No Welfare for Weed Bill Passes House of Representatives

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The so-called "no welfare for weed bill," which would block pot shops from accepting welfare debit cards, passed the House of Representatives Tuesday. The Preserving Welfare for Needs Not Weed Act aims to close the loophole that was created when states such as Washington and Colorado legalized the recreational sale of marijuana, Rep. David Reichert, the bill's main sponsor, said on the House floor, according to a video of his remarks posted on his YouTube page See also: Tech-Powered Weed-Delivery Service Eaze Comes to San Francisco A federal law passed in 2012 forces states to prevent welfare recipients who benefit from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program from using their assistance at casinos, liquor stores and strip clubs, but it does not cover pot shops, the Republican from Washington, said. Read more... More about Marijuana , Us World , Politics , and Us Read more »

The History of U.S. Immigration Policy Explained in 2 Minutes

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) suggested in Sept. 2014 that Congress might work on immigration reform the following year — if President Barack Obama enforced current laws and didn't act on it unilaterally. There's just one thing: Boehner and the Republican Party have made that same statement before, but neither the GOP nor Democrats are any closer to finding a solution to the United States' immigration issues See also: 9 Cultural Icons Who Have Written for 'The New York Times' Democrats and Republicans generally agree that the American immigration system is in dire need of repair. There are more than 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the country today — roughly equal to the populations of New York City, Chicago and Detroit combined — while there aren't nearly enough visas for highly skilled immigrants to meet the demand. Read more... More about Videos , United States , Barack Obama , Politics , and Congress Read more »

What to Expect at IFA 2014: Smartwatches, TVs and More

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BERLIN — It's September, which means the gadgets are coming. IFA 2014, which stands for Internationale Funkausstellung (and translates to the international radio exhibition), kicks off this week in Berlin and will usher in collections of new smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, giant TVs and home appliances. The trade show is one of the longest-running technology expos — with roots dating back to the 1920s — and it gets bigger each year. See also: 10 Fan-Made Apple Product Concepts We Wish Were Real [PICS] While the Consumer Electronics Show (Las Vegas) and Mobile World Congress (Barcelona) are arguably the two biggest tech conferences of the year — front-loaded in the earlier months to set the stage for what will hit stores later — IFA is becoming an increasingly important launching ground for tech giants. It serves as an annual hub for Eastern and Western manufacturers to show off their goods to the world and is the only major show right before the holiday shopping season. Read more... More about Mobile , Smartphones , Tablets , Tech , and Ifa 2014 Read more »

How Can National Weather Service’s Warnings Save Lives If Nobody Gets Them?

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Over the past two years, the National Weather Service — the agency tasked with issuing life-saving severe weather watches and warnings across the country — has had a bevy of technical glitches that have severely impeded its operations These incidents, which have ranged from the apparent issuance of a massive (and false) flood watch for all points east of Lake Michigan and north of Florida, to letting a tornado go essentially unwarned due to failures of automated systems, have the attention of the agency's leadership, the NWS says See also: You've Never Seen a Thunderstorm Move Like This The latest problem occurred on Monday, when an unidentified Android app made too many data requests from the NWS Internet Dissemination System, known as NIDS, causing the system to temporarily shut down . This disabled the heart of the NWS website, preventing many users from obtaining point and click weather forecasts for a period of at least six hours Read more... More about Apps , Weather , Congress , National Weather Service , and Us World Read more »

It Takes 155 Million Hot Dogs and 15,000 Fireworks to Celebrate the Fourth of July

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This weekend, millions of Americans will celebrate the nation's Independence Day . The Second Continental Congress voted to become independent from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, and approved the Declaration of Independence two days later. John Adams wrote to his wife at the time that the second should be celebrated "with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more." See also: 15 Fun Products to Geek Up Your 4th of July BBQ [PICS] Though the holiday has come to be celebrated on the fourth, Adams should be impressed by the sheer amount of pomp and parade that marks the occasion every year. Or at least by the number of hot dogs we eat that day. Read more... More about Travel , Lists , Fireworks , Facts , and July 4th Read more »

In Commencement Speech, Obama Unloads on Climate Change ‘Deniers’

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Giving the commencement address at the University of California at Irvine on Saturday, President Obama openly mocked the climate science and policy positions of many Republican lawmakers, without naming any names This was the first time that Obama had launched such a frontal assault on those who are trying to stymie his efforts to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that are causing global warming, such as carbon dioxide On June 2, the Obama administration introduced draft regulations to reign in emissions from existing power plants in the U.S. by 30% below 2005 levels by the year 2020. Many Republicans denounced these proposed rules as a "War on Coal," and argued against them on scientific grounds as well. Read more... More about Climate Change , Obama , Global Warming , Us World , and Politics Read more »

Eric Cantor Steps Down as House Majority Leader After Stunning Primary Loss

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Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) reflected on his shocking primary defeat and announced he was stepping down as House majority leader Wednesday afternoon. "While I intend to serve out my term as a member of Congress, effective July 31 I will be stepping down as majority leader," Cantor said at a press conference in the basement of the Capitol. See also: 12 Theories Why Eric Cantor Lost to an Unknown Economics Professor In his brief press conference, Cantor reflected on his loss and called the defeat a setback, saying, "Growing up in the Jewish faith, you learned a lot about individual setbacks. Each setback is an opportunity and there’s always opportunity in the future. While I may have suffered a personal setback last night, I could not be more optimistic about the future of the country." Read more... Read more »

Congress Had No Idea About Bergdahl Swap

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has told senators it didn't notify Congress about the pending swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban officials because the Taliban had threatened to kill him if the deal was made public before it happened. That's according to three congressional officials who spoke to The Associated Press. See also: Politicians Delete Digital Praise of Bowe Bergdahl Release The officials said Thursday that the threat — not just concerns that the captive's health might be failing —drove the Obama administration to quickly make a deal to rescue Bergdahl. The threat had been transmitted by Qatari officials at the height of the negotiations. Read more... More about Us World , Politics , Us , World , and Bergdahl Read more »

Politicians Scramble to Delete Pro-Bergdahl Tweets as Backlash Grows

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At least six politicians have now deleted tweets they sent about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl All of them sent tweets offering initial praise of Bergdahl's release, only to later backtrack and pull the posts off the web. But thanks to Politwoops, a website from the Sunlight Foundation, the Internet never forgets See also: Taliban Release Video Showing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's Handover to U.S. They include four Republican members of Congress, one Democrat and the Republican state senator who won Iowa’s five-way Senate primary on Tuesday night. That's two more than the four Mashable reported on Tuesday. See who's scrambling to run from the spreading Bergdahl backlash. Read more.. Read more »

Clay Aiken’s Primary Opponent Found Dead

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The man who ran against former American Idol star Clay Aiken in a North Carolina congressional primary is dead, the Courier-Tribune reports . Keith Crisco, 71, was found dead in his home, a representative from the Asheboro Elastics Corp, which was owned by Crisco, tells NBC News . Reports say he suffered a fall. He was reported dead at the scene. Crisco and Aiken were locked in a too-close-to-call primary battle in North Carolina's Democratic primary for U.S. House District 2. Crisco was trailing Aiken by just a few hundred votes and was waiting for the final count before deciding if he would press on in the race Read more »