There hasn't been much to talk about in the last few days aside from the primary race, which I'm already annoyed with. So, in the interest of saving myself time, here's a list of little articles and topics that I found interesting.
1. Obama is asking Congress for the authority to merge different government agencies to reduce double-standards, red tape, and probably costs. The idea is to consolidate groups that do similar tasks to see if they can be bundled together for more efficient operation. Considering this would probably save money, and reduce the size and complexity of government, the GOP may actually grant Obama this power. It also doesn't hurt that Reagan had and used this tactic himself.
2. Representative Diane Black of Tennessee released a statement saying that she would be putting forth a bill that condemns Obama's recess appointments as being unconstitutional...as soon as she gets back from congressional recess. The pervasive argument has been that Obama's appointments were not made while Congress was in recess because they were holding pro forma sessions to technically "stay in session." However, legal experts (and history) argue that Obama exercised his rights lawfully and his appointments are therefore legitimate. The reddest of the red conservatives have been calling for impeachment proceedings to get underway over this. Not sure if that will happen since the DOJ has already said that Obama's appointments are appropriate and legal.
3. Democrats believe that they may have a shot at taking over the House in the next election. While I feel that's a bit too optimistic, I do believe that they'll be able to pick up some seats. I think it's pretty clear that the American people have laid a good amount of blame on Congress for doing nothing to help the economy and the job situation. I think that most Americans feel a lot of frustration with the GOP especially, since they rode into prominence on the promise that they would make Washington work better for the country. So far, it hasn't happened, and I believe that they will see some backlash from that.
4. Krugman has come out with his weekly op-ed, this time punching holes in the misled belief that America is a corporation. Focusing on the recent words of Mitt Romney, Krugman jumps into a great discourse on why America is not a business and cannot be run like one. As I've said before, the government must operate certain parts of our country at a direct loss of revenue, something no business would ever do. Things like Education, health care, and social service programs generate absolutely no direct revenue for the government's investment. Yet, they should pay for these programs because they have long-term benefits for the recipients. As Krugman notes in his piece, cutting a business's bottom line may be solid practice (at least for those at the top), but cutting the government's bottom line leads to problems like those in Europe right now. Once again, Krugman has made a very important and very relevant point about our nation.
5. Finally, Monday is MLK Day. State government's are closed, schools teach valuable civil and human rights lessons, and the nation reflects on the wisdom and life of one of our most esteemed citizens. From one of the darkest corners of American history, Martin Luther King Jr. rose up to be a commanding voice for change. He challenged what was acceptable and expected. He fought against governments, against police, against the law, against society, all in the name of equality and justice. He inspired a generation, and continues to inspire those who know his story. We as a nation have come a long way since his time, yet we still have far to go. The stain of prejudice is still present in many places, and continues to corrupt our nation. The memory of MLK has been preserved in our hearts and minds, even as there are those who would seek to change our view of this great leader among mankind. His life is an example to all of us, that we must stand up for what we believe, no matter what the world says is true or right or acceptable. We must demand the change that we wish to see in the world; we must live that change, be that change. MLK taught a nation to look to a person's heart, not their skin, to determine their worth. So, on Monday, reflect on where we are, where we have come from, where we are going, and what you can do to take us there.