Before we all enter into SuperBowl mode this weekend, take a look at these interesting tidbits we’ve compiled for this week’s FYI list:
If you haven’t seen former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords speech on gun violence, take a look now or glance at her notes from Tuesday.
Giffords was severely wounded and is still recovering, but with courage and grace she approached the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging them to think more seriously about stricter gun control policies:
Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important…Violence is a big problem, too many people are dying, too many children are dying, too many children.
While we’re on the Second Amendment, The Atlantic published a great piece this week about “Why the ‘citizen militia’ theory is the worst pro-gun argument ever:
From the Second Amendment to another usually partisan issue — immigration. This week a bipartisan group of eight senators unveiled a blueprint for meaningful immigration reform (listen to our podcast to find out more). But, that doesn’t mean everyone is in agreement.. On Monday, Rush Limbaugh said that it was now up to him and the Fox News network to stop this effort to create a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living inside our borders.
On the other hand, Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fl.), once an opponent of immigration reform like this, appeared to perform an about face. Senator Rubio, now a member of the “Gang of Eight”pitching this blueprint to the media, is casting the proposal as preferable to both the status quo (“what we have now is de facto amnesty,” Rubio said) and the more lenient path to citizenship supported by Barack Obama:
I know the president’s gonna take us in a direction that I would not be comfortable with and I don’t think it’s good for America…I’m just trying to do the best I can with what’s already a tough situation.
Time describes Rubio’s move as an “Agile Courtship of Conservative Media.”
More big policy news this week is yet another proposed compromise from the White House on contraception coverage, allowing religious institutions to opt-out. The New York Times explains:
Before we get too excited about immigration, gun ownership and health care reform, let’s not forget about the really big news this week: The 47th Super Bowl between the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers. According to Facebook data, almost everyone is rooting for the 49ers. As Slate explains:
In other non-politics news, The Atlantic brings us “The Most Ridiculous Law of 2013”. And it’s only February! Apparently, unlocking your own smartphone to make it available on other carriers is now a criminal offense…
Another tech feature this week comes from Gavin Newsom (the current Lieutenant Governor of California and former mayor of San Francisco) who wrote an interesting op-ed in Wired titled “Hacking is Good for Democracy.”
Following Aaron Swartz’s tragic death, the subject of “hacking” has been receiving a lot of media attention, especially since many critics argue that Swartz was painted as a criminal and a hacker when in reality he was simply liberating already-public information. To define what, or whom, a hacker is, Newsom quotes Steward Brand explaining that: “despite the negative connotation of the word hacker..they are people who are benevolent fixers of things that are broken or not as good as they could be. And society is in the process of making itself more hackable — in a good way.”
In cities throughout the country, hackathons are redefining the meaning of civic engagement. Programmers, designers, developers, and data crunchers gather together for a finite period — say, forty-eight hours or a week — to try to solve some of the city’s problems.
And that’s it for this week. Enjoy the Super Bowl (whichever brother you’re rooting for!) and as always, tell us what you think of these stories and what we should be reading.
- Why Limbaugh is gushing over Marco Rubio (cnn.com)
- Marco Rubio Courts Base While Crossing the Aisle (swampland.time.com)