In his official remarks about the end of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, President Obama told an assembly of troops: The war in Iraq will soon belong to history. Your service belongs to the ages. Never forget that you are part of an unbroken line of heroes spanning two centuries — from the colonists who overthrew an empire, to your grandparents and parents who faced down fascism and communism, to you — men and women who fought for the same principles in Fallujah and Kandahar, and delivered justice to those who attacked us on 9/11.
Planned Parenthood has released its Annual Report for 2009-2010, and predictably, the revelations about the abortion giant’s doings over that time frame paint a tragic picture. With a total budget of just over $1 billion, the “family planning” group was responsible for a total of 329,445 abortions, while making just 841 adoption referrals. That means there were 391 abortions for every adoption — a horrific ratio. Interestingly, the “non-profit,” which receives almost half (46 percent) of its annual budget from taxpayer dollars through government grants, contracts, and Medicaid payments, boasted an $18.5-million revenue “excess” during 2009-2010 — a handsome windfall for the abortion provider. The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List pointed out that by Planned Parenthood’s own tally, it served a total of three million people over the time frame of its report, meaning that 11 percent of its clients were on the receiving end of an abortion. The pro-life watchdog’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, challenged, “With over a billion in net assets and a business model centered on abortion and government subsidies, it is time for Planned Parenthood to end its reliance on taxpayer dollars.”
Robert E. Sanders, a former official of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) for 24 years and now a board member of the National Rifle Association, complained that the ATF’s practice of issuing “private letter rulings” on what constitutes a “weapon” are not only confusing but often arbitrary and even contradictory. The main reason is that the regulations under which the ATF operates aren’t defined and therefore are subject to interpretation and modification: It is hard to tell what ATF wants you do to without submitting your product and asking for a letter ruling. You can’t tell what the agency has said in the past to others, because those letter rulings are generally secret. How could somebody know how to comply with the law? Len Savage, the owner of Historic Arms in Georgia, found out the hard way about the ATF’s capriciousness, and it cost him $500,000. Savage is a firearms designer and manufacturer and was told by the ATF in July 2005 that he could convert machine guns legally owned by collectors into belt-fed weapons. After investing in the tools and machinery to make the conversions, he received another letter from the ATF in April 2006 saying that “upon reconsideration” it was rescinding its previous approval. Savage said the ATF “follows no rhyme or reason” calling it “enforcement by ambush.”
Inside the Lucky Dragon van sitting by the curb at the Chinese consulate in New York is a couch, a folding chair, two Mac laptop computers and a printer running off the cigarette lighter/DC connector. On the side of the van is the name: Lucky Dragon Mobile Visa Consultants. They are serving 25 to 50 people every working day of the week. When Adam Humphreys, a free-lance artist and member of a local band, tried to obtain the required visa for his trip to China, he found that the form he had downloaded from the embassy’s website was the wrong one. After standing in line only to find that his efforts to complete the form were in vain, Humphreys walked three-and-a-half blocks to a Burger King which had a wireless connection to download and complete the proper form, and then return to stand in line once again. At the Burger King’s Internet café, Humphreys had a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious): every one of the computers at the café was logged onto the embassy’s website to access the proper form. Smelling an opportunity, Humphreys called his band buddy Steven Nelson and together they rented the van and started a business.
Colin Gunn, a feisty Scottish filmmaker, and Joaquin Fernandez, an American cinematographer, have produced a powerful and highly provocative film called IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America. Having become aware of the horrors that go on in our pagan government schools, these two film makers, who also happen to be Christian homeschooling Dads, decided to make a hard-hitting documentary film that would wake up the Christian parents of America and show them what is happening to their children in the public schools. Ninety percent of Christian parents send their children to these pagan schools, and after twelve years of indoctrination in the philosophy of secular humanism, 88 percent of those Christian children come out no longer believing in the religion of their parents. But the problem for the film makers was how best to bring this issue to the public. It was Colin’s brilliant idea to purchase a yellow school bus and tour the country in search of the truth about what was going on in America’s anti-Christian public schools. He packed his wife and seven children in the bus, which became their home during the several months of the saga, and set off on a journey that brought him in contact with some of America’s great Christian leaders and educators.
