The Federal Emergency Management Agency was created under the watchful eye of Jimmy Carter in an attempt to help coordinate efforts that were previously conducted on an ad hoc basis. While the organization unquestionably has slipped since the days in which it was led by James Lee Witt (as made evident by the debacle that was Hurricane Katrina), FEMA still has many supporters. Last week, Ron Paul suggested that FEMA is fundamentally flawed and actually as much of a disaster as any natural forces we must reckon with. While he is not the first person to make such a claim, he is receiving extra attention at this time due to his strong performance in the Ames Straw Poll.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has taken the Republican primary field by storm since announcing his run for president last month. In the past week, much media attention, however, has focused on his blunt critique of the American Social Security system. Many have spoke out against Perry's opinion, yet he has steadfastly refused to back off of his comments. While its too soon to know if the stance will have any impact on his polling, it does lead us to a series of questions regarding political campaigns and Perry's chances at taking the White House a year from November.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Due to security concerns and the desire to assure all victims' families are able to attend, first responders have not been invited to the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in New York City. The exclusion of these individuals has caused much debate in the public.
With the Super Committee formed and Congress beginning its efforts to find the necessary cuts in the federal budget, the issue of rural airport subsidies has again come to the attention of many Americans.These subsidies were first granted when airlines deregulated in 1978 to try to ensure service on less profitable routes to remote communities. Unfortunately, now the government is giving the subsidy to airlines to fly flights with no passengers. While this may seem wasteful, for many communities and citizens the subsidies make air travel possible and affordable. In this video, these subsidies are examined more fully.
Warren Buffett has recently made national news for again repeating that the rich in our country need to pay a higher share of taxes in order to alleviate some pressure from middle and lower income families and individuals. Buffett's claims led pundits to bring up the idea of class warfare. In the following video, Jon Stewart discusses Buffett's editorial and the ideas of class warfare.
The Daily ShowGet More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook
On August 13, Iowa Republicans held the Ames Straw Poll to help gauge the current status of the 2012 Republican presidential primary. While not all candidates participate (most notably Mitt Romney and Rick Perry), the poll can help propel candidates forward (or eliminate them from contention). Michele Bachmann won this year's poll by approximately 200 votes over Ron Paul. Tim Pawlenty finished third and withdrew from the election in the aftermath of the straw poll. The following video discusses the poll and its importance to Republican candidates.
Two stories have been revealed in the past two weeks that demonstrate the uncomfortable tensions present between government and social media. In one, Prime Minister David Cameron (of the United Kingdom) placed blame on Twitter, Facebook, and Blackberry for the outbreak of riot violence throughout London. Then BART--the San Francisco subway system--admitted to cutting off cellphone signals at select stations in response to planned protests.
Some argue that these actions are nothing more than a usurpation of free speech while others believe such government actions are necessary at times for security and protection. No matter what way one views it, the decision is dangerous.
Colleges and universities across the country are working to become paperless by moving more and more toward electronic communications. Unfortunately for one student, a failure to adapt to e-mail has cost him his spot with his freshmen class. Hanaroo Kim had been e-mailed by San Jose State University regarding an error in his English placement test and set a deadline for him to respond before being unenrolled.
Christine O'Donnell joined Piers Morgan for an interview on his CNN nightly show recently. She was there to talk about her recently released book Troublemaker. The interview, however, did not go as planned.O'Donnell became unhappy with a line of questioning from Morgan and he became confused regarding her behavior and reasons for wanting to be on the show. Watch the exchange between O'Donnell and Morgan and then consider the discussion questions that follow.
Ohio Congressman Steve Chabot has made news this week after his staff ordered police to confiscate all cameras being used by citizens at a town hall meeting he hosted in Cincinnati. The officer tells citizens that Chabot wants to protect the identities of other constituents in attendance. Watch the following raw video from the interaction between the citizens and the officer.
In the wake of the 5.9 earthquake that struck the metro-Washington, D.C. area on Tuesday, an individual claiming to be Paul Krugman took to Google+ stating that the national economy may have benefited more had the quake produced more damage. The post became a fast-growing internet session as individuals reposted the story and began offering their own assessments of "Krugman's" statement. Even right-wing columnists seemed to wonder if the statement actually came from Krugman. Ultimately, Krugman took to The New York Times to explain that he did not have his own Google+ account. Instead, it was an individual posing as Krugman. While this has been verified, Krugman's image has still suffered some damage as many pundits have pointed to arguments he has made that mirror the sentiment shared in the Google+ note.
Florida has recently begun a program whereby they drug test welfare recipients. If you fail your test, you ultimately lose your money.
Citizens have fallen on both sides of the issue. Those in favor of the policy largely cite the importance of financial stewardship and assuring that public tax money is used by individuals with a true need and desire to succeed on their own. Opponents, on the other hand, point to civil liberties issues along with questions about whether young children should ultimately suffer due to the decisions and actions of their parents.
In this video, Governor Rick Scott defends the policy (which is now under consideration in Missouri along with being discussed in many others):
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, our country has undertaken a serious dialogue about whether our cities and infrastructure are truly prepared for disasters. One often overlooked aspect, however, is on training our public safety officers to handle citizens in times of crisis.
During the Katrina disaster, police were challenged to work with citizens that were unhappy with response and aid. On September 4, 2005, four New Orleans police officers shot unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge and then plotted with two colleagues to
cover up what they knew was an unjustified attack. Now, years later, five have been convicted in federal court and four face potential life sentences for their crimes. The officers argued--to no avail--that they were in danger and doing as they were told in keeping individuals from crossing the bridge. Yet at least one victim was shot in the back while fleeing the scene.