Chris MatthewsThe Obama administration cannot be happy that two of its most strident supporters, MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews and new Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie, have re-opened the "birther" controversy.

Chai FeldblumDemocrats in the U.S. Senate used the tail end of the lame-duck session to confirm an openly homosexual woman to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Chai Feldblum, a law professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and, according to Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the first openly homosexual person to serve on the EEOC, was confirmed December 22 by unanimous consent on the day the Senate adjourned.

smokingFederal Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan has held that the New York City Health Department cannot adopt a rule which would require that gruesome photographs of smokers suffering from various forms of cancer be placed beside cash registers in more than 11,000 bodegas and convenience stores in the city.  “Even merchants of morbidity are entitled to the full protection of the law, for our sake as well as theirs,” the judge ruled — although he agreed with the harm of tobacco, noting, “Within New York City, roughly 7,500 people die from smoking annually — more than from AIDS, homicide and suicide combined.”

election defeatCBS News writer E. J. Dionne has asked if 2010 was "Liberalism's Waterloo." First, let's consider the term. What exactly is “liberalism”?  Our Founding Fathers would have considered the term rationally. The root of the term “liberalism” is the Latin word for liberty or freedom.  Who today associates liberalism with liberty? In the minds of its present-day adherents, the word may stand for “fairness,” “security,” “social justice,” “progressivism,” or several other phrases which, superficially, seem benign.

Alfred KahnProfessor Alfred Kahn, best known as “the father of airline deregulation,” died Monday at age 93. His obituary from Cornell reminded his students and friends of his surprisingly significant influence in rolling back oppressive government regulation of the airline industry in the late '70s: "He was largely instrumental in garnering the support necessary for the federal legislation that deregulated the airline industry and was the first thorough dismantling of a comprehensive system of government control since 1935." (Emphasis added.)

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