Steal $40,000 from a bank, and you’ll spend a decade or two in prison. Steal $40,000 from an airplane passenger’s luggage and you’ll get six months — if you’re a Transportation Security Administration employee, that is.

 

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich unloaded on CNN Anchor John King for asking about allegations made by Gingrich's ex-wife that the former Georgia Congressman had proposed to make their marriage an "open marriage."

"To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question in a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine," Gingrich told King in the January 19 South Carolina debate. “I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.” The South Carolina presidential primary is scheduled for Saturday, January 21.

“He said the problem with me was I wanted him all to myself,” Gingrich's ex-wife Marianne told the Washington Post in a story published earlier that day. “I said, ‘That’s what marriage is.’ " The former Marianne Gingrich concluded: “He was asking me for an open marriage, and I wouldn’t do it."

Maryland’s Baltimore County is considering an ordinance that critics warn would allow transvestites, cross-dressers, and men confused about their gender to access women’s bathrooms, showers, and dressing rooms. Tom Quirk, the county council member who is sponsoring what he calls the “Act Concerning Human Relations” (Human Relations Bill No. 3-12), insisted that the measure is designed to address discrimination by employers based on an individual’s sexual orientation and gender identity. “It’s my strong belief that the only thing that should matter is someone’s qualifications for a job,” Quirk told the Columbia Patch, a local newspaper.

But the measure also includes language that would allow men dressed as females to walk into women’s accommodations, and that is raising protests from some citizens and groups. Ruth Jacobs, president of Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government, argued that the proposed legislation would do little more than facilitate peeping toms in their lecherous pastime. “The bill is a direct attack on women’s privacy,” said Jacobs, noting that under a similar measure, Portland, Oregon’s “gender identity” law, a cross-dressing sex offender gained access to a women’s locker room, where he was caught changing his clothes in the presence of little girls. “Women are easily victimized, and ladies’ bathrooms can be risky places when men have access,” Jacobs said. “Since the passing of a similar law in Montgomery County, Maryland, rapes have occurred in the women’s bathrooms of Montgomery Community College, Asbury nursing home, Pelican restaurant, and Bethesda Hyatt.”

A liberal Swedish politician has sent a shot over the bow of that country’s home school community. Writing in a Swedish newspaper, with a follow-up posting on her blog, Lotta Edholm of Sweden’s Liberal Party called for changes to the country’s laws that would allow government social workers to more easily take children away from home school families.

 

Anyone who has ever been in a Third World country, or even in a slum neighborhood at home, is likely to wonder why there can be such dire poverty among some people, while others are prospering.  Both politicians and intellectuals have tended to have simple answers to that question, even if these simple answers have been different in different eras.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a pair of cases involving the offering of prayers at county and school board meetings, continuing its decades-long tradition of steering clear of ruling on the supposed constitutionality of public prayers. According to BloombergNews.com, the High Court “hasn’t ruled on the constitutionality of prayer at government meetings since 1983, when the justices said lawmakers could begin sessions with nonsectarian prayers offered by a state-employed chaplain.”


 

While the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins crowed about a “consensus” vote for GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum at the special evangelical con-fab called in Texas to choose the Christian candidate preferred over Mitt Romney, not all the faithful were in agreement that Santorum has the intellectual and political prowess to defeat Barack Obama.

 

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum won the endorsement from a group of about 150 evangelical Christian leaders at a gathering in the Houston suburb of Brenham, Texas, Saturday, despite the former Pennsylvania Senator’s long history of supporting pro-abortion candidates for state and federal offices. Santorum, whose strong opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage helped him come within eight votes of GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses, has nonetheless been dogged by questions regarding his past support of staunch pro-abortion Republicans such as former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter and former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman.

 

GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is under fire in South Carolina for touting his alleged pro-life beliefs but voting to subsidize abortion and Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in America, while serving in the U.S. Senate. He has also backed pro-abortion candidates and voted for legislation that is being used to federally prosecute peaceful pro-life protesters who demonstrate outside of abortion clinics. Critics are outraged.

The once top-tier Republican candidate, who surged into the spotlight after an unexpected strong finish in Iowa before a disastrous showing in New Hampshire, defended himself against the attacks by lashing out at fellow GOP contender Rep. Ron Paul. He also argued that he voted for the unconstitutional appropriations — used for terminating pregnancies, lobbying against pro-life legislation, handing out birth control, and litigating to keep abortion legal — because they were part of bigger spending bills he supported.

A group called Iowans for Life first went after Santorum on the issue before the caucuses there, distributing fliers calling the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania a “Pro-Life Fraud.” The leaflets highlighted, among other points, the fact that Santorum had "a long and storied history of campaigning for radical pro-abortion candidates” such as former Sen. Arlen Specter — a Republican who later turned Democrat.

New York City police arrested 43 pastors and church members who used the occasion of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s January 12 State of the City speech to protest the city’s ban on the longtime practice of churches using public schools for worship services. The arrests occurred at the Bronx public school where Bloomberg was speaking.

 

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