Mike RogersThe controversial USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act), signed into law in 2001, is quietly up again for renewal. The Raw Story reports that Representative Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) has introduced a bill intended to “renew controversial provisions of the Bush administration's USA Patriot Act that are due to expire this year."

Speaking at the memorial of Jared Loughner's victims on Wednesday night, President Barack Obama delivered a plea for an end to the ideological war over who, other than Loughner, is responsible for the mass murder in Tucson, Arizona.

pistolDespite — or perhaps because of — politicians’ and pundits’ handwringing about the dangers of guns in the hands of ordinary citizens in the wake of the January 8 shootings in Tucson, Arizona, Americans seem far from fearful about the prospect of owning firearms. In fact, they are positively giddy about buying their own guns. Bloomberg News reports that, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data, handgun sales across the country on January 10 were up 5 percent year-over-year, with Arizona experiencing a 60 percent increase. In addition, sales rose 65 percent in Ohio, 38 percent in Illinois, 33 percent in New York, and 16 percent in California.

Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday Iraq may need U.S. military assistance beyond the scheduled withdrawal of the last of the American forces at the end of this year under the Status of Forces Agreement signed by the United States and Iraqi governments in 2008, Voice of America News reported.

The American people, according to a January 11 Reuters poll, strongly oppose raising the debt ceiling of the federal government. The poll shows that 71 percent of respondents are against raising the limit on federal borrowing authority, while only 18 percent support such a move.