According to United Wisconsin, the group behind effort to recall Governor Scott Walker, as of December 19 volunteers had collected 507,533 of the 540,208 signatures needed to force the special gubernatorial election.

The group has hopes of collecting over 720,000 signatures, which “would represent 33 percent of the 2010 general election turnout and nearly 21 percent of all Wisconsin registered voters,” reported Reuters News.

The signatures will have to be submitted to the state’s Government Accountability Board (GAB) to verify before the recall effort can proceed. GAB officials estimate the process itself could take more than a month.

 

A distorted account of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's "town hall" meeting in New Hampshire Monday evening appeared on the ABC News political blog, "The Note. The report, written by Jason Volock, appeared under the headline, "Ron Paul Attacked for Views on Health Care." The lead sentence reads: "Ron Paul's views on health care came under fire tonight at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, where his position on eliminating Medicaid was met with open hostility from the audience."

The article does contain a few points of accuracy. The candidate was Ron Paul and the state was New Hampshire. It was a campaign stop and there was an audience, made up of about 150 people at the Executive Court in Manchester. And there was a question about the candidate's position on Medicaid. But the woman who asked the question in no way appeared to be "up in arms," as the reporter described her. Nor was her question hostile. "Skeptical" would have been a far more accurate description, though the word fails to convey the sense of dramatic confrontation for which Mr. Volock was so obviously striving.

U.S. State Department security personnel detained a conservative activist at last week’s conference to help implement a United Nations resolution that seeks to curb free speech.  Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, was there to protest American support, via the State Department, for the implementation UN Resolution 16/18, a non-binding document that supposedly seeks to stop religious discrimination and stereotyping. Opponents say it is really an attempt to silence the foes of Islam.

 

The pro-Gingrich New Hampshire Union Leader/Sunday News published an editorial attack on Ron Paul Sunday, calling “Renegade Ron” a “gadfly, not a contender” in  New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Perhaps it's a sign the editorial board is worried that the Texas congressman, who has moved into first place in the latest Iowa poll, may overtake Gingrich in New Hampshire as well.

A Public Policy Polling survey released  Monday showed Paul moving to the head of the pack in Iowa, where the delegate selection begins on January 3. The PPP poll shows Paul with 23 percent and Romney in second place with 20 percent of likely voters. Gingrich, who until quite recently had been considered the frontrunner in the Hawkeye State, fell into third place with just 14 percent, a drop of 13 points in just three weeks, according to PPP surveys. A Rasmussen poll released early last week showed Paul moving up on Gingrich  for second-place in New Hampshire, where former Massachusetts Governor and part-time New Hampshire resident Mitt Romney still holds a sizable lead. The Rasmussen survey showed Romney with the support of 36 percent of likely voters, Gingrich with 22 percent and Paul at 18 percent. A Suffolk University poll released last Wednesday, however, showed former Utah Governor and  Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman moving past Paul into third place among likely New Hampshire primary voters.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was roasted on charges of influence peddling at Freddie Mac by Congressmen Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann at the Fox News debate December 15.  Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace started the sharp exchange in this final scheduled debate before the January 3 Iowa Caucus in Sioux City, Iowa, with this question:

 

On Monday, the justices of the Supreme Court were very busy issuing orders and approving petitions.  Already having committed themselves to considering the constitutionality of the individual mandate of ObamaCare, and the legality of recent redistricting in Texas, the nation’s highest court has now agreed to review another controversial conflict between the Constitution and the law.
 
 

Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul engaged in sharp exchanges during the December 15 Fox News debate with fellow GOP presidential candidates Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum on whether the United States should attack Iran.

Fox News Channel host Bret Baier started the discussion on Iran in the Sioux City, Iowa, debate with a question that claimed "GOP nominee Paul would be running left of Obama on the issue of Iran." Baier had noted that Paul proposes removing economic sanctions against Iran, including the sanctions that Obama had imposed.

Paul responded by claiming the war-weary American people would be on his side. "But I would be running with the American people because it would be a much better policy," Rep. Paul replied, stressing that there's no evidence Iran is near to obtaining a nuclear weapon. "To me, the greatest danger is that we would overreact." Paul also likened the anti-Iran propaganda to the lead-up to the Iraq war, a war he opposed because he discounted exaggerated claims that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. "That’s how we got involved in the useless war in Iraq and lost so much in Iraq."

The town of Athens, Texas, is modest. The Henderson County courthouse, as in many small towns in the South, is the center of the community. Normally, during this time of the year, Christmas decorations are on each corner of the square. But this year, that simple display of the holiday season has run into an unexpected bump.

An organization of people who do not live in the town, who do not even live in the state, sent a letter to the Henderson County Commission.This letter was the shock of his life, according to Commissioner Joe Hall. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a organization of atheists in Madison, Wisconsin, demanded that the town remove the Christmas decorations because according to Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-founder of the organization:  “This excludes non-Christians and non-believers who are 17 percent of the U.S. population. So it's necessary there should be changes.”

In fact, the atheist group is not only asking that the Christian symbols come down but that the following go up instead:

It wasn’t until I read fellow writer Selwyn Duke’s article on Obama’s Osawatomie speech ("Did Obama Give Anti-Free Market Speech at Osawatomie for Communist Connection?") in which he revealed that the Weather Underground had used the name of the town as the title of their 1975 communist newsletter, that I realized there was much more to the Osawatomie speech than the national media has let on. A photo of that newsletter featuring Ho Chi Minh’s picture left no doubt that this Kansas town had real significance for the radical left. Otherwise, why would a secret terrorist group like the Weather Underground use that name as their newsletter’s title?

In his speech, Obama mentioned that Osawatomie, Kansas, was where Theodore Roosevelt gave an important oration about the New Nationalism back in 1910, and that he largely agreed with what Roosevelt had said. He didn’t say much more about it as he went on to pronounce his own socialist view that capitalism doesn’t work, claiming that It doesn’t produce jobs or prosperity. Only more government, more debt, and more taxes will produce the economic recovery we all wish for, asserted the president.

So I decided to look into the Osawatomie connection. A fascinating article in the Kansas Historical Quarterly by Robert S. La Forte (Summer 1966), now available online, provides a detailed account of Roosevelt’s famous address, who was behind it, and why it was denounced by some of its critics as socialistic or communistic.

The Obama administration’s quixotic quest to completely strip the states of their sovereignty has now turned its lance on the right of states to establish their own voter qualification statutes.  At a speech given at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, Attorney General Eric Holder announced this latest foray by the federal government into the sovereign territory of the states.
 
Calling the right to vote the “cornerstone of our system of government,” Holder apparently doesn’t understand the foundation upon which that cornerstone is fixed — federalism.
 
In his address, AG Holder proclaimed his firm commitment to “examine” several recently enacted state laws altering the acceptable methods for establishing verifiable identity at the polls.
 
The power of the federal government to monitor or “examine” lawfully enacted state laws will be analyzed below. First, the Attorney General’s own justification for his actions are set forth.

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