After serving a total of 12 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) has announced that he will not be seeking another term in the House so that he can concentrate fully on his bid for a Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

USA Today reports:

Paul, 75, told a local paper in his congressional district that he didn't want to be distracted by running two campaigns at once. The libertarian-thinking candidate, who has a devoted following among supporters of his small government views, is running in his third White House campaign.

In an interview with local Texas newspaper The Facts, Paul clarified, “I felt it was better that I concentrate on one election. It’s about that time when I should change tactics.”

The most recent Iowa caucus Republican presidential contender poll reveals a number of significant changes from the April poll, particularly for presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Sarah Palin.

In April, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachman garnered 9 percent among likely Iowa voters. The newest poll, which consists of telephone interviews from July 5 through yesterday, shows Bachmann at 21 percent, surpassing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who has been the frontrunner in the race for the GOP primary thus far.

Similarly, Texas Congressman Ron Paul jumped from 3 percent of likely voters in April to 14 percent in the recent poll, an 11-point increase. Additionally, among Independent voters polled in the American Research Group Survey, Paul was one of the preferred choices, as well as Romney.

 

A recent Superman comic book has the hero saying, "I am renouncing my U.S. citizenship" because "truth, justice, and the American way — it's not enough anymore." Though not addressing Superman's statement, Stanford University professor and Hoover Institution senior fellow William Damon explains how such a vision could emerge today but not yesteryear. The explanation is found in his article "American Amnesia," in Defining Ideas (7/1/2011), based upon his most recent book, Failing Liberty 101: How We Are Leaving Young Americans Unprepared for Citizenship in a Free Society.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that only 1 in 4 high-school seniors scored at least "proficient" in knowledge of U.S. citizenship. Civics and history were American students' worst subjects. Professor Damon said that for the past 10 years, his Stanford University research team has interviewed broad cross sections of American youths about U.S. citizenship. Here are some typical responses: "We just had (American citizenship) the other day in history. I forget what it was." Another said, "Being American is not really special.... I don't find being an American citizen very important." Another said, "I don't want to belong to any country. It just feels like you are obligated to this country. I don't like the whole thing of citizen.... It's like, citizen, no citizen; it doesn't make sense to me. It's, like, to be a good citizen — I don't know, I don't want to be a citizen.... It's stupid to me."

Do we really understand what courts are for in America? I mean, do even really smart, educated people like (I realize I’m going out on a limb here) lawyers and people with prestigious titles like “U.S. Senator” in front of their names really understand and appreciate the role of the courts? Or does it all get run over and crushed by the pressure of politics?

Take Richard Blumenthal, please. The Connecticut Democrat is a freshman member of the U.S. Senate but hardly a novice in the fields of law and politics. He is a 65-year-old graduate of two of the nation’s most prestigious Ivy League institutions, Harvard College and Yale Law School. He is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and served for two decades as Connecticut’s Attorney General. All of which makes a recent statement by Blumenthal in a Senate debate all the more remarkable and all the more embarrassing, one hopes, to Harvard, Yale, and the sensible people of Connecticut. (I despair of finding anything capable of embarrassing the U.S. House or Senate.)

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the Republican Party establishment—I refer to both politicians as well as the punditry class constituting the so-called “new” or “alternative media”—is not conservative.  It is neoconservative.

Although this is not something of which readers of this site need to be informed, it is a point worth repeating nonetheless.  

Few and far between are those neoconservatives who refer to themselves as such.  Usually, neoconservatives identify themselves as “conservative.”  But because the neoconservative’s is the face and voice of one of our two national political parties, his refusal to come to terms with his true identity means that in the popular American consciousness, the neoconservative ideology is confused with conservatism proper.  However, traditional or classical conservatism, the conservatism of which Edmund Burke is among the most notable and impassioned representatives, is not only distinct from neoconservatism; it is diametrically opposed to it.

While the ACLU worries about whether a Christmas decoration in the public library or a moment of silent prayer in school violates the First Amendment, other non-Christian nations have no trouble at all with combining religion and government. The notion that a “separation of church and state” is indispensable to civil liberty would have flabbergasted the Founding Fathers. In fact, when the Constitution was adopted, about half of the original states had a “state” religion. Eventually all of these states were disestablished (the “state” religion status was ended) but this had absolutely nothing to do with the First Amendment, whose clear words collectivists always seem unable to read:  “Congress shall make no law….” is how that amendment begins. Congress did not mean state legislatures.

 

It seems President Obama is beginning to alienate his support base. First, the labor unions voiced their anger toward the administration for what they perceived to be its failure to stand up for them. Now, one of the top "progressive" organizations in the nation, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, has issued a warning to the White House: If entitlements are cut, President Obama may not have their support in 2012.

According to CNN, nearly 200,00 of the organization's 700,000 members have pledged to withhold their support for Obama’s 2012 campaign if his administration concedes on cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

The U.S. House of Representatives is pushing legislation that would overturn a law that bans incandescent light bulbs and sets new energy-efficiency standards for the bulbs. Under President George W. Bush, a 2007 energy act was passed that requires efficiency upgrades in incandescent light bulbs, which have remained relatively unchanged since the invention of the light bulb in 1879. Republicans in the House contend that the law is a violation of personal freedom and are determined to overturn it. A vote on a bill to overturn the ban could come as early as today.

The Blaze reports:

Republicans say the new standards, signed into law by President George W. Bush, are a symbol of an overreaching federal government and people should have the right to buy the traditional, cheap and reliable incandescent bulbs. The Obama administration and environmentalists say new bulbs on the market will save American households billions of dollars in energy costs.

“True it is that politics makes strange bedfellows.” The precise origin of this phrase is unclear, but its application to the race for President in 2012 is all too evident and perhaps a bit uncomfortable.

Normally, the rolling out of the predictable campaign ad blitz in an early primary state would not be very noteworthy. The ads for GOP presidential contender Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), however, are drawing attention because of the media strategy company producing them. The Bachmann ad was produced by Strategy Group for Media, (SGM) an Ohio-based political media consulting firm whose former client list includes Bachmann’s competitor for the GOP presidential nomination — Ron Paul.

The topic of the14th Amendment of the United States Constitution is continuing to stir debate in Washington, with those who favor increasing the debt limit at any cost raising the specter of President Obama simply overruling Congress and authorizing the issuance of new debt without the consent of lawmakers. According to this storyline, the president need only invoke Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which states that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.” If Congress refuses to abide by its constitutional obligation to ensure government debts are paid, argue certain of Obama’s supporters, then the president would be justified in simply imposing his will on Congress to ensure that the 14th Amendment’s prohibition of government default is honored.

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