Hello folks, hope you are well. It’s been a month after I inquired for people to suggest to what the Roundup needed. How are you liking the changes I implement? Did I do something wrong? Any suggestions?

State of the Union Aftermath

- Want to read the full text of the SOTU? Here’s the link to it.

- Missed the responses to Obama’s SOTU? Here’s the GOP response by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) (also there’s Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)) and here’s the socialist response.

- Two aspects that Obama failed to address in his speech, based on The Real News interviews, was the severity of poverty and roots of income inequality

- The plans Obama proposed yesterday were “underwhelming” and could have gone farther if he actually had thought most of it through.

- Natasha Lennard expands on Obama’s trek into furthering executive power into the economy as with the wars he’s been committed to.

- Even if small, Snowden’s presence during Obama’s speech has uncovered a President who has refused to do right and stick by the elites

- Bob Herbert, Jeremy Scahill and Lorella Praeli all discuss on Democracy Now! the problems within Obama’s speech and what his place is

- Over at The Nation, they agree with the call for raised wages, but feel the rest of the speech had problems meriting criticism.

- In Afghanistan, people were relieved to hear that Obama will continue to support them.

International Developments

Overall

- A must-read for those interested in Gitmo as Spencer Ackerman of The Guardian reports on the first-view of the review board there 

Middle East

- Here’s a fascinating study. It seems that in the past 20 years, the United Arab Emirates, drug use has risen over 500 percent.

- In Iraq, the Oil Ministry will be creating two more state-run companies to handle oil in the southern province.

- Iraq announced its forces “took back control” of western Baghdad from militant forces.

Asia and Oceania

- What’s happening in Thailand? What’s it’s history and what is this moment going on? This article should clear up any understanding people have.

- A New York Times journalist has been told to leave China after a piece NYT penned on corruption in China 

- One top U.S. intelligence official has said that North Korea restarted its nuclear program 

Africa

- Three people involved in the film on the 2011 Egyptian revolution, The Square, give their input and insights on what happened and their thoughts today in this interview.

- Ridiculous. Egypt will be charging 20 al-Jazeera journalists for, get this, tarnishing the image of Egypt.

- The military junta in Egypt is reporting that eight senior members of a Sinai terrorist group have been killed in a bombings

Europe

- Mark Weisbrot of CEPR: “Problems of Eurozone, European Integration Stem From Deeply Unpopular Elite Economic, Social Policy

- In the Ukraine, there is a significant worry of disgusting, good-for-nothing fascists taking over and leading the movement as the government has passed an amnesty bill for protesters

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- In Cuba, Latin American leaders have declared the region to be a “zone of peace” and will resolve disputes without arms.

- Human Rights Watch has criticized Ecuador for removing judges, whom called for reform, in its judicial system

Surveillance Planet

- Edward Snowden has again been nominated to win the Nobel Peace Prize due to the request by two Norwegian politicians

- A private-public idea to track students from Pre-Kindergarten to when they enter the workforce by sharing their data has been suggested to be implemented.

- James Clapper has said that Snowden documents should all be returned because people’s lives are at risk.

- In her first speech for the third term, Angela Merkel has warned the U.S. that surveillance, in which “the ends justify the means,” ends up violating trust

- A terror suspect has challenged the NSA programs as going against the Fourth Amendment and his constitutional protection

Financial Matters

- Pew: A new study has found that one reason for income inequality is people marrying within their income bracket

- Dean Baker: “Fear of the Old” Refuting arguments on young v old in today’s world

Labor’s a-Brewing

- Pete Seeger has had such an effect by playing at shows supporting labor unions throughout his career

- Samantha Bee of The Daily Show talks with an insane hardcore libertarian who believes any increase of wages will lead to unemployment and abolishing minimum wage will be great

- With the “dictatorship” of the NCAA, college athletes have decided to start forming a union

Politics US

Washington USA

- That wage hike Obama said in his speech for federal workers? Current contracts won’t include that at all.

- Obama has signed in the myRA account people can open with as little as $25

- After his speech, Obama will go on tour to different states to talk with small businesses and speak more on minimum wage increase

- Gallup: As Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke leaves this week, 40 percent of Americans approve of the job he did, while 35 percent disagree and 25 percent have no opinion.

- Pew: Voters feel that Democrats are more likely to work with leaders from another party than Republicans do

- Hillary Clinton: What’s my biggest regret? Benghazi

- Gallup: The Democrats have a three state advantage with 17 states polling Democrat to 13 states polling Republicans based on last year statistics.

- Federal prosecutors have been criticized for searching former Reuters journalist Matthew Keys’ computer after he was charged for working with Anonymous for changing a headline on LA Times site

Anytown USA

- Pew: Republicans voters are more likely to feel hesitant to support poverty and inequality measures than do Democratic voters

- The disastrous action in Atlanta on not solving the snowstorm there left some stuck in a 20-hour commute as rescue efforts continue in the city

- A father in West Virginia pens a letter to Obama calling for action over toxic water and federal action

- Pennsylvania finally decided to fix its bridges. It’s decision, however, was to just privatize the bridges and let the market update them. Not good.

- New York State Senate passed a bill that refuses to fund any academic institution launching boycotts (It’s for the pro-Israel lobby)

We Don’t Need No Education

- A new report from the U.N. has found that 250 million “primary-school age children” do not know how to write, read or do mathematics.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- Human Rights Watch had its report, with a ton of good information in it, stating that drug criminalizing is “inherently incompatible with human rights.

- The House has passed the Food Bill, which includes over $8 billion in food stamps cuts over the next few years

- It seems like the GMO battle in Hawaii will be moving to federal courts to see if it’s regulating them is the right thing to do (it is)

- A new, alarming study has found that childhood obesity starts even before school begins, maybe as young as five

The Second Sex

- The House passed a bill Tuesday to bar federal funds from supporting abortion and imposed a tax penalty on small businesses and individuals with insurance covering any abortion service.

- After 41 years after Roe v Wade, the rights of women (still difficult to grasp to this day to me on why efforts are being made) are still under attack 

Planet Earth

- In Wisconsin, Milwaukee decided that to fix two problems (excess after cheese production and ton of ice) they will use cheese brine on its roads. It might work.

- For New York, the shale gas potential that some have pinned on it has been debunked by five specialists who have found that it isn’t a bright future on that tactic and would hurt NY.

- Retailers in the U.K. will soon announce how much food they waste per year

- The snowstorm down in the deep south has left thousands (THOUSANDS?!) stranded and/or injured. Don’t forget Europe where four people died in Bulgaria.

Mixed Bag

- Remembering the activist and folk hero, Pete Seeger. More on him here and here.

Break Time

- No Rain