In terminating the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS) project, an X-ray telescope mission that was launched to study black holes and various space-time theories, NASA has left taxpayers with a bill worth $43.5 million. The program’s overall price tag was initially marked at $119 million (not including the rocket that was to be launched into orbit), but the space agency has already doled out tens of millions of dollars, and the project was 20 to 30 percent over budget, according to briefing charts received by SpaceNews.com.
The “Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012,” announced Wednesday by three Democratic lawmakers — Reps. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), and Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) — would spike the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10 while mandating that future increases be tied to inflation.
But leaders in the business community say increases in the minimum wage only exacerbate unemployment, as companies must cut their payroll, especially when dealing with a stagnant economy.
After enduring a series of financial and logistical hiccups, California’s landmark high-speed rail project has become increasingly unpopular among voters, as the project’s enormous price tag continues to inflate and as the state’s budgetary woes grow more severe.
House Republicans passed two amendments on a spending bill Tuesday that would bar the federal government from imposing light bulb standards that critics say are too meddlesome. Passed through a voice vote, the provision would amend the Energy and Water spending bill for 2013 by preventing the Energy Department from spending money to enforce bulb efficiency regulations that were established in a law passed during the Bush administration.
Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the phase-out was slated to commence in January 2012, which banned the sale of all 100-watt bulbs, as well as the sale of all 75-watt bulbs by July 2013. But a spending bill passed last December stalled the mandate until this October.
The tobacco industry has spent $47 million to defeat California’s Proposition 29, which would enact a new $1-a-pack cigarette tax, and its ad campaign is having a significant impact.
The Obama administration has come under fire after the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) hired a public relations firm to help restore the muddied reputation of the President’s controversial Affordable Care Act. The $20-million, taxpayer-funded contract was awarded to a PR firm called Porter Novelli, which helped launch the Agriculture Department’s renowned healthy food pyramid.
Senate lawmakers are continuing investigations over the infamous prostitution scandal that implicated 12 Secret Service agents during a presidential assignment in Cartagena, Colombia. So far, eight Secret Service employees have lost their jobs, while the agency plans to permanently revoke the security clearance for one other employee.
While GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney handily won Tuesday’s Kentucky and Arkansas primaries, voters in the two states mounted a heavy revolt against President Obama, as Democratic contenders garnered a sizable block of votes. Moreover, discontent with Obama’s first term is so intensive that voters in West Virginia delivered a prison inmate in Texas over 40 percent of the state’s Democratic primary vote.
In an effort to curb growing discontent with ObamaCare, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has hired a public relations firm to help underscore portions of the law.
A new study published by the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) could proffer a formidable challenge to the Obama administration’s regulated approach to tapering healthcare costs, as the analysis found that healthcare spending is growing moderately, up 3.3 percent in 2010 but still three times the pace of general inflation.