McCain Warns that Snowden Seen As ‘Some Kind of Jason Bourne’ for Youth

Aug 12, 2013, 12:13 pm EDT

Arizona Senator John McCain told Fox News Sunday that young Americans consider NSA leaker Edward Snowden a hero and likened him to a popular movie character who strikes back at his government.

McCain said that Snowden is being seen as “some kind of Jason Bourne” — a film series hero who fights a corrupt U.S. government program to shine a light on its shady operations. He said that changes will have to be made to ensure that the younger generation do not continue to view government in such a way.

“Young Americans do not trust this government,” McCain told Fox News. “Without trusting government you can’t do a lot of things.” Read 

Fed Gov’t to Soften Punishments for Some Drug Offenders

Aug 12, 2013, 11:37 am EDT

Minor drug offenders will avoid federal charges that could lead to mandatory prison terms under a new set for reforms.

On Monday, the changes will be outlined by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder when he addresses an American Bar Association meeting in San Francisco. Holder’s proposals would affect drug offenders who aren’t linked to gangs or drug cartels, the Washington Post notes.

Holder will argue that stiff mandatory sentencing guidelines for minor, non-violent offenders helps foster “a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities.” Federal prosecutors across the country will be instructed to frame charges so as not to incur the mandatory minimum sentences. Read 

Finally! Good News on the Student Loans Front

Aug 9, 2013, 9:42 am EDT
Finally! Good News on the Student Loans Front

President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign a bill on Friday, that will save college students up to $1,500 of interest charges from this year’s student loans.

Interest rates on new Stafford loans doubled to 6.8% from 3.4% on July 1. The rates increased due to Congress being unable to come to a compromise on how to keep rates at the previous 3.4%. The new bill would drop those rates down to 3.9% for undergraduates, 5.4% for graduates and 6.4% for parents. The new loan rates would only last through the 2015 academic year. The rates on these loans can rise, but they are capped at 8.25% for undergraduates, 9.5 % for graduates and 10.5% for parents, reports the Associated Press.

“Even with this important bill signed into law, much work remains to ensure college stays within reach for middle-class families and those striving to get into the middle class,” Jay Carney, a White House spokesman, told the Associated Press. Read 

Associated Press Fixes Obama’s Gulf of Mexico Gaffe

Aug 8, 2013, 4:14 pm EDT

Conservative media watchdogs are calling foul after the Associated Press added clarification to President Obama’s remarks about the Gulf of Mexico.

During Obama’s late-night appearance Tuesday on the Tonight Show, the president seemed to make a geographic snafu, listing Gulf cities that are actually not on the Gulf.

LENO: You mentioned infrastructure. Why is that a partisan issue? I live in a town, the bridge is falling apart, it’s not safe. How does that become Republican or Democrat? How do you not just fix the bridge? Read 

Pentagon May Grant Same-Sex Military Personal Extra Leave to Wed

Aug 8, 2013, 11:40 am EDT

Military personal with same-sex spouses may be granted 10 days leave to marry by the Pentagon.

A memo from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to top defense leaders would reverse an earlier plan to give same-sex spouses benefits, including access to military stores and some health and welfare programs. Hagel claims that the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act has already afforded these benefits and more to the spouses of same-sex military personal. Also included in the memo is a plan to allow up to 10 days of leave for military personal with same-sex spouses to marry. The extended leave would give same-sex couples a chance to travel to states that allow same-sex marriage. The Defense Department estimates that there are about 18,000 same-sex couples in the military, though it doesn’t know how many of them are married, reports the Associated Press.

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
 
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FBI Arrests Two Florida Mayors on Bribery Charges

Aug 7, 2013, 1:44 pm EDT

The FBI arrested Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Marono on bribery charges on Tuesday.

Pizzi was caught when two FBI agents posed as officials at a fictitious, non-profit company that helps local governments obtain federal grants. Pizzi accepted $6,750 in bribes to help the company. Marono was caught in the same trap as Pizzi, but had accepted more than $40,000 in bribes. Both of the men were suspended from office and if convicted could spend up to 20 years in prison, reports The Chicago Tribune.

“This is a sad day for South Florida,” Wifredo Ferrer, the U.S. attorney for Florida’s Southern District, told The Tribune. “This betrayal of our public trust is intolerable.” Read 

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