To say the least, there were a few red faces in the U.S. Senate following news that 93 Senators had voted for a defense authorization bill that included a repeal of Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) which bans soldiers from engaging in either sodomy or bestiality. At least two GOP lawmakers admitted they were not aware of the existence of the provision in the bill they voted to approve.
The synergetic bond between former House Speakers Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi extends well beyond the 2008 climate-change commercial that has stirred heated criticism among conservatives, as the GOP presidential hopeful has cosponsored 418 bills in Congress with Pelosi. Such a revelation, particularly when coupled with Gingrich’s Freddie Mac connections, liberal-leaning views on illegal immigration, and support for an individual healthcare mandate, underscore Gingrich's waning support for true conservative principles.
After being asked about the walkout of a few of his students from his Economics 10 class on November 2, Harvard professor Greg Mankiw responded with an open letter in the New York Times. The walkout involved only about 30 or 40 of the 750 students who usually attend, he noted. In addition, some other students entered his class as a “counter protest,” and at least one of the original protesters returned to his class because he didn’t want to miss his lecture.
In his candid appraisal of the letter from Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy to the European Union meeting that starts Friday in Brussels, Dan Murphy makes clear that this summit will be different from the previous 20: This one is determined to override national sovereignty to save the euro. The core of the letter is the offer of the fatal alternative to the euro zone nations: Either give up essential sovereign control over your budgets to the EU, or destroy the euro.
Now that memoirs by the late Bob Novak, former Vice-President Dick Cheney, and former President George Bush have all been published, we now know much more about the Valerie Plame case than we did before these individuals put what happened to paper. (Plame, if you'll remember, was a CIA agent whose identity was leaked to the press during a newsman's investigation into George W. Bush's explanation for going to war against Iraq.) Yet, the one book that still needs to be written is a memoir by Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the VP’s assistant, the only individual indicted by the Special Prosecutor looking into the leak and found guilty in this highly controversial case.
As militant Islamists celebrate their decisive victory in the recent Egyptian election, Coptic Christians are bracing themselves for the next round of violence directed against them. A year which began with Muslim terrorists bombing a church in Alexandria, Egypt, during the Coptic Church’s celebration of Christmas on January 7 has now witnessed the rise of militant Islam to the point of having utter control of the goverment of that nation.
When the Project Gunrunner (also known as Gunwalker) scandal was first exposed, National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre warned that it was a plot by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) and the Obama administration to use the gunwalking scheme to impose further gun regulations on the American people and infringe upon Second Amendment rights. Now, according to documents which CBS has recently acquired, it seems that LaPierre was correct.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill (H.R. 10) to prevent the President from imposing major regulations on the country without the approval of Congress . Entitled the REINS Act — Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny — the bill is intended to rein in the executive branch's usurpation of legislative power via issuing rules by executive fiat. Sponsored by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.), the REINS Act passed in the House of Representatives by a 241 to 184 vote, with four Democrats joining Republicans to vote in favor of the legislation. Most believe the bill will not likely be taken up in the Senate, controlled by the Democrats, and even if it were to somehow be addressed and approved in the Senate, it would more than likely be vetoed by President Obama.
Tea Party favorite Rand Paul, Kentucky Senator and son of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, single-handedly thwarted an amendment proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) drafted to advance Georgia’s application for NATO membership. In recent months, Paul, the constitutionalist, libertarian-leaning Senator has underscored his Republican credentials, sponsoring a range of GOP-led legislation, including a jobs bill with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a bill that would prioritize smaller harbors for dredging work with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and with his fellow Kentuckian, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a bill that would repeal net neutrality. But last week, Paul’s amicable collaboration with his Republican colleagues came to a halt, as he sparred with Sen. Rubio, a fellow Tea Party favorite, over a foreign policy proposal critics say could have dealt a terminal blow to U.S.-Russian relations. In a bipartisan effort, the amendment "called for the President to lead a diplomatic effort to get approval of Georgia’s Membership Action Plan during the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago," said a Rubio spokesman.
Congress will soon be consummating its most underactive session in recent decades, as both chambers of the legislature will have passed a meager number of bills compared with other non-election years. As debates over tax policy and government spending heat up Congress, Washington’s seemingly hyperactive legislative hearings are in fact rather fruitless, and many critics have taken the small amount of legislation as indicative of the federal government's waning degree of power. According to the Congressional Record, through November the House had approved 326 bills, the fewest in at least 10 non-election years; the Senate had passed 368 measures, the fewest since 1995. Conversely, the House passed 970 measures in 2009 and 1,127 in 2007, and the Senate for those years approved 478 and 621, respectively. "The goal for this Congress is to stress quality over quantity in terms of the flow of legislation on the House floor," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wrote in a letter last December to his colleagues. "I intend to lengthen the time for consideration of bills in order to improve quality and deliver results. Gone are congratulatory resolutions. Post office namings will be handled on a less frequent basis."