n a December 2 editorial in The Atlasphere, John Stossel opined that once again, privatization answers a public woe. In his report about beautiful Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, the opener reads, “Many see the privatization of public parks as an evil encroachment by the rich in the public sphere. But in reality privatized parks today are friendlier and more inclusive than ever.”
On Thursday, Democrat Charles Rangel became the 23rd member of Congress to be censured for violating House ethics rules after the House voted 333-79 on the resolution. Considered the harshest punishment for rule-breakers in Congress, the censure entails having the violator stand in the well of the House for an oral rebuke that is ready by the House Speaker.
While Democratic Senators touted the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act as an "accomplishment," conservatives and constitutionalists begged to differ. It appears, however, Americans may have run into some luck as a "blue slip mistake" may halt the bill in its tracks.
Today, the House Democrats cleared a procedural hurdle to advance a bill extending the Bush tax cuts to middle class families only, prompting accusations from House Republicans that the Democrats are continuing to play political games. In a procedural vote, the House voted 213 to 203 to advance the bill. A full vote is expected later today.
While Republicans in the Senate have vowed to block all legislation in the Senate chamber until a decision is made on the federal budget and the Bush tax cuts, Democrats in the House of Representatives indicate that they will continue to move forward on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s DREAM Act legislation.
As predicted, the Obama administration rescinded its promise to allow domestic offshore oil drilling yesterday. The Competitive Enterprise Institute reports that the Interior Department has placed an official moratorium on offshore drilling in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as well as in the Gulf for the next seven years at minimum. What's the excuse? The BP oil spill, of course.
The revival now appearing to take place throughout the U.S. of “the true Spirit of ‘76” — and not its emotional counterfeit which was seen to come and go during the Bicentennial of 1976 — has simultaneously given rise to an interest in and identification with the flags of the American Revolution (or American War of Independence). The first of these was the Bedford Flag, carried by the Minutemen of that Massachusetts town to the neighboring Battle of Concord on April 19, 1775. Some 60 years later Ralph Waldo Emerson made it famous in his poem Concord Hymn:
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is spending billions of dollars to install naked full-body scanners at airports, and millions of Americans are facing the humiliation of either a virtual strip search or a private-parts pat-down in order to fly. A regrettable but unavoidable development, right? After all, sacrificing one's dignity, privacy, and constitutional rights is a small price to pay for airline security. That's the government's line anyway. In fact, as far as Department Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano is concerned, this is just the start; travelers using mass transit, trains, and boats should also expect soon to experience the same treatment. And after that? Why not the same for bus stations, and portable scanners and pat-downs for random highway stops of motorists?
The Pentagon finally completed its year-long study of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy yesterday. While some assert that the results of the study confirm that there are minimal risks associated with repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Fox News explains, “a drilldown into the report shows some concerns about a hasty end to the 15-year policy.”
Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of the Federal District Court in Oklahoma City granted a preliminary injunction on November 30 that blocked an Oklahoma constitutional amendment aimed at stopping the use of Islamic "Sharia" law in the state's courts, the New York Times reported.