A federal appeals court in New York City has ruled that the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman in the context of federal business, is unconstitutional because it violates the Constitution's equal protection clause. The ruling follows a similar one by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston earlier this year, making it likely that the future of DOMA will eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Education is the orphan issue of this presidential campaign, because the subject is too complex and too volatile to be decently handled in the kind of debates that Gov. Romney and President Obama have been engaged in. There is simply not enough time to do the subject justice. Besides, both Romney and Obama believe that the federal government has a role to play in public education: Obama a lot more; Romney a little less, but not enough difference to make it a hot issue.

In response to a request from the Senate Budget Committee, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported that federal welfare spending reached three-quarters of a trillion dollars last year. When added to what the states spent on welfare, another $300 billion, total government welfare payments in 2011 hit $1.03 trillion.

Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate for president, but she wasn’t invited to the debate last Tuesday night. In fact, when Stein and her running mate Cheri Honkala protested their exclusion from the official debate held at Hofstra University, they were hauled off to jail.

The government spent lavishly in fiscal 2011, especially on federal welfare programs, doling out more than $1 trillion on 83 means-tested programs — the year’s largest expenditure and a startling 32-percent increase since President Obama entered the White House. According to new data released by the Senate Budget Committee, compiled based on a new Congressional Research Service (CRS) study, the combination of state and federal welfare spending is more than the government spends on Medicare, Social Security, or non-war defense.

The truth is that Candy Crowley’s meddling at the Hofstra presidential debate was as inappropriate as was her presence itself. It was much as if Angelo Dundee had been the referee for the first Ali/Frazier fight and jumped on Smokin’ Joe’s back because Ali couldn’t hack it that night. She had no business doing the job of the judges (the post-debate analysts). And it was a role that she embraced only selectively.

Marcus Porcius Cato the Younger is the subject of a new biography by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni entitled Rome’s Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar

As lawmakers seek to use federal courts to force disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to hand over documents on the deadly Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, the Obama administration filed a motion this week claiming that the judicial branch has no power to interfere. According to the Department of Justice, a ruling in favor of Congress and its oversight authority would violate so-called “executive privilege.” But lawmakers are not buying it.

Both Democrat and Republican spin-meisters are claiming victory for their candidate in the October 16 Presidential town hall-format debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, a contest noted for its lack of gaffes by President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

In August, the Republican Party establishment violated its own rules by disenfranchising Ron Paul supporters and squelching dissenting voices now and in the future in order to assure the nomination of Mitt Romney for president.  As Election Day draws near, the same coterie of kingmakers has set their sights on the ballots in all 50 states, filing legal challenges to the presence of third-party candidates that might siphon off voters in the tight race for the White House.

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