With the “shutting down” of the federal government looming, Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill are scrambling to hit their respective marks on the stage of public attention. Reportedly, Republicans in the Senate are unanimously behind passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment, while Democrats in both houses are clamoring to raise the debt ceiling, lest Social Security checks not be mailed.

During the U.S. Senate debate over the  PATRIOT Act renewal on May 24, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told his fellow Senators: "There is secret law where, in effect, the interpretation of the law, as it stands today, is kept secret. So here we are, Senators on the floor, and we have colleagues of both political parties wanting to participate. Certainly, if you are an American, you are in Oregon or Colorado, you are listening in, you want to be part of this discussion. But yet the executive branch keeps secret how they are interpreting the law."

An article in the most recent edition of the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMAsuggests that as many as two million children who are "morbidly obese" should be put on a diet by government and removed from their parents and families if they don't show progress.

The most recent Iowa caucus Republican presidential contender poll reveals a number of significant changes from the April poll, particularly for presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Sarah Palin.

After serving a total of 12 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) has announced that he will not be seeking another term in the House so that he can concentrate fully on his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.