For the third time in two weeks, we learned about yet another NSA spying program. First we heard about the agency tapping the phones of world leaders. Then we learned about them collecting data on Europeans. And now, we find out that the NSA has broken into the main communication links of Yahoo and Google.
While Fox so-called News kept the focus on yesterday's congressional hearing on Healthcare.gov, there was another round of question-and-answer that is a much bigger cause for concern. NSA director, General Keith Alexander, and James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence were called before the House Intelligence Committee to answer questions about government spying.
It hasn't even been a year since the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. You wouldn't know it by listening to Congress, but since then almost 10,000 more people have been killed by guns in our nation – and that's only what the media has reported. Since Newtown, Slate Magazine has partnered with a twitter group called @GunDeaths to track gun-related fatalities.
When 50 Tea Party members show up in Washington, the national media falls all over themselves to cover the so-called rally. But, when thousands gather to protest NSA spying, there's not a peep in the corporate news. That's exactly what happened over the weekend, when thousands converged on our nation's capital to be part of a “Stop Watching Us” protest.
This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was outraged to learn that the U.S. was spying on her cell phone. But, she's not the only one who should be alarmed. The NSA has been snooping into the private phone conversations of at least 35 world leaders.
A coalition of public interest groups wants Congress to stop the Trans Pacific Partnership. The groups sent a letter to several ranking members of Congress, asking them to deny President Obama's request to fast-track the T.P.P., and hold on to their Constitutional authority to oversee trade deals.
In many states around our nation, you don't need a background check to buy a gun. But, if you have travel plans, be prepared for the authorities to do a little digging. The TSA has expanding passenger screenings, and they're checking a wide array of government databases before you even arrive at the airport.
The oil and gas industry is already cozy with Washington, but soon they might be neighbors. Fracking companies want to move in to the George Washington National Forest. That forest is one of the largest undeveloped areas east of the Mississippi, and it also supplies water to the DC metro area. In the coming weeks, the U.S.
The government shutdown may be over, but that doesn't mean that life has returned to normal for many people around our nation. Federal workers, who were furloughed during the shutdown, will receive backpay for the time they weren't able to work, but many others won't be so lucky. And, many businesses, research projects, and government contractors are now struggling to make up for the lost time and income.