How high can America’s astronomical debt reach? The level is set to increase once more in late January as Congress, in effect, rubber stamps President Obama’s request to raise the limit on the nation’s debt beyond its current $15 trillion.

 

On Wednesday Internet users got a taste of what opponents of an intellectual property bill currently before Congress say the web could look like if the bill becomes law. Popular websites such as Wikipedia, Craigslist, Reddit, Google, and Wired “went dark” or otherwise modified their usual appearances to protest the House of Representatives’ Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s corresponding Protect IP [Intellectual Property] Act (PIPA). Both bills are scheduled for major actions in the coming weeks.

 

In response to rising citizen demand for government transparency and efficiency, this year China plans to defog the secretive workings of the government and ruling Communist Party, a senior official said Wednesday. "In this new year, we will adopt an even more open attitude and even more forceful policies," asserted Wang Chen, a Chinese propaganda official.

 

Anyone who has ever been in a Third World country, or even in a slum neighborhood at home, is likely to wonder why there can be such dire poverty among some people, while others are prospering.  Both politicians and intellectuals have tended to have simple answers to that question, even if these simple answers have been different in different eras.

 

Following months of activism by Tea Party and conservative groups in Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker decided to officially reject millions of federal taxpayer dollars in the form of controversial ObamaCare grants that came with numerous “strings attached.” Critics of the President’s wildly unpopular health law greeted the news with relief.

 

Yesterday Ron Paul introduced a bill to repeal the Indefinite Detention Section of the NDAA law.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a pair of cases involving the offering of prayers at county and school board meetings, continuing its decades-long tradition of steering clear of ruling on the supposed constitutionality of public prayers. According to BloombergNews.com, the High Court “hasn’t ruled on the constitutionality of prayer at government meetings since 1983, when the justices said lawmakers could begin sessions with nonsectarian prayers offered by a state-employed chaplain.”


 

Another taxpayer-funded solar-panel company, Willard & Kelsey Solar Group LLC, is undergoing operational issues, as it recently laid off about 40 people indefinitely due to delays in its production line. CEO and board chairman Michael Cicak would not comment on the timeline of the production changes or when the laid-off employees might return to their jobs.

 

After months of discussion between and among 1,800 contributors to Wikipedia, the online information source, it decided to “go black" on Wednesday to protest the dangers in two bills that threaten the freedom of the Internet. Many other websites are also participating in today's protest.  The bills are the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

 

Wednesday, January 18 2012 14:57 Written by Hannah Brems

The Votes Are In; How Did Your Congressmen Do?
The second Freedom Index is now available for the 112th Congress

APPLETON, WIS.  – January 16, 2012 – Votes on key congressional bills have been tallied to indicate the degree of adherence to the Constitution by each representative and senator.  The results are now available in the latest issue of The New American. Editor Gary Benoit announces a second scorecard for the 112th Congress with the publication of “The Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution.”

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