Weekly News Digest

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 12:01 PM

The following stories were the biggest news events of the preceding week, according to the users of the Drudge Retort.

House May Pass Senate Bill Without Vote

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it. Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers "deem" the health-care bill to be passed.

Posted by ExpsRedemption at 11:21 AM on March 16, 2010 | 419 COMMENTS

Circuit Court: 'Under God' Constitutional

The phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegience is not an unconstitutional endorsement of religion, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Thursday. court denied atheist Michael Newdow's suit, eight years after making the opposite ruling. Judges said the phrase invokes patriotism, not religious faith. "Thus, the pledge is an endorsement of our form of government, not of religion or any particular sect," they ruled.

Posted by MURPHY at 08:01 AM on March 12, 2010 | 254 COMMENTS

34 Repub Senators Have Used Reconciliation

Think Progress: As the outlook on passage of health reform improves, Republicans have shifted to a new obstructionist strategy: attacking the process of reconciliation. Republicans claim that reconciliation was only intended to be used for bills dealing closely with the budget. In fact, when Republicans were in power, GOP lawmakers used reconciliation numerous times to pass major domestic policy legislation, including the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 and important changes to health care policy. Thirty-four of the 41 Senate Republicans have used reconciliation in the past to pass major pieces of domestic policy.

Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 07:32 PM on March 10, 2010 | 244 COMMENTS

Valedictorian Sues to Stop Graduation Prayer

A Greenwood High School honor student who learned in class about court rulings striking down school prayer has found a real-world application -- his own graduation ceremony.

Posted by mitch at 08:33 AM on March 14, 2010 | 226 COMMENTS

Walmart Fires Cancer Patient over Medical Pot

Now that medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, can an employer fire a worker who tests positive for the drug? WalMart did. "I was terminated because I failed a drug screening," says former WalMart employee Joseph Casias, who uses marijuana on his doctor's recommendation to treat pain from sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.

Posted by mitch at 08:27 AM on March 13, 2010 | 214 COMMENTS

'Far-Right' Texas Board Issues Textbook Standards

A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education succeeded Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade. Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state. Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a "constitutional republic," rather than "democratic," and students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

Posted by mmike at 01:30 PM on March 13, 2010 | 204 COMMENTS

Newsweek: Fire Bad Teachers

Newsweek: Once upon a time, American students tested better than any other students in the world. Now, ranked against European schoolchildren, America does about as well as Lithuania, behind at least 10 other nations. Within the United States, the achievement gap between white students and poor and minority students stubbornly persists -- and as the population of disadvantaged students grows, overall scores continue to sag. What really makes a difference, what matters more than the class size or the textbook, the teaching method or the technology, or even the curriculum, is the quality of the teacher.

Posted by FedUpWithPols at 03:31 PM on March 10, 2010 | 188 COMMENTS

Obama's Liberal Base 'Disengaged'

Liberal and progressive organizations that helped propel President Obama to the White House are turning on him now, little more than a year after he took office, USA Today reports. Their collective discontent, on issues from health care to nuclear energy to the handling of terrorism suspects, could mean bad news for Democrats during this fall's congressional elections. "The energized base which transformed the nation and elected our first black president (is) now disengaged," Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile says. "If this was September, I would hit the panic button."

Posted by rcade at 09:46 AM on March 11, 2010 | 187 COMMENTS

Justice Roberts Slams State of the Union

While speaking to law students at the University of Alabama, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts said Tuesday that the atmosphere at President Obama's first State of the Union address was "very troubling" and the annual speech to Congress has "degenerated into a political pep rally."

Posted by rcade at 11:27 AM on March 10, 2010 | 174 COMMENTS

Jesse Ventura's Censored 9/11 Piece

Jesse Ventura: You didn't see anything about it in the mainstream media, but at a recent conference in San Francisco, more than 1,000 architects and engineers signed a petition demanding that Congress begin a new investigation into the destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers on 9-11.

Posted by rcade at 01:20 PM on March 14, 2010 | 166 COMMENTS

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