT community and he appointed the first openly transgendered official, Amanda Simpson, to the Commerce Department.
What should he do to help fight for the rights of that community?
// March 02, 2012 by sgwhites
Economist Robert Reich blogged about the increased productivity that has boosted the economy -- but it's a boost that hasn't been experienced by most American workers.
How can American workers benefit from the productivity revolution?
Tune into "The War Room" Friday at 9/8c to hear more from Robert Reich.
// March 01, 2012 by Carrie_Mihalcik
Controversy over contraception reignited this morning after the Senate blocked a Republican challenge to President Obama’s birth control mandate.
On Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University Law School student who was denied the right to speak at last month's all-male contraception hearing, a "slut" on his radio show. The comment sparked outrage among Democrats, but today Limbaugh took his attack on Fluke even further.
He said on his radio show:
"So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."
Do Limbaugh's comments completely debunk the conservative line that the contraception debate is about religious freedom? What will it take for the U.S. to move past judging women based on their sexuality?click here to continue reading
// February 29, 2012 by Carrie_Mihalcik
Gas prices are still on the rise. Drivers nationwide are paying an average of $3.73 for a gallon of gas, a 30-cent increase from last month.
Republican presidential candidates are saying President Obama's energy policies are to blame. Newt Gingrich has even promised audiences that, if elected, he would bring gas prices down to $2.50 a gallon.
Does President Obama deserve some of the blame for the recent spike in gas prices? What, if anything, can politicians do to affect gas prices?click here to continue reading
Homeland Security kept tabs on the Occupy movement; what would have been a better use of their time?// February 28, 2012 by sgwhites
Rolling Stone writer Michael Hastings chatted with Cenk Uygur of "The Young Turks" minutes after posting his report revealing that Homeland Security has been keeping tabs on the Occupy movement. While the report recognized that Occupy is a peaceful protest, it also warned of a potential for violence with any large gathering.
What could Homeland Security have been doing instead of keeping tabs on Occupy? Is this kind of attention a sign that peaceful protest is becoming more difficult in our society?