Five Favorite News Narratives Now

So much news, so little time!  Here are five fave news stories ripe for sharing.  This is just a smattering of this week’s most intriguing news:

Lame Duck Congressmen Skip Votes — With the 2010 session drawing to a close, “lame duck” congressmen appear to be limping away from their responsibility to cast votes.  The Washington Post reports, “One Sixth of House Skips Final Votes.” Utah’s own Senator Hatch has taken heat this week for skipping the vote on the high-profile Dream Act in order to attend a grandson’s college graduation.  Senator Bennett was present, but perhaps he should have taken a vacation, too — he unfortunately broke ranks with Republicans in order to vote “yes” on both the Dream Act and the START nuclear arms treaty.

How is this Legislation Constitutional? — This week, Capitol Hill staffers began attending meetings about how to write a new clause into legislation that explains why, exactly, the proposed legislation is constitutional. It’s about time Republicans Start Teaching Members How to Obey the Constitution.  The Republican’s “Pledge to America” pledged to require every bill to “cite its specific Constitutional Authority”, and they intend to begin implementing this commitment on the first day of the 112th Congress.  It is unfortunate that citing Constitutional authority in legislation is considered to be such a novel idea.

Residents Flocking to Conservative States — Recently released census data indicates that states which embrace conservative principles in government are growing, while those states that stubbornly cling to liberal policies are bleeding citizens, jobs and influence.  As a result, 2010 Census Shows Folks Flocking to Free Market States, where taxes are lower, businesses are growing and jobs are more readily available.  Many states who embrace conservative governance gained seats in congress (thus increasing their conservative political influence), while those states which lost representation were those with liberal governance.

Kids Require Permission to Recite Pledge — Mass. School Requires Permission Slips to Recite Pledge of Allegiance.  Yup, the words of the Pledge have become so contentious that a public school in Brookline, Massachusetts, is requiring parents to sign a permission slip if their child wants to participate in the school’s weekly recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Interestingly, the big controversy here isn’t so much about the Pledge itself, but about whether or not signing the permission slip means parents are imposing their beliefs on their children.  (See article referenced above — perhaps it’s no coincidence that Massachusetts is losing one seat in congress).

Task Force Gets Naughty Name — The CIA has launched a task force dedicated to determining the impact of US diplomatic cables leaked by the infamous WikiLeaks organization. The name of the task force?  WikiLeaks Task Force — or WTF for short (in Utah County that reads “What the Freak” or alternately “What the Fetch”).  You have to wonder if that acronym was bestowed intentionally.  (see WTF? OMG, LOL! CIA gives WikiLeaks Taskforce Naughty Name).

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