On August 20, for the first time in its history, the United States submitted an official report of its record on human rights to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. This survey of our Republic’s human-rights situation is known as the Uniform Periodic Review (UPR).
Yesterday’s national primaries proved several things. First, Sarah Palin’s political influence has not diminished. Second, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain’s dramatic transformation was sufficient enough for Arizona voters to feel confident in his leadership. Above all, according to the Washington Post, the results proved that the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) “continues to be the bane of many Republican incumbents existence” — McCain, who voted for TARP in the October 2008 but voted against it in January 2009, being an exception.
Amidst strong criticism, the Obama administration’s “Compensation” Czar Kenneth Feinberg (left) took over BP’s $20 billion “slush” fund set up for victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The fund’s new leadership began processing claims on August 23.
When it comes to expectations of the federal dollar, Shakespeare’s famous quotation about a rose still being a rose no matter what you call it (Romeo and Juliet: "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet") has met Jonathan Swift's quip "You can’t make a silk purse of a sow’s ear" — or maybe it was Stephen Gosson's quip from 1579, if you’re a purist. Washington Times reporter Deborah Simmons revealed yesterday that charter schools in the District of Columbia are in a dither over unfunded mandates and puzzling "standards" as the beginning of a new school year approaches next Monday morning.
Intrusive statism has many ways of harassing citizens. The most conspicuous, and in many ways the least dangerous, is by passing statutes. These laws, at least, are public and subject to debate before enactment. Laws, in theory, apply to all citizens equally.
Campaigns for the 2010 midterm elections have reflected massive transformations for several of the senatorial candidates, particularly Florida Governor Charlie Crist and former speaker of the Florida House Marco Rubio, both of whom are competing for the Florida Senate seat, and Arizona Senator John McCain, the current frontrunner in the Arizona Senate race.
Congratulations, fellow Americans! As of August 19 you are finally working for your own benefit instead of the government’s. According to Americans for Tax Reform’s Center for Fiscal Accountability, the 2010 Cost of Government Day — “the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state and local level” — fell on August 19.
During the last sixteen years, the leaders of majority parties in the houses of Congress have been defeated twice: Speaker Foley in Washington in the 1994 election and Senate Majority Leader Daschle in the 2002 election. Senator Reid from Nevada may be the next member of Congress to discover that clout in Washington does not reflexively translate into electoral victory back home.? “Bringing home the bacon,” the ability of senior members of Congress to raid the public fisc for dubious projects back home, has long been considered a key advantage of incumbency (regardless of whether the member of Congress is a Democrat or a Republican.)?
Earlier in the week, The New American reported that despite his inaugural promise to shutter the prison at Guantanamo Bay “as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order, some 19 months later the facility remains open."
The natural yen of our government to collect information on its citizens and to create command centers to review that information has continued to grow since September 11, 2001. Some of these efforts focus purely on terrorism, but others extend broadly into every area of American life, and seldom are they efficacious.