North Carolina’s legislature placed the fate of marriage in that state into the hands of the citizenry on September 13 when the state Senate voted 30-16 in favor of a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. That vote came one day after the state House approved the amendment by a 75-42 margin, setting up next May’s ballot referendum, which will require a simple majority approval by voters in order to inscribe the marriage protection measure into the state’s constitution. “It is time for us to let the people of this state decide what they want in their constitution as far as marriage is concerned,” Republican state Senator Phil Berger challenged fellow lawmakers during floor debate on the amendment. “It may pass, it may fail. But it is time for them to make that decision about their constitution.” As reported by Baptist Press News: “All four states that border North Carolina passed constitutional marriage amendments in 2004 or 2006, but leaders in the then-Democratic controlled North Carolina legislature blocked an amendment from even coming to a floor vote. That changed last year when Republicans took over both chambers for the first time in more than 100 years.”
Taking a notably different tack from fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “fiercely attacked President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan Tuesday,” according to Politico. While House Republicans have taken what Rutgers University political science professor Ross Baker, in an interview with Congressional Quarterly, called a “tactically polite” approach to Obama’s $447 billion bill, McConnell came out swinging against it. Making his first public comments on the bill, McConnell said, “The first thing to say about this plan is it’s now obvious why the president left out the specifics last week. Not only does it reveal the political nature of this bill, it also reinforces the growing perception that this administration isn’t all that interested in economic policies that will actually work.” Anyone who doubts the bill is a political exercise need only consult a calendar and the latest opinion polls. With roughly 14 months to go until voters select the next President, Obama knows that unless he is perceived to be doing something about the stubbornly high unemployment rate, his already less-than-certain bid for reelection is almost surely doomed.
The victory of conservative Republican Bob Turner in New York’s Ninth Congressional District to replace the disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner in the House of Representatives is an indication of the political earthquake we can expect in November 2012. This special election, which pitted Turner, a 70-year-old retired cable TV executive and pro-life Catholic, against Democratic State Assemblyman David Weprin, is a significant upset in a district that has been a Democratic stronghold since the 1920s. It can only be explained by the mounting disillusionment with Barack Obama’s policies and the inability of the Democrats in Washington to improve the economy. And since this district, which covers parts of the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, is the largest Jewish district in the nation, Obama’s policy toward Israel was obviously also a factor in the way people voted. Indeed, it was former Democrat mayor Ed Koch’s backing of Turner that persuaded many Jewish voters to vote Republican.
Ninety years ago — in 1921 — federal income tax policies reached an absurdity that many people today seem to want to repeat. Those who believe in high taxes on "the rich" got their way. The tax rate on people in the top income bracket was 73 percent in 1921. On the other hand, the rich also got their way: They didn't actually pay those taxes. The number of people with taxable incomes of $300,000 a year and up — equivalent to far more than a million dollars in today's money — declined from more than a thousand people in 1916 to less than three hundred in 1921. Were the rich all going broke? It might look that way. More than four-fifths of the total taxable income earned by people making $300,000 a year and up vanished into thin air. So did the tax revenues that the government hoped to collect with high tax rates on the top incomes.  
"Global warming is more likely to improve rather than harm human health," according to a new study published by three non-profit climate research organizations. Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report directly challenges findings of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which publishes regular assessment reports used by governments worldwide, including our own, to form public environmental policy. The 430-page report includes data largely ignored by IPCC. Editors of the study conclude anthropogenic (manmade) greenhouse gases (GHG) "are not playing a substantial role" in global temperature increases during the past century, contrary to IPCC claims that human activities are to blame. They acknowledge that rising levels of GHG certainly contribute to climate change, but they find natural sources to be the main cause. Furthermore, the authors hail this as a harbinger of good things to come, explaining "the net effect of continued warming and rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere is most likely to be beneficial to humans, plants and wildlife."
Released on Tuesday, the Census Bureau’s annual report flashed a dismal economic outlook, showing that U.S. poverty has exceeded 46 million people — nearly 1 in 6 Americans — and the number without health insurance spiking from 49 million to almost 50 million. As unemployment continues to hover around 9 percent, many Americans are financially exhausted, as the overall poverty rate reached 15.1 percent, up from the 14.3 percent recorded the previous year. The number of Americans now below the poverty line is the highest number recorded since 1959, when the Census first started analyzing such data. Bruce Meyer, a public policy professor at the University of Chicago, warns that poverty levels may further escalate, as the demand for food stamps rises and a "staggeringly high" number of Americans are becoming unemployed for more than 26 weeks. Professor Meyer notes that more than 6 million people are categorized as "long-term unemployed," and are more susceptible to falling into poverty. Last year’s median household income was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decrease from 2009.
Growing dissatisfaction with the nation's economic woes appeared to trump fears of cuts to Social Security and Medicaid in special elections for U.S. House seats in New York and Nevada, as Republicans held on to a seat in a solidly Republican district in Nevada and trounced the Democrats in an overwhelmingly Democratic district in the Empire State. Republican Bob Turner 70, a retired cable television executive, defeated better-known and better-funded New York Assemblyman David Weprin to become the first Republican elected to represent New York's 9th congressional district since 1920. While Weprin, 55, had not conceded by early Wednesday morning, the Associated Press showed the unofficial count had Turner leading 54 to 46 percent with 84 percent of the precincts counted. The two men squared off in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Anthony Weiner, who resigned in June ....
Presidential candidate Rick Perry opined in the first Republican debate that  Social Security is a “failure” and a “Ponzi scheme,” and then reiterated the charge in the second debate on Monday night. At the first debate, Perry said Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme for these young people. The idea… that the current program is going to be there for them is a lie.” When pressed by the moderator, Perry reiterated, saying Social Security is a “monstrous lie to our kids.” On Monday night Perry refused to back down: “It is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you’re paying into a program that’s going to be there. Anybody that’s for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and it’s not right.” But in his op-ed piece in USA Today on Sunday, Perry backed off, writing instead that the system could still be salvaged somehow: “Social Security benefits for current recipients and those nearing retirement must be protected. For younger workers, we must consider reforms to make Social Security financially viable.” He failed to mention the words “Ponzi scheme” nor did he explain just what reforms would be required.
In a shocking ruling by a Canadian appeal court, a woman who strangled her son with her underwear after secretly giving birth to him will face no jail time because the judge determined that her actions were no different from an abortion. When Katrina Effert was 19-years old, she gave birth to a baby boy, and immediately strangled the child and threw his body over the fence into the neighbor’s yard on April 13, 2005. Two years ago, a jury found Effert guilty of second-degree murder, but the highest court in the province decided that the jury had made a mistake. The Alberta Court of Appeal overturned the conviction, and replaced it with a lesser charge of infanticide. The Criminal Code of Canada classifies infanticide as follows:
Analysts are warning that serious chaos could ensue as a coalition of radical activists, leftist organizations, self-described “revolutionaries” and anti-capitalist agitators — some of whom are reportedly linked to the Obama administration — plots to “occupy" Wall Street starting on September 17. Under the banner of a “Day of Rage,” critics and supporters say the protests could be just the start of something much bigger — and the list of targeted cities in the U.S. and around the world is still growing. The real goals of the effort remain murky. But despite the apparent socialist and collectivist bent of many participants, even some constitutionalists have expressed tepid sympathy after organizers released a statement blasting the American “kleptocracy” run by “banksters.” “We must stop their influence, their motives, and their tricks, from continuing to destroy our democratic republic,” concluded a “tactical plan” released last week by one of the organizations affiliated with the movement. The group, known as US Day of Rage, also called for an end to the influence of money in politics.  
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