Busy day for the SCOTUS – good day for consumers

Today the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 5-3 vote that agreements between the companies that make name-brand and generic drugs to delay the generics’ availability can be illegal. Federal regulators can now sue drug companies for antitrust violations when those brand-name drug makers pay generic competitors to keep cheaper, rival copies of a drug off the market.… [Read more]

U.S. Army Celebrates its 238th Anniversary

Two hundred thirty-eight years ago the leaders of the United States established what was then known as the Continental Army. Since then, the US Army has defended the nation and its inhabitants against threats, domestic and foreign.

As the main branch of the United States Armed Forces, and both the largest and oldest of the seven uniformed services branches of the military, the Army is responsible for all land-based military operations.… [Read more]

It hasn’t been that long: Loving vs. Virginia #MarriageEquality

As the US Supreme Court prepares to decide on marriage equality cases, taking a look back to one of the first cases fighting for the right to marry becomes all the more important.

In 1967, not even 50 years ago, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Loving v. Virginia case. For those who don’t know, the aptly named Loving couple, Richard and Mildred, committed what was then considered an unlawful act; the couple — a white man and a black woman — fell in love and married.… [Read more]

Immigration Reform on the Table – What Will Congress Decide?

The full Senate will soon hold its first immigration vote this week. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has noted that he sees Congress completing an immigration overhaul by the end of this year, and organised labour has been showing its support for an immigration plan with a multimillion dollar advertising campaign.

Sounds promising.

We can hope.… [Read more]

McCain Gets His iPhone Wish

As a political columnist who has been guzzling the Cupertino Kool Aid in the late Steve Jobs’ “Reality Distortion Field” from the days of the original mid-80s 128k Mac, I just had to wonder.

Arizona Sen. John McCain (R-Geritol) groused to Apple CEO Tim Cook at a multinational corporate tax hearing last month as to why Sen.… [Read more]

Moving Forward on Immigration Reform…Or Not.

Today, in a 224-201 vote, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to reject President Obama’s June 2012 policy to end deportation of immigrants who are in the country illegally but brought to the United States as children.

When Mr. Obama put the policy in place it was done by executive action, and it did not provide that class of undocumented immigrants legal status but it did protect them, for a two-year period, from deportation.… [Read more]

Susan Rice as National Security Adviser

National Security Adviser director Tom Donilon is resigning. That may not be big news to some; the bigger news is that Pres. Obama is set to appoint Susan Rice to the position.

Last year Ms. Rice was expected to be nominated to become the next Secretary of State to replace outgoing Secretary Hillary Clinton, but Republicans vehemently blocked her prospective nomination after criticising her for presenting talking points — after the attack in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans including a U.S.… [Read more]

No look at cause and effect? “War on Women” extended to working moms in Mississippi!

Just a quick rant about a news item today: When Mississippi’s governor, Phil Bryant, said today that American education declined in quality when mothers started working outside the home, why didn’t someone in his state give him a fact check list?

And what’s with this ‘blame women’ mentality that is so firmly entrenched in today’s GOP — which sounds far more backwards than the Republican Party of yesteryear?… [Read more]

Nerve Gas Used in Syria

Sources in the United Kingdom and France have confirmed that Syrian attack victims have tested positive for a chemical weapon – the nerve agent sarin. French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, passed evidence of the claim to the head of the United Nations inquiry into chemical weapon use in Syria but not venture to say who, directly, was responsible for the use of sarin.… [Read more]

POTUS Nominating Judicial Appointees

The courts’ decisions “impact our lives,” said President Obama during his announcement today, but it’s no secret that this president has had a more challenging time of getting his nominees through the confirmation process than prior presidents. On average, President Obama’s nominees take three times longer than other presidents. Every president since Woodrow Wilson has nominated judges to the DC Circuit court bench, but partisan politics have stymied the process.… [Read more]

Supreme Court says taking your DNA after arrest is legal

“Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.” ~ Justice Anthony Kennedy (writing for the Supreme Court’s five-justice majority)

It appears that the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took a hit today in a 5-4 decision.… [Read more]

Landmark Arms Treaty Signed by 60+ Nations

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States would sign the landmark global arms treaty later this year.  When he made the announcement it was particularly significant because the United States is the world’s largest arms dealer, and more than 60 other countries have already signed the treaty that regulates the multibillion-dollar global arms trade.… [Read more]

The trial of Bradley Manning begins…

Three years after Army Pfc.Bradley Manning’s arrest for leaks of U.S. government and military secrets, the WikiLeaks trial has begun.

The trial is expected to be polarising; Manning is a hero to some and nothing short of a demons of others as the result of his actions during which he, in his position as an intelligence analyst, provided substantial amounts–the largest amount of classified information– to the website WikiLeaks, the non-profit international organisation founded by Julian Assange that publishes secret and classified media from anonymous sources.… [Read more]

Oldest Serving U.S. Senator, Frank Lautenberg, Passed Away

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) passed away earlier today. At age 89, the five-term senator who had decided to not seek re-election at the end of his term, was the oldest official in the United States Senate and the last of the World War II “Greatest Generation” serving in the Senate.

Some of the more recent items on Lautenberg’s agenda included helping to secure federal aid for New Jersey’s Hurricane Sandy victims and various environmental, infrastructure and economic development projects for his state but Lautenberg was known as a very liberal Democrat who helped usher in broad legislation for health care and gun safety reforms.… [Read more]

Dude? Now? Dem seeking to capture Bachmann’s seat drops out of race

OK, sure, it makes sense. It is a rather red area. Is that what he was thinking?

Jim Graves, who lost by a thin margin to Minnesota US Rep. Michele Bachmann last year, sent a note to supporters informing that he suspended his campaign today. He noted that he was successful in his goal to oust Bachmann from Congress, just two days after she announced she wouldn’t seek re-election.… [Read more]

If anyone can head a Global Institute, it’s a guy who used to lead the CIA, right?

David Petraeus, the retired Army General who resigned as the director of the CIA last autumn, has a new gig: he’s taken a position job with investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. as the head of their newly formed Global Institute division.

Petraeus, who served as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan and forces in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, resigned from a brief stint at the CIA under a scandalous cloud after an extramarital affair with a biographer.… [Read more]