Congress sells out to NRA
In the Commerce-Justice measure, such cuts included an administration move to reduce by more than half this year's $1.2 billion budget for grants and aid to state and local law enforcement. The Senate-passed bill includes $3.8 billion in grants to state and local governments and fire departments.
The bill also carries language backed by the National Rifle Association limiting the sharing of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives data on gun manufacturers, sellers and buyers with local governments and law enforcement.
Gun control critics opted not to challenge the provision offered by Rep Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., and similar to provisions included in the ATF budget since 2003. Instead, said Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., the provision's opponents would focus on preventing tougher Senate restrictions on sharing gun trace data from making it into the final House-Senate compromise bill.
Buzzed in space
According to NASA documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle, the space agency has broad plans for changes. They include a formal code of astronaut conduct, requirements for behavioral checkups as part of annual medical examinations, and a ban on alcohol consumption at least 12 hours before launch.
The plan also calls for a more thorough collection of mental health data in the long-term tracking of astronaut health as well as a pledge to grant protection from workplace retaliation for co-workers and health care providers who report abuses.
They are strapped to a rocket filled with nitro and other flameables and shot into space pretty much with fingers crossed and less than 50% chance odds against them makin' it there and back alive while some foam and foil formed into a ship guides them around so I say let them get a buzz , by drink or drug or whatever they need to feel good about risking their life on out-dated and faulty technology all in the name of science and the space race...rock on astros...everyone else should just mind ur own biz on this issue...
Equality for gay Lutherans
The Lutheran pastor who will soon become bishop of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod is calling for his denomination to remove a celibacy requirement for gay and lesbian clergy, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Miller is hoping the change could come as early as next month in Chicago, where the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is scheduled to conduct its denominational assembly. Nearly a third of the denomination's 65 synods are asking for a policy change in clergy standards.
Vermont legislative leaders Wednesday announced a commission to study if the Legislature should allow same-sex couples to marry, the Associated Press reported.