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."
While Congress remains on winter recess, President Obama hoodwinked his Senate Republican rivals of the newly-minted Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by naming former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray the nation’s chief consumer watchdog, sidestepping the Senate confirmation process. Mr. Cordray boarded Marine One on Wednesday for a brief flight to Andrews Air Force Base, where he joined the President in his hometown of Cleveland for a formal announcement.
With a director now in place, the agency will have the power to establish new regulations over financial institutions, including mortgage companies, debt collectors, payday lenders, and other entities often charged with contributing to the financial crisis. Moreover, the bureau will now be able to monitor mortgage originators and servicers, which were instrumental in the financial crisis by providing subprime mortgages to individuals and families who were not able to afford them.
"There is an army of lobbyists and lawyers right now working to water down the protections and the reforms that we passed," the President said in July when he nominated Cordray to head the bureau. "They've already spent tens of millions of dollars this year to try to weaken the laws that are designed to protect consumers. And they've got allies in Congress who are trying to undo the progress that we've made."
There are two new bills in Congress to fix the indefinite detention policy in the new NDAA law.
Who will be in charge of the executive branch of government if Mitt Romney is our next President? Who will be making the decisions coming out of the White House, decisions affecting matters as crucial as the question of war or peace? When Romney ran for the 2008 nomination. he was asked a rather basic question by Chris Matthews of MSNBC during one of the many televised debates.
The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) unit tracking terror leader Osama bin Laden, Michael Scheuer, endorsed Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas for President in 2012, days before the Iowa caucus. He argued, among other points, that the top-tier GOP hopeful is the best candidate to protect America from violent Islamic extremism.
In a column entitled "Iowa’s Choice: Dr. Paul or U.S. bankruptcy, more wars, and many more dead soldiers and Marines" published on his website over the weekend, Scheuer said voting for any candidate other than Paul would help inflict further damage on an already-wounded America. It would also contribute toward the continuation of a foreign policy that will ensure total national bankruptcy, noted the 22-year intelligence-community veteran, who now serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Peace and Security Studies.
“Dr. Paul’s non-interventionist policy will allow foreigners to work out their political destiny in their own way and at their own pace; prevent unnecessary additions to America’s growing list of enemies; and save countless young lives,” Scheuer wrote in his endorsement, blasting senior leaders and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle with harsh words. “Electing anyone but Ron Paul will further increase the already strong chances of widespread Islamist-conducted violence inside the United States.”
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul noted on Tuesday that efforts to rein in government spending appeared to be in vain, due to an agreement reached with the White House during the recent debt ceiling negotiations. Congress would have to pass a joint resolution to oppose any extension of the debt ceiling, which President Obama is free to veto. Said Paul: “A default is becoming more mathematically unavoidable with ... every debt ceiling increase.”
Not only is the word “default” becoming commonplace but also the words “economic collapse.” A study conducted by Leflein Associates and published by EcoHealth Alliance showed that of the 1003 individuals interviewed for the survey, 63 percent — or more than six out of ten of them — feared an “economic collapse” more than a natural disaster, a terrorist attack or a global outbreak of disease. This study was picked up by Michael, the author of his Economic Collapse Blog, who piled on by adding a long list of reasons why concerned citizens should be afraid of such an event:
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney eked out an eight-vote win in the Iowa Republican caucuses January 3 with just under 25 percent of the vote, ahead of second place former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (also just under 25 percent), in a tight six-way race that included Ron Paul pulling a close third place at nearly 22 percent.
Romney used the narrow victory to target President Obama in his victory speech. "He said three years ago, after being inaugurated, he was on the Today Show, and he said look, if I can't get this economy turned around in three years, I'll be looking at a one-term proposition. And we are here to collect." Romney is viewed as the Republican front-runner, and is far ahead in the polls in the upcoming New Hampshire primary. But he actually trails in polls in other early primary states, such as South Carolina and Florida. Romney's campaign is seen as the most viable because of his position in the polls nationally, and in New Hampshire, as well as his fundraising ability. Romney has raised more money than any of his Republican rivals, and is the top recipient of donations from employees of elite Wall Street banking concerns such as Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Bank of America. According to entrance polls in Iowa, Romney drew heavily from votes from establishment and veteran Republican functionaries, which carried the state for him.