The New American has published its first “Freedom Index” for the new (112th) Congress. The index, published four times each two-year congressional term, rates all members of the House and Senate based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements.
As the symbolic World Trade Center Cross was moved to its permanent display site at New York’s 9/11 Memorial Museum on July 23, an atheist group filed a lawsuit to have the inspirational symbol banned from the museum. Discovered by construction worker Frank Silecchia in the rubble of the Trade Center two days after the attack, “the 17-foot-tall cross became an icon of hope and comfort throughout the recovery effort in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks,” noted a museum press release. Joe Daniels, 9/11 Memorial president, told CNN News that the cross is “an important part of our commitment to bring back the authentic physical reminders that tell the history of 9/11 in a way nothing else could.”
In a service prior to the installation of the massive cross in the museum, Father Brian Jordan, a Franciscan monk who ministered to workers and blessed human remains at the site of the attack, blessed the symbolic relic, noting that after 10 years of shuffling to different sites, “the World Trade Center Cross has finally found its home.” Added Father Jordan, “I am grateful to the leadership of the Memorial Museum for their sensitivity, compassion, and professionalism. I urge all those who believe in the consolation and power of the Cross to visit it in its future home in the Memorial Museum.”
McDonald’s, and more specifically, the Happy Meal, continues to be a point of contention for those behind the nanny state. As a result, the Happy Meal has been targeted for a number of reforms. In San Francisco, for example, Happy Meals are no longer permitted to include toys so that they may be less enticing for young children. Now, a new McDonald’s policy will make Happy Meals healthier by cutting French fries orders in half and including fruit.
And though the changes have not been well-received by customers, McDonald’s plans to continue enforcing the policy.
Under the new policy, McDonald’s will be offering apple slices, half-portions of French fries, and healthier beverages such as one-percent milk and fat-free chocolate milk.
The Blaze contends McDonald's is kowtowing to political pressures:
In an effort to draw national attention to the federal government's intrusion into the everyday lives of its citizens, Oklahoman Kaye Beach has elected to take on the system. She refused to renew her driver’s license in protest of not only forced biometric enrollment — having her information shared with corporations and government agencies — but also the influence of international organizations on U.S. policies and laws. Her actions have initiated a full-fledged legal battle.
According to the Constitutional Alliance, an organization supporting Beach’s case, she was recently cited for driving with an expired license in Norman, Oklahoma, reportedly because she felt that being forced to renew her driver’s license with biometric information was a violation of her constitutional rights.
A "super-Congress" is being proposed by Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. The left-wing Huffington Post summarizes the plan — which they claim is also supported by Republican House Speaker John Boehner — this way:
"Legislation approved by the Super Congress — which some on Capitol Hill are calling the 'super committee' — would then be fast-tracked through both chambers, where it couldn't be amended by simple, regular lawmakers, who'd have the ability only to cast an up or down vote. With the weight of both leaderships behind it, a product originated by the Super Congress would have a strong chance of moving through the little Congress and quickly becoming law."
Mitt Romney finished first in an Ohio straw poll last Friday of potential Republican presidential nominees. Romney garnered 25 percent of the votes with Tim Pawlenty coming in a distant second with 16 percent. Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann finished third with 15 percent followed closely by Texas Governor Rick Perry who earned 14 percent of the votes cast. Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), a frequent straw poll victor, came in fifth with 9 percent, with Herman Cain and Rick Santorum tied at 5 percent.
The Ohio straw poll results were more a reflection of how GOP insiders viewed the candidates as opposed to the candidates' organizational strength or popularity, according to Politico:
In an effort to save taxpayer dollars, South Carolina lawmakers are considering the possibility of eliminating the position of Lieutenant Governor. The proposal comes as the state's Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard is in the midst of an ethics investigation for misuse of campaign funds.
According to two South Carolina legislators, eliminating the position could save taxpayers $1 million a year.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader John Land noted that the position had political power at one time, as the Lieutenant Governor once was responsible for appointing Senate members of conference committees. But since the Senate took that power from the Lieutenant Governor, Land asserted, “That alone is proof that we don’t think it’s a necessary office, and the man does not have enough to do.
As if the list of GOP presidential candidates were not long enough, two new names were tossed around this weekend as possible contenders: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Texas Governor Rick Perry. Likewise, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, though not running for President, has indicated that he will be leaving an imprint on the 2012 Republican campaign and will be traveling to Iowa. In an appearance Friday on Sean Hannity's Fox New program, Jeb Bush announced that he should not indefinitely be counted out in 2012.
On the special edition of the Sean Hannity show, a member of the audience asked Governor Bush if he would consider running for President, to which Bush replied, “You never say never.” He added, jokingly, “but I’m never ruling out being on 'Dancing with the Stars' either. The 8-ball that I have on my desk — that I used to make the big decisions when I was governor — says ‘outlook not so good.’”
It’s a fact that Americans have serious health problems caused by their diets. Excessive consumption of fat, sugar, and processed foods is a leading cause of obesity, diabetes, and related illnesses. The question is what to do about it.
The answer, for New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman, is obvious: Put the government in charge of what people eat. And not just any government: Our diet dictator, he writes, “should be the federal government, fulfilling its role as an agent of the public good and establishing a bold national fix.” Constitutionalists point out man’s unalienable rights as set forth in the Declaration of Independence, and the powers delegated to the federal government under the Constitution, which do not include acting as food führer. Something must be done, and to progressives such as Bittman, only Washington can do it.