RFL Blog


RFL Blog

Focusing on national and regional politics with a healthy dose of sports and entertainment, the RFL Blog offers readers a chance to further explore today'’s headline news through the writings of industry insiders, commentators and special guests.


"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

– Noam Chomsky 


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Posted by David Laska on July 24, 2013
Spike Lee

Spike Lee is making a new movie. That wouldn’t raise eyebrows if it weren’t for the method of funding Spike has chosen for the project: he’s “crowdsourcing:” asking the general public to give him $1.25 million.

So why is a man whose last film made $186 million, who himself is worth an estimated $40 million, asking average folks to fund his project? It’s a good question, and it raises a few others.

Posted by Kevin Stump on July 16, 2013
Photo credit: iStock

(New York City, NY) – Rates on subsidized Stafford student loans doubled on July 1st because Congress could not come up with an agreed upon solution. The House of Representatives passed a bad deal for students and the Senate passed no deal at all.

Sound familiar? That’s because it is. We had this fight just last year because the law that Congress passed in 2007 to incrementally lower interest rates on subsidized Stafford student loans — from 6.8% in 2008 down to 3.4% in 2011— was set to expire (and therefore double rates!) on July 1st of 2012.

Posted by Dominic Carter on July 9, 2013
Christine Quinn

I sat down recently to interview the speaker of the New York City Council, Christine Quinn, for our candidate profiles on RNN-TV.

I couldn't help but think about when one looks at group shots of all the candidates running for mayor of New York City, Quinn stands out. All you see are a lot of men. Quinn is the only woman.

Posted by David Laska on June 28, 2013
Photo credit: Business Law News

New York City just became the largest city in America to pass mandatory paid sick leave for employees. That means that every employer in the City has to compensate their employees when they’re home sick – whether they can afford to or not.

It sounds like a nice idea. It’s not. And as states and municipalities around the country consider similar legislation, it’s worth taking a critical look at the policy.

Posted by David Laska on June 26, 2013
Photo Credit: Crains New York

For Andrew Cuomo, the 2013 legislative session can best be summed up in four words: all politics, no substance.

The pressing issues of jobs, economic growth and Albany's Culture of Corruption went totally unaddressed.

Posted by RFL Staff on June 26, 2013
X FActor

On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States decided the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, 11-345. The case involved Abigail Noel Fisher, who sued the University of Texas after her college application was rejected. She claimed her application was rejected because she is white and that she was being treated differently than some less-qualified minority students who were accepted.

On the website for the University of Texas at Austin, the Office of Admissions lists its mission:

Posted by Jeanne Zaino on June 25, 2013
Sentor Coburn. Image Credit: NY TImes

The American Political Science Association (APSA) recently hired lobbyists to advocate in favor of lifting restrictions on the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) funding of political science research. This is just one of the many tactics the organization has taken in response to the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 which was signed into law in March and included an amendment limiting funding for political research.

Posted by Tania Fuentez on June 21, 2013
The Art of the Brick

Every LEGO block tells a story, so give yourself more than enough time to study the Masters on display in The Art of the Brick exhibition at Discovery Times Square Museum. New York-based artist Nathan Sawaya clearly put his heart into this meticulously crafted collection of LEGO sculptures, transforming a common toy into something beyond belief. The exhibit runs through Jan. 5, 2014.

Posted by RFL Staff on June 18, 2013
Photo credit: Huffington Post

On the six-month anniversary of the senseless tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the United States Congress has still failed to pass any gun safety legislation.

Posted by RFL Staff on June 12, 2013
Photo credit: wildfirewire

Most Americans have a healthy sense of skepticism about data collection and surveillance, and hold varying degrees of trust in institutions to responsibly use their personal information.



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