Following a campaign that saw her fade rapidly from a front-running favorite to an “also-ran,” U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) threw in the towel on her presidential aspirations after a disappointing performance in the Iowa caucuses on January 3. Carrying a mere five percent of the vote in the GOP contest, Bachmann finished a dismal sixth behind front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who shared 24.5 percent of the Iowa votes, as well as being far-outdistanced by Ron Paul (21.4 percent), Newt Gingrich (13.3), and even Rick Perry (10.3). Late into the evening on the night of the caucuses CNSNews.com had quoted Bachmann as saying that she would continue with her long-shot campaign. “I believe that I am that true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012,” she told a small core of supporters. “What we need is a fearless conservative, one with no compromises on their record on spending, on healthcare, on crony capitalism, on defending America, on standing with our ally Israel.” But at a hastily organized morning press conference on January 4, Bachmann announced her withdrawal from the race. “Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to step aside,” she declared with her family by her side. She added that she had “no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles and we can leave this race knowing that we ran it with utmost integrity. We made a very important contribution to this race.”
In his annual report on the federal judiciary published Saturday, Chief Justice John Roberts of the United States Supreme Court wrote the he has “complete confidence” in the ability of his fellow high court justices to determine the appropriate time to recuse themselves from cases wherein they may have personal interest. Recusal is the process by which a judge abstains from participating in a hearing due to a conflict of interest. According to applicable federal law (United States Code Title 28, Section 455), a “judge shall recuse [himself] in any case in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Roberts’s comment comes at an apropos time as in its next term the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in two very high-profile cases: one challenging the legality of Arizona’s immigration statute (S.B. 1070), the other seeks to determine the constitutionality of ObamaCare. Justice Kagan has already announced that she will recuse herself from considering the Arizona immigration case. While serving as the Solicitor General in the Obama administration, Kagan was personally involved in many of the actions taken by the White House and the Department of Justice in the legal proceedings they initiated against Arizona after enactment of S.B. 1070.
Over 26,000 Republicans participating in that party’s Iowa Caucus voted for Ron Paul. According to data breaking down entrance polls conducted by Edison Research, Ron Paul won 43 percent of independents who voted in Tuesday's caucus. Conversely, however, he garnered only 14 percent of those describing themselves as “Republicans.” This seems a substantial obstacle to the Texas Congressman’s eventual nomination as he is running as a Republican. A story posted on ronpaul2012.com insisted that despite the third-place finish, Ron Paul was “the candidate for real change” and the only alternative to the Establishment’s man -— Mitt Romney. There is no doubt that Ron Paul has little in common with winner-by-a-nose, Mitt Romney. The former Governor of Massachusetts has a history of promoting the individual mandate concept with regard to state-run health care and of being hawkish on the use of American military forces in Iran, Syria, and Libya. All of these policies are anathema to the concept of limited government espoused by Paul and held so dear by his legions of constitutionalist supporters.
On December 29, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declared unconstitutional a Washington State statute regulating the donation of money to political action committees (PACs). Specifically, the law in question prohibited PACs from accepting contributions in excess of $5,000 within 21 days of an election. The case challenging the measure was filed by Family PAC, a conservative political committee formed to oppose Washington's domestic partnership law through a voter referendum. In the suit, plaintiffs objected to three separate provisions of the new election law, only the third of which was held unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit. The first section objected to by Family PAC required a political committee to report the name and address of each person contributing more than $25 to the committee. The second provision that was challenged imposed a requirement on PACs that they report the occupation and employer of each person contributing more than $100 to the committee. Family PAC’s third averment specifically challenged the three-week moratorium on PAC donations. The Ninth Circuit declared that the rule violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of unabridged free speech.
After capturing second place in the Iowa Republican caucuses, losing by a meager eight votes to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is positioned to be the latest subject under the media’s microscope. When one becomes a frontrunner, the scrutiny quickly begins, and the question hovering over the former Pennsylvania Senator’s head is: Is Rick Santorum really the authentic conservative he proclaims to be? Only hours after the Iowa caucuses closed, critics spelled out their cases as to why Santorum is not the "one true conservative running in 2012," which his campaign has been exuding since its original conception. Syndicated columnist David Harsanyi accused the presidential contender of being a "conservative technocrat," and a veritable bearer of "big-government conservatism." "If the thought of big, intrusive liberal government offends you, he might just be your man," Harsanyi writes. "And if you favor a big, intrusive Republican government, he’s unquestionably your candidate."