U.S. sanctions on Iran are “acts of war.” The Iranian government, which views the sanctions, along with assassinations of its nuclear scientists and belligerent rhetoric from Washington, as precursors to “regime change,” is seeking to obtain nuclear weapons “as a deterrent to foreign intervention.” War could occur at any moment, and the only way to avert it with any certainty is for “Western powers [to] imagine how the situation looks from Tehran.”

This may sound like a Ron Paul stump speech. But in fact, it is the essence of a recent Bloomberg article by Vali Nasr, a Middle East expert with contacts in the government of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni. Nasr’s piece, says Robert Wright of the Atlantic, vindicates the Texas Republican’s “sheer conjecture” about Iran’s interpretation of Western actions as “acts of war.”

Paul’s “conjecture,” of course, was based on a simple understanding of human nature. If Oceania routinely threatens Eastasia and begins punishing it, the Eastasian people and their government are not going to sit idly by and allow their country to be destroyed. They will fight back. Then Oceania will escalate the conflict further, Eastasia will respond in kind, and so on, until a full-scale war is under way.
 

President Obama has once again flexed his autocratic muscle by disregarding the Congress and unilaterally filling seats on the National Labor Relations Board and appointing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to be the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In Peter Schroeder’s recent article in The Hill, he reports that David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, posits two constitutional pretexts allowing the President to place someone in office whose nomination has already been blocked by the Senate.

 

“This will be the first time ever, since this whole thing began, that it will be looked on, on merit.” Carl Swensson, Republican Party Chairman of Clayton County, Georgia, spoke those words regarding the forthcoming judicial hearing of the case against the eligibility of Barack Hussein Obama to be President.

 

Mitt Romney broke the tape in the race for Iowa just ahead of Rick Santorum. The closeness of the results, however, hasn't stopped some in the religious wing of the GOP from worrying about Romney representing the Republican Party in November.  According to a story published by Politico, a coterie of influential Christian Republicans has been invited to a confab next weekend at the Texas ranch of Paul Pressler.

In more than half of the 50 states, a worker has the option of not joining a union in order to hold a job. In those states where such an elementary freedom exists, the economic condition is more vibrant than in states where union membership, once it is gained at a place of business, is mandatory.

Indiana legislators want to make their state the newest right to work state. But state law requires two-thirds of the 100 House members to be in session before business can be conducted. The current makeup at the Indiana state house has 60 Republicans — seven short of the two-thirds quorum mandated in state law — and 40 Democrats. So, because enough Democrats who are customarily in Labor's back pocket decided to stay away from their jobs, the plan to enact right to work legislation has been stymied. The tactic is reminiscent of Wisconsin's Democrat state senators fleeing to Illinois to stymie legislation in their state earlier this year. Eventually, the Wisconsin senators did not succeed.

 

Following a campaign that saw her fade rapidly from a front-running favorite to an “also-ran,” U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) threw in the towel on her presidential aspirations after a disappointing performance in the Iowa caucuses on January 3. Carrying a mere five percent of the vote in the GOP contest, Bachmann finished a dismal sixth behind front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who shared 24.5 percent of the Iowa votes, as well as being far-outdistanced by Ron Paul (21.4 percent), Newt Gingrich (13.3), and even Rick Perry (10.3).

Late into the evening on the night of the caucuses CNSNews.com had quoted Bachmann as saying that she would continue with her long-shot campaign. “I believe that I am that true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012,” she told a small core of supporters. “What we need is a fearless conservative, one with no compromises on their record on spending, on healthcare, on crony capitalism, on defending America, on standing with our ally Israel.”

But at a hastily organized morning press conference on January 4, Bachmann announced her withdrawal from the race. “Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to step aside,” she declared with her family by her side. She added that she had “no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles and we can leave this race knowing that we ran it with utmost integrity. We made a very important contribution to this race.”

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."

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