For nearly four decades Congress has ensured that federal spending rises inexorably by guaranteeing that every budget item increases automatically each year. And woe to anyone who seeks merely to reduce these automatic increases, for he shall be labeled a heartless, slash-and-burn budget cutter!  
On December 22, 2011, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina issued a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of key provisions of the South Carolina immigration statute. Last month, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson filed papers in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals requesting that court reverse the lower court’s ruling.  
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won 50 percent of the vote in the Nevada caucuses February 4. Romney's margin of victory over second-place Newt Gingrich (21 percent) and Ron Paul (19 percent) was directly a result of the 25 percent of caucus-goers who were Mormon; Romney won almost 90 percent of that demographic. (Note: After this article was originally published, the percentages in the previous sentence were updated to reflect the certified results announced Feb. 6.)  
Attorney General Eric Holder faced tough questions about the “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking scandal from outraged members of Congress during a Thursday hearing, but he continued to defiantly stonewall while refusing to hand over key documents subpoenaed in the congressional investigation. Republican lawmakers responded by telling the Justice Department boss to resign and saying that if the cover-up continues, he could be charged with contempt of Congress.  
Another day, another sticky-fingered Transportation Security Administration agent caught stealing from airline passengers: According to the Associated Press, 31-year-old Alexandra Schmid, a TSA screener at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, allegedly helped herself to a cool $5,000 from a passenger’s jacket as it passed along an X-ray conveyor belt on February 1. The passenger, a native of Bangladesh, noticed the money was missing as soon as he retrieved his jacket, at which point he reported the theft.
Danny Woodhead is a mini Tim Tebow  …  sans the hype.  Heralding an article with a never-give-up theme about undrafted and cut players who will be playing in Super Bowl XLVI, USA Today put Woodhead, a running back for the New England Patriots, on its front page.  
The Obama administration on Friday accelerated efforts to tame unemployment among U.S. veterans by calling for a new conservation program that would put service members — specifically those returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — to work rebuilding roads, trails, and other projects on public lands.  
The Girl Scout cookie drive is in full swing and, as in the past, the 100-year-old organization expects to profit handsomely from truckloads of thin mints, caramel delights, shortbread, and other favorites sold by a nationwide army of green-clad girls to family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and complete strangers. But a few pro-life and pro-family groups are recommending a boycott of the cookies this year because of the Girl Scout (GSUSA) organization’s partnership with Planned Parenthood, its practice of allowing sexually confused boys to join its ranks, and its reported promotion of pre-marital sex among the girls it mentors.  
Three days after announcing that it would no longer fund Planned Parenthood, the Komen cancer charity has reversed its decision, apologizing profusely for abandoning the abortion giant. “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives,” Komen CEO Nancy Brinker said in a statement. “The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends, and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.” In fact, in the original announcement Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun had emphasized that dropping its funding to Planned Parenthood was in no way an indication of Komen’s unhappiness with the abortion group’s agenda. “We want to maintain a positive relationship with them,” she had told the Associated Press. “We’re not making any judgment.”   Instead, AP reported, Aun said that the funding cuts resulted from “the charity’s newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations which are under investigation by local, state, or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it’s the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions.”  
Pressure from a military veterans group unhappy with his stance on Islam and the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States has prompted retired Army Lieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin to cancel his appearance as a speaker at West Point’s upcoming prayer breakfast February 8.  
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